Polyamory in Moving Pictures
Hey folks, look what I found! Yes, it’s independent, polyamorous, video entertainment!
The description on Youtube for this video is this:
“This is a short story about the ins and outs of a Polyamorous relationship. Basically a guy trying to have a successful relationship with two girlfriends. It seems ideal, but how do you have intimacy without leaving someone out? Can this work? We gave it a happy ending, but I would love to hear feedback to anyone who has tried it.”
I approached with caution, entirely unsure of what to expect, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with what I found…
My first impression after watching it was, “That was a little simplistic, but not half bad. And they managed to do what they were aiming to.”
The three distinct & empathetic characters are created pretty effectively for a 4 minute movie, and they look to be in either a triad or a V relationship (not entirely certain as they don’t show the girls in bed despite showing the chap with them both individually; either way they seem to have a good relationship going). They have a good time, the girls go out and forget to tell the guy what’s going on; they have a falling out and make up at the end. It would be pretty formulaic except for the fact that it is a poly group, really, and that’s one of the strengths of this sweet little film.
Because it doesn’t make a big deal out of the polyamory, I think it makes it rather easier for anyone to watch. It’s not showing some kind of dilemma that only poly people could identify with, but an argument monogamous & poly folk alike can recognise:
Where were you? I’ve been calling you for hours!
As far as reaching out to the world at large and showing people that poly relationships aren’t a big deal, this film did a pretty good job there!
I also like that it’s the boyfriend who freaks out, rather than the girls getting jealous of each other. It’s a frequently-repeated fallacy that we poly guys are just out to get more sex. The girls get it too, I know, but it does tend to be levelled at the chaps that we’re more likely to use it as an excuse. While the sex is damn good, let’s all say it together – it’s not all about the sex!
It’s certainly not avoiding the chances of this criticism being laid at the feet of the characters: if one didn’t watch closely and notice that the boyfriend didn’t get really annoyed until he couldn’t reach either of the girls, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was jealous of them going out together without him. Or maybe that he didn’t want them to go out and find other partners. It is a little vague at that point, but that’s the trouble with it being essentially a music video – it’s going to be difficult to clearly show what someone’s arguing about in a context where numerous things could apply. I guess that’s one for people to decide upon themselves.
However, by avoiding the conflict being undoubtedly about jealousy between the people in the relationship, the video also avoids bringing up all the related discussions about how poly people cope with jealousy. This is a beautifully simple film about three people in a relationship, who have an argument and make up: there’s no call to go deeper into all the potential problems that they just don’t seem to be having (probably got most of their boundaries clearly marked earlier on in the relationship, methinks).
I took a little time to ask the lovely lady who made the video, Shawna, about her creation. Though Shawna doesn’t really seem to identify as poly, she is in an open relationship with her current partner , and has been involved in a few “Poly-lite” relationships. I not only think that “poly-lite” is an awesome term, but also might be something to do with the perspective the video takes. She explained that she has “not shared an open relationship with anyone I am deeply in love with,” and in my experiences jealousy isn’t as common when people are in relationships of this kind. I’ve had plenty of more relaxed relationships myself that could be referred to as “poly-lite,” and only when they become more emotionally involved has jealousy ever become an issue.
Now, I’m not saying that Shawna is disadvantaged in her portrayal by this fact – as I’ve already said, I think the absence of any purely poly-related drama in the film makes it more universally enjoyable. Nor am I saying that making media centred around specifically poly-related issues is a bad thing – we all need to laugh about struggling to fit all your partners into your schedule too! I just think that having different perspectives on poly out there in the world is a brilliant thing, and we should encourage people to make videos, sing songs, write articles & stories about whatever their relationships are like.
Shawna wanted to create something “poly-sweet,” and I think she, her cast & crew managed it pretty damn well! I can’t wait to see what sort of feel the next poly media offering has to it.