The Limits of Free Love

Kabir Vega Castellanos

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Not long ago, Havana Times blogger Irina Pino’s article on polyamorous relationships sparked off a debate at the site.

Pino claims that one can never find the perfect partner and is bound to idealize him or her in accordance with one’s desires.

Following this idea to its conclusion, one should have several partners at once, so as to, for instance, enjoy sexual passions with one, a tender friendship with another, intellectual concerns with yet another, and so on and so forth.

The aim is to fulfill every desire. This arrangement would have the added advantage that the different partners would also share responsibilities around the house (instead of two, it would be three, four, five or more people taking care of things). House chores would be done in a few minutes and money would come in by the truckloads. What’s more, the different partners could come together as a work team.

Just think of it: if they were musicians, they could put together a band, and, if you had different tradespeople, each could contribute something to the house: the bricklayer, the carpenter, the plumber, the electrician, etc, etc.

This take on things, however, knows nothing of loyalty and classifies people a certain way which has very little to do with feelings. It sounds more like a business arrangement than a relationship. It is not only a question of getting something out of it. One must also consider what one can actually offer.

Someone who isn’t physically attractive would not be able to enjoy the sexual dimension of the partnership, as they would have nothing to contribute there. It doesn’t matter how much tenderness or intelligence they can offer, as, in this arrangement, it is not a question of accepting the person as a whole but of separating their qualities.

I believe that, no matter how vigorously we apply the “strength in unity” concept, things aren’t that simple when it comes to human relationships. Every person has their lot of defects and these aren’t separable from their virtues.

What’s more, when one speaks of having three or four different partners, one has to take into account their desires as well. They will likely not want to settle for one partner, but see that person as a means of satisfying one need (going out in search of other partners to satisfy others).

I believe learning to accept one’s partner as they are has more to do with the concept of “love.” To classify people and use them as tools doesn’t strike me as a sign of civilization.

Love should include mutual acceptance and transformation, a means of growing as human beings, so as to be able to share all aspects of life.

One thought on “The Limits of Free Love

  • Sex is overrated .
    As George Bernard Shaw put it :
    “The position is ridiculous , the pleasure is momentary and the expense is damnable.”
    To which I would add….and women expect you to TALK to them afterwards.

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