Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Sex with Parrots

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  • James Butler,

    The sad thing is that Stephen's graphs really are an interesting thought experiment; the kind of thing that I imagine would make an amusing diversionary presentation at a behavioural economics conference. But behavioural economists would know that the next step would be to find or conduct some research to see how well the models correlate with observed fact, then to have a little chuckle at the folly of humanity and file the paper away under "Misc."; not to go around telling people that Maths Says they can't be happy.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I know many of you will have already seen this, but if anyone else needs a LOL, this just in from Shelley Bridgeman:

    Sex has become so respectable and acceptable that it’s a ubiquitous backdrop to our lives….When exactly did this shift occur -and can we attribute it to the internet which seems to wear the blame for most contemporary societal ills?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Lilith __,

    Oh, I've been laughing for about half an hour. Where is this tide of inescapable free porn? It's like, if there's a shop she can't choose to not go into it, if there's a book she can't not read it. If she's that compulsive I think kink.com would love to have her and her credit card drop along.

    My favourite line is "Porn used to know its place."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Stephen Glaister,

    "I can see in calculus"

    The Happening (2008)

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Just out of curiosity - what sort of take-up would one expect if poly-relationships became legally sanctioned?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    what sort of take-up would one expect if poly-relationships became legally sanctioned?

    Everybody would be taking up with everybody! Nobody would get anything else done. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Lilith __,

    Yep. I mean, I've personally no interest in being involved in poly-relationships myself, but if it became legally sanctioned, then I'd feel compelled to do so. That's just how human nature works. Like when they made it legal to turn first at the top of the T. I just spent days making unnecessary turns at T-intersections.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Yep. I mean, I’ve personally no interest in being involved in poly-relationships myself, but if it became legally sanctioned, then I’d feel compelled to do so. That’s just how human nature works. Like when they made it legal to turn first at the top of the T. I just spent days making unnecessary turns at T-intersections.

    You should try New Hampshire. It's not that I want to take off my seatbelt when we drive across the state line, but I can't help it. Those legislators have a lot to answer for.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    It's not that I want to take off my seatbelt when we drive across the state line

    Haha. So you're not required to wear a seatbelt in NH? Is there a big market in services to disable seatbelt-alarms there?

    Back OT, I was just trying to understand how many people would be interested in being in a legally recognised poly-relationship. In NZ would it be 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or 100000? I have no idea.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    My favourite is an old Christchurch line: "Are you married, or do you live in Brighton?"

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2634 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Haha. So you’re not required to wear a seatbelt in NH? Is there a big market in services to disable seatbelt-alarms there?

    Not if you're over 17. They take their state motto very seriously.

    Back OT, I was just trying to understand how many people would be interested in being in a legally recognised poly-relationship. In NZ would it be 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or 100000? I have no idea.

    Seriously? Neither do I. I don't think it would be a double-digit percentage of the populace, but OTOH, given current social attitudes to poly relationships and the association of >2-person marriage with patriarchal misogyny, I think there's probably a large gap between "people who, in an ideal world, would" and "people who, assuming the law changed tomorrow, would". Same way gay marriage would have had a lot fewer takers in the 1950s, had it been legal.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    what sort of take-up would one expect if poly-relationships became legally sanctioned?

    12. Based on Glaister(2011) it is clear that twenty pages of complex maths devoted to irrelevancies can conclusively show that there can be at most 12 polyamorous marriages in New Zealand at any one time, provided you accept the assumptions, postulates and pretensions of the author.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Moz,

    there can be at most 12 polyamorous marriages

    Ah, but how many partners in each marriage? Based on Jules et Jim (1962) the most popular combination would appear to be one female and two male partners in each marriage . Although, more recent studies in Big Love (2006) would suggest that a more common combination is one male and three female partners. It's not clear if this discrepancy is due to a change in behaviour over time or due to differences between French and American mores.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    More seriously, now that I've stopped laughing at myself (someone has to), I suspect that for a small number of people this would be a very, very important thing. Like when the Queen of New Zealand (and Other Places) visits her southern properties. For me, I think I'd like to be able to not marry polyamorously. Currently I'm not "married to one woman", and soon hope to be not "married to one man", but it would be nice to be able to choose not to marry several of each.

    I think I'd be more likely to use this law to spread the load on my close friends who currently help me with random obligations I've acquired. As a non-parent living with my de facto wife, much of this stuff is automatic. I get the benefit of default assumptions about how things work. But being able to easily, legally define how the exceptions work would be nice. Also, cheap. Hopefully. Right now there's a bunch of legal bills attached to some paperwork that may or may not stand up in court if someone gets sniffy. So I'm more after the side effects this week. But next week? I dunno, if one of us develops a live-in relationship with someone else it'll get complicated fast (if they, say, start helping pay the mortgage).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    but how many partners in each marriage?

    Based on the communes I've lived in (sample size=3) actual fully committed life partners seems to run about one per person at any time, but ongoing close relationships is more like three but that's very variable. And they don't have to be polyfi (and usually aren't, except incidentally). For me, I'm closer to "one friend at a time" where some people I know seem to thrive on lots (excuse me if use dog counting... one, two, many).

    But, from the outside they usually look like a bunch of free loving hippies who sleep in one big bed. Until you know them well it's hard to tell that Bob and Sam are life partners, Bob is close to Phuong who is life partners with Chris and Alex, and Alex is very close to Sam. Oh, and Sasha lives there too but is officially single after breaking up with Chris despite still having sex with Box and Alex. So when people ask, I just say "it's complicated" and leave it at that.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Ooh, this is funny: http://www.babynames1000.com/gender-neutral/ Baby names from 2011 ranked by how often they're given to both genders. In case you didn't notice, my example above used 1970-era gender-ambiguous names.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    Spreading the domestic and financial burden across more people means that everyone has more, not less, time, energy and resources to spend on their romantic relationships.

    I'm too snowed under with work to have the energy to make a serious contribution to this very interesting thread, so I'll only make random observations. This in particular struck as being a description of what , functionally, extended-family relationships accomplish - and even why they exist. The institution of marriage as it is currently constructed, both legally and culturally (in Western terms, anyway) not only downplays but inhibits... um, whatever.

    The advantage of polyamory seems to be that you can choose its boundaries and contents.

    Western Mediaeval and Renaissance marriages among "important people" tended to be more in the nature of corporations, and I wouldn't be averse to the state recognising marriages purely on those terms.

    blah blah.. you get what I mean, I hope. Kinda. Back to marking assignments: "Your insights are interesting, but poorly articulated and I recommend that you be more assiduous in your referencing, in keeping with University guidelines...."

    As for Shelley Bridgeman, she reminds me of a comment by Peter Watts about the border guard who beat him up - he could denigrate him in a story, but if he did so, he's be accused of bad writing, because the real man was so cardboard and two-dimensional that no reader or critic would take him seriously. Necrotising fasciitis gives more literary inspiration, it appears (warning: latter link NSFW or your most recent meal).

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 981 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    Ooh, this is funny: http://www.babynames1000.com/gender-neutral/ Baby names from 2011 ranked by how often they're given to both genders.

    Oh, come on. Armani is clearly a boy's name.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lilith __,

    When exactly did this shift occur -and can we attribute it to the internet which seems to wear the blame for most contemporary societal ills?

    Oh, Shelley you brainless trout… Someone really needs to get the kids to crack open a book and figure out they didn’t invent fucking. Unexpurgated editions of the Kitāb alf laylah wa-laylah, Jin Ping Mei, The Satyricon and Boccario’s Decameron would be a start. All dripping with sexual secretions and written a very long time before teh interwebz.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I would like to note that my great-niece, born two years ago, was named 'Camryn', my second cousin-in-law, who is five, was named 'Payton', and my to-be-born-in-a-few-weeks second cousin is named 'Kaeden' (a variant of 'Kayden'). People in rural Louisiana and Texas are apparently the gender-neutral naming zeitgeist.

    (I think all these names are fucking horrid, but I unwittingly named both my sons after Kennedys, so who am I to judge?)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3665 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Danielle,

    Jackie and Nigel?

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Moz,

    Ooh, this is funny: http://www.babynames1000.com/gender-neutral/ Baby names from 2011 ranked by how often they're given to both genders. In case you didn't notice, my example above used 1970-era gender-ambiguous names.

    Excluding all my other middle-class-judgey feelings about most of the names on that list...Blake is gender-ambiguous? Logan? Ryan?

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    …via Hollywood – Blake Edwards, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Newman, Logan Lerman, Logan Browning….Ryan, Ryan's Hope, Ryan's Daughter, Blake's 7, Logan's Run, not forgetting Logan (NFSFW).

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Danielle,

    Banjo patter, son...

    named ‘Camryn’, my second cousin-in-law,
    who is five, was named ‘Payton

    Named after famous books on breeding?
    ( Decameron & Peyton Place)

    animal, vegetable, mineral ...

    Ryan’s Daughter, Blake’s 7, Logan’s Run,

    Clam Blake, Loganberry, Von Ryan's Express?
    Not only gender, but species...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to chris,

    Ethel and Eunice, naturally.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3665 posts Report Reply

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