chapter  22
11 Pages

Promiscuities: Politics, Imagination, Spirituality and Hypocrisy


In the 1960s, people referred to ‘non-possessive relating’ or ‘alternative families’ or ‘free love’. No-one used the word ‘promiscuity’. Things are different now. Until the recent fl owering of writing about polyamory and related matters (e.g. Barker, 2004 and this present volume), there had been a collapse of ideology into psychopathology. I have decided to retain the ‘p’ word for political and intellectual, as well as, shock value. Many more recent polyamorous discourses seem to assume that, in order to be considered as serious, such relationships will be long-term (or at least not terribly short-term). I’ll return to the crucial value-judgement role played by relational time later in the chapter but for now will indicate that I am trying to explore the implications of a divorce between sex and relationship.