Moving past gay marriage, ABC News on Monday pushed the "gospel" of polyamory, having multiple romantic and sexual partners in an open relationship. Co-anchor Dan Harris hyped, "More couples opting to become triples or fourples. Live-in lovers spicing up the marital bed, even helping raise the children." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris opened the segment by lecturing, "Just for a minute, let's do a thought experiment. Let's set aside all of the emotion and consider whether the evangelists for open marriage might have a point." Reporter Nick Watt profiled Michael, Kamela and Rachel, a threesome "couple" that has sex with numerous people, all while raising a child. Watt described, "They're spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up."
Watt could only manage the most meager criticism of polyamory. Talking to sexual psychologist Karen Stewart, he offered, "Watching your spouse having sex with somebody else is not really my bag, I've got to say."
Talking to the three sex partners, he admitted, "If my wife saw my face light up when I looked at another woman, she'd be pissed."
But mostly he offered little in the way of an opposing position. The psychologist Stewart mildly agreed that seeing her spouse have sex with other people didn't sound appealing.
This isn't the first time ABC has promoted polyamory. On January 4, 2012 Good Morning America touted the sex games of a "modern" family who date within their "species."
A partial transcript of the November 25 Nightline segment is below:
DAN HARRIS Is this the end of marriage as we know it? More couples opting to become triples or fourples. Live in lovers spicing up the marital bed, even helping raise the children. Could your marriage survive this?
HARRIS: Just for a minute, let's do a thought experiment. Let's set aside all of the emotion and consider whether the evangelists for open marriage might have a point. Most marriages in America do end in divorce so maybe adding other lovers to the mix could improve the odds. To test this extremely controversial theory, we went into the home of what is known as a polyamorous family.
NICK WATT: Yep. There are three in that bed and the little one says --
MICHAEL: Are you happy you came over? 'Cause we just wanted to see you more.
WATT: Michael is married to that woman.
KAMELA DEVI: When you called me and you're like we're in Jamaica and I was like oh, I miss you guys.
WATT: They have been happily married for 12 years but Michael went away on vacation, ten day Caribbean cruise, with the other lady on the left. Twenty-seven-year-old Rachel, his live in girlfriend. This loving trio are what's called polyamorous.
WATT: If my wife saw my face light up when I looked at another woman, she'd be pissed.
DEVI: She's probably threatened that you'd leave her for that other woman and if you're monogamous, that's your only option, right?
WATT: Crazy Californians, I hear you mutter. Maybe not. This kind of relationship is becoming increasingly common.
KAREN STEWART (psychologist specializing in sex therapy): The divorce rate in the united states is over 50%. People are not as faithful.
STEWART: Absolutely. Because the world has become a much smaller space. We can seek out connections. There is dating sites on every street corner. You can go anywhere to meet somebody new.
WATT: More open relationships might be a modern way to make it work.
WATT: Is this in our future? Societal acceptance of something other than monogamy?
STEWART: Polyamory is not about being swingers. It's about creating love and lasting relationships.
WATT: Taking aside the whole robes and lotions kind of, you know, side of things, I mean, everyday life?
DEVI: We share life together. I've got a son. It takes a village to raise a child and it feels really good to have that kind of support.
STEWART: When he goes to school in ten years, when he brings dates home, this is probably going to be a little complicated for him and I'm not sure if the parents are thinking down the road about that.
WATT: Watching your spouse having sex with somebody else is not really my bag, I've got to say.
WATT: They're spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up.
DEVI: I really think that society in ten years is going to be, like, this is a new paradigm.