Have you ever throupled? That, for the unschooled, is when three individuals are in a “loving, committed relationship.” And a growing number of young Americans are doing it: a 2016 survey showed that 1 in 5 had previously been in a “consensual non-monogamous relationship,” or “CNM.” A more recent (January 2020) poll found that about one-third of U.S. adults said that their ideal relationship would be non-monogamous to some degree.
A 31 January feature in The Washington Post discussed a throuple in Chattanooga, Tennessee: a married man and woman who have been together for six years, joined by another female who is girlfriend to both. “They all work in construction and design,” writes WaPo reporter Karen Heller. They wear fashionable clothes and are having their home renovated. They are normal. At least that’s what we are supposed to conclude—and that’s the point.
This has been the natural (or perhaps, more accurately, unnatural) progression of promoting sexual deviancy in American culture. First, the activity—whether it be homosexuality, transgenderism, sado-masochism, or something else—starts out as something intriguing precisely because it is kinky and rare. This draws some in, appealing to our natural curiosity and very American desire to buck conformity.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily
But that’s only part one. Next is to persuade the general population that this behavior isn’t really freaky at all because a now observable percentage of the population are engaged in that once taboo activity. Thus, beginning in the 1990s, we had television sitcoms and movies with normal (if sometimes eccentric) homosexual characters. Sometimes the homosexuals would be the most reasonable people in the plot, if not the savior of the story. It persuaded many, and even has a name based on one such popular program: “The Will & Grace Effect.”
The same thing happened with transgenderism: “Transparent” began streaming on Amazon in 2014, while Modern Family featured the first transgender child actor in 2016. Fifty Shades of Grey brought bondage, domination, and sado-masochism into suburban women’s book clubs in 2011, and the film adaptation followed in 2015. What the vast majority of Americans as recently as half-a-century ago would have viewed as abhorrent and unequivocally immoral has become increasingly accepted and even praised.
This explains the rise of public-interest stories on throuples (or “triads” as they are also called, perhaps a reference to the old David Crosby song about a ménage à trois). Indeed, even the popular HGTV show House Hunters featured a throuple in 2020. The TikTok account of the throuple in the WaPo story documents “just your average throuple in the south,” has more than 263,000 followers, and is filled with hugs and cats. “Rather than some orgiastic outtake,” daily life for this threesome involves laundry and utility bills, says the WaPo article. “It’s actually kind of boring,” one of the throuple members says.
Back when David Crosby sang about threesomes fifty years ago, they were supposed to be kinky and outrageous—it’s the pushing of boundaries that is supposed to be fun and exhilarating. Now we are told polyamory is monotonous and mundane, no different from our own daily routine of work, grocery shopping, and driving our kids to swim class. The man in the triad, named Cody, explains this: “A lot of times when the topic is polyamory, the first thing that comes up is sex…. If three people are together for more than a month, sex is a very small part of the relationship. Day in and day out, it’s how you live together.” The three are planning to hold a ceremony of their “throupledom” next year.
It’s an impressive con, I must admit. Deviancy once confined to hidden, remote locations late at night is now thoroughly domesticated and suburban, and definitely non-threatening. The throuple in the article even “recently became acquainted with a foursome, or quad.” Perhaps you’ll soon have a polyamorous relationship in your neighborhood, if you don’t already! Maybe there are unforeseen benefits: if the throuple or foursome have kids, there will be more adults to watch your own progeny while you run off to do a quick errand.
Forgive me if I’m skeptical, even if, as the WaPo tries to persuade us, polyamory was “practiced in ancient Greece and Mesopotamia, among European nobility and in communes” and is “salted throughout the Bible and depicted in great art.” Yeah, and in the Bible polyamory is constantly censured as causing more problems than it purports to solve, fostering jealousy among wives and provoking competition and feuds between children born from different mothers. In smaller tribal societies where it has been recently practiced (or still is), another common problem is the dearth of available single women in the community for the other males. And trust me, having a large number of young men with few prospects hanging around is not a good problem to have.
It’s interesting that when Adam is alone, God does not provide him with a harem but a single woman, whom Adam calls “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). We further read: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Again, not wives but wife, because in their sexual union they become one flesh. If a man is copulating with multiple women, he is undermining the natural order for men and women to be united together in a monogamous relationship that bears fruit—both physical and spiritual. Polyamory dilutes and obscures that natural (and supernatural) purpose because men and women are no longer practicing faithfulness and exclusivity that is supposed to serve as an image and allusion to our exclusive, covenantal faithfulness to God.
Children will suffer the most from the popularization of this deviancy. It’s been the same with homosexuality and transgenderism. Kids need the natural stability and exclusivity of a mother and father. As Ryan Anderson argued prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, polling shows children prefer having a mommy and daddy, which would perhaps suggest that all this social engineering is fighting against nature. Likewise, the normalization of transgenderism has caused untold damage to youth who are manipulated into reconsidering their gender, as documented in Abigail Shrier’s recent book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. When we think about the effect of polyamory on children, we can simply look at the Old Testament for a lesson in what will happen: David’s family and kingdom were ravaged by his decision to father children with multiple women.
Polyamory can be dressed up to look like the classic nuclear family with its routines, stresses, and unexpected joys. But just like when we see someone with an XY chromosomal pairing who wears lipstick and a dress and purports to be a woman, we know better. It’s a fiction that no amount of clever marketing and branding (or misguided legislation and court decisions) can make true. Allowing ourselves to be deceived by it will only distance us further from the eternal truths built into our natural order and intended for our natural and transcendent goods. As the Old Testament remarks about Solomon: “He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart” (1 Kings 11:3).
[Image Credit: Shutterstock]