By Brook Larios
Season after season of not-so-real housewives doing not-so-interesting things, and we've finally struck gold with a show that follows the lives of four real San Diegans living and loving each other in a not-so-typical way.
Showtime's recent docu-series "Polyamory: Married and Dating" follows the lives of two groups of people - one in Riverside and one in San Diego - practicing "polyamory," which means being in love with many. The series begins when a married Pacific Beach couple, Kamala Devi and Michael McClure (the couple to the left in the photo above), invite their best friends-come-lovers, Jen Gold and Tahl Gruer, to live with them and their five-year-old son. They're all part of a "pod" that includes about a dozen others.
(In polyamory, a "pod" is a group of people who share love and intimacy with one another.)
"The show was so good that people can't really criticize it too much," McClure says. "Watching [it], they can really see that there's love and that we're building families. We're really committed, family people."
Devi, a sex and relationship coach and tantra practitioner, and McClure have been "poly" for over 15 years.
"I have nothing against monogamy," McClure says. "I think it's a great paradigm, and it's beautiful when people are dedicated, committed couples. What I don't like is the dishonesty I see in monogamous relationships, where people can't say they're attracted to that person walking by or their secretary at work."
The show tantalizes voyeuristic Americans, showing the challenges and successes the pod's member face. There's tension, for example, when Devi excludes her girlfriend, Roxanne.
"I'm not ready to share," she says.
Whether the series is picked up for a second season remains to be seen, but the first seven episodes provide enough fodder for a glorious discourse over what constitutes a healthy relationship.
"I think people should be able to choose if they want to marry either sex or multiple people, Gruer says. "If people have more options, there will be less misery. There's a lot of misery around people being forced into little boxes."