This cruel world of poverty, disparity and strife is inherently unstable. Social revolution is inevitable. But once all régimes of religious fear, political subjugation and corporate greed are eradicated from the planet, what force could drive us to self-connect into a fair and stable society? [PDF]
It is convincingly apparent that we humans - of all the life-forms on this planet - are uniquely sentient. Our massive 200 billion neuron brains are alone the vessels of conscious minds. We alone, among all creatures, possess the gift of abstract thought. This empowers us to converse in symbolic language through which we are able to declare in truth: "I think, therefore I am". Through our adaptively deployable bodies, our minds can map and manipulate our domain like no other species. For this we must accept our implicit obligation to be responsible stewards of our terrestrial inheritance and caring shepherds to all creatures with whom we share it.
Probably the most noticeable thing about us - of which we ourselves are most acutely aware - is that we occur in two equally prevalent genders. Apart from slight statistical differences in size and mass, our complementary genders are for the most part identical, yet exhibit slight mutually pleasing differences in body shape and emotional disposition. The obvious physical difference between our genders is of course their complementary connective organs. Apart, these are functionally inert. It is only when they become appropriately conjoined that together they become a functioning coital subsystem.
We find ourselves driven by a powerful inward desire to connect. Yet we seem to spend far less time connected than we would naturally and healthily desire. And we each connect surprisingly infrequently and with surprisingly few of our genderal counterparts. This, in consequence, deprives us of adequate emotional and intellectual connectedness, often resulting in loneliness and lack of fulfilment.
This strongly suggests to me that monogamy is not our natural way but is a result of societal constraints imposed upon us by present day State, religious and corporate hierarchies. These strive to suppress, pervert or control intimate connection, which is to the extreme detriment of the human condition. It suggests, consequently, that if all these repressive hierarchies were removed, a natural force, which now lies inhibited within each of us, would drive us to connect naturally into a benign global society.
A relationship between a pair of human minds is a dynamic process. It is continually changing, growing broader and deeper, developing, improving, perfecting. It relies for its very existence on continual interaction and exchange - physically, emotionally and intellectually.
If the whole time and attention of each member of a couple is focused upon the other - to the essential exclusion of the rest of humanity - then the time will quickly arrive when each knows all there is to know about the other, and neither has any fresh input from outside to share with the other. So their relationship will lose all its motion, like the molecules of a cryogenic fluid. It will rapidly stagnate and die. It will become mere co-existence. Such a couple will be held together, not by the connective force of love, but by the coercive forces of economic constraint, religious conviction or concern for their children. Perhaps this is why so many monogamous marriages fail or default to a sad state of oppressive emotional imprisonment.
Mainstream society today preaches monogamy. Born out of the enslaving doctrines of State and religious hierarchies, its legal systems recognise marriage as between one husband and one wife in sexual isolation. It allows no other options. Ideally, a marriage lasts until the death of one or both of the partners. Divorce and remarriage are tolerated, but still only one sexual relationship at a time is officially allowed. Celibacy (having no intimate connection at all) is acceptable, but is in most cases considered to be undesirable because it does not promote the continuance of the human species.
Mainstream doctrine assumes that the amoric drive (or force of sexual attraction) within the human spirit is monovalent. That is, each of us has a tangible need for an intimate connection with only one other person at a time in our lives. It purports that any craving for additional intimate relationships is spiritually perverse and psychologically dysfunctional.
Interview-based surveys suggest that, despite this, inter-marital sex is rife. These surveys are notoriously subjective. However, paternity genetic marker surveys now provide an objective view. These are reputed to show that in populations where men and women have ready access to each other, 25% to 45% of children born to a wife is not fathered by her husband.
So reality suggests that the human life-form is naturally polyamorous. This is further evinced by the observation that even where monogamy is oppressively imposed, it rapidly defaults away from lifetime monogamy towards an uneasy form of serial monogamy.
As an outsider to both, I can see no difference in moral principle between serial monogamy and polyamory. The latter, however, appears to alleviate the former's pain and acrimony of repeated break-ups.
I am given to understand that many people of both genders have by mid-life gone through a whole series of intimate partners. Among these are a few close friends of mine. Some of their relationships have been proper marriages, others have been stable unofficial relationships, others have been short term or casual relationships. Yet, I have heard more than one of these friends assert emphatically that they are 'monogamous by nature'. This to me has always appeared a paradox.
The answer my friends give to my apparent paradox is that they are serial monogamists: they are completely faithful to each partner in turn while they are with them - however long or short a time each relationship may last. Sadly, each time a serial monogamist couples with a new partner, he or she sooner or later discovers new incompatibilities, which eventually results in yet another break-up. The plea is that he or she has not found the 'right' partner yet, so must try again. Some have even gone back to a previous partner to have another go at making it work.
Those of other persuasions will have to bear with me but herein I am considering relationships that involve binary coupling between male and female. Each physical event involves only two people of complementary gender. And it is within this context that I cannot see any difference in moral principle between serial monogamy and polyamory.
Any intimate event of the kind to which I have confined this discussion is - through physiological constraint - necessarily monogamous. It involves only two people for the duration. So in this sense, both serial monogamy and polyamory are the same. They are a series of monogamistic encounters between different MF pairings. The only difference is in how these encounters are arranged in time.
- An example of serial monogamy is illustrated by the following sequence of encounters:
- Anne-John, Anne-John, Anne-John, Anne-John, Anne-Dave, Anne-Dave, Anne-Dave ...
- And an example of polyamory:
- Anne-John, Anne-Dave, Anne-John, Anne-Dave, Anne-John, Anne-Dave, Anne-John ...
In the first example presumably, Anne loves John for a time and then parts permanently with him and takes up with Dave, whereas in the second example, she remains intimate friends with both. It is just that the encounters are more tightly interlaced in the polyamorous scenario, but this is just a matter of event timing. There is no difference in overall principle, since each encounter is exclusive to the two individuals concerned.
Now there is no reason why - as a serial monogamist - Anne, having dumped John and taken up with Dave, should not at a later time fall back in love with John, this time dumping Dave. This would simply be a less rewarding and certainly more stressful and upsetting version of the polyamorous scenario. In fact my serial monogamist friends tell me that contrary to what most people seem to think, breaking up always gets progressively harder, not easier. Each new break-up is more painful than the one before it.
In both cases, Anne has had loving relationships with both John and Dave, which she can remember and savour in later life. There is a substantial bit of 'wiring' in her brain relating to each of them. Why should she end the joy of what has been in order to enjoy what is to come? Isn't it therefore better for her to love both of them (and even others) throughout her life? This way there are no break-ups, no acrimony, no pain, no loss.
This to my mind is much the more preferable. It simply requires that all concerned conquer the lust for exclusivity, possession and control, and instead learn to share.
But science is not the only voice of reason here. The ancient texts - from which the established religious hierarchies claim to have received their monogamist doctrines - when looked at in the social context within which they were written do not forbid or even disapprove of polyamory but simply assume it.
It therefore seems that no matter how fulfilling an intimate relationship may be - physically, emotionally or intellectually - one person cannot fulfil all of another's needs in these things all of the time, simply because that one person is only one other single sentient consciousness.
It is as if there are multiple compartments or receptacles built into each human mind or consciousness, within which an intimate relationship can take root and grow. I imagine these relationship receptacles as ethereal spheres within the mind, each containing a complex emotional model of a very special friend, each inducing its neighbours to shine more brightly.
These spheres differ in size, with typically one large primary sphere accompanied by other smaller secondary spheres, each having its counterpart within another's mind, with which it grows into ever-closer resonance.
Hence, in the mind of each lady there is an ethereal sphere containing her emotional model of each of the men she loves. In the mind of each man is an ethereal sphere containing his emotional model of each of the women he loves. There is a part of his mind that is forever each lady. There is a part of her mind that is forever each man. Dare we suppose that perhaps each complementary pair of spheres coalesce within a common hyperspace of human consciousness, where they unite the spirits of two friends in a way that only they can feel.
Note that the mind of the male contains pink spheres representing the emotional models of his females, while the mind of the female contains blue spheres representing the emotional models of her males. Thus in the heart of man is woman and in the heart of woman is man.
The number of spheres in an individual's mind represents the number of concurrent amorical relationships that person's emotional make-up has equipped him to be able to have. This number is known as that person's amorical valency - drawing the analogy with chemical bonding. It must be emphasised here that the term amorical valency refers to the number of concurrent relationships a person is able to have: not the number of intimate partners he has had throughout his life.
Each amorical relationship is unique. It contains aspects and qualities no other amorical relationship does or can. Any unfilled sphere leaves its 'owner' emotionally incomplete and lonely - even within a strong permanent monogamous marriage. All must be fulfilled for the individual to be emotionally complete and satisfied. Any unfulfilled sphere seems to generate an irresistible emotional drive to reach out and connect with another vacant sphere languishing within the mind of an appropriate potential friend.
This powerful emotional drive - or amorical force - powers more than just physical sex. After all, it remains undiminished long after childbearing ability and potency fade. So in humans at least, it must be far more than just a reproductive imperative to carry forward one's genes. It must also drive perhaps a more important communication imperative by which lasting relationships of the intellect are formed by combining knowledge and wisdom through the partial union of two independent human spirits. It is these glorious unions - these intimate relationships between sentient consciousnesses - that is what life, the universe and everything is all about.
The more I delve into this subject, the more I become convinced that if the social pressures from State, religious and (surprisingly) commercial institutions were removed, then both sexes of the human species would be seen to have exactly the same range and variations in sexual drive, appetite and valency. These are of course entirely separate from the obvious gender difference in reproductive role, which in turn belies a comparable slight asymmetry in their emotional perspectives on life and reality.
Thus when an inter-gender amorical relationship forms, these slightly different emotional perspectives combine intellectually to generate a far richer stereoscopic world-view with an extra dimension, which gives significant added depth to their understanding.
Let us suppose that every human being owns the inalienable right to occupy and use his fair share of the Earth's habitable land and the natural resources therein. In the absence of the old forces of religious fear, political subjugation and corporate greed, what new force can drive the 7 billion self-sufficient inhabitants of the Earth to self-connect into an integrated society?
The answer is, this powerful emotional drive - or amorical force - working to create connections between the relationship receptacles or valency spheres latent within every human mind. In what pattern or configuration would this cause individuals to self-connect? This depends on the numerical value of human amorical valency - the number of relationship receptacles or valency spheres nature has built into our minds or consciousnesses.
If humans were naturally monogamous - if nature had given each of us only one relationship receptacle or valency sphere - then human society could not connect at an intimate level. Driven by the human mind's lesser but malevolent twin forces of greed and competition; State, religious and corporate hierarchies would once again materialise to enslave humanity.
A natural intimate valency of two is the minimum necessary to enable human society to connect completely. This complete interconnection would, however, be constrained to the form of a very long chain. Young people would start off as isolated newcomers. Each would then somehow have to pair up and then either brake into the chain or join at the end.
This could only really work if each new pair had progressed to the intimacy of marriage before joining the chain.
Even so, with only two ends available for the whole of humanity, this process would inevitably involve severing the established relationship between the two individuals, at the point where the chain had to be broken, to allow the new couple to join. It wouldn't really work. Besides, only people close together in the chain would have any real sense of being intimately connected. The number of degrees of separation with most other members of the human race would be vast.
A natural intimate valency of three improves the situation considerably. Three is the minimum necessary to enable human society to interconnect in the form of an intimate network. This vastly reduces the degree of separation between members of a local community. In fact, it binds them together quite closely.
In this model, young people mix socially so that each forms intimate links with up to three different members of the opposite sex at the same time. These links make and break dynamically until each individual's three links are with people with whom he or she has grown into deep and responsible male-female friendships, as shown below on the left.
One of each individual's three links then intensifies to the point where they, and the person to whom this link connects them, decide to marry and establish a home and family together. However, in so doing, the new husband and wife do not in any way neglect or diminish their other two respective intimate links. The final result is that each wife remains intimately connected to two other married men besides her own husband, and vice versa. Thus, in this form of marriage, which I term conservative polyamory, marital domains become all linked together into an intimate network, as shown above on the right.
An intimate valency of 3 thus manages to link marital domains together into a two dimensional network. However, even in a natural community size of between 100 and 150 adults, this means that the intimate connection between most members is still via quite a large number of links. On a global scale, the degree of separation between any two individuals will still be absolutely enormous.
I would just like to make clear at this point that the network diagrams in this article are not geographic representations. Connected males and females are not necessarily next door neighbours in any literal sense. The diagrams are simplified schematics that show logical connective layouts: not physical ones.
A natural intimate valency of 4 improves connection even further. It facilitates what is known as the long reach link. This is where a male and a female who live quite some distance apart share a fourth intimate connection, which is in addition to the one each has within his and her respective marital home and the two each has within his and her respective local community. These long reach links may best be forged before marriage at the stage in life when young people have the opportunity to travel widely on educational trips and group holidays. These are illustrated by the red links below on the left.
However, there is no reason why these additional links cannot be established after marriage when travelling for trade or social reasons as illustrated by the red links above on the right. When they are established does not matter. What matters is that those who link in this way choose each other responsibly and that the relationship is rooted in firm friendship.
The great benefit of the long reach link is that only a few of them are needed to reduce enormously the degree of separation between everybody. A network with a few of these additional long reach links is called a small world network because this great reduction in separation makes people far more closely connected, thus making the world seem smaller.
Once primary couples are living together, a more concentrated network configuration becomes possible. The hexagons can be triangulated by arranging male-female pairs in equilateral triangles.
This results in each couple having 6 local external connections. Each member of the couple thus has one connection with each other and 3 connections to local friends in neighbouring households. Of course, this could only be realized geographically if the network were to be constructed as an intentional community. Neighbours become neighbours specifically because they are compatible people who knew each other beforehand. This particular network configuration also lends itself to physical mapping onto an efficient futuristic method of land division. Again, each member of each couple could have one or more additional long-reach links to partners afar off in order to form a small-world network.
Notwithstanding, this network configuration has a critical drawback. Every man shares the wives of 3 of his immediate neighbours and every woman shares the husbands of 3 of her immediate neighbours. This creates a high degree of connectivity but is undesirably incestuous. It should therefore be discarded.
This leaves the basic 3-link hexagonal network as the optimal configuration for a network society. Individuals can still have more than 3 links. However, all but 3 of them should necessarily be long-range links.
Thus far, we have considered an amorical valency of 4. This comprises 1 link to a primary partner and 2 to local secondaries, with an optional 4th link to facilitate the small world network effect. An even higher valency would, however, vastly increase the degree of connectivity. Since a global intimate network has never been available to monitor, we do not know what range of valency would be ideal for creating and sustaining such a network. So on what basis can we propose an ideal valency range?
Each bar in the chart on the right shows how many stable atomic elements have each valency from 0 to 8. For instance, 19 out of the 82 stable elements have a valency of 3. That is, each atom of any of these 19 different elements has 3 "arms" with which it can connect with other atoms. Atoms of 15 out of the 82 stable elements each has 4 "arms" with which it can join to other atoms. Some elements, such as carbon, can double-bond with others. They join two hands with the same partner, thus creating a far stronger coupling.
Thus 19 out of 82 (over 23%) of the stable elements are equipped to form the 3-pronged connections necessary to form a logical equivalent of the hexagonal relationship network shown earlier. Another 15 out of 82 (over 18%) can make 4-way connections. The bar chart above thus suggests that the optimum valency for atoms be 3, with a kind of standard distribution either side between 0 and 8.
Making an analogy with the distribution of human relationships, the above chart would suggest that 2½% of humanity would naturally be celibate, 8½% would be monogamistic, 12% would form relationship chains, 23% would form hexagonal networks, 18% could form what I termed "graphite" multi-layer relational networks. The rest could also include 1, 2, 3 or 4 additional long-reach links, thus constructing what is called a "small-world" network. But why should the physical valency of atoms have anything to do with the relational valency of humans? Why should we suppose that the types of humans that exist within society correspond in any way to the types of atomic elements that naturally exist?
The analogy may at first sight seem loose, but there is reason to suppose that the forms and behaviours of atoms - and indeed, their very existence - is underpinned by a universal abstract law that defines the dimensionality of space-time. This law is so fundamental that its character is likely to be reflected in all levels of existence, including the spatial aspects of human relationships. In other words, the fact that we live within this universe of space and time defines the characteristics of the ideal social structures through which we may relate.
Of course, humans don't physically link the way atoms do. An atom of valency 3, for example, can link to three other atoms at the same time. Humans can only properly relate one-on-one at any given instant. Nevertheless, although not interacting directly at any given instant, a relationship between two humans still just as much continues to exist. Consequently, a person with 3 relationships is just as much related to each partner emotionally, intellectually and in fact, even though he can interact properly with only one partner at a time. The difference between atomic bonds and human relationships is one of implementation rather than principle.
One could surmise, therefore, that the optimal distribution of human valency is simply determined by the fundamental geometry of space. And that its statistical attractor is the single (or multi-) layer plane hexagonal network, in which Mr. and Mrs. Average each have respectively 3 (or 4) spouses.
Atoms of a particular element are, to the best of my understanding, identical clones. For instance, any carbon atom can be substituted for any other carbon atom without consequence. Unlike an atom, however, a human is a unique individual. Within any society, one human cannot be substituted by another without consequence.
Furthermore, humans are not constrained physically like carbon atoms in a graphite lattice. They can move about in order to relate one-on-one with different others at different instants. In the human situation, therefore, the lattice of the network is merely a virtual construct defining the relationship domain within which an individual has the freedom to move. This raises the possibility of long-reach relationships that can link two individuals in distant parts of the social lattice. This tends to push the optimal number of relationships higher for humans than for atoms.
Some research derived from data gathered through social software systems suggests that the ideal number of individuals that can form an egalitarian group is 7. A group of 7 equal peers can converse fairly together. As the number drops below 7, the group loses the critical mass needed to provide a balance of talent and ideas. As the number increases beyond 7, cohesion seems to deteriorate. A group of 12 to 16 does not have egalitarian cohesion between its members and is therefore an ideal group size in hierarchical situations such as teacher and students.
Cohesion and member satisfaction within a communicative group is not, however, the same thing as the number of amorical relationships maintained by an individual. In a communicative group, each individual is maintaining a multiple relationship in real-time. Using a telephone analogy, it is like a 7-way conference call. Each amorical relationship, on the other hand, strictly involves only 2 individuals. No matter how many amorical relationships a particular individual may have, each such relationship is essentially independent of the others. Furthermore, only one of an individual's amorical relationships is ever active at once in real-time. Thus, again using a telephone analogy, an individual's amorical relationships are like separate person-to-person calls.
Notwithstanding these differences, I feel that 7 is the ideal number for amorical inter-gender connections for the following reason. The 7 men with whom a woman relates can themselves form a cohesive team whose objective is to coordinate the activities they engage in with her to meet perfectly her personal relational needs. Likewise, the 7 women with whom a man relates can themselves form a cohesive team whose objective is to coordinate the activities they engage in with him to meet perfectly his personal relational needs.
Of course, 7 is not a hard and fast number. The ideal number of links will vary from individual to individual. However, anecdotal observation shows it to be a kind of universal median.
In a global intimate network of all humanity, a small but necessary number of long reach links must undoubtedly be interracial. I don't think such links would eventually result in a world of coffee coloured people. On the contrary, I think genetics will always preserve the rich variety of the human species. Humanity can no more merge into a single racial type than the two sexes could merge into a single hermaphroditic gender. Whatever happens in the short term, I think genetics will always throw back the rich variety and differences with which we are all familiar, and in which we should all rejoice.
I have heard it said on television documentaries about genetics that an individual tends to be sexually attracted only to certain members of the opposite sex who are not too distantly related. In other words, one is attracted to people who are part of what they call one's genetic village. But then, this kind of attraction only occurs between a small minority of very specific individuals within this so-called genetic village.
But this is not all there is to it. I am white Anglo-Celtic. Almost universally, I find women of other races - though beautiful in their own way - totally neutral sexually. Yet I have found myself very occasionally strongly attracted to women of a different race. In my entire lifetime that has amounted to perhaps no more than three. I sensed the attraction was mutual. Nothing happened. Nothing was ever said. The significance is that none of these women could possibly be in any way part of my close genetic village - or could they? I have seen individuals of the same general appearance or "bio-types" within widely different races.
Whatever it is, that generates amorical attraction between two individuals, may be more prevalent the closer they are genetically, but it also makes an appearance - rarely but just as strongly - all the way out to the most distant reaches of the human species. The vital set of signals that trigger mutual attraction must include something else. It may be a genetic phenomenon or - for all we know - it may result from some kind of exotic close-dimensional coupling through the hyperspace of human consciousness. Whatever it may be, it certainly provides the natural drive for human beings to self-connect into a global intimate small-world network.
The formation of the intimate network as described above assumes linkage occurs only between peers of the same generation. For a complete intimate network of humanity, inter-generation connections would also have to form. Perhaps in this future society, young adults would be initiated by a friend half a generation older as part of their coming of age, which would then mature into a life-long intimate liaison.
But what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for humans to self-connect in such a way as to form an intimate network that has the particular and desirable all-inclusive small world configuration? In other words, what kinds of people must be mutually attracted to each other for this to happen?
Likes attract! So they say. One is advised and encouraged to marry somebody who is of a similar personality. Internet dating sites have pages of tick boxes to determine your personality, interests and preferences with a view to matching you up with somebody similar. This process produces couples whose composite personalities are the same as their individual members - incomplete and unbalanced.
With similar traits and aptitudes a couple - left to themselves - will naturally tend to compete with each other. They will thus tend to argue, dissipating each other's energies unproductively. It is only the complementary nature in their gender difference that struggles to keep them together. And that all too frequently fails.
It is only when managed within an external hierarchical structure that such couples can be made productive as separate individuals. And this is exactly what the architects of present-day mainstream society want - couples who lack at least some of the faculties necessary to operate as balanced co-operative teams. Couples who cannot easily connect beyond themselves. Couples who can be kept separate and thereby controlled as individuals within a willing exploitable consumer workforce.
If likes naturally attract, humanity cannot naturally self-connect into a small-world intimate network. Highly valent extroverts would mutually attract, quickly forming their own closed highly promiscuous sub-nets. This overly connected structure would tend to promote the rapid spread of STDs. Low valency introverts would connect to a much lesser extent. Most would probably form into closed couples. Many may not connect at all. The kind of intimate network that would result would be very fragmented and largely dysfunctional as a means of unifying and enhancing human society. Indeed, it would tend to polarise society into adversarial factions.
Complementary: not Similar
But suppose that our cherished notion of like personalities attracting is a fallacy planted in our minds from an early age by mainstream indoctrination. Suppose we remove gender stereotyping, pride and jealousy. Let us all just be equal sentient beings, each making the same good use of our very capable minds. Let's make rational choices.
Observation strongly suggests to me that underneath all our social conditioning we are each mainly attracted to people not of a mutually similar personality, nor of a mutually opposite personality, but of a mutually complementary one.
In other words, her weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are her strengths. Put in a rather over simplistic way, introverts are attracted to extroverts who have similar values and interests - and vice versa.
This would result in the formation of couples whose composite personalities and aptitude profiles were complete and balanced. Each couple would be a balanced and capable team. So instead of tending to compete, they would naturally tend to co-operate. And this would be true not only for primary or intramarital couplings: it would also be true for secondary or extramarital couplings. Again, the chemical analogy is useful. Elements that self-connect to form molecules are those with complementary electron shell structures; not similar or opposite ones.
However, the principles of probability and statistical distribution inevitably insist that no two members of an inter-gender relationship ever have personalities that are exactly complementary. Neither can they share a set of values and interests that match exactly. I would say that a pretty good match would be where a couple were complementary in a little over half their personality traits, and shared a little over half of their interests. [However, I think when it comes to values they have to be pretty close to a complete match - i.e. they have to be pretty well of one mind.]
Relativity theory states the obvious quite well when it asserts that no two objects can occupy the same position in time and space. Likewise, no two individuals can occupy the same position within the social setting in which they live. No two individuals can therefore have exactly the same experiences of life and therefore will not develop exactly the same values and interests. Therefore any two individuals will have only a certain degree of overlap in their values and interests. They will have only part of what they are in common. Between most individuals, this overlap is small. But between intimate inter-gender friends, this overlap can be very great. But it is never total.
This means that in practical reality, nobody can find their perfect match - a 100% complementary personality profile and a 100% coincidence of values and interests - in any other member of the opposite sex.
It is as if nature has purposely scattered the broad spectrum of human personality traits and aptitudes randomly and unevenly throughout the entire human race like scattered seed, leaving each of us with an incomplete and unbalanced profile. What better way could there be of making us need each other, and thereby evoking within us an irresistible desire to connect?
This is why no honest princess will ever find her one and only prince charming. No languishing lady will ever find her one and only Mr Right. He does not exist. In fact he cannot exist. It is as if nature has somehow imposed a fundamental exclusion rule preventing her ideal man from becoming embodied in a single individual - as so forcefully evinced by the endemic failure of monogamous marriage in present-day society now that the external forces of religious repression are fading.
But though she will never find her one and only, the lady will soon find a lovely man who fulfils a large part of her ideal. And she will soon find others who between them fulfil the rest. So Mr Right does exist, but as parts of several different members of his gender. And this is so much better. Her multiplexed relationship with the composite Mr Right is far more robust, interesting and refreshing - especially in the long-term.
The upshot of this, that is relevant to the formation of a global intimate network, is that complementary attraction will mean that links will tend to form between individuals of complementary valency.
Men and women with median sexual valancy are complementary and therefore make compatible partners. But surprisingly so too are the philandering husband with his faithful homewife at one extreme, and the hotwife with her cuckold husband at the other.
The phenomenon of the philandering husband happily married to his stalwartly faithful homemaker wife has been well known and passively accepted by European/Western societies for centuries. The natural occurrence of a certain proportion of these high valency males is exploited for political ends to provide the macho hero primed to defend the interests of his king and country while his faithful wife stays at home to procreate the next generation of cannon fodder.
This same politically induced social conditioning ruthlessly suppresses any acceptance of the converse phenomenon. The faithful cuckold husband happily married to his openly promiscuous hotwife (sometimes unfairly and inappropriately referred to as a slutwife) is roundly condemned. He is made the butt of social ridicule while she is condemned as immoral. The high valency female is seen as having no place in a society built upon male-dominated religious, political and cultural hierarchies.
Yet the explosion of Web sites devoted to this converse phenomenon evinces its natural occurrence within the spectrum of human sexuality. It is only since the social pressures and taboos have been somewhat short-circuited by the open forum of the Internet that we see equally prevalent living examples of both phenomena: the high valency male with his low valency female, and equally, the high valency female with her low valency male.
Both genders of the human species statistically have the same spread of intelligence, interests, abilities and propensities, and share essentially the same hopes, fears and aspirations. They have only slightly different emotional perspectives and of course, complementary reproductive roles.
So contrary to social taboos, the faithful male should realise that he is not 'unmacho' or freaky. Nor should he be embarrassed at the propensity of the highly charged female to whom he finds himself irresistibly attracted. Nor too should the highly charged female think herself biologically abnormal nor be ashamed to declare her love and attraction towards her shy and faithful man.
Whatever our individual sexual propensities, we are all a part of humanity and should therefore use what we are to help transform this present-day exploitative society into a global polyamorous network held together by that ultimate connective force we call love.
Sadly, the philandering husband exacerbated by a socially induced sense of heroic approval, and the modern hotwife fired by her reactionary determination for sexual equality, have both driven themselves to unnatural extremes. Instead of using their sexual propensities to facilitate and enhance the intellectual and emotional development of their marriages and inter-gender friendships, all too many seem to seek ever more bizarre forms of physical gratification.
Thus high valency men will link with low valency women, while high valency women will link with low valency men. And this will guarantee that a self-connecting intimate network will take on a fully connected small-world configuration. This pattern of connection provides the minimum separation between any two individuals while providing maximum buffering against the spread of STDs.
Of course, there is perhaps one little rule that should be applied to make sure that society would thus form into an optimized all-inclusive small-world network. Reciprocal relationships should be discouraged, since these would tend to result in the formation of closed cadres.
Human beings are creatures of extreme, not least in their sexual behaviour. Social norms in different places and epochs range from repressive celibacy to rampant promiscuity; from puritanical monogamy to incest, homosexuality, bisexuality, sadomasochism, paedophilia and bestiality. A casual search of the Internet reveals that all these extremes are alive, well and quite prevalent in today's world. They ebb and flow in endless chaotic cycles as popular frustration reacts against authoritarian constraint. They seem to be in a queue in which each waits its turn to gain legal acceptance to assuage minority prejudice.
I do not wish to project any moral criticism at practitioners of any of these extremes of sexuality in today's stressed and difficult world. However, looking purely from a systems analysis point of view, I have to say that they all appear to a greater or lesser extent to be at least biologically dysfunctional, and perhaps even psychologically damaging. Again, from a purely systems analysis point of view, they appear therefore to be not natural norms of human sexual behaviour, but greater or lesser externally-forced perturbations from the relaxed natural norm of conservative polyamory.
All these so-called abnormal modes of sexual behaviour are, of course, still natural. After all, they occur to some degree within the animal kingdom, although I do not think species-specific modes of sexual behaviour are necessarily systematically valid models for human ones. In any case, animal populations also suffer from oppressive externally-imposed forces - such as being caged in zoos or displaced by modern farming methods.
Celibacy, monogamy, homosexuality, bisexuality, incest, paedophilia, sadomasochism and bestiality - are nevertheless all real modes of human sexual behaviour which are all present from time to time in both minority and majority sectors of society. But this is because natural adaptive systems - especially ones as complex as human socio-sexuality - have the built-in capability, when severely disturbed by unwelcome external forces, to defend themselves by switching into inert modes of behaviour that temporarily reduce or suspend their contributive functionality.
In other words, these alternative modes of sexual behaviour are the ultimate safety valve to dissipate lethal internal stresses resulting from outside pressures to which human society never ought to be subjected. These pressures are probably felt most by those who take them head on by refusing to be perturbed by them, stalwartly steering the healthy middle course of conservative polyamory.
The forces that perturb normal human sexual behaviour towards these extremes are those of the repressive social, religious, political and commercial hierarchies of the influential elite who presently orchestrate the way we live! It is they who have driven the sexes to opposite extremes in dress, social and cultural roles, economic functions, emotional viewpoint and intellectual endeavour. It is they who have deliberately and forcibly driven men to Mars and women to Venus. So, for instance, is it any wonder that so many today can only find a remotely compatible intimate partner within their own gender rather than among what these malevolent hierarchies have turned into an alien species?
Of course, there will always be small localised perturbing pressures and stresses in any society, no matter how natural and ideal - just like the thermal noise in a communications system. So there is always bound to be an ambient proportion of deviant behaviour. But this should be small. And since the majority cannot know the particular pressures and stresses of the small number of individuals involved, society's attitude to the affected minority should always be to inquire and befriend: not to judge and condemn.
However, if all the authoritarian indoctrinations and constraints imposed by the hierarchies were removed, the direct and consequential repression they cause would also disappear. So would the popular reactionary and revolutionary responses to them. In the absence of the artificial perturbing forces from mainstream society, human sexual behaviour must naturally gravitate onto what, mathematically speaking, we would call its behavioural attractor. I am now persuaded that the natural behavioural attractor for human sexuality is the multi-hetero intimate small world network I have described.
This multi-hetero intimate small world network would then naturally become the main global transport backbone through which could flow a new rich plethora of emotional, intellectual and spiritual intercourse throughout all of humanity. It would be the fruitful vine from which all lesser social, economic and cultural relationships would radiate.
The essential element of this new-age global intimate network is the small set of amorical connections each individual has with others. For clarity I shall try to illustrate this from the point of view of one individual. It could most likely have been John. But perhaps to be a little reactionary to present-day gender stereotyping, I decided to make it Anne.
I have called my illustrative character 'Anne' after my favorite character in Robert A. Heinlein's novel 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. My character has similarities to Heinlein's Anne, notably that they are both polyamorists. However, there are also very considerable differences. The name 'Anne' here does not in any way refer to any real person.
Anne is a typical product of this new connected world. She is an intelligent individualist with an impressive academic portfolio. Unlike her counterparts of the former world, she was not groomed to be a conformative cog of capitalism. On the contrary, she was taught to be an independently creative non-conformist, stimulated primarily not by what others think, but by her direct observations of the complexities of nature and society. She lives her life according to her own values, her disciplined sense of curiosity driving her continually to explore new yet benign possibilities.
She has been taught the new-age tenets of relational ownership: that no small elite can commandeer and amass terrestrial resources, that the individual owns the right of abode and economic yield of his fair share of Planet Earth, not the land itself nor the right to exclude others from it. She was taught also that just as the total and exclusive ownership of another's life and labour is slavery, so too is the total and exclusive ownership of their time, loyalty, affection and intimacy.
Like all her peers of both genders, Anne received comprehensive formal instruction and training in both the erotic arts and the psychology of intimacy.
She learned the new-age genderless etiquette for exchanging a connective glance and initiating conversation. She was taught how to sense that essential affinity, which can occur only with that favoured few with whom she will have the potential for intimate coupling. She learned how to assess whether or not she and her mark had sufficient common interests, compatible values and complementary personality traits with which to build a successful amorical relationship.
She learned, through the practise of neo-tantric techniques derived from rediscovered ancient arts, how to trance with a male through hours of rapturous intimacy, both of them emerging physically content and emotionally refreshed, ready to enjoy the intellectual stimulation of their topical/philosophical pillow-talk exchanged in the relaxed embrace of their post-coital euphoria. She even learned how to take full control of her fertility by gaining mastery of her inner reproductive processes.
She learned how to work with a partner to mould and steer their interests, values and personalities into an ever-closer resonance, thus strengthening the bond between them. She learned how to terminate a relationship with the compassion, care and consideration of a true friend. This was all a central part of her general tertiary education. It had to be. The robust operation of the amorical link is absolutely critical to the stability and health of the new-age global society in which she lives.
Like most of her fellows, Anne had difficulty grasping the historical concept of gender stereotypes. To all who know her - of either gender - she is simply a sisterly friend and a respected peer. As a female, her brain has certain natural gender-specific differences from the male. But in Anne's world, male and female brains do not show the enormous culturally-generated adaptive disparity they had in the old world. Women are no longer from Venus and men are no longer from Mars. They are complementary variants of the same species from beautiful Planet Earth.
Being quite an open and gregarious lady, Anne was usually the one to ask a more reserved male friend out on a weekend date rather than the other way around. Though she naturally took the lead in this way, no sense of superiority or disrespect for the men she asked would even enter her mind. She had quite a few intimate relationships during her formative adult years. But she was never predatory. She had the deep and genuine love of friendship for all her men, which was at the same time both erotic and motherly. She had been taught to recognise that each relationship is unique, making comparisons an unthought-of irrelevance never voiced.
Eventually, 7 of her intimate friendships strengthen to the point of permanence. These 7 very lucky men have become her emotionally imprinted amorical partners for life. The love link between Anne and each of these 7 men has the permanence, commitment and formality of marriage. She is now a wife with 7 of what we could term secondary level husbands. Together they form part of a global network marriage.
Of course she doesn't own the exclusive intimacy of any of her men. The spheres of her mind link to only one of the spheres in the minds of each of her men. Nevertheless, each relationship is unique and very special. Like her, each of her men has been schooled in the principle that no individual can own exclusively the time, loyalty, affection and intimacy of another. Consequently there is never a thought of old-world jealousy between them over her, or from her over any of her lovers' other ladies. Neither is there any notion of competition between her lovers for a greater proportion of her affection. Each relationship is unique, and its bounds and proportions are determined by the relative sizes of the spheres in her mind.
As her 7 intimate relationships develop, one of them starts to become particularly deep. Eventually Anne and her most special man, John, decide to form a primary union. They hope to have children. The human is the terrestrial life-form with the highest level of parental investment. Its optimal life-style must therefore be as a permanent nuclear family within a secure home. So as they declare primary union, each transfers his and her terrestrial inheritance to a combined gleba. This way, their landshares are merged into a contiguous double landshare. Here they build their nuclear home, in which they shall both live together and work together.
The home they build is quite different from the suburban brick box of the old era. It is specially designed to support a totally different lifestyle. It is set spaciously in the middle of their combined landshare, which, through new-age technology, provides all their basic economic needs. Their house is a sculptured fantasy of linked ellipsoids and spires that blend harmoniously into the landscape. One of its ellipsoidal units contains the couple's master bedroom. This is flanked by sizeable ante rooms, which provide considerable private space where each partner may independently think and reflect and keep things that are private and confidential to him or herself.
Another unit accommodates a soothingly adorned love nest, within which Anne and her husband can be completely private and comfortable together. Its main feature is a richly upholstered dohyo about two metres square, conducively constructed to facilitate the perfect intimate encounter. It is here also on occasions that either may - without shame or secrecy - pleasure a visiting secondary.
Yet another unit contains a sanctuary in which they nurture and educate their children. And finally there is a flexible dining and relaxation section in which they welcome and entertain friends. Other outbuildings contain the storage and technological aids through which they are able to deploy their combined landshare to generate their basic needs of life.
Anne and her husband, John, settle down together. But her intimate connections with her other 6 husbands are still there, undiminished and stronger than ever. These equally-stable intimate unions develop into strong publicly-declared secondary "marriages". So Anne now has 7 husbands - one primary husband and 6 secondary husbands. Two of her secondary husbands, Peter and Jim, have "married" their primary wives and still live locally, while 3 others, Brian, Mike and David, live some distance away. She met her 7th secondary, Mario, when he was on an educational exchange from a far country. He returned to his own country where he "married" his primary wife.
Anne now has three children. One of them is not genetically her husband's, but that's fine. Her husband welcomes all her children as his own, knowing that perhaps nature has given him a similar gift through one of his other ladies. As part of their standard formative education, men are all fully trained as what in the old world were known as 'midwives'. So whenever Anne gives birth, it is her 7 husbands (those who are within travelling distance) who form her efficient and caring delivery team. What they start, so they finish.
Thus she has a husband and three children in her nuclear family, plus 2 local links, 3 intermediate links and a long-reach link to an intimate friend in a distant country.
Though sex be the driving force that initiates and sustains all her intimate connections, its purpose is to facilitate emotional, social, economic, intellectual and spiritual interchange between her and each of the men she loves. She, like every adult, is thus an included and vital member of a global society linked by love.
Her husband has a personality complementary to her own rather than opposite or similar. She may be a little gregarious and he may be a little more solitary, so that together they present a balanced personality to the outside world. His weaknesses are her strengths and vice versa, so as a couple they are strong. This will of course mean that Anne's skills and experience in some things far exceed those of her husband. But that in no way diminishes the intense and unshakeable respect she has for him. Their marital bond is unbreakable. Ideally it will last as long as they both shall live, but in any event it will remain at least until all their children have grown up and left home. Even if they part domestically, they will still remain intimate friends for life.
Each of her 6 intimate friends is now married and living with his wife in a nuclear family. But he could have been single initially. Each of these also has a personality that is complementary to hers. She naturally and responsibly chose men who were similar to her husband. So, since as it happened, one of her children was fathered by one of her friends, it is perfectly compatible in physique and disposition to those fathered by her husband, and injects an enhancing modicum of variance into the family dynamic.
Anne has an interesting and busy life, taking care to share herself fairly between each of the men she loves, as well as her children, friends, work and community. She also puts aside adequate time to be on her own in private. Although she spends most of her time with her husband, she visits each of her secondaries regularly but not too often.
Secondary Love Nests
In addition to the love nest that is present and essential within the marital home of each primary couple, there is ideally a separate secondary love nest for every secondary relationship. Thus, in the network diagram, we can regard each inter-personal link between the partners of a primary relationship as a main family home, and each inter-personal link between members of a secondary relationship as a more compact love nest where the couple meets to share time together.
I see the secondary love nest as the futuristic equivalent of the vacation chalet or one-bedroom cottage. My vision is of something like a large ellipsoidal shell or envelope raised off the ground on transparent struts. This would contain all the compact comforts and conveniences for a couple to spend the odd couple of days together. It would also be home to all kinds of little shared things that are special to the secondary couple to whom it belongs, thus making it their special shell of refuge - a tangible representation of their loving relationship. A secondary love nest could be mobile, but it should generally be at least transportable so that it can be installed quickly about half way between each partner's primary home.
Thus whenever Anne entertains her husband - her primary - she naturally does so in their love nest at home. But when she entertains one of her secondaries alone, she will usually arrange to meet him at their own secluded private love nest half way between their marital homes.
A Secondary Encounter
When she meets with one of her special men at their shared mid-way love nest, Anne looks forward to sharing with him the preparation and eating of a cosy meal for two, then leading him by the hand to where they slowly undress and caress in the comfortable warmth of the bedroom.
He lays down on the dohyo. She lays with her back upon him, her head nestling on his shoulder as his arms lovingly enfold her. They sigh. A minute passes. He reaches out to a small table upon which rests a little electrically warmed chalice that keeps a small amount of almond oil at just above body temperature. He dips his right index finger into the chalice. Then his left. Anne delights as she feels his gentle fingers and a drip of warm almond oil enveloping each of her erecting nipples. She inflates her chest as he starts to pleasure her and turns her head to kiss him. The minutes drift by as they exchange their loving stare. Suddenly she tenses her legs, telling him it is time to go below.
Once again he reaches out to capture a fresh drip of warm almond oil upon his finger. He reaches down and begins to caress her sensitivity, enveloping her abandoned right nipple with his soft warm lips. They relax and gaze into each other's eyes as her pleasure gathers pace. For an hour or more he shepherds her ever upwards until her smiling eyes glaze over as she imbibes her first orgasm.
In her now heightened state, she lays herself down on her back, drawing her knees up to her chin in foetal style. She motions him. He knows what she wants. He lays himself on his left side cross-ways below her to form the familiar sideways position she had practised and favoured during her formal initiation. He welcomes her choice with a knowing grin. He lifts his right leg. She drops both hers, one each side of it, pulling back her heels to hold him. He quickly loops his right leg around her left, locking his right foot around his left leg, which he holds straight. She hooks her left hand tightly behind his right knee. They pause in readiness.
Then with a sudden pull on his knee she consummates their connection, her yearning flesh welcoming his eager penetration. He locks his legs tighter and pushes further. They exchange mischievous smiles, then clasp their right hands as if ready to arm-wrestle. At a flick of her eyebrow, they tense their biceps and heave together. In it drills to the ultimate depth as, with a little shriek, she tightens her hold on him with her heels. The thrill of his glans nestling deeply within her floods her mind with euphoric relief. This is comfort. This is home. There is nothing to do. There is nowhere to go. There is no space for cares - just blissful anticipation of two wonderful hours of well-deserved ecstasy.
They work gently upwards and onwards. The tempo climbs. Then suddenly a slight rotational twitch of his hips hammers her G-spot. She feels a contraction. Then one of his. They are almost there. They must go no further. They must not yet drift over the cliff of culmination. So in perfect synchrony they instantly tense and draw in the deepest breath. His chest inflates. Her breasts heave upwards like surfacing submarines with conning towers standing proud.
From here onwards, their formal training balances them instinctively, each the other upon the cusp of orgasm. As thus they ride the tiger forever together, time stands still. They gaze openly into each other's eyes. Their minds meet like spirits in some shared ethereal realm where they dance around each other like the flames of a camp fire, which - at each fleeting encounter with orgasm - coalesce to become one, then separate again to continue their erotic dance. Finally, as afternoon fades to dusk, Anne and her precious companion signal their mutual consent to sail gently together over the edge into the joy of their convulsive conclusion.
They stay locked together in stillness for a little while longer, then disconnect. They thank each other sincerely for the willing gifts of pleasure they have just exchanged and shared with nobody else, in a unique and private event so intense that it must have indeed left a most indelible imprint upon the consciousness of space-time.
She lays her head on his shoulder facing him. She cocks her right leg over his left and sinks into his arms, seeping soothingly over his left thigh. As he is thus comforted by her fluid warmth, he caresses her soft hair with a slow gentle rhythm. He kisses her lovely forehead as they contentedly reminisce about events they have shared and wisdom they have gained. They pull over the duvet and smuggle down, cuddling each other tenderly in peaceful sleep until the high-summer morning light, each lavishly re-charged with the power to overwhelm any challenge that life may force upon them.
Naturally, not every encounter has to include full sexual intercourse - especially as Anne and her loves become older. But all will at least include intense emotional and intellectual intimacy within the comfort of a long cosy cuddle. Anne is often happy just to snuggle up to the warmth of his firm fit body while he is content to sink blissfully into her soothing softness. The genitals may be more sensitive, but the skin that covers our entire bodies is by far our largest and most all-encompassing sense organ.
Nevertheless, as they were forewarned strongly during their formal education, physical sex should never be neglected - even in the twilight years. And it should be encouraged for everybody. This is why, beside the dohyo in their love nest, Anne and her husband have a beautifully engineered Yab-Yum facilitator, the essence of which is a facing pair of softly upholstered fully-gimballed motorized saddles. Anne acquired it for her husband because one of his other loves is physically challenged and cannot perform successfully on the dohyo. But she has no problem on the facilitator. Besides, it will become useful to them all as they reach towards their latter years.
In this new age, everybody's multivalent intimate potential is completely fulfilled. This allows ordinary non-amorical (or Platonic) friendship to be truly independent of gender. It is all so different from the previous age in which societal undertones always imposed a certain awkwardness upon the notion of a separately married man and woman even being one-on-one friends, let alone openly spending uninhibited intimate time together.
When Anne meets with one of her special men at their mid-way love nest, they don't just spend all their time making love. Their so-called love nest contains more than a bedroom. For instance it contains an office/workplace that accommodates among other things his and hers identical desks. This 'office' has a large LED screen that both can see, plus there is a keyboard and small LED screen on each desk. She sits at one, he sits at the other.
They work together at their desks on whatever projects they share. Set into the round wall behind each person is a recessed private work area with all the equipment each could possibly need, where each can do his/her own thing when they want to. Of course, their twin-den is not just for office work. Each can pursue other joint and separate hobbies and work activities there.
Their mid-way love-nest also has a comfortable lounge in which they relax and talk and watch films. Just outside is an enclosed garden, on each side of which is an outer door. One opens onto a vista, framed in the distance with sandstone rocks, looking out to a clear distant horizon. Through the other door is an enchanted portal through which a footpath beckons into an infinite warm bright woodland furnished with a seasonal carpet of tiny wild flowers.
One half of the garden is a circular patio with a central camp fire around which they sit together alone or with other friends like Ancient Mohicans around their counsel fire. A pair of hammocks hang beneath the eaves above the low stacks of fuel wood set against the wall. The flames of the counsel fire weave their erotic dance upon their stage of glowing embers. It all exudes a benign power that inspires the mind and soothes the soul. Here they sit and contemplate. Here they philosophize about relationships, society, economics and life.
Anne's general formative education had included instruction in how to share herself fairly and appropriately between her men. She must see each of them frequently enough not to let their relationship grow cold, but not too frequently as to leave insufficient time for the other things in her life. She therefore sensibly bases her shared time on her natural monthly cycle, organising her diary to spend a night and a day each month with each of her secondary husbands, and the rest of her intimate time with her primary.
A month between encounters may seem a long time, but it means that each time she and one of her secondaries meet, they are that much more pleased to see each other again and have lots of news to catch up on to spark off and maintain good conversation. It is not always possible, however, for her to see her foreign secondary every month. Yet he is just as important to her as the others. Her visits to him are consequently less frequent and often sporadic. However, these visits do fulfil an important need in both their lives.
Anne's primary husband is her ideal complementary match. They are deeply in love and give each other perfect happiness. However, he is more solitary than she is. His appetite for intimate connection is less than hers and he has only 4 secondary partners to her 6. Among other things, he is a writer. During a writing project - which adds up to about three months a year - he spends long periods in uninterrupted concentration during which he is necessarily uncommunicative and unresponsive to those around him. Writing consumes vast amounts of his mental and emotional energy, leaving little or no time for his family during a writing project - especially Anne.
Back in the old days of monogamist marriage, the faithful wife's justified frustration with her husband's lack of attention in such circumstances led to a high separation and divorce rate. However, unlike a faithful wife in a bygone age, Anne has the independence, initiative and opportunity to take a short holiday on her own to visit her foreign secondary during her husband's periods of concentration. She may sometimes take her children with her. Other times they may stay with their grandparents who have now moved into a smaller home in a corner of Anne's landshare.
Anne enjoys her holidays. The sexual pleasure, emotional refreshment and intellectual stimulation exchanged with her distant secondary, keep her happy, satisfied and full of vitality right through her husband's solitary times. So when she returns, she is a self-sufficient source of inspiration and emotional support to her husband during the very times a wife of the old world would have been nothing but a frustrated demanding downward drag.
These practical considerations of encounter scheduling impose a workable limit on each individual's deployable valency, which it is hoped will match the natural valency with which nature has endowed him. A few high valency individuals may have to extend their schedules to span two or even three monthly cycles. Some may prefer a more sporadic timing to their encounters. Nevertheless, the negative compensation provided by the practical limit on responsible valency deployment keeps intimate valency operating within a benign range, thus avoiding the scale-less runaway madness found in some old-world surveys on human sexual contact.
Because there is always bound to be at least some asymmetry between the cycles of his different women, every man in this new-age society is always going to have some degree of challenge arranging his diary.
The rhythm of this global network - like that of artificial communications networks - emanates from the indirect coupling between lots of independent system clocks. In this case, millions of female cycles buffered from each other only by the connective channel of common male intimacy. This connective channel is a biochemical and emotional signalling path that may well tend to pull all female cycles into synchrony, while at the same time ensuring that it never quite does so.
The clock-tick of the global intimate network may thus become a little like the regular rhythm of the heart, upon which is modulated the undulating melodies of the mind. This regularity - tempered with a little irregularity - is healthy. It maximises communication through the network while guarding against potentially destructive resonance.
Anne's seven husbands are a cohesive team. They communicate frequently and meet regularly. They are knights of a truly round table. Their quest is Anne's personal development, happiness and well-being. They discuss and plan how each may best fulfil his suited role in realising this noble endeavour. Anne herself is also a member of a similar cohesive care-team for each of her 7 husbands. This makes her a member of a wider sorority of 43 women (including herself).
Anne's personal community thus comprises 50 friends, including herself. It is interesting to note that 50 is a group size that coincides with the second maximum for cohesiveness.
Of course, in a community of any finite size, at least some of Anne's female friends could find themselves sharing the same male. In this case, some of the 42 ladies could be, arithmetically, multiple instances of the same person. The general idea is, however, to try to avoid this in order to keep the network as diverse and far-reaching as possible.
Professionally, Anne is a biologist. Her socio-economic contribution to humanity is her research and development project into better fuel-yielding plants. In this work, she leads and co-ordinates a team of helpers. This team comprises her 7 beloved men whom she has taught and nurtured in the subject. Together they farm experimental crops in a corner of her landshare. She has another experimental crop plantation in a corner of the landshare of Mario, her distant secondary. He lives in a part of the world where the climate is slightly different, and she wants to perfect a variant of her crop that will thrive in both climates.
Anne's 8-strong biological research team (which includes herself) is also like a round table. It is an egalitarian team in which each has his/her own special role. Anne is the one with the technical knowledge and the leadership role. As members of her team, her men get on well with each other. But their relationships with each other are necessarily less profound and fundamentally different from their relationships with Anne.
Her men have similar rather than complementary personalities. It is in this context that likes attract. The mutual attraction these men have for each other stems from their united quest to fulfil perfectly and completely all Anne's intellectual, emotional and sexual needs, which each knows he cannot do alone. So they need each other. Their common goal can be achieved only through fraternal co-operation. And part of fulfilling Anne's intellectual needs is to make her biological research successful.
The smooth operation of her biology research team is ensured by the fact that Anne's bond with each of her team members is of a far stronger type than the mutual bonds between the members themselves. Its sexual dimension facilitates a vastly greater band-width for interpersonal communication, resulting in a far more intense inter-personal commitment.
Thus it seems that the ideal team dynamic is where every member has regular sex with the boss, but never with his team-mates. It must however be borne in mind that Anne's open and responsible relationships with her team members is the ultimate moral antithesis of the deceitful seedy office affairs of the old corporate world.
Though she be the leader of this team, Anne is also a lowly member of other teams. Each of these teams is led and co-ordinated by one of her 7 beloved men. Her team mates in each case are that particular beloved's other intimate females.
Her husband John leads her and his other ladies in a literary project. Peter, one of her local secondaries, leads her and his other ladies as one of the teams in a global group that organises the distribution of food and the other needs of life to parts of the world where this year the rain did not fall in due season nor the sun shine before the harvest. Another local secondary, Jim, leads her and his other ladies in a music group.
Anne also has 3 secondary husbands about a day's journey away in different directions. One of them, David, is a specialist in law and Anne is part of his group that is working on the improvement and tuning of the constitution in accordance with which people in her world live. The second, Mike, is a philosopher with whom Anne and his other ladies explore the frontiers of thought about life, the universe and everything. And the team of her 3rd distant secondary, Brian, is developing a warp drive for personal air vehicles.
Mario, her foreign secondary, is a communications engineer. Part of the time she spends during her more prolonged visits to him is as a vital member of his team in their quest to help improve the world's physical communications infrastructure.
So Anne has her primary expert interest in biology, which each of her men shares with her as one of his secondary interests, while the primary expert interests of her 7 husbands are her 7 secondary interests. Of course, each of her men shares secondary interests with each of his other ladies, which he does not necessarily share with Anne. It all makes for a diverse - and consequently very healthy - academic mix.
Anne, like everybody else in her world, belongs to as many teams as she has intimate partners, thus involving her in as many diverse economic and cultural endeavours. This facilitates the cross-pollination of ideas between disciplines and gives each a depth and diversity of knowledge and experience that was not possible under the old world system of segregated specialization.
Her husband and her 6 secondaries are all of Anne's own generation. They were all at school and college together. But none of these was her first. Anne had been initiated by Max, an older man 15 years her senior, whom she had befriended in her late teens and of whom she became very fond. Like most, this older friend will be initiator to only one younger person in his life. He will remain one of her intimate friends for the rest of his life. She does not see him very often but she makes sure that not a year goes by without spending at least three special occasions with him. He is the one elder hero she will always look up to, and her most trusted source of wisdom on matters she would feel uncomfortable confiding even in her parents.
Anne gives presentations and seminars in connection with her professional work. During one such presentation, a young male student called Bobby asks her advice on his future career choice. They become quite fond of each other and a year or so later, he asks Anne if she will be his Initiatress and become also his official professional mentor and friend. She says she would be honoured. She thus becomes his partner throughout his formal training in the erotic arts and the ways of intimacy. In these she nurtures him, patiently perfecting his skills, feeding to him ecstasy as she would breast milk to her child. From this, he emerges a confident and valent Adept, ready to take his rightful place as a node in the intimate network of humanity.
Following the social norm, it is unlikely that Anne will ever fulfil this role for anyone else. She will guarantee to spend only three special occasions a year with him, but Bobby knows that he can see her whenever he particularly needs her love, skill, comfort, advice and wisdom as he follows half a generation behind her through the often difficult challenges of life.
Thus Anne's intimate links now span not only her peer generation, but also those half a generation in each direction, thus helping complete the intimate network of the whole of humanity. And with this she is very satisfied.
From her formative years and throughout her life, Anne has been able to explore a myriad ways of relating physically with her various partners in the complete absence of comparative criticism or mainstream disapproval. As a result, through her conservative polyamorous lifestyle, she now enjoys many physical, emotional, social, economic and intellectual advantages over her old-world forebears.
As a vital node within the global intimate network, she has ever present within her a deep sense of belonging as an equal citizen, beloved sibling, respected peer and a free and able spirit within a caring world. And as if basking at a confluence of living waters, a bounteous sense of being valued and desired flows continually into her heart from her seven erotic loves, who also - each in his own special way - feed her ravenous intellect, and are themselves her conduits to infinite social, cultural, economic, academic and spiritual contact through the intimate net.
This broad direct connection to collective humanity levitates her own self-awareness and draws out latent aspects of her personality, the glory of which would otherwise have lain hidden from the world forever. These in turn facilitate a deepening of all her social relationships, particularly enhancing the companionship she enjoys with her special men and their other intimate ladies.
Her marital bond is free to develop and grow to heights unknown to her forebears. Her other loves complete her natural need for amorical multiplicity, so her beloved husband can never be the object of blame for what he naturally cannot provide. And being the grateful recipient of so much joy in her life, she is fired with a personal mission to give joy to others.
Anne's children are immersed in a community of multiple balanced role models. They see how the complementary personalities and abilities of their parents unite into a balanced composite whole through their intimate bond. But they see further diversity of examples in the couplings formed by Anne and her husband separately through their extramarital links. The environment of the intimately extended family is thus an extremely conducive nest for the personal and social development of all the children it touches.
Both Anne and her husband are very tactile with their children, as they were properly taught to be, thus imparting to each a balanced and receptive outlook through which to connect with those they will love and befriend in later life. And in accordance with the ordinances of her world, when each of her children reaches the decreed age of wisdom, Anne, like her husband, will formally cease to be her child's elder and become instead his or her loved and trusted peer.
The strong sexual and emotional relationships Anne has with her men provide vital links in a complete connective infrastructure of humanity. It is wholly egalitarian. Its links are based on personal love, integrity and trust. They form the backbone upon which is borne all social, economic, academic and cultural communication throughout the planet. It ensures equity. It keeps the peace. After all, Anne would never allow even her husband to harm or swindle any of her lovers. Because she loves them both. Strife between them would be strife between two of the love spheres within her mind. How could any defraud, harm or kill another, with whom he must be intimately linked by no more than a few degrees of separation?
So through her intimate connections, Anne buys and sells all her needs and surpluses in this idyllic world, which is at the same time both high-tech and agrarian. Through them she pursues her life-long education and personal research, her social and recreational interests, and her spiritual fulfilment. Through them she gives to others her knowledge, experience and substance to help and counsel all whose needs they can assuage. No predatory hierarchy like imperialism, capitalism or even socialism could ever break the amorical bonds of this global intimate small-world network. Through its links of love, a society of this form would automatically dissipate rapidly the obscene extremes of economic disparity we see today.
And because it is fundamentally sexual, the global intimate small-world network links males and females in strict alternation. Every amorical interpersonal relationship in the world is between humans of complementary gender. Consequently humanity could never again polarise into the old gender-specific factions of male-dominated hierarchies and reactionary feminism. Men and women are one, in a world that has learned once and for always that 'only love can set you free'.
In a future world where sexually transmitted diseases and the behaviour that facilitates them have been eradicated, there could be many possible physical benefits to this kind of intimately linked society. For instance, the tight physical and emotional linkage between two people probably causes beneficial changes in each person's biochemistry, and hence their general physical and emotional well-being. An intimate network would doubtless propagate and augment these benefits throughout the entire population. A connected network may also facilitate bio-chemical and emotional signalling, which could effect such things as natural automatic population control, thus reducing or even alleviating the need for contraception. All very interesting speculation waiting to be researched when and if such a world is ever realised.
This to me would seem an ideal relational structure for human society. Nevertheless, I do not think it possible to implement this form of society in today's world. So, as they warn on television "Don't try this at home!". To be able to become members of such a society, human beings would have to undergo a quantum leap of spiritual evolution. They would have to be brought up within a culture and under an education system that equipped them with the fundamental mentality of sharing their love and emotions according to clear benign rules. All present-day desires for exclusivity, possession and control would have to be inwardly abhorred by the natural conscience of each individual.
I admire those who try, but I fear that any attempt by human beings in this present age to form into such a loving intimate network must therefore sooner or later become thwarted by the inherent forces of greed and jealousy that reside immovably within the present condition of the human mind. Perhaps one day, the human mind will evolve to the higher state necessary for this wonderful society to become possible.