Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Treatise in Defense of Libertines

"All universal moral principles are idle fancies.
- Marquis de Sade

Friends, lovers; gentlemen, harlots, tramps and male-whores; those who're LBTJ and you who're not; to the graduating class of 2009, today, I will speak in defense of the Libertine.

It is true that the Polyamorous are Libertines - individuals who're devoid of social constraint and who refute the social morays observed by common society. Unrestrained, however, shouldn't be construed as abjectly immoral or perverse, albeit I'd concede it's also true that some of our proclivities may bring us closer to the cliff of hedonism than others, our sexual interests aren't the things which define us; we are Polyamorous, not "swingers" or "dominants" or sadomasochists - labels that are purely absolute on the face of things. Surely, freedom guides our hand and, as it might, our hands may caress the darkest and most delicious of temptations, yet the Polyamorous are practical in allowing their choices to be governed by priorities, risk tolerance, and perspective. Within the scope of freedom and choice, the Polyamorous learn to push their boundaries and in doing so learn something about themselves.

The Polyamourous with whom I'm acquainted speak often of self-introspection and in tackling complex, rancorous issues like jealousy look at studying their emotional response, and look at such things as opportunities and as a means towards engaging in corrective action. They encourage open communication with their spouses and lovers, and actively pursue constructive ways of showing and experiencing love and sexuality without hiding it or suppressing it. Polyamorists are critical, mindful, and aware of a moment. They are fearless, and what I'd seek to explain in saying that is they aren't dissuaded by the guilt of moral opinion and seek to overcome the inherent social programming that so rigidly defines our culture. That's damn hard work. At the root, Polyamorists are students of their own fragile human condition.

Throughout my experience here at university, I was constantly impressed by what my fellow students learned from their own experiences, what they learned from each other, and how they transformed their rote education into meaningful change. From insight grew comprehension; from failure arose correction; from connection created community. And in doing so you have become the change: you have become models for others to emulate and aspire to. You have become the embodiment of leaders, trailblazers, heroes.

So I write in defense of the Polyamorist who is too often perceived as a confused (sometimes disillusioned) and unrestrained opportunist in public opinion. The masses may cast polyamory as a lifestyle of the weird, the non-committal, the freak; people with no other options left on the table in so they turn to polyamory in desperation for love; we peddlers of sluttery, carriers of disease, we who read... dear God, they read! How anti-social. Nonetheless, I write in defense of Libertines everywhere be them of differing orientation and titles: it is in bravely accepting who you are that has brought our world to a better place. You have helped to liberate others and to make them fearless.

To you - I applaud you, graduating class of 2009 - the Libertine, the Hero, the Fearless!

{Audience - "Huzzah!"}

So, it is your place, dear students, now, as you leave university this year with all of the titles and honors that you've earned, to go and live your life, to become the change you wish to see in the world, and to blazon a brighter path for Libertines of tomorrow. Thank you, may Dionysus bless, and may you dare to find happiness in the darkness that others fear to tread.


And you may now flip your tassel...

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