When Should Normal People Start Referring To ‘Polycules’ As Sex Cults?

(Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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“It’s difficult to describe a polycule,” asserts The New York Times (NYT). But after hearing what this self-described polycule had to say about their 20-person relationship, it’s really not all that hard to figure out.

The term is a portmanteau of the words “polyamory” — having multiple sexual/romantic partners — and “molecule.” At its core, the polycule is a radical rejection of traditional monogamy, bringing together men, women and everything supposedly in-between into one big emotionally committed relationship. Described variably as a “weird family,” a “complex kinship” and even an “adult sleepover camp,” The Times found it pertinent to share this radical new form of love with the world. We’re meant to think it’s all empowering as this Boston-based polycule insists how wondrously happy they all are through gritted teeth. But strip away the flourish, and what you get is a social structure as old as time: this is nothing more than a sex cult.

What comes to mind when you think of a sex cult? Typically, they’re headed by an enigmatic male guru preaching enlightenment to a devoted harem of female followers. The emphasis on spirituality and community are just the facade used to bring vulnerable women into the fold. Plenty of documentaries have come out in recent years describing the horrors of being trapped in a cult like this. But call it a polycule, put women in charge and talk about your “radical queer values” — and our popular culture eats it up.

“Our polycule is female-run,” one of the women proudly told The Times. “It’s the female-identified people who spearhead. We convene, we plan, we call the shots. It’s a bunch of queer women who say we’re not going to follow the rules.”

The “rules,” are really just the cultural norms around monogamy, which members of the cult seem to believe are some sweeping conspiracy to keep women down and married couples as miserable and servile as possible. “Undoing the monogamous script, the socialization, is really, really difficult,” another devotee told The Times. (RELATED: Married Mom Tries To Solve All Her Problems By Having Sex With A Bunch Of Random Dudes)

Members typically join as a run-of-the-mill heterosexual couple. Ages range from from 20s to 40s. Some are even college sweet hearts. But one day, something clicks: they’re unsatisfied with their lives. They’re financially strained. They want to experiment, whatever it may be — and they get sucked in. And once you’re in, you’re in.

“We all approach ENM, ethical nonmonogamy, differently,” one of the women explained. Some couples date only other couples. Others go off and do their own thing individually, or join just as “friends.” Some date only within the cult. Others date outside (presumably to recruit new members), with some even going so far as to wing-man their spouse. Sometimes they gather just to hang out, and sometimes it’s a full on sex party. It’s really just a free for all — at least for the women.

Like all cults, the bliss obscures the power dynamics just below the surface. The women might call it “liberating,” implying they’re the victim breaking free, but it’s really just an excuse to play out a revenge fantasy against representatives of the patriarchy — their husbands. Meanwhile, the husbands get pressured into going along for the ride.

“As a woman,” one member said, “being able to live my life as authentically as possible without needing my husband’s permission, that’s empowering.”

She and her husband found their way to the cult after she pushed to open their relationship. “I identified as bi,” she explained, and finding a “potential third” was “important to me.”

Another woman spoke condescendingly of her “frat bro” husband, while proudly calling herself a “relationship anarchist.” She admits she keeps her husband in the loop about who she dates, but clarifies “those check-ins aren’t for permission.”

Meanwhile, this poor schmuck just wants to keep her despite describing how he feels “a hundred percent replaceable.” Rather than set him free, she decided to gaslight him, telling him “there’s nothing wrong with you, this is going to pass, therapy will help.” After lots of tears and medication, he finally got to the point of “being happy seeing your partner happy with one of their other partners.”

Sure, the “men are important; they do have value.” But that value is that they can tolerate being around such empowered women. “To me, they’re strong,” said one of nonbinary ladies, “because they’re not threatened.” (RELATED: ROOKE: Conservative Men – Focus On Finding A Good Wife, Not A ‘Trad Wife’)

This is a masterclass in cultish manipulation. The women make their husband-followers feel weak, dependent and vulnerable, and only give them praise once they do what they’re told. Then they justify it all in the name of some higher enlightenment. They think they’re being so radical, so transgressive — that they’re leading the vanguard of a movement to bring down monogamy and liberate women everywhere. But just because they were miserable and bored with their marriages doesn’t mean the rest of us need to join a sex cult to find fulfillment.

In the end, they’re too self-obsessed to realize that they’re not really doing anything new. A sex cult is a sex cult, no matter who’s at the head. So congratulations, ladies. You broke a glass ceiling — just not the one you were hoping for.