Bisexuality and PolyamoryDear Editor: I am appreciative of Joseph R. Kenwolf's raising the dual issues of bisexuality and polyamory in his letter in New Menorah No. 60, both not mentioned in the special issue on same sex marriage.
Nevertheless, I think he makes a mistake in tying the two issues together so closely. There are many members of the bisexual community who are attracted to both men and women, but are only interested in one relationship in a time.
In fact it is a matter of concern in the bisexual community that the mono community assumes that they have no interest in monogamy. Similarly there are many folks in the community struggling (and playing) with the attempt to create serious networks of multiple relationships who are only or primarily interested sexually in only one sex.
Bisexuality does raise a serious problem for those who first were opened to acceptance of homosexuality by the idea of compulsion, that these folks were unable to have a satisfying heterosexual relationship. If you can have satisfying sexual connection, why not accept the dictates of the tradition and choose a partner of the appropriate sex? For better or worse, we don't always choose with whom to fall in love. Just ask all those folks who never thought they would marry a non-Jew. (And with gender, conversion is usually not a option.)
Should we be lovingly accepting of all the sexual proclivities in our communities or still hold the preference for heterosexuality if there is possibility of a choice.
Polyamory is similarly a challenge to the dominant paradigm of relationships in the Jewish and general community. Is our standard that one should be monogamous or is it that one should be open, present, supportive, loving, honest, and keeping of commitments. Which of these brings more kedusha into a relationship? Which of these is more likely to build a healthy Jewish community with stable, loving families?
I hope this discussion will be taken seriously in the Jewish Renewal community.