January 24, 2010

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On Love and Sex “Love’s New Frontier” (January 3) describes selfishness and hedonism that can only destroy healthy family relationships. A healthy family requires parents to sacrifice together for their family with absolute loyalty to each other, creating a secure emotional environment. Sex is not for entertainment. It is to seal a sacred bond between loving parents and be co-creators with God. Foolish parents who engage in the behavior you describe are stealing the innocence of their dependents and sowing seeds of future sorrow, even eternal sorrow.

Walter Zagieboylo Jr. / Norfolk

My parents practiced polyamory back in the ’60s and ’70s. As a kid, I was embarrassed about it. I don’t remember my parents being that happy either. One of the unanswered questions was: Why did they marry in the first place? Personally, I find monogamy very rewarding. It might be tough at times, but there’s nothing like the feeling my wife and I get when we embrace, knowing there is nothing and no one between us.

Mike Giuliano / Stow

Wait a minute! My opposition to the religious crusade against gay marriage is helping put Massachusetts “ahead of the curve” on accepting “multi-partnered marriage,” once someone manages to define what it “looks like”? This isn’t a curve I want to be ahead of! A woman whose primary relationship depends on her ability to drum up a secondary relationship is in trouble when she falls off the sexual radar at menopause. Polyamory sounds much more like the free love of the ’60s and ’70s than the story acknowledges, and free love tends in the long run to be free for the men. Women and children are the ones who end up paying.

Sue Cologgi / Lowell

Married for 47 years, we read your article and felt a sadness within us. If this is “Love’s New Frontier,” God please spare us and our children and grandchildren. The monogamous, God-centered family is the cornerstone of our society, and from it comes life, stability, productivity, security, and hope for all in our culture. Love doesn’t need new frontiers; we just need to examine what it really is and live it. The best expression of that love is in a committed monogamous relationship between a man and a woman, as God intended from the beginning.

John and Pauline Donovan / North Weymouth

Re: polyamory. Yeah. Right. Good luck with that.

Joe McNally / Grand Rapids, Michigan

I admit my first reaction was “How could the Boston Globe even print this? How absurd!” I tried to be objective because I do believe in “Live and let live.” But after much introspection, polyamory seems too contrived, too unrealistic, too complicated, and slightly depraved. Commitment to one person is not easy, but perhaps that’s what makes it important. If people want to live this alternative lifestyle, it is their prerogative, but it’s a little offensive to rationalize it and attempt to turn it into a reasonable, acceptable, and responsible way of living.

Merry Lynn / Boston

It’s not a “love” relationship unless people can withstand the test of living together, so calling the polysexual relationships described in the story as “polyamory” strikes me as disingenuous.

Ron Crowley / Dover, New Hampshire

Alan Wexelblat admits to being unable to be monogamous since before marrying. Then why bring a spouse and children into a relationship that does not honor exclusive love and trust? No matter what words are used to describe this lifestyle, it’s being unfaithful. A moral society needs a true north as its guide.

Mary Talbot / Scituate

I’ve been madly in love for 31 years and married for 28 of them, and from the first day, that love and that marriage have been polyamorous. We raised a son, who, at age 15, when asked what he noticed was different about his parents, said: “For one, they aren’t divorced. And two, they don’t have any long-term grievances against each other.” He’s now an adult and polyamorous himself. It was affirming to read the article. Polyamorous folks don’t necessarily need marriage equality but we relish societal acknowledgment.

Carolyn Fuller / Cambridge

It’s about time that this lifestyle be discussed and recognized as one that could work or works for some people.

Richard T. Chu / Northampton

A Laughable Year After reading Dave Barry’s “We’ll Drink to That” (January 3), for the first time in a long time I laughed out loud about what was in my opinion one of the worst years in memory. As a retiree who lost a big chunk of her savings, I wished I’d thought of investing in Purell.

Susan Kostinieris / Braintree

Perfect Match I have just the man for Julia Shanks (Coupling, January 3): “John” will eat anything and enjoys food immensely. He has a few small problems: He can’t hold a job because of poor impulse control, and previous girlfriends have complained he’s domineering, possessive, and occasionally abusive. But these traits shouldn’t daunt Julia, as they likely pale in comparison with her overwhelming prerequisite in a mate -- that his interest in food precisely parallels her own.

Carolyn Stack / Cambridge

Lifelong Learner I commend Wyclef Jean’s decision to attend Berklee College of Music to continue his education (First Person, January 3). As an educator working in an urban district, I realize how his choice can speak volumes to students. I try to teach my students, as well as my own children, that knowledge is power. Jean’s decision shows that no matter what level of success one reaches, the desire for and benefits of learning never end.

Denise Mickiewicz Tiro / Wakefield

Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

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