Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> I've always though something like Heinlein's "line" marriages
> would be better suited to a modern society. Plenty of people
> around to pool resources, care for children, and have some
> degree of sexual variety while keeping intimacy and maintaining
> a history and consistent values.
That seems like a good possibility, although I think Heinein tended to make marriage groups much larger than is actually practical. I suspect it would be very difficult to maintain a group much bigger than 4-5 people, because the number of interpersonal relationships involved becomes too large. Besides, it was hard enough to find one person I wanted to marry - finding a group that big would seem to require either impossibly good luck or rather low personal standards.
I tend to favor smaller group marriages involving 3-5 partners, with gender balance varying depending on the orientations of the individuals involved. However, I can see plenty of other workable arrangements, from an open version of the traditional marriage to various fluid forms of polyamory. I think the important rules are simply:
Of course, this approach runs directly counter to the expectations of Western culture. After all, <love conquers all>, <only love matters>, <your head can't (and shouldn't) understand your heart>, and "I do" comes just before you segue to the happy ending scene, right?
Billy Brown, MCSE+I