When a talk show host discusses Polyamory, there is quite a risk that it will be mediocre, and the whole theme gets drowned in prejudice and stereotypes. And of course, that it is all about Sex because many people confuse Polyamory with Swingersex. The talk show Markus Lanz has managed to avoid these pitfalls and to correct some prejudices about Polyamory.
Of course there was much talk about Sex, but that was good, because Sex is an important part of a relationship. The polyamorous couple, Justus Rumpf (67) and Erika Hohndorf (68), who had the courage to appear on the show, has done amazingly well, by talking in a natural and unobtrusive way about how important love and sex with multiple partners can be. Here one must always remember that they are normal people and not media professionals who in countless apperances have learned the skillful performance and the catchy phrase.
Apart from some critical remarks by the actress Dagmar Koller, who refused Polyamory altogether, all other participants, even if they excluded Polyamory for themselves, expressed only positive opinions about the polyamorous couple their obvious harmony. The host Markus Lanz and the other guests also defended the two expressly against the criticisms of Ms. Koller. You could hear sentences like: If something is so obviously in good shape (meaning the couple´s relation), then you need not criticize it, or: That’s their private affair, how they live. And even Ms. Koller later in the show spoke very positive about how the two were so open, in particular, that they so openly talked about sex in old age.
The audience reacted in diverse ways, of course, but that everybody would just applaud Polyamory was not to be expected. But it should be noted that the audience often applauded when positive things were said about Polyamory, and there was especially intense applause when Mr. Rumpf and Ms. Hohndorf were defended against criticism.
Often it is said about talk shows in general and also about Mark Lanz that the level of discussion was too “low”. I can not share this opinion. When I turn on a talk show program, I do not expect talks on a high intellectual level. A show like “Markus Lanz” will be like something i would call “higher level everyday conversation”, because the audience is mixed. And after all it is supposed to be entertaining, like a casual conversation at a party, but with a certain level of quality of the information and the exchange between the host and the guests. Suitable to such an idea of a show the moderator Markus Lanz of course made some funny remarks, but above all he was always making correcting annotations when prejudices and misunderstandings came up. This talk show was a good opportunity for an audience of millions to become acquainted in a casual, entertaining way with what Polyamory is.
Last but not least I admire the courage of Justus Rumpf and Erika Hohndorf to appear before such a large audience. They themselves reported that in their circle of friends, who also live polyamorous, nobody was willing to appear, because all had worries what the neighbors, colleagues or superiors would think. I can well understand this concern, and no one who has such worries is to be blamed.
I myself for a long time was reluctant to be open and cautious to whom I talk about my way of life. But I can say – and this is valid just for me and my situation – that since I started to be open, I feel much better. I’m relaxed, I’m not all that worried anymore.
I see the Polyamorous People in my native Germany in a similar situation, like homosexuals in Germany were in twenty-five years ago. Homosexuality was not a crime anymore, at least for adults. But to confess to homosexuality was not normal. And nobody would have thought that Germany would have many openly gay politicians, including it´s current Foreign Minister, Mr. Westerwelle. The many gay coming-outs, sometimes forced, that we saw in the 90´s have helped, that people realized that many Homosexuals lived among them, were their neighbours, their colleagues, their friends, and that Homosexuals are respectable people. We need the same thing to happen for Polyamory.
I think, appearances like this one of Justus Rumpf and Erika Hohndorf will contribute to a recognition of Polyamory. I am opposed to forced outings, but I encourage each and everyone, who lives polyamorous and believes that coming out will not be harmful to his job and his social environment, to openly confess to living Polyamory.
Those who understand german may want to watch the recording in the ZDF – media library
Notice: This article is translated – and some contents might have been added or left out to better meet the needs of an international audience – from an original article on one of my german websites Viktor-Leberecht.de or Polygamie-ist-gut-fuer-sie.de (engl:Polygamy is good for you). How i do my translations. Last updated: July 20, 2012 at 17:49 pm © Viktor Leberecht All rights reserved. Please feel free to share my content, but on republishing this post please provide a link to the original post, which happens automatically when you use Social-Sharing-Services. What do you think? Leave a comment here or send me a question through the contact form or the FAQ. You may also use your Facebook or your Twitter account for commenting (Twitter and Facebook login is above the comment field. The plugin that is used for this will ask for permission to access your respective account, but only in relation to your comment here.). All comments will be moderated due to legal regulations and to avoid Spam.Markus Lanz, Polyamory, ZDF