HBO as Gospel, or HBO vs. Gospel?
Viagra and polyamorous red herrings
I'm sure polyamorists are right that lots of people "find joy in having close relationships... with multiple partners." The average guy would love to bang his neighbor's wife. He just doesn't want his wife banging his neighbor. Fidelity isn't natural, but jealousy is. Hence the one-spouse rule. One isn't the number of people you want to sleep with. It's the number of people you want your spouse to sleep with.
We've been this way for a long time. Look at the Ten Commandments. One: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Two: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." Three: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." In case the message isn't clear enough, the list proceeds to "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and "shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife."
In case you haven't seen the show that's got Kersten et. al. all a-twitter, let me just add one thing: The husband at the center of "Big Love" is something of a hapless character who resorts to more Viagra than any cardiologist would endorse and who spends a lot of time sorting out fights about money, cars, and schedules. His extended family also makes frequent, painful treks back to the hills to visit the much more exploitative polygamist clan from whence they split. It's hardly an endorsement of "the lifestyle."