In LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS Louis travels to Portland (Oregon), the heart of a movement seeking to rewrite the rulebook on how we conduct intimate relationships and experience family life.
Portland, whose city motto is ‘Keep Portland Weird’, is seen as the US capital of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy, the practice of openly and transparently having multiple relationships that go no further than just sex.
Love Without Limits, the first episode of Louis Theroux’s new series Altered States is a documentary that forces you to say goodbye to any of your preconceptions about polyamory. Throughout the hour-long episode, we hear various answers to the question which underpins the episode: “why would anyone be poly?”
Some of Louis’ willing interviewees propose that polyamorous relationships allow for a sexual gratification which their monogamous relationships did not provide. Others seem to endorse polyamory because it is a type of relationship which permits freedom and fluidity while having trust and ‘compersion’ at its core. Most interestingly, though, was Gretchen whom explained with conviction to an inquisitive Louis that her primary reason for endorsing polyamory is that she does not believe that she should not be the onus for one person’s happiness.
Such a responsibility, she claims, is too much for anyone. Upon hearing Gretchen’s motivations for endorsing polyamory, I found that my opinion on polyamory had shifted. Indeed, a type of relationship which I once thought to be driven by perpetually unsatisfied sex-hungry men now seemed to me to be an empowering form of love, satisfying men and women alike.
This change in thought, however, would not have happened had it not been for Louis’ characteristic ability to gain the trust of everyone and anyone that he meets.
As ever with Louis, the documentary was not only thought provoking but incredibly entertaining. When at a poly feeding party, Louis first observed the half-naked party-goers feeding each other some rather suspicious looking food.
At first, he watched this act with visible concern and moderate disgust but it was not long until he himself, got involved which made for some wonderful Sunday television. Who doesn’t want to see one of Britain’s national treasured blindfolded and topless whilst being fed food and stroked by the people who ensure that Portland is ‘kept weird’?
Love Without Limits, then, is a documentary that is both informative and humorous and a great port-of-call for anyone seeking to gain an honest insight into what it is like to be poly.
- Watched on BBC Two. 04/11/2018