The polyamourous relationships in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is actually, in my opinion, is one of the positive aspects.

In the interest of preserving certain heterosexist ideas about coupling, polyamorous relationships (not necessarily polygamy) are often presented in the light of being impossible or merely for the benefit and gratification of one or more persons in particular, in this case, the male(s) involved.

As each man for the most part is willing to make Anita the center of his romantic attentions, I don’t see anything wrong with Anita’s situation. As a matter of fact, I think there’s something beautiful in the way Anita and her lovers love each other for the most part. What I find I have a problem with though is the ones who pop in and out like Jason although he’s clearly labeled ‘friend’ for a reason and serves his purpose I suppose; furthermore, I deplore Anita’s treatment of characters like Requiem (and her homophobia). People often say you can’t love more than one person at a time and I would  disagree that only one person can exist in our hearts at a time. I must admit my bias though: images of a woman in a polyamorous relationship sit better with me than a man surrounded by women (especially with a ton of kids in the background).

It always kind of irritates me how many people expect all intimate relationships to mirror heterosexual relationships in nature and presentation because that’s all they know and its what’s comfortable, safe, and acceptable in their little worlds. The media loves to show us the examples of polyamourous relationships that don’t work out or are corrupt in some harmful way. What I think is that the most loving and “functioning” polyamorous relationships are the best kept secrets of the world. I think polyamorous relationships, when they are expressed as true demonstrations of love and devotion, exercise and challenge people’s views of they connect to each other intimately. It really is something inspiring to behold when three or more people decide to test those waters and bond together in the interest of mutual love, attraction, and care.

As contentious as I am on the topic of this vampire hunter series, I commend Laurell K. Hamilton for taking a chance at portraying a polyamorous relationship involving her leading lady, Anita Blake.

ever more sincere,

MsQ

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3 thoughts on “Polyamory in Anita Blake–*thumbs up*

  1. I must say, Anita’s “polyamory” annoys the hell out of me. It is not polyamory, it is a harem, and it is everything that makes real polyamory look bad. Anita is the only one benefiting from it. She gets to have all the sex and never has to apologize for it because of the ardeur (although in some cases just because she wants to). Meanwhile, all of her men must be tied to her and only her, and she doesn’t have to meet them halfway with her needs for fear of losing her precious morals. I’m mainly referring to how she balked when Nathaniel politely asked for more BDSM in the bedroom – not even anything too extravagant, just being tied up every so often. When she didn’t like that, he made the perfectly reasonable suggestion of getting that from another person. Since, you know Anita’s sleeping with like 10 men daily, so it should be fine, right? Nope. Upon that, Anita considers breaking up with him. What the fuck.

    It’s incredibly one-sided, and let’s not forget her endless counts of homophobia. In Anita’s mind, it’s pretty to look at it, but she can’t bear the thought of her men sleeping with other men unless she’s there between them. Even though she has bisexual men in her bed. Jean Claude and Asher have centuries of history before Anita came to JC’s world, but Anita can’t stand the idea of them getting it on without her, or even with her. Their threesomes always include her between them, hardly any interaction between the two men. We know Asher is truly in love with JC, and vice versa, but they hold it back for Anita’s scruples. That’s pretty messed up to me. So I was jumping for joy when Asher called her out on it the first few times and seriously rattled Anita’s selfish ways. I hoped it would change her, make her a better partner and maybe turn her harem into true polyamory. No such luck. Nothing changed, but LKH instead wrote Asher into a stereotypically whiny gay man so Anita would look again look like the right in this.

    Oh, and I find it cute that JC was more obviously bisexual in the earlier books. After he converted to Anita-ism after they slept together, the book started to make it out like he always vastly preferred women and that Asher and a few other men were just occasional exceptions. Anyway, I digress. All of Anita’s “flaws” are misattributed to her being a badass, makes her better accepted around men, or just to add angst to her past – and just overall make everyone love her more. Every time Anita does/says something that would get her slapped in the real world, everyone shrugs and they’re like “Aw, that’s our Anita!” What annoys me most of all is that LKH even admits that Anita is a selfish bitch about her men in the text, and this could be developed into an awesome character flaw. Instead, it is never explored as to why Anita is like this, because it’s LKH’s way of trying to make Anita look more “cool,” but instead makes the reader think she’s just a bitch.

    Anyway, that turned out to be a lot longer than intended. That ex-fan rage.

    1. As an ex-fan myself, I’m glad to see every word of what you have to say. I agree. This series is a dozen-book ++ long waste of my time. I could’ve been spending money on other books or investing in my own.

      YES, she wasted Asher’s character and his relationship with Jean-Claude. Yes, one of the reasons I started reading is because Jean-Claude was bi and I loved it, and LKH screwed that up too. I was ecstatic when Nathaniel made his needs known and she wasted that too. The last time I was excited is when we find find out that Nathaniel performs oral sex on Micah while the three of them are together and maybe when Anita, Asher, JC, and Richard were in bed together (and I despise Richard, so that’s saying something). I haven’t read any of her books since and the only reason I read that one is because my mom would rather buy that for me as a birthday gift than a book on Black feminism. By the way LKH work is wayayyy racist to People of Color, which is also why I quit her shit.
      \
      I wrote this post when I thought the seeds of great polyamory were going somewhere, obviously.

      I no longer consume or bother with Laurell K. Hamilton’s work, except to read a few of my favorite scenes in the only book I have which is Incubus Dreams (almost all the books I own are in storage in another state).

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