While I think that society as a whole could benefit from further interrogating compulsory monogamy, I personally don’t think I could vibe with the poly lifestyle. The thought of sharing Google calendars with all my partners — which is apparently a crucial tool in many poly arrangements — makes my chest constrict. Attending to the emotional needs of multiple partners sounds exhausting. So imagine my confusion when, approximately one minute into Harry Styles’s risibly erotic new music video for “Watermelon Sugar,” I had the thought, Do I want to be poly?
The three-minute-long video, which is “dedicated to touching,” features a slew of horned-up 20-somethings in small bathing suits writhing against each other on a beach. It evokes a mostly tame, technicolor orgy — at least five people have “orgasms,” or at the very least make what we commonly refer to as an “O face.” Harry runs his finger down a sliced watermelon in a way that’s supposed to make you feel some kind of way. (It does.) One woman even appears to finish to completion by simply dry-humping a watermelon.
In hindsight, I realize the beach debauchery may have been more of a casual group-sex situation, but there was something about the presentation that screamed “polycule” to me. And, shockingly, it made me want to join in. I would enthusiastically enter a throuple with Harry and the woman with the purple eye shadow; I’d seductively eat multiple watermelon slices, which seem to be a crucial prop, even though I don’t particularly like the fruit; and I wouldn’t mind figuring out the logistics of the post-orgy clean-up with everyone else in the pod.
I’m obviously referring to a time far off in the future, though. Being touched by multiple people at the same time, after months of staying at least six feet apart from everyone I know? I’d surely suffer sensory overload.