Wealthy real-estate agent Michel Madie throws sex parties and dresses them up as the latest thing; polyamorous explorations of what he calls “open sexuality” with a bit of eastern mysticism tossed in.
In December Madie “married” his boyfriend Rasmus Foyer, thirty years his junior, while wearing a ram’s horns and a loin cloth. Guests dressed as animals cheered them on. The ceremony was performed by a “Rabbi” under the traditional chuppah decorated with African masks, feathers and dream catchers, though the 24-hour bacchanal was anything but traditional. After all, it was largely an excuse for a come-one come-all orgy.
Those of a certain age will recall similar parties thrown in the ’80s at places like Plato’s Retreat and other sex clubs that sprung up in New York and then around the country.
Madie met Foyer on the dance-floor at the Burning Man festival. Neither had yet considered a homosexual relationship, both had either been married before or were in relationships with women, they nonetheless fell into something like infatuation and ended up dancing all night. They lost track of each other but, in the breathless words of a feature at a website called Narrative, found each other after months of yearning, or something like that.
In the hallway of Michel’s home in Nice, with his mother sleeping a few doors away, Rasmus reached out and kissed Michel for the first time. This began the long and sometimes-uncomfortable process of admitting that they were each in love with a soul who happened to reside in another man’s body. For Rasmus this included, “Shedding the whole social construct of relationships and identity and attachment to putting myself in a box, and letting myself being completely fluid.
Narrative explains, “For several years Michel has been a practitioner of what he calls ‘open sexuality,’ the expression of conscious love and touch with multiple partners. Rasmus, living in Montreal at the time, was just opening to the idea of love without boundaries.”
Rasmus says Madie is a “Tantra”, what is described as “a set of teachings and practices that are designed to help us feel more to increase our awareness of our own energy and the energy around us. The path that Tantra uses to these ends is the exploration of sexual energy. The goal of Tantric sex is to allow us to experience more depth and breadth in our sexuality. The goal is not necessarily orgasm, but rather enriching the whole sexual experience.”
The couple estimated they were “lovers” with 20 percent of the guests at the wedding party that night, held in Madie’s Harlem property, a former Church.
Besides shooting the wedding, Narrative sent a photographer to followed the couple as they made their way around New York City visiting “couples who have a similar interest.” According to Wikipedia, polyamory is “the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships involving more than two people, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It has been described as ‘consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.’”
During the gay marriage debate defenders of man-woman marriage often invoked the slippery slope that gay marriage introduced, that sooner or later something polyamory would be regularized or celebrated. They were always mocked by their interlocutors and by television interviewers that such a thing would never happen, that such a charge was no more than bigotry. Now in glossy photos and breathless prose, polyamory is now celebrated, just as they predicted.
When polyamorous marriage is made legal by the Supreme Court, it is not hard to imagine that Michel and Rasmus will find a bunch of others to “marry.”