Lost Girl and the Radical Notion of Not Choosing

 (note, I live in the U.S. and haven’t seen any episodes from Season 4 yet.)

 Lost Girl is a delicious and awful and hilarious show. If you can see past the build-me-up-to-let-me-down season arcs (seriously, what on earth was so challenging about The Dawning? Fighting the Garuda was less difficult than fighting his henchmen, and all it took to get rid of Aife was pushing her over a banister, which any human could do), and the sometimes uneven acting, the show is doing some inventive things with and for women. And at the end of the day, that’s what I care about most in my TV.

 When it comes to Lost Girl romance, there’s Team Lauren and Team Dyson and now Team Tamsin, but what’s revolutionary about the show is that its female protagonist has a biological imperative NOT to choose. In order to Thrive (thanks, Kaiser Permanente), Bo cannot sleep with one human alone. In fact, Dyson could barely keep up with her, and that was before she dawned and blood-bonded with her friends and learned to suck chi from an entire room. Dyson probably couldn’t give her all the sexual chi she needs now. So, biology prevents Bo from monogamy.

We can get into debates about whether people are inherently monogamous or whether we’ve become socially conditioned into coupledom. (Maybe now would be a good time to state unequivocally that I’m happily, monogamously, married and intend to stay that way.) But on some level, Lauren and Dyson (and Tamsin) know that if they are ever to have Bo, they will have to share her. The show creates a new model for love and sex and romance — one predicated on the notion that women have a lot of love and lust to give, and a lot of needs that might require multiple people and multiple kinds of loving/sexual relationships.

At the end of 3.10 (Delinquents), we see Lauren and Dyson in the Dal drinking shots and sharing their misery over losing Bo. Notably, Lauren admits that she had thought of Dyson as the enemy, but she has come to recognize that her enemy is in fact herself – which we can interpret as her jealousy and unwillingness to share. The scene invites the audience to imagine a scenario in which Bo might be with both of them (and perhaps others), and they might learn to curb their jealousy of each other and move forward with a new triangulated relationship to each other.

Apart from Big Love, non-monogamy is rarely depicted on screen, and I’m hard pressed to think of a show in which the non-monogamous character is a woman. After decades of cultural shaming directed at bisexuals for their threat of promiscuity, Lost Girl offers us a bisexual woman who biologically can’t chose, and avoids shaming her for this. Instead, it hints at an entirely different model of relationships, and enjoys exploring the options. Fans who insist on picking a team will inevitably be disappointed – unless they can learn to be on Team Polyamory and just enjoy the ride.

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