Life according to Savage Garden

by Zayna Ratty 

Back at the turn of the century when I was in my 20’s I heard a song called ‘Affirmation’ by the award winning Australian duo Savage Garden. 

Its lyrics are still as relevant today as they were in 1999 when it was recorded and its a olde school song that I still choose to listen to, I grew up being a dancer so my musical tastes are pretty eclectic and my library spans Motown to Nicki Minaj via Nirvana and Tenacious D. 

Music can be one of the greatest ways to connect with emotion, to challenge our adaptive selves to be more authentic and explore deep within our subconscious. 

Within the lyrics to affirmation Savage Garden state that they believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality, that trust is more important than monogamy and that your most attractive features are your heart and soul. 

All of these and many more examples from the lyrics speak to me and resonate with how I conduct myself as both a therapist and as a human being. 

I am always weary of CNM evangelists, whatever works for you may not work for others and those who practice polyamory/CNM are no more evolved a species as anyone else. There is still discrimination, objectivisation and elitism just as there is within any community. 

As was so beautifully put by Darren Hayes (who, yep, is a pretty fine looking human), trust is more important than monogamy, do you trust others to be respectful of your heart and soul, do you trust yourself to know you will be self compassionate. 

Another line is about fast food tasting good because its bad for you, and the same can be true of CNM relationships. Walking away can be simultaneously the worst and best thing you could ever do for yourself and for everyone else. It’s not about collecting partners; every person should their own agency and continuously renegotiated consensual agreement of any situation. 

There are types of congruent relationships available to everyone of friendship, family, romantic, professional, but most importantly the one you have with yourself. How can we truly foster the four types of intimacy of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical across all of those domains if it doesn’t start with you?

Like any attraction you have to someone, can you tell the difference, can you really ‘feel all the feels’ and acknowledge the variety, the levelled multiplicity between attraction types?

Whether its romantic, sexual, physical, emotional or aesthetic attraction, growing up many aren’t schooled in this thought that attraction is different and there’s more than one type. 

Maybe CNM could force your hand to consider intimacy types, attraction categories and relationship genres, but then it might not.

Its not just the information existing in the universe, its what we choose to do with it, if anything at all. 

Over the coming months I will begin to unpack all the terms I have outlined above, whatever relationship you have, whomever you have it with, knowledge is always a power that you can decide what you do with it. 

Just like Darren, I do believe the grass is no more greener on the other side, it’s still all grass and needs care and attention.

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