>To be clear, I wasn't criticizing the plural relationships in SoS;
>they all seem (to me) like "what the characters would do".
Didn't think you were; to be honest, probably wouldn't have cared if you had. :)
>that the Juri/Miki/Kaitlyn thing kinda came out of left field for me,
>but I haven't seen most of RGU so I don't have a solid sense of Juri
>in particular. It didn't seem out of character, just
>unexpected, if that makes sense?)
Well, it was unexpected to them, too, but there is actually a semi-canonical basis for it. There are several illustrations in the official RGU artworks showing Juri being uncharacteristically affectionate with Miki, including at least one where she's outright vamping him and he's sort of going "... help? I think?" It was that one that more or less inspired the schnapps scene. :)
>In real life I suspect the prevalence of long chains is tied to the
>lack of general social acceptance for polyfidelity, which pushes the
>people who are into that sort of thing into a subculture.
True, and... well, I'm not sure if it's not something people in UF's 25th century have to deal with as much, or if it's just not something the central Symphony characters give much of a damn about. Probably some ratio of both. We're much more likely to see non-closed structures (as it were) because of a lack of fully mutual inclination, and possibly because of circumstances that militate against fully meshed lifepaths, than because of social anxieties.
Come to think of it, there is an example of that sort of thing in the later Symphonies: Liza Shustal's male and female lovers, while friendly, have no particular interest in each other, and don't live anywhere near each other, so Liza's generally going to be either with one of them or the other, rarely both at once (and never intimately).
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