The life of a 'sisterwife'

'We don't get very much actual sex'

The Guardian, UK/November 21, 2006

Maggi, who belongs to a Mississippi-based group of practising polygamists, wrote this account in an internet chatroom of her life as a "sisterwife" in one of the more extreme polygamist groups

We all live in the same house. We have a bunk-bed double on the bottom and single on the top. Husband, first wife and the "ON" wife sleep on the bottom and the other two "OFF" wives sleep above. We find this very intimate as we all are sleeping in the same bed though on different levels and we can still feel and hear what is happening when sex happens in our bed.

Relationships between us sisterwives are in the main quite good as our first wife Hanna is the main force in our household and will settle most of the disputes between the other wives herself without our husband being involved. There are jealousies - this is inevitable between any group of women living closely together. Our husband does his best to be fair to all of us but we all have our own opinion of what is fair, don't we.

Sex, now that is the big one. In our household we have one week (but only on six days we can have sex with him) sleeping with our husband and three weeks off. Our first wife has the Saturdays with our husband in addition to her week so she gets four extra days with him in each cycle. That's why she sleeps on the lower bunk every night with the "ON" wife. In reality we have sex in an average week about two to three times in the six days we can have sex with our husband. Though it's not totally satisfying (two or three times a month) for us we do find that having a week with our husband is the better method then the one-night method used by others.

Money, well we have four incomes in our household. Our husband Brian is an accountant, first wife Hanna is the deputy headteacher at the local elementary school, second wife Mary is a nurse, I'm the stay-at-home wife (I look after the children under school age and do the cleaning, washing and generally look after the house), that's my job, fourth wife Mary-Jane, she is a teacher at the same elementary school as Hanna. On Sunday and when the other wives come home they do the ironing, some of the cooking and the gardening.

All income from the wives goes into the same account and each wife gets the same allowance for their personal needs, the rest is saved for special events and needs for us wives. Husband's income pays for all the household bills as would be normal in any marriage and he has his allowance that comes from his account.

No, we don't have physical relationships between sisterwives because its not permitted in our religion. We sleep with our arms on top of our bed covers so it doesn't happen. And in any case if any wife was foolish enough to try all would feel it in our bed; a simple rule - no touching or kissing in bed or at any other time between one woman and another sisterwife and another.

As for sex, no we don't get very much actual sex, ie, our husband entering us, but he does work very hard and sometimes quite late so a wife cannot expect him to perform every night.

I love being in a polygamy family and my sisterwives agree with me. The downside is the sex, not the quality, I have no complaints about that, but just the quantity and we all know that it will get worse when the final two wives join in the next two to three years. Then it will be like two to three times in six weeks. As you go higher in the temple government the more wives you have to have and as our husband has been appointed as group treasurer and deputy convenor of our temple it means he now must have six wives. Us wives get no say in how many wives our husband has but we do have a big say in who joins us - as a sisterwife it's really the only power we have.

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