Friday, April 17, 2015

Polyamory Isn't All About Sex

Because of recently increased interest in polyamory, I am bumping this entry up.

Robyn Trask, writing about being poly, asks, “What’s Sex Got To Do With It?”

American culture is challenged when it comes to sex and this generates much confusion. Sex is an important part of many romantic relationships but it is not the end all and be all. Sex has been equated with romantic love for centuries and, in more recent years, with monogamous marriage and commitment. Sex, love, romance and intimacy are not all the same thing and you can have one without the other.

Polyamory is more about romance and love than sex. The non-poly world just does not seem to get it; it’s not about the sex. Yes, poly relationships include sex but just like monogamous ones people are there for love, romance, intimacy and numerous other reasons. Sex is often an important component but it is not by any means the focus and sometimes it isn’t even there.

Those who don’t understand this will be mistaken about polyamory.

We would never tolerate our personal choices in work or where we live to be dictated by the neighbors or the government and yet, as a culture, we seek to control who a person loves, how they love, what sexual activities are accepted and even how many they can love. Why, one may ask, because of SEX. Gay marriage, gay relationships, bisexual relating, polyamorous relating all include sex and sex scares most people.

It is way past time to move beyond fear and towards equality.

We know people are able to love many people. Sex is one component of a vast array of ways in which people connect. Why is it so hard to make the leap that people who love someone deeply, are committed to that connection and have a sexual relationship could also love another person as well and in the same way. Human beings do it all the time, they have an affair, they go from one relationship to another, often overlapping, and they often still have strong feelings for past lovers.

I do think cheating, divorce, and family tensions would be greatly reduced if people were honest with themselves, honest with each other, and allowed to have the relationships that are best for them. When a spouse is getting everything they need from their spouse "but...," and they can find that "but" somewhere else by also providing something in return, doesn't everybody win? And lovers have an incentive to stop fighting and make up. When people avoid being lovers because of prejudice or unjust laws, the strife is increased and they have less incentive to end the strife.
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