Saturday, October 2, 2010

Be Clear About Polyamory

I’m not sure what to make of this sex column edition on polyamory, written by Chance Petek. It seems cautiously supportive, but it carries a title “There’s No ‘I’ in Threesome.” While some polycules involve strictly, primarily, or occasionally sexual threesomes, not all polycules involve threesomes in the sense most people use the word. Two of the people involved may never have sex with each other, but they both have sex with the third person. Or, they do have sex with each other but not while they are having sex with the third person, with whom they both have sex at different times. And yes, some involve all three having sex together. And this doesn’t even cover situations where there are four our more people involved (like mine), and neither does the term “threesome.”

So then the idea of polyamory to me is impacting as many lives as I can with my own in a positive light. Between a girl and me, energy can turn sexual or it may not. Polyamory is not a sexual idea. It's an overall relationship idea. The more opportunities you give yourself to be happy with someone, the better your success rate will be.

As for multiple partners at the same time, that is a dangerous walk. In our society, someone practicing polyamory is doing it in secret. We call them "cheaters" and there is a sweet show about them and how low-lifey they are.

Cheating is not polyamory. Polyamory is open and consensual.

However, jealousy can easily rear its ugly head.

Polyamory isn’t for everyone. We do not want to deny anyone their right to monogamy, or celibacy for that matter.
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  1. I hope this is not too off topic. It is my opinion that in some (not all) religious settings, polyamory is sometimes forced or at least cohereced. In fact, I have personally witnessed this. This forced situation, where one or more of those involved do not have a say in whether another addition is made to the family, is damaging to marriage equality. It may be rather bold of me to say this, but I believe that if another person is added to the family, no matter what the family dynamics are, then it should be done by the consent of all those involved. It should not be done in secret. If it is done in secret, then it is cheating. It is definitely not marriage equality.

  2. JR,

    Thanks for your comments. Keep them coming!

    I'm aware of the polygyny situations with dubious consent. Without truly free consent, I don't think it is a good thing. I couldn't agree more about the secrecy thing. All involved should be aware and consent. From a legal standpoint, I would make that mandatory. if someone doesn't want their marriage recognized legally, then they won't care. But if they do, then everyone involved would have to indicate their consent.

    The dynamics of some communities make consent dubious. Some people claim that women are free to leave these isolated, fortified communities whenever they want to. Even if we assume that is true (it would be very easy to make them disappear before they ever get off of the property), these women have been conditioned to think since birth that if they leave the community, they are leaving God and will be condemned; the outside world has been presented as scary and thoroughly evil. They will lose their family, their children, and everything they own. They may not have any marketable skills to be able to support themselves outside the community. So of course they "choose" to stay.

    It is my contention that marriage equality goes hand in hand with gender equality. Without gender equality, it is impossible to have true marriage equality.


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