Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Case for Polyamory

Scott Alden’s article has an ambitious title: “The Case of Polymory.” The subject could fill a book, of course, but let’s consider his article anyway.

Many singles are actively on the hunt for an exclusive, long term relationship (LTR, for those of you who hate actual words). There are also those among the ranks of the unattached who would prefer to remain so. They are comfortable dating multiple people at one time. Fed up with having only two options -- attached or alone -- they are exploring the possibilities of what lies between.

Poly people who are in relationships are attached. They may not be intentionally monogamously exclusive, but they are attached. The question is, are they open to an additional attachment, for either one of them or both of them?

There are also those who have found a way to enjoy the best of both options -- a long term, loving relationship and multiple partners. They often refer to themselves as “polyamorous” or “poly,” and there are currently about 500,000 reported relationships of this type in the US alone.

That’s the number of reported relationships. There are many more that keep quiet, and there are poly people who aren’t in relationships right now. And there are some people who are poly who just haven’t come to that clarity yet.

I became curious about how people in successful polyamorous relationships do it. So I spoke with Molly, a 22-year-old in a long-distance open relationship and Sarah, a 41-year-old who is raising a 6-year-old daughter with her primary partner. As it turns out, poly relationships are about as complicated as your average monogamous one.

Here are the questions asked:

How do people end up in polyamorous relationships?
Are polyamorous relationships more difficult than monogamous ones?
How do you manage multiple partners -- emotionally and logistically?
Do you tell your partner about all of your other partners?
Do you face a lot of judgement about your choice?

Polyamory continues to gain visibility, which is definitely a good thing.

The case for the polyamorous freedom of association and polygamous right to marry is a different thing from making the case for entering into a polyamorous relationship. The former is that consenting adults should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. The latter has to do with your own personality, needs, goals, and so forth.
— — —


  1. The only thing that bugged me was the ridiculous "related" links in the middle of the article - most of which were blatantly hetero-normative and sexist.

  2. Thanks for making that note. I tend ignore all that stuff as background noise but readers should be warned.


To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.