Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Explaining Polyamory

GypsyDiver has a helpful write-up about coming out as poly to someone you like, “Telling Someone You Like You're Polyamorous: The Do's and Don'ts.”

The intro can apply to other “prohibited” relationships as well…

It's always hard to tell someone about your non-monogamous relationship. People have very strong opinions on the issue, and you always run the risk of someone you never expected telling you it's wrong.

If the person you’re talking with reacts with condemnation or disgust, then you’ll need to switch from hoping for mutual interest or attraction to damage control. Appeal to their sense of fairness and assure them that you are a responsible person who has thought through this.

Or maybe you're afraid they'll stereotype you before you get a chance to explain.

Stereotypes persist. The only thing anyone can know about someone else’s relationship is…

...If it is same-sex, that the lovers are same-sex.

...If it is polyamorous, that at least three people are involved.

...If it consanguinamorous, that they are close relatives.

No other dynamic or trait should be assumed.

Here are some of the tips. Read them all here.

Do: Tell the person you're interested in early on. Try to drop it in casual conversation: "My husband and my girlfriend and I all saw that movie together, we really loved it." The earlier in the night you tell them about it, the longer you'll have to talk about it.

There is something to be said for simply being yourself, as in not hiding or avoiding something, rather than making some sort of formal announcement. Just about everyone, upon hearing something like the above, will note that something is “different,” provided they are getting the actual meaning of the world “girlfriend.” The person may get quiet as they process the information, or express confusion, or ask a question, which allows for reasonable discussion. It is much less likely the person will throw up their hands and call you sick.

Do: Answer any questions they might have! This is probably new to them, and even if it isn't, they might ask you questions about your relationship or partners. Questions are a good thing; at least they're not judging you.

Don't: Roll your eyes at questions you've probably heard a thousand times. No, it's not cheating; no, it's not polygamy; no, I don't sleep with animals. Just grin and bear it.

Being patient and gracious and gentle can do wonders not only for getting others to be understanding of your needs or relationship, but of polyamory in general and other relationships that are subject to discrimination.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.