Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Considerations When it Comes to Polyamory

At Not an Odalisque, the blogger was inspired by a question from a “married vanilla friend” to write slighly tongue-in-cheek The Perils of Polyamory. The blogger's lover, who visits, is married.

If you’re in a socially acceptable relationship, with someone of the requisite age, race and gender, it is easy to get inadvertently caught up in a romantic narrative leading to cohabitation, marriage and Labradors. Even when I’ve been explicit about not wanting that, previous partners have convinced themselves that we’re heading that way. I like being free of all those expectations, and one way to achieve that is dating someone who’s your father’s age, whose parents call you rude names in a language you don’t understand, you or who is already married. It’s rather liberating. No one’s granny has ever said, “So, I hear you’ve seduced Deirdre’s husband, do I hear wedding bells?”

This is someone who doesn’t want to be married, and that’s fine. Everyone should be free to not marry just as they should have the freedom to marry.

Among the “Perils of Poly,” according to the author, are…


It reaches its peak in couples who like to take long, isolated walks together and eventually buy matching boots and raincoats. It’s not pretty.

Imagine how much worse it is in a poly family. He chooses you for the things he likes. He chooses someone else for things he likes, too, some of which are the same. And she chooses someone, who shares some shiny qualities with him and is chosen for her shiny qualities some of which may correspond with yours, and on it goes.

Interesting perspective. Some people see polyamory as a chance to have diversity. Among monogmists, homogenization still happens in the form of couples becoming friends with couples like them.


And the more people who are in your extended poly network, the more birthdays, hospital appointments, great-aunt’s anniversaries and dirty weekends need to be recognised in your schedule.

Yes, polyamory can mean being busy, but for some that is a plus; there is always something to do, and often someone with whom to do it.

When does two people going somewhere together become a date, and therefore a bad time for another partner to drop by? When does, “I’m staying in and watching telly tonight,” mean, “I’m relaxing with my wife”? Many evenings I’ve held off calling because I think they’re together, later to discover they were miles apart, and many times we’ve chatted for half an hour before he’s admitted he’s abandoned her to watch TV alone.

This is also an issue that can come up with platonic friendships.

…Explaining Yourself…

With acquaintances, the only way of being honest is by telling them details of your personal life that go beyond the scope of what they want to know, but to be evasive implies that you’re somehow ashamed.

This will become less of an issue as there becomes more awareness of polyamory. Fewer and fewer people are confused when a man refers to his husband; fewer and fewer people will be confused when a woman refers to her husbands, or her lovers, or her husband and her lover, etc.

I’m not a “polyamory rights” blogger.. I am a blogger for sexual, relationship, residence, and marriage rights for consenting adults, meaning each relationship should be up to those who are, or would be, participating. That includes polyamory, but it also includes monogamy and other forms of nonmonogamy other than polyamory. It includes interracial relationships and consanguinamorous relationships. It includes heterosexual relationships and gay and lesbian relationships. Every relationship is going to have its own challenges, but we should not make more challenges by forcing every person in a diverse population into a tiny, one-size-is-supposed-to-fit-all box.
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