Sunday, December 11, 2011

Polyamory in Davis, California

Justin Cox discussed nonmonogamy in general and polyamory specifically with some Davis, California-area therapists who facilitate a group dealing with those issues.

Jezzie: College is a really normal time to be dating around. We often have a humorous moment saying, “Polyamory is what used to be called dating.”

It’s pretty normal to be dating multiple people at the same time. Polyamory just emphasizes a set of values around that.

Many of the people who look down on polyamory have friends and grown children who are not monogamous. Isn't it better to be honest and ethical about it?

What’s the distinction between openly dating and identifying as Polyamorous?

Adam: The core difference is the identity part. Of people who are in relationships, the overwhelming majority will be monogamous and they’re going to be fine with that. One step up from that are people who think it’s an interesting idea, but probably too much trouble. One step up from there are people who are in a mostly monogamous relationship, but they have a little arrangement of some sort.

Only the tip of that pyramid says: “This is my identity. This is who I am and it’s important for me to have a community around this.” If you’re a couple and you sometimes have a threesome, you might not really need to have a support group.

Right. Some people are inherently polyamorous. Others don't need to be polyamorous, but can be happily in a poly relationship.

Is the number of people who identify as Polyamorous growing?

Adam: I think, tremendously.

Jezzie: The divorce rate of this generation -- with so many kids growing up watching their parents get divorced -- has really contributed to a cultural shift around the idea that maybe 50 years of marriage isn’t the best option for everybody. This (current generation) is the generation after divorce went up.

Clearly, monogamy doesn't work or everyone. People should be free to be polyamorous and have a polygamous marriage.

Adam: There’s a huge relief in just hearing that other people are struggling with this. A lot of information out there says “Yay, yay, go Poly. Everyone can do this; everyone should do this. It’s healthier. It’s more evolved.”

A lot of the work I do as a therapist is with people who say, “Something’s terribly wrong with this,” and they need somebody to tell them that it’s totally normal (to struggle).

People need to know this an option, and there's nothing wrong with being poly.
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