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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Polyamory Around the Web: Desk Clearing

And now, some desk clearing. Here are some items of interest dealing with polyamory.

Deborah Anapol, Ph.D., author of Polyamory in the 21st Century, had another article at psychologytoday.com adapted from her book. It is "Group Marriage and the Future of the Family." She asks who will take care of the children. She says...
Neither two-career nor single-parent families offer children full-time, loving caretakers, and quality day care is both scarce and expensive. Nanny's are a luxury out of reach for most families making up the 99 percent. Even at its best, full-time institutional care (including public schooling) cannot provide the individual attention, intimacy, flexibility, and opportunity for solitude that children need to realize their potential. Serial monogamy presents children as well as parents with a stressfully discontinuous family life. Meanwhile, an entire generation is at risk, as divorce is increasingly common fact of life.
So what to do?
Group marriages can mean a higher standard of living while consuming fewer resources. Intimate partners are more likely than friends or neighbors to feel comfortable sharing housing, transportation, appliances, and other resources. Even if partners don't live communally, they frequently share meals, help each other with household repairs and projects, and vacation together. This kind of cooperation helps provide a higher quality of life while reducing individual consumption as well as keeping people too busy to over-consume. Multiple partners also help in the renewal of our devastated human ecology by creating a sense of bonded community. Group marriage may help provide siblings for children who would otherwise be lonely, only children. It can offer childless couples a low tech solution to the ever more common challenges of infertility. Multiple adult families can soften the ticking of the biological clock by providing older women the opportunity to raise and mother children conceived by a younger sister-wife. At the same time, polyamory helps overcome the apparent design flaw which mismatches ideal age range for pregnancy (20's) with ideal maturity and energy level for parenting (40's). As indigenous peoples know, it takes a village to raise a child!
Something to think about. Much more...



Tanner John Evans blames dancing for a newfound confidence to "ask girls out."
Though I greatly enjoyed my time with all of these girls, for the most part, I found myself not wanting to date them. Now this was very troubling; I hate to lead someone on, just to dash their hopes on the ground out of some flimsy excuse. But all I could come up for most of them was the vague impression that they just didn’t attract me in some way or another; I simply didn’t feel that way. Ever the analyst, this didn’t sit right with me.
So he did some research, and lists four main types of intimacy.
For the purpose of this scale, I defined intimacy as having a comfort with another person in that particular area. Lovers have a sexual intimacy, while coworkers have an experiential intimacy.
Physical Intimacy – By far the easiest to isolate from the others, (I shall refrain from making force theory unification jokes, beyond this one) I decided to include under this label everything from an appreciation for a person’s aesthetic, to being powerfully drawn to jump a person’s bones and then procreate with each individual one, to outright disgust at their very impression upon your visual cortex. For the purposes of understanding how intimate you are or are willing to be with a person, these all fall within the realms of physical intimacy.
Experiential Intimacy – Not so easy, but not so difficult, I kept running across the idea that doing things together, sans actually talking, was a very prominent and important sort of intimacy. I couldn’t reconcile this idea with anything else, and it encompasses a broad range of closenesses, so I let it stand as it is. My friends and I have what we call the Social Antisocial Game–we can take enjoyment from all being in the same room, doing separate and unconnected things, without communicating with each other. This label ranges from enjoying reading side-by-side, to managing to enjoy yourselves weaving around eachother while cooking in a teensy kitchen, to not being able to concentrate on the video game you’re playing if a person so much as slips a toe into a room.
Emotional Intimacy – This one was pretty hard. The idea of being emotionally comfortable with someone is a pretty complex one. I had to ask, is it composed of a bunch of other intimacies, or is it one of itself? I eventually referred back to my own experiences; in some situations, despite a lack of comfort in all other areas, a person could spur me to share my feelings. I may not think they give much thought to anything besides their hair, and their bodies may repel me, and working side-by-side may be awkward, but there are some cases where I felt emotionally intimate with a person, as separate from all else. So it gets a coveted spot. Emotional intimacy includes everything from being willing to share your feelings if someone asks, to freely speaking your mind at every opportunity with absolutely no fear, to having your emotions harder to get to than Mars forty years ago.
Intellectual Intimacy – This is the category that gave me so much trouble for so long. Romance was on my mind for much of the research process, and any way I sliced it, I wanted to give a proper hail to it. I eventually had to admit that I couldn’t reduce romance purely to any one category, whereas I had wanted to place it into intellectual for so long, I suspect because intellectual connection is so important for me. So here’s intellectual intimacy; a comfort with sharing ideas and viewpoints with someone, trading repartee, and throwing out sarcastic witticisms. This includes everything from being open to a political discussion, to staying up until three in the morning talking on the phone when you have work at six, to giving people the stare of death if they so much as begin to think about opening their mouths.
Go read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, someone else is adopting "a whole new strategy when it comes to dating." 
So, in a nutshell…while I’m not going to rearrange my life in order to accommodate invites from new people, I will be a LOT more flexible than I have been.
In my writing and self-exploration lately, I’ve learned that I have a lot of rules for myself. I very rarely put rules and expectations on others, but I have a shit-ton of them for myself. Why is that? Why am I fencing myself in? I suspect that it’s because I’m trying to control myself, the way I’ve always been told I’m supposed to do.
Eff that, I say. Part of this learning curve is going to be to learn how to treat myself with the same non-judgement and empathy that I reserve for others. I deserve the same care, and dadgummit, I’m gonna start giving it to myself.

Sodahead.com had a discussion about polygamy
 
Blackrose3033 sounds like an ally...

Not for me. I don't like sharing, but I'm not against it and I don't think less of people who do it. That's their choice and if they're happy, then wonderful.

Steve is "a cisgendered, heterosexual, polyamorous kinky man in his early 20s." He wrote on the principles of polyamory

Polyamory in particular (as opposed to nonmonogamy in general) is pretty hard to define precisely. There’s a fair amount of debate over whether swinging is a form of polyamory, for example, or whether polygynous/polyandrous relationships are. I’m not going to f--- around with deciding where to draw lines, frankly. For my purposes, any situation, relationship, or person that is nonmonogamous in an ethical and respectful way is polyamorous. The easiest way to define “ethical and respectful” is that everyone involved has full knowledge and has given consent freely. 
So why would someone want to be polyamorous? Well, generally speaking, out of an interest in sharing intimacy, romance, and/or sex with more than one person at a time. It really is that simple – and from highly unscientific anecdotal evidence, it seems like most people are interested in that. The catch, of course, is that in Western society, there are very few people who think they’d be okay with their significant other having that – due mainly to jealousy.

Joe at canadianatheist.com notes the coming crackdown on polygamy in Canada. This drew some comments.

James...

The concept of polygamy (and polyandry) in itself does no harm, it’s just that it’s been tainted with such a stigma over the years that the only ones that practice it are deviants and fringe groups.
It’s funny, the practice of admitting you want to marry more than one woman and starting a relationship with them is outlawed, being married to one woman and starting a hidden relationship with another isn’t.
Prosecuting people who treat women like commodities through polygamy by banning polygamy is really only treating a symptom. Saying “polygamy harms women and children” is shifting the blame from perpetrators to some abstract concept and generalizes the issue. Individuals carry out harm on individuals, not “the practice of” anything.

MrPopularSentiment...

If there’s a problem with abuse in polygamous marriages, let’s make spouse abuse illegal.
If there’s a problem with people marrying kids under the age of consent, let’s make marrying kids illegal. If there’s a problem with girls being forced into marriage, let’s make lack of consent illegal.
Oh wait, all those things are already covered. What does banning polygamy add, exactly?

Good points.
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