Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat writes about polyamory at iol.co.za...
Before I met Mark, Kate and Alice at a Joburg restaurant, I learnt that they are considered the “poster children” of polyamory in South Africa. That is why, says Mark, they try to present a positive image to their community, despite some people’s disapproval of their unconventional bond.There is a wide variety of polyamorous people. We come from all backgrounds. We are in every geographic region, every socioeconomic status, in just about every political or religious organization of any size. Some of us are are in open or partially open polycules, some of us are in closed polyfidelitous polycules, some of us aren't in a polycule at all right now. Some of the polycules are "Vs," some of them are triangles, some are quads, etc. Different polycules have different guidelines. Some of us are outspokenly out, some of us are quietly out, some of us are partially out, some of us are in the closet. Some of us live together, some of us don't. Some of us sleep in the same bed, some of us don't. Some of us only ever have one-on-one sex, some of us usually have sex that involves three or more lovers. Some of us are quite "vanilla" in or lovemaking (other than being in a polycule) and some of us are into BDSM or something else. Some of us want to have a recognized polyamorous marriage, some of us don't want to get married at all.
What I'm trying to say is that the only thing that all poly people have in common is that they are oriented towards, prefer, or are in relationships in which at least one person in the relationship seeks or has sex with or romantically or erotically loves more than one person, with the agreement of all involved.
The three have nothing against monogamy – they all started out that way. But Kate says she was “never very good” at committing to her partners.
Did she put it that way? Because many poly people are good at committing... so good, in fact, that they commit to more than one person.
Falling in love with Mark and accepting his deep feelings for Kate was hard and nerve-racking in the beginning, says Alice, who had always believed in monogamy.
“I was in two minds about being with two people, but willing to try anything… It took me a long time to be comfortable.”
She’s not resentful of Mark’s time with Kate. “I have my moments of insecurity, but we even ourselves out and get past it,” adds Alice.
“I do see myself spending the rest of my life with them.”
They should be free to have that, without bullying or discrimination.
This accompanied the article...
Isn’t it just swinging with a fancier name?
Polyamory isn’t swinging, says sex educator Avri Spilka.
Swingers engage in purely sexual activities with other partners for reasons that include adding variety to their sex lives.
“I see an unwritten rule in swinging,” says Spilka. “You don’t fall in love. It’s physical, even affectionate, but it’s not seen as emotional.
“And that’s the difference with polyamory – it has an emotional aspect. Swinging is more sensory,” says Spilka, who herself is in a polyamorous relationship.
Polyamory has come out. There's no going back.