Louisa Leontiades covers something at huffingtonpost.co.uk that is unavoidable in ethical nonmonogamy circles, and more specifically, in polyamorous circles: differences in relationship structures and guidelines, and how that divides some. Leontiades is founder of MultipleMatch.com, where this piece was previously published.
Those who feel the inclination to love many, have to learn by doing, and are often shunned and shamed whilst doing so, making the pursuit of their relationships a thousand times harder. Indeed the fact that the polyamorous community is growing at all in the face of constant opposition, is a true testament to the power of love... and marginalization. The power that the world gives polyamorists by vilification turns it into a cause, spawning Poly-pride, support groups like PolyLiving and not for profit organizations like Loving More.Polyamory has definitely been coming out of the closet, but with that come some issues.
Unfortunately despite all the good intentions, a minority's struggle for acceptance will always create a 'prisoners' dilemma' and this one is no different. In the non-monogamous community certain relationship configurations are more likely to be accepted if they align themselves to already existing precepts and/or paradigms. For example as the idealised Male-Female-Female triad slowly becomes more acceptable to the general public, it's no coincidence that it's also the most popular choice for many newly out-of the closet polyamorists; simply because it is the most familiar, comfortable and least controversial. To the outside world that is. Because poly-activists argue that this configuration still perpetuates male privilege (a bisexual female who gets it on with another girl, is no threat to the male ego - aka. One-Penis-Policy). Such a paradigm which is perceived to perpetuate the very patriarchy and notion of possession that polyamory tries to counteract in the first place, is one of the biggest hot potatoes.I support each person finding what is best for them. For some people, that may be living alone, even being celibate (as difficult as that is for someone like me to think of as enjoyable). For others, it will be a closed, monogamous relationship, living together or not. For others, some form of ethical nonmonogamy is best. If someone, regardless of their gender, truly prefers a closed polygynous relationship, and they've found the people who make a good match, good for them. I say the same for someone who needs or prefers an equal number of men and women in their polycule, or someone who prefers polygyny, someone who needs a same-gender polycule, and all of the other possibilities (cosleeping, fluid bonding, public dates, meeting family, ceremonial bonding, etc.) Just because something isn't for me doesn't mean it isn't for someone else.
Likewise, some proponents of polyamory like to distance themselves from promiscuity and/or swinging which are heavily frowned upon by mainstreamers - even if many polyamorists discover their inclination by through such sexual liberation in the first place. Promiscuity is harshly condemned (at least when it concerns women) and swinging is premeditated promiscuity. It is - gasp - sex for fun. Moral judgements and definitions divide the non-monogamous community because the harsh rejection by the world of the community as a whole, creates a desperate need in many to achieve acceptance at any cost.
Again, let people decide for themselves.
Ethical non-monogamy by definition can include many different preferences, none more valid than the other. Of course it's worth listening to those who condemn (questioning values is what polyamorists are good at)... But know and trust that everyone's journey is different, including yours. Because when such a community is already small and despised by the outside world, it is doubly important to stick together.Yes! YES! I've long called for solidarity on this blog. It is important when it comes to Interracial-LGBT-Poly-Consanguinamory cooperation and it is important when it comes to cooperation within ethical nonmonomist communities, too. There are many colors in a rainbow and many waves in a ocean. Ever notice, when looking in-person or at an image of a natural panorama, there are many different things that comprise the beautiful whole?