Polyamory – a personal account

Polyamory - a personal account

Found this blog entry and immediately thought it was a pretty honest and balanced account of polyamory. It’s a personal story which shows how one can question monogamy early on, then move through some other non-monogamous practice such as swinging, right into polyamory later.

For those on their sexual and intimate life journey this can be a good support material. For those wanting to comprehend polyamory from outside, it’s a good primer.

“People don’t realize that it can take years to acclimate to polyamory. You can’t just wave a magic wand and de-program decades of social norms. Also, monogamy has one built-in rule: Don’t be intimate with other people. Polyamory is much more challenging, because you get to make your own rules, the list of which can be long and must be discussed often. Open and honest communication is the key to polyamory. That means pushing past the fear and saying things you are afraid to say. You have to replace the fear with love.”

‘I want a life of a million lovers’

'I want a life of a million lovers'

Here’s a lovely poetic plea to human connections, to love in all its forms, to being close without any demands, to polyamory in its widest sense of being able to love many. As I see it this is writing as an ode to the wondrous manifold manifestations of the human yearning to connect, to passionately discover each other beyond categories, to behold the other with tenderness and love. Thought it was wonderful, full of zest and levity.

Just a short quote, please go to the original for its full length version.

“I want a life of a million lovers.

I want to love you.

I want to love you if you are male or female, young or old, single or married…

When I see you we will embrace and hold a hug long enough to glimpse some insight from each other’s heartbeat.

When we walk down the street we shall link arms, pause frequently, and turn our toes and noses towards the other to speak directly without modesty.

I would like us to share the couch together, rather than creating a “do not cross” line where we may as well be sitting on brick blocks seated four feet away. Give me your knee, your foot, your thigh—let your body dangle on top of my body so I can know you the way litters of kittens know each other.

I want to show up to you and look into your eyes instead at your eyes. I want to feel your hand and be consumed by it until the rest of the world ceases to exist. I want to be in your presence and be in want of nothing.

I would like you to leave our time together feeling loved and free and full of your most vibrant and luscious hue of you-ness.

Please do not get confused: I do not want to have sex with you—whether you are male or female.

I have no sexual agenda, as you know, because we laugh at the freedom we feel to speak to strangers for reasons other than because we have to or because we’re hitting on them.

For me, sharing sex with someone requires a certain alignment, and I do not take that lightly. My sex requires that I can possibly foresee living with a person and combining all my stuff with all of their stuff (and I mean physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual stuff—the stuff that just feels heavy if it’s not the right fit, but feels buoyant beyond imagination when it is). It is delicate, it is careful, it is not presumptuous or impulsive.

And I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other….

Polynormativity?

Polynormativity?

This lovely blog post from Sex Geek deconstructs the publicly acceptable image of polyamory and makes some unconventional and progressive points. Some I agree with and some not quite so much. However, it’s one of the best poly pot-stirrers I’ve seen around: the points are well articulated, the topics go straight to the heart of advanced relationship dilemmas in the non-monogamous realm and the whole blog piece is a fantastic discussion starter!

The main points that interest me the most…

The publicly most acceptable form of polyamory is the one where a couple happen to date other people but they keep their primary status and treat secondaries as if they were optional extras with few rights. This model comes closest to matching a monogamous ideal and therefore is the most accepted and commonly represented type of polyamory in the media. We rarely see non-hierarchical models, secondaries treated well, bisexual polyamorists who aren’t gorgeous looking white bisexual women, gays and lesbians (some of the original polyamorists together with bisexual people) or the disabled or old or not so beautiful in appearance.

However, polyamory is neither about the couple nor about exclusively white, heterosexual, gorgeous looking people emulating monogamy. This type of representation lies about the progressive nature and radical promise of polyamory and sells a prototype that is perhaps easy to digest for newcomers but also offers the least in terms of growth and possibilities.

One note on the wording… I’m not sure I’d call this polynormativity, but as there’s no settled definition of the word (just like there isn’t one for mononormativity either!) it’s still up for grabs so the author is definitely entitled to grabbing it and running with it. To my ears polynormativity sounds like the dogma that being poly is the only good way of being in relationships, in which case it would be, to some degree, the opposite of mononormativity, another word for compulsory monogamy.


the problem with polynormativity

Slippery slope sent up

Slippery slope sent up

Hahaha never seen the slippery slope argument sent up better than this before.. watch how the Chaser boys on their Hamster Wheel interview Christian protesters at a recent rally against same sex marriage, then turn to Fred Nile.

Polyamory isn’t mentioned, but there are implications for poly too as the slippery slope is often evoked to similarly discredit the possibility of a plural marriage or even the legitimacy of more than two people being in a committed relationship. Except whereas mentioning bestiality in relation to same sex marriage is considered obscene, equating bestiality with polyamory is not yet considered similarly obscene as… you know, polyamory is ‘out there’ and therefore what could those folk be complaining about?

Anyway, enjoy…