For me, polyamory just means open and honest non-monogamy. The genders, sexuality, and number of people involved isn't relevant. Actually, sex doesn't even have to be involved. The act of loving more than one person in a romantic sense is all that it takes to be poly.
The act of loving more than one person in a romantic sense is all that it takes to be poly.
I wish that more people knew this. I keep getting men contacting me on OKCupid who think it means "friends with benefits". I suppose "friends with benefits" wouldn't be ruled out in some people's definitions, but my experience with FWB is that people don't want to make any sort of commitment.
By commitment, I don't necessarily mean something like marriage, but just an acknowledgement of the importance of the relationship in one's life. That each person will make a point of spending time with the other, and nurturing the relationship.
I've always thought that "FWB" is about a step away from casual sex. Not that I see anything wrong with either, but at this point in my life, they aren't for me.
It means the freedom to be who I have been all my life. Coming out poly was as liberating as coming out atheist. I love being able to talk openly with my partner(s) and enjoy their loves as well as my own. I think The Minx calls it Frubble, but it is sure a lot better than dealing with jealousy in relationships. Never understood jealousy but sure had to deal with it enough. Well I should say, I understood it, but never let it take control of me or govern my life while I have had partners (wives) that did allow jealousy to rule their lives. Not doing that any more. Glad to see this group. Look forward to the discussions.
OK. I will give my perception of what poly should be and, also, how I perceive it to really be.
I think poly should be as defined. That three or more consenting adults form a relationship. Everyone one in the family should agree and accept the others in the relationship.
My experience, however, has given me a different view of what poly really is in practice. Although there is a core group of polys who actually behave based on the real definition, too many use polyamory to cheat on their spouses and significant other. They are not true polys. I am not surprised that many outside the poly community view us as immoral.
Let me add why I think that polyamory is needed in our society. We live is a very complicated society. Many of us, travel not only around the country, but around the world, leaving our love ones behind for weeks or even months. Because of the complex diversity of our backgrounds, we often meet others who can not supply all of our emotional and physical needs. The bottom line is that a happy person is a person who will offer more to society then an unhappy person. It is time that we realize that belief systems of the past whether they are religious or philosophical should not be honored without evidence. Society has reached a point in it's evolution that enables us to base our behavior not on beliefs but what we know to be true.
Glad you joined, Reality Activist. I think a lot of people haven't really considered what polyamory means. Like Jaume wrote over in the Secular Sexuality group, (it was you Jaume, wasn't it?) something about "polyfuckery".
1) Ethical non-monogamy;
2) Non-proprietary relationships;
3) To paraphrase Cunning Minx's tag for PolyWeekly, it's more than just the sex; and
4) The ability to be true to oneself.
Pretty basic and simple really. Astonishing how non-poly folk can find the concept threatening, if they can get past the incomprehension.
Also, by "non-proprietary relationships" I mean abandoning the idea that the person one is involved with belongs to oneself; that one possesses or owns another. In monogamy the idea of absolute exclusivity of other partners tends to end up meaning that each person views the other as belonging to them, of the other being their property that a third party must not encroach upon. Which is not to say that polyfolk can't or don't put limits on relationships; it's just that polyfolk actually (or at least ought to) discuss the issue and come to mutual agreement about the nature and limits of their relationships, as opposed to the automatic assumptions and proscriptions that monoflok tend to make.
In monogamy the idea of absolute exclusivity of other partners tends to end up meaning that each person views the other as belonging to them, of the other being their property that a third party must not encroach upon.
I'd pretty much agree with this, too. I've had ex-lovers get involved with, and/or marry monogamous people, which pretty much killed our friendship. Like I wouldn't respect their monogamous boundaries. I know of two Fundamentalist Christian couples who made agreements that the male was not to have female freinds, and the female was not to have male friends. I wouldn't be able to deal with that level of insecurity.