This topic has been brought up as a by-product in different discussions, but I wanted to broach the topic head on. How do you feel about non-monogamy (swinging, open relationships, polyamory) especially from an (obviously) non religious perspective. I'm sure ill get a lot of "what people do is their own business" I was also looking for morality, if anyone has had any experience, good and/or bad, or were just interested in this from an outsider perspective.

Tags: non-monogamy, open, polyamory, relationships, swinging

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Is that The Dream-Hunters? Illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano... I need to buy that....

I have friends that are polyamorous and one that includes me in his polyamory. I don't mind. I do plan on at least once having a polyamorous, polyandric relationship. I think it would be fun. My friends have their own reasons for thinking as they do, I simply feel that love is to be shared, and yes physical love and intimacy are included in that. I'm a youngin so we'll see how my views change but at the moment I'm quite open to non-monogamous relationships.

I was joking earlier today with a friend that I'd like to be an octogamist but that I think the stress would kill me.
Understanding feelings and discussing them with a partner/partners is important in all relationships. It sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship.
I've been polyamorous for all of my adult life. Every relationship from the age of fifteen on has either begun or become polyamorous. I've written a couple of things about polyamory.


Dealing with Jealousy in a Polyamorous Relationship


Is Polyamory a Natural Solution?
In the poly groups that I have supported in the past, we did have a rare swinger. Swingers seem to feel more comfortable with polys and, of course, other swingers. After all, in a poly group one can be more open sexually then in most non poly groups.
Swinging is OK, but it requires a network of close friends who are open to it and who limit their sexual relationships within the group. It can be very hard to find such a group. Any other type of swinging is not safe and frequently attract people with an array of very questionable behaviors, but I'm sure that there are exceptions. Like in the poly world, swing lifestyle attracts people who join with some very selfish goals. Unfortunately, sexual deviants are often attracted to the swing lifestyle and, of course, whenever you have a criminal element, you have law enforcement...some who are very conservative and view all such behavior as wrong.
I've known one couple who were swingers. They didn't really talk to me about it, nor did they talk about why they stopped swinging. They were lovely folks, very kind to me. One woman I know said she quit swinging because the gender dynamics were out-of-whack, that many of the male husbands/partners seemed to be controlling.

I thought the TV series "Swingtown" dealt with issues surrounding swinging in a very sensitive way.

Reality Activist, what do you think the main difference between polyamory and swinging is?My experience is that swingers tend to keep their deep emotional attachments within a couple, while polyamorous people tend to want the emotional attachments (and often some form of commitment) with the people they have sex with.
@reality activist
I am very interested in possibly developing a polyfidelitous relationship in the future (MFM,MMF or possible group), and the issues you brought up as regards safety, swingers, selfish goals, and criminal behavior all scare the s**t out of me. My mode of living is very quiet and health-conscious(no drink, no drugs, no smoking, vegetarian). I've recently discovered a meet-up group or two not terribly far from where I live. I guess I'll venture out and investigate! Eek!
Personally, I'm non-monogamous. I've run into some very happy monogamous people. I don't think one relationship orientation guarantees happiness over another.
I have had some experiences with it, both good and bad. Of course I have also had good and bad experiences with monogamy as well. I'm still not sure if it is for me, although it hs been fun trying to figure it out.

I think that morality only comes into the picture riding the coattails of deception. When all parties are honest, vocal, and respectful of boundaries, it is not a moral issue.
Interesting! Can you point me to any online links?
One thing people on the outside don't seem to consider is that just because a relationship is open doesn't mean a person has the time or opportunity to expand his/her horizons.

It all comes down to trust and honesty.


Yes. Absolutely!
Heh. I'm 49 and my cohabi-tater is 34. Intellectually, I don't think I'd want to get involved with someone who is young enough to be my child (and he just barely makes it over the "old enough" wire with our 14 year difference), but I'm not dead yet, and could be proven intellectually wrong.
I recently had a horrible experience with Non-monogamy support. A small group of local atheists knowing that I supported polyamory (Be careful, look up the actual definition) tried to set me up with single and married females while I promoted my local atheist groups. Over a period of four to five years, I found myself at public venues thinking that I was talking to a person interested in joining a local atheist group. Little did I know that they were really trying to get me to misbehave. In their fundamentalist philosophy, they thought that anyone who supported anything other than monogamy was immoral. Well, it didn't go well for them because I am very respectful of the wishes of others. In other words, they didn't find the behavior that they expected. I discovered the ruse when I made a comment about how atheists could shoot themselves in the foot if they voted for a third party candidate in the 2008 elections instead of supporting one of the two candidates that would support anti fundamentalism on the Supreme Court. Apparently, one of the ring leaders of this local "Fight Against Norm's Immoral Behavior" group became enraged and made a defamatory comment about how I was a sexual predator who disrespected women. The argument, it seems, was that if I was such a bad person then they should not read anything that I had to write about the coming election. Of course, I made a brief statement denouncing such an allegation. In actuality, I was more concerned with the fate of the Nation than I was with what others thought of me so I kept my rebuttal brief to the group. I did, however, send information about this unlawful defamatory statement to the organizer of this very large local atheist group. In it, I briefly explained why such a allegation was unsupported by the facts. Since I had also sent the same email to the "Ring Leader", the organizer and I received a very long response from the "Ring Leader". The response included statements from those females. Of course, their accounts of our meeting was extremely exaggerated with statements that I had tried to coerce them into joining in some type of immoral behavior supported by a local polyamory group. The reality of it was that I mentioned the possibility of joining a polyamory group when they told me about the severe problems in their own relationships. I never would have mentioned "Polyamory" if I hadn't detected some overwhelming desire by them to find a solution to their relationship issues. I suspect that this overwhelming desire to find a solution to their relationship issues was just a fabrication by them. Fortunately, after the second such meeting, I asked a female friend to join us because I became befuddled after the previous two disappeared after seemingly vowing to support our local atheist group. In other words, the behavior of the other two females were inconsistent to their stated agendas and I became suspicious about their true motives. Interestingly enough, again our meeting portrayed a lonely female who was having relationship issues and again, I suggested joining a polyamory group. My analysis of the three females exaggerated claims was supported by my female friend who joined me during the last meeting. We concluded that they were offended by my suggestion of learning about polyamory through a local group. This offense supported by exaggerated prejudice due to some philosophical or cultural fundamental belief system caused them to project their beliefs on the situation rather than viewing the situation with an open mind. This is a common behavior with fundamentalists of all types. An example of this type of behavior with Christian fundamentalist is when they see some manifestation of their belief on a clothe or some other viewed object. Such strong beliefs short circuit our ability to view reality objectively. Of course, many who read this will draw your own conclusions based on some belief that you were taught at a very young age. Your cultural bias which is supported by some religion, philosophy or political viewpoint will permeate though your ability to view this with an open mind. Others will see this for what it is.
I am still trying to decide if I want to take these people to court. My social life is very extensive and none of the people that I have known over an extended period of time would support such false allegations. One of the issues that I have to consider is if the Atheist movement would be negatively affected by this. After all, this small group of defamers has strong ties to the American Atheists as do I.

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