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Lucid Thoughts

Polyamory Dec 4, 2020

Polyamory

"consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy"

Disclaimer / Disclosure
I haven't been on a poly relationship so my comments below come with that bias. I'm also writing about poly to understand it deeper than the 'multiple sex' aspect of it. Why? Because I WAS seeing someone who is poly and I'm not. By understanding poly, hopefully, I get to understand her as well.

What is Polyamory?
Polyamory is a 3-or-more sexual (romance optional?) relationship where all participating parties are consensual and practise ethical and responsible behavior (e.g. practicing safe sex). It still (or more so) predicates on the same tenets of monogamous relationship - trust, respect and communication. So, it's not necessarily a sexual free-for-all.

Although it may seem like a fringe for the few, polyamory is actually an umbrella for a broad range of non-monogamous relationships out there for those unrestrained by coventional social templates. This has been practiced for decades but again, not with blatant self-proclamation. In an increasingly disconnected world, this concept seems to offer a counter-instinctive alternative.

Polyamory
3 is company (or more)

Polyamory vs Polygamy
Both are similar because they involve more than 2 people in a relationship. They differ in many significant ways though.

Polygamy is usually one man married to more than one woman, and the relationship is centralized on the man's authority. In pedestrian parlance, it can be viewed as a harem with established ranks. There are confining walls defining its perimeter.

Polyamory however, is decentralized and does not revolve around a central gender or character - no leader, no ranking, respectful, restricting walls are by agreement. Call it a sexual democracy in an incestuous pool (at its extreme). I somehow view it as particles randomly arising and passing away in the quantum realm - in a petri dish (if there are confining walls).

Just Clarifying...

  1. it's not necessarily an orgy or group sex - a partner may not want to know who the other(s) is, let alone have that person in bed for a 3-some or a multi-some (parallel polyamory). And a partner may not want to let the other partner know who the others are on his/her side. It all depends on the agreement

It Makes Sense Because...

  1. filling-in the void - not every partner can fulfill the other's desires. Others can then complement the vacuum
  2. cheating is non-existent - most monogamous relationships fail because of fidelity issues. Here, the problem with cheating is already arrested.
  3. variety - things can become stagnant and boring in a monogamous relationship. With more ingredients in the broth, flavors are perked up

The Usual Issues

  1. one is poly and the other is not - hmmm...something's got to give. Is this a question of "who can cut deepest wins"? Or is this similar to marrying someone in the Islam faith where one has to convert? Is there a middle ground? Or does it have to end up with someone walking away?
  2. someone's jealous - it's hard not to be if you're already emotionally invested. And you can be forgiven to being jealous - we'll all human. You can't just throw logic to jealousy - it doesn't understand logic
  3. you could be spreading yourself thin - involvement with one person is already a handful. Can you imagine exponentially multiplying that? Definitely not for everyone
  4. you experimented with your partner only to find out it didn't work - usually, by the time you both find out, the relationship is already irreversibly damaged - you can only break the mirror once. There is no reboot button.

Ending Thoughts
Polyamory is counter-instinctive and an intellectual construct with logic (and painful life experience) as its building block. While discreetly practiced under wraps, it's far from mainstream. Perhaps viable over the short term, but questionable over the long term. Even with moderate success, it seems to hang precariously on slippery slope. In my yoga parlance, it's like doing a Tree Pose. It's a fairly easy balancing pose, but the longer you hold it, the harder it gets. How long can you manage before you lose balance? But having said that, I've read that there were successful polyamory communities that thrived in other parts of the world before disbanding (eg. Kerista Commune, 1971-1991). Sure, they eventually disbanded, but let's face it - 20 years is longer than most monogamous relationships.

I've come as far as having an "intimate friendship" but like fresh milk, it comes with a quick shelf life. Let's just say the slippery slope gets more slippery over a short period of time. At some point, the human factor kicks-in and the whole thing shatters into a train wreck. But that's just me given my limited experience and limited appreciation.

I've heard the argument that polyamory negates from the spectre of ownership and therefore unconfined. But I also argue that a two-person relationship is consensual monogamy - there is no imposed restriction, and the 2 parties mutually consent to the monogamous relationship. The ownership aspect is simply an aberration by an abusive partner.

I would have to say there are 2 sides to this. If a polyamory community invites me to be a member of their tribe, and the energy feels right, then sure, I will unequivocally say yes and wing it from there. However, if I am already emotionally invested in someone and then from out of the blue she says she's poly, then it's a ton of bricks coming down on me.

Of course I'm just talking through my head and tackling this as a concept. Maybe I find myself in a poly relationship (not that I have plans) and comment on it from an experiential standpoint. For now, I'm a spectator on the fence.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Reader Comments:

Zala Erznožnik PodrekaZala Slovenia
(Dec 1, 2020) I would say for myself, I just started to open up my mind actually for something like this. Polyamory for me, supports a way of experiencing and expressing love for more than one person. Because in life we meet many people and in some way we love all of them, we only decide by our mind who we will go into smth more intimate with. Love in itself isn't a judge or analyst or anything that mind produces. Love just is and it's on us to let it flow through and decide whether to follow it or not. So I believe that relationship with more than one person is totally optional and it is possible to commit to every person 100%, if we open up our mind to our heart. I haven't got a real experience but I do know that for any kind of relationship communication is the most important thing about it. Speaking the truth and listening to your partner. So in a relationship with more than one person it is even more important to communicate clearly and honestly otherwise it can't last long. If I were to go into a polyamory relationship I would demand 100% commitment to communication in order to avoid jealousy, pain or any problem. I do find it as a more demanding thing to go for instead of a regular 2-person relationship - it simply demands more open heart and mind. It demands that each person has really clear in him/her-self what she/he wants and feels. I still think it's a beautiful way of living. Just not fully accepted in our society yet. 🙂

ChristineFemale Germany
(Dec 1, 2020) Sounds great to have sex with more people, but I doubt that it works for obvious reasons. 🙂

RebekkaFemale USA
(Dec 4, 2020) I have my personal preferences and those of course tend to create judgement in the human mind. But I try not to judge, so it would be tricky to say what I think of it. I personally find it unacceptable and hurtful in a relationship, but if it genuinely works for many people, I have no idea.

Leave a comment?

External Links:

  1. Polyamory Today - I Used to Be a Polyamory Bigot

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