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      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013 edited
     (11148.1)
    My thoughts may be summed up thusly - Polamory is not for me. Y'all do whatever you feel is right for you, as long as you're not in a relationship with me. Not being judgmental, just honest.

    I'm currently in a relationship, my first in seven years. We had a discussion on our like second date that brought up and dismissed the concept of polamory. Neither one of us is interested in it.

    That said, she has pointed out to me when other women are checking me out/flirting with me. I usually never notice.

    EDIT TO ADD - I've been "cheated on" in the past and it sucks, really bad. It sucks worse when they say "Well, I thought you knew I was a free spirit and can't be tied down to one man." NO, I DID NOT KNOW THAT and if you were such a great "open communicator", there would have been no question.
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      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013 edited
     (11148.2)
    @mister hex:

    Whatever works an' it harm none, mate.

    "Cheated on" is an unpleasant feeling... and an awful lot of poly communication is about trying to avoid that, I think. There's a world of difference between "I didn't know the rules because you didn't bloody tell me them" and "we negotiated the rules and you went and broke them anyway" (which can happen in even the best poly situation).
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013
     (11148.3)
    Wow, awesome stuff here, people!

    I'm not sure if I have anything new to add, apart from my personal history.

    Basically my first girlfriend and I immediately fell into cohabitation, and after a few years it became clear that we weren't exactly monogamous. It wasn't really a regular feature in our relationship until 7 years into the thing, when I and a friend of mine had apparently at some point fallen in love. My girlfriend's first suggestion (bless her heart) was for me and this friend to go on a date.

    That turned into a 7-year long poly relationship, the last 5 (?) of which were spent under the same roof, and which ended about 2 and and a half years ago. We were never a proper triad, but a rather wide V, with me (obviously) being the hinge.

    I do think that (despite 7 years being a really fucking good run) the whole thing kinda collapsed due to communication. All three of us have very different ways of communicating, and they never really cohered. For example I've (only this summer) realised I'm actually rather crap at communicating romantic interest or emotional mindset or (god forbid) my sexual preferences in Finnish. (As it turns out, I do make a great Fake Canadian, though, but that's another story for another thread.)

    Logistics-wise we had a pretty simple system of me spending alternate nights in the two bedrooms, with veto rights for all concerned.

    I do think that in the interest of full disclosure I will keep telling any potential future romantic partners that yes, that was how I spent a good number of years, and yes, I will possibly fall in love with more than just one person at a time, but no, that does not in any way lessen the depth of those feelings in any of the cases. (I could in fact argue for the opposite.)

    Anyhoo, brilliant thread, this. <3
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013
     (11148.4)
    yes, I will possibly fall in love with more than just one person at a time, but no, that does not in any way lessen the depth of those feelings in any of the cases. (I could in fact argue for the opposite.)


    So. SO true. I find that quite contrary to love being a finite resource, it's an infinite and cumulative resource! The more you give, the more you HAVE to give, and the more you receive in return. When my wife tells me how important her latest partner has been to her, I swell, knowing that she found something in him that completed a part of her I never could. We can never be all things to our partner, it's just a physical impossibility. We complete each other in so many ways, but we're still finding that other people can give us things we can't give each other.

    I guess you could say: We completed each other, but each new partner expands us and makes us MORE than we were before.
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      CommentAuthorcosta_k
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013
     (11148.5)
    I can barely manage to balance my workloads, how the hell does anyone balance having sex with more than one person at a time?

    A quote I heard from an old newsclip I saw (Judas Priest fans being interviewed on the street after Rob Halford came out)pretty much sums up my thoughts on sex; As long as you're not fucking German Shepherds or little kids, all the power to you.
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2013
     (11148.6)
    Perhaps that's one area that a distinction should be made on...sex versus love. Speaking as someone who's been in a mono relationship for 20 plus years, but is very interested in seeing the discussion unfold, it seems that people are automatically making the correlation that sex is the essential element here. Whereas, I would tend to guess that the actual emotional aspects of having these relationships are probably much more key over the long term for people that actually participate in them. Obviously, sex may be a component of that...but over a long term relationship, that usually becomes a grace note rather than a major thematic element.
  1.  (11148.7)
  2.  (11148.8)
    @manglr:
    So right. My triad started as sexual attraction, but the vast majority of it was about companionship and affection. Sex and love ain't the same thing - but when they're together...

    (And that's why it ended, too. 3rd partner slowly lost sexual interest in both of us, then her other interests focused elsewhere, she just cared less and less about us as friends and companions, and we just didn't have much in common any more.
    And then the ayahuasca spirit told her to dump us, but that's another story...)
  3.  (11148.9)
    Maybe I'm weird or overly simplistic, but if sex isn't in the picture then it's just friends. Maybe best friends, very close friends, etc, but still friends. Sex may not be The Most Important Thing in a full relationship, but it's a very good indicator of the status of a whole lot of things.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.10)
    Me and my wife have gone through some long periods of what basically amounts to asexuality between us, but whenever we looked at that and thought "Are we just friends?!" the answer was a resounding NO. Romantic love does not necessitate sexual desire at all (or any) times. Let's not forget the discussion on asexuality that was had in the beginning of the thread.

    This is the thing: To me, sex is an expression of a type of love. It's not the kind of love you necessarily build a relationship on. Romantic love is separate from sexual love, though they most often intertwine. I've never been particularly sexually interested in men, but I've been romantically interested in a few, I think... Notice I'm uncertain, because yes - it has been strange for me to feel that love without it being coupled with sexual love. I more often feel sexual love without the romantic love than vice versa...
  4.  (11148.11)
    James, you see this is where I fall down. Because it doesn't have to be sex-containing, certainly not PIV or similar practises anyway. Its still a relationship, a form of intimate friendship...

    A lot of folk who are 'poly' have adopted the term because its an easy descriptor for the rest of the world to use, to be able to recognise that we aren't wired in the same way as 'society' in the way we view friendships either (I have acquaintances, which is probably the point that a lot of people would say friend) and I have friends. With all friends there's an element of love or the potential for. It may or may not be 'sexual' as others would recognise it, but it could be active in some way around trust (yep. possibly kink related. maybe asexual. maybe romantic...) and it crosses genders (in my case anyway)

    And I'm rambling as I'm heading out the door....
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      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.12)
    A lot of my interest comes from being raised in the Mormon Church, where polygamy is sort of a thing. It doesn’t happen anymore in the mainstream sect of Mormonism, which is the one I grew up with, but it is talked about a bit, because we can’t very well pretend that it never happened. When people taught about it in church, it was always this sort of weird thing where both the men and women would say they were so grateful to be born in this day and age so they didn’t have to deal with it, because it sounded so awful. A lot of people don’t really realize that Joseph Smith had more than one wife, and when we do talk about that, it is stressed that he really didn’t want to do it, that he just had to follow God’s command. Every once in a while you’ll hear about how it was just helping the widows and women that didn’t have other options with life, and it wasn’t about sex or anything. Which is weird because half the people in Utah are distant half-cousins, but whatever.

    So I spent my youth going to church and thinking about group sex and wondering if that was allowed or not. More than my youth, really. I asked a Fundamentalist Mormon woman who came as a guest speaker to a class of mine in my last semester at my university about it. She was a little offended, and said that no, they were a good ethical people and they did not do that. Which sort of made me wonder what the point of it all was, because if I had two dudes that loved me and they were close to each other and I couldn’t even consider asking them to make out while I watched I’d be pretty bummed about it.

    I’m pretty limited when it comes to romantic experience. I’ve only ever really had one boyfriend, I’m still a virgin in the heteronormative sense of the word, I’ve never had a proper orgasm, and I’m cis and straight. I do know that fooling around with people outside of a solid relationship is not for me, because while that is the majority of my experience, not matter how happy the fella is in that situation I feel incredibly guilty and shitty because I’ve been using him.

    But when I was in a relationship, we were both in love with other people the whole time. We talked about it a lot. We talked about those other people, and I asked my boyfriend about people he’d been with before me, and because we could talk about that stuff we could talk about anything. It was great. But he felt that he was second to this other person that was not there, and things sort of crumbled because of that. Also because I really want babies and he did not and we figured that was a big problem that would just become worse as we grew more attached. Among other reasons.

    I’ve always felt that I could go either way on this, and I think my religious upbringing has quite a bit to do with that. Because although polygamy isn’t really practiced in Mormonism now, men can still be sealed to more than one wife (when their first wife dies), but women can only have one eternal husband. The whole thing where everyone has a partner after death makes things complicated, and that teaching has always come with the underling idea that there might be more than lady with the fellas, regardless of what the deal was in life. So I accepted that possibility a long time ago, when I still really believed in this stuff, even though more than one lady with my husband is less than ideal to me.

    Of course, now it doesn’t matter too much because even if that was how things worked I’ll not be in heaven with an eternal marriage anyway. But it’s hard to just remove these sorts of bits of belief in a sensible way, so I still imagine that my afterlife will be a lesser kingdom where I might be able to fuck people but not have kids. But I’d be willing to bet Jim Morrison will be there with me, so I’d hardly call it Hell.


    Oh God this post is terrible and must just be every kind of confusing. I’m sorry. Carry on.
  5.  (11148.13)
    @Fishelle: lovely post. Thank you for contributing. I think it is easy for those of us who have lived poly to forget that this isn't a "new" thing, that there have been polyandrous and polygamous societies before modern times, and that it didn't always work out well (particularly for polygamy).

    I'd like to imagine that all of our afterlives will be at a pub of our choosing. If that's a lesser kingdom, give me my crown.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTF
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.14)
    @Fishelle That was a great post
  6.  (11148.15)
    @Fishelle - Very grateful you posted. The more perspectives on all this, especially smart and considered ones, the better.

    It must be so difficult to reconcile a religious upbringing (which, from the sounds of it, you still have some allegiance to on some level) with your desires. I'm always reminded of this Channel 4 documentary on gay people in Islam. The bit that puzzles me (no doubt because I was raised in the wishy-washiest version of Church of England possible) is; if you've managed to question your sexuality, why don't you apply the same to the details of your faith?

    Clearly you have and are, and I salute you for it.
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.16)
    @Fishelle - thank you so much for that thoughtful look at your religion. It's been a matter I've been curious about but never dared ask any Mormon friends (and ex-Mormons seem to be in a big hurry just tell me how awful the religion is first, before they just give uneditorialized experiences.)
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.17)
    I brought up some televised depictions of Mormonism before, and while I describe them as inaccurate at showing open relationships as a lifestyle choice I really have no idea how accurate they are at depicting Mormonism itself. Certainly I trust HBO more than I trust reality television (and only now is that occurring to me as a weird thing to think). I don't want to derail anyone here, but I'd love some resources that provide some Mormonism-for-dummies, especially with pop-culture analyses.
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013
     (11148.18)
    PS totally on your page about the group sex. Would never have occurred to me to ask that, though.
    There must be a culture that supports explicit polyandry, but I can't think of one offhand. I'd like to know if it would have the same aspects of coercion that we tend to associate with the forced marriage of underage females.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2013 edited
     (11148.19)
    allana:

    There are some, especially around China/Tibet/Nepal areas, but they've been stomped hard by the governments promoting "healthy and non-deviant" lifestyles. Historically it's been a thing here and there. Don't know about the coercion in other ways that at least one motivator has been to avoid divvying up scarce lands and resources.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2013
     (11148.20)
    Fishelle, that was a great post, thank you for that. Very enlightening. :)

    Someone on FetLife posted this today:
    6 THINGS I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE ABOUT BEING POLY

    1. Jealousy is not something just monogamous people feel. Poly people feel it,
    but we try to love past it. I think the longer you are poly the easier it is. But I
    think even people who have been poly for years have that weak moment every
    once in awhile. It’s about which wolf you feed.

    2. Each person who is in a poly relationship needs to feel special in their own
    right. You cant just clump all your partners together and say I love you all as
    a family. Each person should be loved individually and for their own special
    uniqueness.

    3. Partners can not be treated the same. You can’t try to be completely 50/50
    fair and do everything with each partner because each partner is different and
    has different needs. To just arbitrarily do the same things with each partner
    does not do any of the relationships justice.

    4. Every person in a poly relationship needs to be 100% honest with their
    feelings, with whom they are seeing, and with everything they can be honest
    about. If you lie about who you are seeing and what you are feeling than you
    are cheating and that’s not fair.

    5. Most of the time that you are spending with each partner should be devoted
    to that partner. If you are talking about or texting your other partners the
    whole time you are with a partner, you are stealing time from that partner and
    that is not fair.

    6. You should keep in fairly consistent contact with each partner. No one
    should feel ignored or forgotten. If you say you are going to be there or do
    something with a particular person, then you should do that. If one partner
    invites you to an event, you should ask if its okay before you invite another.


    Thought I'd share, because there's a lot of truth and good advice in there. Also, it puts a bit of focus on how complex these relations are.

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