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-   -   Open Discussion of "Poly Women Respond" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13374)

River 08-12-2011 08:30 PM

Open Discussion of "Poly Women Respond"
 
This thread is for discussing the women's responses in the thread "Poly Women Respond". http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13368

I've separated these threads so that the women could respond without men interfering with comments and questions, etc. I wanted a space for women to speak their minds, apart from the guys. Here, both men and women are welcome to discuss the "Poly Women Respond" thread and its comments.

The original thread already seems fairly popular, so this comment area seemed appropriate, given the limitation I provided in the original thread.

Moderators should feel free to move inappropriate posts in the other thread to this one.

Snowbunting 08-12-2011 09:06 PM

What is Sean's evidence?
 
River,

Did Sean give reasons/arguments/evidence for his views? I'm wondering what sort of evidence he is calling on (even if only in his own mind) when he affirms his beliefs about women and poly.

I'm also wondering what he thinks about the power of social conditioning. Sometimes it can be very easy to absorb and internalize views that are prevalent in mainstream culture - this process can even result in a lack of self-knowledge that might have otherwise been present. (At least, this is my opinion, an opinion that stems from my own experience. It would be interesting to learn more about his experiences and how they impact his views concerning women and poly.)

Is there any chance that he'd be up for diving into the forum and reading a bunch of threads? It would be interesting to see whether doing so might lead him to alter his opinions in any way...

Cheers,
SB

River 08-12-2011 09:34 PM

"Did Sean give reasons/arguments/evidence for his views? I'm wondering what sort of evidence he is calling on (even if only in his own mind) when he affirms his beliefs about women and poly."

When asked why he believed as he does, Sean drew from his experience with many women over many years. (He's in his mid forties, and has had many women lovers and companions.) He said all of the women in his life insisted on sexual/romantic exclusivity.

"I'm also wondering what he thinks about the power of social conditioning."

It would be fun to invite him here and ask him this question--which I shall do. And he shall remain anonymous and disguised in name, so he's safe to express himself in a public forum without worry. I got the strong impression that Sean thinks his view on women's sexual/romantic nature is rooted in biology, in the very essence of women, rather than socialization factors. My own strong impression is that women are at least as much "naturally inclined" (socialization aside) toward romantic nonexclusivity as men. And this includes bi and gay men, whom Sean thinks are much more open to it.

(My own observation is that gay men tend to be sexually nonmonogamous more often than persons in the general population, but about typically exclusive in the emotional intimacy realm. That is, many gay men are okay with their boyfriends having casual sex with strangers while fearing and prohibiting romantic love outside of the pairing.)

"Sometimes it can be very easy to absorb and internalize views that are prevalent in mainstream culture - this process can even result in a lack of self-knowledge that might have otherwise been present."

My impression is that most of us tend to uncritically absorb social norms and conventions, and even identify strongly with these without having much considered other ways of thinking, perceiving and behaving. This is true in so many domains of our lives, from how we think about economics to how we think about and behave as "consumers".... On and on. Society provides us with "default settings", to use a little computer metaphor. And it often punishes us for failure to keep our lives set in these conventional patterns, never mind that some of the "alternative" patterns often actually make more good sense than the "default".

"Is there any chance that he'd be up for diving into the forum and reading a bunch of threads? It would be interesting to see whether doing so might lead him to alter his opinions in any way..."

I'll invite him to look at the forum and respond in this thread, as Sean.

Snowbunting 08-12-2011 09:45 PM

Welcome to Sean!
 
Great! Sean, if you see this, welcome aboard! :)

(By the way, while you're here, you'll find lots of great material in River's posts. You have a good friend in him. :) )

River 08-13-2011 02:48 PM

"First of all, possessiveness and the desire for exclusivity in love have nothing to do with biology. Love is not biologically driven, but emotionally driven."

From - http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showp...2&postcount=15

Current scientific theory now has it that our species has a biologically rooted love drive, just as we have a biologically rooted sex drive. So it is now commonly accepted that falling in love is woven into our flesh, not just into our psyches (and psyche and flesh are quite interwoven, anyway). There are measurable chemical and brain state thingies involved. Our brains secrete specific chemicals, which act like a drug, when we're in love. But, of course, we have to be in love for them to be secreted, so there is a bit of a chicken and egg problem for those who insist that love is nothing more than the presence of these chemicals in x region of the body (blood?, brain region?).

So I'd say, yes, love is both biologically and "emotionally" driven. Those chemicals which scientists link with "being in love" are released when our dear one inspires such a chemical reaction. We truly do have "chemistry" with certain very special people.

Here's an article on the chemistry, etc.:
http://www.youramazingbrain.org.uk/l...ciencelove.htm

Love - mammalian drive -

https://encrypted.google.com/search?...love+mammalian

AutumnalTone 08-13-2011 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by River (Post 97051)
When asked why he believed as he does, Sean drew from his experience with many women over many years. (He's in his mid forties, and has had many women lovers and companions.) He said all of the women in his life insisted on sexual/romantic exclusivity.

I am also in my mid-40s and have had many lovers over the years. My reaction to the claim that most women prefer exclusivity is: hogwash. I suspect whatever his attraction process is works to sort for women who prefer exclusivity.

My experience with women with whom I've been involved and the many female friends I've been close to over the years tells me a significant portion don't require exclusivity. Many of those who do only do so because they don't see how a non-exclusive arrangement would work in practical terms.

River 08-16-2011 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 97495)
.... Studies of surviving hunter-gatherer cultures show that foraging for food takes a much smaller part of the day than the average day job of the modern world, and leaves plenty of free time. ....

That's right. And this fact, that "primitive" peoples have on average had more leisure time than people in advanced technological civilizations does much to challenge the absurd myth of "progress" that keeps us in highly stressed and competitive social conditions. All of our "labor saving devices" have provided many things, but leisure is not one of them.

River 08-17-2011 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 97798)
Hey River, what does your friend say about the responses?

He lives way out in the country and presently doesn't have internet at home. He's quite busy. I did invite him to read and respond, but it may be he just hasn't had an opportunity to do so yet. I'll nudge him a little--gently. I'd like him to answer your question himself, in the forum.

River 08-23-2011 03:11 PM

I talked with Sean on the phone yesterday, and he mentioned that he'd been reading the threads on "Poly Women Respond". (This one and the original.) Sean is a wonderful, good person, and I love him, but it is just shocking to me how differently he and I perceive polyamory. He generalized about the women in Poly Women Respond by saying they are "materialistic". I simply couldn't grasp what he meant, so I asked him what he meant and he said "They just can't get enough". Some of Sean's words cued me in that Sean sees polyamory as primarily a sexual thing, rather than a thing about love and loving. So my impression was that he thinks poly women just can't "get enough" sex, with enough men.

He wanted me to say something in the forum on his behalf and I refused, thinking he should be responsible for his own words -- and, besides, he was not entirely satisfied with how I paraphrased him in the original thread. (Though he did say my paraphrase was close enough.) He said he won't be posting in here, and that he finds some of the responses funny, or laughable (to paraphrase).

I do not get the impression that Sean looks down on me for my polyamory, or on my partner, Kevin, for his. My impression is that he respects us as individuals in this choice, but perhaps thinks only a very, very few people have what it takes to do polyamory.

Oh, and he did say that men are as little likely to be well suited for/to polyamory as women.

In a much earlier conversation, he did say that bi men are probably most apt to be well suited to poly. I'll have to discuss the whys of that with him again, for they escape memory at the moment.

I suspect he's thinking about polyamory more-or-less for the first time, so it's understandable that he's not quite sure about it all. It takes a lot of thought to grasp the distinctions and differences relative to the social norms.

opalescent 08-23-2011 04:48 PM

I realize you are paraphrasing from a conversation. However, even after rereading the Poly Women Respond thread, I really, really don't get how or why 'materialistic' is the term your friend chose to describe the responses. If possible, I would like to hear more on why that word was chosen. I'm really curious about it.


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