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-   -   Where Does It END? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1487)

Erosa 11-28-2009 04:30 AM

Where Does It END?
I am an utter, complete, total newbie at this. So if this is hopelessly ignorant, forgive me. (And help educate me! lol)

I was just in (and very rapidly OUT of) a relationship with a woman who was polyamorous. Now, there were several other factors that really came into play in my choice to walk away from her. (And her choice to do likewise) But one of the main ones was that I was concerned about the polyamory aspect as she decribed it.

She suggested that She and I be primaries and each choose a secondary. To me, that sounds fine on the surface. But havin the 'spaghetti' brain that I do, I soon realized; "Hey wait... if she and I have primaries and secondaries, then don't the secondaries get primaries? And their primaries would have secondaries? And those secondaires would have primaries and those primaries would... YIKE!!!!!!! I'M SLEEPING WITH HALF THE EASTERN SEABOARD!" 0_0

Now, I am sure that is NOT What she intended. But I have to ask; how do you work it so that this endless spider webbing doesn't happen??

I'm all for many, unconditional loves. But I don't want to be in an endless open system.

How are relationships structured in polyamory to avoid this??

AutumnalTone 11-28-2009 05:43 AM

There's nothing to say that's likely to happen. Yes, there are largish poly tangles that require road maps to navigate. That's not usually the case.

Who says your secondary won't regard you as a primary? Amongst our membership, Mono is an additional partner for Redpepper and Mono is monogamous--Redpepper is his only partner. My previous paramour was involved only with me, making for much the same situation (I'm married to CurlySquirrel).

Some tangles practice what they call polyfidelity, meaning that they only have sex with other folks in the tangle and it takes a group consensus to let anybody new into the group. Other poly folk require safe sex practices with partners who aren't fluid-bonded (which means everybody bonded has been tested for STIs), allowing unprotected sex only with bonded partners.

There are some folks who take additional partners because their primary relationship is sexless; their only sexual activity is with the secondary. This appears to be fairly rare, though I expect it to happen more often as poly garners greater acceptance.

And so on.

The most important thing about all of these situations are that they are negotiated by the people involved. If you're only comfortable being involved with a limited sexual network, then you find other people with the same proclivities and negotiate agreements that limit sexual exposure.

There's no single way to do poly.

Quath 11-28-2009 08:30 AM

Poly networks can get confusing. Sometimes the labels "primary" and "secondary" are not good concepts. You love someone and they love you back. You make time for each other. Each love is different. You may love someone who loves someone else also. You agree to some safe sex practices like always use condoms or agree that all lovers must have a current sexual disease test (or whatever you decide).

The main thing is that everyone should be aware of their sexual network. You need rules and communication to pull it off.

ladyjools 11-28-2009 02:36 PM

i agree with what others have said, safe sex is a must, and everyone getting an STD test is also a good idea,

for me i have no problem with it being so open but i hate the time primary and secondary, i let the relationships i have develop into whatever they will be without those labels,

my lovers taking other lovers and those lovers taking other lovers,
i see no problem with this apart from the STD issues which can be delt with if sensible
infact i think the more love the better


ourquad 11-28-2009 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by SeventhCrow (Post 13459)
There's no single way to do poly.

This one sentence is a big thing for me and really the thing I try to convey most to those who are asking me about poly. I run across those who want a definite "how does this work" answer and those who have preconceived notions about what it means to be poly. I try to get them to understand that poly is what you, and your partners(s), make it for yourselves.

redpepper 11-29-2009 12:44 AM

I have a friends that don't use any definition and just do it. She has a husband and two kids and takes female lovers and that's it. another also doesn't use any definition and lives with a partner, owns a house with him, has been with him for three years and also has a boyfriend. She found that she got into trouble when her and her partner of three years got into calling each other primary. They thought that because of history they should call themselves primary, but it works better not to. The boyfriend she has is a swinger.... so ya, that is a lot of safe sex, I hope they are having.

Erosa 11-29-2009 03:11 AM

Safe sex is certainly a vitally important issue to me. I had a severe bone marrow infection about a year ago and nearly lost my entire immune system to it before they figured out what was wrong. (Stupid militart doctors.....)

But the result of this is that my immune system is weakened meaning that I am at much higher risk of catching anything anyone else has. I'm to the point now where I don't have to wear masks/take antibtiotics round the clock. But I'd really like to not get sick. LOL

But beyond this whole issue, I think I have a better understanding now of how this works.

The emotional side is a little harder for me to figure out becuase I'm honestly not sure how to love 'equally' for each lover. I guess it would have to be something I learn how to do? Because for me, if there's no love, there will be no sex. Just... not worth it in my opinion.

Another concern that I had with the 'road map' style poly relationship is that I believe sex is an exchange of sacred trust and energy. It should be messy, passionate, and as frequent as possible; but it's still SACRED. And I don't want my sacred 'goddess' spread to people that I am not consenting to give it too, even inadvertantly.

windmarkbob 11-29-2009 04:03 AM

Umm, I didn't know there was anything that said you had to "love equally". That whole concept sounds broken to me. I just fell in love with a new interest, and now am, for the first time in my life, romantically involved with two wonderful women. I've been married to one for 21+ years and I've known the other for about 4-5 years, well for only about 2 years. I don't love them equally, though the NRE I'm experiencing might make my wife feel like I love my new girlfriend more than her (she doesn't feel that way), I don't have to look deep to know that right now, there is absolutely no way it's possible for me to love/feel for someone with the depth of emotion my wife and I have built up over the time we've been together, raising 2 kids, dealing with all the experiences we've dealt with, good and bad. I love both, and given enough time, with the right sequence of events it's *possible* that I could love my new lover with the same depth as I currently love my wife, but that's so unlikely it doesn't even warrant consideration to me, especially since in the time that would take, my wife and I will have probably spent over 40 years together; twice the time I'd have been involved with my new love (assuming it lasts that long - hoping it does).

IOW - Just love, don't worry about loving "equally"...not even measurable/quantifiable, so what's the point?


Erosa 11-29-2009 07:36 PM

^^ Good point about the equal love. To me I guess I am always asking the question; If I were in a poly relationship, and I had to leave one of my partners behind, how would I pick who had to be let go? That's where the equal love comes in for me.

LovingRadiance 12-01-2009 02:49 AM

We have a V. It's effectively an open V in that we will allow for the possibility of other partners. Functionally it's closed-because none of us HAVE other partners
(Maca DID have a one night stand with a close friend as noted in another thread about it in order to decide if he COULD even handle abeing poly but that's not a story for THIS thread).

Our rule is that in order to take on another partner-we all have to agree. Also we have a rule that none of us is allowed more than two partners-which means I won't be taking any more as I'm already sexually involved with both of my men. They are both straight and are each able to have one more woman.

What we WANT is ONE more woman to create a CLOSED poly-quad. So both men would share both women, and if that woman was bi (as am I) then we may share one another as well. But no one else involved sexually.

I don't think it's necessary to have a poly relationship that is open to ANYONE. I think you have to identify YOUR desires and what you can handle then aim for that.

For example-we agreed to the one night stand as a one time thing for a speciffic purpose and we all agreed on who she would be (a close friend we all trust). But as a rule-we don't allow for one night stands or FB's. We're pretty strict between us about safety, sexual, physical, emotional etc.
We're a family with 4 kids. We don't have room for a bunch of b.s. in our lives.

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