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-   -   Polyamory erasure (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23254)

feelyunicorn 04-25-2012 03:59 AM

Polyamory erasure
 
I see a parallel between bisexual erasure and the kinds of dismissals dished out at me when I say I have feelings for multiple people.

Bisexual erasure refers to the belief that bisexuals are either closeted gays, or an intermediary step toward homosexuality. A both coarser and subtler subvariant of erasure is the idea that bisexuals are simply slutty, needy, attention-whorish, and therefore unable to have committed relationships.

What I`ve noticed when I talk to monogamists is that they use the word 'relationship' to mean a monogamous relationship. Therefore, wanting to have multiple partners is tantamount to not wanting a relationship (or, anything 'serious' anyway), and simply an intermediary step doomed to be left behind once you find real love. Oh, you will see when it happens.

I`ve recently got this from my best friend, who`s gay, super-hyper sexually active, and yet an ideological monogamist. Have you encountered this mono-monopoly over the word 'relationship' often? How annoying is it? :p:eek:

AutumnalTone 04-25-2012 04:10 PM

Nope.

And, if I were, I'd likely offer the rejoinder that they'll probably eventually develop the capacity for true loving relationships when they meet "the Other One." Just wait and see.

feelyunicorn 04-25-2012 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutumnalTone (Post 133851)
Nope.

And, if I were, I'd likely offer the rejoinder that they'll probably eventually develop the capacity for true loving relationships when they meet "the Other One." Just wait and see.

I`m surprised. But, excellent comeback.

CielDuMatin 04-25-2012 08:14 PM

Yes, I have come across the view that a poly relationship can't be "real" - real can only be monogamy.

It goes along with the "so you're afraid of commitment" jibe. Once folks actually start seeing the details of our lives, they realize that we are actually more committed than a lot of monogamous couples are.... levels of commitment really have nothing to do with it.

kdt26417 04-25-2012 09:17 PM

Re (from feelyunicorn):
Quote:

"What I've noticed when I talk to monogamists is that they use the word 'relationship' to mean a monogamous relationship. Therefore, wanting to have multiple partners is tantamount to not wanting a relationship ..."
Oh man, isn't that the truth.

Re (from feelyunicorn):
Quote:

"Have you encountered this mono-monopoly over the word 'relationship' often? How annoying is it?"
On a scale of 1 to 10, it's about 7.75 annoying. I've encountered it in a lot of magazine articles, stuff like that. And just think, when two lovers ask each other, "Are we in a relationship?" ... what they really mean is (and everyone knows it), "Are we going to be romantically exclusive now?"

Re (from AutumnalTone):
Quote:

"I'd likely offer the rejoinder that they'll probably eventually develop the capacity for true loving relationships when they meet 'the Other One.' Just wait and see."
LOL ...

Re (from CielDuMatin):
Quote:

"It goes along with the 'so you're afraid of commitment' jibe."
It sure does. :rolleyes:

ThatGirlInGray 04-26-2012 12:56 AM

Since I've been with one of my partners (of opposite gender) for 14 years, I don't get the "You're afraid of commitment" or "You're really in the closet" judgments. Being female (and blond and busty) does tend to get me the, "You're just saying you're bi for the attention" or "It's just a phase, you'll grow out of it" judgments but I just kind of shrug. If it's a phase, it's a 15+ year phase, and if it's just for attention, boy, am I doing it wrong!!

These kind of snap judgments, though, are exactly why TGIB and I are waiting til we've been together for a while before telling most of our family about us. Something already established with a few years of no drama will be much easier for a lot of people to get used to and give us a stronger position if we have to defend ourselves.

CielDuMatin 04-26-2012 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 133927)
Since I've been with one of my partners (of opposite gender) for 14 years, I don't get the "You're afraid of commitment" or "You're really in the closet" judgments.

Ah yes, that reminded me of another one... I, too, have been with my one partner for a long, long while - the thing that is thrown out about poly in that context "oh well, that must mean there's something wrong with your relationship".

ThatGirlInGray 04-26-2012 01:13 AM

Yes! Also, since my husband is mono with a "Who knows what the future will bring?" caveat thrown in there, I get, "He must be putting up with this so you won't leave him." *rolls eyes* I don't mind people putting their foot in their mouth in the surprise of being confronted with a new idea, but if I'm still getting these judgments 5 or 6 conversations down the road, buh-bye! *waves*

MeeraReed 04-26-2012 03:30 PM

Yup, I definitely encounter that mindset. It bothers me a lot.

But for me, there is also the added level of confusion that I like non-serious/ casual relationships (can I call them relationships?) and feel happiest in that type of arrangement.

My interest in poly came out of being involved with two people non-seriously (and later, three) and feeling I didn't want to get serious with either one and then have to give up the other. This arrangement lasted for years. (Then it blew up in my face).

I didn't know, at the time, about the possibility of being serious with more than one person--but also, I didn't feel a "serious" level of compatibility with either guy. One was my boyfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend-turned-FWB, and the other was a FWB. I liked them both immensely and cared for both deeply, but didn't want, say, to live with or marry either of them.

Anyway, I do feel incredibly frustrated when I encounter people who are dismissive of the possibility of non-monogamous relationships. It makes me sad.

But I also encounter a lot of people who do not feel that non-serious or casual dating has value, either. And that hurts me too, because I have grown and continue growing from that type of less-committed dating.

Fayerweather 04-27-2012 02:45 PM

I more often run into the "if you need love and sex outside of a relationship, then there's something wrong with that relationship". The idea that having more than one partner means that one or both partners is 1- flawed and unable to satisfy me, 2- that I'm insatiable, fickle, slutty or confused, or 3- that I don't really love my partners. That's not even skimming the surface of the monogamous minded projection and negative flack I've encountered since I came out as poly to my friends and family. I can't imagine what throwing bi-sexual into the mix must be like.


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