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-   -   In what social circles do you move? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24767)

hyperskeptic 06-15-2012 01:44 PM

In what social circles do you move?
A thread on another forum has brought up a question that has troubled my mind from time to time.

People who think of themselves as polyamorous constitute a small minority in societies in which monogamy is entrenched in attitudes and institutions. Not only that, but we are a minority that would be reviled more than almost any other, were we to come to the attention of many in the mainstream.

There may be a tendency to gravitate toward one another, to seek one another out for mutual support and mutual protection, to circle the wagons.

Add to this the fact that life in modern societies has become more and more about privacy, less and less about community engagement. We have reduced most of our incidental interactions with others to economic transactions, and those increasingly at an anonymous distance. Socially, we have retreated first into our living rooms and private clubs, then into social media and various online cliques.

In some ways of telling the story, polyamory really only got started as this kind of chosen community: people sought and found one another online, and networks began to form. This forum is an example.

Here's what I wonder, though. I know a handful of people whose leisre-time social circles - that is, social connections outside family, work, and school - consist almost entirely of people who are both poly and kinky.

That's a small sample, but I wonder if it is indicative of a trend, perhaps even an innate tendency in polyamory as it has developed.

So, thinking about your social interactions other than those associated with family, work, and school, and aside from time spent with partners/lovers/SOs, how much of your social time is spent interacting with other poly folk, whether online or in person?

This is an entirely unscientific poll, probably ill-structured and otherwise flawed, but I hope it might get an interesting conversation going.

PinkDragon 06-15-2012 02:37 PM

I'd have to say about 5% of my time is spent with other poly folk and that's only online. It's not like there's a huge pile of poly folk in my little burg.

feelyunicorn 06-15-2012 06:57 PM

None. I have gone to one poly meeting, and I met a cute girl there. There was a bi guy checking me out as well, I guess, but I was not physically attracted to him.

I`m supposed to go out to "teach her pool" this weekend, but I haven`t contacted her. I`m kind of freaking out. It would be my first date with someone who self-identifies as poly, and who`s already got a relationship.

The fact that I`m more of an open relationships guy, rather than poly, and therefore lean more toward a DADT and NSA background, and she`s so vocal about the L-bomb, kept me from contacting her thus far.

But, I think I will. She`s pretty. A thread on that later. :)

RfromRMC 06-15-2012 07:14 PM

Outside of work and family? Hmmmmm....

I would have to say my circle of friends is currently almost half Poly folks. I might have a slight bit more non-poly friends, if you're talking pure numbers. But if accounting for frequency of how much I hang out with whom, then a slight edge to the Poly's.

Alleycat 06-15-2012 07:38 PM

There's a few poly folk locally, but I move in different social circles than they do. We have some overlap within the BDSM community but don't really have much to do with each other. The local poly group also tends to run events that conflict with my work schedule so I normally don't make it out to their meetings/munches/ect.

RainyGrlJenny 06-15-2012 08:36 PM

Very little. My boyfriend's wife and her boyfriends are it, and I very rarely socialize with them other then to say hi if we run into each other at his home.

I used to go to the local poly potluck/meeting occasionally, but it's been years since I've done that. None of my friends/family are poly, and Fly (live-in boyfriend) doesn't really do sustained relationships. He's invited his playmates over once in a while if we're having a big BBQ or house party, but I don't always know who he's sleeping/slept with, and most of them identify as single or open, not poly. :)

Online is pretty much it, and "online poly" for me consists of this forum :)

nycindie 06-15-2012 08:52 PM

Do you really feel "we are a minority that would be reviled more than almost any other?" Poly is becoming more and more known, written about, reported on, and publicized, and I don't think it's true that polyfolk are more reviled than others.

And as far as being a chosen community, that is pretty much the case with any group of like-minded individuals or people with the same or similar interests. Of course people will seek others with whom they can share passions, interests, connection, camaraderie, etc. That's not very unusual.

I answered 0 to 20%.

hyperskeptic 06-15-2012 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 139785)
Do you really feel "we are a minority that would be reviled more than almost any other?" Poly is becoming more and more known, written about, reported on, and publicized, and I don't think it's true that polyfolk are more reviled than others.

Maybe this is just an impression I have: for the mainstream American mindset, at least, poly is near the bottom of the slippery slope, just above (or next to?) bestiality or, as one especially dense public official would have it, marrying inanimate objects.

What piqued my curiosity is not that poly folk have found one another and have communities (like this one) for support and encouragement, but a vague impression that associations of poly folk might tend to become exclusive communities or cliques, or a primary focus of social life.

All I had were vague impressions, though, based on very limited experience and small sample sizes.

From the responses to the poll, it would seem that people who consider themselves poly are quite diverse, in this as in many other respects.

WhatHappened 06-16-2012 03:10 AM

This came up just a night or two ago with my (poly/open) BF. He said apart from me and the few people in the group in which we met, virtually all his friends/ social life are from/with the kink/poly/open community.

opalescent 06-16-2012 03:44 AM

Most of my socializing is in either (or both) poly or kink communities. It's been good for me, especially as my marriage ended. I now want to work on developing hobbies and other friendship sets. I worry a bit about putting my eggs all in one basket.

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