Is anyone poly for nonsexual reasons?
Hi, here is my thing...
I sometimes have felt pressured to find a primary pair bond relationship for reasons that were not romantic and sexual - I am on the asexual spectrum to some extent (I'm demisexual to a degree) and do not have a huge sex drive when I'm alone. I tend to only want to have sex when I'm already with someone I love. I'm quite capable of being sexually monogamous and have tended to just lose sexual interest when relationships went south. I didn't feel the urge to go out and find someone else. I go a long time between partners. I have felt the pressure to partner however just to have companionship and deep connection but every time I've partnered, I ended up enjoying even LESS of this than I enjoyed as a single person. Plus I have had friendships that were "blurry" and were intimate to the degree of blurring the lines with partnerships. They just haven't been necessarily sexual (although one was).
I have felt a huge relief since discovering poly, like I found a missing piece. I was afraid at first that I would feel pressured to find somebody ("they date all of these people and I can't even find ONE!") but it's actually the opposite. I don't feel pressured at all, and feel like, if I have enough poly friends, I won't have a shortage of company so there's no real need to "pair off". I'm not left alone anymore just because all of my friends are "paired off". For the first time I feel relieved of this pressure and like if I wanted to live outside of the paradigm of marriage and primary partnership, then it would not mean being totally alone. I am a very loving friend and enjoy one-on-one time with people and connecting at a deep level. In a weird way, by letting go of the pair paradigm and by letting go of trying to find a soulmate, I feel more likely to actually find one, too.
Now that I have some poly friends, I always have someone to see a film with or talk to, even if they are in a relationship. The relationships aren't totally "airtight" against deep friendships with other people the way my monogamous friends' relationships are. I don't feel "left out" anymore and in fact I increasingly feel less and less like I "need a relationship". I'm a whole and complete member of a tribe, not a half person missing their other half. I am increasingly more and more comfortable just hanging loose and enjoying my friendships as they are, and letting things be where they are.
When I've been in monogamous relationships, however, that person tended to be very threatened by the other people in my life. I've ended up MORE lonely in relationships than I've ever been single. They expected to be the only person with whom I shared Deep Conversation type of energy. They wanted to be the only person who knew about my life. Trouble is, plenty of people do. I'm not that hard to know.
A friend of mine recently called me a "social swinger". I enjoy sexual and romantic relationships on occasion, but closeness is more my motivation than sex and I tend to want more closeness and depth than I seem to be able to get in any one relationship.
I'm not happy unless I have the freedom to talk to people and get to know people. Some of my friendships even get slightly "blurry" - some of my friendships are very loving, though not necessarily physical or even sexual (I don't have a high sex drive, in fact!) - and then I deal with the pain when the person goes off into a monogamous relationship, then completely shuts me out on all but a superficial basis.
As a result of this, I've discovered polyamorous friends and how wonderful they can be; there is a depth we can have together that I don't seem to be able to have with my friends who are in the "Pairs" relationship paradigm. They are able to talk to me all day and on deeper levels than my mono friends ever were because they are not as afraid of "what might happen". They're not pushing intimacy away, if it happens then it happens, so the friendship can simply be deeper. It's the level of depth that I prefer and have always missed in my friendships.
Seems monogamous people are either desperately looking for their half-a-pair, or jealously mate-guarding to the extent that they lock all of the other people out of their lives (except to have dinner parties with other monogamous pairs).
Whereas I am happiest living in an amorphous web of relationships (I'm capable of having multiple best friends) of various levels of depth and I don't want to feel like I have to suddenly transition my friendships to shallow acquaintanceships when I become romantic and sexual with somebody. I don't feel like I am a fit in the "pairs" world and I've been deeply unhappy when I've been part of a pair. I'd like to be in love - but I'd like it to evolve organically. The "pairs" world seems to leave no possibility for that.
What I also realize is that my previous relationships might have actually been better if we had been openly poly. I came with my network of deep connections, and they were threatened, and I was just arguing loudly "WE ARE NOT LIKE THAT! I Never slept with these people!" (in all but one case, one person was an ex and we're still close). It would have been MUCH easier if it could be on the table in the beginning: "these are the people in my life whom I love" instead of trying to sort everyone into the "friends" vs "lovers" box so neatly.
Could this be moved to "General Poly Discussions"? On second thought, I think this post is a better fit there.
Here it stays then.
Welcome to the Forum.
Fascinating position. I relate, a lot. Not completely, but a lot. :D
I adore my men, but they seem to run out of words rather quickly. Or they don't like to talk on the same subjects as I do, maybe. They like to argue, and I do not; but once agreed, they don't want to explore a topic further, and I do. Or maybe it's just I wanna know how they feel about stuff and they don' wanna talk about that.!
But I recently had an opportunity to have a long deep conversation with someone, and it was quite lovely; and I realize I miss that tons and tons.
Thanks for posting this.
My mother is monogamous in her marriage and is so paranoid about potential emotional infidelity and "how things look" that she doesn't even HAVE deep friendships, just the occasional lunch date with some other married straight woman. She is lonely, but she just considers this part of the price of being married and part of the sacrifice you make. :/
I have never been so in love with anyone that this would be a worthwhile sacrifice.
Um, I've never been in love with anyone who would even dream of me making that sacrifice.
But then, even when I was mono with MC for a short while when we were newly married (by choice, since I was still very much in the "honeymoon" phase with him and not looking for other connections), that never stopped me from talking to people. That's actually my favorite thing to do, besides read. When I stop talking to people, that's when I know something's wrong!
ETA: I think if it were not for the sexual connection, I would not consider it strictly "poly", but I can see where you're coming from. I've always been the type of person to develop close, intense friendships, and those who couldn't deal with it were cheerfully (or not) told where to get off. It makes sense that poly people would be less threatened by intense friendships, I just hadn't thought about it that way before. I didn't consider myself poly until TGIB and I started a committed relationship- what you're describing, to me, fits better in my category of "open"- open to possibilities, but not pushing for any goal in particular.
Also, Imaginary, I think you misread this (bold mine):
I have never been in a situation where I can imagine being sexual with more than one person - but I think it may be because my relationships weren't very long and my energy was consumed with trying to make these impossible situations work.
I am ready for something more spacious now, with more freedom. Where it's OKAY for me to love multiple people and while I don't necessarily feel like sleeping with more than one person (because it's rare I even feel like sleeping with one), the love wouldn't be damaged by trying so hard to keep the sex from happening.
What piqued my interest was the fact that a bi married poly friend is interested in me (I am a gay woman) and that I seem to keep having the most emotional and spiritual compatibility with poly people. At first I was really worried that if I enter a relationship with a married person (even if they are poly), I will feel pressured to find a primary mate myself.
But what I realized is that if I'm in a different relationship paradigm, I may actually not even need to be in a primary relationship and if one showed up, it'd be because it's what she and I both want.
Another thing - I have been close to any number of men (platonically) but the monogamy paradigm has ended the friendship, because their partner didn't approve.
It feels like the boundaries many monogamists try to put up, even keep their friends out.
I think I may have become so sexually shut down because sex = feeling trapped in a bad relationship, in my own experience, and it's not even something I associate with "fun" anymore.
At one point I was sleeping with a good friend (a bi man), long before I came out as a lesbian. We still saw other people but loved each other dearly. But we didn't have the language for this and wouldn't admit to our mutual friends that we were doing anything together as more than friends, because we had no language for what we were, and we were scared that we would end up socially "thinged" into something we didnt want to be. The problem was worse for me than him. I very much wanted to be with a woman, but couldn't admit I had any kind of relationship with this guy, and I hadn't heard of polyamory. He had no trouble being open and honest and still finding male lovers.
He would be the one who dried my tears when I was crying over a woman. He ultimately is the one who helped me come out and helped me realize that I really wanted to be with a woman and wasn't that attracted to men.
Eventually I ended the "benefits" part of the friendship, but then found my partners couldn't even deal with the fact that I am still close with this guy.
i stay over and we occasionally sleep in the same bed (clothed) when I come visit, which I don't do when I'm in a relationship. The sexual energy isn't there anymore though. We are like siblings quite a lot.
I have sexually been pretty monogamous, but if there's such a thing as emotional cheating, then I guess I am emotionally slutty. ;) I can feel close to either men or women... it's just that women are the ones I tend to want to go that extra step with.
As I equate poly with multiple loves-this makes perfect sense to me.
(it actually makes sense in a variety of ways).
My boyfriend and I do have a sexual relationship, but compared to my husband-he has damn near no sex drive. BUT-that's totally ok cause our lovelife is to diverse with one another. We're romantically, spiritually, socially and intellectually stimulated by one another-when the sexual mood strikes him-great, but it's not a requirement.
I think its great that you've found something that works better for you. :)
Hi QuietFever, welcome to the board!
Shoot a PM to Imaginary Illusion to move your thread. He did misread your post. This topic is of good general interest and should be on a different forum.
It's funny, even though I am a highly sexual woman, I can relate to your views on poly, and the sometimes unhealthy insularity of mono focused people, who shut themselves off from others to avoid jealousy.
Even thought I now know I've been poly all my life, like you, I didn't have a word for it for a long time, and in my case, I sometimes thought I was an immoral slut. I was in a mono relationship for 30 years, married, 3 kids, house, pets, etc.
My ex-husband has low self esteem and was highly jealous and threatened by any close relationships I had. This was particularly brought home when the internet developed message boards. I ended up on a board where I had a lot of platonic gfs who I became quite close with. My ex was even jealous of the time I spent with them, and imagined all we did was sit around and diss our male partners, including him. Sure, we did talk about issues we were having with our partners, but we also talked of so many other things! He always imagined the worst.
Also because of my poly nature, I would get crushes on friends sometimes, or on this or that celebrity. He used to scold me for having a crush on, say, Johnny Depp and tell me to get out and go live with him! (As if!)
Anyway, yeah, it was a blessing when the polyamory movement became more accessible via the internet and some new good books on the topic. Eventually my ex and I divorced, and I have found new partners and friends who really get my queer and poly nature, and my gods, it is SO freeing. I've never been happier in my life.
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