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-   -   Labels: Poly, Mono, heterosexual, homosexual, etc. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2589)

Honestheart 04-20-2010 03:01 AM

Labels: Poly, Mono, heterosexual, homosexual, etc.
 
Just curious,
am in a contemplative kinda mood tonight...I am not looking for somebody to tell me what i am... i am actually wondering if others have gone through something like what i describe below...
so here goes...

At times i have felt the need to "label" in an attempt to define myself and others around me so i may better understand.... but as i get older, I find said labels are restrictive and well... not true nor necessarily applicable or required...

I found myself wondering what am i if i choose to be open to new experiences. I have found myself to be only capable of handling one man at a a time. not that i cannot love more than one man, because i have experienced that,loving more than one man at a time, but that i find time wise and life wise what i want can come from being in an exclusive monogamous relationship... well exclusive from my side anyways
because
I find that I am fine if my SO is in love and had another partner. as long as it is healthy relationship where he still has time for me AND for her equally.

Unfortunately, that has not happened... yet (?) and i find myself turning the page on poly relationships... for now (?). but that is another story and another thread (possibly?) for another time (maybe?)

anyways
so what does that make me... if i am capable of loving more than one man, but choose to love one man but i am ok with that man being in love with more than just me.
monogamous?
is it a mono-poly relationship.... seeing as how i can love more than one but choose to love only one making me "mono" and then my partner would be "poly" ?
or am i poly, because i am capable and have loved more than one person at a time... i've just chosen to be with only one man for my own personal reasons...
i guess what i am saying is the answer i have found to my question of what am i is... I'm ME. but if anybody were to ask what i was... poly, mono, hetro, lesbian...
I wouldn't know what to answer....
other than to say
"i'm open to love in any form as long as it is love and not lust or just experimental."
it is not that i do not know who or what i am...it is simply... I am ME. I know what I want, whether that comes from a monogamous or polyamorous partner....

what about you? have you struggled with labels in an attempt to define yourself? did you find them restrictive too? not looking for somebody to say what i am.... i'm just wondering if others have gone through that same "label" struggle that i have been through?
.... am in a contemplative kinda mood tonight as i said earlier ;-)

LovingRadiance 04-20-2010 04:05 AM

I have struggled with labels. I think it's more like you are poly in nature but choosing a lifestyle of monogomy on your side.

See-I'm bi. But currently I have a husband and a boyfriend (no girl there).... so I'm living a "straight" lifestyle, but that sure as hell does not stop my motor from running when I see a beautiful woman... no doubt I am actually bi. Just not in a bi relationship.

I am finding that I am getting less and less interested in labels with my age as well.
They just seem to be more complication than they are help for me these days! :rolleyes:

I think it's just part of the growing process. ;)

Honestheart 04-20-2010 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 27100)
I am finding that I am getting less and less interested in labels with my age as well.
They just seem to be more complication than they are help for me these days! :rolleyes:

I think it's just part of the growing process. ;)

I think that you are right, it is a part of the growing process, being true to yourself and the people around you and being open. we grow up and are taught to have predetermined labels, i mean take a look at clicques in high school, for example. but as we grow up, we relaise those cliques, or rather those labels, really arent all that worthwhile.
for me "open" is no labels and accept people as who they are without trying to fit them into a label that society has set like that person is "bi-sexual", that one is heterosexual", that one is "homosexual", polyamorous", monogamous, polygamous... etc etc etc. don't get me wrong, being able to have a word to describe what type of relationship you engage in is fine BUT when you use it solely to define who you are... i just find it so restrictive...

Ariakas 04-20-2010 03:51 PM

Well unless the label actually fits. I am straight. 100% sure of that. Not heteroflexible, not pan sexual. Straight.

I rarely agree with labels but sometimes they work :)

Quote:

See-I'm bi. But currently I have a husband and a boyfriend (no girl there).... so I'm living a "straight" lifestyle, but that sure as hell does not stop my motor from running when I see a beautiful woman... no doubt I am actually bi. Just not in a bi relationship.
I relate to this, I am a poly person in a currently mono relationship that is open. My wife is bi but currently not with a woman...ahhh the joys of limbo hhaah

Also, labels do simplify if you are trying to find people online to relate to. Its very hard to convey personality online, most people have a false sense of bravado and will label themselves certain ways for simplicity.

I am a straight conservative (by canadian standards) kinky poly queer loving 35 year old male.

In that sentence you at the very least get a feel for my politics, gender, sexuality, age etc. Now if you met me in person, all of those apply, but there are nuances that will be missed. But for the sake of, say a dating site, thats needed to at least break the ice. Unfortunately I find meeting people online for dating purposes infinitely more difficult than in person. In some circles, the "straight, 35 year old, white male" is a interesting hindrance at times.

vandalin 04-20-2010 08:13 PM

Quote:

In some circles, the "straight, 35 year old, white male" is a interesting hindrance at times.
I like straight, 35 year old white males ;) ...I'll be married to one in a month (he turns 35 then).

Labels are fine, misuse and distortion of labels is the problem. All adjectives are labels, whether colors, numbers, or other. And they all can and most have been used to be insulting or marginalized. How many different labels have been used to describe a persons race for instance? What was originally used just to describe a person became insulting and degrading so another label had to be made up. (realizes she's on a soap box and steps down quickly)

Anyways... labels should be used to describe, but not to define. IMHO at least.

Ariakas 04-20-2010 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vandalin (Post 27142)
I like straight, 35 year old white males ;) ...I'll be married to one in a month (he turns 35 then).

In the kink circles, its actually insulting to be called straight (apparently almost as bad as vanilla). I had one of the dommes almost use it like a slur. "You are STRAIGHT...you don't get it"...

meh, I almost laughed at her, but she would have likely bent me over and tried to spank me and I wasn't up for a top fight haha...besides at over 300 pounds and burly she kinda scared me hahaha

vandalin 04-20-2010 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 27143)
In the kink circles, its actually insulting to be called straight (apparently almost as bad as vanilla). I had one of the dommes almost use it like a slur. "You are STRAIGHT...you don't get it"...

My soapbox point exactly. Used as a descriptor, it is fine. She used it as an insult which is where labels "go wrong".

redpepper 04-21-2010 11:20 PM

Oh how we have talked about this topic at length... it almost makes me cringe at some of the debates we have had... especially about primary and secondary definitions. I learned one thing though that took me forever to get but makes sense to me...

It is important, I think, to not prescribe a view of poly (and it's definitions there in), but to describe ones relationships instead. If one prescribes a view then they are saying that their rules/boundaries/agreements etc. are correct and everyone else's are bunk. If one describes their relationship as their own then they are saying that it is theirs alone and can compare theirs to others or others can compare to them... in this sense labels aren't necessary but are used as an individuals own personal language and can be respected as such. They can change what ever they want as time goes on and the relationships in their lives go through the fluidity that they naturally go through. It all can be talked about without putting labels on others but in the spirit of wondering about others instead.

Apparently this idea came from an article that xeromag put out. Am I right? I never read it but if you did a search perhaps you would find it??? sorry, this is all I know, but it has been useful to me and I pass on what I know.....:confused::o

saudade 04-22-2010 04:58 PM

labels and me
 
@RP: I think that's well put. Thanks!

As for me... I love using labels as a shorthand. On here, for example, or when first explaining something to a person, it's so much more convenient to say "my vee" or "my primaries" or "hot bi babe" or whatever word is in common parlance, than it is to use my idiosyncratic, more accurate label. Like RP said, being descriptive rather than prescriptive is often the key to how I feel about it. ("I have to be female and fit in this box" is far harder to live by than "I have female genitalia and dress as a woman, so that's how I choose to gender myself".)

I think the appropriateness of using a self-label varies-- probably by how closely I fit the conventional definition of the term. I am hard-wired poly (to borrow Mono's language) and female, but my preference for gender in a partner is much harder to pin down. I say I'm bisexual when asked, because saying I'm 'heteroflexible with a girlfriend from the waist up' doesn't make much sense to strangers! :rolleyes:

As for labeling others.. I do my best to use whatever labels the person I'm speaking about uses (or would in that situation, ex. if closeted)... and it's so important to ask rather than assuming! I actually completely missed an ex hitting on me because he switched from the 'gay' label to the 'bi' label when he was flirting with me, and I didn't notice until he confessed his love a year later! :o:cool:

vandalin 04-22-2010 05:20 PM

Quote:

and it's so important to ask rather than assuming!
This is very important as well as if using your own definitions to make sure the person you are talking to understands what you mean.

I am part of a philosophical discussion group and we have had some very aggravated people at times when someone assumes that their definition of something is the same as what everyone else is using. We also have some people who get very upset when we spend the first half of the group time just defining a word. lol To them, it's one thing if the question for the night is, "What is evil?" and another thing if the question is "Is such and such evil?"

But what truly amazes me is the fact that people really do have different definitions for words and ideas that are so commonly used and they assume that everyone thinks the same.


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