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-   -   Poly Vs. Social Groups (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36487)

hyena 01-06-2013 07:14 AM

Poly Vs. Social Groups
 
Okay, so here's something I'm curious of everyone's take on. I'm sure there's a thread somewhere about some of this stuff, but hey, I'm lazy.

So, I grew up in a relatively traditional area (Kentucky), playing punk rock and hanging out with the rock n' roll scene. Despite the sex & drugs attitude, most of that group was fairly traditional in its relationships; people were usually taken and monogamous (although infidelity was rampant and communication was lacking, to say the least). I was very much accustomed to that.

In the last several years, though, I've been playing in different scenes that I don't really have experience in, and I've noticed that the poly lifestyle is hyper prevalent in some social groups - to such an extent that it really surprises me. The band I'm in now plays a lot of Steampunk or nerd-culture conventions, and I was absolutely amazed to find that poly was, in many cases, the norm. The same is true with the DIY punk scene around the country. I've been absolutely blown away at times - there are moments where I've told a new friend/prospective partner about my lifestyle and been greeted with a (genuine) "Of course! What's new? Everyone here is. I'm surprised when I meet someone who isn't".

Some of that seems based in the fact that all of those cultures are in some way outsiders. I imagine someone who is outside the mainstream in general will obviously be open to other non-traditional lifestyles (particularly the DIY scene, because there is a huge feminist, consent-based, genderqueer & pansexual component). But on the other hand, it's still very surprising to me given my upbringing.

The question: have you all noticed any groups/cultures/scenes that seem to really cater to poly (outside of the kink culture and such)? Are there certain groups who seem to flock towards non-monogamy, or vice-versa? And why do you think that is?

turtleHeart 01-06-2013 07:19 AM

Are you familiar with conventions like Dragon Con in Atlanta? Or Burning Man? Circus arts like aerial dance, fire spinning, poi, drum circles, etc? Oh, and lots of computer programmers and tabletop gamers.

hyena 01-06-2013 07:24 AM

Oh sure. Those are, to some extent, what I'm talking about (although I've never been to a burn). More specifically, the groups within them. Dragoncon, for instance, has tons of polys, but it also has tons of people. I'm just curious why certain specific groups seem so into it.

And as for circus arts, I've been doing sideshow work for years (blockhead, sword swallow, fire, mentalism). Definitely know that, and the weirdos that inhabit it.

Helo 01-06-2013 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyena (Post 176109)
Some of that seems based in the fact that all of those cultures are in some way outsiders. I imagine someone who is outside the mainstream in general will obviously be open to other non-traditional lifestyles (particularly the DIY scene, because there is a huge feminist, consent-based, genderqueer & pansexual component).

This is pretty much it.

When you're on the outside already, the other people sharing that space with you suddenly dont seem as strange.

NovemberRain 01-06-2013 05:55 PM

I'm beginning to think that some of that is also an age thing. I think the current younger generation (whatever one may call it) is more inclined to be group/family/tribe/less-individually oriented, and poly is a natural expression/consequence of that.

Not to diss all the aging hippies that are poly. :D Of course they're everywhere. I'm just thinking it's coming to be more prevalent/accepted/whatever in a younger crowd.

Helo 01-06-2013 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NovemberRain (Post 176202)
I'm beginning to think that some of that is also an age thing. I think the current younger generation (whatever one may call it) is more inclined to be group/family/tribe/less-individually oriented, and poly is a natural expression/consequence of that.

Not to diss all the aging hippies that are poly. :D Of course they're everywhere. I'm just thinking it's coming to be more prevalent/accepted/whatever in a younger crowd.

I would second this. I've found a lot more people my age who are functionally poly but just dont call it that. The vast majority of the people I've found who declare themselves to be "polyamorous" are of a greater vintage than I.

hyena 01-08-2013 08:56 AM

I love the term "greater vintage".

That's what is interesting to me. I've known plenty of people that have been (for lack of a better term) "free-love", and occasionally their definitions sync up wonderfully with mine, but I'm amazed at how well the entire term "poly" has made it around. Even with the older folks. I mean all of this, of course, in a good way.

Helo 01-10-2013 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyena (Post 176535)
I love the term "greater vintage".

That's what is interesting to me. I've known plenty of people that have been (for lack of a better term) "free-love", and occasionally their definitions sync up wonderfully with mine, but I'm amazed at how well the entire term "poly" has made it around. Even with the older folks. I mean all of this, of course, in a good way.

From my experience, a plurality of the people who actually identify as "polyamorous" today are 35 years of age and higher. They're either direct participants or products of a lot of the "free love" philosophy of the 60's and 70's and when the term "polyamory" came along they picked it up to describe what it was they were already doing. IIRC, "polyamory" didn't enter the OED till 2000 or so.

The younger generation seems to be in that phase where its practiced just not identified. I hear people talking a lot about how this generation is all about "transient" relationships and "hooking up" but I think our greater exposure to each other has just brought was was the normal state of affairs into the open.


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