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-   -   Polyamorous and celibate (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6794)

MrFarFromRight 02-15-2011 04:02 PM

Polyamorous and celibate
 
HAAA! I thought that that title would arouse your curiosity!
But I can’t be the only one in this boat, surely? Polyamorous by conviction and on principle... and celibate by circumstances.
Interestingly enough, my present stretch of celibacy originated in a poly/non-poly problem. I was living in (was one of the founding members of) a rural commune and was up-front about my polyamory (although I didn't have that name for it back then). I started a relationship with one of the women ("The Mysterious Madame X") in that commune, not before letting her know that I found myself also attracted to another commune member.
Unfortunately, X turned out to have a BIG insecurity / jealousy problem and started (only 4 days into the sexual phase of our relationship) to accuse me of not loving her at ALL, of using her, etc. etc.
To cut short and simplify a very long and complicated story, X and I got to the point where one would leave the room when the other entered. This led to my abandoning the commune (I had no wish to live with anybody who seemed to be THAT negative about me, it was putting a strain on all my other [non-sexual] relationships in the commune) and to the commune's eventual (a few months after my leaving) disintegration.
What was more, the awful pain of all this (and the constant criticism I got from X) caused me to feel that I wasn't lovable, wouldn't ever find love again, etc. etc. (She REALLY put me through the wringer! Our sexual relationship only lasted 4 days, but MONTHS of living with somebody – especially somebody you’ve loved – who tries to make you feel as if, whatever you do: you’re a shit!... It wore me down.)
Thank goodness that I got over THOSE feelings! But, living as isolated (still rural) as I do, I just haven't got back into a relationship since then.
I live1000m above sea level, in a mountain valley with a population of about half a dozen. (“About” because it varies.) The nearest village (a 2hour walk away – and, no: you can’t get a car to my house) has a local reputation for being “closed” and conservative, the second nearest is friendlier but still rather conservative... as well as being smaller than the first one. On the few occasions that I go to the city, I'm hardly on the sexual prowl... Add to all that the fact that I'm unwilling to start any sexual relationship without “coming clean” about my polyamory, and the fact that most people need some getting used to the concept – and many women understand it [my “coming clean”] as: “Aha! Unwillingness To Commit! Preparing His Escape Route Before He’s Even Got A Foot Over The Threshold!”. So all in all I haven’t had much opportunity to start “a relationship”. Not that I'm desperate. For me, the sexual side to relationships has never taken first place. Friendship, trust, mutual respect... and actually liking each other have always been more important. And I get most of those in my non-sexual friendships.
I think that – more than the sex (after all, I do get sex now... it’s just “self-service”) – what I really miss most in a loving relationship are a sense of building something together, an EMOTIONAL intimacy, and – on the physical level – the cuddling. A German ex-girlfriend had a great name for it: “schmusen”. It applies not only to lovers, but to parent/child cuddling. But... not the sort of thing you do with “just good friends”. At least, not with MY “just good friends”.
[Some of my friends have a penchant for sarcasm and – if they ever read this – would comment: “HAAA! Sour grapes! J’s just so unattractive that he wouldn’t have a chance of attracting anybody anyway. Cuddle with him??? Eeeeeeeeee!!!”]
Anyway, I thought that I'd throw this topic into the forum and see if anybody else wants to comment or add their own experiences. (You have nothing to lose but your shame... and your reputation.)

River 02-15-2011 04:20 PM

MFFR,

That was an entertaining and delightful post. Thanks.

Too bad you're straight and you live in Spain (far away). But we can still be friends.

... Oh, forgot to mention ... [edit], you can edit your post so that it has better paragraph distinctions. That'd make it a little easier to read.

DrunkenPorcupine 02-19-2011 05:42 AM

I consider poly to be an "orientation" rather than a description of relationship.

Even though I'm currently single (and WAY too celibate), I'm still poly and identify as such.

LovingRadiance 02-20-2011 10:55 PM

I can't say that I find myself in your circumstance, however, my sister has on numerous occasions!

I agree that if I weren't in a romantic relationship that the "most missed" component, would be the cuddling.

There was a time, before I married, when I was the ominous "single" girl. But I was also a single parent and I think that saved me some. Because I always had that wonderful little Spicy Pea to cuddle up with!

I tell you what-aside from the sexual part of a relationship;
kids are the bomb and no man can compete!

The love my kids give me, the daily affection-hugs, kisses, cuddles etc... they just don't run out! They are like little walking romantic lovebugs! They'll color you pics, write you cards.. they share everything...

Too damn bad I'm such a sexual creature huh?
:rolleyes:

nycindie 02-20-2011 11:35 PM

Just because a person hasn't had sex in a while doesn't make them celibate. To be celibate is a choice one makes.

Celibacy is defined in the dictionary as the "abstention of sexual relations," and to abstain means "to hold oneself back voluntarily". You're not really celibate -- you're solo, available (correct?), and just haven't gotten any in a long time. I always think changing one's perspective helps.

I think, of course, it's good to have the "poly talk" soon after you meet someone, but not always before the first date. At least for me, I prefer to enjoy someone's company, see how I feel about them before talking about the parameters of what kind of relationship they should expect. That seems a little presumptuous to me. Because I know I can enjoy dating without expectation, and one never knows where that may lead. The surprising thing is that sometimes the guys I date mention non-monogamy before I do, and they are not part of the poly community. I think it's "in the air" and the wave of the future, so to speak. Additionally, when I do bring it up, I don't always see the need to use the word "polyamory." I talk in terms of exclusivity, and that I'm not looking for that. For some reason, that word is less threatening and makes the most sense to people just dating.

HTH!

MrFarFromRight 02-23-2011 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 67420)
I can't say that I find myself in your circumstance, however, my sister has on numerous occasions!

I agree that if I weren't in a romantic relationship that the "most missed" component, would be the cuddling.

There was a time, before I married, when I was the ominous "single" girl. But I was also a single parent and I think that saved me some. Because I always had that wonderful little Spicy Pea to cuddle up with!

I tell you what-aside from the sexual part of a relationship;
kids are the bomb and no man can compete!

The love my kids give me, the daily affection-hugs, kisses, cuddles etc... they just don't run out! They are like little walking romantic lovebugs! They'll color you pics, write you cards.. they share everything...

Too damn bad I'm such a sexual creature huh?
:rolleyes:

"kids are the bomb and no man can compete!" - I couldn't agree more! Also substituting "woman" for "man". Kids give their love with a full heart. It's a shame that society trains them to restrict that love to ONE person. (LovingRadiance, see my 2nd post on Annabel's thread.)

MrFarFromRight 02-23-2011 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 67428)
Just because a person hasn't had sex in a while doesn't make them celibate. To be celibate is a choice one makes.

Celibacy is defined in the dictionary as the "abstention of sexual relations," and to abstain means "to hold oneself back voluntarily". You're not really celibate -- you're solo, available (correct?), and just haven't gotten any in a long time. I always think changing one's perspective helps.

I think, of course, it's good to have the "poly talk" soon after you meet someone, but not always before the first date. At least for me, I prefer to enjoy someone's company, see how I feel about them before talking about the parameters of what kind of relationship they should expect. That seems a little presumptuous to me. Because I know I can enjoy dating without expectation, and one never knows where that may lead. The surprising thing is that sometimes the guys I date mention non-monogamy before I do, and they are not part of the poly community. I think it's "in the air" and the wave of the future, so to speak. Additionally, when I do bring it up, I don't always see the need to use the word "polyamory." I talk in terms of exclusivity, and that I'm not looking for that. For some reason, that word is less threatening and makes the most sense to people just dating.

HTH!

Yeah, I'm not talking about orientation here. My orientation is definitely poly.

As for "I think, of course, it's good to have the "poly talk" soon after you meet someone, but not always before the first date.", remember that the case I was talking about was living in a commune, where I think that the other members should know. And the specific case (of X) was that we were on the verge of a sexual relationship when I told her about my interest in another commune member. I was trying to avoid exactly what happened later. X - knowing her own jealousy/insecurity - should never have started with me.

I can see women (get involved on a non-sexual basis - "dating" is a fairly foreign concept to me) without bringing up my polyamory. But once it gets to the point of "this is it", I feel that it would be unfair to keep it mum.

And to your point: "I talk in terms of exclusivity, and that I'm not looking for that. For some reason, that word is less threatening and makes the most sense to people just dating." Many women, hearing me say "I'm not looking for exclusivity" would assume (especially coming from a man) that I'm into "casual". I'm not looking for "casual"! I'm looking for depth, and passion, and commitment... just not with only one person.

"The surprising thing is that sometimes the guys I date mention non-monogamy before I do, and they are not part of the poly community." Why "surprising"? Men have been doing this for ages - most mean: "Now don't get serious on me!"

LovingRadiance 02-24-2011 01:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrFarFromRight (Post 67847)
"kids are the bomb and no man can compete!" - I couldn't agree more! Also substituting "woman" for "man". Kids give their love with a full heart. It's a shame that society trains them to restrict that love to ONE person. (LovingRadiance, see my 2nd post on Annabel's thread.)

Yes, I did read it. :) Very cool.

I agree, men, women, dog, cat, kids are just much more amazing. Now, since we're all graced with starting as children, if we could only figure out how to remain so amazing in adulthood!

;)

BlackUnicorn 02-24-2011 07:26 PM

Trust good old me to ask all the stupid questions:

online dating/long-distance?

MrFarFromRight 03-11-2011 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 68061)
Trust good old me to ask all the stupid questions:

online dating/long-distance?

Sorry, BlackUnicorn, somehow I haven't noticed your question until now. (Mind you, I have been off-line for 2 weeks with a cold.)
I have nothing against long-distance relationships (LDRs: I'm learning the lingo). And I did join one dating site (got a friendship out of it, at least). But I have a principle that doesn't go down too well with most users of dating sites: I'd rather be celibate than monogamous. This doesn't mean that I need more than one relationship at a time. It means that the groundrules have to be clear from the start: I DO NOT restrict her sexual freedom, I DO NOT accept her restricting mine. For most who aren't already convinced polys, this means one of 2 things:
1) casual
2) fear of commitment

I don't do casual. Not that I'm morally opposed to it - or even think it might be more natural... and that I might be happier if I did do casual. But I'm an old-fashioned romantic, and I really don't miss the sex enough to accept sex without love. As I've written earlier, it's the emotional bond and the cuddling I miss more than the sex.

As for that "fear of commitment", I WANT to commit. I want to commit 100%. Here is this conundrum: Is it possible to commit 100% to each of several people? I think so. I really do believe that there is no limit to Love.

Another factor: I'm a stubborn old goat. I refuse to conform to others' standards... especially when it would be good politics to do so. Example: I have a wild, straggly (greying) beard. A few of my women friends have said: "But, J, you'd look so much younger and more attractive if you'd just shave your beard off!"
My unreasonable reply: "Anyone who needs to see me beardless to notice my worth as a person doesn't interest me as a possible girlfriend."


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