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Old 12-19-2011, 06:00 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
But goddamn I resent the wording in the first sentence of the bit you quoted above, as it clearly implies that a secondary partner, who does not get veto power, is not participating in "real love."
Second this.

Otherwise, I understand their point of view about veto, and it's fine if it works for them. However, it comes from a view that is not made explicit: that one's primary partner has better judgement than one has oneself when it comes to people one wants to start a relationship with. If that isn't made explicit, you can counter that with something like

"I trust you with control over who you sleep with, because I trust you to make your decision based not only on your personal preferences and enjoyment but on a real consideration of my needs, wishes, and safety." If you do not have this level of trust in them, you need to pull back from polyamorous adventures and work on trust-building within the relationship.

Personally, that's the route I take, trusting my own and my partners judgement about our own sexual/romantic relationships. However, I can understand why somebody would want an agreement like that. And if it turned out, for example, that NRE clouds my judgement completely and that resulted in lots of drama, I might consider giving my long-standing partner(s) such power myself (but I would have an expiration date for the veto even in that case).

I read the article and I really don't know what to say about it. It was an interesting reading experience. There was something about it that made me uncomfortable but I'm not quite sure at first thought what it is. That's why I want to take a second look, and see what it actually comes from: the wording, my self-reflection (wouldn't work for me), or if I feel there's actually something "wrong" (i.e. unethical) about their rules. Let's see. (Sorry if you only wanted to talk about the rule about veto here, but since you posted the link I figured it's fine if I comment on the other stuff as well.)

Well, firstly, I feel the wording is strange in this
A. If either of us want to have sexual/romantic relations with someone else, they must bring that person in to be interviewed by the other primary partner before sexual relations have occurred.

This is the first place where we weed "em out. If you're not willing to be grilled by my spouse, then obviously you must not want me that badly, right? Am I worth it, or not?
I would feel quite uneasy with the demand that I must be interviewed by somebody's partner. I don't mind meeting them, and I certainly think that isn't an unreasonable request. But I don't know, while I'm all for loving oneself and healthy self-esteem, if somebody asked me "Am I worth it, or not?" question, I would feel like they think they are such a price that I, a mere average person, should be so lucky to have the opportunity to have sexual/romantic relations with them. Not superbly hot.

Similarly not hot is the wording with this
H. Any and all emotional misunderstandings must be settled by consensus, with mediation if necessary, before they become resentful and blow up. Repeated inability on the part of non-primary lovers to talk through misunderstandings and come to useful compromises will result in disqualification due to immaturity. Repeated unwillingness to bring up emotional resentments before they become dangerous will have the same result. Inability to get along with other primary partner after repeated processing will also have the same result. Remember, the committed relationship comes first.
I'm not opposed to these boundaries as such, and I think it's a good idea to not continue to build relationships where there are severe communication problems from the beginning. But the whole disqualification due to immaturity and the committed relationship comes first... I find it off-putting. Like they are such perfect creatures that, again, anybody with the opportunity to date them should consider themselves blessed. (It would be interesting to know if others read this kind of attitude in the wording or if there's just something in it that triggers me. )

Now with this
I. If genetic male-identified males wish to date Bella, they must first court Raven's permission to do so. Gifts are encouraged.

This is a negotiation around possessiveness and insecurities that we are both especially proud of. When it came to Bella seeing other people, somehow it was very hard for me when she wanted to see genetic male-identified males. I worried that she'd revert to a former pattern of being attracted to abusive, alcoholic jerks. I worried that they'd treat me politely on the surface, but inside they'd be laughing at me for letting them "screw my woman". I worried that they'd start pissing contests with me out of sheer habit. And, yes, I was just kind of possessive and insecure.
I feel the rule is a bit odd, but I also give props for being honest about the reasons behind it. However, I feel that same is not done with this
B. Bella will experience penetrative sex only with Raven.

Sometimes it's good thing to have one special sexual act, even above and beyond those acts limited by body fluid monogamy, that is only for primary partners. It means that when you do this one thing, you are affirming your unique relationship to each other; that it is irreplaceable and unlike any other connection in your lives. It's OK to have one special thing for each relationship, of course, but it's best to pick things that aren't the other partner's cup of tea anyway, if possible.
I do agree that it is OK to have special things to affirm your unique relationship. But my gut tells me that if that was the reason behind this rule, the wording would go something like "Bella and Raven will only experience penetrative sex with each other.". I think it is fine to have rule "Bella will experience penetrative sex only with Raven" if Bella's fine with it. I merely feel that a honest grown-up should own up to the fact that their reasons have to do with insecurities around penetrative sex, and not try to rationalise it with the special uniqueness of the relationship. I'm not buying that and I hope Bella isn't either.
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