Thread: Poly Map
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post
I think the second chart is much clearer. However if the purpose of the first one that in the OP is humor, then the mildly confusing/crazy set up makes sense.

I also think the Franklin chart would be much less offensive to some if it didn't have the odd statements in quotations. THAT part is what made me dislike it. The statements themselves seemed judgmental whereas the second chart included a definition instead of a statement that could come from someone that falls in the category.

@Scott - Why do you think commercial sex should be a part of the charts? Not trying to pick on you, but I feel like it would generally fall under one of the other categories (i.e. hiring a prostitute = promiscuity OR cheating, hiring a pro-dom/me = open relationship or cheating, etc). I'm curious how it could form it's own sub-group.

This whole chart thing has made me agree with those that think labels suck!
This is one of those hot button topics, to be sure. Hiring a sex worker doesn't mean that you have to be cheating on anyone, although I have heard from someone who has been in the business that a lot of people do hire them for that purpose. I certainly don't think that cheating is a good thing, but it's certainly a form of non monogamy. I have spoken to people who are now polyamorous, but their first step was actually cheating. Sometimes, it's just too difficult to go from monogamy straight to ethical non monogamy, so a transition is required. I myself never needed such a transition, but I'm only 36 and I knew about polyamory since I was in my early 20s; since I hadn't even yet had a girlfriend at the time, when I finally found a girl who I wanted to be my girlfriend, I told her my mindset pretty much from the get go.

Ok, now on to sex workers; many of them are clearly in the non monogamy field. I found an article from a semi retired sex worker. Here's the portion that I found most interesting:

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When people say prostitution is the world's oldest profession, they mean that since the beginning of time women have not given their love away for free. Men are the opposite. Not only are they inclined to give their love freely, they are prepared to do or give anything to obtain it. This is the principal characteristic of sexual reproduction, which we share with other animals.

Girls learn at an early age that many men, young and old, are attracted to her. This thrills and frightens her. Her biological task, however, is to be fertilised by one man who is not only as healthy and as possible, but is willing to help her raise and protect children he made with her.

As it turns out, young, strong, prosperous men with a high social status have always been the most wanted on the marriage market. Their qualities are, as it were, entrance tickets to vaginas. This makes marriage the most popular and acceptable form of prostitution.

In the wider market of sexual desire and the search for gratification, marriage may be the top attraction, but there is a wide variety of sexual liaisons beneath that pinnacle of respectability. Girls recognise themselves as sexually attractive and experience satisfaction from looking at their own image in the mirror. Fashion, the make-up industry and the soft pornography of advertising exert a strong attraction.

Some girls start having sex at a younger age than others, but all discover that they obtain favours in exchange for the sexual satisfaction they provide. They may be looking for Mr Right and marriage and a a family of their own, but in the meantime they also want to have fun. They have affairs and are helped by their partners to get a nice job, a fine apartment, a better living-standard. Usually this occurs so naturally that the idea of 'prostitution' doesn't even arise, especially when there is only one man and he is truly in love and she likes him. Such 'mistresses' or 'lady friends' are usually kept in the background, but they may also become influential advisers and hold a high position in society.

If the number of contacts increases, and the price per meeting is set more explicitly it becomes more recognisable as prostitution, but here, too, there are ranks to be distinguished. The higher class of professional lovers are called 'geisha', 'hostess', or 'escort'. Essential questions are, of course: does the woman decide with whom she has sex and in what way? Does she have self-confidence and is she educated? Does she have enough knowledge about sex to make smart decisions and does she have the freedom to decide for herself what she wants? Recently, conservative religious feminism has begun to condemn prostitution as a crime against women. To support this claim, every sexual act for payment is considered 'rape'. The 'escorts' claim that they act out of free will, is dismissed as self-deception.

There is, as always, a scale of distinctions between the higher and lower ranks of prostitution. At the bottom of the scale are the victims of sex-trafficking who are sold like slaves, are nothing but objects and don't have anything to say about their lives. They see themselves as failures, as opposites of the successfully married middle class wives and mothers, a status to which they aspire.

But both extremes are somewhat fictional, and figure mainly in moralist discourse about prostitution. In reality, there exist all kinds of gradations of 'sex in exchange for something' in the sexual market place...
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