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Old 04-12-2012, 10:46 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Location: Yelm, Washington
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Re (from CielDuMatin, Post #11):
"If you use polyamory to mean any type of love, whether it's Agápe, Éros, Philia, or Storge (to use the Greek model) -- in other words if you include the love of family, pets and possessions, then it devalues the term to make it completely useless, in my opinion."
LOL, can't say I entirely disagree ... (We already have an all-purpose word for love ... namely, the word "love.")

Re (from CielDuMatin, Post #11):
"The problem with the perennially-occurring 'we are all poly' statement is that it usually only serves to alienate and upset folks who don't feel the same way about romantic love and who feel that, by being put in the same pot, they are being told that it's somehow unnatural to only want one person romantically in their lives."
Yes, I agree that's a problem.

I know that some people do believe that all people are inherently poly, and that's using the (more standard) romantic/sexual definition of the word. Can't say I *know* that they're wrong, but I *believe* that at least *some* people are naturally/internally monogamous. (The jury's out as to how much effect social conditioning has on the true-versus-apparent number of inherently poly people. And of course it's true that one's monogamous-or-polyamorous inclinations may change over time.)

I don't mean to say that monogamous people "don't belong to our club" or shouldn't be included. I just recognize that various people have their diversity from each other, and I value that diversity. It's one of the reasons why it's beneficial to get together with other people; their differences from us are something that can bring out the best in us. (Hope that made some sense.)

Re (from InfinitePossibility, Post #12):
"For me -- not monogamous I think is how I would describe not being monogamous. Maybe?"
Perhaps. There are some people who actually equate the word "polyamory" with "non-monogamy," or at least, with "responsible non-monogamy." But non-monogamy can include quite a range of things, including swinging, which is different from (the standard definition of) polyamory (although there is overlap). Polyamory is more of an emotionally-involved version of non-monogamy; swinging tends to avoid any emotional entanglements (except between primary partners). I personally tend to see poly and swing as both related to sex, but just differing in how they focus on emotional attachments.

Wikipedia says the following about Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart (who is generally credited with originally having coined the word "polyamorous"):
"In 1999, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart was asked by the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to provide a definition of [polyamory] (which the dictionary had not previously recognised). Her definition was:
'The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. This term was meant to be inclusive, and in that context, we have never intended to particularly exclude "swinging" per se, if practitioners thereof wished to adopt the term and include themselves ... The two essential ingredients of the concept of polyamory are more than one; and loving. That is, it is expected that the people in such relationships have a loving emotional bond, are involved in each other's lives multi-dimensionally, and care for each other. This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, "cheating," serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as "mate-swapping" parties.'"
Re (from InfinitePossibility, Post #12):
"I suppose that one of my reasons for asking is that so often I think we (at least in Western society) are encouraged to see romantic and familial love as the only kinds that count ... I think that devalues the love that people have for friends and pets. And the love that their friends and pets return."
Well, yes, I would think it would be a bad idea to give one kind of love more reverence than the other. One can have very meaningful relationships outside the romantic/familial kind.

Re (from InfinitePossibility, Post #12):
"These tend to be seen as lesser types of love and so often we are encouraged to move away from them and toward romantic love and having our own children (or at least that was my experience of spending a long period during my child bearing years free from any romantic entanglements)."
Well whoever was "encouraging" you in that direction wasn't being very respectful of your choices on how to express and realize love in your life.

Polyamory and monogamy are sometimes thought of as being two sides of a sliding scale. That us, most people aren't "completely monogamous" or "completely polyamorous;" they're maybe "somewhat monogamous" and "quite a bit polyamorous" or something to that effect. There's even a word for that (sliding scale), it's called the Lorax scale (comparable to the Kinsey scale, which estimates the degrees to which one is gay or straight).

As always, polyamory is defined in a wide variety of ways by many different people, and I guess that's okay too. Just so we all know what our definitions are when we talk to each other using the word in question.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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