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Old 04-26-2012, 03:35 AM
Shadowgbq Shadowgbq is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 18

Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
As for making absolute pronouncements, I don't think that's what I was doing. My point is that it is how people treat each other that matters more than anything, and that good, healthy, respectful relationships can be poly or mono or whatever else one wants to call it. Where is the absolute pronouncement I am supposedly making in that?
Thank you, of course for the reassurances. Likewise. I am having a blast corresponding with you and the other folks here. I figure with my ideas, I could spend two months lurking, carefully getting to know everyone & saying nary a bad word, but then I would end up offending everyone anyway when the real back-and-forth got going. So I skipped the first two months. Hopefully that doesn't make me Pol Pot. (I do smoke Pot.)

"It is bullshit," "It's bullshit to say that," & "Again that is bullshit" sound like absolute pronouncements to me, but then again I live in the country & I've developed quite a distaste for cow manure. :-)

Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And I don't even know what you mean by subjectivism - I mean, I know what the word means but don't understand why you say I was preaching it. That isn't a word I would use to talk about this topic.
I have a garage understanding of philosophy, so I may indeed be using the word wrong. My understanding is that "subjectivism" means that reality is different for every individual & no objective truth exists.

Honestly, the explanation for why my group thinks monogamy is objectively a bad thing opens a much bigger can of worms than message-board chitchat. It involves challenging premises that we all take for granted. For instance, we argue that "need" shouldn't be the basis on which relationships are sought out or formed, that a relationship should be positive-goal seeking instead of negative-goal seeking.

We're also quite fond of using thought-experiments that place sex in a normative frame of reference, along with other intimate, personal expression & social interaction such as art, music, platonic friendship etc. What if "mono-friend-ist" was considered a normal, natural "orientation" for people just like mono-amory/monogamy? That once you made one good platonic friend, all other expressions of friendship with anyone were considered a betrayal, a negative, "cheating" on the original friendship? Would that "work for people" who consented to it? Would they not be restricted or possessed in any unhealthy way by their mono-friend? Try answering without appealing to convention or common practice, i.e. "People have shown they feel a need to..." or "Romantic love has always been thought of in a different way..."

Lastly, we're very concerned with figuring out what sex & love actually are -- the actual inherent meanings of those things. Very few people have ever tried to define love or sex as an objective value, yet somehow people endlessly pontificate & debate what to do about them. There is no way to build a house without a foundation, and I don't agree with you that all foundations are the same. If confronted on one hand with a Buddhist and on the other with a Nazi, I feel strongly that the Nazi has a lot of, well, bullshit that led him to be a Nazi. The labels and paradigms we choose have something to do with who we are. They are not simply arbitrary blank slates.

Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Never in my 12-year monogamous marriage did I feel I owned my husband or his dick. I have known a great many people who simply have no need for multiple lovers but who also do not see their partners, nor their partner's sexuality, as something they possess. And there are more than a few "monos" who belong to this forum. Polyamorous relationships aren't that much different than monogamous ones, in the sense that respect, caring, integrity, and honesty are crucial for them to work well and be satisfying. If there are flaws in the relationship, look at the people who aren't managing it well. It's so easy to make monogamy the scapegoat. Now I am not denying that there are ideas and stereotypes in "popular culture," about monogamous relationships, that coincide with what you're saying, but to make blanket statements about people in monogamous relationships, calling them "people-owners" and immoral, just sounds silly and arrogant.
I agree with much of what you say. You make me realize I've been using the word "monogamy" in a narrow definition. I don't mean people who choose to only be sexually/romantically involved with one person because that's the only person they're interested in. I'm using monogamy in the common "IF you betray our exclusivity, then we have a problem" sense where a partner is expected to NOT express their sexuality in ways w, x, y, or z to anyone except the monogamous partner, at the risk of being cast as bad/hurtful/guilty & being a "cheater." If sexual expression is inherently positive & comes from a good compassionate place, then that sort of monogamy amounts to informing one's partner that what is good about them makes them bad because it wasn't expressed to only YOU. In short, it's consensual megalomania.

Two people who only go out w/ each other because it's the only sex or romantic expression they find themselves honestly interested in -- now that's something different. A few wiseguys in my movement would say, "Yes, the vocabulary word is boring" -- but I've known people who have a hard time even getting up the gumption to be involved with one person. As my friend Aaron Howard puts it, "love and fuck are difficult." So I have sympathy toward people who are monogamists because they're only attracted to or comfortable with one person out of everyone they've met. It's not necessarily ideal, but it's what some are driven to, and I do my very best to understand & accept them.

As far as being silly or arrogant, what's more silly or arrogant than to ask your partner to consent to only express her sexuality to YOU personally, directly, in situations that you approve of because they involve you being naked & receiving pleasure? This touches on the "business deal" model of relationships that I believe is at the core of most possessive/monogamist attitudes & emotional problems. Will Murphy, a philosopher who is a friend of the movement I belong to but himself a monogamist (of the second category mentioned) claims that most people not only use each other all the time, but they wouldn't even understand what it would mean not to use each other. I understand why I'm an unpopular person saying that I agree with that, but clearly we can see something is wrong -- our divorce rate & tells us how badly our relationship culture is failing people. I believe that searching for a better way is more humble, more rational, than patting everyone on the back & continuing off the cliff.

Last edited by Shadowgbq; 04-26-2012 at 03:50 AM.
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