1) Define "polyamory" in a sentence or phrase.
I see polyamory as the desire or practice of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
2) Give us a quick snapshot of yourself. Whatever you want to share in a few sentences, including whether or not you ID as poly.
I am a heterosexual woman in my early 50s (Egad!). I do not identify as a polyamorous person. I would call myself a polyamorist, however. The distinction to me is that if I used the -ous suffix, I would be describing myself or my nature, but using the -ist suffix reflects my actions or pursuits. I approach polyamory as a practice; therefore, I can say I am a polyamorist. I don't view polyamory as an identity, like gender, nor think our brains are "wired" for specific relationship types. What the practice of polyamory means to me is that I am actively open to having intimate relationships with more than one person (emotionally, intellectually, and physically), and strive to uphold certain things in my relationships: a loving quality to all my actions, honest communication, non-possessiveness, caring, compassion, respecting boundaries, and honoring my commitments.
As a young woman, I was a very wild and free, and had numerous short term relationships and flings, a very open attitude about sex and what it means to connect with someone intimately, and very few long-term committed relationships. A bachelorette, I suppose. I was also a "workshop junkie," hanging out on the fringe of the New Age and Human Potential Movements, who took lots of courses and various therapies in the exploration of who I was. Through all that, I didn't really know there was anything other than monogamy. I got married at 39 and enclosed myself within certain parameters to meet the expectations of that commitment and of my husband. Now that I am separated (and still trying to finalize my divorce!), I am discovering ways to return to the freer person I was, but hopefully with some wisdom I've gained along the way. I learned about polyamory and, as a practice, it just seems right for me.
3) How many partners/lovers do you currently have if any? Tell us their names/pseudonyms and one or two things about them, including their role in your life (occasional fuckbuddy, spouse, romantic-but-not-sexual LDR, etc) and whether or not they have any contact or relationship with each other. Have you ever had more partners at a time than you have now?
I currently have one lover-friend, to whom I have given the alias Lively here in this forum. Lively and I are friends who are intimate sexually with each other, but we both eschew the term "friends with benefits." He is tall, slim, 17 years younger than I, sensitive, reserved, and very much an introvert. He has a disability, and struggles with feeling like he never fits in anywhere. I never would have imagined I'd be involved with someone like him, so much younger than I and more conservative in many ways, and yet I love him and we have a good thing going. He has a great smile, is sweet and fragile yet strong and opinionated at the same time. I am certain he is a genius with photographic memory. I'm crazy about him! We see each other about once or twice a week and, at this point in time, have been together for ten months.
When I started seeing Lively, I was in a LDR with Burnsy, but I ended it because I felt Burnsy had some issues to handle in his marriage that were more than I wanted to deal with. There was a time before I met Lively when I had two lovers simultaneously, whom I called Shorty and Dreamy in this forum, when I was much newer and stumbling around in polyamory land. I am currently corresponding with someone I met online, and we are arranging to meet in person this summer, but I can't say it's a relationship yet.
4) Do you have an "ideal" poly configuration? If so, what is it? If not, why not (haven't figured it out yet, don't believe in "ideal configurations", etc.)?
I do have a poly dream! Basically, I want four lover-friends. I do not wish to cohabit with anyone. I want to remain independent, living alone, and autonomous. I like having flexible schedules, but think it would be great to have two lovers I see every week or so, one I see maybe once or twice a month, and another just two or three times a year for fun vacations together. I don't want any of these arrangements to be poly-fi, although we would have some kind of commitment to each other, but I would also like the option to have flings whenever I want.
5) Are you out about the role of poly in your life all of the time, some of the time, or none of the time? If some of the time, when? Are you satisfied with your level of outness?
I don't really have a lot of people or environments in my life to be "out" with, but I'm truthful about my practice of polyamory if it seems appropriate to the conversation.
6) Do you think that some ways of having relationships are inherently better or worse than others (poly vs mono, heirarchical poly vs egalitarian poly, etc)? If so, why?
For myself I prefer an egalitarian approach. I don't have many people in my life, and I am selective about who I become involved with. When I put my heart into a relationship, it means something. I just don't see that I can designate anyone who means that much to me as being in a lesser position than someone else who also means as much to me. I acknowledge that hierarchies work for many people, although I cannot fathom how myself. I see love as an energy that connects all of us, so how can there be a hierarchy?
I would say that the worst sort of relationships are when someone is coerced and then agrees to be in a polyamorous situation when it really isn't what they want. Loving relationships are not the place for someone to feel disempowered or backed into a wall. And I guess it's obvious that anyone who prefers egalitarian poly, as I do, would find the stereotypical unicorn-hunting couple thing rather distasteful and ridiculous. No matter the configuration or approach, I think mutual respect and equal footing among all parties has to be present in love relationships.
7) What are the best things about poly to you? What are the worst things?
The best is that I can be open and honest about having attractions and loving feelings for people other than the one I am with, and the freedom to pursue them if I want. The worst is how often poly is misunderstood in larger society, and that I have to challenge the notions that I must just be a whore to explain what it is I actually want in my life. It is very similar to the challenges women face all the time when we want to express our sexuality in this society.
8) Could you ever see yourself being happily monogamous?
Sure, why not? With the right person, it could be awesome!
9) Would you recommend poly to others who may not have considered it? How about to your kids if you have any now or ever end up having any?
Yes, if it seemed like a good option for someone, I would recommend it.
10) Free space! Either leave blank or write anything else you want to say or anything you want to ask future quiz-takers!
Hot chick in the city.
Last edited by nycindie; 04-30-2012 at 07:05 AM.