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Old 05-01-2012, 11:08 PM
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Default Kevin's Part I Answers (Post 2 of 3)

[continued from above]

Riddle #1, answered: I'll estimate that
  • Person I (slightly polyamorous) is a Lorax 1 (about). He/she/xe is likely (though not guaranteed) to be a serial monogamist. Xe may slip up once or twice in his/her/hir life and have an affair. But xe will probably always return to whoever hir monogamous partner is at the time. Either that, or the (very infrequent) affair will lead to a break-up, and a subsequent change of monogamous partners. (Hence, part of the serial monogamy pattern.) Or, xe may have heard of polyamory and may be tolerant of the idea, but isn't very interested in doing it hirself (and may have a hard time tolerating it in a partner, but that's not for sure).
  • Person II (moderately polyamorous) is a Lorax 3 or 4. Possibly a swinger, possibly a person with FWBs, or a swinger kind of transitioning into polyamory. Xe may have a slight preference for polyamory, but can probably live monogamously and be reasonably comfortable with it. Or possibly, xe has conflicting feelings about monogamy and polyamory, and isn't quite sure what xe wants (but leans a bit in the poly direction). Another possibility is someone who has many emotional involvements, but not many (or only one) sexual involvement/s.
  • Person III (extremely polyamorous) is a Lorax 6. Xe has always had poly tendancies, and if xe ever tried to be monogamous, it made hir really unhappy. Number of partners is unknown, but is possibly a small/moderate number since each relationship has a lot of emotional involvement/commitment.
Riddle #2, answered: I'll estimate that
  • Person IV (slightly monogamous) is a Lorax 5 (about). He/she/xe may have been contentedly monogamous for quite awhile (given that monogamy is the usual social expectation), but at some point, xe found himself/herself/hirself in love with two people, not wanting to break up with either. Xe may have discovered the word "polyamory" while searching for a solution to that dilemma, or perhaps discovers it later (after already having lived poly for quite awhile without knowing there's a word for it). Alternatively, xe may conform to the model of monogamy throughout life, but not very neatly and/or not very happily. Perhaps xe has wistful moments about "what might be in a different world."
  • Person V (moderately monogamous) is a Lorax 2 or 3. Has probably done some "experimenting outside the marriage," or just has a FWB or two. Could be a (bad/worst-case scenario) really chronic cheater, with a string of failed "monogamous" relationships and a tendency to get caught (it's just a matter of time). On the other hand, could be "successfully" monogamous/monofidelitous, but not with much happiness. On the other hand, could be someone that's pretty flexible about mono-or-poly living (but might lean towards monogamy).
  • Person VI (extremely monogamous) is a Lorax 0. A model monogamist (darn them, makes it so much harder to explain/defend polyamory). Never cheated, never got struck with wanderlust, probably never even looked at another soul (besides hir highschool/eternal sweetheart). Doesn't mean xe can't be accepting of polyamorists; just means xe'd never do it hirself.
Of course we all understand that these are estimates about hypothetical people, right? Yes, it's true that animals like the Lorax scale can't "explain everything" ... (far from it).

Riddle #3, answered: Yes, I believe some people (like Person VII) can be "half-mono/half-poly." My thinking is similar to that of the Kinsey scale; there's a kind of spectrum here and most people probably don't "live in the extremes." One could theorize that everyone has a little bisexual (or potential pansexual) in them; likewise, most people have some capacity to be monogamous, and some capacity to be polyamorous. Heck, maybe the majority (consciously or subconsciously) gravitates toward "Lorax 3;" I couldn't say.

As per my earlier explanation, a swinger could be considered one kind of "half-and-half" person. Another possibility would be the "flip side of swing:" a person who has a lot of emotional/romantic (but not physical) relationships (emotional non-monogamy), but only one sexual partner (sexual monogamy). And then I suppose there's another spectrum between those two "flip sides;" people with varying degrees of sexual/emotional monogamy/non-monogamy, that "add up to half-and-half." Which is a good example of how the Lorax scale is too 2-dimensional (actually too 1-dimensional) to describe all situations ... but oh well, for purposes of this riddle, I'm content.

Riddle #4, answered: Person VIII (the polyfidelitist) is, statistically speaking, most likely to fit Lorax 5. An exception would be a person who was inescapably poly all their life despite all the usual monogamous conditioning -- but since we're talking probabilities here, I'm assuming that Person VIII is less the exception and more the rule. So, Person VIII, like Person IV, could probably be considered "slightly monogamous" (and "quite a bit polyamorous"). Whew, I think I got that all straight ...

Riddle #5, answered: Person IX (the swinger) is, statistically speaking, most likely to fit Lorax 3. (Again, we are assuming "the rule" here, not the exception.) As per my earlier explanation of "classic swinging," this is "one way" of being half-monogamous, half-polyamorous. Or, like (a cross between) Person II and Person V, "moderately monogamous" and "moderately polyamorous" would both be adequate labels. (Again, whew ...)

Riddle #6, answered: Let's see if I can somehow list this ...
  • Extremely monogamous = Lorax 0.0 ... exclusively lifetime monogamous: only one partner, ever. Although I suppose it's possible for someone to start out life at this extreme and then later moderate (possibly even finding a second romantic partner). Might be really unlikely, though.
  • Slightly polyamorous = approx. Lorax 1.0 ... in general, this is where serial monogamy falls. Could also apply to the "occasional cheater," or to someone who occasionally "experiments outside the marriage." As with Lorax 0, a person might transition to some other Lorax number over time (perhaps significantly more likely).
  • Moderately monogamous = approx. Lorax 2.5 ... almost "half-and-half" but a little more on the "mono side." Could be someone (monogamously married) with a FWB, or an occasional swinger. A really "bad case of serial monogamy" (e.g. ten divorces and counting) might go here, or "frequent cheating" if the person doesn't have their act together. A married person with several outside romantic relationships (that are never acted on in any physical way) might fall under this category. Transitioning to another Lorax number from here might be even more likely (than from Lorax 1).
  • Moderately polyamorous = approx. Lorax 3.5 ... almost "half-and-half" but a little more on the "poly side." Could be someone who frequently engages in extramarital sex, maybe even with some "emotional entanglements" with a few people. Or, quite a bit of extramarital "romance" but only a little extramarital sexual contact. This person would also of course be fully connected (emotionally and sexually) with their main/primary/marital/monoarmorous partner. Again, the person could easily transition to a different Lorax number over time (not to mention move around in the more 3-dimensional space that the Lorax scale doesn't describe).
  • Slightly monogamous = approx. Lorax 5.0 ... probably the vast majority of polyamorists fall into this category -- both "open" and "closed" (such as polyfidelitous) relationships. So many of us lived as monogamists for a long time, and weren't terribly unhappy in doing so. Still, "discovering polyamory" in our lives has been an enriching experience. As for the primary/secondary dynamic, it often exists in some way, shape, or form, even if it feels uncomfortable to talk about it.
  • Extremely polyamorous = Lorax 6.0 ... someone who has been polyamorous all of their life, to the point that if they ever tried to be monogamous, they were miserable in so doing. Perhaps some people at this extreme are open to more "kinds" of polyamory. They might even be "relationship anarchists."
Riddle #7, answered: I suppose "more polyamorous" has more to do with one's inner nature than it does how one is currently living (or trying to live). A "more polyamorous" person is usually more comfortable living in a poly setting than a "more monogamous" person would be. A "more polyamorous" person might be prone to more dysfunctions/problems when "trying to be monogamous," whereas a naturally/internally-monogamous person might be able to live that way comfortably and with a minimum of drama.

None of this is to say that a "less polyamorous" person can't adapt to a poly setting (as human beings tend to be amazingly creative and adaptive creatures), or at the very least, that a "less polyamorous" (or even "completely monogamous") person couldn't tolerate life with a poly partner (that is, a partner who has other partners/outside relationships). Mono/poly couplings are probably sometimes more challenging than mono/mono or poly/poly (or poly/poly/poly, etc.) groupings, but I know it can be done. (I've been acquainted with couples who have done it.)

And, "more polyamorous" people can learn to live a monogamous life (except perhaps in the extremest of cases, where the person is totally poly an not very adaptive in the monogamous realm). In many/most cases, they can even live happily that way. But polyamory can sometimes be a doorway to even more fulfillment/happiness for the "more polyamorous" person.

Let me not ramble on any further ... This concludes my answers to "the riddles."

[continued below]
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