1) Define "polyamory" in a sentence or phrase.
Polyamory is the state of being in two or more affectionate sexual relationships at the same time, with the knowledge and (at least tacit) agreement 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 married man who decided, after the children have been raised to adulthood, to admit to his polyamorous tendencies (wishes?) to his wife. She
turned out to be extremely supportive, and has even shown a possible interest in experimenting with polyamory herself.
I cannot as yet identify myself fully as poly, because I do not have a second relationship. It is one thing to wish for something, it is another to practice it.
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 have only one partner at present: my wife. My marriage is happy and there are no particular problems with it, aside from the inevitable small sources of friction that are present in any relationship between people sharing their life together. I have never had more than one partner at the same time, although in my dating days I occasionally went out with more than one woman during the same period.
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.)?
An ideal poly configuration for me would be to have two (or more?) partners who (1) enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs, (2) who were on friendly terms with each other, and (3) who made no demands on me that I would find difficult or impossible to fulfill. The primary (with my wife) / secondary (with someone else) model would be certainly acceptable to me, but I can imagine other configurations that could work, as long as all participants found them satisfactory.
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 have not disclosed my interest in polyamory to anyone but my wife and people I have met in the polyamory community. I have no particular desire to “out” myself any more for the time being.
6) Do you think that some ways of having relationships are inherently better or worse than others (poly vs mono, hierarchical poly vs egalitarian poly, etc)? If so, why?
I do not think that we can separate the concept of relationships from the nature of the people participating in them.
Some people, maybe the majority in western society, are so attached to the security involved in (somewhat idealized) mono relationships that they cannot imagine for themselves any relationship except for a monogamous one. For such people, monogamy is not only the inherently best relationship model, it is pretty much the only one.
At the other extreme, there are people who simply cannot imagine being so attached to one person that they would never be ready to embark on a sexual adventure with someone else. For such people (and their partners, mono or poly) polyamory is the best solution, because other avenues would involve lying, deception and unwanted (or unnecessary) break-ups.
For people like me (somewhere in the middle), polyamory makes it possible to entertain the idea of extra-marital adventures without endangering their marriage. Whether I would actually enter such relationships depends on many factors, but at least I know that the possibility exists and therefore I am not a “prisoner” of my marriage.
As for hierarchical versus egalitarian, I have an open mind. If I was single, I could go either way. Being solidly married, however, I can imagine a primary-secondary situation much more easily than an egalitarian one.
7) What are the best things about poly to you? What are the worst things?
To me, the best thing about possible polyamorous relationships would be the opening up of new affectionate/sentimental/sexual relationships. The good life, in my view, is the continuous interweaving of old and new experiences. If I denied the possibility of new experiences, I would start thinking that I am on a downward spiral to old age.
The worst thing about the idea of polyamory is the danger it represents to my existing relationships with my wife and children. Even under the best circumstances, experimentation with new relationships can lead to damage to old ones, and since my old ones are pretty good, why risk them for something unknown?
8) Could you ever see yourself being happily monogamous?
I am happily monogamous. But I can see myself as happily poly as well.
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?
I do not like to advise people about major life changes, because I am not in their shoes. But if I saw someone in a difficult / painful situation that might be improved if they (or their partner) considered polyamory, I would probably tell them about the polyamory movement, and might even tell them about my involvement in it.
10) Free space! Either leave blank or write anything else you want to say or anything you want to ask future quiz-takers!
Polyamory is a great idea - whether I can ever practice it remains to be seen.
However, if we want to improve on the present, rather lamentable, state of relationships in the western world, we should explore some other topics in addition to polyamory. We should look at the price (monetary or otherwise) people are expected to pay for sexual relationships in general. We should look at how we can provide for a safe and supportive environment for children to grow up in. And we should look at why people look for so much psychological support from their relationships, rather than look to themselves for psychological healing.
But all this is for another thread. Meanwhile, thanks to the people who designed this particular quiz.