Originally Posted by nycindie
Uh-oh! Throwing a poly rulebook at the OP?
To say that poly peeps wouldn't have, or even be interested in, casual sexual liaisons is not only judgmental, but inaccurate and misleading, too. Ever hear the phrase, "my poly is not your poly?" While what you say may be true about the OP, it may not be. Just NSA sex hook-ups are not poly -- I'm not disagreeing with you there -- but it certainly isn't a rule that if you are poly then you wouldn't even be interested in casual sexual relationships. (!) Casual relationships that seem very focused on sex can be loving; and many people find sex as the best way to start a loving relationship, with friendship and any "serious" commitments coming later. It all depends on how one defines love, relationships, and casual too, for that matter.
Good discussion on the topic: Casual Sex - Discussion
I'll agree with you that casual sexual relationships can
be very loving. But if it truly is "very loving" (that is, not just affection, but actual LOVE), then it is no longer casual sex, is it? Then you love the person, or have feelings of love for the person, and you are then engaging in polyamory.
I think what you're
saying is that casual relationships that are very focused on sex can be very respectful
. And I agree that they can be. But if they are not actually loving, deep, and on par with one's primary relationship or very close to it, then they're not really polyamory.
I mean, there are lots of friends with benefits situations in which the people participating say, "But, I mean, it's respectful. We treat each other well, and he doesn't just throw me out when we finish having sex. We actually spend some time together. We go out to lunch. And we cuddle. But it's not serious between us. I have respect for him and him for me. But we don't love each other." That's an example of casual sex that is respectful, considerate, and even with affection. But if it's not love and not ever meant to become love, I don't call that polyamory. I call it friends with benefits. Really nice and affectionate friends with benefits, don't get me wrong, but FWB all the same.
Like you said, casual sex and FWB can turn into loving relationships. If they do, that's polyamory in practice. But if they never do, and/or that's what you mostly have for years and years, you're just in an open relationship; you're not quite polyamorous.
I mean, to give an example. There's a girl whose profile I've seen on OkCupid who says this: "Let's get this out of the way right off the bat. I'm engaged to be married. The date is 10/12/12. If you're looking for "the one," that is not me. If you can't handle polyamory, I can't handle you."
She's looking for other involvements, but I would hardly call her polyamorous. And what I'm saying is that, while that girl may be very in-your-face about her stance, and a little uncouth about it, to boot, a lot of poly people are just a more polite version of the same thing. i.e. "I've already got my "the one," but I'm looking for other involvements."
I repeat- polyAMORY - that is, LOVE. When you actually love your additional partners, you're polyamorous. As long as you don't, and/or as long as you're having casual sex with the distant possibility (but rarity) of it turning into love, you're in open relationship mode.