apart from potential debates about the use of the word slut, the interesting thing for me here is the idea that poly specifically and only refers to multiple loving relationships - that if you are "just fucking around" it isn't poly.
i guess i had assumed up until now that poly was more a mindset, and perhaps a set of agreements between lovers, than anything else. for example, seeing oneself as poly even when one is single and not having any sex or other intimacy with anyone except oneself. or seeing a relationship as poly even when your lover and you are not currently in "other" relationships.
within that definition, being poly is about being free to explore all sorts of sexual and intimate interractions with other people, whether as a one-off, series of one-offs, within a fuck-buddy arrangement, within loving relationships, whatever. the freedom being the thing. being open to other relationships, and to some extent framing our relationship around that openness to potential with others. not imposing limits or boundaries on each other's freedom to pursue other connections, wherever they may lead.
so although my ideal fantasy situation may be that we (my current lover and i) eventually build up a loving network of people who we are involved with sexually and intimately, i still think of us as being poly right now even though we haven't achieved that yet.
and when one or other of us has a "one night stand" whether or not it leads on to an ongoing connection with that person, the one night stand happens within a poly relationship because it happens within our relationship - which is poly.
and when we talk about the fact that for example he spent the night and had sex with a woman mid-week, and we process our emotions about that fact, we are practising polyamory. the love is between us, he's not in love with her, but he is not just fucking around. he has been intimate with her for that 24 hours and is now having an intimate loving conversation with me about it all.
to me, in those moments, i can sometimes feel a real rush of pride and excitement at the fabulousness of our poly relationship, which has within an inherent assumption that we are "being poly" as we talk, and which thrills me in part because its so different and much better than the way i used to try to relate to lovers - through monogamy.
i can see there is a difference though between this and actually having more than one intimate ongoing relationship at the same time. i am feeling it pretty strongly at the moment in fact because we seem to embarking on exactly that as i speak - each of us has hooked up with a new lover in the last couple of months and right now would pass the poly test even if the definition is limited only to folks in multiple loving relationships.
the difference is that its no longer about the potential to fall in love with others, but the reality of one or both of us actually doing so.
i don't think our relationship has become more poly because of these other relationships though, i think its just in a different stage of poly-ness i suppose. we didn't become poly overnight as our feelings reached a certain stage with our other lovers, we already were poly (even when we were only fucking around with intent).
don't know if that makes sense, hope so!
Last edited by dakid; 03-15-2010 at 09:55 PM.