A while back several people in this forum offered their ideas and tips on how to treat non-primary partners well in poly/open relationships. That led to my recent crowdsourced article on my blog SoloPoly
, which has been attracting a fair amount of discussion in the poly/open community:
Non-primary partners tell: how to treat us well
I'm working on another crowdsourced article and would appreciate input from people in this community.
This time I want to tackle the phenomenon of couple privilege
-- what it is, how it affects the poly/open community, whether it's a problem, how people are dealing with it, and how we could deal with it.
See: Couple privilege: Your thoughts?
I realize this is a touchy topic, since poly/open people hold a wide range of divergent and strong views on this topic. So I won't try to digest it into a tip list (as with my previous article), but rather present one or more articles that describe what's going on with couple privilege in polyamory.
In that initial call for input I laid out my thinking so far -- how I'm defining couple privilege, and some core issues and challenges it entails in poly/open relationships. I then raise several questions I'd like feedback on. These are:
- Do you believe couple privilege exists? How would you define it? (Or how would you adjust my proposed definition?)
- How have you seen couple privilege manifest in poly/open relationships? (Examples)
- Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?
- How has couple privilege affected your personal experience of poly/open relationships? Specific examples or personal stories are welcome.
- How would you like to see couple privilege addressed in the poly/open community at large?
- If you are part of a primary couple that chooses to handle relationships with additional intimate partners in hierarchical ways that may seem to reinforce couple privilege, what is your rationale or intent for those choices?
- If you eschew hierarchy and/or labels in your poly/open relationships, how do you “walk that talk” regarding couple privilege?
- If you are a non-primary partner or solo poly/open person, how have you adapted to couple privilege in terms of how you handle relationships and what you’re willing to accommodate?
To respond, please feel free to comment here, or on my blog post, or in a post of your own (send me the link), or e-mail me (email@example.com
As with my previous crowdsourcing project, I'm open to input from anyone on this -- but I'm particularly keen on hearing from people who are non-primary partners in ongoing poly/open relationships, since our perspective usually isn't very prominent in discourse about polyamory.
If your respond, I'd appreciate if you’d clarify whether you identify as poly/open (or not), and whether you currently have a primary partner, and whether you currently are in a non-primary relationship. I’m happy to consider input from anyone, but that it crucial context for understanding your perspective.
Once again, I will not identify specific contributors — but as in my prior crowdsourced post on treating non-primary partners well, I will quote from selected responses.
Please feel free to share this request with your networks!