Originally Posted by undefinable
So today I was reading through a couple of blogs that had been suggested to me for various reasons, and I kind of got derailed along the way, and I stumbled across something that I cant quite shake.
It was a blog posting with a video link, and in the post the author made statements about Polyamory that I felt were too broad, and lacked a proper understanding of the terms, practices, and values of Poly in general. I had basically given up on the entire blog, but for whatever reason I clicked on the video and watched some of it.
"Polyamorists in general tend to be younger, almost exclusively middle class, and usually white. Perhaps having less immediate threats to welfare and survival as in many inner-city and minority populations allows this group of people more freedom to go against societal norms." was the statement that grabbed my attention.
First and foremost, I disagree with the tone, content, and generalization of the statement out of hand.
But it did get me to thinking.
Most of the practicing poly people I have met in my life have been successful, in their own right. I have met more polyamorists in places where economically, life is better. And many of the polyamorists that I have met who are "all the way out" have been, if not wealthy, then certainly comfortable.
I think its necessary to differentiate between "polyamorists" and people who are not monogamous, the two are not necessarily the same.
I would term a "polyamorist" as someone who actively identifies as polyamorous and is to some degree involved in the local poly community and/or in some for of activism surrounding the idea of polyamory. They stay active and informed on the subject, read books about it, etc etc. They also tend to be more open about who they are and what they do.
Someone who is not monogamous is someone who has a poly or poly-ish way of life but likely doesn't identify as such. They dont call themselves poly, they dont attend meetups, they may read an article if one pops up but they dont go seeking information about it. They dont readily make their presence known largely for the same reasons most mono couples dont have "Mono Pride" stickers on their cars; its their way of life, it works for them, that's what counts.
In my experience, someone who is a polyamorist is more likely to be white, middle to upper class, and about 30-35 years old. There are plenty of ideas as to why this is and they're fairly well known so I wont get into them here.
As for non-monogamous, spin the fuckin' wheel. You can get ANYBODY under that label. Non-monogamy is as old as time and there have been consentual arrangements with multiple partners for as long as there's been monogamy.
My question for all of you is this. Is it likely that safety and security, in spite of society's view of how one lives their life, would encourage a polyamorous individual to live more openly or comfortably with their chosen/inherent lifestyle?
I would say yes. If I know I'm less likely to be punished for socially abnormal behavior that I find agreeable, I'm much more likely to engage in it. That's fairly standard amongst people.
We also have to consider that, even in today's society, it's still possible to compartmentalize your life; your work and home lives stay separated. Work is where most of us are likely to face problems for not living the way most of our neighbors do but we can keep our personal lives out of work and even just away from certain people.
My boss is fairly conservative Jewish, very unlikely to like the idea that one of the people charged with forging the minds of our client's children lives in a way that so conflicts with normal social mores. Most of my coworkers know I'm poly and none particularly care, I'm not friends with my boss so we dont chit-chat and she's not tech savvy enough to want to be on FB or other social media so outside of work, we dont interact. This means its fairly easy for me to be pretty public about who I am and how I live without worrying that I'm going to be "caught." I'm white, but I am by no means "middle class."
Wealth has an insulating effect against the punishments a society will levy against someone for breaking its rules, regardless of the rule broken. But it also takes a certain "fuck you" attitude towards people that dont like what you're doing. I think that's certainly the biggest factor in my case. You can look at the gay community for some parallels; back when being openly gay was somewhere between illegal and a death sentence, the average person didnt really have a lot of opportunity to be open without taking significant risks. Compare that with people with wealth and privilege, many were gay and either very open about it or it was publically known. These fortunate few rarely suffered serious detriment the way a middle-class citizen would have for the same kind of behavior.