Originally Posted by Hetaera
For starters, stop telling stupid people that you're poly.
I don't tell anyone about my "lifestyle" unless I know they'll understand it or that they love me & accept me for who I am. So perhaps you're telling the wrong people or perhaps you need to read some definitions of poly so you can come up with a concise & meaningful explanation that explains it. To me poly is about loving more than one person at a time, it's as simple as that. And yes, sex is often involved but that's not all of it by a long shot. Also keep in mind that poly takes many forms. Also keep in mind that most people are average or less than average, which means that have limited intelligence & experiences to help them understand such things. If you think they're smart enough have them read Sex at Dawn or something on being poly. Monogamy has been so ingrained in us even with the glaringly apparent divorce & infidelity rates.
People often boil everything down to sex. I notice this with homosexuality debates. Even the most sexual people aren't having sex all that much if you think in terms of a 24 hour day. We do many other things in those 24 hours, many things other than sex & yet everyone is focused on the "yucky" gay sex part. They don't think of the many long-lasting & loving relationships of many gay individuals & just focus on the sex....totally predictable & totally lame.
So STOP telling dumb people you're poly or be prepared for stupid comments & come up with a good comeback...London had a great one ;-)
Well no, this doesn't really apply to my situation. My mom's not dumb, my friends aren't dumb. They are all super smart and open-minded. And they all do love me and accept me--they just did not at all understand what I meant.
A snappy comeback or even a simple "No it's not group sex" would have been nice...except it was weeks/months before I realized that they had made the assumption about group sex. It came about WAY after the fact of the conversations in which I was trying to explain my new approach to dating and how I am using the label "poly."
I think other posters are right in that "poly" and "polyamory" just don't work as labels to explain poly to non-poly folks. Hell, it took me about two years of reading on this forum just to accept that yes, that label could in fact work for me. So I get that it's not a readily understandable term. Just "non-exclusive dating" might work just fine for what I want to explain to my friends and family. I'll try that. Thanks.