HOW DO YOU PRACTICE POLYAMORY?
POLYAMORY & AHIMSA: Communicate with Lovers’ Significant Others
by Sasha Lessin, Ph.D. www.worldpolyamoryassociation.com
I attended the Network for a New Culture’s two week August community meeting in Oregon and found myself in the middle of an earnest debate that, bottom line, concerned alternate ways of doing polyamory.
On one side of the debate, my wife Janet and I advocate complete candor with the significant others of our would-be-lovers–before we connect sexually with these prospects. Before we even tell anyone either of us is attracted to someone, Janet and I speak privately about whether to communicate our attraction to the objects of desire one or both of us has. If both Janet and I agree to go ahead, we ask the person(s) if they’re interested in getting to know and perhaps become friends and then lovers with us.
If our prospective lovers say, “Yes, let’s explore going deeper with each other,” we ask to speak with each of their significant others before we and the prospectives engage sexually. If, when we communicate with our prospective lovers’ lovers, these significant others say. Okay,” we proceed to get to know each other with the intention of assessing whether to become more intimate.
If the significant others of our prospective lovers say, “Wait till we too get to know you and Janet,“
we honor this. If they say, “Wonderful, we fully support you connecting.
” we proceed to develop the friendship that can lead to poly loving.
If, however, the significant others of our prospective lovers indicate that it would create distress for them which they wish to avoid, we keep our relating to the would-be-prospectives on the level of friendship and share no sexuality. We choose to create no pain for others; it hurts us to distress others, so we refrain from sex with their lovers.
On the other hand in the debate we had at the conference, some polys took the position that each person was autonomous and needn’t consult anyone–wife, lover or otherwise, nor need their perspectives consult anyone before engaging in sex. If their prospective lovers’ lovers get uptight over it, too bad, that’s life and maybe pain’s what the prospective’s lovers need to grow–if they even have a candor commitment.
We advocate ahimsa
–harmlessness–candor, transparency. We believe in truth, disclosure and kindness.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE POLYAMORY? How do you manage communication with the significant others of your prospective others? On this site and at the World Polyamory Harbin Hot Springs (CA) Conference June 23-27, we continue this debate in our panel discussion, How We Do Poly. Let us know your perspective.