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Old 04-24-2011, 06:49 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City Metro
Posts: 2,188

Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post
I mean, why not? We use those words to describe everything else in society. I have friends that talk about the "Bohemian lifestyle" or the "vegetarian lifestyle" or the "gay culture" or "Black culture" or "liberal culture" or "geek culture" or how being a professional athlete creates a whole different lifestyle than, say, being a computer programmer.
And vegetarian friends of mine would laugh at the notion that being vegetarian involves some specific lifestyle. That's like saying having a sodium restriction involves a lifestyle--and I can attest that there is no shared lifestyle among those us who have sodium-restricted diets. Just because some folks use terms indiscriminately doesn't mean there's any merit to such use. Using the sort of reasoning involved in that misuse, one could claim that people who prefer pecan pie share a lifestyle.

For myself, I disagree that the only thing that makes poly people different than mono people is that poly people allow for more loving relationships. For me, just the fact of allowing for more loving relationships and partners also denotes a radically different way of viewing the world and living in society than what I have always been used to; on a real practical level, I don't understand how me and PLove welcoming new people and their energy into our lives would NOT change our lifestyle in some pretty major ways. To me, its like saying that the only difference between a social conservative and a liberal is how they vote.
I don't doubt that it seems radically different for you. From my perspective, no, there's no major difference. I've met enough polyfolk to realize that there really isn't much difference between poly and mono, and certainly not enough based on just the number of partners to claim a "lifestyle" is involved.

I'd like to know what, exactly, are the defining characteristics of our supposed lifestyle. It'll have to involve something beyond being open to multiple romantic relationships, as that in itself doesn't provide enough on which to hang the concept. There would have to be more.

Who I love, how I love, what I love, and how I form partnerships all speak volumes about how I live in the world.
That, however, doesn't speak to any supposed lifestyle that is shared by most polyfolk. A "lifestyle" in the sense being bandied about is about characteristics shared by many, not by a personal way of living. Your person lifestyle is not a group lifestyle.
When speaking of various forms of ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.

Last edited by AutumnalTone; 07-19-2011 at 09:09 PM.
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