Originally Posted by Tonberry
I'm personally not sure why saying one doesn't see casual sex as poly would be a negative. I don't see casual sex as polyamory in itself. It's also not monogamy. It's not a bad thing.
I only base it on my understanding that polyamory means several loves, and that casual sex means sex without love. That's why I said friends with benefits for instance were different because you love your friends.
Maybe some people have a different definition of polyamory, casual sex or both, and it becomes offensive to them? To me it's not an insult to casual sex or to polyamory to say they're different sides of a coin (nonmonogamy. Although seeing the chart, it's more a polyhedral dice than a coin). I don't think saying "this is poly" legitimizes anything and as a result I don't think saying "it isn't poly" is an insult either.
Is it possible within a poly relationship? Totally. Does it make a relationship poly by itself? I don't personally think so.
Other people do have definitions I disagree with. For instance the "cheating isn't poly" thing. I disagree with the idea that the second there is cheating, it can't be poly. It doesn't make it poly, either. For me, poly isn't a judgment, it's an orientation, and just like you can cheat in straight, gay, bi, ace relationships, you can cheat in mono or poly relationships, too.
To me, this "cheating makes things not poly" thing reeks of wanting to appear all nice and pure, and it makes us look less serious. If you deny anyone you think isn't doing things the right way by saying "they're not poly!" it looks like you want to pretend poly folks are better than mono folks or something.
I understand that poly also defines the relationship, but when applied to the person, it's an orientation, and it means someone who can be in love with more than one. Having casual sex or cheating (the first one being something I consider neutral, the second one negative, just to make sure I'm not misunderstood) don't change that.
If you love one but have plenty of casual sex, you're monoamorous but not monogamous. If you love many but have a single relationship, you're polyamorous but monogamous.
And if you love many, have open relationships with them, AND cheats or have casual sex, you are polyamorous and in a poly relationship (which we really should reclaim the polygamous word for as it would be much less confusing).
And if you love many, only openly have a relationship with one of them and cheats with someone else you love and/or have casual sex on the side, you're polyamorous in a non-monogamous, but not necessarily poly relationship. Because the relationship is defined by all its partners, so I do agree in this case it's based on agreements by everyone.
However the relationship might still be poly if you're allowed to have other relationships (but in the case of cheating, still have them behind your partner's back for some reason, or in the case of casual sex, just don't have any at the moment).
Anyway, I think I've explained my position in detail now. Of course not everyone is going to agree, but I hope they at least don't feel that I'm judging people who have casual sex. (I do think cheating is a negative thing because it hurts people, but that doesn't mean I'll go around blaming people for it destructively either).