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  #101  
Old 09-19-2011, 02:26 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Just for clarification, I see the sort of terms we're looking for not as being for the general public, nor as for using on a day to day basis with your partner(s) but rather for descrbing *types* of relationships within our community.

For example, on this board, you might find yourself typing "Maris is my girlfriend of 6 months, we've decided that ours is in most ways a secondary relationship, and..." or "My partner Alan and I don't believe in marriage, but we've been together for 6 years and ours is definitely an anchor relationship, and..." Re-read the original post for more clarification on why such terminology can be helpful.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #102  
Old 09-19-2011, 04:23 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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I'm thinking that perhaps revisiting the Greek and Latin may prove fruitful--and have new terms tapping the same language sources. Would make for a bit of linguistic consistency.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it 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.
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  #103  
Old 09-19-2011, 07:39 PM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Just for clarification, I see the sort of terms we're looking for not as being for the general public, nor as for using on a day to day basis with your partner(s) but rather for descrbing *types* of relationships within our community.

For example, on this board, you might find yourself typing "Maris is my girlfriend of 6 months, we've decided that ours is in most ways a secondary relationship, and..." or "My partner Alan and I don't believe in marriage, but we've been together for 6 years and ours is definitely an anchor relationship, and..." Re-read the original post for more clarification on why such terminology can be helpful.
A secondary relationship is a relationship that comes second. It's the literal meaning and that shouldn't change. I do understand that it could help some people who think that way, but they should really get the misinterpretations out of their head instead.

I can definitely understand how there can be a lot of strength in a relationship that has been going a lot longer than a newer one, but that doesn't mean the newer one has to be of a lower class. Doesn't even mean there is less love.

Another interpretation I thought of when marriage and "anchor" were brought up was "sinking". =P Possibly for another thread though.
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  #104  
Old 09-19-2011, 10:30 PM
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You're right, a newer relationship doesn't have to be lower class or less loving, nor does it even need to be less strong. But with some partners we entwine our lives, share finances, share a home, move across the country if need be, have children, and make lifelong commitments. With others, even with full love and respect and consideration for the other person, we just don't choose to become life partners in that way. This thread is about discussing how we talk about those distinctions if we find we want or need to talk about them, in the most clear and loving way possible.

If you're someone who feels all your relationships need to be equal, that every relationship needs to start with the intention of ecoming a life partnership, that's fine, and this conversation needn't affect you in any way.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #105  
Old 09-19-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I'm thinking that perhaps revisiting the Greek and Latin may prove fruitful--and have new terms tapping the same language sources. Would make for a bit of linguistic consistency.
I like it! Gotta think about this...
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #106  
Old 09-19-2011, 11:25 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Default linguistic chaos!

First, I like the mixed Greek/Latin mash-up origins of the word. It reminds me of what I love about English - the utter willingness to make shit up and to mug other languages for words. As said by James D. Nicoll, "...We donít just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.Ē

I'm also intrigued by Rory's point about non-hierarchal types using primary and secondary and the mistaken ideas that can convey to others. I assumed, wrongly perhaps, that folks who do not think of relationships hierarchally just don't use primary and secondary. That the divide, if any, was between people comfortable using terms that imply, if not outright state, hierarchial relationships and people who did not want to rank their relationships and wanted their language to reflect that. It is difficult to find words that convey meaning without also some sort of hierarchy. This applies to terms that convey information about gender, sex, race - everywhere there are hierachies. Feminism, anti-class privilege, all sorts of movements have struggled with this point. I have not figured out what I think about Rory's point fully but suspect I will mull it over for some time.

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
I think that primary and secondary imply hierarchy. It may be the connotations of the words themselves or it may be a cultural thing, whatever. It's there, if not for all, for many. That's why I don't think it's wise to use those words unless one wants to convey the message of the relationships being more and less important. Even if that's not the meaning the person using the words personally attaches to the words that is the meaning they convey to many.

I think it is problematic that many people in non-hierarchical relationships use primary and secondary labels. This is particularly when thinking about polyamory in relation to mainstream monogamous culture. I am sure that to many monogamists the terms primary and secondary refer to hierarchy (as they seem to do for many poly people, while not for many others, based on this discussion). Therefore, hearing those terms to be commonly used by many poly people, even in non-hierarchical relationships, gives the picture that poly relationships are most often hierarchical. Of course, even a poly structure where there actually is a more and a less important relationship still challenges the mainstream monogamous culture. But using hierarchical language in polyamorous relationships, even in ones that are equally important, enforces the so common belief that people really can't love equally, i.e. one must love one more than the other or polyamory involves no Real Love at all.
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  #107  
Old 09-19-2011, 11:27 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post
Another interpretation I thought of when marriage and "anchor" were brought up was "sinking". =P Possibly for another thread though.
*snerk*
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  #108  
Old 09-19-2011, 11:52 PM
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Senga Senga is offline
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Default Terminology

I love all of you guys who posted here. HUGS, I am about to rant...

This is why I stopped trying to label everything I do.
This is why I stopped trying to label others.
This is why I stopped trying to FIT POLYAMORY into a MONOGOMOUS societies standards for relationships.
This is why I just call people by their names. THEIR names
This is SALLY, JOHN, they came here with me, meet JILL. Boom done.

No judgments, no assumptions, so simple.

This is why I just say, "I love this person & this person & this person".
So there. I don't care what the rest of the world wants to call me, or wants me to call them, or what I do, or whom I do it with.

I stopped calling my boyfriend "my primary" & started calling him by his Name!
He is not MINE, not my property. He is him & I love him & he loves me, not my label.
Try it, it feels great!


I love people, I relate with other people, I have relationships with other people who are definitely individuals in their OWN right & they have their own personal names & THEY are free to describe themselves to the world& others as they see fit. I don't need to do that for them.

Last edited by Senga; 09-19-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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  #109  
Old 09-20-2011, 02:14 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senga View Post
This is why I stopped trying to label everything I do.
This is why I stopped trying to label others.
This is why I stopped trying to FIT POLYAMORY into a MONOGOMOUS societies standards for relationships.
We don't use labels, we simply describe things and like to have accurate terms for descriptions. We understand that the words we use to describe things don't force any particular behaviors on us--they simply describe what we do.

We also don't try to fit polyamory into any mono standards, as there are no mono standards for multiple relationships of the sort we engage in. I'm uncertain as to how describing what it is we're doing could conceivable be twisted into anything dealing with monogamy, by the way.

So color me puzzled by your rant. I don't find anything bad happening by describing the relationships I have.
__________________
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it 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.
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  #110  
Old 09-20-2011, 03:24 AM
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Senga Senga is offline
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"We don't use labels, we simply describe things and like to have accurate terms for descriptions. We understand that the words we use to describe things don't force any particular behaviors on us--they simply describe what we do."

I understand that using labels for relationships while chatting online can be necessary when trying to explain the relationship dynamic.
I was referring more to 'in person' conversations, and how it would be better to stick to simple. Especially when introducing people. My suggestion is basically to describe what people mean to you, instead of boxing in what they are.
Example; I love Bob...vs. Bob is my primary boyfriend. Maybe this is just my preference.

"We also don't try to fit polyamory into any mono standards, as there are no mono standards for multiple relationships of the sort we engage in. I'm uncertain as to how describing what it is we're doing could conceivable be twisted into anything dealing with monogamy, by the way."

I was referring to the way many monogamous relationships tend to be viewed as a type of ownership. Seems like there is a lot of pressure to label what relationships you own as 'yours' as though marking territory.

"So color me puzzled by your rant. I don't find anything bad by describing the relationships I have."

Its not bad to describe them, naturally it happens. The orriginal post seemed to be referring to how to explain poly relationship dynamics without using terminology that is hierarchical, which is pretty ingrained in our society today. I prefer to let my partners speak for themselves because people seem to make more assumptions the more information you give them. I simply use descriptors like 'love' and I use the most simple & specific label there is, a person's name. That way I don't have to worry about how I describe their 'status' to anyone else.
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