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  #1  
Old 10-23-2011, 04:56 PM
peanutbutter87 peanutbutter87 is offline
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Hi all, would you be so kind as to comment on these questions for a research project, preferable people in the GTA

These are the general questions I'm looking into

What are the set of ideologies/ideas that made you pursue polyamory? How do you define polyamory? what are the current controversies within the polyamory "movement"/"community" ( this question can be answered by exploring what exactly is " polyamory movement and community").
What social and cultural problems have you encountered (how do people react if/when you tell them about your choices)?
How much is sexuality a part of polyamory?
Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society? Have you ever been in non-polyamorous relationships? How is polyamory different from swingers and other forms of sexuality?

How does an open relationship affect the position of the partners in terms of distribution of power and inequality? Would it make you feel better if your choices were approved by the state and general public?
Do you feel there is a stigma on people in open relationships? How does this hinder your activities (both sexual and non-sexual)? Is the stigma on the individuals or the concept of polyamory?
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:43 PM
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You might try looking at the tag section here under research in the tool bar... "descriptions" might be helfpul... "definitions" maybe?

Poly is hard to define. It is a personal thing. If you look at the CPAA website there is a definition there that was used for the court case in the supreme court of British Columbia... its a disputable definition for some as it doesn't address single poly's or the sexual aspect of the term... its more about families. Still, it might be helpful and is at least Canadian (seeing as you are Canadian).

Another suggestion in terms of tags is to look at the threads in "coming out" to see what people have been up against in terms of society and families reaction to people being poly.

"swinging" "casual sex" "open" "sex" "cheating" all good tags to find threads about the sexual aspect of poly and the question of swinging and having non-poly relationships.

Really there is a lot to read here that would or could answer your questions. Most of us who are regulars have answered all of them over and over again in various ways. They are general questions that have been covered many times. Hopefully reading around a bit will help you get the idea of it all.

good luck with your research.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:12 PM
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What is the GTA?
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:58 PM
peanutbutter87 peanutbutter87 is offline
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GTA is the greater Toronto area, basically toronto and its surrounding cities
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:01 AM
bulrush bulrush is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanutbutter87 View Post
What are the set of ideologies/ideas that made you pursue polyamory? How do you define polyamory?
I like the feeling of closeness. The lack of jealousy also gives me hope for the human race. Really, that is a big deal for me. Also, poly people tend to understand how relationships work better, and that clear communication is vital, and I like that. I hate playing mind games and guessing if someone (My girlfriend) is having issues with me.

Quote:
what are the current controversies within the polyamory "movement"/"community" ( this question can be answered by exploring what exactly is " polyamory movement and community").
I don't know.

Quote:
What social and cultural problems have you encountered (how do people react if/when you tell them about your choices)?
I don't tell anyone about what I am.

Quote:
How much is sexuality a part of polyamory?
It's a significant part, but not the only part. It's about closeness and bonding for me, and sex is one way for bonding. Being friends is another way of bonding.

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Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society?
The risk is worth it. It makes me happy and content.

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Have you ever been in non-polyamorous relationships?
Yes, when I was younger, I only had mono relationships, because that's how I was socialized.

Quote:
How is polyamory different from swingers and other forms of sexuality?
I have never done swinging so I don't know. But in any relationship, personal, business, or otherwise, clear communication is important.

Quote:
How does an open relationship affect the position of the partners in terms of distribution of power and inequality?
I don't see an "open relationship" as being the same as "polyamory". An OR is where one, possibly both partners, pursue sex outside their relationship. And it's just about sex, with maybe some light friendship. With Poly it's more about friendship, bonding, and possibly love. As in loving more than one person at the same time for different reasons.

Quote:
Would it make you feel better if your choices were approved by the state and general public?
If there were public messages on TV or radio, for at least 10 years in a row, I think people would gradually get used to it. This issue, like being gay, should also be incorporated into TV sitcoms. I think the US TV show "Will and Grace" helped people accept gays.

Quote:
Do you feel there is a stigma on people in open relationships? How does this hinder your activities (both sexual and non-sexual)? Is the stigma on the individuals or the concept of polyamory?
Yes I think there is a lot of stigma out there about this. The average person thinks of nothing but orgies when it comes to poly relationships, because maybe that's what they saw on TV. Or maybe they think of abusive relationships like with the Fundamental Latter Day Saints, where one man had multiple wives.

I could never tell anyone because it would not affect our relationship. But with my parents, I could never tell them because it would be a completely foreign concept for them. The first thing they would ask is "Isn't someone jealous?" Nope, jealousy is not welcome here.

One more thing. Poly is not for everyone, in fact, I believe very few people have the advanced skills necessary to have this complex relationship without jealousy.

Last edited by bulrush; 10-27-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2011, 01:29 AM
Lucinda Lucinda is offline
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What are the set of ideologies/ideas that made you pursue polyamory? How do you define polyamory?

Not everybody is poly because of an ideology. Some are poly because it feels natural and normal.

What social and cultural problems have you encountered (how do people react if/when you tell them about your choices)?

Fortunately, I haven't experienced any negative reactions so far. Even people who don't really approve tend to just roll their eyes and move on.

How much is sexuality a part of polyamory?

Sex is as big a part of polyamorous relationships as it is a part of any romantic relationships. Which usually means that it's a pretty big deal, but it's far from the defining quality. The defining quality is love.

Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society?

Because being authentic to who I really am is worth it.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:18 AM
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What are the set of ideologies/ideas that made you pursue polyamory?

I would say it was more about feelings than ideas. But to try to answer the question, it appeals to me as a bisexual to not be committed to only one person and, therefore, only one gender. I had the experience as a teen of having a crush on more than one person at a time so it was no great leap to think that I could love more than one person, which turned out to be true.

How do you define polyamory?

Either being in, or being open to being in, multiple loving relationships where your partners know about and accept your other loves, or your desire for other loves.

what are the current controversies within the polyamory "movement"/"community" ( this question can be answered by exploring what exactly is " polyamory movement and community").

I don't think there is a cohesive community, per se, but some common questions do come up for debate, such as:
- Are hierarchical arrangements and terminology, such as primary/secondary, a good idea?
- Is veto power acceptable/wise?
- On average, are poly people somehow more sensitive, communicative or open-minded than mono people?
- Are certain relationship structures more stable than others?
- Is poly "better" than swinging or open relationships?
- Is it sustainable/acceptable to set hard limits on a partner's involvement with another partner (such as no sex, no vacations as a couple, etc) with no expectations that these will some day change?

What social and cultural problems have you encountered (how do people react if/when you tell them about your choices)?

My mom was pretty upset at first and thought I was making a mistake, it took her about a year to get over it and treat my girlfriend as if she's a normal and acceptable party of my life. She still doesn't show her the same level of interest as she would if we were mono, I think, which makes me a little sad.

People are usually very curious which can be fine but can also be annoying, especially when they ask questions about sex and I don't know them well... people sometimes seem to lose all sense of what's appropriate to discuss!

Once a guy seemed to assume I was sexually available after learning about my poly relationship and actually got offended when I wasn't interested, but he was just a jerk really.

How much is sexuality a part of polyamory?

No more so than in any other relationship set up. It can actually play a lesser role than in mono arrangements, because if you and your partner are having sexual incompatibility issues it doesn't automatically mean you need to break up our go without... you can still get your needs met elsewhere.

Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society?

Because it makes me happy, feels more honest, makes life more interesting and exciting to me, and probably most significantly because it means that I don't need to leave an old partner if I fall for someone new and feel like I just have to give things a try with the new person.

Have you ever been in non-polyamorous relationships?

Yes.

How is polyamory different from swingers and other forms of sexuality?

Love and, often, commitment. All poly relationships get to be considered "real" relationships, not just the relationship between, say, the two members of a married couple who are going to the swinging party together or the bf/gf who are deciding together to open up to casual encounters.

How does an open relationship affect the position of the partners in terms of distribution of power and inequality?

I'm not sure if you're using "open relationship" here as interchangeable with "poly relationship" or not, can you clarify?

Would it make you feel better if your choices were approved by the state and general public?

Yes.

Do you feel there is a stigma on people in open relationships?

Yes.

How does this hinder your activities (both sexual and non-sexual)?

I need to be more circumspect... I can't explicitly talk about my gf as my gf on facebook lest it get back to her employers, I don't feel comfortable calling her my gf with co-workers to whom I'm not close, we can't kiss at gatherings of her family or where her most neighbors might see... it gets really annoying at times. But most of the time it's not a big deal and we act normally.

Is the stigma on the individuals or the concept of polyamory?

Both.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:35 PM
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Senga Senga is offline
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1. What are the set of ideologies/ideas that made you pursue polyamory?

Equality is very important to me, and to me, polyamory embraces this ideal. Personal growth is also very encouraged when in an ethical polyamorous situation, it is truly amazing! Spiritually, I know that by challenging myself to be less selfish and care for others, I will be a better, purer person. I also believe that effort is rewarded, whether or not you get the reward you expect. I am also pansexual/bisexual and have an interest at exploring both at the same time. I feel that polyamory is an 'answer' to our societies limiting 'nuclear family' model which is quite constraining & un-natural when you examine how humans are social beings. Communication within relationships and freedom are also very important to me.

"Polyamory takes the issue of human equality and makes it real. It raises the issue of gender equality and makes it tangible. It takes the issue of relinquishing possession and control over others, which supposedly went out with slavery, and brings it to life. It is walking the talk of freedom. Freedom is political. If you are not free to love the way you really want to love, then you're not really free."


2. How do you define polyamory?

The practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Note: 'intimate' not defined as sex, but with a focus on the close bonds created. Not excluding sex either per se

Also, even if not practicing, the Ability to do so is still polyamorous to me.

This article really embodies my views...

Main article: Values within polyamory

* Fidelity and loyalty: Many polyamorists define fidelity not as sexual exclusivity but as faithfulness to the promises and agreements made about a relationship. A secret sexual relationship that violates those accords would be seen as a breach of fidelity. Polyamorists generally base definitions of commitment on considerations other than sexual exclusivity, e.g. "trust and honesty" or "growing old together".[33]

* Communication and negotiation: Because there is no "standard model" for polyamorous relationships, and reliance upon common expectations may not be realistic, polyamorists often advocate explicitly negotiating with all involved to establish the terms of their relationships, and often emphasize that this should be an ongoing process of honest communication and respect. Polyamorists usually take a pragmatic approach to their relationships; they accept that sometimes they and their partners will make mistakes and fail to live up to these ideals, and that communication is important for repairing any breaches.


3. What are the current controversies within the polyamory "movement"/"community" ( this question can be answered by exploring what exactly is " polyamory movement and community").

Controversial issues that I see in the community & from people interested are mostly how to deal with... (a)ethics ethical poly vs whats not, (b)whether to come out to your family, (c) raising children & the love the parents have for them & the health & whats appropriate & best for the kids & why is it so hard to explain more LOVE when divorce is so common to explain.


4. What social and cultural problems have you encountered (how do people react if/when you tell them about your choices)?

My friends have been accepting and encouraging. Others have called me a slut, react with jealousy, react with fear, resort to saying things that were socialized in them such as "the bible says", but act hypocritically because they don't even believe what they are saying. Also, many take it that I am up for casual sex or that I don't care about my partner or that I am abusing him, or that I am not honest with him. Basically, people make judgements about everything they don't know about, people assume the worst when there is something new because they are afraid of change.

When I had two boyfriends we would go to the theme park just so I could hold hands/link arms with both of them in public.


The societal idea that once in a relationship with someone, you 'possess' them and should control them. annoying


5. How much is sexuality a part of polyamory?

Well....... er... How much is sexuality a part of Monogamy? There's your answer, its different for everyone. Although I do agree with what Annebelle said about sexuality & sexual needs being fullfilled more flexibly.


6. Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society?

I think our society does dumb stuff & has ridiculous ideas anyway. LOL I mean, have you watched TV recently?

7. Have you ever been in non-polyamorous relationships?
No.
Even though it was not sexual, I was raised a Christian & I believe that means that you love everyone as yourself. I love people, I have a love for humanity, I have always had my parents & friends that I loved all at the same time. That is polyamorous.

Have I ever been in a monogamous relationship sexually? Yes

Have I ever had monogamous sexual relationships, yet emotionally polyamorous? Yes

Have I ever had non-monogamous relationships, yet emotional monogamy? kinda... I experimented with swinging a few times with my boyfriend, but he was my main partner at the time and still is even though we don't swing anymore.

8. How is polyamory different from swingers and other forms of sexuality?

In swinging sex is a purely physical agreement/ordeal. In polyamory, sex is an expression of a loving bond as well. But there are tons of in-betweens for different people's relationships all work differently. Some have FWB or Swoly, or OR...

9. How does an open relationship affect the position of the partners in terms of distribution of power and inequality?

A truly open relationship equalizes the power and equality. However because of the stigma in our society towards men, OPP fidelity (one penis policy), & the sexualization of women; our society would view it as an imbalance because there would seem to be more interest in dating the women.

10. Would it make you feel better if your choices were approved by the state and general public?

Yes. I am looking forward to it becomming more accepted.

11. a. Do you feel there is a stigma on people in open relationships?

Yes, but I feel it is becomming less so, & I also feel more liberated from other people's feelings on the issue as not only are there plenty of people who understand, but most importantly, I understand myself.

11. b. How does this hinder your activities (both sexual and non-sexual)?

I have to explain myself a bunch, I have to be careful not to be taken advantage of. People think they can convince me to have sex with them more easily, or join a harem with them without my realizing it (using trickery) or some such nonsense.

12. Is the stigma on the individuals or the concept of polyamory?
The government has a stigma on the concept.
It depends on the person stigmatizing as to whom they will blame.
Both

Last edited by Senga; 10-27-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:20 PM
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I thought I would expand on this question....

6. Why pursue polyamory despite it being relatively stigmatized in our society?

There are lots of benefits even if you don't even factor in the love, although it could be argued that other people & roles in a person's life could offer to fullfill some of these things (ie: friendship, family). However, in our country, we see a trend for people to have less close friends & less interaction with family members. Being in an intimate relationship creates a situation where someone is invested in your well-being, as you are theirs.

-cooperation to achieve goals
-community
-Knowledge, inspiration, encouragement, logical outside perspective, understanding inside perspective, counseling, friendship, built-in support system, attention, affection effort/energy.
-Emotional stability: Companionship, Love, Intimacy, Fun experiences.
-Financial stability: shared resources, support, less working required.
-Assistance with child rearing.
-fairness
-sex, variety, availibility, flexibility in schedule & in bed

Last edited by Senga; 10-28-2011 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:00 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanutbutter87 View Post
Hi all, would you be so kind as to comment on these questions for a research project, preferable people in the GTA

These are the general questions I'm looking into

[
So, since people are responding, I have to ask. What is this research for? If it's an academic study, then there are regulations about doing research and obtaining consent, and this would be governed by an IRB. There are specific guidelines for doing research with online communities.

Obviously, what's been posted is public if you join, but people have a right to know what the aim of the research is and where the data is going to be used. Nondisclosure is unethical.
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