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  #21  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:39 AM
zylya zylya is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Huh? He wasn't saying anything against people negotiating what they were comfortable with. He was simply addressing the origins of the terminology in question.

By the way, this thread is standing alone to discuss those terms. Even though Rory started this discussion, to keep referencing another thread of hers to continue pulling the context from that one over here is just continue that discussion here, and I think the focus on this one is meant to address the terminology in general, and not Rory's situation, isn't it? Else, it would've continued over there. So, in just talking about these terms now, I think what AT wrote is correct and valid. Just because people misuse these terms doesn't mean he is wrong or talking about something else (I don't even understand your response about confomity at all).
Sorry, I'm not meaning to make this all about rory's situation, rather I'm using it as an example of someone using the term OPP to imply an unhealthy/bad situation, where this is not the case.

My point isn't that we shouldn't USE words like OPP, it's that we shouldn't use words like OPP to PRE-JUDGE a situation, or to stop ourselves engaging our minds about the actual situation at hand.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I do worry that the terms come off as condescending and thus keep people from listening to what's being said, which is unfortunate. For advice-givers, therefore, I would especially recommend using the terms judiciously and carefully. I think I myself have been guilty of tossing "unicorn hunting" at a new poster on at least one occasion in a way that was accusatory rather than constructive, and I regret that.

But drop the term wholly? No, I think it does a great job of light-heartedly capturing a problematic mindset that needs to be called out.

Tl;dr version: terms don't insult people, people insult people.
Great post (snipped for length) and a much more eloquent way of putting what I was trying to say - it's not a problem with the term itself, it's that people are using it differently. When someone is using a term like "unicorn-hunter" or "OPP" they should be taking care that it's to describe a situation, with no element of judgement. As I said earlier in the topic, there's already enough judgement in the world just for being who we are, without having fellow polyamorists put each down because we're not doing it just like they are.

Terms are useful to understand a particular scenario, but they shouldn't be so pre-loaded, and they shouldn't be a way of simply dismissing someone's personal way of doing polyamory. My point isn't that OPP is a good thing or a bad thing, it's simply a type of relationship structure, which can never be good or bad in and of itself. OPP is good or bad (or healthy/unhealthy if you prefer) based on the people in the relationship and how they came to those decisions. By breaking out OPP whenever there's a one-penis/pussy situation regardless of the people in the relationship and how they made that decision, it becomes a label to JUDGE rather than a descriptive label to help others understand. Judgement, as I said, is not something that any of us need or deserve.
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
...When someone is using a term like "unicorn-hunter" or "OPP" they should be taking care that it's to describe a situation, with no element of judgement. As I said earlier in the topic, there's already enough judgement in the world just for being who we are, without having fellow polyamorists put each down because we're not doing it just like they are.

Terms are useful to understand a particular scenario, but they shouldn't be so pre-loaded, and they shouldn't be a way of simply dismissing someone's personal way of doing polyamory.
zylya, you seem to have a real issue with feeling judged and reading people's messages and opinions as them saying "my poly is better than your poly."

I mean, it seems like you are looking to be feeling attacked. Why not assume positive intent? There are as many ways to do poly as people doing it.

I apologized to rory for using the phrase "imposed OPP on you." If she's fine with it, good, it works for them. If Mono here needs a 2PP policy to feel comfortable, and RP doesn't mind so much, all well and good. (altho I do think it's an uncomfortable sticking point for them...)

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My point isn't that OPP is a good thing or a bad thing, it's simply a type of relationship structure, which can never be good or bad in and of itself. OPP is good or bad (or healthy/unhealthy if you prefer) based on the people in the relationship and how they came to those decisions.
This is true... but on the other hand, I think it behooves men to examine why they are uncomfortable with their bi female partner only having female lovers. What is so magical about a penis, or another guy? What kind of threat does another male present that a female wouldn't? I don't think there is any way around the idea that it is inherently sexist to feel that another woman is less of a threat to him than another guy would be.

I don't blame the specific men for feeling this way. It's cultural. Girl on girl action is hot, but another guy would steal his woman away? His cock is bigger, he makes more money, he has more hair, whatever. There seems to be no fear another woman could be a better lover... she doesn't have that magical penis! As if that is the be all and end all of sex. From personal experience, it's quite possible a female lover will be a better kisser, perhaps better at oral sex, and definitely a good chance, more emotionally open than a guy would be. Maybe guys should be more worried about the perceived threat of another woman!

So... OPPs and unicorn hunting are early rules and ideals many newly poly couples often have. Usually these are set by the wayside when it's found an OPP isn't necessary (after examining its hypocrisy), and after a couple thinks they've found a unicorn only to find it doesn't live up to their ideal.

This horrible "judgment" you're so afraid of... well, we all judge. If we didnt judge, we'd have no way to form an opinion and there would be no reason for a discussion board!

Harsh kneejerk judgment could be a concern, and when I used the term "imposed on you," I guess I was guilty of that. But OPPs do make me see red, politically. OPPs are born out of fear and lack of self awareness and examination of stereotypes. So, hang me for being a feminist, I don't care.
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  #23  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post



Also if you're going to claim that OPP is negative because of lack of trust, then surely monogamy is also negative for the same reason - in that case there's an even BIGGER group of people that you don't want them to have sex/form relationships with. But we don't view monogamy as unhealthy in and of itself, it is the application of the monogamy, or the one penis/pussy policy that is either healthy or unhealthy.


I love the respect and genuine understanding you show in this comment. I also like the fact that you don't portray monogamy as unhealthy.
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:09 PM
zylya zylya is offline
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This is true... but on the other hand, I think it behooves men to examine why they are uncomfortable with their bi female partner only having female lovers. What is so magical about a penis, or another guy? What kind of threat does another male present that a female wouldn't? I don't think there is any way around the idea that it is inherently sexist to feel that another woman is less of a threat to him than another guy would be.
My point is that NOT EVERY OPP SITUATION is based on this. I'm saying that the underlying assumption that a OPP is borne out of jealousy and fear is INCORRECT.

If the situation IS about fear and jealousy then I agree that men should definitely work on their issues.

However, what I am saying is that people should not apply the term OPP as a catch-all to any situation, or if they are going to apply it to any one-penis/one-pussy situation then they shouldn't frame it as a negative.

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This horrible "judgment" you're so afraid of... well, we all judge. If we didnt judge, we'd have no way to form an opinion and there would be no reason for a discussion board!
There is a difference between making a judgement (i.e. forming an opinion) and being judgemental (i.e. looking down on someone because of the opinion you formed). It is the reason why the forum gets filled with topics like "how to come out as poly" because people, quite reasonably, don't want to be judged for their natural urges. I personally am very thick-skinned so it doesn't bother me, but just because I don't personally feel something, it doesn't mean I can't be sensitive to others who might do so.

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Harsh kneejerk judgment could be a concern, and when I used the term "imposed on you," I guess I was guilty of that. But OPPs do make me see red, politically. OPPs are born out of fear and lack of self awareness and examination of stereotypes. So, hang me for being a feminist, I don't care.
Not every OPP is born out of fear and lack of self awareness though. This is where our disagreement lies. Your assumption seems to be that if there's only one penis involved, then it must instantly be sexist, anti-feminist and oppressive of the female in the relationship, when this quite simply is not the case. If the OPP IS born out of fear or jealousy then I agree that it is a bad application of the relationship system, but not every OPP is.

For the record, in my relationships there are no OPPs, everything is left open. However, people on the forum sometimes seem as though they are saying that their way is inherently better (hence my "my poly is better than your poly" comment). Text is a difficult medium for such discussions, so I hope that I haven't misunderstood anyone else's opinions.
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  #25  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:15 PM
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OMG!!! I'm not really monogamous...I just fell in love with Zylya
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  #26  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
Not every OPP is born out of fear and lack of self awareness though. This is where our disagreement lies. Your assumption seems to be that if there's only one penis involved, then it must instantly be sexist, anti-feminist and oppressive of the female in the relationship, when this quite simply is not the case. If the OPP IS born out of fear or jealousy then I agree that it is a bad application of the relationship system, but not every OPP is.
Well, I've been on this board for 2 years and been poly for 12 years. I haven't seen any OPP relationships that didnt have that rule for any reason other than jealousy, fear of loss, competition and male posturing, and low self esteem. If you've seen other reasons for it, please cite me some links.

Quote:
For the record, in my relationships there are no OPPs, everything is left open. However, people on the forum sometimes seem as though they are saying that their way is inherently better (hence my "my poly is better than your poly" comment). Text is a difficult medium for such discussions, so I hope that I haven't misunderstood anyone else's opinions.

I think you have. We're an open minded bunch here. Being in such a minority, we should be the last ones to cast stones. In fact, I'd say the newbies here who thank us all for our openmindedness and compassion far outnumber those who leave in a huff.
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
However, what I am saying is that people should not apply the term OPP as a catch-all to any situation, or if they are going to apply it to any one-penis/one-pussy situation then they shouldn't frame it as a negative.
Exactly! I'm also not saying the term shouldn't be used at all, but it's just annoying that it's being used to sum up a relationship. Like it doesn't matter where the OPP came from and how ok the woman is with it, it's still always bad.

Also, I'm wondering why the OPP is the only bad thing among all the agreements people can make. Is it because it's the most common one? I don't even know if it is. Me and my husband started our non-monogamy in some form when he informed me he wouldn't feel bad if I had sex with a woman. I didn't ask for it and he didn't ask for anything to himself. So for a while in the beginning we had a.. OPP for me and monogamy for him. How unfair to him! After a while we started opening up much more, but one step at a time. I haven't seen much criticism for situations like that, where it's the woman who has more freedom than the man. Or is there plenty that I just don't see?

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OMG!!! I'm not really monogamous...I just fell in love with Zylya
Me too!
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2011, 03:28 PM
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Also, I'm wondering why the OPP is the only bad thing among all the agreements people can make.

..

So for a while in the beginning we had a.. OPP for me and monogamy for him. How unfair to him! After a while we started opening up much more, but one step at a time. I haven't seen much criticism for situations like that, where it's the woman who has more freedom than the man. Or is there plenty that I just don't see?
I think there are plenty of other agreements people make that others would agree often come from a problematic place. DADT, for example. Most either just aren't common enough to have gotten cute nicknames or else no one smart has come up with one yet. I'd say another example of an agreement that tends to be met with scoffing is "sex is ok but love is not" -- I guess you could just call that swinging, but not all people do.

As for where you and your husband started, that does have a name, mono/poly, and no one here is against it because we understand that monogamy is right for some people. It can go either way, gender-wise, for het couples.

As for why the term one-vagina-policy or some variant isn't in common use, I think it's just that it's much rarer in comparison. My observation is that we have many more bi women here than bi men, so the opportunity for poly to exist without it being absurd under a one-vagina-policy is much less (you can ask a bi woman to just sleep with women, but how do you ask a straight man to just sleep with men?).

One agreement that we see sometimes that has no gender bias, no nickname, and that people find problematic, is when both partners in an m/f couple are bi and they agree to both an opp and an ovp -- in other words, each can pursue same sex partners but not opposite sex partners.

Now I've said above that I personally accepted a de facto opp in my relationship, and I would do so again if my bf needed it -- I love him, and it's not a big sacrifice. I accept that it serves a needed purpose for some people... whether that's because of cultural or biological imperatives I couldn't say. But ALL gendered rules bug the heck out of me, each and every one and I would *rather* they didn't have to exist. It doesn't make any sense to me on a personal level. People are people, bits are bits, hearts are hearts.
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2011, 03:47 PM
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Annabelle, a couple years ago, a married bi man who called himself poly contacted me on okc. We really hit it off online and met once. But though he and his wife had once shared a male live-in lover, after months of painful online negotiations, we all realized she wasn't comfortable with his emotional interest in, and sexual energy with me. I met with the two of them to talk about it. (Only once, as they live about 100 miles away.)

Much to our dismay, she vetoed our budding relationship and told L that he was only allowed to have emotionless gay male sex with guys from Craigslist looking for the same. It really sucked.

So, there's your one vagina policy. I don't recall if she was bi. I rather think not.
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2011, 03:49 PM
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Also, I think it's important to note that a temporary "for now, while we're opening up, while I'm getting more comfortable" boundary is very, very different from a "this is how it must be forever" rule. If people aren't being sensitive to that distinction then they ought to be, but I think most are.
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