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  #11  
Old 12-31-2011, 07:42 AM
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What it appears you're saying is simply that we could be denying ourselves and someone else what we cherish the most about our relationship and that makes a great deal of sense, we really don't want to limit ANY relationship with fear no matter how seemingly rational it might be!

You've helped clear up the initial misunderstanding (knee jerk reaction) we had about Redpeppers description of the "moving away from each other" and the "becoming more autonomous from one another" what she was describing makes a great deal of sense now and it signals growth as much as it might distance. Whew...the learning curve is steep!!!
The first part of the paragraph. Is that to me? I wasn't sure. Are you talking about the words used in describing yourself? If so then yes, it could divide you from someone that might be a suitable and interesting match. Its too bad really, but it does happen.

People come to poly from different directions and often have huge learning curves to get to a place of acceptance and understanding. If you meet someone that is not from the background of swinging or had bad experienced from it they might take a huge step back out of fear of being on a different path from you. You might also do the same thing if they are seeming to judge just because of the use of your language and assumptions about where others are coming from. It can take time to come together and realize that regardless of where you come from and what journey you have had that you are finding each other on the same page. Sometimes you might find that you aren't on the same page at all too, but really deep relationships can be built by using common language that people understand. Awareness is key I think. This, speaking from having taken my own journey and watched other take theirs also.

Second part; is this to Annabel? Yes, its hard to hear that exploring other partnerships might mean becoming less attached in the way you once knew into something more autonomous. I get a great deal of what I see as seething silence after I say a lot of things and I figure that its because its hard to hear. *shrug* I don't mean to sound negative, I just say it like I see it and realize that I make little friends by doing so. I just hope that they take it with them and think about it at some point.

Thing is that poly is VASTLY different than monogamy for some really good reasons. All of them because its different, not because its going to mean hardship, pain, being alone and unloved, the opposite is true. Its hard to get to a place of poly love, and some people are not cut out for it, but once there are some understandings about how it works successfully, there is much love to be found from many people. That is essentially (in my opinion and experience) impossible to do while attached to one person because it means that both people are distracted from truly loving others and allowing them to love you.

If you can allowing the letting go of the "togetherness" you share with one only; if you can reach a place where you have the deep love you describe and be okay with your partners others in your life that they have deep love with; if you can be okay with loving more than one without feeling separate and a need to be attached to any one of them in a monogamous way, then you are there. That's my belief anyway. Take it or leave it.
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2012, 07:38 PM
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We have also come to the conclusion that whoever we meet can't really be limited by gender, no matter how much we want or focus on finding a girlfriend we may find ourselves interested in a guy! Now all we have to do is figure out how/where to find that partner!
We, we, we. Watch that. You will set yourself up for heartache and drama if you only view your foray into polyamory as a "Couple +1" endeavor (this seems to be a very swingerish mindset, as swinging tends to be very M-F couplecentric). You are both two individuals in a relationship, not one unit. You each have your own wants, desires, needs, and feelings, and so will anyone you get involved with.

I think you will find things to flow much easier and more smoothly if you allow attractions and relationships to develop as they do, with one or the other of you, and remember to nurture each separately. Strive to be your partner's primary without making any new partners feel like an appendage or toy for the two of you. Cherish each person you are in relationship with as a unique individual and do not think of anyone as meant to satisfy or augment "the couple" and you will be okay.


As for the use of the word "lifestyle" in referring to polyamory, it is important to remember that there is no one polyamorous lifestyle. Your own lifestyle can include poly, and so in that sense it is perfectly fine to use that word, as in "my poly lifestyle," "our poly lifestyle," etc. But just don't assume that there is The Poly Lifestyle that everyone adheres to in the same way. The reason why the word lifestyle seems to work very well in swinging is because there are generally universally agreed-upon rules and parameters that most swingers are aware of and accept. If swingers moved around from community to community, they would speak pretty much the same lingo, have the same understanding of the accepted rules, and be able to fit into most any swinging community on that shared understanding. So it is more correct to say "The Lifestyle" for them. While polyamory also has its own lingo, it is much more customizable, and there are a gazillion ways to live polyamorously. We talked lot about the word in this thread: What is this "lifestyle" you mention?
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2012, 02:40 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Hi Redpepper...there is no question in our minds that poly is VASTLY different than any relationship we have previously considered!!!

"What it appears you're saying is simply that we could be denying ourselves and someone else what we cherish the most about our relationship and that makes a great deal of sense, we really don't want to limit ANY relationship with fear no matter how seemingly rational it might be!" Was in response to Annabel's post but we suppose it could apply to what you both were saying!

"Second part; is this to Annabel? Yes, its hard to hear that exploring other partnerships might mean becoming less attached in the way you once knew into something more autonomous. I get a great deal of what I see as seething silence after I say a lot of things and I figure that its because its hard to hear. *shrug* I don't mean to sound negative, I just say it like I see it and realize that I make little friends by doing so. I just hope that they take it with them and think about it at some point." This actually was more in response to you...we had an initial "knee jerk" reaction to your honesty without thinking it through completely, Annabel's response helped us see what you were saying more clearly. We thank you for your straight forward approach!!!

Hi Nycindie... Thank you for jumping in! Please understand one thing...we are stressing WE meaning us as a couple when we are posting here, the intent is to let everyone know that while one person obviously is typing/composing/responding these responses we are BOTH participating in, contributing to this discussion. WE celebrate our individuality and totally support each others interests whether we share the interest or not.

We "get" the idea of allowing things to flow naturally or happen rather than try to control them but shouldn't any "primary" or the established couple be a little cautious to just opening their arms (and trust) to anyone she/he/we are attracted to...or did we miss your meaning? Our continued discussion has been centered around the almost limitless possibilities for the structure of a relationship with others and how that interaction might go, we're finding that it basically breaks down to being open to whatever grows out of the connection no matter how much we talk about it.

For whatever reason we've begun to get the feeling that many/some (?) here (or at least those responding here on the board, in our reading and in messages to us) are trying to make sure there is NO correlation between swinging and polyamory. Portraying swinging as something undertaken lightly and cast aside just as lightly as most perceive the partners are, our "friends" are all part of a small closed loop circle. There are potentially as many ways to "live in the swinging lifestyle" as there are to live in poly relationships and many "lifestyle" relationships could clearly be defined we're now realizing as polyamorous. As we continue to visit more and more poly websites we find there is a visible and almost equal division between those accepting of present/former "lifestylers" and those opposed to that "stigma" for lack of a better word.

However we respect everyone's sensitivities and will attempt to use the proper "lingo" on these individual sites.

We understand some of the social stigma, the conservative/vanilla world is fond of labeling any alternative lifestyle. Sadly we are subjected to something similar because of our bisexual orientation. Even those in the "swinging lifestyle" are concerned about and sensitive to how the outside world views their actions/choices and want to make sure they are viewed in what they consider a positive light. In a nutshell "open minded" sometimes means "as long as you agree with how I/we see things!"
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
Hi Nycindie... Thank you for jumping in! Please understand one thing...we are stressing WE meaning us as a couple when we are posting here, the intent is to let everyone know that while one person obviously is typing/composing/responding these responses we are BOTH participating in, contributing to this discussion. WE celebrate our individuality and totally support each others interests whether we share the interest or not.

We "get" the idea of allowing things to flow naturally or happen rather than try to control them but shouldn't any "primary" or the established couple be a little cautious to just opening their arms (and trust) to anyone she/he/we are attracted to...or did we miss your meaning?
Perhaps you did. Of course, yes, be cautious! There are a lot of nuts out there. I simply noticed that you were expressing yourself as a "we" in your posts, which definitely indicates a couplecentric approach, something that sometimes works in poly but often does not. I did not realize I was "talking to" a couple in my post to this thread. On this board, most couples are registered individually. For more info on that: Two People, One Username

Basically, it seems that in polyamory, it is usually viewed as a more healthy approach if a couple acknowledge that they each are autonomous with their own specific needs, even within their dyad. Poly relationships take time to nurture, and sometimes people put in a year of more before everyone gets comfortable. Most of the time, when a couple "opens up" their relationship to poly, additional relationships are usually more successful if pursued independently -- even if the ultimate desire is for involvement with everyone.

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Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
For whatever reason we've begun to get the feeling that many/some (?) here (or at least those responding here on the board, in our reading and in messages to us) are trying to make sure there is NO correlation between swinging and polyamory. Portraying swinging as something undertaken lightly and cast aside just as lightly as most perceive the partners are, our "friends" are all part of a small closed loop circle. There are potentially as many ways to "live in the swinging lifestyle" as there are to live in poly relationships and many "lifestyle" relationships could clearly be defined we're now realizing as polyamorous. ...
There are plenty of polyfolk here who also swing, or have a lot of past experience swinging -- but they are two distinctly different things. While you may have sensed judgment, it isn't necessarily against swinging, but that there tends to be a very strong need among poly peeps to make sure people understand the difference. For example, I live in NYC and if I talk to a "civilian," (basically a monogamous-oriented person) about poly, they assume it is swinging or about "open marriage" and having many casual sex partners, simply because swinging is the only form of open non-monogamy they have ever heard of. And polyamory is simply not the same as swinging or being open.

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Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
... the conservative/vanilla world is fond of labeling any alternative lifestyle.
Yeah, um, additionally, I don't consider non-poly people to be "vanilla" because I don't view poly as a kink (and I tend to dislike the term "vanilla"). Conservative or conventional, more likely. Anyway...

Polyfolk often have to work hard to erase the concept in most people's minds that poly is only about sex. And while most of us know that swingers can and often do have loving relationships with their swinging partners, let's face it - swinging is focused on sex as a group recreational activity. Many polyamorists are also poly-fidelitous, not interested in casual sex outside their poly tangle, and often include non-sexual partners among their poly relationships.

For most polyamorists, sharing love and nurturing committed, loving relationships are integral to having multiple partners. So, when someone comes here and it sounds like they are embracing poly from a swinger perspective, members here tend to make sure they understand the overall general difference in approach and attitude -- even though many, many polyfolk also swing. See also this thread: poly or swinging

Have you done much searching and reading of this forum? There are plenty of threads that have addressed some of your questions.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-02-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:53 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Well...there's something we never considered nycindie, having two profiles! It not only affords us individuality here but increases the chances of someone being attracted to one personality or the other! We also recognize the need for time for either of us to pursue and nurture a young relationship but we suppose the need to approach each totally independently is governed by that individual relationship. We are not in a hurry, just like monogamous dating it's more likely we will find a partner by not avidly searching!

We will likely both use this profile until my wife Sandi is comfortable with responding directly, she dislikes expressing herself in writing and at this point we may not need a second profile. Whoever is writing/responding will sign their name if that's acceptable? We have been reading quite a lot but we have only just scratched the surface and will want to read/discuss quite a bit more before we consider adding a partner.

While we agree swinging and poly relationships are two vastly different things there are enough similarities/parallels that "lingo/jargon" crossover a good bit, much like we're seeing on some of the other sites we mentioned! Liking, disliking or even discriminatory use of labels or judgmental views with the intent of putting on a particular look for anyone "outside looking in" would be as bad as the faux paux of using lifestyle or vanilla to describe what IS a choice of lifestyle! It's all semantics.

We don't participate in "group sex" or "indiscriminate sex" but we do have sex with friends, much like people do everywhere (except those folks are single or monogamous, not poly or swinging!) but we all get lumped into the same group anyway, however that's the view many people in the outside world have of us, as do some in other alternative lifestyles "groups" not excluding this one. We also have some very deep platonic friendships from our time in the Swinging world so the close parallels are there whether anyone likes it or not. Unfortunately that does make it VERY tough for outsiders to separate the two. Apparently we're not well enough indoctrinated yet because how the outside world views us doesn't affect our choices or how we view others. We honestly believe that all "alternative lifestyles" would benefit from the similarities/parallels, increased numbers and support of others that have faced the same form of discrimination. The LGBT, swingers etc are all linked to some degree and becoming more so, solidarity does work!

It's very possible that we're not a good fit here but we just don't see the need to "defend" ourselves or our choices to the outside world but it appears there may be the need to do so in this forum. We don't wish to offend anyone in any way so we will consider removing our profile and participate elsewhere, if we do hang around we will remain silent for the most part and just read. We seriously have appreciated all of the information and advice!!!

John...with Sandi contributing from the chair next to me!
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:58 PM
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It's very possible that we're not a good fit here but we just don't see the need to "defend" ourselves or our choices to the outside world but it appears there may be the need to do so in this forum. We don't wish to offend anyone in any way so we will consider removing our profile and participate elsewhere, if we do hang around we will remain silent for the most part and just read. We seriously have appreciated all of the information and advice!!!

John...with Sandi contributing from the chair next to me!
Oh, no no no, there is no need to leave or defend yourselves. You are both very welcome here! Most of us get into lengthy conversations and even argue our points, but no one is saying you don't fit in! Sometimes we have to ask a lot of questions just to gain more of an idea of where people are coming from on any given topic. That doesn't mean there is judgment or narrow-mindedness (though sometimes that can happen - we have many members from all over). Like I said earlier, there are plenty of people here who swing - you just haven't heard from many of them yet, probably due to the holidays.

Don't go, we're just getting to know you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-03-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2012, 07:00 AM
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Hey NYCindie, I love your post #14 just for the record... its a culmination of many great conversations and years of determining a great deal of "stuff." Thanks for it. I really enjoyed it. As I do a lot of your posts and don't say so just for the record.

Also I am grateful that we all work together on this forum by filling in the blanks where someone else has missed, or explaining in different ways so that people can read things in a different way. I'm pleased that was noticed swm (swmnkdinthervr). Thanks Annabel for adding and saying what I was saying differently.

swm, most of us here came from a long line of trying lots of stuff out, including swinging. Just as NYCindie said. You are welcome here, as is everyone, but please don't think that we are not going to question or only speaking to you. This is a public forum. Its a place for discussion, to learn from each other and to sometimes be pushed into seeing things a different way. Its all in the spirit of "togetherness" not judgment of scolding. If we didn't want you here we would simply stop talking to you. So far the conversation has been enjoyable and interesting... if you are not finding it so then by all means don't write any more. I would hate to think that what we are saying is causing you grief.

For most of us that have been poly for a long time, it is really important to make sure we know that people who come here know that there are differences in many forms of non-monogamy. We also enjoy talking about those differences as a way to understand one another and to explore our own lives. Those of us who have been here awhile have done much exploration and had a lot of discussion about poly.

We have come to understand that poly is different for everyone but follows some general trends... swinging doesn't follow those same trends, but is just as valid and enjoyable for people. As NYCindie said, some poly people swing. I will add to that; some poly people are kinksters, go to cuddle parties, have casual sex, have friends with benefits or intimate friends or just about anything else involved with sex positive culture. There are also poly people who cheat and have affairs also.... and who are sex negative.

Really it all is woven together, but we stick to poly here as much as we can.... as described by the person talking about it. It seems we are all getting a better understanding of what poly means to you. In fact, it seems that a lot of what you have participated in could be considered poly if you would like to consider it as such. Have you come to this realization? Usually swinging comes with a set of "don't fall in love or get attached" rules. Did you think what you were doing was different from that? Have you realized that maybe you are poly in orientation? or could you really go back to monogamy and be fine with it? Go back to non-emotional sex and be fine with that? It sounds to me like you are in this for life now by the accounts of what you have been doing already? It doesn't sound like a poly lifestyle would fit you.... what do you think?

Ya, the whole sharing an account is discouraged generally, but if its just the male you writing then perhaps if the female you starts writing she could start her own account. It promotes clearer communication, and clarification on the readers end... thanks.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:48 PM
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Hi Red, Cindie, Annabel...

We've been doing more reading than posting as is obvious. I (John) suppose our defensive reaction was probably a little premature but we also received a message off the boards that was a little more "insistent" in the explanation of the difference between poly and swinging so we just lumped everyone together in the same pot...that was a good lesson!

Red...we do see some similarities to poly in our closed loop scenario especially with what have become deep long term friendships but that is where the similarities seem to end. Nobody in our group is willing to open up to anything deeper than what is now shared and we respect them all for that. As a group our "rules" have evolved to this point over time, I doubt any would have tried see the connection but we do. As you point out we may already be "past the point" of no return as far as what we're looking for in an emotional relationship, poly feels right to us. However we would most likely still be open to joining our friends for fun if all partners agreed to allow the relationship to be that open, oddly enough that would still be a closed loop group even with another partner! The confusion in labeling apparently could either be very humorous to some or very troubling to others!!!

We certainly don't question the experience of most of you here, we are as new as babies to this whole concept...BUT...we're not without good judgement skills (well most of the time) and we will not always agree with everyone no matter how long they have been doing something! We are still a little uncomfortable with what we view is merely semantics but "when in Rome...."

You all need to know we very much appreciate your taking the time to offer your honest insight!!!
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:53 AM
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we will not always agree with everyone no matter how long they have been doing something! We are still a little uncomfortable with what we view is merely semantics
Oh geez, I sure hope not. It gets very boring otherwise. Most of us have been greatly challenged here and for that reason stay. Maybe you will consider doing the same.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:34 PM
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Oh geez, I sure hope not. It gets very boring otherwise. Most of us have been greatly challenged here and for that reason stay. Maybe you will consider doing the same.
"but when in Rome..." We tried to impart that we have decided to hang around for a bit but it appears it will require the acquisition of a Thesaurus and at least 1 term of Composition, maybe a little intramural debating too 101!!!
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