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  #11  
Old 02-15-2012, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Choosing is an option for some I guess. That is what I understand from you and sourgirl and others. It isn't for me. I am poly in identity, even if I might choose to be in a mono situation.
Well, if you can choose monogamy, you can choose polyamory. (just a little poke)

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I agree, gender/sexual identity is not the same as gender/sexual orientation. It seems to follow along the lines that introversion and extroversion does. I would agree with that... that is another identity that comes from an orientation though no?
I think it is simply a characteristic in one's personality; in other words, patterns in how one's emotional development, attitudes, and behavioral responses combine with one another, of course also influenced by cultural and familial circumstances.

I don't think a personality trait is the same as gender identity or sexual orientation (but I will look into that). In other words, a person may have developed a personality that is very comfortable with polyamory as a structure or practice, and in fact could feel a big hole in their life without multiple relationships, but again that is not gender identity nor sexual orientation, although I'm sure it feels all pretty much part of the same thing in one's head. Maybe some people have more of a capacity to compartmentalize certain aspects of their personalities than others do.

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It seems to me that orientation is something that one just is. Something that we are born with. Identity is how one chooses to express themselves and what we were born with.
I think you have it backwards. Identity is how you feel about yourself, and orientation is how you relate to others, who you are attracted to. Think of the verb, "orient." We orient ourselves to know where we are in relation to the world (aside: this is different from "orientate" which means to face east. A pet peeve of mine is when people mix these two words up). Expression is definitely a separate thing from those two -- we can express how we see ourselves, to whom we are attracted, and how we relate to others in many different ways.

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Identifying as poly is two fold perhaps.... those who identify as poly in lifestyle choice and those that identify poly as their orientation.
Hmm, but there are people like me who do not see it as an identity nor lifestyle, but rather a practice or approach. So, I really don't think of myself as a polyamorous person. According to the continuums in the chart, I identify as a woman, express myself as feminine, am biologically female, and heterosexual in orientation -- and I also just happen to be someone who now wants multiple, non-exclusive loving relationships in my life. Before 2010, I happened to be someone who wanted to live happily and monogamously ever after with my husband. But I never really identified myself specifically as a monogamous person, because my approach to relationships isn't how I think about myself. To be honest, I don't really give much thought to my identity; it just is what it is.

I've said this before - (and I am not directing this to the OP or anyone who's contributed here, btw, it is just a general statement) I think too many people waste time and energy trying to figure out "if they are poly" instead of simply asking what kinds of relationships they want and going about creating that. People base their actions on some conclusion they've made about themselves, filling the holes they feel in their lives with people, trying to live up to some romanticized idea they have about something, and blaming a lot of drama they've created on "it's just my nature." I think it's much more beneficial to look at how we treat the people we're in relationship with, and do whatever we can to treat people well and bring more quality of loving kindness into our lives, whatever form that takes.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-15-2012 at 03:22 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2012, 02:47 AM
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Like Redpepper, I feel that I am polyamorous by orientation instead of choice or dictated by relationship dynamics or number. I tried monogamy, failed spectacularly at it, and finally came to accept that it didn't fit my life. I could never quite believe the one true soul mate, or other half concept. The thought of only one partner for all of my adult life made me claustrophopic and antsy.
I do not feel that everyone is capable of being polyamorous or being in a polyamorous relationship. I believe some people are simply not capable of loving more than one person anymore than they can choose their sexual orientation.
Yes many of our choices are dictated by societal pressures, but this does not mean, even without this, that everyone would be capable of every relationship type.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2012, 02:48 AM
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I feel it`s an identity, yes.

I was just having a conversation in the car with two co-workers, and they are both talking about marriage and I realize I had nothing to say. I didn`t identify with any of their feelings.

So...I shut my trap!
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:06 AM
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Interesting topic! I have a bisexual orientation- something I was born with. I have made several lifestyle choices in my life. First I lived a heterosexually monogamous lifestyle. Then, a lesbian monogamous lifestyle. Now I am living a bisexual polyamorous lifestyle.

For me, uou can have one particular orientation, but you still have to choose a lifestyle. And, just because a person is living a particular lifestyle, doesn't neccessarily mean it lines up exactly with their natural orientation.

For clarity, if someone wants to be clear, they might want to reveal both their orientation and their chosen lifestyle. If they happen to be the same, that's great!!
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2012, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
I feel it`s an identity, yes.

I was just having a conversation in the car with two co-workers, and they are both talking about marriage and I realize I had nothing to say. I didn`t identify with any of their feelings.

So...I shut my trap!
Identifying with someone doesn't have anything to do with self-identity; it just means you empathize with them. Not feeling empathy for two people talking about marriage doesn't automatically translate to being polyamorous. Plenty of monogamous people are not marriage-minded, either. And plenty of poly people love being married. The fact that you couldn't identify with what they were discussing just means that you did not recognize, understand, nor share their emotions on the topic.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-15-2012 at 03:10 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2012, 04:52 AM
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For simplicity, we generally say person can be homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual.

I believe a person can be mono, poly, or poly-mono-flexible.

I've known people who simply cannot do monogamous relationships. If they're forced to try, they inevitably end up cheating, despite their best intentions. They've got no problems with communication and honesty when they're allowed to have other relationships, so it's not "once a cheater, always a cheater" it's just that they can't do monogamy, at all.

I've known people who simply cannot do polyamorous relationships. Part of what they like in a relationship is being the centre of someone's attention, and having that person as the centre of their attention. They can't share and they don't want to be shared, at all.

And through this forum, I've known people who can go either way depending on the preference of the person/s they're currently in relationships with.

I was definitely born poly, I have never understood monogamy or its appeal. But I don't have a "need" for any type of relationship. So to the same extent that I've never felt a "need" for a partner when I was single, I've also never felt the "need" for an additional partner when I was already with someone. But the mere thought that I'm tied to this one person for ever and always til death do us part sounds like nothing short of a prison sentence. In other words, if I'm in a relationship and I meet someone amazing that I would like to date, I would feel completely trapped if I wasn't allowed to explore that.
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  #17  
Old 02-15-2012, 09:05 AM
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Polyamory isn't LIKE being queer, it IS queer in itself. Queer literally means out of the ordinary; unusual compared to "the norm". Most people around us being mono; poly is the queer side.

As for sexual identity, I don't believe so. As polyamory is literally about love and not sex. Though many people who can love many, would also be ok with having sex with many, too. So there is often that sexual identity behind the "love identity". =P

I'm not sure what the specific word would be for being sexually attracted to many people [without gender or sex being impanted in the word], but queer works just fine. Even though it is a loose-fitting term, that's what is good about it. But it goes on top of the Homo-, hetero-, bisexual identities, too.
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Last edited by Somegeezer; 02-15-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post
Polyamory isn't LIKE being queer, it IS queer in itself. Queer literally means out of the ordinary; unusual compared to "the norm". Most people around us being mono; poly is the queer side.
Good point. Yes, I certainly have been feeling for a while now like a sexual minority. Even before becoming conscious of my bicuriosity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post


I'm not sure what the specific word would be for being sexually attracted to many people.
Polysexual? If I were to give myself a sub-label, it would be "sex-positive polyamory."

But, even that is a little bit of a misnomer in my case. I think maybe "physical polyamorous" would be it.

In other words, if I have feelings for someone, I feel like touching them. If I touch them, I have feelings for someone. That is not to say that I want to have genital intercourse with everyone I have feelings for.

That is different from the "until-death-do-us-part" connotation of love. That is why I prefer the word feelings (polyfeelery! ). I have feelings for people I`ve had one night stands with and have never seen since. Those feelings change over time, and they are many.

Last edited by feelyunicorn; 02-15-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2012, 01:36 PM
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For me, gay/straight/bi are Sexual Orientations.
But monogamous vs. polyamorous are Relationship Orientations.

At least that's how I tend to try to describe it. So, yeah, it's ingrained into my identity I feel.
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  #20  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:35 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Quick side question, related to how we define sexual identities and orientations:

Is kinky an orientation? Identity? Sometimes both?
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