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  #21  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:47 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think it has a lot to do with personal insecurites, but I disagree with you that the rest necessarily follows. If everyone is perfectly happy with this rule in place, then it's most certainly not inherently unfair, no more than monogamy is.

I strongly disagree with you on this one. For one, the definition of "true poly" is a very dangerous thing to try to nail down - it might not conform to YOUR ideas of what poly is, but I think we have to be careful of trying to speak for the entire poly community, and to imply that something that everyone involved may well be happy with isn't "true poly".

I don't like OPPs, and don't have one myself, but to say that those that have them aren't "poly enough" is pretty offensive.
I agree that people have a right to define their own relationships. Yet, I do think it's fair to call one couple more poly than another, or more 'truly poly' than another. There's a spectrum.

The general definition of polyamory is more than one loving relationship with the consent of everyone involved. It's true that if a wife has a girlfriend plus her husband, and the husband has a girlfriend plus his wife, they each have more than one loving relationship, even if the OPP policy is in place.

I would call them polyamorous. But there's also a general understanding of freedom in polyamory too. Polyamory means multiple loves. I think a couple who allows these many loves to happen pretty freely without a lot of restrictions is more poly than the kind who's carefully crafting approvals, what's allowed, etc. The latter is still poly, just a less free version of it. They apply the "consent of all involved" only in certain cases (and maybe very selective cases even), therefore their poly doesn't stick to the definition as closely, on the grounds that consent doesn't happen as easily or freely. Hence, they're less poly.

Last edited by mercury; 07-12-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:17 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
But on this board, I see it more often that many of the women talk about their boyfriends (other than their husband). So it would seem that men do get to a point where they can let their wife or long-term girlfriend have a boyfriend and not just a girlfriend.
Er, no, not necessarily. Why do you assume that those who have more than one male partner were ever in a OPP?
I've been in Vees with several males, and my male partners were okay with it. At no point did they say I could date women but no men. Therefore I have boyfriends, but my partners did not "get over it" or "get to a point". It just started that way.

I don't know if it can start as on OPP and evolve. I'm certain that some men never are comfortable with other men dating their wife or girlfriend. Hell, some men are never comfortable with their wife or girlfriend dating a female that they don't also have sex with.
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:21 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Er, no, not necessarily. Why do you assume that those who have more than one male partner were ever in a OPP?
I've been in Vees with several males, and my male partners were okay with it. At no point did they say I could date women but no men. Therefore I have boyfriends, but my partners did not "get over it" or "get to a point". It just started that way.

I don't know if it can start as on OPP and evolve. I'm certain that some men never are comfortable with other men dating their wife or girlfriend. Hell, some men are never comfortable with their wife or girlfriend dating a female that they don't also have sex with.
Oh, no, I don't necessarily think all people were "at one time" in a OPP situation. Didn't mean for it to sound that way. I think some were at one time in one, and some never were.
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  #24  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:24 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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I had a pen pal a while back (a male one who is poly) who is very, very comfortable with his two girlfriends having sex with other men. It seems not to faze him at all. But I know one guy who...it just tortures him to think of his women with another man.

People are just so incredibly different.
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  #25  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:41 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I don't know if it can start as on OPP and evolve.
I think it can, if people work on it. MC and I didn't exactly start as a OPP, since I wasn't limited by gender, but I was limited by what was okay with other people. Now, we started as more "open"- "poly" just kind of happened when I fell in love with TGIB, so maybe that makes a difference.

The key, as I see it, is what happens when what one person wants is different from what the other person is ok with. What process is used. Many times I went to MC with, "I'd really like to do *this*, what do you think? Would you be okay with that?" or "Well, something happened that you and I hadn't specifically talked about, so I'd like to know what you think and how you feel." I wasn't asking permission, but I was making sure I took his feelings into consideration. And so sometimes boundaries changed, sometimes they didn't. After a while we got to a point where everything was okay except PiV intercourse, which was fine with me. There were a couple people I would have liked to sleep with, but it was mostly curiosity, not "I love them and I need to express it this way" so I easily made the choice to put MC's comfort first.

And then, 14 years down the road, when I finally had a real need behind renegotiating that boundary, he listened. It took a couple months, and I did get to the point where I said, "I really want to do this, and you have *this much* time to get used to the idea." It helps that he wasn't STRONGLY against it, he just wasn't comfortable with it. And, like has been previously said on here, sometimes the only way to get comfortable with something is to *ahem* expose yourself to it. He was worried about the repercussions, if/how it would alter us, etc, but in the end the only way to answer those questions was to try it and see.

And it's worth noting that the boundary didn't just disappear. MC is okay with me sleeping with TGIB specifically. If I were to meet someone else I wanted to go to that level with, it'd be a whole new negotiation, and now I'd have TWO people's feelings to consider!!
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  #26  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:50 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
If a woman is in a OPP marriage, and she's dating other men but not sleeping with them, most of those men will eventually lose interest for milkier cows. That may eventually cause her to become frustrated with the arrangement.
Rather than become frustrated with the arrangement, it really helped me determine who wanted to be with ME, and who just wanted sex. If they weren't happy abiding by my limits and respecting MC's and my agreement, they were more than welcome to keep sailing the dating seas without me. These were not poly relationships, but more FWB arrangements, usually between significant others for them, so I didn't feel too sorry for the ones who decided that something was not, after all, better than nothing.
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  #27  
Old 07-12-2012, 10:56 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
I agree that people have a right to define their own relationships. Yet, I do think it's fair to call one couple more poly than another, or more 'truly poly' than another. There's a spectrum.
I agree that there is a spectrum. I am poly by nature, but don't need to be poly or open to be happy. I would be lower on the spectrum than someone who feels unfulfilled in monogamous relationships. Does that make me less poly though? I don't think so. It just means that my emotional needs are different than other people's emotional needs. I'm still poly. All the time. I just don't need to act on it.

I don't think it is YOUR or OUR place to decide "how poly" someone is. I think it is self-identification. I have a friend whose mom is white and her dad was black, she IDs as black. Is she "less black" because only one parent was black? I guarantee she would punch you if you tried to tell her, "Yes." She has had to struggle with racial stereotyping, employment prejudice, asshole-ishness of kids in a hicktown just like any other black person would - the fact that she is "only" half black doesn't change that. Same goes for poly, orientation, etc. As long as part of you identifies with a particular group, whose place is it to judge you for being "less" than anyone else?

Same argument I have for being bisexual. I hate it when I get judged by lesbians because I couldn't "commit" to one orientation or the other. I'm not less queer or whatever term you want to use just because I happen to like men, too.

Spectra exist, and I think that's great that people can recognize that.
Judgment from people on those spectra exist against others on those spectra exists and I think that is a problem that is just alienating those who should be uniting.
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  #28  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:00 PM
JohnnyDangerously JohnnyDangerously is offline
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think it has a lot to do with personal insecurites, but I disagree with you that the rest necessarily follows. If everyone is perfectly happy with this rule in place, then it's most certainly not inherently unfair, no more than monogamy is.

I strongly disagree with you on this one. For one, the definition of "true poly" is a very dangerous thing to try to nail down - it might not conform to YOUR ideas of what poly is, but I think we have to be careful of trying to speak for the entire poly community, and to imply that something that everyone involved may well be happy with isn't "true poly".

I don't like OPPs, and don't have one myself, but to say that those that have them aren't "poly enough" is pretty offensive.
To me, an OPP is only ok if it is truly a personal choice, and not an agreement or something negotiated out of a partner's insecurities and/or need to control.

And I stand by my statement. Poly is way more than sex, and if you are hung up on such things and not on allowing a person to truly open up and follow their heart wherever it may lead, you are not following a poly spirit, and it really smacks more of fetishism to me. JMO...
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  #29  
Old 07-13-2012, 03:35 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Originally Posted by JohnnyDangerously View Post
JMO...
Exactly, and you are definitely entitled to that.

I just happen not to agree with you, and that is fine too.
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  #30  
Old 07-17-2012, 12:03 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post

I don't think it is YOUR or OUR place to decide "how poly" someone is.
Actually, yes, I am allowed to judge "how poly" I think a person is. The same way I am allowed to judge a person as more nice than another person. We're all entitled to our opinions of how such-and-such a person is. Would you tell me that I'm not allowed to say one cook is better than another cook? Would your response be: "Well, there are just different types of cooks who have different skills and different approaches to cooking. YOU can't judge who is a better cook than another."

Really? I can't? Sure, I can.

It is not YOUR place to tell me that I am not allowed to have an opinion on "how poly" a person is.

You're assuming some sort of harshness on this judgment. Maybe, maybe not.

I can determine that a couple is less poly than another couple and not feel strongly about either couple.
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