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Old 08-17-2012, 01:01 AM
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Arii Arii is offline
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I had to hop out of the lurker bushes on this one.

You, my friend, are purposely (perhaps not maliciously) misleading women in the attempt to lure them in. As someone who has failed countless times when seeking a secondary, the fact is that most women will side-eye you, then turn in the other direction when you disclose that you are in fact, polyamorous.

This in mind, I'm sure you've experienced it as well, and have chosen this route as your loophole to the process. Unfortunately, it's based on deception and slight of hand and will gain you nothing except a guilty conscience, bitter pseudo/could have been secondaries, and a terrible reputation.

Sorry, but you probably need to be more willing to fail with the truth.. or at least most of it upfront, than failing in the long run via misdirection/smoke and mirrors.

Hi Polyamory.com. I'm Arii.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:07 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Just to give an analogy. If a mono person is seeing a bunch of people for casual sex but it is affectionate and it might turn into something more (and the person even hopes to develop ONE relationship that lasts forever), that person doesn't call him or herself "Monogamous" while he/she is engaging in all the casual dating/sex. It's not exactly monogamous if he/she is seeing several people or having back to back casual relationships. The person owns up to being involved in casual sex/dating in hopes of eventually achieving a monogamous relationship. So while a poly person is doing the same thing,he/she shouldn't be calling it polyamory. Call it casual sex. If you then develop a loving relationship, and you have more than one loving relationship, then call it polyamory.

In other words, call yourself monogamous when you actually practice monogamy.

Call yourself polyamorous when you actually practice polyamory.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:25 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Now you are saying how other people should identify themselves based on your preferences. However, one can call themselves either monogamous or polyamorous even if they're not in any relationships at all! It's the desire and openness to poly that counts just as much as the practice of it.

From Wikipedia:
Members of the newsgroup alt.polyamory collaborated on a FAQ (frequently asked questions) post that was updated periodically, and included the group's definition of "polyamory". The 1997 version,[14] which has been archived online, contains this definition:

Polyamory means "loving more than one". This love may be sexual, emotional, spiritual, or any combination thereof, according to the desires and agreements of the individuals involved, but you needn't wear yourself out trying to figure out ways to fit fondness for apple pie, or filial piety, or a passion for the Saint Paul Saints baseball club into it. "Polyamorous" is also used as a descriptive term by people who are open to more than one relationship even if they are not currently involved in more than one. (Heck, some are involved in less than one.) Some people think the definition is a bit loose, but it's got to be fairly roomy to fit the wide range of poly arrangements out there.

In 1999, Zell-Ravenheart was asked by the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to provide a definition of the term (which the dictionary had not yet recognized; the words "polyamory, -ous, and -ist" were added to the OED in 2006[4]). On their website, the Ravenhearts shared their submission to the OED, which follows:
The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.
Mercury, my point in my earlier post was simply that what you state is poly isn't something that is agreed upon among every poly person. You described what poly is FOR YOU, and so why lay what works for you on other people and say they are not poly if they're not doing it your way? It would have been cool if you had said "this is what it is for me," but you were making definitive blanket statements about what "poly is" and that the OP wasn't doing it right. What you said had almost attacking tone to it.

Furthermore, I re-read the OP's posts and did not find any statement from him that he only was looking for casual sex. He said that he didn't feel it was necessary to discuss the fact that he has another relationship unless and until his dating goes beyond the casual stage. Clearly he feels that dating has a casual stage before getting serious, and many people do also feel that way. It doesn't mean that's all they want. Methinks your history with that dishonest guy from OKC triggered you and you over-reacted a bit to Wolfwood's posts. And now you seem to be belittling any other opinions on poly that don't match your own. Clearly, a more casual attitude regarding polyamory bugs you and no one's saying you should change your views, just that they don't have to be adopted by anyone else in order to be poly in the manner in which THEY see fit.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

Click here for a Solo Poly view on hierarchical relationships
Click here to find out why the Polyamorous Misanthrope is feeling disgusted.

Last edited by nycindie; 08-17-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:23 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
Call yourself polyamorous when you actually practice polyamory.
Something that you may want to consider is that some people consider "polyamory" an orientation - like being gay, straight, bi, pan, whatever. So would YOU say that a man who is sexually attracted to men, fantasizes about gay sex, has no interest in women is not "gay" if he is a virgin or celibate? i.e. that he does not have a sexual orientation until he actually acts upon it. OR if he tries to deny his "gayness" and forces himself to have sex only with women whiles still being only sexually attracted to men - is he therefore "straight" because he is "practicing" heterosexual intercourse?

Other people consider "polyamory" a relationship structure that they choose (or not) to participate in - they might agree with you and consider themselves poly only when involved in a poly-relationship. But they STILL may disagree with your definition - which seems to be that only full-on primary-type leading-to-living-together-and-raising-children relationships constitute "love" (as an aside - the concept of "love" to me is a MUCH more confusing and poorly defined concept than "polyamory")

For me (once I had reluctantly come to the conclusion that "love" even existed in the world) it seemed axiomatic that if I was capable of loving even one person, then I could be capable of loving more than one person. That the feelings I have for one person (whatever they are, however you want to define them) are the feelings that I have for them, which in no way dictates the feelings that I have for someone else. So I was always open to allowing my feelings/relationships with people to develop on their own merit. Never "looking" but not excluding. So for me "polyamory" is more of a philosophy than either an orientation or relationship structure.

When you have an invented word like "polyamory" that has only been around for only 20 years - and you have a void in vocabulary (lots of people pursuing multple many-natured relationships without a good way to talk about it with each other) then people are going to use it as the "best fit" where it seems to apply. Many people were "practicing" polyamory before there was a word for it...does that mean it wasn't poly?

For me - my personal definition is way looser than yours. I'm ok with FWB "counting" as poly - my longest FWB relationship is only 1 year younger than my 20 year relationship with my husband. My best friend, with whom I share NO sexual chemistry but dreams of setting up house and "taking care of" me as we grow old together and loves me more than anyone (with the possible exception of her husband) wants to "count" as poly as my "platonic girlfriend". Hey, if that makes her happy...(I am almost as restrictive in my definition of "friend" as others are in their definition of "poly" - most people I know that would consider me their friend I would consider only an "acquaintance").

Who cares? It's all good. Encourage the love where people find it - the big love, the little love, the middle love. Don't let the semantics get in the way.
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (24+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (6+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
MrClean: hetero mono male, almost lover-friend to me, FWBs to SLeW
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 08-17-2012 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:31 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
I think many people on this board can't stand my definition of poly because it allows for less casualness and less preying on others. People don't want to be told they can't be casual or that they can't prey on others, so they insist their casualness and predatory ways are just as dignified as anything, that there's a "spectrum," that everybody's got their own poly. Everyone's got their own definition of murder, too, I guess? Like, if I kill someone, it's not murder because it could well be that in another life, I would really love that person I killed.

I have high standards for poly, though. True poly is, in my opinion, better than monogamy. True poly is beautiful, I think. But the way most people practice it is seedy, sordid, casual-sex-seeking-in-enlightenedness's clothing (on the part of some, not all), and irresponsible. If it's not those things, it's a bunch of catty jealousness.

It's "Look, I'm in a relationship that comes before all others. If you can't handle polyamory, I can't handle you."
It's not your ideas. It's your tone that caused me to post. You come across as you believe you have the one true poly. And you read like you believe others are doing it wrong, or unethically or stupidly or all three. That may not be what you are trying to say, but that is what you are communicating.

Also, you've conflated casual and predatory. They are not automatically linked. Can they exist together? Yes, absolutely, happens frequently unfortunately. However, I've seen long term committed predatory relationships where one partner is constanty preying on the other's energy, time, emotion. Can casual be ethical? Sure. That's how I run my casual encounters.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:47 AM
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Emm Emm is offline
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
NyCindie asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase "My poly is not your poly." Sure I've heard it. As such, respect my poly, too. My poly is just as much not your poly as your poly is not mine, so don't make a big deal out of it.
You're the one who started making blanket statements in this thread about what is and isn't poly. You didn't say it wasn't your kind of poly, you said it wasn't poly. Perhaps if you stopped doing that the rest of us wouldn't have to read this argument over and over again.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:16 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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I haven’t read any of these responses, but I just want to say it’s that I don’t like people feeling the need to “class up” what they do by calling it polyamory instead of casual sex or an open relationship. There’s nothing wrong with casual sex, so there’s no need to make yourself feel “classy” by saying you’re polyamorous.

People who have casual sex don’t treat their partners like dirt. They’re often very kind, they’re often respectful, they’re often affectionate. Same with friends with benefits. It’s still casual sex and friends with benefits. I think people here think that if they have sexual relationships with other people and are actually nice to them that it’s “polyamory.” As if casual sex-havers are rude, mocking, and complete shits to their partners. Lol. I had a one-night-stand a couple years ago in which the guy treated me like a queen, bought me breakfast the next morning, walked me to my front door, etc. I’m not calling it polyamory just because there was affection and respect there. Likewise, I’ve had friends with benefits who cuddled with me all night and did pillow talk with me, etc., etc. It doesn’t make it polyamory just because we were nice to each other. Who sleeps with people who are complete dicks/bitches to them, anyway?

There are definitely some people on this board who seem to be in polyamorous situations. People who have one very meaningful partner and another meaningful partner. Mind you, I don’t have the belief that it’s only polyamory if you’re in love with two or three different people and nobody’s jealous and it all works perfectly. I believe you’re in a polyamorous situation if you do have two or three meaningful, loving, long-term relationships and that everyone involved is working hard at making it work and trying to be respectful of each other’s involvements. They’re working through their jealousies and insecurities like adults.

That said, there are people on this board who're just getting action on the side (and they're quite comfortable with that) and calling it polyamory.

The process of looking for a long-term mate to be in love with (in addition to your current partner who you’re in love with), if it is a series of bed-hopping, month-long involvements, or being friends with benefits or one-night-stands (who are nice to each other), doesn’t constitute polyamory to me. It’s you having some fun.

You’re trying so hard to make something kind of casual be classier than what it is by calling it polyamory.

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:23 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by Emm View Post
You're the one who started making blanket statements in this thread about what is and isn't poly. You didn't say it wasn't your kind of poly, you said it wasn't poly. Perhaps if you stopped doing that the rest of us wouldn't have to read this argument over and over again.
Just read this one. I'll say this. It's a given that what one says is polyamory is what one considers polyamory to be. I'm not going to start all my statements with "in my opinion" or "according to the way I assess situations to be."

Anyway, you'd be surprised to know that I very much approve of polyamory. I just don't approve of the way most people do it.

I think I could do either polyamory or monogamy, myself. I'm open to either way of being with a person or more than one person. But, if I have a partner who is my long-term boyfriend and we're in love, and I am in the act of looking for other partners but more with the mindset of respectful casual involvements than for another serious relationship, I'd not say I was polyamorous. I'd say I'm in an open relationship or seeking sex / involvements on the side.

However, if I were with the mindset of looking for another serious boyfriend who I wanted to love, and that was my goal, and I didn't care to get involved with a lot of other people in a casual way, I'd say I'm polyamorous.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:42 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by Emm View Post
You're the one who started making blanket statements in this thread about what is and isn't poly. You didn't say it wasn't your kind of poly, you said it wasn't poly. Perhaps if you stopped doing that the rest of us wouldn't have to read this argument over and over again.
Another quick thing is that my poly IS your poly. I'm quite sure that what I consider poly is also under the umbrella of what you consider poly. It's your poly that isn't my poly. Mine's way more exclusive, while yours includes pretty much anything that means involvement with more than one person. You could have a one night stand tomorrow and the next day and the next day with three different people, and it'd probably be poly to you.

You know, the whole reason there's a term "polyamory" is to distinguish itself from casual sex and just plain open relationships. Polyamory wants people to know that it is NOT about casual sex or casual, meaningless involvements. But when you say that casual sex and meaningless involvements are okay (or are just part of the journey), you're basically making polyamory, casual sex, and open relationships all one and the same.

In other words, when the mainstream world judges the polyamorous community for being "just lewd, lascivious casual sex havers in disguise who want to euphemize their lifestyle with a word like 'polyamory'", you make what they say true by saying casual sex is part of what we have to do in order to be polyamorous; it's the way we get to polyamory.

Call it casual sex while it's casual sex, that way the outside mainstream world won't be saying polyamory is casual sex.

When you are polyamorous and act like polyamorous people, the outside mainstream world won't be able to say that you're casual sex havers because you won't be casual sex havers. You'll be people in meaningful, long-term, loving relationships with more than one person.

Here's a hint.

Think about love and deep, meaningful relationships. Are they easy to come by? Nope. Single people who are monogamous go for years without having even just one. Sometimes, if they're lucky, they'll get something loving and meaningful every 2-4 years or so. Something that can work. And I'm not talking about ugly single people. I'm talking even about attractive people.

It's hard to come by people you're in love with or have a deep, meaningful relationship with.

Poly people aren't any different. You're the same human beings with the same basic odds of finding someone you connect with and are attracted to well enough that it's considered "a loving, meaningful relationship."

If you have a main partner and get involved with four or five different people in one year (all of them short-lived), there's a fat chance that polyamory was happening, because it's very unlikely that you met that many people in ONE year who you had a loving, meaningful relationship with.

You had four or five involvements that were casual. Hence, there was no polyamory happening. Casual involvements were happening.

Truly poly people (in my opinion!!!!!!!) might not even get their second partner for a long time because they didn't fall for a person in a year or so even after they officially went poly. They might have gone on some dates, but nothing panned out. If, to you, dating around plenty and getting to dates 3-4 (where sex might happen) but then it ending soon after (and you're fine with that, and are looking for the next person to repeat the cycle with), you're just a casual sex haver.

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:52 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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There was this guy that I talked to who was polyamorous (had a wife and a girlfriend, both of them very meaningful to him). We were just pen pals; we live way far from each other.

There was this time that I mentioned to him that I saw a lot of OkCupid profiles in which a poly couple said "You need to know now that I have a primary relationship that comes before all others. We are polyamorous." I said to him (my pen pal): "That's pretty wack. Poly couples telling other people 'you definitely can't hope to mean as much to me as my main partner. He/she matters the most.'

My poly pen pal replied, "Well, at least they're upfront about it."

And I said, "But who would want to be involved with people who say outright that you're not going to matter as much as the main partner?"

He said, "Well, to be fair, there are some people, who, at certain times in their lives, are just looking for something casual and don't even *want* to matter that much. Like, this guy I know...he's in grad school and too busy for a relationship. He *wants* friends with benefits."

There you have it. That's the protocol. Find partners who are only looking for something casual. Respectful, sure; affectionate, sure...

But still...casual. When your secondary partners are your casual sex relationships or your friends with benefits, it just ain't polyamory. It's friends with benefits and casual sex. IN MY OPINION!!!!!

Polyamory doesn't want the mainstream world thinking it's about casual sex. But if YOU ARE about casual sex (no matter how respectful, kind), how can you blame the mainstream world for saying you're about casual sex?
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