Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 01-02-2010, 02:04 AM
Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 297

Originally Posted by dakid View Post
with my queer background i am used to folk self-identifying and that being given utmost respect. so i guess i am struggling with this need to create distinctions between for example swinging and poly, instead of acceptance that if a person or persons identify their relationship as poly then it is poly. regardless of what their sexual and/or social activities are at the moment.
I was involved with the queer group at my university as part of the executive board. I do understand where you're coming from. Self-identification is an important part of my perspective as well.

There honestly isn't a need to create distinctions. The two communities overlap in many places and there are individuals who identify with both. This push for distinctions seems to stem from a desire by some again to give polyamory some sort of credibility or to avoid "cheapening" it usually due to sex-negative views.

There are a myriad of views such as the one Tristan Taormino expressed about the two in Opening Up.

Susan Wright, spokesperson and founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, expresses her view in an interview with Kasidie, a swinger magazine. Here is the link:


Kasidie: Not to long ago, I ran across a blog post on a polyamory website, where someone had written, “It’s no secret that there has been bad blood between the polyamory and he swinging community for years.” To which I thought, really?! I had no idea! As a swinger I always thought that polys were wonderful… Any swinger I know has had only had positive responses about polys. So I spoke directly to a polyamorist and was told that polys don’t really like swingers because they feel it’s cheapening their lifestyle. Polys are about having multiple emotional relationships. They don’t want to be mistaken as swingers, who they believe are all about meaningless sex, not love. But I don’t really see that the two groups are all that different. At least not in what they want - Tolerance, acceptance and sexual freedom.
click to see more about NCSF's coalition partners

Susan: I agree. I think swinging is basically polyamory. It’s many loves. It’s a subset of polyamory. Swinging tends to be more couple oriented, while polyamory tends to be more individual oriented. That seems to be the way the two communities have fallen apart. I have sometimes heard sentiments like that from poly individuals talking about swinging as if it was just casual sex. But I know plenty of people in the swing lifestyle that have long standing relationships with other people. They get together regularly outside of just sex and have formed very close bonds of friendship. You can’t call that “casual” when you’ve been spending time with someone for 15 years. I think there’s misconceptions the polyamory community has about swingers as much as the mainstream does.
There are those who say there can be polyamory without sex and there are those who say there can be swinging without love. And there are those who are various places in between in perspective and in the forms their relationships take. It is such an amazing thing.

There is merit in accepting the broader multifaceted nature of these communities and of the world.

Originally Posted by dakid View Post
what upsets me is the part where a relationship has to be "lasting" in order to be deemed poly. (lasting how long it seems nobody is willing to say).

i can love and be intimate with someone for just one night or for several years, and i would see that one-night of love as very different to swinging. i have in the past been more of a swinger and have no problem with being seen as one, it just isn't accurate to where i am at now in my interractions with others.

as it happens i do have two ongoing, lasting relationships which i think you would perceive as poly. i also had a five-year fcuk buddy relationship which some might not, but i do - because there was/is love there (just not the romantic kind). i may tomorrow choose to have loving intimate sex with somebody as a one-off, and i would identify that as poly. that's the thing...

Remember, others do not define polyamory for you. Others do not validate your relationships. You are the one who defines it for yourself. Who cares if anyone else says "that's not polyamory. You're not in a polyamorous relationship. You're misguided." It becomes a problem when others seek to enforce their views and opinions on others and invalidate their relationships because it does not take the form that theirs does.

Finding others who are on the same wavelength as you is what matters when it comes to forming relationships. Do not doubt yourself.

The configuration you describe is as poly as any other relationship. The freedom to ethically love a you will is beautiful.

Reply With Quote

casual sex, philosophy, poly practice, poly standards, sex

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:38 AM.