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Old 02-25-2013, 03:45 AM
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Question Opportunity and poly?

So today I was reading through a couple of blogs that had been suggested to me for various reasons, and I kind of got derailed along the way, and I stumbled across something that I cant quite shake.

It was a blog posting with a video link, and in the post the author made statements about Polyamory that I felt were too broad, and lacked a proper understanding of the terms, practices, and values of Poly in general. I had basically given up on the entire blog, but for whatever reason I clicked on the video and watched some of it.

"Polyamorists in general tend to be younger, almost exclusively middle class, and usually white. Perhaps having less immediate threats to welfare and survival as in many inner-city and minority populations allows this group of people more freedom to go against societal norms." was the statement that grabbed my attention.

First and foremost, I disagree with the tone, content, and generalization of the statement out of hand.

But it did get me to thinking.

Most of the practicing poly people I have met in my life have been successful, in their own right. I have met more polyamorists in places where economically, life is better. And many of the polyamorists that I have met who are "all the way out" have been, if not wealthy, then certainly comfortable.

My question for all of you is this. Is it likely that safety and security, in spite of society's view of how one lives their life, would encourage a polyamorous individual to live more openly or comfortably with their chosen/inherent lifestyle?

I am still working on formulating my own thoughts on this matter, and I am hoping a little spirited discourse will assist me along the way.

Thx in advance,
Tim
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Last edited by undefinable; 02-25-2013 at 03:46 AM. Reason: fantastic grammatical failures in OP
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:14 AM
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We actually have been having this discussion in several groups over the last year. The consensus is that there's a lot of truth in it *at least in terms of OUT polys.

There is a similar observation in regards to discrimination(but not specifically poly) that has been made. That is that the more different "minority statuses" you fit into, the less likely you are to be open regarding any that *can be hidden. For example, minority race, minority gender, minority sexual preference, minority lovestyle=more likely to be in the closet than someone who is majority race, majority gender, majority sexual preference.

There does definitely appear to be some relationship to having financial security-but not so much as to be in the "media spotlight" (at least in certain spheres like politics) and safety.
Personally I have also noticed that there seems to be more "out" people in higher educated spheres. The lower educated spheres seem to be more closeted. I dont know if that one is happenstance or not as its just a personal observation.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:19 AM
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Interesting! Were any of these discussed here on the forums? If so would really love to read them, but I have not found anything that addresses what I am looking for adequately. Not yet at least.

Maybe we all have a sort of "fit-in-ometer" and everyones is just set a little different. Ha, nobel prize, here I come, I discovered how to tell just how outside the box everyone is willing to live! Seriously though, I am glad I am not the only one thinking about this.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undefinable View Post
So today I was reading through a couple of blogs that had been suggested to me for various reasons, and I kind of got derailed along the way, and I stumbled across something that I cant quite shake.

It was a blog posting with a video link, and in the post the author made statements about Polyamory that I felt were too broad, and lacked a proper understanding of the terms, practices, and values of Poly in general. I had basically given up on the entire blog, but for whatever reason I clicked on the video and watched some of it.

"Polyamorists in general tend to be younger, almost exclusively middle class, and usually white. Perhaps having less immediate threats to welfare and survival as in many inner-city and minority populations allows this group of people more freedom to go against societal norms." was the statement that grabbed my attention.

First and foremost, I disagree with the tone, content, and generalization of the statement out of hand.

But it did get me to thinking.

Most of the practicing poly people I have met in my life have been successful, in their own right. I have met more polyamorists in places where economically, life is better. And many of the polyamorists that I have met who are "all the way out" have been, if not wealthy, then certainly comfortable.
I think its necessary to differentiate between "polyamorists" and people who are not monogamous, the two are not necessarily the same.

I would term a "polyamorist" as someone who actively identifies as polyamorous and is to some degree involved in the local poly community and/or in some for of activism surrounding the idea of polyamory. They stay active and informed on the subject, read books about it, etc etc. They also tend to be more open about who they are and what they do.

Someone who is not monogamous is someone who has a poly or poly-ish way of life but likely doesn't identify as such. They dont call themselves poly, they dont attend meetups, they may read an article if one pops up but they dont go seeking information about it. They dont readily make their presence known largely for the same reasons most mono couples dont have "Mono Pride" stickers on their cars; its their way of life, it works for them, that's what counts.

In my experience, someone who is a polyamorist is more likely to be white, middle to upper class, and about 30-35 years old. There are plenty of ideas as to why this is and they're fairly well known so I wont get into them here.

As for non-monogamous, spin the fuckin' wheel. You can get ANYBODY under that label. Non-monogamy is as old as time and there have been consentual arrangements with multiple partners for as long as there's been monogamy.

Quote:
My question for all of you is this. Is it likely that safety and security, in spite of society's view of how one lives their life, would encourage a polyamorous individual to live more openly or comfortably with their chosen/inherent lifestyle?
I would say yes. If I know I'm less likely to be punished for socially abnormal behavior that I find agreeable, I'm much more likely to engage in it. That's fairly standard amongst people.

We also have to consider that, even in today's society, it's still possible to compartmentalize your life; your work and home lives stay separated. Work is where most of us are likely to face problems for not living the way most of our neighbors do but we can keep our personal lives out of work and even just away from certain people.

My boss is fairly conservative Jewish, very unlikely to like the idea that one of the people charged with forging the minds of our client's children lives in a way that so conflicts with normal social mores. Most of my coworkers know I'm poly and none particularly care, I'm not friends with my boss so we dont chit-chat and she's not tech savvy enough to want to be on FB or other social media so outside of work, we dont interact. This means its fairly easy for me to be pretty public about who I am and how I live without worrying that I'm going to be "caught." I'm white, but I am by no means "middle class."

Wealth has an insulating effect against the punishments a society will levy against someone for breaking its rules, regardless of the rule broken. But it also takes a certain "fuck you" attitude towards people that dont like what you're doing. I think that's certainly the biggest factor in my case. You can look at the gay community for some parallels; back when being openly gay was somewhere between illegal and a death sentence, the average person didnt really have a lot of opportunity to be open without taking significant risks. Compare that with people with wealth and privilege, many were gay and either very open about it or it was publically known. These fortunate few rarely suffered serious detriment the way a middle-class citizen would have for the same kind of behavior.
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Last edited by Helo; 02-25-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
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I think its necessary to differentiate between "polyamorists" and people who are not monogamous, the two are not necessarily the same.

I would term a "polyamorist" as someone who actively identifies as polyamorous and is to some degree involved in the local poly community and/or in some for of activism surrounding the idea of polyamory. They stay active and informed on the subject, read books about it, etc etc. They also tend to be more open about who they are and what they do.
In this instance i am using the term Polyamorist in a broad sense, so as not to get bogged down by "which flavor of poly is best" issues. I intended it as an inclusive label (something which i am loathe to do) for the purposes of the discussion.

That said, i think i will take a shot at hijacking my own thread

I am not comfortable with a "involvement in the community" provision as it feels to me like a price of admission. It seems exclusive, and elitist, and i just dont like it. For me it is akin to saying that a person who dedicates their life to jogging as far as possible is not an athlete because they do not compete in marathons. No recognition given for the countless hours, injuries, and sacrifices they have made, because they do not contribute to the process of athleticism.

Or like saying a gay man who does not have active involvement in LGBT issues. Attraction, romantic relationships, and sex with other men does not qualify if he doesnt participate in the community as well.

Personally the criteria you put forth would qualify a person as a polyamorous activist quite well, but i think it is defining too precisely a group of people who are by nature inclusive.

Proceed to lay waste to my logic..........NOW!
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:20 PM
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Thank you for mentioning that!
I agree fully with you, undefined. As there is (assumption based on lack of it magically appearing) no community here, am I, therefore, lead to believe, not a polyamorist? Or am I just someone with poly ideals?
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undefinable View Post

I am not comfortable with a "involvement in the community" provision as it feels to me like a price of admission. It seems exclusive, and elitist, and i just dont like it. For me it is akin to saying that a person who dedicates their life to jogging as far as possible is not an athlete because they do not compete in marathons. No recognition given for the countless hours, injuries, and sacrifices they have made, because they do not contribute to the process of athleticism.

Or like saying a gay man who does not have active involvement in LGBT issues. Attraction, romantic relationships, and sex with other men does not qualify if he doesnt participate in the community as well.

This touches on something I have been wondering about too. My partner and I agreed to dedicate one full year to learning about ethical non-monogamy, talking about our feelings, addressing issues between ourselves, all before we took the step of actually starting to meet new people socially. We are doing this to minimize avoidable mistakes and possible hurt to anyone. For us, this is the equivalent of training for a marathon. Rational people take the time, and put in the effort to prepare for something strenuous and new to them.

From what I have read, the poly group in the largest city near to us defines those suitable to join them as already being in polyamorous relationships.
In other words, we can't join them in order to learn how to do things correctly without having already done the thing we are joining to learn how to do. We can't sign up for classes, so to speak, until we have already graduated.

The price of admission referred to above is simply not possible. This just baffles me.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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^That does not sound comforting to the outsiders looking in at all. I am sorry that it is that way for you. I feel that's a little barbaric in its reluctance to allow education. Isn't education the first step to acceptance?
I mean, if I were a gay man, for example, wouldn't it be better to educate my peers on my chosen lifestyle than barricade them from it? Isn't than just solidifying my position as an outcast by not welcoming their queries and the expecting the to understand? It's forming myself an island and then complaining that I don't have a boat to venture to neighbouring boats on. IMHO.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:56 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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So my family is all young (mid to late 20s) and white but economically secure? That part make me giggle. Primal and I work full time both at about $9-10 an hour. Lamian is unemployed. Woodsmith is in school full time and doesn't even have time this semester for a part time job. That's house 1. House two: Peaseblossum makes under 20K a year and Darkeyes I think is the only one who makes decent money ($14 an hour but some weeks has 60 hours others is lucky to get 10).

However, thankfully in St. Louis there's a lot of things that are either cheap or free for being involved both in the polyamory and kink communities.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
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^That does not sound comforting to the outsiders looking in at all. I am sorry that it is that way for you.
Yes, it's a bit odd. I just went to their site again to make sure I understood correctly. Since my last visit there, I see the circle discussion group has changed its status to inactive, and no longer has monthly meetings. Were they perhaps so exclusive they eventually ran out of members?

The local Yahoo group is reported as being Spam Land, due to lack of moderation. I am not encouraged.
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