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  #241  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:49 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyslipper View Post
It's a good question. Not sure I have a good answer for it... but I'll throw this out there:
"I prefer autonomy-based relationship rather than possessive-style relationships"

And to the jealousy argument, which is usually the pinnacle for monogamists, I like to remind people that jealousy is just another emotion to be managed, like anger. We don't tell people not to drive because they might get angry at the other drivers, we tell them to manage their anger better.
But...

Monogamy does not necessarily preclude autonomy in relationships. Conversely, polyamory does not automatically guarantee autonomy.

Same thing with jealousy... Monogamy does not automatically guarantee jealousy; nor does polyamory insure against it.

The existence, avoidance, or management of all those things are up to the individuals involved and are not determined, necessarily, by the structure of their relationships!
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  #242  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:51 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The point I would like to get across, when asked, is: that this is an adventure, a journey that has taught me more about myself and relationships and love than 20 years of monogamy, a challenge, an opportunity for growth, a chance to intimately get to know amazing people.
If that is what you want to say, how about just speaking your truth?

Quote:
But if I say that I sound like a thrill seeker or a someone who thrives on drama, while this is not the type of challenge I mean at all..."
Let them receive the information however it is they receive it.

How does your statement make you seem like a thrill seeker? I'm not seeking it.

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  #243  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:10 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
But...

Monogamy does not necessarily preclude autonomy in relationships. Conversely, polyamory does not automatically guarantee autonomy.

Same thing with jealousy... Monogamy does not automatically guarantee jealousy; nor does polyamory insure against it.

The existence, avoidance, or management of all those things are up to the individuals involved and are not determined, necessarily, by the structure of their relationships!
Good point nycindie, but that has been my experience and those are my reasons..

I think autonomous living and jealous control happen on a spectrum.

I think monogamy as a social institution and jealous control are a mutually reinforcing system - the one begets the other, they need eachother to exist.

I think there's a difference between being monogamous by default - because you only have one partner and you don't particulary wish to seek out more partners, and being monogamous because you've promised someone else you would.

I think there's a difference between being jealous and managing it yourself and being jealous and asking your partner to manage it by way of modifying their behavior as the object of jealousy.

The statement is a springboard for discussion and questioning.
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  #244  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:12 AM
LastLion290 LastLion290 is offline
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I've been in a number of region and nationwide nerd culture organizations, LARP clubs, subcultures, et cetera, all of whom accept and work to help people that live alternative lifestyles. I've been a LGBT supporter for decades, and generally have a strong liberal mindset when it comes to social issues.

As a result, it wasn't so much one moment that the concept of Polyamory really came to me - I think the first time I ever heard the term was some MTV special back when I was in high school, but I didn't give it much serious thought. Later on after my first few years out of college, I got to a weird point in my relationships and started realizing that I was in love with several people, even though I was only "with" one at a time. So, research began and it started dawning on me that this might just be my thing.
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  #245  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:13 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Just didn't have a name for it.

The term polyamory didn't come into my life until I was in my late twenties. I had always just used the term "lover" to explain the structure of some of my relationships. FWB was never a term that I used, because I loved my partners - lover seemed to fit, and had a vaguely European flair that appealed to the romantic in me. I had sketchy fantasies about living with a couple, and did some internet research about it. I found that a LOT of couples were looking for that, and found sites with the poly symbol. I ordered The Ethical Slut online and read it with a voyeuristic curiousity. I found other websites. I guess that up until that point I hadn't given much thought to the concept that other people might be doing what I was doing. Didn't feel like I needed to "identify" as anything; I was who I was, and had always accepted that, and been the best person that I could be to the people I was involved with (honesty, communication, etc). A lot of it didn't sound at all like what I had been doing, or wanted to do, but it was interesting to come across terms to explain what I had been doing for my entire sexual life, and titillating to read other people's stories.

I really question whether or not I indentify as "poly". Increasingly I am drawn to the word Queer ("odd, unconventional, somewhat eccentric") to describe my style of relationship and sexuality. In some ways, I feel that EVERYONE is poly - we all love more than one person in our life (parents, siblings, friends, etc), and attaching sex to it actually doesn't change much for me; I don't feel like sex always defines the level of romance/connection in a relationship. Trying to align myself with a larger social group/norm has always been tricky for me; I believe in living individual truths and learning from those experiences, and while there is certainly lots to learn from reading other people's stories, I don't like preconceived blueprints or ideals being laid on my life very much.

Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 03-16-2013 at 04:57 PM.
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  #246  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:13 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Re:
Quote:
"'Why poly?' -- What would you answer?"
As far as fun, smart-alecky answers ago, there's always ... "Why not?"

Re (from hyperskeptic, Post #11):
Quote:
"It neatly and succinctly shifts the burden of proof back on the person asking: I don't need to justify being polyamorous nearly as much as they need to justify the normalization of monogamy."
Exactly.

Re (from ThatGirlInGray, Post #12):
Quote:
"I've been wondering, though, if 'Why not?' opens the door too easily to the endless list of anti-poly sentiment. I can already hear in my head some possible responses like jealousy, lack of commitment and faithfulness, insecurity, damaging to children and families, immoral ..."
True, true.

I guess it might be a sign that the person asking, "Why poly?" is just asking a rhetorical question and really wants to vent (about how much poly offends them). Maybe if I'm in a patient mood I'll endure their venting. If not, then, "Because it works for me," should deflect their venting.

Re (from Cleo, Post #1):
Quote:
"Because I can."
Good one.

How about, "Because I want to have my Kate and Edith too?" Nobutseriously ...

Re:
Quote:
"Why do I want to live my life this way?"
I can't speak for you of course. I want to live my life in the poly way I do because I want my romantic life to have more freedom than strict monogamy allows. That's my (somewhat awkward) answer, and you're welcome to use it if you so desire.

As it happens, I didn't find myself in a poly situation until I fell in love with someone who was already married. Research and long heart-to-hearts (e.g. between her and her husband) followed. We "became" poly. So the longer answer is, I'm poly because I found myself in a poly situation. But on a deeper level, it's really the greater level of freedom poly offers that seals the deal (for me).

Re (from JaneQSmythe, Post #8):
Quote:
"Because love is a rare enough thing in this world that I don't think we should let *any* of it slip away without consideration."
Ooh, good one.

Re (from ladyslipper, Post #13):
Quote:
"I prefer autonomy-based relationship rather than possessive-style relationships."
I agree that people shouldn't own one another (regardless of if they're poly).

Quote:
"And to the jealousy argument, which is usually the pinnacle for monogamists, I like to remind people that jealousy is just another emotion to be managed, like anger. We don't tell people not to drive because they might get angry at the other drivers, we tell them to manage their anger better."
Well-stated.
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  #247  
Old 03-19-2013, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleo View Post
Why do I want to live my life this way?
I put high value on my independence and autonomy. Monogamy is a relationship agreement which, at its core, runs contrary to these ideals.
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  #248  
Old 03-19-2013, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Monogamy does not necessarily preclude autonomy in relationships.
This discussion has been of particular interest to me of late.

As long as we are using monogamy to mean: romantic exclusivity (sexual and emotional), I disagree that monogamy does not preclude autonomy.

At the heart of this relationship structure is the prohibiting of freedom to act. "If you want to be in a relationship with me you may not have sex with or fall in love with anyone but me". This denies autonomy right out of the gate.
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  #249  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:42 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I think it depends on the point of view. Sure, you can think that "I want to be with someone who is with nobody else and therefore I will leave you if you have another relationship" is limiting your autonomy. But then again, saying "I want to be with someone who won't leave me because I have someone else" is limiting theirs, too.

You can make rules which decide what the other person is allowed to do (You are not allowed to date others) or you can simply state your needs and boundaries (because I'm not comfortable with you dating others, if you do I shall leave), and that's the case in monogamous relationship, and in poly relationships too.
I think many mono people aren't interested in limiting their partners as much as their interested in finding a partner who is compatible with them, which includes a common wish to only have each other.

In polyamory, some people might say "you have to use condoms with other people". That's limiting their autonomy. Saying "I'm not comfortable fluid bonding with other people through you, so while using condoms with others or not is your decision, if you choose not to, I shall use them with you to protect myself" isn't.

One problem is that many people think of it as blackmail or a threat, when really it's just about letting someone else know how you feel so that they can make an informed decision. If I tell someone that I'll use condoms with them if they don't with others, it's not a threat. It's a fact. They might decide they prefer to go bareback with me, and as a result use condoms with others, or they might decide they want to be bareback with as many people as possible, so using barriers with just me would be acceptable to them. Either way, it's their decision and not something I'm imposing on them.

Yet, one could think it threatens their autonomy, in that their actions in regard to wearing condoms will influence whether they'll get to keep having unprotected sex with me or not, in a similar way than being in a relationship with someone else will affect whether you get to keep having a relationship with your monogamous partner or not.

It's about boundaries, and I think everyone has some of them, and we all need to decide if we're fine with our partners', or if we're just not compatible.
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  #250  
Old 03-19-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
"I want to be with someone who is with nobody else and therefore I will leave you if you have another relationship" is limiting your autonomy. But then again, saying "I want to be with someone who won't leave me because I have someone else" is limiting theirs, too.
Again, I disagree and I don't believe it is merely perspective.

"If you fuck/suck/lick/cuddle/love anyone but me I will leave you" is prohibiting the autonomy of my partner. It is setting a rule for them to follow.

"If you try to run my life, tell me what to do with my time, rule me, oppress me, I will leave" is telling my partner that I am an individual adult and am not applying for a job. It is telling them how I am going to act and that if they want to be in my life they must not restrict me. It is setting a boundary.

These are two very different principles and I hope you see why. One is determining the actions of my partner, the other is determining the actions of myself. One of these is respecting autonomy, the other is not. Note that I am not trying to make a value judgment on what actions are being prescribed, simply that they are rules set to limit actions of someone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
You can make rules which decide what the other person is allowed to do (You are not allowed to date others) or you can simply state your needs and boundaries (because I'm not comfortable with you dating others, if you do I shall leave)
You just restated the same prohibiting order. The wording does not change it in the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
and that's the case in monogamous relationship, and in poly relationships too.
On this we agree. Restricting someones autonomy is not an exclusively monogamy issue. This is something that happens in permission based relationships (as opposed to "right" based relationships). I have the right to live my life how I choose, spend my time on what I care to, love who I wish. I have this right and do not require permission to live my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
In polyamory, some people might say "you have to use condoms with other people". That's limiting their autonomy. Saying "I'm not comfortable fluid bonding with other people through you, so while using condoms with others or not is your decision, if you choose not to, I shall use them with you to protect myself" isn't.
Exactly. One is deciding how I will behave, the other is deciding for someone else how they will behave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
It's about boundaries, and I think everyone has some of them, and we all need to decide if we're fine with our partners', or if we're just not compatible.
Boundaries are decisions about protecting myself. I don't want genital warts so I protect myself. I don't want to be controlled so I don't get involved in permission based relationships.

What you are trying to lump into "boundaries" is also prescribing the actions of my partner. This is not a boundary, this is a rule set by you which decides for them how they need to behave.
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