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Old 03-13-2010, 04:07 AM
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Default The Dispersed Polyamorous Group

I am probably setting myself up for ridicule by posting this, but oh well, it's happened before.

Until a couple of days ago, I was totally unaware that polyamory was actually being practiced, especially by the number of people indicated in the wikipedia article. Really, I wasn't even familiar with the term.

I have always been fascinated by the concept, though, ever since reading The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, in which he described something he called a Line Marriage. Seven husbands and seven wives, ranging in age from 20s to elderly, younger spouses being brought in as the older ones died.

I was arguing in a forum about the obsolescence of monogamy and to prove my points I created a social structure that I called the Dispersed Polyamorous Group, intended to implement polyamory across multiple residences. The idea is for currently monogamous people to convert over without moving or changing current relationships, just adding new ones.

Let me know what you think about it.

http://www.freeratio.org/blog.php?u=...ogcategoryid=5

Like I said, I am new to this subject, and am totally unaware of all the current literature and don't know your terminology, so it's highly likely it's all crap. Please tell me what I am doing wrong, so that I can fix it.

It's still a work in progress. I will update this thread when I add more.

It's a vbulletin blog, so the posts are in reverse order. Please read from the bottom up.

Thanks for your attention (I hope).
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Last edited by jackrabbit; 03-13-2010 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:39 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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All I'm going to suggest for now is that if you've only found out about poly a few days ago, that you spend some time doing further research.
In terms of your proposed system, there's a lot of human factors people have already discovered that tend to defy systems such as the one you describe. Take the time to learn about some of these...the terminology, the follies, and the victories.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:28 PM
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I agree with II- I would get comfortable with what you're talking about. What I read of your blog seems more like a storyline than anything.

I would recommend not approaching polyamory seeking to create any system for it other than your own, (but of course, the system and the book have already been part of your personal experience).

Welcome to the forums.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:44 PM
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Jackrabbit, I am certainly not going to ridicule you. So first off, welcome to the forum!

You imply in your opening post that you have never had a relationship of this type - is that true? What relationships structures have you been able to experience personally so far?

I think that if this configuration (your "DPG") is one that is your goal, then you have done an admirable job of thinking it through and documenting it - it will certainly give your prospective dates ample information on which to base their expectations about having a relationship with you.

However (you knew this was coming), one of the things that I have learned is that there are many, many ways of doing polyamory, and that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others. Some like the idea of closed so-called "polyfidelitous" groups, others prefer a more open arrangement, where people come and go in their lives.

There are several things that you lay out in your blog that just wouldn't work for me in my configuration, but that absolutely doesn't make them wrong for you. Be prepared for some poly folk to look at this and say "thanks but no thanks" for the reason that it won't work for them either.

So the only thing I would caution is that you stay open-minded as you put this concept into action - you may find that it doesn't work as well for you as you thought initially, or it may not work for the people that you meet. Be prepared to rethink things as you go. I know I learned a ton of stuff once I started experiencing various poly relationships. Mostly it was what I didn't want, but in addition a large part of it was that I needed to relax in terms of my "poly ideal".

I wish you luck.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
Jackrabbit, I am certainly not going to ridicule you. So first off, welcome to the forum!
Thanks.
Quote:
You imply in your opening post that you have never had a relationship of this type - is that true? What relationships structures have you been able to experience personally so far?
Just a regular marriage. I enjoyed it okay, but I also missed the variety of dating. The divorce was the fault of both of us, but it had nothing to do with other people.
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I think that if this configuration (your "DPG") is one that is your goal, then you have done an admirable job of thinking it through and documenting it - it will certainly give your prospective dates ample information on which to base their expectations about having a relationship with you.
Well, certainly that is a goal, but I really intended it for everyone, to promote the idea of polyamory itself. This may not be the way everyone does it, but it is a way you can do it (once any flaws are removed).

The more people who embrace polyandry, the fewer people to look down on those who currently practice it.
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However (you knew this was coming), one of the things that I have learned is that there are many, many ways of doing polyamory, and that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others. Some like the idea of closed so-called "polyfidelitous" groups, others prefer a more open arrangement, where people come and go in their lives.
Oh, sure. I wasn't proposing it as a rigid standard. It's just a concept. If people read it and like it, fine. Or they can just use it as a starting point and modify it any way they wish. Even if they don't like the particular configuration, they are at least thinking about the idea of polyamory. It has never occurred to most people.
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There are several things that you lay out in your blog that just wouldn't work for me in my configuration, but that absolutely doesn't make them wrong for you. Be prepared for some poly folk to look at this and say "thanks but no thanks" for the reason that it won't work for them either.
Which is why I was looking for feedback. So that I can make adjustments that address everyone's concerns. Or try to, anyway. I can't do anything about contradictory goals.
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So the only thing I would caution is that you stay open-minded as you put this concept into action - you may find that it doesn't work as well for you as you thought initially, or it may not work for the people that you meet. Be prepared to rethink things as you go. I know I learned a ton of stuff once I started experiencing various poly relationships. Mostly it was what I didn't want, but in addition a large part of it was that I needed to relax in terms of my "poly ideal".
Sure, I'm flexible. Also, remember that it isn't finished. I haven't addressed things like censure by society yet. For instance, the fact that Tiger Woods would probably have lost his contracts even if his wife did give permission. A married person having sex with multiple people, with permission or not, isn't considered "wholesome".
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:30 PM
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Props to you for trying to open up people's minds! My first introduction to polyamory was also through "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," and later another of Heinlein's novels, "Stranger in a Strange Land."


Quote:
I haven't addressed things like censure by society yet. For instance, the fact that Tiger Woods would probably have lost his contracts even if his wife did give permission. A married person having sex with multiple people, with permission or not, isn't considered "wholesome".
We have a long way to go until acceptance. During all the Oscar coverage, Mo'nique freely discussed her open marriage and took a lot of criticism for it, and even downright ridicule from interviewers, TV show hosts, etc. But, the more visibility we get from people trying to get the word out, it will slowly become more accepted.


I'd echo others' cautions: The more I've learned about polyamory, the more I've seen that there isn't one "right" way to do it. There may be a "right" way for you, but that might not work for me. And many people are happy and fulfilled in monogamous situations.

I assume from reading your blog that your intended audience is mostly monogamous? In that case, you might consider not arguing against monogamy so strongly right away, since that is likely to turn off readers to the whole concept. Maybe you might have more success offering it as more of an "alternative" choice? (At least until you get them hooked on the idea.) Just my two cents. Take it or leave it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Twill View Post
I assume from reading your blog that your intended audience is mostly monogamous? In that case, you might consider not arguing against monogamy so strongly right away, since that is likely to turn off readers to the whole concept. Maybe you might have more success offering it as more of an "alternative" choice? (At least until you get them hooked on the idea.) Just my two cents. Take it or leave it.
I looked at that post again and I don't really see that it is arguing against monogamy so much as pointing out that it is not a requirement. Now you have a point about the original title: "Monogamy: Residue From Centuries Past and Best Forgotten", so I edited it to drop the "and Best Forgotten".
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
I looked at that post again and I don't really see that it is arguing against monogamy so much as pointing out that it is not a requirement. Now you have a point about the original title: "Monogamy: Residue From Centuries Past and Best Forgotten", so I edited it to drop the "and Best Forgotten".
I read it again as well, and I totally agree. I think the title alone gave me the impression right from the beginning that you were arguing against monogamy. The new title is much more inviting.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:08 PM
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Default A few points

jackrabbit,

Welcome. I've skimmed your blog, and I thought I'd post a few comments.

One of my partners got his start with Heinlein too, and I discovered his novels through him. Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress are my favorites of his novels (so far). Apparently they're a common starting point for many of us.

To supply jargon, your DPG sounds to me like a large polyfidelitous tribe with a fluid-bond. (Everyone is effectively married to everyone else, no sex or romantic love outside the group, and has been tested for STDs.) You might want to look into those terms, on this forum and elsewhere, and get a sense for how those relationships work in practice.

I'd also like to agree with CielDuMatin:

Quote:
There are several things that you lay out in your blog that just wouldn't work for me in my configuration, but that absolutely doesn't make them wrong for you. Be prepared for some poly folk to look at this and say "thanks but no thanks" for the reason that it won't work for them either.
In my web of relationships, there's no assumption of equal time, or fixed schedule of 'dates'. (You might look into the Kerista commune; I read somewhere that one of the reasons it ended was difficulty stemming from rigid sleeping schedules.) I spend most of my time with my two live-in primary partners, and occasionally hang out with my other loves. We're not a closed group (my girlfriend has a boyfriend, who has a boyfriend, who has other lovers I haven't met and likely never will) and we're open to occasional and non-romantic sexual liaisons, so we're not fluid bonded either.

If you want to have in your DPG, and you find people who want it with you, that's great. Congratulations, and please enjoy yourselves. It's just that everyone practices poly differently, so it might be hard to find people who are compatible to you romantically AND open to poly AND interested in your particular format.

I have a quote of yours that I want to call out:

Quote:
... If they didn't pass the test, why would you want to have sex with them? Why would you deliberately have sex with someone who failed an AIDS test?
First, I'd like to point out that your wording, "failed an AIDS test", is rather strong. Taking the intent of your statement rather than your word choices, it happens in real life that an HIV-positive person and an HIV-negative person fall in love. It also happens that people in that situation have safe sex and take care of each other. I've heard of fluid-bonded poly tribes composed only of HIV-positive people too.

All that said, stick around. Keep writing, keep reading, keeping asking questions. Welcome again!

In cahoots,
~S
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by saudade View Post
One of my partners got his start with Heinlein too, and I discovered his novels through him. Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress are my favorites of his novels (so far). Apparently they're a common starting point for many of us.
It's not surprising that people who read those novels wound up here. I don't remember Stranger as well, but he made the setup in Mistress sound really desirable. There have been societies described in SF novels that sounded so wonderful that it hurt I couldn't live there.
Quote:
In my web of relationships, there's no assumption of equal time, or fixed schedule of 'dates'. (You might look into the Kerista commune; I read somewhere that one of the reasons it ended was difficulty stemming from rigid sleeping schedules.) I spend most of my time with my two live-in primary partners, and occasionally hang out with my other loves. We're not a closed group (my girlfriend has a boyfriend, who has a boyfriend, who has other lovers I haven't met and likely never will) and we're open to occasional and non-romantic sexual liaisons, so we're not fluid bonded either.
It's set up the way it is because the assumption is that there are no changes in living arrangements. Everyone continues living with whoever they were living with before. It's meant as a conversion from existing monogamy, as opposed to starting from scratch and making major configuration changes that affect the kids. In this setup, the kids never have to move. They are not affected in any way, other than possible adjustment to polyamory.

Sure, there are logistics involved. The "dates" come about because all of the people you are romantic with, excluding only one, live in another household.

Giving everyone equal time was just a suggestion. Everything is, really. People can adjust the gag any way they wish. How a person coordinates with his/her partners is totally up to him/her and them.
Quote:
If you want to have in your DPG, and you find people who want it with you, that's great. Congratulations, and please enjoy yourselves. It's just that everyone practices poly differently, so it might be hard to find people who are compatible to you romantically AND open to poly AND interested in your particular format.
That's the reason for putting it on the web. Since poly is such an obscure topic, pages related to it won't be buried as far down in searches as most other topics. After all, google is how I found this place. All it takes is curiosity to do a search.
Quote:
First, I'd like to point out that your wording, "failed an AIDS test", is rather strong. Taking the intent of your statement rather than your word choices, it happens in real life that an HIV-positive person and an HIV-negative person fall in love. It also happens that people in that situation have safe sex and take care of each other. I've heard of fluid-bonded poly tribes composed only of HIV-positive people too.
Okay, I'll rework that. I guess the point I'm trying to get across is that it's one thing to take the risk if it only affects you, and another if it affects other people who did not make that choice. It's either a closed group or it's not. The point of being closed is to shut out the chance of disease. So that you don't have to bother with protection. Your protection is being in the group.

But sure, if the group is entirely HIV-positive, there's no issue whatsoever.

Thanks for the comments.
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Last edited by jackrabbit; 03-14-2010 at 03:04 AM.
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