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  #11  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:26 PM
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Not to harp on it or nothin', but my opinion is:

Yes, you should not refuse to have sex with someone who is known to be infected. However, if you do, from that point on you should have sex only with that person and others who are known to be infected. If protection from disease ever becomes foolproof in the future, that can change.
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:45 AM
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One of the things that jumps out at me is "equal time for everyone" because I don't think it's a realistic standard.

I don't devote equal time to my friends, why would I do it for my lovers? If one friend wants to go out shopping twice in one week before I've seen another friend, I don't say "no, I can't, because I have to see Jamie before I spend more time with you." There are also other aspects of life that make this ideal unpractical, such as living with one person whom you're obviously going to see more often than someone you don't live with. And that's before factoring in time to deal with finances, children, household duties, etc.

The other thing that jumps out at me is doing poly "for variety." Please be clear that I'm not making a "there's a right way and a wrong way" judgement here, just saying that variety is not the reason why I am poly. I'm poly because I like to be in love with more than one person at the same time and because it's my natural inclination to do so. Do I enjoy the variety? Certainly. But it's not the "reason" for my being poly, it's just a coincidence.

Quote:
If someone has an annoying flaw, splitting your time between multiple partners reduces the amount of time you have to put up with it.
I can't place my finger on it, but this sentence irks me. My husband has some quirks. But all my previous boyfriends had "annoying flaws" and as soon as the honeymoon/NRE phases wore off, those flaws quickly became more annoying than quirky, and contributed to the ending of the relationship. I prefer to look at it as "getting 'me time'" than "getting away from my husband because he's annoying" ...
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  #13  
Old 03-14-2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
One of the things that jumps out at me is "equal time for everyone" because I don't think it's a realistic standard.

I don't devote equal time to my friends, why would I do it for my lovers? If one friend wants to go out shopping twice in one week before I've seen another friend, I don't say "no, I can't, because I have to see Jamie before I spend more time with you." There are also other aspects of life that make this ideal unpractical, such as living with one person whom you're obviously going to see more often than someone you don't live with. And that's before factoring in time to deal with finances, children, household duties, etc.
In other places I say "equal attention". That is probably better for what I am trying to say, because it eliminates the scheduling aspect you are talking about. And it highlights that I mean romantic activities rather than the administrative stuff of the household.

Even romantically, it stands to reason that you will be seeing the person you live with more, because it takes more energy to go out or swap partners every single night. It's a lifestyle, not a crusade.
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The other thing that jumps out at me is doing poly "for variety." Please be clear that I'm not making a "there's a right way and a wrong way" judgement here, just saying that variety is not the reason why I am poly. I'm poly because I like to be in love with more than one person at the same time and because it's my natural inclination to do so. Do I enjoy the variety? Certainly. But it's not the "reason" for my being poly, it's just a coincidence.
Variety is a reason. It doesn't have to be the reason.
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I can't place my finger on it, but this sentence irks me. My husband has some quirks. But all my previous boyfriends had "annoying flaws" and as soon as the honeymoon/NRE phases wore off, those flaws quickly became more annoying than quirky, and contributed to the ending of the relationship.
Well, that's kinda the point. Everyone has good traits and bad traits. When you break off the relationship, you lose the good as well as the bad. If you do care for the person, and can have regular breaks from the bad traits, you have less reason to break up completely.
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I prefer to look at it as "getting 'me time'" than "getting away from my husband because he's annoying" ...
Isn't that just a different way of saying the same thing? That's one of the reasons you want the me time, is it not?

Also, the person you are living with is a somewhat different story, since you will probably be spending the most time with that person no matter what. And the nature of the bad habits may be related to the household, such as not wanting to do chores. The regular rotation is probably more effective in avoiding the bad traits of the alternates, since in this setup you don't live with them or spend as much time with them.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:14 AM
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In other places I say "equal attention". That is probably better for what I am trying to say, because it eliminates the scheduling aspect you are talking about. And it highlights that I mean romantic activities rather than the administrative stuff of the household.
I still don't devote "equal attention" to my friends. I have a best friend whom I make a point to see more often because I care more about that friendship and I want to nurture it, even if that means I have less time for other friends. Myself, I enjoy solitude and some of my friends enjoy being with people constantly. If they tried to give me as much attention as they give their other friends, I would probably find them annoying and I would try to avoid them.

Even if I start dating someone new, I make a point of setting aside time for my old friends because they may be "just friends" but they've been with me a lot longer than some fly-by-night beau and they'll be there long after he's gone. I just have relationships, some are friendly some are romantic some are sexual, and they develop in their own ways. I've always had trouble when I've tried to shape relationships the way you seem to be describing. Most people I know have trouble when they try to shape relationships.

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Variety is a reason. It doesn't have to be the reason.
Everyone is different. I have no doubt that for some people, variety is "a" reason to be poly. For me, it's not even that.

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Well, that's kinda the point. Everyone has good traits and bad traits. When you break off the relationship, you lose the good as well as the bad. If you do care for the person, and can have regular breaks from the bad traits, you have less reason to break up completely.
I don't get it. If the bad traits bother me so much that I need to get away from them, why would I want to spend any time at all with them? I don't play a "good points/bad points" game with people I love. If I feel as though I have to do a "pros and cons" list of dating someone, then it's a sure sign that I'm just looking for an excuse to break up with them. I'm just speaking of myself personally, of course your mileage may vary, which is what makes life so interesting!

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I prefer to look at it as "getting 'me time'" than "getting away from my husband because he's annoying"
Isn't that just a different way of saying the same thing? That's one of the reasons you want the me time, is it not?
I honestly don't feel that it is the same thing at all. What you seem to be describing is "getting away from person A to be with person B because you need a break from person A because he's annoying." What I'm describing is "getting away from all persons to be alone with person ME because I need a break from persons."

I'll be the first to admit, it's a rare and wonderful thing to find someone whom you enjoy being around even when they're behaving in a way that you find exasperating. That fact was one of the most obvious signs for me that I wanted to share my life with this person: that no matter how many things he did that bugged me, I still wanted to curl up beside him at night. The exact same behaviours which drove me crazy and made me want to get away from other people were completely tolerable and even endearing in him.



I don't want you to feel that I'm attacking you or your ideas. As someone else mentioned, this is a neat idea and it could very well work for you. But I'm just pointing out that this is something "for you" and something that may work "for others" but is by no means something that will work "for everyone." For me, it's too formal and rigid. I'm an easy-going, go-with-the-flow kinda girl. I find it too stressful to make rules about how much attention so-and-so gets. My relationships will develop into an appropriate amount of time and attention in their own rights without me trying to force them into some ideal.
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:11 AM
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I've always had trouble when I've tried to shape relationships the way you seem to be describing. Most people I know have trouble when they try to shape relationships.
I do tend to be regimented. Comes from being a software engineer, I guess. But again, people can disregard any part of the gag they wish.
Quote:
Everyone is different. I have no doubt that for some people, variety is "a" reason to be poly. For me, it's not even that.
Is there a point to poly without it? What would be the reason for forming a relationship with someone who is a clone of your current partner?
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I don't get it. If the bad traits bother me so much that I need to get away from them, why would I want to spend any time at all with them? I don't play a "good points/bad points" game with people I love. If I feel as though I have to do a "pros and cons" list of dating someone, then it's a sure sign that I'm just looking for an excuse to break up with them. I'm just speaking of myself personally, of course your mileage may vary, which is what makes life so interesting!
Annoying habits is just one example. Another is dysfunction. If one of your partners was suddenly unable to have sex any more, for physical reasons, the other partners would take up the slack. You would just have to concentrate on the other desirable characteristics of that person. But you would not be sexually frustrated, as you would in a mono relationship.
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I honestly don't feel that it is the same thing at all. What you seem to be describing is "getting away from person A to be with person B because you need a break from person A because he's annoying." What I'm describing is "getting away from all persons to be alone with person ME because I need a break from persons."
I can see the value of both.
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I don't want you to feel that I'm attacking you or your ideas. As someone else mentioned, this is a neat idea and it could very well work for you. But I'm just pointing out that this is something "for you" and something that may work "for others" but is by no means something that will work "for everyone." For me, it's too formal and rigid. I'm an easy-going, go-with-the-flow kinda girl. I find it too stressful to make rules about how much attention so-and-so gets. My relationships will develop into an appropriate amount of time and attention in their own rights without me trying to force them into some ideal.
No problem. The people who like the idea can try it and if it doesn't work exactly right for them as described, they can adjust it until it does. I never said it was The Way Polyamory Should Be.
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Everyone is different. I have no doubt that for some people, variety is "a" reason to be poly. For me, it's not even that.
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Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
I do tend to be regimented. Comes from being a software engineer, I guess. But again, people can disregard any part of the gag they wish.

Is there a point to poly without it? What would be the reason for forming a relationship with someone who is a clone of your current partner?
The point to poly for a lot of us is love. We love the other people. We're not looking for "variety" (well, I'm sure some of us are) we find people we love and have relationships with them. I'm inferring from what you're saying that people would actively go out seeking other people to fill in the gaps in their relationships, and that is simply not the case for me. Maybe I'm blessed, but I spent the first eighteen years of my marriage in a relationship with a man who fulfilled me, and I could easily spend the rest of my life with him as my one and only. When there are gaps in our relationship, we work on them together; I don't seek out people who will fix the problem. Now that I have multiple partners, when there are gaps in those relationships, I work on them with my other partners.

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Annoying habits is just one example. Another is dysfunction. If one of your partners was suddenly unable to have sex any more, for physical reasons, the other partners would take up the slack. You would just have to concentrate on the other desirable characteristics of that person. But you would not be sexually frustrated, as you would in a mono relationship.
Been there, done that, not brave enough to wear the t-shirt. The end result was that both boys became sexually dysfunctional because of the pressure. Jackrabbit, I think your model fails to take into account the human factor, emotions. How would you feel, for example, if you developed a sexual dysfunction and your partners went out and got someone else to fulfill their sexual needs? Maybe you're supremely confident and wouldn't see it as your own failing, but many people aren't that secure. All of a sudden, they can't do something so their partners stop coming to them. (In my experience, everyone was frustrated. For myself, I don't believe that I can fix my relationship problems by going out and finding a new partner.)

ETA: I'm still reading. As a fairly monogamous-minded person, I'd like to thank you for at least acknowledging that for some people, monogamy is preferred and not necessarily the evil that I've been told it is by a fair number of poly folk.

I would like to hit on the point that other people have brought up about spending time equally. In practice, I've found that not every partner has the same need for attention. I need a fair amount of attention; I spend part of every day with each of my partners unless something else happens, like illness. My partners, however, spend differing amounts of time and attention with me--one partner sees me about 15 minutes in the morning. My primary partner, of course, tries to spend as much time as he has available. However, he sees our girlfriend once or twice a week for a few hours, and she's fine with that. If needs change, we discuss it. It's up to everyone to state what their needs are.

As for variety, you might change the statement that "the whole point" behind poly is variety, to possibly the whole point for you or the whole point for some. The whole point to poly, for me, is actually that I want to have a relationship with my other partners. I don't need variety. I don't actually want variety. I'm not a big change person. I think I'd be a bit happier with less variety. It's been a nasty shock after thousands of years of marriage (that's an exaggeration) to have to get used to *new* personality quirks.

"The liaisons would not be in your regular rotation, and you would not see this person as often, but of course he/she would understand that and would not feel neglected by the infrequent visits." One would hope they would understand that, but in practice it always depends on the person.

"If you are a guy who does things for his partner on Valentine's Day, her birthday, etc., it would be reasonable to do that for all your partners. Needless to say, unless you are rich, that would require smaller, much less expensive gifts. But the women are not losing out, because they are getting gifts from all the guys on their own lists. It balances out. A bunch of little gifts versus one big one. And there is also the old "it's the thought that counts" cliche." Again, in practice it doesn't necessarily work that way. Of course we buy gifts for our other partners on these days, but *I* am the primary. *I* do the hard stuff that other partners do not. I don't get a heck of a lot of time off. I might actually want a little bit better than completely equal from my primary. But I expect my other partners to treat their primaries that way, too.

I find trying to "balance" the lists a little impractical. There's just no way to fix it so that a romantic relationship can come along at the right time to balance your partner's, or you have to close yourself off while your partner looks for someone, etc. Even if you take romance out of the picture and look for just sex, it's still not always easy to find an acceptable partner. Also, there's no way to count on "extra-family expenses" being counterbalanced by benefits coming from other partners. One model I saw that I thought would work in this situation is that each partner in the primary relationship gets an "allowance" that they are able to spend on other partners. Going over that allowance is achieved through discussion between the two of them.

I just want to point out that comparing regular STD testing to the brothels in Nevada is bound to make some people see poly as immoral if they feel that prostitution is immoral. Also, at one point you say that poly between married couples is just like wife-swapping, and in another you point out that wife-swapping is just sex.

This post is getting quite long, so I'm going to try to stop commenting now. I'm not trying to pick apart the DPG, I'm just telling you how I think it would work in real life, and I really hope you don't feel picked on.

Last edited by Lemondrop; 03-15-2010 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:29 PM
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I'll address that post later, when I have more time. For right now:

It appears that a lot of this discussion (with everyone) has to do with conflicting philosophies. I'm getting the impression that a lot of people here (maybe all) find that poly is a way to achieve something you already want: additional relationship(s) with particular person(s) you already know. In other words, you sort of fall into it. You already want the relationship, society says no, and you tell society to shove it and have the relationship anyway. Is this a reasonable assessment, at least for most?

In contrast, I love the idea of poly itself, and don't have anyone in mind for it yet. I would be seeking out candidates, in exactly the same way that most people go dating to seek out candidates for traditional monogamous marriage. I just wouldn't stop after one. Someone who likes the idea of the DPG would probably have the same orientation.

I think there is room for both philosophies. There are enough people in the world for the two camps to grow and never conflict/overlap with each other.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:40 PM
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I think there is room for both philosophies. There are enough people in the world for the two camps to grow and never overlap each other.
The world is huge! There is plenty of room for everything and everyone. I like the way you point out that things don't have to overlap as well. Good point
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:03 PM
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I think there is room for both philosophies. There are enough people in the world for the two camps to grow and never conflict/overlap with each other.
And there it is in a nutshell!

As I said back in post 4 of this thread - find what works for you and see if others share those goals. If they don't then maybe it's time to re-examine your "ideal" situation and see if things can be modified based on the feedback you are getting.

Now you see what I mean, hopefully.

When you wrote
Quote:
Well, certainly that is a goal, but I really intended it for everyone, to promote the idea of polyamory itself.
I really think it's important to note that this is ONE way of doing it, an example, if you like, rather than some universal ideal that we should all be striving for. Some of what you have written in your blog has a bit of that tone to it when I read it and if I can interpret it this way, I'm sure others will.

Poly folk tend to be very leery (due to previous experiences) of people telling anyone "here's how everyone should do poly", or anything that hints at that. They tend to be given the nickname "One True Wayers" - I think that it's important when communicating with poly folk and even the public at large, that a large amount of emphasis be given to the idea that this is one way of many.

Do you get my drift?
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:40 PM
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Default A few quick points

@jackrabbit,

When you said "Is there a point to poly without [variety]?" I felt an urge to respond.

I'm not poly to have variety, although I certainly am getting it. I'm poly because I want to have the kind of relationship with each person in my life that makes the most sense for who we are together. That happens to mean that there are two people in my life who are both my life partners-- we live together, share expenses, and are making plans to buy a home and have children. It also means that I have several friends who are more than friends romantically or sexually or both, because that's how it makes sense for us to be together.

While I'm already chiming in, I'll echo points made by Lemondrop and CielDuMatin... If your DPG is what you want to do with the people who enter your life, great! I wish you the best of luck in implementing a system that works for you! If you're hoping that DPG will become some sort of large, over-arching system to encompass many many poly individuals, then you're still welcome to attempt it, but my two cents are that it doesn't feel workable for myself or my partners, and so we're not interested. Thanks anyway!

I'd also like to add that something in your language, jackrabbit, has been picking at me, and I just figured out what it is. Your use of the word "fall" when describing how many poly people enter relationships... it just feels accidental. 'Whoops, I wound up here! Better dust off and keep going...' While many people do discover the idea of polyamory by winding up interested in two people, or winding up interested in someone who identifies as poly, it still takes a LOT of work to be in a poly relationship, and is very much a conscious choice in a lot of cases. For my part, my Barbie dolls lived in a polyfidelitous tribe (as nudists, no less) when I was a little girl-- poly has always been part of who I am.

In cahoots,
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