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Old 03-21-2014, 12:14 AM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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I found this cross posted on Fetlife and found it interesting and entertaining.

http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettwor...amory-factory/

"Willy Wonka and The Polyamory Factory"

Here’s a common mistake I see among newbie poly couples: Charlie has just gotten a Golden Ticket to see Willy Wonka’s Magical Chocolate Factory, which in this case is defined as “the really cute girl who does all of the freaky things that his current partner is not interested in.”
And the partner says this:
“Yes! I’m so glad! You can totally go to the factory! Just… don’t eat the caramel. And if he wants to show you the room where he beats the chocolate, don’t eat the grass. Or the candy flowers. And don’t go in the tunnel, I’m not cool with that. And if he wants to give you the factory, that’s crazy responsibility, say no.”
Now, it could be argued that hey, at least this way Charlie gets to see some of the factory – but realistically, he’s going to spend so much time worrying about whether he’s going to partner his wife off if he hugs an Oompa-Loompa that honestly, he’s going to either hate the factory or hate her.
(Obligatory note: this is not gender-specific, Charlie could be a woman, overprotective spouses come in all genders, thankyouverymuch.)
What’s usually happening when you get the Great Golden Ticket Disclaimers is that the wife doesn’t want to tell her husband, “No, you can’t go to the factory” because she knows Charlie is actually Augustus Gloop and he’s going to fall in the damn candy river. But she doesn’t want to say that, because then she’ll be a Bad Poly Partner and Charlie will be all mad… so instead, she comes up with a list of a few, uh, provisos, a couple of quid pro quos, until she’s essentially walled off all the best parts of the candy factory.
And you know what?
Charlie usually falls in the damn candy river anyway.
Sex/love/affection has an uncanny way of seeping around protective clauses. The goal with a a poly relationship should be to find someone everyone is comfortable with, not to take someone and rules-lawyer them into a semi-acceptable form. If you have to do that much work to make the candy factory safe to travel through, then you should just condemn the fucker and not let Charlie go.
And Charlie will be mad. Charlie may actually be pretty stupid, because people tend not to learn from reading essays or being given advice by friends. No, people learn from grabbing the special Three-Course-Dinner gum off the table and cramming it in their mouth and blowing up into a big purple mess when the dessert portion doesn’t work quite right, and only after they’re squooshed back down into somewhat normal size by Willy Wonka’s extremely painful machines do they say, “Wow, I probably should listen to Willy Wonka when he tells me no!”
Which leaves you with an uncomfortable choice, when the Golden Ticket appears: do you say “no,” and let them seethe for the rest of their lives about what a gloriously perfect experience the Chocolate Factory would have been… or do you let them go, watch them fall in the chocolate river, and hope they learn? Or do you let them go and discover that indeed your partner is Charlie Bucket, and gets the factory, and deal with the stress of being a lucrative candy magnate?
There’s never a good answer there. And I’m not saying, though people will doubtlessly misinterpret me, that restrictions are bad. (“Safe sex” is a pretty darned good restriction, f’rex.) What I am saying is that raising fifty million provisos because you’re too afraid to say “no” is often way more harmful than the flat “no” – because if, by some magnificent chance, Charlie follows all your guidelines and emerges from the candy factory whole, chances are good he won’t think, “Wow, all those guidelines protected me from danger!” He’ll think, “I could have had so much more fun if I wasn’t held back by all these stupid rules!”
But it really is okay to say “no.” It’s tough, when those golden gates are opening. You may even find Charlie running off, alone. But if you never wanted to own a candy factory, or deal with the unique form of PTSD one only gets when you’ve been sucked through the garbage chutes of a chocolate factory and are barely saved from the incinerator, then maybe letting him go off is the wiser choice."
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:03 AM
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Instead of beating around the bush and involving yourself in something you ("you" being Charlies partner) are fundamentally not ok with, just be honest up front and say "I'm not into this and am not going down that road". Setting up a bunch of obstacles to hopefully slow down the process *might* work but it certainly *will* breed resentment on all sides.

If that's the point of the article then I would agree with it on face value. While this article is written from the perspective of a parent to an incompetent child, I will try to look past it and assume that we are talking about consenting adults with fully functional brains.

Further on that note, in either case (writing up a bible of rules or pulling the rip-cord entirely) each person involved can decide what THEY are willing to put up with. This includes the curious partner and the scared partner in the Chocolate Factory example. I can tell someone what their new rules of conduct are until I'm blue in the face but choosing to accept said terms is ENTIRELY up to them. I think it's just important to remember that Charlie would be well within his rights to say "Ok, I get that you aren't into it. I'm off to the chocolate factory to have the best time imaginable and I hope you are here when I get back."

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Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
The goal with a a poly relationship should be to find someone everyone is comfortable with, not to take someone and rules-lawyer them into a semi-acceptable form.
Just out of curiosity, what does this mean? Summing up the overall goal of poly relationships would be pretty tough to do so I'm curious to hear more about this tidy manifesto.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:29 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I couldn't finish the excerpt you posted here. The whole Willie Wonka thing is way overdone. I have never seen that movie, so it's all gobbledegook to me and obscurs whatever message this writer was trying to get across.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:49 AM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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My son is a rules lawyer - he knows bedtime is 10pm. If I even suggest that he go to bed at 9:55 or heaven forbid, my clock is faster than the one in his room, he will argue that it isn't bed time yet.

I think the point would be that a person could stick to the letter of the law and still hurt the person who established the rules because they don't care about the intent of the rules.

I believe the author was trying to say that it is generally preferred in poly that you choose partners who possess traits which allow for a harmonious relationship at all tiers of poly math. It is preferable to find partners who will get along with each other (in the broadest concept) rather than allowing your partner or you to establish rules which they and another person have to follow in order for you to accept your partner's other relationships.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
I believe the author was trying to say that it is generally preferred in poly that you choose partners who possess traits which allow for a harmonious relationship at all tiers of poly math.
I don't get this. I'm supposed to choose people to have relationships with who have to be harmonious with any other partners I may have? (if that is what "all tiers of poly math means" - not sure). What if they are all different kinds of people with personalities that clash, even? Why would that matter if I'm the one they're involved with? For a solo like me, who likes to keep my relationships separate, this idea feels invasive. I mean, I am going to want to develop relationships with people who are harmonious with ME, that's all.

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Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
It is preferable to find partners who will get along with each other (in the broadest concept) rather than allowing your partner or you to establish rules which they and another person have to follow in order for you to accept your partner's other relationships.
Hmm, well seems very couplecentric, methinks, for someone and their partner to make up rules that another partner must follow. I disagree that all people someone is involved with have to get along, though. I don't even think it's necessary to know each other.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hmm, well seems very couplecentric, methinks, for someone and their partner to make up rules that another partner must follow. I disagree that all people someone is involved with have to get along, though. I don't even think it's necessary to know each other.
It's certainly a couple or group centered mentality.

I agree that it makes more sense to let each relationship stand on its own. If I'm dating two women who don't like each other then they don't have to hang out with each other... that's their call. I lose out on enjoying their company simultaneously but it would be pretty egocentric of me to assume that I was entitled to it.

As a side note, it would be curious to me why I'm dating two women who don't like each other. For me, that would give me pause and I would want to keep an eye on it. Essentially, I'd be watching out for one of my partners to turn into a cowgirl.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:41 PM
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While I was able to follow the metaphor, it did indeed obscure the message as nycndie said. A lot of times on Fet people try to get "Kinky & Popular" (read as: viral status) by writing things in an overly cute manner.

The main idea of the post makes some sense. Don't oppress someone with rules passive-aggressively if you're going to agree to letting your partner see other people.

Marcus is right that the corollaries, "make sure that your partners get a long" and "make sure you apply rules evenly", are very couple centric. There are lots of poly people who have metamours who don't know each other, like each other or even interact. The idea that it has to be this big open family vee is just one way of doing things.

I know from experience because I'm not involved with the other people my partner sees, other than making sure she's safe and sound wherever she goes. Even that I do through her and at her comfort level.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:39 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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There isn't much point in contractually creating a couple and building a life as a couple unless you are prepared to prioritize as a couple. That's probably why it isn't everyone's cup of tea. Its also why some people might not want to enter a relationship with someone who is half of such a couple. I just don't see why its given such an icy reception by people who want other than. I'm sure they are less than happy when it is assumed they, for being a single, have a lasso behind their back. Can't we all get along????
This topic reminds me of when I had a general manager I saw everyday I worked and a regional manager I only saw a handful of times a year. There was a guideline my general manager wanted me to ignore and my regional manager wanted me to follow. I appeased the one I dealt with the most. I expect having more than one partner, eventually one is going to want something the other might get bunched up about. Its no different than when I want something and a partner wants otherwise. That is this "couple privilege". You've agreed prior to consider them on the same line of priority as yourself. We don't consider everyone on the same line of priority as our self. We don't HAVE to consider anyone at all on the same line of priority as our self. We could always remain a single with attachments.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
As a side note, it would be curious to me why I'm dating two women who don't like each other. For me, that would give me pause and I would want to keep an eye on it. Essentially, I'd be watching out for one of my partners to turn into a cowgirl.
Marcus, I'm curious, why would two metamours who don't like each other lead you to start looking for cowgirl behavior? The two are not necessarily related. One could like the metamour just fine but still want you all to herself. One could hate her metamours with the intensity of 1000 suns but be just fine being poly with you.

I've read other articles by this writer and this was not one of his better ones. Got too wrapped up in the metaphor, I thought.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:11 PM
vanquish vanquish is offline
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I like what opal's saying here. Everyone has their own "poly style" and one possible style is that in a vee (or other arrangement) the metamours don't get along or even know about each other. As long as no one is being hurt by this and everyone is being honest with each other, I don't think anyone should impose everyone getting along as a requirement. Would it make things easier? Yes. Could it make a more fruitful family environment? Of course. But is it required? Nope. Not as I see it.
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