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  #331  
Old 07-18-2014, 08:55 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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It is my opinion that polyamory is an orientation. So to me, there is absolutely no contradiction. The person can be polyamorous and cheat, if they love more than one partner and are cheating.

Even if polyamorous describes the relationship rather than the person, it's still possible. If you have a poly relationship and you don't cheat for 20 years, and then one day you get a partner without telling anyone about it (and therefore cheat, unless your agreement allows for it), are you suddenly not in a poly relationship anymore? What if you still have more than one consensual partner on top of the cheating?

The whole "cheating isn't poly" reeks to me of "we don't want to be associated with these people so we'll say they're not true Scotsmen". But I think in a lot of cases, you can be polyamorous and cheat.

Now, what I agree with, is that a person who cheats on their partner and says things like "we're in a one-way poly relationship, my partner just doesn't know about it" is not in a poly relationship. They might be a poly person. But a poly relationship requires your partner to be aware that the relationship is poly, in my opinion. After that, if they aren't aware of some of your partners, or if you break rules with partners even if the partners are known, then it's cheating within a poly relationship. But before there is such an agreement at all, it's not a poly relationship yet.

So in short, they can coexist in my opinion but there are also cases where "polyamory" is used as an excuse because the word "cheating" doesn't sound good, and those are NOT both at once.
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  #332  
Old 07-18-2014, 01:53 PM
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I think generally when I hear of cheating and want to use the phrase "not poly" it tends to be "that's not poly" rather than "they aren't poly" for that reason. I tend to identify the behavior as not polyamorous since generally polyamorous folk like to identify themselves with honest and ethical behavior. There's definitely room for overlap.

As far as being able to do it without fallout, I don't really know. I suppose some people manage it, but I will always probably avoid people who engage in that kind of behavior. If they are making a habit out of lying to someone, then I really don't know what is to stop them from making a habit out of lying to me. As far as sexual safety goes, I think lying and cheating also embodies a very clear violation of consent. I don't believe true consent to be possible unless it is informed consent, with each partner knowing the risks they are taking in full to the best of the knowledge of both parties. This is another type of behavior I avoid because I don't want to be involved with people who will make decisions for others about things like personal health and safety.
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  #333  
Old 07-18-2014, 05:31 PM
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Re (from nycindie):
Quote:
"Can you have several relationships where most are honest and above-board poly, and one or two are somehow involving in cheating, without being scolded or villified by the die-hard 'no cheating ever' polyfolk who insist that all involved must come clean even if doing so will destroy a marriage or someone in the process? Can some circumstances surrounding cheating situations be understood and/or accepted?"
The die-hards, of course, would/could argue that once you allow *some* cheating to be included in a poly umbrella, you start down a slippery slope where *any* percentage of overall cheating could fall under the poly umbrella. At that point, cheating has become, de facto, a subset of polyamory.

That isn't to say that I'd take up the die-hard position. I think we often underestimate how diverse the reasons and circumstances for cheating can be. I suppose in answer to your question my best guess would be, "I have to judge each individual situation on its own merits, using context and details to guide my decision." If the cheating element takes up a minority (less than 50%?) of the total polycule, then that might be one reason for me to think that yeah we can still call it polyamory (overall).

In any case, I tend to concede that a cheater can be polyamorous (the adjective) -- poly at heart so to speak -- even if by cheating they're not actually practicing polyamory (the noun) itself. The line between poly and cheating can certainly get blurred at times.
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  #334  
Old 07-20-2014, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
The whole "cheating isn't poly" reeks to me of "we don't want to be associated with these people so we'll say they're not true Scotsmen".
I've heard "that's not polyamory" a number of times on this board and it always stinks of One True Scotsman. People get intensely attached to their personal choices and anything bumping up against it lends toward this kind of hands-over-ears, foot stomping irrationality.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Now, what I agree with, is that a person who cheats on their partner and says things like "we're in a one-way poly relationship, my partner just doesn't know about it" is not in a poly relationship. They might be a poly person. But a poly relationship requires your partner to be aware that the relationship is poly, in my opinion.
This is a rational distinction, I like it.

No doubt kdt26417s "die-hards" will continue to draw arbitrary lines in the sand, but what are you gonna do.
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  #335  
Old 07-24-2014, 10:45 PM
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I think mono and poly relationships are funtamentally different, not the same with a different number of partners.

In an open relationship cheating is less likely to occur simply because there is no reason to cheat against your main partner. You can be sincere with them without fear. That's unless you start making norms about stuff being off limits, something I'm against if it's not for health concerns.
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  #336  
Old 07-24-2014, 11:37 PM
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Suppose a previously-monogamous couple opens up their relationship, but as the years go by, neither person feels inclined to start any new relationships (nor have sex with any third party). If this continues to be the case until both people pass away, then do we call that monogamy or polyamory? (I'm not sure what the right answer is.)
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  #337  
Old 07-24-2014, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa View Post
I think mono and poly relationships are funtamentally different, not the same with a different number of partners.

In an open relationship cheating is less likely to occur simply because there is no reason to cheat against your main partner. You can be sincere with them without fear. That's unless you start making norms about stuff being off limits, something I'm against if it's not for health concerns.

Eh, I don't know...

In an *ideal* open relationship, cheating wouldn't occur, for the reasons you cite.

In an *ideal* mono relationship, cheating wouldn't occur, because the people in the relationship would remain focused solely on each other and work through problems together when they came up (again, being sincere) instead of going elsewhere.

Very few relationships are ever ideal. There are poly relationships that fit the ideal, and some mono relationships that do as well (my grandparents, still alive, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year, and abso-fricken-lutely adorably in love). Then, there are poly relationships and mono relationships alike that are controlling and manipulative.

Are mono and poly relationships alike? I may ponder that one a bit (I've been noodling over a blog post based on this but haven't had time to sit, think, and write lately), but I don't think their differences are as clear-cut as that.
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  #338  
Old 07-25-2014, 12:05 AM
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It seems to me that not everyone *wants* (or needs) the amount of freedom that an open relationship affords. For some there is a certain amount of (emotional) safety in the binding of monogamous commitments. I personally like the freedom, but then once I have it I don't seem to be very inclined to actually use it. [shrug]
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  #339  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:17 AM
mischa mischa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
It seems to me that not everyone *wants* (or needs) the amount of freedom that an open relationship affords. For some there is a certain amount of (emotional) safety in the binding of monogamous commitments. I personally like the freedom, but then once I have it I don't seem to be very inclined to actually use it. [shrug]
I adore freedom. I only need to know that I am not free to do something I like, to want to do it as a challenge. If my relationship turns out monogamous in the practical sense (not exercising my freedom to date others, like in your situation), that would be a result of my circumstances, not a disposition to give up that freedom. I would feel comfortable with that. Or also not dating anyone else for years while my partner does, or vice versa. Sometimes we go through periods where we're focusing on other stuff. For me, knowing that I am the one making the choice at any given moment, makes a world of difference.
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  #340  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:28 AM
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Nothing entices quite like the forbidden fruit.
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