Originally Posted by redpepper
People seem to want to make a cult out of poly as if their are rules to follow, procedure to be aware of.
That's because monogamy--- or, rather, not monogamy itself, but the pervasive culture of monogamy--- is a cult with rules to follow and procedures to be aware of.
If regular, everyday, customary dating is easier than poly (I don't necessarily think it is), then one reason for that is that the rules are known and exist independently of the dating pair. Each of them knows more or less what is expected, without it having to be negotiated, because dating is a system with rules to follow and procedures to be aware of.
Polyamory and other preversions are different, in that the rules are what the people in the relationship say they are, and there are no set procedures, except those you negotiate. So it's hard for the uninitiated to understand--- they play by a rulebook, so they assume you do too, just that it's a different rulebook from theirs. There really is some truth to that... but this concept of negotiating the rules is alien.
That's part of the problem with acceptance of poly in the mainstream. In the mainstream narrative, multiple partners automatically means
irresponsibility and lack of commitment, because those concepts are so strongly associated in that narrative with sexual monogamy. Telling someone you're committed to Bob, but having sex with Jill, simply does not compute. It is a contradiction in terms, to someone whose language is that of the monogamy narrative.
There is no way to explain these things to someone you just met at a bar, or at a party, because you're not even speaking the same language they are. Words like "commitment," "fidelity," even "love," carry sometimes wildly different meanings to your interlocutor from those they carry for you. The only way to get your point across is to spend months in front of them being an example. To demonstrate over time that love and commitment to multiple partners really is possible, fulfilling, and desirable. (Or, maybe, to point them to some movie, play, or artwork that demonstrates it for you.)