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Old 08-12-2011, 07:57 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
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I think he's thinking/speaking from the ego. I think a lot of men like to employ the idea that women are possesive of them as a way to boost the ego.

My feeling is that an intimate sexual relationship for a woman is often just the natural progression of a close friendship.

The power of society to condition us to think a certain way is very under-rated. I think it contributes a lot to the problems men have when their partner gets involved w/another man - in light of our current society it's just too emasculating and it becomes hard to reconcile who they thought they were with who they are perceived to be.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:08 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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If any generalizations can be made, it is that men tend to be much more possessive than women are -- because they have been conditioned for so many centuries to think of women as their property.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:36 PM
Lucinda Lucinda is offline
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My personal experience is that the men I've been with have always had a harder time I explored love with others than I have had when they did the same. I'm not going to generalize to say that men are hardwired against polyamory, because my sample size is miniscule compared to the billions of men alive. But I will say that I have only had experiences where the men struggled more than I did. (Maybe that will change! )

I believe it may be true that women are more likely to want security and stability. Most (but not all) of the women I know want that. But many of those women are still poly and enjoy being poly.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:35 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Originally Posted by River View Post
One of my bestest friends (I'll call him Sean, though it's not his real name) told me last night that women just aren't well suited for polyamory, that it goes against a woman's basic nature when there is sexual/romantic involvement. He said he thinks women are just biologically driven to be possessive and desire exclusivity in love.

What, dear women friends, would you say to Sean? (I'll point this thread out to him at some point and he can read it.)

I want to take this apart in points.

"women aren't well suited for polyamory"
Aside from need to clairfy or define the terms -- "not well suited" is vague -- we could argue that this may be true in the sense that women face much more societal pressure, surveillance and control around their sexuality and what they do with their bodies. Bluntly, they (we) are often seen as possessions, not as full human beings. This could result in more guilt, misgivings, etc. etc. that would make it harder for women in a polyamorous relationship. Western masculinity has developed in a particular form that prizes sexual prowess. Go figure that a man might have those ideas.

This relates to the second part of what was said because the fact that these distinctions between women and men are socially/culturally constructed and contextual goes against this assertion:
"[polyamory] goes against women's basic nature" and "women are biologically driven..."

These statements are false, or at the very least have no firm scientific basis whatsoever. The empirical data on this is contradictory and overwhelmingly biased, most often based on assumptions by male researchers. There is a wealth of current research that questions these types of generalizations. I would urge you (or anyone) to read people like Anne Fausto-Sterling to get a better view of what science does and does not "know." To be honest, if you look at sexuality research over time (centuries), you will see observations that to us look absurd, but in their day were "truth." See also, Schwartz and Rutter's work on gender and desire.

Generalizations based in biological determinism are seldom ever even close to being "true" or "reality." They are also easy enough to pick apart with examples from around the world that challenge our society's truths, but that would be much too long of an answer.
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."James Baldwin
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:20 AM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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Originally Posted by River View Post
He said he thinks women are just biologically driven to be possessive and desire exclusivity in love.
First of all, possessiveness and the desire for exclusivity in love have nothing to do with biology. Love is not biologically driven, but emotionally driven.

If we were to look at what women are biologically driven to do, it would be to seek out males to breed with who have the potential to give her viable offspring.

I come from a child and family studies perspective, so I will say that women seem to be more capable of expressing their emotions than men, which to me and one of my former professors, to point towards women being more likely than men to enter into polyamorous relationships.

Social conditioning would dictate that men have the expectation of sexual and emotional exclusivity in relationships; as well as the ideology that women belong to them. From our patriarchal and puritan background, here in the US, I would say that we have a history of a double standard between how men and women could behave sexually. Men were, and in some cases still are, expected to have affairs. I had a friend tell me that men were biologically programmed to cheat. So she expected that her fiance would (and told him as much) but as long as she never found out about it all would be well.... so basically she gave him a blanket you can cheat but don't get caught that he never understood. But women were, and in some areas still are, expected to remain loyal to their husbands no matter what.

As for women being ill suited to poly, I don't believe that either gender is ill suited to poly as a whole; but that those who have a deeply ingrained social conditioning towards exclusivity and are possessive in other aspects of their life will have a more difficult time accepting poly.

As for me personally, does that mean I never feel possessive of my loves? Ofcourse not. There are times when we're having sex, making love, or just plain fucking that I hear that primitive voice in my head saying "mine" but at the same time I want them to make me theirs. We all want to belong, to find the place where we fit and feel safe and loved. In my case, I have many people that give me that sense of home and happiness.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:05 PM
gr8catch22 gr8catch22 is offline
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I am new, very new, to not only this site but many aspects of the life choice. Poor Sean. I am married to a man who is so vanilla (best word I can use for him) that he cannot understand anything other than monogamous, plain one on one sex. Being a man, most people assume he would be all over the idea of having an open minded wife. Not the case. I am the wife, bored at home, waiting for my husband to come around to the idea that in the one life you are given, you need to life it fully and love openly. Sean is finding the wrong women. Or maybe just one's my hubby grew up with...who knows!
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:34 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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I sure can't speak for "women" in general but personally --

I love two men. So I'm poly. But...

My husband just got a girlfriend, which I was ALL FOR, let me tell you, I mean, I was practically pushing him out the door, fantasizing about it, idealizing it, and now that he finally went and DID IT..... I feel like a nutcase!!! Suddenly I feel all possessive. I don't want to share!!!

Poly has facets, I guess. I can love two but I want them to love ME exclusively! Hahaha! I have a bigger ego than I realized!!!
Formerly married to Sundance
Boyfriend -- Butch Cassidy
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:16 AM
jrrmjr820 jrrmjr820 is offline
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Well as I am new to allowing myself to try poly and not having much luck, lol, I would like to say that I am of the mindset that love is infinite and that loving two or more people is normal and natural and good. I mean there are some families with more than 12 children, does that mean that number 12 is loved less than number 1? No! It absolutely does not.

M has been the third in two relationships previous to meeting me, one a mfm triad and the other just threesomes with a married couple where he only had contact with the wife in that context. I did the serial monogamy thing because that it was I was programmed into doing.

I am not possessive but I did tell M that I will leave him if he cheats but not if he comes to me and talks it through and keeps me in the loop if he finds someone else to be with. We both have agreed that our marriage comes first and that any added lovers will know this from the start.

As to women " not being suited for polyamory" well that is just ridiculous. I mean, some people are hard wired mono and can't imagine anything else but that is not linked to their gender.

Last edited by jrrmjr820; 08-14-2011 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:42 PM
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Catalyst Catalyst is offline
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River - such a timely post for what is going on in my life!!!!!

I have to say that I completely disagree with Sean.

While it has long been believed/generalized that women cannot separate love (emotional attachment, intimacy, etc.) and sex, women have been having successful casual flings for decades, if not centuries - exactly the same as men have. Because sex can be so much better (more passionate/hotter/explosively exciting) when love is involved, however, it is my opinion that women would indeed be more drawn to polyamory as a relationship style versus swinging or general open relationships. After reading many books about the biological and sociological history of gender and sex, certain things have rung true for me within my current situation, while certain other things I have yet to experience: for example, it is postulated that women tend to get more upset over men becoming emotionally attached to the "other woman" while men tend to become more upset over women having sex with the "other man".

While I myself have experienced jealousy and envy in many forms over the years with many different partners, it is fascinating how my mind almost works out within itself how to deal with it - I am a very rational person, so I tend to dig to find the root of the problem, ergo I try to find what I am really upset about that is causing this feeling rather than just saying to myself, "oh, he doesn't love me anymore" (aha! fear!). There are very few times in my life when the emotion got the better of me, when I was in deep episodes of depression, and it did take therapy and meds to get me out of them, but all the other times, simply talking to myself has worked through the issue.

Currently, however, I have "come out" as poly, but my BF is not. And he is not taking it super well. Jealousy, and waffling back and forth over whether he can learn to accept it or not. I think it began as miscommunication and misunderstanding in the beginning - he thought I wanted emotional friends. Now that he realizes that these will be full, loving, intimate relationships with the possibility of sex, he is very unsure of the whole kit and kaboodle. He says he simply can't share the relationship with someone else, can't share me with someone else, can't see how I can have such an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time, thinks that I must be drawing some sort of line between love and sex in order to be able to do this. This says to me that there is still a strong caveman sensibility of possessiveness and right to own somewhere in his gene pool, and I find it more fascinating than annoying at this point (we'll see how long it drags on, though, if it gets more irritating). I don't want to be someone else's end all and be all - that is way too much responsibility - and I don't expect it of someone else realistically, either. However, the way that he was raised (strict religious and conservative upbringing) it makes sense for this to be very difficult to wrap his head around - and for this mindset to be inherent in his personality.

Now, as for women being less suited to poly versus, say, monogamy, we (women) would still have to put up with the same issues, just wrapped in some different paper with some different ribbons on it. Our men might have an affair - so we would still have to deal with jealousy, we may have an affair - so we would have to deal with their jealousy, we may fall in or out of love with our SO or other people - so we would face beginnings and endings in relationships; it just would not all necessarily be simultaneous. In my opinion, I think women are more suited to poly simply because it seems to require much more emotional maturity - I know this will sound completely sexist, and is totally stereotypical - in my personal experience, most women are more emotionally mature than most men, and so would be more able and inclined to handle (balance?) the simultaneous aspect of poly relationships to a better degree, regardless of jealousy (which seems to affect everyone in some way, shape or form).

Just my two cents.

"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?" Ru Paul
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:13 PM
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nouryia nouryia is offline
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Funny but at my house, it's the male (hubby) who has more insecurity issues with being poly...

I don't think the majority of people, male or female are wired to be monogamous, there's far too much cheating going on for that. True monogamous folk do exist, but imho, they're not the default.
I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it. ~Clint Eastwood~
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