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  #11  
Old 08-24-2011, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
... kind of a bunch of people who come and go who all are flavours of the month to each other.
And this sort of thing should not be mistaken for actual love, which always involves something more than narcissistic self-indulgence and self-seeking....
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2011, 02:52 PM
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Someone told me awhile back that they considered poly fidelity the same as monogamy. Now my assumption was that their definition of monogamy was a couple who do everything together; sexually and in terms of friendship and achieving life goals.
I'd say it's more similar to monogamy than open poly. A person in an open poly relationship will most likely have a hard time understanding the need to limit the amount of future partners. A mono person will most likely have a hard time understanding the concept of open poly. I'm remembering one poster who was worried that in an open poly setting, there would eventually be too many partners each involved with the other and there would be this monstrous poly ball just expandind and expanding and eventually you wouldn't even remember everyone's name... (of course that wasn't said in the post, but the spirit was similar).

I'd venture a guess that for the Average Monogamous Person out there, the idea of polyfi is more comprehensible at least in the beginning of their journey. Thus it would be no accident that so many beginners end up looking for polyfi, or describe it as their ideal. I suspect this is more common for people who start out in couples, because, well, the image polyfi conveys is marriage, just with more people in it. Essentially, the couple would not have give up their essential coupledom - it would just expand to include more people ("We are looking for someone to share the special love we have and to complete our family").

Then there is the prospect of future change. In polyfi (the image, not the actual life situation) there is an implicit promise that things will always stay the way they are. I will love you (two, or three, or whatever) forsaking all others. We shall build a life together everyone will be happy and comfortable with. If we just adjust to this new situation and learn to live and love together, the upheavals (the NRE, the jealousy, the insecurity, time management issues etc.) of the past will stay in the past.

And also there is the persistent idea that metamours need to be involved with each other, be friends, hang out for poly to work. The idea of polyfi removes the possibility of your partner bringing along someone new you don't like, or someone who will threaten your position.
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2011, 09:23 PM
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The idea of polyfi removes the possibility of your partner bringing along someone new you don't like, or someone who will threaten your position.
It would also remove the possibility of your partner bringing something along that will threaten your health. It stands to reason if you can manage to get the image and reality of polyfidelity to aline that you would receive all the corollary benefits of monofidelity.(I thought I would make up some more words since language has been such a hot topic lately)
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:26 PM
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I don't understand the problem people have with polyfidelity. It's not the same as monogamy, come on. I wouldn't even view it as a relationship structure in the same way that polyamory or monogamy are. It simply describes an approach to poly that limits the number of people (and juices exchanged) within the group.

What is the problem with that, if all involved are happy to have such commitments to be faithful to everyone in that way? Sure, go ahead and be polyamorous AND be open, nothing wrong with that -- but why group polyfidelity with monogamy and view it as less than the real deal? Poppycock.

People who think that poly must mean random fucking around whenever and wherever possible are deluded, and to claim that polyfidelity is not really polyamory, or that it is the same as monogamy, is ridiculous. Maybe they are just afraid to stand still and feel whatever tender or difficult emotions arise within the relationships they've got right now, so they tell themselves that polyfidelity is too restrictive and that having the option to keep going around and banging everyone they can gives them a sense of freedom. They likely never get too deeply involved with anyone and just juggle lots of relationships that don't have much beyond the surface of lust and attraction. Actually less of a risk than fidelity.

One can have a sense of freedom in any relationship. Yes -- gasp! -- even monogamous ones. The number of people involved or the avoidance of limits doesn't make it so, it's the work that is done on a personal level and the willingness to look at and handle any agreements made, that gives us our autonomy, identity, and freedom. I had a teacher who used to call it "freedom within the harness." We all have boundaries and restrictions in our lives, but it's how we conduct ourselves, and the perspectives we take when we see ourselves within those containers that make us either victors or victims.

Remember, a commune of 20 or more can be polyfidelitous; that doesn't even closely resemble monogamy. It seems that those people just bristle at the idea of any kind of commitment or closed framework. What about when you feel you are very satisfied with the loves in your life, and have no need to keep expanding? Poly peeps who choose to make vows of faithfulness to a limited number of people, and honor them, are able to keep deepening their love for their partners and are no less poly because of it. They are still engaged in multiple, loving relationships! Geez, it's a challenge to invest in intimate relationships and there's a lot to be said for committing to develop one's self-growth and self-esteem, being loving, and honing relationship skills in the manner one can handle it, whether it's within one relationship, two, three, or more.
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-25-2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:09 AM
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I have second everything NYCindie said, very beautifully put and so true as far as my view is concerned.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
What is the problem with that, if all involved are happy to have such commitments to be faithful to everyone in that way? Sure, go ahead and be polyamorous AND be open, nothing wrong with that -- but why group polyfidelity with monogamy and view it as less than the real deal? Poppycock.
I don't necessarily get who are the people you are referring to with this post? Just the general anonymous crowd out there who disapprove of polyfi, or to the guy RP talked with?
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:03 AM
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It would also remove the possibility of your partner bringing something along that will threaten your health.
Does poly-fi equal fluid-bonding BTW? I imagine if one partner would have an existing condition it wouldn't necessarily.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:59 PM
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Good question BU. Poly-fi usually means a closed sexual group that treasures sexual fidelity and therefore trusts that the need for most safe sex practices is not necessary. At least this is what I understand.
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2011, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Good question BU. Poly-fi usually means a closed sexual group that treasures sexual fidelity and therefore trusts that the need for most safe sex practices is not necessary. At least this is what I understand.
Yeah, that's how I thought of it, too. Just wondered that what if one partner has HIV or Hep C, but that's really a question for everyone who ever potentially wants to have sex, not just for poly-fi folks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A further thought on mental images/stereotypes of different relationship formations;
When we are starting out on poly, we need some kind of idea on what we are striving for. That may or may not correlate with the actual reality of any given situation.

More likely than not, most people in here at some point thought they were going to find that One Special Person and be happily monogamous for the rest of their lives. Well, the image of monogamy we had in our heads for some reason didn't quite correlate with the reality of monogamy.

So we came here, or read a book, and learned a few new cool words that approximated what we thought we wanted or needed. I thought I wanted to be part of a triad - turns out, that's not what I need from poly. The reality of triads was different from the mental image I had in my head. I also thought the primary/secondary system was not for me, until I found myself living in one.

So someone can think they want poly-fi and then along the line find out that they don't need to limit the amount of possible future partners for reason x. Or someone can insist they can only be fully themselves in an open poly arrangement and turns out they don't need that to feel free for reason y. Or someone can think they really would like poly, or mono, or poly-fi, or open poly, but find that their real life situation is different and be okay with it, because they would not want to risk what they have now for some fuzzy future image of what they think they need.

Right now, I think I mostly need love to be happy and free and fulfilled.
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 08-25-2011 at 03:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-25-2011, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
Does poly-fi equal fluid-bonding BTW? I imagine if one partner would have an existing condition it wouldn't necessarily.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Good question BU. Poly-fi usually means a closed sexual group that treasures sexual fidelity and therefore trusts that the need for most safe sex practices is not necessary. At least this is what I understand.
I don't think polyfidelity should automatically be equated in one's mind with fluid bonding. There are surely polyfi tangles who still use protection, for whatever reason, and there are poly people who have open arrangements and are fluid-bonded with certain people but use protection with others. Of course, fluid-bonding is an agreement hopefully reached after a long period of developing trust, but it's not the same as polyfidelity, which is also about emotional faithfulness.
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