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Old 06-23-2018, 06:42 AM
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Default Public Perception of Poly

I've heard Minx of the Polyweekly Blogsite complain more than once about the common poly image of six feet protruding from underneath a white divet. But - it does seem to be the general public perception of "what poly is"- the hetreo married couple adding the hot bi babe to their bed.

This was brought home on a personal level in a rather interesting and amusing fashion recently. My wife and I are closeted to all but a very few (partners and a couple of close friends, one who was already openly poly) - this continues to be necessary for professional and social reasons, even as we both become increasingly more comfortable with living a poly life. Recently, we attended a weekend social deal at a lakeside resort with a few other professional couples - all very intelligent and well educated - also with us was one couple's (very intelligent) 18 year old daughter who will be starting college this fall.

As we were all sitting around drinking, snacking, and socializing, the topic of polyamory somehow came up (and not from either my wife or I!). Someone asked who all had seen the "Polyamory" series on HBO, I think - but the new college freshmen was quick to explain that polyamory was when a couple added another woman to their marriage - and that the woman was called a unicorn. At this point, I did contribute that I had an openly poly friend (true) that I had discussed poly with (also true) - and that I came away with the understanding that it was often more than simply adding a "third". But our young lady was quite certain of herself, and replied "but not often - most of the time polyamory is just about adding the "extra woman". I let it go, of course...with perhaps a bit of a smile.

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Last edited by Al99; 06-23-2018 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:24 PM
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But why let her remain ignorant?

When I started seeing Sprite, my (former) friend thought I was cheating in Cat. I explained to him we were poly. I explained how Sprite had two boyfriends, etc. His remark was, "So you all sleep together?" What? No. He just couldn't or wouldn't grasp the concept of having more than one lover and everyone being okay with it. Ironic, considering he was probably the most unethically nonmonogamous guy I've ever met. He always cheated on his SOs but would never be able to handle them sleeping with someone else.

Anyways, yeah, people have some strange ideas. However, I think the couple plus one scenario is something most mono people can relate to so it is a step in the right direction, even if it usually turns out so wrong. At least poly is easing it's way in...if that makes any sense.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:15 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Ponytail and I just started watching season 8 of Portlandia. One of the episodes is named “Open Relationship.” I won’t spoil anything but the first two thirds of the open relationship story arc were actually pretty familiar — then (not uncommonly for Portlandia...) the last part kind of lost the plot a bit. But it was funny to see what the perception (or the comedic way of poking fun at the perception) of polyamory is like.
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:43 AM
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Truth be told, I've observed that this whole "unicorn scenario" thing is quite popular; a lot of people are hearing and assuming that it is the definition of poly, and a lot of people are pursuing their own unicorn search. Our dating/friendships board is chock full of unicorn hunters. So there is kind of a two-level type of thing going on. There is "surface poly" -- the poly that is visible on the surface to most newbies -- and there is "subsurface poly" -- basically everything under the surface, the stuff that is known to most of us active members on this forum.

Surface poly is the unicorn stuff, and it is several levels deep. Honestly if subsurface poly were set back-to-back with surface poly, I don't know which would have more participants. There's *a lot* of unicorn hunters out there. And the thing is, I can't say that unicorn hunting never works, sometimes it does work. Like maybe 10% of the time ... maybe less than 10% if you count all the hunters who never find a unicorn in the first place. The dating/friendship board is also chock full of those.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:45 PM
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The public perception?

1. Free love, hippie leftism, open marriage. "We're together but always looking."
2. Big Love/SisterWives. "The TV curiosity."
3. Unicorn hunters. "We want a third person to relieve our boredom or fix our marriage."
4. FLDS/tribalism/oppression. "Barefoot, pregnant, and beaten. Scrub those pots."
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormerrick View Post
The public perception?

1. Free love, hippie leftism, open marriage. "We're together but always looking."
2. Big Love/SisterWives. "The TV curiosity."
3. Unicorn hunters. "We want a third person to relieve our boredom or fix our marriage."
4. FLDS/tribalism/oppression. "Barefoot, pregnant, and beaten. Scrub those pots."
LOL yeah. The only thing I would add to this is

5. Wild sex orgies.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
But why let her remain ignorant?
Really, the major obstacle to offering her some additional insight is that she's at that age where she believes that she must know more about a cool subject like polyamory than some old married guy. After all, she's probably read a few articles and talked about it with her high school / college freshmen friends.
And she has confidence in her opinion because she is bright (98th percentile on SAT) and academically respected. So, I'm not going to convince her otherwise even after qualifying my statement by stating that I had discussed the subject at length with an experienced, open polyamorist (with a PhD herself). I might have done better by revealing that my wife and I were practicing polyamorists -and the scope of my extensive personal study of polyamory - but maybe not, and definitely not a pragmatic approach in our case. Al
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormerrick View Post
The public perception?

1. Free love, hippie leftism, open marriage. "We're together but always looking."
2. Big Love/SisterWives. "The TV curiosity."
3. Unicorn hunters. "We want a third person to relieve our boredom or fix our marriage."
4. FLDS/tribalism/oppression. "Barefoot, pregnant, and beaten. Scrub those pots."

LOL yeah. The only thing I would add to this is

5. Wild sex orgies.
Well said, Majormerrick and Vince - I might add:

6. Six bare feet emerging from the bottom of a white divet.
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My Introductory Post - An Unexpected Introduction to Poly.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:21 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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In my country, the perception is either non-existant, or

7. A rich influential men asserting his dominance by having two families.
(We've got examples. One is a criminal polititian, and the second is just a rich idealist dude proclaiming himself sometimes poly, sometimes bigamist.)

Fuck that.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:58 PM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormerrick View Post
The public perception?

1. Free love, hippie leftism, open marriage. "We're together but always looking."
2. Big Love/SisterWives. "The TV curiosity."
3. Unicorn hunters. "We want a third person to relieve our boredom or fix our marriage."
4. FLDS/tribalism/oppression. "Barefoot, pregnant, and beaten. Scrub those pots."
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinsanity0 View Post
LOL yeah. The only thing I would add to this is

5. Wild sex orgies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al99 View Post
Well said, Majormerrick and Vince - I might add:

6. Six bare feet emerging from the bottom of a white divet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinwen View Post
In my country, the perception is either non-existant, or

7. A rich influential men asserting his dominance by having two families.
(We've got examples. One is a criminal polititian, and the second is just a rich idealist dude proclaiming himself sometimes poly, sometimes bigamist.)

Fuck that.
I'd always heard of and understood the concepts of swinging/key parties, threesomes/group sex, Mormon "sister wives"/polygamy and the like.

But it's funny, years before I truly understood how diverse "polyamory" could be, I guess I imagined it was more akin to two sets of (usually white, middle-class) married couples who were all "best friends" who chose to sleep with each other's spouses in something like a quad arrangement, and might be neighbours or vacation together.

The concept of "solo poly" was lost on me, as in my view (back then), I probably viewed solo poly people as just non-monogamous people who dated around without being committed to any one (or more) particular partner. Nor did it occur to me that people may have metamours who know of each other's existence but have never met or choose not to have much to do with each other (parallel poly). I assumed polyamory would, by nature, be of the kitchen table variety.
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