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  #1  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:33 AM
JapinaTricycle JapinaTricycle is offline
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Default Is being polyamorous by choice or not?

I'm still very new to polyamory...

Before even asking about the concept of consensuality, I wonder if there are people here who believe that polyamory is something not considerable as a choice.

Wikipedia, and some other sites describe polyamory as a "desire to form new intimate relationships", but has any of you ever considered it as a need rather than just a choice?

More like a sexual orientation? LGBT-P+?

According to my recent observations on the forum, there seems to be two types of poly people:
-those who are poly by choice
-those who are poly because they are

Last edited by JapinaTricycle; 06-05-2018 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:18 AM
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I wouldn't go so far as to put it in the same category as sexual orientation. I do know I am definitely not wired for monogamy and polyamory is my preferred form of non-monogamy.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:53 AM
Evie Evie is offline
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I can go without seeking out new people to find connections, but if I stumble across one... Well, I am useless at walking away. If there is attraction, I'm going to follow that as far as it goes. It may wane quickly if the person isn't a good match, it may have to be severed somewhere down the line if that person is an unhealthy match, it may move through NRE and into a long term friendship, right now I haven't had concurrent long term committed relationships as the one I attempted turned unhealthy after about 4 months. I severed it after about 5 and a half.
Do I have a choice?...
Do I believe in free will? Not precisely.
I do think we have a modicum of free won't. We can go off our intended path, but we always get called back.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:00 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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If by 'polyamory' you mean the ability to fall in love with two people simultaneously, I think this is pretty common to the human race, so much that it's ridiculous to have a separate name for it.

If by 'polyamory' you mean acting on those feelings, it's always a choice to act on what we feel. Always.

I think by slapping a label on a feeling or desire and calling it an 'orientation,' we are claiming that people really have no choice--they have a desire therefore they must act on it. No, I don't believe polyamory is an 'orientation.'
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:25 AM
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In my opinion, even if you are hardwired to be non-monogamous at a genetic level, that doesn't excuse you from responsibility to act ethically if you want to call yourself poly, and it doesn't mean anyone else is obliged to participate in a poly relationship with you.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:29 AM
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I think that even though poly relationships/situations are more compelling or desirable to some people than others, in the end it is a choice to act on that desire. I don't think it's the same as sexual orientation. Personally I've been in a situation where I was in a monogamous relationship while crushing on other people all the time, but I stayed within the limits of that relationship and didn't find it particularly hard most of the time. And then I've also been in a polyamorous situation while feeling like a monogamous (or -ish) situation would suit me better. So I guess I don't feel particularly hard-wired either way, for me my preference depends on the situation and the people involved. I'm quite happy to negotiate each relationship in ways that fit the particular desires of the people involved.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:37 PM
KC43 KC43 is online now
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I believe that for some, myself included, polyamory is a hard-wired romantic orientation. (Whether romantic attraction even is an orientation is sometimes debated, but given that people say things like "I'm asexual but heteroromantic" or "I'm aromantic," I would say romantic orientation is a thing.) For me, living monogamously never fit right, and I've felt far more myself since starting polyamory.

That said, however, even with sexual orientation, *acting on it* is always a choice. Whether you're gay, straight, bi, or something else, whether you're poly or mono, you do have the power to choose to act in a way that's counter to that orientation. Look at the numerous homosexual people who have lived in straight marriages either because they couldn't admit to themselves that they weren't straight, didn't realize they weren't straight, or were afraid to let other people find out. Or just take a few minutes to count how many threads on this forum are along the lines of "I've been in monogamous relationships all my life, but they never felt right, and now I realize I'm poly," or look at how many people who consider themselves poly are living in monogamous relationships because they're afraid to bring up polyamory or they've brought it up but their partner refuses to consider it.

Acting/living in accordance with your hard-wired orientation might occur because it seems like the only *valid* choice, but it is humanly possible to live counter to that orientation. It just isn't usually pleasant trying to do so.

With polyamory, things get a little blurry because there are people who don't consider themselves to be hard-wired poly, they just engage in poly relationships because they want to, because it sounds good, because they think it's more "evolved," because their partner is poly, etc. On the other hand, I've personally known two women who identified as straight but engaged in same-sex relationships, in one case because "it's more feminist" and in the other case because "I get more sex if I'm willing to fuck women as well as men." So polyamory isn't the only thing that can be blurry.

Who you *are* is not, in my opinion, a choice. But what you *do* is.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JapinaTricycle View Post
According to my recent observations on the forum, there seems to be two types of poly people:
-those who are poly by choice
-those who are poly because they are
Based on the responses so far, I'd say you are correct. It seems that there are people who couldn't be happy romantically without being poly and then there are people who could take it or leave it - just depends on the situation whether they're choosing a poly relationship or not.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:48 PM
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Hi JapinaTricycle,

I'd say there's a slider between "choice" and "orientation." That is, some people are poly by choice, some by orientation, and some fall somewhere in between, it's kind of a choice, but it's also an orientation to a certain extent.

As mentioned by others here, even if you are totally poly-by-orientation, you still have a choice about whether you live polyamorously. It might make you miserable to live monogamously, but you can still do it. And some people do.

And something I have heard about orientation, is that for some people at least, your orientation can change over the years. You might start out as mono-by-orientation, then evolve into a polyamorous person, just as one example.

So it's not the same for everyone, I guess is what I'm saying.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:55 PM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Nonmonogamy might be a propensity, from some combination of genetics & familial modeling & community/culture.

Polyamory is a choice.

I don't believe that individuals are polyamorous. Polyamory is more an ethical system, maybe a worldview. Someone might behave in a manner that a knowledgable observer would say was polyamorous.

A grasp of that ethical system is something that should be demonstrable & verifiable. It is not enough to merely agree with a statement: "polyamory sounds like a great idea" or "I'm certain I'd do well at living polyamorously." Polyamory is in some ways like flying a helicopter: wishing for it is far insufficient to actually pilot an aircraft.

An individual isn't properly "poly" until at least once demonstrating the ability to successfully maintain two or more intimate relationships.

A person can maybe be said to be living in a polyamorous fashion. To stretch it a bit further, a given intimate network might be said to be polyamorous.
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