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  #11  
Old 08-21-2011, 06:47 PM
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Actually Neon khaos, I have experienced the opposite. While I do love children, I have never been surprised when someone decides not to have children. I have many people in my family who made the decision not to have children, and a few who did have children, but chose to adopt instead of bringing more children in the world. So,..i guess I was brought up with children being a choice, not a requirement.

However, I have a whole lot of experience with women who want to date me, but almost try to forbid me to mention my kids, or get annoyed if I giggle over seeing some cute thing going on around me with children. They can`t seem to stand the sight of children, or hearing them. Its like a DADT policy exsists, and they want to pretend I am not a 'mother',..like that aspect they would be ashamed of mentioning to another.

I have learned not to get pissy about this and try to see what motivates. So far the 3 I took the time to question further, seem to equate motherhood with a backwards movement for feminism.

*****

Back to the OT,.. Yes, there are a couple of divides in polyamory. I personally don`t see it as a 'community' nor have I personally cared to do 'poly things'.
Poly, when represented as a 'community' seemed to me, like a parallel universe to monogamy with a white picket fence, and 2.5 children.
Aka, a very tunneled vision, if you don`t do it 'the way'.

Of course it is not always that way, but the front-runners of many groups, have it appearing so. Sometimes a 'purist' mentality exsists. If you want anything other then a big poly family or commune, then what you want is 'less' and not truly 'poly'. If you see it as a 'lifestyle', then you are not 'really' poly. Etc., etc.

It can sound quite similiar to; ' Unless you go to church every Sunday, and spend dinners together, and are legally married,..you are not really a proper family,..'

Like a couple of others have mentioned, I go by lack of label. Sometimes 'Open relationship or non-monogamy' as a umbrella term, and don`t claim to be 'poly' or to 'be' a swinger, etc.

I have learned to stay away from the extremes.

I greet life as it greets me, and let common sense dictate the rest.

Last edited by SourGirl; 08-21-2011 at 06:57 PM. Reason: For clarity.
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2011, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
We joking call our own child a crotch goblin, so I can't say I disagree with his perspective. Its more the "ew, you have children" reaction we sometimes get from complete strangers or in the case of a place we once lived, "I didn't know they allowed children here." The neighbors there were completely horrid to my, then 2 year old, son just for his very presence in our the building. Other people's choices are none of my business and I expect the same respect. It wasn't like he was ever loud or running wildly in the halls. He was always just standing shyly at my side while I got the mail or did laundry. *shrugs*

Why do some people have to be rude about their opinions anyway?
Sorry to keep the conversation off topic but the only time the ewww children sentiment has bothered me was when a friend of ours came to visit when my son was a baby and was treating him as a non-person in his own house! I get that people don't like kids and don't want to be around them but if you go to a house where one (or more) happen to live put up with it or don't come. Everyone deserves to feel safe and accepted in their own house. No matter how young or old they happen to be!
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2011, 09:20 PM
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Funny how people are really responding to the kids or no kids issue, though I didn't think that was RP's focus in her original post. Must be a sensitive issue for many. Now in re-reading it, maybe that is a big part of the question, but it seems that the divide between "poly family" (however one defines family) and a much looser practice of poly, was her main concern or at least what prompted the question.

As a kid, I used to fantasize about being part of a big family. But as I got older, I have come to enjoy my solitude and independence, although there are times I am quite lonesome. A poly tribe, or big poly family, is nothing I would ever want, whether there were kids in the equation or not. Maybe if I were still in my 20s or 30s, I'd be into it - but now in my 50s? Nuh-uh. It probably does have largely to do with my lifelong choice to be childfree, but not the only reason. I relish my privacy, and have had enough roommates from hell to find communal living rather off-putting. In embracing poly, I reignited an old dream of mine to be a truly independent woman openly living on her own with a number of lovers.

Now, getting to the question of divisions in the poly community...

I believe any divisions we do see will mostly be predicated upon our own experiences and viewpoints. I guess the "poly family" question is a non-issue for me, since I am satisfied with my choice and don't find myself in situations where it is challenged. And in NYC I don't seem to meet many people trying to build a poly tribe (real estate being a huge factor, probably!). So, I don't notice a divide so much from that perspective, but more so from the view of solo vs. married. For example, I frequently reach a saturation point at which I cannot hear one more story about opening up a marriage, or the struggles of a couple dealing with their "thirds" or in-laws or whatever. I want to hear more from solo poly people who choose not to have any primaries. For me, it's a divide I feel a lot, because I am alone and set apart from most of the people I've met at the few poly gatherings I've attended, and here, and other poly forums I have visited. I find it exasperating when someone says to me, "But you're not poly, you're just dating." It has happened.

That's one divide I see, but if I look at how I feel when I'm in a poly group, I see more -- these are all based on my choices that seem different from the majority of those who go to hang out at poly gatherings (being solo, a straight woman, not into kink, etc.). For me, I have never felt like I fit in anywhere in my entire life, so I think I'm used to it, sad though that may seem. Now, I have not experienced any outright rejection from the poly community, so I think the divisions I see are totally subjective. As I stated earlier, I don't see the need to label myself or be part of some organized poly machine, so it doesn't affect me much, other than bring up some occasional feelings of frustration.

Geez, I fucking hope that made some sense, I got distracted halfway through writing it.
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-21-2011 at 09:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2011, 09:33 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
For me, I have never felt like I fit in anywhere in my entire life, so I think I'm used to it, sad though that may seem. Now, I have not experienced any outright rejection from the poly community, so I think the divisions I see are totally subjective.

Geez, I fucking hope that made some sense, I got distracted halfway through writing it.
This is how I've always been too, but at some point i realized that I didn't even want to fit in, but people expect you to "want" to fit in. It's much healthier to focus on the activities that give me satisfaction than to think of activities as something i do to find people with whom i have things in common.
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  #15  
Old 08-21-2011, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
. . . i realized that I didn't even want to fit in, but people expect you to "want" to fit in.
Oh gawd, yes! I hate the looks I get sometimes when I say something to the effect of "No thank you. I'd rather just sit over here and take it all in on my own terms." So to speak.
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:25 AM
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I don't mind the "child free" analogy, but how can it transfer into the topic at hand? Or does it? I guess it could in that generally neither "group" can stand each other and therefore think that it is acceptable to bash each other or say things in front of the other because they "can't stand them."

I think generally the focus here for most is to talk about working out some ideas in a civil way. I am pretty sure that we won't all agree on any or all of this kind of thing (As an example; I still don't see how dating is poly other than being open about who you are seeing, just as people don't understand why I would want to be in a poly-fi situation that is not natural to me), but I am hoping to find a way to agree to respect one another and pat each other on the back and be buds... is that a lot to ask for? Probably, but why not try? After all, we are marginalized enough without marginalizing each other.

I guess I am looking for commonalities in all this. Maybe going back to definitions is the way to go.... poly is generally referred to responsible non-monogamy... what the hell is that and how do we all practice it?

I dunno... I think I should just hide under a bush. I expect a lot don't I? Forgive me for wanting the world to get along regardless of what we do and how we get our needs met.

Another thought... maybe this is more about certain people rather than groups as a whole.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2011, 02:09 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
When I first came to this forum I thought that the only poly was my own. I remember being floored that some of the activities I had participated in ie. swinging, dating, open relationship, etc. were also called poly by some.
I find it interesting that people fail to complain that "swinging" and "open" are used to differentiate different forms of nonmonogamy, yet complain when "polyamory" is used to describe yet another form of nonmonogamy. They want all of nonmonogamy described as polyamory, yet don't try to refer to all of nonmonogamy as swinging...illuminates the fact that they have some underlying agenda.

Anyway, I've already weighed in on this on the FB group, so you can pull my statements from there if you wish to continue the discussion here.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2011, 02:13 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
(As an example; I still don't see how dating is poly other than being open about who you are seeing,
Are mono folk who are dating somehow not mono? I'd say they are. They may not have a committed pairing as yet, thought they're certainly pursuing one.

I'd say then that poly folk who are dating more than one person are still engaged in polyamory--they're pursuing multiple romantic relationships. They may or may not end up in committed relationships. Those committed relationships don't have to be polyfi, either, as committments don't have to include being closed to new relationships.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2011, 03:01 PM
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I have always identified as "nonmonogamous", and that's it. To me that describes what it needs to-- that I am not monogamous by nature-- and leaves the rest open to whatever it ends up being.

For me it just means that if someone comes along that I develop feelings for and things seem to move towards having some type of relationship--whether that be a more involved relationship, or a friends with benefits relationship-- I have the opportunity to go there without dumping my already established relationship. That's about it for me.

Mind you, I haven't done that much because I don't meet people that I would like to be more than friends with much, and most of the time when I do they are not in a position to be more than friends with me. So if you look at the pattern of my relationship for the past eleven years, it would seem mono (at least on my side). It's more that the option is available, whether or not I use it.

I do think that there is a divide in ALL communities when it comes to people thinking X means "blah blah blah" and anybody that claims to be X without being "blah blah blah" is wrong. Mostly, I think it has to do with the tendency of many (most) people to overlook that their OPINIONS are just that-- opinions, and the tendency to think if someone else's opinion is different, then they are wrong. This goes for everything and anything you can have an opinion on.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Minxxa View Post
I have always identified as "nonmonogamous", and that's it. To me that describes what it needs to-- that I am not monogamous by nature-- and leaves the rest open to whatever it ends up being.

For me it just means that if someone comes along that I develop feelings for and things seem to move towards having some type of relationship--whether that be a more involved relationship, or a friends with benefits relationship-- I have the opportunity to go there without dumping my already established relationship. That's about it for me.

Mind you, I haven't done that much because I don't meet people that I would like to be more than friends with much, and most of the time when I do they are not in a position to be more than friends with me. So if you look at the pattern of my relationship for the past eleven years, it would seem mono (at least on my side). It's more that the option is available, whether or not I use it.

I do think that there is a divide in ALL communities when it comes to people thinking X means "blah blah blah" and anybody that claims to be X without being "blah blah blah" is wrong. Mostly, I think it has to do with the tendency of many (most) people to overlook that their OPINIONS are just that-- opinions, and the tendency to think if someone else's opinion is different, then they are wrong. This goes for everything and anything you can have an opinion on.
Great post Minxxa.
Much better then my babble !
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