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  #41  
Old 11-22-2011, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
This thread has a very sad overtone that I just figured out. There are a lot of women who feel they have very little power in this society...and it's not the women who have agreed to OPPs...it's the ones that can't accept that some women can do it willingly by their own choice. Compromise is not a sign of weakness...it's a sign of reality and self assuredness.

I'm glad to be surrounded by empowered women...which makes me privileged and honored.
I'm always surprised when a guy is surprised that women still feel oppressed in our society. Even though a woman does feel empowered in her own life, the overtones of oppression are still everywhere we look, whether it's about what we wear, what career we choose, where we can walk alone without fear, or how many sexual partners we have. So, yeah, the women who go along with policies they don't want may not feel empowered enough to ask for what they do want, but it's because those messages hit us hard every day and many women just have not been trained or experienced enough in standing up for ourselves. Often when you do step into your own power as a woman, you know you will be alone because many of the people (especially men) who say they want that for you are full of shit when it actually comes to fruition, and they suddenly disappear. It is not easy to break out of preconceived societal roles that are pushed on us all the time.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-22-2011 at 09:55 PM.
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  #42  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:20 PM
zylya zylya is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
If people didn't judge all the time, every day, we wouldn't know when to cross the street or how to dress properly for bad weather. Judgment is a natural, essential aspect of being human.
Another person who doesn't consider the difference between making a judgement and being judgemental. If judgement is natural and human, then why have 41% of transgender people attempted suicide? (as just one example). Do you think it might have something to do with the the prejudice they face, caused by judgemental people? The fact is, while JUDGEMENT is a natural, essential aspect of being human, being JUDGEMENTAL of others' choices is a totally different thing, which causes a great deal of stress and harm to others.

Stop confusing JUDGEMENT with JUDGEMENTAL. The two are entirely different things.
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  #43  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:23 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
This thread has a very sad overtone that I just figured out. There are a lot of women who feel they have very little power in this society...and it's not the women who have agreed to OPPs...it's the ones that can't accept that some women can do it willingly by their own choice. Compromise is not a sign of weakness...it's a sign of reality and self assuredness.

I'm glad to be surrounded by empowered women...which makes me privileged and honored.
I don't consider compromise to be weakness at ALL. I think it's the only way people can be in loving relationships and try to have things work out the best they can for both parties, which means sometimes someone will have to compromise, and sometimes the other person will. I do it all of the time and I don't feel less because of it.

However...

in my reality, I have most often been the one making compromises for somebody else and having them unwilling to compromise even in the slightest for me.

That's where my sadness lies. Not that I should think compromise is bad, or that people shouldn't do it, but I have never seen it returned to me, nor to many (actually most) of the other beautiful women I know.

That has been my experience over the past 30 years. I have no doubt that my own choices in who I have chosen to be with play a large part in that dynamic and I'm definitely working on that right now.

Mono-- yes you are surrounded by beautiful and empowered and strong women. The difference is... you appreciate that and return it in kind. I wish more men were like that...
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  #44  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
Stop confusing JUDGEMENT with JUDGEMENTAL. The two are entirely different things.
I'm not confused. No need to take a condescending tone toward me. You come across as really angry.

Part of the problem people have is that we want others to stop judging us. That's just unrealistic, we judge ourselves and other people all the time. The trick is to rise above it. We have a choice in how we let judgments affect us.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-23-2011 at 02:26 AM.
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  #45  
Old 11-22-2011, 10:02 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
There are a lot of women who feel they have very little power in this society...and it's not the women who have agreed to OPPs...it's the ones that can't accept that some women can do it willingly by their own choice. Compromise is not a sign of weakness...it's a sign of reality and self assuredness.
??

I really don't see that any of the women who are posting here are saying that women can't willingly choose to accept OPPs. In fact, my perception had been that everyone is saying essentially the same thing -- that rules like OPP can be problematic but can also make sense for some people in some scenarios, and that it's good to be able to describe things but bad to use language to pre-judge women as necessarily being victims or men as necessarily being bad guys with no sense of the nuance in a given situation.

Where we're exploring and discussing these issues is around how we describe things, how we negotiate things, and why things may take on one configuration more than another. Saying you don't like something is not the same as saying that anyone who accepts it is powerless. I don't like OPPs, but I accepted one for a time and I understand fully that I did that out of love and healthy compromise (by some people's definition I guess that makes it not, actually, an OPP? it's hard to discuss things when we're using language differently...). I've also seen other scenarios described by new female posters on this board where an OPP was *not* their choice and they did *not* feel they had the say they wanted in that area. Acknowledging that doesn't invalidate my experience or rory's experience.

Are you really seeing anyone who's posting here say or imply that they can't accept that some women enter OPPs willingly, or am I misunderstanding your comment?
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  #46  
Old 11-22-2011, 11:00 PM
PipeDreamer PipeDreamer is offline
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@ AnnabelMore
Yes, I agree with a lot of what you said. While “terms don't insult people, people insult people” may be true, I would argue that when these terms are repeated pejoratively, we find they lose their original quality over time and, in fact, become insulting by default via the euphemism treadmill.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Should people be pre-judged, informed that they may well be unicorn-hunters just because they outwardly present as such? Well, the fact is that any bi woman they might approach will probably do just that if she has any experience in poly at all. So, I don't see introducing them to the term as mean, but rather as a reality call -- "whether or not this describes you ( and does it, by the way?) you should be prepared to overcome this preconception." Again, this is not the term's fault, it's the fault of the concept and how it is applied by far too many inexperienced couples. And, again, the negative connotation is there in terms of heteronormativity for the same reason that it is in OPP (unicorn-hunting naturally incorporates OPP).
I wish I had put it the way you have here. I don't have a problem with bringing up the possibility that they may not have thought things through. I take issue with giving them the label as a type of stigmatic stamp...especially when no clarification has been sought.

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
this makes MY blood boil.... this to me is all the difference between unicorn hunting and searching for a triad opportunity. The woman doesn't *join* anything. You become three. Look at it the other way around, you are *joining* her also. I find this explanation the key to the issue. People in triads are not a couple and their other, they are all three independent and autonomous people. The fact that two are married becomes irrelevant and a triffle in the end. This is what is not understood most of the time.
I suppose I need some clarification. Did my post make your blood boil or are you talking about something else? I don't recall saying anything about a partner pecking order. If my relationship configuration changes from 2 people to more people, don't we need to consider terms such as primary and secondary? Don't terms like these help define how each person in the relationship interacts with the others as far as decision making and life plans are concerned? In my 7 posts to date, I don't think I have said very much about any of this. Isn't the point of this thread to help with doing away with some of the assuming and encourage more clarification? I wish you would have asked me to explain a little more.

Redpepper, maybe I am wrong, but I got the feeling that you added some sub-meanings to my words when you read my post. I was talking about my experience and ideas but I didn't put a lot of detail in with it all. My wife and I are really sorting out our ideas and hopes with a potential new relationship. I never knew anything about how asking someone to “join us” would cause such a reaction. Is this a typical phrase in the community which should be considered taboo? It certainly was not my intent to provoke and I do try to consider all sides of a situation. For me “joining us” or “joining them” has more to do with the speaker's physical point of view and logistics rather than expecting one person to be how another person (or people) demand(s). Would you be equally pissed if a single woman asked my wife and I to join her?

I would say that my wife and I are very open to whatever ideas may come our way and however things would work out with three or more people involved. If someone joins us or if we join someone is all the same in my opinion. To use what I understand to be your definition of joining someone, it could happen either way depending on who we might meet, what we might learn about one another and how we all would decide to proceed with our lives from that point. For me that's all a long way down the road.

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
This is a forum. On forums we talk about stuff, push each others boundaries of knowledge and understanding, and hopefully do that with a bit of caring and consideration for the person struggling. If a person comes here and tells their story expecting that they will just have it read and not responded to that is ludicrous and they likely shouldn't be here. If they don't like the response they get then its usually because they were hoping everyone would agree with them and are struggling with the FACT that not everyone does and sometimes no one does...
Of course this is a forum and we can talk about things. What I was getting at was in reference to the OP. One of my first impressions on this forum was when a polynewbie got one of these labels slapped on him when he was just getting to know the community/lifestyle/figuring things out. It was not very friendly or inviting. He was just judged with no further inquiry into the details of his situation. I wonder if he ever came back. I'm not into naming names otherwise I would consider posting a link if I could even still find the thread. (I honestly don't remember who it was.) But the thing is, the wise experienced practicing polyamorist(s) just kinda threw a label out and seemed to walk away chuckling.

Speaking again as a newbie on this forum and to this lifestyle, I think it would be very beneficial to other newcomers to give them the benefit of the doubt before assigning labels or ridiculing their early thoughts/erroneous terminology on the topic. Couldn't we just ask or prompt them to clarify what they mean? This community has some special vernacular to be sure and I understand that some of it may be playfully tongue-in-cheek. A bit of tact is always greatly appreciated!
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  #47  
Old 11-22-2011, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PipeDreamer View Post
My wife and I are really sorting out our ideas and hopes with a potential new relationship. I never knew anything about how asking someone to “join us” would cause such a reaction. Is this a typical phrase in the community which should be considered taboo? It certainly was not my intent to provoke and I do try to consider all sides of a situation. For me “joining us” or “joining them” has more to do with the speaker's physical point of view and logistics rather than expecting one person to be how another person (or people) demand(s). Would you be equally pissed if a single woman asked my wife and I to join her?
The issue is that so-o-o-o many MF couples say, "We're looking for a woman to join us," to "add to our relationship," to "complete us," and so on. The main words that are annoying are not just "join" but "us." It is quite simply, an insulting stance to take because it presents the couple as a whole (rather than two individuals) and the woman they are seeking as basically an appendage to their already established relationship. They say, "We have such a beautiful relationship and we want to share it with the right girl," like that "girl" should feel so lucky and grateful that they have now deigned her worthy of sharing their bliss. Keyword: THEIR.

What RP reacted to is the negation of seeing the three people in that situation as THREE PEOPLE. There will be four relationships in that scenario: husband + wife, husband + girlfriend, wife + girlfriend, and all three people relating together. The common thing is that the couple only sees it as US + ONE, and that the additional person is there to augment the couple's relationship. And that is the aspect that boils one's blood. What of the woman's needs, wants, desires, and expression of her individuality? And then when they want her to move in with them and be totally exclusive to them, on call for fucking and housework, but without any say as to how the household is run or whether they can see other people on their own time, you can see how fucking unreal this "unicorn hunting" is, and why people get irritated whenever anyone says "we're looking for someone to join us."

Quote:
Originally Posted by PipeDreamer View Post
Speaking again as a newbie on this forum and to this lifestyle...
Well, okay, since you used the words "this lifestyle," here is another discussion of that terminology for you. Maybe you will find this interesting also:
What is this "lifestyle" you mention?
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 11-23-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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  #48  
Old 11-22-2011, 11:58 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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As for where you and your husband started, that does have a name, mono/poly, and no one here is against it because we understand that monogamy is right for some people. It can go either way, gender-wise, for het couples.
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Originally Posted by Mya View Post
So it's ok for one person to give more freedom to their partner than what they themselves need (mono/poly), but it's not ok if the person giving more freedom is a female whose male partner wants OPP (or other variants of this phenomenon)?
I think the difference is that in mono/poly, we tend to assume that the monogamous partner is monogamous out of preference, whereas in OPP (or its less common but equally problematic cousin OVP) we tend to assume that the partner with the gender constraint is not acting out of their preference, but rather out of deference to their partner's needs/fears/etc. The former is generally a configuration with no explicit rule behind it, the latter is by definition a rule.

Note that I'm not at all saying that a bi woman in an m/f couple who chooses to seek a female partner must really want another man more or even at all, nor am I saying that it's not her free choice to agree to the OPP rule/boundary/agreement/what-have-you. However, I do believe that in the vast majority of cases, all things being equal, most poly bi women would not choose to say, with no input from their partner, "Y'know, I think I want to agree that I won't ever pursue another male partner." Some may, but I really wouldn't guess that most would -- the women who are in OPP relationships on the whole, I would assume, agree to it (some freely out of love, some because they feel coerced) for the sake of their male partner, not purely from preference. Certainly that was the case for me.

What about mono/poly on the other hand? My observation is that most monos in mono/poly relationships are expressing their personal preference. My bf, for example, is mono because he doesn't want to form a romantic partnership with anyone but me, nor does he think he even *could*. We don't have a rule about it just like we don't have a rule about him sleeping with men. If he changed his feelings and wanted to do either of those things we would talk about it and I certainly hope I would make space for him to have that, and I hope and believe that most polys in mono/poly setups would do the same.

In the less-common (to my observation) case that mono/poly is *not* the preference of the mono partner, but rather something agreed to at the behest of the poly partner, then I think most poly people would consider that quite problematic, probably even moreso than OPP. Now I'm certain that there could be, and are, circumstances like that where the relationship is still healthier that way than it would be otherwise (such as if there are compelling reasons to believe that the partner following the mono rule would be really bad at being poly and both partners agree that he/she should stay away from it), but in most cases a mono requirement on one partner and not the other would come off like something that might be ok as a temporary, opening up measure, but which is not ok as a long-term strategy due to its inherent unfairness.

Every relationship is different, every relationship is nuanced. We may have positive or negative feelings about certain configurations or rules, but as most of us have said at this point, each relationship should be judged on its own merits in the end and I think on this board they generally are. Some relationships have more explaining to do than others, so to speak, because of people's prejudices, but I don't really see how we get past that when those prejudices are often based on real things, other than to point it out when they're not.

If we're not saying the terms need to be discarded or redefined (*are* we saying that?) then the issue is just in how they're used. I know that we've said it may not be helpful to redirect the conversation back to the other thread that started this whole thing, but I do think it matters that Mags has apologized. I see her mistake not as being in using the term OPP but in using the word "imposed", which I took from the wording of her apology to be how she saw it too. That was taking (implied) assumptions too far, perhaps -- had that not yet been addressed? What are we discussing at this point? I'm not against further discussion, just curious.
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  #49  
Old 11-23-2011, 12:17 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I probably coulda managed to say all that in a lot fewer words...
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  #50  
Old 11-23-2011, 01:16 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Originally Posted by PipeDreamer View Post
Speaking again as a newbie on this forum and to this lifestyle, I think it would be very beneficial to other newcomers to give them the benefit of the doubt before assigning labels or ridiculing their early thoughts/erroneous terminology on the topic. Couldn't we just ask or prompt them to clarify what they mean? This community has some special vernacular to be sure and I understand that some of it may be playfully tongue-in-cheek. A bit of tact is always greatly appreciated!
I think that most of the time, most people are very good about not sticking a label on a person, but asking them the questions that they may not have thought about. I have seen people mention to the couple that they may want to search the forum for "unicorn" so that they can read previous threads regarding this topic to gain some understanding and perhaps spark some conversations amongst the couple. I don't see that as labeling, though, but as trying to be helpful and informative.

I know there are probably a few people that are just burnt out, as just in the 9 months I've been on this board I've seen 10-15 couples come on and post their "searching for a third" post, and that's just the ones I've read, I usually skip those at this point. I'm thinking there have been quite a bit more, maybe at least one a week? And I can see that sometimes after having the save conversation and posing the same questions it can get a bit much.

And I do agree with NYCindie that MOST (not all but most) couples do come on here using the Us +1 terminology, not seeing how that is not taking into consideration they are looking to date a real life human person with wants, needs and fears.

And lastly... I've been involved with online forums for many years, and I've always found that taking a look around the forum, doing some reading and seeing what the atmosphere is like, reading on subjects I'm personally interested in to gain more information and generally getting a feel for the subject BEFORE posting to be very beneficial.

I do think it's good to be gentle in asking questions and to not label people, but I also feel it behooves people to do some legwork and not just blindly post their declaration to "add a third, find another couple that they will switch with equally and all will love each other equally, have a harem" whatever they're desire may be.

I find people often come here and post expecting a certain response and are disappointed and sometimes defensive when instead they are met with thoughtful and in-depth questions asking them to do a little introspection.

And lastly, this is an online forum. If you don't like the responses from a particular person, you're always free to ignore them. Not everybody's personalities can get along, and that's O.K.
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