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  #81  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:41 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
No matter what definition you come up with for poly, you are going to find some who are very much opposed to that definition and can get quite upset by it.

So you either have to live with that, or you have to try to make everyone happy, in which case poly basically turns out to mean whatever it is that each person wants it to mean, and is therefore meaningless as a term you can use in any form of effective communication.

It's already got the the point where the term means you need to ask more questions to clarify what the person means by it.

I hope that some day we do come up with a true definition of what poly is and what it isn't. Some will be upset by it, and then will have to find another term to describe what they self-identify. For all I care, it can be one that *I* don't agree with - just pick one so that we can stop discussing it endlessly and providing a platform for everyone with an agenda to co-opt the word for their own purposes.

I am not one in favour of totally flexible definitions for any term you choose you use. If you do that then you end up cabbage the llama - and we wouldn't want that, now, would we?
Yup yup yup.

I agree with all of that.

If we're going to agree that being poly means including anything and everything sexual from long term loving relationships to one-night-stands and fuckbuddies, then that's fine, but I will no longer self-identify as poly at that point, because that doesn't define the dynamic I choose to have.
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  #82  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:07 PM
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Yup yup yup.

I agree with all of that.

If we're going to agree that being poly means including anything and everything sexual from long term loving relationships to one-night-stands and fuckbuddies, then that's fine, but I will no longer self-identify as poly at that point, because that doesn't define the dynamic I choose to have.
this is precisely why I don't anymore.

This conversation seems to come up at every Poly meet up we have in our city. We seem to end every meeting trying to define what poly is. As a result I simply us the word as a means to describe our version rather than what poly is as a whole.

Why we feel we must keep defining I have no idea. Maybe because we all want to feel comfortable?

I used to identify as non-monogamous about 12 years ago. I think I will stick to that as it is more ambiguous and broad.
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  #83  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:26 PM
dakid dakid is offline
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perhaps "polyfidelity" might be a useful term for some of the folks worried that they might be mistaken for someone willing to have short-term intimacy with another?

just a thought...

i have been reading the words of Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart this evening, the person who first publicly used the term poly-amoury, and in her original article she certainly includes "one-night stands" as a poly activity within her own personal definition.

this discussion has really tweaked my interest in the origins and evolution of the word/phrase thanks everyone!

x
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  #84  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:27 PM
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There seems to be a feeling that we have to be all-inclusive, and that may well come from the place where poly folks have felt excluded by society as a whole, and doesn't want to make the same mistake. The problem is that in our extreme efforts we have rendered the term meaningless (or approaching it). Like redpepper says, it's already getting to the point where people don't self-identify as poly any more because it doesn't really mean anything other than non-monogamous.

I'm afraid that I fail to see (and have been passionately criticised for in other fora) the need to define polyamory as the same things as non-monogamous. What's wrong with "non-monogamous" as the umbrella term? Under that come the cheaters and "responsible non-monogamy". Under THAT comes polyamory and swinging. Those are just some examples. Just in positing this, though, I have been accused of being the equivalent of a poly-cop and wishing to "build walls" where they shouldn't be any. No value judgements are inherently being made by doing this. It's is merely descriptive of the different relationship styles and needs of different people.

It doesn't make sense to me, and I am tired of fighting about it. It's our loss, I think, if the word ends up meaning nothing.
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  #85  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
The problem is that in our extreme efforts we have rendered the term meaningless (or approaching it).
.
That's pretty much the sentiments I get from people I try to explain it too. They Google it and get completely confused. My close friend was very worried that I was exposing myself to an overwhelming risk of sexually transmitted diseases by being wtih some one who was poly because the impression she got was that everybody fucks everybody whenever and wherever. Add tothat the fact that Redpepper's husband is poly and bi and she was sure I was basically screwing the entire city by proxy. Took forever to convince her otherwise.

Totally agree with your comment and Redpepper's.
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  #86  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
My close friend was very worried that I was exposing myself to an overwhelming risk of sexually transmitted diseases by being wtih some one who was poly because the impression she got was that everybody fucks everybody whenever and wherever.
Yup. When I first brought it up to my husband he had the same impression. And I was talking about it to a friend the other day and he asked me point blank .. so how do YOU define it, because I don't really understand how everyone defines it differently.

At least he asked, I guess.
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  #87  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:55 PM
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surely ill-informed folk are liable to jump to random conclusions whatever word you use to express the fact that you are in a relationship other than a monogamous couple?
there will always be a need to explain (to those you consider worth the effort) in more detail than one word can give, as long as we live in a mono-centric society?
somewhat of a tangent here but i must say i would be personally pretty annoyed if someone i considered a close friend came out with such rubbish -such dumb-assed assumptions - about me the way mono's friend appears to have done to them. i would hope that they knew me better than that, and that they had more respect for my choices than to make such insulting and idiotic assumptions.
to me this says more about your friendship than about any word or definition of word.
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  #88  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:58 PM
dakid dakid is offline
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sorry mono i don't mean to be rude about your friendship there, i'm just genuinely shocked at the thought of a close friend coming out with such comments! my own close friends know that i practise safe and ethical sexual practises, and at most might ask me how i incorporate that into a particular relationship or style of relationship(s). they would never presume that i was behaving in such self-destructive ways without real evidence. its a pretty big leap is it not?
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  #89  
Old 12-28-2009, 10:49 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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i would hope that they knew me better than that, and that they had more respect for my choices than to make such insulting and idiotic assumptions.
to me this says more about your friendship than about any word or definition of word.
No offense taken at all Dakid. I definitely understand emotional responses to statements that push buttons. They merely made assumptions based on a lot of research online. We are the ones to blame for their misunderstanding..not them. They don't put vague shit online..we do.
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  #90  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:25 PM
dakid dakid is offline
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sorry mono my friend i really don't understand your last post??? who is this we who puts vague shit online?

and on a seperate note - i sincerely hope my friends would ask me about my lifestyle if they were curious rather than surfing the net for answers, but maybe that's just me. as i am always telling the children in my life "everybody's different". i say it so often i hardly have utter the first syllable and they're chanting the rest back at me!

Last edited by dakid; 12-28-2009 at 11:38 PM.
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