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  #31  
Old 04-11-2010, 05:30 PM
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Thanks. Mono and GS helped clear up my point nicely. Awesome.
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  #32  
Old 04-11-2010, 09:24 PM
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General response to the thread:

I'm quite uncertain how being mono- or poly- relates to, say, being hetero-, homo- or bi-..., in the sense of what are commonly called "orientations". People are generally understood not to change their sexual orientation (so-called). Yet many people do change their orientation with regard to poly- or mono- over time -- usually from mono- to poly, I suspect.

I'm a bi- guy (with lots more experience with men than women) who shifted over time from mono- to poly, and I experienced this shift largely as a sort of shaking off of some very deep-rooted socialization in what might be called "mandatory monogamy". That is, early on I bought into the premise that if it is love it is sexually and "romantically" exclusive --, and everything else is "just lust," not love. (The premise being that true [romantic] love is exclusive.) I was also trained to think of promiscuity as ugly and inferior to non-promiscuity -- but these are apples and oranges, though related.

So..., I'm finding it difficult to try to think about poly- and mono- as "orientations" because of the strong taboo against poly- and the near ubiquitous expectation that "good" people be monogamous. (With the premise being that not-so-good people, or bad people, are non-monogamous.)

Polyamory is probably generally "pathologized" in our culture, just has homosexuality had/has long been. It can only begin to become understood as an "orientation" when it is de-pathologized -- accepted as just one among a spectrum of "normal" human orientations.

And so it is with monogamy--, which is the point I've been setting up. What does it mean to say "I am mono-"? Is one expressing a quasi-permanant orientation in such a definition of one's self? Very likely, not. That is, millions and millions of people will discover at some point that while they thought they were permanently mono- ..., well, they are not. The social conditioning and taboo encourages folks to define as "normal" (and thus non-pathological). And poly- is not yet widely accepted as a "normal" option.
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  #33  
Old 04-12-2010, 04:43 AM
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Default straight/bi/gay = mono/"switch"/poly ?

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Originally Posted by River View Post
I'm quite uncertain how being mono- or poly- relates to, say, being hetero-, homo- or bi-..., in the sense of what are commonly called "orientations". People are generally understood not to change their sexual orientation (so-called). Yet many people do change their orientation with regard to poly- or mono- over time -- usually from mono- to poly, I suspect.
Do you think people "change" their poly/mono orientation, or just "discover" it?

A lot of homosexuals grow up surrounded by heterosexuality, not realizing there's an alternative. They try to be in opposite-sex partnerships, and no matter who they're with, it just doesn't "feel right." As they grow older and learn about other possibilities, i.e. such a thing as homosexuality, they start to identify with other lifestyles, finding support from others like them, realizing that it's OK to be like that.

I think this is exactly what happens with polyamory.

I'll even take it a step further.

I would say some people are even the "bisexual equivalent" of polyamory/monogamy. i.e. they can be happy in monogamous relationships AND in polyamorous relationships, without feeling trapped by monogamy nor forced by polyamory.

My intuition is that just about everyone falls somewhere in the grey area. It just seems as though there are more straight monogamous people because that's society's default, so if you're bisexual and poly-switch, it's just "easier to fit in" if you keep your behaviour at one end of the spectrum. It's not until someone comes along and blows your paradigm out of the water that you realize there are other options...
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 04-12-2010 at 04:53 AM.
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  #34  
Old 04-12-2010, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
My idea that it's okay to love multiple people, but not to have sex with them. That one really insulted her, as she's of the belief that if she loves somebody, she should be able to express if however feels right, including sex. I just find other ways of expressing it, if at all. Latent sexual tension and untold love exists between myself and many of my better female friends. I would never have sex with them. Just because. For more reasons than just the drama that could ensue. It just feels wrong. Sex isn't something I do with friends, it's something I do with a lover. Friends can become lovers, and lovers can become friends while staying lovers, but as long as somebody is just my friend, no matter how much I love them, I cannot have sex with them. And it doesn't cause me pain to know that I can't express that. Any tension that happens, I turn around and put into my current primary relationship. And as far as sex goes, I don't even feel the need for porn or "special alone time," because the only person I really want is my chosen lover.
I am like this too. I can't have sex with my friends. I also see that it is just weird and wrong to me. Yet I have many loves that I have sex with and they are different than friends. Does that make sense....?

Sorry if this is off topic, but perhaps it is relevant to understanding how some people do poly, for themselves.

You say that you wouldn't sleep with your female friends that you find yourself attracted too, because of the drama and that it just seems wrong, but where does that come from? Who says it's wrong? perhaps you could love them as you would a lover? Is that you telling yourself that because you believe it to be true culturally or is it really your nature telling you that?

I think I might be insulted too, I doubt it, but I get that.

Mono and I had a night with our mono friends last night whereby I was questioned about my poly status. They ended up calling to apologize this morning because they thought I would of been offended... not at all. I welcome questions and people pushing my believes about myself. I might of been offended if I didn't know them, but I trust that they love me anyways, so I welcomed the questions.

They said the same thing that you are in this above quote and I just don't get how its so confusing... I mean, it's the same thing as loving one person. Only I love more than one. There is just more people. It's the same feeling (I suspect). I have been in mono relationships and have been quite happy with them until a certain point of feeling stifled and trapped by them. I felt the same as I do now, loving many. There is no difference in how I love, just a different number.
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  #35  
Old 04-12-2010, 10:24 AM
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I think what I mean is that I'm poly. By nature, at least.

I have two kinds of friends: ones I love and ones I like.

The friends I love I love with all my heart. I trust them with my soul, and I know they trust me with theirs. I will forgive the majority of trespasses and hope that they will help me through my screw-ups as well. These are friends, to me.

Friends I like are kinda casual friends. I don't spend much time with them, and I don't trust them with my soul. These are more like acquaintances. People I'm nice to. People who I like.

I have many more of the first kind of friend, and very few of the second kind. If I'm going to be friends with a person, I go all the way, unless they don't reciprocate. Even sometimes if they don't, I will still go all-out (like a crush, minus the sexual drive).

When I have a girlfriend (or wife, in this case), my sexual drive kinda just turns off to outsiders, because I think it the highest form of respect I can give her. That she's the only person I find attractive enough and the only person I want to have sex with. It makes her special, and I know many women desire this kind of connection.

Part of the reason I never try to start up sexual romantic relationships with some of the friends whom I love is because I cannot give them the amount of attention they would desire and deserve, so there's no point in trying, as it would only end up hurting my loves, including my primary love, and including myself. It would only result in pain and compromise all around. One person is too much already, and the fact that I manage to pull it off and leave the two of us feeling fulfilled (in a mono relationship) is part of what keeps me going.

Also, if I opened myself up to loving more than one person romantically, then I couldn't say things like "you're the special-est (not a doctor)" or "you're the best in the world," because that would be showing a preference for one over the other...and I kind of like saying things like that, and I know my wife loves hearing them. I'm pretty sure if she heard me say them to somebody else and mean it, she would be hurt.

So anyway, that's me. That's the reasoning behind my reasoning.

I am poly, by nature, I just feel a lot better when I am involved in a romantic sexual relationship with one person than when I am involved with more than one.

A loophole for me, that seems to keep me from feeling stretched and/or hurt by my own sexual actions is groupsex with multiple people I love. I have done this on a couple of occasions with girlfriends past, and we all seemed to get along okay in it. I never realised my motivations behind it until recently, as back then, I just thought of us as silly deviant teenagers having fun in our fort in the woods (because that's where it happened -- multiple times. I went to a boarding school in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, bordering on the Sylvania Wilderness.).

But for some reason, if/when I try having sex with somebody else I love, and I'm alone with just that person, I get wrapped up in a self-destructive loop of guilt afterwards, so I just don't do it. I worry that my primary will be hurt by it, no matter what she may say, because I don't trust words. Words are easy to manipulate to hide feelings. Very easy. As proof, my wife and I have been doing this for months, trying to make one another (and probably most of all ourselves) believe that we were okay, when we really weren't (for reasons other than poly -- this is a whole different bookshelf of stories, none of which shall be read here). Rest assured that our communication problems are being addressed, so feel no need to remind me how unhealthy the behaviour of lying to one another (and ourselves) about our true emotions is. We know. We're working through it.

So to clarify: I love everyone. I could start up a romantic relationship with any one of my friends (or try -- many wouldn't be open to the idea because I have a wife), but I just don't. I feel attracted to many of them, but I don't act on that attraction, because I only end up hurting myself, if not that friend, by not being able to create an exclusive relationship with that person, nor focus enough energy and time on them to make us both feel fulfilled. So I don't try, and just focus all my time and energy on my primary relationship (and don't feel fulfilled, but that's because our schedules really don't match up).

Last edited by SimpleSimian; 04-12-2010 at 10:31 AM.
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  #36  
Old 04-12-2010, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Also, if I opened myself up to loving more than one person romantically, then I couldn't say things like "you're the special-est (not a doctor)" or "you're the best in the world," because that would be showing a preference for one over the other...and I kind of like saying things like that, and I know my wife loves hearing them. I'm pretty sure if she heard me say them to somebody else and mean it, she would be hurt.


I wanted to add here, that what i feel for each of my partners is unique and diffrent so i can honestly turn around to R and say that "I have never felt this way about anyone before" becuase i mean it, even if i am in love with C what i feel for them both is so diffrent,

didn't someone make this quote here once and i loved it about loving someone the bluest and someone the reddist,

i think that sums it up well

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  #37  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:26 PM
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While the feelings themselves may be unique, saying things like "best" or "most" or whatever imply levels, and levels imply that one is above another.

Something else just occurred to me. The idea of her thinking about and missing spending romantic time with another partner bugs me. Like she's dividing her attention, even when she's not around. Like right now she's in class, having to deal with a guy who broke her heart, who she still loves very dearly. She won't be talking to him or anything, but will be thinking about how much she misses him. If he weren't in the picture, she would be thinking about how much she misses me. I'm thinking about how much I miss her, and it used to give me great comfort to know she was thinking the same toward me at any given point through the day. Now I don't have that to fall back on, and I am feeling very uncomfortable right now, sitting here at work thinking about her, knowing she's not thinking about me.

To the point of the original question here: I sometimes feel like she didn't have to make any change to her core being in order to be okay with me being mono, but I have to make a change to my core being to be okay with her being poly. It would be fair if both people had to make a change. Or maybe it would be fair if some poly people would stay mono for the sake of their mono partner's happiness, while some mono people made a change and were okay with their poly partners taking other lovers; then both sides would be making sacrifices for one another. Because sometimes I feel like I love her more than she loves me, because I'm the one going through all the introspection and change in order to find a way to not care about what she does so she can be happy, but she's already okay with the situation as long as I don't object. Because she doesn't have to do anything to be okay with what I do. If I take another lover or not, it's of no consequence to her, as long as I make a huge change to myself so I'm okay with her having other lovers.

I only feel this way sometimes. When I'm in an emotional valley. Like right now.

Basically, my original point is that is really seems like the mono person in a poly relationship gets the kind of "I'm poly. Take me or leave me." speech. Because what poly person would stay in a relationship with somebody who's mono, if that mono person was miserable and/or possessive and/or jealous all the time? Can any poly person honestly say they wouldn't think about ending a relationship over that? That's where I see the imbalance. The mono person has to change and be okay with their SO being poly and with getting less attention, while the poly person gets to get more attention, more love, more sex, and pay attention to other people. I highly doubt a poly person would have a problem with a mono person only staying with them and not seeking other lovers as well. That would be unfair, too. I don't know, the whole situation sometimes seems one-sided. Like the mono in a m/p relationship gets shafted repeatedly the whole time, and the poly person doesn't have to worry about anything. That's what it seems like.

Last edited by SimpleSimian; 04-12-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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  #38  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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SS Sorry you are feeling this way. All I can say is you never know exactly what someone else is thinking. She may be thinking about you and your relationship together and maybe she is missing you. She may be also missing the other guy as well but only she knows who or what she is thinking about.

You are the one that has control of your own thoughts. Why not think about something else instead of focusing all your energy on missing her. Of course I am not saying to not think of her at all but maybe just not focus on it so much.

Recently I have found that I have been focusing my thoughts on way to much stuff. I had been letting my mind basically take control and it went rampant thinking crazy thoughts and making me severely depressed.

It wasn't until I took my energy off it and started focusing on something else that things started to change.
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  #39  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:52 PM
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While I can appreciate that point of view, tinylove, there is nothing more important to me in my life than the people I love. Since she is the one I love above all others, I have no real reason to think about anything else. There is nothing and no-one I'd rather think about than her.

I have hobbies and interests, but she rises above them all. I like music, I like computers, I like video games and spaceships and reading and doing research, but none of them can hold a candle to her. None of them can hold my interest like she does. That is why I asked her out in the first place. That is why I married her. Because never since I first met her had I been able to stop thinking about her. Finally a person worth sacrificing things for, rather than having to pretend and/or try to sacrifice for people who weren't more fulfilling than personal time.

She is worth more to me than anything in the universe. Even the universe itself. I could be happy spending the rest of my life exploring her space, and never need to explore outer space. I would never have to mix another song, read another book, watch another movie, play another game, build another machine, fix another computer, or anything, so long as I have her. She captivates me in a way nothing I have ever experienced can. She fulfills me in a way no previous lover and nothing I have ever done, eaten, or made has.

That's why I'm having such a hard time with this. In my previous long-term (3 years) relationship, I was okay doing other things. I could focus on my music, or my building things, or reading, or whatever, and not feel bad. But now I can't.

My wife is on a level so beyond anything or anyone else I have ever seen or met, that spending time mixing music, making a crowd dance, connecting with hundreds of strangers in each fleeting moment of ecstasy is about the only thing that comes even close...but it's still miles off-course.

I have tried to spend time by myself, or even with other people, doing things, but all I want and all I think about is her.

But, tinylove, I feel it would be unfair to you to not listen to your opinion, and to not let you know that you did get through to me. I will endeavour to think of other things, but I wonder if I won't feel worse because of it. It's worth a shot, yeah?

Last edited by SimpleSimian; 04-12-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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  #40  
Old 04-12-2010, 02:44 PM
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{{hugs}} ss
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