Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:23 PM
Flear Flear is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Posts: 116
Default serial monogamy and polyamory

suddenly an odd thought and question, wondering what others think.

some of us are born to be mono (these people are going to only want one person they are exclusive to)
some of us are born to be poly (we know who we are

and there is the serial monogamist who goes from one relationship to another their whole life, ...

we talk about who we are at our core, what we're born to be, what's in our nature.

could it be that some of us are born to be comfortable being that serial monogamist ?

(yes, wrong forum on the net, but here i am, so i thought i'd ask here)
-just one of those random curiosities, i've got lots of those)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:37 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,345
Default

I think few humans are born to be anything. We are rather plastic (as in maleable). I tend to think the 'born to be' arguments are for people who want to justify to themselves who they are. That said, to each their own.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:56 PM
Flear Flear is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Posts: 116
Default

isn't that like asking "when did you choose to be straight?"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:19 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,345
Default warning history!

Sexual orientation is not an inborn characteristic.

*Puts on historian hat*

The modern concept of sexuality is just that - modern. It is only around 500 years old. We moderns tend to think of sexuality as a important marker of identity, as part of who makes us who are. I, for example, am a bisexual, American white woman. That's a very rough shorthand for important parts of my personal identity.

People who lived in Europe before the modern era did not think of themselves in this way. Sexual identity was not a component of personal identity in the same way we experience it. Someone similar to me who lived in England 700 years ago would not describe herself as straight or gay or bi. She would probably label herself as a wife, a widow, a daughter, or spinster, maybe add in where she lived in England, what her family did for a living (because she probably worked with her family). If she was Catholic or Protestant would have been important socially. She probably would not have described herself as white in the way I did because that racial category would have had little meaning for her. She might not have described herself as English at all - national identity was fuzzy 700 years ago - she might have said she was from Yorkshire. She also might have included her class - if she was wealthy, an aristocrat, or of middling rank or poor.

But not which gender she wanted to have sex with. This would not have been in her framework for describing who she was.

A man living in England 700 years ago would have considered himself manly if he had sex with women or men or boys younger than himself, especially if he was the one doing the penetrating. It did not make one gay to penetrate another man. It did make one effeminate if the man was being penetrated, particularly if no longer a youth but an adult man.

There are still many parts of the world where men have sex with men or boys and as long as they are the 'active' partner, they are not considered gay or effeminate. (No one seems to consider how woman would be 'active' in sex but that's a rant for another post.)

So until 500 or so years ago, there were no homosexuals. And no I am not parroting the right wing and saying homos don't exist - there were no heterosexuals until then either. (Oh, and don't confuse sexual acts for sexual identity. Just because someone has intercourse doesn't make them straight.)

Now personal identity is deeply rooted in us and that doesn't make it necessarily flexible. Although for some people, like me, it does. But just because someone has always identified as straight - or gay or flexible - does not mean that is a genetic condition. It's not. We are products of our culture.

TLDR: The idea that the gender which you prefer to have sex with matters in who you are personally is modern. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are modern concepts that have not always existed. They are not genetic conditions.

And, neither is poly. One is not born a poly or a mono or any other relationship variation.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:44 PM
Flear Flear is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Posts: 116
Default

is that describing a persons sexual orientation preferences or social pressure to stigmatize those that do not do things in the 'expected' way.

going back to the greeks and romans where for bonding amongst the men of the army the men had male partners, ... this was normal.

it was also considered normal that men would grow out of this and settle down with a woman, ... such men who did not where considered strange.

history cannot have recognition of the possibility that a man would consider avoiding women as a sexual preference to be "strange" (or whatever word was used in the historical writings) if this did not happen on occasion, may not have had the negative stigma that is seen recently, but this (in my mind) does count as recognition that people have throughout history shown to one degree or another preferences about what gender they were interested that may have gone against 'normal'

these are not modern concepts, they have modern terms, but peoples preferences to be with men or women or both have always been present
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-20-2013, 02:13 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,414
Default

This idea of "wiring" or that humans are born either poly or mono is nonsensical to me. In cultures where polygamy or polyandry is the norm, I am certain no one is going around arguing whether or not they are born to have multiple partners or only one. In Western culture, we have the luxury of questioning everything and I really think most people make shit up to justify their choices. For those who respond with, "But I've always wondered why I couldn't have two boyfriends ever since I was in Kindergarten!" that doesn't mean jack shit about your biology or brain chemistry. We all have the potential for many different life choices and where we end up basically has to do with cultural and familial conditioning, personal preferences, how our life experiences have affected us, and opportunity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
going back to the greeks and romans where for bonding amongst the men of the army the men had male partners, ... this was normal.

it was also considered normal that men would grow out of this and settle down with a woman, ... such men who did not where considered strange.
That's not exactly correct. The men bonded and had physical relations with other men and boys, but kept the women around tobreed with, that's all. They were'nt expected to "settle down," they were expected to father as many children as they could, but it was still fine to get it on with other men as long as they were procreating with the women, who were considered to be nothing more than brood mares.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 08-20-2013 at 02:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-20-2013, 04:05 AM
Flear Flear is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Posts: 116
Default

i think there's a lot of things people are 'wired' for.

if it was all choice, ... i've heard some very strange things people have been interested in, even things that cause them great discomfort.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2013, 05:38 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Middle of Oregon
Posts: 431
Default when discussing these issues

such issues as whether or not "orientation" is a choice, it is important to remember that it doesn't matter.

I say that because usually the only reason that people attempt to discern whether or not things are a choice, is to continue to justify wrongful discrimination against innocent persons.

To be of the belief that it is a choice, and making it a point to convince people that it is a choice, most of these cases where the person who chooses to believe that homosexuality is a choice and uses that as a platform to base an assertion, is attempting to use their chosen belief in order to allow some of the greatest injustices that can be brought upon humans by others humans.

So unless the discussion is taking place in a land that is governed by a responsible government, who is committed to liberty, freedom, and justice for ALL citizens, which sadly does not even describe the United States, until our lawmakers write laws to reflect a better understanding of what Liberty, Freedom, and Justice for ALL Truthfully means, orientation not being a choice is the only responsible view a person can believe

If you believe it is choice, it is your responsibility to be an advocate for those who are victims of ignorant government, and those who allow such an ignorance to prevail. To exercise rights and freedoms that are wrongfully withheld from any citizen, is to not deserve the life you live

which creates the worst kind of debt one could ever become a debtor to

It is my belief it much better to remain debt free when it comes to living a responsible life, and make sure you understand the responsibilities that cannot be separated from each and every freedom you have the liberty to exercise, as it is a choice to exercise them, but once you do, the responsibility that goes along with it, is not a choice. To not live up to that responsibility creates the debt I described as the worst kind to accumulate

which is the debt of living a free life, while ignoring the cost at the time you are living it

There is no comparison between debts of money and debts of life

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 08-20-2013 at 05:40 AM. Reason: typos
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2013, 02:53 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,308
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
TLDR: The idea that the gender which you prefer to have sex with matters in who you are personally is modern. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are modern concepts that have not always existed. They are not genetic conditions.

And, neither is poly. One is not born a poly or a mono or any other relationship variation.
I agree that the concept of sexual identity is a social construct. Before we decided we wanted to have names for a man who shags other men exclusively and seems to have no interest in females at all... he was just Fred (or Ughlugh, depending on how far back we are going).

Currently I am not aware of any single genetic link being identified as the culprit for sexual orientation. However, with what *is* known about how genetics affect behavioral tendencies it is reasonable to presume that there is a genetic link to sexual orientation, obsessive/compulsive, and any other social behavior. Not as the determining factor necessarily, but certainly a factor.

I was reading a book on behavioral evolution (I think, it was a while ago) and he explained it in what I thought was an interesting way. That our genetics is not a floor plan for who we will be as we develop, however they do suggest a tendency toward a certain type of behavior within a range. That this "gay gene", for example, doesn't decide for someone what their sexual orientation will be, but it would suggest that no matter the persons environment as they develop they will fall somewhere within a certain range. That genetics shouldn't be thought of as an arrow pointing toward a particular behavior but as a probable range on a spectrum of behavior.

That being said, even the most fundamental of our evolutionary behaviors seem to be trainable. The fact that we flinch at loud noises is an example I like to use. Humans flinch at unexpected loud noises for good reason, we tend to draw in our extremities for safety, we flex our bodies to prepare for impact, our adrenaline gets a bump in case we need to launch into action, it's a survival mechanism that is demonstrably "hard-wired". However, even such a primal and deep routed instinct as this can simply be trained out of us. Granted, I suspect some people would take much longer to learn to stop flinching (immersion therapy is what I'm imagining), and some people might never stop flinching... but most will simply be desensitized and not respond to the loud noises anymore.

Humans are so flexible that I wonder how much this genetic range potential could really affect us. Not that it matters necessarily, but it is a fun concept to think about and I hope geneticists can bring us a solid answer some day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
"But I've always wondered why I couldn't have two boyfriends ever since I was in Kindergarten!" that doesn't mean jack shit about your biology or brain chemistry. We all have the potential for many different life choices and where we end up basically has to do with cultural and familial conditioning, personal preferences, how our life experiences have affected us, and opportunity.
I think that the error is in trying to place some kind of "natural" classification on something like monogamy versus polyamory. Personally I don't find these classifications to be very descriptive. What I *do* find to be descriptive are concepts like "controlling", "insecure", "independent", etc.

If the "genetics represent a potential range" concept is true, that would suggest that a person is likely to be controlling of other people in his surrounding within a certain range. Where they fall within this range would depend on their environment and other factors you listed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
In Western culture, we have the luxury of questioning everything and I really think most people make shit up to justify their choices.
This is the rub.

No matter the degree to which genetics and environment shape who we are (chicken or egg, nature or nurture), getting hung up on being able to properly label ourselves is just masturbation. Getting caught up with what we were "meant to be" is not productive and we will be better of examining who we are, who we want to be, and how we plan on maximizing our happiness.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-20-2013, 05:38 PM
Flear Flear is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Posts: 116
Default

Dirtclustit & Marcus, ... that brings back memories i've forgotten.

yes to say it's wiring, or to say it's a choice, i think both tend to be wrong.

einstein had the potential to be smarter, (wiring), but this was not a guarantee that he would achieve the intellectual fame he gained. that was gotten through applying himself (choice)

on the other end (fictional or not), there is forest gump, which no amount of application would have ever gotten him to a point to ever compare to einstein.

i've spoken with a lady who married a man because it was the right thing to do for how she was raised, ... after years of marriage she mentioned she was in tears and could not continue, not because she didn't love and care about him, but could no longer ignore she was attracted to women and not men.

---

yes, it's not right to say "wired" and leave it at that as an absolute, but can't leave it at "choice" as an absolute.

while reminded just here, ... like someone having that inborn preference, things are most comfortable with X, doesn't mean you have to pick X, or that you can't learn to be comfortable with Y, ... but it's easiest and most comfortable with X.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:07 PM.