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Polyamory...How many know what Polyamory is really about?
Polyamory...How many know what Polyamory is really about?
Polyamory and swinging. While there can be some common ground between the two there are definitely differences that make them quite distinct. Lets look at those things that make Polyamory, Swinging, and of course just sleeping around very different types of relationships or friendships.
Sleeping around...this is pretty much a no brainer...some people sleep around with just about anyone that they can. This is many times done secretly - without the knowledge of any existing partner (wife, girlfriend, etc.) Additionally, people that sleep around are not always overly concerned about WHO they have sex with (clean, dirty, nasty, etc.), so long as they get sex from someone...of course there are some exceptions...but getting easy sex is the key here.
Swinging is basically recreational sex with a number of different partners, either in one setting or evening, or over a period of days or months. Many times, but not always, if the "swinger" has a partner this person will know, and perhaps be involved in this recreational sex too. Of course there are also those who are "single" and swing without a partner. The key point to remember with Swinging is that the main purpose of meeting with others is to have sex. Another key point is that most of the time there is no "emotional connection" between those having sex, other than the "hornyness of the moment". In fact, many swing clubs (and individuals too) have rules that state, in essense, NO EMOTIONAL BONDS OR CONNECTIONS WITH SEX PARTNERS. THIS IS SOLELY ABOUT SEX!
Polyamory may sound like swinging to some, expecially those that are just not smart enough to carefully consider the distinctions, or those with moral objections to multipartner sex, but in the strictest sense, Polyamory is quite different than swinging.
A Polyamorous relationship may involve sex but it is not the sole or even the primary purpose of the relationship. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible to have a Polyamorous relationship in which there is no sex between anyone in the relationship at all! Try to find a swinger that does not have sex...
The main purpose of a Polyamory relationship is "THE RELATIONSHIP"! While most "Poly" relationships do involve sex, that is only a small part of it. Poly relationships have very strong emotional, physical and spiritual bonds between those involved. I personally look at a Poly relationship as being exactly the same as a traditional "2-person" relationship, except there is more than two people that are committed to an honest, forthright, loving and caring relationship. If these very strong emotional bonds (bonds on many different levels) are not present, then the relationship is not "Poly."
How many people can be in a Poly relationship? Well, for me I'm looking for one very special lady in addition to my wonder wife. So I'm looking to create a strong and loving relationship with a girlfriend, my wife and myself. A "Polyfidelitous" relationship...That means that there are no additional outside partners - the intimate part of the relationship is "closed" to all others. We are looking for someone to concentrate our attention to, and not interested in spreading ourselves too thin between a number of different partners. Of course STD safety is also a BIG concern too...
I know quite a few "Poly" people that have more then 3 persons that are intimately involved (either directly or indirectly through other's in the relationship) and technically there is no limit to how many people can be in a relationship. As long as everyone fully aware of all other partners, honesty is always practiced with everyone, and there are strong emotional bonds that truly connect the partners then it is a Poly relationship. One final note on the relationship structure...In some relationships everyone is intimate everyone else (either together or individually), and in other relationships there may be one person that is intimate with two different people, BUT those two people are not intimate with each other. That is quite common too. There is no set form to a Poly relationship at all.
On Poly and Gender...Poly relationships can be made up of any gender combination at all. They can be M-F-M, F-M-F, M-M-M, or F-F-F. Of course if there are more then 3 people in the partnership then the gender possibilities increase even more. So, men can have Poly relationships just the same as women can have Poly relationships too. I know people with F-M-F structures and also M-F-M too. So for the tons of people that have asked....LADIES CAN HAVE POLY RELATIONSHIPS TOO. This is not just a GUY THING!....Sheesh....
Anyway, I've been Poly for a long time and there are is a lot more that I could talk about, but that should be enough for now. I know that some people have big misconceptions about being Poly, so I wanted to get some accurate information here in AdultFriendFinder to help those who are interested enough to do some research. Which is far better than all the biggots that are out there.
So, thank you you for taking your time to read this blog. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
Have a really great day!
7/17/2006 4:25 pm
I have to agree that on this site it disturbs me when swingers call themselves polyamourous. Polyamourous is definitely a person who is able to love more then one person on all levels and not just sexually. I personally find that serial monogamists would be a better term. |
I am so glad you did this blog..it seems that everyone who says they have several partners is poly..not true from what I have observed it is a swinger lifestyle. With women it is possible to be poly but, it takes a strong woman to be able to handle this lifestyle..she has to be not only comfortable with herself but with all parties.
Last note which I think you forgot to address.. this is the hardest relationship to maintain. the person who is bringing two in is responsible for making sure that there is no resentment..but more it is also the healthiest of all relationships..these polyamourous relationships understand the meaning of honesty and communication..which is so very crucial in all relationships..but more so in these.
Again thank you for setting the record straight. The chatroom is nice but to see an 18 year old say he is polyamourous is a bit much.
7/17/2006 7:03 pm
Thank you for your kind remarks Sheer_Elegance...|
For years now I've experienced the same Swinger - Polyamory confusion. As a owner or moderator of a several current and past Poly Yahoo groups I have had countless discussions on this very topic. Sometimes the arguments offered were pretty primitive, and at other times the line of reasoning was a verbally impressive gymnastic feat. But with time and a careful point-by-point examination of their argument their position was found to have definite holes in it.
Now, with that said I must add that some people display patterns of behavior that are both Swinging and Polyamorous in nature - naturally though, not at the same time. What I mean by this is that there are, in fact, people that "Swing" (engage in recreational sex)but have other people with which they have relationships that are Polyamorous (they actually have strong emotional bonds on many levels with them). So this does add a lot of confusion to the Swinger - Polyamory distinctions. The real problem, at least that I've noticed, is that just because someone has SOME relationships that are Poly and OTHERS that are clearly Swinging in nature, that does not mean that ALL of this persons relationships are Poly. Some people seem to thing that one Poly relationship means that all of them are Poly, and clearly that is not the case.
Now with that said, over the years of discussions I've found that most Swingers that call Polyamorous are not Poly at all, they are strictly Swingers. I'm placing no judgments on either Swinging nor Polyamory, each is what they are, and as long as they are happy with their choices I am too.
To me a nice distinction between the two are this...In real Poly relationships you can trust your Poly-partner(s) with your house key, your check and bank book, your cash, your credit cards, your car, and even your children’s safety and well-being. The bonds are so strong that you know everything you have will always be safe with them - they are family.... However, would a Swinger trust to give all or any of these of these important items to their partners? Clearly, there is a world of difference between the two. Again, we must remember that Polyamory and Swinging are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and most people's "behavior" is actually someplace between these two extremes. This is where the confusion is created.
I'm not sure if I would say every woman needs to be "strong" (as you mentioned) to be Poly. I know a number of Poly ladies that are quite laid back, almost to the point of being sub; and they manage relationship(s) with both sexes just fine. With that said, I would like to add that here in the land of AdultFriendFinder any woman that is not strong will get eaten alive (or scared off to other territories) by all the wolves that are constantly on the prowl within the confines of AdultFriendFinder.
You are correct, I did not mention that Poly relationships can be some of the most challenging to manage. I know when I have a girlfriend my life becomes very busy. Between my Wife and Kids and Girlfriend time management takes a high priority. Of course this really does depend on the specific characteristics of each relationship. I want to be with my "family" (wife, kids, and girlfriend) as much as possible. While spending time individually with each of them is important I really enjoy when we are all together enjoying the day....it's absolutely wonderful...Of course some Poly relationships are different and they may not see each other nearly as much. So, their time management issues would be quite different and less stressful. There are so many different forms of Poly it's hard to make generalizations at times.
Of course as you mentioned the "middle-person" going between partners does have to carefully manage the overall relationship too. It's important that everyone is happy as much as possible. Of course I've found that this is really a function of everyone, and not just the "middle-person". Communication, compromise, compersion, patience and understanding are all very important in any relationship - especially a Poly one...
You also made an important point that Poly relationships can be extremely healthy and fulfilling for everyone. Some Poly relationships can be like the traditional "large family". There is always someone there to help out, offer support, attention, love, assistance and all those other things that we all need from time to time. That does not mean that traditional 2-person relationships cannot have those things, for they certainly can (rarely do, but can). I personally feel that the inharent nature of close-knit Poly relationships (distinct from long-distance Poly relationships) creates a wonderful feeling of "family" and all that it entails.
I'm not sure if we can say a younger person (you mentioned 18 years) cannot have a poly relationship. Again, here in AdultFriendFinder I think there are far more wolves and ego maniacs than real people so you may be correct in what you have observed. On the other hand, I know a Polyamorous women from Colorado that has been Poly for probably over 20 years. Her children have been born and raised in a Poly family so they know exactly what Poly is about. As a footnote - Her kids are in their late teens now, an as far as I know they are not actively Poly. So, when someone tells me they are Poly I hold judgment until I get the details (and sometimes even after that). Actions speak louder than words....and I have found that most people actions are a bit different than their actions. So, TELL me what you want, but I'll be watching what you DO and make my decisions based, not on your words, but by your actions.
Thank you again Sheer_Elegance, for your reply and kind words to my rambling thoughts...I'm do not believe that I've "set the record straight" (as you suggested), but, I have offered a pretty balanced offering on the topic. I'm sure it will continue and grow from here. Thanks again. And have a great week!
7/17/2006 9:36 pm
Welcome to the blogs! This was a great first post! It really gave me alot to think about. A year ago, I wouldn't have said that you could love two people....but I have changed my mind now. Blog on! Hey! If you get a chance, stop over at my blog and sign up for CAMP APHRODISIAC...........Get Excited!!!! |
7/18/2006 10:42 am
Wow, hard to believe this is your first post. I hope you will continue, this has been very informative. I do have a question; I am interested in further exploring this type of relationship and would like to meet people living it, can you suggest how I might accomplish that. Thanks|
7/18/2006 8:22 pm
Hello Eclecticsoul4u, and thank you for the nice comments...|
This is the first time I've posted here in AdultFriendFinder, but this is not the first time that I've ever posted. I moderate a few Poly Yahoo groups and have done a lot of posting in the past. Recently I've been pretty quite though, but I thought it may be nice to get a blog started here in AdultFriendFinder. I do plan on continuing to add more comments in this blog. These will be on Polyamory in general and also on my personal search for a wonderful lady too.
If you are looking to find out more on Polyamory I'd suggest doing an internet search and you should come up with quite a few sites. I can also share with you some sites that may be most useful, however I'd probably have to E-mail them to you directly. I'm not sure if the AdultFriendFinder police would allow web addresses to be posted in here.
If you are looking for "real" polyamorous people that can be a bit tricky. Most Polys keep pretty quiet and are a bit harder to find. However there are a number of Poly "support groups", for lack of a better term, that may have meetings, lunches or similar gatherings. Naturally, I'd always recommend that everyone use normal caution when meeting people that you don't know. Groups of people are usually a safe bet, but with individuals we should be more cautious. While I've always found Poly people to be extremely nice, polite and friendly people, that doesn't mean that everyone that says they are Poly really is or that they are are not Wolves on the hunt while wearing Poly clothes...
I see you are in Las Vegas. I'm not sure, but I would expect that there may be a local Poly group in your area. Check around to see what you can find. If you have problems let me know and perhaps I can find something out there for you. Several years ago I started a local Polyamory Support Group for local people. There were no close groups (Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia were the closest) so I started one here for the Southcentral Pennsylvania Northern Maryland area. We usually get together about once a month for a "munch" at a local resturant. I get out fo Vegas for work from time to time, but I don't have anything on the schedule. If something is scheduled I'll let you know.
So, hopefully you find this information useful.
8/28/2006 7:47 pm
I like how much in detail you explained Polyamory. Keep smiling!|