Is Poly Where It's At? Or Not?  

bipolybabe 56F
10715 posts
7/29/2006 9:19 am

Last Read:
8/1/2006 2:06 pm

Is Poly Where It's At? Or Not?


If you've read my blog before, you know that I'm fascinated with other people's choices about relationships.

As a veteran of a 17-year monogamous marriage that ended in divorce and then a two and three-year monogamous relationships with other partners, I've felt hemmed in by the commitment of monogamy and yet unwilling to sneak around.

Because I have married friends who practice polyamory, the idea that one can have sexual and emotional relations concurrently with more than one lover, and do it while being honest and upfront about it, I've been interested in trying to create polyamorous relationships in my own life. (See What is Poly or Polyamory.) Relationships, in general, aren't easy as human beings (myself included) are annoying as hell and hard to live with.

I appreciate the candor that fellow bloggers and commenters have offered in sharing their own experiences and advice.

I'd like to direct you to check out the responses to my nosy questions that

fantasia_shares was gracious enough to answer here: [post 443896]

In addition, if you're curious about experiments in polyamory, you will want to check out the blogs of:

ethicalplayer ethicalplayer, who is just beginning his Grand Experiment in living poly,

fembot1970 [blog fembot1970], who is a new blogger writing about her choice after 18 years of monogamy, to create an open marriage with her husband,

earthshiva earthshiva, who has been practicing poly with his wife for a number of years and needs our prayers for his safekeeping as he attends a one-week workshop on intimacy as the sole man in the company of 42 (yes, 42! ) women,

freelove999 [blog freelove999], who is married and pregnant with the baby of her lover,

and, for an alternative perspective,

mermaidslut mermaidslut made some great points in my blog below, Truth is in the SubText, about why she rules out poly for herself. And, she's written a great story to visualize and bring the man of her dreams into her life in [post 445307].

Oh, and you'll find some interesting comments on relationships from EthicalPlayer and MermaidSlut here: Truth is in the SubText.

(c) 2006 AskAphrodite aka BiPolyBabe

BPB

Check out my blog Bi-Poly-Babe for more sensual, sexual pleasure!



libgemOH 57M/53F

7/29/2006 10:27 am

I just read all the ones you pointed out in here.... Are you doing ok??? I'm here if ya need to talk!! -B

~just reading between the lines and a little worried about my friend~


earthShiva 61M

7/29/2006 3:24 pm

I am not so sure D and I qualify as poly poster children. On the one hand, yes, we each currently have a relationship outside our marriage. Those relationships include genuine emotional involvement with and caring for the people involved. The level of formal commitment in those relationships is not zero, but neither is it anything like the commitment in our marriage. This doesn't follow any set structure or rules, it's just the ethical result of caring for another human being.

What is clear to everyone involved is that the very strength of our marriage is the basis of our ability to give of ourselves to other people. So, when all is said and done, we consider our marriage every bit as sacred as any orthodox monogamist. We simply don't measure its sanctity or its success by how well we exclude all other people from our intimacy, but rather how well we provide each other with a rich and rewarding life filled with love, beauty and discovery. That particular benchmark currently happens to include other lovers. There is no guarantee that it always will.

Our understanding does not include any guarantee that our love for others' won't grow to such an extreme that it competes with or otherwise interferes with the central marriage. Neither of us sees that ever happening. We prefer to keep that a matter of faith, and feel free to love other as deeply as those connections allow, rather than impose artificial limits on our ability to love others. It is definitely a risk, but the here and now reality is that we find that our love for each other has deepened and grown even as we have learned to love others. I think this is the risk and commitment to each other that takes us out of the realm of most swingers, who see the interaction as playful, rather than emotional. I think swingers have a very intelligent way to handle things, if they sense danger in the emotional potential.

Most people I have seen try polyamory have failed. I think most of them were drawn to it because they held a belief that their needs would not (or could not!) be met by one partner. In entering into the poly environment, then, they often started out their relationships compartmentalizing their partners into limited functions or roles. Allowing oneself and a lover to be something less than what they would be in a monogamous relationship is, IMHO, a recipe for relationship disaster! The bare minimum we can be in any relationship is the very best we can be.

If D and I were not so clear on the central and abiding nature of our own relationship, I do not feel we would be on solid enough ground to move forward with other relationships. I feel that we have achieved a certain level or relationship mastery. Sharing what we have has been deeply enriching, both for us and for the people whose lives we have touched. I sincerely hope we can continue to share of ourselves and further our own growth in the process. I hope this doesn't sound overly arrogant, but this approach of sharing what we have is profoundly different than trying to get one's needs met, and if anyone is looking at our experience for validation of polyamory as a belief system, they need to understand that we consider that a solid, honest, loving, experienced, satisfying, mutually respectful, successful relationship is a prerequisite. In all honesty, I think that bar is too high for most people. Those who are ready for it will know exactly who they are.

BTW, there will be NO SEX at this upcoming intimacy workshop! We're supposed to raise our ability to experience intimacy more broadly among the group, and sex, in truth, tends toward exclusivity. So I'll have to cope with all these women without going to sexuality. Thus my need for your prayers. (Of course, D and I do intend to break the rules. Ain't nobody gonna put us on a Caribbean Island and tell us we can't make love on a beach! Sanctity of marriage trumps any such rules!)


LustyTaurus 50M
21253 posts
7/29/2006 3:33 pm

thanks for all the links...you know I'm curious and searching so anything I can learn should help...


fantasia_shares 48M/45F
4164 posts
7/29/2006 10:29 pm

Thanks BPB...it's nice to have an avid reader or two

Fantasia

You might want to know who to watch out for around here: Are YOU a Dirty Bad Man or Woman !

Please tell me the secrets of your sex appeal Primping!

And a MUST READ: [post 2294897]

Just shamelessly pimping my own damned blog!
{=}


gooodloven2 64M
382 posts
7/29/2006 11:48 pm

Most of us are monogomus with a wink (85 percent of men cheat and there cheating with 45 percent of the women)if your realy monogomus you would only have one lover in a life time,if your poly you are admiting that there are more them one love in your life,the details of how and when are up to you and different for everyone. I was in love once and thought it would last for ever,but it did not and then i thought i will never find another ,but i did. Poly is just finding more then one to love at a time with out getting rid of the last love,not everone can do it ,we are socalized to avoid it,it's one of the great tabos in western culture,but if you think about it you did not need to send your first child to the orfanage when you had your second child you just loved them bouth, ok the details are not the same with lovers but your opening your hart and life to multipal persons and thats the same, is it easy no, my expereance with it was not as pleasent as i hoped for but it was no worse then a mono relationship and you will have a therd or more persons for input. I am still a friend of my exes husband and his girlfriend so it was only his wife who had problums with poly.


rm_dosrev 40M
1991 posts
7/30/2006 7:08 pm

I've been burned by polyamorous relationships in the past so now I'm very gunshy about them. My problem is this... most people confuse polyamory with simply fucking around.

Its one thing to have multiple sex partners, another to claim that you actually LOVE more then one person. Love is a tricky son of a bitch and I don't know how to answer your question personally.

I mean, I could have a few sexual partners at once, but as far as loving a woman, ive always been very monogamus.

(forgive my spelling im freaking tired)


"Enough of this palaver, lets get the show on the road!"
"The best thing about a day like that is that it can't get any worse. It was a bad day AND a Monday. The rest of the week has to be better." - Hotandsteamygirl


TheHungriestWolf 38M

7/31/2006 9:55 pm

The beginning and end of this journey seem to carry the same unexpectancy, and this is where I stumble. I know that I have a good grasp over my jealousy. I know that I believe strongly that true love lacks ego-imposed limitations between partners. I know that each human is capable of sharing themselves in depth with more than one person. But my fear is that in the life-long practice of open relationships and polyamory, I will never acheive security.

Now, this is merely a fear. I can intellectualize how I will find security in one or two or three women who share unconditional love and support with me. But in reality, will the ultimate sense of security that all human's crave be possible in that non-monogamous situation?

In polyamory, there is committment without committment and therefore some pretty nasty loopholes. You are committed to each partner you take on, which seems fine. But what happens when you take on more than you can handle? Or you bring in negative influences? Isn't the entire pyramid of your polyamourous life subject to a swift and destructive collapse based on simple and harmless mistakes.

My point is, no matter how confident and mature you are in your ability to carry out this type of relationship, the complexities involved always leave room for collapse and therefore a lack of security seems to plague the entire endeavor. Monogamy is uncertain, for sure. But the conventions of monogamy create a shield against the uncertain and therefore a sense of security, even if it is false. Polyamory affords no sense of security, false or real.

I hope someone can shed some positive light on this issue for me because I am totally committed to defining my life's relationships without socially imposed limitations...

Wolf


TheHungriestWolf 38M

7/31/2006 10:06 pm

I should point out that instability and insecurity in relationships is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly contrary to human instinct.

Is instinct always correct? That is certainly the topic of another blog!


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