Note: The events outlined (being hit after trying to give advice, the trip and subsequent outburst, freak-out over books/relationship advice, the passive-aggressive behavior, and bad spin-doctoring after the fact) actually did happen. The only part of this that hasn’t been confirmed is the reason behind someone suddenly becoming unavailable on GChat. However, they did go from being online/available/talkative to suddenly not, and then started telling others that they were being ‘excluded’.
This shit is why you don’t see many polyamrous people who are publicly “out” to their friends.
Especially polyamorus women. We are shamed for being open and honest about our sexuality, even if we make an effort to act ethically. If we show confidence in ourselves - our bodies and our natures - our actions of friendship, compassion, and companionate love are perceived as being sexually motivated. And by sexually motivated I mean “steal a man” predatory.
Doesn’t it cross anyone’s minds that some poly people may actually like seeing their friends in healthy, stable, happy relationships, whether monogamous or multiple? And that we worry and care when those relationships become rocky and want to give emotional support as needed and ethically allowable?.
I’m really tired of staying quiet on this issue, so I am posting my thoughts and feelings here. Feel free to like it or reblog/share it. I know that I am not the only polyamorous person that has been “caught in the crossfire”, nor am I the first. My hope is that by opening up the topic, we can learn to stand up for ourselves and our reputations.
For me, polyamory means unconditional love, the best friendships possible, and bachelorette parties that turn into orgies (that future husbands can participate in too).
For me, polyamory means freedom—love unhindered. Honoring and celebrating authentic expressions of love.
I’m free to pursue possibilities as they arise. I’m free to let relationships be what they want to be. Friendship. Lifelong partnership. Something in-between. I’m free to do so with one person, or two, or three. Or none at all.
I am unconditionally free to determine the shape of my romantic life in cooperation with each person who chooses to love me too. Love dictates those boundaries, not culture.
Even more awesome than celebrating my own freedom is watching my partners enjoy theirs. Freedom to be who they are, to love who they will, as they will. And when they do, when their other relationships thrive, I feel joy. I see them putting that love out into the world and I think, “My god, they’re beautiful.” I can’t help falling in love again when I witness them love someone else.
For the Faces of Polyamory project:
Chubby, geeky, artsy, bearded, tattooed, bi … and poly. Poly since I’ve been old enough to understand what attraction was.
It started when I was a kid, actually. As early as I remember feeling attraction to someone and truly understanding what that was, what I didn’t understand was why it had to be exclusive. No one expected me to only have one friend, or to choose one parent, grandparent, sibling and promise to love only them … what was it about this burgeoning new type of love I was starting to discover, why could it only possibly flow in one direction?
I don’t mean for this to sound like I think I was ‘born’ polyamorous. I don’t really feel like your choices in who you pursue romantically (as opposed to who you are actually attracted to) are biological – I think they’re formed by society, and you decide on your own if that makes sense to you or not. For me, it never really made sense; and as I read books and realized that there were people who felt differently … well, it wasn’t until university that I actually accepted it as a part of myself, just like my being bisexual (though again, that I believe is biological, but it’s something I couldn’t accept until I was on my own) and extremely liberal and everything else my upbringing wasn’t.
Of course, understanding this about myself hasn’t made my life / relationships automatically easier - I’ve been married and divorced twice, and I’m still searching for connections that will last - but I’ve also had some pretty amazing experiences and known all sorts of love that has overflowed and spread across the boundaries. I can’t imagine feeling as fulfilled in any other way.
I need love. I need to be open to it, exploring it, reaching out for it in every direction. Loving, and being able to love freely, is so much of what sustains me.
I hope I’m going to find the best ways to find love, and give my own in return, as I move forward.
“As a single person who’s never been in a poly relationship before, I don’t know if I technically count as polyamorous or not. All I know is that I don’t want serial monogamy, which is really just polyamory separated in time.” - Steven
Family Polaroids: Ryan, Grey and Jack, 2012
[Ryan and I have been together for ten years then along came
Polly Jack, 5 months ago, to multiply the love, laughter, and blessings.]
(Posted for the #FacesofPolyamory Project <3)
(Posted for the Faces of Polyamory project.)
Hi! I’m If, and I’m poly. :)
Although I can look at all kinds of antecedents in my life and say that I was likely always polyamorous in some sense, I think that it really came together for me as a thoughtful practice during a conversation that I had with my then-girlfriend very early in our relationship. We had been talking about past experiences and she had spoken wistfully of one situation that she wished she’d explored further at the time. It didn’t seem at all odd at the time to suggest that if the opportunity came up again, she should do so. That led into our ideas of what we wanted in terms of exclusiveness from each other, and my primary stance was that, I think partly because my previous relationship had ended badly and that was still overshadowing my impressions and partly because I never really thought it would happen to me, I really wasn’t bothered by whatever stipulations she had for me, but that I personally didn’t see any need to ask for anything specific in terms of exclusiveness from her. The core of that to me is that I didn’t want her to have to restrict herself from exploring and enjoying whatever life had to offer for her just because I was also on the scene.
In the end, she insisted that that should go both ways, and since I now (coming up on twenty years later) have four partners, all of whom I’ve been with for some time, it’d be pointless to claim that I haven’t been glad for that. But still, if you wanted me to distill it down to what polyamory really means to me at its core, it continues to be about wanting the people I love to have the opportunity to experience all of the bounty of life that they can, to whatever degree they choose*.
(* It’s easy to read into this that I might think that monogamous relationships are somehow oppressive, and I want to make it clear that I don’t. I know lots of people in very happy monogamous relationship for whom I wouldn’t imagine saying that they restrict themselves in life. I think everyone should pursue the relationship form that works best for them.)
I actually waffled about doing this. Plenty of poly people in the online media trade on being hot young (or nearly young) thangs. Sex sells and selling poly is gonna have some sex in it. I mean, geez! Thing is, let’s get real, not all people who have sex look like porn stars, nor should they have to, and poly people are… people with all the range in appearance that humans come in. So, this is me: Goddess of Java and Polyamorous Misanthrope. Middle-aged, matronly, and yeah, actively poly.
To me, polyamory is not this big philosophical thing, but a logical extension of the fact that humans can’t really own humans, and that the sexual act is moral or immoral based on the same criteria as any other act. Love? If you think love, no kidding, LOVE (as opposed to the foolishness we engage in when hormonally carbonated) is ever immoral, I don’t wanna know you.
I’ve pretty much been poly all my life. I lived in a group marriage for awhile, and now I don’t. (Boring story, sorry). I’m opinionated on parenting, take big bites out of life and sometimes even write about it. I’ve been married almost 22 years my husband is poly and it works happily for us. I suppose I could make this big relationship deal out of it, but you know, what works happily is pretty awesome by itself and I’m not sure it needs more than that.