Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Polygamy and Polyamory

This blog was created with the intent of exploring and sharing information and experiences on a variety of issues.  LGBT acceptance has been the focus, but we want to delve into BDSM, human sexuality itself, and everything in between and beyond.  Polyamory certainly falls into that realm.  But because of the bush-league tactics of some of the opposition, I want to point out that polyamory is not related to nor a natural extension of anything to do with LGBT acceptance.  There is no slippery slope.  It is something else entirely.

I think a lot of people here are relatively well informed, but if not:
  • Polygamy - A marriage which includes more than two partners.
  • Polyamory - A romantic relationship which includes more than two partners.
I've come across quite a few people who claim to be polyamorous, but I don't think it's a common occurrence.  In fact, I think that only a small percentage of those that say they're polyamorous are actually capable of being in a healthy relationship with multiple people.  Feelings like possessiveness and jealousy run deep, and they can be difficult to cast aside.  And that doesn't even consider the time and effort it takes to intimately know one other human being, let alone two or more.  It is a difficult relationship dynamic to maintain.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I've thought about polyamory a great deal, even having a few polyamorous experiences myself.  I think we've all been in a spot where we were dating one person and started to have feelings for someone else.  Perhaps they were more attractive than your partner, or they brought something else to the table, or they were an old flame with which the feelings never died, or they were merely something different amid the boredom of a committed relationship.  It's easy to justify these feelings as polyamory, and I think a lot of people do so to make themselves feel better, but they're borne out of missing something in the current partner, not genuinely appreciating something in another.

I have a logical mind with a romantic heart, things that have often been at odds with one another.  There have been more than a few times where my head knew that someone wasn't right for me, and my heart manifested it as latching onto something else for whatever reason.  The p-word had rolled around a bit, but I slowly came to learn what the root of my feelings was; what I had wasn't what I was looking for.

Now I'm in an entirely different place.  I know that the relationship I'm in, with my partner and co-author Adam, is the one I want to be in for the duration.  There is something mentally, emotionally, and physically, that I'm not going to get from anyone else and I have no desire to seek a part of that from someone else and nor does s/he.  But there is also a limited set of things that one person can bring another, both of us are cognizant of that, and both of us are willing to let the other person explore those things.  There is a pretty good word for that I think: polyfuckerous.

The "rules" if you want to call them that are pretty basic.  We've promised to be up front and honest with each other at all times, and we've promised never to let a fling with someone else take away from time that could better have been spent together.  And really a lot of our tendency towards polyamory is borne out of the desire to find a person or couple to explore BDSM with together, so there is a lot of overlap in our feelings.

My personal experiences aren't many at this point.  There is one other girl that I enjoy fooling around with on a regular basis, but it's been pretty vanilla.  I don't think that makes me polyamorous.  I do love this other girl in a platonic sense as our friendship is one of the better things to happen to me this past year, but those feelings are a world apart from what I feel for Adam.  There is simply no comparison.

That works for me, so long as everyone knows what is going on and is honest.  The last thing I would want is for anyone to get hurt. And failing to do those things is, I think, what makes a lot of polyamorous relationships fail.  Total honesty is very difficult.

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