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Polyamory

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Narz, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    I couldn't find any thread on this in the search although I swear I made one once ages ago.

    What are you thoughts/orientations towards romance?

    Do you believe in marital bliss between two individuals? Would you down for extracurricular hanky-panky but too jealous to allow your partner to do the same? Do you think any opening of the relationship would be untenable?

    I feel like the popular imagination is pretty lacking in nuance regarding polyamory (getting slightly better with time but still pretty bad). It seems the average person thinks that someone either believes in love (i.e. : 1 on 1 4life) or they are a swinger/slut/womanizer with commitment issues.

    From what I've read there are a million and one ways to do the "open marriage" thing from a 'get out of jail free' card once a year with a don't-ask-don't-tell-just-be-safe policy to couples who literally share a house with their other mates and try to all be friends.

    For me personally, I never had monogamy fantasies & had always been curious about the multi-verse both from a typical male rap-star fantasy of having a harem to the thought that dealing with these dynamics (including my own jealousy) would help me grow as a person. I've never actually done it in a healthy manner in a relationship & am a bit trepidatious about announcing myself as this "orientation" upfront as
    A : it appears to cut downs my options 95% or more
    B : I've not ruled out that I could be happy in a monogamous relationship
    C : It seems like it's often something that is best talked about later in a relationship once both parties feel more comfortable/loved/trusted within the dyad

    Any experience in this realm?

    I know it's a very personal & touchy subject, but feel free to share 2nd hand stories, I too am only asking "for a friend". ;)
     
    yung.carl.jung likes this.
  2. Truthy

    Truthy Titular character

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    It seems like in the old days you would "date," which didn't imply you were exclusive. And after a while, you'd reach some point where you'd decide to "go steady." Now it seems like the idea is you start out steady and after a while, negotiate some way to become poly.
     
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I've mentioned before that in my view, if you're going to cheat on your spouse, have the decency to divorce him/her first.

    If it's an open marriage, be prepared for things to end badly anyway. I knew a couple who had this arrangement some years ago, when I was active in the SCA. They were the Baron and Baroness of a neighboring branch, and were well-regarded by nearly everyone. I hadn't known about the nature of their marriage until suddenly things imploded. Next thing, everyone in this region knew about it and some people were expecting other people to take sides in judging which of the couple were in the wrong.

    My take on it was that I liked and respected both of them, and they were both nice to me whether we were at an event or whether I ran into them at the annual science fiction convention. So I refused to take sides, and some people were put out by that. Apparently "it's none of my business" wasn't considered a valid opinion.


    The moral of the story: When open marriages implode, it can have an effect that goes waaay beyond the couple(s) involved.
     
  4. Peuri

    Peuri Game

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    The fact that polyamory exists makes me sad. Most people are not monogamous, they just spread their polyamory in time, and around 50% of people at some point cheat on their spouse. Sad. We are not noble creatures. We are not by nature a monogamous species. But if people want to do polyamory, I guess it's fine. If enough of people do it, there will be unknown societal consequences. One would be that the most desireable mates will have lots of weehee, and the less diserable ones will have even less of it, probably. How will that effect child rearing, who knows.

    More than about love, marriage is about commitment. Of course you have intense feelings in the beginning, in western "love marriages", but those will fade and your spouse will drive you crazy at timed. Marriage is about making sacrifices and having a person to lean on at times, not necessarily about being happy in some contractual sense, where as soon as you no longer are happy for a period, the contract becomes void.
     
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  5. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    Im my opinion, the chance of a relationship blowing up increases exponentially with every additional person involved. That doesn't mean that polyamory cannot be made to work for some time, but there is a large risk involved.
     
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  6. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Generally doesn't work from what I've seen. Someone gets jealous/pregnant/ screws the wrong person.
     
  7. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Thread's replies are proving your feelings right.

    How someone wants to live their life isn't up to me. If they can make it work, awesome for them. That people think polyamory is just an excuse to sleep around or have your very own harem says more about them than it does about the idea.

    In the relationships I've seen work, they have primary partners. I think this is smarter, and healthier, than in trying to make a web of equal partners. We're psychologically not built that way, with anything, so it's silly to try and force that. Simply calling it an "open marriage" as well, IMO, is a bit harmful as it's not really open and it's not about having sex with whoever you want while being married. In an ideal relationship, one with healthy people, every aspect is discussed and agreed upon before they are incorporated, and there are a lot of preemptive conversations involved.

    All of the healthy poly people I know don't self-identify as poly, because they don't see it as one thing being better than another. They have their first partner, and usually something happens down the line that makes it seem like a good idea for one or both parties to incorporate a source of intimacy from elsewhere. They adapt to the circumstances, and they don't have a specific agenda in mind beforehand to "sleep around" or whatever. For the most part the healthiest execution of being poly that I've seen is when everything is viewed through the lens of preserving the intimacy with the partners that came before, and that has a natural limiter on what can happen.

    People who use polyamory as an excuse to just sleep around and hurt their partner are gross, but this also applies to people who use monogamy for an ulterior motive. Every manifestation of intimacy has its bad actors, and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with polyamory to suggest that it is inherently ulterior.
     
  8. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Being crappy to people is crappy.

    I have a friend who decided some years ago that she is polyamorous. She seems to manage without being crappy to people, this requires clear, up-front communication. Personally i'm monogamous.
     
  9. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Thread Killer Moderator Supporter

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    I have a friend who is poly. I have to admit that I don't get the allure at all. I'm the monogamous type.

    I presume that she and her husband have talked this over (and apparently he is not poly), but the guy has moved into their house. Maybe the husband just likes being (can't say the right work here) treated badly by an unfaithful wife?
     
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  10. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    People's own business how they live their lives and their responsibility to make it work.
    Although I originally intended to be monogamous and have only one partner things didn't work out that way so I've ended up a serial monogamist, much more common now we can expect to live longer.
     
  11. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I have not been in a monogamous or polyamorous relationship, but am open to either.

    Polyamory makes more sense to me than serial monogamy. I hate the idea of treating people as interchangeable enough to end one relationship just to start another.

    I did not have the words for it at the time, but looking back an interest in polyamory began around the time I turned 15.

    I'd been hopelessly in love with one girl since around the time I turned 12. She went to my church and was 2 and half years older than me. She was closer friends with my sister than with me at that time. Without my sister present we'd hung out only twice, with other kids from the church youth group, once when I sat next to her in theater watching the first Sam Raimi Spiderman film and once at a Sunday school teacher's house watching Willow.

    Just before my 15th birthday our church had a Christian Worldview Conference, which was mostly about Young Earth Creationism. Both of us attended.

    It was there I first saw how she stared at a guy I later learned was her ex-boyfriend and first love. (I never liked that guy and would not have been ok with sharing her with him.)

    After the second night of the conference I went out to dinner with her, her brother, and 2 of her friends from her high school. I saw a very different side of her then. She flirted aggressively with our waiter. She insisted we have a contest to see who could tie the most cherry stems with their mouths. As she finished her 4th and I my 1st (and only), she commented how she loved how it looked like we were giving blow jobs. She said some guys at the bar were staring at us and that she hopes to be in their spank bank for a long time. She talked about the difficulty in deciding which of 3 guys from her school she wanted to have take her to prom. Her top choice had already asked out someone else. She said that she fantasized about taking both the other two to make the first guy jealous enough to steal him from the other girl, and then maybe getting a hotel room with all 3 of them.

    That talk made her brother very uncomfortable. He complained that she almost never shuts up about her shifting crushes on various nerds from debate club.

    I wasn't really sure how to feel. I certainly felt protective of her, but also offended that another guy would dare turn her down. Mostly I felt jealous of her brother for being the one in whom she confided.


    About a month later, on Valentine's Day, a girl in my Geometry class tried to ask me out. (She was probably the second most attractive sophomore at our school, more attractive than any of my fellow freshmen but not in the same league as my first love.) A couple guys in that class had been mocking her for months about having a crush on me, but she always denied it, insisting we were just friends and that she only set near be for help on her homework. I was inclined to believe her, so I did not take the hint when she asked what I was doing that weekend. Instead of taking a more direct approach she went to the back of the room and made a Valentine for me. She made the mistake of sending me the Valentine via the guys who had been making fun of her, so I assume they made it as part of their taunts. I just left it on my desk. I was too busy reading a book I bought at that conference (one which proposed a theory to try to explain how light from distant stars could reach Earth if YEC were true) while processing how I felt about my first love to notice when it fell to the floor. When the bell rang and class was over, I noticed she was crying but did not know how to respond. (The next Monday she told me she was now dating someone else, and immediately asked if I was jealous. When I replied, "not jealous, just confused, since you could do much better" she promptly dumped him.)

    I would have loved to have her as a secondary partner, but felt certain that my first love would always take priority and that it would be unfair to string her along unless she clearly understood that. It seemed essential that they meet and that I know that they get along well before proceeding. I was not emotionally mature or good enough at communicating my feelings to express this to either of them though. I thought I would have been fine with my first love having other partners too, and that it did not seem fair to make her stop that even after we got married.

    I still find that first sign that I am developing feelings for someone is usually wondering how well she would get along with my first love.

    I did not really think much about polyamory again until my first love and I reconnected during my last year of college, after not seeing each other for 5 years. She was in a committed relationship with the man she later married, whom I only got a chance to meet at their wedding but who seemed like a great guy from what all she told me. It seemed like he and I could be good friends. I was happy for them and did not want to do anything to risk breaking them up, but my feelings for her were not gone. Around this time I read Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and the next night had an amazing dream about forming a group marriage with them (and one other girl, whom she had encouraged me to ask out) like the ones in that book. The idea of sharing the honor and burdens of being her husband and raising her kids with another man appealed to me a lot more than having such responsibilities all by myself, especially given a job market and family health issues that made it seem unlikely that I'd be able to support a family on my own any time soon.


    Years later, after my first love had come to feel like a sister and not a potential romantic/sexual partner, we were discussing SciFi books and got onto the subject of Heinlein. She said he is one of her favorite authors and, while she had not read it yet, her husband mentioned on their first date that "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" was his favorite book of all time. I described the plot and found she was very interested in hearing about the relationship dynamics within. I then mentioned that dream. She said it was a beautiful fantasy but could never work. She said that she has always been a big fan of ethical non-monogamy. She loves reading about it in all of its forms, but believes egalitarian group marriages are impossible in the real world as jealously is inevitable and only gets worse when you add more people, more intimacy, and more time together. She said polyamory is great for those who intend to remain child-free and don't mind having a dramatic breakup every couple years, but that children need their parents' relationships to be stable. She said that she fantasized about polyandry when she was younger, but discovered when she first fell in love that she is romantically very monogamous. Her ideal relationship model is an open marriage with a partner who helps her find couples and single men for casual sex, especially group sex. (She would be ok with the rare one night stand but would prefer long term friends-with benefits who can hang out in non-sexual situations too, so long as no one gets emotionally attached and they can keep things secret from any kids and extended family.) However, she has never been brave enough to admit that to any partner and said that renegotiating her wedding vows after having her first kid is unthinkable. (Even if they did have an open marriage she would not be with me, because she feels it is wrong to play when any party ever had unrequited feelings. Also, she never found me physically attractive as she prefers older, more dominant men. She does however have exhibitionist/voyeuristic fantasies involving us being in the same room watching each other play with other partners, and said that if we had discussed the subject while both single she might have tried to take me to a lifestyle club to make that a reality.) She wishes open relationships were the norm, as it is much easier to close an open relationship than to open a closed one. She said she has always wanted to be a slut, never felt any guilt about that, and lamented letting the purity culture of our youth shame her into abstinence. She opined that no one should be a virgin on their wedding day, as inexperience makes things super awkward and terribly unromantic. She said it is much better to practice no-strings-attached sex with several friends-with-benefits, or even with sex workers, before being with any potential life partner. She felt confident that I would want strict monogamy once I find the right girl, but said that I need to explore a lot more before settling down.

    I'm more on the demisexual side of the spectrum and so not really interested in having casual sex with a lot of partners. I was a bit surprised to find that the idea of a woman I loved being promiscuous really did not bother me. I had no desire to watch a partner with another man, but found the idea of reconnecting and having her tell me all the details about her dates with other men to be enticing. The idea of keeping her fantasies a secret from her husband felt like a major betrayal though, even if she never intends to act on them. I would require a great deal more honesty in my relationships, and feel it is better to tell a partner up front that she has permission to be with others rather than risk her hiding anything.


    After mentioning this to a therapist I was encouraged to attend a local polyamory support group. I found that the middle aged poly people there were generally a mess. Those who came to polyamory through swinging, BDSM, or adultery were really struggling to unlearn unhealthy norms. However, most of the poly people of my generation seemed very well adjusted.


    I have discussed polyamory with my current best friend, a woman that about a dozen people have opined has a crush on me. She said she has always loved the philosophy of free love and wanted to live together with a man without ever getting married, but her boyfriend has much more conventional views. I'm pretty sure that the two of us are better as platonic friends anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  12. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    Mostly everybody wants to be number one in the eyes of their number one
     
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  13. Imaus

    Imaus Chieftain

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    Polyamory =/= Cheating. Ideally, in Polyamory, everyone is with everyone, and is codified as at least everyone knows what is going on and is okay with it. At it's loosest, it's an 'open relationship'.

    I've been polyarmorous my whole mature life. It's awesome - if you can keep the relationships well tuned and in harmony.
     
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  14. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    The other guy has moved in? That's really out there....could be alot of different things. As you say, maybe he likes to be neglected. Or maybe he's asexual, so it doesn't bother him because he's with her for other reasons. Maybe he likes to 'watch'. Maybe all three are secretly involved together.....

    or, to borrow a quote from, I believe it was Narz, years ago in a completely different topic...
    maybe he really likes having an extra person around to play monopoly with.
     
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  15. haroon

    haroon Chieftain

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    My office predominantly female, more than 75 percent of it, and as a Muslim we are not monogamous, I must said I have my chances-I experience some bold move also, a lot of it, but I keep away from it. Syns pretty much nailed it, I don't want to actually spend the rest of my life not to mention our life with any female that I met and I attracted to biologically.

    When me and my wife decided to pave our way together, I see her as a person, she is a kind of a partner that if I must to spend an eternity in a 4x5 meter room with only food and toilet, I can spend my eternity with her happily. Beauty and sex appeal fade, but the person inside will stay, despite our skin start to melt by pollution and our body getting fat by junk food, but you can always falling in love with the inner person, who never grow old nor ugly. May God keep it that way, she is the reason I go out to work in the morning.

    If I suppose to add another partner it should be in a way that it can improve our relationship, but I cannot see how, hence yea, you know.
     
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  16. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Wouldn't know. Hope it's alright. Stability in these sorts of arrangements seems to increase along with disparity of power in the relationship.
     
  17. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    Formalized polyamory as it exists in America largely isn’t worthwhile from a risk/effort versus reward standpoint, especially relative to the alternatives. I feel bad for people who feel they must engage in polyamory to be fulfilled.

    Engaging in multiple casual relationships is much more reasonable.
     
  18. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    While I believe in great love, I am at the moment open to other things.
    Mostly because I want more sex, which is a priority over romance at the moment.

    While I was with my last (and first) GF, I saw some options to have more sex, and wasn't sure about her. Therefore I told her that I want to be "free", and that she can either stay with me, or go. She stayed. I only had sex once with another woman, and that one was really great. She was kinky, and had done lots of other things before, including setups with partner exchanges, etc. I was surprised to hear that, but positively. I told my ex GF about this before, and after. She didn't like the fact that the whole thing happend. I didn't have any other chances during the relationship, and then I broke up with her. I don't know how this would have continued.
     
  19. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    I don't know much about it but I watched this video once which I enjoyed:



    It argues that polyamoury doesn't work for most people, because most people are too insecure and irrational to deal with their partner sleeping with someone else.
     
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  20. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Warlord

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    I don't see why that would be irrational.
     

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