2006-08-03

Let's talk about Polyamory

Some of the bloggers we follow have recently mentioned their participation in polyamourous lifestyles [Megan Butcher 1 2 3; Francis Heaney 1 2 3]. It strikes me some readers (and even contributors) may benefit from information on this topic.

As usual, Wikipedia has an excellent definition to get you started on understanding the term:

Polyamory, in its broadest usage, is the practice or lifestyle of being open to having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. Persons who consider themselves emotionally suited to such relationships may define themselves as polyamorous, often abbreviated to poly.

The Wikipedia article explores the derivation of the term along with the controversy over what counts as polyamory and what doesn't count. Along with this it gives a superficial overview of the good points and common criticisms of about polyamory.

If you are interested in taking up polyamory, or if you've had it thrust upon you, I recommend you read the article. You might also want to read With Open Hands: A Handbook on Open Relationships

However, I must advise you that none of these sources tell you everything you need to know. For that reason and based on my extensive experience in human relationships, I present to you now the following illustrated guide.

Seven Lesser Known Challenges of Polyamory

Big Dates

Les Menages...

What are they doing in there?

Presents

Dining

Useless Competence

Renovation

14 comments:

coyote said...

Hmmm. Eye-opening. But does this mean that Bart/Wyatt/Lyle is not really a 'low down scum-sucking sociopathic liar', but merely a 'stealth polyamorist'? Just askin'....

4th Dwarf said...

Bart/Wyatt/Lyle'd be a more effective stealth polyamorist if he actually went on a date.

bob said...

Can i ask what MMF means??

I realize i'm broadcasting my naivety on these delicate subjects by asking such a question, but its better than not broadcasting my ignorance. Yay polyamory!!!, i for one will board the wagon and welcome you into this "crazy time" we live in.

coyote said...

Bob, I think that'd be a 'Male/Male/Female' dating experience. Or something like it. I have no idea what publications the Short Guy is reading the personal ads in the backs of, to arrive at these bits of shorthand, but I'm betting it ain't the Christian Science Monitor...

And Dwarf, Agatha seemed to me to be stating that BaWL did go on dates -- just not second dates. That'd be too much like emotional involvement, I expect. Which, come to think of it, kinda militates against him being a polyamorist, 'cuz that'd, um, involve emotional involvement in multiples. And if he's so emotionally stunted that he flees from even one case, well...

Agatha said...

Yes, the Kidney Stone Fellow (KSF) went on first dates, and that jamtarted on the follow-up.
Polyamory has always sounded like a barrel of fun to me. But I`ve never been able to pull it off. I have enough trouble just with the `amory` part...I`m beginning to think I`m not sophisticated enough for polyamory. Or, perhaps, not naive enough? Or, perhaps it could work with Bob?

coyote said...

Chateau Poly: a saucy vintage, sophisticated yet naive, with a long, highly complex finish...

Jugular Bean said...

I've always believed in polyamory. However, I've never found women who share my feelings. :(

Amanda said...

Those comics are wonderful..thanks! I recommend Wendy O Matik's book too: Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships. www.wendy-o-matik.com. In Ottawa there's a poly group who meet for discussions, dinners and such, just to be able to get together with like minded souls. A list serve exists for those interested. It says Ottawa Bi Poly, but there's actually a separate group for bi-poly folk as well, anyway, the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bi-Polyamory-Ottawa/

Conch Shell said...

Perhaps our next ESI meeting should discuss whether we send one of us in as a scout to the polyamory group meetings. Someone that is good with meeting minutes?
Nice pics 4D.

bob said...

That video on the sidebar = definitely the wierdest thing you guys have ever posted. Also probably not far from the truth... i know you were jesting agatha, but regardless i don't think i could cut it, i'd want to be everyones primary :)

coyote said...

Which suggests a possible issue with polyamory: wouldn't most people want to be primaries? And would those self-selecting alphas really want hang time with people who are so self-effacing that they'd willingly choose to be fallbacks? I see potential for huge imbalances in self-esteem issues, here....

Conch Shell said...

Coyote, you should ask the polyamorous group about this fascinating problem. So, is it then true that polyamorous groups are filled with dominant narcissists paired with masochistic submissives?

Anonymous said...

an idealistic notion perhaps, but for me, communication and honesty is key. i think a lot of mono folk are secondary to their partner's golf clubs. the notion of primary and secondary is not something i believe in.

Anonymous said...

well like it or no, alpha, beta, and poor old deltas are what we have to work with here in reality sexland...
reality works for some, and i do not think that polyamory could be for me, but go for it...i am curious to hear if it works to each partner's satisfaction...dude, if it would, then the facts will speak for themselves...
peace,
santiago