Polyamory 2

This is a continuation of Polyamory 1 found here.

Ethics & Rules
Polyamory Symbol

Polyamorous relationships have to be based around openness and honesty.  It is so important to communicate your feelings with your partners — and the earlier you do so, the less things can build up and become big issues.

The concept of cheating is also a bit different.  Whatever rule the people agree to in a poly-relationship is the framework you have to live by. If you sneak around and ‘bend the rules’ you are cheating.  So while it is completely acceptable to sleep with other people without cheating, if the partners agree that they should always tell the others about new sexual relationships – if you don’t, then you are cheating.

Poly-people often view lying and deception as the most harmful part of cheating in monogamous relationships. Often, it`s not the presence of another lover that is threatening, it is the betrayal of trust when you find out that your love has being lying to you about where they have been — and that is the most hurtful part.

Some rules that have worked for other people include (but these are not a standard set of rules, just an example…feel free to make up your own rules and only use the ones that work for you):1) Always tell your lovers about  a new lover either before you sleep with them or a soon as you know you intend to sleep with them.  (This rule has some bugs in it, as sometimes you meet a person and sleep with them right away…so adding in a way to deal with that scenario is recommended.)
2) Always tell a new lover about the existence of your other lovers before you get physically intimate with them.
3) Certain times are reserved for a certain lover so you can be alone.
4) Always use condoms and/or safe sex practices with new and ‘other’ partners
5) Partners may wish to pre-approve any new sexual relationship before things get physically intimate
6) Only dating other people as a “couple”
7) Not having sex with other people in front of each other
8) Only having sex with other people in front of each other
9) If you are afraid to say it to your partner, it means you should say it.
10) Any agreement can be opened for renegotiation at any time
11) The poly agreement should be reviewed at the start of each month
12) always communicate openly
13) Primary partners have an absolute veto
Be willing to be vulnerable when exploring what rules you will need to keep you both physically and emotionally safe.
People often `re-act`to other lovers in the ways they have seen in media. Typically, in movies/TV the way to respond to your lover having another lover is to torch something they care about or some other way of throwing a fit. This is a hugely inappropriate response to jealousy and often destroys the relationship.  But this reaction is also based on the feeling of betrayal from your partner lying to you.

This is more a polygamy/polyandry symbol to me

Still, even in open and honest poly-relationships, jealousy can rear it’s ugly head. When it does, it helps to communicate your feeling right away.  Sometimes it helps just to have your lover acknowledge that you feel jealous and they can spend some extra time with you or be sensitive to showing affection right in front of you.  A more extreme case of jealousy can require taking a break from the lover to reassure your partner and have them become centered again.

People practicing poly-relationships often experience a great deal of pleasure, support and love from having many partners that they care about.

First off, let’s talk about sex. Sex is better when you have numerous people focus upon you and pleasing you. I personally prefer a massage from 2-3 people than from just one.  Also, having been lucky enough to experience a true 3-way relationship where everyone cared for each other equally– I have to say it is the most wonderful, satisfying and safe feeling experience I’ve ever had. And to have regular threesomes is a great thing — but 3-somes with 2 people you love? It redefines awesome.Note: This experience sorta redefined awesome for me and from there, I went on to have other 3-way relationships and a lot more threesomes than most people. (lol. I was talking to these two poor souls in a bar and one said that threesomes are really just a fantasy that no one ever actually has. I was like, “Dude…no. Just no.”

OK, it polyamory also makes sense from a very practical point of view. If you have a poly-relationship and everyone lives together, then the cost of living and maintaining a household go way down.  For example, you can simply divide the cost of a house among 6 people and each person only pays a small amount…much smaller than if 2 people rented a much smaller house together.  Similar savings are found with cable/internet bills, water, heating and electricity. So everybody wins big with greatly reduced per capita expenses.

As far as food is concerned, food costs usually go down as you prepare larger amounts. Also, the amount of work to make more portions is much less so you save money and also labour.  And speaking of labour, with 6 hands to take care of cooking, cleaning, maintenance and laundry — less time is spent on household chores and people can specialize on the tasks they enjoy. And if there is any child care required…well, babysitters come built in as one person can easily look after several children — and kids can share toys too 🙂
Now lets take a look at the economics once more. The cost of living is much less, you have more free time, but also, with 6 incomes, you have substantially more money available.  A poly family with 6 incomes can easily afford more vacations together (and get group rates!) as well as afford luxuries like a new TV — every month. Additionally, if one partner loses a job, the remaining partners can pick up the slack far more easily as the family income has not been cut in half. Therefore the financial stability to greatly increased.
Other benefits include a much wider range of skills and viewpoints that are brought to the table when multiple adults come together.
I know people reject the ideas of polyamory because it is not natural.  Somehow people have become convinced that monogamy is the natural order of things. But the science really doesn’t support this viewpoint.  First off, there are very few truly monogamous mammals or animals out in the natural world.  (The famous example of penguins, as seen in March of the Penguins, is hugely misleading as those penguins usually choose a brand new partner the following year.)
Of the animals that exhibit monogamous behaviors  there is usually very little difference in physical appearance between the sexes. In fact, the greater the degree of physical distinction between sexes is, the more promiscuous a species is.  Given that fact, ask yourself, do men and women look different?
Of our closest relatives, other primates often practice large amounts of sharing of sexual partners. Look up the bonobo, considered the closest relation to humans, as they do not form permanent pair bonds, engage in oral sex, frequent homosexual behaviors including a systematic lesbian social interaction (basically the females bond with other females for social dominance) and bonobos often use sex as a way of resolving conflicts — make love, not war.
Queer Polyamory
Polyamory is popular among the gay and lesbian communities and is especially popular among young queer women.  This makes sense in the context of everyone liking say, females, and all being female, why not form groups. Healthier and stronger relationships form over those where everyone just sleeps around. The popularity among the young lesbian community is no doubt a direct response to ownership imposed with monogamy by heterosexual institutions.
Gay men have long been known to form poly groups with poly-orgies being common in gay culture. Polyamory has seen a recent rise due to AIDS where gay men can form groups that allow for multiple partners without being completely open and subject to the risks of HIV infection from random other sources.

Of course, polyamory really works best for bisexual people.  Bisexuals are turned on by both males and females and contrary to popular belief, THEY DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE! Of course, if you go the monogamous route, you do! And many bi-girl feel stuck and a

deep longing for girls when with a boy and vice versa. So many bisexual people naturally gravitate to poly relationships simply so they can satisfy all their needs without needing to cheat.

Where polyamory really comes into it’s own is with the bisexual community as bi-poly people are not forced to choose a single, monogamous partner and get locked into that gender — so the bi person is not forced to choose to have either a gay or a straight relationship…they can have both.  Polyamory is about having your cake and eating it too.

The Purple Mobius symbol was created to provide an abstract symbol for the poly community, which had some disagreements over the use of the heart/infinity, the parrot, and the pi-flag. It is a neutral symbol that references groups like the Lesbian and Gay Rights, the feminism, the bisexual community, and the BDSM community.  It is modeled on the Mobius strip which is a form of infinity symbol to represent infinite love.  Additionally, the symbol consists of a series of arrows representing the interrelationships between all the partners.

The Infinite love symbol is a favorite because it is so obvious what it means…but there are some that greatly dislike the symbol because of…I dunno, the shapes? I like it.
The Poly Parrot comes from the famous phrase, “Polly wanna cracker” and sortof stuck from there. I am not the biggest fan of the parrot symbol as it seems way to stealth for my liking.

There is a variation of the poly symbol which I also like that has 2 hearts interwoven with an infinity symbol (which I assume makes the people opposed to heart shapes even more crazy.  (WTF is with the hearts? Hearts don’t even look like that and they just regular muscles for pumping blood all over the body. That’s it. They don’t love. Hearts don’t

 speak from tiny little lips.

Gaaaaaaaaaaa….boo hearts!)

 Lol…I like

this symbol though — and it makes a great tattoo too;)

pi_poly_flagAnd then there is the polyamory flag which is also cool because it has a pi symbol on it and pi is a fundamental constant that shows up in all sorts of unexpected places that have absolutely nothing to do with circles — like calculating probability — and because i am a science geek, I think everything is better with pi.  But officially, blue represents openess and honesty, red is love and passion, black is the color of my

soul…oh wait, no, it represents solidarity with thos that must hide their relationships from the outside world??? huh??? And ‘pi’ is “the first letter of polyamory” which it clearly is not…that is a ‘p’  which would also explain why it is gold.

Other Resources
For more information on polyamory, a great resource is The Ethical Slut by your Mom, er, I mean by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt.   This is a great book and a practical how-to guide for poly relationships.

Also see Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. This is a wonderful piece of fiction, written in 1961 and the unedited version was originally considered too shocking to print.  It focuses on a human that was raised on Mars but comes back to Earth and tries to wrap his head around 20th Century consumerist culture as opposed to his more open-minded way of seeing things.And of course, see my earlier post on polyamory here.

The next post on poly relationships will deal with poly in a BDSM perspective.

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