Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution?

Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution?

There are 553 comments on the www.newsweek.com story from Aug 2, 2009, titled Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution?. In it, www.newsweek.com reports that:

Terisa Greenan and her boyfriend, Matt, are enjoying a rare day of Seattle sun, sharing a beet carpaccio on the patio of a local restaurant. Matt holds Terisa's hand, as his 6-year-old son squeezes in between the couple to give Terisa a kiss. His mother, Vera, looks over and smiles; she's there with her boyfriend, Larry. Suddenly it starts to rain, and the group must move inside. In the process, they rearrange themselves: Matt's hand touches Vera's leg. Terisa gives Larry a kiss. The child, seemingly unconcerned, puts his arms around his mother and digs into his meal. Terisa and Matt and Vera and Larry—along with Scott, who's also at this dinner—are not swingers, per se; they aren't pursuing casual sex. Nor are they polygamists of the sort portrayed on HBO's Big Love; they aren't religious, and they don't have multiple wives. But they do believe in "ethical nonmonogamy," or engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person—based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. They are polyamorous, to use the term of art applied to multiple-partner families like theirs, and they wouldn't want to live any other way.

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“Il n'est rien de reel...”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#1 Aug 3, 2009
Well, what will folks think of next. Oh, wait, I know! I guess Matt and Vera will hook up. Perhaps Vera will conceive and bear a son, they'll call "oEddie" (short for Oedipus Rex, of course). Where's my copy of, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?" Sigh!

“News & Views”

Since: Apr 07

Toledo OH

#2 Aug 3, 2009
Polyamory is an interesting variation that seems to work quite well for some. I've studied polyamory as an outsider for about 10 years, mostly because I know people who seem like they would be better off as poly and I wanted to understand it.

I personally am not polyamorous nor is my wife. Neither one of us wants to share our partner emotionally or physically with others because we enjoy the one-on-one permanent spiritual bond of traditional marriage. We are both serious about being together exclusively until "death do us part" and we don't bore each other. The key is that our relationship is not sex hormone driven, it is driven by need for intense love, companionship, closeness, security, no jealousy, etc. Our sex is wonderful but we don't dwell on it as a key reason for staying together. It's an amplification of our love and outgrowth of our companionship not a reason for being together.

The mammal instinct of people is a search for the best candidate to procreate with for the survival of our species, just like any other mammal. But if there is more than one healthy, strong, good hunter candidates available, many female mammals will procreate with more than one male. It is also a mammal instinct for males to procreate with several young fertile females to create the most offspring they can - again for survival of the species.

Monogamy is essentially opposed to natural mammalian instincts. People who subscribe to western mainstream Christian religions choose monogamy as defined in the New Testament. Unfortunately polygamy was typical in the Old Testament but the NT doesn't support it. Rumor has it that prudish Middle Ages leaders and translators took it upon themselves to alter scriptures to halt polygamy for financial reasons. This is likely true because God doesn't change His mind about what is right and wrong. If one truly believes the Bible is ALL true, then polygamy should be legal in the U.S. and polyamory is closely related.

Polyamory and polygamy certainly create an environment where the emotion harm of "cheating" doesn't exist. Someone who is very needy for attention is satisfied. Men and women who can't control their carnal desires have multiple partners without hurting anyone emotionally. They also promote community living where costs of living are lower for several people who choose to live in the same residence. If the U.S. government would legalize polygamy, I think it would have many benefits to everyone although many, like my wife and self, would remain monogamous.

“Where is Cookeville?”

Since: Dec 07

Cookeville

#3 Aug 3, 2009
freaks will do what freaks will do

“guess who Lois?”

Since: Dec 06

A little hole in the wall.

#4 Aug 3, 2009
It sounds like a lot of work ... every complexity that exists in a monogamous relationship is now spread 3 or 4 ways (or more)... and it sounds like the kids could grow up pretty confused by it all too ...

THis was the part of the article that stood out for me :

"It's complicated, to say the least: tending to the needs of multiple partners, figuring out what to tell the kids, making sure that nobody's feelings are hurt. "I like to call it polyagony," jokes Haslam, the Kinsey researcher, who is himself polyamorous. "It works for some perfectly, and for others it's a f--king disaster."

As to how prevelent this is? 500,000 people sounds like a lot, until yhou calculate that is one person out of 600 ... the gay population outnumber poly's by more than 20 to 1.....

I think this will stay as a fringe-phenomenon ... some people feel it is worth the trouble to have the benefits ... but as pointed out jealousies and pettiness of humans means that only a few poeple can manage to keep up such arragnements for very long.

WHat probably works best is if there is a central primary couple and they have a third (and fourth of each gender if they are heterosexuial) who they can "take or leave" any time .. and the gender balance allows each partner to have one second partner.

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#5 Aug 3, 2009
I am poly.

Currently I am dating both Mad Baker and Viktor. They both know about my relationship with the other, and both approve.

Mad Baker is also poly, although he is not dating anyone else - for the moment. But that could always change.

Viktor isn't really poly - he is okay with me being so but doesn't think he could do it himself.

I thought it was weird the first time I heard of it, but now that I have lived poly I find it makes the most sense of any kind of relationship that I have heard of. I don't think I will ever be monogamous again.

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#6 Aug 3, 2009
I would also mention that my oldest child (he is twelve) knows that I am dating two men - I don't keep it secret from him. He had some questions but all in all, seems comfortable with it, and is not confused at all.

Last summer when Mad Baker was dating another woman in addition to myself, he handled it pretty well then too.

But I have decided that no matter who the "other person" is, or how nice they seem, I will not bring other partners around the children until they have been in a relationship with either me or Mad Baker or Viktor for a minimum of six months. I don't think it is healthy for children to see revolving partners.

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#7 Aug 3, 2009
MarcoMarks wrote:
Polyamory and polygamy certainly create an environment where the emotion harm of "cheating" doesn't exist....
Sorry, but Mad Baker blew up over this line, and I have to agree with him - the emotional harm of cheating DOES exist in poly relationships.

This is a MAJOR misunderstanding of poly - a lot of people feel that there is "no cheating in poly"....but let me remind you, in a perfect world there is no cheating in monogamy either!

Just because I am in an open honest relationship with two wonderful men, does NOT mean I am unable to cheat. I could find a guy in the apartment complex and f*ck his brains out while Mad Baker is at work and Viktor is sleeping, and no one would know.....the fact that I don't is by CHOICE. I chose to respect my self, and my men, and not cheat, and I TRUST that they will not cheat on me.

I would point out that the last long-term relationship Mad Baker was in, he was open about being poly and his girlfriend had the freedom to openly date other guys. In fact he would have liked for her to, as he was working long hours and she was home alone and lonely. He would have been comforted by the fact that she had another person to spend time with and that another person would be caring for her needs in his absence.

She outright refused to have any kind of poly relationship...and then she cheated on him, behind his back.

Now Mad Baker thinks this does not prove his point. She was not poly and she cheated. Sure she had the choice to be poly, but she was not.

There are two kinds of polyamory, effectively. Network poly, which is more of an open-style of relationship where each person may only be connected directly to one or two others in the group. Take my relationships for example - I am dating Mad Baker and Viktor...but Mad Baker and Viktor are not dating one another.

Then there are poly families, which is more of a closed relationship between three or more people. These tend to be things like triads or quads, where each person is directly connected to the others in the "family".

ANYONE CAN CHEAT. If you are poly you can still cheat. If you are "monogamous" you can still cheat. Cheating is a choice that anyone can make.

Cheating is the decision to break the rules of the relationship in order to bring an outside party in. Polyamory is bringing in another partner WITH THE FULL CONSENT AND APPROVAL of everyone else in the relationship who would be affected by that person's inclusion.

Poly people can be cheaters too...

“Where is Cookeville?”

Since: Dec 07

Cookeville

#8 Aug 3, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
I would also mention that my oldest child (he is twelve) knows that I am dating two men - I don't keep it secret from him. He had some questions but all in all, seems comfortable with it, and is not confused at all.
Last summer when Mad Baker was dating another woman in addition to myself, he handled it pretty well then too.
But I have decided that no matter who the "other person" is, or how nice they seem, I will not bring other partners around the children until they have been in a relationship with either me or Mad Baker or Viktor for a minimum of six months. I don't think it is healthy for children to see revolving partners.
well, I see where the "mean" and "disagree" judgmoticons came from. Ain't seen you in awhile, hope you're still writing. "Freaks" does'nt have the negative connotations to me that other people associate with it, but then I use a lot of "non-pc" words. If you found something that works for you you've found something that works for you. I say kudos, but it ain't for me. I may just be set in my ways, but give me good, old-fashioned infidelity any day of the week.

“News & Views”

Since: Apr 07

Toledo OH

#9 Aug 3, 2009
franko wrote:
As to how prevelent this is? 500,000 people sounds like a lot, until yhou calculate that is one person out of 600 ... the gay population outnumber poly's by more than 20 to 1.....
WHat probably works best is if there is a central primary couple and they have a third (and fourth of each gender if they are heterosexuial) who they can "take or leave" any time .. and the gender balance allows each partner to have one second partner.
I agree that it will stay basically a fringe relational concept. That's mostly because monogamy dominates our western society and always will. Keep in mind though that married people who cheat on their spouses, yet don't get caught, are practicing a one-sided form of polyamory although there are partners being betrayed and monogamy vows being broken.

As for 500,000 being a lot or not, I can only say that the polyamory movement has grown probably 10X in a decade. At that rate, a decade from now the number will be 5 million and that will have become huge.

You said that what probably works best is a central primary couple and others attached to them. Actually that was the original formation of poly relationships: A primary couple dedicated to each other 100% were the center and other "secondaries" were attached to each of them.

Apparently the whole poly concept has changed over the years because a woman could not singly be poly without a primary partner, or at least without being a secondary to a primary. In my youth, a woman sleeping with 2 or 3 men was called loose or a slut, not a polyamory partner. The upswing of liberal women wanting to be polyamorous with more than one man with no primary partner involved was a big problem in the polyamory community a decade ago. Some agreed it was okay but some said she needed a primary partner before adding secondaries.

“guess who Lois?”

Since: Dec 06

A little hole in the wall.

#10 Aug 3, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, but Mad Baker blew up over this line, and I have to agree with him - the emotional harm of cheating DOES exist in poly relationships.
This is a MAJOR misunderstanding of poly - a lot of people feel that there is "no cheating in poly"....but let me remind you, in a perfect world there is no cheating in monogamy either!
Just because I am in an open honest relationship with two wonderful men, does NOT mean I am unable to cheat. I could find a guy in the apartment complex and f*ck his brains out while Mad Baker is at work and Viktor is sleeping, and no one would know.....the fact that I don't is by CHOICE. I chose to respect my self, and my men, and not cheat, and I TRUST that they will not cheat on me.
I would point out that the last long-term relationship Mad Baker was in, he was open about being poly and his girlfriend had the freedom to openly date other guys. In fact he would have liked for her to, as he was working long hours and she was home alone and lonely. He would have been comforted by the fact that she had another person to spend time with and that another person would be caring for her needs in his absence.
She outright refused to have any kind of poly relationship...and then she cheated on him, behind his back.
Now Mad Baker thinks this does not prove his point. She was not poly and she cheated. Sure she had the choice to be poly, but she was not.
There are two kinds of polyamory, effectively. Network poly, which is more of an open-style of relationship where each person may only be connected directly to one or two others in the group. Take my relationships for example - I am dating Mad Baker and Viktor...but Mad Baker and Viktor are not dating one another.
Then there are poly families, which is more of a closed relationship between three or more people. These tend to be things like triads or quads, where each person is directly connected to the others in the "family".
ANYONE CAN CHEAT. If you are poly you can still cheat. If you are "monogamous" you can still cheat. Cheating is a choice that anyone can make.
Cheating is the decision to break the rules of the relationship in order to bring an outside party in. Polyamory is bringing in another partner WITH THE FULL CONSENT AND APPROVAL of everyone else in the relationship who would be affected by that person's inclusion.
Poly people can be cheaters too...
maybe that person did not read the entire article? it talked about jealousy and trust and abiding by the rules of the arrangement ...

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#11 Aug 4, 2009
franko wrote:
<quoted text>maybe that person did not read the entire article? it talked about jealousy and trust and abiding by the rules of the arrangement ...
More than likely, Franko.

I don't think he bothered to read the article at all....after all he has been "studying" poly for the last ten years....

“News & Views”

Since: Apr 07

Toledo OH

#12 Aug 4, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
<quoted text>
More than likely, Franko.
I don't think he bothered to read the article at all....after all he has been "studying" poly for the last ten years....
Ok. Now you're trying to turn this into a flaming contest by criticizing one sentence and it's not necessary. I'm also not sure why you would want to intentionally alienate someone monogamous who is supportive of your lifestyle.

Looking back I see that I said, "Polyamory and polygamy certainly create an environment where the emotion harm of "cheating" doesn't exist." which could be better worded.

I meant to imply that "cheating" doesn't HAVE TO exist when following the rules of poly. Of course cheating can exist in poly but with the freedoms that poly allows, there's less reason to cheat because more poly partners can be added to fulfill whatever need is unfulfilled.

In monogamy, a partner doesn't not have the freedom to bring in new participants and never has the freedom to "date around" with the permission of their partner. So the only choice in monogamy is to follow the rules and stay monogamous - or cheat.
Tom

San Marino, CA

#13 Aug 4, 2009
Society is definitely not ready for polyamory. My wife and I are poly by nature but found it almost impossible to practice. Except for a small percentage, the people we wanted to include in our relationship were either not interested in a married man/woman/couple or swingers interested only in a sexual relationship but no other interaction.

As a Poly guy, I could get more new relationships by telling the new person "I'm cheating on my wife" than by being honest and saying "I'm attracted to you and my wife doesn't mind". Basically, society cannot handle openly non-monogamous relationships and prefers to pretend life-long fidelity and lying about the inevitable affairs on the side.

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#14 Aug 4, 2009
MarcoMarks wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok. Now you're trying to turn this into a flaming contest by criticizing one sentence and it's not necessary. I'm also not sure why you would want to intentionally alienate someone monogamous who is supportive of your lifestyle.
Looking back I see that I said, "Polyamory and polygamy certainly create an environment where the emotion harm of "cheating" doesn't exist." which could be better worded.
I meant to imply that "cheating" doesn't HAVE TO exist when following the rules of poly. Of course cheating can exist in poly but with the freedoms that poly allows, there's less reason to cheat because more poly partners can be added to fulfill whatever need is unfulfilled.
In monogamy, a partner doesn't not have the freedom to bring in new participants and never has the freedom to "date around" with the permission of their partner. So the only choice in monogamy is to follow the rules and stay monogamous - or cheat.
Agreed - especially with that last paragraph. Perhaps it was just wrongly worded on your part, but I have seen other things that you said that were also worded "wrongly"...and I suspect, for all your studies, that you still don't have a good picture of poly.

Which is understandable, to be sure. You can bet I researched the heck out of the subject when I started dating Mad Baker - after all, he was the one who was poly, and I had never done such a thing! But for all my studies and reading and listening and questioning...I still never fully understood poly until I tried it.

Oh, I thought I understood it. But it is just like reading how to ride a bicycle. You can read instructions and descriptions and directions for hours, and still not know how to ride a bike. The only way to fully understand it is to get out there and practice.

Bad analogy, but honestly it is the best I can come up with, considering how much pain I am in at the moment.

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#15 Aug 4, 2009
Tom wrote:
Society is definitely not ready for polyamory. My wife and I are poly by nature but found it almost impossible to practice. Except for a small percentage, the people we wanted to include in our relationship were either not interested in a married man/woman/couple or swingers interested only in a sexual relationship but no other interaction.
As a Poly guy, I could get more new relationships by telling the new person "I'm cheating on my wife" than by being honest and saying "I'm attracted to you and my wife doesn't mind". Basically, society cannot handle openly non-monogamous relationships and prefers to pretend life-long fidelity and lying about the inevitable affairs on the side.
I agree completely.

When I first started dating Viktor, people were agast. They were not upset that I was seeing a second person - what they WERE upset about was that Mad Baker knew and approved.

I was asked by several people - INCLUDING Mad Baker's mother and my own father - why I couldn't just cheat and go behind his back? Why did I have to be HONEST about it?

This kind of attitude - that you have to LIE to be with more than one person, that being honest and open is unnatural - sincerely ticks me off.
Damn

Seattle, WA

#16 Aug 4, 2009
Why are people so sick today?

“What's this bit for, then?”

Since: Feb 09

Adelaide SA

#17 Aug 4, 2009
Damn wrote:
Why are people so sick today?
why are you so bigoted and judgemental?

“You Can Call Me Queenie”

Since: Jul 09

Any Town U.S.A.

#18 Aug 4, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree completely.
When I first started dating Viktor, people were agast. They were not upset that I was seeing a second person - what they WERE upset about was that Mad Baker knew and approved.
I was asked by several people - INCLUDING Mad Baker's mother and my own father - why I couldn't just cheat and go behind his back? Why did I have to be HONEST about it?
This kind of attitude - that you have to LIE to be with more than one person, that being honest and open is unnatural - sincerely ticks me off.
IMO...although a relationship like this would not be for everyone,but I can see where it does have it's advantages.

It would prevent alot of people from feeling the need to lie about another relationship involved.

It would prevent alot of cheating outside the poly relationship,which would cut alot of the risk of disease.

It was also cut the divorce rate tremendously.
However,most people aren't so open to the idea of sharing their partners,even in such an arranged agreement.

I see noting wrong with this,when it is agreeable with all concerned in the relationship.

I do somewhat find that at some point or another,that emotions would begin to play a role in these types of relationships,and that eventually one or the other,would have some jealousy issues to contend with.

It is usually hard to keep emotions out of play,when there is intimacy involved in a relationship.

One may begin to feel that the other is getting more attention,or that you may care for the other,more than you care for them,so then what?

Do you just set free the one who gets to the point of being too emotionally attached,or do you just reassure them that it isn't true?

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#19 Aug 4, 2009
The Queen Of Your Heart wrote:
<quoted text>
IMO...although a relationship like this would not be for everyone,but I can see where it does have it's advantages.
It would prevent alot of people from feeling the need to lie about another relationship involved.
It would prevent alot of cheating outside the poly relationship,which would cut alot of the risk of disease.
It was also cut the divorce rate tremendously.
However,most people aren't so open to the idea of sharing their partners,even in such an arranged agreement.
I see noting wrong with this,when it is agreeable with all concerned in the relationship.
I do somewhat find that at some point or another,that emotions would begin to play a role in these types of relationships,and that eventually one or the other,would have some jealousy issues to contend with.
It is usually hard to keep emotions out of play,when there is intimacy involved in a relationship.
One may begin to feel that the other is getting more attention,or that you may care for the other,more than you care for them,so then what?
Do you just set free the one who gets to the point of being too emotionally attached,or do you just reassure them that it isn't true?
Jealousy can be a big issue - this is where being open and honest is so important.

for example, if I am feeling jealous of a new woman in Mad Baker's life, I NEED to go to him right away, as soon as I recognize my jealousy. I need to talk it over and get his reassurances, and feel loved and comforted.

Also, if I know the woman he is dating, I should go to her as well and discuss my feelings, make sure that my worry and jealousy are unfounded. Also lets her know where I stand emotionally.

“You Can Call Me Queenie”

Since: Jul 09

Any Town U.S.A.

#20 Aug 4, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
<quoted text>
Jealousy can be a big issue - this is where being open and honest is so important.
for example, if I am feeling jealous of a new woman in Mad Baker's life, I NEED to go to him right away, as soon as I recognize my jealousy. I need to talk it over and get his reassurances, and feel loved and comforted.
Also, if I know the woman he is dating, I should go to her as well and discuss my feelings, make sure that my worry and jealousy are unfounded. Also lets her know where I stand emotionally.
It would seem to me though,that regrdless of where you stood emotionally,it would have no true meaning in such a relationship.

Women tend to become more emotionally connected than most men do,so when this happens,it would mean that someone would have to make sacrifices,and although they truly loved the person,they still would have to stand by the decisions to continue to be in the polyamous relationship,or to walk away from it altogether.

IMO,it would be hard to live this way once emotions were so involved.
Regardless whether one admitted it or not,there would have to be feelings of regret,at some time or another,as love tends to make us all a little selfish.

Knowing that one could never have someone completely,would mean that someone's heart would be broken in the long run.
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