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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poly Socialization or How Little is Your Big World?

One thing I've learned about being Poly is that I truly enjoy discussing the lifestyle with others. I like the perspectives others have, learning new terminology, hearing about their successes and failures. To support that I try to stay active in the community.

Now, I'm not an 'activist' by any means. I try to be somewhat active by seeking out groups, both formal and informal, and reading or writing on the web (obviously), and maintaining a diverse social circle. I could do more but I'm not much of a driver, I'm more of a passenger. At least for now. My point being I don't cast a huge social net but rather smaller nets in different locations with the hope I will find diversity.

Instead of diversity though I am often reminded how small the world can be and how disturbingly incestuous the poly community is sometimes. Are there really that few poly people out there that I already know them all? I find that hard to believe.
Yet I am shown otherwise.

Recently I attended a poly event I hadn't been to before, after being invited by people I didn't know well. I thought, "What a perfect opportunity to meet new people!" I didn't know the people well who invited me and hadn't seen them much in my social circle so I shouldn't know many people at the event. And since the event has been in existence for a couple of years and I hadn't heard of it before it could be an opportunity to open up a whole new social circle. Wrong! Well, not quite.

The new friends who invited me were there and I enjoyed getting to know them better. Then there were people I knew from other functions who were there. And then people I didn't know but after talking to them found out they were SO's, ex-SO's, or had some connection somehow to someone else I know.

Of course, being me I made mention of how incestuous some poly groups seem to be which caused a flurry of activity in my immediate area. Mostly in the form of agreement but how *this* group is different. Followed promptly by the requisite landscape mapping of the crowd in the room to explain all the interconnected relationships. I.E. Bob's dating Mary who is dating Fred who is married to Jenny who is dating Bob (the same Bob) who used to date Sally which is Fred's ex-wife who decided she was a lesbian and dated Jenny for a while and OMG MY HEAD IS SPINNING MAKE IT STOP!! Wait, wasn't *this* group different?

My big poly world had suddenly gotten quite a bit smaller. Interestingly, this group consisted of two poly social groups from different geographic areas that apparently hadn't gotten along in the past and had formed a sort of informal truce. (I didn't want to know more than that). But it was explained to me one group was quite physically focused while the other was socially focused. Knowing who was from which group it was entertaining to watch the groups collide but get along well. It was also interesting to see those from the social group being more physical and those from the physical group being more social. It appears this is a group where people can be someone they often aren't in other groups!

So how big is your little poly world? Do you feel it is so small as to be incestuous at times or is it so big you have an unlimited people pool in which to cast your nets?
And how are you involved in your poly community? Or, are you involved? Are you a driver, or a passenger?

I'm constantly amazed when talking with other poly's how the same resources surface over and over. The same web sites, the same groups, the same people. That is a big reason I decided to start writing here. I wanted to provide another resource in this tiny poly world and make it a bit bigger. So come on, talk back to me. Though it may seem contradictory to say this blog isn't about me, I don't want it to be about me. My hope is this blog will become an interactive resource for people, directed by the people.

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