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Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm poly, lets have sex!

If you are Polyamorous you have probably had a conversation with someone who thought Poly meant you slept around with whomever you wanted. Maybe they confused Polygamy or Swing with Polyamory. After talking a bit the two of you were probably able to clear up the confusion, no harm done.

But have you ever had someone who knew you were Poly approach you for sex? Someone who maybe had the same confusion as the person mentioned above? Interestingly conversations with those people seem to take a different direction, sometimes ending with hostility. I'm reminded of the saying: I'm Bi-sexual, Poly, horny, and I'm still not having sex with you! (Or something close to that).Although I doubt that saying is used, when a poly person in that situation rejects the proposal the aggressor usually responds something like "What's wrong with me? I'm not good enough for you?!"

Let's take it to a different level. How about the person who knows you are Poly and approaches you in the interest of starting a relationship. Again, let's pretend you aren't interested.This is an interesting variation of the original scenario I mentioned. This person knows you are Poly and able to start a new relationship basically anytime you like. But like the second example above, they don't understand why someone who is completely available to having a relationship wouldn't be interested in having one with them. Again the result is often some form of hostility.

The common thread is the misconception that because you are Poly you will entertain any reasonable offer from just about anyone. I have a hard time understanding why people think that way.

Thinking about it from a different perspective; Do monogamous people who are single think that any other single monogamous person will entertain the idea of a relationship or sexual encounter? And if so, why are there so many people who spend hours at the bar Friday night only to end up going home alone?

In many ways Poly people are no different from anyone else. They aren't going to be attracted to anyone and everyone. And despite the fact they are very possibly available for a relationship that doesn't mean they will have one with anyone and everyone.

The funniest thing is that I've overheard men (obviously ones who haven't had sex in quite a while) saying things like "Poly chicks are easy" or "Poly chicks will 'do' anyone". I find that funny because anyone who has had a relationship with a Poly person (regardless of gender) will probably be happy to let you know that poly relationships are a lot of work. Sometimes more than monogamous relationships!

So what about you? Have you ever had people approach you from the perspectives mentioned in the examples above? If you turned them down, what was their reaction?Or, am I wrong? Will you entertain an offer from anyone?

Let me know your thoughts!


  1. I have a saying for this very issue: "Poly" does not mean "Any." I think that about sums it up. I think people have similar conceptions about bisexual people - that if they are open to relationships with either sex, that it must mean they are open to anybody at all. I think there's even a t-shirt out there that says, "I am polyamorous and bisexual, and no, I won't have sex with you." Amazing that it's even an issue, IMO, but it seems pretty common.

  2. Polly,
    Thanks for the comment.

    You are right, people do treat bisexual folks in a similar way. I've seen it firsthand with one of my partners.
    Yes, it was a t-shirt! Thanks for the memory bump!


  3. Even as far back as the late 70s, when a man would learn that I was involved with more than one partner (we did not have a catchy term for "poly" back then), I would almost be assaulted for not having sex with someone who came onto me.

    Things are different now. In most cases, when I meet men who come onto me for sex, knowing that I'm in an open relationship, they usually know what "no" and "stop" mean. They also seem to understand when I let them know that I'm just not interested in them.

    But I have met the occasional stupid guy who equates "poly" to mean that they can have a clandestine relationship with me that is hidden from their "monogamous" relationship(s). Shish! Some people just don't get it!!!

  4. Kameshwari,

    Thanks for the comments!

    It is good to know things have gotten better. I'm glad to know you aren't being assaulted any longer!

    The guy you mentioned who wanted to have the hidden relationship is exactly what I was talking about! I was recently propositoned by a married woman after I told her I was poly. I told her sure, I would love to talk about a relationship with her, as soon as she cleared it with her hubby. Her response, why does he need to know? She eventually got it after I explained it a couple of times. What I don't like isn't the misunderstanding as much as how it makes me feel. They must have a low opinion of my morality to think because I'm poly that sex is a given.