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Thursday, December 30, 2010

History of the word "Polyamory"

Ever been in on any of the endless debates about where the word "Polyamory" came from?

Alan and his team over at Polyamorous Percolations did a bit of research on the word "Polyamory" that was quite interesting.

Check out the article on his blog here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Caution, possible potholes ahead!


One of my beliefs about polyamory is that trying to convert a monogamous person to polyamory is a big no-no. That isn't to say I don't believe monogamy is a viable relationship model. I even know of poly folks who have multiple partners, one of which is monogamous, something I tried once but didn't work. In my life I've even had a few monogamous relationships though I have never tried to convert anyone.

Recently I met someone who was monogamous and knew very little about polyamory. We talked about polyamory and I made it clear that although we seemed to have a good emotional connection, because she was monogamous I was only interested in a friendship. For a day or two I didn't talk to her which I didn't think was unusual since I often don't talk to my friends for a few days. When she reached out to talk to me again she asked me something that threw me for a bit of a loop. She said, "I don't understand why you will only allow a friendship with me. As you have explained to me, your version of Polyamory is based on the concept that there is the possibility of a relationship with anyone. We seem to have an emotional and physical connection yet you refuse to discuss the potential of us having a relationship because I have traditionally been monogamous and don't identify as polyamorous."

After thinking about this for a while I realized she had a very valid point. To deny the possibility of a relationship with her simply because of her monogamous past seemed to contradict my poly beliefs. I had to take a step back and think about my beliefs a bit. Excluding her from the picture, I had to examine why I avoided relationships with monogamous people. In the past I've avoided them because to me trying to incorporate a monogamous person into my poly lifestyle is a minefield. In my experience, the relationships I've had with monogamous folks tend to involve a lot more jealousy and end with a lot of disappointment for everyone. Sometimes the monogamous person enters the relationship with the hope of "converting" the poly person back to monogamy. And again, the relationships end badly. The bottom line; they just aren't worth the trouble. But is that a fair assessment? If my poly beliefs are that a relationship is possible with anyone, and each relationship I have is defined only by the needs of those in the relationship, should that exclude those who prefer monogamy?

My feeling right now is that I was being somewhat unfair, both to her and to my beliefs. I wasn't honoring either of them. The result, which I often enjoy, was a paradigm shift. I began to believe that although I may have concerns, which are most probably valid, if those concerns were addressed the possibility of a relationship should be allowed. What has followed since has been a lot of conversation about polyamory and our desires in a relationship. Many of my concerns have been addressed while others, although acknowledged, are unable to be answered at this time. (Really, who can predict exactly what a relationship will look like after it is created, or if it will be durable?). The result is that we are now progressing with the possibility of having a romantic relationship. Conversations are continuing and we are making plans to see each other again in the context of a date.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you avoid dating people who identify as monogamous? Do you make exceptions? If you typically avoid dating monogamous people, what will make you take a chance? Is avoiding monogamous people consistent with your poly beliefs?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear Santa. . .



Dear Poly Santa,

Yes, I'm assuming you are Poly because, well, it makes sense. Just look at all those cute little girl elves running around. I know Mrs. Claus is the bomb but lets face it, she just doesn't look to be rockin' it in the bedroom much and I'm betting she likes baking more than "cooking" these days. And, being at the South Pole your choice is elves or reindeer so. . .

Okay, I'm wayyyyyyy off track. Let me try this again.

Dear Poly Santa,

I hope you, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer, and the elves ::snicker:: are doing well. I hear polar ice melting is a bitch even though global warming isn't real. Since you pretty much live on ice I would imagine your property values are declining drastically though with the addition of more beachfront property there could be an increase in tourist value. Have you. . .

Dammit. Off track AGAIN. Ok, trying this one more time.

Dear Poly Santa,

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves ::giggle:: all have a wonderful celebration!

I know I haven't written you a wish list in a few years and I hope you will forgive me. Then again, I haven't seen presents from you under my tree for a while now so . . . nevermind, sorry, that was a bit petty. Anyway, I haven't really *wanted* for anything so I guess that explains my lack of correspondence with you. Ok, to the list. . .

First, can you do something about my kids getting older? I mean WTH? I blink and they are taller, smarter, and closer than ever to being able to kick my arse. I'm afraid if I blink again a bill for college will be sitting in front of me. That reminds me, I could use some eye drops.

Speaking of aging, could you help me out at all? I don't mind getting older. Hell, I seem to have more fun every year and sometimes even feel like I'm getting younger. Seriously, I'm writing a wish list to Santa. Something I haven't done since I was like 10 yrs old. I'm thinking of breaking out my Erector Set next. But dude, I'm not liking how I get cold easier, tired faster, and my hair is changing color in weird places.

Oh, Erector Set made me think of something else. You know those little blue pills Mrs. Claus slips you sometimes? Yeah, I know about them, don't act so surprised. Sophia, the elf, and I still talk even though she won't date me anymore. (I still don't think what Blitzen and I were doing was unnatural). Anyway, back to the question, I haven't had to use those yet and I would REALLY love it if you could make sure I never have to. K, Thx.

Ok, next on the list, the economy. Seriously, I know you are doing okay up there and everything. I mean, you keep hiring all the elves so there are none left where I live so you must be doing good. (By the way, you are KILLING my fetish dreams man.) Could you maybe quit ho-ho-hoing long enough to spread some of the wealth brother? Stop discriminating and hire full sized people or move your operations center down to the mainland. Remember the polar ice melting? Maybe you should think about that anyway. Ok, 'nuf said, I won't beat that dead reindeer any longer.

So, beside all that stuff maybe you can get me a few other things if you aren't busy? Love, compassion, understanding, consideration, and respect are always things I could use. Mainly because I keep giving all of mine away. Hmm, okay, maybe you better bring me double of those since I'll probably give them all away again anyway. It is really weird, people give me that stuff all the time but I always seem to run out. It is like fruit cake, know what I mean? Give it away, it comes back. Give it away, it comes back. It is like the haunted poltergeist food or something. I'm going to start tagging the damn things like wild animals and see if they come back. I'm thinking nobody ever eats them so there is just a fixed number of them floating around getting re-gifted every year. Sorry, I keep getting distracted today.

You know, reading this list over again it seems a bit pointless. I mean, do I REALLY need all this stuff? I'm pretty much happy with my life and don't sit around wishing for *things* constantly. I don't know that I'd say I'm blessed but, things are cool for the most part. I think I've just been missing you a lot lately. I remember when I would just shoot you a list and the stuff was under the tree a few days later. It was sooooo simple back then. (Except when you forgot the batteries that is. Not that I'm bitter about that!). You know, we had a good relationship back then. We understood each other. I'm really not sure why we even lost touch. Both got busy with our lives I guess. Anyway, skip the list my friend. I'm just happy to reconnect with you again and really do hope things are going well for you.

Love,
PP

P.S. If you could talk to Sophia I would appreciate it. I miss her a lot. Oh, and say Hi to Blitzen for me will ya? KThxBye.


Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you got my gift of a laugh or smile. Wherever you are, however you celebrate, or don't celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

All my best to you,
PP

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gender love.

Big surprise to you regular readers, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other night. Since you couldn't be there with me, I'll try to summarize it for you now.

I ran into a casual friend who is a bit of a sexual enigma to me. Without a lot of boring detail, I suspected he was at the least bisexual, possibly homosexual, and I knew he enjoyed cross-dressing at times. I finally decided to get my questions answered the other night and ask him quite directly about his sexual orientation.

After a bit of discussion we ended up talking about our feelings toward the opposite sex and our bisexual experiences and feelings about the same sex. It was then that my friend told me, paraphrased, that he has emotional and sexual relationships with women but only sexual relationships with men. When I pressed him a bit for more detail he bluntly told me that when it came to sex with men it was all about the penis. He didn't care about their face or body and would actually prefer to not know their names or even have conversation with them. If they had a nice penis, he was interested in having sex with them.

Initially I had a hard time with the concept. It seemed contradictory to me that he could have sex with someone and not have an emotional connection. Let alone know their name, which only made the concept feel somehow cheap and dirty. It took me a moment to set aside my own feelings and try to view what he was saying impartially. Obviously he enjoys sex with men but does that necessitate an emotional connection?

Breaking this one down I started with the sex component.
Is it possible to have pleasurable sex with someone without having an emotional attachment to that same person? Been there, done that, so I have to say yes, it is possible. Not preferable, but possible. That led to the next question; is it possible to enjoy sex with a specific gender while never having an emotional attachment. For my friend apparently it is possible, but for me it is not. This was as far as I got with this one because obviously my friend and I are wired differently and I can't completely understand his perspective.

We did talk a bit more though and he did say not only does he have no interest in a loving emotional relationship with another man, he has never encountered another man who gave him the feeling there could be a loving emotional relationship.

That's where it started to make more sense to me. There is a difference between denying something out of logic or dislike, and not having had something because it has never appeared. I do enjoy the male form and appreciate the beauty and sexuality at times but personally I'm not attracted to a lot of men. While there have been a couple of men in my life to which I was attracted, with both I felt a desire to not only have a physical relationship, but an emotional one as well. For me this is a somewhat consistent behavior in that I desire an emotional relationship with a woman before allowing a physical relationship. At the same time, I have been physically attracted to women with whom I've had no interest in an emotional relationship. (Angelina Jolie is a perfect example of this). So again, I can't deny that it is possible to have a satisfying sexual encounter with someone without having an emotional attachment.

Thinking about it some more, I've heard women talk about their bisexuality and how they can be with a woman but only want relationships with men. I guess if the girls can do it, why not the guys.

Now to be fair, I have to admit I've had casual sexual encounters without an emotional connection. I've pretty much left those ways behind me and need an emotional connection in my relationships these days. But thinking back I did approach sex at times fully knowing I didn't want an emotional connection with the person. For me, it was a decision made based on the person, not their gender. Because of that I have a hard time understanding the blanket rejection of the possibility for a relationship with an entire gender. I can still understand someone not being attracted to the opposite sex, but being physically attracted while not being emotionally attracted still doesn't compute.

What are your thoughts on this one? Think you can explain it to me?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I now pronounce you Poly.


Sometimes the poly community seems painfully small. In my community it seems I pretty much know everyone and even when I meet someone new, usually they know someone I already know. A search of poly oriented singles in my area on dating sites reveals pretty much the same thing. The dozen or so who appear, I already know. Now seriously, I'm not that popular. I try to stay active in the poly community, attend socials and events, and regularly check the message boards. Yet the poly world seems huge. Even in my community which feels somewhat small, all flavors of polyamory can be found.

There are the older, hippie types who have something of a "free love" mentality and think the youngsters are all doing it wrong. There is the middle-aged group who seem to be looking for longer-term, stable poly-fi relationships though a few of them still hold onto the fetishes from their younger days. Speaking of fetishes, there is a good sized fetish crowd for whom poly seems more about finding a complimentary fetish and not committing to anyone. And there is the younger crowd who seem to still be trying to figure out exactly what poly means but they damn sure know that nobody else is going to tell them what it means either.

I am perpetually intrigued by the variations, consistencies, flavors, and styles of all the different types of polyamory practiced by this diverse community. They constantly remind me to challenge my beliefs, adjust my perspectives, modify my behavior, and evaluate my expectations. Because of this I am almost thrilled beyond belief when I find a new flavor of polyamory which is exactly what happened recently.

I won't go into the long conversation I had before I understood what I was being told. And in retrospect, I really question why it took me so long to understand what the person was saying. What I found was a polyamorous couple who don't believe in premarital sex.

I'm really wondering if you are as surprised as I was to hear that.

Let me make sure you heard it right. The couple, who has well defined the type of partner they hope to add to their relationship, does not believe in having sex with that new partner before an official commitment union or "marriage" of some type is performed. Their plan is to find, date, and eventually propose marriage to a potential new partner as a couple.

Now, they are fully aware a legal marriage is probably going to be impossible as they, the couple, are already legally married and group marriage isn't a legally recognized union in our state. What they do expect is a ceremony resembling a handfasting or something similar which will serve as binding commitment between all three parties. Really, that doesn't surprise me much since it is the goal of more than a few people I know.

What does surprise me is the premarital sex perspective. I have never before met someone who labeled themselves as polyamorous that was openly opposed to premarital sex. I know many who insist on establishing a relationship first, or even on completion of STD testing prior to sex. And I'm surprised that I'm surprised. Many people, maybe even most, are raised to believe that waiting to have sex until married is the ideal. Religious views are also often opposed to premarital sex. Not that long ago waiting to have sex until being married was the norm rather than the exception. But in my community of polyamorous folks, this couple appears to be a most interesting exception. The next time I talk to them I hope to discuss why they believe as they do.

What about you? Do you know any poly people who don't believe in premarital sex? What would you say is normal in your community, premarital or post marital sex? Have you heard of other relationship paradigms that avoid sex for unusual reasons?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Polyamory is the wrong word.


Recently I have had or witnessed more than a few discussions about what the word Polyamory or other Poly related terms mean. I've noticed something of an interesting trend which is that Poly people generally seem to dislike labels, are accepting of other lifestyles, and tend to avoid trying to place a specific definition on the word Polyamory. At the same time many are frustrated when they encounter others presenting themselves as Polyamorous but then find their lifestyle isn't what they consider Polyamorous.

A specific comment I saw was Deborah Anapol asking if she should discontinue use of the term Polyamory in favor of the term Responsible Non-Monogamy. My response to that comment was:
To me, lumping Polyamory under the Responsible Non-Monogamy umbrella assumes a static definition of the word Polyamory that defines something of a moral standard. Unfortunately I see plenty of people applying the Polyamory label to themselves that live a lifestyle that could hardly be considered “Responsible”.
It also seems that any definition of Polyamory that relies on the term “Monogamy” implies that Monogamy is the norm and Polyamory is an alternative or variation which could be considered of lesser value or subordinate to Monogamy.
If the problem is that Polyamory isn’t descriptive enough maybe that is because the word is being used casually by many people to define a large variety of lifestyles causing the word to have lost a defined meaning? Rather than finding a new word maybe the solution is to stop accepting the inappropriate application of the word Polyamory and cause it to once again have a defined and valuable definition.

Not long after this discussion I became involved in another discussion about the word Primary. Comments like "Someone can have multiple Primaries" or "Primary doesn't mean First" abounded to which my response was to quote the dictionary definition that basically states a Primary is first in order. You would have thought I dropped a fire-bomb on a group of kindergartners singing "We are the World". Basically I was told that creating a static definition for the word Primary was unfair, people should be allowed to define it for themselves. Not to mention the word Primary doesn't address the possibility of two people being in "first position", nor did the dictionary definition take into account Polyamory.

Really?

The same people who are struggling to find a descriptive word that accurately reflects the design of their lifestyle are the same people screaming that it is unfair to create a static definition for a word and everyone should be able to define it for themselves.

Really?

I think there is a logic problem there folks. If you refuse to allow the definition of the word Primary (or any other word) because it may exclude some folks, and want to find a new word to use, how exactly will that help?

Let's try an example. We don't want to use the word Primary anymore to describe the "main" relationship someone has. The person they are married to, joined with, or otherwise have a strong relationship with that may involve kids, mortgages, and take higher priority than other relationships. Instead we are now going to use the word Plob. But wait, Plob to you means the equivalent of a traditionally defined Primary but it doesn't to me. In my Poly world everyone I have a relationship with is a Plob!! And since creating a static definition for Plob would be unfair and we need to let everyone define it for themselves, my new definition of Plob is as valid as yours.

Now we are back to the same problem we had with the word Primary originally.

Instead of changing the word, maybe we need to change how the word is used. Using it appropriately, within a well established definition, would make the word useful again. Think about any simple conversation you have with another person. You can only have a conversation that makes sense if you are both using words that are generally understood the same way by both people and used within that understanding in a logical manner. Without that you might as well be speaking different unknown languages. Even reading this article would be impossible if I defined every word I used here in a different way than you do.

What are your thoughts about this one?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wanna fight?



Most relationships have problems now and then. No two people are exactly the same so chances are that sooner or later you will have a communication breakdown, difference of opinion, or just plain have a bad day and conflict with your partner.

Recently I had a conflict with one of my partners that at the time seemed pretty serious. She got quite emotional and said some things that concerned me greatly about our relationship. As seems to be the case with conflicts, it came at the worst time. We were in bed and had consumed a fair amount of mezcal which, along with an intense sexual encounter, was probably the catalyst for strong emotions. We discussed things a bit and after I was sure I was sober, I headed home for the night to give us both some space.

The next day we talked and realized we had both made more out of things than we should have and worked out the things that needed adjusting. Alcohol, high emotions, or a bad day that really isn't the point. What it did cause me to do was think about the disagreements we have had, and disagreements I have had with my partners in general. That is what I'm going to talk about in this article.

Generally disagreements in my relationships don't involve name calling, yelling, screaming, throwing things, or result in a visit by the police. I don't want to take all the credit for that. Just like ugly fights, all fights or disagreements take two people so I believe a lot of the credit goes to my partners. And I've walked away from more than a few disagreements when they did turn to name calling, yelling, or throwing things by both parties so obviously I'm not perfect. The other thing I realized is that most of the disagreements I have don't result in an impasse. We almost always find there has been a communication error or we are able to negotiate or compromise and come to a happy solution.

I don't think I'm lucky that most of my disagreements are handled in a mature fashion, it takes a lot of work and effort. The process includes constant re-examination of how disagreements were handled, the results, and how I acted during discussions. There are some other conscious things you can do in the heat of the moment to try and keep a disagreement calm and reasonable.

Listen to the other person. You may be grinding your teeth, biting your tongue trying to hold back a response to something they are saying. But don't interrupt, let them finish. This accomplishes a couple of things. One is that they feel you are actually listening. Maybe you don't agree with them but you actually listened. Another is that you hear much more about how they are really feeling rather than just some of it when you interrupt trying to make a point of your own. The impulse to respond immediately to a statement is often an emotional reaction like the desire to make a point or to respond to what you felt was a "cheap shot". Waiting to reply will help the emotion to pass allowing you to make a calm, intelligent response rather than allowing yourself to be provoked. It also gives you time to forget that "cheap shot" to which you wanted to respond. If it is a cheap shot it may irritate you and push your buttons but honestly, will responding in-kind help the discussion? Probably not.

Be the adult. Now, this is different than considering yourself superior. You don't know more than the other person, you aren't smarter, you don't have better ideas. That isn't what "being the adult" is about. It is about not allowing yourself to be provoked. Think of it this way; If your 5 yr old yells at you that they hate you, do you respond to that like a 5yr old would by pushing them down on the ground or do you respond in an adult manner? Hopefully you respond in an adult manner. Do the same thing when having an argument with your partner. Ignore the "cheap shot", condescending comments, or foul language. Take a breath once they have finished speaking. And respond in an adult manner. If absolutely necessary follow your response with something like "Name calling, cheap shots, and foul language aren't going to help us fix this".

That brings up something else, "fixing this". Let your partner know that you want to discuss the problem, you want to find a solution, you want to work together with them. The problem isn't you against them, the problem is the two of you against the problem. Let them know, more than once, that you are viewing the situation as you and them against the problem. Not the two of you against each other. That may go a long way to diffusing a potentially explosive situation.

Of course there are a lot of other things you can do to keep a disagreement civil. A lot of what you try though depends on the other person. Some people respond better to certain communication styles than others. Try a few different things and see what works. I often think of disagreements like cooking. Sometimes things I make are great, other times the stove wins and dinner is burnt. But I'm always looking at my cooking and thinking about how to do things better, more efficiently, and with a better result. If you can look at disagreements that way you can learn from them and hopefully make them more constructive than destructive.

So what methods do you use for keeping disagreements civil? Active listening techniques, body language, breaks for thinking or calming down? What has worked and what hasn't? Or do you just make sure you call the cops first?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A pinch of sexuality.


Recently some discussion on an article made me realize that I often sound like a prude. I frequently mention my believe that polyamory isn't about sex and anyone who reads my articles for a while will probably deduce that I'm not a big fan of casual sex either. More than a couple of people are probably looking at me and wondering what type of polyamorist I am if I'm not sleeping with anyone. I realized I didn't need to change my ways but that maybe I need to change the way I talk about my ways.

Sex has always been a private thing for me. I don't often gossip with the boys about my latest exploit and when I do I'm not as detailed as some guys. It isn't that I'm less sexual than other guys, in fact I've been told the opposite, but that rather somewhere in my evolution sex was filed under "Top Secret" in the filing system used by my brain. If I had to guess it would be due to the fact my parents were very private sexually. I never saw my father grab Mom's butt, breast, or other parts. They never made suggestive comments in front of us kids and I can't remember ever catching them in a compromising situation. They almost always held hands when I was younger, and often do today, and give each other quick kisses when appropriate. I find myself acting in much the same way with my partners in front of my own children.

At times I'm able to be more open about my sexuality, usually when I'm in a group of friends who are quite open. Polyamory seems to attract people who are more open about sexuality and that is where I seem to lose some of my privacy inhibitions. Over the past several years I've enjoyed a group of friends who regularly held "play parties" which included a healthy dose of nudity and group sexual activities. Although I became somewhat comfortable having sex in front of others, sequential partners in a group setting or casual sex with someone I don't know well still isn't something that appeals to me. I've also been fortunate to have had partners who have let me explore mild BDSM, both giving and receiving, and I've learned I'm more of a dominant than a submissive. I've had the opportunity for a few threesomes, done some role playing, and probably had sex in more than my share of interesting locations. A big eye opener for me was discovering, just a couple of years ago, that I am a bit bisexual through a couple of different encounters. Although I don't have a strong interest in the opposite sex, I've found a few people that peaked my interest and I'm no longer afraid of exploring that part of myself.

Currently one of my partners practices sex magik, something we hope to explore together at some point. For now we are busy exploring D/s a bit with collaring and some bondage. In the past we have had the opportunity to include others in our sex life and both hope to explore that more as well. During the year we attend "play parties" as they come up and a couple of annual events where some of our relationship rules are suspended based on the nature of the events. Safety and respect remain however we both have the freedom to explore more casual encounters. Something which neither of us have really taken advantage of so far, probably because we already have a satisfying and safe sexual relationship. This same partner has told me before that due to my sexual appetite, both in frequency and variety, she finds it hard to keep up with me and I need to find another girlfriend, something which I have been able to do recently. Though I have known my new partner a long time, the sexual aspect of our relationship is somewhat new. Yet it appears we both have interests that have the potential for a very sexually charged and challenging exploration of new areas together.

I'm also a bit cautious including a lot of sex in my articles for other reasons. My hope was that this blog would become something of a resource with good active discussions. Though I'm not hesitant to discuss sex, I didn't want that to become the focus on these pages. In trying to achieve that goal I may have pulled back too much giving the impression that the sexual aspect of polyamory isn't important to me when in fact it is important.

Hopefully this has provided some insight about who I am and that yes, I do have a healthy sexual appetite. Going forward I hope to be more open about sexuality and include it more often in articles. I am glad I had a paradigm shift which made me realize there was something missing from my writing. Thanks to you readers who helped me see that and please, don't ever hesitate to "call me on the carpet" if you think something is missing or don't agree with what I'm saying. I'm not perfect, and I don't know more than any of you. I'm just the person who started this blog hoping for a place where we can all help each other.

All the best,
PP

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where did my clothes go?


I'm surprised sometimes when poly people say they have a hard time finding other poly people. There are plenty of resources out there, particularly online. There are Yahoo! groups, Facebook groups, and on and on. Often that statement is met with a qualifying response something like "No, I mean meet other poly people to DATE."

Ohhhhhhhhhh, I get it now, sorry.

This leads me to my topic today. Posting nude pictures of yourself on Poly sites.

On one of the groups I'm in someone posted new nude pics the other day. Now, I'm not a prude by any means and enjoy the naked human form. Usually female in flavor but even the nude male form can be a pleasure to view sometimes. And I can even appreciate someone posting pics with partial nudity that are tastefully done or maybe reflect their lifestyle, such as a nicely done rope bondage scene. What I don't understand though is why someone would post nude, explicit, suggestive pictures to what is essentially a social group, not a dating site. I could understand if maybe it was a Swingers site or group as maybe they would want to use their pretty bits to try and attract partners. But polyamory is more about love and relationships than casual sex right? So why post those type of pics on that type of site?

I ask a few people about this and in the interest of fairness I want to provide some of their answers. The question was, "Why would someone post explicit, suggestive, nude pics of themselves on a social site or group?":
"They don't understand what poly is."
"They want attention."
"Because they are idiots?"
"Who knows."
"They just want attention."

I think another reason could be that some people confuse sex with love. They believe that when someone, pretty much anyone, wants them then they are loved. And in extreme cases, the more people who want them the more they are loved. Maybe it is that logic that then leads them to believe that attracting people who will want them, no matter how they do that, will bring them more love. And so they post nude pictures of themselves in inappropriate places and feel it is okay to do so because really all they are doing is trying to find "love".

Interestingly enough, this has the opposite effect on many people I know. When people post nude pictures on a poly site many of the folks I know are immediately repulsed by the person. Without knowing anything about them, people will dismiss them as being promiscuous or assuming they "aren't really poly". My own observation is that I rarely see the nude picture posters attending poly meetings, socials, or other social events leading me to believe that either posting the pictures is a game for them, or they are only looking for the "hookup" and not interested in being part of the community.

So what do you think about posting nude pictures on social sites? Have you ever done it? If so, why? I'm talking about social sites though not dating sites where, despite my own tastes, I can understand some nudes being posted.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My poly isn't as fast as yours.

Recently Janet Kira Lessin, Center Holder, World Polyamory Association and apparently a founder of the WPA posted an excerpt from her book "Polyamory, The Poly-Tantra Lovestyle". The excerpt (which I can't post a link to here since it was on membership site and I can't find it elsewhere) briefly outlines how she and her husband view and have designed their polyamory. Here is a reprint of a piece of the article on which I'm going to focus:

"G & R came out of the closet, walked into our world at the Loving More
Conference. There I admired a beautiful Goddess, J, in the hot tub. As Sasha
hugged me, J noticed me, floated up and met me eye-to-eye. She "saw" me and
there was this knowingness. Sasha introduced us but my head spun; names and
words were meaningless. He pointed to her mate, B, who was every bit the God to
her Goddess, and I gazed from her to him, him to her, then to Sasha.
Simultaneously, all our faces lighted with smiles. Our hearts and souls rejoiced
with knowingness. Our soul groups celebrated with a new homecoming.

In my mind, I pondered, "What should I do?" I'd exclusively committed to G
& R. Yet here was amazing energy with these two new people. I followed my
instincts and leveled with them. "Sasha and I are here with our lovers, G & R.
If you'd like to meet them and we all click, well who knows?"

When we met, the connection was there, all the way around, all six of us!
Sasha, G & R and I invited the new couple to our cabin with (we said) no
expectations. With the freedom of no expectations came the bliss of six, my most
magic night of love thus far.

I fell asleep basking in the glow of our six-way love. We have fulfilled
the prophecy laid out by the late Robert Rimmer in The Harrad Experiment; a
vision of three couples uniting at graduation. Yes, thank you, Robert, we all
indeed had graduated."

As entertaining as the article is, and it sounds like Janet's life may be, I was left shaking my head. The story is presented as a beautifully wonderful and loving poly moment and to that end I wish Janet nothing but happiness and a nice memory. But seriously, she and her husband and the couple they are dating met J&B and ended up in a six-way sex fest with them the same night. Really? That is polyamory? Before I sleep with anyone we have some serious conversations, even if it is just going to be casual. I'd like to hear a brief sexual history, general outlook on sexual activity, promiscuity, safety, and expectations going forward. Then we can talk about sexual likes and dislikes and determine if it is just going to be casual sex, are we even wanting the same kind of casual sex?

Folks, that isn't a 20 minute conversation. It can often take hours. I have a hard time understanding how Janet, a supposed expert and experienced polyamorist, could meet a couple, have the necessary conversations, and engage in a six-way orgy with the couple the same day. Personally I don't believe I could establish an emotional connection that quickly let alone satisfy my safety concerns. In my mind her story doesn't fall in the category of polyamory at all, but rather much more solidly lands in the swing realm of things.

What are your thoughts on this one? Is the story swing or poly? Did you view the story more like I did, or did you read it as a Happy Poly Moment?