Listen to the following and tell me what you think. With the idea of promoting polyamory awareness to the general public, who may still be confusing polyamory with Mormon polygamy, what kind of message do you think the following statements send?
"Poly conferences and tantra confabs provide participants perfect places to contact potential lovers and tantra buddies."
"you can meet and quickly get to know people with whom you might fall in love--or at least in attraction enough to know if you want to consider as possible intimates."
"Some folks are monogamous most of the year but celebrate polyamory and tantra at conference time." (Okay, we know what they are hinting at with that, right?)
"The seminars at a conference . . . offer . . . cuddle parties, group massage and yoga classes where you can talk to, touch and interview like-minded folk who, like you, seek tantric friends, multiple lovers. . . "
"The seminars teach you how to advertise yourselves on the internet…"
"...leads us through get-to-know and flirting exercises…"
Sounds like a lot of fun doesn't it? But, doesn't it send a message that whatever is happening here is very sexually focused? If you were telling a monogamous friend about polyamory would statements like those above help you explain things, or would your friend think polyamorists are basically just looking for sex?
Let's try a different exercise. If you were telling that same friend about polyamory and they ask for the name of websites to get more information would you think one named "World Polyamory Association" might be good?
Guess what (you are smart and probably already guessed) all of the statements above are from the World Polyamory Association.
Yes kids, someone who had the arrogance to proclaim themselves a WORLD-wide association with a name implying they are the authority for polyamory are the same ones making those sexually focused statements above. And actually, if you read most anything from the WPA, the statements above are mild compared to how sexually focused they are most of the time.
Let's try one final exercise. Your same friend checks out the WPA site and then comes to you to talk about polyamory. The first thing out of their mouth is how polyamorists are just sex starved people looking for a justification for their carnal desires. I double-dog dare you to try and argue with your friend because as soon as you do they are going to say "But I learned this from the World Polyamory Association!!"
Done. You are just done. Your friend isn't going to listen to you at this point. You might as well tell them that the Earth is flat and money grows on trees.
Now I don't have a problem with sexuality. Personally I think a lot of it is a good thing!
I've bit my tongue for a while with different things I have read from the WPA and their "association", which really appears to be only two people. I figured I was misunderstanding what they were saying, or I hadn't heard enough of what they say and I was seeing an isolated incident, or maybe I was seeing only a particular speaker for the "association". Well those days are gone. Sexuality, and plenty of it, without much regard for safety or common sense is the order of the day, century, and lifetime at the WPA.
I simply ask one thing. I beg it. Please. World Polyamory Association, please, pretty please take the world "Polyamory" out of your name. I'll find a way to live with your proclamation that you are a "World" authority somehow. But your inclusion of the word "Polyamory", in consideration of your openly sexual focus, is doing absolutely nothing to further the cause of polyamory or it's acceptance into mainstream society. Making a guess I would say it is only helping support the perception by many people that polyamorists are simply in it for the sex and nothing more. Personally, and I think I'm pretty open minded about polyamory, I shudder to think that if I told someone I was polyamorous they might see the WPA website and associate what they find there with my lifestyle. The two are about as similar as oil and water from what I can see.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Maybe some of you feel the same way, and maybe some don't. I'd be interested to get some input on this one so I know if I've gone off the reservation again. Regardless, I'll leave you be for a bit as I'm off to create a new website:
"The One and Only Definitive Source for Polyamory in the Universe Ever Association Non-Profit Incorporation Limited, LLC, All Rights Reserved, Trademarked, Copyrighted, and Patented Forever and Ever."
Coming soon to a web browser near you!!