anmar.mirza at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 01:35:39 BST 2018
On Sun, Jun 24, 2018 at 1:10 PM, Margaret Devere <margaret at devere.net>
> Asking for clarification:
> Does "poly" imply being in simultaneous committed relationships? Are those
> other people also in committed relationships with each other?
The bad news is there really is no simple answer. And there's lots of poly
people who have different definitions.
The broadest answer is polyamory is multiple simultaneous emotional
relationships, or at least the possibility of them, with the knowledge of
all involved. Most poly folks insist on consent either express or implied,
but there are also don't ask, don't tell forms ("I know you are doing it, I
don't want details.") Having other emotional committed relationships where
one or more partners don't know about the others is generally NOT
considered polyamory in the poly community, though the principles may use
Then there are people who want to sleep around on their main partner
without concurrent emotional connection to other people, but think if they
couch it in terms of "polyamory" because they read about it somewhere,
it'll make it more socially acceptable.
Then there're couples who want to play around or experiment. Sometimes they
call themselves swingers, which is more of a lifestyle thing within the
swinging community, but the younger crowd tends to avoid that term. The
demographic in swinging is late 30s to late 50s and is primarily
heterosexual at least as far as men go, with women playing together, often
under the guise of exciting their men. (the whole psychosexual can of worms
there fascinates me) Bisexual men are very much pariahs in that community.
Hence the younger crowd who have much less stigma against male bisexuality
tend to not identify as swingers as much, even when the overall behavior
(casual sex among couples) is similar.
It's clearly not just sleeping around. (I'm not trying to be negative here;
> I just don't have a term for uncommitted sex with different people.)
Among couples it's often referred to an "open" relationship, where a
partner or both partners are relatively free to seek outside sexual
partners but the couple is still considered to have primacy, and this often
leads to polyamory. Among singles it's still just sleeping around or
playing the field or somesuch.
> (This is probably a silly question: Every group of people can set up the
> relationships to suit themselves.)
Oh, and they do. The whole structure of relationships and sexuality really
defies consistent definition. Even monogamists rarely are truly monogamous;
mating with one partner for life, but instead are serial monogamists;
mating with only one partner at a time with the end of the previous
relationship before the next one ends.
This of course, does not stop sociologists who study such things from
trying to classify it all...
Anmar Mirza EMT, N9ISY, NCRC National Coordinator, RBNC President
More information about the Lois-Bujold