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Wednesday, April 22, 2015
" So, What Is Polyamory..?" 'Harmony Bentosino' (Harmonic Wednesday is back!) ;-)
So, What Is Polyamory..?
Polyamory comes from the Greek and Latin words for many loves. It is a romantic relationship that involves more than two people.
You mean like swinging?
No, swinging has a different focus. Swinging is about recreational sex. With polyamory, the focus is on deep relationships, although deep relationships can naturally lead to sex.
So you mean it’s like cheating with a girlfriend on the side?
No, with polyamory everyone involved is open and honest and has agreed to the relationship. If you can’t invite your lover to Christmas dinner, then chances are the relationship is not polyamory.
So polyamory is for people who can’t commit?
No, just the opposite. If you can’t commit to one person, how are you going to commit to two or more? Many so called monogamous people actually practice something called serial monogamy which means they jump from one lover to the next while claiming to be monogamous with each one. While no one expects every relationship to last forever, some serial monogamists believe relationships are expendable and will stay with one partner until something better comes along. Or at the first sign of trouble, they will just bail.
Polyamory is a more ethical choice because polyamorists don’t discard an old partner when a new one comes along. It reminds me of a song we used to sing around the campfire in Girl Scouts, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
But if you love someone, then you shouldn't want anyone else, right?
That’s a common idea, but it doesn't always hold up in practice. However, there are a minority of people who do successfully practice lifelong monogamy.
Many believe if you have multiple loves, then you can’t give your whole heart to one person, and that if you love more than one, your love is divided and not as deep. But that is based on the scarcity model. Love can behave in unpredictable ways. It’s like the more you give, the more you have to give. It is similar to having and loving more than one child.
Some think if you love one person and start to love someone else, then, you really didn't love the first person, but that goes back to the scarcity model which believes that in a world of six billion people, there is only one soul mate for each person. Not too realistic.
The best way to make polyamorous relationships work is by following the rule. Rules? What rules? If you want to sleep with someone, don’t you just sleep with them?
No, it doesn't work that way.
But of course, there are as many different varieties of polyamory as there are people. There is no one right way to practice it, although all poly relationships involve honesty, respect, and compassion. .
But yes, there are rules. What kind of rules?
There are polyfidelitous relationships which could involve a triad. The triad could consist of two people having sex with one of the members, or it could mean all three having sex with each other. The triad could decide it would be cheating for there to be sex outside of the triad. Cheating is worse in polyamorous relationships because more than one person is betrayed.
There could be relationships outside of the triad if all members agreed on the particular person and if the outside person was aware of the relationships within the triad.
Individuals can also be polyamorous.
So isn't this all some sexist, misogynistic, male dominant, polygamist thing like that HBO show Big Love?
No, polygamy and polyamory are very different. Polygamy involves one man married to many women. Polyamory is not about marriage but about relationships (since group marriage is not legal). The genders are egalitarian, and there is no one way to practice polyamory. It could even be one woman with many partners.
Some people find polyamory so strange that it is easier for them to condone cheating than polyamory. Which do you think is a better alternative?
There are many benefits to polyamory:
One can gain greater perspective, and there are more sources of support. Also, it’s a wonderful way to add variety in your sex life!
There’s a downside:
It’s more complicated. You need to be a good communicator on a personal level. It’s harder for a group to come to a consensus than for just two people.
So, maybe this could actually work. How do I get started?
There is a support group in Honolulu, which meets the second and fourth Thursdays, at 7:00 pm, at the First Unitarian Church, located at 2500 Pali Highway. The group is called Pali-Paths. Get the play on words? This is not a place where you should expect to pick up a partner, but rather the group meets to discuss and offer advice on how to deal with various issues such as jealousy.
In polyamory, there is a word, compersion, which is the opposite of jealousy. It means feeling happy for your partner when she or he finds a new lover.
There are many other online resources for information about polyamory, and for activities and supports groups in other parts of the country.
There is a series on Showtime called 'Polyamory' all about this subject. Check out the website below for free episodes and more;
Hana Hou, (Encore) Shared From Facebook