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asleep at mal 9/09
relationships - now open to public view... 
5/8/08 0:37
apparently being in an open relationship makes no sense to a lot of people, both here, on myspace and on t's myspace so...

Polygamy can be defined as any "form of marriage in which a person [has] more than one spouse."[1] - from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy.
In the United States the primary practitioners of polygamy are fundamentalist Mormons, and in practice means one man married to multiple women.

Polyamory (from Greek πολυ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor [literally “love”]) is the desire, practice, or acceptance of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamorous perspectives differ from monogamous perspectives, in that they reflect one or more partner's wish(es) to have further meaningful relationships and to accommodate these alongside their existing relationships. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory.
In practice this can vary from several relationships of equal standing to a primary relationship and several secondary relationships to an open relationship or a group marriage. The important things in any type of polyamorous relationship is that all persons involved know that their partners are also involved with other people, that no-one is jealous, and that trust and communication are at the forefront of all the relationships.

An open relationship denotes a relationship (usually between two people) in which participants are free to take other partners; if the couple making this agreement are married, it is an open marriage. While "open relationship" is sometimes used as a synonym for "polyamory" or "polyamorous relationship", these terms are generally differentiated. The "open" in "open relationship" usually refers to the sexual aspect of a non-closed relationship, whereas "polyamory" refers to the extension of a relationship by allowing bonds to form (which may be sexual or otherwise) as additional long term relationships. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_relationship
This means that there is an agreement between the people involved that other sexual partners are allowed, usually within some set of guidelines that both people agree on.

i've figured out that for me monogamy doesn't work - i'm bisexual for one thing, but even more than that sex /= love for me, and being able to have sex with who i want when i want is something i'm not willing to give up on again - every time i've tried monogamy i've either wound up cheating or i've sabotaged the relationship when i wanted someone else - a lot of years of serial monogamy and misery later i finally figured it out

my life with zooom started out as a one night stand and developed into an open relationship in which we could both sleep with other women with advance permission; in time this changed to an open relationship where we could sleep with whomever we wished (he had a hard time w/ the concept of me sleeping with other men) and permission in advance wasn't required although honesty was still necessary (ie: we wanted to know who/when our partners slept with other people) to a form of polyamory (in that we were both seeing other partners who we also loved, although mine was love as a friend and his was in love with...)

the relationship worked for both of us for about 12 years before it fell apart - and the breakup wasn't either of our faults; we'd both changed a lot over those years and somewhere along the way we went from in love with each other to loving one another but not in love or sexually interested anymore at which point it was time for a change

currently i'm in another open relationship (i'm still surprised by this; i wasn't sure i was ready but it works really well so far) - a bit different this time, in that we both agreed from the beginning that we weren't monogamous or going to be, that as long as honesty and safe sex were practiced permission wasn't necessary, and we could sleep with whoever we wanted - this works for both of us and i hope it continues to work for a long long time - we're good together and we still get to have fun (i can sleep with the good friend who i love dearly but i know will break my heart if i tried to have a serious relationship with and date a beautiful girl occasionally, he gets to flirt with other women and go home with them if he wants, if we meet someone who's interested we're happy with group play, and we both get to have each other which is grand)

so... what's my point? i'm not sure there's really a point to this, other than i'm over being judged based on the way i choose to live my life, and i'm really tired of people confusing polygamy with polyamory with an open relationship - i'm happy, he's happy, we both have other interests and that's all good

edit to add... this post is not directed at anyone in particular here, and most of those on my lj don't judge (or at least you don't say so) - but other people in our scene seem to have issues

quesions/comments/discussion welcome... i know a lot of you don't get this, and i can accept that... i understand that you want monogamy but i can't quite wrap my head around the judgemental attitudes we get, especially from what is supposed to be an open and accepting group (ie: freaks)
5/7/08 8:58 (UTC) - I've had it both ways..
..open relationships & not open, & although *I* am capable of living with, & enjoying both, many of my desired partners are not, including the current one. If I hadn't had such a lusty past, maybe I'd feel like I was missing something, but for me right now, one on one is sometimes even too much to manage. :D

I've never been judgemental RE: any of your relationships. But I *am* jealous. ;) I can't even schedule a girl's night out to go get manicures. I can't imagine *when* I'd schedule girl's night in..y'know, to eat in. If things continue to progress w/ my current honey, great, he mostly works for me. If not, I'm freak-friendly & would likely be dating around a lot before landing back on this particular square.

Tellya what, Ty sounds amazing for a whole SLEW of reasons, but you being trusted by someone & not having to play by a different set of rules - that alone earns him huge cred w/ me. I think this says it all:

"i'm happy, he's happy, we both have other interests and that's all good."

Sweet. Let the adventures continue.
5/7/08 9:22 (UTC) - Re: I've had it both ways..
obviously i know that you're not judgemental, and many of our friends aren't, but others are... i do need to knock down the pissed off here though a bit...
5/7/08 9:58 (UTC)
Sorry - I judge but I also say hey if it works for you then great, but I'm not going to pretend I accept the lifestyle(s). But you know me and my feelings there.
5/7/08 18:36 (UTC)
i know your feelings, and it doesn't come across as being judgemental to me, more like concerned
5/7/08 18:41 (UTC) - Run! Run for your life! Run and never look back...
Concerned and battle-scarred myself.
5/7/08 11:29 (UTC)
I think it's awesome and respectable that you know who you are and what you are, plain and simple. ;)
5/7/08 18:37 (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
5/7/08 18:39 (UTC)
thanks... you've gotten exactly what i'm saying

and you're right - most relationships don't last forever no matter what
5/7/08 12:06 (UTC)
I wish more people could understand the polyamory as you have put down here. I know a couple people who've tried to explain it to me and other, but none with the clarity you've managed to capsulate it in. I'm glad it works for you. I know I tried it, and while my mind tried to rationalize it to make it work, my heart just clapped its hands over its ears yelling, "LALALALALA!"

I'm going to direct some people to this post. I really like it.

5/7/08 18:41 (UTC)
glad i could help you with the understanding

fyi, the post is friendslocked, so directing people to it won't work, but you're welcome to copy and paste without my name, just attribute it to a friend
5/7/08 13:24 (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I've always been a bit curious about it, but unfortunately I have a bit of a jealous streak that I think would be hard to squash. I'm glad things seem to be working out for you well right now.
(Deleted comment)
5/7/08 18:45 (UTC)
lamia's right about the open, constant disucssions

but the jealous streak would have to be controlled - it's funny but any jealousy i have leans more toward hey my partner gets to go home with beautiful girl x and i don't...

and it's hard to be jealous when you know that there's a strong loving relationship and that other partners are not going to damage that in any way
(Deleted comment)
5/7/08 19:12 (UTC)
i guess i've been lucky then - or i'm just not wired for jealousy in the typical sense of the word (i could care less who you sleep with as long as it's safe and you're honest with me about it - no lying and no sins of omission)

i do still want open honest communication though - from both sides
5/7/08 13:40 (UTC)
Awesome! I would be a lot happier, I suspect, if I was able to make your choices work for me.
5/7/08 19:01 (UTC)
this definitely isn't a choice for everyone, but if you get the opportunity and you're interested in someone who's in an open relationship or wants one it's definitely worth the work

one of the things i like the most about open is that my partner and i in some ways feed off each other (and the fact that in order to work an open relationship has to be with a grownup and involve open/honest communication is a plus too)
(Deleted comment)
5/7/08 19:02 (UTC) - rotfl
i understand about the dinner party ;)
5/7/08 14:56 (UTC)
I'm sorry you have to deal with getting crap from fellow freaks. That's lame. You'd think that members of a subculture that prides itself on being accepting of differences wouldn't act that way. I guess those people would be much more comfortable if you were only different on the outside. :P

But, that's why I usually don't talk about my relationship structure. I've had one monogamous relationship in my life, and it was over 10 years ago.
5/7/08 19:03 (UTC)
5/7/08 15:47 (UTC)
The important part is that you're happy, you're being honest and upfront, and you're not screwing anyone over. I'm not sure why ANYONE would judge that negatively, but I know it certainly happens.

I consider myself to be polyfidelitous, and it works really well . . . and I'm happy, too.

**hugs and support**

-- A :)
5/7/08 19:03 (UTC)
thank you
5/7/08 16:57 (UTC)
I would only "judge" if you hurt other people by not being honest with them just because your lifestyle choice seemed to make you feel entitled to do so.

I think the vital component of all of this is : honesty.

If you are honest with yourself and anyone you become involved with and are sure they UNDERSTAND that this is not some sort of tease or wariness that they can overcome and change you then... be free!

It clearly took you alot of life experimenting to find who you are and I applaud you. I am leagues away from such.

Good on you. Keep on keeping on. If other people don't understand... well, that is their issues coming up and cast no shadow on your confidence.

5/7/08 19:07 (UTC)
agreed on the honesty - sometimes it scares people off, but it's a part of who i am and i don't want to be someone else (and pretending to do so is made of fail)

5/7/08 22:18 (UTC)
You don't seem to have many haters on this side of the fence (LJ).

I've been almost exclusively monogamous in my life (been a few times of "dating" where I am not exclusively with one person, but those only lasted a part of a year at a shot). But that doesn't mean that I don't think that either polyamory or polygamy can't don't work.

I DO think that they won't work for most people, however. They not only require an ability to break away from the training that most people have culturally, but in many ways they require different and possibly more "work" than a normal relationship, and unlike a lot of monogamous relationships, are more likely to self destruct if partners are not equally committed to it. In some ways, (from what I've seen on the outside looking in) it's harder to stay in a dysfunctional poly relationship, as one of the people will just move along.

Also, from what I've seen, in the club scene and the court of public opinion, poly is also used as a shield by people who do have issues, and as a result of dramatic people engaging in such, a lot of people who otherwise might be liberal enough to accept it have a bad opinion of it from behavior/antics they have observed.

My personal view is that humans are poly animals (if you look at where we are on the mammal scale of mono/poly, we are pride animals, pure and simple), and culture has fought against it. Most of the publicly acknowledged observations of it are unfairly biased or have lots of bad baggage (e.g. most polygamy is male-dominated, and/or in situations where the practitioners are opportunists and/or immoral (at least by my code) and force unwilling people to participate). So it's going to be an uphill battle for those who can hack it and choose to do so. I've never really pursued it beyond a very few limited episodes because whoever I've dated has always been very possessive, and it's never been something I've needed so badly as to ever want to cause them grief.

congrats on being comfortable with who you are, and understanding yourself so well. Most monogamous folks can't claim even close to that.
5/8/08 0:14 (UTC)
yeah - but then i realized as is my default i'd locked this down

so i've now opened the post up for public view
5/7/08 22:26 (UTC)
I think whatever works for both parties is totally fine. I agree with you too that things change within relationships that could make a situation ok for a period in time when it might not be later. More power to you, lady. Do what makes you happy :)

Thanks for writing all this out.