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Hierarchy of relationships [Nov. 1st, 2005|07:05 pm]
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There are many approaches to handling multiple partners, whether romantic or sexual.
I am going to describe a hierarchy as used by many polyamorists. Some have different definitions or criteria for the levels than I do. Some do not use this "system" at all. This is the one I go by.

PRIMARY: There can ever only be one primary. There may also be no primary, only secondaries and lower. There is never more than one primary at any given time. Primary is the only level that has a limit on number of people the label can be applied to at once. This person is the one you are most concerned with, the one who receives more of your attention and/or feelings. My only criterium for being the primary is that the person is one you are in love with, and if you are in love with more than one person, then it is the one you give the most dedication and energy to.

SECONDARY: There can be any number of secondaries. I consider secondaries to be people that you are in serious relationships with. You may be in love with them or not. It's about the emotional involvement attached.

TERTIARY: These are budding relationships and friends with benefits. There may be no emotional involvement, but almost always there is at least some. This applies to fuckbuddies whom you have no feelings for as well as casual dating. This might also apply to low-key online or long-distance relationships.

QUARTERNARY: One night stands or very short-term relationships without sexual involvement. You might take a quarternary after a night at a bar. You might have one while you're out of town for the weekend and meet someone you're interested in. I personally think that with the out of town example, the label "quarternary" only applies if there was limited sexual involvement; if it involves what you consider to be enough (YOU define "enough"), it qualifies as tertiary.

Other variations exist. You could separate these levels out even further, making two levels out of friends with benefits and casual boyfriends/girlfriends. Secondary could be broken down into two separate tiers, one of people with whom you are in a loving relationship and one of people with whom you are in a serious relationship but do not quite love. Like I said, the hierarchy listed above is the system I use.

Variations on this "system" are popular, though the definitions are very subjective and are always open to the definition of the person who uses them. There are no correct criteria.


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Pomosexual [Oct. 23rd, 2005|04:59 pm]
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POMOSEXUAL: "A combination of pomo- (shorthand for postmodern), and -sexual (suggesting a sexual preference or orientation), the term itself is oxymoronic since it is descriptive of persons who do not identify with any specific classification of sexuality, and is used in reference to oneself as a protest against such labels."

AWESOME. I hope I meet a lot of pomosexuals.

I have met one pansexual. She defines pansexual as [willing to be] attracted to any gender, whether male, female, or otherwise.
I admire her strongly for it. I personally am still working on that, though it's not nearly as bizarre to me now as it was a while ago.

When I get the time I will post on hierarchy of relationships such as they exist for some polyamorists.


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To emphasize some aspects of relationships; contrasts to monamory and monogamy [Oct. 17th, 2005|03:52 pm]
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(NOTE: When I say "most polyamorists that I know" or "many polyamorists" or anything along those lines, I am talking about the ones I have talked to. I discuss this with about...7 people, many of them from different areas. I think any number of 4 or greater, if they are not from the same group, usually makes a relatively accurate sample.)

I just finished reading Wikipedia's article on polyamory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory It has some statements I wish to point out, especially to emphasize them. Also, did you know Amelia Earhart was polyamoral? Percy Shelley, too, but that one hardly surprises me.

"Division of love" does not really exist.
By loving many, you do not love any one person less. Love is not a finite thing. You can have an endless amount of it. You can give the same amount to three people, if you wish. You can give more to one and less to another. It depends on how much the two of you care for each other, how much you love each other. By loving Tom, you do not love Bill any less.
For example, does a parent love one child any less by having another child?

You can be faithful to all partners. To all lovers. Faithfulness is not defined by having only one partner. This definition is one I agree with, and what I think many of my polyamoral friends would agree with:
"Most polyamorists define fidelity as being honest and forthcoming with their partners in respect to their relational lives, and keeping to the commitments they have made in those relationships."
I personally see monogamous fidelity as possessiveness. I don't see how feminsts can be so vehemently encouraging of monogamy. Feminists hate to see women (or supposedly anyone) being "owned" or "controlled" by anybody else. That's what I think monogamists do who ask monogamy of each other. By *giving* it, they are not necessarily placing themselves in the other person's "control", but when they *request* it, they are asking for control.
I personally (again with the I personally) enjoy being "owned" by my primary. But that's just my personal preference. ^_~

Respect for other partners
I emphasize the fact that your partner's other partners are not tolerated; rather, they are accepted. I am made happy when I know my lover can enjoy someone else, in addition to me. Most polyamoral lovers feel this way, because if, say, Linda's lover Bill takes a partner, and Bill sees it as a joyful thing, then Linda likes it because it makes Bill happy. Respect that others are part of one's partner's life, not just "forces to be reckoned with."

You'd be surprised how much commitment is involved. As with any relationship, two people in a polyamorous relationship may choose to make a defined commitment to each other. This is not to say that commitment is synonymous with monogamy; because commitment is defined by http://dictionary.reference.com (this is the relevant definition btw, not all the other random irrelevant definitions) as: "The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons." And I swear it really does say "or persons." Look it up.

Polyamory is NOT "swinging"
This one is a sidenote, really: "Swingers" generally refers to the people in a couple who may take other partners; this typically does not involve an emotional relationship any greater than "friend." Polyamory, on the other hand, is dating Tom while going out with Bill. Swinging is more like dating Tom and screwing Bill.

Next I intend to discuss primary, secondary, etc. types of relationships. For now, I will say that some polyamorists and polygamists do level their partners. As humans, it's damn hard *not* to rank others. You do it with your friends, with your family, with politicians, with priests. Ranking happens. Sometimes intentionally.


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argh you close-minded people [Oct. 5th, 2005|06:23 pm]
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[humour |aggravatedaggravated]

It has been brought to my attention that the ideas and practices discussed here may not be perceived properly due to the reader's preconceived notions on the subject.

In other words, DROP YOUR BIAS! I am not responsible for messing it up further than it already is. Get your ideas out of your head, hang on to your knowledge of yourself and you would prefer, but please drop your opinions. Don't look at the examples of poly-ness gone wrong--usually, that is abusive polygamy. Here, the focus is on polyAMORY.  Bad poly-ness, which is almost always polyGAMY, is *usually* is practiced by people who are pretty messed up in the head to begin with.

Drop your biases. Know yourself. Learn about others.

This has been your public announcement for the day.


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What is polyamory? How does one practice it? [Oct. 4th, 2005|10:33 pm]
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Not everyone in American society believes monogamy is the best way of life. Many people are polygamous or polyandrous, and some are polyamorous. Polyamory comes from the Greek prefix poly meaning "many" and the Latin word amor meaning "love." Polyamory thus means having many loves. While some religions perceive this as sinful, most people who practice polyamory are pagan. I am polyamorous.

The greatest advantage of polyamory is always being able to go out with someone new. If you meet an interesting person, there is nothing stopping you from going out with him or her. But there are so many things to love about dating several people. The next important motive, to me at any rate, is always having someone to talk to or spend time with. Also, no matter what mood you might be in, there will always be someone who understands and caters to that mood better than others. Finally, if you need help, you don't have to wait for one person to become available; there is most likely someone else who can help you.

The greatest disadvantage of polyamory is scheduling. Having to cooperate your schedule with those of several other people can get very difficult. Having a memory as horrid as I do only makes it worse, and I have problems just scheduling friends! If one person has limited time available for you, it makes it hard for you to set aside that specific time for him or her. There is also the problem of overbooking. As a person who doesn't use a date book myself, I recommend you get one, especially if you're going to have several partners. Rescheduling can be a hassle. Scheduling in the first place can be a hassle sometimes.

There is one single important rule in polyamory: keep relationships separate! Even though you may have several relationships, that does not excuse you from putting any less effort into it than if you had only a single relationship. Keeping relationships separate allows you to put the proper effort into any single relationship without mixing up or offending partners, and a relationship may progress naturally without avoidable outside interference. Some people do this by dating people from different social groups, some by dating people in different areas, and others by devoting periods of time to specific partners (for example, a week with one and then a week with another). I encourage others to follow this rule enthusiastically because you should date someone for his or her own merits, not for being able to say that you're dating so many people.

Polyamory also provides for multiple person relationships. I have no experience in this area personally, and I have not talked to anyone about it who has that experience. In theory, though, there could be more than two people in a relationship, and I have heard several times that such relationships exist.

Polyamory may not suit everyone. Some people will never accept an idea so foreign and taboo, especially when they perceive it as sinful. Some simply cannot handle having more than one romantic partner. For those of us who practice polyamory, though, it can often be a very fulfilling and continually exciting experience.


This is based on a paper I wrote for English, so excuse how the tone of it hardly fits the format. (I think they don't match, anyway).


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Intro [Oct. 3rd, 2005|09:49 pm]

Polyamory - from Greek prefix poly meaning "many" and Latin amor meaning "love"; thus, polyamory means having or willing to have many loves.

Polyandry - Greek poly and andros, meaning "man". In current terms, polyandry means having/dating/screwing or willing to have/date/have sexual relations with multiple men.

Polygamy - Greek poly and game I *think* it's game. I do know it's the word for woman. Polygamy thus means having many women.

Monogamy - from Greek prefix mono and woman. Currently means having one partner, man or woman.

more on this later


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