Sunday, January 3, 2010


"Polyamory" means "love of many" -- not "sex with many."

And "Monogamy" doesn't mean "sex with one."
It means "marriage to one."

It's funny how a theme builds: i was having a chat about swingers groups with a Logophile regular just before Christmas and he was saying how there are a few of them in the country town he lives in.

From my personal experience there is always someone in the immediate circle of friends having an affair or contemplating one.

Yesterday I clicked on a link from a friend on facebook about her being a fan of open relationships.

It would appear that quite simply, we can't keep our hands to ourselves.

Polyamory is a big subject on lots of levels. Perhaps we aren't meant to just have one partner? I concur with the sentiment below about not owning my partner. To think that we make choices based on us having a greater right to our partners body than anyone else pushes all of my rant buttons.

I regularly struggle with that notion of ownership. Does marriage imply ownership? I thought it implied choices but for some i guess it is all about self declared rights of entitlement.

1. " I cheated, but it wasn't even sexual for me. It happened in a moment of compassion for my friend. I somehow spontaneously channeled a higher-worldly force that moved through me to sexually heal her. I couldn't stop saying, "There's enough of me to go around." It was beautiful and amazing. How can this be wrong? Is this "cheating"?"

2. "To think you own your partner -- to think you have more of a stake in his/her body than anyone else: this seems tragically wrong, to me. And the presumption that Love is finite and to be hoarded! Have mercy! "

3. "If people were competing for me, it would not be ego-gratifying. I would be humbled and grateful, and I would not manipulate them. I would share myself polyamorously and conscientiously, following my heart. We are meant to be gifts to each other, so it's wrong to be manipulative."

4. "In the end I told him, "Love who you want, but don't pit other women against me or try to pit me against them, I will not cooperate. I will just let you go to find what you really want and need in life, because I'm not about lying. I'm not there anymore. I don't have to be like that -- I'm a lova in a good way."


"The notion of multiple-partner relationships is as old as the human race itself. But polyamorists trace the foundation of their movement to the utopian Oneida commune of upstate New York, founded in 1848 by Yale theologian John Humphrey Noyes. Noyes believed in a kind of communalism he hoped would fix relations between men and women; both genders had equal voice in community governance, and every man was considered to be married to every woman. But it wasn't until the late-1960s and 1970s "free love" movement that polyamory truly came into vogue; when books like Open Marriage topped best-seller lists and groups like the North American Swingers Club began experimenting with the concept. The term "polyamory," coined in the 1990s, popped up in both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English dictionaries in 2006.

Polyamory might sound like heaven to some: a variety of partners, adding spice and a respite from the familiarity and boredom that's doomed many a traditional couple. But humans are hard-wired to be jealous, and though it may be possible to overcome it, polyamorous couples are "fighting Mother Nature" when they try, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, a professor at Rutgers University who has long studied the chemistry of love. Polys say they aren't so much denying their biological instincts as insisting they can work around them—through open communication, patience, and honesty. Polys call this process "compersion"—or learning to find personal fulfillment in the emotional and sexual satisfaction of your partner, even if you're not the one doing the satisfying."

Read the rest of this interesting article at:

I don't have an answer to this question of the heart. I fall in love with people everyday, but that doesn't mean i want to marry them or sleep with them. My best friends are possibly as emotionally close to me as my partner. I don't believe that he should bare the burden of my total emotional suitcase. Mental balance and wellbeing comes from having balances and closeness / intimacy with others be it friends or family is a crucial stabilizer.

Do you need to sleep with someone to be polyamorous? Is a strong heart connection with another besides your partner breaking the monogamy code? Does sleeping with someone else lessen your connection with your partner? Does it clarify the parameters of your closest relationship?

I don't know.

I know that as a grown up i love the balance of my partner and my friends. I also know from experience that relationships end/shift/morph and run in waves of intensity.

I genuinely don't believe that one person is capable of fulfilling all of our emotional needs and to place that burden on someone is asking to be let down.

Is it the same with our physical needs? Are we being unrealistic? Should we pin all of our expectations on one person to meet all of our physical / sexual needs?

I am sure that as long as humans have been in relationships this question has been pondered. I'll leave it with you............


skink said...

my missus has said to me: "I don't ever worry about you cheating on me, because I know you just couldn't be arsed. You find one relationship taxing enough, so there's no way you would take on any further emotional baggage."

I try to take that as a compliment.

Perhaps I could do with spontaneously channelling a higher wordly force myself, as long as it doesn't leave me with cramp.

Monkeypants said...

I wonder how many people are in the same position skink? if loving two people at once is just too difficult so they don't even entertain the idea?

And then you have people like my old man who it appeared couldn't live any other way then having at least two partners on the go.

I love the depths and layers of the human heart. Do any of us truly know what we may be capable of? :)

skink said...

Milan Kundera talks about the Romantic Womaniser and contrasts him with the Epic Womaniser, but I never understood what drives them, apart from the need for approbation.

'there's plenty of me to go round' that guy says. No there isn't, there's barely enough for one family, with maybe half an hour left over to watch the news.

Monkeypants said...

"a light-hearted womanizer who lives for his work. He considers sex and love to be distinct entities: he copulates with many women but loves only his wife, Tereza. He sees no contradiction between these two activities. He explains womanizing as an imperative to explore the idiosyncrasies of people (women, in this case) only expressed during sex. At first he views his wife as a burden he is obligated to take care of, but this changes when he abandons his twin obsessions of work and womanizing and moves to the country with Tereza." From The Incredible Lightness of Being.

So, do people love more than one as an emotional survival mechanism? Is there a fear of loving one completely because you may get hurt? Is it like a foot on both sides of the fence? Or perhaps some of us are just built to love in multiples...

I have known many men who stray, but by all appearances are solid family men. Are they really plugging into their families or manipulating the situation so they get away with a notional effort? Does loving a 2nd person have to interfere with your "normal" life?