Polyamory

Today, over at Integral Options Cafe, William brought my attention to “Polyamory in the News“. As he pointed out, polyamory is often viewed as very weird. The article and many opponents of the practice of polyamory become caught in a tangle.

Polyamory (from poly=multiple + amor=love) is a tricky subject, often because of a pre/trans fallacy. There are at least two approaches that accept polyamoury, one coming from “fuck you, I’ll sleep with anyone I want” and the other “these relationships we enter into are beneficial to us all and brimming with genuine love.” The two can easily be confused if one doesn’t know how to discern the difference in intent.

I experienced the feeling of and desire for polyamory with my first romantic and sexual stirrings. My first crush was on two best friends and ever since then my affections and tenderness were always twinned. Kira and Becky, Alicia and Jenna, and on my school crushes went. When I fell in love and had relationships later, I found that any love I felt did not diminish as I moved forward with new loves. Though the context changed, I have been blessed with loving friendships in the wake of romantic relationships. I thank my polyamorous tendencies for facilitating that, in part. Having an openness toward loving has become included as a vital aspect of my personality.

I’ve never actually practiced polyamory by having two intimate relationships at once, and it becomes a more challenging prospect as my moral understanding deepens. When we are taking into account everyone’s well being, stepping into multiple perspectives, avoiding harm and ensuring benefit for everyone is incredibly challenging. I have never been in a situation where I could say with certainty that being in relationships with two women would be best for us all, and so have remained, happily, in monogamy.

The openness to that happening remains. As Gary of Integral in Seattle pointed out in “Sacred Marriage“, higher levels of relationships are facilitating transformation and growth through intimacy. If the union of two people committed to that intimate evolution is so beautiful and beneficent it leaves us shattered in awe, what of more than two? Love becomes without boundary, and that includes both span (who we love) and depth (how deeply we love). Being in service of love then becomes about being skillful in how we act from love. I can only hope to be up to the challenge of love, however it arises.

She comes in beauty,
a Goddess,
a Woman,
a Friend,
a Lover,
a Poem.The Universe smiles her name.
She lives within me.
In every star,
in every flower,
every breath of a breeze,
in everyone I meet.She is the essence of Love,
the BE-ing of Buddha,
the Salvation of Jesus,
the Glory of the Goddess.I am the Consort of the Goddess.
I am the one who adores her.
I am that she is.
– Gary Stamper, “Consort of the Goddess

22 comments on “Polyamory

  1. Thanks for sharing my poem, Apollo. Nice blog, both in content and graphics. I keep stepping closer and closer toward Polyamory, not fully knowing if I can actually hold two “Big Loves,” or not. I think for me, it's more of how much energy do I have, rather than do I have enough room in my heart. My feels botomless. If my beloved were here all the time, I would not have the time, nor the inclination, for another.

  2. Thanks for sharing my poem, Apollo. Nice blog, both in content and graphics. I keep stepping closer and closer toward Polyamory, not fully knowing if I can actually hold two “Big Loves,” or not. I think for me, it's more of how much energy do I have, rather than do I have enough room in my heart. My feels botomless. If my beloved were here all the time, I would not have the time, nor the inclination, for another.

  3. I was happy to share the poem; I was quite inspired by it.

    I feel much the same in regard to energy vs space. Also, being capable of full presence in polyamourous relationships would, I imagine, be a challenge.

  4. I was happy to share the poem; I was quite inspired by it.

    I feel much the same in regard to energy vs space. Also, being capable of full presence in polyamourous relationships would, I imagine, be a challenge.

  5. I've only just heard about the concept of Polyamoury. On many levels, I resonate with the idea. I really do believe, after exploring a situation with a two of good male friends, that you need to truly love each person in the V. There needs to complete Truth and Integrity. Any withhold of intent, will cause a blockage in communication which causes a breakdown in the relationship.
    The openness I have allowed my men has really freaked out the one. His marriage of nine years broke down because he explored a kiss with another woman.
    The only flaw in this situation is when the people see the situation as a sex fest and get greedy. There goes Integrity.
    The inclusion of a new person too soon after someone leaves the V, can also be difficult if not handled properly.
    In fact, I’m not even that convinced that what I’ve explored is true Polyamoury. The men involved in my V are unclear in understanding the wholeness of the concept; and I am too new at it to be fulfilled.
    I really would love at some stage to experience true Polyamoury and reap the benefits of a fulfilling relationship with two authentic Polyamourists.
    Michelle 15-03-2007

  6. Thanks for yout comment Michelle. I certain;y agree with you about the pitfalls we can encounter. I believe the potential rewards are still worth exploring. I hope someday we'll both have that opportunity.

  7. I've only just heard about the concept of Polyamoury. On many levels, I resonate with the idea. I really do believe, after exploring a situation with a two of good male friends, that you need to truly love each person in the V. There needs to complete Truth and Integrity. Any withhold of intent, will cause a blockage in communication which causes a breakdown in the relationship.
    The openness I have allowed my men has really freaked out the one. His marriage of nine years broke down because he explored a kiss with another woman.
    The only flaw in this situation is when the people see the situation as a sex fest and get greedy. There goes Integrity.
    The inclusion of a new person too soon after someone leaves the V, can also be difficult if not handled properly.
    In fact, I’m not even that convinced that what I’ve explored is true Polyamoury. The men involved in my V are unclear in understanding the wholeness of the concept; and I am too new at it to be fulfilled.
    I really would love at some stage to experience true Polyamoury and reap the benefits of a fulfilling relationship with two authentic Polyamourists.
    Michelle 15-03-2007

  8. Thanks for yout comment Michelle. I certain;y agree with you about the pitfalls we can encounter. I believe the potential rewards are still worth exploring. I hope someday we'll both have that opportunity.

  9. 21 March 2007

    Morning
    I just wanted to share with you that I have left my lover. It has been a fabulous, intense almost two months. We started our journey on the 1 February.
    I cannot experience the pain of him going away with a new woman for this week. He met her two weeks ago after an intimate weekend with me. Our most connected time together. Perhaps too close, too intense. But I question if that can be true??
    I thought I would be able to accept him finding fascination with another.
    What I have experienced is that, Poly contains Deceit. That is what disappoints me intensely.
    Lies are connected to the concept.
    There is more to the story. I expected to see my lover last night after he spent the evening with his children, it was his birthday. He evaded telling me that he was not going to join me. I would have accepted for him to say that he was with another woman, but I cannot accept him using his children as a distraction for where he chose to be. It is my glimpse of the future of sharing my intimacy with another.

    Perhaps my experience is not a true reflection of what Poly should involve.
    But I am shattered by the withholding of facts and the pain that the withholding of Truth causes me.
    I am going into my Pain for now as I am really sad. I will come out stronger and with clearer vision.
    This is not easy.

  10. Michelle,

    I was sad to read about the hurt you've been undergoing. I'm sure, though, that you will come out stronger and maybe wiser.

    I think what really defines any relationship is the makeup of the people involved. I hope you'll find people who will be ready explore relationships that are based first on honesty, care and mutual passion.

  11. 21 March 2007

    Morning
    I just wanted to share with you that I have left my lover. It has been a fabulous, intense almost two months. We started our journey on the 1 February.
    I cannot experience the pain of him going away with a new woman for this week. He met her two weeks ago after an intimate weekend with me. Our most connected time together. Perhaps too close, too intense. But I question if that can be true??
    I thought I would be able to accept him finding fascination with another.
    What I have experienced is that, Poly contains Deceit. That is what disappoints me intensely.
    Lies are connected to the concept.
    There is more to the story. I expected to see my lover last night after he spent the evening with his children, it was his birthday. He evaded telling me that he was not going to join me. I would have accepted for him to say that he was with another woman, but I cannot accept him using his children as a distraction for where he chose to be. It is my glimpse of the future of sharing my intimacy with another.

    Perhaps my experience is not a true reflection of what Poly should involve.
    But I am shattered by the withholding of facts and the pain that the withholding of Truth causes me.
    I am going into my Pain for now as I am really sad. I will come out stronger and with clearer vision.
    This is not easy.

  12. Michelle,

    I was sad to read about the hurt you've been undergoing. I'm sure, though, that you will come out stronger and maybe wiser.

    I think what really defines any relationship is the makeup of the people involved. I hope you'll find people who will be ready explore relationships that are based first on honesty, care and mutual passion.

  13. Thank you.

    I am involved in a D/s poly relationship. It is a beautiful symmetry as long as you can put aside your old beliefs of love being exclusive and realize it is boundless.

    Great blog!

  14. Thank you.

    I am involved in a D/s poly relationship. It is a beautiful symmetry as long as you can put aside your old beliefs of love being exclusive and realize it is boundless.

    Great blog!

  15. Hi all
    Just found this after wanting to do some more research, having recently discovered Polyamoury, and wanted to share my story. I've never been able to be monogamous – I form intimate relationships easily and find it very hard to “pigeon-hole” my feelings to one person. So when a friend introduced me to the concept I felt as if I'd come home – I'm not alone in feeling “trapped” by conventional monogamy.

    Recently my best male friend has become my boyfriend/partner/significant other after 6 years of wanting – it's amazing. My husband accepts this, having intimate female friends of his own though he isn't ready for full-on girlfriends yet. We recognise and accept that we can lead more fulfilled lives if don't try to restrict each-other. And I now have two wonderful men in my life who I am devoted to and who are devoted to me.

    I will say that it's challenging and certain compromises have to be made, for example important dates and event clashes can need a lot of diplomacy, but the security of intimacy, honesty, and trust cannot be rivalled. No need for lies or secret affairs… I can love and be loved without lying to others or to myself.

    My boys are happy with the arrangement – I live with Husband and visit S.O. regularly. He has been deeply hurt in the past and never wants the commitment of a wife or live-in girlfriend again, so the “part-time” arrangement suits him fine.

    Angel_Ice / Michelle: I sympathise with your pain, but you did the right thing in leaving. Lies and deceit have no place in true Poly relationships (or in any relationship). After all, what's the need? If you've agreed that more than one partner is ok, there's no need to lie to one or both about where you're going of an evening. I wish you happiness – tears dry.

    Sorry for the ramble…
    C

  16. Hi all
    Just found this after wanting to do some more research, having recently discovered Polyamoury, and wanted to share my story. I've never been able to be monogamous – I form intimate relationships easily and find it very hard to “pigeon-hole” my feelings to one person. So when a friend introduced me to the concept I felt as if I'd come home – I'm not alone in feeling “trapped” by conventional monogamy.

    Recently my best male friend has become my boyfriend/partner/significant other after 6 years of wanting – it's amazing. My husband accepts this, having intimate female friends of his own though he isn't ready for full-on girlfriends yet. We recognise and accept that we can lead more fulfilled lives if don't try to restrict each-other. And I now have two wonderful men in my life who I am devoted to and who are devoted to me.

    I will say that it's challenging and certain compromises have to be made, for example important dates and event clashes can need a lot of diplomacy, but the security of intimacy, honesty, and trust cannot be rivalled. No need for lies or secret affairs… I can love and be loved without lying to others or to myself.

    My boys are happy with the arrangement – I live with Husband and visit S.O. regularly. He has been deeply hurt in the past and never wants the commitment of a wife or live-in girlfriend again, so the “part-time” arrangement suits him fine.

    Angel_Ice / Michelle: I sympathise with your pain, but you did the right thing in leaving. Lies and deceit have no place in true Poly relationships (or in any relationship). After all, what's the need? If you've agreed that more than one partner is ok, there's no need to lie to one or both about where you're going of an evening. I wish you happiness – tears dry.

    Sorry for the ramble…
    C

  17. I have been in a polyamourous relationship for over a year. I love the deepened need for honesty it provokes. What I find difficult is that my other is happily settled with 2 of us and I would like to share another loving relationship also. Any man I talk to who interests me runs a mile at the prospect. I guess it is too difficult for most to understand that a love for one need not be a threat to the love for another.

  18. I have been in a polyamourous relationship for over a year. I love the deepened need for honesty it provokes. What I find difficult is that my other is happily settled with 2 of us and I would like to share another loving relationship also. Any man I talk to who interests me runs a mile at the prospect. I guess it is too difficult for most to understand that a love for one need not be a threat to the love for another.

  19. Amen to that! Husband needs a lot of reassurance that S.O isn't “more important” than him. He's gradually working through it though, with his own self esteem issues. Any man worth being with is worth being honest with, and if he isn't prepared to accept your lifestyle choice, he isn't the right one. Good luck with your search, Gem!

  20. Amen to that! Husband needs a lot of reassurance that S.O isn't “more important” than him. He's gradually working through it though, with his own self esteem issues. Any man worth being with is worth being honest with, and if he isn't prepared to accept your lifestyle choice, he isn't the right one. Good luck with your search, Gem!

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