Understanding Polygamy

Thaluikhain

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Chris Moses said:
I am in a same-sex 3-way relationship. Me and partner #1 have been together for 19 years. Our "third" has been a part of our family for 9 years. We sleep in the same bed.
Might seem like an odd question, but how does that work? Three in a bed seems like someone would be stuck in the middle and wouldn't be able to get out without climbing over or waking someone.
 
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It isn't for me. If other people want that kind of relationship and can make it work then good for them, really.
Me though? I'm a monogamous person and I expect any partner of mine to be the same. I am simply not comfortable with the idea.
 

Abomination

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As long as the folks are consenting and understand exactly what's going on - bump uglies with as many or as few people as you desire.

While "marriage" may be off the table it doesn't prevent such legal notions as "power of attorney" from being used in a poly-amorous relationship.
 

MiskWisk

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Like a couple of people have already mentioned, it can work in theory and if everyone agrees to it then go nuts.

HOWEVER. I am inherently pessimistic and rather cynical when it comes to relationships and if I was asked to go into that situation my mind would definitely not go in the happy and constructive direction needed to actually get the whole thing started. Going into that, if I was attracted to multiple people (hypothetically speaking) I would consider it a miracle to get one of the people to reciprocate and would never try to push my luck. In short, I definitely do not have the unique (and if I might add, rare) mindset to actually go through with it myself.
 

Seydaman

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I have two girlfriends, although I'll probably break up with one soon, (gay, btw)

They know about each other but don't interact

I identify as poly-amorous
 

Spider RedNight

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Saetha said:
Hmm. I have absolutely zero experience with open relationships or loving two people at once or whatever, but the idea doesn't exactly appeal to me. I'm not a terribly needy, emotional, or social person - one boyfriend's hard enough to manage with my general lack of intimacy, I don't think I'd ever manage to have enough for two, much less want that. I'd constantly compare them, pick a favorite, give him more attention - and then I'd feel like a ***** for stringing the other along. I just don't think I need that level of - what, affection? Attention? I don't think I'd even want it. Hell, I typically find light flirtation is often more intimate than I'd like. I hate when people raise a fuss over me, and two guys doing it at once? Eugh.

As for being one of the legs in a polygamist triangle - well, then I'd just feel inadequate. It's probably silly, but I've always liked those stupid notions about true love and all that. Being with a guy who also needed some other girl (Or... some other guy, if he swung that way) to be happy... I'd just feel like a fling, no matter what he says. If I really were all that special, he wouldn't need someone else. I mean, it's not special if he's giving it to some other girl, too. Given my own tendency to insecurity and self-deprecation, I'd just end up feeling miserable and worthless.

I don't think I'd be able to handle something like that. Keeping one guy would be so much simpler. I don't even have much of a sex drive, so I don't see any reason why I'd need more.
I haven't seen an online post so relatable since those Silent Hill explanations I found on Youtube several years ago.

I don't event think I have anything to add, everything you've said is all just... so very true.
 

Nickolai77

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DizzyChuggernaut said:
Why do we have multiple friends? Is it because we find certain qualities in different people that, depending on the mood, situation and location, are more appropriate than others? We have friends we like to get smashed with on a Friday night, we have friends we like to watch films and play video games with, we have friends who we can discuss abstract ideas with and have an understanding.

Why do lovers have to operate in a different way? I mean, if we're aware of why monogamy and sex drive exist instead of ascribing it to something supernatural and calling people your "true love" or "the one" or "love at first sight", the only things I see getting away from treating lovers the same way would be jealousy and anxiety. Which are valid things to feel, don't get me wrong. But apart from that there isn't much to interfere.
I view myself as being firmly monogamous romantically, so to try and answer your points from my sort of perspective:

Lovers and friends are quite different. You can have multiple friends as opposed to lovers because you invest different emotions into them. Friends are people who you see simply see fairly regularly who you trust and enjoy spending time with- a lover is someone of all those things plus you are physically and romantically attracted to them- and those romantic feelings entail a lot of very powerful emotions that make you and only you want to spend time and become intimate with them.

Jealousy and anxiety are certainly a major factor in why people are monogamous- but those feelings come about when those romantic feelings aren't being fulfilled. And for a number of people (but not everyone) those feelings can only be fulfilled if you're in a relationship with one person and that person is only in a relationship with you.


There's nothing wrong at all with having multiple romantic and/or sexual partners- everyone's different- I hope my explanation is of use when understanding the other perspective.
 

Dizchu

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Nickolai77 said:
There's nothing wrong at all with having multiple romantic and/or sexual partners- everyone's different- I hope my explanation is of use when understanding the other perspective.
Oh yeah absolutely. I forgot to mention how big a factor exclusivity is in monogamy's appeal. Having someone care exclusively about you and caring exclusively for them must feel pretty special and if that's what brings people comfort or excitement, that's great. I think I should also mention that the line between friend and lover can be very blurred and you can easily have relationships that are "beyond" mere friendship but not quite at the level of "lover". For example, I've never had an official romantic relationship with anyone but I have had intimate moments with a few girls that would be considered out of the ordinary for "platonic" love.

I don't wish to make anyone feel old-fashioned or paranoid for preferring monogamy though. We all have our preferences and as long as it involves consenting adults, go for it.
 

happyninja42

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I think it's possible for a polygymous relationship to work, but it would require certain circumstances. I had a girlfriend who wanted to have a girlfriend, as she was exploring her sexuality, and was learning that she was bisexual. I personally didn't have a problem with it, even if I didn't find the woman attractive myself. I mean I wouldn't have minded a 3some, but it didn't really phase me. I had seen pictures of the girl, and she was pretty, but she didn't really stir my loins. But I equally didn't feel threatened by her either. To me, having a relationship with a woman would be a type of relationship I couldn't provide. That girl/girl nature, and no I don't mean the sex, I mean the mentality aspect, isn't something I could replicate. So I didn't really have a problem with it personally. She seemed kind of surprised by this. We broke up shortly after that, mainly because she was really mentally/emotionally unstable, but the possible 3 way relationship wasn't a factor.

I have a friend online who was in a relationship with...I think it was 5 people total? 2 guys and 3 girls, and they were pretty interchangeable about the sex stuff. They seemed to have a pretty good relationship, but it didn't last, there was some animosity between some of the members, and some jealousy, but it all seemed to be from 1 person, so maybe without that person it would've been fine. *shrugs*

I dunno, I don't see a problem with it, I don't think it's any sign of God that you are more blessed than anyone else, since I don't believe in God, I find that reason total bullshit. I do think, given our current cultures views on sexuality and morality, it is hard to pull it off, because most of the people in the relationship, are coming into it with a pre-programmed mindset that is contrary to polygomy, and dumps a ton of pre-loaded guilt and shame for taking part in such a relationship.
 

raankh

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Growing up as the second generation of the sexual revolution here in Sweden, I can't help but to say something on this ;)

As long as love is not equal to sex for everybody involved, I don't see a problem at all with polyamory. Marriage as a society building function is waaay outdated here in Sweden, so I'll leave polygamy as such on the wayside.

If it is about sex, then there's bound to be jealousy and possessiveness which will be bad. That's not to say there can't be sexual relationships, but if that's what the constellation actually is all about, I think it's better to be friends with benefits and not involve deep personal commitments. Or just swing it as couples -- seems like good way to go about it, something you share rather than keep to yourself.

So if love and sex are quite separate things to you, you can probably be poly if you fancy it; as long as that goes for everyone involved.
 

EvilRoy

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I think a lot of the serious issues people have with polygamy today is related to the kind of iffy practices that can come with religiously mandated polygamy - where partners are chosen for you, or you are required to take additional partners despite not necessarily wanting them. This is getting pretty rare now though, so the negative connotations are fading a little I think. For a long time though, polygamy basically meant "god or the priest decides, not you" and that was eventually rebelled against.

I don't really know how I feel about it personally. I ultimately don't care how people live so long as it doesn't negatively effect me or society at large - don't threaten my soft life and we get along kind of attitude - but I also question the logistics and statistics if you will. It just seems super unlikely to me that not only three or more people discover they all mutually love each other, but that those three people are all equally capable of managing time and emotions so effectively as to accommodate that. At the same time though, we have people in this very thread who have found it to totally work, so I guess there's me with egg on my face. I don't know if it will ever be a large part of society that is able to do this though.

As for me, I'm a pretty solid introvert. I have one person I am interested in, and I don't think I could handle receiving/giving more attention than that on a personal level, which cuts me right out of the possibility.
 

DevilWithaHalo

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I'm a huge fan of chicken. It's amazing the ways you can cook it. You can grill, BBQ, microwave, dice, strip, add it to salads, sandwhiches, etc. It's healthy for you, tastes great, and I could eat it every day.

But sometimes, I need a steak. A nice New York Pepper Steak. Bloody, thick and covered in a nice wine sauce.

Wanting that steak doesn't change the way I feel about chicken. I could even have chicken and steak in the same day.

So if I eat chicken, am I suddenly not allowed to eat steak anymore? There's lots of chicken out there.

I use food metaphors a lot. Now I was some chicken... and some steak.
 

JarinArenos

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Paradox SuXcess said:
Two men and one woman, one man and two women, maybe same gendered polygamy relationship. It doesn't have to be 3 but 4. Okay let's stick to three. So allow me to ask, what would your reaction be if your partner wanted to try a polygamous relationship? Would it be something that bothered you? Something you are open too? Have you, yourself, even been in a polygamous relationship or currently in one? Or is the simple answer, love is love and it's something you just can't control.
It would depend heavily on who the third person was. My wife and I are very close; close enough that jealousy doesn't really enter into my thought processes much at all. However, if we're sharing eachother, it would have to be with a person that we both care about very much. None of this "one person with two SOs" crap, but three people together. Knowing myself, it would also have to be suggested first by my wife, since I'd be too worried of her thought processes if I suggested I wanted someone else too.

Really, I think my qualifier is at the core of most problematic poly relationships. It's one person with two girl/boy-friends, rather than three people together. I'm not talking sexually here, mind you. The guy/guy/girl thing doesn't require the guys to be bi (though I'm sure it would help), but it does require closeness and trust.
 

raankh

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Happyninja42 said:
I think it's possible for a polygymous relationship to work, but it would require certain circumstances. I had a girlfriend who wanted to have a girlfriend, as she was exploring her sexuality, and was learning that she was bisexual. I personally didn't have a problem with it, even if I didn't find the woman attractive myself. I mean I wouldn't have minded a 3some, but it didn't really phase me. I had seen pictures of the girl, and she was pretty, but she didn't really stir my loins. But I equally didn't feel threatened by her either. To me, having a relationship with a woman would be a type of relationship I couldn't provide. That girl/girl nature, and no I don't mean the sex, I mean the mentality aspect, isn't something I could replicate. So I didn't really have a problem with it personally. She seemed kind of surprised by this. We broke up shortly after that, mainly because she was really mentally/emotionally unstable, but the possible 3 way relationship wasn't a factor
Take this with a grain of salt; I couldn't help but recognize myself in this. Dude, you got pussy-whipped!

I don't know the details of course, but I'd say she wanted you to dump her. That's what I'd read into it. Epic fail on her part in that case, considering your reaction, but maybe you couldn't take a hint either?
 

Secondhand Revenant

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Well I think adding more people can only make it more prone to failure, but if it works out for people then good for them.
 

MysticSlayer

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I'm convinced there isn't a single girl out there who's even remotely interested in me, so the thought hasn't crossed my mind. But now you're telling me that there might actually be two girls out there that want to be with me? You must be absolutely crazy!

As for any potential girl who I do date, then...BAHAHAHAHA!!!! Sorry, that thought is just too ridiculous for me to continue. As I've established, no girl wants to be in a relationship with me, so let's just not think about it.

More seriously, no, I'm not interested in those kinds of relationships, and I probably wouldn't be too pleased if I were to ever have a girlfriend that wanted one.
 

happyninja42

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raankh said:
Happyninja42 said:
I think it's possible for a polygymous relationship to work, but it would require certain circumstances. I had a girlfriend who wanted to have a girlfriend, as she was exploring her sexuality, and was learning that she was bisexual. I personally didn't have a problem with it, even if I didn't find the woman attractive myself. I mean I wouldn't have minded a 3some, but it didn't really phase me. I had seen pictures of the girl, and she was pretty, but she didn't really stir my loins. But I equally didn't feel threatened by her either. To me, having a relationship with a woman would be a type of relationship I couldn't provide. That girl/girl nature, and no I don't mean the sex, I mean the mentality aspect, isn't something I could replicate. So I didn't really have a problem with it personally. She seemed kind of surprised by this. We broke up shortly after that, mainly because she was really mentally/emotionally unstable, but the possible 3 way relationship wasn't a factor
Take this with a grain of salt; I couldn't help but recognize myself in this. Dude, you got pussy-whipped!

I don't know the details of course, but I'd say she wanted you to dump her. That's what I'd read into it. Epic fail on her part in that case, considering your reaction, but maybe you couldn't take a hint either?
No, the fact that she was an emotionally unstable girl who tried to slit her wrist at my house, after I refused to punch her in the face during sex, is mostly why we broke up. First night alone with her, my parents were out of town. We're in bed, having a fun/romantic bit of loveplay, she's on top, and she starts crying. I ask her what's wrong, she begs me to punch her, in the face. Not just slap, but punch. I refuse, she gets off me, runs crying down the hall to my kitchen, and takes a knife to her wrist. I snatch it from her, and she runs to another room in the house, and basically hibernates in there till dawn. She wakes up, all happy smiles and bubbliness, as if nothing had happened. I, having been up all night because I was freaked the fuck out, then had to explain what happened. Which she apparently didn't remember. We didn't stay together much longer after that, mostly for my mental stability.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I'm just gonna link this cracked article from someone who escaped a polygamy cult.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19595_5-things-i-learned-as-mormon-polygamist-wife.html
 

Blow_Pop

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Phuctifyno said:
I have nothing against monogamy, but I think our cultural prioritization of it is misguided. It's widely accepted for its convenience. I'm personally at a disagreement with our culture here because in principal I'm opposed to our defining of relationship roles and boundaries before we've even met the person we expect to fill those roles. A lasting relationship should grow out of the people relating to one another, not predetermined rules. I'm not quick to say "fuck rules" either, but I don't think they should be relied upon as heavily as they are in this matter.
I have to especialy agree here with your first sentence. And the second one. Part of the reason that poly works for people is that they realise how selfish and ridiculous it is to expect 1 person to be able to fill ALL of our needs.

Like anything in any relationship, communication is bottom line.
And that is the absolute truth. And is why a LOT of relationships poly or mono don't work. People don't communicate and expect their partner(s) to be able to read their mind and get angry when they can't.


Now, I'm not poly. I think I *could* be with someone I actually trusted who gave a shit about me. But I don't know. At the same time I'm a very jealous and possessive person so I'm fairly sure I'm not poly. But I also have a lot of friends who are poly....actually most of my friends are come to think of it.....

In fact, here's some links and stuff to try and help people understand (written from actual poly people)
Kimchi cuddles (this is a webcomic)
poly blog thing
another blog thing
definition of term
link about poly being all women and never men (which someone else mentioned)

Also, there's the problem of poly people dating mono people and trying to force them into being poly or open relationships and that doesn't work. Or like my last relationship where he just wanted to fuck everyone under the sun without being safe about it or giving a shit about my feelings and I was barely allowed out to see my friends let alone even consider having sex with someone else (he called it poly but let's just call it what it was: an abusive relationship where he wants to feel less guilty about cheating).