Lets start a revolution

NeonKaos

Custodian
You should have told them about all the awards you won when you were a student. Maybe that would have saved their relationship. If you hurry, maybe you can catch them before they get away.
 

Derbylicious

New member
The girl left without looking back. The guy was trying to be hard with her but you could see how sad he was. Too bad, if they only knew it was coded in their DNA maybe they would have been nicer to each other... not hurt, not angry... they could have told each other "That's life, relationships can't last forever, despite what all those songs on radio say..."

Why would the break up be any less painful even if they knew that (according to you) their relationship was doomed to have an expiry date? Humans come with a whole lot of emotions. When we are intimately involved with someone we let our guards down and we tend to expose to them the things that are most likely to hurt us. Leading up to a break up there tends to be a lot of fighting and a lot of these things are brought up which leads to the break up being painful. There are plenty of non-monogamous people who have break ups that are just as painful (for all you know the couple who you saw were non-monogamous).
 

nycindie

Active member
Yeah, ridiculous to think that people wouldn't hurt or feel the sting of a break-up anymore if they embraced polyamory as their "true nature." Polyamory is about love, after all, not just biological sexual urges, and loving someone brings the possibility of a full range of emotional responses. We let someone into our hearts, and when they move on, there is often pain, for numerous reasons. Plus you don't know what happened with that couple to make any assumptions.

Hey, regarding DNA coding and biology and choice an all that shit, think about this: I'm biologically built to birth babies, but I've never felt the urge. I may be programmed for it, my hormones and instincts prepare me for it, but I know I was never meant to be a mother. I never wanted it, and at 50 I am relieved and happy to have dodged that bullet all my life. Am I missing out because I have a uterus and was supposed to use it for popping out offspring?

Scheisse, no!!
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Hey, regarding DNA coding and biology and choice an all that shit, think about this: I'm biologically built to birth babies, but I've never felt the urge. I may be programmed for it, my hormones and instincts prepare me for it, but I know I was never meant to be a mother. I never wanted it, and at 50 I am relieved and happy to have dodged that bullet all my life. Am I missing out because I have a uterus and was supposed to use it for popping out offspring?

Scheisse, no!!

Word.
 

redpepper

New member
I understand that many of you guys feel "special " and more mature than others, and "different ". Then I come along and say "no... you are not different at all ". I understand why this would make you to not like me...

You are special because you were strong enough to see thru the lies. Now be strong enough to realize that you are NOT special in that we were all born non monogamous, and that this is all pure biology and nothing else... and that being poly is a RESULT of this non monogamous nature.

I have an advanced degree in the social sciences (but I'm not American as you can tell) so I look at things in an academic and scientific way. I had articles published in my field and won awards for some of the things I wrote. We are just looking at things from a different perspective, you talk about the everyday experiences that people have here, I talk about the nature of our race.

OK, I must remind myself how emotional and irrational people are, and move on.... thanks

Soooo, what you are saying is that we are all not special or different, yet our monogamous culture would say we are, yet no one is because we are all non monogamous?

And because of your education (not life education by the sounds of it... academic) we have not realized this and should begin a regimented assault on our culture of monogamy and stage a take over?

Why? Because you think your academics wins out over real life experiences of the emotional and irrational... (not seeing the irrational here, but whatever... your statement)? Because monogamoists are wrong and Polyamorists are right simply because a book says that history says so? And you too of course?

Is this correct? I don't mean to sound sarcastic, I am simply taking the words that you have used and am attempting to understand.

In my personal opinion, academic and scientific study is all very well, but has just as much clout as real life experience and the study of culture by being in it and participating in it respectfully. Something that seems to be missing in your posts OP. What is your experience with poly and open/casual relationships and sex?

We are all no more different or special than the next person. No one comes out on top. People have a need to belong, be encouraged, find wisdom in others and learn from that.... that is what happens on this forum and is what has made it successful thus far.

I find when people approach a topic in such a way as to appear arrogant and condescending and therefore lack respect for others....that I don't want to feel a sense of belonging with them (poly belonging, existing on this planet at this time belonging, living in this culture belonging), nor am I interested in their wisdom regardless of what they tell me their education is (we don't even know what course of study you are in.... could be Spanish or something), not to mention I lose the ability to look for the nuggets of wisdom in what they say. I just don't want to engage them at all and toodle off to find someone that does want to "discuss" rather than "brow beat" as someone said.

Please encourage me to be patient and engaging by taking another approach to this valid topic. Your opinion is valid OP, just not your presentation of it. Perhaps a debate with some respect for others and their experience and education would be better received?

Sex at Dawn focuses on our polyamorous natures, but it also demonstrates that humans evolved to have a mixed reproductive strategy. This does not exclude monogamy as a viable option. Certainly we were meant to be much more egalitarian in our sexual practices, and certainly polyamory is natural, but you cannot tell a person who feels, even after deep self-reflection and contemplation, that monogamy is a better fit for them that they are wrong.
Thank you Penny, this was my understanding of the book from people I am friends with here in my town that met the author this past fall at a conference.

The author presented an idea based on his research findings from what I understand. Interesting, but by far not the whole story... what is most interesting is that his book is likely the tip of the iceberg where this course of study is concerned. What made it history, it seems, is that it opened the door to more and more exploration on sexuality and orientation. It is moving our culture of monogamy to think differently about where monogamy came from and why. That is a good thing. I believe it is always a good thing to challenge oneself and others. I love that this book is doing that and comes up over again for me in different contexts and arenas throughout my life.

My brother has a doctorate in biology. He is a behaviourist. I am a therapist by trade.... We have had some very interesting discussions on the difference between animal behaviour and human behaviour as a result.

He is monogamous with his partner and I am as poly as they come. He and I could talk for hours and debate our positions... he has been completely confused as to "why?" I would be this way where he isn't ... he is finding it easier to accept and even embrace by thinking of me and other poly people in terms of study. In nature animals are quite often on the same continuum of the scale between monogamy and casual sex or poly, depending on how one wants to look at it. My brothers coping mechanism for understanding is to view me as being on that scale that all creatures are on... *shrug* what ever works for him... its a work in progress this topic we discuss... he is convinced, with the help of his partner and mono friends, that my husband and I will break up over this. There seems to be no interest in the possibility that I might break up with my other partners that have equal value to me and my life.

What he doesn't get is that "this" has always been for us for 13 years we have been together... and that "this" is the best it has ever been... there is nothing to do but live my life as an example and let time pass. And, keep discussing. :D
 

disillusioned

New member
OK, I read all the posts again. I was not condescending or attacking, or anything, until way way into this discussion. I started with questions:

How do you find partners that have the same POV? Do you just tell people that you meet that this is how you see things?

Instead of answers, I was attacked and my intentions questioned:

One book later, based on research and a perspective that is not without debate...

All very interesting and valid points but you should consider broadening your scope of research

I've been also flamed and when I posted a reply "flame" it has been removed (but the flaming post not) and I also asked to close the thread and that request was deleted too. (I think if I started a thread I should be allowed to close it).

Polyamory seeks acceptance, not conversion.

First of all, I didn't say Polyamory is about about conversion. But I AM about conversion. I now "push" on everyone I know an organic wheat grass powder called Green Vibrance. It has all the nutrients and vitamins you need, it promotes general health, it gives you clean natural energy, it increases your mental capacity. You can find it on Amazon and read the 139 five star reviews. There are now six other people who started taking it because of me, because I "pushed" them to it. Why? Because I've never been healthier in my life, because it knocked off an hour of my sleep each night, because my skin looks like I'm 12 years old again. So when I find something good I talk about it with everybody and try to have them try it. That's just the kind of person I am. Actually, many or most people I know would NOT talk about this with their friends because most people (according to my 31 years of experience) have a tendency to keep good things for themselves, out of selfishness and jealousy.

Soooo, what you are saying is that we are all not special or different, yet our monogamous culture would say we are, yet no one is because we are all non monogamous?

Let me tell you about a paper I'm writing, it is about the writings of an Italian philosopher called Giorgio Agamben who argues that we are all Homo Sacer, that is, a person who has been included into society by being excluded from it. For example - Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930's were, by law, unprotected by law. That is, they were legally stripped out of their legal rights, so despite the fact that it was illegal to murder, you could still legally kill Jews, because there was a law for it. This is different from previous centuries where, for example, in Rome, Romans were citizens while salves were not - salves were "outside of law" all together. Today, because we live in "civilized" societies, we make laws that legalize unlawful things, Guantanamo Bay, for example.

So, there you have it - inclusion by exclusion. Pretty confusing, ah? Sounds like a bunch of crap? Maybe... But all these abstract ideas and complicated notions allow us to dig deeper into reality, discover new layers of meaning, find out more about what is around us. So when I became condescending (after being attacked) and brushed off things like "every person is different", I only did it because it was not part of the discussion to begin with.

If every person is really different - you can kiss most sciences goodbye. Medicine, Psychotherapy, Sociology... If we are all different, there is no point to any of them.

What would be part of the discussion? What would make a "meaningful" discussion? (I admit, meaningful to me) I will give you an example. Now I will play the other side:

Dear disillusioned,

There might be evidence that Homo Sapiens, in nature, is a non monogamous race. However, over the past 5000 years we developed societies in order to make life more manageable and we created some norms that facilitate that. One of these norms is that people form life long relationships, so they may have children, accumulate personal property so those children are being taken care of, and so the two individuals care for each other in old age, etc.

And you know something disillusioned? It worked pretty well so far. We are people living in societies, not animals running wild. Most girls are capable of bearing children at the age of 12-14, and a healthy boy will develop sperm at around that age too. So what do you suggest? That kids start having children at the age of 12, only because it is "natural"? Only because "they can"? We are living in a civilized society and while perhaps we are not monogamous - in NATURE - if everybody would live a polygamous life, society would crumble and deteriorate into chaos.

[end of imaginary post]

That would be a deep, intellectual, abstract and philosophical argument. (sorry for being condescending, again - I became like that after being attacked, my motives questioned, not taken seriously, etc)

I will add to that, about my "experience" - I don't know many people who at the age of 31 had a 9 year relationship. There are many people twice my age who never have this experience. Also, me and my GF are not really broken up, she released me for a period of experimentation and self search, and I used it to get in touch with a girl I had a crush on for five years, and started a relationship with her, while also seeing a 3rd girl AND my gf. This has all been externally interesting, confusing, etc etc, but the point is that while I'm not 70 years old with 55 years of poly experience, I'm not some 14 years old who doesn't know anything about anything.

Keep the flames for yourselves and have a nice day.
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hey, I am intrigued by the book Sex at Dawn and your post reminded me I wanted to order it off of Amazon. They had a used hardcover for under $9... it will soon be mine.

From the reviews I read, I tend to buy the authors' theory that for 95% of human culture, we lived in small tribes of 150 or less, where people had multiple sex partners, and all adults were called mother and father by offspring of the tribe.

I was mono for 30 years, but always had a roving eye and got crushes on people right and left. Since I started exploring polyamory over 10 years ago, my mind was opened. After my ex and I split, and I started dating multiple people, as well as finding a dear poly gf, I have never felt so free and authentic, true to myself.
 

River

Active member
From the reviews I read, I tend to buy the authors' theory that for 95% of human culture, we lived in small tribes of 150 or less, where people had multiple sex partners, and all adults were called mother and father by offspring of the tribe.

But were these also love partners?

I ask because -- as many here know -- I'm weary of the rampant loss of whole connection (or intimacy) in "sex," which is often now treated as a trivial form of casual recreation where the heart isn't expected to be involved. I see a wide spectrum of kinds of loving being possible, and am not opposed to brief "encounters," but (perhaps especially among "gay" men) it's sometimes difficult to find whole, rounded "encounter". Too many hearts are left out of "sex" altogether.
 

dragonflysky

New member
....
First of all, I didn't say Polyamory is about about conversion. But I AM about conversion. I now "push" on everyone I know an organic wheat grass powder called Green Vibrance. It has all the nutrients and vitamins you need, it promotes general health, it gives you clean natural energy, it increases your mental capacity. You can find it on Amazon and read the 139 five star reviews. There are now six other people who started taking it because of me, because I "pushed" them to it. Why? Because I've never been healthier in my life, because it knocked off an hour of my sleep each night, because my skin looks like I'm 12 years old again. So when I find something good I talk about it with everybody and try to have them try it. That's just the kind of person I am. Actually, many or most people I know would NOT talk about this with their friends because most people (according to my 31 years of experience) have a tendency to keep good things for themselves, out of selfishness and jealousy.


I have never been one that listens well to high pressure sales people...or fundamentalist "fire and brimstone" styles..or "snake oil" type presentations...no matter how potentially wonderful, unique, or outstanding a "product" may be. This is how your style comes across to me. I get into that old "fight-flight-freeze" positioning, which I don't find conducive in trying to connect and discuss issues with others. As a psychotherapist...I don't find it to be a particularly effective style of communication with the majority of the people who are considering making changes within themselves...and I have been in "the business" for 34 years.

Do I go around talking about all I know from personal and professional experience to everyone I meet because it's good stuff and I want everyone to benefit from it? NO! Is it because I "want to keep good things for myself, out of selfishness and jealousy." NO. It's because I have deep respect for an individual's autonomy, their sense of value and worth, their right to travel their journey...and while I find humans to have many common wants, needs, patterns of behaviors, etc....each one has had a unique combination.

You will find those who respond well to your style of presentation about your POV. If your desire is to share the "good news" you've found, however, with the largest number of people possible...and/or to find others who share a similar POV...AND TO BE HEARD...I'm not sure you're current style of communication is the most conducive to that end.
 
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ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Instead of answers, I was attacked and my intentions questioned:
If you had questions, they were probably lost in the delivery of your message.

I've been also flamed and when I posted a reply "flame" it has been removed (but the flaming post not) and I also asked to close the thread and that request was deleted too. (I think if I started a thread I should be allowed to close it).
Your report was examined by the mods, and was resolved with no action required as it wasn't a flame.
Your other post was removed as redundant since you had already reported the post.
And threads are not closed in general discussions just because the OP doesn't like the answers they get...it's a discussion...and it will be permitted to carry on so long as the discussion remains productive.

That would be a deep, intellectual, abstract and philosophical argument. (sorry for being condescending, again - I became like that after being attacked, my motives questioned, not taken seriously, etc)
You have come onto the forum full of poly people and tried to preach poly to the converted. If in doing so they are not taking you seriously, then you should carefully look at why...it's probably not the message...it's your delivery (including the condescending tone)....which is pretty much all anyone here has had to say to you so far.
 

disillusioned

New member
...I don't find it to be a particularly effective style of communication with the majority of the people I have counseled..and I have been in "the business" for 34 years.

I have to tell you something... I've been going to see a therapist for the last three months, because of the problems I have been having with my gf... I realized after a few weeks that at $150 an hour, it is not in the best interest of my therapist to help me. In fact, during one session she said something like "let me now put on the therapist hat and lets do psychology 101", and THEN we were really working, while usually she just listens to me and gives me the "and how does that make you feel" line... kind of shocking... She also told me one time "I don't want to be judgmental, but..." and I had to tell her "I WANT you to be judgmental!"

Crazy stuff ah?

I'm sorry but there is also such thing as "too much" sensitivity, and being "too much" politically correct, and too much "each person has his own journey". People can rarely see their own lives in perspective, and can't easily see what someone else can see from the side. I want to have my own journey, but I don't mind at all if someone would tell me - "you know son, I'm 70 years old, I've seen tons of things in my life and now let me tell you something: X, Y, Z!" and would be giving me some of his wisdom.

Kind of like that song - always put sunscreen. And honestly, I think that many times its out of selfishness and jealousy. People think to themselves - "I made so many mistakes, now let them make mistakes too!" How many teachers / parents are jealous of their students / children? Many... if not most.

Honestly - I've never been given any "wisdom" from anybody. Not my parents, not my teachers, not my therapist.... they teach you a bunch of useless things in school and then throw you into adulthood with zero preparation. They tell you "go be a lawyer" or "go be a doctor" and they don't even explain you why.

I'm sure it's not like that for everybody, some people have highly educated and intellectual parents but most of us............ Somehow the "human experience" is not really passed from one generation to the other... every generation starts all over again.

Maybe that's why this song resonated with so many people and was such a big hit, because it is so rare that we share any type of "wisdom" with each other. Here it is, if you don't know it:


Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.

But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how...

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
 
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Derbylicious

New member
The thing is that even when the previous generation tries to despense it's wisdom of the lived human experience we (as humans) tend to think that it will be different with us. Hence having to start from scratch with every individual. Such is life.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

Sakah when the walls fell.

Juliet on a balcony.

That is all I have to add to that piece of work.
 

MindfulAgony

New member
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

Sakah when the walls fell.

Juliet on a balcony.

That is all I have to add to that piece of work.

NICE!!! Love inside jokes for the true nerds in the room.
 

disillusioned

New member
Let me ruin the "insideness" of it:

" The Tamarian language was the spoken language of the Tamarians. Federation universal translators, although they successfully translate the words, present the syntax as almost nonsensical, because the Tamarians speak entirely by metaphor, referencing mythological and historical people and events from their culture. Thus, instead of asking for cooperation, they would use a phrase such as "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra", because their culture's stories include a tale of two Tamarians, Darmok and Jalad, who fought a common foe together on an island called Tanagra. The problem with communicating in this fashion is that without knowing the meaning of the reference, the metaphor becomes meaningless. While explaining the structure of the language, Deanna Troi made up the example that "Juliet on her balcony" could be used to describe a romantic situation, although it is impossible to understand if the listener does not know who Juliet is, or why she was on the balcony. "

Good joke. A race that speak with metaphors that reference their history... and how do they reproduce? I bet they're non monogamous. ;-)
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
But were these also love partners?

Sure, why not? Do you imagine hunter/gatherers were incapable of love?

I ask because -- as many here know -- I'm weary of the rampant loss of whole connection (or intimacy) in "sex," which is often now treated as a trivial form of casual recreation where the heart isn't expected to be involved. I see a wide spectrum of kinds of loving being possible, and am not opposed to brief "encounters," but (perhaps especially among "gay" men) it's sometimes difficult to find whole, rounded "encounter". Too many hearts are left out of "sex" altogether.

Well, people are horny and they want to get off. I have heard more gay men are into casual encounters than women are. Personally, I blame the patriarchy, where men are trained from birth to not admit they have any emotion other than anger and horniness. Being loving, romantic or having the ability to cry are seen as a weakness to be buried, and beaten out of oneself if need be.

Maybe you should try bi guys? I have found several sensitive loving souls amongst bi men in my dating experiences. Got one right now. I swear, in some ways he's more woman than I am. :eek:
 
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MindfulAgony

New member
Let me ask a different question, why is it so important to you that you are right?

I have a similar need, not for revolution per se, but to change the level of acceptance for alternative relationship styles - and, importantly, lessening the myriad ways that society tries to control sex and reproduction. I find that control dehumanizing in a more literal sense of the term.

But, at its root, my passion is one of allowing choice - or more precisely - informed choice. With that focus, I have no interest in proving them wrong. On the contrary, I'd prefer if I could be allowed to be "wrong" (in their eyes) without retribution.

Life is about the choice. I want to be able to choose and for others to choose openly, knowledgeably. Any societal structure that forces a reduction in informed choice, in my eyes, is almost always suspect.

To wit, replacing a tyranny of monogamy with a tyranny of polyamory is fundamentally no change at all, in terms of its dehumanizing nature. The amount of "badness" or "wrongness" hasn't essentially shifted at all. It would just as readily stifle the human spirit.

That's not the game I want to play. Simply shifting from the oppressed to the oppressor is not changing the game.
 
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disillusioned

New member
I'm not sure where I said that I'm against choice.... Did I advocate a "relationship police" that will break up marriages after a certain time?

"We are sorry dear couple, but you've been together 10 years, that's all we allow, and you are having way too much sex... you are screwing up with our statistics...."

I didn't say that... but what I would like to see is that people will KNOW that monogamy is very much a constructed idea "forced from above" and it is highly unlikely that it is our "true nature".

In a perfect world.... yea, I would "force" people to be exposed to these ideas. But then, what they do with this knowledge - why would I care? People can do whatever they want... did I come off as a fascist dictator ???


Let me ask a different question, why is it so important to you that you are right?

It's not "important" to me that I'm right, I'm just passionate about this... and here is why:

Another thought - monogamy / relationships / sex... are just about the most important aspects of the human existence. I'm saying (and you too I think) that most people live "unnatural" lives. How many is "most people"? About 99% of the human race. This forum is one of the few places where people discuss the "alternatives". There are 6 BILLION people in the world. OK half are kids and many people don't speak English, so lets take it down to 2 BILLION, who speak English, who can connect to the internet.

2 BILLION people live "unnaturally", speak English, are connected to the internet, could find this forum if they wanted to... and there are only 3500 active members here.

WOW

Isn't that borderline sickening? To me, it is...

Yes, sickening is a strong word, I know... Its just that I see so many of society's ills as PARTLY being the result of us living "unnaturally" - people's frustrations, unhappiness, sex crimes, violence... for me this is not just "an interesting discovery", because, as I said before, it relates to the FOUNDATION of how our society is organized.

How can something that relates to the foundations of our society can be anything less than "huge" ?
 
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nycindie

Active member
But were these also love partners?

I ask because -- as many here know -- I'm weary of the rampant loss of whole connection (or intimacy) in "sex," which is often now treated as a trivial form of casual recreation where the heart isn't expected to be involved . . . Too many hearts are left out of "sex" altogether.

Sure, why not? Do you imagine hunter/gatherers were incapable of love?

Maybe love -- as we know it today in Western culture -- wasn't important.

I have some friends who had been traveling to Bali for many years, starting in the late 80s. They always stayed a few months each time in the same area in a more remote jungle region where tourists did not tend to go, far away from the cities (not sure where, I never visited them there). They went pretty much every year (except for a few years when some dangerous situations occurred and Americans were cautioned against going there) . They would go and rent space to hold workshops there, and made friends with the local Balinese people who lived in the surrounding villages. Most of the local men are what we would call polygamous. Families with at least three wives and several children were the norm.

My friends eventually bought property there (even though foreigners are not allowed to own property in Bali, they had a business deal with a local village man in whose name the property is listed). By the time they built their retreat center, television had come to the region. They could now get American and European television shows and movies. This sparked some changes in attitudes.

First, the women started wearing bras, after generations of always walking around topless -- unselfconsciously and unashamed, of course. The other huge change my friends felt was almost shocking, was that the wives started asking if their husbands loved them. They began demanding to hear the words "I love you." They started fighting amongst each other to see who was loved best among the wives. Prior to seeing American soap operas, that was an unknown concept to this village. The women were secure, happy, satisfied, and comfortable in their poly relationships without ever having been told they were loved before. The men were devoted and responsible providers, yet now they were perplexed. What was this new element that now had to be brought to their relationships, which were previously working so well?

After my friends related this to us, I began to realize that love is a concept, too. A social construct. Perhaps the feelings begin with the chemical bath we all get dipped in, but what continues what we call love? It is a combination of mutual respect, caring, affection, admiration -- but what is love itself? It could be just a synonym for deep connection. I would say that perhaps good, healing, mutually beneficial and nurturing relationships don't need to depend so much on our old concepts of what love is. Personally, I feel that love is something at the core of us which gets touched when we let someone in close enough, but I don't know that it's out of the ordinary for this to happen, and perhaps it's not necessary for satisfying relationships. I don't know. How can the Western mind handle a change in the concept of what love is? Interesting...
 
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