Poly networking

redpepper

New member
My friend has decided to have a poly sex party. Most of my friends are going and I'm sure will have fun. My definition of poly is one whereby I approach others that I am interested in and they approach me. I like to build loving friendships and see what happens with each of them or with couples. I have a hard time with thinking of this party as a poly event. I talked to my friend at length about this and we agreed to respectfully disagree on this and also noted that we are both on different journeys within our poly experience right now... that all can change of course and we both agreed that life is fluid in these ways.

My friend mentioned the term poly networking as a way to explain where she was coming from and the context behind the event. Not that it was like mono sex parties as everyone will be poly and like minded. I suggested the term poly swinging, but swinging can be a loaded word for some and she wasn't keen on that term :rolleyes::eek:

Any thoughts on all this? I am left stumped again about stupid definitions!!!! Geez this shit drives me crazy sometimes!
 

rosevett

New member
Any thoughts on all this? I am left stumped again about stupid definitions!!!! Geez this shit drives me crazy sometimes!

Redpepper your not alone on this and I'm glad you were able to post this to the board. I feel very similiar to you on the poly-casual sex aspect of lovestyles and even found this at one of the conferences I went to and was very surprised at my negative feelings/reactions to the casualness of it.

I don't want anyone pointing their finger at me either since I am familiar with swinging and am comfortable with it's definition and expectations. Possibily that is why some of us can peg these types of events as 'poly-swinging' and I am OK with agreeing to disagree.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
........
I have a hard time with thinking of this party as a poly event.

Hey RP,

I just think it illustrates the different outlook and priority sex plays in different people's lives. No more - no less.
I think you're creating questions in your own mind where there are none (or shouldn't be). It's not 'comfortable' for you. That's totally fine. For whoever participates - it is. That's fine too.
Again (and again and again and....) this reflects back to the whole attitude people have about the little word 'sex'.
Think of it this way...............
If this was just ....say... a barbecue party would it raise the same questions in your mind ? Not likely.
So now, we're going to barbecue and get down in the grass and somehow that's different ?

When sexuality finally becomes as accepted as ribs and burgers these questions (finally) go away. Because sexuality is every bit as normal a part of the human experience as eating. And whether your hunger is for 1 burger or 4, with or without condiments is based on your own needs.

All in the mind I say :)

GS
 
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rosevett

New member
Hey RP,
When sexuality finally becomes as accepted as ribs and burgers these questions (finally) go away. Because sexuality is every bit as normal a part of the human experience as eating. And whether your hunger is for 1 burger or 4, with or without condiments is based on your own needs.
GS
I get this concept, I occasionally 'preach' this concept. SO WHY is it that poly-sex-parties don't equate in my mind. I think that is the question at hand - correct me if I'm mistaken.

Topic for discussion, because it is a mindset.

I'm thinking that if you look at a poly-sex party and a swingers house party that only close friends have been invited to, that they would look the same to 'unknowing' people. I have been in both worlds, I speak of this from my experience and maybe that is why when the poly folks involved with a sex-party point their fingers at the swingers with really close play partners I tend to shake my head and wonder why we all can't just get along.

Maybe that is why it is so disagreeable to me - not the fact that it is a polysex party but that some may judge it as better then swinging. LABELS LABELS I know we need them and I hate them.

my rambling has ended, perhaps others have better verbage and insight then myself but this is my point of view.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
I have been in both worlds, I speak of this from my experience and maybe that is why when the poly folks involved with a sex-party point their fingers at the swingers with really close play partners I tend to shake my head and wonder why we all can't just get along.

Maybe that is why it is so disagreeable to me - not the fact that it is a polysex party but that some may judge it as better then swinging. LABELS LABELS I know we need them and I hate them.

Rose,

And I totally get YOUR point and agree.
I've raised the point before about the fine line between the TERMS 'swinging' and 'polyamory' and took the anticipated beating for it. That's ok. People form their oft quoted 'values' and belief systems based on their own personal experience and information they have (chosen) to absorb.
That is their 'truth' by definition.

But this is as good a time as any to express MY position and go wayyyyyyyyy out on a limb by say that I see a lot of pockets of people in various cultures & subcultures that under the banner of "opening their minds" have simply substituted one bucket of dogma for another that they felt better served their desires.
I see a lot of that here on this forum. (no particular individual targeted - if the shoe fits - wear it)

Now THAT should get me whipped in good shape !

GS

PS: RP - you're almost as good at stirring up a bees nest as some people I know :) I Do love honey !
 
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redpepper

New member
Haha! Thanks GS. Glad to be of service.

At least we were able to leave the conversation with mutual respect, understanding for each other and more depth to our relationship.

I think for me, and having slept on it, my initial concern was that the party may of been seen as part of another poly group that offers education. I felt uncomfortable with that, but actually it wasn't and apparently that has been rectified and changed on the invite.

I guess I see it as ... I could have sex with my co-workers, I could have sex with the regulars at the coffee shop I go to, I could have sex with the people at the gym I go to, but do I want to, feel it suits me, feel safe in that, feel like it is how I want to relate to them? Those are the questions I ask myself. If I was interested in someone I would approach it far differently.

The first half of the night is a sex toy party and I wonder how much people paid attention to the afterwards part... I got an in detail heads up on that part before hand and others didn't. Its all being handled respectfully in terms of peoples boundaries, just so you know... all thoughts... Still working on it in my head.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
I guess I see it as ... I could have sex with my co-workers, I could have sex with the regulars at the coffee shop I go to, I could have sex with the people at the gym I go to, but do I want to, feel it suits me, feel safe in that, feel like it is how I want to relate to them? Those are the questions I ask myself. If I was interested in someone I would approach it far differently.

Ok - so where IS this coffee shop eh ????? <grin>

But you say you'd approach it differently somehow with someone you were "interested" in ?
<<<scratches head>>>
You mean someone you felt some potential romantic connection to ?

So........the 'sex' that you'd potentially have with them (coffee shop) would be different somehow than this other person ? You're going to open your heart more during the act somehow ? Or something ?

Just trying to figure out what exactly you're saying here.....

Love talking to you !
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
When sexuality finally becomes as accepted as ribs and burgers these questions (finally) go away. Because sexuality is every bit as normal a part of the human experience as eating.
GS

If sexuality ever becomes this normalized for me, please shoot me. I like the pedestal I have placed it on. For me personally it gives it depth, meaning and purpose. I don't fuck just to fuck nor do I use it as a bonding agent in relationships or a recreational past time. I like the fact that it is something I share very restrictively. But that's me...and we all know I am one freaky dude :rolleyes:

Peace and love...but no sex :p Unless your name is Redpepper
Mono
 

redpepper

New member
Ok - so where IS this coffee shop eh ????? <grin>

But you say you'd approach it differently somehow with someone you were "interested" in ?
<<<scratches head>>>
You mean someone you felt some potential romantic connection to ?

So........the 'sex' that you'd potentially have with them (coffee shop) would be different somehow than this other person ? You're going to open your heart more during the act somehow ? Or something ?

Just trying to figure out what exactly you're saying here.....

Love talking to you !

No the sex wouldn't be different or the romantic aspect just that I don't have a need to fuck everyone at the coffee shop just because we hang out together. I feel like this is similar except that we are all identifying as poly. I don't have a need to fuck my friends just because we talk about poly together and identify as such.

Going to a swingers event is different for me in that I don't know anyone. Just bodies there for the same reason. Some swingers know each other but in the context of we know each other in order to have sex with each other. I know my poly friends in order to talk about poly, get to know them as people and explore the possibility of moving that relationship further with some. Maybe my friend is moving that possibility further with the whole group? Maybe they are ready for that too? Apparently so...
 

Ariakas

Bosun
Going to a swingers event is different for me in that I don't know anyone. Just bodies there for the same reason. Some swingers know each other but in the context of we know each other in order to have sex with each other. I know my poly friends in order to talk about poly, get to know them as people and explore the possibility of moving that relationship further with some. Maybe my friend is moving that possibility further with the whole group? Maybe they are ready for that too? Apparently so...

So if swinging is sex without pretense
poly is love without the requirement of sex (but can obviously be inclusive)

What are those people called who identify as poly and want to have an environment of people they know to have sex with? If I knew the group that sounds like an ideal setup to maybe expand your friends. Then again I am about the pickiest person I know for who I have sex with, I have never had a random 1 off.

I identify closer to poly than I do to swinging, because the randomness and chaos of a swinger party (never been only going by descriptions) sounds annoyingly like a keg party. I have been to those and random act of sex is something I am not capable of.
 

CielDuMatin

New member
What are those people called who identify as poly and want to have an environment of people they know to have sex with?
People. :)

I don't think that swinging and poly are mutually-exclusive - people can have activities that are poly and activities that are swinging, but there are some that practice one and not the other. To me it's like asking what we call people that practice both polyamory and BDSM.... why do we need a new name for them/us?

There are those that seem to have an agenda to blur the lines between the definitions of polyamory and swinging, saying that it excludes people if we don't (or puts up walls) - I don't agree. It's not a black-or-white thing and there are all sorts of (delicious) shades between.

If those that swing have an issue with using that word, maybe it's time to reclaim it and to remove the (possibly perceived) stigma associated with it.
 
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Ariakas

Bosun
People. :)

I don't think that swinging and poly are mutually-exclusive - people can have activities that are poly and activities that are swinging, but there are some that practice one and not the other. To me it's like asking what we call people that practice both polyamory and BDSM.... why do we need a new name for them/us?

pbdsm :) :p
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
If sexuality ever becomes this normalized for me, please shoot me. I like the pedestal I have placed it on. For me personally it gives it depth, meaning and purpose. I don't fuck just to fuck nor do I use it as a bonding agent in relationships or a recreational past time. I like the fact that it is something I share very restrictively. But that's me...and we all know I am one freaky dude :rolleyes:

Peace and love...but no sex :p Unless your name is Redpepper
Mono
I must be one freaky dude too.....

SHIT-I'm not a dude!

GS-I DO see your point. I don't care one whit about a sex party.

I guess the part for me is that I don't consider sex=love or love=sex.

So I wouldn't call a sex party a multiple-love party.

On this note (there was SO much...argument? discussion? not sure) about this differentiation before, and I haven't stopped perusing my own self over it.

I used to "sleep around" quite a bit. Didn't bother me and I know others who do-and that doesn't bother me either.

The key difference is that we don't call it love-we call it GREAT SEX (or so-so sex, or lousy sex depending on what fits on each occassion).
We're cool with anyone having (preferably great) sex with anyone else as they wish.


Having watched Avatar-I thought the "not people" in that movie had a GREAT concept of love compared to people. They saw it as being pertinent to an energy source that connected ALL. Not all "people", ALL, all animals, people, plants etc. It was all interconnected.

When I have sex, well that "interconnection to the "energy source" that connects all life-well it isn't necessarily there. BUT when I love-it always is.......
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I identify closer to poly than I do to swinging, because the randomness and chaos of a swinger party (never been only going by descriptions) sounds annoyingly like a keg party. I have been to those and random act of sex is something I am not capable of.

I just have to say-the mental picture you created here was MUCH the way I feel. I can't explain it-but annoying was a good word for my emotion.
I smiled again.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
There are those that seem to have an agenda to blur the lines between the definitions of polyamory and swinging, saying that it excludes people if we don't (or puts up walls) - I don't agree. It's not a black-or-white thing and there are all sorts of (delicious) shades between.

If those that swing have an issue with using that word, maybe it's time to reclaim it and to remove the (possibly perceived) stigma associated with it.
That's kind of it for me. I think you can be poly AND swing AND BDSM.
I'm poly, and I have a D/s relationship (well two). I wouldn't say I'm one or the other, I would say I am both.
I don't understand what the big deal is of saying "we're poly swingers". OK I get it-you have (or are open to) sex with and without love AND you have (or are open to)multiple loves-clear as day to me....
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
There are those that seem to have an agenda to blur the lines between the definitions of polyamory and swinging, saying that it excludes people if we don't (or puts up walls) - I don't agree. It's not a black-or-white thing and there are all sorts of (delicious) shades between.

It seems to me that the "agenda" you speak of is merely about being inclusive. You said yourself that it isn't a black or white thing, yet people still feel the need to regard definitions that are acceptable for themselves as acceptable for everyone, to the exclusion of other perspectives. Perhaps you would see it differently if you found yourself on the outside of that wall that you don't see.
 

sisterinlove

New member
Poly-swinger-etcetc

It seems to me that what all this amounts to is acceptance of "each to their own" and respect of the views and comfort levels of those around us.

One might be poly and like to get their butt whupped (or vice versa) or one might be poly and like to experience/experiment with casual sex or one might be poly and prefer only missionary, in the dark, don't look at me sex or be poly and completely platonic about it (and anything in between).

Labels can give us definition and a sense of belonging, but labels can also hem us in and keep us from expressing ourselves to our fullest. They can make us question who we are and whether or not we are worthy as individuals. It is all a matter of perspective. Many people here found the label "polyamory" and thought "Oh thank (your choice of higher power). I am not alone/I am not weird/I am not a bad person. There are others like me," and grabbed onto that label for all they were worth to stabilize themselves in an often unstable world, not realizing that that label means different things to different people. Some view it as the strict definition, others view it as larger and more flexible. And in having our own view of the label, we can be confused/upset/offended/disturbed/shaken/frightened by another's wildly different view.

Perhaps, for me, the best perspective to have is that a label can help to explain (not define) a portion of who I am so that others can understand. There is no one label that can truly explain the whole of an individual and their situation, except perhaps "complicated." So when someone comes along and gives a different view or invites me to something that does not comfortably fit my own view of that label, I can just smile and shake my head and say "Not really my thing, but thanks for thinking of me." No judgement, no distaste, and something new to ponder so that I can understand myself a little better.

Anyway, just my two cents. Y'all can take it, leave it, or juggle it in your mind and see where the thoughts fall. :)
 

redpepper

New member
Thanks sister. I wish I could be so nonchalant about it all. Getting there... Working on it... You are obviously more advanced in your thoughts on it than I. I'm just confused at this point but understand your stance.
 

redpepper

New member
I know my poly friends in order to talk about poly, get to know them as people and explore the possibility of moving that relationship further with some. Maybe my friend is moving that possibility further with the whole group? Maybe they are ready for that too? Apparently so...

I wanted to expand on this statement I made... I see my poly friends at the moment to be friends like the ones I have made on here. We discuss details about our lives, compare who we are with each other, agree and disagree, go a bit further in that we do things together that aren't poly, they are friends... a group of friends... I don't see them in the realm of sex. We talk about sex, but it's more in terms of standing side by side with each other and supporting each other in terms of the relationships that we have outside of our group (sometimes in it) and friendships.

I guess the difference to me is level of involvement maybe? I don't want to be involved that deeply with the group as a whole, but perhaps with individuals within it. There are some people going that I have talked to briefly, or have only just met... it seems rather odd to then engage them sexually when we were just hanging out at a potluck and talking about our kids.

Maybe if I had known that eventually it would come down to having sex with them I would of prepared myself differently? Gone to socialize with them in a different frame of mind perhaps? What will happen after? Will I feel like I am not apart of the group because they have reached a level of depth that I was not involved in (to me sex with those I know and care about can go no other way than deepen my connection to them)? Will I feel comfortable hanging out with them? Will I witness the downfall of our group or will it splinter? I have a lot of questions that make me anxious...
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I guess for me it comes down to recognizing that this is not about the whole group. Big groups generally consist of many smaller groups. Like communities within cities or high schools where there are jocks, preps, emos etc. They all go to the same school, they all have some interaction and they come together for specific classes at specific times.

I have riding friends. We are separate within a bigger social environment because we ride motorbikes. Therefore we do things that other friends don't. We do however come together at different similar interest times like lunches or coffee room chat.

Educational get togethers and social events with our poly friends are open to everyone but not everyone goes because they are not interested. The concept of a social network of people who will explore sex together is the same although it is more closed. That does not mean that when they are not having sex they still won't participate in the social gatherings and educational meetings.
Although they are engaging in a different activity I don't see it as being a deeper level. Do I feel like people are worried they won't be accepted because they don't go to poly family events? Nope....I bet they don't either. Is that another level? Sure it is.

Every group of people with similar interests will also contain smaller groups of people with "other" similar interests. Like the people who play Role playing games at our parties. They sometimes break off and do their own thing. We all spend time together at other times.

Will the group splinter because of smaller groups forming? Maybe...but group dynamics are hardly static.

Do I think group sex play will be the defining attribute of my local poly community? Nope..and if it does than live and let live, it won't be my community any more.

The question is is this a matter of wanting to be included in everything...or wanting to be included with the "cool kids".
 
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