Poly networking

Lemondrop

New member
I don't consider all judgments harmful either. But I do consider inaccurate and misinformed assumptions to be harmful and that's more what this is about for me. For me, disassociating from the umbrella term because of the assumptions attached to it means I'm tacitly saying that there is truth to the assumptions made about it when that's not the case. For me, there's more integrity in sticking to the truth of the term rather than yield to the assumptions attached to the term.


I was following, but now I think you lost me. I guess I have to make it personal for me to understand.

I am polyamorous in that I romantically love three people. However, I feel very strongly that I would not enjoy casual sex, and in the past have failed in attempts to have and enjoy casual sex. While I believe that people should be allowed to enjoy sex the way they want to provided it harms none, I do not believe in casual sex with no emotional involvement for myself and do not want that label attached to me. If the word polyamory becomes attached to casual sex with no emotional involvement, then using the word polyamory for myself not only feels erroneous, but also as a betrayal of who I feel myself to be. In addition, adding things like poly-sex parties to the definition of polyamory feels like it actually takes away from the ideal of "many loves", which I interpret as emotional involvement. Is there a happy medium?
 

redpepper

New member
I don't consider all judgments harmful either. But I do consider inaccurate and misinformed assumptions to be harmful and that's more what this is about for me. For me, disassociating from the umbrella term because of the assumptions attached to it means I'm tacitly saying that there is truth to the assumptions made about it when that's not the case. For me, there's more integrity in sticking to the truth of the term rather than yield to the assumptions attached to the term.

I think that the kind of inaccurate and misinformed assumptions come out as judgments sometimes. Those are the judgments that I don't like. Judging quietly on your own is one thing, talking about it in the spirit of hurting others and not looking at it with empathy is another. I think engaging others with the spirit of friendship, kindness, empathy, respect in order to learn and understand on another level is a far better approach in forming healthy understandings of one another and forming healthy definitions that I can feel good about.

I think that disassociating from something is sometimes useful in order to move back into it again with a different understanding. I have found that in my process to understand the term "Polyamorous" I have been completely happy with the definition until I realized part of it didn't fit for me and eventually rejected it for a time. In rejecting it I was able to stand outside of it uncomfortably and nameless but in the spirit of trying to understand and accept. I was frustrated and disappointed in the term and those that choice to use it and began really talking about it and pondering it for myself. Now, I understand all the subtleties of the term and can place myself in it and swim around quite comfortably. I get it for the first time this week.

I think I will explain to others that I am able to have more than one loving relationship. Back to the original umbrella definition but it is so filled with meaning now and encompasses everyone in my mind rather than my personal definition. I will then be able to say what my poly is and do it with the confidence of knowing that I accept others within the umbrella term.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I was following, but now I think you lost me. I guess I have to make it personal for me to understand.

I am polyamorous in that I romantically love three people. However, I feel very strongly that I would not enjoy casual sex, and in the past have failed in attempts to have and enjoy casual sex. While I believe that people should be allowed to enjoy sex the way they want to provided it harms none, I do not believe in casual sex with no emotional involvement for myself and do not want that label attached to me. If the word polyamory becomes attached to casual sex with no emotional involvement, then using the word polyamory for myself not only feels erroneous, but also as a betrayal of who I feel myself to be. In addition, adding things like poly-sex parties to the definition of polyamory feels like it actually takes away from the ideal of "many loves", which I interpret as emotional involvement. Is there a happy medium?


I have found that in my process to understand the term "Polyamorous" I have been completely happy with the definition until I realized part of it didn't fit for me and eventually rejected it for a time. In rejecting it I was able to stand outside of it uncomfortably and nameless but in the spirit of trying to understand and accept. I was frustrated and disappointed in the term and those that choice to use it and began really talking about it and pondering it for myself. Now, I understand all the subtleties of the term and can place myself in it and swim around quite comfortably. I get it for the first time this week.


I would like to offer an analogy yet again:

Consider "Polyamory" as one pizza. Cheese and tomato sauce are on the entire pizza... half has only veggies...the other half has pepperoni one quarter also has sausage... and they want an anchovy on ONE slice of the veggie-only half (I occasionally ask for this because I like the flavor of the anchovy but one is much-enough). Mushrooms aren't TECHNICALLY veggies, they're FUNGUS... but they're not meat either... should we put them on the whole thing, or on one side but not the other? I for one cannot IMAGINE a pizza without mushrooms, but look, River can't STAND the IDEA of EATING FUNGUS (I don't know that for a fact i'm just trying to illustrate my point). And what about "extra cheese"? does that count as a topping or not? It's already PART of the RECIPE...

Etc.

But are you going to say that you won't eat pizza because you don't want to "share a label" with people who like fungus (or anchovy, or meat) on THEIR pizza?

Because how DO you define what a PIZZA "is"?
 
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C

Ceoli

Guest
If the word polyamory becomes attached to casual sex with no emotional involvement, then using the word polyamory for myself not only feels erroneous, but also as a betrayal of who I feel myself to be. In addition, adding things like poly-sex parties to the definition of polyamory feels like it actually takes away from the ideal of "many loves", which I interpret as emotional involvement. Is there a happy medium?

Ok, let me see if I can frame this a bit differently.

There are monogamous people who have casual sex. There are monogamous people who have loving committed sex. At what point does the term monogamy define one or the other? Generally people don't assume that monogamy means one or the other. I happen to think people shouldn't assume polyamory means one or the other either.


What I'm trying to say is that allowing people to attach the assumption that casual sex is what defines polyamory does nothing to clarify what polyamory is. Sure there are poly people who may have casual sex and sure there are poly people who may have closed multiple relationships. Simply because a group of poly people decided to get together to have a sex party doesn't mean that has to now be incorporated into the common definition of what polyamory is. Just like monogamous people who have casual sex don't define what monogamy is.

Once we start trying to cater our words to accommodate those assumptions, we then allow those assumptions to hold more power than they should. All of a sudden we begin defining ourselves around other people's assumptions rather than just calling out that assumption as incorrect as it's applied to the word.

The fact is that the word polyamory means multiple loving relationships in which all parties consent. It does not assume how people conduct themselves in those relationships. There are polyamorous people who have quiet domestic poly families. There are polyamorous people who have multiple loving relationships, some of which might be FWB or casual sex and they may even have sex parties. Polyamory only defines the one common element- that they are engaged in multiple loving relationships in which all parties consent. How people manifest that polyamory is wide and varied. Even if the general perception may be different, I would prefer to challenge that general perception as incorrect than let the descriptors of my identity be governed by other people's assumptions.

But are you going to say that you won't eat pizza because you don't want to "share a label" with people who like fungus (or anchovy, or meat) on THEIR pizza?

Because how DO you define what a PIZZA "is"?

That pizza analogy is the best analogy I've heard yet. I'm totally using that from now on.
 
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NeonKaos

Custodian
Consider "Polyamory" as one pizza. Cheese and tomato sauce are on the entire pizza... half has only veggies...the other half has pepperoni one quarter also has sausage... and they want an anchovy on ONE slice of the veggie-only half (I occasionally ask for this because I like the flavor of the anchovy but one is much-enough). Mushrooms aren't TECHNICALLY veggies, they're FUNGUS... but they're not meat either... should we put them on the whole thing, or on one side but not the other? I for one cannot IMAGINE a pizza without mushrooms, but look, River can't STAND the IDEA of EATING FUNGUS (I don't know that for a fact i'm just trying to illustrate my point). And what about "extra cheese"? does that count as a topping or not? It's already PART of the RECIPE...

Etc.

But are you going to say that you won't eat pizza because you don't want to "share a label" with people who like fungus (or anchovy, or meat) on THEIR pizza?

Because how DO you define what a PIZZA "is"?

And don't forget - you can have your Crazy Bread™ or CinnaStix™ and eat your pizza too.
 

redpepper

New member
There is also the idea that some swingers only hang out with one group of swinging friends that they have sex with. To my understanding that isn't swinging but a poly sex party. To them it is quite different. It seems they think poly is kind of a mushy term that doesn't involve sex as much as they would like. At least this is what I'm told. This is where the line blurs and overlaps.

I like the pizza idea too ygirl. That is exactly how I feel about it now.
 
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NeonKaos

Custodian
I'm having so much fun with this I hope you's will bear with me!


I like the pizza idea too ygirl. That is exactly how I feel about it now.


Well I hope none of you object to that one anchovy. I swear it will only POSSIBLY taint the two slices on either side of it, not the entire pizza.:p

If you order a separate pizza for that reason anyway, remember - it will still be a "pizza". Don't expect them to re-write the menu with a special name for everything that contains or does not contain "anchovies".

Of course, you could have everything on the menu be couched in terms of "anchovy" and "not-anchovy"... the possibilities are endless. But you're not fooling anyone except MAYBE yourself.
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
Maca loathes mushrooms ANYWHERE in his food, so you could use him instead Ygirl. ;)

Great analogy-pretty funny visual too.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Maca loathes mushrooms ANYWHERE in his food, so you could use him instead Ygirl. ;)


As long as we don't have to breathe the same air. People might get the wrong idea if we associate with one another.:rolleyes: They might think I don't like mushrooms anymore and I just cannot have that you see.

And you never even said how Maca feels about teh anchovies. It's as though you're not even LISTENING to what I'm SAYING.

We need some non-culinary communication (NCC) around here...
 
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redpepper

New member
So, to get back to this party unfolding... sorry ygirl, :D

Last night I was hanging with a poly friend that I thought for sure was invited to the party and it turns out he wasn't and I let the cat out of the bag...:eek: oops.

I hate this secrecy thing that is going on around it. It just isn't sitting right. Not to mention that there are people going that are not a part of our regular group and I was told that it was all people we knew so what was the big deal, we should be at the point where we are comfortable enough to be sexual with each other.

There has been some discussion about the possibility that we are not ready but could be pushed a bit to see if people are interested in sex as a group.

Tonight I am meeting a number of folks that are going and am going to try and keep my mouth shut as I don't know who was invited and who note.... soooo goes against my nature as I am very inclusive of everyone... sigh... I will try.

Just venting with this I think and trying to let it go...
 

CielDuMatin

New member
Last night I was hanging with a poly friend that I thought for sure was invited to the party and it turns out he wasn't and I let the cat out of the bag...:eek: oops.

I hate this secrecy thing that is going on around it. It just isn't sitting right. Not to mention that there are people going that are not a part of our regular group and I was told that it was all people we knew so what was the big deal, we should be at the point where we are comfortable enough to be sexual with each other.

There has been some discussion about the possibility that we are not ready but could be pushed a bit to see if people are interested in sex as a group.
To me this seems like a very odd dynamic. And lots of rumours and little on facts of what is actually going to happen.

I think people need to go into things like this with expectations firmly set - you don't really want a surprise in something like this - especially not one that may violate your boundaries.
 

redpepper

New member
So I seem to be getting very good at explaining why I'm not going to this party.

I am saying to those that ask, of which there has been about 4 up until now... "I don't want to have sex with my friends and don't need a sex party to help me move closer to those that I would want to start that kind of relationship with...I would like my friends to be my support and I would like to support those in it, I feel that would be jeopardized if I have sex with people just for the sake of it. Everyone means too much to me to have group sex with them just for the hell of it. I've done group sex and I know I am not missing anything." this is usually followed with, "it's a sex party?" to which I say, "yes it is," to which the reply is, "I didn't know that, I thought it would just be kind of sexy...I won't stay if it ends up that people have sex in front of me."

So that is where that is at.... :confused:

The other night a new friend came over for supper with our family, she is from another city and is far more experienced in poly than any of us in terms of having many lovers come and go in her and her husbands life. She told us some stories that were perhaps a bit much for Mono to listen to. He left early saying he was "poly-saturated."

The friend talked so casually about how she dated a guy once with another woman that was also interested in him. They took him together on a date and shared the night with him dancing, drinking and eating at a restaurant. This woman is very beautiful and charming and won him over in the end as the one that would start a relationship quickly and have sex quickly. My friend took this in her stride it seemed and said it was fine that it had happened that way. She continued to date the man and so did the other woman and they went at different speeds and each brought him different things as he did with them. She was so confident in who she is as a woman that only enjoys intimate sex with connection and bonding, a woman that doesn't like public displays of nudity and who cherishes going at a pace that is more slow and moves towards depth. I was blown away at how she took others approaches in her stride and wondered if this is real "poly networking," not going out and being a player necessarily, one uping the competition and getting all the good men or women, but also taking it slow, figuring out who we are and going with it. Letting ourselves be just ourselves and being okay with that. Those that have poly experience seem to get that in each other and I am getting that too now. I hope that makes sense. ....:confused: It's just so unlike regular mono dating... it's really a completely different thing. I think I understand the term "poly networking" now, as opposed to "poly swinging."

Twice this week I have been invited to sex related events. One was to receive a yoni massage (massage of the vagina) and the other was today to go to a spiritual yet sexual event where we would have sex and intimacy in a group setting somehow and under the context of spirituality and connection to each other and everything.

Both are very intriguing and I would love to experience both very much but I am not able to because of the boundaries I have in place with my loves. I have some disappointment around it for sure but I am weighing it up with the love I have in my life and what I want my future to be. Experiencing something like either would be a once time thing, my relationships will be for the long term if I chose to stick with them. I am sticking with them. I am seeing it like a holiday missed with friends or a good price on a ticket missed because I didn't have enough money or I have to work. I have that same feeling, but it passes.

I am working on sexual self care in terms of poly networking very hard right now... it's pushing me, but I am holding fast to see what happens when I do.
 
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CielDuMatin

New member
She was so confident in who she is as a woman that only enjoys intimate sex with connection and bonding, a woman that doesn't like public displays of nudity and who cherishes going at a pace that is more slow and moves towards depth. I was blown away at how she took others approaches in her stride and wondered if this is real "poly networking," not going out and being a player necessarily, one uping the competition and getting all the good men or women, but also taking it slow, figuring out who we are and going with it. Letting ourselves be just ourselves and being okay with that.
I think this is amazing, and just shows the varieties of people that "do poly well". I do love the idea that there is such a wide variety of different lovestyles involved in this large/huge umbrella term and I think it's important to make sure that nobody tries to make it one particular style, pressuring others into doing it their way.

While something like you parties may be interesting, I really don't think that having sex with people I don't know would do anything to improve any sort of spiritual connection with them. I have done the sport sex and, while it was quite interesting and enjoyable on one level, it was missing a lot of what I desire most in a sexual relationship, which is the mental bonding. I know I am not going to develop a mental bond with someone I just met during a party lasting several hours - even if sparks are there, that's all they are. I know others feel differently about this, and more power to them for that - it's just not for me.

So I can identify quite strongly with the attitude of this friend of yours.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
my relationships will be for the long term if I chose to stick with them. .

I am left a little speechless by your last comment Lilo. In a good way, and a wary way. I share the hopes you have for the long haul and am honored you want me around in your future. While I can only speak for myself, I just want to remind you that you are young, incredibly intelligent, caring, beautiful and have choices and options. No clock is ticking and there will always be a way to share in each others life regardless of what paths we take. Our bond is not all or nothing....just so you know :)
 
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GroundedSpirit

New member
Twice this week I have been invited to sex related events. One was to receive a yoni massage (massage of the vagina) and the other was today to go to a spiritual yet sexual event where we would have sex and intimacy in a group setting somehow and under the context of spirituality and connection to each other and everything.

Hi RP,

Well - it's interesting to see how this whole thing is developing - the breadth it's expanded to. Way beyond just a reaction to a party etc.
Initially I would have figured (like you did) that it would just be a "no thanks - not my thing" and end of discussion. But it seems you've attached more to it on a 'conceptual' level. And now you've bumped into a couple more opportunities that seem to be pushing definitions of what your 'sexuality' does - or MIGHT entail.
Interesting !

Although we've never managed to make it to one, we've seen events/workshops focused on Tantric sex practice and found the concept interesting. 'Concept' being meeting with a group of loving, focused people who we've never met before and exploring different aspects of sexuality.
Now to us - that seems like a whole different avenue of exploration than a 'swing' party. Although we've never participated in a swing party - we attended one once for a short while and soon discovered that it just wasn't our "thing". But we also acknowledged that was just that particular party, with that particular group etc. We certainly didn't 'label' swinging or swing parties by that one experience. And we know that those vary as widely as people do.
I'm rambling with no point LOL

Actually, I think the point is (if I'm even understanding you correctly) that I'm surprised to learn that you and your loves would, for example, not consider investigating something like that together (if possible). For example, any of the Tantric training we've seen didn't imply any expectations of being sexual with anyone but your own partner(s) (if you had one). But neither was it implied otherwise - giving us the impression that it was open to flow in whatever direction each individuals comfort level allowed.

I guess I'm not clear on what you see as 'boundary' limitations in these cases. Is it just that it (might) involve something sexual (or semi) with someone you are not already in a relationship with. Is that the 'boundary' ?

Gotta run..........


GS
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I guess I'm not clear on what you see as 'boundary' limitations in these cases. Is it just that it (might) involve something sexual (or semi) with someone you are not already in a relationship with. Is that the 'boundary' ?

Gotta run..........


GS

Honestly GS...read my stuff and things should become clear.
 

redpepper

New member
Although we've never managed to make it to one, we've seen events/workshops focused on Tantric sex practice and found the concept interesting. 'Concept' being meeting with a group of loving, focused people who we've never met before and exploring different aspects of sexuality.
Now to us - that seems like a whole different avenue of exploration than a 'swing' party. Although we've never participated in a swing party - we attended one once for a short while and soon discovered that it just wasn't our "thing". But we also acknowledged that was just that particular party, with that particular group etc. We certainly didn't 'label' swinging or swing parties by that one experience. And we know that those vary as widely as people do.
I'm rambling with no point LOL

Actually, I think the point is (if I'm even understanding you correctly) that I'm surprised to learn that you and your loves would, for example, not consider investigating something like that together (if possible). For example, any of the Tantric training we've seen didn't imply any expectations of being sexual with anyone but your own partner(s) (if you had one). But neither was it implied otherwise - giving us the impression that it was open to flow in whatever direction each individuals comfort level allowed.

I guess I'm not clear on what you see as 'boundary' limitations in these cases. Is it just that it (might) involve something sexual (or semi) with someone you are not already in a relationship with. Is that the 'boundary' ?

I am not sure if it is tantric. I don't think so actually. They have a website and there is no mention of tantric. I would post it and perhaps will later, but I am not sure if it will indicate the group or not at this point as they seem to be doing their own thing and I would rather not make myself known in terms with my involvement so far. Does that make sense....? It is certainly different from swinging and I like the appreciation for self care while being sexual.

Anyway, I haven't talked with Mono about it but have with my husband. He just said he didn't know what he thinks yet. I am interested to know more as it ties in with the workshop I am getting together and I do like to be as informed as possible about what is out there.

We haven't talked about boundaries that involve others being around us while we do our own thing in their presence. Of the top of my head I like the idea of learning more with my two men and experiencing private activities in a public setting. But as I said, I don't know what the others think yet and can't speak on what the boundaries are about exploring that, if at all. I don't know if that is possible in the context of the group involved or not.

It is strange that this has come up so much in my life... I'm glad yet tired at this point. It's exhausting. There is a reason somewhere and I don't know what it is, but I will never know if I shut doors without looking to see what is inside from the door way. I am keeping my mind open, communication open and taking everything as it comes...
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Just because we walk through doorways that doesn't mean you can't still have something with those who chose not to follow. Everything changes:)
 

redpepper

New member
Just because we walk through doorways that doesn't mean you can't still have something with those who chose not to follow. Everything changes:)

Oh for the love of....! Nothing is changing unless you decide my love... by talking about it constantly it will change. I for one am not even addressing that that is an option, because for me it is not.

Don't get me mad Mono.... I'm pre-menstrual and a redhead, I'll come down on your ass! grrrr:mad:

;)
 
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