Poly versus Sluttiness

For the first time I had sex with someone who I am not dating. I told him before we did anything that I would have to tell P about this and he said okay. I told P and while i was a little nervous P said "congrats hunny! isnt it nice being poly?" and the whole time im thinking...what I just did wasnt poly, it was just me being drunk, horny and a little slutty, yes I told P about it but still.

....Ps poly but flirts and makes out (or hooks up sometimes) with loads of girls....something i never have done untill this past night. When I did I felt no attachment with the guy I hooked up with, he didnt either, we both talked about it and were on the exact same page.

Now P keeps saying things like "you say that now...." as if i really have something between this guy and me... but i dont think there, there is anything there. he has been my friend for a while but im not interested in a relationship with him (plus the sex was less than spectacular...way less)

I think there is a difference between poly and slut. and P seems to confuse the two... but maybe im wrong?

whats your take?
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Sounds like you had yourself some "casual" sex, nothing wrong with that! As long as you used protection and everyone was respectful of everyone else, you shouldn't worry that it "wasn't poly" just because you weren't in love with the guy. It's only "slutty" if you run around spreading your legs at the drop of a hat for whoever offers to buy you a drink or give you a ride home.
 
I think you are right. I am not worried that its not poly. I dont think there is anything wrong with what I did being that I was safe, communicative and my bf is okay with this. I still dont think casual sex is the same as being poly...
it makes me wonder if my bf thinks of causal sex as a perk of being poly. I see those two things as seperate. one can be poly and not engage in causal sex (i think) just like many mono minded people engange in casual sex. I kinda thought for it to be considered poly one would have to have a deeper connection at least. maybe i am just jumping to silly conclusions though. im still figuring all of this out!
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
You can let it become a "deeper connection" but there is no harm in enjoying something for what it is now. I would say that your situation would "be poly" if you were regularly seeing both of these guys in a "more than just friends" capacity. You can label it however you want, it is what it is, but I wouldn't yield to the negative connotations of the word "slut".

I just hope your boyfriend(s) treat you right.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Terminology

Hi Glow,

Yea - I think you're tangled up a bit in terminology and confused yourself. Your BF it might appear is as confused or more-so than you :)
Unfortunately the root term "poly" has been grabbed as a shortcut by all sorts of people and in some cases I'm going to say it's been adopted for convenience sake/justification. "Poly" meaning basically "multiple" that's an easy grab.
The "amour" got left off. The loving part. That's not as easy & convenient - ya think ? That means commitment. And lots more.
Let's face it. In the early days, when you are just starting dating etc, just experimenting with your sexuality, there's lots of "poly" happening and not a lot of "amour" :) That's perfectly fine. Just don't confuse the reality. At some point some people come face-to-face with a situation where the "poly-amour" jumps up and confronts you. Sex may or may not even be part of it ! But regardless, because of this culture, it's often viewed as a threat. Something hard & difficult. Something to be avoided.
Some of us view it differently. Some chose to embrace & celebrate it. You'll know in your heart what feels "right" when the time comes. But at least you have the advantage of a head start because you've discovered it prior to it happening and slapping you in the head unexpectedly. If you keep asking & learning you'll be better prepared when the time comes.

GS
 

dakid

New member
i am a bit bewildered by this post, i use the word slut as a positive thing so can't really connect with the fear of being one. i am one and am proud to be (because i am proud of who i am as a whole, of which that is part).

have you heard of the book "the ethical slut"? i have identified as a slut since i was fifteen but finding that book when i was 30 felt like coming home. one can certainly be a poly slut, i suppose one can also be poly without being a slut if you want.

seems like the problem is that you define casual sex/one night stands as markedly different to other contexts in which you do or might have sex/connect intimately with someone - and your partner doesn't.

maybe you need to explain and clarify to P that this was just casual sex and what that means for you so that he stops saying the things/making the assumptions you describe in your post?
 
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AutumnalTone

New member

ArtemisHunts

New member
It also sounds to me like confusion over terminology and definitions. In the end, a term is only a tool to describe something, NOT a box to fit into. There are so many different variables and situations in relationships, it always seemed silly to me that people would try to fit into one of a only a few categories and depend on those terms to tell them what the relationship should be, and what the boundaries should be.

Much better to define for yourselves what works, what is happening, and what you are comfortable with. Don't let assumptions about what a term means lead to misunderstanding or allow agreements you are unaware of. (lets face it, not everyone has the same definitions for things). If you don't think what you did was poly and he does, then it sounds like you are due for a conversation about what you consider poly.

From an outside view (just my own) what you are doing right now sounds to me like "swinging" with a poly option. I'm not entirely clear how people in the poly community categorize swinging, but the swinger lifestyle participants only rarely consider their activities polyamorous. Again, a lot of it just what you choose to call it. Two couples with the exact same behaviors may choose to call it different things. I think there is a difference between poly and swinging, at least, to me there is.

I'm concerned about your use of the word slutty - it usually has negative connotations. Maybe it doesn't for you, I don't know. Whether or not you and your partner agree about what you choose to call your activities, you should NOT be doing things that make you feel bad about yourself. If you feel like its wrong or it makes you uncomfortable, it doesn't matter if its poly or not! There is always more than one way to do something, and if this particular aspect doesn't work for you, you can cut it out! You don't have to accept it as a necessary evil or just the way it works.

It's up to you to define what poly is for you, and not to let the term poly define what your relationship should be.
 
i am a bit bewildered by this post, i use the word slut as a positive thing so can't really connect with the fear of being one. i am one and am proud to be.

have you heard of the book "the ethical slut"? i have identified as a slut since i was fifteen but finding that book when i was 30 felt like coming home. one can certainly be a poly slut, i suppose one can also be a poly without being a slut if you want.

seems like the problem is that you define casual sex/one night stands as markedly different to other contexts in which you do or might have sex/connect intimately with someone - and your partner doesn't.

maybe you need to explain and clarify to P that this was just casual sex and what that means for you so that he stops saying the things/making the assumtions you describe in your post?

sorry to bewilder you, I dont mean to attack or hurt anyone. My boyfriend told me to buy the ethical slut and I did and found it to be a good read, and would love to read it again but i let someone borrow it and they never returned it. That said, while it gave me a lot of insight at the time I read it, polyamory was so complex and confusing to me. I understand how being an ethical slut is something to be proud about also that the term slut isnt used derogitorily among the polyamorous community. I dont mean to offend anyone. while reading this book I felt like it really wasnt talking to me. Untill this night i never even kissed anyone on the random! Anyhow thanks for all the feedback guys, ill be reading through and responding as soon as I get some of my studies done. Hope i didnt offend anyone...Im really a novice at this stuff and just trying to understand!
 
Hi Glow,

Yea - I think you're tangled up a bit in terminology and confused yourself. Your BF it might appear is as confused or more-so than you :)
Unfortunately the root term "poly" has been grabbed as a shortcut by all sorts of people and in some cases I'm going to say it's been adopted for convenience sake/justification. "Poly" meaning basically "multiple" that's an easy grab.
The "amour" got left off. The loving part. That's not as easy & convenient - ya think ? That means commitment. And lots more.
Let's face it. In the early days, when you are just starting dating etc, just experimenting with your sexuality, there's lots of "poly" happening and not a lot of "amour" :) That's perfectly fine. Just don't confuse the reality. At some point some people come face-to-face with a situation where the "poly-amour" jumps up and confronts you. Sex may or may not even be part of it ! But regardless, because of this culture, it's often viewed as a threat. Something hard & difficult. Something to be avoided.
Some of us view it differently. Some chose to embrace & celebrate it. You'll know in your heart what feels "right" when the time comes. But at least you have the advantage of a head start because you've discovered it prior to it happening and slapping you in the head unexpectedly. If you keep asking & learning you'll be better prepared when the time comes.

GS


so so so true thanks for the insight. I dont view slut to be negative by any means it is just something that I have never experienced my self. I dont think its to be avoided exactly, but from a personal standpoint....for example going out to meet with a group of people I dont know is kind of scary to me, and mildly threatening even because of my anxiety. I know there is nothing wrong with it, and people do it every day, most people are proud of thier social skills. others might consider someone who is super confident and socialiable to be "cocky". Same thing...i think... maybe?
okay im really not all too sure.
 

crisare

New member
I guess I'm one of the few who views "slut" to be negative. And mind you, I do get the concept of reclaiming the word as a positive one in the context of poly, but for me it's a word that still have negative overtones. When someone calls me a slut, they're not doing so as a compliment. :)

So I guess I have to say that my take on the question of what is the difference between poly and slutdom in that sense. Just so you know my context.

Now for further clarification, I don't think sleeping with many people makes anyone a slut. Nor do I think that having sex with someone you don't love makes you a slut. I think that "slutdom" (in the negative sense of the word) comes from having sex in a random, inconsiderate, unethical, manner. It's more about the attitude of the person having sex than the sex itself, if that makes sense.

And in that context, I don't think having (passable but not great) friends-with-benefits-sex with a close friend makes you a slut. But I don't think it makes you poly either.

Poly is about building relationships - not just friendships with side benefits. IMO, anyway. :)

I think P is probably confused about what poly is, and I agree with someone else who said that from the outside (my) perspective, what you're doing is maybe swinging - or beginning to swing. But again. I wouldn't say it was poly at all.
 
maybe slut isnt good word choice for this whole topic....

I think P is probably confused about what poly is, and I agree with someone else who said that from the outside (my) perspective, what you're doing is maybe swinging - or beginning to swing. But again. I wouldn't say it was poly at all.

I hardly think what I was doing was poly! In fact I figured it had nothing to do with being poly at all. It was me being a 20 year old girl, in college, drunk, trying something new for fun...something that I knew my boyfriend wouldnt have a problem with.

I don't know much about swinging....ill have to read up on this.

I knew P wouldnt mind about what happened as he does the same, but I wasnt expecting him to reply to me by basically saying, see how awesome being poly is? i told ya so. (okay that isnt exactly what he said...but basically). Poly is about connections, about love...not random drunk sex, or this is what I thought/think.

I think I am going to talk about this with P. it isnt an issue, but its something I wonder about. I just want to be on the same page as him, yknow =)
 
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Lostkeysintro

New member
I am very very very new to poly. But is causal drunk hook ups all the time really how it works? I am not saying you do it all the time. But I think that random sex just for fun doesn't really make you poly. If I had a bf and we were poly I wouldn't want him to just screw anyone. Because what's the difference in that and an open relationship? I thought it was about building relationships with multiple people not having a free range for casual hook ups.
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
I hate the term slut, generally, for so many reasons. First, there's the implications that someone having a lot of sex is bad. The second is that it's a gender-loaded term.

I'm also a bit... out of the loop. To me, sex is by it's nature, intimate. My wife can and does have casual sex and I'm fine with that both as it pertains to our relationship and as I see casual sex as a "just dandy" thing.

But I can't do it. So for me, having lots of sex would IMPLY intimacy. I know this isn't the case for everyone and I see no reason it should be but it's not something I relate to all that much.
 

dakid

New member
apart from potential debates about the use of the word slut, the interesting thing for me here is the idea that poly specifically and only refers to multiple loving relationships - that if you are "just fucking around" it isn't poly.

i guess i had assumed up until now that poly was more a mindset, and perhaps a set of agreements between lovers, than anything else. for example, seeing oneself as poly even when one is single and not having any sex or other intimacy with anyone except oneself. or seeing a relationship as poly even when your lover and you are not currently in "other" relationships.

within that definition, being poly is about being free to explore all sorts of sexual and intimate interractions with other people, whether as a one-off, series of one-offs, within a fuck-buddy arrangement, within loving relationships, whatever. the freedom being the thing. being open to other relationships, and to some extent framing our relationship around that openness to potential with others. not imposing limits or boundaries on each other's freedom to pursue other connections, wherever they may lead.

so although my ideal fantasy situation may be that we (my current lover and i) eventually build up a loving network of people who we are involved with sexually and intimately, i still think of us as being poly right now even though we haven't achieved that yet.

and when one or other of us has a "one night stand" whether or not it leads on to an ongoing connection with that person, the one night stand happens within a poly relationship because it happens within our relationship - which is poly.

and when we talk about the fact that for example he spent the night and had sex with a woman mid-week, and we process our emotions about that fact, we are practising polyamory. the love is between us, he's not in love with her, but he is not just fucking around. he has been intimate with her for that 24 hours and is now having an intimate loving conversation with me about it all.

to me, in those moments, i can sometimes feel a real rush of pride and excitement at the fabulousness of our poly relationship, which has within an inherent assumption that we are "being poly" as we talk, and which thrills me in part because its so different and much better than the way i used to try to relate to lovers - through monogamy.

i can see there is a difference though between this and actually having more than one intimate ongoing relationship at the same time. i am feeling it pretty strongly at the moment in fact because we seem to embarking on exactly that as i speak - each of us has hooked up with a new lover in the last couple of months and right now would pass the poly test even if the definition is limited only to folks in multiple loving relationships.

the difference is that its no longer about the potential to fall in love with others, but the reality of one or both of us actually doing so.

i don't think our relationship has become more poly because of these other relationships though, i think its just in a different stage of poly-ness i suppose. we didn't become poly overnight as our feelings reached a certain stage with our other lovers, we already were poly (even when we were only fucking around with intent).

don't know if that makes sense, hope so!
 
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GroundedSpirit

New member
Slut

I think this coming up about the term "slut" is interesting. "Slut" has become a term of endearment in our house :)
I think it just shows how language evolves and takes on different connotations & meanings over time. Lots of words have undergone that evolution.
Right now it appears that the term slut is moving towards - anyone who has chosen to embrace their full sexual nature & potential in a healthy way and will not be bound by culture or dogma.
That doesn't mean it's irresponsible or dangerous if you don't let it become that way. But it does speak plainly to the denial that monogamy (physical) is the only - or even preferable - way to look at our personal sexuality.
So if you are a "slut" - then bless you ! Be safe. And kind.

GS
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
don't know if that makes sense, hope so!

I feel pretty much the same way you do about this, dakid. Someone mentioned earlier:

Poly is about building relationships - not just friendships with side benefits.
and I find this amusing because "friendships with side benefits" IS a type of relationship! So while it may not "be" polyamory, someone try to explain to me exactly what is so "anti-poly" about it.

EVERYTHING is a "relationship". I have a relationship(s) with my co-workers, my doctors, my friends, my relatives. I hate this "all or nothing" attitude that seems to prevail among "polyamorous" people that I've noticed on this forum: that if you're having sex with someone you're not head-over-heels in looooove with, that somehow it is "not a REAL poly relationship".

And regarding Seventh Crow's signature - yes, it may not "be" poly if you're "just" fucking around; there's a whole range of relationship styles that are sexual but not long-term "partnerships", that are not "just fucking around". To me, "just fucking around" sounds like the stereotypical gay anonymous sex encounters in motels that charge by the hour.
 
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dakid

New member
i still think that anonymous sex with a stranger who you don't expect to see again can be a form of poly if done within a poly relationship. i could be wrong but that's how i see it.

amongst my best friends are a gay male couple who have been together for about twenty years and who identify as polyamorous. one has had two "outside" lovers for several years now, which i guess everyone here would accept as poly quite easily. the other partner however tends to prefer his sexual activities outside the primary relationship to be anonymous - in saunas and at sex parties.

there was a time though, a few years back, when he started a relationship with someone he had met at a sauna. there is always that possibility, and both men accept that about the other's activities. either one could fall in love/get intimate with another, in theory, so whether or not that happens they identify as polyamorous.

i wonder if some on here would see the first man as being polyamorous, since he has maintained ongoing intimate relationships with three men over the last decade or so, but not see his primary partner as being polyamorous because his connections are much more "casual"? is he simply a swinger or a slut and not poly even though his partner is and he has the potential to be himself?

i hope i'm not labouring my point too much but to me their relationship with each other is polyamorous because they love each other dearly and are committed to supporting each others freedom to explore stuff with others, regardless of what form those explorations may take.

i am not looking to argue, but i am fascinated to discuss and to hear from others with different views. stretch my brain!
 
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