Warning: Naughty language ahead!
Sometimes I think that polyamory is viewed as the red-headed stepchild of relationships.
I’ll go as far as to say that many people have no clear idea of what it is—and that includes some of us who are already in the polyamorous lifestyle or hope to be.
At worst, polyamory is viewed as a lifestyle for people who just want to fuck more than one partner—a limited view that impedes a mindful expression of what many polyamorous relationships are about.
At best, it is viewed as a confusing way to keep more than one love interest happy. Many say that it can’t be done successfully. Some say that polyamorous couples create a façade of success around their relationship—but that in reality everyone is miserable.
Here’s the thing. It’s all those things, none of those things and everything in between.
And that’s because polyamory does not fit the mold we’re used to. It’s still being figured out. And guess what? Regular relationships are still being figured out. No one lifestyle has the patent on what’s best.
Humans are complex beings, and there is no normal, right or wrong; there is just the need to connect with each other in a way that satisfies our soul.
The Reasons We Do It
The quest for polyamory has been defended with all kinds of theoretical and philosophical ponderings.
Personally, I think that beyond the usual round of talk about humans not being naturally monogamous, we need to address what is at the heart (I use that word intentionally) of poly-longings.
Poly-serious people are not into it because they want a threesome. One of those can be found quite easily; no need to engage in a relationship.
Poly-serious people do not use it as a form of spiritual superiority. There is simply no such thing. Spiritually enlightened means accepting of all forms of love. Polys who quest to find love are not on a quest to uphold their relationships as better than monogamous; they are emotionally mature enough to honor all expressions of love.
Those who are enthralled with poly-life tend to have an incurable capacity for expressing love, much like monogamous folk, only the practice extends beyond one person. Not that weird.
Any bi-sexual person who needs both sexes to feel emotionally and sexually complete is going to have a difficult time finding love with one person. Poly-life allows for a safe, loving environment in which bi-sexual people can find mutual satisfaction.
What Can Go Wrong
Pretty much everything. No guarantees in any kind of love, but this love requires much self-awareness.
As in any type of community, there will be participants in poly-life who are ill-equipped to handle the emotional complexity of loving more than one partner. We’re all learning. Life is hardly meant to be lived by rote from some rule book.
There will be hearts broken, un-met expectations, dreams shattered. Sound familiar? We’ve been doing this dance for millennia.
Women and men alike may find themselves swinging from the disillusionment of monogamous relationships to the same with polyamory. We may be exploring our God/Goddess-ness in a new way, and it may backfire, or we may learn something new.
Polyamory is neither a science nor is it a savior. It is a conscious lifestyle choice engaged in by people who desire more. More love, more sexual expression and an expanded view of what relationships can be.
What Polyamory Requires
Poly-serious couples are not throwing themselves willy-nilly into something they haven’t thought through.
When a longing so deep that it shatters convention makes its mark upon a heart, there is no way out but to honor it.
Polyamory is an art form. It’s a desire to contribute to the lives of two or more others who also desire to contribute mindfully to yours.
It’s a mature, intelligent decision to give and receive on an equal basis. It can also be some very deep and dangerous water. But that is love.
Yes, there will be some very fine fucking, and it will be enjoyed. But it may or may not be the raison d’etre for all couples.
Is it too difficult to navigate the ins and outs of poly love? Are we only capable of loving one person at a time with success?
I don’t know, but poly-folk are finding out. They are bravely stepping into creating a society that allows for something beautifully different.
The poly community is not a thoughtless experiment however. It’s free love, yes, for some. For others there are many well laid boundaries. For others still, there is a sexual satisfaction that can only be achieved within the constructs of poly-life.
But as with any kind of love, and we have, thankfully, become open to so much more as a society, poly-love is not a freak of nature to be pointed at without tolerance or acceptance.
Polyamory is not new and it’s not going away. What is new is our attitude towards living it openly.
Humans will always push boundaries, explore; devise new ways to connect with each other emotionally and sexually. And that’s what makes us so amazing.
It’s what makes us gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-sexual and straight.
When we stop being afraid of what’s across from ‘normal’ we will finally find common ground. The way I see it, love, all love, is good love.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Caroline Beaton