Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
2017-07-24 09:20 pm (UTC)
I don't exactly mean that I feel I ought to wish for an unlimited number of partners. It's more that there's a whole poly philosophy about not looking for a soulmate and being open to relationship configurations changing as people change. And I sort of believe that, if I thought my current partners were happier without me then I would care more about them being happy than about trying to make them stay with me. But also I feel slightly guilty about really really hoping that won't happen.
I am familiar with that philosophy, and it looks like the death of polyamory to me.
Look. The fundamental premise of polyamory as an
movement is that poly is no different than mono, except that poly allows for multiple partners. Certainly that poly is not inferior to mono! Polyamory has always positioned itself as about
– like is baked into the name – and relationship, not just sex. Polyamory as a concept is (or at least was) constructed in opposition to swinging and to just sleeping around; the term was also invented in contrast to the pre-existing term "open marriages", in which one has a single priorized emotional/romantic relationship and other relationships which are merely sexual.
Polyamory has always – until now! – been about being able to make
multiple sexual/romantic relationship commitments
. There's other words than "polyamory" for all the other things.
But now, there's this idea that if you're a
poly person, you wouldn't ask your partner to make any sort of
to you. You know, like is normal among monos. Monos make promises to stick together with their – exclusive – partners all the time. It's called "marriage". But these days, polys have gotten the idea that it's terribly selfish to ask a partner to make a commitment to one to stick with one, because, oh noes, they might someday be happier without one. Monos have a solution for this; it's called "divorce".
Basically this philosophy says that intrinsic to poly is that poly people can't make romantic commitments the same way mono people do. This philosophy says that in poly, there can be no group marriages, no small stable exclusive systems, really no marriages at all.
This philosophy says that poly people can't – and shouldn't – make the sorts of promises to one another that actually make people family to one another. It renders all poly relationships to dating.
I have no problem with anybody who wants to live their life like that; I don't think anybody's required to settle down and get married, whether to an individual or to multiple individuals or to a group.
But I believe the promulgation of the notion that somehow a small group of people who want to commit their lives to one another isn't poly – and, worse, that
relationships others to commit to you – hoping, wishing for polyamorous marriage – makes one a Bad Poly – is
– and a debasement of what poly is, possibly to its destruction.
If there is a forced choice between having multiple partners and having committed partners, where then is poly? If poly has no place for commitment, is poly a good place for people?
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