Polyamory – A Modern Perspective

     Monogamy can get so monotonous so why not love many? There are many forms of non-traditional relationships emerging in modern society with polyamory being at the forefront. In the last decade, there has been wide-spread coverage of polyamory in media, films, academic journals, and law. However, society is still in the dark on what exactly constitutes polyamory. It’s common for society to clump a group of people together with a singular label; however, that’s not how social and relational dynamics typically work. In this post, I aim to provide basic insight and clarification into the constructs of polyamory and eliminate harmful stereotypes that have developed around the concept.
A revolutionary book I recommend is, The Ethical Slut, which examines non-traditional forms of relationships, with a focus on polyamory. It aims to shed light on common misconceptions of multi-partnered relationships. Polyamory can be defined as, “The open acceptance of multiple romantic/sexual relationships.” A feminist perspective is further elaborated, “whilst it is often seen, from the outside, as fulfilling men’s fantasies (representing the possibility of infidelity without guilt and having sex with more than one woman), many within the polyamorous community regard it as a more feminine way of managing relationship, with much emphasis placed on the importance of open communication, the expression of emotion, and support networks” (Hot bi babes and feminist families: Polyamorous women speak out, Barker and Ritch, 2007). Whilst this may be a shocking discovery to some, it may also resonate within the poly community.
     ‘Poly’ is many. ‘Amory’ is love. Polyamory is ‘many loves.’ To mention, I am not promoting one relational construct over the other. What I am suggesting is that each relationship consists of participants with similar relational goals in mind. Many of the differences lie in perception and execution. For example, most poly individuals accept their jealousy as a natural inclination, but strive to remove it from their relationships. In the article, Whatever happened to non-monogamies? Critical reflections on recent research and theory, “A great deal of the research on non-monogamies concentrates on the rules, contracts and boundaries employed by non-monogamous people in order to manage their relationships. Generally the aim of such arrangements is to ensure the stability and security of the relationships and to minimize painful emotions, notably jealousy.”In mony (monogamous) dynamics, ‘break-ups’ usually result in the diminishing of the relationship; whereas poly defines this as a ‘transition’ where the interaction is still alive, but sexual intimacy may be removed. Also, in poly relationships, there can be primary and secondary lovers, along with hierarchical constructs present.
     Those who strive to eliminate barriers such as jealousy in their relationship/s tend to have healthier outcomes. Whether you’re in a mony or poly relationship, it’s important to realize both forms of relationships strive for shared relational elements such as intimacy, open communication, honesty, maturity, and growth. It’s easy to identify a concept better or worse than the normative model; yet the challenge lies in deconstructing relational components of a dynamic despite sexual orientation or organization. In my next post on polyamory, I will take on a feminist theoretical framework in relation to poly constructs and how it impacts female sexuality.
Tell us what you think about Polyamory below!
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The Hostility Effect: Just Conform

We all know who you are. The ones who always have to be different. Deviate from the norm. Stand up for alternative rights. Educating themselves far more than necessary. Appear different. Disrupting society. Vagabonds as my grandpa says. Let’s take a moment to reflect on these individuals and their relationship with society. What are the philosophical and psychological implications of their deviation from societal norms and standards? Do they wish to lead more seemingly difficult lives? Most people choose the path of least resistance so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for these individuals to take a path of most resistance. Essentially, there is a chief answer as to why non-conformity is prevalent amongst certain groups. What is it? Lack of benefit.
Change is necessary to those who realize their marginalization. Admittedly, some do continue life in a state of disbelief or depression, but not everyone is capable of being silent after knowing they are a marginalized group in society. Why does society blame them? Society blames and devalues these individuals because though their rebellion, they confront those who adhere to the standards set before them. Modern society is created through a hierarchical order where a marginalized presence must exist in order for the dominant group to reign. Through a modern capitalistic framework, values taken out of a corporate handbook, and the hierarchical order of humanity; we have created globalized inequalities.
Theses inequalities manifest themselves differently depending on the economic condition, political positioning, and social conventions of the cultural landscape. The subservient group knows their place and should remain there. In certain locations, the marginalized groups are given barely enough to survive, presenting the illusion that there is always more to gain if they work hard enough. In other areas, people are starving on many levels, replacing any hope for improvement with daily survival. The ones who dwell in the dominant group will rarely deviate from their habitat. Why would they? Even if an individual acknowledges the social processes that take place and the atrocities of globalized inequalities, they cannot defy their group so profoundly and possibly end up empty-handed. In this case, the issue at hand is one of motivation. What motivates those who do fight for a more productive, egalitarian society?
Simple: Death vs Survival.
Once you know what group you inhabit and who your master is, you ultimately have 2 choices: Death or Survival. I don’t mean this in a fatal, mortal sense. With enlightenment comes a fierce passion that induces a fire within you. At your core, you KNOW you can either fight the rest of your life to educate, create warriors, heal others, advance society, reap fulfilling benefits in order to survive. On the other hand, you can choose Death. Death is knowing everyday and deteriorating internally through complacency, apathy, and chronic emptiness. Most people will subside these feelings with substances, addictions, disorders, poor health, negative relationships and so forth in order to cope with not surviving. Most people believe it’s hard to survive, i.e. fight for an egalitarian system, but the reality is that it’s far more difficult to conform and prevent yourself from reaping the benefits of what it means to be human through our interconnectivity with the earth. Those who embark on a journey of most resistance do it because it reaps the most rewards, and frankly, there is no other way once you know.