Thursday, November 1, 2012

Amy Shiner on Huffington Post: A "Deli" Approach to Polyamory

Huffington Post Gay Voices Blogger Amy Shiner tells a story there about being kinky and poly that I think will resonate for many living their lives similarly.  As I offered in comments, I've been working with kinky poly people as an educator for a while now, and I've observed what she describes fairly often. Today the practice of polyamory in kink circles seems to be all over the place, some of which does not much resemble polyamory to me, but far be it from me to tell anyone how they ought to identify.   
 What I do know is that humans are genetically programmed to pair bond - just not exclusively.  I am very much one who wants and needs such a relationship foundation in my life. This innate desire transcends polyamory and monogamy and speaks to the roots of who we are as human beings.  It's an evolutionary strategy so as to produce offspring and better guarantee the survival of humankind.  This doesn't take into account whether we are fertile, whether we want to have children, or even over-population.  It just is.  It seems clear to me that Amy is perhaps no different from many other people. 
Certainly not everyone wants this, but many do, if not most.  In order to find such a relationship partner, I recommend focusing on those who are emotionally available for engaging in deeply pair bonded, committed long-term love relationships.  Those already committed to someone may not be able to offer enough of the time and attention needed by many, so those who are also single-ish like Amy is right now may be a better choice. 
Those who are interested in finding out more about creating a kinky poly life may wish to check out my workshop handout entitled "Emotional Edge Play: Polyamory for BDSM/Leather/Fetish Folk" for more on this.


dave94015 said...

Interesting advice in your handout!

Anita Wagner Illig said...

Thanks !

Matt Arnold said...

This is an under-discussed distinction in the polyamory community. We identify as polyamorists because what other term for us is not a term of derision? We are active in the polyamory community because where else can we go where non-monogamy is practiced with ethics and happiness?

The problem is that those who are eager to bond but cautious to have sex are uncomfortable being identified with those who are eager to have sex but cautious to bond.

I am not some predatory jackass. I like to be promiscuous, but I use condoms, and get tested for STIs every year. I never want to have children, so I have a vasectomy. I prefer to be very slow to increase my emotional availability, but I'm straightforward about that from the beginning and seek only partners who do the same. I prefer to be grateful and pleasantly surprised that my intimate arrangements are continuing, than ungrateful and unpleasantly surprised when they end.

From decades of experiences, I know that this makes me and my partners happy. I've learned how to detect and avoid partners who will lie and deny the difference in our goals, in order to try to change me. I am not broken. This works for me. It's a conscious strategy and philosophy which I plan to never change.

We are also not going away. If our way of life is so contrary to human nature, why do so many people in long-term committed relationships notice us so often to lament in your blogs how common we are? Maybe someday we will build the vocabulary and cultural norms to get our own recognition without disparagement.

Thank you for providing this blog, for your time in reading this, and your consideration of what I have said.