Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Required Reading



Dateline:


A cursory glance at poly forums this week reveals...


1. An established triad with a secondary who refutes the "secondary" label and believes she's earned the "right" to be primary...


2. A poly "expert" who firmly believes as his love is endless so, too, is his time and he considers it perfectly acceptable to bring on as many partners as he wants (kind of like the old batty woman in the trailer that owns 200 cats because, well, she loves cats)...


3. A curious post of when it'd be a good time to suggest to a dating partner that you're poly...


No, really: are these for realzies? Yes.


Now, to this reporter, it seems like they've already been answered in the literature. Indeed, I think 75-percent of what anyone says in a poly forum these days has already been captured by Ravenscroft, Easton/Liszt, or Taormino. Instead, why do I get the distinct impression that members of the community are getting by without an education?


I was talking with a member of the community this week whose partners also haven't read the literature and had positively backwards understandings of roles, definitions, and responsibilities. Where this one party was encouraging the other two to, you know - "read the docs" - they obviously were perfectly contented with ignoring the establishment and creating it as what fit them: a life without hierarchy, a need for communication and transparency, boundaries, and willy-nilly fluid bonding ("Like, hey: it's my life, what I do affects just me, I can do whatever I want and you don't need to know about it...")...


THAT'S CRAP!


Polyamory is complicated and it has its on lexicon. Practice demands study! If your partners haven't already gone out and purchased the latest edition of The Ethical Slut released this month, go kick them in the ass and force-feed it to them. If polyamory is a self-exploration of alternative relationships and lifestyles, then it's as much about expanding your mind as it is your libido, and I totally reject the hippie idea that "Poly is what you make out of it, wow, dude", no no NO, it's not, and there's established vocabulary, terms, conditions, and roles.


So. If somebody you know hasn't done it already, tell them: it's time. Get the license. Read the docs. Catch a podcast. Listen to an audio book. Bone up on the material. Know the issues of our time. It'll at least cut down on 3/4 of the asinine conversations and downright ignorant behaviors going on in the polyworld...


s1m0n
"I can have as many cats as I want in my trailer and they're all primaries to me." - Er, shuuhhh!

5 comments:

polyfulcrum said...

Tell us how you REALLY feel! ;)While I'm a big fan of books and reading for education, there are still people out there that don't learn that way. Still, ask the questions! Learn about what you are trying to do!

PolyGestalt said...

I hear what you're saying! Poly needs the uniformity and common ground of a broad-based organized movement! Like a corporation! ;)

EmilyTbM said...

Let's market poly!

Step one: Make Poly known to the world

Step two: ???

Step three: PROFIT!

Dave said...

I don't know that I totally agree with you, but I love that you feel so strongly about it, in a way that seems both rational and ultimately caring about people's well-being/growth.

I haven't learned this way (by reading) in the past on the topic of polyamory... my learning/growth has been from personal experience and from talking with other people and sharing their experiences.

Besides the "Ethical Slut", would you mind sharing a few other titles?

When I tried to google the author names you list, I found stories about the mystical power held in the spear that pierced Christ and lesbian erotica... not quite the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Tristan Taormino has written all sorts of erotica, lesbian and other, but I suspect she'll become better known over time for the book "Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships."

Anthony Ravenscroft offers humorous and cautionary look at "Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful."

You can't go wrong with adding these to your library shelf. Happy reading!

Barbara