Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in what ultimately still amounts to monogamous terms. There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word “polyamory,” by definition, means loving more than one. Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core “couple” at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the “man” in the relationship and the other must be the “woman.” After all, both of these misunderstandings result from people trying to graft their normative conceptions of love and relationships onto people who are partnering in non-normative ways. It seems that it is somewhat easy for many people to acknowledge that humans are capable of loving one person and still enjoying sex with others (assuming, of course, that the terms of their relationship make such behavior acceptable). But it is much harder for people to think outside the fairy-tale notion of “the one” and imagine that it might be possible to actually romantically love more than one person simultaneously.
In many people’s minds bisexuality is (incorrectly) seen as synonymous with non-monogamy. Bisexuals are most often portrayed or imagined as married men or women having secondary "flings" with people of the same sex.

Talk shows, in keeping with their usual superficiality and oversimplification of reality, perpetuate this stereotype. Many shows invite as panelists only bisexuals who have more than one partner, as if the absence of multiple partners invalidates or at least confounds bisexual identity. It is usually the preference of producers that the bisexual individual’s primary relationship be a heterosexual marriage, with same sex lovers "on the side".

In dealing with producers of these types of shows, I have been told that monogamous or celibate bisexuals are not interesting or controversial enough, and besides, the viewers wouldn’t be able to understand monogamous or celibate bisexuality.

As a result, viewers are presented with images that reinforce the illusion that all bisexual people have both male and female lovers, when in fact only a minority of bisexuals actually maintain this lifestyle.
—  Robyn Ochs Biphobia: It Goes More Than Two Ways originally published in Bisexuality: The Psychology and Politics of an Invisible Minority, Beth A. Firestein, Editor published by Sage 1996

We ♥ this quote and article which helps explain why so many people believe bisexuals cannot be monogamous. But want to remind people there is a difference between those who Choose Monogamy as the right thing For Them, and has absolutely nothing to do with being down on polyamorous and other types of relationships which may be the right thing for others. To each their own, "An it harm none, do what ye will."

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

MONOGAMY IS INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST.

"I prefer to be committed."

Here, let me tell you why you’re wrong…

I am committed to jogging for thirty minutes a day, but some days I also lift weights on top of that. I am committed to learning guitar, but I can learn keyboard at the same time.

"Commitment" does not mean that you are solely and entirely devoted to one thing. "Commitment" means that you are dedicated, invested, consistent.

Polyamory is just as committed as monogamy - by which I mean that the level of love and commitment to each relationship is dependant upon the individuals involved, not the style of the relationship.

Polyamory does not mean that you are lacking in commitment or dedication to the relationship - it just means that you are, with the consent of everyone involved, engaging in multiple relationships at once (akin to having multiple friendships, multiple children or family members, the different relationships are not dictated or lessened by the existence of the others).

What you prefer to be is “monogamous”. You prefer to be with one person at a time, because you feel that is the most beneficial and enjoyable way for you personally to expend your time and energy - it is no more or less ethical or admirable, it is just the relationship style you are most comfortable in.

Quit invalidating my commitment in order to validate your own.

Anytime someone actually advocates, publicly supports, or talks about the benefits of polyamory, there’s a chorus of monogamous people demanding that their choices be respected.

Like, damn, I respect your fricking choices. But I’ve spent my entire life since birth learning about why monogamy is better. Every popular notion of romance is based on monogamy. Almost every film with a love story is based on monogamy— even when there’s cheating, monogamous love is still taken as the default, the assumed, the best.

Monogamy has been sold to me, to everyone, with a marketing scheme of trillions of dollars, with every social and entertainment resource available, with religion, with the LGBT rights movement, with our own families.

And yet if we try to explain why we think polyamory has benefits, that’s inappropriate, that is shaming monogamous people, we need to respect their choices. Apparently, we’re only supposed to say that it’s our own “personal choice,” or lifestyle, equal to any other.

Well, I respect people’s choice to be monogamous, but I do think there are benefits to polyamory, and that’s why I choose it. If you don’t want it, don’t choose it; your culture will support your monogamy one million percent.

But don’t be afraid of someone explaining why they love polyamory, why it’s beautiful and meaningful to them. You can deal with hearing their pitch! People need to hear about why people choose polyamory and what it can do for your life, because I don’t think the tsunami of support for monogamous coupling is going to stop anytime soon, and it’s not fair, not to poly people or to people who might want to be poly but think they have no choice but to be monogamous. They don’t just need to hear that polyamory exists; they deserve to hear from people who love it, who think that it is wonderful.

anonymous asked:

What is the difference between romance and a serious relationship? Do you think one can experience true love without being in a defined exclusive relationship?

Romance, in my opinion, is more of the short-sighted passionate part of a relationship. It’s the happy and good times, when everything seems perfect and you can’t imagine ever being apart kind of feeling. It’s when you are trying to woo and get to know one another and enjoying everything together.

A serious relationship, begins with romance but it is kept together with trust and desire to endure hardship together. It is caring about someone even when you are mad at them. It is a commitment that you will stand by one another in good times and bad.

I don’t think you can have true love if you aren’t exclusive. Yes you can love multiple people but you can, in my opinion, only be in love with one person. When you love someone, you only desire to be with that person. Otherwise it isn’t love, it’s just two people who are in a relationship.

We live in a society that sanctions only one kind of romantic relationship: a monogamous cisgender man and a monogamous cisgender woman. Same-sex relationships are gaining ground, but it’s been an uphill struggle; there are still many people who label them ‘deviant’ and ‘perverse.’ A natural consequence of the notion that there’s one socially approved model of relationship is the idea that other types of relationships are abnormal or unhealthy, and view them with a skepticism rarely applied to “normal” relationships. This is the essence of “relationship negativity:” the idea that relationships are only healthy if they’re carefully kept within the constraints of what’s construed as “normal,” and any other form of relationship is to be viewed with distrust or even hostility.

Love Is Me & You

Ever since college when I slowly came to grips with my bisexual identity, I have always had a fear in the back of my mind. A little voice in every relationship has always been there, questioning, “If you commit to one gender, won’t you miss the other genders?” I have feared that having the capacity to love people all across the gender spectrum, as well as a desire to be monogamous in my relationships, would mean that I would also ultimately be unhappy in one way or another. I want to pledge my life in partnership to another person at some point, to start a family – but that means deciding to commit to one person of one gender identity for the rest of my life. Such a permanent prospect is terrifying in so many ways …

As a bisexual activist, I have spoken at college campuses, PFLAG meetings and conferences from the East Coast to the West Coast and back. I have told teenagers coming to grips with their own identities that bisexuality is a beautiful thing – having the capacity to love others regardless of sex or gender is a gift. As I have spoken out against the stereotypes that bisexuals are sex-crazed, greedy and incapable of monogamy, internally I have wondered if that last cliché might not, in some small way, be true, at least for me …

It has been my mother above all others who has made me realize that, regardless of whether one is gay, straight, bisexual or any other sexual identity on the vast spectrum, when it comes to love it is about the individual. With many relationships come and gone, my mom has helped me realize one over-arching fact: regardless of my sexual identity, finding love doesn’t mean I no longer have the capacity to be attracted to anyone else, it just means that I want to be with my chosen significant other more than anyone else.

It also doesn’t mean that I stop being bisexual.

Click HERE to read AJ’s Personal Essay

A.J. Walkley is a bisexual activist and the author of Queer Greer and Choice. Her third novel, Vuto, inspired by her experience as a US Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Malawi East Africa has just been released. Walkley currently resides in Arizona, USA.