I kinda feel like I’m playing gatekeeper here…but polyamory to me is just not inherently queer.  It’s not a sexual/romantic orientation or gender identity.  It’s a community that is not conventional nor normative, therefore still has its battles to fight for legitimacy and equal treatment within mainstream society…but it’s not queer.  When cisgender, heterosexual/romantic poly people call themselves queer, it feels like co-opting a movement and it makes me very uncomfortable.

Tired.

I suppose I can’t fault Jade for wanting to back off.

She was recently out of another relationship. The ex, conveniently, lives much closer and is more traditional in how he carries out his relationships. I can’t fault her for getting invested in me and then getting scared. I’m just tired of it.

She told me, in the interest of complete honesty and openness, that–in light of a conversation the two of them had had the previous night–she wanted to explore things with him again.

I find it interesting, however, that she won’t tell him about anything that happened with me. She can be honest with me, and yet she can’t be honest with him, and still yet, she thinks a more conventional relationship is better for her.

Whatever. I suppose it’s good this all happened early on. Good reminder to myself to do a better job at keeping my emotions clamped down. Each successive disappointment just more and more exhausting.

I’m glad I have Blondie, whom I haven’t seen in a week and miss terribly. Naturally this would all happen when I’m home by myself for several days.

This whole thing totally overshadows another development that actually was a positive occasion: I met up with a new girl (I’ll call her Bunny) for lunch earlier in the day yesterday. She’s cute–has a very rockabilly look–and funny and entertaining and kinky and has experience in poly-type relationships. She lives in Orange County but seems to be in L.A. all the time. I don’t want to fall back into anything longer-distance, so my inclination is to not get too involved, but it’s nice to pick up a new friend. Perhaps a new friend with occasional benefits, even. Who knows. I find it difficult to think positively at the moment.

I feel like I should end this post with my usual “Life is good” but…eh, fuck it. Life moves on.

Shitty liberal culture tells us to be blind to differences amongst people, and stupid romance myths tell us love is blind. But for folks who have radical politics and recognize that identity is a major vector of privilege and oppression, we know that love and sex and culture are not blind to difference, but rather that difference plays a major role in sex and romance and family structure.
—  Dean Spade, “For Lovers and Fighters” in We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, ed. Melody Berger (2006).

Two recent posts in the polyamory tag saddened me deeply.

It’s not okay to date poly people, let them fall for you, and then suddenly dump them as soon as you bump into someone who’s both mono and available. People are not commodities. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t see yourself in a long-term poly relationship (as a mono person with a nonmonogamous boyfriend, I can confirm that they are not for everyone), but at least make that perfectly clear to your poly partner from the very beginning instead of abandoning them when it’s convenient for you!

If you’re truly in love with someone, you will not be able to kiss someone else without tasting your loved ones tears stain your lips. You will not be able to take your clothes off for someone else without feeling like a field ripped bare to its soil.

oh good to know us poly people can’t actually love our partners!

fuck that post. cheating is shitty but this is an awful and untrue way to go about saying that.

cheating is about dishonesty and breaking trust and that does not mean the same thing in every relationship. in my relationship, cheating would mean not talking about who we do things with, not being open about seeing someone else, and especially being dishonest with the other person and not telling them about our relationship. to others it may be the typical definition of doing anything sexual or romantic with someone else.

that DOES NOT mean I love my wife less than someone who is in a relationship that works differently than ours.

ok just picture this: two best friends live in an apartment together. one is aro and the other is ace. the aro person has a fuck buddy over one night. in the morning, the aro person sleeps in and the fuck buddy goes into the kitchen and meets the ace friend. they have breakfast together and they decide to go on a date. then the three end up being in a kind of poly relationship except they have a sexual relationship with one and a romantic relationship with the other.

What Does Polyamory Look Like?

This has always been an interesting question, because the answer can be so different depending on who you ask.

The easiest answer is: “Well, it’s up to the individuals in the relationship! Depending on X/Y/Z, it can look like anything - all that really matters is that it’s consensual, ethical, and everyone is happy with the relationship boundaries.”

While that answer is true, it doesn’t do a lot to explain the basic shapes and configuration for people who are new, or curious about polyamory.

Let’s look at a few! :)

The ‘Loving Triad’ and Non-Triadic Vee

Arguably, two of the most typical/most represented shapes of polyamorous relationships. Although they may seem really similar in the sense they have three people, the dynamics of the relationship are quite different.

First, the ‘Loving Triad’ is a three-way relationship in which the members have (generally) a strong emotional, sexual, an/or romantic relationship with each other. Triads tend to live together as a egalitarian family, sharing roles and responsibilities.

In the non-triadic Vee, one person (Payton, in the above example) has two different partners, but those partners (generally) have no intimate relationship with one another - although friendship isn’t out of the ordinary! This style is called a poly-Y if four people are involved with only one hinge.

The triad, and non-triadic Vee/Y are very common for first time polyamorous people, because with certain boundaries and rules it can look like (and act like) something similar to monogamy with three people. 

The Polyamorous Pairs - Primaries, Secondaries, Ect.

Sometimes called ‘The Plural Poly Pairs’, or ‘Poly Porcupines’. These relationships tend to resemble the stereotypical 60′s and 70′s ‘open marriage’/’free love’ style. 

This type generally starts with a committed, often married (but, not always) couple who have relationships outside their primary pairing with full honesty and support of each other.

The degree of freedom (sexual, emotional, romantic, fluid-bounding with secondaries) and what specific information about the secondary relationship is shared with the primary relationship varies with each relationship. 

The ‘GORK’/ Polyamorous Circle

The polyamorous circle can be thought as a small, intentional, consensual community. 

Generally, each person brings something to the relationship to help benefit all and tasks/work/responsibilities of the family is distributed equally. Most polyamorous-circle relationships are poly-fidelius, but if new member were to join it would have to be a group decision. 

Usually - sexual, romantic, and/or a emotional relationship is shared between all members.

The Polyamorous Network/Polycule

A polycule is an expansive network os sexual, emotional and/or romantic relationships the result from the branching out of open polyamorous relationships.

These types of relationships generally contain multiple non-triadic Vee’s, Y’s, and poly pairs. It is one of the most flexible and amorphous of polyamorous lovestyles, and it is (generally) always changing and expanding. 

Usually, because of the expansive nature, most of these polyamorous networks do not live under the same roof (and sometimes, not even in the same geographic area!). Some members may have platonic relationships with other members, while others choose not to associate with other branches. 

The Polyamorous Snake/Poly-S

The polyamorous-S is a sort of poly-chain like relationship the resembles an extension of the poly Vee or Y, and is similar to the poly circles.

In this type of poly relationship, only certain people are bonded with others (but, not everyone together) which creates a chain. If there are only 4 or 5 people in the relationship, it’s usually called a poly Y/N or W.

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I hope this helps shed some light on what polyamory can look like, in the most basic of shapes/arrangements!

Question: What does your relationship currently look like? What would you want it to look like?

Pictures and some material from What Does Polyamory Look Like? Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships by Dr. Mim Chapman.

So I just read today that recent statistics estimate 20% of the population is gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation that is not heterosexual, as well as transgender, transsexual, or genderqueer.

That means 1/5 of the world has or is going through the struggles to fit in a heteronormative society and be accepted by their friends and family for who they love or who they are.

This means 1,462,400,000 people are all LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.

Whether you are hiding in the shadows, in the process of coming out to family, friends, or yourself, living life to the fullest or feeling trapped in your own home, I just want you to remember this:

You are not alone.

You are braver than you think you are.

You are stronger than you think you are.

I love you.

We all love you.

You can make it tomorrow.

I believe in you.