This clipped post seems pretty benign at first. Even TRUE.
Obviously, because it’s been reposted and clipped and shared by many.
And that troubles me.
Because the wording in this makes a lot of assumptions and statements that I find deeply problematic.
First of all, I do not doubt the good intentions of this post. Not at all. Polyamory and other types of no monogamy are constantly asked to “prove” that they are valid, or worthy of existing.
That they are not just euphemisms for immoral behavior.
Which, in and of itself is a deep problem.
Because nonmonogamy needs no justification to anyone except the people that choose it, and wanting to be nonmonogamous is justification in itself.
I mean, really.
Haven’t we been through this enough with LGBTQ culture? When will we realize that the “moral world” will never approve, and just be?
Because when we try to justify our lives to others, we leave out people that matter. We gatekeep. We exclude.
Like in this message.
It is inherently invalidating polyamorist who don’t have self control. Who choose not to resist temptation. Who do whatever they want.
As if those are not valid choices for them.
Being that way is not inherently wrong or bad, as this message assumes.
In fact, I would suggest that doing EXACTLY what you want is more good than bad, but it’s actually much closer to neutral overall, and depends on what you want.
For example, if you want to kill someone, that is bad. If you want to raise people up and see them happy, that is good.
So, doing what you want could be bad in the first instance and good in the second. You see?
And where would doing something that OTHER people want of you, but that you don’t want, and actually hurts you fall, in case like this? I’d say that’s bad, and that doing what is good for you (and what you want) is the better option, even if others don’t approve.
Because do we really need to seek others’ approval of our relationships?
This subtly suggests that there is WON TWOO WAY to poly. Which is untrue. For some poly/nonmonogamy is ALL about doing exactly what they want, and as long as they are being ethical, who are we to say it’s wrong?
Of course, the moral police won’t like that…
And last, and this is perhaps the most insidious part of this—the part I hate most—the part that feels like it comes from a place of inherent ick.
This post makes it seem like communicating with your partners requires self discipline AND that it is not included in “whatever you want.”
Sure, that may be true for some people.
Some people may not WANT to communicate and negotiate and set boundaries and agreements.
And I would say that is their right.
And the right of anyone to choose whether to be in a relationship with them.
However, Most of the amazing people I know in all forms of nonmonogamy LOVE interacting with their partners through communication.
They look at it as a privilege.
Something they GET to do with these multiple amazing, wonderful, incredible, sexy, (insert-all-the-best-adjectives-you-can-think-of-here) people.
So, they WANT to do it.
It doesn’t take self-control.
It’s not resisting any temptation.
THEY LOVE IT.
And they learn about how to do it better in the same way they might take cooking classes or tennis lessons, or join book clubs.
Because they can’t get enough of how it adds so much positivity to their lives.
And when it comes down to it, I want to be in relationships with people who are doing EXACTLY what they want with me.
All in all, I think that the way I read this message is more harmful than good. And that’s NOT to say that how they intend it. Like I said, I suspect it’s good intentions and healthy thoughts that created the original.
It’s not just for me, the way it stands.
What about you? What are your thoughts?
- Do you feel this is gatekeeping?
- Do you believe that it takes self-control to be poly?
- DO you have to resist temptation to be poly (or to be poly the RIGHT way)?
- Is communicating with your partners a chore?
- Do you want a poly life where you cannot just do what you want?