There is rampant slut-shaming in polyamory/nonmonogamy communities.

There is rampant slut-shaming in polyamory/nonmonogamy communities.

And you know what else?

It’s encouraged by many.

Comments like, “This is a polyamory group, not a polyfuckery group,” or “Yeah, it sounds like they are just a swinger, not polyamorous at all,” abound.

The original definition of polyamorous, by the people who coined the phrase in modern times and put it into popular circulation (Oberon Zell and Morning Glory Zell) is:

POLYAMORY: (Greek poly = many; Latin amor = love) The practice, state or ability
of having multiple lovers at the same time.

Lovers.

People who love.

Lover: a partner in a sexual or romantic relationship outside marriage.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that swingers and poly folk are the same. They’re not. The culture is radically different.

However, if you were to ask the average human on the street, they would not see the difference. Swingers and poly folk are all going outside of monogamy, and that’s bad, mmmkay? Moreover, they see it all as cheating.

Which is probably part of the trouble, and touches on something that is on my mind a lot recently: How we are indoctrinated with certain beliefs and carry those forward, and how they harm us and our relationships deeply.

Like slut-shaming.

Someone on one of my writings a couple weeks ago said (over a couple of comments):

A lot of people claim that they’re ENM or Poly when they’re just dating around.

There’s nothing wrong with fucking everything that moves, just don’t call yourself poly or ethically nonmonogamous if your only goal in life is to treat people as consumable objects.

I’ve seen that exact sentiment (and the ones that followed) spoken in so many ways throughout the polyamory community.

“Fucking everything that moves” is slut-shaming.

Who fucks everything that moves? Anyone? Even the most committed sluts I know have standards. They may not be YOUR standards, or MY standards, but they have their own, and they certainly don’t have sex with everyone, and would not.

So, why say that?

It’s a judgment.

It’s saying, “This person is not living up to the measures I put to them, because they have sex with more people than I would think is good/healthy/ethical—even as I put the phrase, ‘There’s nothing wrong with…’ In front of it.”

“Don’t call yourself…”

Another judgment. A gate-keepy statement. And one that I personally believe is factually incorrect.

We defined polyamory above. Identifying as polyamorous does not mean I am in love right now, or that any single person will be the one (or a one).

ENM: Ethical Nonmonogamy: Sleeping around is nonmonogamy, so I guess they were quibbling about the ethical.

My view is that unless someone is lying, sleeping around and doing what THEY want to do and feel comfortable doing in relationships is perfectly ethical.

UNLESS you are judging people as bad and wrong for those different standards I mentioned above.

Sluttery is not unethical. It is nonmonogamy.

A slutty person can be polyamorous.

A polyamorous person can also be a slut.

All of it—polyamory, sluttery, swinging, open relationships, RA, casual sex, pimping, hotwifing, dating around, and more—all of it is nonmonogamy.

All of it CAN be ethical nonmonogamy, and all of it can be unethical.

Unless, of course, you believe deep down that sleeping around or sluttery is inherently unethical when love or romance or whatever standards you set upon another person’s mind and body are not included.

Back in 2018, I wrote Slut Shaming Hurts Us All (https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/5113353), and it’s just as true today.

I said in that writing that, “The prevailing viewpoint of ‘it’s not all about sex,’ is valid and important. At the same time it can imply that sex-focused kinksters are doing it wrong or setting back ‘the movement’ or whatever.”

And I will say the same thing about poly communities:

The prevailing viewpoint of ‘it’s not all about sex,’ is valid and important. At the same time it can imply that sex-focused nomonogamists are doing it wrong or setting back ‘the movement’ or whatever.

Which is a bunch of bullshit.

A huge steaming pile of it.

What are your thoughts?

Do you think that slut-shaming is pretty common in polyamory groups? Why do you think that is (I have my theories)?

Do you ever find yourself thinking in slut-shamey ways, before you correct yourself? (I do, sadly. I also do correct myself, thankfully.)

Or, do you believe that to sleep around/date around is wrong, and that sluts deserve to be shamed?

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