Tag Archives: LGBT

Polya Relationship Expectations: Nothing for Granted

Updated version of a previously published article on Postmodern Woman.

Up front and honest. Heard and understood. Let’s both (all) be right. No either-or thinking. Surface vs. Substance. No expectations. Humanity (individuality) first. No defaults.
In all things, my values came (and still come) first. I didn’t grow up with stability or honesty or respect. More often than not I was the wall at which everyone decided to throw their shit. I grew up seeing humanity’s worst. Yet, instead of giving into it, instead of becoming a statistic, I chose another path. I’m addicted to discovering new things. If I don’t consider at least five different perspectives on something before settling on the most rational one then I haven’t done my job. As the world fell apart into nonsense around me I sought knowledge about anything and everything. I incorporated that knowledge into my writing, into my books. I’m especially partial to philosophy and the way that brains and minds work.
Being on the outside of the world’s typical human experiences allowed me to come to certain conclusions more quickly. I was (and am) living proof of an extreme intersection of categories that shouldn’t even seem possible to most. Much of the world can’t conceive of a person like me existing, rendering me effectively invisible by default. People tend to search for the familiar. This phenomenon does serve to leave me alone more often than not. I learned to love my own company very early on.
These experiences made it easier for me to put my values into practice; they made it easier to clearly define what was truly important to me. They allowed me to see through the layers of bullshit societies build up around things like family, romance, sex, education, and so much more. I literally cannot take anything for granted. There are no defaults in my life save change (and perhaps pain, if my physical ailments are any indication). My bedrock has always been a shifting, amorphous blob. So I learned to dance. Buddhists meditate for years to learn how to remain unattached from outcomes, people, and things. People try for years to be comfortable being alone (being single). People hurt one another so much before they realize that you must treat people as people.
Many polya people (or people in general) have disastrous relationships because they are embedded into common cultural narratives that separate human beings into categories. Most of us grow up learning to see people by their attributes first. Using those categorical lenses serves to help us miss one another on a most basic level. I couldn’t understand why labels were so important to others, why people built tribes along arbitrary lines, why they couldn’t conceive of a person being both or neither instead of always either-or, why they only extended logic bit by bit to each facet of their life instead of universally.
It’s because I’m such a weirdo. Most people don’t experience the world like I do. I have several forms of synesthesia, I’m left-handed, an atheist, Aspie, and noetisexual. I’m many other very queer things that are normally listed on the fringes of every scale. I cannot afford to take anything for granted. I can’t rely on heuristics to run my life. I don’t have defaults to fall back on to build the illusion of safety around me.
Going back to that list at the beginning, those are my only “rules” for dealing with reality. How much heartache would be avoided if people dealt with humans first and foremost instead of labels? Most people don’t have that sort of focus, that self-awareness, that desire for autonomy and that willingness to see reality as it is. We learn to view ourselves as empty halves needing to be filled. We expect others to fix us. We open ourselves up to abuse because we don’t even see ourselves as human first. There’s a reason people learn to dehumanize the enemy. You can do anything to a non-human. The more human someone becomes, the less likely you are to want to hurt them.
I find a lot of people tend to run aw`ay from me. I’m much too honest, and perhaps too serious, from the start. I value my time and others’. Because there are so many things about me that I know many might have issues with I’ve taken the up front and honest route. I’d rather have people in my life that truly want to be there than to take their time and have them feel I’d tricked them later. I have no expectations for how things need to shape up. Knowing what others expect allows us to discover what actually works, even if that means saying goodbye. I don’t dump everything on a person at the first meeting, obviously, unless it naturally comes up. But I do make certain to state my intentions and to inform them I’m not anything close to normal as soon as possible. Informed decision-making all around!
The purpose of heard and understood is to communicate diametrically-opposed ideas without devolving into an argument. My longest-term partner (and my deceased partner) and I have never yelled at one another. I can count on my fingers the number of times that I’ve yelled at him (and I can be a very, very, angry person). We keep in mind that the goal of communication is to understand one another. And even if we don’t agree, we search for a “let’s both be right” solution. That goes right along with the “no either-or thinking”. It’s not us against each other; it’s us both searching for the truth. Meaning, if we come to an impasse about something we go out and do our research before making our own decisions. Heard and understood also works well for sharing thoughts that may be difficult to hear, fears that could eat us alive, and experiences we’d rather forget. We’ve learned things about each other people don’t even write down in their diaries. It may be that most people are fine knowing much less about their significant others but my partner(s) and I do tend to be a bit nosy. And our trust was (and is) built gradually and actively.
Having no expectations requires you to be active and vigilant when dealing with other people (or ideas and other things). For instance, the ideas of romance and marriage were always suspect to me. I see people as individuals; couples (or other configurations) don’t matter to me. I’m a person first and foremost; my relationship configurations aren’t relevant to how I define myself or how I feel about myself. Knowing the history of marriage, I never saw a reason to tie the knot. I thought it was odd that two people being in love was such a big deal that it needed to be flaunted in public and then shared with friends and family with a ceremony.
I knew it was mathematically impossible for “the one” to exist. I knew that “safety and security” were illusions. I knew that love didn’t mean availability, longevity, stability, or compatibility. I knew that most people are hurt by their own expectations rather than by others’ actions. I knew that most people will naturally leave your life; that everyone is walking along their own unique paths and, though your lives might entwine for a while, inevitably you are the only one following your path to completion.
I know that every second, every breath, every step is a moment full of awe and worship of life. I know that substance (reality) trumps surface (illusion). I know that endless possibilities echo in every moment. I know that life is short. I know I’ll spend mine in appreciation, wonder, and awareness. I take nothing for granted. I never get comfortable (which he always playfully complains about). I never default. There’s so much to learn and see, after all.

Is It Time for Poly Marriage?

I’m going to make an exception to my usual rules and talk politics for a bit.

Chief Justice Roberts, in his dissent from the ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, laid out why, in his opinion, once gay marriage is legal there is no reason not to make poly marriage legal. He even specifically mentioned polyamory several times in his dissent.

A lot of news outlets and poly folk have picked up on this and are asking the same question

Is It Time for Poly Marriage?

Several things have changed since the last time I attempted to answer this question, but overall my answer hasn’t changed.

Poly folk aren’t ready for a battle about marriage. The mainstream LGBT community has an internal structure, access to legal resources, coordination, and public support that the poly community can only dream of. So, this isn’t the right time to start this battle.

We would do far better to throw our resources and support behind the LGBT community’s push for non-discrimination, and in the process both strengthen our alliances and give us the time and opportunity to build the structure, coordination, and public support that will be needed when we are ready to start fighting for the rights we deserve.

Tactical and strategic thinking sucks sometimes. It’s easy to look at the sudden talk about poly marriage in the media and think about how much you want to marry your spice and say “LGBT got it, it’s our turn now!”

Real life doesn’t work that way. Real life means taking the time to have our shit in order before charging into the breach.

Real life also means realizing that “poly marriage” the way the talking heads are using the term isn’t what we need anyway. Group marriage will not be an answer for the poly community. Our relationship structures are too varied for that. What we need, and honestly what a shit-ton of folks outside the poly community need, is a path to have all families legally recognized, no matter what their structure.

Poly Gay Fic

So, I rounded up a short list of gay polyamory fiction, but to be honest I didn’t have to try that hard. I’d say it took nearly three hours to gather the lesbian polyamory fic/pics list at the beginning of the month, this list took less than an hour. Not too surprising when the Goodreads Best Gay Polyamory Romance list has over 300 items. So all in all, if you can’t find anything you like on this list, just dig around a bit, I’m sure you’ll find something!

 

Evergreen by Racheline Maltese

Misfits by Garrett Leigh

The Forgotten Prince by Kelex, description notes two men from a “Triad” being sent to find the prince who is their destined mate. Destined mate stories usually hit coercion/rape notes so read with caution.

Above the Dungeon by SM Johnson, as the name implies, BDSM themed. M/m/m.

Beyond Complicated by Mercy Celeste, based on the description and several reviews, involves consensual adult incest.

The Scientific Method series by Chris Ripper Another BDSM themed, starts off F/m, moves to M/m, and ends up M/M/m by book 4.

Tales of the Thessali Harem series by Danielle Summers tagged gay fourway sex

Lone Wolf Chronicles by Alastair Anders gay shifter romance, tagged polyamory and orgies

 

 

Many thanks to Alan of PolyintheMedia whose Patreon support has helped PolyonPurpose reach the goal of two new posts every week! Please add your support so I can start adding Friday posts as well.

Lesbian Polyamory Fic/Pics

Recently PolyLesbian on Twitter shared their frustration with how little representation of lesbian poly folk she has found in fiction. So for the next few weeks I’ll be posting links to all the ______ polyamory fiction and comics I can find. Not sure how many _______s I’m going to hit, but definitely gay and trans. Possibly asexual, kinky, PoC, and others. Feel free to contact me with suggestions. I haven’t read all of these, inclusion in the list is based on search tags, book reviews, and synopsis found on various book sites.

Here’s the (disturbingly short) lesbian polyamory link list, I’ll be adding to it as I find new stuff. Please add your own links in the comments!

SchpogArt webcomic — Lesbian trio finds some mistletoe. Due to being in a place where I need to keep my comp screen SFW, I didn’t check out much of SchopArt’s other stuff, but the little I saw seems like it might have more along this line somewhere.

Just some nice threesome pics

Forsaking All Others by Kathleen Knowles

Rymellan 3: The Triad by Sarah Ettritch (Debatable, description sounds coercive)

Big Damn Heroines Anthology, tagged “polyamory,” Goodread’s review describes one of the stories as “A trio of warrior-wizards…”

Jiai Jouwa series by Hildred Billings, tagged polyamory/open relationship

Third by Q. Kelly, Description includes two not-so-happily married women and a third woman who enters into a romantic relationship with them (amid time traveling insanity.)

Tales of MU, by Alexandra Erin, delightfully explicit fantasy web serial set in a girls’ college dormitory. I’d qualify this one as more pan/omni-sexual but most of the characters (up to where I’ve read) are women, there’s plenty of F/F action and lots of women in multiple relationships.

Horrors of the Parasitic World: A Love Story by Anya Schwartz, described as two women decide to open their relationship

Links are in no particular order. I have not read the majority of the books mentioned and am basing their inclusion on reviews, tags, and book descriptions. Links, with occasional exception, go to the location where I found the book. None of the links here are affiliate links.