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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Normal is what you are used to

There's a lot that's been written on polyamory, so I'm not going to re-hash all the whys and wherefores, but I have been thinking about it, as well as discussing it with a few people. In the past I have always been monogamous, I've had a number of long term partners and been committed to them and only them. I never "cheated" although I did think about it once or twice (or more in the case of the tail ends of the relationship). I am a Christian, and would like one day to get married in a church with the dress and everything. If that happens, and currently it is not something that I'm actively looking for and maybe even will never occur, I expect to only ever fuck or be fucked by that one person.

That's in the potential future, perhaps. Right now, I'm in a very different place, and also a very different place to where I'd ever expected myself to be. Crucially, however, I'm happy, and having rather a lot of fun, which is my usual yardstick for determining whether or not I'm doing the right thing.

Ethical Hedonist once commented half-jokingly that he worried about polyamory being a way of being half as good to twice as many people. I can see his point. I think that we are socially accustomed to monogamy to the extent that multiple relationships give us category difficulties. Combine that with failures of language and issues with context and we start to get nervous. The Photographer has a main partner, does that make me "lesser"? We need a better, more appropriate set of values, new ways of thinking. I've recently described my situation as a chocolate box relationship - and it's true that I like variety and being able to pick and chose, but that too leads to ranking those flavours that might be preferred.

The removal of preference is probably not an option unless we throw our hands in the air and declare that all shall win and all must have prizes. It is human nature to qualify and sort. Everyone wants to be special, to be important and valued, everyone worries that they are not. Which is where the difficulty comes for me. Whilst I might be closer to (in that I know more about, see more of and fuck more often) some of my partners than others, I still want to see them all, or I'd be monogamous. No-one is being lied to, or fooled and I'm clear in what is and isn't on offer physically and emotionally, but I am still finding it a little tricky.

I wonder if I am stuck in playground rules, thinking about lovers in the way that "best friends" used to have that peculiar emphasis. School room cliques where in order for one to be valued another must be excluded or diminished. I grew out of that, and I can grow out of this too.

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