The Dark Side


A really interesting topic came up in my local poly group: What is the Dark Side of polyamory?


The Dark Side just became harder to resist

One of the issues I suggested is polynormativity. By that I mean within the poly community, normalizing about things like, “the correct way to be poly.”
One of the things that I have seen is that in an attempt to distance from one of the most common criticisms of polyamory, “oh, you just want to have sex with everyone,” is to reiterate that it’s about long-term love and commitment. This may very well be true for some, but it’s not the only way and such an attitude risks alienating those who do want or are open to shorter-term, casual or otherwise non-marriage-like relationships.
We neither have to be validated by the majority nor do we need to justify ourselves to them. It is enough to feel safe in our choice of lovestyle.

Another issue is a feeling of superiority. Most of us have transitioned from monoamory and find it works better for us. When we find a community of like-minded people, there is a great danger of in-group/out-group thinking. One example is to think that polyamory is somehow superior to monoamory. It’s not. It’s completely subjective whether it suits an individual or not.

Something that I didn’t hear in that discussion, but in previous ones is that there can be an expectation to be open for new relationships and/or sex. I’ve heard from survivors that this kind of attitude leaves them feeling pressured and very uncomfortable. We should remember that just because we are capable of loving more than one, it doesn’t mean that we are at all times open to new relationships and of course boundaries should be respected.

That really boils down to the in-group/out-group mentality that is common to us all. We have to be aware if it and act appropriately to not exclude people and to not deride others.

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