Is polyamory a sexual identity or not?
I’m going to add to the “Is being polyamorous a sexual identity or not?” debate. Lovers are gonna love and haters are gonna hate, so here we go.
My opinion: Being polyamorous is not a sexual identity. I think that what gender you are sexually attracted to is sexual identity (gay, straight, bi, queer, etc.). How many people you want to be having a sexual relationship with at any given time is a relationship type identity or a relationship choice. How someone identifies depends on the person because polyamorous can be something that you innately are or something you do.
For instance, I have never thought monogamously. Not for one moment in my post-puberty life. From the moment I started “noticing” girls I have never felt monogamous-minded. In high school I almost always had more than one girlfriend and they knew I had other girlfriends and sometimes they even knew each other, and in one case they were best friends.
After high school I tried to do the socially expected thing and get married and be monogamous. Sometimes I wasn’t so good at it, and when I was I was miserable, feeling like part of me was missing. I wasn’t being true to myself by being true to the path society expected of me.
So for me, being polyamorous is an identity. I am a straight male (sexual identity) who is innately polyamorous (lifestyle/relationship identity). I don’t “feel” monogamous, and I have never expected it from a partner unless it was agreed upon (such as in my first marriage). I didn’t have to bend my thinking to be polyamorous, it’s just who I am. So it is a type of identity and it’s a valid identity.
However, some think monogamously but try to be polyamorous for their partner or feel it’s how they want to live, even though being polyamorous isn’t a deep-down burning desire and need. They have to change their thinking to be polyamorous. These people “do” polyamory.
This is why I think that being polyamorous can be both an identity or something you do, it’s just not a sexual identity.