Poly Parenting from Lisa Ling’s Our America show on Polyamory

Here is a short clip that was deleted from the one hour special on polyamory done by Lisa Ling on Our America, a show on Oprah’s OWNTV. This is a poly triad raising an 11-year old daughter together. It’s a good look at how a poly family operates and one that I more closely identified with than the families in Showtime’s “Married and Dating”.

Deleted Scenes: Polyamorous Family Raising 11 Year-Old Girl. Regina discusses being a poly mom to her 11 year-old daughter Colleen, and shares the benefits of having multiple partners when it comes to parenting.

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.

What is a “successful polyamorous relationship”?

What is “successful polyamorous relationship”?

Often in the comments section of articles on the Internet about polyamory (or other open relationships) I see people saying things such as “I’ve never seen a successful polyamorous relationship.” Which makes me wonder: what do they consider a “successful polyamorous” relationship to be? What is their benchmark upon which they are holding polyamory and polyamorous relationships up to?

What is the sample size they are basing their statement on? How many polyamorous triads or quads do they know compared to outwardly monogamous couples?

How many outwardly monogamous couples do they know who have broken-up or gotten a divorce?

For that matter, how many above the age of thirty have been divorced themselves or have friends who are divorced? And how many divorced friends do they have?

Of those who aren’t married, how many failed long-term relationships have they had?

Why aren’t these scenarios held to the same standard they are holding a polyamorous relationship to?

What do they consider a successful monogamous relationship to be? 3 years? 5 years? 15 years? Lifetime? How many people do they know that hit any of those marks in their relationships?

And why, when a monogamous relationship does fail, is it not considered a failure? Why can they say “I have never seen a successful open relationship” yet they don’t acknowledge that the majority of outwardly monogamous relationships around them fail?

For instance, if someone has four long term relationships before they get married, and then half of those that get married eventually get divorced, why do people not recognize this as a 90 percent failure rate of monogamous relationships?

So, what is the definition of a successful polyamorous or other type of open relationship, and why does it seem to be different than what some consider a successful monogamous relationship to be?

I think some of it has to do with the popular idea in our society that the only valid relationship is two people who are married. Until someone is married their relationship, regardless of longevity, is not looked at as being a “real” relationship. Therefore people don’t include those several pre-marriage relationships where people were so in love they thought they were moving toward marriage, then BOOM!, it all blows-up and they are heartbroken and eventually they move-on and start the cycle all over again. So they are comparing polyamorous relationships only to married relationships, and not all pair-bondings such as short-term dating, long-term relationships and marriage.

So, what do you think? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Sister Wives help to promote understanding of plural relationships at UNLV

The “Sister Wives” folks, Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn were recently invited to appear as a panel for a class on marriage and family counselling at the University of Las Vegas. They were well received by the students and were able to put a face on consensual plural relationships.

Now I’m not fond of their One Penis Policy form of plural relationships, but they have shown that people can raise happy, healthy kids in a plural parent environment. Unfortunately, and predictably, the commenters at the bottom of the article were not as understanding or open-minded as the UNLV students. Most show the same ignorance and judgmental attitude toward any relationship that isn’t just like theirs, or just like they would want theirs to be that dominates other articles and blogs on the Internet.

I’m also not fond of the author’s attempts at humor through making fun of Kody’s personal appearance. Making derogatory comments about someone’s appearance is really reaching for just the lowest hanging fruit and shows lack of character.

What really stood-out for me was Kody’s comment on same-sex marriage: “I believe that I was able to choose our family structure. It should be the right of every citizen in this country to be able to choose their family structure.”

That’s far more understanding than many of my mainstream LDS neighbors.

Take a look at the article here and let me know what you think.

Please check-out a new blog by my partner

Hey everyone, my partner and submissive, Liquid Jade, has combined several blogs she’s had over the years into one dedicated site. Please take a moment and check-out her writings about love, sex, BDSM and submission over at KinkyBuddhist.com.

– Lucius Scribbens