In Australia, "Free love in the 21st century: Why polyamory is taking off"
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. runs a chain of newspapers in Australia. Newly up on the chain's website is a guy's story of sleeping with a poly woman. His article is well-intentioned but begins off-course in a way that I think we ought to call out.
Free love in the 21st century: Why polyamory is taking off
Polyamorous couples are free to date other people, but the key is honesty.
By Tyson Wray
Last weekend I was having pillow talk with Scarlett* (25). We had been on a date the night before. It was only our third or fourth. We had gone to the theatre, followed by a bar, then eventually back to my apartment for sex. We woke with hazy headaches, bruised bodies and whimsical conversation.
“Oh, I’m just planning to spend some time with my boyfriend Chad* (29).”
...In the past decade society has seen a rise of couples (especially the more youthful) exploring polyamory and open relationships — the practice where a committed couple also separately and openly engage in dating and sexual relationships with others sometimes casual and sometimes more serious.
Open relationships, maybe — but polyamory is not defined as "where a committed couple also separately and openly engage in dating and sexual relationships". There are poly singles too, and committed triads and quads who may be open or closed, and networks of intimate friends.
When he hands the talking stick to his pillowmate and her boyfriend Chad, they explain things better:
“Poly to me is dating or otherwise being in a relationship (sexual or romantic or both) with more than one person, or being open to that,” notes Scarlett, who has dated Chad for three years. “I was still poly when I was only dating one person, the same as how dating a man doesn’t remove my queer identity. When talking about my current relationship I usually say I’m in an open relationship, because I feel like poly sometimes implies that I’m only interested in multiple committed relationships (or at least that’s how I see it used), whereas right now I’m perfectly happy casually dating or sleeping with other people while having one live-in committed relationship with Chad.”
...“I identify as a queer pansexual with an interest in various forms of fetish play,” says Chad. “Because of this I tend to think that in a lot of cases it is impossible for one partner in the traditional sense to fulfill all needs when it comes to the rather broad concept of intimacy. This is something I fell naturally into doing over time as I worked it out.”
...Of course, as with any form of relationship, boundaries must be drawn and communication is imperative.
“When I’m interested in going on a date with a new person I make sure they know about Chad right from the start, because if someone isn’t comfortable with an open relationship then they’re not the person for me. Another important thing for me is that they respect my other relationships.”
“I like to think communication between all parties is key,” says Chad. “But I also think that is true with any kind of relationship. It shouldn’t be a challenge and if it is, perhaps it’s not for you.”
...Polyamory will never be for everyone, but the same can be said for monogamy. They both fall at the opposite ends of a very broad spectrum, one that many people occupy the middle-ground of for much of their lives.
The important thing for couples like Scarlett and Chad is being upfront and honest. And there’s definitely something to be said about that.
Tyson Wray is an editor and writer from Melbourne. Find him on Twitter @tysonwray and feel free to ask him on a date.
The whole article (September 25, 2015). Comments there are not enabled.