Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Are You Being Awful?

Image courtesy of José Manuel Ríos Valiente
Poly folks, it's time to talk. I've noticed lately that you do something really ugly and awful.

"I'm poly, I'm not a swinger. I don't just have sex with random strangers."

Sound familiar? I've heard it quite often. It's used sometimes to justify why polyamory isn't bad, or why a person isn't terrible for having multiple relationships.

The problem? Swingers aren't bad people either.

Under the scope of nonmonogamy you'll find many forms of relationships, from poly to swinging to monogamish to relationships that cannot be easily labeled. No one is a bad person for having lots of sexual partners. No one is a bad person for having just a few. No one is bad for loving many people, or for loving just one, or for not feeling romantic attachment to anyone. None of these things makes anyone evil.

I know it can be hard to have to defend yourself to people who don't understand non-mainstream sexual and romantic partnering. It sucks, obviously. But the solution is not to demonize other people who are in exactly the same boat.

There's room for all of us in the world, and vilifying each other to those who don't understand us won't get any of us ahead. It will just cause more people to dislike you for your identity, because they'll (justifiably) see you as the bad guy who calls them ugly names.

Poly is okay. Swinging is okay. Love is okay. Sex is okay. Everything is okay until we start shoving each other under the monogamous bus.

So next time you feel the need to put your own choices above someone else's, stop and find a better way of making your point.

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