Monday, May 28, 2012

Theory vs Practice

There are as many variations to poly relationships as there are stars in the sky. That is as it should be given the diversity in humans. The problem comes when we decide that our variation is better than someone else's. It might well be better for us but not so much the others in our life. From birth we know that getting our own needs met is essential to survival and learn to interact with others to achieve that. In a perfect poly-icious world, the conversations we have are building blocks to agreements we make with our friends and family in order to facilitate getting the most needs met with the least amount of conflict.
Men and women are equally likely to agree to something totally at odds with themselves in the heat of passion and regret it for years afterward. One can't really point fingers either because we've all done it.
It was with these bits of wisdom that I listened to some friends vent about their poly configuration. Several people in this group are unable to stand up to a very assertive woman who seems to protect her own sense of insecurity by bullying the others into submission. It frequently amazes me to note that the people with the biggest cavern of insecurity appear to be the most accomplished and confident.
It occurred to me that the level of control and inability to have open honest feedback was very sad but also very much a poly scenario.
Anytime humans are involved things will get messy and poly is very complex to start with. Being poly or living in multipartnered relationships isn't a constant state of hippie nirvana. It is daily work and constant feedback. It is never a done deal. All agreements have to be growing and evolving living things because the relationships they manage and the people they embrace are. That's what makes poly different. Growth is not just wise to empower - it is essential when you multiply the interactions.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Round peg; Square hole

Some days I tire of the monogamist norm being the default in all things.  Facebook would not let me add my one partner's name as a middle name even when placed before my surname and hyphenated.  Add my partners surname behind mine with a hyphen and we are a go.  My son decided to use our hyphenated names as his surname on Facebook only.  I thought it was a sweet idea and so did my partner.  My other partner who is also buddies with that son felt a bit left out.  I'd like to use all three surnames on Facebook and in real life.  I'd like to go to Vegas and marry them both in a drunken moment.  I'd like to shout the happiness of my polyamorous relationship from the mountain tops and take an ad in every paper.

Probably not going to happen and probably not very wise.  It ticks me off that I have to even think twice about these things that monogamous couples do every day.  It ticks me off to have to sit in the rear of the bus.

It amuses me that while I was not overly interested in any of these trappings of monogamy in my very "evolved" polyamorous relationship - until I was denied not only the legal confirmations but now a hand-fasting or ceremony of commitment violates the law.   That makes me feel like a lesser citizen.  That makes me angry.

I pay  taxes at a higher level because my common law partner and I are taxed on our combined incomes.  Revenue Canada apparently values my relationship despite the lack of ceremony but my common law polyamorous relationship doesn't count because of that same lacking ceremony.  Should I choose to make it count by having a ceremony that isn't legal anyway - my relationship is criminalized.

I realize that there is a long road ahead.  Making the general population aware of the happy, healthy polyamorous homes is a priority.  Working around the monogamist norm default in all things to make our round peg shape out that square hole and allow us to choose any seat on the bus will take time.

When I see posters and quote images circulating which support same sex marriage, I am pleased and share or pass them along but part of me is jealous. "What about poly marriages?"  What about us?"

I am deeply and overwhelmingly in love with two wonderful men and I am proud that they love me.  I want to enjoy all the aspects of this relationship and wear all the labels.

Maybe I'll get a tattoo  - well another one.
Or I'll write an advocacy email.
Or I'll organize an advocacy event.

Some how it pales in comparison to flying to Vegas and coming back married to both.
Elvis could do the one and then we could trip down the street for Spock to make me a bigamist.
The honeymoon would be fab. I can see us now driving around the city in a limo, standing up through the sunroof and shouting out - "It IS about the sex, dammit, Great sex!!!"

The Canadian Constitution says all citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others.  Income separates us, language separates us, religion separates us, location impacts our access to services, gender still proves to be a disadvantage, and our choice in loving partners denies us the legal benefits of life time commitment.  We are not equal. 

If you are chaffing at this too and willing to make your voice heard amongst we who are working to remove the disparity that exists, get involved to the level of your "out-ness" and comfort.  The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association is gearing up for some awareness and advocacy projects that will make a difference and move us along the road to true equality as citizens of Canada.  Watch our website at for details or email

Do it for Mrs. Bob-Carol-Ted-Alice-Fred-Sue and her husbands and wives.  Do it for you.