Through this work, an advance reader copy of Turn This World Inside Out, The Emergence of Nurturance Culture by Nora Samaran found its way into my hands. And although at 140 pages it’s only little, its impact on me has been disproportionately large. It has helped me find compassion; it has helped me connect fragments of ideas which existed in my brain already, but floated untethered in abstract (where they were of no use at all).
I believe we are working towards the same goal, which is to make sure our community is safe and one where abuse cannot flourish. With that in mind, I thank you for your unpaid labour and your acknowledgement of some of the harm Franklin Veaux has done over the course of decades.
During this process, I realised how susceptible we all are to being abusive. Abuse is so prevalent, and so normalized, and often so much a function of our gut reactions that it is easy to do, without being even aware of it. Worse still, it’s even easy to abuse when you are trying to help someone.
I didn’t want to believe her. What I wanted to believe was that the harm Franklin caused was not intentional or conscious. That it was a one-off. That Franklin was a nice guy who had made a few wrong steps. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.
Open comes from old english/anglo-saxon openian meaning to open, open up, disclose, or reveal, but it also meant “exposed, evident, well-known, public,” often in a bad sense, “notorious, shameless.”
Longevity, geographical mobility and the decline in traditional religious beliefs are reasons commonly given for the perceived upswing in open non-monogamy. Yet these reasons don’t explain anything but why the prevailing dishonest non-monogamous solutions might increase.
But even if you are wired towards the non-exclusive end of the spectrum (in any or all of the three areas) doesn’t mean that a non-monogamous relationship is suitable for you. How you cope with jealousy/insecurity, how you view commitment, community, honour, lying, as well as your cultural background and philosophical beliefs to list just a few, will all play a part on how you choose to design your relationship. And all those factors may change over the course of a lifetime.
In truth gender and sexuality might have little to do with whether you conduct loving relationships in parallel. Let’s be honest, there’s very little about me that’s queer and if I’m to include that in my identity it feels like yet another appropriation of the queer struggle.
If anything, the construct of monogamy has over some centuries, proven its worth. It’s helped us to grow into the society we are today.
He felt that polyamory wasn’t stable, but could be a ‘fluid way to get change as compared to ending one relationship entirely before searching for a new one.’ His inference was from monogamy to polyamory and back to monogamy, and that’s where we disagree. Fluidity is not about vacillating between two binary states.
To my mind, biological disposition is therefore a weak premise for legitimizing sexual autonomy. Choice of sexual expression and the form it takes between consenting adults, makes a stronger foundation for establishing the civil rights we so badly need to protect us all against discrimination and unjustifiable action. I claim that polyamory as a relationship choice deserves to be protected. I claim that it is not detrimental to the moral fabric of our society or to our characters, but can on the contrary be highly beneficial.
For those who define themselves as polyfidelitous, swingers or even monogamous, they have chosen the relationship structure which suits them best because of the way their brains, minds, genetic needs and prior relationships have created their sense of selves and who they feel they are.
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