I’m Just In It For The Banging

When I first openly called myself polyamorous I faced a common accusation… that it was just a way to justify having sex with multiple people. I objected pretty strongly to this accusation, afterall, I was already sexually open and saw no reason to hide my actions behind the veil of relationship. In fact, I stated that polyamory had nothing to do with sex and everything to do with love, but now I think I protested too much.

Now, I still believe that polyamory is more about love than sex, but sex is a small part of it because sex as a way of expressing your love and intimacy for a person. There are many people I love who I am not intimate with and because there is no intimacy (or desire for such) I don’t consider my relationship with them to be polyamorous. Sex can be a form of exercise, a way to blow off steam, explore curiosities, live in the moment, or it can be a way to become more intimate with a partner. That last option is where polyamory and sex link.

Polyamory is the realization that some people can romantically love multiple people at the same time. With that romantic love comes a desire for intimacy, which monogamy forbids. That desire for intimacy is a drive to be physically, as well as emotionally, close to someone and there are few (if any) better ways to be physically intimate than sex. So I guess polyamory isn’t about sex, but it certainly includes sex eventually.

2 thoughts on “I’m Just In It For The Banging

  1. Language is the straitjacket of experience.

    We we talk about “a monogamous relationship,” the relationship is being described in relation to an agreement the partners make: to be sexually exclusive. Thus, a polyamorous relationship is described in relation to an agreement the partners do NOT make. (It’s not a negative agreement (to not be exclusive) because exclusivity may still happen over short periods of time as a matter of chance and circumstance.)

    So what then of a polyamorous person who is not currently in any relationship, or is only dating/sleeping with one person right now? I identify as “poly” even when I have zero or one lovers, because when you get down to it, “poly” isn’t about multiple-loves as much as it’s a signal word for all the concepts that I’ve rejected, things like “I won’t agree to be monogamous,” “I don’t believe that sexual non-exclusivity is devaluing,” and “I don’t believe that jealousy is a measure of love.”

    That’s why there are so many ways to be polyamorous, from having primary/secondary/tertiary relationships with some level of commitment, to having non-hierarchical but committed relationship models, to making no formal commitments…because the word has little consensus meaning beyond “not sexually exclusive.”

    If I were to define my relationships in positive terms, what they’re about as opposed to what they’re not about, I would talk about concepts I’ve embraced, things like, “I want my partner’s happiness to be a source of happiness for me,” “Every person I encounter has the potential to teach me something new about myself or others,” and “Honesty and kindness are the two ingredients most necessary to a healthy, functioning relationship.” My relationships are about honesty, kindness, freedom, understanding, exploration, and yes, somewhere in that list, sex!

    By the very nature of the words, when you try to define monogamous relationships vs polyamorous relationships, it has to include to sex. Just like it’s difficult to talk about hot food vs cold food it has to include temperature. That doesn’t mean temperature is the only factor that someone considers when choosing stir fry (hot) over salad (cold) – or stir fry (hot) over soup (hot) – or soup (hot) over soup (cold). We’re polyamorous, by definition we like to have sex with lots of people. It’s true, but it’s not the whole story.

    • I couldn’t agree more Emily. I only have one partner right now but I consider myself poly still. I also love how you talk about defining relationships in positive terms instead of what they are opposed to. You are fantastic.

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