Why is sex and polyamory so often equated with being promiscuous? I was texting with a potential date on Tinder today. He was flirting with me and I was enjoying the casual banter. Then he asked me to meet up for some sexy times. (He told me in one of the first sentences that he only wanted to meet someone for a casual encounter.) But I have plans with one of my beaus, a friend, and maybe with another one of the men I date over the rest of the week. When I told him that, he was suddenly disinterested. This man who told me in the first sentence all he wanted was a quick sexual encounter, was now done with me because I told him I have more than one romantic relationship in my life.
Him: I am sorry, but how sad. I definitely don’t trust any woman.
Me: It’s sad I have so much love in my life?
Him: Sorry but this is not love my dear, you just love dick is all. Take care.
There is definitely a misconception about polyamory that says it is all about the sex. Sure, there can be a lot of sex, if those are the kinds of relationships you are in. But that is most certainly not what it is all about. For most people who relate polyamorously, committed romantic relationships, partnerships, are the cornerstone of their orientation or relationship style.
Sure, you could be like me and have romantic polyamorous relationships, open sexual realationships, and occasionally swing with a partner, but those are all “groupings” under the umbrella of non-monogamy. For me, sex is a significant part of how I relate. It is also a big part of how I identify. I don’t even want to think about what will happen if the day ever comes when I can no longer, or GASP! don’t want to have sex. But when I consider my beliefs about polyamory, it is not about the sex, it truly is about building loving, committed relationships with amazing people.
Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved. People who identify as polyamorous may believe in non-monogamous relationships with a conscious management of jealousy and reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are prerequisite for deep, committed, long-term, loving relationships. – Wikepedia
See- long-term, loving, committed relationships. Since I have been polyamorous I have been in love with a few men. I love a few now. I am currently building a relationship that I think could be one in which I am safe enough to fall in love. There is a man who has been in my life for almost 6 years– since the beginning of my polyamory journey. Every relationship is different, but they are all “REAL” relationships. Sure there is sex involved and thankfully a lot of it. But the core of these relationships is love, support and caring.
Sometimes I change up my dating app profiles to show that I am polyamorous, and sometimes I take it off and disclose in the very early conversations. I have found, when I make a point of saying I am polyamorous up front in the apps, I get more matches with men who think I am just out there for a good time. They assume polyamorous means I am DTF (down to fuck.) Lord knows, I MIGHT be, but that is not what this all means to me.
I have seen more than one online debate about including being polyamorous in our profiles. There are arguments for and against. Men who say they are polyamorous up front sometimes match with women who want to berate them for just wanting to have a free pass for sex, or they are castigated for being cheaters, despite their partners being aware and consenting to this relationship format.
It’s hard to culturally separate exclusivity, sex, and romance. But for most of us polyamorous people, they are not opposites. One does not necessarily need the other to exist and sex is not what it is all about.
(Even in the written description of the photo I used for this post- this phrase was part of the description: Promiscuous girl can’t choose. Just validates the misconceptions even further.)