The poly community – part 2/4: The polyamorous falsehood

The heteronormative mainstream generates and reinforces the patriarchal construct of monogamy, i. e. the monogamous falsehood. Its main idea is that sex and love are to take place only between two people in a romantic relationship. As a consequence, if a couple enters a romantic relationship together, it is automatically sexually and romantically closed. This is a stop sign to other individuals who feel attracted by a person of this couple, sexually and romantically.

Being automatically “sexually closed” as a couple can be considered a general problem, since all patriarchal constructs and false ideas about human sexuality are generated and perpetuated by this automatic preference.

The automatic preference “romantically closed” does, however, make sense, since the new couple can thereby keep themselves to themselves at the romantic level and thus build up mutual trust and bonding behaviour, which is the basis of a loving, stable romantic relationship.

The poly ideology, however, does not only reject the problematic principles, but rather all principles from the heteronormative mainstream. As a consequence, a completely new patriarchal construct has been generated in poly communities – which I termed the polyamorous falsehood. It is a modification of the monogamous falsehood – which is interesting due to the observation that poly communities all over the world consider monogamy to be their nemesis.

The patriarchal construct of monogamy, for comparison:

  1. Desires and wishes at the sexual level and the romantic level are the same thing.
  2. If someone is sexually attracted to another person, a desire for intimacy at the romantic level will always be a part of this attraction.
  3. As long as the romantic relationship is healthy for both persons involved, it is not possible to fall in love with someone else.
  4. As long as the romantic relationship is healthy for both persons involved, it is not possible to desire another person sexually.

The polyamorous falsehood and its monogamous counterpart have the first two beliefs in common. Only the third belief of patriarchal polyamory is a new invention:

  1. Desires and wishes at the sexual level and the romantic level are the same thing.
  2. If someone is sexually attracted to another person, a desire for intimacy at the romantic level will always be a part of this attraction.
  3. If someone falls in love with a new person, while in an existing romantic relationship, a new, additional romantic relationship must be pursued due to these feelings. The romantic partner in the pre-existing romantic relationship has to approve of and support this development under all circumstances.

If the polyamorous falsehood is applied in real life, its consequences look like this:

  1. Desires and wishes at the sexual level and the romantic level are the same thing.

One person within a romantic relationship is sexually attracted to another person and would like to pursue sexual fantasies with him/her – the respective person is recognized as sexy, hot or very beautiful.

  1. If someone is sexually attracted to another person, a desire for intimacy at the romantic level will always be a part of this attraction.

This person confuses – mostly unconsciously (!) – his/her own wishes due to the above patriarchal construct:

“Just sex” cannot be the case, since a sexual attraction to another person will automatically be linked to a desire for romantic intimacy with this respective person. In addition, the constant necessity for secrecy gets more and more annoying. Is it impossible to just be open and honest about this?

After that, the person starts to develop a crush on the individual who he/she is sexually attracted to at the time. The justification of this falsehood is more creative than the one in the heteronormative mainstream:
Casual sex (= swinging) is supposed to be not just “eww”, but an emotional cold and mechanical experience. Only sex together with romantic activities like in a romantic relationship could be really fulfilling.

The third belief, however, is different from the monogamous falsehood:

  1. As long as the romantic relationship is healthy for both persons involved, it is not possible to fall in love with someone else.

This belief has been deconstructed: To fall in love with another person, while in an existing healthy romantic relationship, is entirely possible. Moreover, if it happens, it is primarily unrelated to the decision whether the existing romantic relationship is desired by both persons involved. However, instead of developing a working non-patriarchal construct, the deconstructed belief has been replaced by a new belief system:

If someone falls in love with a new person, while in an existing romantic relationship, a new, additional romantic relationship must be pursued due to these feelings. The romantic partner in the pre-existing romantic relationship has to approve of and support this development under all circumstances.

The origin of this new belief is the following: The heteronormative mainstream allows only very narrow ways to pursue sex and love. The “solution” of the poly ideology is the polar opposite – an allergy to all limitations, whether these make sense or not. The basic tendency is thus – contrary to the heteronormative mainstream – “romantically open”: Everything is possible; new people can be added to any romantic relationship or polycule just because one person falls in love. Some poly people consider only their leisure time as a limiting factor for new relationships, while others exclaim “the more, the better” and add every new crush as a relationship to their pre-existing couple / polycule.

A further expression of this “romantically open” space of the poly community is the so-called cuddle group: Several individuals, who have just met, start to exchange romantic activities. They embrace, cuddle, caress and kiss each other – sometimes for hours. From time to time, the people in the cuddle group change position, so that everyone can cuddle with all persons involved. Pretty often, the whole cuddle group falls asleep on one another. These activities (including falling asleep together), suggest a largest intimacy between the persons present at a unconscious level – the intimacy of a committed romantic relationship. However, as already mentioned, most of these individuals have just met or they are only acquaintances. Sometimes they don’t even know each other’s first name. Thus, at a conscious level they are almost strangers, but at an unconscious level they communicate the deepest intimacy possible. That’s why it is not surprising that these people have a higher risk to develop mental issues due to this incompatibility.