The Joys of Variety

This year´s conference is going to try and take a closer look at different relationship models, to ask questions, to outline multiple connections and to form social and emotional networks. As SMers, we know how diversely relationships can be experienced and structured, with all their possibilities and limits.

Polyamory – polyamorous – poly – is on everyone´s lips, but what is meant by it?
When the talk is of ethical polyamory, then this is a particular way of life which is clearly expressed right from the beginning and is based on principles such as honesty, reliability and respect. Polyamory doesn´t mean having several “affairs”. “Secret” doesn´t exist. All participants know about each other. They recognise each other as members of the relationship and respect and trust each other. Sex plays just as big a role in a polyamorous relationship as in a monogamous one. Polyamorous people have romantic, exclusive, intense, solely sexual and many more not especially defined relationships.

As with SM, polyamory requires clear rules, which are agreed upon individually and can be very varied. Since human relationships are never static, but rather very dynamic and are permanently changing – in particular in a multiple relationship – the rules often need to be modified and adapted to the individual relationships. In this respect, communication is just as crucial as in the preparation of a good play. Sounds like a lot of work – and it is! But promised: it´s worth it. ;-)

Safer sex, jealousy, time management – these are just a few points which need to be clarified. And talking about jealousy: it´s a myth that poly-practitioners are less jealous than people who live monogamously. However, it´s dealt with differently: only the jealous person is responsible for their jealous feelings, and not the partner! The sentence “If you loved me, you would do this and that for me” is deleted and rejected as manipulation. Instead one works on the reasons for the jealousy, both together and individually.

Polyamory has a lot to do with devotion and sharing. Devotion not in the sense that partners are regarded as property and control is taken over partners´ lives. But rather devotion as we know it in an SM context: I devote myself und give the other person something of me and am happy when the other person can accept it. Sharing means to share living and loving with several people, With no obligation to choose, no “You can only love me”, since love is unlimited. Multiple connections mean more responsibility and more intimacy. And on top of that, more change and diversity. And above all: desire and curiosity for more and others. So on this note:

Let´s allow ourselves more diversity!