Poly101

Posted on August 29, 2009

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This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series The defunct'ness of the polyamory movement

Series Disclaimer: This series is the result of conversations that I’ve had with fellow poly leaders, mixed with my own thoughts, experiences, and observations. While it seems that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, these writings do not represent the beliefs of poly leaders as a whole.  These writings are not meant to target specific individuals or organizations, but instead show how “the system” is defunct and needs a lot of TLC and fixing.

From what I’ve seen on a local level and learned through discussions with my peers, people that identify as polyamorous fall into one of two categories:

  • Those that are motivated to actively contribute to “poly”, whether it’s on a local or national level
  • Those that aren’t

Once we accept this, everything else fits into place.

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Posted on August 28, 2009
This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series The defunct'ness of the polyamory movement

Series Disclaimer: This series is the result of conversations that I’ve had with fellow poly leaders, mixed with my own thoughts, experiences, and observations. While it seems that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, these writings do not represent the beliefs of poly leaders as a whole.  These writings are not meant to target specific individuals or organizations, but instead show how “the system” is defunct and needs a lot of TLC and fixing.

In my most recent posts, I applied the business rule of 80/20 to the polyamory community, both in what percentage of people within an organization are actively involved in events, as well as what percentage of that sub-group (20% of the 20%) do the majority of the volunteer work. I also provided my own theories as to why this subset of a subset – those that end up with the label of “leader” – feels compelled to push themselves to the point of burnout to provide for the larger group.

One of the reasons why the core group of volunteers, the leaders of the polyamory organization, push themselves on how much they contribute is a sense of obligation towards providing for their community.

Today I will challenge the belief that an organization of 100+ members on a bulletin board or a large meetup group  qualifies as a community.

(more…)

Posted on August 27, 2009
This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series The defunct'ness of the polyamory movement

Series Disclaimer: This series is the result of conversations that I’ve had with fellow poly leaders, mixed with my own thoughts, experiences, and observations. While it seems that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, these writings do not represent the beliefs of poly leaders as a whole.  These writings are not meant to target specific individuals or organizations, but instead show how “the system” is defunct and needs a lot of TLC and fixing.

As I previously mentioned, we can apply the 80/20 rule to polyamory groups and organizing.  Of the people that identify with the group, only a minority within that group are “active” – meaning they regularly use the discussion forum or attend events.  Of that subset, a small percentage of the active members are responsible for the majority of the time and physical resources needed to keep the group functioning. Not surprisingly, these people are also those that take on the label of “leader”, or have it thrusted upon them by the group at large.

Why the heck do we – the few, the labored, the burnt out – take so much upon ourselves, and how can we stop this viscous cycle from continuing?  I will offer insight on this by providing four mantras that poly leader-types should repeat and apply to their lives.

(more…)

Posted on August 26, 2009
This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series The defunct'ness of the polyamory movement

Series Disclaimer: This series is the result of conversations that I’ve had with fellow poly leaders, mixed with my own thoughts, experiences, and observations. While it seems that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, these writings do not represent the beliefs of poly leaders as a whole.  These writings are not meant to target specific individuals or organizations, but instead show how “the system” is defunct and needs a lot of TLC and fixing.

In the past few posts I discussed what changes need to be made both on a legislative and social front in order for poly people to be able to be “out” about their lifestyle choices (if they so choose), with less ramifications than what would happen if they were to “out” themselves today.

Today I will discuss how we’re currently going about doing that – as well as some potential problems with the status quo.

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Posted on August 25, 2009
This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series The defunct'ness of the polyamory movement

Series Disclaimer: This series is the result of conversations that I’ve had with fellow poly leaders, mixed with my own thoughts, experiences, and observations. While it seems that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, these writings do not represent the beliefs of poly leaders as a whole.  These writings are not meant to target specific individuals or organizations, but instead show how “the system” is defunct and needs a lot of TLC and fixing.

As I just mentioned, there’s 3 changes on the legal front that could aid poly people.  These changes could allow us to better maintain households that are emotionally and financially stable:

  • Providing households with the ability to bestow certain legal rights and protections upon multiple partners, should they choose
  • Preventing a household’s choice of ethical nonmonogamy from being used against them in matters of child custody.
  • Preventing an individual’s choice of ethical nonmonogamy from being used as a reason to fire them or deny them a job offer or promotion

There’s a lot that needs to be done to bring about these types of legislative changes.  To bring us towards this goal, we need to develop a culture where simultaneously loving multiple people is an accepted and welcome choice.  This means getting rid of the baggage that comes with the current cultural perception of polyamory.

(more…)

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