Women's Health Interactive Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do the Polyamorous Have More Than the Monogamous?

Collapse
X
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do the Polyamorous Have More Than the Monogamous?

    We've had a few threads by polyamorous people get sort of hijacked. There's been some ruffled feathers. Maybe people's discomfort with this has been projected. I though we could have a place to discuss on a more theoretical level, as opposed to it being focused on someone's personal situation.

    1. Do you get more with polyamory?
    2. Is it just about sex?
    2. Do monogamous couples have something that the polyamorous don't?
    3. Do sexually and emotionally fulfilled couples get into polyamory?
    b. How often?
    c. Does it make things better, more fun, and more fulfilling?
    4. Or is it that the vast majority of people who do this find monogamy lacking in some way - sexually, in terms of excitement, emotional fulfillment, boredom?
    5. Is it as sustainable as monogamy or do jealousy and other complications (disease, pregnancy, divided time/energy, shame, secrecy) make this wear thin?
    6. What made you try it?
    7. What would prevent you from trying it?


    What do you say? What have you seen? What questions do you have? What's your experience?
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

  • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
    We've had a few threads by polyamorous people get sort of hijacked. There's been some ruffled feathers. Maybe people's discomfort with this has been projected. I though we could have a place to discuss on a more theoretical level, as opposed to it being focused on someone's personal situation.

    1. Do you get more with polyamory?
    2. Is it just about sex?
    2. Do monogamous couples have something that the polyamorous don't?
    3. Do sexually and emotionally fulfilled couples get into polyamory?
    b. How often?
    c. Does it make things better, more fun, and more fulfilling?
    4. Or is it that the vast majority of people who do this find monogamy lacking in some way - sexually, in terms of excitement, emotional fulfillment, boredom?
    5. Is it as sustainable as monogamy or do jealousy and other complications (disease, pregnancy, divided time/energy, shame, secrecy) make this wear thin?
    6. What made you try it?
    7. What would prevent you from trying it?


    What do you say? What have you seen? What questions do you have? What's your experience?
    1. Do you get more with polyamory?
    Get more what? Sex? Loving? Emotional bonding? Fulfilled fantasies? Children?
    Sex - probably. If there is a fight going on between partners - maybe not.
    Loving - see the answer to sex.
    Emotional bonding to several is probably quantitatively more but may not be as complete to each one. On the other hand it might be as complete to each one.
    Fulfilled fantasies - possibly if each partner is into different things.
    Children - quite possibly especially if children are wanted but one partner cannot do their part in producing them such as with a sterile man or woman.

    2. Is it just about sex?
    I seriously doubt it is ever just about sex. If it was about sex, why not become single and get sex by charming others or paying others?

    2. Do monogamous couples have something that the polyamorous don't?
    Again, too broad of a question. Such as what? Tighter bonding? More loving? More sex? I think for every case that goes one was it is possible to find a case that goes the other way.

    3. Do sexually and emotionally fulfilled couples get into polyamory?
    Possibly. Maybe some just like the variety of having different partners and at the same time like to have a static relationship.

    b. How often? What do you mean?

    c. Does it make things better, more fun, and more fulfilling? If you are talking about polyamory, I think these would be at least a push. What would be the point of making things worse or less fun or less fulfilling?

    4. Or is it that the vast majority of people who do this find monogamy lacking in some way - sexually, in terms of excitement, emotional fulfillment, boredom?
    I'm not sure they can speak for monogamy itself. I would suspect that they find something lacking in their relationship but it wouldn't be limited to what you listed.

    5. Is it as sustainable as monogamy or do jealousy and other complications (disease, pregnancy, divided time/energy, shame, secrecy) make this wear thin?
    I suspect polyamory takes a tremendous commitment if the person in the center wants to be fair. Jealousy can destroy the relationships. I would suspect an inquiry into jealousy by the partners would be undertaken prior to entering the relationship if they wanted to do their best in the relationship. Of course some might not even understand that they would be jealous and others may hide their true feelings until later.

    6. What made you try it?
    Who says I did? I thought you wanted a more theoretical discussion.

    7. What would prevent you from trying it?
    If I had a relationship that was fulfilling, at least to a tolerable degree, in all important categories, I would be less inclined to try it and upset the apple cart. If the relationship had parts that weren't tolerably fulfilling to one of the partners and jealousy didn't arise, polyamory could be the answer to happiness.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • These are the questions I thought up based on the discussions I've seen, jns. Answer what you want however you please. Ask your own questions. I don't care. I was just opening the discussion it seemed like some wanted to have in a place that won't hijack and be directed at the OP.

      By "more" I mean whatever it is the person is seeking. Sex, intimacy, freedom, fun, better marriage - whatever.

      3b is asking how common it is for couples that are experiencing marital bliss to want to add others.

      Of course no one wants to make good things go bad, so what I'm asking is if they get what they want.
      "Those sowing seed with tears
      Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

      Comment


      • 7. What would prevent you from trying it?

        I have never been polyamorous, but it's too much energy for me to focus on multiple partners. I already need my alone time, as it is.

        Plus, it would be hard not to feel jealous or hurt in some way. Being with one partner that you're head over heels in love with is the best feeling, because I'm sharing a special bond with someone that I don't share with anyone else.
        "Dating is like slow dancing. Let the man lead, or you will fall all over your feet"

        Comment


        • There is some researching in this area. Not a lot, but here are some preliminary findings:

          An estimated 5% of Americans are living in a poly relationship.

          So far, studies suggest that polyamorous individuals are well-educated, holding more master's and doctoral degrees than the general population. Despite their smarts, they're not particularly wealthy.

          Because polyamory is founded on communication, it's suggested that poly folks may be in healthier relationships than monogamous relationships. There is less jealousy and even if there is, it's discussed openly.
          Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

          Comment


          • 5%?? Wow! The education makes sense, but I don't follow the logic that they're healthier because of communication. All good relationships have good communication.

            I'd like to see the studies. Are they available anywhere?
            "Those sowing seed with tears
            Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

            Comment


            • Most of the research on polyamory that I have reviewed on-line is either funded by or actually done by polyamory proponents. I would be highly suspect of the 5% figure as well as the demographics. I am not aware of any truly independent nationwide study. Of course, I have a perspective as well.

              #3: It's theoretically possible, but I am still searching for why. I am not sure what a third, fourth or fifth person adds to a fulfilling monogamous relationship. The "examples" on WH seem to have a traumatic event or hole in the relationship the precedes the polyamory. These relationships seem outliers to me.

              #7: Never been interested. I like Mag's response. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and commitment to make one relationship work. I can't imagine the effort to sustain a second or third.
              "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Magnetism
                Plus, it would be hard not to feel jealous or hurt in some way. Being with one partner that you're head over heels in love with is the best feeling, because I'm sharing a special bond with someone that I don't share with anyone else.
                I've been seriously considering becoming poly with one of my GF's that I've really started to love, and I can tell you that the only thing better than being with one partner that you're head over heels in love with is being with two.
                [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

                Comment


                • Originally posted by jen1447 View Post
                  I've been seriously considering becoming poly with one of my GF's that I've really started to love, and I can tell you that the only thing better than being with one partner that you're head over heels in love with is being with two.
                  I"ve yet to experience being in love with two, so I wouldn't know.. When I really like someone, I give my heart and loyalty to them. Hence, I feel hurt when I hear the idea that bisexuals can't be monogamous.
                  "Dating is like slow dancing. Let the man lead, or you will fall all over your feet"

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by effy2014 View Post
                    Most of the research on polyamory that I have reviewed on-line is either funded by or actually done by polyamory proponents. I would be highly suspect of the 5% figure as well as the demographics. I am not aware of any truly independent nationwide study. Of course, I have a perspective as well.
                    There isn't a lot of research on this topic but there is some if you look in the right place. Search the peer reviewed journals. These are academic research. The 5% comes up frequently in the handful of research that has been done. Here is something from a published article:

                    A total of 47 individuals (4.3% of the total sample) of participants identified as currently engaging in a consensual nonmonogamous relationship (Conley, Moors, Matsick, & Ziegler, unpublished data). In addition, some of our other research that provided romantic relationships options (and also did not specifically recruit for anyone in a romantic relationship) found similar percentages (e.g., 4.5% identified as part of a CNM relationship; Moors, Conley, Edelstein, & Chopik, manuscript in preparation).

                    Conley, T. D., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., & Ziegler, A. (2013). The fewer the merrier?: Assessing stigma surrounding nonnormative romantic relationships. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 13(1), 1–30. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2012.01286.x
                    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                    Comment


                    • Unpublished data sets and unpublished manuscripts hardly constitutes peer reviewed studies. Admittedly, the research is in its infancy.

                      I read the Conley article (the purpose of which was to assess stigma against polyamorous relationships of which this post evidences) and the data set is interesting. In their study, the survey data was taken from ads on Facebook and Craig's List. The sample was overwhelmingly young (mean age 24), overwhelmingly female (above 63%) and overwhelmingly white. I did not see any breakdown by sexual orientation. However, it would be interesting to know how many of the 5% are non-heterosexual "couplings". It does appear that gay men have a significantly higher percentage of polyamory as do lesbian women. In any event, it is impossible (in my view, of course) to extrapolate this data to a conclusion that 5% of all couples are in consensual nonmonogamous relationships.
                      "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

                      Comment


                      • Hm, I was reading up on polygamy in Muslim societies.
                        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                        ...
                        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by effy2014 View Post
                          Unpublished data sets and unpublished manuscripts hardly constitutes peer reviewed studies. Admittedly, the research is in its infancy.

                          I read the Conley article (the purpose of which was to assess stigma against polyamorous relationships of which this post evidences) and the data set is interesting. In their study, the survey data was taken from ads on Facebook and Craig's List. The sample was overwhelmingly young (mean age 24), overwhelmingly female (above 63%) and overwhelmingly white. I did not see any breakdown by sexual orientation. However, it would be interesting to know how many of the 5% are non-heterosexual "couplings". It does appear that gay men have a significantly higher percentage of polyamory as do lesbian women. In any event, it is impossible (in my view, of course) to extrapolate this data to a conclusion that 5% of all couples are in consensual nonmonogamous relationships.
                          Effy, as I mentioned, it's estimated. A lot of research gets started this way. Usually college students as volunteers. Nowadays from online voluntary surveys. It's a start. This population just hasn't been studied much. Everything I have read has been from academic circles, unlike the biased self interested parties as you mentioned, but I also tend to not read things unless they are from sources I trust. Therefore it is possible that most of the data out there are from these groups. For a while, I was studying to be a sex therapist and I met many academic folks interested in these topics. So there are people studying these groups. It's just not a topic that gets lots of funding.

                          Personally, I think the 5% is an underestimation. One thing I have noticed since starting the study of human sexuality is that people are doing lots of non-heteronormative stuff behind closed doors. When friends and acquaintances heard what I was studying, so many of them came out and told me about their personal stories. I was shocked. I thought of them as "normal" people in monogamous heterosexual relationships living in the suburbs with white picket fences. I met a poly couple who lived in what would be considered a boring plain suburban neighbourhood. They when to their local BDSM meetup where they also meet other poly folks. They were shocked to meet 3 other couples from their block! Of course these are anecdotal stories, but personally I think there are many people you are not aware of who don't live by the traditional social standards of coupling.
                          Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                          Comment


                          • I think that the point of this early research is to justify polyamory as a lifestyle. It seems focused in "ridding" us of our "archaic" notions of sexuality. The more the researcher can point to numbers practicing polyamory the more acceptance and the less bigotry. That is why the survey data is focused on comparing various "happiness" factors (stability, well educated, communicate more) to monogamy. Basically, it's a sell job.

                            Frankly, I do not care what sexual practices other people engage in. To each his or her own. I would like to understand it more . . . what drives people in successful committed monogamous relationships to chose polyamory. But I resent researchers and psychologists telling me that I would be happier and more adjusted if I just treated sex as a commodity and had more people in my relationships.
                            "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by effy2014 View Post
                              I think that the point of this early research is to justify polyamory as a lifestyle. It seems focused in "ridding" us of our "archaic" notions of sexuality. The more the researcher can point to numbers practicing polyamory the more acceptance and the less bigotry. That is why the survey data is focused on comparing various "happiness" factors (stability, well educated, communicate more) to monogamy. Basically, it's a sell job.
                              Not too long ago (and still to this day), research on the homosexual population and statistics about them were considered sell job. If you feel research to study what we don't understand is a sell job, then that is fine. You can say the same about studying global warming, the effects of smoking on health, etc all sell jobs to convince people that the earth is getting hotter, people need to stop smoking, etc. One of the big reasons there is such a focus on understanding happiness and type of people who engage in polyamory is because there are so many myths about them, ie that they are not truly happy or they are damaged people. Research is what dispels these myths.


                              Originally posted by effy2014 View Post
                              I think that the point of this early research is to justify polyamory as a lifestyle. It seems focused in "ridding" us of our "archaic" notions of sexuality. The more the researcher can point to numbers practicing polyamory the more acceptance and the less bigotry. That is why the survey data is focused on comparing various "happiness" factors (stability, well educated, communicate more) to monogamy. Basically, it's a sell job.

                              Frankly, I do not care what sexual practices other people engage in. To each his or her own. I would like to understand it more . . . what drives people in successful committed monogamous relationships to chose polyamory. But I resent researchers and psychologists telling me that I would be happier and more adjusted if I just treated sex as a commodity and had more people in my relationships.
                              Nobody is telling you that you will be happier practicing polyamory (at least these researches are not). They are making a comparison to monogamous relationships as that is pretty much a basic element of research--compare to a standard. Research is finding some interesting things about this population and debunking many myths. Researchers rarely tell you what to do, especially in these preliminary stages. Therapists, clinicians, parents, priests and society will tell you what you need to do. Some of that will be helpful and other not. Research that shows improved communication leading to greater happiest has nothing to do with telling youwhat type of lifestyle you need to engage in or treating sex like a commodity.
                              Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                              Comment

                              or

                              Womens Health orange logoGet The Newsletter

                              Receive our passionately crafted, medically reviewed articles and insights — the stuff nobody else talks about but you want to know — delivered right to your inbox.

                              Latest Activity On Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              Latest Topics On Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              • How many sex toys is too many?

                                My husband went into my nightstand drawer to find a book light, and this is what I hear.
                                "Jeez, how many of these things do you have?!?"...

                                Yesterday, 06:39 PM By Wednesday L.F.
                              • Birth Control & Infertility

                                My Wife has recently started a combined Contraceptive pill ****Yaz**** almost 4 months ago. We are recently married and want a long term Contraception....

                                01-16-2021, 11:03 AM By Mr.King
                              • Birth Control & Infertility

                                My Wife has recently started a combined Contraceptive pill ****Yaz**** almost 4 months ago. We are recently married and want a long term Contraception....

                                01-16-2021, 11:02 AM By Mr.King
                              • Birth Control & Infertility

                                My Wife has recently started a combined Contraceptive pill *Yaz* almost 4 months ago. We are recently married and want a long term Contraception. I have...

                                01-16-2021, 10:57 AM By Mr.King
                              • Opinions needed please ! HPV/bartholin cyst??

                                Hi guys , this is my first post here I’m hoping someone can give me some insight or maybe you have been through something similar an can share ! I’m...

                                01-08-2021, 04:05 AM By Nikkie92
                              Working...
                              X