Love, friendship and play
Wilrieke Sophia on jealousy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JiOSHv6UcQ
I don’t blame the other person for causing jealousy. Your mind might create all these stories about this person, he/she doesn’t deserve my love. Maybe I feel unworthy of love myself. Maybe if he/she is with someone else I am not worthy. I allow my boyfriend to feel jeaulous. Insecurity, a lack of confidence, a lack of worthiness. Don’t take it personal. Look back inside, fulfill that need.
Love and Freedom
Chapter 1, “Relational Freedom and the Crisis of Modern Relationships,” discusses the crisis of traditional lifelong monogamy and the problems of the currently prevalent serial monogamy paradigm. Building on the work of many scholars it’s suggested that the monocentric paradigm is foundationally afflicted by the tension between two essential human needs: the sexual need for diversity and novelty, and the emotional need for stability and constancy. After addressing the challenges of the deep structural change arguably necessary to relax this tension, the notion of relational freedom is introduced —the capability to freely choose one’s relational style. Six sources or levels of conditioning potentially constraining relational freedom are explored: evolutionary, biological, historical, cultural, social, and biographical. It’s suggested that to love as many people as one desires in constructive, nonharmful ways should be considered a human right as fundamental as the right to equality, free movement, or freedom of belief.
Chapter 2, “Mononormativity, Polypride, and the ‘Mono–Poly Wars” discusses how monogamists and polyamorists tend to unfavorably portray one another as somehow flawed, misguided, or, in a word, “inferior.” Monopride/polyphobia and polypride/monophobia are examined in the context of Western mononormative culture. The ideological nature of these “mono–poly wars” are examined. A critical pluralist approach is outlined for making qualitative distinctions within and among relational styles and enhancing the possibilities of relational freedom.
In chapter 3 “Sympathetic Joy: Beyond Jealousy, Toward Relational Freedom”. The experience of jealousy can be an obstacle for relational freedom. The application of the Buddhist contemplative practice of sympathetic joy or mudita to intimate relationships can transform jealousy and expand relational choices. After reviewing relevant findings from the field of evolutionary psychology on the twin origins of jealousy and monogamy, the notion of genetic selfishness is introduced. The possibility to transform jealousy into sympathetic joy (or compersion) is argued for. The culturally prevalent belief that the only spiritually correct sexual options are either celibacy or (lifelong or serial) monogamy are challenged. The cultivation of sympathetic joy in intimate connections paves the way to overcome the “mono–poly wars” and empowers people to better exercise relational freedom.
Chapter 4, “The Dawn of Transbinary Relationships,” contains a more sustained discussion of the conceptual and experiential territory beyond the non/ monogamy system. Three plural relational modes—fluidity, hybridity, and transcendence— are considered to embody and develop the various competences of relational freedom. This opens up a fuzzy, liminal, and multivocal semantic–existential space the book terms novogamy. It’s suggested that suggest that an increasing number of twenty-first-century individuals will enact novogamous relational identities beyond the mono/poly binary. The concern that transbinary relationship modes may lead to a lack of coherent identity and consequent psychological fragmentation is discussed. Chapter 5, “Relational Freedom and the Transformation of Intimate Relationships,” expands on the critical pluralist approach. This approach effectively avoids universal sequences or hierarchies among monogamy, nonmonogamy, and novogamy. After discussing some avenues to enhance relational freedom in oneself and others—including working toward dismantling social privilege and oppression—I respond to the potential objection of privileging individual freedom over relational care and family values. Then the standard of longevity in the assessment of relational success and outline various alternative emancipatory, healing, and transformational criteria as more appropriate for any (sub-)culture that is free from monocentrism is critiqued. Finally, the future of romantic love beyond monocentrism and its attendant myth of a single “soul mate” or “The One” is considered. The book closes with a coda and two appendices. The coda, “After Covid- 19,” discusses the future of nonmonogamies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Appendix I, “Ten Theses on Relationship Styles,” outlines the central arguments of the book. Appendix II, “The Alpha Male versus the Omega Man,” suggests that the ongoing evolution of intimate relationships needs to be grounded on—and is gradually transforming—not only human sexuality but also sexual identity. Leaving the task of discussing such changes in the female gender for discerning women attuned to the spirit of the times (as well as for queer and transgender people in the case of nonbinary gender identities), here I focus on exploring one possible shift in male sexual identity: the movement from the traditional Alpha Male to what I name the Omega Man.
Open: An uncensored memoir of love
Rachel Krantz notes at the start of the book: I obsessively documented my first non-monogamous and Dom/sub relationships. I’m talking not just journal entries, but hours and hours, days and days of audio recordings. In an attempt to feel some semblance of control, nothing was off-limits: dates, arguments, role-playing, trips to swingers’ resorts, moments I was being gaslit, and every single therapy session. Because I’m not only a person who clearly needs said therapy but also a journalist, I conducted many, many interviews along the way. These extensive records mean that people in this book are quoted in their own words verbatim where possible.
Despite this emphasis on primary sources, it’s important to remember that my story and perspective have many limitations. As the plot deepens (and darkens), it’s increasingly populated with a wider diversity of people and experiences, and with queerer stories. But it’s still primarily centered on two cisgender, white, non-disabled, U.S.-city-dwelling, middle-class, child-free, college-educated, thin, liberal, often-assumed-heterosexual, Jewish people in an open relationship. Not only that, but two people in a very gender-normative power dynamic, where the man is dominant and the woman is submissive. I implore you to seek out other non-monogamous and BDSM narratives from people with identities and experiences different from mine. This is in part a cautionary tale; a how-not-to manual as much as a how-to. (Content warning: explicit sex, drug use/addiction, sexual assault, self-injurious behavior/disordered eating, unethical BDSM, threesomes, foursomes, sixsomes, nonconsensual non-monogamy, abuse, gaslighting, misogyny and heterosexism, fuckboys, more fuckboys, Jewish mother savior complex, daddy issues, Disney…)
Writing memoir is by necessity an act of approximation. There’s a dangerous compounding of that approximation if my specific experience is made to stand as a definitive representation of any lifestyle or identity. I am certainly no perfect role model—I am simply the investigative subject I have most complete access to.
That fact, combined with my myriad privileges in life, drives me to be explicitly honest about my psychosexual reality. I’ll weather harassment for it, but I’m less likely to be punished or hurt than most. Almost every non-monogamous person in this book was rightly afraid to use their real first name, let alone their last. There is little legal recourse should they lose their job or children simply due to stigma around our lifestyle. This feels like reason enough to help move the needle of public discourse. Besides, I’m also very curious as to what happens next. In 2022, is “a woman like me” allowed to admit to being this fully a sexual being and remain semi-respected as an “award-winning investigative journalist”? I guess we’ll write that part of the story together.
I put myself forward for naked examination because I’m morally opposed to being told to cover up in shame. I am entirely vulnerable. Thank you for helping me find strength in this submission.
really like the book “Polysecure” and attachment theory.
For me polyamory is not polyf*ckery or unable to commit but about opening our hearts and feeling the love which is not personal but a universal energy.
we learn and evolve so much from relating, loving, compassion & supporting each other and freeing ourselves from conditioning.
attachment wounding shows up in all kinds of relationships, whether monogamous or polyamorous, and in either case needs awareness and honesty to be healed and resolved. As the saying goes: if you are not addressing your wounding, your relationships will
I find that Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a really helpful tool for relating to each other’s feelings and core needs, rather than specific strategies. I find having ease and skillful communication makes the complexity deliciously challenging, deep, growing together and joyful.
Whereas the opposite can be “more people more drama "
To become comfortable in being flirty, and also being able to catch queer vibes out in the big world.
I can suggest More than Two. Despite after many explorations I found out that I prefer to have 1 core relationship and I am not into an open relationship, but surely I try to be in an open minded one. I experimented a lot in the past and this book really changed how I approach life, relationships of any type, especially the one with my self, my boundaries and other things. Also A classic one is non violent communication by Marcel Rosenberg, maybe more related on understanding your needs and feelings. and my last suggestion, a tiny bit further and more on the research and psychology spectrum is Atlas of The Heart, by Renée Brown https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Heart-Meaningful-Connection-Experience/dp/0399592555 https://www.amazon.com/Workbook-Meaningful-Connection-Language-Experience/dp/B0B455DK7C
criticism on more then two
Definitely feel (attachment) trauma dynamic is very unhealthy in polyamory or open relating and requires a lot awareness and honesty
Ram dass “Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being.
If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness.”
[Li Tadaa] (podcast) yes also curious to know about any communities. I heard good things about angsbacka and Tamera and Sadhaka
I would really recommend getting into Relationship Anarchy, and ethical non-monogamy.
I would like to share one important point regarding poly which I didn’t see mentioned in previous comments, and would love to share so that you may be informed and avoid the bad experiences (if you so choose).
Many people will claim they’re polyamorous when they’re actually just not. People often use the language of polyamory to:
Gain access to more people’s bodies without having to commit and to absolve themselves of basic responsibility/decency.
Try and elevate their status/feed their low self-esteem, to fit in, to seem more ‘woke’ or trustworthy to the people they are trying to court
Manipulate the naive into unethical dynamics that really only benefit themselves
I would advise you to write down on paper a list of what you are looking for, what your boundaries and needs are, what situations you can recognize as unhealthy for you and when you would be willing to walk away. This last point will really help, because sometimes when you’re in the middle of it it is really difficult to see things objectively.
The best book that I ever read on the topic is called Polysecure by Jessica Fern. It not only goes through the whole gamut of non-monogamy genres, but also talks about attachment styles, trauma, and how to set the right foundations. It was published 2 years ago so it is super super up-to-date.
I have only seen a small percentage of people around me practice healthy, ethical, and sustainable non-monogamy. I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, wish you all the best on your new direction towards joining that percentage!
learning about attachment trauma and nervous system regulation has been transformative to get out of relationship patterns and codependency or notice when it’s happening