Finding purpose in polyamory – how love spirals outwards

Not everyone can understand the purpose of polyamory, why someone would want to have multiple relationships to begin with.  I rebel against the very idea of institutionalized monogamy, but I recognize that some people just prefer a deep romantic closeness with only one individual, and that is fine.  Aside from the fact that at my very core I have never been able to regulate the wonder in my heart for closeness and vulnerability and adoration and love to one solitary person, I also am so grateful for the beautiful moments I find in polyamory that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

This morning I was laying in bed, having already gotten up to feed all the critters, clean the litter boxes and ferret cage, let the dogs outside to work off some energy.  I got back into bed to snuggle up to Kelev, who almost always sleeps later than I do, and was softly snoring in a way that melts my heart.  I love how when he’s sleeping, when I tell him I love him he always says it back, even though he’ll have no memory of it when he wakes.  This morning I was watching him sleep and whispering sweet nothings to him about how he’s a glorious demon ascended into human flesh, his black heart wreathed in flamed and filled with the power of the millions of souls he’s devoured.  You know, the usual romantic stuff.  We may have a slightly twisted view of romance, but who’s going to judge? He smiled and softly woofed at me in his sleep.  The moment was just so precious and I texted Hoffy about it, wanting to share my warm-fuzzy-joy-feels.

Think about what you value in partnership.  The amazing connection with someone where you want to tell them everything that is good in your life, every spark of joy just bubbles over and you want to share it with someone you adore.  The vulnerability and closeness you have with someone with whom you can share your sappiest feelings, who can hear about your squishy bright happy feels and will celebrate them with you.  Think about those tender moments of seeing someone you love so peaceful, with their hair all messy as they sleep, all the worlds troubles smoothed away with rest.  I am so grateful to be able to share the most loving and sweet moments of my life that bring me the most joy, with more people who I share that love and joy with as well.  To revel in the sheer happiness of love with equally loving and accepting people that I am vulnerable and open with.  I wonder who monogamous people tell those moments to?  Do they have a best friend who they feel the same intense closeness with that they do with their partner, who they can share those happy feelings with, who will feel warm and fuzzy at the adorableness of it all instead of rolling their eyes?  I sure hope so.

Yesterday I was talking with my partner D.  We recently got involved in a DD/lg kink dynamic, and she also got involved with Kelev as well.  She has a long distance romance with the Brit, as I’ve taken to referring to him in my mind, a fantastic individual with a voice that makes me melt a little.  She was telling me of a conversation she was having with him, and he made a joke about my love of his accent.  The way he described me in this little snapshot of humor she shared with me was absolutely spot on.  It was so absolutely sweet, the exchange they had, that he had remembered me in it, that she had then shared it with me.  The humor spiraled outwards, and I was graced with being a part of it.

That is what I love about polyamory.  There are so many wonderful moments shared between people who love each other intensely and sweetly, and in sharing my heart with so many people and having partners who do the same, the joy spirals outward.  When we tell each other exuberantly about a snapshot moment of love, and when it is received lovingly and happily as well, it just compounds those emotions.  I don’t have less love for any one partner because I share my heart with many, I have a thousand more opportunities each day for that love to be multiplied as moments are shared and enjoyed in this outward spiral of connection and acceptance.  That is the purpose of polyamory to me.  Just as one of the beauties in cultivating a garden is sharing the fruits of your labor with family, I cultivate each relationship with healthy respect and passion and communication and vulnerability.  And I am able to share what grows of those seeds far beyond just the person I grew them with.  That bounty of love is available to nourish us all through the hard times and invigorate us to grow more in the good times. It all spirals outwards, and I hope if you are on this journey as well, one day that spiral reaches you.

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From the mouths of Queerios – the difference between offensive speech and humor as coping

“the day I poured heavy cream up my vagina, I definitely stained some body’s shirt”

I’m not sure the conversation that spawned that statement, but it happened last night as we were gathered around cake and laughing at absurd things. That wasn’t the first strange nonsensical things that’s come from conversation with the oddball quirky group that makes my polycule and network of close friends, and it won’t be the last. Some of the others things said though, in fits of humor and good will, may at times border on offensive and problematic in another context. I wish I could have remembered an exact quote of something of that nature that would have better applied to the subject of today’s post, but heavy cream and vaginas and shirt staining stuck with me, so at least I could open on a slightly absurd but humorous note. But what I would like to speak to is the quality of speech in marginalized groups as opposed to in general society, and how it does at times cross into the realm of things that may be problematic or offensive.

I remember as a kid when the passion of the christ came out and the next day there where swastikas spray painted on my synogogue. I remember older members of the congregations who had lived through the holocaust, sobbing in fear. These days, under our new Commander in Hate, we suffer much worse then spray paint on sanctified walls. And when among my polycule where I feel safe, I occasionally make jew jokes about myself.

A few months ago at the supermarket I was wearing one of my many shirts sporting a pride rainbow, and an elderly gentleman felt it was an invitation to tell me how us gays were going to hell. That wasn’t the first time I’d heard something of the sort, and it wasn’t even close to the worst thing I’ve heard. In fact, it was quite friendly compared to some of my experiences. Imagine when someone telling you that you’ll be damned for all eternity is considered quite friendly… And my queer platonic life partner and I are constantly making gay jokes about eachother. A typical response to certain outfits and behavior when we ask the others opinion is simply “Gaaaaayyyyy!!” If someone said that to me on the street, I might be tempted to imagine melting their face off in a vat of melted chocolate (no, no, that would ruin perfectly good chocolate), but from my fellow queerio it is a good natured complement.

So is it simply a matter of intent? My QP means it as complementary when teasing me about things that society uses to marginalize and oppress, but your typical cishet standard humanoid would usually mean it as an insult. I don’t think it’s just intent though. After all, I’ve heard too many jew jokes that were amusing when coming from my mother, a sassy New York jew, that raised my hackles when they came from well intentioned Douchebag McGee in the bar. But he was just trying to be funny he whines, having no idea I remember those painted swastikas and women wailing. No, it’s not about intent, it’s a deeper issue of marginalization versus shared pain and healing.

When I hear a joke or dig that targets marginalized community coming from your standard human who does not face marginalization, or possibly does in some context, but not that context, what I’m hearing is someone who does not understand the shared pain and suffering. They know that their token gay friend may be cool with them making gay jokes, they have “permission”, but they don’t understand the actual experience of being gay. They don’t intend to harm, they intend to be funny, but they don’t have the cultural context of being queer to recognize if their joke is adding to the pain and suffering of that marginalized person in the moment. They also don’t realize that while they may think they are showing their gay friend “Hey we can joke about this cause we both know I’m actually cool with you bro”, they are also showing the rest of society “Hey its okay to ridicule people for this and I’m getting a free pass, so your problematic behavior is okay too”.

When I hear a joke of that sort coming from one of my fellow queerios, I’m hearing a different message. What’s being said underneath that humor is “we’re all suffering shared pain here and barely surviving, and if we can turn that pain into laughter and throw our ability to still laugh and endure in the face of those who harm us, we can survive another day”. I’m not saying that marginalized folks cannot be problematic when joking about themselves. And certainly it’s problematic when it’s about a seperate marginalized group you aren’t a part of. But even when just targeting yourself, I’m sure it’s possible to be problematic, because while you might find it cathartic, you still may be harming your compatriates in that oppressed group without realizing it. And I would hope they would speak out and call out those who do so, because when this is done among marginalized communities I don’t think the intent is ever to cause more pain. We do it though because humor is a coping mechanism, and because we are empowering ourselves. We are taking what they throw at us as knives and daggers and turning it into laughter.

I don’t know if it’s okay, or it’s right. But what I do know is the quirkiest shit comes out of our mouths, and sometimes that shit does skate into the territory of taking digs at the marginalized groups we are part of. And when any of my queerios shouts “Gaaaaayyyyy!!” at my outfit, I laugh and swell up with pride. Because yes, we are really heckin gay, and we are laughing and not apologizing for it, and those who threw that shout at us to harm us before, can’t do shit about it.