Ethical Polyamory

Apr 4 '2020, 12:59 AM | By Chris

A passing thought about polyamory can make it seem like an easy and care-free lifestyle that mostly only immature young adults enjoy. There is a certain freedom to be enjoyed when people choose to not limit intimacy and love in their lives. Less finality and more opportunity is lovely, but comes with responsibilities that should not be ignored. Intimacy with more than one person means more chances to cause emotional trauma, more sexual partners means a higher health risk, and following an unfamiliar life path leads to unique circumstances you and many of your peers simply won’t understand. You become part of an ‘alternative lifestyle’ which can expose you to heavy scrutiny. Don’t let any of this discourage you. Your poly life can be one of great beauty and fulfillment as long as you’ve considered your true desires and how to approach them in respectful and constructive ways. 

Think about your ultimate relationship. Do you want to be a sister wife? Would you like one or more lovers of the opposite or same sex, or both? Are you a man that wants sister wives, or would like to join other men and all share one wife or girlfriend together? If you could paint the picture of your perfect family or intimate group, what would it look like? Take this part seriously because this is what will drive all of the decisions and behaviors you’ll need to develop in order to have the life you want in a fulfilling and ethical manner. There are no limits to the life you ultimately desire. As long as you intend and cause no harm, and are genuinely following your heart, you can rest assured you’re doing the right things. 

If you simply don’t wish to commit to anyone romantically, but enjoy finding sexual partners frequently, you are not polyamorous. You can have an open relationship with one or more partners, but sex outside of the relationship is just sleeping around. There is nothing wrong with this as long as any people you have committed to are aware of your activities, however, those behaviors should not be considered a form of polyamory. It’s actually what many people incorrectly perceive as polyamory. Polyamory and polygamy imply a certain degree of investment beyond getting laid. ‘The Ethical Slut’ is a great read that lays out how to live a slutty lifestyle while minimizing risks. If you and/or your partners insist on sleeping around you should read it and consider the behaviors you can develop to protect yourself and others from any harm. 

This leads to poly and polygamy dating in a new pandemic weary world. If you and/or your partners are seeking others to join you romantically it means you have to meet new people, which can lead to sexual encounters regardless of new relationships working or not. It should be pointed out that in order to ethically have sex with anyone many of the standards pointed out here should have already been followed. There has always been risk involved when sleeping with what essentially are strangers. Talk about any risk you bring to the encounter and ask questions about risks the others may pose. This has to become part of the experience without ruining the moment. We have to get comfortable with it. Mostly, we have to tell the truth. There is no way to stay ahead of an outbreak if people are not being candid and taking health risks, of any kind, seriously. If you find yourself afraid of this discussion, or incapable of presenting the truth about your risks, you need to put your sex life on pause to consider your motivations. 

An insatiable sex drive is not a problem if you come by it honestly. Wanting multiple regular partners because you don’t want to overwhelm one person is arguably an amazing gift, good for you. On the flip side, an unquenchable sex drive stemming from an emotional issue runs a high risk of falling into destructive behavior. Dating to find healthy connections with new people and grow your group or family should not be influenced by destructive behavior. It should be a well considered and intentional experience where you’re seeking real connections with people that share similar desires in life and love. This is why it’s so important to be in touch with your personal drives and motivations. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself meeting the wrong people and trying to forge relationships that have no chance of real success. Nobody wants to be lonely, but better to spend some time alone than to hurt yourself and others through desperate attempts to force doomed relationships to work. 

In the time you spend alone it will be easy to believe the naysayers when they say you’re doing something wrong. Choosing to challenge societal norms naturally leads to some level of ostracization because without imposing consequences, society at large feels it’s losing control. People that choose to live outside of the heterosexual, monogamous, patriarchy have a responsibility to support each other. Consider yourself your own, new, letter in the LGBTQ+ movement. In order to be happy, you need supportive friends. In order to enjoy the support of friends it’s only fair to offer your support in return. These are the people that will help you embrace yourself and keep you strapped to your seat while you ride the roller coaster of finding love. Trust them when they’re concerned for you. Tell them when you see red flags they may not notice. The bond you share is just as strong as with any lover you’ll find. Treasure your friends. 

Common themes when discussing ethics are honesty with yourself and others, respect for yourself and others, integrity, intent, and generosity. Nobody is perfect. We will all fall short at times until the day we die. It’s important to genuinely forgive yourself while you sort out the influences pushing you in the right and wrong directions. As you search for that perfect poly love situation, or polygamous family, you can’t forget the number one relationship in your life is with yourself. If you don’t love and respect yourself, it will be difficult to offer others the love and respect they deserve from you. Yes, you can meet a friend or lover that helps you to that goal, but you have to lay the groundwork first. The best thing about approaching anything in life ethically is you can be assured of better results. Feeling good about your choices and being a reliable friend or lover will never lead you astray. Be safe, be strong, and always spread love.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

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