1 + 1 = 0
March 6, 2008 11:08 PM   Subscribe

Answer the question or don't already, 1.

Once again - snark is unwelcome in AskMe. Unless you actually have something to useful to contribute STFU and GTFO.

Comment in question reproduced below:
Gee, I wonder which one of you wrote this. Please never write anything in this style again.

To paraphrase the always reprehensible and should-never-be-quoted-or-paraphrased-by-anyone-in-any-circumstances Ayn Rand, "when good and evil compromise, evil always wins." Which is to say, any compromise between polyamory and monogamy is still polyamory. There is no middle ground here.

And really, you were "confused" when she was hurt? Come on, she made a good faith effort and it didn't work. It's kind of fucked up for you to resent her for being hurt by you.

Ugh, OK now I'm getting kind of pissed off at you for convincing her that your relationship is somehow not "fair" to you. How is it not fair? Nobody's forcing you to be in it. She's been very clear about what she needs, and you've decided of your own free will to be in a relationship that doesn't meet your ideal and then, it seems, guilt-trip her about it.

And for the love of god,

don't

write another post

in the style

of this one.
posted by 1 at 10:35 PM on March 6 [+] [!]
posted by loquacious to Etiquette/Policy at 11:08 PM (361 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Dear Metafilter,

please

stop posting

MetaTalk callouts

about trivial shit

like this.
posted by dhammond at 11:15 PM on March 6, 2008


about trivial shit

I dunno. Editorializing that heavily in an AskMe post is pretty far over the line.
posted by tkolar at 11:23 PM on March 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's messed up, I deleted it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:23 PM on March 6, 2008


Looks like 1 went #2 in that thread.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:31 PM on March 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dear

Metafilter

what

does

"."

mean

awaiting

your

response

sincerely

Captain

James

T.

Kirk

of

the

U.

S.

S.

Enterprise.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:35 PM on March 6, 2008 [22 favorites]


Once again - snark is unwelcome in AskMe.

This.

But I also really wish relationship questions, which are by their very nature unanswerable except through anecdote and handwavery (which may make us feel nice and warm and squishy inside, I know, but still), were deleted on sight. I really do.

But yes, I do just skip them and move on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:46 PM on March 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Couldn't agree more with this callout. This is a tough topic for people who hold the mainstream view on sexual dynamics in relationships. I also really disliked the pejorative editorializing in this comment. I thought the "man-whore" comment was totally uncalled for as well as this quote: " Look, the point of the sexual aspect of a relationship is that it is intimate. It is private. It is between the two of you, exclusively." Oh yeah? Who fucking says?

It is kind of a tough question. If you're monogamous from birth and could never, would never, consider an alternative in your relationship then maybe you're not the best person to answer this question. Why? Because what answer could you possibly have other than DTMFA?
posted by vito90 at 11:51 PM on March 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you're monogamous from birth and could never, would never, consider an alternative in your relationship then maybe you're not the best person to answer this question. Why?

One of the parties in the question is monogamous, and therefore the monogamous perspective is admissible and necessary. Deal with it, man-whore.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:58 PM on March 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


posted by vito90 If you're monogamous from birth and could never, would never, consider an alternative in your relationship then maybe you're not the best person to answer this question. Why? Because what answer could you possibly have other than DTMFA?

Perhaps something like, "Relationships involve compromise, and the question for all parties involved is the degree to which each person is willing to compromise about the things on which they each place different values."
posted by fandango_matt at 12:02 AM on March 7, 2008


To be fair

posts

in this style

are a really

really

really

really, really

really

really

bad idea.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:06 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're monogamous from birth...

Man, I still feel sort of cheated when I think about all the sex I could've been having when I was three...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:12 AM on March 7, 2008


Yeah, I found that comment really off. Partially because I read it thinking that the girl had posted, both desperate and self-recriminating. But overall it was over the line.
posted by Phire at 12:39 AM on March 7, 2008


I just don't understand why people keep bringing up polyamory in their responses to the question. There isn't a hint that the guy in the relationship is polyamorous in the sense that it is generally understood. Fucking other people is not the same thing as polyamory-- it is fucking other people.
posted by dersins at 12:57 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


OK so I'm an idiot and I just read the tags, one of which is indeed polyamory. That explains why people keep bringing it up in their answers, but I'm still not sure I'm buying it. As described in the question, it sounds more like garden variety promiscuity to me.
posted by dersins at 12:59 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear mod(s): with that comment deleted, there are several others in the thread that refer to it and now make little sense.
posted by jtron at 1:03 AM on March 7, 2008


I also really wish relationship questions, which are by their very nature unanswerable except through anecdote and handwavery (which may make us feel nice and warm and squishy inside, I know, but still), were deleted on sight. I really do.


I'll never understand the hate for that type of questions - there's definitely been some decent advice tossed around in relationship-related threads. Yeah, a lot of time the best answers are either just telling the asker what they want to hear or telling the asker to get a fucking grip on reality, but what harm does it do? It's not like you're paying for the site's bandwidth. Just skip them and more on.

But yes, I do just skip them and move on.

Well, there you go, then.
posted by item at 1:06 AM on March 7, 2008


Also - I can't be the only one here that disbelieves 1's claim that he's not a sockpuppet.
posted by item at 2:14 AM on March 7, 2008


The topic is a bit out there for a lot of main stream folk, but it cuts at important values for the same. I think you need to accept there will be unwanted noise in the answers if you don't post the question to a specialist site. Deleting makes the follow-ups harder to understand. -flags himself as mainstream folk guy who just moved on-
posted by bystander at 2:39 AM on March 7, 2008


Flag it and move on. You're giving attention trolls what they want when you call them out.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:13 AM on March 7, 2008


I wonder what

thread has had

the tallest

average

com

ment.
posted by Plutor at 3:54 AM on March 7, 2008


Flag

and to the left.

Flag..

and to the left.
posted by pyrex at 4:12 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm with stavrosthewonderchicken. I see where some people are fascinated by these things, but to me, it's sort of like someone putting a paper bag over their head, going to the bus station, and loudly asking for advice about their personal life. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in any of the answers, there or here.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:14 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fucking other people is not the same thing as polyamory-- it is fucking other people.

From Wikipedia:

"The term polyamory is sometimes abbreviated to poly, especially as a form of self-description, and is sometimes described as consensual and/or responsible non-monogamy."


That sure sounds like fucking other people to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:35 AM on March 7, 2008


Also - I can't be the only one here that disbelieves 1's claim that he's not a sockpuppet.

I think that he is ParisParamus. Deal with it, man-whore.
posted by ND¢ at 5:20 AM on March 7, 2008


Since we're talking about him, I just want to point out that 1 is currently my least favorite poster.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:23 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Polyamory fucking other people
posted by Plutor at 5:29 AM on March 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


but to me, it's sort of like someone putting a paper bag over their head, going to the bus station, and loudly asking for advice about their personal life.

I think this is often repeated metaphor is wrong and I wish people would stop saying this shit.

Askmetafitler is specifically designed as a place for go and ask questions. It's really that simple, there is no mystery to do it. There is no bag, it's not a bus station. If you want to apply this a physical metaphor, it's a professionally run help desk that uses volunteers from around the world. So yes, you might be asking a group of strangers, but they aren't random strangers, they're people who specifically paid $5 to volunteer and people who chose to spend their time reading and answering questions. And the best part is that once you've been around a while they aren't even strangers, you realize they're real live people who are taking the time to help you do something.

There isn't a bus station like that in the world and I wish those of you who continually slag questions you personally don't like would realize that and knock off the bitching.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 AM on March 7, 2008 [21 favorites]


Heh, I forgot there was a member named "1" and at first I thought you were calling out mathowie.
posted by Godbert at 5:54 AM on March 7, 2008


There is no bag

The bag in this metaphor is anonymous posting, I think?
posted by smackfu at 6:15 AM on March 7, 2008


This is like the nth time this guy's had answers deleted in AskMe threads, isn't it? How many more before he gets a timeout?
posted by mediareport at 6:19 AM on March 7, 2008


I came into this thread thinking you were calling out Mathowie because I confused 1 for #1.

-or-

I don't even know Polyamory, why should I car if he's fucking other people?

-or-

Something

written

like

this.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:28 AM on March 7, 2008


-or-

Godbert beat me to it.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:29 AM on March 7, 2008


The bag in this metaphor is anonymous posting, I think?

Somebody smack him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on March 7, 2008


This is like the nth time this guy's had answers deleted in AskMe threads, isn't it? How many more before he gets a timeout?

This is the nth time he's been called out on metatalk for it. I would imagine there are several more occassions that didn't make it to here.
posted by inigo2 at 6:48 AM on March 7, 2008


There was a little bit of good stuff in #1's answer- I saw it last night, and almost tried to reframe what he said about how no one was forcing the guy to be in this monogamous relationship, in case the answer got deleted. Oh well.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


1 seems like someones unbound id. Mine in particular.
posted by puke & cry at 7:04 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is like the nth time this guy's had answers deleted in AskMe threads, isn't it? How many more before he gets a timeout?

Yeah lets not start talking about timing people out just for multiple AskMe deleted answers cause I get shit deleted off of there constantly. The standards over there are really high. You have to be helpful and on topic and not insulting. It is amazing that people make comments over there that aren't deleted. So lets not start talking crazy and suggesting that people suffer consequences for having AskMe answers deleted a lot, because that would not be cool. But that guy is a bit of a jerk for reasons other than that.
posted by ND¢ at 7:07 AM on March 7, 2008


Since we're talking about him, I just want to point out that 1 is currently my least favorite poster.

Yup, high up on my list as well. Has been warned, doesn't seem to care.
posted by languagehat at 7:10 AM on March 7, 2008


This is like the nth time this guy's had answers deleted in AskMe threads, isn't it? How many more before he gets a timeout?

This is the nth time he's been called out on metatalk for it. I would imagine there are several more occassions that didn't make it to here.


Also, he did already get a timeout for it.

I went through 1's recent AskMe answers recently and found that most of the time he actually posts helpful answers now. His first 10 or so AskMe answers were all in some way snarky or unhelpful, but it seems like he's pretty much cut that kind of stuff out.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:14 AM on March 7, 2008


Polyamory ⊂ fucking other people

Useless unless you know what the symbols means, and I don't know if Google searches work on symbols. I've been trying to guess at it though. Here are my current candidates:

Polyamory is greater than or equal to fucking other people?
The set of Polyamorists is smaller than the set of other people fuckers?
Fucking other people is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for Polyamory?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:28 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


it seems like he's pretty much cut that kind of stuff out.

That, or the mods did it for him.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:31 AM on March 7, 2008


1 is currently my least favorite poster... high up on my list as well...

Dootdootdootdoot dootdootdootdoot...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:38 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Higamous, hogamous,
Women are monogamous,
Hogamous higamous,
Men are polygamous.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:39 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


If Polyamory, then Fucking other people?
posted by box at 7:40 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I effing hate relationship questions. As far as I'm concerned, the only worthwhile thing about them is that they allow us to pinpoint who the assholes are with greater efficiency.
posted by iconomy at 7:43 AM on March 7, 2008


PeterMcDermott, ⊂ means 'is a subset of,' as Plutor's helpful mouseover text explains. Also, and I did not know this, apparently you can search Wikipedia using symbols, which leads you here.

In particular, Plutor is likely using the symbol to mean 'is a proper subset of.' That is, polyamory is a subset of "fucking other people" and "fucking other people" contains something that polyamory does not.

Now, the truth of the statement is a whole 'nother matter upon which I'm not really competent to comment.
posted by jedicus at 7:50 AM on March 7, 2008


I'm fine with whatever lifestyle people choose within the bounds of law. It doesn't matter to me who is banging who. Have at it. But I am highly skeptical of the claim that this polyamory business is something more than just a fancy word used to attempt to justify infidelity as a lifestyle. Was Henry VIII a practicer of polyamory?
posted by dios at 7:57 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


monogamous from birth

I can't put my finger on what it is, exactly, but there is something about the phrasing of this that makes monogamy seem like a birth defect.

Which, now that I think about it, would be the best excuse ever if you were caught cheating.

"Sorry baby, but you know that the only way I can overcome my condition is through rigorous physical therapy. If I ever hope to beat this damn crippling defect, I need to condition myself through practice and experience. It's just the way it is."

This would either work fabulously or end up getting you badly injured when your significant other decided you were full of shit and hit you with something heavy.
posted by quin at 8:11 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since we're talking about him, I just want to point out that 1 is currently my least favorite poster.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:23 AM on March 7 [+] [!]


To be fair, I think we've both been someone else's least favorite poster at some point.

Yup, high up on my list as well. Has been warned, doesn't seem to care.

I like this because it makes it seem like you warned him about being on your list, yet he's disregarded that warning. It makes you seem insane and old.
posted by klangklangston at 8:16 AM on March 7, 2008 [12 favorites]


The standards over there are really high. You have to be helpful and on topic and not insulting. It is amazing that people make comments over there that aren't deleted.

I really hope that my sarcasm meter needs tuning, because if you're serious, this is absurd. It's not that fucking hard to reserve your snark and offtopicness for the blue and the grey.
posted by rtha at 8:20 AM on March 7, 2008


Was Henry VIII a practicer of polyamory?

Serial monogamist, I thought.
posted by johnofjack at 8:21 AM on March 7, 2008


I like this because it makes it seem like you warned him about being on your list, yet he's disregarded that warning. It makes you seem insane and old.

I think you just bought yourself a place on the list.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:23 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I am highly skeptical of the claim that this polyamory business is something more than just a fancy word used to attempt to justify infidelity as a lifestyle.

I assume you're just flame-baiting here, as infidelity can only occur if you had an expectation of "faith" to begin with?

I mean, if you and your partner have agreed to go around banging whomever you feel like it's hardly a breach of trust to do so...
posted by tkolar at 8:38 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's it, you're off the Christmas list and on the grocery list.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 AM on March 7, 2008


Monog 4 life!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 AM on March 7, 2008


You would assume wrong, tkolar. Amazingly, people can actually have opinions different from yours without doing so for nefarious reasons.

As I said, I don't really care about it and am not heavily invested in it. But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter and my exposure to it here suggests to me that it a term that was created to allow people to claim as a lifestyle the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity. Sinatra, a hero of mine, could pull wool like no man. I don't think that made "polyamorous". It just made him horny and not committed to his wife.
posted by dios at 8:55 AM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


What about the to do list? That's the one I want to be on.
posted by philomathoholic at 8:56 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter

Ditto, one item on a long list of things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:56 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


It makes you seem insane and old.

WHICH I AM!!!
posted by languagehat at 8:59 AM on March 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter

So you're taking out your resentment at having lived a sheltered life by trolling?
posted by dersins at 9:01 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amazingly, people can actually have opinions different from yours without doing so for nefarious reasons.

Actually I wasn't stating an opinion. I was stating that the word "infidelity" only make sense where "fidelity" applies.
posted by tkolar at 9:01 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter

AH HA!!! Final proof that you are Matt's sockpuppet!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on March 7, 2008


Oh, and about "polyamory": it's just what the kids are calling open relationships these days. Very common where I went to school.
posted by tkolar at 9:04 AM on March 7, 2008


PeterMcDermott, ⊂ means 'is a subset of,' as Plutor's helpful mouseover text explains.

Thanks, jedicus. I just kinda tuned out when we hit long division in math class (that was too hard for me), but I had a vague recollection that it had something to do with sets.

I'm not seeing this mouseover that you're referring to though. But when I looked at that Wikipedia page, I was taken back nearly forty years to the only class that came *after* long division that actually made any sense to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:09 AM on March 7, 2008


Dios - maybe you should try reading about it first before you criticize it, hmm?
posted by lunit at 9:14 AM on March 7, 2008


"polyamory": it's just what the kids are calling open relationships these days.

The kids have been calling it polyamory for almost 20 years now. Since before there was a Metafilter, to be sure. Its Wikipedia entry, dates the popularization of the term to Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart's 1990 essay "A Bouquet of Lovers."
posted by mumkin at 9:14 AM on March 7, 2008


For people who claim to be bold pioneers of a new relationship paradigm, polyamorists sure go to pieces easily when someone makes fun of their lifestyle.
posted by johngoren at 9:17 AM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


maybe you should try reading about it first before you criticize it, hmm?

I dunno if that's a good idea, I think less of them now than I did before:

"The symbol of ILIC (Infinite Love in Infinite Combinations) is a reference to the Star Trek kol-ut-shan or symbol of philosophy of Vulcan IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations)."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 AM on March 7, 2008


P.S. "Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart"? Amazing. The P.C. label of polyamory for what we used to call "swingers" is sort of like how people who claim to be elves and werewolves are now supposed to be called "Otherkin."
posted by johngoren at 9:23 AM on March 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


P.P.S. Sorry, I just can't stop cracking up at this giant of Polyamorist thought. I had never realized the contribution to our culture of "the Goddess known as Potnia Theron."
posted by johngoren at 9:26 AM on March 7, 2008


Polyamory ⊂ fucking other people

Taking it further, I think maybe we should look at it this way:

Big-P Polyamory ⊂ little-p polyamory ⊂ fucking other people

There's (very roughly) two camps of people who use the word "polyamory":

1. People who have heard the word polyamory used to refer to some aspect of fucking around, open relationships, etc and have adopted it into their casual vocabulary with whatever shaded meaning they've inferred. I'm calling this "little-p polyamory". Most of these people have probably not been in a self-described polyamorous relationship, and probably have never aimed to be so either.

2. People with a philosophical investment in the idea of polyamory. Big-P polyamory: they've got a more firm, more read-up-on sense of what the term means, what it includes and does not, how it differs definitionally from simply "fucking other people", etc. Many of these people have probably either been in or wanted to be in a polyamorous relationship at some point, though some of them may just find the concept itself interesting enough to study.

So you've got the little-p folks who feel comfortable using "polyamory" to reference anything from fucking other people on up to big-P Polyamory, and who aren't probably likely to closely agree as a group about what does and doesn't qualify or what the motivations for that kind of relationship/behavior are.

And then you've go the big-P folks who are uncomfortable with loose definitions of the word, and who take some rhetorical exception to the little-p usage as misrepresenting the idea that they're philosophically or at least academically protective of, which is in itself a little baffling to some of the little-p folks for reasons that are nigh unbridgable.

Mix in a fair number of people who see the idea of polyamory (little-p or Big-p) as just straight up have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit, and it's not suprising that discussions on the subject don't exactly go smoothly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 AM on March 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I just want to pile in and agree with vito90's comment about davidmsc's answer.

Calling the man a whore and then saying that polyamory is by definition wrong based on his feelings is not answering the question. The last two sentences are, if a bit blunt, an answer. The rest is just ranting. I flagged it but with 9 favorites and 12 hours later, it's probably not going to get deleted.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:27 AM on March 7, 2008


polyamorists sure go to pieces easily when someone makes fun of their lifestyle.

There's a reason that polyamory has never caught on much -- it's extremely hard. Virtually everyone I know who has dabbled with it (including myself) very quickly came to the conclusion that unless everyone involved was absolutely confident in their own self-worth, the whole thing was an invitation to drama, drama, drama.

There are some people who can make it work long term -- mostly gay men as far as I can tell -- but most people who identify as polyamorist only do so for a short, uncertain time. (and like sophomore-year lesbians, probably are deeply annoying to people who are polyamorous for life)
posted by tkolar at 9:30 AM on March 7, 2008


This is just to say

I have posted

a comment

That was in

This style


And which

You will probably

Think

Is stupid


Forgive me

It was irresistible

So off topic

And so easy
posted by Miko at 9:31 AM on March 7, 2008 [37 favorites]


But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter

Jesus christ, don't any of you people get HBO?! Real Sex parts 4, 6, 9-12 and 14?

also, if you'd never heard of it before Metafilter, may I suggest that you withhold your fucking judgements. I'm a strictly monogamous cat, but god damn if I don't hate the way people around here love to criticize lifestyles they don't know a goddamn thing about.
posted by shmegegge at 9:34 AM on March 7, 2008 [12 favorites]


Maybe I missed something, but didn't the original ask.me question include the fact that the boy wanted to keep having sex with people that he'd been having sex with for years? In fact:

Its agreed upon at the beginning that he will continue to have sexual relations with a few friends that he has had sex with off and on for years

Though the strictest definition of polyamory does seem to include casual sex, these relationships don't sound casual, or not casual in the sense that he's having sex with people who are his friends and have been friends for years. To me, that's more of a classical definition of polyamory, absent the issues the girl has- boy and girl are in relationship with each other but also have relationships with other people simultaneously.
posted by arnicae at 9:35 AM on March 7, 2008


ditto, shmegegge
posted by arnicae at 9:36 AM on March 7, 2008


I was pretty pissed off by a lot of the answers in that thread too. And folks, if you don't like relationshipfilter, it's okay to not answer a question. Really. It's also okay to type out your response and then not hit post because you realize that due to your contempt for the situation described/inability to not project, you have little to contribute.

The P.C. label of polyamory for what we used to call "swingers" is sort of like how people who claim to be elves and werewolves are now supposed to be called "Otherkin."

It's not, actually. It's more like what we used to call "open relationships." But wow. Elves and werewolves. Very condescending.

/in a monogamous relationship, for the record.
posted by desuetude at 9:38 AM on March 7, 2008


As I said, I don't really care about it and am not heavily invested in it. But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter and my exposure to it here suggests to me that it a term that was created to allow people to claim as a lifestyle the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity. Sinatra, a hero of mine, could pull wool like no man. I don't think that made "polyamorous". It just made him horny and not committed to his wife.
posted by dios at 11:55 AM on March 7


Not to be too European about it, but it was considered standard practice among the higher classes in the 16th through 19th centuries that men would take both wives and mistresses, and that mistresses were something of medium-term commitment.

The fact that it is very uncommon now is because women generally don't put up with it, as is the case with the woman in the original question here.

And as with all RelationshipFilter questions, the answer is a two-seat suicide machine.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:38 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


you withhold your fucking judgements... people around here love to criticize lifestyles they don't know a goddamn thing about.

Wouldn't it be better to make an effort to inform and take the opportunity to enlighten people, rather than tell them to STFU?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:40 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


posted by cortex There's (very roughly) two camps of people who use the word "polyamory"

I'm going to need, at the bare minimum, a Venn diagram.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:51 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm a strictly monogamous cat, but god damn if I don't hate the way people around here love to criticize lifestyles they don't know a goddamn thing about.

And just because someone criticizes something doesn't mean they know nothing about it. Like cortex said, plenty of people "see the idea of polyamory (little-p or Big-p) as just straight up have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit", and it's not because they don't understand it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:53 AM on March 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


And just because someone criticizes something doesn't mean they know nothing about it.

Indeed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:57 AM on March 7, 2008


also, if you'd never heard of it before Metafilter, may I suggest that you withhold your fucking judgements. I'm a strictly monogamous cat, but god damn if I don't hate the way people around here love to criticize lifestyles they don't know a goddamn thing about.
posted by shmegegge at 11:34 AM on March 7


I don't know to what extent that comment was directed to me, but if you will note, I said I don't care about who is fucking who. I don't judge such people nor criticize them. Hope they are having fun. What I was commenting is the linguistic bullshit of calling it that. It strikes me as silly. A term is chosen (with nice greek roots) in an attempt to normalize or cast it as new from of relationship. It's that linguistic attempt that I am skeptical about. Again, was Sinatra polyamorous? Or was he just a guy who was horny and didn't want to be committed to his wife? Note: I'm not judging him for being that way, I'm asking you about this silly new label.
posted by dios at 10:01 AM on March 7, 2008


I like this because it makes it seem like you warned him about being on your list, yet he's disregarded that warning. It makes you seem insane and old.

You're still a nice girl, and I still like you. But I must warn you of something - you know how people say, "You're okay in MY book!" or, "In my book, that's no good"? Well, I actually have a book.
[Stuntman Mike pulls out a little book from his back pocket]
And everybody I ever meet goes in this book. And now I've met you, and you're going in the book! Except...

posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:05 AM on March 7, 2008


posted by dios I said I don't care about who is fucking who. I don't judge such people nor criticize them. Hope they are having fun. What I was commenting is the linguistic bullshit of calling it that. It strikes me as silly. A term is chosen (with nice greek roots) in an attempt to normalize or cast it as new from of relationship.

If you don't care about who is fucking who, and you don't judge or criticize them for doing so, then why do you care so much about what they call it?
posted by fandango_matt at 10:09 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


As I said, I don't really care about it and am not heavily invested in it. But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter and my exposure to it here suggests to me that it a term that was created to allow people to claim as a lifestyle the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity.

Maybe you should get out more, then.

Although, with an attitude like yours, it's not surprising if polyamorous/nonmonogamous people would decline to talk with you about their lives.

On preview: If Sinatra's wife was a-okay with his extracuricular activities, then sure, maybe it was a poly/open/nonmonogamous relationship (you'd have to ask them, though). If not, then no, I wouldn't call it that. Poly/open/nonmonogamous realtionships are such that the people in them know and consent to what's going on. And if you're really not judgmental about it, then stop with the "silly little label" stuff. If poly folk want to label themselves that way, then they get to do so, and your calling it "silly" is not exactly encouraging of dialogue or indicative of a willingness to listen. It's dismissive and condescending.

Wouldn't it be better to make an effort to inform and take the opportunity to enlighten people, rather than tell them to STFU?

Sure, if people approach it with a willingness to listen and learn, rather than "You just wanna dick around, you manwhore" or "Anyone involved in poly relationships is obviously selfish and has commitment issues". And there are people, in this thread and in the green, who are saying "No, this is what polyamory is", but other people continue to insist that no, it's just selfish gross cheating.

I mean, if someone came up to me and announced that they thought lesbians are just ball-busting manhaters, and continue to do so when I try to talk about how that's not the case, why wouldn't I just end up telling them to STFU? You want to learn? Fine. But if you know what you know and can't be arsed to think about other viewpoints, it's not my job to keep trying to make you use your brain.
posted by rtha at 10:10 AM on March 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


Because I do care about being bullshitted.
posted by dios at 10:11 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Note: I'm not judging him for being that way, I'm asking you about this silly new label.

Yeah people! He isn't criticizing something he knows nothing about, he just wants to know what the deal is with this silly made up term that is just code for cheating on your wife. And please don't let my use of the phrase 'know what the deal is' lead you to believe that he actually wants to spend the slightest bit of effort at all divesting himself of his ignorance of even the most basic tenets of your perverted little "lifestyle" that he isn't in any way judging. Jeez, sensitive much?
posted by ND¢ at 10:11 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going to need, at the bare minimum, a Venn diagram.

I hope that this will suffice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:14 AM on March 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


And there are people, in this thread and in the green, who are saying "No, this is what polyamory is", but other people continue to insist that no, it's just selfish gross cheating.

On the other hand, if you're a gross selfish cheater, you can give your behavior a fancy name and still be a gross selfish cheater. In the case of this particular AskMe, I think it's perfectly okay to question whether this is not in fact what the OP is doing (okay...maybe it's not fully appropriate to question that in the AskMe thread itself, but it certainly is here).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:16 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I wonder how many different times I could say that I am not critical of such people and still be accused of being judgmental and bigoted. It's almost as if these words we all use have no meaning whatsoever.
posted by dios at 10:17 AM on March 7, 2008


Actually, I think languagehat is referencing that 1 may have gotten a timeout before for the behavior in ask.me, I can't find the post, but I seem to recall that occurring.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:21 AM on March 7, 2008


It's almost as if these words we all use have no meaning whatsoever.

Methinks that they only have narrow meaning in this context. See, you're judging people, calling polyamory simply a way to escape fidelity and commitment. And you've already claimed ignorance, not understanding the concept before coming to this site. So not only have you acted judgmentally, you've set yourself up as a bigot because of your self-proclaimed ignorance.

Stick to concepts you understand before you call things out, I think is good advice for anyone. If you'd said nothing, or let someone who understands the concept denounce it first, you'd be left alone in this thread. But you're one of the first, if not the first, to call it out, with absolutely no knowledge to back it up.

Hell. I know very little about the concept, except for a book I read long ago, whose title I don't even remember. I agree with your premise that it sounds like a really stupid concept. But you'll notice that I don't come barreling into the thread waving my ignorant opinions into other people's faces.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:26 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many different times I could say that I am not critical of such people and still be accused of being judgmental and bigoted.

Probably as many different times as you can say you are not being critical while also being judgmental and bigoted.

Saying something doesn't make it so, lawyer guy.
posted by dersins at 10:31 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


And you've already claimed ignorance, not understanding the concept before coming to this site.

Huh? I said I never heard of the term. And as I said, its this new attempt to add a linguistic label on a concept that everyone knows. I didn't claim ignorance of the concept. I'm quite familiar with it. So don't call me ignorant because I call bullshit on this linguistic attempt to "recast" an otherwise known concept.

It is bullshit on stilts to suggest that this is a difficult to understand concept that was just recently discovered. Rather, most reasonable people know that this is the same old swinger thing couched in new terms in an attempt to normalize it. The attempt to normalize is fine. But it's the attitude by those attempting to do so that is bullshit: they attempt to argue that this is a new idea that is mythical and hard to understand concept adopted by special snowflakes. It's just silliness.
posted by dios at 10:34 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this, loquacious.

I had actually just come to MeTa to make a similar post, and it would have read as the second half of what I already said said between a coupla "small" tags in the AskMe:

There's come to be some sort of community intolerance for hopped-up atheists barreling in to religiously-themed threads and attacking the traditional basis of the poster's question rather than actually answering the question; I see a parallell here and I'd like it if we could in instances of questions about non-monogamy similarly resist the urge to shit on things we don't understand, and, honestly, know nothing about. AskMes aren't the place to grind axes.

---

And just because someone criticizes something doesn't mean they know nothing about it. Like cortex said, plenty of people "see the idea of polyamory (little-p or Big-p) as just straight up have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit", and it's not because they don't understand it.

Right, and someone might call themselves vegan but eat beef. That doesn't mean vegans are immature; it means that individual is a liar - and, more importantly, isn't a vegan, so can't really be used as an example of what vegans are like. No one likes liars, but the question wasn't about liars, it was about someone who, from what we know, seems to be practicing non-monogamy in a responsible and sensitive way.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:34 AM on March 7, 2008


I wonder how many different times I could say that I am not critical of such people and still be accused of being judgmental and bigoted.

As many times as you like, as long as you keep being judgmental and bigoted.

Cheap shots aside, I have no idea what Frank Sinatra's agreement with his wife was. If they both agreed to an open relationship then that would be polyamory. If they both agreed to a closed relationship, then he was cheating on her. It doesn't need to be any more complex than that.
posted by tkolar at 10:35 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh dear. Is it "spoken word Friday" on MeTa or something? All this angst... and yet, the Venn diagram above made it all worth it.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:35 AM on March 7, 2008

I wonder how many different times I could say that I am not critical of such people and still be accused of being judgmental and bigoted.
Not calling such people's self-chosen descriptor "silly" would be a really good way to avoid that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:37 AM on March 7, 2008


You're still a nice girl, and I still like you. But I must warn you of something ...

You're sort of everything I ever wanted
You're not perfect, but I love you anyhow
You're the woman that I've always dreamed of
Well, not really, but you're good enough for now...

Mmmm, Weird Al...
posted by Melismata at 10:37 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I never heard shit about polyamory until I started Metafilter and my exposure to it here suggests to me that it a term that was created to allow people to claim as a lifestyle the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity.

This is what you originally said. NOW, you're claiming that you've understood the concept the entire time and are changing the argument to discuss the "term". I don't care if you're lying or not. But your original comment made no indication that you understood the concept prior to coming to MetaFilter. And that's what caused this pile-on. So I see two possible options: 1) Be more careful with your wording; 2) Don't change the argument mid-stream.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:37 AM on March 7, 2008


Polyamory can be tricky.
posted by tkolar at 10:37 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be better to make an effort to inform and take the opportunity to enlighten people, rather than tell them to STFU?

I didn't tell him to shut up. I told him not to pronounce judgements on a lifestyle he knows nothing about. it's a very specific criteria. but frankly, if I were in the market for enlightening people about polyamory (and I'm not) the fact is that I don't think anyone's waiting around for me to change their mind about anything. I'm not about to waste breath convincing people what they should care about or what they should know. but I will ask people not to pronounce judgements when they don't know what they're talking about. it's obnoxious. they can, of course, freely ignore me.

nd just because someone criticizes something doesn't mean they know nothing about it.

this is true. but, that's not the case when the criticism is "polyamory is just a bullshit term for fucking around."

dios said:

I don't know to what extent that comment was directed to me

it was directed at you.

I said I don't care about who is fucking who. I don't judge such people nor criticize them. Hope they are having fun. What I was commenting is the linguistic bullshit of calling it that.

saying "I'm not criticizing or judging, but..." does not mean that you're not criticizing or judging. saying that polyamory is a bullshit term for wanting to fuck around shows a fundamental ignorance of polyamory, and is a value judgement of the lifestyle based on virtually nothing. now, there are people who do use it as an excuse (see cortex's excellent comment above) but they're neither the rule nor the median example. you can think whatever you want about polyamory, but you are, at this point, just spouting nonsense based on your internal value system. admit it. if you want to keep doing it, I can't stop you, but don't pretend you're not criticizing them or judging them, and don't bother pretending you know what you're talking about. Sinatra is not an example of polyamory, but the middle aged couples that you might find living together in california growing hemp and fucking each other are. they're not just fucking around, they're simply involved in an emotional and sexual relationship in a group of more than two. I don't know how they make it work, or if it really works, and I sure as hell don't see myself ever being able to do it, but it's not just a bullshit label for fucking around.
posted by shmegegge at 10:40 AM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I give up. Clearly questioning a label necessarily means being bigoted to those that ascribe to it.

Or at least you assholes claim it is. So the discussion won't move beyond that, and I should quit wasting my time spinning my wheels trying to explain the difference between a linguistic discussion and bigotry towards people. After all, why address people on their actual terms when you can just makes claims about the person and attack them instead of what they are saying. (It's almost as if their ought to be a term for that...)

Anyhow, have fun. Ciao.
posted by dios at 10:41 AM on March 7, 2008


Don't forget to take your ball home.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:43 AM on March 7, 2008


just want to be clear, as dios slams the door, that I (and I speak only for myself) was specifically addressing dios' argument and not himself.
posted by shmegegge at 10:44 AM on March 7, 2008


Clearly questioning a label necessarily means being bigoted to those that ascribe to it.

Huh. And here I thought your statements being bigoted was what got your statements labeled as bigoted. Thanks for clearing that up.


Anyhow, have fun. Ciao.


Byeeeeee!
posted by tkolar at 10:44 AM on March 7, 2008


"Hmm. I wonder how many different times I could say that I am not critical of such people and still be accused of being judgmental and bigoted. It's almost as if these words we all use have no meaning whatsoever."

I tell you, I have no vested interest in the affairs of the negro race. I just wanted to know why people stopped calling it "miscegenation" and started calling it "interracial relationships." Why, my hero, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain bedded thousands of white belles with his mandingo cock, and I applaud him for it!
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 AM on March 7, 2008 [15 favorites]


loqaucious, you knew this was gonna turn into a longthread pseudoreferendum non-ironic circlejerk over polyamory, right? *raises eyebrow*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:49 AM on March 7, 2008


Or, if there's a hooky tune within your comments, it's been lost in the tone-deaf presentation.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM on March 7, 2008


Hi, I'm polyamorous, so I thought I'd share some thoughts.

dios wrote: my exposure to it here suggests to me that it a term that was created to allow people to claim as a lifestyle the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity

It has been my experience that most polyamorous people are part of long-term stable relationships. Multiple long-term stable relationships. I have a friend who has had two partners for seven years. More or less two wives. He also goes out with other people on occasion, and so do his partners. Clearly not devoid of committment. As for fidelity, I would consider it infidelity if he were lying about it, but since everyone knows about it, it's not exactly infidelity, is it?

I should also note that many people practice what they call "polyfidelity", multiple relationships without the possibility of opening new relationships, at least not without serious consideration and discussion. I have known many people who practice this, and successfully. I know one group of five people who consider themselves one big family, and don't date anyone outside of the family. Surely not devoid of committment or fidelity.

Sinatra was not polyamorous, he was a horny guy who slept with a lot of women.

Very technically speaking, "polyamory" is any kind of non-monogamy, but it's usually used to refer to multiple long-term romantic relationships, and the focus is usually on the relationship rather than on the sex.

"Open marriage", as I understand it, is a term that came from a specific book written in the 60's or 70's that described the practice of spouses agreeing to sleep with other people, but agreeing to not disclose any details to each other. Very different, but technically a form of polyamory. (I don't have time to look up a link to the book at the moment.)

"Swinging", in my experience, is usually focused on the sex. Going to a party and having sex with several people, wife-swapping, and so on. Many swinging groups consider it forbidden to form emotional attachments with the people you sleep with. Very different from what most people call "polyamory", but in a very technical sense a subset of polyamory.

Hope this was helpful!
posted by cyber druid at 11:02 AM on March 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


The bag in this metaphor is anonymous posting, I think?

Somebody smack him.


Why? He's entirely correct.

I think this is often repeated metaphor is wrong and I wish people would stop saying this shit.

And here I thought I was being original.

...it's a professionally run help desk that uses volunteers from around the world. So yes, you might be asking a group of strangers, but they aren't random strangers, they're people who specifically paid $5 to volunteer...

It's a professionally-run help desk? Really? Now that's original. And the volunteers are special because they're from all over the world and paid $5 to be able to give their opinion, as opposed to local people paying much more for a bus ticket? Not really getting how that makes the answers better than bus riders would provide.

And the best part is that once you've been around a while they aren't even strangers, you realize they're real live people who are taking the time to help you do something.


Again, really? I don't know a goddamn one of them, so far as I can tell. I know who some of them say they are, and some of those are consistent enough to be believable about that. Unlike most of the people in the bus station, though, I can't even be sure whether they're man or woman, or old or young. As for them taking the time to help, some of them certainly are doing that. Some others are just as certainly only there to kill time by expressing unfounded or even false points of view.

... I wish those of you who continually slag questions you personally don't like would realize that and knock off the bitching.

Well, I wish that those of you who dislike opinions that differ from yours would stop calling them "bitching."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:03 AM on March 7, 2008


dios said: "Clearly questioning a label necessarily means being bigoted to those that ascribe to it."

I see what you did there. Everyone who disagrees with you is also a swinger! Very mature parting shot. You must also be from the "Senator, when did you stop beating your wife?" school of cross-examination.

I don't see where "the desire to avoid commitment and fidelity" is anything but judgment, and I don't see where splitting hairs by saying "Oh, I'm taking issue with the naming convention, not the behavior, ergo am not bigoted" is helpful here. Is this that "raising the level of discourse" that you were on about?

In that same thread, Pastabagel said: "I don't really understand why this is, but dios tends to attract the haters more than anyone else I've seen on this site. I think a lot of people see the name dios and become prejudiced against the comment before reading it."

So, does this help?
posted by pineapple at 11:08 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dammit klangklangston, just when I decide I think you're the king of the douchebags, you go and make me spit coffee twice in one thread.

/shakes coffee and spittle flecked tiny first
posted by bardic at 11:09 AM on March 7, 2008


Why? He's entirely correct.

It was humor.

I don't know a goddamn one of them, so far as I can tell.

You can easily fix that, if you want to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:09 AM on March 7, 2008


It's hard to argue that it isn't a professionally run help desk, since it's run by a couple of professional developers and a librarian and helps answer questions. And it's hard to argue that the volunteers aren't special - because they aren't there to ride a bus, which is the purpose of going to a bus station, but to ask and answer questions, which is the purpose of AskMe. They do that for a variety of personal reasons (goofing off at work, sincerely like to help, like to learn new things, know a lot about topics frequently asked), but no matter what has motivated them, their intent to be part of an information sharing service lines up with the setting's purpose. That makes them fairly special, more special than a group of bus riders whose intent to ride the bus has nothing to do with answering questions at all. I wouldn't take the bet that a randomly selected group of bus riders would be better able to usefully answer a typical day's page of AskMes than a self-selected pool of people who have intent, energy, community connections to one another, and knowledge.

Knowing the people is neither here nor there; I am lucky enough to know a bunch of them -many I've met - others correspondents - some just screen names. But most have some stable identity here. As to whether they're a man or woman, giving false information etc., it rarely really matters. If you don't trust your own bullshit detector for bad answers, then often you can rely on the community to weigh in against an answer that isn't so good.

But at the heart of it, it sounds to me like your experience of AskMe is just pretty different from most of the participants'. You might not want to go to that part of the site.
posted by Miko at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


1 is way more annoying the ParisParamus. Or maybe I've just forgotten how annoying ParisParamus was.
posted by chunking express at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2008


For those of you who are defending the askme post as an example of someone trying to live a polyamory lifestyle who is just misunderstood or something, show me the part where "polyamory" means she gets to sleep with her old friends, too.

You can't. It's not there. To this guy, "polyamory" means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him. So, in that case, I would certainly agree with dios, the term is silly. It's not polyamory, it's screwing around on his live-in girlfriend.
posted by misha at 11:21 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


metafilter: a bucket of mandingo cocks
posted by quonsar at 11:24 AM on March 7, 2008


misha said: "show me the part where "polyamory" means she gets to sleep with her old friends, too.

You can't. It's not there. To this guy, "polyamory" means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him.
"

I respectfully disagree. For all we know, the man did say, "Hey, you're totally free to have the same," to which she replied, "Yeah, no thanks. It's not for me, I wish it were that easy." We have no business projecting what the OP and the partner think, say or do that wasn't expressly stated in the question.
posted by pineapple at 11:27 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. Whine and bitch about "bigotry."
2. ???
3. Legitimacy!

I should also note that many people practice what they call "polyfidelity"

This is tremendous, but why stop there? Let's consider:

Zooamory
Zoopolyamory
Zoofidelity
Zoopolyattraction
Pedozoopolyfidelity
Necropedozoopolycommitment

If only the English language could stab people in the eye...
posted by Krrrlson at 11:29 AM on March 7, 2008


Since dios is gone, can I take what he said one step further and mention that I have never met anyone who described him or herself as "polyamorous" who was not also a huge gross skeezeball? So while D may not be prejudiced against them, I sure as fuck am and you can direct all that anger right over here.

On the other hand, men, women, and couples I have met who, quote, "just like to fuck around" and don't call themselves by that ridiculous name have mostly been honest and forthright and not gross. So.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:29 AM on March 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Mix in a fair number of people who see the idea of polyamory (little-p or Big-p) as just straight up have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit, and it's not suprising that discussions on the subject don't exactly go smoothly.

Not quite fair. A even fairer number of people see that a lot of people justify have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit by calling in polyamory. I've seen a few really poly (by your taxonomy both big and little p) relationships, at least from an outsiders view, look like they are healthy, consenting relationships. I've also seen far too many relationships where one person (and in het relationships it is almost always the male) is using unhealthy power dynamics in a relationship to fuck around. (And as a rule the non "poly" partner may have a reciprocal agreement but if they ever actually act on it and have sex with someone else, that's when the shit really hits the fan.)

You know what makes the two relationships obviously different? In the healthy version both partners are happy. In the non healthy version one partner is unhappy, has repeatedly said they are unhappy. The "poly" partner, rather than make the difficult choice of non-begrudingly accepting a relationship under new rules OR BREAKING UP WITH THE OTHER PARTNER, simply states "that's the rules to the relationship, I'm not going to change."
posted by aspo at 11:30 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Adding further, misha, to your comments in the thread:
For this to work, he's got to grow up and accept what a mature, committed relationship means--honesty, openness, and devoting yourself to your partner. You can argue with me all you want about poly relationships making sense biologically, etc. but I have never, not once, met anyone over 40, anyone with children, who had made a poly relationship work for all the partners.
That you've never seen it work doesn't mean it doesn't. And your opinion of what constitutes "a mature, committed relationship" is strictly your opinion. A very popular opinion, no question -- but opinion nonetheless. Presenting one's opinion as fact doesn't historically go well in these kinds of hot-button threads.
posted by pineapple at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2008


but isn't it an biological evolutionary fact that males need to mate with more partners than do females in order to propagate the species and that this compulsion is then understandable, natural and desirable?
I jest, I jest.
But the alpha male Sarkozy wedded the self proclaimed "tamer of men" Carla Brun who prefers "polygamy and polyandry its female equivalent".
Those frisky French. Oh wait, she's Italian. Damned Europeans.
posted by dawson at 11:40 AM on March 7, 2008


Presenting one's opinion as fact

pineapple, I never presented it as fact; I clearly wrote "I have never..." to show that I was speaking from my own experience.

We have no business projecting what the OP and the partner think, say or do that wasn't expressly stated in the question.

To say that I am 'inferring from the question' is quite the opposite of what I was doing! I went specifically with the information that WAS contained in the question and nothing else. As I said, nowhere in the question is it indicated that she was also open to sleeping with her old friends, as he was.

I don't know why you are nitpicking about those comments, since I was careful to make sure that I did, in fact, answer the question that was asked.
posted by misha at 11:42 AM on March 7, 2008


For those of you who are defending the askme post as an example of someone trying to live a polyamory lifestyle who is just misunderstood or something, show me the part where "polyamory" means she gets to sleep with her old friends, too.

You can't. It's not there. To this guy, "polyamory" means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him. So, in that case, I would certainly agree with dios, the term is silly. It's not polyamory, it's screwing around on his live-in girlfriend.




Actually, it says (I've condensed the formatting):

He was very clear – no strings, no monogamy. She agreed. She was at a point in her life where she didn't think a long-term monogamous relationship was what she wanted either.
posted by rtha at 11:43 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Optimus Chyme said: "So while D may not be prejudiced against them, I sure as fuck am and you can direct all that anger right over here."

Again, just because you've never met anyone who makes it work doesn't create license to shit in the AskMe. I am not saying you did that, OC... just that I'm starting to really see the exact same sort of "the popular opinion at MeFi = X, therefore AskMe poster asking about Not-X is going to get a huge pile-on of 'you're a disgusting idiot.'" See also. We can do better.

aspo said: "I've also seen far too many relationships where one person (and in het relationships it is almost always the male) is using unhealthy power dynamics in a relationship to fuck around."

Fine. That makes those people liars and cheaters. Just those people.

This continued notion that, because someone claims to ascribe to a lifestyle and doesn't follow the rules, ergo the lifestyle is flawed, is wholly illogical. We don't say that because vegetarians eat beef occasionally, all vegetarianism is a bunch of sleazy immature bullshit, do we? People in Alcoholics Anonymous fall off the wagon; does that make AA a bunch of stupid, pointless, fake bullshit?

I'm not even someone who really cares about the pro-/anti-swingers camp. But, man, I hate seeing Mefites play this game of "We're great at being tolerant, as long as the differences of opinion and diversities of viewpoint fit neatly within our majority opinion."
posted by pineapple at 11:43 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


> I should also note that many people practice what they call "polyfidelity"

This is tremendous, but why stop there? Let's consider:

Zooamory
Zoopolyamory
Zoofidelity
Zoopolyattraction
Pedozoopolyfidelity
Necropedozoopolycommitment


Ah, yes. That was the move that's been missing so far. When calling people self-justified sluts just won't work, allude to copulation with:

A) Animals
B) Children
C) Corpses
D) All of the above

Seriously, we have to stop this phenomenon of groups of people tweaking terms to better describe their feelings about their relationship. If we don't, chaos will reign. People will fall in love with chia pets. Cats and dogs will live together.
posted by CKmtl at 11:43 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


And the whole biological imperative argument simply suggests that it is difficult to be monogamous with the same partner forever, not that one could not be serially monogamous, thus having several partners over the course of a lifetime.
posted by misha at 11:43 AM on March 7, 2008


I think that people that can't wrap their heads around polyamorous relationships can't wrap their heads around an equal relationship between a man and a woman. They assume that the man is just calling the relationship polyamorous when really he just wants to sleep around and he has pressured the woman into it, because honestly, you can convince a woman of anything can't you? Its a man's responsibility not to use our superior powers of rationality and intelligence to talk women into doing things that are in violation of their nature. As for the woman being allowed to sleep around, well, what would a woman want with that right, because in their experience women don't really enjoy sex anyway.
posted by ND¢ at 11:44 AM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Not quite fair. A even fairer number of people see that a lot of people justify have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too bullshit by calling in polyamory.

Oh, granted. If I'd gone on at a bit more length in my comment, I'd have emphasized that the perception of many folks that polyamory = weasel-worded infidelity is probably directly informed by exposure to a couple of things:

- unfaithful partners (their own, or of friends/relatives) priming a generally stronger-than-baseline emotional reaction to anything resembling the justification of infidelity, and
- skeezeballs who verifiably do use the "polyamory" as weasel-words to justify an unbalanced more-sex-for-them, their-partner-isn't-really-happy dynamic in their relationships.

Neither of those is universal, and I think there are plenty of people who haven't been directly affected by any little-p or big-P experiences who nonetheless have the moral/ethical gut feeling that "polyamory" is a codeword for rationalized infidelity, but the feedback loop of personal experience is no doubt a really big part of the conversation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:45 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


That you've never seen it work doesn't mean it doesn't. And your opinion of what constitutes "a mature, committed relationship" is strictly your opinion. A very popular opinion, no question -- but opinion nonetheless. Presenting one's opinion as fact doesn't historically go well in these kinds of hot-button threads.

Honestly, nothing historically goes well in these kinds of hot-button threads. And that you've never seen it work doesn't mean it never does, but it's a much stronger argument for it never working than it would be if, generally speaking, when you saw it, it worked.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:45 AM on March 7, 2008


There's also the key distinction between people who are quietly, privately polyamorous and people who are loudly, conspicuously so. And the question that arises from that is whether there is (for whatever reasons) a correllation between being a noisy polyamoratum and being a skeezy one, and whether that contributes to how people view the whole thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I want to echo regicide - there's really no need for the gendered attacks on polyamory. I'm a woman and I've been in the dude's position in that question. Yes, there are gender dynamics involved, as always, but making the mistake of thinking this is just something that dudes do is neglecting to see the whole picture.

Also, may I throw something out there for those of you arguing that you've never seen a healthy polyamorous couple or a rational/caring individual who practices polyamory? It may be that you do, in fact, know some people who practice polyamory. But choose not to draw attention to it, largely because of the reactions seen in that question and upthread here. It's a sensitive issue, and people have strong reactions to it; people who practice polyamory know this, and many of them are quite quiet about it.

There are people who are attention hogs (and who suck, are selfish, etc.) who practice all kinds of lifestyles; saying that you know some people like that who happen to practice polyamory, and extending that to everyone that practices polyamory, is pretty tokenizing and marginalizing and not at all a logical argument.
posted by lunit at 11:47 AM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


or what cortex said
posted by lunit at 11:49 AM on March 7, 2008


stuff
posted by pineapple at 11:43 AM on March 7


I didn't post in the AskMe and wouldn't have shit in it if I did. I'm just pointing out that it (polyamory) is gross. With respect to the AskMe question, the girl was pretty dumb for staying with the guy even though she knew he was going to fuck other women. I don't have any personal animosity towards him or her or polyamorous people. Except that they (polyamorists) are gross.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:51 AM on March 7, 2008


This is tremendous, but why stop there? Let's consider:

Zooamory
Zoopolyamory
Zoofidelity
Zoopolyattraction
Pedozoopolyfidelity
Necropedozoopolycommitment


Way to pull a Santorum, Krrrlson. Really raises the level of discourse.
posted by dersins at 11:52 AM on March 7, 2008


Optimus Chyme wrote...
So while D may not be prejudiced against them, I sure as fuck am and you can direct all that anger right over here.

Sorry dude, you undercut yourself when you implied that fucking around is not the same as cheating when both sides are okay with it.

Dios didn't catch hate for not liking the word; he caught it for suggesting that practice was exactly the same thing as infidelity. If you could go that direction with it, I think we'll manage to throw you some hate.
posted by tkolar at 11:55 AM on March 7, 2008


note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by cellphone at 11:55 AM on March 7, 2008


"suggestions that *the* practice"
posted by tkolar at 11:56 AM on March 7, 2008


Fine. That makes those people liars and cheaters. Just those people.

No, it makes them jerks and users.

This continued notion that, because someone claims to ascribe to a lifestyle and doesn't follow the rules, ergo the lifestyle is flawed, is wholly illogical.

I didn't say the lifestyle is flawed. I don't think the lifestyle is flawed. Stop putting words in my mouth.
posted by aspo at 11:57 AM on March 7, 2008


A term is chosen (with nice greek roots)

Actually, it's got one nice Greek root (poly) and one nice Latin root (amor). Put them together and you get the bastard spawn of Satan's pseudolexicon. I don't care who you fuck, but get your goddamn classical roots straight. (And yes, that goes for "television," or as I prefer to think of it, teleorasis.)
posted by languagehat at 11:57 AM on March 7, 2008 [20 favorites]


Hannah has 6 moms and 4 dads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:59 AM on March 7, 2008


note: Everyone needs a hug.

Yeah, but not everyone all at once. Some people get squicked out at the idea of someone hugging more than one person at a time.
posted by tkolar at 12:00 PM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I have seen polyamory (or open relationships, really) work with younger couples, say in their twenties, and I think the key issue there is open communication and agreement on what the expectations of the relationship(s) are. I also definitely think it has to be agreed between both parties that what is acceptable behavior for one should be acceptable behavior for the other, male or female. Whether they both choose to take advantage of that freedom is of course up to the couple.

This couple (from the AskMe) did not communicate before he slept with his friend, and clearly they have different expectations. They have also had a long-term relationship in which their difference of opinion had never been tested (that she knew about) until recently.
posted by misha at 12:01 PM on March 7, 2008


Its a man's responsibility not to use our superior powers of rationality and intelligence to talk women into doing things that are in violation of their nature. As for the woman being allowed to sleep around, well, what would a woman want with that right, because in their experience women don't really enjoy sex anyway.

I love this, BTW. It's so completely outrageous, in a "what a fundamentalists really seem to think" way.

I've always thought that women had the advantage over men when it came to sex. We're multi-orgasmic, don't even reach our sexual peak until our thirties, and, let's face it, we're prettier. ; )
posted by misha at 12:09 PM on March 7, 2008


Just a show of hands, how many people are supportive of furry rights and believe that furdom is a furfectly cromulent way of defining oneself in a relationship?

Because I think that would make a good Litmus test.

Way to pull a Santorum, Krrrlson. Really raises the level of discourse.

After "polyfidelity," there isn't really a way to lower the level of discourse, so at least I'm safe on that count.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:10 PM on March 7, 2008


misha said: "I never presented it as fact; I clearly wrote "I have never..." to show that I was speaking from my own experience. "

What you presented as unqualified fact is this statement: "what a mature, committed relationship means [is] honesty, openness, and devoting yourself to your partner."

misha said: "As I said, nowhere in the question is it indicated that she was also open to sleeping with her old friends, as he was."

Actually, that's not what you said here. What you said here in this thread is "To this guy, "polyamory" means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him." And it's simply not cool to infer that from the OP's statement. It's also not indicated in the question that she's got a wicked fetish for watching Pixar movies while riding a Sybian -- but we don't get to assume that's true simply because it wasn't explicitly stated -- which is the argument I see you making when you say "It's okay to say 'To this guy, 'polyamory' means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him' because the opposite wasn't explicitly stated in the OP."

misha said: "I don't know why you are nitpicking about those comments, since I was careful to make sure that I did, in fact, answer the question that was asked."

Which is why I didn't nitpick them in the AskMe, since technically you answered the question. I'm mentioning them here because I thought you brought a condescending judgmental tone to the conversation over there, and that despite offering a technical answer to the question, I think you've probably got an axe to grind more than anything -- which I infer from the fact that you came over here to speak additionally about your feelings against polyamory.

kittens for breakfast (is a MAN, baby) said: "And that you've never seen it work doesn't mean it never does, but it's a much stronger argument for it never working than it would be if, generally speaking, when you saw it, it worked."

I agree with you, I think. But anecdotal evidence isn't blithely tolerated in other hot-button arenas on AskMe (political, religious, racial, declawing of cats), nor should it be in the arena of suburban white people getting freaky in hot tubs.

Optimus Chyme said: "I'm just pointing out that it (polyamory) is gross. With respect to the AskMe question, the girl was pretty dumb for staying with the guy even though she knew he was going to fuck other women. I don't have any personal animosity towards him or her or polyamorous people. Except that they (polyamorists) are gross."

That's totally cool, and I respect your right to say all that. I pointedly didn't accuse you of shitting in the thread, if you'll recall. But I guess what I'm saying, and this is a whole 'nother big can of worms that I guess I really shouldn't open but here goes: if you thought that homosexuality was gross, would it be cool for you to make repeated pointed comments here to that effect? Just something to think about.

aspo, I don't need to put words in your mouth. You already made a bunch of blanket generalizations about poly-whatever here. Did I misread that comment and you were, in fact, hating the player and not the game?

misha said: "This couple (from the AskMe) did not communicate before he slept with his friend, "

I don't see where he was obligated to. The facts that we know are that they explicitly agreed not to be monogamous, then her feelings changed, and she did not share that with him. Based on the facts as we know them, I don't see where the man was in the wrong. If he'd believed he was "cheating," in fact, I don't think he would have returned home from the trip and then voluntarily told his partner he had sex with someone else, which the question states he immediately did.

misha, I hope you don't think I'm attacking you personally or anything, because I think you're swell. I just think that answering an AskMe comes with a set of obligations to take the high road -- and I think issues like relationship fidelity and what that means, and in fact in any case where people feel the need to defend their own personal choices by castigating others (religion, politics, sex, cat declawing), I think we should all take two deep breaths, and then "think twice, post once." I sometimes stay out of a thread if I feel like I have nothing to contribute but editorializing. I believe that particular AskMe could have done with more helping, less editorializing.
posted by pineapple at 12:10 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


how many people are supportive of furry rights

Are those any different from the rights of consenting adults to do anything they damn well please?

I mean, are there specific rights necessary for furries? Now I'm curious.
posted by tkolar at 12:13 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


misha wrote: To say that I am 'inferring from the question' is quite the opposite of what I was doing! I went specifically with the information that WAS contained in the question and nothing else.

It looks to me like you actually are "inferring from the question". From your previous comment:

To this guy, "polyamory" means he does what he wants and she sleeps only with him.

Are you still talking about the original question or are you addressing a different question that's come up in this thread? If you're basing this on the original question, could you please provide the quote? I've read it, but I don't see it. I'm so tired my eyes are crossing, so it's possible I missed it.
posted by Evangeline at 12:14 PM on March 7, 2008


What in the fuck? Oh great...

*THE CLOUDS BOIL AND PART. LOQUACIOUS DESCENDS FROM THE CLOUDS IN A RAY OF LIGHT, CLAD IN BRILLIANT WHITE ROBES. IN ONE HAND IS A OVERSIZED HARDBOUND EDITION OF ROBERT HEINLEIN'S "STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND", IN THE OTHER HAND IS A COLD PLATE OF BEANS*

Ok. Hi class. Class!? *bangs book on podium until he has your attention*

I hope your week was splendid, and I know you're looking forward to the weekend, so shut the fuck up and pay attention.

*drops the plate of beans to the floor in front of the class, looks angry, flummoxed*

This? This is a plate of beans. It's what you're currently overthinking, right here and now.

AND IT'S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. And you know it. And you tittering naysaying naybobs should be ashamed of yourselves.


Polyamory is real. It's not just fucking around, it's not swinging, and it's not open relationships. It means "many loves".

Polyamory isn't about sex. It's about love, and emotions, and relationships.

Now, I know some of you have a hard enough time simply loving yourselves. This is fine. And some of you may have a hard time truly loving others. That's ok, too.

And even some of you who do love themselves or another freely may have a hard time understanding that some of us are capable of loving more than one person at a time, with all of our hearts. And that it's real, and valid, and that it hurts just as much to have to let go or be let go.

But just because you don't understand it or because you think it's somehow wrong or you just find it distasteful doesn't give you the right to express that opinion in hateful or ignorant terms.

Just because your primary motivations for a relationship are sex, doesn't mean that it's the primary motivation for others.

Just because you can't fathom why someone would want to be able to love more than one person freely, with all their hearts, and be able to talk about that experience and openly share it with a partner, friend or lover - doesn't mean it's not real.

*kicks the plate of beans disdainfully*

And in the end? At the end of it all? All your words and overthinking of this plate of cold, common beans is what? All it is is walls and ignorance and more friction in this fucked up lonely little blue orb of a planet.

All it is, is less love. Less of the greatest, finest thing humankind has to offer. Love. It's not just thinking that makes us different than animals, but love.

Your words are added to the great cacaphony of society. Your vocalized ignorance adds to the din, and perhaps it makes one person less likely to love freely given that they risk your unkind words and judgements... your ostracization... due to your vocalized ignorance or fears about the subject at hand.

Choose wisely. Speak carefully. Stay in Love.

Now, this... *brandishes book overhead, as though to smack some sense into a few errant students, but reconsiders, lowering it gently, opening it, thumbing through it idly before speaking*

This is your reading assignment. Yes, Robert Heinlein is annoying. He's a misogynistic old cur. But this is a good book, with a good, strong message about love. You can't bottle love, trap it, or lock it up or own it. It flows like water, never static, always moving as it must, or else it dies and rots.

But you can give love away, and it's the only thing you can make more of by giving it all away. Choose love. Work it like a mad scientist. Spread it, sow it and watch it grow.

Stay in love. Stay in love. Stay in love. It's the only thing that makes this miserable, lonely little planet even remotely bearable.
posted by loquacious at 12:15 PM on March 7, 2008 [33 favorites]


I consider myself as passing muster as polyamorous in that I have more affection, love, attraction and care for people in my life than fits within my perception of the cultural, conventional Feelings People Can Have In Monogamous Relationships. I consider it a form of queerness that applies to me. Whether I act on it and how does not affect its validity as aspect of my identity, just as a person can be gay and celibate.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:15 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or what pineapple said.
posted by Evangeline at 12:17 PM on March 7, 2008


I've always thought that women had the advantage over men when it came to sex. We're multi-orgasmic. . .

There you go again, stating your opinion as if it were fact. I have never found that to be the case with any of the women I have ever been with.
posted by ND¢ at 12:17 PM on March 7, 2008


But you can give love away, and it's the only thing you can make more of by giving it all away.

In all sincerity, that's possibly one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, honestly. I'm still not going to read fucking Heinlein, but thanks for that, loquacious.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:21 PM on March 7, 2008


I thought 1's comment had some truth to it. The male in the OP seems to think he has an inalienable right to practice polyamory AND keep the relationship, when it's actually a choice. I've seen this many times in the BDSM community, where a kinky person thinks their vanilla, monogamous partner MUST either engage in kinky activities or allow them to go outside the relationship. Fuck that shit - kink, or polyamory, is not the end-all and be-all of life. If it's your thing, and you have a willing partner, fine, but given how rare and special it is to be truly loved and appreciated for who you are, I do not understand how kink or polyamory could rank above that. When you can't have your cake and eat it too, you must then make a choice. Polyamory, unlike, say, homosexuality, is not some immutable characteristic your partner should be forced to accept.
posted by desjardins at 12:22 PM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Are those any different from the rights of consenting adults to do anything they damn well please?

The right of consenting adults to do anything they damn well please is perfectly safe. The concept of right as defined in this discussion apparently means "the right of consenting adults to have everyone accept and celebrate their sexual behaviours and the idiotic terms they invent to describe them." I don't give a flying fuck what you do in private, but when you drag it out in the open, there is absolutely no insurance from the often justified ridicule that you may receive.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:24 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


But you can give love away, and it's the only thing you can make more of by giving it all away.

That's sweet, but farmers would disagree.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:25 PM on March 7, 2008


Just a show of hands, how many people are supportive of furry rights and believe that furdom is a furfectly cromulent way of defining oneself in a relationship?

Are the people in those relationships consenting adults? Are they breaking any laws? (not that this is a dealbreaker, btw) Are they forcing anyone to be a furry?

No?

*raises hand*
posted by rtha at 12:26 PM on March 7, 2008


Whether I act on it and how does not affect its validity as aspect of my identity, just as a person can be gay and celibate.

So what your saying is, even though I exclusively have sex with women, and don't actually want have sex with men, I can still be gay?

I always knew there was a reason why I was so fabulous!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:27 PM on March 7, 2008


Evangeline and pineapple, maybe I am reading more into the question that is there, but this is where I am basing the "he will have sex with others, not her" comment on:
its agreed upon at the beginning that he will continue to have sexual relations with a few friends that he has had sex with off and on for years.

I don't have any axe to grind, pineapple, I just don't want to be miscontrued. You feel that he had no idea his partner would be hurt:

If he'd believed he was "cheating," in fact, I don't think he would have returned home from the trip and then voluntarily told his partner he had sex with someone else, which the question states he immediately did.

And I just don't buy that. But since neither of us knows (unless one of us was the poster) what was really in his head, we have to go with what we each inferred from the question. So let's just agree to disagree.
posted by misha at 12:27 PM on March 7, 2008


pineapple: You misread my comment. What I was trying to get at was that when I hear a tale like the one in the askme, my gut response is "you aren't in a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship, you are dating a skeezeball, DTMFA." Not because the dude is "poly" or whatever, but because the dude is using poly as an excuse. And yeah, the woman is being a doormat, but that's not the question.

I guess I feel that because there are so many skeezy have-you-cake-and-eat-it-too-ers that someone who is really to be in a healthy nonmonogmous relationship and actually acts on that nonmonogaminity and it isn't working for the other partner they had better work on that. If you don't want to be seen as a jerk then you need to break off a relationship where you are acting jerky. (Just like if you don't want to be seen as a doormat you need to break off a relationship where you are being a doormat.)
posted by aspo at 12:28 PM on March 7, 2008


I think that people that can't wrap their heads around polyamorous relationships can't wrap their heads around an equal relationship between a man and a woman.

That's not a fair accusation. I am not a proponent of polyamory, though I am a huge proponent of equal relationships between men and women. Not embracing polyamory does not have to be rooted in misogyny.

As to the multi-orgasmic comment, well - just something you haven't experienced. Women can have orgasms in rapid succession; it's a fact, not an opinion.
posted by Miko at 12:29 PM on March 7, 2008


(And I also think that other people are having the same reaction and the poly defenders out there are jumping on them for hating on poly relationships when really they are hating on faux poly skeezeballs who hurt others. Which is funny cause you are doing exactly that to me.)
posted by aspo at 12:30 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Women can have orgasms

You lost me.
posted by ND¢ at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


The concept of right as defined in this discussion apparently means "the right of consenting adults to have everyone accept and celebrate their sexual behaviours and the idiotic terms they invent to describe them."

Weird. I searched for the word "right" through this thread and I didn't come across someone using it that way.

Perhaps the mods are deleting comments.
posted by tkolar at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2008


IN ONE HAND IS A OVERSIZED HARDBOUND EDITION OF ROBERT HEINLEIN'S "STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND"

Heh.

I mean, I actually kind of like Heinlein, and I see what you're getting at, and all in all I'm giving the comment a 9.8 because it was good stuff, loquacious. But I'm sitting here looking at my Polyamory Discussion Bingo Card and one of the squares says "someone brings up SiaSL" and, well, heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:33 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


But I'm sitting here looking at my Polyamory Discussion Bingo Card and one of the squares says "someone brings up SiaSL" and, well, heh.

Yeah, because it's an easily referenced piece of pop-culture that at least a few people have read.

If I'd waved a copy of Theodore Sturgeon's short story Slow Sculpture about it wouldn't quite have the same result. (Theodore Sturgeon should, however, be read much more than Heinlein, anyway. The guy just gets it, about humanity and love and all of that.
posted by loquacious at 12:42 PM on March 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Which is funny cause you are doing exactly that to me.

Who are you talking to, here? I'm not jumping on anyone; I'm saying that if your original intent was not to slam on the lifestyle or relationship pattern (or whatever, the behavior system), but to slam instead only on the subset who abuse the system as an excuse to be a jerkwad cheater, I didn't get that when I read it. I see it now, and that's why I asked for the clarification. No harm, no foul.

misha, I also read that part you quoted as indicating that he will have sex outside the relationship. Where I didn't extrapolate further was the idea that, therefore, he is not allowing her to have sex outside the relationship if she so chooses. I agree that it would have been helpful to know whether the woman considered and rejected the opportunity, or whether she was never willing to consider it, or whether he never made it an option. I believe we have to give the benefit of the doubt, though, in the absence of knowing.

my Polyamory Discussion Bingo Card

Ha!
posted by pineapple at 12:42 PM on March 7, 2008


What I would love to see is a Venn Diagram of the overlap between furries and poly people.
posted by Justinian at 12:44 PM on March 7, 2008


As far as words go, it's starting to bother me that the set of words presented as opposing are not equivalent.

We hear that "polyamory" means "many loves," and that it's about romantic relationships, not sex. Meanwhile, in "monogamy," the root word (I'm reading) is from the Greek word "gamos," meaning marriage. Even if we take the word "monogamy" and generalize it from a description of marriage in the modern sense of "one spouse or sexual partner," it doesn't correspond exactly to the meaning of "polyamory."

So there's a difference between polygamy and polyamory. Because someone's polygamous doesn't mean they're also polyamorous; the set of polygamous people contains but isn't necessarily limited to the polyamorous people. If polyamory is a way of thinking about romantic love, that's good, but then I'm starting to wonder what place it has in a conversation about sexual partners, then. Few would say that marriage is a "monamorous" relationship, in that individuals would love only a single spouse/partner and no one else. But it may be that reserving romantic love for a partner/spouse coulld meet a definition of "monamorous." Meanwhile, you could actually be polyamorous while also being monogamous.

Not sure it sheds any light on the discussion, but it's sort of interesting. The woman in the OP's thread seems to want both "monamory" and "monogamy." The man seems to want "polygamy" but I'm not sure he wants "polyamory."
posted by Miko at 12:48 PM on March 7, 2008


misha: Evangeline and pineapple, maybe I am reading more into the question that is there, but this is where I am basing the "he will have sex with others, not her" comment on:
its agreed upon at the beginning that he will continue
to have sexual relations with a few friends that he has had sex with off and on for years.

The question also says: She agreed. She was at a point in her life where she didn't think a long-term monogamous relationship was what she wanted either.

Later, she changed her mind. That's fine. But it has to be talked about.
posted by rtha at 12:49 PM on March 7, 2008


I'm amused by the trotting out of furries as some sort of reductio ad absurdum. Did you really expect anyone to be all "OMG FURRIES! In that case, you're right! Damn those sluts and their abuses of language!"?

The concept of right as defined in this discussion apparently means "the right of consenting adults to have everyone accept and celebrate their sexual behaviours and the idiotic terms they invent to describe them."

No one is forcing you to "celebrate" the sexual behaviours inherent to polyamory or furrydom. No one is forcing you to use and absorb into your day-to-day vocabulary the terms "polyfidelity" or "yiff". Just as their private sexual activities do not affect your private sexual activities, their uses of language do not affect yours. If you don't like the terms, don't use them.

But as you're so generously willing to let them fuck however they please, let them talk amongst and about themselves using whatever terms they think describes them best. This whole "Haha, your new word is stupid, you big stupid" thing is crotchety get-off-of-my-linguistic-lawn crap at best.
posted by CKmtl at 12:51 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, because it's an easily referenced piece of pop-culture that at least a few people have read.

I can dig it. Be assured, I'm hehing inanely to myself, not hehing derisively at you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:52 PM on March 7, 2008


the set of polygamous people contains but isn't necessarily limited to the polyamorous people.

Whoops, and also, there must be some polyamorous people outside the set of polygamous people.
posted by Miko at 12:52 PM on March 7, 2008


And if Heinlein is being brought up as a model, than it's not pure polyamory that's going to end up being discussed, anyway, it's multichronalpolyoedipelectramory, in which we all go back and forward in time to have it off with our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. In which case, OP, well, yeah, DTMFA.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:53 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


What I was trying to get at was that when I hear a tale like the one in the askme, my gut response is "you aren't in a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship, you are dating a skeezeball, DTMFA."

I'm afraid I have to give a big "word" to this. Terrific writing, loquacious, but I think you're off point; it's not that some platonic ideal of polyamory is so terrible, it's that in this particular instance, the guy in the OP's story sounds kinda like a creepy bullshit artist.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:55 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was Theodore Sturgeon also the one who said that 90% of everything was crap?
posted by box at 12:57 PM on March 7, 2008


polyamory is getting to be like declawing, circumcision and extra weight around here.
posted by caddis at 1:02 PM on March 7, 2008


But at the heart of it, it sounds to me like your experience of AskMe is just pretty different from most of the participants'. You might not want to go to that part of the site.

No, you're ignoring the fact that I was talking only about these relationship questions. Most of the other kinds of questions are fine with me, and when I have the time, I read and sometimes answer them.

In that context, the idea that AskMe is a "professionally-run help-desk" for relationship questions is laughable. Do you go to librarians and software developers for relationship counseling?

You might want to not do that.

Likewise, what makes you think that anyone asking a herd of anonymous strangers for help with intimate problems has a working bullshit detector? Look at this thread, for pete's sake. How would such a person parse who is authentically knowledgeable and who's just spinning baseless opinion? In case you haven't heard, there's at least one Mefite who admits to answering questions he knows nothing about, just for fun.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:03 PM on March 7, 2008


polyamory is getting to be like declawing, circumcision and extra weight around here.

Whaddya mean, extra? *goes Tasmanian devil*
posted by Miko at 1:04 PM on March 7, 2008


You might not want to go to that part of the site reltionship questions.

In that context, the idea that AskMe is a "professionally-run help-desk" for relationship questions is laughable. Do you go to librarians and software developers for relationship counseling?

Well, no, but they run the site, they don't answer every question. I go to my friends and acquaintances and the occasional professional for relationship counseling. Guess who's on AskMe? Friends, acquaintances, and the occasional professional.

Likewise, what makes you think that anyone asking a herd of anonymous strangers for help with intimate problems has a working bullshit detector?

I'm arguing with you, right?

Joking aside, I'm just saying that I get tired of people railing against RelationshipFilter as if it doesn't serve a useful purpose. A few people hate it. Meanwhile, hundreds of others will assert that it has served a useful purpose for them. If you don't like the threads, skip 'em, but don't try to tell everyone else that the perspectives they've been able to read in AskMe haven't helped them in their personal decision making.
posted by Miko at 1:10 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I would love to see is a Venn Diagram of the overlap between furries and poly people.

There's only one circle to the human sexuality Venn Diagram. It's large. Inside this one circle is the sum total of humanity. They're all having various kinds of sex. Many are having sex alone, but nearly just as many if not more are having sex with one or more partners.

The scene is staggering. Every sexual fetish known to humankind is represented. There's a bearded man in a frilly maid's outfit popping balloons covered in whipped cream. There are many, many hetereosexual couples fucking vigorously in a myriad of positions. There's men deeply in love with one another, simply holding hands. Nearby there seems to be a "circuit party" in full swing, too. A number of people are intently sniffing shoes. Oddly, there's some people here not having sex - rather, they seem to be intent on not actually touching one another with much complicated hand-waving and deep eye-gazing. If you'd ask one of them, they might whisper "Tantra" as a reply.

Though daunted by this bewildering display, you soldier on and attempt to define boundaries.

Every time you try grouping anyone with smaller Venn Diagrams within the gigantic singular circle of "People who have sex, which is everyone, everywhere", it changes, rendering all of your science and hard work worthless.

It keeps changing, and changing. Right before your eyes you see people discovering themselves and expressing themselves in new and surprising ways. Even the gender of some of the people seems to be fluid, and the more you watch, the harder it is to find places to draw lines of division.

Not only are there not two genders, nor a finite number of sexual prefences - but an infinite spectrum of gender and sexuality. A rainbow, perhaps - but even a rainbow has finite colors. But, for now, the symbology will do.

The more you watch, the more you realize that humanity - not just sexuality - is very, very fluid and chaotic. Your labels mean nothing moments after you affix them.

There's nothing to do here - except discover you, yourself, and be happy in that discovery. And to love others doing exactly the same thing.
posted by loquacious at 1:10 PM on March 7, 2008 [27 favorites]


"This continued notion that, because someone claims to ascribe to a lifestyle and doesn't follow the rules, ergo the lifestyle is flawed, is wholly illogical. "

Just because everyone unicorn I've ever met has been a pony with a horn glued to its head doesn't mean that unicorns don't exist!

And the question that arises from that is whether there is (for whatever reasons) a correllation between being a noisy polyamoratum and being a skeezy one, and whether that contributes to how people view the whole thing."

Uh, yeah, that's pretty much the problem, at least in my experience. I've known folks who have had what could be called polyamorous relationships, but don't ascribe to a "lifestyle" and are generally stable and decent. On the other hand, everyone I've known who's been out and proud about being poly has been a giant drama rocket and egotist. And it's almost always involved a pretty sizable power differential, with one partner who's way more into the other one than is reciprocated. Which is also a way for there to be more drama. That's how I read the question, but I stayed out of it (pretty much—I don't know if my mention of threesomes was deleted as a quip, but it was a serious suggestion, since one of the few reasonable hetero poly relationships I know of works like that, with them only having sex when all three are there [which I think would be a logistical nightmare, but whatever]).

Actually, it's got one nice Greek root (poly) and one nice Latin root (amor). Put them together and you get the bastard spawn of Satan's pseudolexicon. I don't care who you fuck, but get your goddamn classical roots straight.

So, what, polyagape, polyphilia, polyeros?
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


regicide is good for you made a good point in the green thread:

There's come to be some sort of community intolerance for hopped-up atheists barreling in to religiously-themed threads and attacking the traditional basis of the poster's question rather than actually answering the question; I see a parallell here and I'd like it if we could in instances of questions about non-monogamy similarly resist the urge to shit on things we don't understand, and, honestly, know nothing about. AskMes aren't the place to grind axes. Thanks.
posted by rtha at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2008


Meanwhile, hundreds of others will assert that it has served a useful purpose for them. If you don't like the threads, skip 'em, but don't try to tell everyone else that the perspectives they've been able to read in AskMe haven't helped them in their personal decision making.

Hundreds? Can you prove that? I most certainly do skip the page-fulls of relationship questions. Why can I not assert my opinion of them without being told that I'm trying to invalidate the experiences of the alleged hundreds of happy askers?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:18 PM on March 7, 2008


What I was trying to get at was that when I hear a tale like the one in the askme, my gut response is "you aren't in a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship, you are dating a skeezeball, DTMFA."

I'm afraid I have to give a big "word" to this. Terrific writing, loquacious, but I think you're off point; it's not that some platonic ideal of polyamory is so terrible, it's that in this particular instance, the guy in the OP's story sounds kinda like a creepy bullshit artist.


Agreeing with Kittens for Breakfast and Misha (author of the quote within the quote). To me, this really isn't even a "polyamory? right or wrong" issue but something far more common or garden:

1) These people appear to want different things from the relationship
2) He's not that into her
3) She's being a doormat
4) 1) could maybe be worked through with the help of a counselor, but 2) and 3) lead me to conclude she needs to DTMFA

I've seen poly relationships work, and I've also seen them bomb spectacularly. The working poly relationships have never, ever involved one partner being a doormat, however. (And being a doormat doesn't really work well long-term for monogamous relationships either.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:18 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Was Theodore Sturgeon also the one who said that 90% of everything was crap?

Yup. Sturgeon's Law. He's also the inspiration for Vonnegut's recurring character Kilgore Trout, the impossibly prolific but always underappreciated SF author.

I've said this before on MeFi about a dozen times, and I'll happily say it again: Theodore Sturgeon is my favorite author of all time. Bradbury once said he was envious of his writing skill. He was adored by Vonnegut.

His writing is so good we - as humankind - scarcely deserve such deep love and beauty. It's overwhelming stuff. The guy is a fucking hero, and it's part of where I get my fearlessness and energy when it comes to these sorts of Humanist matters, particularly about love.

I just remember and think to myself "Theodore Sturgeon did all this 40-50 years ago. If he can do it then, you can do it now."
posted by loquacious at 1:18 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Theodore Sturgeon should, however, be read much more than Heinlein, anyway. The guy just gets it, about humanity and love and all of that."

Mostly because Heinlein is a didactic turd who manages to ruin most of his books about two-thirds of the way through. I mean, he comes up with these amazing scenarios and really interesting questions and problems, and then just gets all preachy. Oh, and his dialog is some of the worst in sci-fi. Sturgeon is much, much better.
posted by klangklangston at 1:19 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Haha. Can we turn this into a MeTa about underappreciated Sturgeon novels? Because I'd like to have you guys recommend me some more than I'd like to think about anything from Heinlein again.
posted by klangklangston at 1:21 PM on March 7, 2008


90% of polyamorous relationships are crap.
posted by box at 1:23 PM on March 7, 2008


I don't know if my mention of threesomes was deleted as a quip, but it was a serious suggestion, since one of the few reasonable hetero poly relationships I know of works like that, with them only having sex when all three are there [which I think would be a logistical nightmare, but whatever

That was me. It occurred to me that you were very possibly being earnest, but your presentation was hopelessly quippy—if you want to inject the not-exactly-simple proposition of a bringing third parties into the relationship's bed into a question where part of the premise is one partner being pretty not cool with anything but straightforward monogamy, it'd be a good idea to actually expand your idea into a comment explaining your motivation in suggesting it and some sense of why/how you think it'd be helpful move. No malice inferred, but you were kind of way too pithy there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:24 PM on March 7, 2008


90% of polyamorous relationships are crap.
posted by aspo at 1:25 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


90% of sturgeons are polyamorous (with inferred malice).
posted by Sys Rq at 1:26 PM on March 7, 2008


Sturgeon was also the guy who said "People get the government they want," which is one of the lines from all of scifi that sticks with me the most.

And yes, Heinlein is overrated if for no other reason than simply because there has never (with the possible exception of piers anthony) been anyone who abused the Gary Stu character type as much as he did. Virtually every character he ever wrote was the ebullient persuasive captain of industry who was also simultaneously the world's greatest lover and trained military assassin. Heinlein can take his Lazarus Long and shove it up his Jubal Harshaw.
posted by shmegegge at 1:28 PM on March 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


Most large cities now have thriving poly communities. The skeezeballs who use our words to justify their dysfunctional behavior are not generally welcomed in these communities. They tend to function a little bit like a small town within the big city... Most people know each other, and most people are aware of how someone treats their partners. There are certainly some "drama rockets", as there are in any community (including Metafilter), and people who don't like that kind of thing tend to avoid them.

And yes, you have probably known more polyamorous people than you think. Not everyone emphasizes it. The people who do are often the type of people who enjoy making others uncomfortable, operating under the theory that pushing peoples' boundaries will open their minds, or that the more visible polyamory is, the more accepted it will be. Maybe people in that category have a tendency to be skeezy or socially dysfunctional in other ways, I don't know. I don't have a problem talking about polyamory if it comes up, but there's usually not a really good reason to bring it up.
posted by cyber druid at 1:28 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


In fact, I will go so far as to say that The Cat Who Walked Through Walls, Heinlein's book wherein one Gary Stu wanders the galaxy meeting all the other Gary Stu's from his other books, reads rather like a steroidal version of that scene in Being John Malkavich where Malkovich goes inside his own head and sees everyone has his face and says his name.
posted by shmegegge at 1:31 PM on March 7, 2008


Why can I not assert my opinion of them without being told that I'm trying to invalidate the experiences of the alleged hundreds of happy askers?

Because, as Miko so reasonably put it, if you are also trying to denigrate or invalidate other people who have been helped, and if you allude that all those people who perceive that they have been helped are just idiots, then you're no longer merely asserting your opinion, and you deserve to be called out for the same.
posted by pineapple at 1:33 PM on March 7, 2008


also, am i the only one who occasionally thinks of him as Ted "Theodore" Sturgeon?
posted by shmegegge at 1:41 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


90% of sturgeons are polyamorous

Damn straight (but I think you mean polygamous). Multiple males will fertilize one female's eggs and each male will fertilize more than one female's eggs. Those sturgeon are kinky.
posted by ssg at 1:43 PM on March 7, 2008


Heinlein can take his Lazarus Long and shove it up his Jubal Harshaw.

I thought that already happened in "The Number of the Beast". No?

/me notes that, to date, he has yet to discover any Heinlein slashfic, nor does he wish to.
posted by loquacious at 1:44 PM on March 7, 2008


also, am i the only one who occasionally thinks of him as Ted "Theodore" Sturgeon?

"Be excellent to each other" being the key cross-over soundbite.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:45 PM on March 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


...if you allude that all those people who perceive that they have been helped are just idiots,...

Show me where I did that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2008


Hundreds? Can you prove that?

I don't think it would be terribly hard to find more than 200 people who would agree with the statement "relationship questions on AskMe have been helpful in my personal decision making." If you wanted to make a project of it, You could start a separate MeTa thread, or perhaps MeMail some of the 3470 people who have posted a relationship AskMe to see whether they would agree. Or you could look around for the very long "followup for everyone" thread in which users discussed the outcomes of AskMe questions, many of them relationship questions. You could do this if you feel a need for proof of something which I think is empirical, but you might have to correspond with more users to know how they feel about the usefulness of their AskMe questions.

I most certainly do skip the page-fulls of relationship questions. Why can I not assert my opinion of them without being told that I'm trying to invalidate the experiences of the alleged hundreds of happy askers?

I didn't tell you that, and you certainly can assert your opinion; it's just tiresome. I, for instance, am really not interested in questions about computers, gaming, engineering, gadgetry, and software. Yet, I don't think that everyone should have to adhere to my tastes in questions, and I don't hang out in MetaTalk saying "Enough with the boring technical questions! I don't care how you want to sync your Xbox to Flickr or which palm you should buy! Your product preferences are mostly subjective opinion anyway! Why don't all you people get a freaking life and stop staring at computer screens all day? You're a bunch of geeks! All that matters is music, art, history, and human relationships - things I'm interested in! Don't you realize that? Stop making me look at your pages full of technospeak, you gearheads!"

I could say it, but I doubt that it would change the site, so it ends up being just me venting and making clutter. And if a bunch of us insisted on repeating over and over how much we disliked these threads, others would get annoyed and would stick up for their utility. And the whole thing would get...tiresome and repetitive.

The site has come up with a solution: skip threads you don't like. Fair to all.
posted by Miko at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2008 [11 favorites]


Judging from the handful of comments in my inbox, I appear to have struck a nerve with some folks.

I mean every word of it with every fiber of my soul, and I'm glad to be able to write it. Thanks for your support and feedback.
posted by loquacious at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2008


what makes you think that anyone asking a herd of anonymous strangers for help with intimate problems has a working bullshit detector?

Not quite "idiots," no. But "can't detect bullshit" is pretty close.
posted by Miko at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2008


So, I somehow managed to skip over almost all of Theodore Sturgeon's output when I was working my way through the science fiction canon lo those many years ago. The only thing I can remember reading for sure was the "microcosmic god" story. Any suggestions on what I should read now?
posted by dersins at 1:58 PM on March 7, 2008


I did know one couple who were more, I guess, swingers than polyamorous, and one thing that I did respect was that, in their case, the 'rules' were equal. Both were allowed to go outside the relationship for sex and they defined some people (for instance, some of their friends) as off-limits. That relationship, though, fell to pieces when they discovered she was pregnant.

I'm thinking of posting an AskMe about what cyberdruid's mentioning, because I do think it is an excellent point that people who have successful relationships really don't need to advertise it, mono or poly or whatever, and the more that I think about it, the more I would like to explore that idea.

I'd like to know about people who *are* handling poly relationships well, and maturely, who are all on even footing in the relationship, and who have made it work, and where these communities are, and how they are able to do all of this in today's society. Do they have kids, and if they have, has that changed the dynamic? How did they find each other in the first place, etc.?
posted by misha at 2:03 PM on March 7, 2008


Judging from the handful of comments in my inbox, I appear to have struck a nerve with some folks.

Bragging about positive MeMail is totally tacky, IMO. If someone wanted to give you a public pat on the back, I think they would have done so in this thread.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:03 PM on March 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


That's totally cool, and I respect your right to say all that. I pointedly didn't accuse you of shitting in the thread, if you'll recall. But I guess what I'm saying, and this is a whole 'nother big can of worms that I guess I really shouldn't open but here goes: if you thought that homosexuality was gross, would it be cool for you to make repeated pointed comments here to that effect? Just something to think about.
posted by pineapple at 12:10 PM on March 7


That is a pretty good point. But if I weren't allowed to make fun of / disdain polyamorists then that is way too close to being not allowed to make fun of people who dress up like vampires and run around the park giving speeches about the Masquerade and pretending to suck blood from each other's hideous, hideous necks. And we can't have that, pineapple. We can't have that.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:05 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bragging about positive MeMail is totally tacky, IMO. If someone wanted to give you a public pat on the back, I think they would have done so in this thread.

I was expressing thanks, not bragging. I'm often overwhelmed by the support and feedback I recieve, and I wanted to express that thanks publically. You can choose to see it however you like - but that's a pretty insecure position to take.
posted by loquacious at 2:08 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


You received support and feedback in a private forum- responding in that same forum would have been appropriate. Did you receive so many messages you were unable to individually respond?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:11 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bragging about positive MeMail is totally tacky, IMO. If someone wanted to give you a public pat on the back, I think they would have done so in this thread.

Thanking people in public is bragging now?

Here, then: loquacious, I thanked you in a mefimail earlier this morning, for posting this thread, and I would now like to thank you for making your points so eloquently, and doing so without calling anybody an asshole, a douchebag, or a braggart.
posted by rtha at 2:14 PM on March 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


totally tacky
posted by ThePinkSuperhero


The irony is strong in this one.
posted by dersins at 2:15 PM on March 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Hey loquacious,

You're brilliant and one of my all-time favorite people. Thanks for writing that beautiful and eloquent paean to love. Rock the fuck on. See you tomorrow. ;)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:16 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You received support and feedback in a private forum- responding in that same forum would have been appropriate. Did you receive so many messages you were unable to individually respond?

Oh, go stick it in your ear, Ms. Manners. The thanks was for both public and private support. You might not understand this, but I don't boost my ego with these things - I was sincerely expressing thanks.

You bitching about this? That's really tacky. That, and the color pink. That's tacky.
posted by loquacious at 2:17 PM on March 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


misha: I'm thinking of posting an AskMe about what cyberdruid's mentioning ...

You might get better insight by asking those questions in poly forums. Less likelihood of off-topic noise, relatively larger (percentage-wise) sample in terms of users-who-can-answer-your-question, etc.
posted by CKmtl at 2:18 PM on March 7, 2008


You bitching about this? That's really tacky

As I've already made it clear that I find your judgment of what is tacky and what is not questionable, you can imagine where I'll file your opinion.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:20 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


As I've already made it clear that I find your judgment of what is tacky and what is not questionable, you can imagine where I'll file your opinion.

The same place you filed your humanity and human decency?
posted by loquacious at 2:24 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't kill your hamster, dog or mother. I suggested you lay off referring to private correspondence as though it were public praise. Don't freak out. You're still a nice boy and a lovely writer (I did like the comment above about "Stay in love, Stay in love, Stay in love").
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:27 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


No one is forcing you to "celebrate" the sexual behaviours inherent to polyamory or furrydom.

The outcry about bigotry at the slightest hint of criticism towards people who maintain harems is equivalent to attempting to force exactly that. Some minds around here are so wide open they could fit a herd of polyamorous elephants, and it is thanks to their political correctness that Metafilter is increasingly intolerant of any comments that have the slightest chance of offending people of a certain religious persuasion, fat people, polyamorists, people who like the colour fuschia, and so forth.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:28 PM on March 7, 2008


You did just so kill my hamster dead. He was very sensitive. Drowned in his tears. Terrible.
posted by loquacious at 2:29 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


So, who wants some mocha chocolate almond ice cream?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:31 PM on March 7, 2008


Good, because my hamster-eating chihuahua needs a snack.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:32 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


" ... my hamster-eating chihuahua ... "

Cannibalism is an ugly thing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:34 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, who wants some mocha chocolate almond ice cream?

What, so you hate vanilla? Jeez!

just kidding. I'd like some mocha chocolate almond ice cream, please.
posted by rtha at 2:37 PM on March 7, 2008


Good, because my hamster-eating chihuahua needs a snack.

That's a chihuahua!? I thought it was a rather large, talkative rat. Maybe we should, y'know, cut up the hamster first or something? You know what they say about attempting to eat anything bigger than your head.

All that being said, I'll refer to damn well whatever I want whether you feel it's tacky or not. My motives were pure.

Thanks to everyone. It means a lot to me. You've helped me become a better writer, a better thinker, and a better person all around. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
posted by loquacious at 2:37 PM on March 7, 2008


Cannibalism is an ugly thing.

You say that as if you know so much about cannibalism, Mister Crash Davis. Well, maybe you ought to keep your mouth SHUT!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:40 PM on March 7, 2008


Cannibalism ⊂ eating the meat of your own species.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:42 PM on March 7, 2008


All that being said, I'll refer to damn well whatever I want whether you feel it's tacky or not.

Ok, but then you can't get mad at me when I call you out for it.

Do you see what we just did there, people? Our petty fight is a metaphor for the larger fight going on right here in this thread! Artists of the theatre, we are!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:43 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Sturgeon was also the guy who said "People get the government they want," which is one of the lines from all of scifi that sticks with me the most."

I thought that was "People get the government they deserve."
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on March 7, 2008


I have a question.

Serial monogamy is widely accepted. Moving from partner to partner with clean breaks in between is the culturally sanctioned way to be. I think that's kind of sad. This model makes us feel alone, and full of loves we can't express, and the separations we're expected to endure in "breakups" feel unnatural to me. I don't really stop loving people, though of course the feelings are always subject to change, and the behaviors change too. It's fluid, and you can hold it in your hands, or you can swim through it.

So, for those of you who do think polyamory is "having your cake and eating it too," when serial monogamy seems to me to be nothing more than the same behaviors spread out over time, with different kinds of strife? If you think (primary, monogamous, storybook) Love isn't Love unless it's between only two people, forever, why is it Love if it is, at some point, shut down and abandoned?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:51 PM on March 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


Ok, but then you can't get mad at me when I call you out for it.

Yeah, I can. I can feel however I damn well want to feel - whether it's anger or not. And, I'm not freaking out. I'm as cool as a cucumber. These are all rational arguments I've had before, so it's old hat, really.

I'm angry because you misconstrued my motives by imposing your own perspective on my motives - which you'll never truly know.

And you used the word "tacky" to describe it. Sorry, but that's an affornt and an attack, and if you can't see that for what it is, well, sucks to be you.

Remember, you started this. I didn't aim my thanks at you, nor was I "bragging".

Only your own ego and mind conflated these things together. You did. Not me. You.

You could have simply thought to yourself, "Hrmm, that's tacky!", but you chose to comment about it, and I chose to rebut your (erroneous and wrong) comment.

I have no wish to control what you think, say or do. But I will respond to such erroneous statements as I see fit and as time allows, as is my right.

So, are we done here?
posted by loquacious at 2:56 PM on March 7, 2008


The outcry about bigotry at the slightest hint of criticism towards people who maintain harems is equivalent to attempting to force exactly that.

No, it's not.

Celebrating polyamory = Oh, wow, you have sexual and romantic relationships with multiple people at once? That's awesome!

Celebrating furrydom = Oh, wow, you have sexual and romantic relationships with people in animal suits and makeup, and fantasize about cartoons? That's awesome!

"Criticism" of polyamory = You filthy sluts.

"Criticism" of furrydom = Abberations. All of you.

Calling foul on the latter two is not forcing the "critic" to say the former two. It's not forcing you to like either of them. It's not even forcing you to keep your pie-hole shut.

And polyamory isn't the maintenance of harems.
posted by CKmtl at 2:56 PM on March 7, 2008


This is hilarious. MeFi, the self-proclaimed home of lefty atheist recyclying freakazoid off-the-grid Dan Savage alternaculture, gets one whiff of consenting grown adults choosing to form interpersonal and domestic arrangements with non-Ward-and-June dimensions, and blammo! the joint morphs into a Southern Baptist Convention picnic.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:02 PM on March 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


And polyamory isn't the maintenance of harems

He knows that. He's just trolling. It's sort of what he does.
posted by dersins at 3:06 PM on March 7, 2008


You could have simply thought to yourself, "Hrmm, that's tacky!", but you chose to comment about it, and I chose to rebut your (erroneous and wrong) comment.

I interpreted what you said as it read. That doesn't mean you meant it that way, but that's how it read- what else am I supposed to go by in a forum such as this? If you don't care what I think, then it shouldn't bother you to correct me, but I sense from little swipes at me that you do care (OMG, pink is tacky- how clever!). And of course you care- I care, too! I don't think any of us would be here if we didn't care about having the things we say being interpreted correctly. I certainly want the things I say to come off the way I intend them, which is why I try to be clear. I still think bringing up MeMail out of the blue in any context, positive or negative, is not really appropriate, and I said so, speaking specifically to way your comment read to me, which was tacky. That doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, I just think it means it was a bad comment. I'm not going to hold a grudge or bring it up in some Metatalk thread 4 days from now (because I hate that, too, and I hope, if I ever do it in a manner outside of a in-joke to the person I'm talking to, that someone shoots me). So yes, we are done here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:07 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


when serial monogamy seems to me to be nothing more than the same behaviors spread out over time, with different kinds of strife?

This is where I bristle at suggestions that people who like monogamy are somehow "insecure" or undeveloped as human beings. Isn't it arguably very secure to be at peace with the idea that you will not always be in a relationship? Couldn't it be construed as insecure to have to place so much emphasis on the need for others, more than one other, to love you and be physical with you? So much emphasis that you engage in long, detailed, careful negotiations about just what parameters that has to fit within?

I'm not scared by being alone. AT times it can be lonely, sure, but it doesn't hurt me, and when a relationship has run its course it is best to end it. My best therapist ever used to say "All relationships end, except, maybe, the last one." And I think it is a healthy expectation that in life, you will have periods of closeness with people and periods of relative solitude. Friendships will form - some will last a lifetime, some fade away with that time in your life. Job relationships come and go. The things I needed at thirty are not what I need at forty. I have a busy life and a lot of friendships, and I have room for just one romantic relationship at a time. When they begin, I'm usually hopeful they'll last a lifetime. So far, they haven't, and that's all right. I'm not sure I see how having more relationships like that would make me any happier. It seems like a lot of trouble when I'd rather attend to my projects and indulge in my interests. I can see an argument for some people that they want to feel more love more often, but on the flip side, I can't imagine that letting more people get very deeply close to you would reduce the amount of pain, shared sadness, and complication in one's life. Quite the contrary, I'd think.
posted by Miko at 3:08 PM on March 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


This model makes us feel alone, and full of loves we can't express,

Speak for yourself, please.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:13 PM on March 7, 2008


the royal we? the editorial?

Nah, there are a million love songs about cheating and lonesomeness and breakups of monogamous relationships, that is the referent there I meant to address, and it's valid. Culturally, we get de blues. Make a proper retort if you disagree, but it's a pretty comfortable generalization that breakups suck and people pine for one another.

Miko: I agree with you all the way. As for me, and I know I'm young, naive and a little wacky, it's better to have loved (a ton) and lost (a ton) than to never have loved (a ton) at all. :)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:20 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Inside this one circle is the sum total of humanity. They're all having various kinds of sex.

Well, except for the ones who aren't, for one reason or another. And of course, openly admitting one's enjoyment of longterm elective 100% celibacy garners completely accepting and non-judgmental reactions, lemmetellya.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, except for the ones who aren't, for one reason or another. And of course, openly admitting one's enjoyment of longterm elective 100% celibacy garners completely accepting and non-judgmental reactions, lemmetellya.

You don't masturbate? You don't even think about sex, at all? You have absolutely zero sexual activity in your life? None at all? Not even a passing fancy?

If so, that's either hell on earth or total bliss. I'm not sure which.
posted by loquacious at 3:27 PM on March 7, 2008


The outcry about bigotry at the slightest hint of criticism towards people who maintain harems is equivalent to attempting to force exactly that.

This outrage is hilarious coming from someone who makes a habit of accusing people of anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:30 PM on March 7, 2008


Polytrollery is also valid. But not in this thread, puhlease?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:34 PM on March 7, 2008


Well, except for the ones who aren't, for one reason or another. And of course, openly admitting one's enjoyment of longterm elective 100% celibacy garners completely accepting and non-judgmental reactions, lemmetellya.

Eh, sorry about my previous reply. This is way the hell outside my perspective and nearly unfathomable to me, but if I'm allowed to have an rather abnormally high sex drive, I suppose others can be allowed none.


However, all of humanity still resides inside that singular Venn diagram.

At least until we start actually cloning people, which is still (technically) sex. Just not very sexy sex.
posted by loquacious at 3:39 PM on March 7, 2008


I don't want to have sex with any of you people anymore.
posted by loiseau at 3:39 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's either hell on earth or total bliss. I'm not sure which.

Neither, really, it's just regular life, just another permutation within your big non-Venn diagram.

For instance, I don't eat brussels sprouts either. I mean, I've had them in the past, they're not totally unpleasant, I'm not anti-brussels sprouts, I don't go out of my way to avoid them, and I'm thrilled that other people enjoy them. They're just not my trip is all, and I have way better things to do with my time than dig into a plate of sprouty goodness. Since life is unpredictable, I suppose I might suddenly develop a craving for them someday, but I can easily and happily envision the next 40-ish years as entirely sprout-free, thanks.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:40 PM on March 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


btw, I'm here for the gangbang.
posted by bardic at 4:26 PM on March 7, 2008


Having known folks whose parents were practiioners of Big P polyamory, I will say that this lifestyle can be pretty confusing to little (and even very big) kids. All laughing aside, when Heather has six mommies and three daddies, Heather has nine dysfunctional parents*

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of therapy.

*Working off the assumption that all parents (even polyamorous ones) are dysfunctional.
posted by thivaia at 4:37 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


gets one whiff of consenting grown adults choosing to form interpersonal and domestic arrangements with non-Ward-and-June dimensions, and blammo! the joint morphs into a Southern Baptist Convention picnic.

I think what we are really doing is suggesting that some of these arrangements are not actually consensual, in that one person coerces another into an arrangement that allows the coercer to sleep around on the coercee.

I'm actually all for open relationships, as long as you are honest about it and it's something everyone involved really wants. Otherwise, you could really hurt a lot of people with your selfishness.
posted by misha at 4:48 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: the self-proclaimed home of lefty atheist recycling freakazoid off-the-grid Dan Savage alternaculture.
posted by misha at 4:49 PM on March 7, 2008


Theodore Sturgeon should, however, be read much more than Heinlein, anyway. The guy just gets it, about humanity and love and all of that.

Amen. And for the Great Underappreciated Sturgeon Novel, I nominate Some of Your Blood. Taught me a lot about acceptance when I was a wee lad.
posted by languagehat at 4:57 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


All relationships end in death or divorce. I can't decide if discussing polyamory or science fiction is more irritating.
posted by unknowncommand at 5:05 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't want to have sex with any of you people anymore.

It's the fedora isn't it?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's the fedora isn't it?

No, the fedora is fine. It's just what's under the fedora.

Joking. Bump, set, spike!
posted by loquacious at 5:26 PM on March 7, 2008


All this would be solved if people just started wearing socks.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:26 PM on March 7, 2008


And even some of you who do love themselves or another freely may have a hard time understanding that some of us are capable of loving more than one person at a time, with all of our hearts.

Just because you can't fathom why someone would want to be able to love more than one person freely, with all their hearts, and be able to talk about that experience and openly share it with a partner, friend or lover - doesn't mean it's not real.


This is the problem, I think. So many people say they never seen a ployamourous relationship work is because they don't know any Klingons.
posted by Snyder at 5:42 PM on March 7, 2008


So, are we done here?

MORE STURGEON NOMINATIONS, JERK.

This outrage is hilarious coming from someone who makes a habit of accusing people of anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat.

I know—I'm all, like, I eat gentile babies too!

(Man, can I just complain for a moment that I had to sit for twenty minutes trying to come up with a synonym for cum swallowing—and I hate the "cum" usage, because it makes me think of lame Latin and internet erotica, but that's our styleguide, man—that don't involve the word "gulp" or "swallow," and anything more esoteric, like "imbibe" is right fucking out, all while up against a SHIP NOW! deadline and I just wanted to fucking stab my boss.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:53 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only thing that really pisses me off about all this is.....who the fuck are these people who are so awesome they get multiple partners? Why The FUCK can't I get even one?

Quit hogging, assholes.
posted by tristeza at 5:53 PM on March 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I mean, since we're at the bottom of a long thread that everyone's pretty much gotten as close to understanding as they're gonna get in. Man, that was bad grammar.
posted by klangklangston at 5:54 PM on March 7, 2008


klangklangston: "Globble." You're welcome.
posted by False Dichotomy at 5:59 PM on March 7, 2008


Hey, I just got here... did loquacious and 1 have a fight?? I love it when people fight.
posted by not_on_display at 5:59 PM on March 7, 2008


I don't get the callout. The question was answered succinctly in the very first response. If your GF/Wife/Life-Pardner/Whatever-you-call-the-person-in-the-relationship doesn't want you to sleep around, and you supposedly love and respect this person, then DON'T SLEEP AROUND. Fucking Duh. If you can't hack that idea, then get out, and let them find someone who can.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:02 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, hay, I had to work all day so sorry about the not-on-preview-ness of my above psot.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:04 PM on March 7, 2008


Wait, so there was no fight, and people started talking about polyamorism?

I thought this day would never arrive.

*takes off clothes and waves arms* Hey everyone lookit me!!!

posted by not_on_display at 6:05 PM on March 7, 2008


*takes off clothes and waves arms* Hey everyone lookit me!!!
posted by not_on_display


Eponymocrite.
posted by CKmtl at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


"(Man, can I just complain for a moment that I had to sit for twenty minutes trying to come up with a synonym for cum swallowing—and I hate the "cum" usage, because it makes me think of lame Latin and internet erotica, but that's our styleguide, man—that don't involve the word "gulp" or "swallow," and anything more esoteric, like "imbibe" is right fucking out, all while up against a SHIP NOW! deadline and I just wanted to fucking stab my boss.)"

Taking the gravy boat to chowder town.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:26 PM on March 7, 2008


Shotgunning the go-gurt.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:40 PM on March 7, 2008


So you're saying you're locked into the word "cum"? I think you can pair it with guzzling, snarfing, noshing and gargling.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:55 PM on March 7, 2008


Sperm-slurping? Jizz-hoovering?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:12 PM on March 7, 2008


Noshing? I can't imagine Yiddish-derivatives being used in porn, outside of a very specialized jew-centric publication. Sassy Shiksas or something.
posted by CKmtl at 7:14 PM on March 7, 2008


"Lev, bubbi, so shoot my throat full of your hot salty schmeer already."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:25 PM on March 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Seed drinking?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:41 PM on March 7, 2008


I also really disliked the pejorative editorializing in this comment.

And yet, 14 people favorited it. I strongly agree with it. I think the "perjorative editorializing" is exactly what the guy in the relationship needed to hear.
posted by Doohickie at 8:04 PM on March 7, 2008


I'd just like to get it on record that I entered this thread after loiseau's comment.
posted by netbros at 8:11 PM on March 7, 2008


it's better to have loved (a ton) and lost (a ton) than to never have loved (a ton) at all. :)

Sure. But you get to love and lose no matter how many partners you want to have at a time. There's no avoiding it. It's not like you need more partners to feel more love.
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on March 7, 2008


"So you're saying you're locked into the word "cum"? I think you can pair it with guzzling, snarfing, noshing and gargling."

No, unfortunately. The quote I had to work with was that the girl would do anything to please her man "except swallow"—

and can I take a digression here to say that I really hate having to work off of someone else's interview notes? Especially when they're light on direct quotes and give off a total old-dude-leching vibe?

—and I was ending it with some sort of "But if we ask nicely" [another digression: I find that the royal we helps to distance me from the absolute creepiness of personal agency in discussing the spit/swallow preferences of some hotel management student from Penn State, which made me giggle when Ambrosia used it upthread] "she might …"

Then "Might what?" sez the Bossman, and I've gotta sit there and go, well, I thought it was pretty well implied, but how about "gulp gladly" or something. And then no, it all turned into him wanting to come up with some cliché that it could reference—he actually said "Gulp gladly? That's not a phrase that people will know." And he kept coming back to things that I felt were vaguely aimed at humiliating the girl, setting on "swallow her pride." And it would have been vaguely witty to say "swallow our pride," again with the royal we, but that was using the "swallow" again, and it was something that I had as one of the three direct quotes from the other guy's notes, so it was one of the few places that I could avoid making it all our speculations about this stranger who none of us have ever met (which is why when I do the interviews, I try to at least come up with questions that let us flatter whomever we've convinced to pose naked for $350).

So yeah, twenty minutes on just that fucking question. All of it while having to both read aloud the copy so that he knew that I knew where the changes he wanted made were. It was fucking retarded.

And that's why I needed a word that meant swallow (come) without being swallow. I was hoping that there'd be a quick brilliant answer and I could get it while it was with the copy editor, but no luck.
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


fuckin' klang.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:08 PM on March 7, 2008


it's better to have loved (a ton) and lost (a ton) than to never have loved (a ton) at all. :)

Quality not quantity here, tyvm.

And uh, klang, I don't know if this is the place for this, but you still owe me $350.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:33 PM on March 7, 2008


"Chug a protein shake?"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:34 PM on March 7, 2008


klang: I am so, so pleased that your job is not my job.


loquacious: those are lovely sentiments. Right on.
I know you've disclaimered this, but I'll say it anyway: Heinlein might talk a superficially good line about love but he deeeeeeply doesn't get that women are, you know, humans -- which tends to undercut my trust in what he says about relationships that involve women in any capacity. So, full credit for your view of love. But put down the copy of SiaSL and wash your hands.


misha (or whoever asked about how good poly relationships work): Alas a blog is a multi-issue blog that includes at least one contributor who's in some kind of poly family, with kids, IIRC; might check around there in the archives and see if anything good emerges.


miko: I don't hang out in MetaTalk saying "Enough with the boring technical questions! I don't care how you want to sync your Xbox to Flickr or which palm you should buy! Your product preferences are mostly subjective opinion anyway! Why don't all you people get a freaking life and stop staring at computer screens all day? You're a bunch of geeks! All that matters is music, art, history, and human relationships - things I'm interested in! Don't you realize that? Stop making me look at your pages full of technospeak, you gearheads!"

That's just brilliantly, beautifully done. Noted just to praise.

And this...
It's not like you need more partners to feel more love.

is a very clear articulation of the real core of the question. Best-case scenario mono-amorists* answer this question in your way: the best kind of love is available from one partner at a time). Best-case-scenario polyamorists^ answer it the other way: one really does feel more/different kinds of love with multiple long-term partners at once.

*ie, people who have thought it through and decided on mono-amory as the best thing for them, as independent as possible from considerations of social stigma etc.

^ie, people who are non-skeezy, non-crazy, egalitarian, etc and in poly relationships- stipulate for the moment that there could be such people, even if you've known some polys who were less than the best case scenario. (as I have, for sure)
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:49 PM on March 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"klang: I am so, so pleased that your job is not my job."

I was young and needed the money.

(It's not the subject matter that bothers me so much, aside from it being really inane, it's that I work for idiots.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:52 PM on March 7, 2008


Alvy? You want to question the quality of my (maybe poly) love? SHOVE IT. I love well. And much. Both.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:52 PM on March 7, 2008


*washes everyone's mouths out with soap*

Okay, not everyone, but you cum snarfers know who you are!
posted by amyms at 11:02 PM on March 7, 2008


Yeah, rude language is OK, but they just sent out a memo about how we can't wear hats or jeans at work, except every other Friday ("casual payday Friday").
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, all caps! I'm really feelin' the wrath!

You: As for me, and I know I'm young, naive and a little wacky, it's better to have loved (a ton) and lost (a ton) than to never have loved (a ton) at all.

Me: Quality not quantity here, tyvm.

You made a personal point stating that you've loved 'a ton' and are quite happy about it. I made a personal point that my experiences have been quantitatively less, yet I don't feel like I've been shortchanged. If anyone's making a judgment here, it's you, buckaroo. Aside from the Poly community's vicious co-option of the Vulcan race's culture, I have no beef with them, nor do I make claims that their love is sad, sick, or wrong.

So, like, up your nose with a rubber hose.

You can imagine that last sentence all in caps, if you like.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:18 PM on March 7, 2008


I'm not saying I have. I'm saying I intend to. I'm only 26, ffs.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:24 PM on March 7, 2008


/me knows who she is.
/me toddles off to snarf cum sleep

posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:30 PM on March 7, 2008


*yells at somebody*

Feeling a little left out over here.
posted by taz at 11:39 PM on March 7, 2008


/me knows who she is.

Is that supposed to be a zing at deluded folks who don't share your point of view, or just a personal reinforcement thing?
Meh.

*Shrugs*
*Shoves taz*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:48 PM on March 7, 2008


yay!
posted by taz at 11:51 PM on March 7, 2008


taz said *yells at somebody*

Shake your fist, taz. It's very cathartic!
posted by amyms at 11:53 PM on March 7, 2008


*fists somebody*
posted by taz at 12:16 AM on March 8, 2008


That's NOT what I meant!
posted by amyms at 12:18 AM on March 8, 2008


heehee
posted by taz at 12:20 AM on March 8, 2008


Sleep. That's where *I'm* polyamorous.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:59 AM on March 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Way back in the 90's when I first tried Limewire, I decided to look for the album "Dream of the Blue Turtles". So I typed in the name of the artist expecting to see lists of his albums which I could download, but instead there was just a ton of listings for hardcore porn involving a fetish which I wasn't so familiar with and was rather scandalized as a result.

And that's how I learned that you can't spell "fisting" without "Sting".
posted by ooga_booga at 1:14 AM on March 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Seems to me that it's perfectly fine to be polyamorous, and nobody is allowed to pass judgement on this lifestyle choice, because that would be bigotted.

However, it's perfectly reasonable for the polyamorists to go slagging on the other people fuckers, because that lot are obviously the scum of the earth.

I'm reminded here, of the words of Pastor Martini 'Swingmeister' Neidsablowjob:

"On Metafilter, first they came for the furries. And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a furry.
And then they came for the Zoophiles. And I didn't speak up because sexing animals is kinda sick, dude.
And then they came for the Polyamorists. And I didn't speak up because they're like, all neo-techno-hippies, so who gives a shit. In the wotds Get a job, dude
Now they're coming for the Skeezeballs, but they'll have to catch us first."

Now what was that you were trying to say? You can smell another woman's perfume on my jacket, and there are lipstick traces on my shirt?

You're imagining it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:29 AM on March 8, 2008


In the wotds Get a job, dude

In other words, use the spellchecker, dude.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:32 AM on March 8, 2008


I don't think it would be terribly hard to find more than 200 people who would agree with the statement "relationship questions on AskMe have been helpful in my personal decision making." If you wanted to make a project of it...

I should take the time to prove your out-of-your-ass claim, because it wouldn't be hard to do? How about you do that, since you're the one who made the claim? Since I don't think it's true, I would probably not do a heckova job proving it for you.


Not quite "idiots," no. But "can't detect bullshit" is pretty close.

You think so? I don't, and your original phrase was "just idiots," which is even farther from what I wrote.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:34 AM on March 8, 2008


Kirth Gerson: I didn't say "just idiots." pineapple did. Slow down a little and try to figure out who you're fighting with.

How about you do that, since you're the one who made the claim?

Nah. I generally agree with that principle, but I don't find your "prove it" challenge worthwhile. I think it's pretty obvious to most others. I'd rather use my time for something other than crafting a longitudinal study of human relations questions on AskMe to convince an already hostile party (without the power to change them) of their utility. It doesn't bother me if you don't believe RelationshipFilter is helpful, only that you can't seem to let other people believe it's helpful without railing about it. Again, I think maybe you should just continue to avoid those questions.
posted by Miko at 5:27 AM on March 8, 2008


PeterMcDermott said: "Seems to me that it's perfectly fine to be polyamorous, and nobody is allowed to pass judgement on this lifestyle choice, because that would be bigotted.

However, it's perfectly reasonable for the polyamorists to go slagging on the other people fuckers, because that lot are obviously the scum of the earth.
"

Not to me, it's not. There's little I hate as much as the classic Sex-Positive Poly-Friendly Group-Love Gang-Bang Fetishmaster Bi-Top-Bottom-Switch Pan-Sexual persona on the internet, openly mocking us "straights" and "vanillas" with utter contempt because we can't just free our minds and realize what the Goddess intended for us, which apparently is some sort of constant guiltless irresponsible orgy where people just walk up to each other on the street and start going for it on a park bench, and it's groovy, man, and all you conservative, closeted, insecure repressed MARRIED people are missing out on REAL LIFE. That guy is an asshole too.

I don't care if people pass judgment on any sexual choice. I can't stop them, really. But I do care when it becomes pollution in my MeFi. "I believe that there is a flaw in the notion of polyamory because society doesn't allow it to be a productive model for child-rearing," or whatever one's legitimate beef is, is fine. HURF-DURF-DEVIANTS is not. Just like HURF-DURF-VANILLAS is not.

Miko said: "Kirth Gerson: I didn't say "just idiots." pineapple did. Slow down a little and try to figure out who you're fighting with."

Yep, that was me. And the rest of Miko's comment:

"Nah. I generally agree with that principle, but I don't find your "prove it" challenge worthwhile. I think it's pretty obvious to most others. I'd rather use my time for something other than crafting a longitudinal study of human relations questions on AskMe to convince an already hostile party (without the power to change them) of their utility. It doesn't bother me if you don't believe RelationshipFilter is helpful, only that you can't seem to let other people believe it's helpful without railing about it. Again, I think maybe you should just continue to avoid those questions."

...would pretty much be my exact response as well. I don't have to prove that you acted like an idiot in this thread (even if I think you did), in order to be able to say, "if you are also trying to denigrate or invalidate other people who have been helped, and if you allude that all those people who perceive that they have been helped are just idiots, then you're no longer merely asserting your opinion." Just take my statement as a general what-if.
posted by pineapple at 7:48 AM on March 8, 2008


Since we seem to be done with the polyamory here, let me just say that the single worst -- but, strangely, single most creative -- euphemism for nut/cum/ejaculate I have ever in life encountered was in some magazine a decade or more ago; the protagonist of a story I've otherwise forgotten referred to his pouring forth a "steaming cup of man'shroom soup." Italics and apostrophe both included. I have never, despite years of trying, forgotten this. And now, I suspect, neither will you. You're welcome.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:51 AM on March 8, 2008


(Um, on review, I guess we're not done at all.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:53 AM on March 8, 2008


Eh, sorry. I was away for the day so I never addressed the Kirth/Miko thing where my name came up. It's really over....
...

...

...

...

...

NOW.

Also, man'shroom soup deserves a timeout.
posted by pineapple at 8:02 AM on March 8, 2008


Personally, I prefer a more traditional term with ooddles of historical significance: concubinage.
posted by meehawl at 8:47 AM on March 8, 2008


Man milk.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 AM on March 8, 2008


While we're kind of on the subject - I've always thought of "cum" as a word used exclusively to describe a load of hot liquid man love, and "come" to mean reach orgasm, but some people don't make a distinction between "cum" and "come". So they might say "I want you to cum while you swallow my cum", whereas I might say... okay, maybe I shouldn't finish this sentence.

Does anyone else make that distinction?
posted by Evangeline at 10:08 AM on March 8, 2008


I thought I was the only one!!!

*Reaches for high five, realizes how awkward this is, sits quietly*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 AM on March 8, 2008


::: wipes down thread before reading it ::::
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:34 AM on March 8, 2008


Does anyone else make that distinction?

Only George F. Will, once, back in 1962.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 AM on March 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else make that distinction?

Vis a vis orgasms (verb or noun) it is always spelled "come." The "cum" thing comes (har har) from poorly spelled pornography. Check a dictionary if you don't believe me.
posted by 1 at 11:56 AM on March 8, 2008


I do, too, Evangeline! And please don't use "seed" or "man milk". Ugh.
posted by misha at 11:58 AM on March 8, 2008


Come: ...
17. Vulgar Slang To experience orgasm.
n. Vulgar Slang also cum (kŭm)
Semen ejaculated during orgasm.
posted by misha at 12:04 PM on March 8, 2008


In his awesome song "Back Like That," Ghostface Killah uses the phrase "swallowed his kids."
posted by Bookhouse at 12:11 PM on March 8, 2008


The word "cum" is just plain icky whereas "come" is matter-of-fact.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:38 PM on March 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like cum.

I mean the word cum, gutterbrain.

It's just so much dirtier an' hotter than come. Come seems overly genteel.
posted by loiseau at 1:40 PM on March 8, 2008


I didn't say "just idiots." pineapple did. Slow down a little and try to figure out who you're fighting with.

I knew who I was responding to, even if you'd like to think I didn't. That's why I put the remark I was answering just above my reply. Slow down and try not to project your misinterpretations on me.


How about you do that, since you're the one who made the claim?

Nah. I generally agree with that principle, but I don't find your "prove it" challenge worthwhile. I think it's pretty obvious to most others. I'd rather use my time for something other than crafting a longitudinal study of human relations questions on AskMe to convince an already hostile party (without the power to change them) of their utility. It doesn't bother me if you don't believe RelationshipFilter is helpful, only that you can't seem to let other people believe it's helpful without railing about it. Again, I think maybe you should just continue to avoid those questions.


I didn't ask you to convince me of the 'utility' of Askme relationship questions. You've produced no evidence of these "hundreds [who] will assert that it has served a useful purpose for them." Unless you can produce these hundreds of testimonials, you're just making shit up and using that shit to support your beliefs. Sort of like how you keep trying to redefine what we're arguing about, while claiming me stating my opinion is 'railing.' If the enormous worth of relationshipfilter is so obvious to so many people, why do you feel it necessary to leap to its defense, and why do you have to make stuff up to do it?

I'm also curious about why you feel it necessary to tell me in almost every comment how you think I should keep avoiding relationship questions. Did I somehow hint that I was going to stop? Relax; I have zero interest in reading any more soap-opera dramarama.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:51 PM on March 8, 2008


Come seems overly genteel.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

'Come' reminds me of those Lovers SNL skits and Will Ferrell's poofy beard and scratchy sweater. In fact, thinking of Will Ferrell and 'come' at the same time makes my brain feel like a scratchy sweater.

'Nut' also seems really wrong, especially in the form of "Get your/my nut". WTF? Are we squirrels?
posted by CKmtl at 2:00 PM on March 8, 2008


Kirth Gerson: Great. And it'll be even better when you also have zero interest in complaining about relationship questions.

Good handwaving, by the way.
posted by Miko at 2:46 PM on March 8, 2008


Oh, fuck, I just got cum on feel the noize.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:52 PM on March 8, 2008


Did you ask Feel the Noize's permission first?
posted by ooga_booga at 2:56 PM on March 8, 2008


Of course, I meant *get* FtN's permission, dang it.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:57 PM on March 8, 2008


CKMtl, not sure of the etymology, but there was some 90's rap tune that contained the lyrics, "I'm just a squirrel, tryin' to get a nut."
posted by desjardins at 2:57 PM on March 8, 2008


While we're kind of on the subject - I've always thought of "cum" as a word used exclusively to describe a load of hot liquid man love, and "come" to mean reach orgasm, but some people don't make a distinction between "cum" and "come". So they might say "I want you to cum while you swallow my cum", whereas I might say... okay, maybe I shouldn't finish this sentence.

Does anyone else make that distinction?


That is, in fact, the Hustler style guide's word on the topic.
posted by klangklangston at 3:59 PM on March 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Kirth—If you accept that thousands of relationship questions have been posted, and you will if you're not deadset on being petulant, and that relationship questions continue to be posted, you either have to argue that they're all posted by different people who don't know that they offer no utility, or that the people who ask them are unable to accurately judge their utility if they've posted more than once.

In either case, your arguing a lack of utility when the general evidence—that folks continue to ask relationship questions—supports a utility means that you're either only interested in arguing for argument's sake, or that you haven't come up with any alternative testable theory. Oh, or you're wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 4:04 PM on March 8, 2008


This Is Just to Say

I have gone down on

the ex-girlfiend

that lives in

Phoenix

and whom

you were probably

hoping

i no longer saw

Forgive me

she was delicious

so sweet

and so willing
posted by jonson at 5:13 PM on March 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


BINGO!!! I got Bingo!
posted by taliaferro at 5:15 PM on March 8, 2008


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

posted by CKmtl at 2:00 PM on March 8 [+] [!]


Paging ND¢ ^ - . - ^

Man Milk
posted by lysdexic at 6:08 PM on March 8, 2008


Come on Eileen
posted by euphorb at 6:08 PM on March 8, 2008


Good handwaving, by the way.

Jazz hands? Or jizz hands? Spirit fingers?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 PM on March 8, 2008


42
posted by vapidave at 1:59 AM on March 9, 2008


Please tell me that you call your ejaculate "spirit fingers."

"Baby, lemme lay my spirit fingers on you."
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 AM on March 9, 2008


Pearl Jam.


Discuss.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:41 AM on March 9, 2008


'Nut' also seems really wrong, especially in the form of "Get your/my nut". WTF? Are we squirrels?

I'm in a play right now about the first convict colony in Australia, and my character calls 'em "whirligigs". She also has a few colorful terms for vagina: mossie face, mother-of-saints, and Miss Laycock.
posted by Evangeline at 10:59 AM on March 9, 2008


She also has a few colorful terms for vagina: mossie face, mother-of-saints, and Miss Laycock.

If you ever want to gross out a gay man, start talking about "beef curtains".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:13 PM on March 9, 2008


Vis a vis orgasms (verb or noun) it is always spelled "come."

This is completely wrong, as I have come to expect from that poster.
posted by languagehat at 3:48 PM on March 9, 2008


desjardins: "CKMtl, not sure of the etymology, but there was some 90's rap tune that contained the lyrics, "I'm just a squirrel, tryin' to get a nut.""

I'm sorry I know this. That's in a Fifty Cent rap, In Da Club, I think. "In this white man's world, I'm similar to a squirrel - lookin for a slut with a nice butt to get a nut." There's also an Eazy-E rap called "Gimmie That Nut." Equally charming, I assure you.
posted by CwgrlUp at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2008


If you ever want to gross out a gay man, start talking about "beef curtains".

Or meat flaps.
posted by Evangeline at 4:17 PM on March 9, 2008


1 writes: Vis a vis orgasms (verb or noun) it is always spelled "come."

languagehat responds: This is completely wrong, as I have come to expect from that poster.

I've never seen "come" used to mean orgasm as a noun, as in "I just had multiple comes", but is it wrong to use that spelling when you're using "come" as a verb?
posted by Evangeline at 4:23 PM on March 9, 2008


"I'm sorry I know this. That's in a Fifty Cent rap, In Da Club, I think. "In this white man's world, I'm similar to a squirrel - lookin for a slut with a nice butt to get a nut." There's also an Eazy-E rap called "Gimmie That Nut." Equally charming, I assure you."

Freak Nasty's Da Dip predates.
posted by klangklangston at 4:28 PM on March 9, 2008


klangklangston: "I'm sorry I know this. That's in a Fifty Cent rap, In Da Club, I think. "In this white man's world, I'm similar to a squirrel - lookin for a slut with a nice butt to get a nut." There's also an Eazy-E rap called "Gimmie That Nut." Equally charming, I assure you."

Freak Nasty's Da Dip predates.


People of my vintage will remember this from "Everybody Dance Now" by C+C Music Factory.
posted by loiseau at 4:41 PM on March 9, 2008


'Nut' also seems really wrong, especially in the form of "Get your/my nut". WTF? Are we squirrels?

"You fucking calling me a motherfucking squirrel, fucker?"

-Miles Davis
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2008


Yup, Miles fucking Davis is a motherfucking squirrel, fucker.

For some reason "bust a nut" doesn't bother me as much, but using "get your/my nut" for orgasm and "nut" for semen drives me up a wall.

There was an 'amateur' porn site whose cameraman/director/proprietor had the very bad habit of whispering encouragement to the solo-shoot, uh, star. The encouragement was always along the lines of "yeah, get your nut... c'mon, get it... gonna get that nut?"... as if he were trying to coax a squirrel in the park to eat out of his hand or something. All that was missing what the fake squirrel chittering.
posted by CKmtl at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2008


lol, CKmtl! That's both horrifying and hilarious. I pray that whispering voice doesn't haunt my imagination for the rest of my life.
posted by taz at 10:09 PM on March 9, 2008


is it wrong to use that spelling when you're using "come" as a verb?

Of course not. I wasn't saying it was wrong to spell it "come," I was saying it's wrong to assert (as 1 did) that it is always spelled "come." On the face of it the claim is absurd, since we all know it's very frequently spelled "cum"; assuming 1 meant "should only be spelled," either is acceptable, though "cum" is lower on the Manual of Style totem pole of prestige.
posted by languagehat at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2008


"come." On the face of it

haha.

I thought that was "People get the government they deserve."
posted by klangklangston at 5:44 PM on March 7


entirely possible. I don't have the story readily at hand to check and I get things like that wrong all the time. I believe, though not positively, that I remarked to myself how interesting it was that he DIDN'T say deserve in the story I'd read. Perhaps I'm misremembering that, though.
posted by shmegegge at 8:58 AM on March 10, 2008


loiseau: People of my vintage will remember this from "Everybody Dance Now" by C+C Music Factory.

Fuck, that's where I remember it from. OK, now I feel old.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 PM on March 10, 2008


"I don't have the story readily at hand to check and I get things like that wrong all the time. I believe, though not positively, that I remarked to myself how interesting it was that he DIDN'T say deserve in the story I'd read. Perhaps I'm misremembering that, though."

Ha. I read it as part of some English class or another, and would be totally willing to concede that I'm misremembering it. I don't have it anywhere handy either, having turned in that book.
posted by klangklangston at 9:21 PM on March 10, 2008


I actually have the story at home, in a collection (which anyone who loves scifi should own, imo) called The Best of The Best. It's called The Gun Shop or something along those lines. I just need to remember to check it when I get home since I only mefi at work, really.
posted by shmegegge at 11:21 AM on March 11, 2008


This outrage is hilarious coming from someone who makes a habit of accusing people of anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:30 PM on March 7 [+] [!]


Only people who routinely spew hateful rhetoric and peddle 9/11 conspiracies, Alex.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:25 PM on March 11, 2008


He knows that. He's just trolling. It's sort of what he does.
posted by dersins at 6:06 PM on March 7 [1 favorite +] [!]

1 user marked this as a favorite:
Blazecock Pileon March 8, 2008 1:10 PM


Tee hee. Congratulations on your courageous effort to nip this whole "dissenting opinion" business in the bud.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:28 PM on March 11, 2008


You boys cut it out.
posted by pineapple at 7:26 AM on March 12, 2008


Only people who routinely spew hateful rhetoric and peddle 9/11 conspiracies, Alex.

Krrrlson, you seem to think you're entitled to follow people around in a really creepy way and level accusations of anti-Semitism whenever you damn please.

The last time you did it, the administrators were kind enough to spare you the embarrassment of your hateful comments and removed them for your benefit.

Do yourself a huge favor and, for once, shut up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 AM on March 16, 2008


For fuck's sake would you two* just drop it. God damn.

*as in both of you at all time, not "whichever of you currently has the last word".
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:26 AM on March 16, 2008


For fuck's sake would you two* just drop it. God damn.

For fuck's sake, please do something about that goddamn troll.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on March 16, 2008


"For fuck's sake" is one of my favorite expressions, 'cause when you think of it, it's actually quite sex positive. What wouldn't I do for fuck's sake? Not much. That's a short fucking list, I tell you.
posted by False Dichotomy at 1:21 PM on March 16, 2008


Dude, scroll up to that part in the thread where you started it with him. Yet again.

You're both smart guys, and yet it's like you've both got this giant Idiot Blind Spot when you get in the same room where you either don't know or don't care that you're actually perpetuating this ridiculous whatever-the-hell-it-is publicly by your own volition. It's incredibly frustrating to behold. Neither of you is on the side of the angels at this point, and I wish you'd cut it the hell out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2008


Dude, scroll up to that part in the thread where you started it with him. Yet again.

Bullshit. He was insulting people in this thread left and right when I was called him out on his hate-filled garbage. When his libelous shit gets deleted, he has no right to be outraged about anyone else's private behavior for any reason, whatsoever. Please just do something about that goddamn troll already.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:37 PM on March 16, 2008


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