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POLYAMORY: MULTIPLE MUTUALLY RECOGNIZED LOVERS by Sasha Lessin, Ph.D.

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  • Janet Kira Lessin
    POLYAMORY: MULTIPLE MUTUALLY RECOGNIZED LOVERS by Sasha Lessin, Ph.D. www.worldpolyamoryassociation.com You re polyamorous; you love many people. Amorous
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2007
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      POLYAMORY: MULTIPLE MUTUALLY RECOGNIZED LOVERS by Sasha Lessin, Ph.D.
      www.worldpolyamoryassociation.com

      You're polyamorous; you love many people. "Amorous"
      means "loving." "Poly" means "many." You love many. You love
      parents, kids, friends. Technically, you're poly because you're
      human and you love; that's how you're wired. This literal
      translation of polyamory as "muliple love" is not, however, what the
      popular media and people who call themselves polyamorous mean when
      they use the poly word. Media adds sex; poly people add honesty.

      Popular media, then, uses the term polyamory to refer to multiple
      contemporaneous sex partnering. Mainstreamers use the word
      polyamory to refer to what I call "polycoity," sexual intercourse
      with more than one partner. Or "polyorallity" for those--and we've
      met quite a few--who engage in oral sex with several lovers, but
      reserve intercourse for only some or one of these lovers. Most people
      who call themselves poly accept the multisexuality part of the
      media's definition of polyamory.

      But in the literature of self-identified polyamorists, polyamory has
      come to imply a crucial ethical aspect that the media ignores:
      Candor. Disclosure of multiple relations is the critical factor that
      differentiates polyamory from the surreptitious cheating rife among
      conventional folk. Polyamorists tell all┬ľor at least most people--
      involved; cheaters hide their sexual connections from each other.

      When my wife Janet and I vet potential poly partners, we contact each
      of our potential lovers' Sos to ascertain whether or not they
      consent to our loving their lover. We refuse to contribute to the
      grief or distress of mates or significant others who are involved
      with those who wish to connect with us.

      Not all polys share our concern with lovers' S0s. Some self-
      identified polys believe it's not their responsibility or concern to
      check out a potential lover's relations with others, or not, at
      least, to check it out before they connect sexually. They may tell
      their actual lovers of each other, but let the new lover cheat on his
      or her mate. In time, such cheating's often discovered and leads to
      upset that could have been avoided with the courtesy of honesty.

      I'm interested in what you think. What do you want from your lovers
      in the way of advanced notice before you connect? What do you do
      about your lovers' significant others? How do you check out potential
      lovers?

      Sasha Lessin, Ph.D. is Program Director and a featured presenter at
      the Annual World Polyamory Association's Harbin Hot Springs CA
      Polyamory Conference, "Celebrate Relationship Choice" October 5-7,
      2007
      (
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