This list of terms and definitions may satisfy the logical side of the brain, but what about the more creative visual side? Not to worry, for the artistic types, we have poly (many) solutions. Have you ever heard of a Venn diagram? Have you ever noticed the symbol on your visa card? You know the one with two overlapping circles? That’s the same idea as a scientific drawing conceived around 1880 by John Venn to show the relationship between a finite collection of sets (groups of things). Though Venn Diagrams are usually used to explain theory, probability, logic, statistics, and computer science. We are going to use it today to talk about the hard science of Poly-Geometry.
Let’s take the example of Polyamory and Swinging. (I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me: what’s the difference between Poly and swinging?) And there are many people who would dramatically argue tooth and nail that “poly and swinging are totally different.” Then there are many people, like us, who enjoy both poly AND swinging. So exactly what are the differences and the similarities? Let’s start by mapping it out.
Poly and Swinigng are both large umbrella categories of non-monogomous relating, and there are lots of other love-styles that fall under both categories. But let’s keep it simple: Circle A Represents Polyamory and Circle B represents Swinging. The overlapping area (Called AB) represents the similarities between Poly and Swinging.
A.In Poly we are encouraged to develop deep emotional and/or romantic bonds.
B.In swinging casual sex without romantic attachment is preferred.
AB. Both love-styles involve having more than one lover with the informed consent and permission of all parties involved.
So, as we’ve established, Poly is more relationship oriented and based in love, whereas swingers will consent to having sex with people at a lifestyles event, but are not allowed to fall in love. And then what happens when someone accidentally penetrates someone’s heart “Oops, sorry Hunny, we’ve fallen in love!” Naturally we’ve seen many swingers whose relationship started off as sport fucking but matured into a deep loving relationship. And the Converese is true, we’ve witnessed polyamorous people who’ve had sexual awakenings where after moving through their guilt and shame about sex they are better able to enjoy sex for the sheer sensual pleasure and don’t have to always make it about love. These people often consider themselves BOTH swingers and poly and would pencil themselves into the AB category on our Venn Diagram.
There have been tremendous changes in the swinging worlds in the last decade or so. Swinging used to be associated with bell bottom pants, open collar shirts, fluffy haired men wearing a gold chains and a big bossomed wife with a fake tan on his arm. “Old School” Swinging was generally heterosexual couples “swapping wives” at Lifestlye events. But through the years, Free Love has taken swinging beyond it’s heterosexual, monogamous, dyadic sport and open it up, creating greater flexibility. Swinging now has more room for people to be more to one another than just sex partners at wife swaping parties. There’s a trend towards more intimacy and friendship, less sport fucking. There’s even a new term emerging called “Modern” which refers to men and women who enjoy sensual connections, they are not homophobic and hang out together in groups or dinner parties, not just events centered around sex.
Thus we see how something like swinging can mutate to where confused couples are out there saying to themselves, “Hmmm... What about love? What about something “more” than pair bonding? How would we do that?” And all of a sudden you’ve got people working to make relationships work with more than one person. Perhaps it’s three. Perhaps you’re falling in love with your four best friends and their wives and girlfriends, and, for whatever reason, they all really like going camping together with you all on weekends... Perhaps it evolves into an intimate network of friends and lovers that live by each other and play together like a poly pod of dolphins. Perhaps you consider yourself family and decide to move in together and raise children in a tribal commune. Or perhaps with the change in seasons there are changes in your constellation of lovers. And you observe through the years the way relationships naturally flow in and out of each other’s lifes like the fluid movement within a lava-lamp. The possibilities and permutations from the couple-based relationship model is infinite!
For more excerpts from Free Love: Can You Really Afford it by Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko bookmark: http://www.uninhibitedbliss.blogspot.com