An Effort to Defend Bisexuality and Polyamory

So I was facebooking this morning, as I tend to do incessantly, and someone posed this question:

DO YOU BELIEVE IN BISEXUALITY? NOT JUST THE FACT THAT SOMEONE SLEEPS WITH BOTH SEXES, BUT CAN YOU BE BOTH PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY INVOLVED WITH TWO PEOPLE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX AT THE SAME TIME? (LET’S HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS). 🙂

While I don’t identify as bisexual or polyamorous, I just had to say something. Here’s my response (tell me what you think):

That’s not a question of bisexuality, that’s questioning polyamory since a person’s relationship status doesn’t necessarily define that person’s sexual orientation/identity (plenty of bisexuals are monogamous, and plenty of monosexuals are polyamorous or in relationships with people of the non-preferred sex). The phrase “do you believe in bisexuality” is a bit insulting since we’re not really in a position to question the validity of someone else’s identity and plenty of bigoted straight folk ask “do you believe in homosexuality” as if to bring its validity as an identity into question. But back to the question; yes, I believe that you can be in a polyamorous relationship with multiple people of the same or different sexes at the same time, and have a legitimate bisexual identity while doing so. I feel that those relationships might not have the same depth because of the lack of hours in a day, but then again, a polyamorous person could put more effort into each relationship they have than a monogamous person puts into their one relationship. A relationship, while sex may be a part of it, has so many other parts that aren’t directly related to what your partner has between hir legs, and more to do with what ze has between hir ears, and you get different things from different relationships with different people… those people might just have different junk from each other lol.
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~ by hirandnow on April 15, 2010.

3 Responses to “An Effort to Defend Bisexuality and Polyamory”

  1. For a monogamous person who do a great job answering such a difficult question! I’ll add that though time limits availbility in some ways, there are many, many polyamorists who would take issue with the idea that their relationships can’t be as deep as monogamous ones due to lack of time. They make up for that limitation by working hard on establishing a depth of emotional intimacy this is more about the people involved being emotionally open and available during time together rather than the amount of time being spent being so, as long as there is a reasonable amount of time and frequency together. Also, many polyamorists also consider polyamory to be an orientation for them. They believe it is who they are much more than what they do.

    • Thank you SO much for commenting! You’re actually my first comment, so I’m pretty excited about that 😀 I tried to convey that time constraints make things more challenging, but not impossible in terms of developing deep connections with people. I think polyamory forces you to make the time that you do get to spend with your partners count since you don’t have the time to take people for granted (like many monogamists have the habit of doing) so I truly admire that. I find it interesting that polyamorists see polyamory as an orientation since it seems like more of a “how” than a “with whom” so to speak, I’ll have to read up on that. Maybe polyamory and sex-positivism can be added to the ever growing LGBTQQIAAP… acronym, although that may be a bit difficult with this ridiculous effort to mainstream things and focus on monogamy to prevent slippery slope arguments for how civil marriage equality will lead to polygamy being legalized (not that polyamory means that people will marry all of their partners since that would be pretty legally infeasible)… I think I went off on a tangent there, but that could be another post. Thanks again!

  2. Don’t mean to be argumentative, we’re clearly on the aame page here. And I’m honored to post your first comment, congratulations!

    As to being added to LGBT etc. etc., certainly queer theorists have theorized that polyamory belongs there, yet there are many het polyamorists who aren’t queer identified. This is not to say that they aren’t supportive, they just aren’t queer and don’t want others labeling them in any way. Same thing goes in the kink world – I’ve heard kinky people theorize that polyamory is a kink and say things like “We’re all kinky.” Straight vanilla polyamorists have been very vocal about their unwillingness to have their polyamorous identity subsumed by other sexual minority identities.

    And then there’s that pesky slippery slope argument. The queer world is gradually going public with the fact that not all queer couples want or live the “we’re just like you het monogamists and only what the right to the life you have” life that marriage equality activists have laid out as a political strategy. Mr. Kurtz’s slippery slope argument made polyamory the political football in the same sex marriage debate. So I don’t imagine that adding “P for polyamory” will be found acceptable within queer leadership any time soon if marriage equality proponents have anything to say about it.

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