That kind of love.

Posts tagged ‘Polyamory’

Gay Marriage

One of the things I find illuminating about the way my gay friends live their lives is that they manage monogamy much more loosely than hetero-normative friends tend to. I don’t know if this is the often the case, so this is anecdotal, yet I get a lot from watching my LGBT friends deal with serious relationships.

Almost none of my LGBT friends could be described as monogamous. And yet, I just officiated at a wedding. If my group of friends hangs out, there will be fairly liberal flirting, some kissing amongst friends, and a even some mild sexual activity, mostly with clothes on, but there’s genital contact. Genital contact is my personal definition of sex. It seems like a good general way to talk about sex when making rules with partners. It’s certainly a sort of line in most people’s minds.

So the couple in question are probably the least monogamous amongst the group. They both don’t have external relationships, but they have sex with other people. They often have group sex. They are both young, attractive, and both of them are to some degree, bisexual, although they are both at very different spots on the spectrum of bisexuality. Anyone who spends any time with them quickly understands just how important they are in one another’s lives. They are both important pillars to each other. They build the social group they hang out with on the stability their relationships generate in their lives, and they are both very much aware of the fact. Hardly any of us in their social orbit would know one another without them. They spend a lot of time organizing events, throwing parties, and introducing folks to each other. The strength of their relationship affords a sense of community to all of us who know them. I can’t think of a better reason to cement a relationship with ceremony than those. I agreed to marry them, where I wouldn’t agree to marry most people, because I see the wonderful things their relationship brings to all who know them.

To some degree, it seems like how they have approached their relationship is a wise one. They’ve spent many years together before making the commitment. They heard very little social pressure, because they only listened to those that weren’t obviously homophobic. In the case of their families, that narrowed things down to a point where they could think about what they were doing without pressure. They knew, as most couples who get married do, that they loved each other. What their approach afforded them was disregard of negative voices, consideration of the social impact their marriage might have, and the ability to do it when it was emotionally and circumstantially best for them, and best for their other relationships too. That’s damn near unique. I envy them. My marriage did not occur under nearly the same circumstances. So many people get pressured into marriage.

I hadn’t really thought through the reasons that marrying them felt so right, and I’m glad I did. Let me know if this raises any questions in your mind. I’d love to hear from you, and what you think too.

I officiated at a gay wedding

The legal stuff took place in Washington DC, but we don’t live there, me and my two very good gay friends. They’ve been together for a long time, and they definitely wanted to have a ceremony that could include a lot of people. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a civil union, but the room will be located in a court, and it will be small, shabby, cramped, and will probably have a fake garland of flowers hanging from an aluminum arch somewhere.

For some reason, the couple in question got it in their heads that I was good with language, and wouldn’t mind writing up a ceremony for them. They said there only request was that they wouldn’t have read vows themselves. I asked them if they wanted me to get ordained for the ceremony, but they said that they would rather me represent their group of friends, than any other power, and I agreed to leave the gods outside.

So I wanted to post the ceremony that I wrote for them. It’s definitely not all mine, I’ve cobbled things together from a few sources, but let me say that it’s not plagiarized either. Most of this stuff is so adapted that you could say with some confidence that it is essentially anonymous. Nothing would please me more than other alternative, LGBTQ marriages had officials use this setup. Please feel free to steal this. You could consider the writer of what follows as “Anonymous” if you like.

 

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<Name1> and <Name2>’s Wedding

Seating Period

Entrance of the groomsmen

Entrance of the Best Men

Entrance of the Grooms


<Name1> and <Name2>, we are gathered here together to witness and affirm the love and respect that you have for each other. <Name1> and <Name2>, are you entering into this marriage freely, voluntarily and without any conditions?

In our lives, happiness is built, not found. Happiness is a product of the relationships we make.
A good marriage must be created. In making our happiness, little things are the big things. It is at no time taking the other for granted; It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is valuing the other’s feelings enough to hear them, honesty enough to communicate, and courage enough to act feel together. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in, and magnifies the relationships of both people.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

One of the purposes of marriage is to make a promise on your honor to stay together. It is a promise to uphold a relationship that last longer than the whims and changing desires of either partner. Upon entering this marriage, you will be committing to the idea that the rings you will wear are a symbol of your promise to walk through hard times with each other, to even carry one another in times of distress, even when it hurts. You commit to hold one another through the winter, as well as the spring.

It must be asked why anyone would make such a commitment to another person? Marriage bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry.  Marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Marriage is an esteemed institution because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity. The decision to participate in this institution, combined with the decision who to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

<Name1> and <Name2>, please face each other and answer me with an “I do”

<Name1>, are you ready to take <Name2> as your husband, to live together with him in a growing relationship? Will you vow with him to be partners who will meet every situation of life together; the peaceful and the chaotic, the routine and the exciting, the sorrowful and the joyful, the threatening and the inviting? Will you love him, affirm him, and commit yourself to him in marriage as long as you both shall live?

<Name2>, are you ready to take <Name2> as your husband, to live together with him in a growing relationship? Will you vow with him to be partners who will meet every situation of life together; the peaceful and the chaotic, the routine and the exciting, the sorrowful and the joyful, the threatening and the inviting? Will you love him, affirm him, and commit yourself to him in marriage as long as you both shall live?

Lighting the Unity Candle
The lighting of the unity candle symbolizes the joining together of two families. It represents the union of individuals into one united family, and also of the commitment of the larger group of friends and family to help keep the flame of their love burning.

May I Please Have the Rings

What you have to give to each other  is:he promise to take each other as your only love from this day forward, to stand by one another’s side, to listen to one another to give comfort when when there are tears,  and to join your laughter together. Take these rings, and be part of each other’s lives forever.If you wish to seal this marriage with a kiss, you may now do so.

Presentation of the married couple to their friends and family

85% rule

Meanwhile in Russia

Saying what you’re afraid to say works out really well. Put it out there. Say what you’re not clear about. The people who love you will support those feelings about 85% of the time exactly the way you’d hope they would. The other percentages of the time will hurt 85% less than you think it will. And isn’t 85% less pain worth 100% better communication.

Also, sometimes this ends up in divorce.

Then again, evolution doomed your monogamy to begin with.

If my work had a keylogger on my computer

I supposed I’d be fired already. But no, this isn’t a post about how misogynistic, racist, backwards, and stuck in the 1950’s my current employer is. It’s about this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaZkz8l3Cg0

Which is reasonably true.

As  bisexual man, I seem to get targeted a lot for all kinds of discrimination. It makes it really hard to explain because I got married first, before I came out. I suppose that happens for a lot of people. When I’m at a gay bar, men don’t talk to me because of the wedding band. Yeah, cause that’s a terrible sign. When I’m anywhere else, they think I should be at a gay bar.

Sigh. Well, this is me folks. When I was trying to be more like you, everyone treated me with the suspicion that I was actually more like the person I am now that I’ve more or less stopped hiding. And this way, I at least get to be sorta kinda honest with myself right? Go watch the vid. It’s funny.

This is a beautiful picture.

Raising yo chillins

Alterpolymatic
omg.
it’s one of those things.
you know like when you have a major life event, like buying a house?
or maybe it’s like taking a mars mission.
you know what it’s going to be like intellectually, and you figure, you should prepare yourself for the mental stresses.
but you can’t.
you don’t really know.
Rouxlover
i believe it
Alterpolymatic
so you just sorta hack it.
and live in harmony as best you can.
Alterpolymatic
and try not to forget that you’re a human being too in the midst of the madness.
Rouxlover
you should write that down.

you could put it on greeting cards or print it up poster size

and people would buy the shit out of it.
Alterpolymatic
vom.

 

.xxx.

so it’s really hard to be polyamorous and a parent. It really is. You could just take the word polyamorous out of that sentence. It’s easy to sacrifice your own wants and needs on the all consuming alter of parenthood because you are ultimately responsible for your children’s well being. It’s easy to think that the only good parent is the one who is completely dedicated.

But the parent without his or her own soul is the parent who hurt their children, and becomes bitter.

Not only that, but the time and everything tend to work out pretty well. It’s also a wonderful thing when you know you can rely on more than just one other adult to help you with your kids.

Yeah.

The hard part is the risk

Risky Love

This Japanese woman attempted suicide after being jilted by the would be groom. Love is risky.

I’ve heard people say that if you’re not keenly aware of the risk, you are striving hard enough for your happiness. That’s one of the odd things about my path, living polyamorously. The closer I get to the path of living my life the way it ought to be lived, the more aware I am of the dangers. It’s not easy to be responsible. It’s even harder to trust your constellation mates. But you must do both things to make it work, to not fall off the path.

I want to be happy, and I want to minimize the risk.

Yet, I read things about what people regret, like this link about top five things people say they regret on their deathbeds, and it makes me a little proud of myself. I will not say anything like any of those things when my time comes because I really am being myself, and I am living my life to the absolute fullest.

It’s good to remember that when it gets hard, and the risks seem to loom like dark trees over this path, that the reason I’m walking it in the first place is because it is the path of practical love in my life.

Monogamy battles and time ownership

Ownership of time

There is this thing that happens when you start a monogamous relationship, where both partners lay claim to the other person’s time. This is part of the function of Bachelor’s and Bachelorette parties, where it’s you’re last real hurrah with your friends because you’re giving up all your time to the person that you are marrying, and you’ll never taste real freedom ever again.

It’s not just marriage. You’ve seen this happen with people in nonmarried monogamous relationships do this. People meet the right partner, and then they each lay claims to all the other persons time. They don’t act as if they want to do that, but they do it anyway. I’m not sure what the motivations are exactly for this, but fear, social order, expectations, words like those come to mind.

Many a friendship have perished because of this reality. Sometimes even family relationships suffer, and become relationships in name only, with very little time invested in them anymore, when there is clear desire to do so.

Separate Kingdoms

Over the course of time, the partners in the monogamous relationship start to feel the need to claim some of their own time back. Since it’s a huge burden on one partner to “go out” or do anything with former friends, former family, and any relations outside of the primary monogamous relationship, the partners react, and try to seek relief from the crushing burden inside their own marriage.

In my marriage before we opened it, the way it worked was that we built walled off areas that we protected from our spouse. The best way to do this without open defiance is to do things you know the other partner wouldn’t want to do. In my case, I played an MMO all the time. I knew it was safe, safer than locking myself in the bathroom just to reclaim some of my time. My partner watched constant trashy television. I don’t think either of us realized that we were lobbying for freedom, simply because we didn’t realize the possibility of being free.

In fact, we didn’t even realize this was going to be one of the awesome things we’d get from opening our relationship until well afterwards, but knocking down these separate kingdoms has been pretty spectacularly awesome.

How poly changes this

I have to give her time for her other relationships. It started out as time that I was giving her to date a guy she got interested in, but it quickly unfolded into something entirely different. We realized at some point that our time is actually ours. It’s kinda like this, our time, well that is our love. The time that we have is what we’re giving. There’s almost no difference whatsoever in love and time when your time is free.

Well, I never stopped wanting her love. I just didn’t or couldn’t realize that her love is her time. I thought I had to own her time, and that she was supposed to own mine. Well it’s clear that I don’t own her love, especially now. In the same exact way, I have no ownership whatsoever over her time. Any attempt to do so is false in any relationship. Even your employer doesn’t own your time. You are trading it at best, but they can’t own your ability to give it to someone else. It’s truly yours, and any relationship that attempts to build from the concept that your time can be owned by someone else is a terrible relationship you should avoid.

But that’s all a little beside the point. As soon as I realized that her time was hers, I wanted some of it. I wanted to earn some of her love. Not all of her time, but some. My separate kingdoms that I’d painstaking built over years vanished so suddenly, that it was like they’d never been there. The event made so much sudden sense to me that I saw this sort of necessary folly of what I’d been doing with extreme clarity. Polyamory has been more about excising unreasonable parts of my world-view, rather than adopting an alien one.

She lets me do whatever I want with my time. I want to give lots of it to her. She wants to ensure that I give her some of my time, and I want to ensure that she gives me some of hers. I let her do whatever she really wants. What we really want to do serves us both as an excellent compass for which way we want to go. It works out so simply and beautifully.