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Saturday, January 1, 2011

12 Pillars of Polyamory

12 Pillars of Polyamory:  The following has been changed but I did copy is from Kenneth R. Haslam MD; June 14, 2008 for the full article clink the link www.poly-nyc.com/about/summaries/12pillars.doc


1.       You must know yourself and be comfortable being you.  You need to know the differences between your love NEEDS and wants. (What is it that makes you feel loved?)  Words of affirmation, touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service?  Talk about this…………..

 Do you know and accept your sexuality-kinks and all?  Are you comfortable with yourself and are you comfortable sharing yourself as you really are?  Can you be the person you really are?  Talk about this…..  

2.       Choice- People in ploy relationship understands that they are free to make decisions about how they will live their life.  They are free to choose.  Every day we stay together it is because we are choosing to.  Ask your primary partner for their opinions, think them over, discuss them and then make your own choice.  We will make and be responsible for our own mistakes.

3.  Transparency-  There should be no secrets in a Polyamory relationship.  Full disclosure is paramount.  When possible get to know your partners partner.  Poly relationships often fail because the primary partner feels left out.  Unadulterated truth is important in Poly relationships.  
 
4.  Trust-  having a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone.  Trust is always an “iffy” thing, it is easy to break trust in the heat of passion.    Keeping your partners trust and honoring agreements is one of the most difficult aspect of polyamory.  You will likely fail from time-to-time.  It is imperative that if trust has been broken that it is communicated, confessed, and to be open to the aftermath that may follow.  The aftermath of breaking trust is not fun. 

5.       Gender Equality-  Different rules for different genders is not allowed.  Usually a ploy relationship starts out with one partner being open.  The other partner that chooses not to open immediately is usually consume by New Relationship Energy (NRE), and prefers to be monogamous.  However NRE usually fades and the non-open partner wants to open their side.  The partner that is already opened usually experiences difficulty with this concept. 

It is easy to embrace the concept of a poly lifestyle, but the practice is sometimes hard.  In a poly relationship it usually the men that have a hard time sharing their women, but this can be reversed.  Women usually adjust to a poly relationship easier than men do.

6.       Honesty-  Who would want their partner to be dishonest?  Most people can handle anything but deceit.  Lying and withholding information is not acceptable.  Your partner may not like hearing everything you are telling them, but in the long run just getting everything out for discussion beats lying, withholding information and editing.  Poly life is complicated it is not always easy.

7.  Open Communication-  There should be no secrets in a polyamory.  NONE!  Your primary partner should know everything.  If possible it beneficial that all partners are aware of the relationship. 

An example of open communication:  A man went to therapy he confessed he always wanted to tie his wife up and have sex.  He admitted that he was too afraid to tell her this because, he was afraid that she would want a divorce, and he didn’t want that to happen.  The wife then entered therapy.  After many sessions she confessed that she walways wanted her husband to tie her up and have sex, but she was too afraid to tell him this because she thought he would think she was crazy and want a divorce.  Think about the joy these two people could have shared if they would have been honest in their communication. 

It has been said that successful Polyamorists are so busy communicating that they can not find time to have sex.

8.       Non-Possessive-  No one owns anyone.


“If you love something, set it free.  It it comes back to you, it’s yours.  If it doesn’t it never was.”

In a poly relationship you must learn to love with an open hand.  Allow yourself to understand and accept your partner’s autonomy.  Partners should have complete autonomy to establish relationships that work for them.  It is okay to voice opinions, but the partner is free to choose what they want to do, and make their own mistakes.  Self-esteem is important in creating a successful Poly Relationship.

9.  Consensual- Parteners are aware of what is going on and agree to what is going on.  If there is no agreement it is cheating. 

10.   Accepting of Self Determination- Understanding that each of us is different is essential.  Encouraging your partner to follow their own life’s path is mandatory. 

You must keep an open mind to your partners behavior since you have no control.  You can voice opinions and make your concerns and wishes known, but expect disagreements from time to time.  You will need to find a compromise that works for each partner. 

11.   Sex Positive-  Sexuality is, of course, a major part in Ploy relationships and all partners being in agreement on sexual matters is essential. 

A. Are you comfortable with your emotional, spiritual, physical and sexual self?

B.  Do you understand, accept and tolerate your partner’s sexual needs, beliefs, practices, and yes even kinks?

C.   Are you open to exploration of a variety of sensual, intimate, and sexual experiences and can you freely share your thinking with your partner?

D.  Can you easily communicate your sexual needs with your partner, can they ask for what they want comfortably? 

E. Can you communicate your needs to not have sex or participate in activities that are not desirable to you?


12.   Compersion-  Understanding compersion is the essence of successful Poly relationships. 

Compersion is the opposite of jealousy.  It is the love we feel for others when they feel love.  It is the emotional expression that what we want for our loved ones more than anything is their happiness and fulfillment.  Compersion is recognizing your partner for who they really are not what we want them to be. 

Example:  Compersion is going out with your partner to buy flowers for their (BF/GF).  It is helping your partner pick out a better set of flowers then they were originally going to buy.  It is to feel happy and excited for your partner when you’re sitting on the couch eating pizza and watching romance movies, while your partner spends their first night with their (BF/GF).  It is waiting up for your partner to get home from a late date so you can hear all the sordid details. 

No one ever said that Polyamory is about perfection in relationships.  A poly relationship can fail, just as monogamous ones.  Poly is about complete honesty in relationships.  In the early stages of a Poly relationship is not EASY. 

As you start a Poly relationship it is important to start slow for the first few miles, do not exceed the speed limit.  Speed will kill!  Taking the road of a poly relationship s difficult because there are no roadmaps, but if you study and understand the 12 pillars the journey will be easier.