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« NoBriety Day 10 | Main | Holidays 2.0 »

November 19, 2013


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cindy w

Tried it. I can't do it.

Basically, if I'm in love with someone, the idea of being with other men revolts me. I want him, no one else. And on the other side of that, the idea of my guy being with other women hurts me to my core.

I get what you're saying about how it takes solid egos. Maybe that's it, I'm just not there, and I doubt I ever will be.

Carisse college

I see you're back to drinking

cindy w

P.S. Meant to add - I tried reading The Ethical Slut. Thought it was a load of crap. Filed under: maybe it works for others but not for me.

Drake Carnahan

I really think, as human beings, all of us are designed a little bit differently. Monogamy might work for Susie Q and her judgmental band of sorority jerks because that's what Jesus told them to do (that is, to be monogamous and ride on their steads slaying people with judgment), but for others monogamy truly doesn't work. They get more growth and satisfaction from loving more than one person. Now, don't get me wrong, I do fall into the monogamy category. At least in the time being, but who's to say I'm not going to wake up later on down this long road of mine and determine I do have the patience and capability for such non-attachment and the will power to reign in my jealousy. I can't say for sure (I mean I'm a Taurus, perhaps it ain't never gonna be my thang) but I totally support and applaud you for rockin' your life in terms of your own specific inner code. I know way too many people following the status quo because of what they think is right and wrong, only to live some real limited and sour lives. Keep on keepin' on with your lovin 'and writing woman. it's appreciated.


And sometimes, you simply discover that your heart operates differently than the world expects. Excited for the adventure. :)


Seriously, Patrick? *This* woman is why your family is breaking up? Yes, let's celebrate how awesomely alternative we are and fuck the people we made commitments to.


If it works for you, that's all well and good. But equally, I get annoyed when the polyamory people get all holier-than-thou and act so much more evolved than the monogamous folks. I LIKE being monogamous, very much so. I thought polyamory was interesting when I was in my wild 20s. Now I'm in my 30s, married, and my husband is all I want. It's not that I don't have the energy or would be jealous, it's just that my style is the comfort of one person and one person only.

On another note - my 20s WERE wild. I was involved in some alternative scenes, dated a woman in a polyamorous marriage, etc etc... Hung around and knew many polyamorous types and fetish people and my observation is these people tended to be the ones with some massive psychological issues. (And I don't say that to be mean, I just don't know how else to put it.) So while I don't claim us monogamous types to be the more evolved ones (because, surely, there's plenty of psychological issues among us) - I do think polyamory is more an expression of those issues than it is about any sort of freedom. It's just another version of acting out and tends to avoid any real intimacy (while creating a grand illusion of intimacy.)


Mommyish has an interesting piece written by the teenage daughter of a polyamorous couple. It's pretty eye-opening


Love it Amanda! I wish more people could be open about the sex positive alternative lifestyle. Again and always, I love the shit out of you. Haters gonna hate. You and Patrick know the truth. Cowards post hurtful comments without owning their caustic thoughts, and they just look like assholes.

I love the way you love and I admire your openness and willingness to step into such a vulnerable life and really own it with maturity and responsibility.

I love you!!


You forgot to add that all the evidence shows children thrive best when their parents have unstable, multiple and multiplying relationships with many different people. They just love inconsistency, lack of routine, and unclear attachment relationships. They also love it when everyone knows everything about their parents' sex lives. It's all wonderful for their development. Really, you're doing it for their sakes.


I'm not prudish and believe in following our guts, but you have children. And those babies are watching and eventually will read everything you do. If it were just you, I'd be cheering you on. But I just can't. Freedom is beautiful but sometimes we need to lasso ourselves in for the sake of our kids.


Oh a(Man)da, at first I was afraid for the comments that would come when you'd write about it. I hope you can just ignore apathetically the haters or naysarers....

First of all people get polyamory and swinging confused. But they'll still play the "slut" card anyways, not realizing people are into both lifestyles and usually keep their mouths shut because they don't want the judgments that come with it.

If monogamy worked so well in our society the divorce and cheating rate would not be so high. For all of you who's mentioned Amanda's kids and her ability to be a loving pro-active supportive mother, which is the lowest blow, she's just saying on her blog she is found this to work for her, she's not saying she's invited the kids and they are her photographer in her sexual part of her life.

I've seen parents who are poly or swingers who do an amazing job as functional healthy people as well as being amazing loving proactive parents. They aren't the fucked up wrecks ignoring their kids because their spouses and partners such as what happens in monogamy where there's infidelity where it's more likely that a parent will neglect their children when freaking out about monogamy gone wrong then polyamory gone right. It's for consenting adults and it's NOT for everyone.

I'd bet a lot that anyone who made the judgments they did, probably know people who do live this as a lifestyle very privately for this reason. They aren't telling you because they know you will judge and hate on them...

So please stop using Amanda as an outlet for you to judge. Or use her children as a means of shaming her or anyone who's poly. Because as I've said before, some of the most well adjusted parents and kids are those from parents who are loving and happy. More damage and neglect occurs to children where their parents are in monogamous relationships and are not monogamous by nature...This is in both the short and long run is a lot more honest and a lot healthier for people who it does work for and it doesn't work for everyone, but it does for those who are honest about it.


I think this is a really interesting topic. In general, I think its safe to say that there never has been and never will be an approach when it comes to family, love, sex, etc that works that works for everyone(or for the same person throughout their lifetime).

From an analytic standpoint, I'm really curious about what you write here, particularly by your observations that monogamy was difficult because it made you unhappy while polyamory has its own set of difficulties. If you do continue with the series, I could see that contrast being really fascinating (as I find marriage to be excruciatingly hard in a lot of ways that could possibly be mitigated by a polyamorous lifestyle although I continue to be mystified and in awe of the concept of marriage...if that makes sense?).

Happy love-hunting to all (and in all forms) :)


You live in Portland. I seriously doubt that the people in your stand-up class are shocked by how "alternative" your chosen lifestyle Portland.


What you describe is not really polyamory. It's promiscuity. Which hey, whatever works, but hardly revolutionary.


the female external genitals.
the muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women and most female mammals.

You are a VULVA stylist. Learn terms for anatomy. It's helpful.


Angelsbare, I think Amanda is perfectly capable of fighting her own battles. And disapproval of polyamory does not automatically make someone sexually repressed or a judgmental prude. By taking that tack, you'll be just as unsuccessful as the ones you are railing against.

I just hope that people behave out of respect and genuine humane love for one another and that those in superior positions watch out for and protect the more vulnerable.


You are not funny or alternative or edgy.

You are not gaining any laughs in your stand-up class because people are disgusted by your behaviour and totally un-funny jokes. Move on and save yourself some money and the students from becoming ill.


I don't have any judgement, just curiosity. I am interested in how you came to decide/choose/accept a poly life. I'm also interested in how you mitigate any challenges that might come up in therapy - I'm thinking that therapists might have some "common" or "standard" behaviors they have accepted as default, and how you knew your therapist was a good fit for your nonstandard actions. I'm interested in all kinds of things and will keep reading with an open mind.


I am confused by your description of polyamory. I know that lots of people want to use it as an umbrella term to describe all sorts of non-monogamous relationships, but the way you are describing how it works in your case doesn't seem to fit with what is the generally accepted usage. Patrick is the only one you're "in love" with? The other multiple people you see are there just for dating and fun, "sexytimez", but there is no love? They just meet some other need you have? Patrick is schtupping groupies while doing his musician thing, not developing intimate, multi-dimensional, love relationships with other people? Sure, that's non-monogamy, but I'm not quite sure it's polyamory. As a "writer", maybe you could be a little clearer and more concise in your writing. I think that would help a lot in making this a more interesting series to read, rather than just some weird, titillating, judgmental blogpost.

Oh, and I agree with the vagina/vulva thing, too. Semantics, people!

Rachel R.

As much as I don't want to get wrapped up in vocabulary (and as an English major that is very hard to do), I have to agree with Meme only if you are planning on writing this as a series. As you know, you and I know some people in common, and I was schooled a bit on the different terms. "Polyamory," for the people who are in that lifestyle, is considered to be about multiple partnerships; hence, "poly" for multiple and "amory" for love. You can still have a primary partner in a polyamorous relationship, but it usually also involves the prospect of dating and falling in love with other people. If that's what you're in, then call it polyamory. However, if you have one love and are just seeking sexual intimacy only, not emotional intimacy, then you're in an open relationship or non-monogamous relationship. Some people call it "swinging."

Again, if this were a one-time post, I wouldn't comment on the vocabulary at all. But if you're wanting to do a series and give people an idea of the lifestyle, then you should probably use the proper terminology as it is used by the people in that lifestyle.


Patrick isnt that into you. If he was, he would be exclusive. Sorry you have to deal with this. Polyamory isnt fun.


It's interesting to me that a commenter, who is monogamous, speaks so disparagingly of "Susie Q and her judgmental band of sorority jerks because that's what Jesus told them to do".

Um, as if THAT isn't a form of judgment. I love how certain people preach about freedom of everything - when they really mean freedom for ME but not so much for you if you have a different opinion. If you do, well, then, you must be a judgmental jerk!

Maybe my choice to be monogamous has nothing to do with Jesus - maybe one person to share my love with is enough for me.

There are a lot of people who say it isn't fair to expect one person to fill all your needs - emotionally, spiritually, physically and I actually believe that to be true. But that is because I believe that I need to provide myself with the majority of those things. I cannot look to anyone else - either one partner or multiple partners - to provide the things I need to be happy. My partner should compliment the life I have already built for myself - at whatever stage the building process is in.

As far as you go, Amanda, I truly feel whatever floats your boat but, two things....

First, it appears that Patrick's wife/family are not fans of his new lifestyle choice and so maybe a little of the rah, rah, rah while a family is crumbling around themselves should be toned down out of some sense of respect.

Second, I can't help feeling, well, it's just all very try too hard. "Look at me, I'm Amanda, I have purple hair and I'm crazzzy". I'd be willing to bet you aren't the only purple haired, polyamorous, vulva waxer in existence. Scads of women are attracted to bald men. It's a great, big world out there, you know. These things do not make you the trailblazer you think you are.

People who have personalities that shine through, don't need to constantly tell people how shiny they are. What are you overcompensating for?

And, I know this is very long and you may not believe me but, I am not trying to be mean or cut you down. I actually think that you'd probably be a blast to sit down and have a beer (or a coffee) with. But not for the reasons you think would make you interesting. I get the sense that you take on the traits you think others - especially whatever man you are with - want to see in you rather than just truly being who you are.

Jen D.

So, I've rested on this post for awhile, trying to decide if I wanted to comment at all. I couldn't comment on the alcohol ones as they hit too close to home and the words you are saying sounded too much like my alcoholic father, so I was afraid I'd project too much.

I agree with others about your use of the word polyamory needing clarification. My best friend and others in my life are polyamorous, and while they do have a Primary Partner, they also have other actual relationships with people they are in love with, not just other sex partners. Thus the Poly and Amory parts of the word. I know there are a lot of misconceptions so if you do write a serious please clarify whether you are polyamorous or in an open relationship.

Most importantly...have you ever seen the movie Runaway Bride? There is a scene where Richard Gere notes that Julia Roberts has changed everything about her identity to match that of whatever man she's with right down to her choice of eggs. The egg scene stuck with me. She tries eggs cooked all different ways to see what SHE actually likes and she doesn't like eggs at all it turns out! When I think of you and certain friends of mine, I think of that scene. When someone goes from one serious relationship to another and another they don't give themselves time to form a strong identity. Then,out of want to connect deeply with someone, they might adopt that person's likes/dislikes because, why not?

I feel like your identity changes to match whoever you're with. You were with Dave, you held similar beliefs and kept your hair long. You were with Joel, you held similar beliefs to him and you dyed your hair blonde to fulfill his Hitchcock fantasies. You are now with Patrick the Rock Star and have adopted polyamory and died your hair pink. It's just a pattern I noticed and while it's hard, maybe you really, REALLY should just take a break from relationships find YOU. The real, true, MANDA. Then you won't have to go to depend on any one person or group of people to fulfill your'll fulfill them all on your own.


monogamy is a difficult/hard/shitty/wonderful/awful thing.

polyamory is the same i expect.

i also think it's an easy way out of saying to the world you aren't able to land a stable partner (if it's something you want).

this could be expected from someone that had wls. not doing *the work* in one area translates to other aspects of life i guess.

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