Dec 052011
 

For your amusement (and for your information), I present the ninth installment in Dumb Domme’s BDSM Lexicon, “polyamorous.”

View all past entries here.


polyamorous, adj. /ˌpɑliˈæm(ə)rəs/ (IPA)   [pä-lē-ˈa-mə-rēs] (spelled)

Definition:

polyamorous, adj.: participating in multiple, simultaneous intimate, and/or sexual relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners involved.

polyamory infinity heart symbol

Fig. 1: Polyamory “Infinity Heart” Symbol

Usage:

“I caught my boyfriend in bed with another woman. I was pissed off at first, but then he explained that he forgot to tell me he was polyamorous. He forgot… riiight.”

“My wife and I used to be a couple, but then we married Alex, and now we’re a thruple.”

Polyamory Fun Facts:

Fig. 2: Ugly Parrot

Fig. 2: Ugly Parrot

  • In 2002, the U.S. band Breaking Benjamin released the single “Polyamorous” off their album Saturate. Vocals on the track epitomize the angsty strain characteristic of most early 2000s commercial “alt” music, and the lyrics demonstrate the emotional depth of a potted plant.
  • The polyamory “mascot” is “Polly the Parrot,” and is reportedly both a play on the name “Polly” and is a callback to the phrase “Polly wanna X.”  (see Fig. 2)
  • After seven years of consideration, the Oxford English Dictionary added the terms “polyamorous,” “polyamory,” and “polyamorist” to their ongoing revisions.
  • If you’re fucking or planning to fuck a person of French, Australian, or British origins, spelling “polyamourous” with a couple of extra ‘u’s shows cultural sensitivity and generally, increases your chances of getting laid by someone classy.

Polyamory in Practice:

Being polyamorous doesn’t necessarily mean a person engages in group sex. Similarly, people who engage in group sex aren’t necessarily polyamorous. However, studies show that people who do engage in group sex, whether polyamorous or not, are much more fun than those who do not. (see Fig. 3)

polyamory illustration

Fig. 3: Synchronous Polyamory

Possible Etymology:

The etymology of “polyamorous” stems from the terms poly meaning “many,” amour meaning “love,” and us meaning “us.” In the 1700s, identifying as “polyamorous” meant roughly the same as “many fucks with us.”

The term should not be confused with “polyamorphous,” which means “takes many, often undefined shapes.”

Fucking Annoying:

I’m all in favor of polyamory, polyfamilies, polygons, whatever. But dammit, referring to yourself–a single person–as “we” all the time is really fucking annoying. I’m talking to you, just you, and you are not we. You are you. This W/we shit is annoying.

Also, if you refer to your triad relationship as a “thruple,” we can’t be friends.

Does Dumb Domme?:

Does Dumb Domme practice polyamory? Not at the moment, but I guess it’s possible. For the record, I actually prefer the term “sleeping around.”

 


works consulted: Newsweek    Polyamory in the OED  •  Some Notes on Poly Terms    Oxford English Dictionary  Wikipedia: “Polyamory” •  Alt.Polyamory

 

  9 Responses to “BDSM Lexicon Entry #9: Polyamorous”

  1. Bwa ha ha ha! I love this! I totally <3 this!

    I like polyamory as a concept. I do. I respect those who have attempted to handle the challenges inherent to it… not just the emotional complications of more than two people, but the societal stigmas, too.

    But, dammit, if too many of the poly crowd don't represent themselves as taking it all too seriously! After reading books, forums, blogs, and news articles, this is the most fun I've seen with the concept of polyamory ever.

  2. @WBW: I'm with you. I respect the theory, but I'm not sure I could handle it in practice.

    And yes! I'm firmly convinced that most people do take themselves too seriously. Life is short–have lots of sex, buy the good wine, and laugh as often as possible. :)

  3. Have you seen the “Polyamory is wrong!” t-shirt? “It is either multiamory or polyphilia, but mixing Greek and Latin roots? Wrong!” ;-)

  4. I’ve never referred to my poly family as “we” but I can just imagine the annoyance. I’ve only been practicing poly for a little over a year, and I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing most of the time. Hmmm…this may just be the entire summation of my life in a sentence. ANYWAY, your post made me laugh. I hate labeling everything including my love life. I prefer to say, “I love who I love.” xoxo

  5. While I get your humor, I hope you do understand that not every polyamorous relationship is for sex only. My husband and I have been poly for nearly 7 years ~ we build relationships, not sexual conquests.

    Indeed many people use the term “poly” as an excuse to sleep around, and that should be called what it is “sleeping around”.

    But to suggest that an actual polyamorous person sleeps around is a little snide, don’t you think?

    • While I get your humor

      I’m not sure you do.

      I hope you do understand that not every polyamorous relationship is for sex only.

      Are you really unsure whether I believe polyamorous relationships are for sex only? Really, really? If you’re honestly unsure, and if you can’t figure it out, then let me know. But if you’re just taking offense and/or if you’re just “schooling” me, then I’ll consider your offense taken, you consider me schooled, and let’s call it a night, mhmm-kay?

      Indeed many people use the term “poly” as an excuse to sleep around, and that should be called what it is “sleeping around”.

      But that wouldn’t be fun, funny, or even remotely interesting, would it?

      But to suggest that an actual polyamorous person sleeps around is a little snide, don’t you think?

      Absolutely, and that’s the point. Perhaps you do get my humor after all. :)

      • Actually, I do get your humor.

        However, what I dislike is having people point to posts like these trying to prove [to me, my husband and anyone else willing to listen] that polyamory is simply an excuse to be a slut. I don’t find it funny after being told time after time that *this* is what we are.

        ‘Does Dumb Domme practice polyamory? Not at the moment, but I guess it’s possible. For the record, I actually prefer the term “sleeping around.”’

        Polyamory =/= Sleeping Around

        • You didn’t answer my question.

          If you want to complain, by all means, do that. But don’t do it under the pretense of genuinely not understanding what I’m doing here or by pretending to educate me on something you already know I don’t need educated on. That’s silly.

          However, what I dislike is having people point to posts like these trying to prove [to me, my husband and anyone else willing to listen] that polyamory is simply an excuse to be a slut.

          Ok. I’m going to call bullshit here. While I’m perpetually shocked by what people point to on the interwebz, I have trouble believing people are pointing to a post by “Dumb Domme” as a means to argue about lifestyle choices with members of the polyamorous community.

          ‘Does Dumb Domme practice polyamory? Not at the moment, but I guess it’s possible. For the record, I actually prefer the term “sleeping around.”’

          Do I practice polyamory? No. To label what it is that I practice, I prefer the term “sleeping around.”

          There you go. The next time someone points to this blog post as a means to “prove” to you whatever-the-fuck they’re proving, you point them to this comment.

          Also, tell them they’re fucking idiots for pointing to a blog post by Dumb Domme — it’s not great for their credibility.

          Polyamory =/= Sleeping Around

          Noted.

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