So upon further reflection, I feel like you might have missed some important pieces long the way which covered some of the various nuances that aren’t my own, though I’ve still been reluctant to comment on the lives of others as if they were my own — to do so would be inauthentic…

The Different Types of Non-Monogamy

Things to Consider Before Trying Polyamory

Polyamory and Lopsided Love

These are just a few of the more cautionary tales of the discomfort people can expect to experience when engaging in a dynamic like mine, as well as spelling out an inexhaustive list of the different dynamic types that people subscribe to — The Different Types of Non-Monogamy is my least favorite work because I hate telling the stories of other people when I haven’t taken them in empirically.

In my writing I’m leaving a roadmap for others to follow who might want to share in some of the same ideas that I feel have made our relationship a success. It should also be noted we aren’t a part of the “lifestyle” and reject the notion that our love is a “lifestyle,” we don’t attend seminars, we don’t go to group gatherings, we categorically reject all of that, so for obvious reasons, the “lifestyle” element will always be lacking from my work because I strongly advocate against it for the problems you’ve both encountered and mentioned — I’m weary of any group, Democrats, Republicans, Polyamorous groups, you name it, and in a very real way, we’re allowed to be ourselves most by rejecting the group identity as a primary purpose in what we do.

To reject my experiences and claim they dont’ speak for all poly people is to misinterpret the point to the point of invalidating the experiences by perceiving it as descriptive of the whole — I’m not saying my version of poly is what’s “supposed to be,” but I am absolutely and unapologetically saying my version of poly is what works for us and why.

That said, if you feel like things like one-penis-policy are lacking from my work, I’m not here to tell your story unless you want me to, and if you do, feel free to send me a message on Twitter at @JoeMDuncan and we can arrange something, though I feel that you may more accurately tell your story than I can. If you feel that I have the so-called “responsibility” to speak on more than the facet that works for me, I’m going to say I will not — I refuse to trade the authenticity of my work and direct experiences in order to try to tell the stories of other people that haven’t been directly intimated to me, stories I don’t know, and also relationship styles I cannot vouch for — that’s your task.

Things like “the scene” and OPPs are things we as a triad steer clear of for good reason, as you said yourself, they’re huge red flags.

Basically, I can say, “This is what we do that works for us,” and we as writers can only make suggestions from what we’ve seen and experienced. People in those groups are like, “We just want a slave who has no personality and will live-in with us, but have their own room, no other dudes allowed, goes out when we tell them, we maintain all levers of control, etc.” and this notion I categorically reject, and reject it as true polyamory, which is why I haven’t done it, which is why I won’t talk about it — that’s monogamy with a dash of abuse and an extra person…that’s one couple expanding their monogamous horizons.

It’s like people who say that “the post office is socialism,” well, no it’s not, it’s a government program, North Korea is socialism, just because you add one thing to a massive preexisting paradigm, especially when you don’t do the important ideological shifts necessary (that I spell out in my works), doesn’t mean you can just wear the label of “polyamory” authentically, just like The Post Office doesn’t make the United States a socialist country.

If people don’t challenge their deeply held beliefs about control, have they truly achieved the open and loving approach to the poly life they are claiming? Especially polyamory where it’s predicated upon an emotional and not just a sexual connection with others? I think not. Poly shouldn’t be limitless, but it should be fair, and unfair cases, abusive cases, are questionably poly in the fundamental ideologies which are important to the fundamental existence of poly. A couple placing a bunch of limits on their third isn’t allowing for a healthy, flourishing relationship for that third person. Fortunately I don’t live this existence.

Simply put, I will continue to refuse to discuss the idiocy of other people when I’ve found real solutions and things that work. I’ve also mentioned in this very piece that we’re quite exceptional people, a recurrent theme throughout my work on polyamory and monogamy alike, that people need to become exceptional before they become capable of properly loving, with pieces like Why Love Must Be Inconvenient (and Why It’s Worth It) and Is Marriage Obsolete?

The fact is, those are presupposed in my work, and I can’t put a disclaimer for every little problem that people might encounter that I personally have avoided, and avoided for good reason. In the end, I want to leave my readers with the path that I’ve found to my success and share in what works to achieve the maximum joy I’ve experienced in my life.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Lastly, you’re still saying that I said that polyamory is a way to get rid of control in relationships, something I never said, to quote:

“I mentioned them because you said that polyamory is a way to get rid of control in relationships”

What I actually said was:

“In my relationship, we’ve increased the authenticity of our love, quite counterintuitively, by creating alternative possibilities — possibilities that we haven’t seized upon. ‘Hey, you’re your own person and I will always respect your body and your decisions as your own,” has been met with, “And that’s exactly why I do this with you and I don’t need to look elsewhere.’”

This is trying to spell out the consciousness shift I’d like to convey to my readers that I myself have experienced. This is me saying, “Here’s how we did it,” not, “Here’s what polyamorous people are like,” and there’s a massive difference between those two statements.

The fact is, we didn’t enter into our dynamic with a bunch of rules and restrictions, like “only one dude” or “you have to abide by this policy or else,” etc., and that’s why it’s successful, so that’s what I advocate. We’re successful precisely because we liberate one another without biases pertaining to sex and we categorically reject control at every turn. If anything, the controlling people we mentioned in this comment thread are the ones who need to read this the most, supposing they want a true, successful polyamorous relationship — and that’s actually why I write.

The key here, is that I’m spelling out exactly how we’ve eliminated control dynamics with our specific lines of thinking, which can’t be removed from the work itself. If you feel like that doesn’t tell your stories of control, that’s because we don’t live those stories, making it a suitable task for you to do so, but in the meanwhile, I’ll be over here talking about what works for us, and readers can choose to reflect on that or not, they can choose to apply that to their lives and worldviews or not, ultimately, it should be left up to the reader to do so.

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store