The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

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A Response To – Sometimes it is about the sex

“Sometimes it is about the sex,” is a nicely written article by @FearlessKnitts that states,

It feels strange to write that as the title of this piece, as I – and I’m sure many other polyamorous people reading this, have spent quite a lot of time telling people that polyamory is not about the sex.

Except sometimes it is, and maybe it wouldn’t do us too much harm to say so out loud. (Read article here:

In it, she tells us about the different compatibility level sexually between her and her husband and how their other respective partners fulfill what is lacking. And I think that’s wonderful. I think it’s poly because she states,

So, does this devalue polyamory? I don’t think so. The love is there, and it’s deep. It isn’t all about the sex, but that doesn’t mean that we should feel compelled by the puritanical undercurrents of our society to deny the sexual element of polyamory.

Though, I don’t believe that society is asking to deny the sexual element of polyamory, no more than they ask to deny the fact that there is sex in marriages. I believe the public is asking for a distinction, and – because we know how fond people are of labels – to call the relationship whatever it truly is based on that distinction. From my understanding, the difference between poly and swinging is the desire to have a relationship and hopefully grow to love each of your partners, not simply have sex with them. The different can be described in this way:

I married for money.

I happened to marry a person with money.

And, I think some people who have poly relationships need to make the same distinction between:

I’m dating multiple people to have sex with.

I’m dating multiple people who I happen to have sex with.

The reason being is because @FearlessKnitts is correct, polyamorous people do have to spend a lot of time fighting the belief that poly is “all about sex”. Some have multiple partners they truly care for and love (and yes, they have sex with all or most of them) and that relationship is cheapened by those who say they are poly, but really only call their other partners primarily for sex. In the latter cases, just learn the phrase, “hooking up”. Mono people do it all of the time. 😉


9 comments on “A Response To – Sometimes it is about the sex

  1. Nick
    July 26, 2012

    Yeah. “hooking up with permission.”

    • Jane Doe
      July 26, 2012

      Cute. Yes. I believe some people are simply “booty calls” (with permission).

      Think of it this way, if a girl meets a guy & they pretty much only have sex for the first month, she eventually asks if that’s all there is to the relationship. I think because “poly” is sometimes used to describe the same situation, it takes a bit longer to figure out the relationship is no more than a booty call.

      To drive the point home: not every “open relationship” is a poly relationship. There are catagegories: swingers, play partners, booty calls, hookups, and, of course, polyamory. Plus ones I’m sure I dont even know about.

  2. Miss Quinoline
    July 27, 2012

    I can resonate with the point that the article makes that it certainly can be about the sex. I opened my relationship about a year ago because my sexual needs weren’t being met–I went through dating, some hookups, and still wasn’t really happy. It was when I found another *partner*–with whom I have frequent, mind-blowing sex, but whom I also value for countless other reasons–that I was happy again. I looked to poly at first because of sex, but it is the ability to pursue someone I meet and let things take their course and develop into meaningful relationships that I find the most valuable.

    So ramble-ramble-yay-poly!

    • Jane Doe
      July 27, 2012

      I like this sentence in your reply: I opened my relationship about a year ago because my sexual needs weren’t being met–I went through dating, some hookups, and still wasn’t really happy.

      You mention you “opened” your relationship, but didn’t label it “poly” at that point. Is that because the reason you opened it was sex based? And it sounds like you labeled one of relationships “poly” because, “I also value for countless other reasons.”

      Perhaps, there are stages to poly or “other levels” if you will, like there are in dating:

      “You and Keith are spending a lot of time together. Are you dating?”

      “No, we’re just hanging out.”

      Two weeks later.

      “Well, we’re more serious now. We’re seeing each other.”

      A month later.

      “It’s official. We’re dating!”

      A poly comparison, the triad in Married & Dating, clearing have a poly relationship. And Anthony and Vanessa seemed content to letting Lindsey “hookup” and see other guys as long as it was not serious. But, the moment one of those “casual partners” headed towards the level of “boyfriend” (poly relationship?), the trouble started.

      “We need to be aware when the relationship goes from lover to boyfriend.” – Anthony

      aka – from basically “just sex” to a serious, meaningful relationship? So, perhaps, a poly person can have a poly situations with some lovers and some are simply just lovers?


      • Miss Quinoline
        July 27, 2012

        It wasn’t so much a conscious “Now it’s open, and now it’s poly,” as it was a transitional period for me, personally. I’d had issues with monogamous relationships in the past, and it took moving through different stages (including an “open relationship”) to find the kind of relationship(s) I wanted–and a lot of that was finding the right people.

        To make a small distinction, you say a person “can have poly situations.” I found this a little strange, because I don’t define specific *relationships* of mine as poly or not poly. I identify as a polyamorous person. But I definitely agree that a poly person can have different types of relationships. I have three relationships–two I would call my boyfriends (though these relationships are, themselves, vastly different), and one who I would probably just call a fuck buddy/play partner.

  3. polypebble
    July 27, 2012

    I am constantly having to re-educate people that assume my being poly means that I am an easy booty call. To the contrary, we have guidelines in our relationship(s) that others need to agree to before becoming sexual with anyone of us. … While I may be just as sexually charged/engaged/or wanting as the next ‘swinger’ I choose to put emotional and spiritual connection higher on the priority list than the root desire for sexual pleasure.

    • Jane Doe
      July 27, 2012

      ” I choose to put emotional and spiritual connection higher on the priority list than the root desire for sexual pleasure.” – And to me, that makes a huge difference between poly and swinging. (spiritual connection varies by user’s beliefs. 😉 )

      • polypebble
        July 28, 2012

        Indeed, Jane Doe. I love the process though, and have found many people that are on the same path spiritually AND emotionally! the joy has been in the journey……

  4. Jane Doe
    July 29, 2012

    A big thanks to Miss Quinoline and Polypebble for sharing their thoughts and a relationships with us. It really helps to get different perspectives on such a widely interpreted relationship structure. Thank you for opening up, you two!

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