Originally published at
Many people in various alternative lifestyle communities (my own writings leap to mind) like to go to some lengths to try to explain that we really are “Just Like You”. Domesticity is often discussed — the activities of dinner around the dining room table, the taking out of trash, the fact we have jobs and pay bills — “Just Like You”.
I give up. Oh sure, we take out the trash, do laundry and pay bills. So what? That’s maintenance. That doesn’t make us “just alike”.
We’re not the same. I know why the assertion existed. I did it, myself. It was to try to gain some acceptance. It was to point out that we have our lives and live them as consciously as many.
Yeah, we want acceptance, but part of that is going to come from the realization that having to consult a calendar to know who sleeps where and with whom is okay. That there are going to be times when the whole family does not travel together, or share the same religion, or yes, you might actually have to meet three other people to get an okay to date someone.
You really want to realize that yes, we are different, take a walk down memory lane to a party I attended recently.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day. The Pagans (no, not all poly people are pagan, but many are) are Not Wearing Green. Drink is flowing, Irish music is playing, there’s a Guinness to be quaffed and Irish stew for the belly. People are laughing and having a good time.
The party seems mostly to be in two rooms — the kitchen and the living room. In the living room, in lieu of a sofa, there is a mattress covered with pillows and cool looking throws. I had been in the kitchen, but hear The Beast laugh, pop my head in and see him lying on the mattress with four woman. Just talking. No, this was not an orgy.
But, of course, I cannot refrain from needling my delightful Beast. Oh no. I call out very loudly to my wife, “Hey, looks like The Beast has found himself new additions to a harem.”
“Oh?” says my wife.
“Yeah. There’s an orgy going on in the living room.”
From the living room, a clearly female voice protested, “No, it’s my harem!”
At this party were some people who were Not Poly — in a couple of cases, they were people that a friend of the hostess had brought, so it is quite possible that they had never even heard of the concept.
I drifted to the living room to chat with the people in the cuddle pile, but did not join it. My wife drifted in and did join it. The people who did not know us well all stayed in the kitchen, clearly uncomfortable and a little freaked out by the orgy joke and wondering what in the world was going on in the living room. They did peek in to see the cuddle pile on the mattress and wound up skipping out some time rather soon after that, clearly uncomfortable.
It’s little things like that.
This is not to say that we are special somehow because we are different. We’re not, m’kay? We’ve chosen lives that will lead us in paths that are standard ones. That’s okay. For the most part, these differences are not going to be noticed, commented upon or even cared about. My boss doesn’t give a rip about my sex life, for instance, or that I meet different people for lunch all the time, or that I have rather a wide range of pix in my family gallery. Nope, she wants to know that I got the filing done on time and will be able to answer the darned phone! Am I going to explain to her about poly? No need. Not hiding, mindja. My boyfriend comes to visit my office from time to time, and if she asked about it, I’d tell her. But, it’s just not pertinent to the situation at hand.