Monogamous Privilege Checklist, by Cory Davis

For the purposes of this list, I will refer to one’s position on the diagram of monogamy vs. various types of non-monogamy (polyamory, open marriage, swinging, religious polygyny, etc.) as simply “relationship orientation”.

Note that for the purposes of this list, “relationship orientation” does NOT refer to one’s sexual orientation re: the Kinsey scale (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, etc.). Monogamous individuals who are LGBTQ and/or in interracial and/or intergenerational romantic relationships may well be exempt from some (though not all) of these privileges, especially those marked with an asterisk at the end.

Monogamous Privilege Checklist:

1) I can legally marry whomever I wish, with all the legal, medical, and financial benefits of marriage universally recognized for me and my family no matter where I live.*

2) I am not accused of being abused, warped, immoral, unethical, or psychologically confused because of my relationship orientation.

3) No one ever questions the validity of my love because of my relationship orientation.

4) It is not assumed based on my relationship orientation that I or any of my former or current partners has been misled, coerced, manipulated, or used in any way.

5) No one argues that my relationship orientation is impractical, unstable, incompatible with commitment, or otherwise effectively impossible to realize. No one argues that my relationship orientation works better in theory than in practice.

6) It is not assumed that my life must be overly-complicated because of my relationship orientation.

7) No one tries to convert me to their relationship orientation.

8 It is not assumed that I will switch relationship orientations as soon as I find the “right” person.

9) It is not generally understood that I am unfit to raise children because of my relationship orientation.

10) I can feel certain that my government will not suddenly remove my children to a foster home based on my relationship orientation.

11) As a responsible and loving parent, I won’t lose my children in a custody battle because of my relationship orientation.

12) As a responsible and loving adult, I can adopt children without lying about my relationship orientation.

13) I can be certain that my children won’t be harassed because of my relationship orientation.

14) My children are given texts and information at school that validates my family structure – two parents with kids, two sets of grandparents, etc.

15) It is not assumed based on my relationship orientation that my children are/were raised in an unstable environment.

16) No one assumes or speculates based on my relationship orientation that my children experience or ever will experience emotional, psychological, social, or behavioral problems.

17) I do not have to explain my relationship orientation to strangers whenever it comes up.

18) People don’t ask why I made my choice of relationship orientation.

19) People don’t ask why I made my choice to be public about my relationship orientation.

20) I don’t have to defend my relationship orientation.

21) I am not identified, categorized or grouped by my relationship orientation.

22) I am never asked to speak for everyone who shares my relationship orientation.

23) My individual behavior is not thought to reflect on all persons who identify with my relationship orientation.

24) If a romantic relationship of mine ends, no one blames my relationship orientation.

25) I can be sure that all of my roommates, classmates, and coworkers will be comfortable with my relationship orientation.

26) When I talk about my monogamy (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I am never accused of pushing my relationship orientation onto others.

27) I do not have to fear revealing my relationship orientation to friends or family. It’s assumed.

28) I do not have to fear that if my family, friends, or professional community find out about my relationship orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical, or psychological consequences for me or for others.

29) I can run for political office without expecting that my relationship orientation will disqualify me.

30) I can depart from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling fearful, excluded, isolated, attacked, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped or feared because of my relationship orientation.

31) I can date whomever I wish, regardless of whether or not they previously identified with my relationship orientation, without fear that my new partner will be shunned by their friends and family due to their choice to embark upon a relationship with someone of my relationship orientation.

32) I am guaranteed to find people of my relationship orientation represented in my workplace.

33) I can be sure that my classes/courses/training will require curricular materials that testify to the existence of people with my relationship orientation.

34) I can easily find a religious community that will not exclude me based on my relationship orientation.

35) I am guaranteed to find sex education literature for people with my relationship orientation.

36) I can count on finding a therapist or doctor who will recognize my relationship orientation as valid, should I seek their services.

37) I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my relationship orientation will not work against me.
38) Public hand-holding with my love is seen as acceptable and endearing. I can walk in public with my partner and not have people stare or do a double-take.*

39) I can choose not to think politically about my relationship orientation.

40) I can remain oblivious to the language and culture of other relationship orientations (i.e. polyamory, swinging, etc.) without paying any penalty for such obliviousness.

41) Even if I am oblivious about other relationship orientations, my culture affords me the privilege of judging those orientations and being an authoritative source of relationship advice because I am monogamous. This is especially true if I am a therapist, researcher, media darling, or other authority figure.

42) In everyday conversation, the language my friends and I use generally assumes my relationship orientation. For example, “family” meaning monogamous relationships with children.

43) Nobody calls me monogamous with malice.

44) I am not asked to think about why I am monogamous.

45) Society encourages me to marry and celebrates my commitment.*

46) My relationship orientation is commonly represented in music, television, movies, books, magazines, greeting cards, and postcards.

47) Major, mainstream social networking websites such as Facebook allow me to set my relationship status according to my relationship orientation.

48) I can go to relationship and dating events (i.e. singles events, relationship skills workshops) secure in the knowledge that my relationship orientation will be the standard and will be catered to.

49) I never need to change pronouns when describing the events of my life in order to protect my job, my family, or my friendships.*

50) If I’m a teenager, I can enjoy dating, first loves, and all the social approval of learning to love appropriately within my relationship orientation.*

51) If I’m called to work with children or to serve God (in most denominations), I don’t have to lie about my relationship orientation in order to keep my job.

52) I can count on my community of friends, acquaintances, strangers, and various institutions to celebrate my love and my family, mourn my losses, and support my relationships.*

53) It is not assumed merely because of my relationship orientation that I am experienced in sex (or that I even have it at all!).

54) It is not assumed that I am inclined toward my relationship orientation purely for sexual reasons.

55) It is not assumed based on my relationship orientation that I am more likely than average to have STIs.

56) It is not assumed based on my relationship orientation that I am unaware of the risks posed by my sexual behavior.

57) I am not assumed based on my relationship orientation to be sexually indiscriminate.

58) I do not have to deal with the language and culture of my relationship orientation being co-opted, redefined, and demonized by an unfriendly majority which controls the media.

59) No one ever calls my relationship orientation “creepy” or “disturbing”.

60) I can befriend people without them and/or their romantic partners assuming that I am trying to convert them to my relationship orientation.

61) No one takes issue with their children being around me based on my relationship orientation.

62) I can be fairly certain that anyone who is in a committed, romantic relationship with me will also be invited to most parties, weddings, and other social events to which I am invited.*

63) No one makes assumptions about my political views or religious beliefs based on my relationship orientation.

64) No one refers to my relationship orientation by the wrong term or label, either intentionally or inadvertently.

65) I do not have to coin or invent terms to describe my relationship orientation and familial connections to others, because the language describing my relationship orientation already exists and is known throughout the culture.

66) No one ever ridicules or makes jokes about the terminology that people with my relationship orientation commonly use to describe their relationship structures and familial connections.

– Cory Davis

[Please consider our sponsors, below and at right. Clicks help East Portland Blog!]

87 comments to Monogamous Privilege Checklist, by Cory Davis

  • Baldini

    You are aware that 'monogamous' simply means being with one person right?

  • Persephone

    Thank you.

  • guest

    Nice essay, but you should credit. Peggy McIntosh for this layout. You do make some examples missing from her essay, but otherwise it is clearly heavily influenced by her work, shown here: http://www.nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf.

    • Cory Davis

      Hmm, there are actually only a couple on that particular checklist that sort of resemble a couple on this one. I've never even seen the one you cited before. I lifted plenty from other checklists, mostly ones having to do with heterosexual privilege. To be frank, I wasn't even expecting to be credited for writing this, as only about half of it is truly original, and about 1/4 are suggestions from friends, so only the remaining 1/4 is truly my own writing. I have noticed that it's pretty common online behavior for people to plagiarize each other's privilege checklist without crediting anyone. I'd be happier simply to have my name removed entirely than to credit any single individual for something that has been done in a very similar fashion in regards to privilege for white, heterosexual, male, cisgendered, etc.

      • noblecaboose

        The Invisible Knapsack of privilege style was originally done by Peggy McIntosh. All the other lists you may have seen are derivative, whether they credited her or not. It's generally perceived to be good netiquette to give credit if you've adapted someone else's work and while crediting 'any single individual' may be a bit much to ask, one should out of courtesy and respect at least refer to the fact that this was not your idea. "Everyone else is doing it" is hardly an excuse for blatant plagiarism.
        All that said, I thoroughly enjoyed your piece and will be posting about it on my own blog soon. I'd been thinking about doing something similar for some time (ever since reading the Peggy McIntosh one a while back, actually…).

        • "Everyone else is doing it" is hardly an excuse for blatant plagiarism.

          Good thing this list isn't blatant plagiarism, isn't it?

          First, Mr. Davis didn't adapt Ms. McIntosh's work. He simply made a list. People were making lists long before Ms. McIntosh's awesome paper. Next, the fact is that Ms. McIntosh didn't invent the ideas on her list. People had been speaking and writing about them for years before she wrote her list, so she's hardly the originator of those ideas. Last, Ms. McIntosh didn't credit the people that she derived her work from, either.

          Also, 'netiquette'? Really? I'm going to go ahead and suggest that anyone who uses the word 'netiquette' is not a good source of information for what people do and do not do on the Internet.

          • noblecaboose

            This isn't just any list, it's in an almost identical style as Peggy McIntosh's now famous document. From http://www.ehow.com/info_7967247_five-kinds-plagi… : "When the paragraph structures are too similar or the way you argue your point is identical, then this is called style plagiarism. You are using someone else's way of writing to explain your point." Nobody said she invented the ideas in it, but the particular style of a list of privileges from the point of view of the privileged was popularised by her. Every other time I have seen this style of list of privileges, they have credited her 'Invisible Knapsack' essay.

            The term netiquette has been around forever. I could just have easily said 'web etiquette' but that seemed clunky. You failed to explain what is your problem with this word. You just went straight for sarcasm and expect your audience to agree with you.

            Please, if there is something for me to learn from this, tell me what I did wrong.
            Your negative energy is completely unnecessary. What did I do to make you so mad, PolyVerve?

          • It's almost identical in style, you say. Got it. In what world is that 'blatant plagiarism'? I mean, I get that you're upset and feel like she should have been credited, but that's just an opinion, with no more weight than my own. Certainly the lines are nebulous and nowhere near as certain as you describe.

            Also, hilariously, you follow up your use of the 90's term 'netiquette' with a 90's website. Do you really feel like eHow is the best source for responsible journalistic practices?

            As for the rest, I'm not mad. I am very amused, but not mad. How about you? Are you Ms. McIntosh incognito? If so, kudos on the amazing work, but chill out about the 'netiquette'. As a polyamorist, I feel like the world's a nicer place when we share. :)

          • noblecaboose

            Again, you are using snark rather than actually addressing my argument.
            I am not Peggy McIntosh, but if I were, my argument would be no less valid. You have failed to address my points without simply resorting to ridicule.

            The lines are nebulous sure, and I'll admit to hyperbole, but my point, that sources ought to be credited is valid.
            And as a polyamorist myself, I believe in sharing too, but it is best done with CONSENT and RESPECT. Stealing someone else's work without consent is not respectful.

            Lighten up on the mockery. The world's a nicer place when people are actually nice to each other.

          • I did address your point. I've done so repeatedly. Obviously, I feel like it's not close enough to call the Knapsack paper a source, meaning that it doesn't need to be credited. As for your idea of niceness, it's as strange as your idea of plagiarism, because your statements have been pretty harsh. ("Everyone else is doing it" is hardly an excuse for blatant plagiarism. comes to mind.)

            Also, lighten up on everything, including assuming that everyone else is angry rather than amused or mocking rather than teasing. The world's a nicer place when people don't show up in the comments to self-righteously scold good writers for no good reason.

          • noblecaboose

            I just pulled this from your own blog's policy page: "PolyVerve is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means that you can copy, distribute, transmit, remix, or adapt anything you find here as long as you note where it came from, don’t make money directly from it, and don’t get mad when the next person copies it from you"

            So, you don't want people to do this to anything *you* write, but you don't see a problem with someone else's work being adapted without citation?

          • So, you don't want people to do this to anything *you* write, but you don't see a problem with someone else's work being adapted without citation?

            You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. The Creative Commons license covering my blog specifically covers the copyright to my writing. Copyright doesn't cover style and never has. It only covers the fixed expression. In short, this license doesn't cover the crime against 'netiquette' that you're so upset about. (Because it's not a crime and not against 'netiquette'.) People are free to write their own definitions, lexicon, book reviews, or (coming soon) the ever-popular numbered list of debunked myths about polyamory, in the same style as my posts.

            So, to recap, if you copy – word for word – any of my posts, you should credit me. Or Ms. McIntosh. Or anyone else you copy and paste from. (In fact, you can see an example of that kind of copying here.) If, however, you simply copy the style of my work, you're good. No need to credit me or even ask. Just go to town and spread the joy. Because, again, the world is a nicer place when we share. :)

          • noblecaboose

            As I can't seem to find another source for the concept of 'style plagiarism' I'll concede that point that it isn't necessarily plagiarism. However, given that I've read other authors who did think it worthwhile to cite the original essay, I personally would err on that side out of common courtesy. But perhaps that is just me. I guess I don't define 'sharing' the same way you do.

            Thank you for finally addressing my actual argument. Too bad you felt the need to be so condescending in order to do it.
            You also can't seem to resist mocking my word choice, yet again. It must be great to be so hip that you can mock people for using a word that isn't current. I'll be sure to avoid using any such terms in the future.
            Also, I'm pretty sure I've never read your blog until today. Despite the fact that you made a rather presumptuous and confrontational comment on the post on my blog that you're apparently referring to.

            I'll say it again, the world is a nicer place when people are nice. To me, that means not being petty or derisive when entering into a discussion. Apparently the part about 'being polite' in your own comments policy doesn't apply when you're commenting on other people's blogs.

          • bluebeard80

            the author already stated they had not seen the Knapsack essay before; therefore, any claim by you that he's plagiarizing is rendered moot. you can't copy what you haven't seen.

          • AKC

            Bluebeard – doesn't matter. Once an author has been informed of the similarities, either a credit must be given or the content must be changed. As I said, it happens all the time, because there's a LOT of stuff out there. It's really not that big of a deal to do a simple credit. I'm not sure why the author is being such an ass about it.

  • bob jones

    your list is complete fluff im sorry to say.

    -half of these arn't even true, or are generally misunderstood

    53) No one ever calls my romantic preference “creepy”.
    ya like nobody has every called a heterosexual mans pursuit of a woman as creepy

    60) No one takes issue with their children being around me based on my romantic preference.
    people don't want you playing with their children if you're a man and especially if you have a mustache. wheres the mustache-outrage?!

    -others are just plain and simply, not true

    48) It is not assumed that I am more likely than average to have STDs based on my romantic preference.
    well the numbers would tend to disagree with you more. if the average person has sex with 5 people before they get married, then a monogamous couple would ultimately be sharing 5 partners with the others for a total of 10 partners. now lets apply the same circumstances to a polyamorous couple of 3. each person has now been exposed to a total of 15 partners (this doesn't even take into account the fact that the previous partners were likely in concurrent relationships increasing the total number of shared partners). so in other words, yes you are more likely to be at higher risk due to the likelyhood of having shared more total sexual partners, all things else considered equal.

    45) I can count on my community of friends, strangers, and institutions to celebrate my love and my family, mourn my losses, and support my relationships.
    well this certainly depends on your community. something tells me you might not have much of a problem in san francisco compared to say atlanta.

    listen i am all for you doing whatever makes you happy, but your not being oppressed by some monogamous forces. your trying to rally a pity party for something that i would assume you love to point out to everyone you know only to act surprised they don't subscribe. the same reason they don't make polyamorous post-cards is the reason they dont make cheeseburger lover post-cards…. it wouldn't generate a large enough profit. so what you have done with this fluff article, in which has no hard data but your random feelings, is create a further divide between those in both camps. i can make a polyamorous privilege checklist if you want to see the other side of the coin.

    1) i can laugh about those silly monogamist who ignore evolution which states that since monkeys like multiple partners, humans must as well

    see, that doesn't really help anything does it?

    (disclaimer to the above #1 : it is my personal view that humans have EVOLVED to become monogamist due to the advantages brought about by the single family unit i.e. shared goodsdivided responsibilities in the post hunter-gather society)

    • pepomint

      Apparently we forgot to include one:

      74) Because I am monogamous, I have the privilege of acting like an asshole on the internet and denying that anyone could possibly be oppressed by my monogamous culture, while in the very process of repeating stereotypes that are part of that oppression. This includes the right to spew ridiculous pseudoscience, to promulgate bad stereotypes about STDs, and to generally be dismissive without making any actual arguments.

      Shut up and go home, troll.

      • B-Rizzle

        "…and to generally be dismissive without making any actual arguments.

        Shut up and go home, troll."

        Whelp, there goes any sort of credibility you might have had. Keep on keepin' on, you hypocrite

        • pepomint

          I gave him exactly the response he deserved. If someone wants to make an argument that rises above "la la la I'm not listening", they'll get a similar thoughtful response from me at least.

      • dogsheep

        Way to take the low road.

    • Lunitabonita

      "53) No one ever calls my romantic preference “creepy”.
      ya like nobody has every called a heterosexual mans pursuit of a woman as creepy"

      You are referring to sexual orientation (heterosexuality), but the author is talking about romantic preference (monogamy). You are not even arguing about the same theme. Furthermore, he was not talking about individual relationships/sexual advances, but pointing out that nobody ever says that monogamy is creepy as a whole, while this is an oft heard sentiment regarding polyamory/swinging/open relationships.

      "60) No one takes issue with their children being around me based on my romantic preference.
      people don't want you playing with their children if you're a man and especially if you have a mustache. wheres the mustache-outrage?!"

      Again, we are talking about romantic preferences. A mustache is not a romantic preference. Nonmonogamous people are sometimes assumed to be sex-crazed pedophiles, while this is never assumed about someone based solely on their monogamous relationship.

      "48) It is not assumed that I am more likely than average to have STDs based on my romantic preference.
      well the numbers would tend to disagree with you more. if the average person has sex with 5 people before they get married, then a monogamous couple would ultimately be sharing 5 partners with the others for a total of 10 partners. now lets apply the same circumstances to a polyamorous couple of 3. each person has now been exposed to a total of 15 partners (this doesn't even take into account the fact that the previous partners were likely in concurrent relationships increasing the total number of shared partners). so in other words, yes you are more likely to be at higher risk due to the likelyhood of having shared more total sexual partners, all things else considered equal."

      One big problem with your argument here is that you are making an assumption based on your experience in a monogamous society that automatically connects romantic relationships with sex and connects sex with marriage. Many polyamorous/open people will date around without having sex with each person. It is also not unheard of to have a romantic relationship with someone without any sexual contact (because polyamory = loving many and love =/= sex). You also base the number of sex partners on an arbitrary time line; that is the period before marriage. Many people (or even most) that are polyamorous/swingers/open never get (legally) married. The reasoning behind the use of your statistics is based on the belief that marriage is the definitive culmination of any serious relationship, but this is just not so for the group that we are discussing. This makes those numbers completely meaningless.

      To top it off, those statistics seem to be made up or without any suitable citation, which reduces the credibility of your evidence. Even if everybody did get married and had five sex partners before the moment rings were exchanged, based on the areas where nonmonogamy (versus serial monogamy and nonconsensual nonmonogamy {aka cheating}) are most common in the United States, it seems that comprehensive sex education and condom use are more widespread and that STD rates are noticeably lower.

      "45) I can count on my community of friends, strangers, and institutions to celebrate my love and my family, mourn my losses, and support my relationships.
      well this certainly depends on your community. something tells me you might not have much of a problem in san francisco compared to say atlanta."

      In this case, we are arguing something that is unquantifiable and in kind of a gray area. It really depends on what you mean by "celebrate my love and my family, mourn my losses, and support my relationships." I do agree with the generalization, though, that most communities would not choose to actively ostracize someone on account of being monogamous, while this happens often to those who choose to operate in different types of relationship structures. Also, San Francisco, while known for its liberal/gay vibe, is not always open to things like plural marriage, especially if it is practiced with religious motivation.

    • Lunitabonita

      "listen i am all for you doing whatever makes you happy, but your not being oppressed by some monogamous forces. your trying to rally a pity party for something that i would assume you love to point out to everyone you know only to act surprised they don't subscribe. the same reason they don't make polyamorous post-cards is the reason they dont make cheeseburger lover post-cards…. it wouldn't generate a large enough profit. so what you have done with this fluff article, in which has no hard data but your random feelings, is create a further divide between those in both camps. i can make a polyamorous privilege checklist if you want to see the other side of the coin."

      Denying the existence of oppression is the best way to ensure its continued existence. Again, you are making assumptions about the author pushing his preference onto others or flaunting, which is another example of ways nonmonogamous people are oppressed (see #6). Regarding post cards, I just don't think there is very much of a market for those regardless of the subject matter, and I don't really care about it. Your comment has no hard data and seems to be based on your own disorganized feelings and is being used to minimize the marginalization of nonmonogamous people, which has had the effect of brainwashing much of our society into believing that the only viable relationship structure is heterosexual and monogamous. You are the one creating a deeper divide between groups. Yes, you could create a privilege checklist for polyamorous folks, but it would be short and it would probably be very silly and unsubstantial (#12 I can assume that I am having more sex than everyone else).

      Your comment really didn't help anything, now did it?

    • cpk

      > it is my personal view that humans have EVOLVED to become monogamist due to the advantages brought about by the single family unit i.e. shared goodsdivided responsibilities in the post hunter-gather society

      Well, actually, the Sex at Dawn folks pretty much debunked this myth 500 different ways, so TRY AGAIN.

      PS: Don't need no hateration complication in this dancery.

    • ya like nobody has every called a heterosexual mans pursuit of a woman as creepy

      The pursuit is creepy, but not his preference for a woman. That's perfectly 'normal'.

      wheres the mustache-outrage?!

      Are mustachioed men also discriminated against in other ways? If so, write a list and raise awareness. If not, then no shaven-face privilege exists.

      well the numbers would tend to disagree with you more.

      What numbers? You're putting assumptions out there that don't take all factors into account, such as the polyamorists culture of safety or monogamists penchant for unsafe cheating, but I certainly didn't see any numbers. Can you show me some actual science backing your position, or are you (ironically) simply engaging in 48, assuming that polyamorists are more likely to have STIs based solely from knowlege of our preference?

      something tells me you might not have much of a problem in san francisco compared to say atlanta.

      Not even institutions – such as the Red Cross, the courthouse, schools, day cares, and so on – in San Fran expect and recognize those with this preference.

      …your not being oppressed by some monogamous forces.

      No one mentioned oppression. In fact, it can't be oppression since we're so low down on the list that people in authority don't even realize our existence, which is another example of the privelege that monogamists have.

      your trying to rally a pity party…

      No, I think the author is quite sensibly trying to raise awareness. Your attack on their effort is the perfect example of why awareness should be raised.

      …only to act surprised they don't subscribe…

      The surprise is, again, a privilege.

      the same reason they don't make polyamorous post-cards is the reason they dont make cheeseburger lover post-cards…. it wouldn't generate a large enough profit.

      What do post-cards – or profit – have to do with people, Bob?

      what you have done with this fluff article, in which has no hard data but your random feelings, is create a further divide between those in both camps.

      Why would this create more of a divide? People like yourself aren't going to be driven farther away from what you already see as Other, while more open-minded monogamists see the reality written here. Simply put, your effect postulate is illogical bullshit.

      I can laugh about those silly monogamist who ignore evolution which states that since monkeys like multiple partners, humans must as well.

      You could, but it would be, in itself, silly since many monogamists aren't ignorant of our historical preferences.

      it is my personal view that humans have EVOLVED to become monogamist due to the advantages brought about by the single family unit i.e. shared goodsdivided responsibilities in the post hunter-gather society)

      The single-family unit doesn't have the advantage of shared responsibility. Polyamorists – both historical hunter-gatherer tribes and modern villages – have the advantage, because there are so many more workers and caregivers to share said responsibility.

    • Marc

      "it is my personal view that humans have EVOLVED to become monogamist due to the advantages brought about by the single family unit i.e. shared goodsdivided responsibilities in the post hunter-gather society)"
      There is a lot of strong evidence that humans are psychologically and physiologically evolved to have multiple sex partners, and that post-agrarian monogamy is a social construct. Check the book "Sex at Dawn" for more info about that.

  • Gen

    3) I can listen to the radio and find the language of my romantic preference represented in the lyrics

    Well, that comes down to nobody cares to, because there is no market. So go on and right one, if you think it wont be a complete (mostly financial) waste of your time.

  • Stanley

    Some of these are valid. Some are just the poly habit of projecting rejection onto others. I've noticed that a lot of poly people do this. They argue with unseen opponents, and feel oppressed by people who are not in the room, even when nobody really cares, either way.

    There are a couple of poly privilege that seems to come up a lot, though: "When they choose to be in a relationship with someone of another romantic preference, the relationship format will conform to the polyamorist's preference"; and "My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others, and if less-evolved people are just informed about it and are willing to become more emotionally advanced, they will be fulfilled in a relationship conforming to my romantic preference."

    =P

    I mean, poly is a valid orientation for some people. But it's not a *more* valid orientation, nor a more "advanced" or "evolved" or "natural" one. And you can't just convert people to your orientation.

    —————-

    But #48 (about the STDs) seems to be getting a lot of attention, and causing a lot of defensiveness. The fact is, number of lifetime partners is the factor with the single highest correlation to STD infection. Fewer partners, fewer diseases, statistically speaking. Especially the incurable ones. This doesn't differentiate between "romantic preferences." Mono-slutty is generally as STD-prone as poly-slutty.

    So, between the monogamists and lone polyamorists, slutty is slutty is slutty (to appropriate the sex-negative terminology). This changes, however, when polyamorists flock together in an incestuous "poly community," and even moreso with swingers who tend to add partners more casually.

    These constitute what is know in epidemiology as a "core group." (See e.g., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1669915 ) While "core groups" don't necessarily contain disease, they are *inherently* primed for the most efficient spread of STDs, and for persistent reinfection with even the curable STDs.

    "But we use condoms!" you might say. Well, condoms are great for some things. But according to the Valtrix studies, condoms provide only about a 30% protective factor against Herpes infection. Mycoplasma genitalium is a little better, with the only study on the topic finding about a 50% protective rate. (I'm not sure the studies for HPV, but at least there's a vaccine now for the most carcinogenic strains.) Still… just don't think condom use can let you ignore the inherent dangers of participating in a core group.

    "But we get tested" you might say. First, many common diseases (most significantly the Herpes synplexes) are generally not included in the standard "everything" screenings, because they are just too expensive. Second there are diseases for which THERE ARE NO TESTS! Mycoplasma genitalium (associated with urethritis and cervicitis) is one of them. Also, there is no readily-available test for trichomoniasis or HPV in men. So… yeah… that's not going to negate all the risk associated with contact with core groups either.

    Because members of core groups often have contact with the broader community, they can even increase the prevalence of infections several degrees of separation removed from the members themselves. Anyway, core groups (or "poly communities") should make ANYONE wary about sexual health within them, gay or straight, mono or poly.

    • Brandon

      Bah it didn't take the first time, I tried to post a response, so this ended up split. My apologies.

      “Some of these are valid. Some are just the poly habit of projecting rejection onto others. I've noticed that a lot of poly people do this. They argue with unseen opponents, and feel oppressed by people who are not in the room, even when nobody really cares, either way.”

      Funny how you can take out the word “poly” and replace it with any group label that’s “feeling oppressed” (I.E. Minorities, Feminists/Women, etc etc) and it’s the same ‘ol tired straw man argument.

      “There are a couple of poly privilege that seems to come up a lot, though: "When they choose to be in a relationship with someone of another romantic preference, the relationship format will conform to the polyamorist's preference";

      Well this statement right here, just proves you have no idea what you are talking about in regards to Polyamory, nor how it actually functions in real life. Let me guess, you saw the word, looked up the definition online and then drew your own conclusions?

      and "My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others, and if less-evolved people are just informed about it and are willing to become more emotionally advanced, they will be fulfilled in a relationship conforming to my romantic preference."

      I don’t see anywhere in this list where it is stated that Polyamory is more “evolved”. Sources? Otherwise this statement is purely circumstantial.

      “And you can't just convert people to your orientation.”

      Um the homosexual community has been saying this for years to the Heterosexual community. It’s only the mainstream heterosexual culture that keeps trying to propagate this belief.

      But #48 (about the STDs) seems to be getting a lot of attention, and causing a lot of defensiveness. The fact is, number of lifetime partners is the factor with the single highest correlation to STD infection. Fewer partners, fewer diseases, statistically speaking. Especially the incurable ones. This doesn't differentiate between "romantic preferences." Mono-slutty is generally as STD-prone as poly-slutty.”

      OK, Again. I don’t see anywhere on this list where anyone is saying that being Polyamorous makes you impervious to STD infection.

      So, between the monogamists and lone polyamorists, slutty is slutty is slutty (to appropriate the sex-negative terminology). This changes, however, when polyamorists flock together in an incestuous "poly community," and even moreso with swingers who tend to add partners more casually.”

      Ah, more proof that your statements are circumstantial and armchair diagnosis. Poly communities do no just automatically sleep with each other, they are not “incestuous”. Moreover, the Swinger community is a different community with different boundaries and ettiquete.

      These constitute what is know in epidemiology as a "core group." (See e.g., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1669915 ) While "core groups" don't necessarily contain disease, they are *inherently* primed for the most efficient spread of STDs, and for persistent reinfection with even the curable STDs.

      I would say you have more to worry about with an even bigger “core group”: College frat houses and sororities. Not to mention our mainstream media and culture’s infatuation with perpetrating these “House Parties”. See Any of the American Pie movies, Girls Gone Wild, House Party 1,2,3 and a boat load of popular music. Yeah, STD’s are an issue with ALL of our society, not just a portion.

      • When they choose to be in a relationship with someone of another romantic preference, the relationship format will conform to the polyamorist's preference

        This isn't true. When polyamorists date, they face a much smaller playing field because monogamists flee. Those that are left may be monogamists in name only, and choose polyamory out of a genuine preference, as opposed to conformity to their new partner's preference.

        My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others…

        I don't see poly people saying this. I do see that most polyamorists are more emotionally evolved, simpy because we actually pay attention to our emotions and think that the ability to articulate is important. This is something that's lacking among monogamists (especially guys, who are taught that it's not manly to have or examine your emotions), so I can see how others may mistake a side-effect as an attitude.

        …if less-evolved people are just informed about it and are willing to become more emotionally advanced, they will be fulfilled in a relationship conforming to my romantic preference.

        How is this a privilege? I mean, it's true. Many people would be – and are – much happier as poly, if only they knew it existed. It's akin to the generations of unfulfilled heterosexuals who were really homosexual but didn't know it.

        I mean, poly is a valid orientation for some people. But it's not a *more* valid orientation, nor a more "advanced" or "evolved" or "natural" one.

        I agree with this.

        And you can't just convert people to your orientation.

        Nope, but it is true that many unhappy monogamists are just really polyamorists waiting to find out polyamory exists outside of the FLDS.

        This changes, however, when polyamorists flock together in an incestuous "poly community," and even moreso with swingers who tend to add partners more casually.

        You're ignoring the fact that even people who are ostensibly monogamous are cheating on each other in high numbers, without the culture of safety that polyamorists live within. Until you can account for that, you can't say which group is really more likely to have an STI.

        Regardless, the actual numbers have nothing to do with this item. Saying that polyamorists are diseased is like saying that blacks are criminals. It's said by people who don't care about the numbers or the information behind the numbers, because they're priveleged enough to be able to make assumptions like that.

        • Wendy

          > Nope, but it is true that many unhappy monogamists are just really polyamorists waiting to find out polyamory exists outside of the FLDS.

          This line makes it look like you think polyamory exists *inside* the FLDS, which I'm pretty sure isn't the case.

          • I define polyamory as the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. This certainly includes many FLDS families, although I have noticed that many polyamorists prefer to mark these people (and oddly, swingers) as Other.

            Do you have a different definition that logically excludes religiously polygynous families?

        • Rose

          "they face a much smaller playing field because monogamists flee." Not true! Ever heard of mono-poly relationships? When I was poly I dated mono people.

          • Hmm. Let me make sure that I understand what you're saying. You're theorizing that polyamorists don't, as a rule, experience rejection because of their preference? That monogamists don't frequently write off polyamorists as potential partners?

            Also, to be clear, I'm not saying that the field empties of all but polyamorists, but that many monogamists leave the field on that basis. Many, not all. Again, the field is smaller, but not empty.

            Again, I just want to be sure that we're not misunderstanding one another. :)

        • LALady

          Um…..okay:

          "My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others…

          I don't see poly people saying this. I do see that most polyamorists are more emotionally evolved, simpy because we actually pay attention to our emotions and think that the ability to articulate is important. "

          So…you see how you just did what you say you don't see poly people do. i have several poly friends. They've gone on and on and on for ages to us mono's that we need to "be free", "liberate", and "evolve". It's pretentious as shit. Mono's could just as easily say that we're more emotionally evolved because we don't let our lust overcome our emotional happiness with whom we feel is our soul-mate. Funny, I don't hear many mono's saying that to poly's… Also, I don't think that poly's are any more advanced when it comes to emotions. There's always one truth that isn't spoken – the one base fact that is rarely addressed. You may have more than one, but you have a favorite. And it's obvious. Will you tell the other one? NO. Is that fair? NO.

          I'm bisexual. I feel that I've evolved past genitalia dictating who I'm interested in. Others may feel that I don't know what I want – that's their perspective – but I'm not going to say they are beneath me because of their sexual preference. That would be wrong, because people have done that to me. But a TON of poly's do this.

          The rejection thing makes sense to me, personally. I won't date people who are poly. I can see how that would be hard. I've had men not want to date me because I'm bi, believe it or not. Insecurity made them think they would never be enough for me. I'm sorry that you have this rejection.

    • koruptid

      Way to miss the point. This is yet again a complete misunderstanding of the point. What the author is asserting is that many monogamous people seem to assume that being poly is equated with an inevitability of being infected with an STD while it is assumed to be merely a "risk" with monosluttery. THAT is the privilege.

    • When they choose to be in a relationship with someone of another romantic preference, the relationship format will conform to the polyamorist's preference

      This isn't true. When polyamorists date, they face a much smaller playing field because real monogamists flee. Those that are left may be monogamists in name only, and choose polyamory out of a genuine preference, as opposed to conformity to their new partner's preference.

      My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others…

      I don't see poly people saying this. I do see that most polyamorists are more emotionally evolved, simpy because we actually pay attention to our emotions and think that the ability to articulate is important. This is something that's lacking among monogamists (especially guys, who are taught that it's not manly to have or examine your emotions), so I can see how others may mistake a side-effect as an attitude.

      …if less-evolved people are just informed about it and are willing to become more emotionally advanced, they will be fulfilled in a relationship conforming to my romantic preference.

      How is this a privilege? I mean, it's true. Many people would be – and are – much happier as poly, if only they knew it existed. It's akin to the generations of unfulfilled heterosexuals who were really homosexual but didn't know it.

      I mean, poly is a valid orientation for some people. But it's not a *more* valid orientation, nor a more "advanced" or "evolved" or "natural" one.

      I agree with this.

      And you can't just convert people to your orientation.

      Nope, but it is true that many unhappy monogamists are just really polyamorists waiting to find out polyamory exists outside of the FLDS.

      This changes, however, when polyamorists flock together in an incestuous "poly community," and even moreso with swingers who tend to add partners more casually.

      You're ignoring the fact that even people who are ostensibly monogamous are cheating on each other in high numbers, without the culture of safety that polyamorists live within. Until you can account for that, you can't say which group is really more likely to have an STI.

      Regardless, the actual numbers have nothing to do with this item. Saying that polyamorists are diseased is like saying that blacks are criminals. It's said by people who don't care about the numbers or the information behind the numbers, because they're privileged enough to be able to make assumptions like that.

    • Blueworld

      I'm polyamorous. I caught herpes (HSV-2) from my first sex partner. We were monogamous. I gave herpes to a later partner. We were also monogamous. All this time, I didn't know I had it because I'd never been tested.

      When I entered into my first relationship with someone who identified as poly, he asked I get tested for everything. None of my dozen previous monogamous-identified sex partners had suggested this. I found out I had herpes and got on suppressive therapy, and now I can disclose to people and they can make informed decisions about sex with me. I'm much less likely to spread things now that I'm poly. I also found that poly people are much more open about talking about STIs, and there's less of a stigma. Since most of us have actually been tested, we see the reality that the majority of people have HSV-1 and 25% of women have HSV-2. We can make more nuanced decisions based on our knowledge about various STIs and what the real consequences are, rather than sticking our heads in the sand and thinking that only having sex with one person at a time will solve our problems.

      • CCJM

        Yeah, the stigma is less in some poly circles, less in others. The older/more experienced poly folks definitely don't freak out over HSV (1 or 2) nearly as much as the younger/less experienced polys. I think it's because the reality of the stats has become self-evident to those over 35 or so, and the 20-ish generation of poly people thinks there's NO WAY it could happen to them. As another one that discovered my HSV+ status based on testing alone (no symptoms), I am glad that I can offer potential partners a truly informed choice, but it is still scary having to have that talk and face potential rejection because of the stigma.

    • Rose

      This. 100%. Also, the best numbers for HPV I've seen were…40% I think?

  • Brandon

    Wow, quite a few misconceptions and mistruths in your reply.

    “Some of these are valid. Some are just the poly habit of projecting rejection onto others. I've noticed that a lot of poly people do this. They argue with unseen opponents, and feel oppressed by people who are not in the room, even when nobody really cares, either way.”

    Funny how you can take out the word “poly” and replace it with any group label that’s “feeling oppressed” (I.E. Minorities, Feminists/Women, etc etc) and it’s the same ‘ol tired strawman argument.

    “There are a couple of poly privilege that seems to come up a lot, though: "When they choose to be in a relationship with someone of another romantic preference, the relationship format will conform to the polyamorist's preference;"

    Well this statement right here, just proves you have no idea what you are talking about in regards to Polyamory, nor how it actually functions in real life. Let me guess, you saw the word, looked up the definition online and then drew your own conclusions?

    and "My romantic preference is more emotionally evolved than all others, and if less-evolved people are just informed about it and are willing to become more emotionally advanced, they will be fulfilled in a relationship conforming to my romantic preference."

    I don’t see anywhere in this list where it is stated that Polyamory is more “evolved”. Sources? Otherwise this statement is purely circumstantial.

    “And you can't just convert people to your orientation.”

    Um the homosexual community has been saying this for years to the Heterosexual community. It’s only the mainstream heterosexual culture that keeps trying to propagate the belief that you can.

    "But #48 (about the STDs) seems to be getting a lot of attention, and causing a lot of defensiveness. The fact is, number of lifetime partners is the factor with the single highest correlation to STD infection. Fewer partners, fewer diseases, statistically speaking. Especially the incurable ones. This doesn't differentiate between "romantic preferences." Mono-slutty is generally as STD-prone as poly-slutty.”

    OK, Again. I don’t see anywhere on this list where anyone is saying that being Polyamorous makes you impervious to STD infection.

    "So, between the monogamists and lone Polyamorists, slutty is slutty is slutty (to appropriate the sex-negative terminology). This changes, however, when Polyamorists flock together in an incestuous "poly community," and even moreso with swingers who tend to add partners more casually.”

    Ah, more proof that your statements are circumstantial and an armchair diagnosis. Poly communities do no just automatically sleep with each other, they are not “incestuous”. Moreover, the Swinger community is a different community with different boundaries and etiquette.

    "These constitute what is know in epidemiology as a "core group." (See e.g., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1669915 ) While "core groups" don't necessarily contain disease, they are *inherently* primed for the most efficient spread of STDs, and for persistent reinfection with even the curable STDs."

    I would say you have more to worry about with an even bigger “core group”: College Frat houses and Sororities. Not to mention our mainstream media and culture’s infatuation with perpetrating these “House Parties”. See Any of the American Pie movies, Girls Gone Wild, House Party 1,2,3 and a boat load of popular music. Yeah, STD’s are an issue with ALL of our society, not just a portion.

  • Brandon

    "But we use condoms!" you might say. Well, condoms are great for some things. But according to the Valtrix studies, condoms provide only about a 30% protective factor against Herpes infection.”

    Hmmm funny the CDC reports condoms at about 70% effectiveness against STDs. http://www.cdc.gov/std/ . I’m supposed to take the word of a pharmaceutical company who’s bottom line is monetary gain over a Federally run and funded organization?

    "Still… just don't think condom use can let you ignore the inherent dangers of participating in a core group. "

    Again I don’t see anywhere on this list where anyone said that Polyamorists do ignore dangers. These are your assumptions and they are inaccurate.

    "But we get tested" you might say. First, many common diseases (most significantly the Herpes synplexes) are generally not included in the standard "everything" screenings, because they are just too expensive. Second there are diseases for which THERE ARE NO TESTS! Mycoplasma genitalium (associated with urethritis and cervicitis) is one of them. Also, there is no readily-available test for trichomoniasis or HPV in men. So… yeah… that's not going to negate all the risk associated with contact with core groups either."

    Another statement that shows your unabashed reluctance to do any research or talk with any actual Polyamorists about their actual life. Being Polyamorous does not equal misinformed, uncaring or unintelligent anymore than being Monogamous does.

    "Because members of core groups often have contact with the broader community, they can even increase the prevalence of infections several degrees of separation removed from the members themselves. Anyway, core groups (or "poly communities") should make ANYONE wary about sexual health within them, gay or straight, mono or poly."

    Apparently you’ve never been to a local bar or club where it is culturally acceptable to have serial monogamy (I.E. dump one partner and hook up with a new partner) contact within the “broader community”.

    You’re entire post smacks of sex-negative prejudices, misinformation and myths, purposely put her to derail a very important discussion that needs to happen. Get some facts, get some actual exposure to the communities you claim to know about and then comeback and join the discussion.

    • Stanley

      > "Hmmm funny the CDC reports condoms at about 70% effectiveness against STDs."

      First, the phrase "STDs" is not particularly useful. Yes, there are some diseases against which condoms are highly effective. Herpes and mycoplasma (and HPV) just aren't really among them. You have to be more specific. The numbers I if you can find better numbers out there, I welcome you to show them. Here's a link to the Valtrix study. http://www.myracoon.net/pdfs/valtrextransmissions… You can run the numbers on Table 3 for yourself.

      > "You’re entire post smacks of sex-negative prejudices"

      You can say it "smacks" of anything you want, and you can discount evidence you don't like hearing, but that doesn't change the facts. Being sex positive should not depend on existing in a state of denial.

      > "Apparently you’ve never been to a local bar or club where it is culturally acceptable to have serial monogamy"

      I'm not saying that your neighborhood bar might not qualify as a core group. I'm saying that poly communities, by their inherent nature, do too.

      • Brandon

        "You can say it "smacks" of anything you want, and you can discount evidence you don't like hearing, but that doesn't change the facts. Being sex positive should not depend on existing in a state of denial."

        I never discounted any evidence you proposed, I merely challenged it, that's healthy debate. The facts you propose are circumstantial and don't hold any real water.

        You're right sex-positive should not depend on existing in a state of denial, hence my earlier statement: "Yeah, STD’s are an issue with ALL of our society, not just a portion."

        • Stanley

          > "I never discounted any evidence you proposed, I merely challenged it, that's healthy debate."

          The valtrix study was based on established standards for double blind studies. You challenged the source of funding for the study, and proclaimed you would not trust science from that funding source. Which is not really debate. It's ad hominem, attacks against the funding source, not the science. Please, find the flaw in their methodology that would support that your assertion that it wasn't as accurate as the disease-non-specific study you pointed to.

          Untill then, you're just pulling "But that can't be true" out of your ass.

          > "Yeah, STD’s are an issue with ALL of our society, not just a portion."

          And poly communities (yes, I've been to some of their wonderful happy hours and private parties), tend to feature the repeated returns between partners with the network of relatioships, and are a core group. Having those relationships at the same time, and re-engaging/re-infecting with them regularly just make it go faster than serial monogamist ones. So, poly communities, and especially swingers have MORE of the traits of a core group.

          and core groups do have MORE of a problem with STDs than independently-acting members of the background communities. That's just true. Any way you slice it.

          • Brandon

            "First, the phrase "STDs" is not particularly useful. Yes, there are some diseases against which condoms are highly effective. Herpes and mycoplasma (and HPV) just aren't really among them. You have to be more specific."
            http://www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm : There is the CDC's posting on Herpes. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm : There is the CDC's fact sheet on HPV. Also : http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/Prevention.html

            "Until then, you're just pulling "But that can't be true" out of your ass. "

            I'm not pulling anything out of my ass. I'm also NOT saying that condoms are 100% effective against STD/STI's , the only thing that is, is abstinence. What I am saying is that you are not looking at this from an objective point of view and trying to paint your claims as if they are.

          • Brandon

            "And poly communities (yes, I've been to some of their wonderful happy hours and private parties), tend to feature the repeated returns between partners with the network of relatioships, and are a core group."

            This maybe your personal experience and I will give you that. However, this is NOT necessarily true of ALL poly communities. Look up Polyfidelity, where Poly triads or groups close off their relationships to contact only within their group. Example: A poly couple decides to add a third person to their group. Once that third group is added, all three agree to close off any other sexual contact to people outside the triad.

            "Having those relationships at the same time, and re-engaging/re-infecting with them regularly just make it go faster than serial monogamist ones. So, poly communities, and especially swingers have MORE of the traits of a core group. "

            Now you are making assumptions without any backing. You're assuming that these relationships are: "incestuous" which isn't necessarily true or common. It was stated in an earlier reply that not all Poly relationships are sexual in nature. Moreover, not all Poly relationships are interconnected. Just because you see a Poly triad doesn't mean the third member is sleeping with both of the other partners.

            The fatal flaw in your argument is that you are assuming that Poly people interact and engage in sexual conduct without any regard for their own safety or their partner's safety.

            One of the major culturally accepted practices in the Poly community at large, is education about frequent STD/STI screening and testing, BEFORE engaging in sexual activity. Polyamorists have open and honest communications about their sexual histories and the histories of their partners. This is huge step in the prevention and spread of infections and diseases.

            See: http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Up-Creating-Sustain

            Also see: http://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Slut-Infinite-Sexua

            On the flip side, mainstream monogamous culture, while vehemently warning about the dangers of STD/ STI's, allows social and commercial media, music and pornography to accept and almost celebrate the act of lying and cheating on their significant others. "Keeping things on the down low" is common vernacular in our local bars and clubs these days and our youth are buying into this as studies by the CDC and other government agencies will attest to.

            Polyamory is not a more at risk "core group" than a monogamous group. That risk is based on individuals and their education about sexuality and disease, not the relationship orientation.

          • Stanley

            Polyfidelity might be an exception, because it's a closed loop.

            And I guess you are correct that, so long as they don't sleep with each other or seek additional partners in shifting arrangements within the poly community, those groups might be able to avoid the traits of core groups. I have yet to encounter a Poly community that meets your description. I have seen a number of them that generally seem to be meat/meet markets.

            Testing is fine, but only for those infections included in the screening. Most people have the very large assumption that there are tests for any diseases one might have. Unfortunately, there are no tests for HPV or trichomoniasis in men. So, no man claiming to have been "tested" and "clean"… they can't actually know that. And there is no diagnostic test at all for mycoplasma genitalium, for either gender (it is just very difficult to culture).

            And finally, herpes testing is generally too expensive to be included in most screenings for "everything." Given that 1-in-5 men and 1-in-4 women in America have genital herpes (although only about 20% are aware of their status), it's really unwise to pretend that sexually interchanging poly communities are somehow immune to rapidly spreading it because they test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV (the usual "everything" screen).

          • Brandon

            "And I guess you are correct that, so long as they don't sleep with each other or seek additional partners in shifting arrangements within the poly community, those groups might be able to avoid the traits of core groups. I have yet to encounter a Poly community that meets your description. I have seen a number of them that generally seem to be meat/meet markets. "

            Yes. I don't deny that there are Poly Triads/Quads out there that do interact with each other in a more "incestuous" way and yes they are at a high risk, but I don't believe this is a common thing. This is where, on a larger scale, Polyamory can be a double-edged sword, in that, because there is no "set way" to do Polyamory, it comes down to the individuals INVOLVED in the relationship to determine their agreements and boundaries. But that also means you can dictate your level of comfort and safety.

            "Testing is fine, but only for those infections included in the screening. Most people have the very large assumption that there are tests for any diseases one might have."
            Unfortunately, there are no tests for HPV or trichomoniasis in men. So, no man claiming to have been "tested" and "clean"… they can't actually know that. And there is no diagnostic test at all for mycoplasma genitalium, for either gender (it is just very difficult to culture).
            And finally, herpes testing is generally too expensive to be included in most screenings for "everything." Given that 1-in-5 men and 1-in-4 women in America have genital herpes (although only about 20% are aware of their status), it's really unwise to pretend that sexually interchanging poly communities are somehow immune to rapidly spreading it because they test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV (the usual "everything" screen). "

            I agree whole-heartedly with you on this. It's stupid and there really needs to be more light shed on this specific fact to our entire society; monogamous, polyamorous, etc. I know in my region of the country, there are people who are trying to get this out and educate the public at large about this. Making sure they know to specifically "ask" for these specific tests and not assume everything is included.

            This also highlights exactly what this list is trying to make known. These issues you pointed out are not the result of the relationship orientations, but rather the people themselves. Currently in our society, with regards to a monogamous relationship, any concerns about STDs are directed at the individuals. However, if it's a Polyamorous relationship, the trend is to blame the relationship orientation at large.

            I'm glad that we seem to have come to an understanding on each others points.

  • Todd

    Meh. I want no part of the oppression Olympics. There are items of truth in there, largely around issues of law, but overall I have to say that I get a feeling of entitlement from the post. I am not entitled to the approval and support of my peers, I am only entitled to protection from their forceful interference in my life and love.

  • Sara

    I think the goal of this list was just to help people gain a new perspective on things that they take for granted. But, that's just me. *shrug*

    • McTrouble

      This.

      (I sarcastically wanted to respond, "But doesn't it read as self-pitying, or angry, or preachy? How dare anyone ever point out another person or group's privilege- it offends the privilege haver!" …and then I realized that, given many of these comments, the sarcasm would be largely missed and I'd end up depressed).

  • I agree with Sara. I think the goal is awareness, not an attempt at an Oppression Olympics entry. As for entitlement, I am entitled to respect and dignity and having to be protected from the forceful interference of others doesn't show either.

  • Blueworld

    I think they still apply, straight or not. A monogamous straight person enjoys privileges that a non-monogamous straight person doesn't. A monogamous LGBT person enjoys privileges a non-monogamous LGBT person doesn't. There's a reason that LGBT rights movements tend to sweep their non-monogamous members under the rug. If you can appear to conform to monogamy, mainstream society will see you as relatively less threatening.

  • Just love reading all the comments. Everyone is SO into pushing their views/beliefs as how it really is.
    Nice post btw.

  • Rose

    …wow. I can honestly say, the whole time I was poly (roughly a decade, from age 11ish-21ish), I never had problems with :2, 3, 4,7, 9, 26, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 42, 43, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66. As a child of a poly family. I can honestly say that 13-16 never applied to me. Granted our experiences are not the same, but to be honest it sounds like you're exaggerating your victim-hood here. Chill out, dude.

    Also, it's hilarious that all your photos are of couples (as opposed to triads or quads).

    • …the whole time I was poly (roughly a decade, from age 11ish-21ish)…

      During that time, I was more into discussions of music, school, and careers than relationship styles, and so were my friends. The topic didn't begin to come up until I was entrenched in a career, with children in school, and so on in my mid-twenties. If we're claiming our own experiences are monolithic, then you're don't count because you weren't old enough to experience most of these.

      In short, most of the people with these privileges don't talk about these things to people under twenty-one, so you got to skip them. Yay for you.

      Granted our experiences are not the same…

      Good to see that you recognize that mileage varies.

      …but to be honest it sounds like you're exaggerating your victim-hood here.

      Why does every dissenting voice see victimhood here? This is simply a post to raise awareness and does a damned good job of it. This list never states nor implies that all poly people are going to experience all, some, or any of these things. The only thing this list highlights are the things that you're automatically not going to experience any of these things because you're monogamous.

      Chill out, dude.

      You seem to be the one over-reacting here.

  • Mr. Davis,

    I'd like to repost your Monogamous Privilege Checklist on my blog, with some commentary. Please let me know if that's possible and, if so, under what conditions. Thanks!

    -PolyVerve

  • Guest

    I like it. Sometimes, when you're a member of an underrepresented community, it feels good to vent. It also feels nice to know there are others in your situation. Thank you : )

  • Guest

    As a member of a monogamous hetro couple, I just want to point out how adding the word "BDSM" as a label to our relationship make so many of the above apply.

    In short, people suck and aren't accepting. Hopefully time will change that. For all of us.

  • Ron

    Been in Poly for 20 years. Rarely experienced anything on that list.

  • Guest

    What if you identify as a "lesbian" and also "monogamous"? Do you really think I can read this list and feel like I have have all kinds of privilege simply because I'm choosing to only be with my partner?

    This all reeks of "oppression olympics" to me.

    I hope people find their way out of trauma into true love and acceptance of self first —- it helps in any relationship you'll find yourself in. That doesn't mean oppression doesn't exist – it just means choosing not to live in a state of victimhood.

  • Matteo

    I think it's important to remember that this is a checklist. Surely monogamous people, depending on their life circumstances, will not be able to check everything on this list off.

    Everyone has their own struggles. I think this is just supposed to be a reminder that people with relationship orientations not supported by cultural norms or political institutions (such as legal marriage) face specific challenges in certain arenas of life.

    Also, can we put a hold on the STI probability calculations? They're based on the assumption that poly people have more lifetime sexual partners, which is not necessarily true. It seems intuitive, but anecdotal evidence and speculation are tricky things and don't readily reach truths about larger trends.

  • Lucy

    While I am poly, and appreciate the points this list has to make, I feel the need to point out that teensy disclaimer about LGBTQ relationships doesn't really cover it:

    "Monogamous individuals who are LGBTQ and/or in interracial and/or intergenerational romantic relationships may well be exempt from some (though not all) of these privileges,"

    If you remove the "some" and put "most" then you'll be closer. I've personally experienced all of these problems except the ones to do with kids (because I don't have children) for being pansexual, and I've seen some of the child-related ones happen too.

    • Cory Davis

      OK, I know I shouldn't comment on my own writing, but your complaint is what the other part of the disclaimer, the part which you did not quote, is for:

      "Note that for the purposes of this list, 'relationship orientation' does NOT refer to one’s sexual orientation re: the Kinsey scale (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, etc.)."

      In other words, while I recognize wholeheartedly the overwhelming disadvantages that LGBTQ individuals face, *that's simply not what this list is about.* I don't know a single gay couple who face discrimination from mainstream society *for being monogamous.* In fact, many gay activists attempt to silence gay individuals who aren't monogamous, for obvious but unfortunate reasons.

      • Sarah

        But there's an intersection of privileges that aren't being accounted for here, I think— yes, my partner and I are monogamous, do conform to traditional expectations in that fashion, and don't have to deal with the dissonance between those narratives and our narratives.
        But that doesn't mean that we're any more allowed to adopt children (we aren't, in our state) or that, as Lucy identifies, we haven't experienced nearly all of these things.

        And I'm not sure, rhetorically, that pinning it all on "relationship orientation" resolves the issue. Instead, I'd rather see an acknowledgement that the items on this checklist do heavily intersect with the experiences of queer people (and, I would also argue, kinky relationships as well). I absolutely agree that WITHIN the queer community, monogamous privilege does exist. BUT that's a clarification that I think needs to be made more specific. If referring to the cis, straight, white, vanilla community, these two lists are pretty much one and the same, and I think it's a disservice to your list to not tease out those nuances.

    • corydavis

      Also notice that most of the points with an asterisk are the ones which do not contain the phrase "relationship orientation".

  • jenga

    Nice one-man pity party you've thrown for yourself here.

  • guest

    Discrimination against us single ppl is wrong!

  • Von Kaat

    The need to spend all this time writing this list represents a insecure/disturbed individual.

    • The need to make silly comments on thoughtful blog posts shows that you are an insecure and disturbed individual.

      Or not. Neither of us has the education to make that diagnosis and if we did, we wouldn't be able to do it from the writing on this page alone.

      tl;dr: You fail, troll.

  • jennydevildoll

    Having done polyamorous relationships in the past and now being a monogamous (and married) adult, I agree with much of this list, that these privileges do exist. I would argue with #7 though, that no one has ever tried to convert me to their orientation. Truthfully I've met some polyamorists who are just as convinced that theirs is the One True Way (like some monogamists are convinced), that everyone's polyamorous but afraid to act on it because of society, etc. Or they assume all monogamists are conservative. I've also encountered people who could care less about polyamory as an orientation or a movement struggling to be recognized as a legitimate expression of love, but simply find it some sort of ego-trip to try and get married or otherwise monogamously partnered people to stray.(Not polyamory, I know, but also not respectful to the monogamous person's orientation). Ultimately I just wish everyone could recognize not only what best fulfills themselves emotionally and sexually, but also respect that if someone else finds fulfillment in a different type of structure that's also valid.

  • Giasala

    7) No one tries to convert me to their relationship orientation.

    OH REALLY??! Try being kinky and monogamous. If you want to be at all into the BDSM scene, you will be endlessly pressured into joining an existing couple, ESPECIALLY if you are bisexual. All I ever hear about is how humans are /supposed/ to be polyamorous and monogamy is just forced on us by society. And how monogamous people are just deluding themselves, and once they find the right person(s) they will see how beautiful it is blah blah blah.

  • Constantina Karathanasis

    Hi! A friend of mine turned me on to your post here when I published a similar (albeit shorter) version on my blog: http://wp.me/p1ThS4-1x

    I'd be interested to see what you think.

    Anyways, I think this is a great list of privileges you have here. I am noticing it seems to have riled a lot of people up… I've come to the conclusion that privilege is just one of those topics that leads to heated defensiveness from some and attack from others. That's part of why it's important to talk about, one would hope.

    I have a lot of feedback for a lot of the negative comments here, but I'll be up all night responding if I reply… So for now I will just say, I liked your post, I think you raised some good points, and thank you for starting this lively discussion. Well done.

  • bidyke

    This is a wonderful list, thank you :)

  • Wow – your article has created a lot of comment. An article that described how you perceive your polygamous relationship in terms the rules you keep or not would help me and maybe others.

  • AKC

    I'm very sorry to tell you this, PolyVerve, but even if you've never seen the work before, if you were submitting this "officially" somewhere, you would be asked to re-write based on 'perceived plagiarism'. English 101 composition guideline books go over this. You know this. The sentence structure of your piece greatly resembles, almost word for word in some cases, Peggy M's work. Sentence structure and wording is a unique style to a writer. If I were writing about trying to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii, but some dumb Parrot wouldn't leave me alone, and I wrote "And the parrot, still perched on my balcony, never moves, and never flinches. Quote the parrot, 'Not again'.", my editor would mention to me that this greatly resembles the style of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Raven", and I should change it or credit Poe. Does that make sense? To use the term quoted in your policy, I "Remixed" Poe. I should say, "This is a fun little remix of Poe's "The Raven" set in Hawaii." NOT a big deal. I can tell you, as a professional writer of over ten years, that his happens all the time. There's a lot of writing out there and it happens. It's really not even a tenth of a big deal as what you're making of it. Relax. Just add a credit – not that hard to do, and not that big of a deal. I can also tell you that publishers and editors comb through blogs all the time looking for talent. You never know who's reading, commenting, or trying to give you constructive criticism, on your work. While the guest above stated it kindly, I'll be clear: you're being a dick. You've received a friendly head's up, and you got bitchy and defensive, showing your amateur status and unprofessional attitude. If you want to make good money doing what you're doing, and do what you're doing for a long time, lose the bullshit chip on your shoulder, okay? Oh, and since you've been a dick, credit McIntosh or send a link of this entry to her people, as well as all of these comments. Once you receive knowledge that you're copying someone's work and then you continue to not credit them, you have no defense against what you're (now knowingly) doing. Have a great day!!

  • Helena

    I appreciate that you acknowledged that not all of these apply to every monogamous person, but asterisks belong alongside most of these when one considers same-sex relationships in particular. Being in a same-sex relationship does prevent people from holding public office or working in a religious setting or with children. Many same-sex couples are unable to adopt or are judged as parents based on their sexuality. I have actually seen a hetero privilege checklist that has, verbatim, " It is not assumed merely because of my relationship orientation that I am experienced in sex (or that I even have it at all!)." yet is does not have an asterisk. I agree that as a monogamous lesbian I have several of these privileges, but my no means do I have all or even most that are unmarked.

  • I think I can put this in fewer, better, truer words:

    If you're openly into open relationships/promiscuity and you're a MAN:
    you will likely be praised by many if not all your friends. your parents will not have a problem with it. most people will either not care or think it's awesome/funny/witty.

    If you're openly into open relationships/promiscuity and you're a WOMAN:
    you will likely be considered a huge slut by all your friends and most likely lose many of them. your parents will have a huge problem with it, be extremely disappointed and ashamed of you. most people will either tell you what they think or talk shit about you behind your back, and almost invariably they will think you are a disgusting, diseased whore and will most likely take distance from you.

  • Also, to make it fucking clear: people assume and EXPECT men to be promiscuous, or how you call t, as if it's a new way of life, religion, doctrinaire or some shit, "polygamous", and shames women who admit being so. I do not understand what is you guy's problems with this shit unless you're trying to be accepted with cheers by religion/very religious people, which is something absolutely stupid to worry about.

    the general public will praise and it's actually the fucking NORM nowadays you so chill the fuck out.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>