I am an odd duck. I keep finding these weird parts of me have communities of the like-minded out there, and I get all excited to join them. There’s a convention for haunters, for kink? For poly too?? And it seems, inevitably, that I find myself an odd duck among the odd ducks. I might be a haunter, but I’m a girl. I might be kinky, but about intimacy. I might be poly, but I liked being monogamously married for 15 years.

One of the frustrations of this is that I always find myself at odds with the in-group consolidation tactics. Groups strengthen their bonds by holding up their shared qualities and valuing them over other groups or the outside world.

While it’s not universal, poly does this a lot by trashing monogamy as unenlightened. I recently had an argument with someone about polyamory being a “capability” rather than a strategy. I took issue with this because it implied that people who were poly were “better” or “more capable” at relationships. It also insulted people who were “poly-capable” but chose, for whatever reasons, to live monogamously or vice versa.

Their response was basically that it was ok to be incapable of managing multiple relationships, and it didn’t mean they couldn’t learn… which kind of illustrated my point. I’ve seen too many self-centered, stupid, inexperienced, callous people having poly relationships to believe that it’s any sign of some greater competence that you are poly.

I’d attach “capability” to being able to have successful, ethical, well-managed, or very fulfilling relationships, not necessarily the KIND of relationships one was having. People play the violin or the bass guitar. Either one of them could be a capable musician (and no doubt, whatever they play, they probably started out rather sucking at it), but it’s not the instrument they’re playing that makes them capable

… it’s the music.

Polyamory is the strategy (or instrument) for producing music. Capable musicians make beautiful music. Whether it’s punk rock or Mozart. Or some amazing HYBRID OF BOTH.

But don’t tell me violinists have some special “capability.” Because you’ve obviously never sat through the screeching of a bunch of five year olds in violin class or listened to Dave Grohl. Pretension is not a sexual orientation. And it doesn’t make you hot.


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