Polyamory: the next step for free love?

Credit: Wiki commons
Zoe Duff hopes that acceptance of gay marriage will spur greater tolerance for nontraditional relationships. Credit: Wiki commons

Polygamy might be OK, but only one person gets to have the fun. The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association is spreading the gospel of no limits, and have fought a court battle to protect the rights of partners to have multiple other relationships.

Director Zoe Duff, who lives with two partners and dates others, explained how it works.

Metro: Is this mainly for free spirits?

Duff: It’s for anyone anywhere, although certain personalities are more suited and have a better time. A lot of people who come to our events are well-educated, computer literate, like role-playing games and are not afraid to stand out.

Your parties sound like a lot of fun.

Yes. At our first Polycon, in celebration of the judge’s decision to protect our rights, we had an all-polyamorous band and there was certainly a fair bit of socializing.

How many is too many?

It depends – how many people can you fit in a house? The group can be as big as you want; the qualification is how much time, financial resources and energy you have.

Doesn’t everyone have a favorite?

No. But you have to sit down and talk, even about what terms to use. It’s not impossible to love different people the same amount. Some choose to have primary, secondary and tertiary, but it’s not popular. Most people want equal partners. With my partners we are all co-partners — I prefer different ones at different moments, depending on whether we are hiking, cooking etc.

Does the liberalization of gay marriage laws give you hope this type of relationship will gain acceptance?

I have great faith that we’re all going to relax and let people love the way they want to. I think most people understand it’s not going to impact other lives and we can have healthy kids.


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Comments

1

  1. Polyamory is one of those paradigms which is subject to ‘one-way-ism’. Several of the questions in this article have no black and white answer. So for example in answer to the question ‘Doesn’t everyone have a favorite?’ my sample data (from running an open relationship dating website) would say ‘yes’ whilst this respondent and many activists’ would say ‘no’. Hierarchy is considered to exercise the ‘couple privilege’ which goes against hardcore polyamorists’ egalitarian ethos of running multiple loving relationships.