Yesterday a couple, who I am both friends with, came up to me and asked
Him: "So you are poly-open-somthing?"
Her: "Like, your girlfriend has another boyfriend?"
This seems to have been stuck in them for a while, as it nearly exploded out of them now
Him: "That guy, do you (engage in homosexual things)"
(Short talk about my sexual preferences - I do not receive nor give in that manner, thank you very much. I was pretty down that day, not having the emotional strength to explain it all, so...)
Her: "So how does it work?"
Him "Well she can sleep with the other guy who can sleep with other guys, but he doesn't sleep with other guys or something like that, right?"
Her: "Oh so like a open relationship?"
Me: "... sure."
And they left, having the same idea of the relationship as they had when they came... it often ends up like this, I have hour-long talks with people and in the end they leave and in their head, they still think "Oh they are sleeping around/open relationship".
Imagine you see a tree. You know it' s a tree, you've seen plenty before.
A Guy walks up to you and tells you this is a new bio-energy-system build in the labs, using solar power to generate energy, so its not a tree, its a solar generator. You still think it' s a tree and if someone asks you, you tell them "Thats a tree - that makes solar power."
Your first judgment sticks.
You will have a hard time explaining to someone who sees a Stripper that it really is just a performance artist' s way of self expression or really just dancing.
Maybe you have been the victim of judgments before? Especially people having a certain look, are quickly put into a spot "Hey emo/hippy/gangster/old timer" regardless if you match that cliché or not, it will stick. If someone meets you the first time in a business suit, they would never expect you to like, let' s say... surfing or hard punk music at first.
Children are far less biased in this area... a child meets something new and explores it, it takes the time to sit down and watch it, to task questions... they will ask you till your sick of it, ask as deep as they can, question after question "Why is the tree here? How does it Grow? Why does the sun shine so the tree grows? Why is it green?" forming a true and unbiased image of the things for themselves. Shaolin Monks and a few other forms of self-finding also carry this behavior: of not judging, of asking and exploring everything anew, something more people should do.
If you consider being open about your poly relationship in public, be ready to have your sexuality, morality and mind judged over and questioned by the people around you... be thankful if they even do, many just gossip behind your back... and prepare yourself... Honestly, print out a quick FAQ, a info graph or handout, it will save you many nerves in situations where you don't feel strong enough to defend and explain yourself, to reach out and try to change a person' s mindset.
written by T