Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monogamy/Polyamory Scale

When people speak of being polyamourous and monogamous, different things can mean different things to different people. Most people are familiar with the Kinsey scale of sexuality, and it provides us a useful parlance for how straight or gay one is. I feel that a similar scale for monogamy/polyamoury would be useful.

I present the Smart Love Scale

1 – I am completely monogamous. My partner and I have no sexual contact with other people. I am not comfortable with my partner checking out other people, looking at porn or even thinking about other people sexually.

2 – I am monogamous, but I am okay with my partner fantasizing about other people, as long as those thoughts are not leading towards action. Checking someone out and looking at porn are just fine, but flirting, online or otherwise, is not acceptable.

3 – For the most part, it is just us, but under certain circumstances, we might play around a little bit. Playing with other people at a play space, or kissing other people at a night club. On very rare, extremely specific occasions, there might be sexual contact with someone else, but it would be after extensive discussion and negotiation.

4 – Occasionally it is okay for my partner to sleep with someone else, but under very specific rules. I may need to meet and approve the person. It may mean that casual sex is okay, but there can be no emotional attachment. It could also be that only committed secondary relationships are acceptable but casual sex is not.

5 – The rules are much looser but they still exist. It is still very important to check in. There may be an approval process or very specific criteria for an outside partner. A great deal of communication is used to make sure everyone is comfortable.

6 – I am my partner's bro and wingman. If I see my partner flirting with a very attractive person, I'll give them a high five when I see them again. I might even help to find partners for my partner. I want to hear the details because I want to be part of my partner's adventures.

Keep in mind that one might be generally a 5, but in the early part of a relationship a 3 until comfort is established. Other people go the other direction, and start at a 6 but work towards a 2 as the relationship becomes more serious. There are even relationships where one person is a 6 and the other is a 3. As long as both people are comfortable with this, it's a fine way to be.

It's not a strict identity, just a terminology to explain where in the mono/poly scale a person or situation might lie.