Talk:Polyamory/Archive 2

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This archive page covers approximately the dates between June 2005 and January 2006. Earlier discussion is in Talk:Polyamory/Archive1.

Post replies to the main talk page, copying or summarizing the section you are replying to if necessary.

Please add new archivals to Talk:Polyamory/Archive3. (See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.) Thank you. --Calair 01:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Still More Forms of Polyamory

Suggested edits to the "Forms of Polyamory" section:

1) Remove this:

  • Relationship webs among a number of people who are in favour of and agree on "Friendship without Barriers"

The reasoning is that network-style poly people typically consider their various relationships to be romantic relationships instead of "Friendship without Barriers".

2) Add these in its place:

  • Networks of interconnecting relationships, where a particular person may have relationships of varying degrees of importance with various people.
  • Mono/poly relationships where one partner is monogamous and the other has outside relationships.
  • So-called "geometric" arrangements, which are described by the number of people involved and their relationship connections. Examples include "triads" and "quads", along with "V" and "N" geometries.

Objections? --inki 02:28, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'll second this suggestion. Poly, in practice, has a lot of nuance. Reflecting that in the article isn't easy, but this change would contribute well toward a more nuanced article.  — Saxifrage |  17:32, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

Removing POV to the "Perceived Rates of Failure" Section =

I see Calair that you're very open to having the POV pointed out which I appreciate. I made some edits here because this section also was definitely written from a pro-poly POV defending against the criticism, rather than a neutral perspective. I think the section still needs some work and this is actually my first contribution to Wikipedia but I may give it another polish.

Note that I made the edit before creating a username, but you can definitely contact me about the last change to that section. Thanks!

-Brian mp30dancer

Looks reasonable. I think it might be possible to tighten up the wording a bit, but the sense of it is good. --Calair 00:53, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)


This article makes absolutely no mention of how the question of children is handled in a polyamorous relationship. I, personally, know nothing about this aspect of it, so I'd be interested in seeing something written. - Tullie

What aspect of having children exactly? Are you wondering about the logistics of whose children they are/will be, how to portray a poly lifestyle to one's children, or about the sometimes-unfortunate legal issues surrounding having children and being poly?  — Saxifrage |  19:01, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
Yes.  :-)
--Baylink 01:17, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
It's hard to come up with a better answer on the logistics than "it depends on the relationship", but I guess we might as well say as much :-) Will have a stab at that, and make a space for the legal issues. --Calair 23:46, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm sure there have been more poly custody cases, but I'm having trouble finding them; more info in that section would be great. --Calair 01:22, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Here are some helpful links:
-- unsigned by (talk · contribs)
There is also a six-page article entitled "Polyparents: Having Children, Raising Children, Schooling Children" in Loving More magazine,, Issue 31 (Fall 2002), pp. 8-13. This article is by Dr. Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Senior Lecturer in Social Diversity in Health and Education, School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. The article ends with a list of eighteen (18) references on this topic. -- unsigned by (talk · contribs)

Fidelity - should there be a link to Polyfidelity?

Should there be a link to polyfidelity in this section, as somewhat of an intermediate viewpoint between monogamous fidelity and non-polyfidelitous (sp?) polyamorous people's viewpoint on fidelity? Allens 07:39, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

Annoying Bastards

Every single polyamourous person I know is an annoying bastard. Should this be somehow noted?

See explanation at BoF. --Calair 12:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Unitarian Universalism article link with UUPA?

Should there be a linkage to Unitarian Universalism by the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness link? Allens 07:44, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps if the "Religious objections" section were a "religious views" section, then UUPA and UUism could be mentioned there. - UtherSRG (talk) 11:35, August 26, 2005 (UTC)
Good thought. UUism has a range of religious views on polyamory, depending on the individual UU (as is the case with a lot of things about UUism!), but it does include some contrasting viewpoints to the religions with objections to polyamory (as can be seen from that at poly conferences, UU is the leading religion marked on surveys (other than "none"). Allens 13:40, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

Open Relationship Section and Redirection

In my opinion, its very odd to have the term "open relationship" redirect to poly and the existance of a small section within poly about open. The fact is that open relationship is a broad term for any non-monogamous relationship and should probably have its own article which is more similar to poly relationship than to the poly page itself. You'd rarely redirect "car" to the page on the "acura legend" and then have a section about cars on the acura legend page. You should have a page on cars with more specific articles on specific types.

--Hcatlin 17:38, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

This came up in our discussion on Talk:The Ethical Slut and I agree with Hcatlin. In my opinion, there should be a separate open relationship article with links to this article, the article on swingers, and a general discussion of the overall spectrum that can be meant by open relationship. Kit 21:04, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Currently, nonmonogamy is a redirect to poly relationship. I recommend we move that page to open relationship or write something similar on open relationship and redirect poly relationship there since it isn't much anyway. Kit 21:44, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I set up poly relationship with the intention that it would be a catch-all index page for All This Stuff, roughly parallel to "a page on cars". As mentioned in Talk:Poly relationship I wasn't entirely happy with the page name, but couldn't find anything I liked better.
In particular, I don't think moving that to open relationship is a good idea because not all non-mono relationships are accurately described as 'open'. A polygamous Muslim family (or LDS splinter) is not what most of us would call an 'open relationship', and many polyfi groups would consider their relationship to be closed - after all, it's not open to outsiders.
I think open relationship ought to have its own page - I only set a redirect to polyamory as the next best thing until somebody turned up with the time and inclination to write such a page and harmonise it with open marriage. But I don't think 'open relationship' should be treated as a superset of all the things currently encompassed on poly relationship. --Calair 00:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. I withdraw my suggestion that we do anything with poly relationship in regards to open relationship. But thanks for your support of the general idea. Kit 02:34, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I find it even stranger that the second paragraph states that "polyamory is not the same as open relationships", and the link from "open relationships" in that very sentence gets directed to this page (which, according to the sentence, is not about open relationships). This is clearly self-contradictory. Either remove the link or create a separate topic for "open relationships"; I don't think I'm experience enough in Wikipedia editing that I'd do either by myself.

Archiving old content

I took the liberty of archiving old content on this page. All conversations from older than about 6 months ago are on Talk:Polyamory/Archive1. Kit 21:12, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Recent Additions to "Non-Possessiveness"

The following text was added to non-possessiveness and reverted by me:

Some people practice polyamory due to following a restrictive moral. Such people reject the temptation and pleasure of dominating others, and thus insist that their love partner(s) have love partner(s) besides themself. The intent of these morality-motivated polyamorists is thus to purify their own character, akin to monks.

This addition makes little sense and what does make sense is already mentioned in the first paragraph -- not wishing to dominate someone is the same as not wishing to "eplace trust with possessive prohibitions, and place relationships into a framework of ownership and control: "You are mine." which is stated in the first paragraph.

Recently, User:Jakob Huneycutt deleted the following:

Of the people that practice polyamory due to the moral of non-possessiveness, there are 2 sub-motives. One is the external motive of valuing the well-being of one's partner. The other is the internal motive of resisting the temptation of dominance, so as to purify one's own character. A person may be motivated by both reasons, of course, as they are related.

Although I realized the article is largely unsourced, I would like to see a source for these assertions that there are 'two motives' for non-possessiveness. Probably there are a myriad of related motives. The 'purify one's character' section is a bit hard to follow and again this section seems redundant. If the anonymous editor editting from wishes to add language of this nature to the article, perhaps they can discuss it with us here to make it clearer to us what you mean and why you think the addition is not already covered by the text. Kit 00:37, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

The anonymous editor, now apparently editting as User:NPOVenforcer, attempted to add their text again and had it reverted again. I have asked them, on their Talk: page, to come here and discuss the additions with us. Kit 07:33, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Don't libel me, Kit. I am not the original author of the addition. I reverted it because I personally have known a few polyamorists from different places that became polyamorists for that reason (purifying their character of dominance). NPOV policy demands that all relevant information be included in a non-selective manner. --NPOVenforcer
So it's just a coincidence that you and user happen to have worked on some of the same articles and it's just a coincidence that you have, on another occasion, reverted back to a version of an article before (namely for the Capitalism and related ideologies page), and you have never taken any other action than that on Wikipedia other than pages relating to "selective fact suppression", correct? --Jakob Huneycutt 00:06, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Again with the libel. Argue fairly, not with false accusations. I joined wikipedia because I got fed up with all the POV selective fact suppression. I created an account when I saw that someone deleted the mention of regulated capitalism (I had seen many other selective fact suppressions before that on other articles). I know that people that write suppressed facts in one place are likely to write them in another place, so I followed 67's contributions to this page where I saw another case of selective fact suppression. This touches on to something else though- the fact that you feel that you have to libel your opponents, as if to compensate for a weak argument. I am not saying that your argument is necessarily weak, mind you, only that you personally do not perceive it as being strong enough. --NPOVenforcer
Except I haven't argued with any "false accusations." I've pointed out some facts about you and the user in question and have asked you whether or not these connections are just a coincidence. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it seems like a bit of a stretch for me to believe that you are not the same user given your similiar writing style, the fact that you only seem to edit when there are reverts done to 67's contributions, and the fact that you feel the need to constantly hurl accusations of "libel" and "selective fact suppression" at people without any evidence to support it. What's more, I read some more of 67's talk page posts and he uses a lot of the exact same terms and argumentative strategies as you [1][2]--Jakob Huneycutt 00:51, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
It's obviously an implied accusation, which Jakob and anyone else knows, just like his new reply. I looked at the links, and I don't know what exactly Jakob is talking about. He didn't even mention any specific similarities. Clearly Jakob wants people to imagine them. More importantly though, it demonstrates that Jakob has no desire to be objective at all, but merely to make up lies about the people that oppose him so as to discredit them and distract from relevant arguments. By the way, Jakob's argument method is very similar to that of the user 'Dominick' in the link (such as by addressing third parties while pretending to address one's opponent, so as to make one's deceptions more convincing). Does that mean that Jakob is Dominick? I don't think so. --NPOVenforcer
The problems with the anonymous contributor/NPOVenforcer's addition are numerous (and I'm just saying this so it's on the record as to why it's being reverted by me). First off, it is "original research" and it's overreaching research, at that. It's an attempt to make supposedly factual assertions that apply to all polyamorists that seems to largely have no basis-in-fact except in the contributor's own mind. Though, a lot of the article is unsourced, most of the statements in the article are generally agreed upon by most polyamorists and the article does not make claims that ALL polyamorists necessarily agree with everything, but this author implies that all polyamorists that value non-possessiveness have thes certain underlying motives he mentions.
Next, the fact that the contributor assigns motives to polyamorists is a no-no to begin with. If he/she wants to accuse polyamorists of having certain "motives", he/she ought to do so in an opinion piece outside of Wikipedia. I know a lot of polyamorists would say that they do not have those "motives."
Finally, the author's addition is POV. While the first "motive" is merely redundant, the second assigned "motive" seems to covertly take a side in a certain polyamorist debate. To me, the phrase "resisting the temptation of dominance" implies that all human beings have a natural desire to dominate others and that as such, polyamorists are not born polyamorists, but rather, only become polyamorists because of some ethical desire to 'cleanse one's character' or whatever the author says (it didn't make much sense to begin with). While I personally do not take the position that 'polyamorists are born polyamorists', I've certainly heard a lot of polyamorists take that position and to slip this into the article, in essence, is saying "those polyamorists are wrong!" So hence, this kinda goes back to the POV thing. Really, there are more problems with the paragraph than just that, but I think that's enough. I'm going to continue to revert it until the author explains some sorta satisfactory reason why it should be adopted. --Jakob Huneycutt 12:43, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

-Oh, I get it, Jakob is a polyamorist, and it is his POV that polyamory is natural and that monoamory is unnatural. It's conclusive, then, Jakob is a POV-pusher. That is furthermore supported by his reliance on libel to distract from the weakness of his arguments. Everyone knows their own nature; no matter how much a person tries to convince a person otherwise, if a person desires to do something then they are going to continue to desire to do it. I can only speak for those few polyamorists that I have known that sought to suppress every bit of dominance in them. To them, polyamory IS at least somewhat unnatural, or at least inconvenient. Just because polyamory may be somewhat unnatural or inconvenient for some does not make it true for all. Therefore, NPOV policy demands that the fact be included. I will not stand by and watch another wikipedia article go down the POV tube. --NPOVenforcer

NPOVenforcer, the strength of Jakob's argument isn't really relevant, as the passage in question is uncited. Wikipedia requires that there be an original, citable source for (non-obvious) facts. If the passage is only supported by personal experience, we can't include it. If you can find us an original source somewhere that addresses this motive then we can include a paraphrase of that source's statement.
By the way, you can have the system automatically sign your name anywhere by putting four tildes (~~~~) in your edit in the appropriate place, like I am just about to do:  — Saxifrage |  03:31, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Thankyou for the tilde information. My information is from personal experience with polyamorists; there were a few of those moral dominance-purging types that I knew from different places, but I don't know of any organizations. Aren't there any polyamorists here that have also met some of those types? 67.(other IP numbers) may know more, as he/she created the addition. NPOVenforcer 02:52, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Speaking of such things, NPOVenforcer, please consider a change of username. See User_talk:NPOV for why. --Calair 22:03, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Saxifrage. As long as NPOVenforcer can find us a citation for this philosophy -- such as appropriate posts to the mailing list he's discovered -- and are willing to work with us to improve the way the addition is worded, I would support adding the information. Most of all, we must avoid the way some versions of the addition have suggested that there are only 2 reasons for a particular behavior. Kit 18:39, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

RFC: polyamorist motive of purifying one's own character of dominance

Discussion has quickly degraded into user:Jakob_Huneycutt libeling me, so there is no point in continuing it, so I created this RFC.

Should this article include the fact that some polyamorists become polyamorous for the moral purpose of purging dominance from one's own character (due to their love partner having more than one love partner, such that they are not dominated by oneself), or should that fact be forbidden from inclusion?

It should not be included without a citable external source that supports the claim (see my comment in the previous section).  — Saxifrage |  03:36, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Saxifrage. If it can be documented as a movement within polyamory or some such, include it. But we don't have the space to list every single polyamorist's moral theory of poly; it needs to be more than just a couple of people known to one of the editors. --Calair 04:23, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
'One of the editors' -no. 67etcetera also knew of them. I am surprised that no one else here seems to have known any. I take it that the documentation consists of the external links. I'll try to find documentation on google. NPOVenforcer 03:15, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
I actually said 'can be documented' - subtle but important distinction. A lot of the claims in the article are of the type that are easy but tedious to verify (basically, trawling through places like alt.polyamory for examples) and not really a matter of serious doubt.
Requesting that a specific passage which some editors consider doubtful be documented or removed is reasonable; if there are specific passages in the article that you don't believe are supported by fact, you're welcome to point them out. But 'demanding' that every last word in the article be documented is just time-wasting. --Calair 03:53, 4 November 2005 (UTC) (That last in response to a passage that was deleted between my loading the talk page, and my hitting the 'Edit' button to reply.)[3] --Calair 04:15, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Although I claimed that and User:NPOVenforcer were the same person because they edit the same articles and appear to be supporting the same viewpoints on those articles. However, I do not have proof so I will assume good faith and set that aside for now. I would ask NPOVenforcer to do the same before accusing me of libel. It should also be noted that NPOVenforcer has decided to list myself and User:Jakob Huneycutt on his user page hitlist of people he deems to be NPOV violators. It will be interesting to see if others' who disagree with him are added to the same list.

What a hypocrite. You talk about assuming good faith and then you deceptively call my informative list a 'hitlist' -that is clear libel. You also attempt to invalidate the informative list by stating that the objectively listed individuals are subjectively 'deemed', and by deceptively impling that I put people on the list for 'disagreeing', when the list is strictly for listing people that commit POV selective fact suppression so as to unfairly represent the sides. If it were about disagreement, believe me the list would be far larger. NPOVenforcer 03:00, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

However, the quote that NPOVenforcer is trying to add very definitely pushes a particular point of view -- that there are two motivations for non-possessiveness. In my opinion, there are in fact dozens, even hundreds of reasons for which polyamorists choose to make various agreements and forms of relationship. Magnifying just 2 of those is, in fact, POV. Further, the article already states that non-possessiveness agreements discourage possessive behavior (or dominating your partner) and may also be for the partner's well-being. This makes the statement redundant, as well as POV and unclear in my opinion. I am against including it in the article. Kit 07:48, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

-POV to represent all people fairly. Right. You don't have to say that 'there are only two non-possessive motives'. Just mention the fact that some polyamorists are motivated by the moral of resisting their own dominance emotion. Hundreds of reasons, eh? Do you care to list them all to prove your point? -How many of those alleged many reasons are BASIC and IDEOLOGICAL as the self-dominance-purifying one is? I have known a few people from different places that have that specific ideological motive, meaning that there must be a substantial number of such polyamorists, and it seems to have arose independently in multiple places. Why not delete the mention of non-possessivenes itself if it is only one of 'hundreds of reasons'?. NPOVenforcer 03:29, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Individual experiences are a very limited source of data, because the people any one person meets are invariably *not* a representative sample. If you know a few people with that motive, that's evidence that at least a few people have it; it's *not* evidence that there are substantially more just like them that you haven't met. --Calair 03:53, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Verifiability (as well as the guidelines at Wikipedia:Cite sources) for why this paragraph is getting so much opposition. (Or at least read the first paragraphs of each of those pages.) The specific information that it is conveying is not really the point; it's a matter of failing to meet a basic test for being inclusion-worthy as written.  — Saxifrage |  04:09, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
I searched through google. All I managed to find was an abandoned mailing list that had since moved to private email. There is definitely a substantial number of those moral dominance-purifying types out there, but they do not constitute a large portion of polyamorists. The question of whether or not to include the information is therefore borderline. NPOVenforcer 04:38, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, no, it's not borderline. That there are few just means that the paragraph would have to specifically say that it is a minority motive. If you have a source that unambiguously shows (so that it isn't a matter of interpretation) that this is a motive of some few polyamorous people, a statement to that effect should be included.
Does anything publicly-viewable in that old mailing list qualify?  — Saxifrage |  06:31, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
FYI, The particular mailing list website does not keep post archives. I know of no source that specificly states that the dominance-suppressing polyamorists constitute a minority of polyamorists. The mailing list only has a publicly-viewable brief description of it's [former] members' motive for practicing polyamory. NPOVenforcer 04:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

I just came across this via NPOVenforcer's post to Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view. After reading the material in question, I agree that, as it is currently worded, it should not be included, but that, if sources can be provided, and/or the wording clarified, I may change my view. As for the relationship of 67.etc and NPOVenforcer; I can't see what difference it makes in any case; accusations of libel seem like a wild overreaction. JesseW, the juggling janitor 21:32, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

NPOVenforcer, can we see the link a link to this mailing list and it's description, even if it doesn't have public archives? Kit 05:56, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

I came over here via RfC.

For me, the issue is simple. There are lotsa, lotsa books and articles on polyamory. If the person in question can't find a single refference to this motive, then please, take it out! :) Put it somewhere else!

My heart goes out to you, I have been polyamorous at different points in my life, and my origonal motive for doing so was NOT WISHING TO CONTROL MY PARTNER! However, the language you use "purging," "dominance" "moral character" is not language I have heard or read in any of my poly explorations.

peace, Sethie 08:59, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Listing people

NB: Archive 2 contains complete version of this section as of 26/1/06. Took the liberty of editing & summarising to prune the version remaining on the current Talk page. --Calair 01:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

(Have taken the liberty of moving two pre-existing discussions about individuals to this section for the sake of organisation - apologies for any disruption.)

I think discussions like the two recent ones on Earhart and RAH are going to come up often enough that we ought to be systematic about how we list people in Polyamory#Famous_polyamorous_people. In particular, I suggest some criteria:

  • When somebody is added to this list, that should be supported by information on their individual page. (Rationale: it's unkind to pique somebody's curiosity and then leave them dangling.) Where their polyamory isn't commonly known, it should be backed up by cites. (See Cite_sources#When_there_is_no_factual_dispute.)
  • Cheating doesn't count, even if all participants are aware of it. There have been plenty of men whose wives had no good alternative to tolerating their philandering (Charles Dickens for one), but it's a long way from 'full consent'. OTOH, if somebody makes it clear to prospective partners that they're poly, that should count.
  • Being the partner of somebody polyamorous shouldn't automatically qualify. (The article could do with something on "mono-poly".)

I went through the list with those criteria in mind:

Eric S. Raymond, Emma Goldman - entries have no mention of polyamory.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Harold Nicolson - their polyamory mentioned, but only in partners' entries.

William Wilkie Collins - had two relationships concurrently; would be nice to have confirmation that his partners had actually agreed to this.

Robert A. Heinlein - see below. --Calair 00:31, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

In the absence of objections to the above, I've done some housecleaning on the list and removed those who didn't have sufficient documentation. If somebody can document them, feel free to re-add:
- Eric S. Raymond: found & added a supporting cite.
- Emma Goldman: although she spoke in favour of 'free love', she seems mostly to have meant a serially-monogamous version: "I believe that when two people love each other that no judge, minister or court, or body of people, have anything to do with it. They themselves are the ones to determine the relations which they shall hold with one another. When that relation becomes irksome to either party, or one of the parties, then it can be as quietly terminated as it was formed." [4]
Later in the same interview, when asked if it's possible to love more than one person simultaneously, she acknowledges the possibility. That's certainly enough to class her as poly-friendly, but I couldn't find anything to indicate that she did so herself.
- William Wilkie Collins and Ezra Pound: bios mention their having multiple mistresses in the same time period, but nothing to indicate whether all involved consented to this arrangement.
- Robert A. Heinlein - kept for now, in anticipation of more information. --Calair 01:32, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Amelia Earhart?

Was she truly polyamorous? I thought she had been married in the monogamous fashion, and that was that. Is there any sources for this?

Probably all the people in that section will need to be sourced, and if that doesn't work we'll have to delete them. I have my doubts about this too, unless maybe she fell in with a especially randy tribe after crashing on that island. :) Kit 00:23, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that people listed here should be sourced (probably on their individual pages rather than this one). On Googling, though, this one actually looks to have some basis:
In the letter, written before the two were married, Earhart outlines the terms she wants for their marriage. She writes: "I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any midaevil [sic] code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly."[5]
Mention of such a letter is also made here. Purdue's AE collection inventory lists a "pre-marital agreement letter" from AE to her husband; I can't find a scan of the letter, but that's enough to make a reasonable start.
I'll make mention of this on the AE page. --Calair 00:40, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Pretty nifty! Thanks for your research, Calair!

I kind of wonder about the accuracy of this list in another way though -- how accurate is it to refer to famous poly people when they lived before the term was coined? Maybe there should be a disclaimer like 'the following well-known people have built their relationships in ways many people would consider polyamorous' or a better worded version of that statement? Kit 07:42, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

The word was invented to describe a phenomenon that had already been observed; I don't think it needs to be restricted to post-1990 relationships. Retroactively naming things is commonplace; after all, we call Dromornis stirtoni a duck, and it died out millions of years before we invented the word 'duck' :-)
The article does note that many of these relationships predate the coinage of the word, so it shouldn't cause too much confusion. --Calair 00:09, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


So far as I knew, Robert A. Heinlein was decidedly monogamous despite poly-like features of his fiction. Does he really belong in the list? (Note: an anon just deleted him from the list and was reverted, thus my bringing this up.)  — Saxifrage |  21:15, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I reverted because I wanted discussion here before it was deleted. I have no evidence either way, and would be inclined to err on the side of caution and remove it. I agree, at least publically he lived monogamously. Kit 21:56, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

The comment on the edit where it was added by Baylink [6] was "Heinlein's been outed formally by Spider in the For Us: The Living intro". I don't have it to check, but maybe somebody here does? --Calair 22:44, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
My apologies; I just noticed this. My copy's at home; I'll dig it out tonight.--Baylink 00:30, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Not a problem! Wikipedia doesn't have to always be running at the speed of thought to get useful work done. :-)  — Saxifrage |  06:13, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I was worng. It was Heinlein scholar Robert James, Ph.D., who wrote the *afterword* to _For_Us_, who outs him. I don't have the book in the office, so I can't offer an exact quote today, but it's in the context of comparing the book's "public and private sphere" concept to RAH's life, noting that he and Leslyn were the epitome of "moral rectitude" in public, but had an "open marriage" in private. That's as close as we're going to get, I rather suspect, and while not all poly is "open marriage", I think it's safe to call all open marriage poly, to some degree, at least.
--Baylink 17:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Works for me. Thanks for looking this up! --Calair 05:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I just think it is fascinating the things you can learn on Talk: pages. Earhart and Heinlein, who knew! Well, somebody obviously. :) Kit 06:59, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Bloomsbury Group

According to several informations I found, the following people probably acted either polyamorous or quite close to it: Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russel, Vita Sackville-West, Harold Nicolson, Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, John Maynard Keynes, Ottoline Morrell, Phillip Morell, Adrian Stephen, David Garnett, Dora Carrington

Sources: [7] [8]

Cite from Bloomsbury Group:

" The members strongly rejected the Victorian and Edwardian eras' strictures on religious, artistic, social, and sexual issues, although, as amongst others Angelica Garnett argues in her autobiographical book Deceived by Kindness (ISBN 0-7126-6266-9), they never came completely free from these.
[ ... ]
The group certainly acted as a kind of safe haven for many of its gay, lesbian and/or bisexual members: also, almost as a rule, Bloomsberries had relations with more than one partner, mostly with partners of both sexes."
Looks reasonable, and that second cite specifically mentions some domestic triads/vees. If three partners are sharing one home without compulsion that's pretty good evidence for informed consent. Added the Bloomsbury Group en masse. --Calair 23:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Charles A. Lindbergh

Seems to have had four families with four different women, and seven extramarital childs. I have the following source which does not discloses whether any of his partners was aware of this and gave consent.


Charles A. Lindbergh notes in connection with one of those relationships that "Lindbergh had an affair with a woman 24 years his junior, the German hat maker Brigitte Hesshaimer. They had three children together: Dyrk (born 1958), Astrid (born 1960), and David (born 1967). The two managed to keep the affair completely secret; even the children did not know the true identity of their father, whom they met sporadically when he came to visit." This article indicates that Lindbergh's legitimate grandchildren agreed to a DNA test to confirm that the Hesshaimers were related to them, which suggests that they hadn't already been told. These things don't rule out the possibility of a consensual poly relationship, but they don't support it either. --Calair 23:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

François Mitterrand

Has been reported to have had numerous affiars and a long-term lover, Anne Pingeot, with which he had a child. It has been reported that she and his wife knew about each other. However, I did not find information that his wife gave consent to the relationship.

Yeah, I wondered whether we should list Mitterand too. IIRC both Pingeot and Mrs. Mitterand attended his funeral, which suggests that the relationship was at least tacitly recognised. But as you say, hard to know whether his wife agreed to the arrangement or just tolerated it; may well have been a genuine poly relationship, but in the absence of more evidence we should probably be conservative on who we list. --Calair 23:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Dieter Wedel

The German entry about German movie director Dieter Wedel reads in its last paragraph:

"Dieter Wedel has six children, among them one son (Domonik, geb. 1981) with the actress Hannelore Elsner, the youngest son, Benjamin, with his girl-friend Dominique Voland. His second life partner Uschi Wolters directs a movie production company in Hamburg. He lives in Mallorca and in Hamburg."

German periodical with about the same content: Stern Magazin Biography

CT Butler

A user recently added CT Butler, founder of Food Not Bombs, without citation. However, a search for "CT Butler food not bombs polyamory" on Google easily turned up this reference. IMHO Food Not Bombs is a notable organization and it is interesting to know the founder is both public about poly and sees it as a political statement as well. Therefore I think he merits inclusion here. Kit 13:28, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

More Poly Candidates

Pretty sure:

  • Bertrand Russell, Mathematican, Constance Malleson and Miles Malleson
  • Vita Sackville-West, Harold Nicolson, Diplomat, and Violet Trefusis
  • E. Nesbit, Hubert Bland, und George Bernard Shaw
  • Etty Hillesum, author of a nearly mystic diary, killed 1943 in Auschwitz, and Julius Spier, Psychochirologist, Source: An interrupted life: the Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943 (translated by Arnold Pomerans, New York, 1983)
  • Book listed in Resources for Triads "Three in Love : Ménages à Trois from Ancient to Modern Times", by Barbara and Michael Foster and Letha Hadady reviews famous ménages à trois in history. They have a pretty broad definition of the term, which literally means "household of three." The authors are a long-term triad themselves. The book covers, among many others, Alexandre Dumas, Casanova, Friedrich Nietzche, Salvador Dali, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Voltaire, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, Pablo Picasso, Emile Zola, and Greta Garbo. It seems we're in good company!
  • William Wilkie Collins, Caroline Graves, and Martha Rudd
Sackville-West, Nicholson, and Nesbit are already in the article. We need to be wary about including ménages à trois, because a lot of them were forms of 'tolerated cheating' that would not be considered 'polyamorous' by modern standards. For instance, my understanding is that Eleanor Roosevelt was very unhappy about FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer; AFAIK, Eleanor & Franklin's relationship was more of a political partnership than a romantic one by the time Ms. Hickok came on the scene, and I'm not aware of FDR's ever okaying her relationship with Eleanor. Wilkie Collins was on the list at one stage but I removed him for similar reasons (see discussion elsewhere on this page). --Calair 11:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the authors of the book themselves should be added to the list? Kit O'Connell (Todfox: user / talk / contribs) 11:47, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Not completely sure:

  • Franz Hessel, Henri-Pierre Roché, and Helen Grund. Source (not seen): Manfred Flügge: "Gesprungene Liebe : Die wahre Geschichte zu 'Jules und Jim'". 1. Aufl. Aufbau-Taschenbuch-Verl., 1996. ISBN 3-7466-1333-7
  • Carol Queen, sex radical, sexologist

-- 02:43, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

NPOV question

As it currently stands, the article appears to be giving short shrift to the arguments opposing polyamory. I'm not particularly up on the debate myself, but off the top of my head I can think of better arguments, and better ways of framing the arguments given, than those that exist, which currently read like advocacy weakly disguised as strawman arguments. Furthermore, I'd like to see exactly who it is who's offering these arguments? What sort of sources are people using for these things, as the external links section seems limited to only "pro-polyamory" information sources, which to me seems to indicate a bias. Jason

Could you provide some examples? Also, to my knowledge, there aren't a whole lot of "anti-polyamory" information sources are there? I think that's mostly because there's a rather large segment of society that is unaware of the existence of polyamory. --Jakob Huneycutt 18:00, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, there aren't many sources of specific arguments against. What you might have instead is arguments proffered by individuals in defence of monogamy/marriage, and their reasons why other ways are wrong or won't work [as well].
I think the other reason is, unlike say gay, or single, or different religion, most people don't see polyamory as a "thing" (a sexuality or lifestyle or relational viewpoint) to formulate formal arguments "against". Maybe that's worth mentioning. Its certainly curious how polyamory slips under the radar. Probably because polyamorists are either single with multiple boy/girlfriends, and hence outside the scope of usual moral problem, or married with side partner/s which (if the main partner knows) will not be considered more than gossip and "not anyone elses business", or simply hidden - housemates, extra tenants, open minded families etc. My $0.02. FT2 19:17, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I've tried to clean up the "Perceived failure rates" - I disagreed with the pro-polyamory viewpoint. Whilst it is true to say that a lifelong relationship isn't necessarily the "goal", it implied that all polyamorists were happy to have relationships which didn't last, and then went onto defend that viewpoint. Clearly, there are some who do make lifelong commitments - and indeed , there are plenty of monogamous couples who don't make a lifelong commitment (they don't get married).
By talking about multiple marriage, I mean in terms of identifying those who make a lifelong commitment. The "Perceived failure rates" section seems to focus on monogamous couples who are married (and hence have made a lifelong commitment), but it is misleading to compare these to *all* polyamorous relationships - some of whom may not be interested in lifelong relationships, but others may well have made such a commitment.
Polygamy isn't the same as polyamory, but similarly, monogamous marriage isn't the same as monogamous relationships in general, so in that sense it's unfair to compare polyamory to monogamous marriage in the first place. Mdwh 04:14, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
If polygamy isn't the same as polyamory, then there's no reason to keep inserting comments that imply that it is. It's not clear why it is "unfair" to compare monogamous marriage to polyamory because the latter is a rejection of the former - hence they have to be compared. I'm not really getting into the argument on polyamory versus monogamy, though. But there's no reason to insert comments that imply that "multiple marriage" (otherwise known as polygamy) is the same as polyamory. --Jakob Huneycutt 04:25, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I rephrased my comment from "multiple marriage" (which I agree is unclear) to polyamorists who may wish to get married, which is clearly still in the context of polyamory (nowhere have I mentioned polygamy, and so nowhere have I implied anything about it). Obviously multiple marriage does not equal polyamory (just as with monogamous marriage and relationships also), but polyamorists may clearly still wish to get marriage.
I'm not too bothered whether the statement is there or not so I won't revert it now. The intent was in response of the question of how successful lifelong poly vs mono relationships are. With monogamy, one can do this by looking at marriages (and thus filter all the relationships where they have no intention of a lifelong commitment). With polyamory, there is no easy way to know which poly relationships involve people making lifelong commitments in the first place, because obviously you can't look at married poly groups.
In response to "the latter is a rejection of the former", polyamory is only a rejection of monogamy - it is not a rejection of marriage or lifelong commitments (though some polyamorists may reject those also). Mdwh 05:30, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

The jury's out on the "success" question. I've reorganized that section to be less biased to either side, draw on the above points, and simply to characterize the debate. FT2 20:04, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

At the moment, polyamory's effectively a "special interest" that doesn't have a high political profile and is easily ignored by those who dislike the idea. As a result, I suspect most of the people editing here (certainly including myself) are pro-poly, and that does make it hard to ensure NPOV. (But compare to something like Baseball, which for similar reasons is vastly more POV than this article :-) Jason asked why there are no anti-poly information sources listed - I'm not aware of anybody on the anti-poly side who's gone to the trouble of creating such things. The closest polyamory seems to get is an occasional mention as part of the 'slippery slope' arguments against gay marriage.
This lack of organised anti-poly sources probably has a lot to do with the quality of the anti-poly arguments presented. They're not straw men - hang around on any polyamory forum for a while and you'll see most of them mentioned, usually in a "this is what people said to me when I told them I was poly" context. But nobody's put a lot of effort into refining them, and their presentation here reflects that. I think we ought to be listing the arguments employed against polyamory; I don't think it's Wikipedia's job to be tightening those arguments beyond the way they're presently used. --Calair 23:39, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that the entire section about failure rates should be removed if this is an issue. The idea behind Wikipedia isn't to give any viewpoint at all (as we know from this thread). And its impossible to discuss something of this intangable nature without any studies behind it. No matter what, that secion is going to be opinion. I think its sufficient for the article to outlay what polyamory is and what its practicioners believe. And that's it. For instance, an article on Communism (IMHO) should simply be about what Communists belive. I'm not a Communist, so I think its a failed system, but I still don't think the article should talk about why it fails. It should just give a summary of the beliefs and end it there. If there was an article about "Failure Rates in Polyamorous Relationships" then that's another issue. --Hampton 17:08, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
While Wikipedia is not here to promote opinions, the existence of certain opinions and arguments is often a confirmed fact, and a relevant one. Whether that sort of thing stays as part of the main article (as here) or is split off into an article of its own (as with Criticisms of communism) shouldn't have anything to do with whether that material belongs on Wikipedia; splitting/not splitting is a matter of article structure and length. --Calair 09:37, 27 November 2005 (UTC)


It appears the NPOV issues has been cleared up... It appears settled, and a finished discussion. I am going to remove the tag, feel free to comment here. Sethie 18:06, 26 November 2005 (UTC)


The RFC issue is cleared up, the controversial piece has been removed, the discussion finished... so I am going to remove the RFC link here. Sethie 18:06, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Sapiosexual on AfD

There is currently a debate about whether the word sapiosexual has enough notability to merit an entry in this encyclopedia. It is currently up for deletion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sapiosexual and the debate is quite close. As this is a word many polys use to self-identify I thought some of the editors of this entry might want to get in on the debate. Kit 23:48, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Excessive External Links

A user from the 66.3.224.* range has been adding what I feel is an excessive number of external links. Wikipedia:Is not a links directory -- see Wikipedia:External links for more. Links in articles should be only to the largest, most useful and comprehensive sources for information on the topic. Although some of the links 66.3.224 added have been useful (see the ones I left in the article), the handful of links we would most want our visitors to read. As such, I do not believe links to primarily commercial pages (poly matchmaker or loving more), individual Yahoo! groups message lists, or short, 1-2 page sites on the topic belong. I do think we should have a link to Polyfamiles, and those academic papers you added look interesting (and should probably be eventually used as References instead!).

However, I would appreciate it if the editor in question, or other editors, would discuss possible future additions, or any links you wish to put back in the article which I removed, with the group before doing so on your own. Links can quickly get out of hand, and long lists of links belong in the Open Directory Project but not here. Kit 20:57, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree on the commercial pages: if PolyMatchMaker is really significant enough then it should be mentioned in the article, and if it's not significant enough then it doesn't really have a place as a link. Ditto for Loving More, and doubly so for the email groups. I think the short but informative pages should stay, though, as they serve as supporting evidence or references for an otherwise-lightly-referenced article. On the other hand, I grant that the line between it being a "poly resources" link directory and being a collection of external links relevant and useful to the article is a fine one, so I only suggest rather than ferverently argue. :-)  — Saxifrage |  21:29, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the links section was getting rather bloated. Thanks for the cull :-) --Calair 00:50, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Please add Thanks. Paniscus

I rather like this one as being informative and representative of common polyamory practices. It also makes a good reference for the article. Any objections to including this in the External links?  — Saxifrage |  18:41, 29 December 2005 (UTC)