There is a debate about whether Polyamory should be considered a sexual orientation (SO). A sexual orientation is defined as the quality that determines one’s romantic and/or sexual interests. Socially we treat sexual orientations as permanent states of being, meaning once one identifies with a particular orientation, their sexual and romantic behaviors follow suit. Now with sexual identities such as “Queer” “Pansexual” and “Pomosexual,” there is a formal rejection of the idea of limiting sexual and romantic behaviors to specific identities. Queer is a catch-all to indicate some level of non-normativity, Pansexuality means being romantically and sexually attracted to specific individuals – not their genders and Pomosexuality is short for “post-modern sexuality,” which idicates a refusal to be categorized and limited by labels.
The pro-SO side explains that Polyamory is a philosophical identity, much like Pomosexuality, Pansexuality and Queer that is present regardless of relationship status. The anti-SO side says that once Polyamory is considered an identity, it loses the freedom and fluidity that makes it so great.
Sex Geek’s The Problem with Polynormativity highlights the anti-SO concerns and discusses several myths that are portrayed in the media. Now that Polyamory has been given some air-time, it seems that there isn’t much flexibility in how Polyamory is portrayed: hierarchies, strict rules, white-centric, young, etc. There is excessive weight put on to open relationships as opposed to other relationship forms that exist within Polyamory.
Note: Not everyone who is Polyamorous or connected to Polyamory in any way agrees with this article. Check out Scott from Sexpressed’s thoughts on it. What are your thoughts? about Polyamory as a sexual orientation or about either of the articles?