Last week officially started our new series of workshops called Taboo Talk, where we discuss sexual topics that you normally wouldn't discuss in your traditional sex ed class. The theme of the series is Disney’s Pixar, therefore each workshop is named after a Pixar movie.
We often think of relationships as sexual partnerships that involve only two people…but what happens when a relationship doesn't look like that? Our movie theme for last Friday was The Incredibles and the topic was polyamory and asexuality; two things that many people have heard of, but often do not understand because of the misconceptions and myths about them.
Polyamory literally means “many loves” in Greek. In modern practice, polyamory is the idea of having multiple intimate relationships with different people at the same time. It’s also known as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.” In a polyamorous relationship, the knowledge and consent of everyone involved is mandatory, meaning all people in these types of relationships know that they’re in one and are okay with it.
Polyamory can take many forms, ranging from a person having multiple separate relationships to a group of people having relationships with each other. Polyamory not the same as polygamy; polygamy usually involves one man with multiple wives, but not the other way around. Having another relationship with someone else without your partner knowing is also not polyamory. Like mentioned before, all people involved must know and be in agreement with one another.
On the flip side, asexuality is a sexual identity where someone does not feel sexual attraction to or desire for anyone. Often, people who are asexual prefer romantic non-sexual relationships, but some also may not.
Just because a person identifies as asexual does not necessarily mean that asexual people do not have sex; people who identify as asexual may have sex for other reasons such as pleasing their partner or to have children. Asexual people can also identify with having romantic or emotional attractions to people similar to how a sexual person may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, etc; they just won’t feel a sexual attraction towards them.
There are a lot of misconceptions associated with both polyamory and asexuality for many reasons, ranging from media misrepresentation (or lack of representation) to just having never met someone who expressed that they are polyamorous or asexual. The best thing you can do is to do your research and talk to folk who identify as polyamorous or asexual!
- To learn more about Polyamory, visit More Than Two at: https://www.morethantwo.com/polyamory.html
- To learn more about Asexuality, visit Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) at: http://www.asexuality.org/home/