'There aren–t words for what we do or how we feel so we have to make them up': Constructing polyamorous languages in a culture of compulsory monogamy

Ritchie, Ani and Barker, Meg (2006). 'There aren–t words for what we do or how we feel so we have to make them up': Constructing polyamorous languages in a culture of compulsory monogamy. Sexualities, 9(5) pp. 584–601.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460706069987

Abstract

Polyamory is an emerging sexual story that troubles mononormativity: the dominant discourse of monogamy which is reproduced and perpetuated in everyday conversation and saturates mainstream media depictions. Through an analysis of online discussions, websites and self-help books, this article explores the ways in which members of polyamorous communities construct their identities through language. We argue that the potentials of polyamory are, to some extent, constrained by the conventional mononormative language of partnerships, infidelities and jealousy. However, alternative languages are emerging which offer new discursive possibilities for the development of polyamorous identities, relationships and emotions

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