Polyamorous intimacies: from one love, to many, and back again.

Barker, Meg; Heckert, Jamie and Wilkinson, Eleanor (2013). Polyamorous intimacies: from one love, to many, and back again. In: Sanger, Tam and Taylor, Yvette eds. Mapping Intimacies: Relations, Exchanges, Affects. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 190–208.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137313423

URL: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/mapping-intima...

Abstract

Polyamory is frequently heralded as moving towards more egalitarian and explicitly negotiated forms of relating. This chapter overviews the kinds of relations, exchanges and affects that open up in polyamorous relationships, but also argues that a form of ‘polynormativity’ has emerged which limits such openings, and echoes mononormativity in the way that it privileges certain forms of (romantic) relating, and emphases ownership over freedom. An alternative understanding of polyamory is presented which which shifts from a concept of ‘multiple lovers’ to ‘multiple loves’, exploring the potentials of breaking down the distinctions between monogamy and non-monogamy, flattening hierarchies between different kinds of relationship, and focusing on freedom, compassion and non-possession.

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