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Month: July 2011

Poly Language

Posted in Polyamory, and Sex & Relationships

One of the struggles we have in polyamory is the lack of terms to clearly describe the roles we play in our non-traditional relationships; of course it doesn’t help that these take infinite forms. Just like any subculture, we coin our own terminology. Polys talk about compersion, which is feeling happiness for our lover’s success with other people — the opposite of jealousy, in a sense. For a while, I was another man’s punalua, which is an old Hawaiian word he’d found which meant roughly, “beloved other lover of my lover.” However, whatever terms we coin for ourselves exist only within our community or the individual relationship; we cannot expect familiarity from anyone else, nor can we fault them for using the words which are available.