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Map of Non-Monogamy Re-Revisited

[Edit] There is yet another update to the map here. You can also find my book on non-monogamy here.

Because my brain is totally broken...

I woke up very, very early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, because it suddenly occurred to me that entire classes of non-monogamy were missing from the last version I did. Plus, I thought of a lot more edge cases. And since the only way I can get this stuff out of my head is to put it on the Interwebs, here it is!

As before, click for a bigger version. A much, much bigger version, that will pulverize your bandwidth the way Chuck Norris pulverizes your pelvis. Or something. I don't know.


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Love it. I can see how this is bound to evolve like the last map.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
It's still evolving, actually. I'm working on new revisions right now. Man, this relationship stuff gets complicated!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Should that yellowish box at the center near the bottom (but not at the bottom) have a label?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
I think that's part of the (L-shaped) "Casual Sex" box, if I'm looking where I think you're looking.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Ahh, you're right - those looked like two separate boxes, one horizontal and the other vertical.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
I want to be able to add x's an put down where some of my different relationships are! .. could even be snarky and have a red X outside the whole mess labled "you" for the whole I am bi-poly-kinky and I STILL won't sleep with you meme.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Even more cool! But why does the Alice and Bob swinging appear twice, in different categories?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Alice and Bob appear three times: as closed-group swinging ("We only swing with...") and as polyfi ("We only swing with...and we've been doing it for 15 years!"), and also in polyamory. I've actually known a poly group that evolved from swinging through polyfi to poly that way. Perhaps it's a bit too subtle?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think it is a problem that the first sentence is completely similar. The difference between the two swinging cases is very subtle -- you assume that the first one is a poly relationship, since they've been doing it for so long that by now there must a be deep emotional connection as well.

I understand the difference now, I just think it should be rephrased somehow... How about "We swing only with our best friends Alice and Bob. We've been doing it for 15 years" in the first case?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
But where are Carol and Ted?
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Howdy! That'd be me, Ted.

Except I'm not played by Elliot Gould. Or at least I don't think I am.

Waiting for Carol, I guess.

Edited at 2010-08-03 01:35 am (UTC)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:23 am (UTC)
Watching Alice and Bob?
Aug. 13th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Heh, just noticed this... there's no 'voyeurism' box on the diagram! ;)
Sep. 13th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Because only Bruce Schneier knows Alice and Bob's shared secret.

(Here via Dan Savage.)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
I love the way the new map has evolved!

-- A :D
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Holy doodle! :: admires map from several angles ::

Your dreams must be wondr'ous places, with a cast of thousands.... ;-)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
They are, and sometimes they're relentlessly bizarre. And involve flying experimental gyrojets that have no attitude or directional controls at all.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Hmmm.... Sounds like recurring dreams of floating/flying I've had for most of my life. They started out as a sort of dreamscape OOBE, then progressed to my passively floating/windsurfing with or behind people or vehicles until recently I've started to be able to control my progress a little. In my dreams my aerial velocity is controlled by music I project ("Ride of the Valkyries" & "Born to Run" are good for speed ;-), but altitude & direction are still haphazard....

(Captcha is "of n: Bimini"--not one of the places I've ever been/flown to, actually.)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
The "this is my wife, boyfriend..." version is my favorite. I guess I live on the line where the purple and peachish color meet.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic! Funny yet accurate....
Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
I like the concept a lot but I'd recommend rounding the corners of the regions so that it's clearer what's a corner and what's an intersection. You could experiment with adding subtle lines to the region's edges as well as rounding the corners to further clear it up. Or, you could try thick, solid-colored lines on the edges, with very subtle pastel-ish versions of those colors for the interiors. Some of the regions are also needlessly complex in their shapes (eg you don't need the top right corner of don't ask don't tell to be clipped out).

I don't mean to be critical, but I'd love to see the content pop out more easily.

Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:23 am (UTC)
The rounded corners is a most excellent idea. The next revision will have that; it does make the regions easier to see (and it looks better too).

I'm experimenting with borders on the areas; it's tough to do that without the map looking more cluttered than it already is.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I particularly like the category "Unicorn Polyamory."
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
I love this, however it reinforces why I'm not a fan of labels. If I was this chart would really complicate my life.
Great work!!
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Do you think Relationship Anarchy deserves a mention? Or is it too similar to something that's already on the map? http://www.polyamory.org.uk/relationship_anarchy.html
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
The link to this graphic has been making the rounds, thanks to the domain in the imaeg I came here to find the original.

Love it, thanks for making it :)
Aug. 4th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Love the map, wondering about the tags...
Love the map, game (Onyx) and journal.

Question, though. As a computational astrophysicist (I really am - did computer simulations of supernovas), why the Stellar Nucleosynthesis tag?
Aug. 4th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Love the map, wondering about the tags...
There's kind of a story behind that.

A while ago, a discussion came up in my network about the technical definition of the word "orgy," which has a lot of connotations attached to it (is it an orgy if there are only three people? Is it an orgy if there are fifteen people but they only have sex with their partners and nobody else?). At last year's Dragon*Con, my sweetie joreth and her other partner and his wife and their other partners (who are probably reading this and can out themselves if they so desire) decided to have what anyone using any definition of the word, no matter how conservative, would describe as an orgy.

There were several threesomes as well. During one of those, I used a stainless steel NJoy sex toy on joreth. Stainless steel is mostly iron and nickel, both of which are formed during the process of stellar nucleosynthesis in stars (nickel is one of the end-stage products in most stars). So I was commenting about how glad I was that we are not orbiting a first-generation star, since that meant that the planet had nickel and iron in the crust, and so I was able to own such a sex toy...and, well, ever since then stellar nucleosynthesis" has been a code word for anything involving group sex in my social set.
Aug. 16th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Re: Love the map, wondering about the tags...
That is f-ing hilarious. I only wish I could use that in my astronomy classes...
Aug. 4th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Finally got around to checking out your LJ for myself :) Nice diagram!! I can well imagine the evolution it's gone through! :) Also, would you mind if I friended you?
Aug. 4th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Not at all. Welcome aboard!
Aug. 4th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! *happy dance*
Aug. 5th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Very cool diagram.

But what is the box that is second from the right at the bottom? There is nothing there.

I also wonder what this would look like as a Venn diagram.... but there are too many dimensions.
Aug. 27th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
What a great Venn Diagram. I'm grateful for your sleepless nights. ;) Your examples were really good, I was able to place myself right on the map.
(long time follower, first time commenter)
Aug. 27th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And welcome!
Aug. 27th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Got this through a friend, may I repost on my blogs??
Aug. 27th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Sure! :)
Sep. 14th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
This is terrific!!! You should think about selling copies - framed, unframed etc.... I bet they would sell easily! Postcard size - greeting cards to adult stores like Babeland, Adam and Eve, The Adult Superstore etc.
Carlo Powers
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Posted On My Home Page
Wonderful infographic guys, great work. I have a website www.anopenrelationship.com centered around non-traditional relationships and I currently have this pic used for my front page sticky article. I have linked the image here so I think we are all on the level. Let me know if there are other steps I can take to make sure you get due credit.
Feb. 14th, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
Isn't Religious/Social Polygamy actually a subset of Polyfidelity?
Oct. 9th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
How about "I'm fine with you having other partners, I just don't want to have any others myself"
My bf is a lot like this. He is my 'primary' and the relationship seems to meet his needs as a mono. He is even comfortable with the fact that while I will of course consider his feelings and talk with him before taking on a new partner, I will not abandon any of my partners just because another one asked me to. He understands that my other relationship/s do not threaten him. Like all couples, we have insecurities, but we talk about them and get to the root cause, rather than being possessive or passive aggressive. Of course there are no double standards, he is welcome to date someone else if he wishes. The same rules that apply to me apply to him, but as of yet, he has shown little interest in pursuing these options. It seems to work quite well and I am very glad for this relationship that we have built.
Oct. 9th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: How about "I'm fine with you having other partners, I just don't want to have any others myself"
That's actually been added to the most recent version of the map. :)
Apr. 30th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
This hits the nail on the head
My wife and I got married in the early 70's. Still married for almost 45 years while our vanilla friends and family are all on their second or third marriages. My wife does not even like to talk about sex and was raised in a strict Catholic family where the man is king of the castle.

Despite this we have engaged in wife swapping, soft swinging and formed a polyfidelitous relationship with my wife's best girlfriend who we both loved. My wife is not bisexual but had routine sex with her girlfriend but only as part of our FFM threesome. They never had sex together without me. My wife does not know what her sexual orientation is since she was deeply in love with just her girlfriend and no other women. She also could only be sexual in the context of sex with a man, me. I would call her heteroflexible.

We remained in our poly triad for 38 years and would still be in it had not fate intervened. It survived the marriage of our girlfriend 30 years ago, to a man who was OK with his wife keeping her relationship with us but not taking part of it. Apparently he had his own thing going on with a boyfriend.

I was out of the country for almost half of every year on business so we had a don't ask, don't tell policy. Only once did I fall in love with another women and that ended up in a brief separation which ended after a few months.

Over time we just all settled in with those we loved and shut out all outsiders. At that point life was great and no further problems. We are now a couple again and wish we can find another woman to share our life. However, we did not realize how blessed we were to find a woman that loved us both and who we both loved in turn. A woman who provided my wife and I with those things we could not provide to each other. She was into my kinks while my wife was not and provided my wife with the kind of soft, gently non penetrive sex that she enjoyed. She was my intellectual equal while a great companion for my wife who tends to talk about TV and movie stars and the more sensational type of news.

I do not believe that we still would be married and in love this long had we gone the traditional monogamy type marriage. We seem to be rare among our friends since they are all divorced and we are not. We still enjoy regular sex into our senior years, while they do not. Our lifestyle choices were a constant source of fun, joy. fuflfillment and sensual pleasure. Would not change a thing if we had to do it over again.
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )