Responses to Dan Savage’s “Poly is not an identity” posts

Well, as others said elsewhere, that was anticlimactic.  Dan Savage posted his “pro-poly-identity” column, following on his letter of last week in which he baldly stated that polyamory is not an identity.  Sadly, what he posted in his actual column was pretty paltry, amounting to a couple of tweets. There are some decent comments buried in the comments section again, though.

So if you want more discussion on this issue, you might want to check out:

Anita Wagner Illig’s Practical Polyamory blog (she also posted this in the comments to Dan’s thread)

Franklin Veaux’ LiveJournal entry “Dan Savage runs off the rails.”

There are a couple of interesting comments in my own comment section in the last post as well.

I’ve got more to say on the topic of identity, but not tonight. 🙂


Here’s hoping you are happy with both what you do AND who you are, whatever those are!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Got Jealousy? Schedule a 1/2 hour free consultation with me, and get my Jealousy Judo pdf of tools to use to manage jealousy in yourself.  Because jealousy is no fun!


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[© 2012 Dawn M. Davidson]

4 thoughts on “Responses to Dan Savage’s “Poly is not an identity” posts

  1. Pingback: Poly As ID; Poly Living 2013; Harvard OKs Kink Club on Campus — Uncharted Love

  2. Pingback: Savaging Dan: Some Thoughts on Poly as Identity — Uncharted Love

  3. John Kelly

    The smartest comment I read in that whole mess (maybe it was Dan’s) was that calling polyamory an orientation was an attempt to legitimate it by equating it with gender orientation, which everyone knows is innate and so exempt from moral condemnation: if it’s not OK to bash people for their innate gender orientation, it’s not OK to bash them for number orientation either.
    I can follow this, but I think it’s going down the wrong road. The idea that a sexual preference is legitimate because it’s innate is debatable and pernicious. Some people’s innate desires–e.g., for sex with children–that will never be OK. The entire fundamentalist view of homosexual behavior as sin implies a universal innate desire to have sex in unorthodox ways. (This is, of course, undeniable.) Against the multifarious sexuality of human beings it sets up one act as orthodox–heterosexual intercourse between one man and one woman, for the purpose of procreation–consigning all others to perdition.
    Arguing that the innateness of gender orientation makes some people deserving of an exemption from this code convinces no fundamentalists, misses the point of the code itself, and worst of all legitimates the very code it’s trying to challenge. It necessarily implies that LGBT people accept the code as legitimate and would be happy to follow it if only they could, but since they can’t they should get a break.
    What if instead we bluntly asserted that fundamentalist sexual mores are unworthy of respect, that our sex lives are own business and that sexual mores should not be based on anything but mutual consent? If I take a notion to have sex with another man, that’s my business, isn’t it? (And his, of course, and our spouses’, but certainly not my neighbor’s or my government’s.) If I have sexual relationships with another man and a woman, that again is my business, isn’t it? I don’t have to plead that I was born with a mutation that makes me incapable of enjoying orthodox heterosexual dyadic relationships.
    Whether my desire for such a menagerie of partners is innate or something I got from watching Oprah is irrelevant. I only have to say that everyone involved consents freely to the arrangement. No one else has anything to say about it.

    1. Uncharted Love Post author

      Thanks, John. I agree entirely. The more I think about all of this stuff, the more I conclude that I’m in alignment with the Woodhull perspective in their Family Matters Project, which holds that we have a right to be who we are, love who we love, and have any sort of family we choose to because it’s a HUMAN RIGHT. This takes the debate out of the presupposed right/wrong frame you mention above, moves it out of the territory of Civil Rights (which are ultimately based on comparing one group to another), and into the realm of “everyone is equal just because we are human beings.”


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