This was the preamble to my result for the Poly Fluency Test..
The Poly Fluency Testand this was my result for...
You're done with the test.
Before you get your results, I have some explanations for you (so you know what you may have missed, and why). I couldn't figure out how to get this afterword inserted AFTER your scoring. This test-creating business is a tough job! Anyway, if you just want your score, scroll way, way down, and hit the "THAT'S ALL!" button. But if you're curious about all these words and their definitions, then read what I've written in between here and there first. (Or copy and paste it. Then you can read it later.)
Of course realize that I, the creator of this test, am polyamorous (and polyfidelitous). So yah: there will be a "propoganda" price to pay, if you want to learn the definitions of these poly words from me. I don't consider it propoganda, but many monogamous folks will. Before taking offense at what I will say, you may want to consider using Wikipedia and other sources of information to satisfy whatever poly-word curiosities you have. I of course welcome you to read what I have written. Just be warned: I will speak of polyamory favorably.
Bigamy is polygamy -- if and only if polygamy is forbidden by law. If polygamy were legalised, bigamy would become a thing of the past. It's not necessarily male chauvinism, though it can be infected with chauvinism ... especially if, for example, "polygamy" is meant as "exclusive polygyny" (i.e., men can marry multiple wives, but women can't marry multiple husbands). The Mormon church once practiced exclusive polygyny, and called it polygamy. That was rather chauvinistic.
"Celestial marriage" (along with "plural marriage") was the term used for the particular kind of polygyny the Mormon church practiced in the 19th century. "Celestial" in this context connotes "the Celestial Kingdom" -- Heaven if you will. The idea was that only a select few would attain the highest place in Heaven -- and those few would have to practice Celestial marriage in order to attain it. For the most part, only church leaders had this lofty opportunity. They had to be called to it, by the Presidency of the church. These marriages were sealed in Mormon temples, so they were "temple marriages." But it's important to understand that the Mormon church (known correctly as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has been out of the polygyny business for about a hundred years. Temple marriages today are strictly monogamous.
Mormonism's old practice of Celestial marriage, plural marriage, or "polygamy," was actually just one kind of polygamy. The word "polygamy" per se denotes a range of marital arrangements: multiple wives or multiple husbands. Technically, what the Mormon church practiced was a type of polygamy. But it was still misleading to use that term. The Mormon church was practicing polygyny. That is a subset of polygamy. Polygyny is marriage involving multiple wives -- not multiple husbands.
The correct word for a marriage that involves multiple husbands is "polyandry." Really, if the Mormon church wanted its practice to be called "polygamy," then it should have embraced both subsets of polygamy: polygyny and polyandry. Instead, the church embraced polygyny, and staunchly forbad women even think about multiple husbands.
Just as polygyny and polyandry are subsets of polygamy ... so polyfidelity is a subset of polyamory. Polyamory is, in general, a marriage-like union of potentially more than two persons. The persons involved in the polyamorous covenant promise to love each other, support each other, and stay with each other. But they may have an open relationship (which I'll explain in a moment).
If a polyamorous relationship is closed, then it is called polyfidelity.
The traditional marriage of today is monogamous (especially since polygamy is illegal) ... and closed. We call a marriage "closed" because of the vows a couple makes never to have sexual relations with anyone besides their spouse. Unless both spouses mutually agree to lift that restriction, the marriage remains closed ... and sleeping around (without one's spouse's permission) is indeed cheating.
Even if two (or more) people don't marry, they may have a marriage-like relationship that involves those same vows of fidelity. That is, vows are made to restrict sexual activity to the circle of persons committing to each other. There's no government-sanctioned marriage certificate, but again, sleeping around (without permission of the others) is still cheating (from an ethical standpoint). The relationship is thus "closed."
Many non-marital relationships are closed. Some are open. Some marriages are open. An open marriage is when both spouses agree to allow each other to have sexual relations with persons outside the marriage. As offensive as that sounds to many conservatives, open marriage is a real phenomenon, and it happens a lot. Likewise, many people who aren't married have open relationships. They're committed to stay together, to love and support each other ... but they still allow each other to have sexual relations with persons outside that committed relationship.
"Compersion" is a very poly word. It was coined because no word existed as a counter to the word "jealousy." In a polyamorous relationship, more than two people are involved. That's the sticking point for monogamous folks. How, for example, can a man share his beloved with another man? Surely there will be jealousy, bitterness, and the inevitable breakdown of the relationships. But it doesn't have to be that way. If the emotional environment is open, honest, and safe, then the man in question can feel compersion for his beloved and the other man he shares her with. That is, he can experience joy because he knows his beloved and this other man (who he hopefully also cares about) find joy in each other. When you love someone, you can be glad for their gladness. The trick is that everyone must feel secure that their own sexual and emotional needs will be met. If everyone's needs are being met, then jealousy can be overcome, and supplanted by compersion.
Jealousy is a difficult problem. It hides itself well, and there are many forms of it. Sometimes it's the fear of being abandoned. Sometimes it's the shame of realizing your spouse has deceived you. Sometimes it's the mere ache of feeling left out. Whatever it is, it adds up to resentment over a partner's involvement with someone else ... and people can get jealous over mere friendships their partners have with outside parties. Jealousy is as much a problem for monogamous couples as it is for polyamorous families.
There's various words for the number of people that can be involved in a polyamorous relationship. The commonest words are dyad, triad, and quad. A dyad is a polyamorous couple. There's only two of them, but they favor polyamory, and would consider adopting a third person into their circle. If they do adopt a third person, the dyad becomes a triad. If a fourth person is adopted in, the triad becomes a quad. Whatever the number of people in the polyamorous circle, they all make vows to love each other, to support each other, and to stay together for the long haul. Usually when we say dyad, triad, or quad, we also mean polyfidelity, as well as polyamory. Polyamory (per se) is open. That is, members of the polyamorous circle are allowed sexual relations outside the circle -- as long as everyone is kept on board, and is okay with the situation. Polyfidelity, however, is closed. New additions may be adopted into a polyfidelitous circle. But any "non-adopted outsider" is off-limits, sexually, to anyone inside the circle. So most dyads, triads, and quads function a lot like a traditional marriage ... with the sole notable difference that more than two persons may be involved in the marriage-like covenant.
It often happens that triads split into a "vee." That is, there are two persons sharing romantic relations with a third person. If the two persons doing the sharing also have a good, close, open relationship with each other (even if it's not a romantic one), then the three people involved act as three points of a triangle, with their close emotional ties making their triangle complete. That's a triad. But if there's a falling out between the two persons sharing the third person, or if the two persons never felt comfortable enough to get to know each in the first place, then the triangle is broken at the point where there would be a connection between those two persons. The sharing agreement may stay intact, though. In that case, the relationship becomes a "vee." The shared person is at the base and center of the vee. Each sharing person is a leg stemming from the shared person.
There are so many words connected with polyamory ... and a lot of them start with the "poly-" prefix. Polyamory; polyamorous; polyamorist ... polyfidelity; polyfidelitous; polyfidelitist ... even polygamy; polygyny; polyandry; polygamous; polygynous; polyandrous; polygamist; polygynist; polyandrist ... if more than two persons were legally allowed to get married. The point is, all these "poly-prefix" words call for a single word that could offhandedly refer to all of those abstract nouns, concrete nouns, and adjectives. The prefix itself, "poly," then, becomes that word. Poly means polygamy, polyamory, polyfidelity, and any or all of the other "poly-prefix" words.
It follows that if all things with a "poly-" prefix can be grouped together and called "poly," then ... monogamy, monogamous, and monogamist can also be grouped together and called by a single word that comes from their prefix: "mono." Mono connotes "only one" -- that is, only one partner. Poly connotes "more than one" -- that is, more than one partner.
(Technically I realize "mono" can also be used as an abbreviation for infectious mononucleosis. But usually when poly people say "mono," they're talking about monogamists or monogamy.)
A true monogamist only marries once -- and never sleeps around. Anyone that has ever divorced and remarried ... anyone that has ever been drawn into an affair ... may want to ask themselves if they might be polyamorous at heart. If it's possible to deeply love one soul at an earlier stage of life ... and then, deeply love another soul at a later stage in life ... is it really so hard to imagine deeply loving two souls during the same stage of life? Our monogamous upbringings have taught us to find the very thought revolting. But many of us live in the shadow of polyamory, even while loudly professing our undying loyalty to monogamy. Monogamy isn't just about not sleeping around -- although it is in part about that. However, it's also about not loving more than one person -- ever -- during one's entire life. If a second love ever comes into your life, then you have crossed into that gray area between monogamy and polyamory. And it isn't such a terrible thing.
That gray area is called "serial monogamy" (or serial mono, for short). It means you're not just getting married, and staying with that one person for life. Instead, you're marrying first one person, and then another ... punctuating your marriages with divorce. How far of a leap is that from practicing polyamory? Polyamory is the same thing, but without the divorces. You may think of that as a slippery slope, but I think of it as an opportunity. When you re-marry, for instance, but still have feelings for the person you left behind ... ask yourself: "Am I polyamorous?" You might be.
Note that if and where gay marriage is permitted, monogamy no longer means one man marrying one woman. Now there are one-man one-man marriages, as well as one-woman one-woman marriages. It has become a reality in some liberal states. Other states are likely to follow, though there will be hard, long, bitter struggles before then. Humanity is reluctant to become more tolerant. But it's slowly coming to pass.
Polyamory, in general, simply means "to love more than one." Sometimes polyamorists just maintain close friendships with each other. But those ties can also be sexual. A polyamorist, in principle, is someone who chooses to allow themselves to be openly in love with multiple other persons. The key word here is "openly." It's a little different from cheating, since polyamorists tell each other when there's a new, additional, or outside love interest. There are no secrets in a poly home ... at least, not if it's an emotionally healthy poly home. Some poly families break up (just as monogamous couples often divorce), but it's not the multiple love relationships that destroy the poly family. It's the lack of open, vulnerable truth-telling. And, not surprisingly, the lack of open, vulnerable truth-telling has also dissolved many a monogamous marriage. If there are no secrets, if everyone's needs are being met, and if everyone feels okay about what's going on, then a poly family can survive. Many poly families have done it. They have endured just as long as the longest monogamous marriage.
Sometimes a polyamorous family will call itself a "group marriage." There's some contraversy about that. The problem is that marriage is generally defined as a legal transaction. Governments don't acknowledge polyamorous unions. So is a polyamorous union a marriage? Certainly it is in practice, if not in theory. I guess it's a question of semantics. I personally prefer to hold out on calling something a marriage until it fits the legal definition. If it weren't so, why would it matter whether the government certified gay unions? I know; a lot of people say it's just because of the legal benefits involved in a legally certified marriage. Still I think the governmental aspect of the word "marriage" itself is also going to be hard to wave off.
A common misconception is that polyamory means anything nonmonogamous. Not so. First of all, sleeping around without one's partner's consent is just as forbidden in poly relationships as it is in monogamous relationships. Second of all, polyamory doesn't include the looser lifestyle we call swinging. Swinging is when a single, couple, threesome or whatever, write each other a blank check to have casual sexual relations with any number of people, any time, without notifying the committed group. Swingers would usually avoid emotional attachments with their outside liaisons. Emotional attachment may even be avoided within the committed circle. People drift in and out of each other's lives, usually pretty quickly. It's about sex -- not love. Polyamory is a little more involved than that. It's certainly looser than monogamy, but it's also tighter than swinging.
In poly relationships, each person can have more than one intimate partner. Often a hierarchy exists. One intimate partner might be a "primary." The other might be a "secondary." It there's a third intimate partner, he or she might be a "tertiary."
There's some contraversy over what these words mean. To some people, "primary" simply means the first intimate partner that came into your life. Your "secondary" is the second intimate partner that came into your life; your "tertiary" is the third intimate partner that came into your life ... etc.
Going by that definition, there can only be one primary, secondary, and tertiary. But my sense is that there's a greater consensus for those words to mean something less chronological. A primary is like the top person in your life. But can you have two primaries? I think so ... if they are both tied for first. A primary is someone you are totally committed to for life. A secondary is someone not so closely connected to you ... and whose connection to you is actually not so vital for you or them. Thus a secondary is subject to primary "veto." That is, if your primary has irreconcilable issues with a secondary, then your loyalty to your primary compels you to sever your relationship with your secondary. Sometimes a primary has the power to veto a date with a secondary. It depends on how people define the words, and how the hierarchy works in their home. Often the secondary doesn't even live in the same home. But in polyamorous relationships, even a primary can live in a different home. There's many shapes and forms a polyamorous relationship can assume.
Personally, I would feel much more comfortable if everyone in the poly relationship was a primary. If someone's just a casual sexual acquaintance, doesn't it create inequities that are hard to work out? How does a secondary feel, knowing he or she is beholden to a primary? Difficult situations can evolve, especially if your primary becomes irrationally jealous, acts out, and puts you in a tight spot where you feel forced to support your primary even though you don't want to.
However, I know there are people that find ways to balance the primary-secondary dynamics, and it works well for them. I'm cool with that. We're all different. I'm more of an all-primary type of person. Other people are more comfortable with the primary-secondary mix. It's all about what works best for the unique individuals involved.
Where there is a tertiary, the tertiary is usually low indeed on the totem pole. A tertiary tends to be a casual friend. Typically, you would only see your tertiary once in awhile, or sporadically, as in spurts. Sometimes your relationship with a tertiary may only amount to one visit ... ships passing in the night, and then it's over. Rarely would a tertiary be someone that lived in your home. Certainly a tertiary would be subject to veto powers, both by any secondaries you have, and by primaries.
For me, living in a polyfidelitist home means there are no tertiaries ... and there should be no secondaries either, but I guess that's just my preference or opinion. As I said, polyfidelity is just a subset of polyamory. Polyamory can be very fluid.
One concern I have is that if there's too many tertiaries, and relationships with them are too short and too casual, the line really does start to blur between polyamory and swinging. Polyamorists tend to deplore being grouped with swingers. But be careful about that tertiary action. As a polyamorist, you could be shooting yourself (and the whole poly community) in the foot. Perhaps if you have too many tertiaries, you should stop trying to call yourself polyamorous and just try on the swinger hat. I don't necessarily think swingers are bad people. Again, it's all about what works for everyone involved. If the types of relations you have are mutually consensual, and meet everyone's needs ... I'm not going to complain.
So, what happens when two primaries have irreconcilable differences, and each wants to veto the other? I guess you could argue that someone has to become a secondary ... but then I'm not sure it has to be that way in every relationship. What if both primaries are reasonable and compatible enough to work out their differences? If the differences can be reconciled, then vetoes aren't needed. That, to me, would be an ideal poly relationship. But I realize things don't always work out in an ideal way. Monogamous couples, too, live with things they might think of as less than ideal.
By now you may have a multitude of questions about this poly business. How are potential STD's handled, for instance? Well, first of all, by lots and lots of honest, empathic communication. But that doesn't answer the whole question.
You can see how exhaustive this test (and in particular this lengthy overview here) is. I don't want to lose my potential test-taking patrons because I'm overwhelming some of them, and boring others half to death. Plus I myself am exhausted from the amount of work I've done to put this test together.
I've only touched the surface here. There's so much more to know about polyamory, and so many more words to learn. There's a lot of information out there. Google "polyamory;" go to Wikipedia and look up "polyamory." Almost any generalized search engine (e.g. Yahoo, etc.) will direct you to a wealth of information if you plug "polyamory" into it. Give it a try. There is a whole new world waiting for you out there.
Thank you for bearing with me, and for taking this lengthy test. And now at last ... let's have a look at that score of yours. Click on the "THAT'S ALL!" button below.
The Poly Fluency Test...
You are 91% poly-fluent (so far as this test is concerned).
It's very possible you might be Yoda. Who else could score so high on this diabolical test? Many questions had only one right answer. To the others, the wrong answer was deceptively alluring. Only by being one with the Poly Side of the Force could you avoid such pitfalls. You are ready to challenge the likes of Darth Maul and Count Dooku. Just try not to look too short, silly, and green, as you cavort about the screen like some oversized gnat. Best bet is to stay on some nice quiet swamp planet, where you can offer up such platitudes as, "When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not, hmmm?"