Hello! I see tons of asks about advise and now I'm actually wondering what are some of your opinions about the whole community? I'd like to know more about the lovely creator of this amazing blog❤️ :)
This reads to me like “please, sir, could I have some discourse?” but I, like most humans, adore being asked for my opinion, especially if it comes with some flattery, so here ya go, some Zinnia Opinions, RIP my inbox:
I think more, if not all, of us should be in therapy! I think working on our own issues and patterns is critical for healthy relationships, whether you’re polyamorous or monogamous. I think we as a culture should be fighting for more accessible mental healthcare, and one of the best things we can do for our people is help them find therapy that is helpful and affordable for them.
I miss the word '‘poly.” I fully understand why we are making a shift to polyam, and I would never put my linguistic comfort over someone else’s very real cultural hurts and needs, but I find “polyam” clunky and it makes me sad that we are facing this namespace collision right now.
I think “ground rules” and “boundaries” are incredibly misunderstood and mis-used in polyamory. I’ve almost never seen “ground rules” work out well - they’re often arbitrary, lead to unnecessary ‘betrayals,’ and let people hide behind them to avoid actually interrogating their true feelings and needs. And people need to realize that “setting a boundary” does not obligate everyone to do what you say or else they’re toxic abusers.
I think we need to do a better job with our language. I’ve written about this before, and I stand by it. I especially think we need to be very careful about words like “abuse” and “trauma,” because they really do mean things beyond ‘made me feel bad.’ I strongly recommend Sarah Schulman’s book Conflict is not Abuse as an in-depth discussion of this and think it belongs on any standard polyam reading list.
I don’t think polyamory is a better, more enlightened or truer way to be in relationship. I disagree with Dan Savage and the Sex At Dawn crowd that all humans are ‘naturally’ non-monogamous and therefore polyamory or monogamy are just personal choices anyone can make freely. Some people are better served by monogamous relationships, and polyam people need to stop evangelizing polyamory as a one-size-fits-all solution to existing problems.
That said, I think monogamy culture is pretty destructive. When practiced with intentionality and as meets the needs of the individuals in the relationship, monogamy can be plenty healthy! But I have seen so much abuse in the name of monogamy, of possessiveness, of jealousy; damage done out of fear of cheating; repression and rejection and violence - we need to better understand and interrogate the social, political, economic, religious, and sexual power structures that drive our assumptions around monogamy.
I wish we had better pride colors and/or full ownership of the infinity heart. I love symbols! I would love to be able to wear my polyam pride on my sleeve, but tons of mono people use the infinity heart to just mean “endless love,” which makes it a pretty diluted symbol, and the pride colors are not great.
I think more polyam families should become foster parents. I think more people should, honestly; but being polyam gives you an advantage in that you have more adults to help out, and most of us have already done a lot of self-work around healthy emotional management and communication styles, which is critical for foster parents. It’s not always easy to get certified as an “unconventional” family, but it is doable, and we should be doing it!
My polyamory is queer. Not all polyamory is queer, but I truly believe that polyamory can be queer, when it is a ‘queering’ of the dominant monogamous culture, a re-understanding of relationships, an individual reclamation and rejection of culturally imposed assumptions, and love as “praxis” that challenges economic, political, and sexual systems of dominance.
Polyam people need to make a lot more space for relationship anarchy in the conversation. Related to my opinion that not all polyamory is queer, but polyamory can be a queering of relationships. It’s sad to me that so many people think polyamory is only about sexual-romantic relationships, and often looks in practice a lot like monogamy culture just with more people, where the sexual-romantic relationships are prioritized in terms of values, commitment, finances, etc. Polyamory can be an invitation to re-understand relationships in a whole new way. Who say that the people we have great sex with have to be the people we live with have to be the people we co-parent with? Let’s make our own way, friends.
I think “best case scenario” daydreaming is an under-utilized tool in polyamorous relationships. Thinking through what you really want, having words for the feelings you want to have, understanding what you want your day to day life to look like - this is so helpful! We should all have a clear picture of where we’re headed, what our goals are, and what our deal-makers and deal-breakers are. I don’t know why so few people are able to really articulate what they want out of their relationships - grab a journal, or a questionnaire, or a boring work meeting, and dig in!
I think people should make my life easier when writing in to this blog. People should check my FAQ, not send me thousand-word letters that don’t include a clear question, and not do these other things. I also think it would be super swell if people contributed to my Patreon!
There we go; some of my most strongly held opinions about polyamory. I have many other opinions, like:
People should stop assigning moral value to food and eating habits and drop the food-negative fear-of-calories nonsense; diet culture is absolute bullshit, and the concern-trolling about fat bodies is cruel, disingenuous, and needs to die.
Caffeine is an addictive drug and we are way too relaxed about young children becoming dependent on it to the detriment of their sleep health.
Being critical or ironic about something does not make you smarter, more mature, or better than someone who earnestly enjoys it.
Genetic connections do not a ‘family’ make, and no one is obligated to stay connected to someone who isn’t healthy for them just because they are ‘related.' And if you are deeply connected to someone whose connection to you isn’t recognized by monogamy-culture - like a kid who isn’t genetically related, or a life partner you aren’t romantic-sexual with, that’s great! Ignore the haters.
Movie theatre popcorn is always better than anything you can make at home, and is always worth the $7 it costs at the theatre. Drinks and candy, you should smuggle in.
If someone isn’t drinking, people should leave that alone and not harass, pester, or tease them about it.
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” music video is not cultural appropriation, because she brings in people who are skilled in those dances to perform them well, and the point of the video is that she can’t do what they do and is just being herself alongside performers she is sharing her stage with. Cultural appropriate is a real issue in pop music (and everywhere else) but I think that video is absolutely not an example of it and don’t understand why it’s constantly used as one.
Alcohol is a lot more dangerous and addictive than marijuana and the reasons it’s legal and socially acceptable are racist and classist and are not based in reality.
Tumblr and Instagram should do more (that is, literally anything) to fight pro-eating-disorder content on their platforms.
No one should feed me food with tomatoes in it, ever, ever, ever! (And I don’t want to hear about how I haven’t had a “real, good” tomato - those ones taste worse because they taste more like tomatoes!)