3 comments on “Family Portraits

  1. I am torn by what to write; I understand both sides of your argument. I reckon just put up a photo of your son & his two parents for now, or else a group portrait which includes cousins/aunts/lovers etc, & say that your son has ‘a village’ raising him… ?
    While I want to applaud honesty & upfront ness, esp re polyamory, I also think that your choices around sexuality & love are none of your son’s world’s business, especially when he’s so young; you wouldn’t be honest about alcohol & drug choices would you, as it’s not appropriate?
    Good luck!

    • Yes, I agree with what you say in a portrait of his “village”, which was also part of the debate. Why does anyone need to know who we are having sex with and who is just a “good family friend” or an uncle or whatever–I agree, none of anyone’s business in that context. However, should the picture include people who may regularly pick our son up from preschool, who he probably talks about in class discussions, who he may mention in a strange context? I could see why that may be the intent of the preschool, and therefore feel like others should be included. Another factor being debated that I neglected to add to this particular blog post was not just about sexual polyamorous partners–we also have a roommate. She is not a sexual partner with either of us, but she is obviously an intimate friend and part of the household. If it were to be a picture of adults in his life that take an active role day-to-day, she also would have been included. But, in the end, it feels a little too much like actively pushing buttons or complicating matters.

  2. Poly gives me, and my son, many benefits and fills our life with more love. I’m not quite sure why more love in my and my family’s life should be regulated so stringently. He has another responsible and loving adult who is willing to be a significant figure in his life, why would I keep that from him or hide it from the world? If it were a cousin or aunt or grandfather who spent as much time with my son as my boyfriend does, I would have the same question and most people would say, “oh, of course, add them to the portrait–what’s the harm?” It is very hard for me to see the difference.

    The issue that seems to be inherent in the negative reactions is the awareness of sex and sexuality. I should probably make clear (which I would think would be obvious): my son has no awareness whatsoever of our sex lives or our sexualities, and I have no intention of making him aware of them. It’s not like I’m having sex in front of him! He is as oblivious to what a sexual relationship is (and what the implications of that may mean to some people) as the next four-year old. I mean, do monogamous parents regularly display their sex lives for their children? No! And this is no different. Yes, I absolutely agree that if I were into kink or bondage, I would never put that on display for them. And therefore I do not display my sex life to my child.

    But poly is very different. It’s not just about sex–these are RELATIONSHIPS about LOVE. Take the sex away (just like it is in my son’s eyes), and then try to see the dilemma from my perspective once again.

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