Over the weekend, I took abuse from three different guys in BiState Polyamory. There has been an overwhelming consensus that whatever it was I was doing, I was wrong, and had been for over a year.
Fuck 'em all. I quit. I don't need the grief.
I know what it is that Kentucky Polyamory is doing right that BiState Polyamory (and before it, St.Louis Polyamory, and more recently, Pleasure Activism and Polyamory) was, and is, and are doing wrong. In Kentucky, the anchors of the group are bisexual women, at least one of whom is a semi-wealthy stay-at-home mother. In St. Louis, every poly group I've run into or (by definition) tried to found was run by a guy. And for perfectly plausible reasons that I am profoundly sick of, guys get no breaks, not in any of the non-traditional sexuality movements. Anything that bothers anyone is assumed, by everyone, to have been done for evil reasons. No proof to the contrary is accepted.
Fuck it. I don't need that grief.
A longish while back, I tried to build up a slate of three officers to run BiState Polyamory, so we could incorporate, which would have simplified the hell out of our lives. Because I know that I am a polarizing figure, and because every woman I approached to discuss the post with turned me down, and because I trusted him, I offered the job of President to Geoffrey, with the explicit understanding between us that I would be calling most of the shots, and that his would be a spokesman, not policy-making, role. Very quickly thereafter, as in in less than a month, several things became clear. For one thing, the incorporation wasn't going to happen. For another, nobody was going to accept a guy in the role. For another, Geoffrey immediately dragged several of his political agendas into it, and staged a couple of power plays that turned off yet more people. So I let the incorporate idea drift off into oblivion. Geoffrey tried a few more power plays. Nobody played along. I took no sides. A year later, Geoffrey is both still pissed that I didn't back him up even though the incorporation idea, which was going to be whole reason to make him president, went by the wayside. What's more, despite our long friendship, he was convinced that I did so for nefarious purposes. What's more, when he sets out to prove this, my nefarious purposes end up being contradictory, which means that to give me that little credit, he has to be so angry and hateful as to be willing to turn off all capacity for logical deduction.
Fuck him, then, too. I don't need that grief, either.
The last two weeks, BiState Polyamory got joined by and then flamed heavily by a serious asshole. As list moderator, I dealt with it in private email, and got him to agree to calm down and obey list rules. He was doing so. Then he pissed off the assistant moderator ... not, as far as I'm concerned, because he did anything wrong, but because the assistant moderator was determined, by that point, to read bad intent into anything the guy said. Without consulting me, the assistant moderator slapped the guy into moderated status, eliminating the guy's chance to post. I was in town. He has my phone number. There was no emergency. I could, and should, have been consulted. At the very least, I should have been asked if I was already dealing with it.
I made these points to the assistant moderator, calmly and politely disagreeing with what he did and explaining how he had undercut my ability to manage the guy. I also told him I wasn't terribly angry about it, as (given that I didn't expect the offender to last much longer anyway) it probably hadn't done any harm.
The assistant moderator's reaction was to cuss me out in email and quit both moderator duties and the entire group. Nothing I did or said deserved that reaction. So fuck him, too.
He's an asshole, and I don't need to take any more grief from him, either. I have no idea if my friendship with his wife will survive this, and it would be a shame if it didn't, because she's cool. But you know what? I'm pushed over the edge, now. If the price of her company is having to deal with him, it's not worth it to me. It bites, but it's true.
So I quit. To spite 'em all, I'm giving them what they asked for. On my way out, I made Geoffrey moderator. He's going to fuck it up, of this I have no doubt. And I don't care, for the same reason that none of the long-term stable, successful polyfolk I know in St. Louis ever cared in the first place.
People who have long lived monogamously and have suddenly discovered that they are poly are dangerous. They bring lots of drama, tension, and grief with them. People who are filled with jealousy and possessiveness but are determined to become polyamorous are even more dangerous. The success rate for this effort is comparable to the success rate for "curing" homosexuality, or any other intervention intended to change sexual orientation. It is still fresh in my memory that one determined effort by local a woman to do this, with the highest and purest of motives, lead to a shooting incident that split and severely damaged almost the entire Pagan community.
Consequently, the long-term successful polyfolk I know, while they were always open to meeting more polyfolk, had no intention of every going anywhere near a poly organization. And I never found it either easy, or pleasant, to even think of trying to disagree with them on this.
And as far as I'm concerned, Easton and Liszt's ghodawful book made it worse. Nor does it surprise me to find the most annoying and occasionally dangerous flakes in America, the now-so-called Ravenhearts (Otter & Morning Glory), also spouting the bullshit gospel that polyamory is just a set of learnable skills, and that just anybody can become polyamorous. This Pied Piper's song has lured all kinds of people who have no business fucking up their lives into madness and self-destruction.
I founded BiState Polyamory in hopes of meeting more polyfolk, and making it easier for polyfolk to meet each other. I wanted to reduce the rate of desolation that comes from polyfolk dating (or ghod help us, marrying) people who are incurably jealous who feel neglected if their partner isn't equally possessive, by encouraging polyfolk to date each other, not the monogamous. What I instead found was that membership and interest was coming almost entirely from the monogamous, looking for people who'd swing or cheat with them.
Fuck them, too.
For the forseeable future, I'm done with poly organizations, especially in this man's town. I'm still poly. I will never not be. But I give the fuck up on poly "culture."