During my recent time as a middle aged dater, I came up with a “poly scale”, like a Kinsey scale for hetero and homosexuality, that helps you communicate and think about how polyamorous you are. I studied and experimented with polyamory for about two years. I went to therapy to examine the gap between my intellectual acceptance of polyamory and my emotional aversion to it.
I determined that I am NOT at all polyamorous. I have no ability or emotional desire to be poly. Being poly makes me miserable and physically ill. I am a 0 on the poly scale.
Polyamory is like sexual orientation
In my experience polyamory is very similar to a sexual orientation. My estranged husband is a 4 or 5 on the Kinsey scale and I have met men who are 1s and 6s on the Kinsey scale, i.e. they can’t get an erection for the same or opposite sex.
I have met people that are 6 on the poly scale as well as 1 through 5. I respect every type of person gay, straight, poly, Kinky, vanilla or mono, but I am just mono, vanilla, straight unlike many of my acquaintances.
My current boyfriend claims he is a 3 on the poly scale. I hope he is right. My husband claimed he was a 1 on the Kinsey scale for 15 years, then a 2 for 5 years, but now he is openly a 4 or 5. He was lying to himself before.
Here is the Kinsey scale:
Many people assume it is from 1 to 10 (I even heard a sex therapist misquote it) but it is actually only from 0 to 6.
My Poly scale is the same idea:
0. Exclusively monogamous
1. Predominantly monogamous, only incidentally polyamorous
2. Predominantly monogamous, but more than incidentally poly
3. Equally mono and poly
4. Predominantly poly, but more than incidentally mono
5. Predominantly polyamorous, only incidentally monogamous
6. Exclusively polyamorous
If you have no idea where on the scale you are, I would recommend getting the ” The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships” and taking the test. While the author does not give you a score, per se, she certainly gives you some aspects of polyamory and monogamy to consider in regards to yourself.
Another interesting concept I learned about recently is sociosexual orientation. It is a word that describes how much you do or don’t like casual sex. I think I may be fairly average for that. There is a test and a scale for that as well.
The book, ” The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships”, has a lot of tips and tricks for fighting jealousy. They really did not work for me, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work for someone else who is higher on the poly scale. The book also talks about ways jealousy affects you and I noticed four of these:
1. Feeling angry
2. Feeling sad; crying
4. Feeling nauseous
The first two I had felt before when my boyfriend cheated on me many years ago, but the last two were new to me. It was nice to know that I wasn’t crazy having these symptoms.
Another symptom I had was higher blood pressure. My numbers went up a full 10 points for both systolic and diastolic during the months I was poly. They came right down again as soon as I ended the experiment.
What level on the poly scale are you?