Poly does not have to mean rich and white

I’m getting tired of hearing all of the nonsense from article after article (http://mic.com/articles/109616/there-s-a-big-problem-with-polyamory-that-nobody-s-talking-about and http://theweek.com/articles/538413/polyamorycan-teach-about-economics-family-life) that discuss polyamory as being the domain of affluent white people. This is a pile of bunk.
I have dated women of a variety of races. I have dated women in just as diverse economic states.

Something about my personality seems to attract artists and teachers, and I have been with a lot of both. Few of them were remotely near what I would call affluent. Sure, that’s a judgement call, but several of them were not what I’d call white, and that is not.

It’s true and I’m both white and well-off. That’s allowed me to date the girls with tinier incomes and still eat at places and do the activities that I enjoy. But I don’t have sugar babies that I am whisking away to my yacht to do my bidding. (They can do my bidding perfectly well anywhere we decide to go.) Some of the more financially challenged women don’t want to be wined and dined because they feel like they can’t contribute to the relationship. That’s fine, too. We get to be creative with our dates.

Look at howaboutwe.com and browse through the lists of dates. There are plenty of fantastic and fun ideas for dates there that have costs between nothing and nominal. One of my favorites was when one of my girls and I were going to have a picnic, which we definitely prepared on the cheap. We got to the forest preserve where we were planning on picnicking and, wham! Out of nowhere, there was a deluge! A tremendous thunderstorm kept us from getting out of the car. So we pulled up YouTube on my phone, plugged it into the tape deck with one of those old cassette adapters, and had our picnic in the car watching movie trailers, Tabletop, and Simon’s Cat videos. And then, you know, since it was pouring outside and the windows were already fogged up… The total cost of that date was something like eight dollars, including the condoms.
These arguments about the cost of sexual health are overblown, too. I’ve had plenty of sex using condoms a girlfriend has gotten for free at her clinic (where her std panel was also free). This doesn’t eliminate working class people from polyamory. I dated a girl who made minimum wage working at a wood shop. I’ve dated plenty of women in lower end retail jobs. I’ve dated starving artists.

I’m not going to say that things aren’t easier when you’re rich and white. They are. I’m white. I’m well off, in a career that I enjoy immensely. It has given me certain views and perspectives about life, and this does make it interesting to integrate that with the different perspectives my not rich or not white partners have to offer.
Tying expensive parties and fetish gear to polyamory is unfair, also. Our poly community does have parties and some of them can be a bit dear. But they also have happy hours and pot lucks and events that are free!
Not every poly person even wants fetish toys. Poly doesn’t mean kinky. But whatever fetishing I may be engaging in doesn’t have to be expensive, either. You know how much fun you can have with twenty dollars and a trip to Farm & Fleet? Lots. Unreasonably lots.

It isn’t that black women or Indian women or Japanese women are exotic. Women are exotic. I can’t speak to other people objectivizing or marginalizing people who aren’t white. The Chicago poly community is somewhat diverse. But those women who happen to not look like me aren’t exotic trophies to be hung in the parlor. They are amazing women who have amazing lives and experiences to share, just like white women.

Rich and white? All right, guilty as charged. But you don’t have to be in order to be happy and successful with polyamory. Be who you are, and love the people you’re with the best you can.

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