Polyamory or polyagony? Jealousy in open relationships

Date created: 
2011-07-26
Identifier: 
etd6744
Keywords: 
Polyamory
Jealousy
Sociology of emotion
Queer
Non-monogamy
Abstract: 

Polyamory is the contemporary practice of consensual and responsible non-monogamy. Using qualitative, open-ended interviews, I spoke with twenty-two queer, polyamorous women in Vancouver, Canada, about how and why they practice polyamory and specifically how jealousy is experienced, expressed and re-imagined in their relationships. Through the development of a polyamorous philosophy and subculture, polyamorists rethink feeling rules about love, relationships and jealousy with the goal of attaining compersion, a term developed by polyamorists to describe the emotional experience of pleasure felt in relation to a lover’s sexual and/or emotional connection with other people. It is through their participation in the polyamorous community and engagement with its philosophy that polyamorists shift their embodiment of emotion. Jealousy is connected to power relations; therefore I explore how polyamorists are affected by Western cultural regulation of sexuality and emotion, as well as how they rethink power relations within their personal dynamics. Using sociology of emotion, feminist intersectionality theory, queer theory, critical sexualities theory and an insider research methodology, I document a moment of this sexual subculture’s process and illustrate its numerous emotional challenges, punned polyagony.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ann Travers
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Statistics: