As I have been putting together my notes for a project I am presenting on next week, I have had several things rise the surface related to ethical nonmonogamy, stripping, race, and class.
-Something that has been increasingly apparent to me in my explorations, especially academically, around poly issues is the severe lack of discussion on the intersections of race and class with relationship orientation. Being poly is (so far) a distinctly white and upper class experience, although ethically nonmonogamous relationships have been existent in many different cultures around the world. Being poly in such a monoga-normative culture and society means (to me) that you have to (generally) first have your basic needs met and have time to focus on breaking norms before you are able to spend inordinate amounts of time on your relationships (including your relationship with yourself).
-Interesting, too, has been my discovery that even though disclosing my status as a dancer is nerve-wracking for me depending on my audience, I command a sense of respect and curiosity, typically, and it’s because of my whiteness, my class, and my education level. If I was a woman of color who hadn’t gone to college, I don’t think people would necessarily listen to my story as much. I also think that dancing in Portland is probably one of the most privileged places, geographically, to dance- it is so much more normalized here, and there is a large sex positive community that emphasizes a woman’s right to choose to control her body and feel empowered through her sexuality. Because of my geographic location, race, and socioeconomic status, I feel at least a little comfortable disclosing my experiences dancing.
I have come across a few different blog posts and articles online about the lack of discussion around race and polyamory, but there is really an overall dearth of discussion. And all I can think of as an explanation is that, so far, ethical nonmonogamy is an experience of wealthy whiteness. If you know of resources related to people of color experience in open relationships, please pass them on!