More Than Two blog: Ethical relationship agreements

I’ve just posted a new essay over on the More Than Two book blog. This essay literally came to me in a dream; I had a dream that I was working on this blog post with Eve while we were working in a nuclear power plant, and for some reason I had long hair. There were also inspectors and other things to contend with in the dream, as there always are.

Anyway, when I woke up I raced to the computer and started writing it down, and it came out pretty close to what it was in my dream. The essay is about ethical agreements in poly relationships; it’s an attempt at answering the question “Well, aren’t any poly arrangements OK as long as all the people involved agree?” Here’s the teaser:

Communication, honesty and consent are values the poly community promotes heavily, and these ideas do seem to be intrinsic to strong, ethical relationships. But the more I think about these ideas, the deeper the rabbit hole goes.

Communication and honesty are complex topics that can easily fill a book. Consent seems more straightforward; either we agree to something or we don’t, right? I’ve often heard people say, “As long as everyone agrees to a structure or a set of rules, everything’s good.”

On the surface, that seems reasonable. And yet, I think it’s easy to lose track of how slippery the idea of “consent” can be.

There are a lot of ways to run off the rails on the way to a seemingly consensual agreement. I woke up this morning thinking about this, and somewhere in my foggy pre-caffeinated state I tracked down three ways that an agreement might appear consensual without quiiiiite rising to the level that would be ideal for ethical relationships…

You can read the entire blog post here. As usual, feel free to comment here or over there.