Notes on polyamory

first of all, alt.polyamory

COMPERSION- Warm happy feelings experienced when noticing ones loved ones enjoying loving relationships with others. (Kerista) The opposite of jealousy.

Polyfidelity. The state or practice of sexual exclusivity among a group of three or more primary partners. (Kerista) A closed group marriage emphasizing equal primacy of all relationships. "The problems polyfidelity solves: loneliness, jealousy, social fragmentation, housing shortages, single parenting, economic strain, emotional boredom'"

Polyfidelity was a component of an intentional community in SF called "Kerista", which existed from the 60s till 1991. A good references Tale of Two Communes, concludes that although Kerista eventually collapsed, the polyfidelity was not the problem - rather, the decision-making process became unworkable with an over-controlling leader.

Other reference: Polyfidelity and What happened to Kerista?

James Everett Ward, who wrote his own idealistic guidelines for communes, had this to say about Kerista:

"The recently dissolved (1991) Kerista commune in San Francisco is a good example of what can happen when this precaution is ignored, even when a community has lofty goals. (The stated goals of Kerista were similar in many ways to our stated goals.) Over the last few years there's been a lot of discussion of Kerista's dissolution by those familiar with the community, and most of those who analyzed its failure pointed their fingers at the domination of the group by its founder. This is, at best, only a partial explanation; it's necessary to ask why his domination had such unfortunate effects. The answer, I believe, is that the Keristans had no respect for individual rights and no tolerance for individual differences. They went rule crazy. They made dozens upon dozens of rules about anything and everything from spiritual beliefs to the private sexual practices of members; and they blithely assumed that as long as they made the rules 'democratically' everything was fine. Well, they were wrong. Kerista adopted as its operating principle blind belief in the tyranny of the majority (which they called "democracy"), and the result was an uptight religious cult."

From "Roots of Communal Revival 1962-1966", from the Farm Historical Society,

"Another proto-hip commune was Kerista, established by John Presmont, who took the name Brother Jud, in the early 1960s. The Keristans were uninhibited practicing existentialists, especially noted for their practice of wide-open free love.."

Now there's even a Yahoo! category for Polyamory