Oh my! I am (almost) overwhelmed with the response here. Thank you very much for being so invested in giving me material and content that reflects back on a lot of what I think about, some of it consciously, other things lurking just underneath the surface.
In all fairness, a lot of it has been put in a new light! For the sake of my lazy simplicity, I'll try to address each post respectively... though I'll have to be fluid in some segments!
First of all, I'd like to clear any illusions about me being in a situation where the discovery or acceptance of compersion is in any way relevant. It isn't. I'm not in an emotionally-engaged relationship, nor do I predict that I will be for years to come. My interest in compersion stems from me being a naturally inquisitive being by nature(a lamentable fact at times, because most people are right to not allow or invite my innocent, but still inane curiosity at times). It's sort of a mental exercise that is equivalent to "dipping my toes in the water" instead of diving straight into it.
In other words, I am not in a committed emotionally-involved relationship.
AndyZ: Your assumption, whilst rather off the mark, was not in any way too forward or too personal! I've certainly observed partners masturbate before me in the past, but it was mainly used as a means to foreplay or teasing, or implying an act of arousing me. I am certainly not averse to doing my utmost best to maximize and ensure that my partner's pleasure is fulfilled. Even when I am at my most dominant, I dominate because I know that is what the submissive partner in question wants(caveat: I've never been in a proper, BDSM-centric relationship, but I'd like to think that dom/sub roles extend beyond BDSM metrics). By some people's definition, that puts me in a dichotomy between what being dominant and submissive -- that's naturally a discussion for a completely other day, but I'd air it out there anyway.
I am that focused with my partner's pleasure, and that is why I theoretically want to be pleased or capable of allowing my partner to find physical - or perhaps emotional, I'm not sure if which distinction I'll go by just yet - connection, activities and pleasure elsewhere. It sounds almost romantic in concept, you know? If I care for someone, why would I deny them the right to attain pleasure? Every part of my conscience tells me that's what I should feel, but I am not so terribly naÔve as to think that's how it would work if executed in reality.
Kylie: I am uncertain how I will even begin to tackle this comprehensive post! So much to digest. To me, it seems like you have a deeper, more complex and refined understanding of polygamy/polyandry than you seem intent on admitting! But that's just me throwing shameless compliments, perhaps.
I do realize(and this is directed at both you, and AndyZ) that there's a huge, boundless variety of setups and structures that all come down individual preference when it comes to polyamorous relationships, how they are conducted, how many are participating in it. Some of them are triads, including three people at once, or four or five, or they can be where two partners simply engage in completely third-party relationships with other people at the same time. I understand that the actual rigmarole of how complex and diverse they are can greatly affect how comfortable I may or may not be with it in reality. That's one of the big question marks that are buzzing around in my head, really, and you've both touched at the core of the issue perfectly.
In regards to jealousy, I do acknowledge that it is a very primal, base human emotion that can be intrinsically linked to compersion, but going into great detail on just how that works will be too difficult for me to put into words -- especially since I am not intimately familiar with compersion to begin with, hence why this entire thread being made to begin with. I do believe that a slight amount of jealousy is healthy in most relationships, but certainly not to the point of possessiveness. In terms of a polyamorous relationship, I'd like to think that jealousy could be healthy in the sense that "I am watching my partner indulge in pleasure, so now I want it too," without that necessarily meaning that I would want to rob my partner of the pleasure he/she is getting and then take it for myself. Pleasure should be boundless!
Furthermore, I also acknowledge that a lot of hick-ups or baggage people -- and I am certainly not exempt from this equation -- may have over this subject is due to societal pressure. Would I feel emasculated if I essentially became a cuckold? It's very possible I just might, even though I know it shouldn't have any impact on my masculinity(which is an already abstract, baseless concept in our present society, which is another topic of interest - for another day!). Would I feel cruel or selfish if my SO was a cuckquean and got off on being humiliated by seeing me indulge in intimacy with others? Also just as likely. At the end of the day, it devolves into fantasy and speculation, and what my rational half of my brain says will rarely agree with my emotional half.
I do think that to some effect, since I have all these questions and ponder it so frequently, it's fair to assume that I would not be okay with being in an actual poly-situation/relationship, but here is the crux of the matter: regardless of whether I am or not, I would dearly like to train or adopt my brain to compartmentalize the various factors of it in my head, and make it okay.
Iniquitous Opheliac: Thank you very much for your opinion! The way I see it, you are perfectly reasonable in what you expect from a relationship and your aversion to the idea of an open relationship. Some people are presumably wired for it, and others are presumably not! You also point out some very crucial reasons as to why -- trust me when I say that I have studied this topic with an almost academical fascination, and you have made some arguments that I've never actually seen before. I do remember Dan Savage pointing out that making a relationship function between two people is a challenge enough; bring in more into the situation and things are more prone to get messy.
One thing I do metaphorically disagree with is your fourth argument. I believe that sex can be special and have more meaning than just the physical, even if you partake in it with more than one partner, or heck, with a load of random partners. That you are grossed out by it is very understandable, but I do think not everyone should or has to view sex as some sort of transaction, and that you don't dilute the "special" part with sex just because you have it with more than one person, or if you have it excessively much. But that's just my opinion; I'm just offering a polite counter argument to either reinforce or reflect back on what you think.