Random discussions have been occurring with me and different friends in regards to polyamory & it got my mind spinning. What does polyamory mean to me? Let’s be honest many people have their ideas of what polyamory is and what it is not. Several misconceptions exist. Television shows & many internet articles paint poly relationships as either a free for all orgy or polygamist families where one man has several wives. I once tried to explain to my mother I was in a polyamorous relationship. We had an honest talk & what I still respect about that conversation is that she really tried to understand. However, she didn’t fully understand why I would engage in such a thing. “Sharing is not my thing.” She wanted to know if I felt unworthy to have the love of one person who loved me fully & completely. Why would you choose to receive a person’s second best? Don’t you know you deserve to be someone’s everything?
If you look at from my mother’s perspective, why would someone choose to be in a polyamorous relationship? Is your self-esteem so damaged that you are willing to accept someone’s second or third best? Let me start off by at least answering that question. You are not a flawed human being for possessing the ability to love more than one person or for loving someone who is capable of loving more than one person. You are not accepting a person’s second or third best. You are not broken, settling, or selling yourself short. Polyamory, when done correctly, is an empowering dynamic that enables a person to be surrounded with love. Period.
Being in the kink community for a long while, I have had the pleasure of watching some dynamics flourish and thrive. Those who make it work seem to have something that is healthy, harmonious, filled with love, and here is the important part works for the individuals involved. However, just like monogamous relationships, I have also seen poly dynamics that are unhealthy & implodes/explodes damaging any and everyone along it’s path. I have seen the emotional scars left behind from this type of destruction & just like in monogamous relationships the fall out leaves all parties picking up the pieces.
Please hear me when I say this: there is no one way to engage in a poly relationship. I have seen a variety of relationships in regards to polyamory & I hate to be a party pooper but poly doesn’t mean that everyone is sleeping together. Let me repeat this for the people in the back – polyamory doesn’t equal poly-fucking. If anything being involved in this type of relationship means being more selective with your time, energy, heart, and mind. It involves a level of loyalty, respect, trust, and honesty that few people truly understand or are willing to subject themselves to doing. Imagine that shit – you actually gotta put in some work because everyday life doesn’t stop. You still gotta balance family commitments, work demands, friends, life, health, and everything in between. But, if you truly love/care for someone, you are willing to put in that effort because they are worth it. The hardest part is being honest with yourself. What do you want? What are your deal breakers? What are the things you are willing to compromise? Are you okay with being monogamous with a polyamorous partner? Are you a polyamorous person who is okay with adding on to your other connections? If so, what is the limit because love is limitless but time & energy is not? Are your intentions true or are you trying to do some fucked up shit on the sly?
Communication and negotiation are key. If you want something, you got to be willing to have those hard conversations. Not only do you have to be willing to have those conversations, you also have to be willing to accept the answers that come with it. Everyone wants to hear a yes to their request, but sometimes the answer is no. Other times the answer is not right now. Hearing the answer you don’t want to hear is sometimes soul crushing. Please remember this – sometimes that answer has absolutely nothing to do with you. There could be issues within another connection that has nothing to do with you. Respect that person for being adult enough to spare you from that drama and trauma. The worse relationship situations I have seen unfold occurred because someone said yes to a situation when the answer should have been no.
Remember to be respectful & considerate in regards to your partner’s significant other(s). I earned the respect of a play partner’s spouse for simply doing one thing – taking the time to introduce myself in the early stages. Her husband & I had been playing together consistently for a couple months. I emailed her to introduce myself since I hadn’t met her. I wanted her to know if she ever had any concerns, questions, or just wanted to talk I was open. I didn’t realize how much that meant to her. She later told someone I was the first person to ever extend that respect and courtesy to her & her spouse had been playing with others for years before I came along. I’m not an expert at relationships, but I do know respect and basic manners can go a long way. If nothing else, you can gain a great friend & ally.
Sidenote: PLEASE DON’T BE A MANIPULATIVE ASSHOLE!!! What do you mean? I mean don’t pretend to be something you are not hoping to gain favor. Don’t be plotting and scheming to try and steal someone else’s significant other. Don’t be stupid enough to believe your dick or pussy is so magical it can tear apart an established relationship that has endured years of life experiences you know nothing about. If it can, that relationship was never sitting on a solid foundation to begin with.
Beware of poly-trickery. What is poly-trickery? Hmmm….imagine stepping onto a minefield loaded with emotional outburst, deceit, manipulation, and dishonesty. You have stepped into dangerous territory without fair warning. And it is too late to turn around cause you have already started your journey. Let’s go to my relationship mistakes vault for this one.
I had a brief relationship with a man who is well know throughout the kink community. We lived like a few hours apart but because of his career he was constantly in my area. We would chat at munches & message each other on Fet. I had come home from Texas & he was going to be in my area for business. We decided to meet up for dinner and a play session. Our play session went a lot further than either of us were planning. We slept together. We spent the night together. We had sex that morning. And our connection took off into a whirlwind relationship. We were messaging all the time, having Skype dates when we were on the road, & planning events so we could be together.
No problem right!?!! He was polyamorous. He was free to do what he wanted right?!??
So incredibly wrong!!! He was poly but he was suppose to be monogamous with his two partners. Not only was he sleeping with me but with multiple other people close to home and on the road while traveling. Those who know the story knows how quickly the story turned horrible. His dishonesty blew up in quite a few people’s faces. His dishonesty caused emotional scars for quite a few people & luckily that is all we were left with. I accept my role in this situation. I failed to do my due diligence. I failed to ask a multitude of questions when things didn’t start adding up. When faced with the truth, I turned a blind eye. I didn’t know the whole truth when I started this journey. When I did I was already in too deep. I wasn’t strong enough to walk away from a bad situation. Learn from my mistakes. Ask questions. Talk to your potential partner’s people. If they avoid your questions or try to turn the situation around on you. Run far away. So, why am I not afraid of being in a polyamorous relationship after that?
It is just like monogamous dating. You will have your good, bad, and ugly. However, when done correctly – you gain a partner, lover, or even lifelong relationship. You probably will make some great friends along the way. You probably will have people who push you to grow in ways you never imagined. Ideally you get all of your needs met, but if not at least the majority. You have people to do life with. You get people who will be in your corner. You get to experience love on a different level – you could gain a friend, lover, boyfriend/girlfriend, or in rare occasions some essential gain a second spouse. I may be a dreamer, but I believe poly relationships can be a beautiful thing for all people involved if done correctly – with honesty, respect, and integrity.