I have done a lot of posts about poly couples. Obviously it’s a very complicated subject and everyone sets their own relationship rules and boundaries because there isn’t really any standard expectations in a poly relationship.
However, one thing that is always important is communication.
Not long ago, my husband and I had an experience with a vanilla friend of mine who came to visit. She doesn’t often have sex and is nervous around men, so it seemed like it would be good for her to experiment a little in a safe environment. (With my husband because she is straight.)
However, because she is vanilla, she is uncomfortable talking about sex at all; let alone handling how to talk to me about having sex with my husband.
I really didn’t want to push her boundaries and I didn’t want to force her into a conversation that would be emotionally difficult for her. So, I didn’t. I let her pretend that nothing happened in the morning and I joined her in whatever topic she introduced for conversation.
However, it did make me feel icky to not talk/gossip about it afterwards.
I knew that she had only had sex with a few people in her life, and that she wasn’t even cool really talking about dating (she always got uncomfortable and standoffish when I brought it up). I was glad that my husband could help her learn that men are not all scary creatures that you can’t communicate your needs to. I know it was positive for her to be able to have a safe sexual experience that she could use to help her feel more courageous about pursuing romance on her own in the future.
However, I did feel that the lack of direct communication between her and I was upsetting for me. (Of course she is my friend and it was my idea because it has always bothered me that she was afraid of sex/dating.)
I guess I just wanted to say that there is no way to overstate how much healthy communication can help make situations more comfortable and positive for everyone.
In this case, I suppose she’ll keep being my friend as she always has. And maybe in time she will get to a place where she can talk about it. Obviously my husband and I talked about it in detail, as we always do. But no two people ever have the same experience, and each person ascribes their own meaning to things that happen to them. I would have liked to have heard her perspective and been able to share the experience from her side.
Monogamous vanilla people are fine, and I am not saying otherwise. But it does make me appreciate my kinky and poly friends just a tiny bit more. And of course, it makes me appreciate that my husband is able to communicate about things. We would be lost without that.