Polyamory Series: A Community

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Welcome to another entry in the Polyamory Series. If you are just dropping in, please check out the Introduction first. Now then, on to the good stuff:

You could argue that a monogamous coupling is really made up of three separate relationships:

1. How person A feels about Person B.
2. How person B feels about Person A. 
3. The Relationship as a whole. 

If you know many couples, you will sometimes find that there are those who seem to not know one another. They talk about each other in completely different ways and obviously struggle to communicate. Therefore, we can easily say that vanilla monogamous couples still often struggle, in spite of being completely average and seeing models for their relationship espoused in every single movie and TV show.

Some people think that if you add an extra person, that is only adding one more relationship. However, obviously, that is not true.

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If you were to add a third person who somehow was interested in dating both of you (which doesn’t happen much,) you would be adding four new relationships, for a total of seven.

1. How the husband views the wife. 
2. How the wife views the husband. 
3. How the husband views the unicorn. 
4. How the unicorn views the husband. 
5. How the wife views the unicorn. 
6. How the unicorn views the wife. 
7. The overall dynamic. 

So as you can see, adding a person is not a simple matter of 1+1+1=3. Instead, somehow, 1+1+1=7.

I think that this is one of the main things that you need to think about when you are in poly-amorous relationships, because it’s very important to be conscious of every part of the relationships, and of how things can affect other things.

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First, three-way relationships are more common in the form of the picture above than the one before it. This is because a couple is rarely looking for the same things in another person, and so sharing is harder than finding separate people to date. However, this adds relationships.

1. There is what the wife feels about the husband. 
2. There is what the husband feels about the wife. 
3. There is what the boyfriend of the wife feels for her. 
4. There is what the wife feels for her boyfriend. 
5. There is the relationship that the husband has with the wife’s boyfriend. 
6. There is the relationship the boyfriend has with the husband. 
7. There is what the husband feels for the girlfriend. 
8. There is what the girlfriend feels for the husband. 
9. There is what the girlfriend feels for the wife. 
10. There is what the wife feels for the husband. 
11. Perhaps the boyfriend and girlfriend cross paths on the stairs and become friends. 
12. The overall husband-wife-girlfriend dynamic.
13. The overall wife-husband-boyfriend dynamic. 
14. The dynamic of all four in the same room. 

So again, 1+1+1+1=14 not 4. And it’s important to understand this because each relationship requires at least some level of acknowledgment and maintenance because you are all going to be around each other and have to figure out how to spend Valentine’s Day.

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And yes, it does get even more complex than that, because if your wife has a boyfriend, he probably has a wife or girlfriend of boyfriend or husband in addition to her, and you have to remember that those are still people affected by your choices.

If you have a baby, or get an STD, or decide to move; the consequences ripple throughout the entire poly community you are part of, and have measurable affects on everyone involved.

This is why being poly-amorous means learning to become more conscious of your feelings and your actions, and learn to see how they can relate to everyone around you.

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So, if you are getting on a dating site and saying that you are poly-amorous because you want to push your wife into a threesome with some girl you met online, I want you to understand that you are an asshole. And, you are not poly-amorous. You are just a jerk who needs to be castrated for the betterment of all of humanity.

However, if you are willing to be in equitable adult relationships, then you are one of us.

Polyamory Series: Not About Threesomes

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Last week I kicked off the Polyamory Series with a basic introduction to the idea of polyamory. If you have not read it yet, please do.

Today, I want to talk about my deep and unending annoyance with men who hear “polyamory” and think “I am going to fuck so many bitches and have all the threesomes.”

Polyamory is not about you sleeping around while your partners do not, nor is it about having threesomes. Poly-amorous people do sometimes have threesomes and even orgies, but that is absolutely not what it is about.

I am going to spell this out in great detail because I am sick of people getting this wrong.

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I have been on a lot of dates in my life. I tell guys prior to dates that I am married, and that we are poly-amorous. I always think that is quite clear, and then I hear nonsense like:

1. “My wife doesn’t know, but that’s okay, right?”

2. “My wife is only into it if you will have sex with both of us.” 

3. “My wife would have to like your husband.”

4. “We just want a unicorn so your husband is out.”

And a bunch of other offensive and ignorant shit.

Let’s talk about how sick to death I am of coupes who think it’s less complicated if they date a girl together than if they both have relationships they want.

*Sigh*

It’s just not less complicated. And the logic behind this misconception is often so tragic that it makes me miserable.

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Threesome logic for vanilla monogamous types:

Guy: I want to fuck two bitches at once!!!

Girl: I guess it’s not so bad if he sleeps with someone else if I am there? And you know, maybe she will be better at going down on me than he is… 

No! Just fucking no!

If you really think you want a unicorn (term for a girl that dates a couple) then you had better both be thinking about what YOU can do for HER, because there are very few women with the slightest interest in dating a couple and they do not exist to please you.

So please guys, get it out of your head that some beautiful girl is going to come along and think that your balding head is hot and that your fat wife is gorgeous, and about how she wants to take you both on at once.

This. Will. Never. Ever. Ever. Happen. 

I am so sick of self-centered men that I can hardly stand it sometimes. Even if you have six-pack abs and a 10 inch dick, you are not god’s gift. Trust me. I have one of those at home already, so don’t think you are all that and a bag of fucking chips.

I am not impressed.

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So first pet peeve is men who think polyamory is in any way related to threesomes. Just stop it, okay?

While we are on the subject of threesome though: Guys often act like they want it and girls don’t and it’s some goal to quest over. It’s always losers on reddit.com or 4Chan.org going on and on about how they just want to get two girls in bed.

Again: No one is obligated to give a shit what you want.

Instead, let’s talk about what women want.

If they want a threesome, it is probably with two guys. One of the most common straight female fantasies is to sleep with multiple men. So stop thinking about all those boobs you are going to grab think about what your girlfriend wants.

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Next, remember that a threesome is probably not the best course of action. If you want to sleep with other people then you should. However, it is ridiculous to expect your partner to agree with you on who to sleep with. That is why you should both choose your own partners and have separate relationships with them that are not part of your primary relationship.

You might want a threesome with two girls (not that any of you ever know what to do with them when you get them,) but your girlfriend probably wants to date a guy that is different from you because women like variety, too. So go date your different girl, and let your girlfriend go date someone else as well. Forget the threesome thing.

And ladies: Please try to have the self-esteem to not be used and pushed around. Don’t be talked into a threesome that you don’t want because the unicorn can always tell. Trust me.

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Anyway, the point of all this is:

Stop confusing threesomes with polyamory. They are not the same thing. They are often mutually exclusive categories, in fact.

It’s very important that you understand this. Polyamory does involve dating more than one person at a time. However, it does not mean having sex with more than one person at a time.

(Sometimes it is easier to explain something by what it is not.)

Polyamory Series: Introduction

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Polyamory  is typically the practice of, or desire for, sexual relationships where individuals may have more than one partner, with the knowledge and consent of all partners.  It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.

So first, let’s talk about monogamy. This is a relationship between two people that is sexually exclusive. A lesbian couple, a gay couple, or a heterosexual couple; may fall in love and decide that their relationship should be exclusive and not include anyone else.

Hallmarks of this kind of behavior are jealousy, restrictions and rules for spending time with people outside the relationship, and an idea that the other person is “all you will ever need.”

Does this mean that Poly couples don’t ever get jealous? Of course not! You can have three boyfriends and a girlfriend and still be jealous if your husband wants to spend Valentine’s Day with someone else. And yes, the relationship webs that can develop in a poly community are often very complicated. I will get into that later in the series. For now, I just want to explain some hallmarks of Polyamory.

Consent

First: Consent.

This is the most important part and so I can’t possibly stress this enough. In a poly relationship it is extremely important to be up-front about everything, be aware of your feelings and ready to discuss them, and never lie to your partners or knowingly date someone who has a partner that they are lying to.

Make sure all relationships are always with the consent of everyone involved!

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Second: STDs.

You can’t “just trust” a new boyfriend when you have other people whom you are in love with who can be hurt by your bad decisions. This means that trading STD tests becomes very important before sexual contact. I know the vanilla monogamous folks just hook up in bathrooms and parking lots and sometimes that can sound hot. However, that’s not how a responsible person behaves. Well, not unless they want to wait six weeks before any play with any other partner and then get an STD test to show that they didn’t pick up any parasites.

Remember: Condoms are not 100% effective so use them, but also be responsible and get tested!

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Third: Talking.

I am not saying you have to talk all the time. You can play scenes and hook up and go on dates and not think about things a lot. However, you do need to make sure to check in periodically with each person you are dating. You need to make sure that the people in your lives are not holding any resentments inside that could explode and cause drama for the rest of the community. It is the responsibility of every person in the community to head off problems before they happen by making sure that everyone they care about is okay.

Remember: No one likes the guy or girl in the community who is always surrounded by yelling and drama.

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Forth: Tertiary Relationships.

There are going to people in your life that are not there by your choice. For example, I am sort of a wild card because I don’t have a type. I am pan-sexual and I am known for appreciating whatever someone is unique for. I have dated guys who were dumb as a post because I liked the way they deferred to me. I have dated both a rocket scientist and an experimental particle physicist. And, I dated a girl who is a professional translator and is out-of-this-world smart. None of these people have anything in common. They have different genders, intelligence levels, sexual orientation, kink orientation, and disposition. As you can probably tell, I want to try all the things! So anyone I date seriously has to be willing to handle the parade of random humans that marches through my life.

Let me be clear: You don’t have to be friends with everyone that your partners date. You can be, and often that will happen naturally. However, it’s fine if you’re not. You just have to be alright with them being in your life, because if they are dating your partner, then they are in your life. You will hear about them and see them around, and that is just how it is.

 

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Fifth: Perspective.

When you are in a poly-amorous community, you have to remember to keep things in perceptive. Your opinion matters, but you can’t be self-centered. Everyone has a different perspective, and it’s important to respect all of them.

I am always really grossed out by people that only make statements about what they want and what they thing and how they feel. Unless you live alone on a deserted island and never have any friends, you should probably grow up enough to lead with questions and express interest in others.

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In conclusion

These are just a few key points that highlight some things you should know about polyamory and the people who practice it. Over the next few weeks I want to talk about issues that come up a lot in e-mails I get and interactions I have which relate to the topic of polyamory. So, I felt an initial introduction would be a good place to start.