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. 

Valentine’s Day

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Yes, Valentine’s Day is a stupid Hallmark Holiday. That’s true. But it means a lot to some people, and this can get very complicated if you are poly. So, what do you do when you are in three relationships and everyone wants to be together on Valentine’s Day or go to a Valentine’s day event together?

I wish there was an easy answer to that question.

The truth is, there are no easy answers and it’s simply a matter of doing a lot of negotiation and figuring out how to find a solution that works for everyone.

Basic Tips That May Help:

1. Do not commit to anything until you are sure! If your primary says “Can I go out with someone else for Valentine’s Day?” and you say yes, make sure you mean it. Don’t think you can get a date, not get a date, and then sit alone hating someone who gave you a fair chance to say no.

By the same token, do not commit to going on a date and then back out at the last minute because someone has a meltdown. Honor your commitments, and take care of hurt feelings on the right person’s time.

2. Don’t try to be with everyone at once. I know, it’s hard. Maybe you are on a date and someone else is texting you, and you know they are home alone and sad. Maybe you want to keep checking on them. Don’t.

You need to do your best to be where you are when you are. If you negotiated a date with someone, don’t go out with them and then spend all your time on the phone with someone else.

3. Be mindful of gifts. Maybe that guy you went on three dates with doesn’t need a card. But your boyfriend of a year does, and your primary probably deserves a very thoughtful and creative gift.

Whatever you do, do not just get everyone the same thing!

There’s probably a lot more, but those are just a few basic things that might be good to keep in mind. Remember, if you don’t know something it is okay to ask. You can say “Do you need me to spend Valentine’s Day with you?” or “Do you feel that we have known each other long enough to exchange gifts?” And remember, if you are asked these kinds of questions, please be honest. If you don’t communicate the things you want, you are not very likely to get them.

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To my beautiful Pet:

Thank you for being the very best part of my day, every single day. There are many people that I love, but no one else that I like to be with day in and day out. I never get tired of you.

Happy Hallmark Holiday!

I love you.

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What About Love?

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I have posted several blog entries about how poly relationships work. But I guess I mostly only talked about managing jealousy and having safe sex. I never talked about love.

A recent article a friend posted on Facebook suggested that you can only love one person at once. This is one of the two vanilla stereotypes that make me crazy. There are two:

1. You can only really love one person at once.

2. There is a ONE perfect person out there for you, and you must search for “the one” where everything just “feels right” with them.

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First let’s talk about loving more than one person at once.

I love my husband and he’s currently stuck in school where I can’t be, so I have to spend a lot of time chatting with him online and making skype dates. And it’s more than that; I troll the internet searching for naked pictures of hot Asian women in bondage gear to send him. I save links to articles he would enjoy and send them to him when he wakes up. I think of him every moment of every day and I think of ways to make him happy.

I also maintain several boyfriends who are long-distance. I keep in touch with them because we dated and it was fun, but then we had to move away for work. And now we live apart, but I didn’t stop loving them and they presumably didn’t stop loving me. So we e-mail and text and keep in touch. I call these “to be continued” relationships, because if we lived in the same place, we would presumably pick up where we left off.

In addition, I have two boyfriends here in Oregon. And while neither of them are long-term material for various reasons, I can’t have lots of sex and fun moments and cool adventures with someone without growing to love them. I’m not made of stone.

 

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I even have an ex that I am still ridiculously in love with and talk to all the time. (Yes, my husband knows.) Usually no one achieves “ex” status because I move around a lot and when I have to leave a place, I don’t stop loving the people there. You can’t break up with someone without a fight, in my opinion.

An ex involves a breakup. And Mr. Geek and I had a break up; maybe the worst one I’ve ever had. We even fought, which I don’t do with most people. And that doesn’t change how I feel at all, cuz I still love him to death and he knows it.

That is not all the relationships I am maintaining. There’s more. But, those are just the main ones. And this does not include friends, family, or the 300 Christmas cards I send every year. This doesn’t include lots of people who take up my time. I have never had sex with my drinking buddy here, but we still go out to lunch and spend lots of time together, so it still counts as a relationship that takes time to maintain.

In the article written by the judgmental vanilla guy, the claim is that you can not love more than one person at a time because really loving someone takes all the hours in a day.

Well, I have been in that kind of relationship. The kind where you ignore your family and friends and spend all your time with ONE person. You blow off girls night out and D&D (or whatever you do for fun) and you just spend all your time staring into the eyes of “the love of your life” all day. It is very unhealthy to behave in this manner. We all did it in High School and remember what happened? Remember how inconsolable you were when you broke up with your High School sweetheart?

Love like that has no balance. When one person is the focus of all your energy you become obsessive, jealous, paranoid, and delusional. Your imagination runs away with you every time they smile at another person. You worry about where they are when they are not with you. You insist that you would kill yourself if they died because you could’t live without them. This is not healthy behavior. This is High School behavior, and you’re meant to grow out of it.

 

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Part of growing up is learning to maintain more than one relationship at once. This means you still see your friends even when you start dating someone new. You still call your mom. You still participate in your hobbies (whatever they may be.) You don’t loose yourself in every new relationship, because as you get older you learn that you need to keep your life in balance and never let one aspect of it overtake the whole.

And yes, some people never get as far as balancing more than one intimate relationship. For some, one is all they need and all they can handle. And that is okay. I am not judging that lifestyle.

But for some of us, it’s not like that. Some of us love more than one person at a time. And neither of those lifestyles is more valid or “real” than the other.

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And now to say just a few words about “The One.”

This is a concept that is constantly reinforced all over society. You see it in movies and sitcoms and you hear people say it. “She wasn’t ‘The One.'” or “Well if he’s ‘The One’ you should get married.”

Look people; this is a mythical idea created by Disney and its not okay. You do not have ONE person who is the other half of you and that you must search forever to find. And when you find them it’s not going to be all magical and easy because love is hard work if you want to keep it, no matter who you are in love with. Love that lasts requires always courting the other person, and you must never stop bringing flowers and telling them that they are beautiful. You must never stop thinking of them when you are apart and finding little ways to show them you care. Because if you stop maintaining a relationship with anyone, no matter how compatible you are, it will die.

There certainly are degrees of compatibility. I am not terribly compatible with a football fan who is vanilla and doesn’t like to hike or watch geeky movies. Meanwhile, give me a goth kid who is a freak between the sheets, intelligent, and likes to ride roller coasters and I melt into a puddle on the floor. I swear I swoon every time I see Elon Musk speak. A D&D geek who builds spaceships is maybe the sexist thing on Earth!

So, you know, you are going to be more compatible with some people than with others in terms of interests and such.

 

chemistry

 

And then there is chemistry. You’re going to have it with some people and not with others. Scientists speculate that it has to do with a woman’s ability to smell a good genetic match, and that “chemistry” is the feeling of someone you would make healthy babies with. That may well be a big part of chemistry. Who knows? But it’s a thing you won’t have with everyone, even if you may like the same movies and have the same interests.

So there are people you fit better with than others. And if you’re going to get married you should certainly choose the one you get along best with. I married my best friend and we have great chemistry and similar ideas about the world, as well as a few common interests. We have great conversations and we’re able to reason through rough patches without fighting.

But that doesn’t mean that I am going to build it up in my head and say that my husband is ‘The One’ because that is nonsense.

Here’s what you do; you pick someone and you say “I want you.”

That’s all.

There’s no big secret and no one person that is perfect for you. You just pick a person and you decide to make it work with them, and then you do.

Maybe those of us in the BDSM community are farther removed from the Disney ideals. I don’t know. But my friends know this stuff, and it isn’t until I watch a sitcom or talk to some vanilla folks that I even remember this stuff is out there.

So please, can we just admit that love, with anyone, needs to be maintained to last? And if you really love more than one person, you can put in that maintenance. It really is that simple.

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I am Thankful

Today I woke up next to one of my pets. He is 21 years old, has 6-pack abs, and a 10 inch cock.

It happens to be Thanksgiving Day, and so I thought I should give thanks.

I can not say how grateful I am for my wonderful pets. It is a privilege for me (and all Doms) to have awesome people submit to us. I am extremely grateful for the people who choose to submit to me and allow me to create fun experiences for them.

I am also grateful for all the people who encourage me every day. I’ve had kind of a rough life, but I have been very lucky to have many wonderful people who come together in my life to help me and to give me happiness and hope. To all of you in my life, thank you for being you!

Today was a good day, and every day is a good day because of the people in my life that make it awesome.

Complication Arises

So a friend is moving in. He split up with his girlfriend and he needs a place to crash. We’re geek pals who share reddit jokes and play D&D together, so I can’t say no. It is going to be awkward though, since my place is a split-level one-bedroom and sound carries all too well.

We shall call this friend Mr. Knight, because he truly wishes he were a knight in shining armor. He wants to be valiant and brave. Oh course the reality is that he’s shy and unlikely to rush to the defense of any fair maidens, but he is a knight in his mind.

This is a good time to explain my policy on sex.

See, I have boundary issues. I’m never really sure where the line between friend and lover is, or why there should be a line. In most cases, I’ll sleep with someone just to see what they are like in bed. It helps me get to know them, and feel closer to them. If there is chemistry; great! If there’s not, then at least I learned something. Unlike most people, I do not find it awkward to be around someone I have slept with, and no one is capable of feeling awkward around me because I am too damn comfortable with myself to let anyone be uncomfortable in my presence.

There are good reasons not to sleep with people though, even for a magically delicious super slut.

The first should be because they are married, right? I’ve been attacked by enough crazy women to know that I should always be careful of the married ones. And yet… if they don’t respect their wedding vows it’s hard for me to do so. I don’t know their wives and for all I know they’re making them up to seem unavailable. As such, the married guy thing is a grey area. It depends on the guy, I guess. Plus, some of them are married but in open relationships, so you can never be too sure what’s what there.

I guess the verdict on married guys is maybe.

Second is more important. This is a hard no. I will never sleep with anyone who is in love with someone else. They can have a crush. They can have a past. They can have a lot of things that don’t make me shy away. Yet, if they are truly in love with someone else, I will never ever sleep with them. This is because I need to feel like the most important person in someone’s life. I do sleep around openly and allow all my partners to do the same, but they always like me best. I am confident that if a man is seeing two women and one of them is me, he likes me better every time. I’m that good. On the other hand, if they’re in love then that’s a whole other thing that I won’t even mess with. One does not compete with hormones and chemicals that have evolved over thousands of years.

So a hard no to being in love with someone else.

Last is the business relationship. Let’s say I meet you and I know we can set shit off together. I know you have social value. Well- then we’re not going to have sex. I won’t risk mixing sex with business because sometimes people can get weird about both, and I like for things in my life to be as simple as possible. It seems that when you add one complicated thing to one other complicated thing, the level of complicated escalates several more orders of magnitude than it logically should- so no business and sex.

Of those reasons why I will never sleep with someone, Mr. Knight falls under the category of “in love with someone else.” He may be on the outs with his girl right now, but there is no question at all about who his heart belongs to. He is hers, and since they are both mostly sweet and innocent and not into MDSM, it’s best to leave them to each other (even if they are unhappy.)

I know I will catch a ration of shit for Mr. Knight living here. I know everyone will assume we are having sex because they know I have boundary issues. I am aware of how much this is going to suck for me, and yet, one does not turn down a fellow geek in need. So now to figure out how to keep all my sexy time confined to everyone else’s house.

Can’t wait to tell the boys about the new edition to my living room…