What is Polyamoury to me.
Poly, to me, means that we are free to love as our heart guides us without repercussions and guilt. It came easy to me because jealousy is not an emotion I have ever felt with partners or in relationships (I do have other types of jealousy). It acknowledges that each of us have different needs and one person, most likely, can't speak to all of them. Poly allows us to have different partners who can each speak and fulfill different sides of ourselves. It means we don't have to force someone to be what he or she is not in order to meet all our needs. If that person doesn't speak to a need, we can still love them for what they are and accept that that other side of our selves will identify with someone else. I see only half a degree of separation between partners and strongly bonded platonic friends. In turn that is only half a degree from friends. The line from friend to partner is a blurred line and not solid. I guess that means I subscribe well too much of the Stranger in a Strange Land "Water Brother" concept, though I have issues with the patriarchal leanings of the book.
I tend to form two types of partners. One is the strong, secure, independent, intelligent partner. She is very capable, and has much to share, teach and give. She is my equal and we grow together as equals in all ways. She doesn't "need" me or anyone, just likes to have someone who feels like she does around. She tends to be close to my age, education level, and income. These people tend to be long-term partners in some way and continue to be close friends if the relationship ever dies. They usually have trouble bringing out my silly spontaneous "free side" as they speak more to my intellectual side than my creative side. If they don't become sexual partners they become my closest family. I sometimes get board with this type of partner or take them for granted because they are too much like me.
type of usual partner for me is usually slightly younger, slightly submissive
and more "artsy". They tend
to speak to my more creative side. They challenge me to be "younger"
introduce me to new ideas, thoughts and ways to be by challenging my idea of
the status quo. In addition they tend
to bring out my more silly side. While this partner usually has the most to
teach me I often loose patients with them because they are not where I am at in
life (especially if they are much younger than me). What I have to learn from this partner is how to relax and accept
what is without judging it.
Some history of me and Polyamourous relationships.
I have had several “Ploy like” experiences over the years that didn’t work out mainly because we didn’t know we could openly be this way and we knew not what Polyamoury was. No one was hiding anything but we were not openly talking about it as it was either. Eventually that changed. Without covering every instance (there are many) I want to cover some major ones in my life.
My first exposure to anything poly was while I was traveling and living in my van about 14 years ago. I met a wonderful woman and traveling partner who seemed to be heading in many of the same directions as me. We traveled together and became lovers. Since we were both traveling we didn’t want to get too close. In addition she had another male partner “back home”. This never bothered me and so the relationship continued off and on for several years. Eventually, since she was bi, she wanted to bring another woman into the relationship. The mistake we made is that the other woman and I didn’t have time to get to know each other well or discuss things until well after she was brought into bed with us. This led to all kinds of confusion, as we didn’t know how we should relate to/with each other – should we be sexual with each other – together – what? Our mutual partner clearly wanted that but we had not had time to develop our own relationship with each other nor knew if/what we wanted from the other. The “other woman” also had another male partner who wanted to join and we didn’t know how/if to do that. I am still good friends with that person but the whole thing died at the time because we didn’t know how to openly discuss what was happening. We were left with memories of a few awkward sexual moments and that was it.
While still dating the partner I just mentioned I met another woman. I felt that relationship had a serious future (I thought I met a future wife – silly me) and I did not know poly was an option so I closed the first relationship amicably. This new relationship only lasted a few months but created a very strong friendship bond that lasts to today. After the relationship ended and we had time we realized we still loved each other and wanted to be near each other but not date. We got adjacent apartments and worked at strengthening our friendship. As we each grew in and out of relationships we became “friends with options”. She eventually married and the “friends with options” continued. Her husband was openly “cheating on her” and she and I became lovers and “club friends” when she needed connections that she couldn’t get from her husband. We all three knew openly and were o.k. with each other seeing the other but we couldn’t openly admit and discuss it. The sexual part of the relationship ended when I met the woman that would eventually become my wife. She knew about the arrangement but was not o.k. with it. She originally met us because the “husband” fell for her but she and I ended up together.
This new partner ended up being my wife for about six years. We had a relationship that was close but difficult in many ways. I was never sexually fulfilled from my wife. In fact it was the worst sexual relationship I have ever had. At the time I attributed it to medical (endometriosis – and the fact that she was a very tiny woman) issues with my wife. Lack of fulfilling sex quickly led me to wandering eyes. I tried to be open with my wife about my desires to seek sexual fulfillment elsewhere even though I loved her very much. She was not o.k. with that. The process of discussing my predicament with others led me meeting many open women via Rainbow Gatherings. Towards the end of the marriage I finally acted on this with one of these women for a short while but ended it because I knew my wife would not be o.k. with it. It was my wife who finally met another woman and brought her into the relationship through her discovery and admittance that she was either bi or more lesbian but still wanting me. It was this woman who introduced us to the word Polyamory. Finally I had a word and a defined lifestyle that spoke to what I had been feeling all my life. This single word opened up a whole new world and way of being. At last I could be the way I felt inside and openly discuss it. I didn’t have to pretend it wasn’t happening or that I didn’t love multiple people. I could have other lovers who met other needs and still be loving to my wife. Alas this relationship was quickly bound for disaster. I found myself fine with my wife dating other woman (or men), but seriously disliking the particular woman she chose. This led to the other woman working to remove me from the picture. This was all coupled with my wife finally admitting to herself that she was a lesbian and not bi or heterosexual. This helped to explain the sexual issues in our marriage but also caused great resentment that she had been sleeping with a man all this time when she didn’t even like men. The marriage exploded with a bang and she remains the only serious partner of my life that I have not remained good friends with.
Out of the ashes of divorce arose the phoenix and the phoenix was Poly. I came from the ashes bound to go forward with a new way of being. No longer would I try to get all my needs from one partner and hence be frustrated when they would not speak to one side of me. I could form stronger friendships with no worry about where they would go or not. It was a great weight lifted from me. I had a continual friendship with an old lover from high school; we dated through all of high school but were not ready for marriage at the time. Over the years we often spoke of getting together but it never happened. Her current partner was fine with poly and she was wanting what he could not give. We had a few good weeks together and then she decided she could not deal with the concept of poly. Still to this day we are great friends and of and on lovers as we struggle to find a stable place in this world for our love for each other. The next stop was the the Rainbow Gathering where I found many old female friends wanting to tell me about poly lifestyle and just waiting for my marriage to end. After rainbow I went off to visit two of these poly woman out west. I thought I was clear with both of them that I was interested in expanding a friendship but nothing more at the moment. One woman (R) received me with greater expectations. She planed an elaborate weekend with her male partner, a female love interest (T) (but not yet partner), and me. The weekend ended up with her male partner and I becoming good friends and the other woman (T) and I becoming lovers (and we still are to this date). This all blew up when this friend (R) couldn’t deal with the fact that we were not interested in her but were in each other. She played herself the perfect poly person, but couldn’t handle a relationship that didn’t include her. She also would not admit to either of us (but did to her friends later) that she had any further interest in us. It ended with me having one new lover and one less friend.
Meanwhile back home I had been becoming interested in a local woman. She was very different than the one I met out west but I was also attracted to her as well. This was to be the first big test of would another woman be open to a poly relationship. I knew my partner out west was very experienced in poly and all would be fine as long as I remained honest and open in my communication, but this person I didn’t know. When to I tell her about the other person? How do I bring it up? These were all new ideas. Anyway I eventually was open about my other partner and while she wasn’t crazy about the idea she attempted to “tolerate it”. Early on this relationship was a bit rocky as she came to accept that my interest in others in no way diminished my love for her. In the first few years she didn’t really desire for there to be a poly relationship and I hade come to learn that she doesn’t think poly at all. This made moving forward difficult at best and I found myself not sharing where I want because I knew it could upset the one partner. It also kept the other partner more distant than either of us would like out of respect for the local partner. Through all this there have been moments that she thoroughly enjoyed about it and moments where it bring her to an emotional wreck.
As time moved on and our relationship became more secure these issues began to subside. My partner learned that my interest in others in no way meant I felt any less of her. She also began to understand my feelings of Poly fitting into my desires for community. The ideas became more comfortable as she learned of my interests and desires and shared some of her own desires. Together we formed a definition of poly that shared the values and desires of each of us and not just those of myself. In the mean time my interests have shifted more from looking for individuals and Long Distance Relationships to seeking connections thought community and hoping that we can meet a couple that we both resonate with. I feel that a relationship with a couple would be easier and more comfortable than V relationships.
And this brings us up to early 2006.
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