This blog is about polyamory, queerness, and sex positivity -- I will chronicle my musings, opinions, advice, adventures, and misadventures in open relationships and exploring my gender and sexuality. Come along for the ride!
I am an early 20's polyamorous queer and genderqueer sometimes-ladyish person looking to create a society of understanding and acceptance of polyamory and sex positivity. Since most people are either unaware, unsupportive, or have misconceptions of polyamory, this blog is critical. And awesome. And will definitely make you smile. That's what really matters in the world, right? Right.
The most important thing about this blog is that it's here not just for me, but for you. With such a small (but growing!) polyamorous community online, it's important that we advocate for each other and speak up. This is my way of doing so. Please feel free to ask me questions or request topics for me to speak on.
[And peruse the links below for a better understanding of what Polycule is all about.]
Being polyamorous has opened me up to an entirely new perspective on relationships and relating.
Nobody fits into these neat little boxes anymore. There’s no checklist of requirements to fulfill in order to be labeled “partner” or “friend” or “lover.” I live in the gray area in between all of these neatly-defined roles that society wants for the people in our lives.
Sure, this complicates things. Some of the people I have had consistent sexual intimacy with are my “just friends,” some of the people I love the most I’ve never had romantic or intimate physicality with. It makes it harder to describe the relationships in your life, but I also find it much more freeing. The gray area can be the most empowering place to be.
And of course, this isn’t true of just poly people, but for me, polyamory is the avenue by which I discovered these possibilities, and my life is so much richer and more complex and amazing because of the freedom I’ve grabbed onto - the freedom to define people in my life in the way that is best suited for us, rather than the tired, irrelevant, unhelpful labels that society offers.
The “romantic-sexual/platonic” love dichotomy leaves no room for the real emotional nuances people experience in their attachments, and I think that it often causes us to live with simplified relationships not because we want to or because we have simple desires and feelings but because we have no experience, cultural context, or language to accommodate a complex social life or set of relationships. This is why language is so important. This is why words and labels matter. How can you have the kind of relationships you want with anyone, if you don’t even have the words to accurately express how you feel? Hell, half the time, people don’t even understand their own feelings and relationship desires because what they feel is not simple at all, but the only relationship framework they know makes everything seem simple and clear cut: romance and sex go together, friendship is separate from both of those things, couplehood/primary partnership is exclusive to romance and sex, etc.
But if we are to accept the possibilities and realities of asexual romance, primary nonsexual/nonromantic love, nonromantic sex and sexual friendship, romantic (nonsexual) friendship, queerplatonic nonsexual relationships and sexual relationships, etc…. we have to drop this way of thinking and speaking about relationships and love in a romantic-sexual/platonic dichotomous way. None of those “complex” relationships fit into that model
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU. THIS IS WHY I DO POLYAMORY, BECAUSE RELATING TO PEOPLE IS NOT A BLACK & WHITE ISSUE.
For me? Lying. Hiding something for any reason. Providing false information about a partner or relationship to cover something up because you don’t want me to know about it. Generally? Cheating is doing something intentionally that you know your partner isn’t comfortable with or that you know violates the terms of your relationship, even if those terms are ambiguous or uncertain, and doing it behind their back.
This is different for everyone, and I don’t intend to provide an answer that’s sufficient for all of the polyamorous community. My relationships don’t necessarily have hard rules or boundaries like some do. Examples of this would be having one primary relationship and casual secondary partners, only allowing your partner to date a certain gender, needing to approve a person before your partner can date them, agreeing to engage in only cuddles with another person but not falling in love, etc. Cheating in those relationships would mean something totally different, because there are set boundaries that a person is knowingly violating by ignoring the agreed-upon rules. This is why intentional and frequent conversations about comfort levels are necessary, because you can’t expect your partner to abide by rules you’ve never communicated or to respect boundaries that they don’t know you have.
For my situation cheating would be harder to define. I don’t think I’ve ever felt “cheated on” in a polyamorous context, because I’ve never set out boundaries that someone could break. The only boundary I have is to please and thank you tell me everything you’re doing and feeling so that we can be on the same page and trust each other. If you don’t tell me something, you haven’t cheated on me or broken a rule we’ve agreed on, but you have lied to me and that’s pretty serious in my book and requires a big conversation, just as cheating would in any other context.
So there’s a person in my life. You were first introduced to A about 10 months ago when he unintentionally cock-blocked me flirting with S when he and I first became interested in each other.
Since then, he’s turned in to one of the most valuable, formative, affirming, supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of
sleeping with knowing. Funny how that stuff works, right?
In just ten short months, he has turned my life upside down. I really can’t even describe it. He’s one of those people you say cheesy things about, like “I feel like I’ve known them my whole life,” “they are just always smiling,” “they light up a room,” “they always know just what to say,” “they make you feel so valuable,” “everyone wants to be on his dick.” Perhaps I’m feeling overly sentimental because he just moved across the country for an unknown amount of time, but I could talk about him for hours, but that’s not what this post is about.
He and I are not…”together.” Whatever that even means. We are the best of friends, I know I can count on him for anything, I’ve cried on his shoulder more than any other person currently active in my life. Sometimes we hold hands, sometimes there’s kissing, sometimes there’s sex.
But here’s the thing. That isn’t what defines our relationship. What defines our relationship is the way we invest in each other’s well-being. And to the outside world, that is like “oh yeah they are besties/friends with benefits/he’s like a brother to her.” When people define their relationship based on its level of physical intimacy, society values it more. That person becomes a significant other.
But it’s pretty clear to me (and anyone who knows us) that this person is, well, significant. But from the standard narrative, he’s just a good friend. Society doesn’t create a narrative that allows for a person like that to fit comfortably in my life somewhere. Why is he less significant than the person I spend the most time with or call boyfriend or sleep with more? Here’s the thing. He’s not less significant. He’s not more significant. He’s special to me, just like everyone else. And by saying that, society will inherently devalue that relationship because he’s not more special.
That’s kinda my thing. That’s why “significant other” is so weird to me. Significant compared to what? Why does society insist we place a higher valuable on those romantic relationships? Why do we continue to allow ourselves to subscribe to that insanery? Aren’t all the others significant?
In response to the “WHERE ARE ALL THE POLY BLOGS WAHHH.” Here are 35 of them. These are all blogs that have been updated within the last 4-6 weeks, I don’t think any of them are defunct.
I have personal favorites, but it’s not fair for me to say that here, this is a choose your own adventure kind of post.
If you’re not on this list, it’s because I don’t know about you, which is sad! So reblog and add yourself, ok? We are resources for each other. Don’t hide!
(In no particular order at all)
I’m still trying to understand how you can commit to more than person honestly.
Obviously, I’m traditional and all that stuff… but, doesn’t someone get left out? When someone’s needs aren’t met, is there no resolution but to find a new person to resolve those needs?
This is something that bothers me.
Telling me you have a boyfriend but you want to sleep with me and that it’s okay is deplorable to me.
Am I just naïve?
It’s not naivety, it’s just….inexperience? It makes total sense for people who’ve never been exposed to successful polyamory to see it and be like UHHHGUISE WHAT ARE YOU DOING SERIOUSLY WHAT IS HAPPENING but really, I promise, we make it work.
The thing is, when multiple partners are involved, and those people aren’t cognizant and sympathetic to everyone’s needs, then yes, sometimes people get left out. But when everyone learns to be good at communicating and listening, needs are way better recognized and way better met.
It’s not about finding other people to meet your needs. When a monogamous relationship is struggling and they open it up in order to fix their own problems, it never works. It’s like
MY TOE IS BLEEDING LEMME JUST GO PUT A BANDAID ON MY FACE THAT’LL HELP RIGHT?
No. It won’t. BUT. When everyone involved is feeling fulfilled and loved, and they want to share that with new people, it’s beautiful. Falling for someone doesn’t mean your current relationship is falling apart.
Have you ever been in a relationship and realized you had a teensy (or not so teensy) crush on someone else and then been all SHIT I GUESS THAT MEANS I DON’T LOVE MY SWEETIE ANYMORE BETTA LEAVE EM. Because, no, we recognize that sometimes that can happen and it doesn’t mean our sweetie is less amazing or that we’re shitty and inconsiderate. It just means we’re people with feelings and the feelings happen and it’s okay!
Love the feels, ya know?
Almost 100% of the time that I hear that sentiment, the sentence ends with “because I’d get too jealous.”
People of the universe — a fear, expectation, or prediction that you’ll get jealous is not a good enough reason not to try something you’re interested in. If you want to try polyamory, but are hesitant because you’re fearful of jealousy, that is a bad reason to keep yourself from giving it a try. No one’s immune to jealousy or insecurity, so you shouldn’t let it stop you from exploring the things you’re interested in.
Fun fact — I’ve never met a person who doesn’t experience jealousy. It doesn’t mean you can’t be polyamorous. It just means you’re a human. It means you have to learn to deal with jealousy differently. It means you will learn to communicate your fears and jealous moments and work through them together rather than alone. It means you will begin to see your partner as more than just yours to have, but the world’s to experience in the same way you do.
And it’s beautiful. And it incites jealousy sometimes. But that’s not a good enough reason to declare preemptively that you wouldn’t be able to do it.
You can ask C, I was terrified of jealousy. I asked him if he’d consider monogamy when we first started dating, because even though I really did want a polyamorous relationship, it scared me. But I gave it a chance. And I cannot express enough how grateful I am that I threw myself into something I was convinced would fail due to my jealous tendencies.
You know what happened? I learned to care for people in an entirely new way. I learned that C was not mine to have and mine to experience exclusively, he is mine to care for in a completely unique and amazing way, leaving so much room for other women to do the same thing in a totally different unique and amazing way.
What’s to be jealous of? I get to watch a man I’m crazy about experience more than I could ever provide him on my own. And he gets to do the same for me. It’s incredible. It’s gorgeous. I can’t explain it, I wish I could.
But please, for your own sake, do not convince yourself that you are incapable of polyamory simply because you have or had jealous tendencies. It’s not a sign that you’ll fail at polyamory.
There are no prerequisites for polyamory. There is no well first you have to graduate monogamy. Then you can begin your degree in polyamory once you’ve aced “overcoming jealousy 101,” “introduction to crushing insecurities,” and “how to rid self-doubt for beginners.” That isn’t how life operates. It’s all wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.
Just go with it. Do what you want, and it’s okay to be scared and to think it might not work. But if you’ve got an inkling that it might be exactly what you want or need at this very moment in your life, don’t run away from it because it’s scary and it might hurt you. I promise your life will never progress if you live it like that, and will likely be full of lots of regrets. Put yourself in situations that are scary and might hurt you, because those are the ones that teach you who you are and who you have the capacity to become.
I reblog myself, don’t hate.
“And this isn’t something I’ve ever found was solved with monogamy. I felt jealousy even when someone told me I was the only one for them, that they would love only me forever. The only thing I found monogamy did about it was make it harder to face the problem.”
FUCKIN YUP. People of the universe, this is a post to read.
I believe that everyone has the right to par-take in the relationship dynamic they feel most comfortable in. I do believe that monogamous relationships can be beautiful, and a perfectly valid way of living ones life filled with love and and happiness. I believe people can choose these paths for whatever reason feels right to them. Even if that reason it just that monogamy (or vise versa) is easier, that’s perfectly valid. But it really grinds my gears when people say “Nah I’m not into poly, I get jealous.”
Well, fancy that. So do I.
I hate this common conception that poly people are these magical beings from beyond that somehow, as a gift from the poly gods, do not experience the life controlling feeling that is jealousy. Because you know, surprise, we do. I know I’m jealous a lot. Towards lots of my partners, and their partners, and their partners partners partners.
And this isn’t something I’ve ever found was solved with monogamy. I felt jealousy even when someone told me I was the only one for them, that they would love only me forever. The only thing I found monogamy did about it was make it harder to face the problem. It made it scarier and harder to bring up.
Polyamory has helped me with my jealousy. It’s made me come face to face with it. It’s showed me the terrible person it’s turned me into, and made me want to change that. I never want to hurt the people I love again because I’m jealous. It’s petty, it’s cruel, and it’s counter productive.
So, my advice to anyone, poly or not, if you’re using jealousy as an excuse not to do something, or an excuse for why you did something. Take a good look in the mirror and figure out if you really want it controlling you. Look at yourself and figure out if you like the person it turns you into. Because I didn’t, I still don’t, and I can’t understand why someone would. Don’t use your relationship status as a solution to your personal problems. Face those personal problems, and then find out what would make you happiest.