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.]
I think I discovered yet another reason I prefer polyamory.
It is a scientific fact (I asked science) that friendships last longer and are more plentiful & successful than romantic relationships. My theory (I didn’t consult science) is that it’s because there’s less pressure on friendships for accomplishing certain things in our lives and because there’s no clearly-defined “end goal” or measure of success in a friendship (as opposed to romance where you “win” by being married until you die).
Friends come into our life almost entirely organically. You know the same people, you work together, you attend the same class or gym or coffee shop. We collect friends based on common interests and goals in certain areas of our life, often expecting that this person will fulfill a specific thing while maybe recognizing they aren’t right for other things (your workout buddy is not also your activist buddy, for example). And yet, no one shames anyone for having too many friends or not investing in every one of your friends enough or not taking your friendship to the next level. No one demands that we have one friend that is better than all the others (some of us have best friends, but I find people apply this term to a handful of people in their life rather than just one ultimate person, so the meaning is sort of lost anyway). I think this is why friendships last longer than relationships. There’s far less pressure and much less expectation that you need to invest completely in each other and spend x amount of time together and be the same way together until you die. Take the pressure off of any kind of relationship and it’ll flourish in really amazing ways.
Polyamory (in the way I interpret and apply it) appeals to me because it models friendships. Polyamory doesn’t demand that I choose one person to do all the things with and satisfy all the feelings for. Polyamory doesn’t question why I have partners that I don’t expect to have completely overwhelmingly perfect chemistry with for all of eternity. Polyamory understands that I am multi-faceted and therefore connect with different people in different ways. Polyamory removes the pressure we often feel to force one partner into a limiting and unrealistic role where they have to satisfy every aspect of our lives and they have to do it forever.
Friends come and go as we change, the strength and closeness of friendships is often fluid based on a million outside factors, and no one shames us for this. I would love to see this attitude directed at romantic and intimate relationships too. There is no reason we ought to apply a harsh and unwavering standard of duration as well as depth to romantic — but not platonic — relationships.
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?