Not Jealous? Not So Fast!


I often think that I’m not a jealous person because I feel such intense compersion when Flick is connecting with someone else in a sexy environment or when he’s fucking someone else, either in front of me or on a date. Hitting the 18-month mark on our non-monogamous relationship has taught me about a few jealous triggers that still get me.

Curse you, green-eyed monster! I was so smug that I’d beaten you. Turns out you don’t go down without a real fight.

When Flick is fucking or interacting sexually with a new partner, I’m so on board. Makes me incredibly hot to watch it. I have, in fact, orgasmed lying next to him at the exact moment he’s entered someone else. But when Flick is lost to kissing or touching a new partner in a more casual setting–smooching someone else in line in the buffet at Desire Resort & Spa or coming across him making out with our girlfriend in the kitchen when they were supposed to be getting drinks–I am really surprised to feel hurt rather than wet.

That quiet intimacy is so much more painful than sexual intimacy somehow. And it’s weird because I want him to feel connected and intimate with his partners. I love that our lifestyle gives him more of that intimate connection, especially as we become more polyamorous in our relationships. Maybe I just don’t want to have to see it outside the bedroom because it reminds me that I tend to be affection-averse in public and it’s hard to see him with someone who isn’t. It also reminds me that some of his relationships are so much more than sexual and although it’s awesome, it is a little scary.

It’s tricky to have such paradoxical feelings. Instead of seeing public makeouts as a confirmation of a perceived ‘ice queen’ failure on my part, I want to be able to be glad he’s getting something he enjoys from someone who also enjoys it. I also want him and Iris to be able to enjoy a smooch when they want without feeling like they’re using ‘getting drinks’ as an excuse to sneak off and have fun without me.

My other main jealous trigger is when partners I have extremely limited time with are paying attention to other people in a play party situation or on a sensual, tropical, swinger vacation. We’re all there to have a bunch of great experiences with many people so it only makes sense that they’d be engaging with others. It’s just difficult to not feel that the other/new person is the preferred person, and that maybe my paramour isn’t that into me after all, no matter how much evidence I have to the contrary.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying their affection for me might be displaced by their feelings or connection with someone else. I always have such a powerful jealous reaction to women I think are cooler than me, or seem a lot like me without all the crippling anxiety–like Kat 2.0 upgrade.

Although it’s not impossible for a partner’s feelings to change in an instant, my fear of immediate replacement is pretty silly. I connect well with new people regularly, and it doesn’t change how I felt about my current people. It is also kind of insulting to the people I care for that I view their feelings as so changeable, and it’s pretty selfish to want to deny them the pleasure of sexy attention or experiences.

Monogamous thinking tells us that if something is shared, it is no longer valuable. It’s tells us the only true relationship or love is shared between two people, and if there is even a single blip of emotion or sexual connection for another, that relationship was a failure, a lie, or never ‘real’. I don’t believe that to be true at all, yet when someone I really like is smitten with another, I doubt our relationship, and wonder if what we have is ‘real’.

Most important for me to remember is that jealousy is only a feeling and it doesn’t have to mean anything more than any other feeling. It doesn’t even mean anything is wrong. It is most useful as a gauge as to whether my needs are being met. Not surprisingly, in the relationships where most of my needs are fulfilled, I feel the least jealous. When my needs aren’t being met, jealousy and it’s pal insecurity have a lot more power.

Focusing on getting those needs met rather than attempting to ‘cure’ myself of jealousy will go so much further in helping me experience the fulfillment, happiness, and sexy fun in my relationships.

After all, aren’t fulfillment, happiness, and sexy fun why we signed up for this wild ride?


About Author

Kat is a sex-positive, geeky, Canadian, pansexual, deviant, slutty, feminist pervert who came to ethical non-monogamy 21-years into her relationship with her husband. After a quick toe-dip to test the waters (and hours of obsessive reading and podcast consumption), they dove in and she almost can't imagine they ever lived any other way. Labels never give a totally clear picture, but she considers herself non-monogamous and polyamorous, though she occasionally swings. She's also a podcaster and audiobook narrator. @WetcoastKat on Twitter.


  1. Oh wow, yeah, I totally get the intimacy-in-public thing too! I generally don’t get that jealous if I’m used to a person, but I have a lot of hang-ups about my internalized sex-repression bullshit (“ice-queen failure”, as you say).

  2. There is no such thing as “just a feeling”, they are all important and they are all justified. I would like to see what is in that jealousy, what is it REALLY about, because when it is given the freedom to flow, it might add another level of sexiness into your thing, not take away from it. Just FEEL it as it arrives, grit your teeth if you must, but allow yourself to feel the entire force of the jealousy, and enjoy the feeling. Scream about it if you like… This might make your guy feel like a million dollars – sometimes the feeling that someone can’t stand you being with other people is so much more powerful than their gracious acceptance of other lovers. And yes, I am poly myself, but never will I ever pretend not to be jealous if I am. (And I am polyandrous, too, although I wouldn’t deny my men the freedom to do whatever they want, I will not have a woman in my house, let alone in my bed… Because I like men.)

    So, feel where that feeling is coming from. SEE it. Be one with it. Then decide what to do about it. It is not a WRONG feeling, just like it is not a wrong feeling to want to sleep with a whole lot of people. All of our feelings are there for a reason, they do not come up out of nowhere, unprompted. Be brave.

    His response also won’t come out of nowhere.

  3. I agree.
    I think it is the emotional connection that I have more issue with than the physical.
    I don’t get jealous when I see hubby in the middle of a play date having fun with his date partner however I do if afterwards, he is paying more attention to her than me after we have all finished playing and getting ready to go.
    I think many people have that problem hence you get your spectrum of social to physical swingers.
    A lot of couples seem to be worried about having a connection with another couple so keep it all physical, others seem to be comfortable with getting more familiar and want to build a relationship beyond the physical.

    We are fine with building up some kind of relationship and I do understand that means that there is going to be some kind of emotional connection and I want and like it to be that way, doesn’t stop the little niggling moments though.

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