Some readers may wonder: Why polyamory? Well, for us, this came from the understanding that we do not control the other person’s sexuality. We are very sexual creatures and we are attracted to whomever we happen to be attracted to. We were comfortable in our sexuality and our relationship, and through much discussion we came to an understanding that physical intimacy does not constitute infidelity. Deception is infidelity, but what Ally and I do is right out in front of each other. Full disclosure.
Furthermore, since I am deeply and madly in love with this woman, what sense would it make for me to require her to reign in her passions and deny her sexual longings? If I truly cared about her happiness, why not let her explore herself? (In a safe, non-damaging way.) Because of some antiquated belief that physical intercourse with another person somehow trumps the love that she has for me? No. Even as we ventured into polyamory and began to build emotional relationships with other people, how did that lessen the love we feel for each other? The answer: It did not! Hell, it strengthened our love for one another. I am married to a beautiful, sensitive and caring woman who wants me to find happiness and joy in our long-term relationship, as well as physical intimacy and emotional bonding from secondary relationships with several other women.
As far as you, the reader, is concerned, I have to assume that you are already in an open relationship with your partner. If not, polyamory is a huge step that will most likely not work out well for you. Start small, work through the experiences and emotions of opening your relationship before you attempt something as intense and involved as multiple sexual/emotional relationships. Check out “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino. It is a great place to start. Polyamory takes a lot of work. A lot. Imagine trying to keep four partners happy, while dividing your time appropriately between them, meanwhile dodging land mines like jealousy, insecurity and self-doubt. Exactly. I wonder if I should be committed at times, but I digress.
Provided you are open, now ask yourself what exactly you are trying to achieve through your open relationship. If you are seeking new and exciting sexual experiences with cool, open-minded people, then you are well suited for swinging, not polyamory. If you desire a deep, personal and emotional connection with someone other than your primary partner, then consider this:
1. First and foremost both of you need to know exactly who you are. A clearly defined sense of self is paramount.
2. Do you trust your partner? Completely? Polyamory requires trust on a level that I never knew existed.
3. Are you and your partner emotionally prepared to work through any difficult situations that may come up? Because they will. Emotions are tricky little creatures.
4. What is your motivation? Diverse sexual experiences can be gained through much simpler methods.
5. Are you prepared to cut your losses and abandon polyamory the moment your primary relationship becomes compromised? Let’s be honest. Our primary relationships should be the most important aspect of our sexual/emotional lives. The moment that it is not, we need to step back and re-evaluate.
It is certainly not required that one knows everything possible about polyamory before you enter. In fact, I feel that would be impossible. Hell, everything I thought I knew about open relationships, emotion and bonding has proven to be far different from reality. I have been proven wrong and it is nice to be wrong every great once in a while.
I find myself feeling more alive and more free than I ever have in my life. I am not saying that polyamory is for everyone. Not even for most people, but for those that have found a way to make it work, we are left with a sense of just how profoundly lucky we are.