The next question I get when folks get past the polyamory part of the equation is, how does polyamory work exactly? These folks are most curious about the sex equation because, for some people, it is more comfortable to take my relationship down to its lowest common denominator – sex. It is more comfortable for folks to think I am with my boyfriend and my other lovers because we have great sex.
And we do.
But our relationship is more about relating to each other than it is about sex, as most relationships should be. My relationship with all of my partners is like any other relationship or marriage out there – it just happens to involve more than two people. I’ve personally witnessed more than a few marriages that held two people who barely tolerated each other but, by society’s definition, would be considered a successful union. I never wanted that for myself. What I want is a family. People connected by mutual love and respect, who want to be in the relationship through thick and thin and actively work every day to make the relationship worthy of those involved.
And I want great sex as well.
My answer to that question is through communication -without we are lost. Relationships are not always perfect because, as humans, we are far from perfect. Communication takes time and effort and there are times when we don’t want to give those for our relationship. Sometimes we want to fight it out, say our piece (sometimes loudly) before we get past our egos to really talk to each other. Like dyadic couples, sometimes we wound each other with words. Words we can’t always take back. Thankfully, the lines of communication eventually reopen, and we find a way to forgive each other and work it out. We remember there are multiple individuals involved, which sometimes means we may all want and need different things from the relationship and the only way to reach a compromise is to communicate.
Communication involves respecting the other people enough to talk about and work through the rough times so everyone is heard and their needs are discussed. It means loving each other enough to understand that sometimes your needs/wants may take a back burner while another partner's needs are addressed first. Communication is the key and is done out of love; Real love, not that soggy, romantic kind, but the kind of love that will allow you to hear when someone you love and trust points out when you are being ridiculous or hypocritical. The kind of love that allows you to feel like crap instead of getting angry and indignant when you realize you’ve hurt someone you love. The kind of love that allows you to show compassion instead of anger or superiority when someone else needs this gentle pushing. The kind of love that reminds you of what you are building instead of focusing on breaking it all down over one angry moment.
And then you can have great sex. Loving sex. Sexy sex. Sex on top while someone else fondles you. Sex from behind with someone else below you. Cuddly, close sex with limbs and such askew or deep, hard fucking – where keeping track of who is where is next to impossible.
When you figure it all out, could you put it in a PowerPoint for me?
I am new to the lifestyle and identify more as poly – thus I label myself married/open.poly. I have a BF who is not new to it and is also married/open/poly. This new coupling requires work to succeed and most of that work is in communication. It is not easy but my hope is that we are building something that has a foundation that is strong enough to withstand all of the challenges (spouses, children, jobs, parents, friends) we are presented with on a daily basis.
When we get to a difficult bit, my default is to say, “We will figure it out,” and thankfully, he believes that as well and so far we have.
So to anyone who thinks that this is all fun and games all the time – think again. But the rewards are worth fighting for.
Violet, I know I’m super late in responding but I hope you are still reading. I’ll work on that PowerPoint. 🙂
You are so right that the rewards of this lovestyle choice far outweigh the negatives. Personally, I’ve learned much about who I am, where I want to go and who I want to be someday.
I don’t have all the answers except to say, I will never stop trying. It’s just too much fun!