It Is Polypolypolypolyamory, Baby
In other words… consensual non-monogamy.
Now, there has been a stigma about polyamory for quite a while. It has been driven into our hearts through history, religion, and media- the triple combo deal of cultural values.
Polyamory can be considered the “easy” way (most definitely not, would agree those that are in such relationships); seeing it through a perspective of what entails a poly relationship helps people open up more to how it is a lot like monogamy- communication, vulnerability, sex and romanticism (besides asexuals and aromantics) is still the key factors when entering a poly relationship!
Just as monogamous people think that their pool of love that they have for friends is unconditional (usually we have a lot more than just ONE friend), poly folk see the possibility of love towards EVERYONE as unconditional, in both the friendly sense and the sexual/romantic view! Though let’s not assume they are sexually attracted to every gender (just to be clear- poly is not pansexual), nor that they are willing to have sex with anyone- poly people carry standards too!
Just think of the stereotype we see of polyamory in movies…
My mind keeps returning to Paul Rudd trying to sex himself up in front of the mirror before attempting to have sex with a woman from the polyamorous hippy commune him and his wife visit in “Wanderlust”.
Nowadays, even on dating apps, I have personally seen many couples seeking out a “third”. Another term that is used is either a “Unicorn” or “Stallion”, meaning a person who is seen as level headed, engages well with both (most likely, sexually as well), and is seen as “unattached” (I.e. Respecting the primary relationship of the couple).
Why “Unicorn” and “Stallion”? Because they are seen as pretty rare, a fantasy almost- BUT FEAR NOT, THEY DO EXIST! Be sure to treat them as a person, not a “toy” that you played with to spice up your sex life with your primary partner. Threesomes include all THREE of you, I shouldn’t need to say more!
Some “grey area” myth busters…
Threesomes are a form of polyamory.
Agreeing that one partner can make out with another person, whether of same or different sex, is a form of polyamory.
Even cuddling another person while your primary partner is not present (or is!) can be considered a form of polyamory.
To define it clearly as Adam and Eve defined monogamy, those who do engage in a polyamory, enter a relationship(s) where all parties have consented to opening up the relationship that they are involved in with each other. Meaning, everyone involved is aware of the relationship dynamic(s) and also there is consent from everyone.
Lets give an example… You want to hook up with that cute person from work, but your (primary) partner is out of town. You both have discussed that you have been wanting to open up the relationship about a week beforehand in casual conversation. If you already talked about it, should you go for it?
Did you actually make an agreement that you were going to do this? (Musing about a new idea during pillow talk is different than having that YES or NO confirmation)
Does your co-worker know of your relationship with your (primary) partner? (Some people are not okay with sharing, especially if they are seen as a secondary partner!)
Where there boundaries placed? (Perhaps a co-worker is seen as too much for your partner to feel comfortable with)
Let’s talk about boundaries! Big, beautiful boundaries…sigh…
For what reason are you wanting to be poly?
Time has limits, so how are you going to make time for each person you are involved with?
REMEMBER: Time is crucial for growth of a relationship; your primary partner and you need to remember that your time together is still valuable!
What things are you OKAY with? We like to think of “You can’t do this…” immediately when we think of boundaries, which is motivated by our fear. Since you and your partner(s) are OPENING the relationship(s), how about you start with things you are OPEN to trying?
That doesn’t mean that you cannot say, for example, “I am not comfortable with you having sex with someone else on the bed we share.”
Suggested glass-half-full rephrase: “Just so I feel more comfortable, I want you to have these fun times outside of our home.”
What communication do you and your partner(s) want to have if you have a problem with something?
For more coaching on how to build a solid foundation before entering a poly dynamic, I offer both one-on-one and partner(s) coaching sessions!
Last, but not least, let’s remember that monogamy is also just as valuable of a relationship as polyamory ones (I still fabricate in my mind my “one true love” whenever I watch that cute as fudge movie “The Notebook”)! Each relationship comes with it’s own struggles, each one helping you grow into awareness of yourself and who you are in relation to others!
Respect the way you see it as you should respect other peoples relationship choices- do not try to conform to make another happy. You hold happiness in trusting your own feelings and values of L-O-V-E!
Now, go celebrate some lovin’, however you like it made.
Creator of Femme Forth
Sex + Intimacy Coach
Thumbnail photo source: Together from A POLYAMORIST VIEW OF MONOGAMY