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high polyamory question:

when you [have] a partner and you’re poly, do you have a say in who he dates/has sex with?

It depends entirely on the specific relationship and the agreements you’ve made with each other.

Some people give established partners a lot of control over who else they get involved with, either by asking their partners for permission before they date or have sex with someone new or giving their partner “veto power” over new relationships.

A lot of people will consider what their partners think to some degree but won’t let their partners make the decision for them. Again, though, how much weight they give to their partners’ feelings just depends on the relationship.

I’d definitely pay attention if a partner had strong objections to someone I wanted to be involved with. I value my partners’ judgment, and I don’t want to deal with having partners who I can’t invite to the same dinner party.

(But I also probably wouldn’t stay with someone who said they wanted to be poly but had a lot of strong objections.)

If you’re considering a poly relationship, this is definitely something to talk to your partners about. A lot of people who are new to poly start with more rules and control, and get rid of some of that as they get more comfortable.

I Am So Sick Of This Meme

1. I have been seeing variations on this joke every month for years. I am so bored of them. I want them to stop.

2. Linguistic prescriptivism is stupid and offensive. Sometimes we make new words from roots that come from different languages, this is just how English works. For example: automobile, television, and homosexual.

3. Making it sound like you are attacking a kind of relationship or sexuality as the setup for a joke is just not the funniest sort of joke.


It may be small minded of me, but I really can’t wrap my mind around the idea of open relationships and polyamory. It’s baffling to me. It feels to me like an unneccesary complication (in one hand, I guess it can be construed as a simplification. You can’t commit to one person so you might as well agree that you can both have multiple pertners). Not that I’m saying they shouldn’t do it. Just why bother being in a relationship. Why not just be friends who have sex. Or date many many people. I probably am missing something here.

You seem pretty genuine about kind of just not getting it, and I appreciate that. I kind of don’t get people who want to be monogamous or in closed relationships. Or people who are strictly straight or gay. Or morning people.

I think we all need to get better at accepting that the validly of other people’s experiences and preferences doesn’t depend on our ability to imagine feeling the same way. But it is worthwhile to try to understand where other people are coming from.

Most people who are poly don’t think of it as not committing to one person, but as committing to more than person. You’re equating commitment to sexual exclusivity. To me, commitment is more about paying attention to someone, taking care of them, and sticking with them through the rough spots.

If all that commitment means to you is that your partner isn’t having sex with anyone else, I feel really bad for everything you’re missing out on.

Poly and open relationships can be more complicated and time-consuming to manage, but they don’t have to be. But the reason people to do it anyway is that the good stuff is worth it. Being in a relationship at all is kind of more complicated than being single. Similarly, for a lot of people, the good stuff is worth it.

I think the distinction between being friends who have sex and being in a relationship can be kind of blurry. And I generally think we ought to take our friendships more seriously and approach those relationships with some intention and care.

But I call my girlfriend my girlfriend because I like going on trips with her occasionally, and introducing her to my parents, and having emotional depth to our relationship, and going out alone together, and that generally seems to make girlfriend a more appropriate word.

Here’s another, different answer: I’m totally in love with a brilliant, ambitious, beautiful woman. She happens to have a husband and kid. I think it’s easier and more fun to just date her anyway, and to be friends with her awesome family, than to pass on the very enjoyable sex, make-outs, and emotional intimacy.


I have no idea about any of this at all. recently (within the last two months) my boyfriend (of about 3 years) and I ended up in a threesome, with one of his female friends. And since then it has become more of a relationship than anything close to a one-time thing. We all care about each other to varying degrees, but there seems to quite a few issues between all this, and none of us seem to know how to go about it. A lot of it seems to have to do with the fact that none of us know what we’re doing, and as far as I know we’ve all only been in monogamous relationships. (as far as I’m concerned, I don’t even know half of what the words (ex: the whole primary, etc ) mean when I’m reading them.

It makes sense that you feel confused. You’re young, you’re trying non-monogamy for the first time, it’s a big change for your relationship with your boyfriend, and it wasn’t a change you were expecting. It’s okay to feel confused sometimes. And it’s okay if you keep feeling confused for a while, or always feel a little confused, or feel confused again. But I also have a few ideas for how you might sort through some of this stuff and deal with some of the general issues you’re facing. (If you’re dealing with something more particular, though, feel free to write again. Now or whenever.)

Some people are only happy in nonmonogamous relationships. Some people are only happy in monogamous relationship. And some people can be happy in either. You three might fit this last category. Just because it takes some time to adjust to a different way of doing relationships doesn’t mean you can’t do it. And it doesn’t make you any less nonmonogamous now that you’ve been happily monogamous before. But if any of you eventually realize you do want monogamy, that’s okay too.

Talk to your partners. Talk about how you feel about each other and your relationships and what you want and whether you’re getting it. Is anyone feeling a lot of resentment or jealousy? Are you on the same page about any rules or expectations? Do you have similar ideas about what this relationship could look like down the line? When talking about how you feel, remember that honesty is good, but it’s not a good excuse for being tactless. You’ll also have to do some self-examination around your feelings and what you want out of your relationships. To find something that works for all of you, you may have to do some compromising.

Read up on nonmonogamy. I like the book Opening Up. Other people swear by The Ethical Slut. The website is pretty good too. You don’t have to read everything, just pick something. Whatever you read though, you and both of your partners should read some of the same stuff. Or watch some videos about non-monogamy together. Having some shared material to references and reflect on, even if you don’t agree with all of it, makes a really good framework for sorting through your own relationships. It will bring up stuff that hadn’t occurred to you and give you an opportunity to talk about it. It’s a conversation starter.

You might also look around a bit to see if there’s a poly group in your area. Try You might not click with the crowd there anyway, but it could be worth a shot. It can be reassuring to see people in person who have relationships similar to yours, even when you’re not specifically talking to them about relationships.

There are a couple common issues that come up with this dynamic, when an established couple gets involved with a third person. One or both of the people in the couple sometimes feel like their relationship and stability are threatened, while the new partner sometimes feels excluded, left out, or less important. Some people work to make all three partners feel equal in the relationship, while other people intentionally prioritize the established relationship. There’s a lot of different ways you can structure things and make them work. And there’s a lot of tips out there that get a little deeper into the nitty-gritty of dealing with the emotions that come up here.

One thing that I think rarely works is asking someone to take a secondary role in a relationship while expecting them not to date other people. Like, if you and your boyfriend wanted this third person to date you, and not date anyone else, and also be content with you and your boyfriend’s relationship taking priority. This might work for certain people in certain circumstances, but I think it’s more likely to just make someone feel like a side character in their own life, used and taken advantage of.

There are glossaries out there if you’re stuck on the vocabulary, but that’s really not the most important stuff.


Where do poly people actually meet each other? I’ve done PMM and even though I met some cool people the majority seemed to want a 2nd/3rd/4th wife and well no. Above all else I want poly friends and ultimately poly lovers. But dammit man. Help poly folks.

I have a lot of poly and nonmonogamous people in my current, local social circle.

I met my girlfriend through OkCupid, and through her met her husband and some of her friends from grad school.

I met my roommate in college, and through her met her boyfriend and another partner of his and some of their friends. (My roommate might have been encouraged to try non-monogamy by me and my girlfriend and her husband.)

I met a couple friends who used to be roommates through a Craigslist ad for a housing cooperative.

I met another friend through different roommates who met her at a Reddit party, and through her I’ve met some of her partners and friends.

But it took years to build up that social circle.

In Summary: OkCupid, Partners/Friends of Partners/Friends, Conversion, Like-Minded Circles, and Random Chance, Given Time.


Anonymous asked:

Hi... It seems your blog is one I can say this to and maybe be understood... I've wanted to be in a poly relationships most of my teenagehood and now into my adulthood... I'm just terrified finally doing it will ruin my comfort in my Evangelical life. It's like I'm almost ashamed that I've fallen in love with multiple people... I don't know what to do or what my head is trying to wrap around, you know?

You’ve got some of my sympathy for sure. Realizing, embracing, and pursuing being poly can be tough, particulaly in an unsupportive social atmosphere. I really hope you find a way to feel secure about being poly. And find some awesome people to date!

But I’m not sure disrupting the comfort of your Evangelical life is entirely a bad thing.

Evangelicals haven’t been the best about supporting progressive values around sexuality. That includes poly stuff, but also gay rights, comprehensive sex ed, and access to contraception and abortion. I think it’s good to stand up for that stuff, but doing so could put you outside or at the margins of the Evangelical movement.

I hope you stand up for that stuff anyway, even the parts that aren’t about your own sexual/romantic identity. I mean, I want to be your ally here, but I’m also looking for people to be mine.

(And comfort is sort of the enemy of personal growth.)


Anonymous asked:

im really young, just turned thirteen a few months ago, and i have recently learned i am poly. i am scared that people will judge me. sometimes i look at articles about how polyamorous people are horrible and i feel horrible myself. i already feel bad for being pansexual and genderfluid, why cant i just be the little straight girl and not the mostly boy, nonmanogamous, pansexual person i am? i am confused and getting counseling soon because my mom says i need it. why am i poly?

Being thirteen and genderfluid, pansexual, and nonmonogamous is awesome. I think you are cool.

It’s bullshit to dismiss a young person’s identity as a phase, but it’s also important to acknowledge that identities can be fluid and evolving, always but perhaps particularly when you’re young. Who you are and how you understand yourself might change. Identity can also be a social marker that we alter with cultural shift and personal interest. If those identities work for you now, great. But it is also totally okay if any of them ever stop working for you.

Counseling could be good, but it could also be bad. Any counselor who treats being genderfluid, nonmonogamous, or pansexual as a problem is doing a bad job. But a good counselor might help you with feeling confused or bad or scared. It can be hard to find counselors who understand this stuff, and it can be particular hard if a parent is a part of choosing someone. I hope you get someone good, and I hope you don’t swear off counselors forever if you don’t.

And you’re not that young. I mean, you’re definitely not the only thirteen year old thinking about gender identity, sexual orientation, or relationship inclinations. There are other young teens who share your identities. Finding a community of peers can be pretty important.


Anonymous asked:

I'm really happy I found this blog :) I'm interested in your views on "love vs relationships" or "love vs desire". For instance...feeling love and admiration for a person, but having no desire to form a life and/or relationship with them. Those are the lines I've come to base my relationships around: Do our lives intersect in a way that doesn't hinder me?

It’s definitely possible to love someone or be attracted to someone and still not want to be in a relationship with them. You might want different things or just not work well together as partners. And this can be a reason not to get into a relationship or to end a relationship, if it takes you time to realize this or things that were good change.

I probably don’t think about it in terms of what “hinders” me, though. Maybe I figure that all relationships have some complications and limitations, and I think more about whether the good outweighs the bad.


Anonymous asked:

kinda hurts my feelings you called triads cliche, but understand your reasoning behind it. Please don't make my relationship seem like it has less meaning to others that are just entering the polly lifestyle or those out side of it.

Sorry. Let me clarify. (I’ve already edited the post in question.)

Triads are awesome! I mean, they can be awesome, just like plenty of other relationship structures can be awesome! (And they can have issues and be problematic, too, just like other kinds of relationships.)

But I think the stories that get told about poly relationships disproportionately feature triads. There’s a particular narrative around a couple opening up and finding a third that gets too much attention. When this is all or most of what people see, it ends up misrepresenting a wider community.

And when that particular experience starts getting seen as the normative polyamory experience, I think that hurts all of us.


Anonymous asked:

My gf and I have a slightly different relationship than some people, we like to have sec with other people. We always do it together, as a couple and have yet to have sex with someone else individually. We also have slightly different ideas about where to take our relationship but that doesn't cause any friction between the two of us. I was just wondering, does that make us polyamorous?

You’re definitely nonmonogamous. And that’s part of why I like that word, that it’s more inclusive.

Some people use polyamorous specifically for people who are involved in multiple loving relationships. It’s not clear from what you’ve said if you fit that, though, or if you might want to fit that in the future.

Other people use polyamorous a little more inclusively.

I don’t draw such a fine line, partly because I’m personally interested both in having multiple loving relationships and in also having casual sex, and both of those are important to my identity. I might be poly either way, but if it’s used more narrowly, poly isn’t as good a description.

I wouldn’t be offended if you called yourself polyamorous. But some folks who really identify with that narrower definition might feel like you were invading their space.

Regardless of what you call yourself, you’ll definitely find plenty of advice and insight that’s relevant to your current relationship under the category of polyamory. And you’ll find folks with similar experiences in some poly communities.

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