June 24th, 2010
In college, there were times when I was in love with not-yet-Husband, and dating other men. He first proposed to me while engaged to someone else. I did not say no, not until I met her, anyway. When he proposed the second time, and I said yes, it was on the condition of monogamy. I accepted that he was flirtatious, and loving towards others, but we made an agreement that there would be no other relationships when we got married.
Two and a half years in, and we were both finding ourselves interested in other people on a level more than just flirtation. We talked about swinging, playing outside our marriage. I played with one friend, trying to keep emotions out of it, but when he decided he could not continue, I was hurt. Friends invited us to a swingers party where I was fairly wide-eyed and quiet the whole night. Then we moved.
We looked around online for potential play partners. We played with one couple, and we met another, but neither turned out well. Then we found the local kink community. I agreed that Husband could be true to his poly nature, and I would continue with the label of swinging. I was afraid of getting hurt again, swinging felt safer, it was not about love, or relationships. It was about experiences and having fun.
Then I met Lover, and Him. We started playing, in various forms, and it quickly became apparent that emotions would always be involved, that there was always risk, that the trust required for the way I wanted to play was not something to be given casually.
Husband has formed various relationships, girlfriends and play partners, looking for what he wants to add to his life. Together we explore our rules and agreements. We deal with jealousy and time management. We grow together and we follow our own paths. I love him, I am in love with him, I will love him forever and always.
I had a hard time with labels and defining relationships outside my marriage. Lover started as a play partner. Love grew between us, but in different ways. There are many kinds of love, and my love for him does not feel like the romantic, forever love of a Husband or a Boyfriend. It feels like the love of a cherished and trusted friend, a confidant. I chose the word Lover for him because I do love him, and we do play and make love, but it is a different kind of commitment that I feel for him.
Him, Rigger, Mentor, Dominant, Boyfriend. He and I have gone through many stages of our relationship. Growing closer over the last two years, taking things one step at a time. We began trying to define things around the turn of the year, or rather we tried to move forward without truly defining things, and found that it would not work anymore. After some stumbling, we defined what we had and what we wanted, and what boundaries that created for us, to keep us and our relationships safe. I love him, but more than that, I am In love with him. In the life-sharing, forever kind of way, and I am incredibly grateful that his wife is accepting of my love for him.
Compersion is an important concept in how I do poly. I love my Husband, my Lover and my Boyfriend, and because I love them, I want to see them happy. Their other partners bring love and happiness to their lives, so I am happy for them, and those relationships. I do not always want the details about how their other partners are making them happy, but sometimes it is fun to share the excitement and experiences, and it is definitely fun to share the energy created by those experiences. Jealousy still crops up, and relationships are not always happy, but over all, I know that love is not divided between us, it grows and expands to include everyone in our lives.
Polyamory has been a quite a journey, and I am still exploring the path.
October 14th, 2009
I have different power dynamics in my life, different relationship dynamics, and different energy dynamics. How do people manage these things in a poly lifestyle?
My answer is separation. I don’t know if it’s a good answer, and it certainly causes strain sometimes. I try to keep my interactions with my partners separate. I spend time with them apart from the others. If two or more are in the same place, at the same event, I try to make sure that one is occupied before playing with the other. I do this in reverse as well, I try not to interfere when one of my partners is playing with another of his partners. Though, this too, sometimes causes upset, if communication is not clear.
I talk about the differences in my partners often in this blog. But recently I was thinking about it very specifically, because it was the Energy mixing I was trying to avoid at a particular regular event. I was trying to figure out how to explain it to them, and this is what I came up with to describe the three different relationships.
1) Husband: Master/slave dynamic, Romantic/Forever Love energy
2)Lover: Top/bottom dynamic, High sexual energy
3)Mentor: Dom/sub dynamic, Intense playful energy
I find these different dynamics difficult to balance if my partners are in the same place, wanting attention at the same time. My husband/Master comes first in such situations, but I feel neglectful of my other relationships if he monopolizes my time. So, I choose to keep them as separate as possible, and divide my time as best as I can manage.
Poly is about time management, they tell me. I do my best, but in this busy world, sometimes I wander in the wrong direction and stumble. They love me, though, and pick me back up, and we find a new path. It’s never perfect, but we try to keep moving forward the best we can.