Category Archives: Polyamory

Thoughts on Poly #3 – How we do it

Mulder and I get the question with a fair degree of regularity – “How do you two do it?”

Sadly, there isn’t a clear, single answer, but I’ve thought about it a lot and I have some pointers for people.

  1. Read read read. There are a ton of resources out there, from the free and easily found to books. The bigger point here is: While every specific circumstance is different, the broad strokes repeat themselves. Someone out there has been in a situation you can learn from before, and poly people like to share their experiences, so learn from them. Especially their mistakes.
  2. Think think think. What is it you want to get out of your relationship, open, that you’re not getting out of your relationship, closed? Do you trust your partner enough for this? Do you trust yourself enough for this?  What form of open relationship do you want? There are lots of options, after all. How do you react when you get jealous? (And you will.) Does your partner even want nonmonogamy, or are they going with it out of desire for you? Do you realistically have the time, energy, money, and other resources to support an additional relationship? These and dozens of more are questions you have to consider.
  3. Talk talk talk. One of the biggest things you can do to make your relationship work is communicate, at an appropriate level of honesty, with your partner(s). And when I say the appropriate level of honesty… well. I reveal myself as an utter pragmatist. Total honesty is not, for most people, a good thing – an honest response to “Does this make my ass look big?” could be a real problem for your plans for that night. However, some questions, like “Are you in any other relationships?” or “What’s your STI status?”, do demand an instant, honest response. And a thousand shades in between. F’example, if Mulder ever asked “Have you ever broken The Rules?” I’d say no in a heartbeat. If he asked me if I could count the number of men, other than him, I’ve had sex with during our relationship,  I’d ask why he wanted to know. Not because I was offended by the question or anything, but the question would be very unlike him. (And incidentally, no. Unlike some guys I’ve slept with, an an ex of mine, I don’t keep records.)
  4. Think, then react. The first time you see your S.O. with their other S.O. (O.S.O.! How convenient!), cuddling and kissing, or the first time they spend the night, or the first time your girlfriend makes her best dinner for her girlfriend’s mom… Lots and lots of things can make you jealous. Or angry. You can’t control your emotions, and you must remember that. What you can control, however, is your reaction. You can ask yourself why you feel jealous. What’s threatening you? Or, more likely, what are you inadvertently perceiving as a threat? Then you can try to address the situation rationally, if any change is needed. (Of course, all of this is great in theory. It’s hard as hell at first.)
  5. Live your priorities. I love Hal more than I could ever tell him, but Mulder still knows that no matter what crazy drug-soaked adventures I might have with Hal, I’ll always go home in one piece to be with him. And if, as we’ve discussed… and discussed… and discussed… *cough* we do ever adopt, then a lot of said drug-soaked adventures would come to an end. Or at least be /severely/ scaled back.
  6. Love. That’s what the whole thing is about, right? It’s not easy, but holy balls is it rewarding.

Some books/blogs/resources I recommend:

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Protected: Lay me down / let the only sound / be the overflow / pockets full of stones…

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Thoughts On Poly #2 – The Rules

So there’s this app called Scruff.

Homos, as always at the forefront of new technology in the pursuit of sex, have multiple smartphone apps for looking for nearby dudes. Scruff is one aimed at the gay market… And tonight I met with someone off that app for only the 3rd or 4th time. I’ve got a theory that apps like this are actually detrimental to the gay community, because they promote an attitude of “Oooh, I’m sure there’s something better if I look just a little longer!” And that’s why I’m so horribly unsuccessful on apps like that… Or I’m just horribly unattractive. Either way.

This guy… Was not a ringing endorsement of this method. His pic was very dated, he didn’t disclose some important personal details(like his HIV status or semi-recovery from meth addiction) in his profile, and he was either lying about his age, or he was real proof that it’s not the years, it’s the miles. And he’s been ridden hard and put away wet.

It got me thinking about the actual rules Mulder established for our relationship. It’s a remarkably short list:

  1. Nobody HIV positive
  2. Nobody illegal
  3. Nobody who would harm our relationship.

And that’s it. Not bad, eh?

I don’t think that #1 is evidence of any HIV phobia or stigma on Mulder’s part, particularly. We’ve just known a couple of couples that were serodiscordant, and Something Happens every time. The plural of anecdote is not data, two or three is not a trend, etc etc. But his point stands – he’s making that rule out of concern for his health and mine, so it’s hard to argue.

#2 is the legacy of a time in my life when I had a significant taste for the younger-than-me. Not necessarily illegal, but… He just wanted to set a bright line in the sand, as it were.

#3 is really the most interesting. It’s also, in some ways, the most maddening – it’s incredibly broad, and basically left to my discretion. So I’ve had to watch for a lot of things before, including but not limited to Mulder worrying that I’d leave him(although only once) to guys determined to replace Mulder as my primary relationship, to a guy who got a little too creative with his recreational pharmacology during our relationship. (I might smoke a lot of pot, but I don’t do anything with powders – nothing up my nose or in my veins.) So I’ve had to do a lot of careful evaluation about the guys I even consider letting in my life. Thankfully Hal has been very easy in that respect… (And most others! *rimshot*)

Also of note is the fact that Mulder has seen fit to ban… exactly two people by name. One of them is a walking example of poly fail, the other was a douchebag of epic proportions who treated me like shit, but my self-esteem was so bad that any attention was good attention. (It wasn’t a terribly great time in my life. Bad meds…)  The poly fail is still in the general area – he recently contacted me to let me know his “tribe” is up to 11, which… I can’t even consider trying to attempt. And I(specifically I. There’s no One True Way To Do Poly) can’t think of it as poly… it just wouldn’t work for me. Although hearing about that did make me strongly think about my relationship limits and desires, and I’m about where I want to be right now – with one established, fantastic relationship, and one growing/thriving. Maybe I’d like a third some day, especially if he(huh. maybe even she?) is a submissive.

So… three rules, one basically defunct, one extremely broad. And two bans, neither of which is terribly concerning either. I think that’s pretty good, all things considered. And those rules have been pretty damn consistent over time, too… And we hit 10 years together in just a few more months… Yeek.

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Thoughts on Poly #1 – It’s Been A Long Way Getting Here

I have to preface this with a big acknowledgement:

I’m the luckiest fucker I know.

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She says it better than I could…

So I was thinking about my relationships last night.

There’s going to be a big post about polyamory and complimentary relationships and so on later, but what it it all boils down to is this:

Hal and Mulder fulfill me in completely different ways. The Venn diagram for the three of us is three circles, the two at the edges overlapping the one in middle – but not each other. Or, like the woman says:

I search your profile
for a translation
I study the conversation
like a map
’cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your silhouette
I hope
you have got all night
’cause I’m not done looking,
no, I’m not done looking yet

each one of us
wants a piece of the action
you can hear it in what we say
you can see it in what we do
we negotiate with chaos
for some sense of satisfaction
if you won’t give it to me
at least give me a better view

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your silhouette
I hope
you have got all night
’cause I’m not done looking
no,
I’m not done looking yet

I build each one of my songs
out of glass
so you can see me inside of them
I suppose
or you could just leave the image of me
in the background, I guess
and watch your own reflection superimposed

I build each one of my days out of hope
and I give that hope your name
and I don’t know you that well
but it don’t take much to tell
either you don’t have the balls
or you don’t feel the same

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
’cause I’m not done looking
no, I’m not done looking yet

I search your profile for a translation
I study the conversation like a map
’cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

And, as befits the refrain of a great song, that’s the key point – diversity is strength. I get very different things out of my relationships with Hal and with Mulder

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