Archive for Poly questions

Yes, you can.

How not to have an open relationship. Go read this Stranger article first, so the rest of this post makes sense.

I don’t agree that a relationship can’t evolve from one state to another if those states are determined (by whom?) to be too different. Shrews and warthogs share a common ancestor – all that separates them is a tiny handful of gene mutations and many, many years.

Time. This is the all-important factor, wherever the relationship is heading. In a situation where one person wants to be poly and another is set against it, you either have the conversation and possible separation now, or you say “Maybe we’ll be poly in the future”. If the anti camp still feels the same when the future arrives, you’ll likely separate then instead.

But… time does change things, not least warthogs and shrews. Sometimes when a person says “Yes, but not now,” they really mean what they say. Rather than assuming that means “Not ever”, patience, understanding, baby steps and a willingness to pick yourself up from the falls can help you reach a place where things really have changed.

I know cos the boy and I lived it. “One day” was the point we worked towards for many years. It wasn’t a case of “No, no, no” followed by a day when we stripped off our clothes and tripped naked through fields of third parties. Rather we got there in small steps.

Things didn’t always work out the first time, but that didn’t stop us trying again once more magical time had passed. Things didn’t always go at the pace I’d like, and yeh, sometimes I was impatient and bratty about that, which was hurtful. But I never doubted that we wanted to get to the same place, and that certainty plus a belief in the parts of our relationships that didn’t involve a poly label, meant the invested time kept ticking by.

Eventually enough of it had passed that our relationship looked very different. To labour the evolutionary metaphor, we changed to become adapted to the environment we’d chosen to live in. We’re red in tooth and claw, baby, and raring to go.

And having talked specifically about change at the macro level of monogamy or polygamy, I think there’s a pretty important message in here about change at the micro level of day-to-day happiness, however you structure your relationship. If you don’t accept that the first is possible, you are presumably more likely to overlook the second.

By accepting the small changes that happen daily, you make your relationship reflexive and responsive. You’re far less likely to look up one day and wonder where the warthog reading the papers came from.


Noble savage

Building on the Pleasure and pain post, here’s another SM question:

At what point does one trade a reluctance to inflict pain with a partner’s desire to be hurt?

What effect does that have on a relationship?

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Pleasure and pain

A trio of questions about SM. Actually two questions I suppose as the first one comes more from the angle of a sadistic top, whereas the second two suggest a masochistic bottom and a possibly cautious or reluctant top. First one first:

How do physically hurting someone and loving them work together?

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Singapore sex

Two thoughts.

The first is that I’ve realised I pull my punches in Singapore. In London if I got to a point in a conversation that referenced my relationship I just said it. Open. Poly. Any questions? I didn’t always expect people to understand, but I always gave them a chance.

Here I back away from those moments, leave things unsaid. I guess I’ve done that since I arrived, but lately it’s bothering me. For a start, it isn’t fair to assume I know how somebody else will react – if it’s something I would normally talk about I ought to give people the opportunity to decide for themselves how they feel about it.

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Where did it all go right?

The Boy and I didn’t always have an open relationship. We got together in 2002 while we were both doing a master’s degree. I was a little crazy at the time, trying to make sense of my previous relationship and fighting the inevitability of leaving uni and getting a job.

Our relationship reflected this in that it was torrid yet hesitant, and it was default-monogamous. We both played away and ‘fessed up, but it was always that – confession, admission.
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Imitating life and art.

So around the time I was asked the question below, I was (briefly) living it. A very desirable and pleasingly feasible third party rocked up and stuck around for five days, half of which while the Boy was out of town, the rest after the Boy returned.

(Perhaps I should come up with some fun but non-identifying handles for people, but the reason J and I used our own names at swingers parties wasn’t to make a bold lifestyle statement, it was just paucity of imagination. So Boy = J, other boy = old friend.)

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Synchronous linkhronous

One of the questions in the post below merges into something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few days. Handy.

How desirable/feasible is a stable multi-way relationship?

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