6. What’s your ideal relationship plan?
Hard to say, I want more than I’ve got now, that’s for sure. I would like at least one more person, maybe two, who knows. My plan is one where everyone is happy. If everyone is in love with each other, that would be best. A semi-closed triangle or square? Yeah, that sounds okay. Now, don’t get on me about fairness, or about what other people in the relationship might want, that wasn’t the question. The question was about MY ideal and MY ideal has a small group of lovers, each of whom I can form connections with on different levels with semi-regular intervals of group sex.
I just want all the little empty cracks in my heart to be filled. I learned long ago that one person wasn’t going to excite all my interests, so I needed more than one. Also, group sex is a lot of fun, I’m not going to lie to you. Three ways rock and I’m assuming four ways rock even more.
7. Would you like two co-primaries, a staggered hierarchy (primary, secondary, tertiary), or a partner and a host of casual fuckmuppets?
I am made very uncomfortable by the idea of the hierarchical layout. I just can’t get into that vibe much. I don’t like putting one person above another. Some people, that’s totally for them, but not so much for me. Of course, as things currently stand, who knows what the situation will be the next time someone shows up at our door?
That being said, I could see the advantage to casual fuckmuppetry, but I could also see the downsides. I’m fairly fluid mentally, so I could have a friend, and be sort of a lover, but still technically be a friendship, I suppose. I’d already have deep feelings for them, if we were going that far, so it wouldn’t be that big a shift. Maybe? I’ve never had a fuckmuppet before, so I can’t say.
5. Lately I’ve been wondering about poly relationships over the long term. Relationships I thought were going to last didn’t. How long can a poly relationship really last?
How long can any relationship last? Long term can be tough, you add extra people and the toughness of long term grows exponentially. Take a simple three way relationship. A has an individual relation ship with B. A also has an individual relationship with C. C and B have an individual relationship with each other. But wait, there’s more! Then there is the relationship between A, B and C as a unit. Then you have how A feels about B and C in their relationship, how B feels about A and C and how C feels about B and A. Even if B and C aren’t actually involved, by dint of them both seeing A, they are still in a relationship of some variety. Now if C has an outside relationship, then the math gets even harder and I’m no good at math. There are a lot of variables, a lot of relationships, and all of them have to work for a poly relationship to work. When things break down then things fall apart. All that being said, I know some poly people who were together longer than Syd, Holly and I and as far as I know they still are together. It can work, but things have to be properly functioning.
I’ll say it like this, and then say no more. It’ll last as long as it lasts, try to enjoy the ride. When it ends, you’ll have your memories. It will end, because everything ends. People die, things change, end comes. You will one day have to meet the Sky Bunny and talk to the Great Pixie and everything will end. What is certain, and how long have you really got? Only Fancy knows, and she ain’t telling.
I rarely see fantasy set between the 14th and 18th century. You will get the occasional pirate story, with a Kraken or ghost pirates, but that’s about it really. Once you get to the 19th century there is some, more if you allow the fuzzy line of definition to include steam punk. The 20th has lots, both contemporary and historical. Once you start getting Renaissance and Enlightenment though, the numbers drop rather sharply.
The rules also get weirdly specific, when you can find it at all. You can have big huge monsters, you can have magic, and you can have some ghosts, but elves and fairies are right out. Magic swords are a no-no, and don’t even get me started on amulets or cloaks. These are things that turn up again later in modern day fantasy, but they went underground during that period or something. However, with a magic pirate story you can have fish people, and those are never around in any other context.
4. Let’s go back to this Different People for Different Reasons thing…
That’s not a question, but okay. I like ice cream, you dig that? I also like Salt and Vinegar potato chips, you dig that? Okay, when I’m in the mood for ice cream, I go to the freezer and get some ice cream. When I want something salty and sour, I go to the pantry for the S&V chips, right? Okay! Now… Girlfriend #1 is a freezer and Girlfriend #2 is a pantry… and I just realized I am never getting laid every again… ever… too many fucking ellipses in this paragraph… I don’t care… I happen to like them and I think they give a nice Baroque feel to a…
Sorry, what the hell was I talking about? Oh, right, food.
Sometimes the flavors mesh, ice cream and fresh berries go quite nicely together and make eating a delight. If you pour some hot caramel over them, and some whipped cream, and a couple of cute little cherries… then you’ll have to wash the bed sheets because that shit will get sticky. POINT IS! Flavors can mesh, and sometimes they can’t, but you can enjoy each as an individual thing and enjoying one does not detract from your enjoyment of the other. You can still love fresh strawberries, even if you also love ice cream. I don’t see the point in never eating a cherry again, just because I like strawberries a little more and I really don’t see the point of never having salt and vinegar chips again because I like strawberries as well.
Each person brings something new to the table, like a love of Shakespeare or in some cases, acid jazz. Syd likes outdoorsy stuff and the magic of nature, Holly didn’t. Hol liked Museums and Syd will tag along, but she can’t get enthusiastic about them. Syd likes video games and books with dragons on the cover, other girls like grunge music or cooking shows. I’m over simplifying, for the sake of making a model, but this could go on all night if I let it, but I won’t let it. The point is that I don’t need my one lover to be all things to me. I can have my other lover be the other things that the first lover is not. One can be gentle and understanding, the other can be frank and honest. It makes a good balance when it works, and you can build up a feedback loop of extra love that gets stored in little Coptic jars that have sexual positions on them instead of animal heads.
One could logically argue that a lack of butt-sex makes the Gods weak.
I’m not saying they’d be right, I’m saying that by using whatever passes for logic, they could make that argument.
The problem with logical arguments is that they always seem to follow a If A + B = C then logically, B+C must = D sort of path. It doesn’t matter if B+C would actually equal E, once you start following a “So that’s reasonable, right?” path, things can get twisted into non-sense quite quickly. This is particularly true if, like me, you failed algebra twice and never quite understood why all these letters were suddenly in math class. I always kind of thought I’d fallen asleep and was sleeping through English.
So, I wasn’t exactly asked, but an eyebrow was raised. Why am I writing essays on polyamory after not talking about it for such a long time? Did I meet someone? Am I gearing myself up to re-enter the market? Well, no, it’s not that. There’s another reason.
After the break-up, I kind of felt I had no right to talk about it. I’d been in successful, working relationship for a long time. Ours was the relationship that many people were pinning their dreams to. This was the one they knew about that was lasting and working, and I felt that people depended on me to tell them about how we were doing and what tips they might take away. Having things not work, and spin out and explode like that, the old ego took a hit.
Now, even though it’s just the two of us, we still define ourselves as a poly household. We’re just a poly house with only two members, because finding another person is hard when your shy and introverted and don’t have money to hit the clubs or fly to Wales and pick out a nice red haired girl right off the farm. Because I like the accent, that’s why Wales. Point is we’re still part of the community, as much as we ever were anyway. I’m not much of a group joiner and neither is Syd, so it becomes hard. Still though, poly people.
As a poly person, I still read some poly websites and look at some boards now and then. This is where these posts come in. Every time I see someone write some FAQ or answer questions from the audience, they always do it in a way that sounds… how do I put this? Very college liberal. They use technical terms, or they try to be very understanding about everyone’s feelings, or they talk like they’ve got degrees in behavioral psychology, or they talk in grand and lofty terms… none of them every actually talk like an honest to Fancy human. I almost never get these sense that these people have actually scrapped their knees or had anything ever happen to them. There is a calm, detached dishonesty to the whole thing. Like, they’re so interested in “can’t we all be rational” that they forget this is all about fucking.
What I found lacking was a distinct sense of honest to goodness “This is my story” sort of things. Now, it’s entirely possible I wasn’t looking in the right places. If I were more into being a community member, perhaps members of the online community could point me to the things I’ve been saying are missing, but that would require dealing with the sort of people who hang out in online communities, you know?
So I took some questions that I thought had unsuitable answers and then asked you, the audience, to suggest more questions to be answered. And I have diligently set about answering those questions as best and as honestly as I can. No extensive use of technical terms, no trying to reach a better field of understanding through pop-psych bullshit, just good old natural down home wisdom. Well, down home wisdom mixed with a startling intellect and an extensive understanding of history and how to use the word fuckmonkeys, but yeah. I wanted to see if I could cut through the bullshit and give you something honest.
I think I’ve managed pretty well. If I may toot my own horn a bit, I think The Tale of Kitty is one of the best explanations for how the basic mechanics of polyamory works that I’ve ever written. I’m really quite proud of that one. Either way, I’m enjoying the process and hey, writing again! That’s not a bad thing, right? Right? Hope so, I’ve got a few more questions to go. You can still ask your questions today! Either in this post, or in the comments section right here.
3. You say you love your friends, but if you get physical, doesn’t that make them just a fuck buddy?
No, and that phrasing things like that is going to get you killed someday. Terms like “fuck buddy” or “friends with benefits” tend to be used by people who want sex, but don’t want to/aren’t able to commit to a relationship. The way I feel towards certain friends is the exact opposite of that. I have a strong, committed feeling towards them, but can’t interact on a physical level for one reason or another. If I graduate to physical connection with a friend, there has already been an emotional connection. Love (for a given value of love) already exists, feelings have already taken root.
Let me tell you the story of a friend of mine, one that exemplifies what I mean. I have a friend that we shall call Kitty. It’s not her name, but I don’t want to use her name and I won’t use her first initial because that has always annoyed me. Why just do an initial when you can assign a completely new name? So this is Kitty, but she’s not a world weary whore with a heart of gold & a nose for trouble, so you can kindly get THAT image out of your mind thank you very much. Kitty is very dear to me, and while I’m not entirely sure she’d like to be the subject of a post like this, the things I’m going to say in this post at least shouldn’t be a surprise to her, so that’s something. Most of you won’t get within a mile of guessing who she is anyway, so she shouldn’t flip out in the comments and demand to know why I wrote about her. She should just sit tight and remember that no one else knows who she is. Syd knows, she knows, I knows, that’s probably the extent of it. If one or two other people know… well, that’s life. None of this is actually news anyway. And if she gets annoyed at me, well, I’ve lived a long a fruitful life.
I first met Kitty online, through a mutual friend. She liked a turn of phrase I used so much that she decided to read more of my stuff and we commenced to talking. About two months after we met online, we met in person. I was already getting to know her, and like her quite a bit, before I met her. When I did meet her… words like “Wow!” and “My goodness” are hardly sufficient. She was smart, beautiful, vivacious, quick witted, opinionated on numerous subjects, boisterous, and her voice was just a bit like music. I was enchanted, practically to the point of intimidation. These are just first impressions you understand. First meetings at an evening get together. Still, I was smitten and quite hard. I quickly developed quite a little crush on her. I still have that crush actually, I keep it in a box and take it out on lonely afternoons to admire it.
Now, I didn’t reveal this crush right away (though I suspect it was obvious to some) for several reasons. One, I’m shy. Yes, actually, I am. When it comes to important things, I lock up and get cold feet. Those of you frustrated as to why I’m still unpublished, ungalleried and… unmagazined? What do you do with photos? Anyway, I lack confidence and it’s hard to borrow a cup sometimes. It’s sort of sad really, because Kitty was single and kind of frustrated about it when I met her. I could have made an approach I suppose, but shyness got in the way. So did Holly now I think of it. Hol was insanely jealous of Kitty, rarely admitted her humanity, said she wasn’t cute but rather “Loud and obnoxious” and thought she was going to steal me away from her and Syd at any moment. I always had to be very, VERY careful about how I associated with Kitty because Holly constantly thought I was going to run off with her, which is ironic when you think about how that relationship ended, but never mind that now.
The other reason I didn’t hit on Kitty was that… well… approaching people who aren’t poly is kinda hard when you are. How to you feel them out on the idea? How do you express that you’d like them to enter a field that for most traditional people, would already be considered quiet crowded? I never know where to start, and while people can be accepting, the only people who have been really enthusiastic about the idea were judged to be unacceptable for reason of being “fucking psycho” which is a technical term. By the time I got to a place where I thought I could approach her, and explain how I was feeling, someone else had moved in and she was so incredibly head over heels for that guy that I could only really feel glad that someone I was falling in love with would be happy in a relationship. Okay, yes, I did feel some disappointment, but mostly just glad she’d found someone.
Now here’s the thing, I was perfectly happy to take up my place in the friend’s zone, not as a “One day he’ll dump her and then I can swoop in” but in a “I am her friend, that will do nicely” way. If we were friends, I could still talk to her and we could still be together, just together in a different way. Doesn’t mean I didn’t still look at the line of her jaw with admiration and attraction, but I didn’t have to make a big deal out of it. I was still deeply crushin’ on her, but I was content with my status. Actually, since I’m pretty sure she was not crushin’ on me, it was probably for the best. I’m sure she has some affection for me, particularly at this late date, but I’m also fairly sure that my bones where never in contention for jumping as far as she was concerned. She liked me, but she wasn’t into me, you know?
Now there are other things that went on during that period, and when she was having a bad day I would always try offer up my shoulder to her, but that’s what I do. I’ll admit, I offered it to her with far less reservation than I did most the people who got to explain their problems to me. And it’s not like I was looking for some reward. Being around her, just knowing I helped, was reward enough, you know? I had little interest, but to expand her joy and decrease her sorrow, but that’s how it is when someone is my favorite. I mean, yes, I am talking about my favorite girl that I never dated here. Someone who was only second to Syd and Hol in my affections. Now, I suppose she’s second only to Syd, although it’s kind of a far second.
Years passed, and things changed and what had been a great big crush dwindled into a minor crush and is now small enough to fit in a small box and be taken out on rainy days. I still love her though, still feel great affection for her. It still kills me when she expresses that she’s worried about her future, because I can see the fear at the edges of her words, and I don’t want her to be afraid of anything. I care deeply about her, and I want her to be happy, unburdened and unafraid. That may never really come to pass, except in rare moments, but it’s what I want for her. I have reveled to her the extent of my attraction, and that I’m still not going to try and move in on her, she seems okay with it. I suspect I was telling her stuff she’s known for years. She’s a smart cookie after all, that was one of the things that attracted me to her.
Now, if you were viewing that from the outside, what would you call that? Is it okay with you if I call it love? Not romantic love perhaps, not hot and sweaty love, certainly not the love where we swap spit and other bodily fluids, but a variety in which I care very much about a person. Yeah, the situation between us never grew to physical intimacy, but we have an emotional connection never the less.
Now if that relationship were to suddenly progress to intimacy, I think I would have to grab the tire thumper and use it on the person who called Kitty my “fuck buddy” until they were nothing more than a twisted memory.
I don’t need an Identity Service. I don’t know what that is, but if I’ve gone this long without it, I know I don’t need it.
Also, I don’t need a place where I have to be the Public Me, I’ve already got Facebook for that dubious service.
What’s really annoying though is I don’t need a place where the news feeds are continually shuffled and re-arranged every time someone comments or hits the +1 button. It’s impossible for me to read the news feed that way. I don’t have time to scroll through the whole thing and check the new order to see if there’s anything I missed.
Besides, there are AGAIN less people on there than there were the day before. Another person either decided he’d had enough, or he got bounced because he was using his initials as his first name and Google has been deleting people for that.
Not many people were on there, now there are less, even fewer people actually post anything, and even fewer still post anything they don’t post at Facebook and LJ.
I think we’re done here G+, your service is of no use to me, and I dislike all your policies.
You can still ask questions here, or in the comments section of this post.
Here we are at the second question, we’re still doing questions I gathered from other places…
2. Aren’t you just being greedy having multiple girlfriends?
Yes, next question.
No! The question is flippant and the answer shall be as well!
Okay, I’ll answer for real. Greed is often brought up, and that might be part of it. It’s odd how many times I heard the phrase “But you have two girlfriends already” when I was flirting with someone (this was when I had two girlfriends btw) as if that was more than my fair share and what was I trying to do, cause a run on the market? It’s odd to me because… do you stop at three friends? Once you’ve got three buds, do you refuse to hang out with anyone new? No, because that’s silly. Well, it’s equally silly to me to just decide that I’m only going to love the one or possibly two people alone. I don’t see much of a difference between emotional and physical affection, which has caused problem s from time to time, but that’s another story. I love my cat too, and my parents, and I’ve got some friends who I care very deeply about. Those friends, I would categorize my feelings towards them as love.
Not passionate love, not romantic love, not friends with benefits love, but the sort of love that causes my heart to hurt when I see them in pain. I want to share their joy, diminish their pain, and be a part of their lives as much as I’m able. Now yes, some of these people I’m attracted to, but the situation isn’t possible or practicable so we keep it at friendship. But I would still call my feelings for them love, because that’s what it is. It would only take a small step, or a mutual level of attraction, or a change in situations, for us to gravitate towards a physical relationship and become lovers. Sometimes that happens, most times it doesn’t. However, I don’t need physical reaction to call my feelings love.
So no, not greedy, I just don’t confine my affection to a single entity. If I love someone, I want to love them fully. When those feelings are mutual, then things happen and a lover is added to the fold. The barrier between friend and lover is fuzzier for me, I suppose you could say. This is very much my own personal view, but then I can’t give you someone else’s view, ask them.
However, when you do, find a married person who is a parent. And then ask them if they love their spouse or their child. If they claim they love them both, I suggest you explain how that’s impossible. Since the greed issue claims I can’t really love more than one person. Also, how can you claim to have affection for corn chips when you’ve stated that love is a single point, zero sum game. Surely, if you love corn chips, then that’s less love for your partner, right? How can you even claim to like someone else, even a little, since that’s affection that should be spent on your partner? And you’re supposed to love them with ALL YOUR HEART! See? Once you start demanding I love someone with all my heart, when you make it an all or nothing event, you make it really easy to knock you down.
You can still ask questions here, or in the comments section of this post. Some of these answers will be longer than others, and not all of them where taken from readers. Plus, some of them will go off into tangents and I will be describing some hideous failures as well as successes. Be aware.
1. Isn’t it true that this is just a male fantasy vehicle? I mean, it’s mostly guys suggesting this, right?
Well, no. In my experience, it’s mostly women who suggest this sort of thing. I don’t know if it’s a success thing or what, but most the relationships where I asked who instigated or brought up the whole poly thing, most the time it comes down to a woman. Our own introduction to the idea as a defined thing came from someone who had the ulterior motive that if she got us into poly, she might be able to sleep with us. I’m not sure if it’s just the people I’ve talked to, because I have a few poly friends who I haven’t asked how they got started, but out of the ones I have asked, it’s been seven to one a woman introduced the idea.
Now, I’ll admit falling into it, but I’ll also admit that every time someone new has come along I’ve been the one to sit them down and explain the rules as it were. So I’m sort of the exception on this one? Of course, explaining rules and having rules isn’t enough. Clearly, you need to have regular meetings to make sure everyone understands the rules and that everyone’s understanding of the arrangement still agrees with everyone else’s understanding, otherwise you explode and spin out and almost die in a fiery crash that can be seen from space.
This happened to a friend of mine.