I’m on a personal journey to understand what I actually feel about monogamy, and to uncover that truth, I’m exploring polyamory. It’s not my first experience with a non-monogamous relationship, but dating and polyamory turns out to be quite different than the closed triad relationship I was previously in. One thing I’m learning is that people have some interesting ideas about what polyamory actually means. Of particular amusement is the difference between polyamory and promiscuity.
Polyamory isn’t all about sex. I’ve never been much of a one-night-stand or hook up kind of person. To me, it’s more about quality than quantity. I’m in this to build meaningful connections with the people I create loving space with. Those meaningful connections can take on many forms, since the technical definition of polyamory is to have many loves.
These connections can look like deeply affectionate friendships. Girlfriends and guy friends who I’ve bonded with. Maybe we have sleepovers that include some non-sexual physical affection. Maybe we just rant and rave and share our dreams while our kids slay the local playground.
This can look like friends who I have deep affection for and who I connect with primarily on the physical plane. Our bodies want to hang out from time-to-time and we also like and respect each other enough to be transparent about the connections we are enjoying with other people. We share sweet, affectionate correspondence beyond trying to navigate the next time we can see each other. We take interest in each other’s lives without many demands or expectations being placed on the other person.
Some day one of these connections might be a combination of the two; a deep friendship and sexual partnership that isn’t built around the idea that we two will be ‘it’ for each other. Instead we will be ‘it’ to ourselves first. We’ll both be clear on the idea that truth and transparency are key. We’ll respect each other’s needs beyond the space we share. We’ll lean into each other and know that we have each other’s backs, and when we need to lean away from each other, we’ll feel safety in that too. Hopefully we’ll have some spectacular adventures together (both sexually and non-sexually) and build family and an amazing circle of friends. I want to throw great parties with my consort some day.
I don’t have many free days left in the week when I’m not mothering my kids. This tiny window doesn’t afford much time for the harem that some people might imagine. There are moments where it’s difficult to say no to some of the offers on the table, but I have to remember what really fills me. I suppose at this point, I’m dating and exploring my options.
I’m listening to my gut and my heart and actively trying to redefine myself as a mother first, a storyteller second and a lover third. After decades of defining myself in terms of relationship, stepping into the space I deserve as an artist feels like rewiring my brain to some extent. I have to stop looking for validation in seeing a flirtatious text exchange evolve into a fruitful date, instead of in the number of words I put to paper each day. I get caught up in overthinking personal dynamics instead of losing myself in the edits that I still need to finish on my novel.
I need to be promiscuous with page counts.
One thing that has become clear is that without the ability to ask questions, talk about needs, and communicate from the heart, you’re not talking about polyamory. It’s likely just casual sex without attachment or complication. Or emotional unavailability borne of past hurt and fear. Maybe both.
Vulnerability and communication are sexy as hell to me. Another thing I have to remember is that communication isn’t always unpacking feelings and ideas in conversation. Actions, gestures, and the way someone reveals their character is a very valid form of communication.
So, sure there are plenty of polyamorous people out there juggling several lovers. It’s only one month into this exploring, but I don’t logistically see how that poly girl could be me.