Poly :- what is commonly referred to as ‘poly’ is a blanket term to cover one or more of ‘pansexuality’, ‘polygamy’ or ‘polyamory’.
Polygamy :- is the state of being married to more than one person.
Polyamory :- is to have multiple loving, caring (possibly sexual) relationships.
Pansexuality :- I will cover Pansexuality in the first topic on this page.
Consensual Sex :- is sex where both parties are mature enough to understand the nature & potential complexity of sexual interaction; and all involved parties have consented.
Pansexuality is a state of not having one’s sexuality limited or defined by the culture in which you live. Social customs and tradition are not taken into account. Instead, limits come from more natural, maturely instinctive, philosophical and moral trains of thought.
The most important moral constraint is that of Consent, in that the sexual partner must be willing and also must understand the nature of sexual interactions.
Pansexuality could be used to include every kind of sexual act… but as all acts are potentially sexual to some people I don’t find this useful.
Words are useful in that they help to describe things/feelings. I sometimes get frustrated by words for that very reason. You look up something in the dictionary and there are all these words to describe that one word. Gah! Whatever. This is seemingly contradictory because I am a writer 🙂 Though I am primarily interested in expression, communication, connection. Words are useful (ha ha) as far as that goes. Stating the obvious. (I am cracking myself up)
So..it’s relationship time. Specifically, it’s time for me to be with a lover. A lover in every sense of the word. So..that’s what’s been on my mind as of late. I was talking with a friend about a month ago and poly relationships came up. I’ve said I was poly for years. My definition had been: limitless love not limitless partners. If asked, that’s what I’d say. Up until the conversation with my friend I hadn’t ever talked about it in depth with another person. I think when I found the word years ago there wasn’t a lot up about it on the net and it seemed to be about sex. Lots of sex with different people. So I came up with a way to describe it in a way that was specific to me. Talking with my friend helped me tremendously. Life-changing really. I know that I am poly but I seem to meet and get involved with people who are not. That’s because most EVERYONE isn’t. And I don’t meet people I “like” like often. So when I do, it’s like I compromise myself right at the gate. When I was younger I tried (ha ha) to be monogamous. Emotionally though, it just never ever was possible. And in the context of the relationships I was in, this was not cool. I felt guilty. Just really bad. And I didn’t know how to explain myself. Now I know that being poly is an intrinsic part of my nature. It’s for me like wearing a favorite pair of old jeans, or my sandals and shorts. And monogamy is like wearing dress up clothes, or someone’s else’s clothes that are too tight or too big.
My poly self was married at 18. I never cheated physically. No sex with anyone else or kissing. I asked her was kissing cheating like a month into the marriage. (doh!) During the course of our marriage I fell in love with two people and had an interest in another. The first person (!) I felt love for, my wife didn’t want me to talk to her or have anything to do with her at all. I could not let (!) slip from my life so I broke up with my wife so I could get to know (!). (!) wanted to be friends only so I asked my wife to take me back and she did. (!) and I are friends now (13 years+…) so it was a good move on my part. It was not good for my marriage. The second person I felt love for, well, that ended the sexual part of my marriage. I was just so so so in love. I loved my wife too. I told my wife it wasn’t about a lack of love for her. She didn’t feel loved. And I felt bad because of that. Our marriage vows didn’t mention sex. Everything we promised each other was still true and in place, so our marriage continued for four more years. Dissolving funny enough because I could not deal with her secret affair with a married man. And also the fact that it had been going on for months. It went against my code (though at that time I hadn’t consciously defined it) and I couldn’t be linked with her in that way anymore.
In the recent past when discussing this I woulds say: “Yes. I believe people can be in love with two people at the same time. I was. I have been. I just wasn’t good at it.” Here I am now armed with words to describe myself, my beliefs, my essential needs. I feel being poly is a part of one’s make up. I don’t think people can be converted to being poly. People who are in a relationship need to decide for themselves whether sexual exclusivity or non exclusivity is functional or dysfunctional for their relationship. I believe that every relationship between any two people is entirely unique unto itself due to the fact that the individuals in the relationship are unique. The benefit of knowing this is that I value people more. I will never have with anyone else what I have with you. This is ours. This is why when people are so messed up after breakups and fall outs with others..well, it’s with good reason. It really is a loss. A terrible loss. Another beneficial element is that when something stupid is going on with someone or something super hurtful has happened I can tell myself: “We’ll at least that’ll never happen again.” Not in that way. If similar stuff/issues come up I know it’s time to check myself. “What’s really going on here?” The beauty (another upside) is that I learn through my relationships with others. Relationship defined as anyone I am relating to. Stranger, friend, family, co-worker ect. It’s a me-them-us-me-them-us-me and so on. Sometimes, I am not able to see something/accept something about myself until I see it in someone else. Sometimes, compassion, love, happiness, for another helps me to feel those things for myself and others. I store and play a lot of my interactions with people back at a later time. It’s fascinating.
So..back to relationship time..
The essential ingredients
Honest open communication. Honesty with self helps one to be honest with others. Willingness to communicate and building on those communication skills.
Humor. It’s work and it’s fun.
And none of us is perfect.
I was talking with someone last week about this and she laughed and said remember, we be mere mortals, and I laughed and was like yeh. What I didn’t say to her that I’ll say now, is that knowing the immortality of the soul, I aim high(er).