Comparing Polyamory to Veganism?!?!

Now this is a topic that I find both hilarious and surprisingly widespread.  There is a huge misconception that people who practice polyamory are on a quest to convert you, just as vegans are, to our or their way of thinking respectively.  There is in fact a social justice warrior type movement, especially on the internet that perpetuates this sort of stigma.  In fact, almost every single polyamorous forum or network that I have seen, or been a part of, always seems to digress into this strange dynamic of hierarchy and control.  A strange belief that always seems contrary to the multiple love and acceptance mantra that I personally associate with poly people, and myself.  The bottom line, polyamorists are trying to expose you to their superior, and ultimately more natural and free way of life because they want to fuck you or share with you what enlightenment that they have found in multiple loves.

So, here’s the thing, on the internet, yes, YES this is a thing.  In every forum, the squeaky wheel or the troll makes the loudest fuss and always seems to illicit the most attention.  The resulting perception is that, yes in fact, we want you to join us because we have done all this research and believe that our way of defining relationships is more in tune with nature and ultimately better.  There is no denying that in the beautiful world of social media, this statement holds true.  Bring on any debate or conversation and someone, somewhere will pipe up, and try to bring you over to the glittery side of our relationship spectrum.  The one free from monogamy and the pair bonding that binds you and closes you off to amazing new experiences.  Yes, that is the internet in a nutshell, but thankfully, the real world is much different.

I have many friends with whom I have discovered over the years, have dipped a toe into the swinging world, open relationships, polyamory and everything in between.  They are normal, regular people that I am happy to call my friends.  And the coolest thing is, if it were not for my blog, I would never have found out about their lifestyles.  Why is that?  Because in the real world, we do not just go out there to convert our friends, co workers or every awesome person we meet on the street.  It just isn’t a thing.  Non-monogamy takes a lot of work, amazing communication and a real understanding of who you are and what you want.  This journey, as most can attest, began with a lot of soul searching, research and an intrinsic understanding of your core beliefs.  It is not something that happens over night.  It is rare that a random threesome or orgie (as part of someone’s bucket list for example) will turn into a relationship perception switch.

I truly believe that some people are far better suited for monogamy than others.  And the variety of those relationship norms makes this journey incredibly diverse and interesting.  There is no right way of living.  Some people are vegan due to physical dietary restrictions and have absolutely no choice but to eat things that their body can handle.  And some vegans are on the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to convert everyone to save the animals and do no harm.  They have a mission.  A mandate and an intrinsic belief that they must save humanity, by saving the animals.  Ok, in polyamory, there just simply isn’t just cause for everyone to start falling in love with everyone else.  It just wouldn’t be practical or realistic.  Group love, on an international scale actually seems quite silly, to me anyways.  And perhaps there are in fact radical poly folks who believe their sole purpose in life is to unite the world in loving harmony.  And well, there are radicals in every mindset.  People who take a good idea and push it to the often laughable extremes.  Myself, I just don’t buy into that.  I don’t want my community saturated with people who were just converted for the sake of getting more sex.  It would absolutely spoil my experience.  But hey, that’s just my two cents on the laughable twitter conversation that has a ridiculous number of people coming forward stating just how similar these two groups of people are.  I honestly do not think any of them have met a polyamourous person in the flesh!

 

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How Long Have I Been Non-Monogamous?


One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?”  And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”.  You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time.  And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream.  But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real.  That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world.  Thus, began my blogging adventure.

If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality.  I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality.  My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance.  As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra.  And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous.  Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not.

Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew.  I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me.  I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible.  I’m not proud of this.  But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there.  I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault.  I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out.  I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.

I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon.  It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing).  I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards.  They will do it again, and again.  For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon.  They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice.  It does not make you good, bad or anything in between.  It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you.  Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges.  Or you can take a path that I chose.  One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation.  There is no judgement from me either way.  The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you.

There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that.  But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was.  And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways.  For example FWB’s, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.

Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out.  I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug.  Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy.  These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up.  We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.

 

Where Do All the Pretty People Play?

We should all know by now that sex in real life is nothing like you see in porn.  There is no soft lighting making us all look like models, it can be sweaty, and the sounds and sights are never what you just watched on the web.  And unfortunately for me, the same can be said for the sex positive poly community.  There are idealized visions of meeting like minded individuals that look and think in a similar way to you.  And well, that bubble was burst when we met a whole group face to face.  How do I put this delicately?  Well, there isn’t a way, other than to say, in a group of 30 or so people, E and I became 10’s.  In every single way!  Optimum age, superstar bodies, visual appearances and attitude simply because our surroundings left much to be desired.  We become that couple that everyone in the room wants to be with, and it is weird. 

On the one hand this situation has its fleeting moment of flattery.  I imagine similar to walking the red carpet, but where everyone wants and tries to grab your ass.  On the other though, we really want to find people closer to us.  We want to walk away full of energy, phone numbers and exciting stories when we get home.  So far, this has not been the case.  So I wonder, where do all the pretty people play?  The people who are physically fit, and want to put their best foot forward for both themselves and their partners?  We do not demand perfection, but we do appreciate looking outwards and seeing something other than obesity, insecurity and wrinkles.

When we went to the LA area swing club, confidence is on the top tier when you look out upon the sea of people.  Many of course, have the take me or leave me type of body and dress code.  But there are a few who take excellent care of themselves, and it shows.  In Calgary, so far, that has not been the case.  Pretty, to me is more than skin deep.  It is an outlook, and a way of caring about yourself, both emotionally and physically. 

We went to a poly meet and greet a few weeks back here in the city, and we both left the night a little depressed that that was the poly representation.  We have that slimy, over confident guy, who showed us a very nondescript picture of his stripper girlfriend who at the last minute couldn’t make it out.  To the woman, who was obviously dragged there by her husband and was terrified of being left alone.  And to the loud and heavy couples who were the majority, and just seemed to me like horny, hungry, hippos.  The women who showed up wearing sweat pants was an interesting touch.  Or the people trying hard to create safe cuddle spaces, and 4 person share your dream events, as an ongoing Saturday evening experience.  I am independent and confident and have no interest in paying money to cuddle on the floor with strangers for validation.  To each their own of course, but I want what I want.  And this type of interaction is just not it.

I want to go and interact with pretty people.  With educated and adventurous type couples who have stories to share, and an understanding and appreciation of their bodies and their health.  I want to meet someone, who is a spark and not just a little flicker.  For now, it seems, E and I will have to continue to travel to find our little adventures, because neither of us have found yet where our kind play locally.

Swinging, Polyamory, and Open Relationships: Approaching Fellow Individuals in Non Monogamy

When online dating, I have to filter through all sorts of people.  Although there are many who are just  blatantly disrespectful and rude, I find that the people in the “lifestyle” can be the most judgmental.  I cringe when I see an opening message, that starts with, “hey, I’m in the lifestyle too.  How long have you been swinging for?”  Why does something like this make me unhappy?  Because, I then foolishly feel compelled to engage into an annoying and usually pointless discussion whereby I explain that open relationships, swinging and polyamory are not all the same thing.  I mean, if they were, we wouldn’t need different names for them right?  And yet this is a seriously difficult concept for many people in the lifestyle to grasp.

 

It seems that they are so excited to find someone in a non monogamous lifestyle, and then ironically revert to this monogamous notion that all people in this spectrum are looking for the same thing.  A profile stating multiple anything, like partners or sex or love and those blinders go on.  They forget that even within this spectrum we are all individuals.  We all have our own relationship norms.  And the label I choose to use, currently open, is my choice.  It is not for a stranger to tell me what my partner and I are, or are not.  And what’s more, we are growing and changing ourselves.  So perhaps the titles and labels we started out using may outgrow us.  Again though, this is our choice, and I will update my profiles accordingly when I am ready or feel the need.  Not at the whim or at the unsolicited advice of a stranger.

 

Maybe you are wondering, just how bad or annoying could these conversations really be, right?  Am I just making mountains out of mole hills and the like?  Well, let me put it this way, I almost rarely block or delete users who are monogamous.  But I have about a 50 percent rate of blocking the so called non monogamous.  The messages start accusatory, then quickly escalate into un-solicited sexual advances, towards name calling and slander because I am not interested in them.  There is often very little flirting, just a full on attitude of “well you’re a slut and I’m a slut, so lets go fuck”.  Conversations are at a minimum, and it feels like the non monogamous on dating sites are in a breeding Zoo.  Just because you are of a similar stripe then you must procreate on demand.  It’s a harsh reality of the current scene and as a result I have taken a huge step back in looking for new partners.

 

 

NoMoreWetSpot.com

It would be easier of course for me to just block these users, however I cannot help trying to re-educate them.  I want to explain that we are not all created equal.  And that within this spectrum of non-monogamy there exists an abundance of different scenarios and relationship types.  That non-monogamy  does not always equal slut.  In fact, I often feel that I am more selective now because I take into account not just my wants, but those of my partner.  I no longer wish to explain myself to people who fall within the non monogamous umbrella and pass judgement, but I know that I will probably continue on doing so.  And I feel somewhat responsible for protecting other females from the same crap I deal with.

 

There is one other thing stands out for me as confusing when faced with critical non-monogamists online and that is in the reverting back to the black and white mentality.  My reasoning behind this is that polyamory is not a definition that exists naturally in our society.  It is one, along with compersion, that exists within a world found through research, nearly exclusively.  Quite often, an individual or couple begins trying to find ways to help them deal with urges that seem unnatural from a monogamous founded society.  We seek blogs, podcasts, and every book we can to help us understand that these dispositions are not merely urges to cheat.  We then educate ourselves to discover that the possibility does exists to have a loving relationship outside of monogamy.  So it doesn’t sit well with me, that persons who seek education into non-monogamy would therefore bring with them the bigotry of their former selves.  Or to go right back into a cookie cutter mold of one size must fit all, after spending the energy to gain insight into all these other lifestyles.  Or did I just stumble right upon the very issue of internet research.  Are these individuals researching until they find something that hits home and stopping right there?  Do they find a meme, or blog that strikes one chord and then closing their minds to any further digging due to sheer laziness?

 

 
In summary, my PSA is this, if you’re out there, exploring new partners and ways of existing in non monogamy, please stop trying to apply your labels onto strangers.  Break free of the black and white, because this world has a spectrum of colour as vast as in the world of monogamy.  Leave judgement where it belongs, in the past.

Behind the scenes photo’s of this post are now up in my private gallery!

Unhappiness in the Wake of Closure with our First Couple

For being such a personal blog I do keep anger at the minimum because often I sort out my anger and move on.  Rarely does it linger anymore.  I worked very hard on that, and with a very supportive man by my side I can see a real difference even within the last few years.  However, I find part me still feels some anger and resentment even with a few months of space.  I am not happy the way things worked out.  I am not pleased that I watched my partner put in so much effort while I felt like a cheerleader, rather than part of the main event.  I felt as if I was merely a bonus to one party at the expense of another’s efforts.  And these are not words that I like to have in writing.  I don’t want my anger to stick with me, to be thrown in my face at a later time, or worse published.  So I remain soft spoken and balanced with reflection in my tone. This post though, will go against that grain.

There is no resolution.  I made a decision as a result of being unhappy and feeling like I was a prize to be won in a game of chance rather than someone who was 3 dimensional and worthy of getting to know as a whole person.  There was no earning of trust, or developing bonds, likes and dislikes.  It was in fact purely sustaining the status quo, so that sex would result in a one on one intimate level.  I felt cheapened by the experience.  I hear often enough within the online community how much of a slut I am for seeking intimacy with more than one partner.  I have grown a thick shell as a result of these strangers passing judgement and hatred.  However to feel like an object or a prize by someone that I was trying to develop more with, really stung.  I truly felt that he was just going with the flow to please his partner and was putting in the requested level of effort only.  And I am angry.

To clarify, we were dating a couple for a few months.  I ended things with the man because I was unhappy.  I do not feel like swinging is a lifestyle that I connect with.  I want more than that.  I want a friend and someone that I can occasionally sleep with.  Have threesomes and foursomes with, but with friendship in place too.  I want to hang out with both parties in the couple and explore some sexual wants that I have while supported and adventuring with my partner.  In our first couple adventure this just did not happen.

One of the first mistakes I made in this was to allow the couple to know I had a blog.  I feel this may have hindered the getting to know each other phase.  It was remarked to me, that the man of the couple felt he already knew me as a result of my writing.  And unsurprisingly he had actually no idea who I was as a result.  This blog isn’t about developing me as a person.  It is sharing events and feelings that I feel are interesting.  It is showing a perspective in dating that I feel is unique.  It is not a diary.  These are not my memoirs.

To counteract this mistake, perhaps if I had written full posts, instead of ideas here and there while dating this couple, things might have ended differently.  I might have come to terms with my own desires earlier.  I might have found a way to get something specific out of the sinking ship rather than just walking away.  Instead I decided early on to just go day by day and try and make the most of things without putting too much effort.  I allowed myself to experience rather than lead.  I made a few requests at the beginning, they were all satisfied and then I stopped asking for things.  

I then stopped picking a direction.  This was my second mistake.  I did not take advantage of any situations right in front of me.  Instead I watched, waited, and just assumed that all parties were as invested as my partner and I.  It turns out I was wrong.  The story will come out, with more details and fun little intrigues along the way.  For now though, the first foray that I had dating a couple with my amazing partner is in its conclusion.  We experienced so much in just a few short months.   The posts will not be about amazing sexual escapades, and orgies, rather the experiences and troubleshooting that comes about when two people are brought into your inner circle.  But for now, I am feeling a little empty, solidified by the fact that when I ended things with the man, we are left with absolutely nothing to talk or text about.  We barely got to know each other.  And it is a mistake I will not let get so far in the future.