This is the third in a series of interviews of everyday people who are living a poly lifestyle (either polyamorous or polysexual), from their individual perspectives. They were each given a series of questions, and asked to pick several questions that they would like to answer from their personal experience.
This third interview is of a 29-year old male friend of mine from Los Angeles, CA. He has recently begun holding poly seminar discussion groups in his area. I will be publishing this interview in two parts. This is part one. I hope you enjoy it!
Question: What lead you to ethical non-monogamy?
Answer: I’ve always had multiple crushes on girls, as far back as I can remember. When I was 18, circumstance forced me to break up with my high school girlfriend in Florida, because I was headed to college in California. I didn’t stop loving her; I simply refused to be in a long distance relationship.
As a college aged virgin, I began dating multiple other people, while still loving my ex. Eventually, I started loving someone new, while still loving the high school girlfriend. I didn’t want to commit and I wanted to continue dating other people. The entire time, my girlfriends were begging for me to give in and have sex. I refused.
I was a devout virgin for religious reasons until I was 21. My intention was to wait until marriage, pick the perfect partner to raise children together, and remain faithful to one sex partner for a lifetime. Eventually, I realized I never want to have children, I never want to get married, and that I’m a hypersexual being. After a few serious, long term, monogamous adult relationships, I fully accepted that monogamy drags me down and is not meant for me. I have to repress so much of who I am in order to conform.
Since then, I’ve been strictly non-monogamous in its many forms. I’ve been single and casually dating multiple people. I’ve been in long term serious relationships. I’ve been in fully open relationships. I’ve been in relationships that are only a little open, but not fully. Polyamorous and polysexual variations. I’ve had relationships where I only see someone a few times a year, due to circumstance or distance. Fuck buddies and friends with benefits relationships that lasted years. It can all take a variety of forms.
Question: What has been the biggest surprise to you about it?
Answer: The biggest surprise to me is that I have no trouble finding partners that are interested and willing to date a non-monogamous man. Society raises us to think that monogamy and commitment are ideal and that women will accept nothing else. It’s not true. Some of them actually prefer it! And so many more are willing to try it.
Question: What’s the most challenging thing in your relationship(s)?
Answer: I’m an incorrigible flirt, which means that there’s only a fine line between new friends and potential new lovers. Making my partners aware of all these situations can feel like a conversational burden, so I’d rather wait until something more substantial occurs before discussing it with my partners. This is challenging for me: knowing when and what should be considered substantial. Sometimes it’s sex and sometimes it’s a single email exchange or exchanging compliments at a bar.
Question: What’s the one thing that you wish you’d known before you got into it?
Answer: I wish I would have known that I could be honest and upfront about being polyamorous from the very beginning of the interaction. I used to leave it unlabeled and ambiguous until The Talk occurred, sometimes 3 months into it. Now, I bring it up very soon, usually on the first date, before the first kiss. And definitely before sex.
Question: If you care to share, can you describe some of your relationship structures? (eg. do you consider yourself polyamorous? Polysexual? Open relationships or closed?)
Answer: I am currently in a serious, open, polyamorous relationship. We both are dating and seeking new partners. I prefer it this way.
Question: Have you “come out” to your family and friends and if so, how did that go? Do you recommend it?
Answer: I don’t hide much. I have made a life wide decision to be unapologetic and open about my private behaviors. It is well documented online. I’ve chosen to hide nothing. It is not the right move for everyone. I could never work for Disney!
For others, I recommend congruency. Be comfortable with your level of public awareness. Accept who you are and the limits you are willing to accept. I accept almost no limits on my words, behavior, or public acknowledgement. I don’t need a closet, because I’d rather have my skeletons on display.
Question: If polyamorous, do you find it is more like a relationship choice, or more a statement about who you are inside? (like being gay, for example)
Answer: For me, polyamorous is a lifestyle and I identify with the word personally. It is part of my sexuality. I am exclusively poly; I’m not going to change that for anyone. It is who I am, even if I’m single. Yes, I have compared it to how others see their homosexuality. Even if you’re not currently having gay sex at this very moment, you can be gay.
Question: What one thing (or things) did you learn along your ethical non-monogamy journey that really helped you?
Answer: Teaching has helped me learn. People ask me how to do it. By telling them, I learn more every time. Even this interview is teaching me things about myself. Discussing it all solidifies and clarifies my own identity.
If you enjoyed reading the above, read and learn more at his Facebook page which acts as his personal blog at:
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)