Cheers Sexy People!
How do we stay true to ourselves while staying true to our loved ones? How HONEST about who we are do we want to be, even to ourselves? When do we start to build resentment for hiding our true nature, stuffing our feelings down or denying ourselves pleasure? How often do we deny ourselves in order to please other people?
Thanks to Facebook, this blog and other social media, I’ve been talking to alot of people lately about many topics. Some themes that keep coming up over and over are:
– I think I’m polyamorous but I don’t think my lovers, friends and/or family will accept me that way…
– I’m going through a divorce. I was cheating on my spouse to get my sexual needs met elsewhere, and it all fell apart…
– I love two people, but I don’t think either of them will share me. I’m wondering if I should remain silent with this anxiety / stress or tell them and risk losing both…
These are tough questions. Polyamory not being readily accepted in mainstream society does not make it any easier, that is for sure. It takes a brave person to first look in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions to determine what will make you happy, fulfilled and content. Then have the guts to tell your loved ones something that you are not sure they are ready to hear and possibly suffer the consequences. And then later, to shout out about your (maybe) unusual preferences to first your friends and family, and then the world at large.
Wow, that’s alot! Are you up for it?
I wasn’t sure I was. But I will admit it was an easier road for me as my husband and I were doing it simultaneously together with each other’s consent in the first place. So the first two obstacles kind of took care of themselves. And it was / is still challenging, gut wrenching some days and definitely not for the faint of heart. But in the end, I am so glad that we took this path and I love my life exactly where we are right now. The effort was worth it. Being true to myself, taking care of my needs first, then being there for my loved ones and opening my heart to having even more loved ones, being able to honor them as much as I can in my day to day life… that’s priceless. And I believe that the more “out” I am, the more I pave the way for open-minded thinking and acceptance from others. If I can open ONE mind, if I can have someone ask themselves a question about their current beliefs, or if I can show someone that there’s another way – that they have more options available to them… well that’s karmic gold right there!
So I thought I would take a moment to answer here some of my readers’ questions so that all can benefit from it. Please feel free to inquire more with your burning questions, either in the comments below, or directly with my contact page. 🙂 No, really, ask away!
Q: How do your parents take to your polyamory lifestyle… because I find the biggest obstacle I ever face is worries about what my Mom or my Dad would think if I ever told them I don’t feel like I could love just one man…?
A: Sadly, my parents are both deceased. My father passed away before I even knew what the word polyamory was. My mother did meet my boyfriend one time before she passed away, but that was before we were officially working on being “out.” And also, her being in her 80s and not of complete sound mind at that age, I didn’t really see the point in telling her anyway. My husband did tell his mother and she has been wonderful about it and quite accepting (as was my sister whom we told early on). My mother-in-law did have some unconventional things in her past too though, so that made it easier. After consulting with his mom, my husband did decide to NOT tell his father or his very traditional-minded brother as he did not think they would understand, be supportive, and we just don’t see them hardly at all in our everyday lives to make it become a problem in us being authentic on a day-to-day basis. My boyfriend hardly sees his parents in person, and his other family members are out-of-state as well and quite conservative. He has made a conscious decision to let them know that my husband and I are his best friends. But that’s it. If they guess further than that, well then they do.
Q: Could you talk about how you generally deal with ones who just can’t understand and turn away from you because of it?
A: The decision to “come out” is a very personal one, and no one can tell you what to do here. It has to be right for you and your situation. Generally speaking, I have not yet had anyone completely turn away from me because of it. But I have been treated differently by people because of it (“hey, will you have sex with me too?” or “are you going to become a stripper now?” or just avoiding me more or not inviting me to events, as examples). I just take life day by day and do my best to help people understand by answering questions, being friendly and be my “regular self.” I do this all while showing them that we lead a relatively normal life, just simply with more lovers / partners than the average person.
I find that there are always surprises (such as questions that can take you off guard, or that seem intrusive or rude) that you cannot foresee. And there’s nothing that you can do about that in advance except be light on your feet, try not to get defensive or emotional, remain as calm as you can, and try to remember that we are living in a monogamous world. WE (the polyamorous / ethical non-monogamous) are the weird ones. But that doesn’t mean that we should not be accepted both by our family and friends and by the world at large. I have to live here too. Tolerance is key. And tolerance grows with education, empathy, communication and patience.
The old saying “you find out who your friends are” comes into play here too. Once I made the decision about who I inherently was (polyamorous person who enjoys sex and isn’t ashamed of it), I had to stand firm on that ground and let the world move however it wanted to move. If that means that some friends move away from me, well then maybe they weren’t the accepting, close friends that I once thought they were… OR maybe they simply need some time. And I have to be OK with that… most days I am. The ones who truly love you don’t judge you. They accept you for who you are, cheer you on in your endeavors, and support your happiness! THOSE are the kind of friends that I want to surround myself with.
Also, try to remember that you don’t have to tell everyone EVERYTHING. Some people only need to know a little bit of information to feel close to you and not in the dark. Some have many questions. Be patient. Be loving. Be thoughtful while also being gentle with yourself.
Q: Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you really could go on having a relationship with two men but where you were fairly certain those men would NOT be willing to understand or go through with it? I am struggling…
A: I have never been in that specific situation, because in the past, I was trying to be a serial (albeit cheating) monogamous person, as I didn’t even know back then that polyamory was an option for me, as I was drinking the cool-aid of monogamy. It wasn’t until I met my husband that we BOTH thought… there must be another way. So we kept an open mind and we found an alternative. Have you actually TALKED to either man about possibly having an open relationship with the both of them (and perhaps no one else?). My biggest piece of advice is to maybe let go of the fear of the conversation. (Read more about Letting Go Of Attachment here). Practice what you might want to say, and then go for it. All they can say is no. (If they leave you because you merely asked a question, that tells you something and maybe you are not as compatible as you thought?) And then you have an answer and can make any decisions based on that. If you have to choose, then choose. Maybe you can still have a close emotional best friend relationship with the man you have feelings for, and can fantasize about having sex with him and that’s enough for you. Or maybe it’s not. But start with a conversation first instead of wondering, struggling, guessing… Consider putting your cards on the table.
Maybe you are stronger than you think you are. Maybe your love interests have more of an open mind than you are giving them credit for. Maybe your family and friends will love and accept you even if you are living an alternative lifestyle. Maybe your ideal life is just around the corner waiting for you to seize it, grow from it and learn from the experience.
For further reading, here’s an article about what one woman learned by living a polyamorous life. For her, she feels it made her “feel enriched, empowered, and confident” that she can tackle anything, and she feels her marriage is STRONGER because of it…
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)