This is the second 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 second interview is of a 22-year old female writer from the Philadelphia area. She writes about relationships, sex, mental health and feminism. Below are her questions and answers. I hope you enjoy it!
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, I’m very comfortable identifying as polyamorous (as a person, not a lifestyle). In situations where the average person would get jealous, I tend to feel compersion (happiness for my partner) or curiosity. I have lots of love to give and even when I’m in a monogamous relationship, I have to find ways to channel that energy. So it feels very natural to me. For other people, it’s a lifestyle choice. They learn how to manage jealousy in their own way, and they enjoy having multiple relationships. It varies with the person. Within my own group, you can see both of those viewpoints.
Question: How do you handle when jealousy or insecurity issues come up (either with yourself or your partners)?
Answer: There’s different types of jealousy. Most of the time when I feel jealous, it’s because I feel excluded. I cannot think of a time where sexual jealousy bothered me. Even when I was cheated on in previous relationships, I was hurt by the dishonesty and not the sexual acts. A big part of this lifestyle is being assertive with your emotions. When you feel that twinge of jealousy and it’s uncomfortable for you, you have to speak up and let your partner(s) know. When relationships are new, I’m constantly checking in with my partners. “How do you feel about so-and-so?” “Have you been feeling jealous?” — just getting into the routine of opening those conversations, especially for people who are new to the lifestyle. Also, being aware that there’s not that uncomfortable kind of competitive tension. That tends to happen when it feels like two partners are competing for the same niche or if a person is pushing themselves to be in a lifestyle that’s not a good fit for them. Yes, you can learn to manage your jealousy to a certain extent. But there’s also some situations that just aren’t going to work out for anyone.
Question: Have you ever tried to have a relationship with a monogamous person? If so, how did that go?
Answer: Of course. My first relationship was a monogamous one for two and a half years. After that I wandered into ethical non-monogamy. I haven’t been in a completely monogamous relationship since then, but I have been in some fairly closed situations. For example, several of the monogamous guys I dated would allow me to have relationships with women, but not other men. Or we would have rules about what I could do with men (nothing below the belt, only kissing, etc). For me to be happily in a relationship with a monogamous person, it really has to be someone who can meet most of my needs physically, emotionally, and intellectually. And whatever needs that person doesn’t meet, I should be able to find in close friendships. I need to have multiple, deep, intimate relationships. Whether or not those are sexual or romantic does not matter as much to me. For some people, that’s a requirement too.
If you enjoyed reading the above, read and learn more at her personal blog at:
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)