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 two. I hope you enjoy it!
Question: How do you handle when jealousy or insecurity issues come up (either with yourself or your partners)?
Answer: It greatly depends on the nature of the jealousy. On some level, it is best to treat it like any other form of upset, like a bad day at work. If my partner is upset about anything, I sympathize and soothe. And then we move on in life. I expect the same treatment. If my partner is too jealous too often for my taste and this has been proven over the long run, then it is time to end the relationship. She doesn’t actually like or love the real me; she wants the idealized version of me that she expects me to be. And that man doesn’t actually exist! Only the real me exists, not the expectations of others.
Question: What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of living an ethical non-monogamous lifestyle?
Answer: Variety keeps the passion alive for each relationship. I’ve been with one of my current partners for over a year. The sex is better now than in the beginning. Few monogamous relationships can say the same. When I met her, I was involved in several other relationships at the time, including a long term and loving partnership that eventually ended.
Question: What advice do you have for anyone considering an alternative relationship?
Answer: You’ve got nothing to lose. How many of your traditional, monogamous relationships have lasted? None. If you’re considering opening your lasting monogamous relationship, you are already unhappy with the status quo and you desire change. It’s doubtful you will suddenly stop being unhappy as is. Experimentation is worth the risks, especially when the biggest risk is a life of regrets.
Question: Have you ever tried to have a relationship with a monogamous person? If so, how did that go?
Answer: Yes, several. Eventually, I feel caged. I continue having crushes. I feel powerless and at odds with my own internal forces. One emotion coerces me to cleave to my partner, while the other constantly tempts me to cheat or break up. Love vs. Freedom. And the freedom aspect is largely about seeking more love, sex, friendship, and new experiences.
Question: When you have issues or problems with your lifestyle, where do you normally turn for answers, or what has helped you get past it?
Answer: Input from both men and women is crucial. I have a handful of close friends who have extensive experience and have observed many other alt relationships. I also have 2 lifelong best friends that have zero experience in this area in their own lives, but they know me extremely well. They know and understand the old me of 10 years ago and the current me of today.
Question: Do you find much discrimination in your community or among your friend set regarding your lifestyle?
Answer: Not really. There’s much better reasons to discriminate against me! Sometimes I see some slut-shaming and player-hating. This is typically from a crowd who finds casual dating among single people to be disgusting. They condemn any form of sex outside of a relationship as gross. That’s rather boring and conservative to me.
I also get asked this question a lot by people who don’t understand: Why don’t you just stay single? And the answer is that I’m not single. I’m involved and my involvements are relationships. One time, a friend half-jokingly said: Why can’t you just cheat on each other like normal people?!?
Question: How has being in a poly relationship improved your communication skills?
Answer: It hasn’t. My communication skills would have grown with age anyway. What it has improved is valuing and knowing my wants and desires. I value my needs as a person. I know what is best for me and I get to explore what I think I know. When a relationship is not what is best for me, it is time to change an agreement within that relationship or end it.
Question: Is there any other thoughts that you would like to share that I did not ask?
Answer: I love the interaction that I get with multiple people in my life. No one wants just one best friend and no other friends. I prefer the conversation and exploration that comes from different people. I love how my multiple partners influence and change me over time. I learn about new subcultures and venues and new tastes in music and art and fashion. My experiences away from a partner enrich my relationship with that partner. If I spent 7 days in a row with someone, what would we talk about? If we spend half those days apart, there is so much that has occurred, so many new ideas, so much to catch up on. We never run out of things to say.
Being poly also allows me to begin a new relationship without ending an older one. Many people break up simply because they have an undeniable crush on someone new. The new crush has nothing to do with the other relationship. It lives in its own bubble. My desire for others does not diminish my desire for any current partners. In fact, it usually makes it increase. Nothing makes me feel so loved and accepted as the encouragement to explore the potential of an additional relationship.
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!)