Cheers Sexy People,
I am sometimes asked by friends in real life or cyber acquaintances: How does your open marriage work? Or recently, my good friend (who knows about my polyamorous household / situation) asked: So how does Valentine’s Day work in your world? Will we see a “VD” special (post) marking the occasion?
Sure, why not? So here’s your special VD Blog Post (play on acronyms intended just for fun, not because I have VD. haha)
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic, so I loooovvveee Valentine’s Day. Hallmark sees me coming a mile away. I tend to always buy two Hallmark cards each for my loves: one funny or sexy, one serious. And I guess for as whacky and “alternative” as my life seems to many, I can be fairly traditional when it comes to some things. Each of my two men (my husband and my live-in boyfriend) got a small bouquet of their favorite flowers (white roses and orchids respectively). I would recommend that if you don’t know your sweetie(s) favorite flower, it might be nice for future reference to find out. They also each got some heart-shaped boxes of chocolates appropriate to each of their favorite sweet tooth cravings and personality types in regards to the decor of the box (more on the traditional side for my husband, more on the whack-a-do, fanciful side for my beau). They also each got a larger gift suited for each of their tastes and personalities (a custom made decorative sign for our awesome home for my husband, and tix to the theatre for my beau). I’m a pretty “rad” wife / girlfriend if I do say so myself. 🙂
How we celebrated? My boyfriend and I both happened to have off from work on Friday, Valentine’s Day. So we celebrated the day together doing some of our favorite things: we ate a yummy breakfast together, worked out at our gym by an ice rink (but never made it ice skating the way we had originally planned), had a yummy French lunch together, then he made me a scrumptious dinner of some of my favorite things, which in this case involved killing three lobsters in our kitchen. Nothing says “I love you” like killing crustaceans while your sweetie videotapes it. Then we giggled and wrestled and got jiggy with it. The next day (Saturday), I celebrated with my husband by going skiing at a nearby resort for six hours or so after another yummy breakfast. Then we enjoyed our hot tub with some vino, followed by going out for a fantastic, romantic dinner at my favorite nearby fondue restaurant. Afterward we got cozy at home together, just the two of us. Interestingly, Sunday nite, my husband went out on a date, while I chilled at home with my beau, watching the Olympics and practicing pole dancing with one of my pole sisters.
How odd does this seem to you? It seems pretty normal to me, but I am told I am leading an alternative lifestyle that most don’t understand. As my colleagues and friends posted pics on Facebook of flowers sent to them at the office by the “most awesome husband ever”, we were posting videos of lobster heads getting crushed for my pleasure (hey, it’s food and we read that’s the humane way to do it). I was reluctant to post much about Valentine’s Day on my FB page, partly because if I posted about both of my sweeties to the world at large, the ones who don’t know I am polyamorous will wonder what the heck is going on. (Is she a swinger? Is she cheating? Why is that guy whose not her husband in so many pics and acting like he’s her boyfriend? What’s WRONG with her?). Then if I posted about only one of my loves, meaning my husband, I felt bad for leaving the other (my beau) out of the celebratory and loving notes I would be posting on Facebook. In some ways, it made me a little melancholy that I felt I had to censor myself and my love for these two men to the world at large. Then, I chuckled to myself that I was letting a silly thing like Facebook squash some of my glee and giddiness I was feeling. Why am I giving Facebook this power over me? That’s just silly. Stooopid Facebook.
So overall, I had a fantastic Valentine’s weekend. But I had moments of feeling “censored.” And that just feels poopy. I felt censored partly because I censored myself, so that I didn’t have to feel “judged” or have assumptions made about me without my constant explanations to try to dispel poor assumptions. Ironic, that. It can feel isolating sometimes – alone partly by choice, and partly not.
If you remember, I recently went on a couple dates with a new guy several months ago. We seemed to really hit it off, and had been getting to know each other as friends over about four plus months. Great conversation. Common interests. Similar sense of humor. Lives closeby. I thought: Wow, maybe I made a new, open-minded friend at the very least! That’s fun and rewarding! And if it turns out to be more, AWESOME! Then eventually he texted that “it was one thing to read about poly relationships, but it’s another to experience it firsthand…” At that point, he had already met my husband — just a quick meeting and a brief handshake. And I was considering having him meet my boyfriend eventually. Then he slowly got more and more distant over the following weeks, and eventually stopped all communication with me several weeks ago… So, first off, that’s fucking rude. Secondly, that’s very immature. Thirdly, WTF and whatevs simultaneously. I didn’t NEED that relationship in my life. I was working at MAKING ROOM for it. Polyamory is partly all about time management after all (as well as the honest and ethical parts).
I recently read this article that I found very interesting:
10 Questions People Ask About My Open Marriage
In it, it talks about many things, but one of them is that it takes courage to live an ethically, non-monogamous life. Why? The article states:
Because it’s stigmatized. It freaks people out, this idea that you can be in a relationship yet share the fun. Amy C. Moors, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, has published several studies on non-monogamous arrangements. One found that people view monogamous relationships more positively than non-monogamy in 21 different ways.
It goes on to say:
… unfaithful spouses vastly outnumber more ethical philanderers. Other recent research shows that younger people are the least jazzed about the prospect of having one partner for the rest of their lives. I mean, really—what kind of a narcissist looks in the mirror and thinks that someone would be psyched to “hit this” until his or her dying day?
When you’re looking down the barrel of the same piece night after night, that’s going to feel like a very long time indeed. “Thinking relationships are the way of the future,” says Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage. “No more of this, ‘Heterosexual, monogamous marriage is just what you do so I guess I’ll do it too’ nonsense. It’s about living your personal truth—even if that has never been modeled in a blockbuster rom-com or a Disney tearjerker.”
I guess that there are two main types of consensual non-monogamy. There’s swinging, which is sex-focused, and polyamory, which literally means “many loves.”
So, did my date think that ole “well, since she’s polyamorous, that must mean she fucks around” so that he could score some easy, casual sex with an interesting, older woman? Maybe he wasn’t expecting all this “work” about being ethical, meeting my loves, me taking my time to get to know him before I ever “got jiggy with it” with him. Wow, this is hard work! You bet your sweet pah-tootie it is! But it’s good, valid work. You don’t get to have a healthy, happy, open marriage of eight years, while simultaneously having a fantastic and evolving relationship with my live-in boyfriend for 3.5 years without hard work, introspection, lots of compassion and communication, communication, communication. But it is all worth it to me. Sometimes patience is a wonderful skill to have. It can help “sift” through the riff raff of people that perhaps should not be in your life. It can also help create fantastic relationships worth having.
How about you, my fine friends? I hope this past weekend, you found some laughter, some good times, some hugs, some kisses (whether chocolate or otherwise) and maybe even a Valentine’s card or two.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)