Polyamory is not poly-fuck-whoever-you-want (written end of 2017)

Most of my oldest friends, when I’ve come out to them as polyamorous, pretty immediately do the wink-wink-nudge-nudge isn’t-it-great-that-you’re-getting-a-lot-of-sex-now thing. It’s not about that. Not that sex doesn’t matter in a relationship. But I draw a distinction between polyamory, being in love with multiple people, and non-monogamy, having multiple sexual partners.

My marriage of 28 years ended this year. My ex-wife was massively insecure and believed I was having an affair with every woman I worked closely with or spent much time with. While I never had a physical affair, she was partly correct; my polyamory expressed during my marriage as intimate friendships with women, at least three of those over the course of the marriage. One I am still an intimate friend with, one the friendship has apparently ended as I am too big a threat to her own marriage now that I am ‘available’, and the third I lost touch with the woman a number of years ago.

In some ways polyamory takes the pressure off in each relationship. No one woman has to meet every emotional or physical need, and I don’t have to meet every one of their needs. We are able to relax and appreciate what we each have to give without feeling deprived that we aren’t getting everything.

That’s on a good day. On bad days I long for their presence, resent the time they are spending with their spouses or other lovers, and in general do internally all the things I have promised myself I wouldn’t do.

As I’m writing this, I’m having a bad day.

But life is amazing and weird and wondrous and most days are good. I have six women who I care deeply for, and who care for me.

If you are oriented this way (and not everyone is, for sure) then I encourage you to let yourself be who you actually are. It took me decades to have that courage. Perhaps my writing this and your reading it will bypass that much unhappiness for you.

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