Awkward Poly Moments

After my last post, I thought perhaps the blog could use a little levity. So! Awkward Poly Moments! Warning that this may be TMI for sex, though it is funny in retrospect.

I have a tendency to lose my clothing in my apartment–if I’m feeling warm, if I’ve just had sexy times, if I’m asleep, if I’m not feeling well, whatever. We joke I’m a partial nudist. It’s not unusual (when it’s just the polycule) for me to be in nothing but underwear, or just a T-shirt and panties and socks.

Several months ago, our apartments had some electrical updates done to bring them up to code. The electricians (many many of them) came in and did lots and lots of work–our apartment was the last one of the day, and they were here for a long time, and then finally they were done.

It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized our lovely Nib calendar was up with the illustration by Erika Moen re: men in lingerie enjoying themselves, prominently displayed on our wall.

That wasn’t the awkward part.

The awkward part happened a few months¬†later, when the electrician came back–unannounced–with the fire chief. Apparently after all that time, the fire chief had to inspect each apartment to insure that everything was up to code.

Now, I’d had some pretty spectacular sexy times that involved toys. Eren and Zyn were home. My toys were out. I was asleep post-fun on the couch, mostly naked. (I have a tendency to fall asleep post-sex.)

Eren thoughtfully covered me…but not the toys.

One of them let the fire chief and electrician–who were by then charging up the stairs–into the apartment.

My eyes opened to two strange men stretching over me to reach an outlet near the couch. I quickly closed them, pretending not to notice.

I heard, “Is she sick?”

Eren and Zyn hemmed and hawed a little.

I mean, it had to look strange–sex toys and two clothed people and a presumably-naked woman on a couch? (And if they’d looked, another partner in a Skype call on my computer.)

I kept my eyes shut.

I heard Eren pick up my toys after the chief and electrician left the room briefly, and I muttered, “Now you think of that!!”

She whispered, “Sorry!!” and shuffled them out of sight.

The chief and electrician came back, finished their work, and left without saying anything about me, my partners, or the toys.

Lessons I should’ve learned: don’t fall asleep without putting toys away; don’t trust Eren and Zyn not to let people in when I’m naked on the couch.

I’ve learned at least one of those.

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How I came to polyamory

I came to polyamory more slowly than I probably should have.

In undergrad, I took a Philosophy of Love course with my eventual spouse. Even before that course, I’d rejected the idea that there was only one true soul mate for each of us–because the world is large, because time is infinite (what if my true soul mate had been born in the 1500s? how screwed [or not] would I be?! and what about that poor sod?!), because there are so many ways to be happy with so many people…–and she had, too, for about the same reasons.

During the course, we talked, off and on, about what it would mean if she and I were to commit to one another forever, and whether we thought we’d always be monogamous and monamorous. We both agreed that we thought the idea unlikely, because neither of us could imagine one person fulfilling all our needs forever–because we would grow, because our selves would change, because of all those wonderful people out there.

Neither of us had ever heard of polyamory nor been really introduced to the concept of open marriages.

We got engaged anyway, happy that we were in agreement here and knowing that we’d always talk about these things whether such ever manifested in our lives.

Shortly after our engagement (or perhaps shortly before–I don’t remember the exact sequence), the chaplain fellow at my school took myself and another Theology-major classmate on a trip to visit the seminary from which she’d graduated. On the way there, she asked us very casually what we thought of ‘polyamory.’

I’d never heard the term, and I doubt my classmate had, either. I don’t remember what my classmate said in response. I remember thinking, Poly – many, amory – love, so that must mean many loves…. And then I said something like, “Well…it would take some pretty special people to be able to work out the jealousy factor, but I don’t see anything wrong with the idea.”

I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went. In hindsight, I can see how I should have put together the word ‘polyamory’ with the concept my now-spouse and I had been discussing. I didn’t. Not for a couple of years anyway.

It wasn’t until after my spouse and I married (which was a full year after graduation, and that conversation had occurred during the January of my junior year) that I began to put that word together with our concept. And that happened because I met someone.

I wasn’t actively looking, and neither was my spouse. We were very happy with one another. But I did meet someone, and we talked and talked. He was funny and smart and kinky. I was in the beginning stages of exploring kink (and still am in a lot of ways, because I’m always exploring). And eventually, feelings developed.

So I talked about it with my spouse, and things developed, and though the relationship didn’t last long, it was fun and good.

There were a few more short-term partners and potential partners before I settled into another relationship. Around the same time, my spouse had also met someone. Both relationships lasted for a while–mine for three years, hers on and off for two–before we each found ourselves with only one another again.

There’s been a lot of ironing out of things for us–jealousy, rules, negotiations. At first, there were rules about talking about all partners, to help mitigate jealousy. But after a while we found less jealousy happening and more happiness for one another’s happiness (later we would learn the term ‘compersion’). We started out discussing every online flirtation, every online sexual encounter. Now we discuss those that seem more lasting, more likely to leave some sort of deep imprint, more likely to become real life sexual encounters.

Now, she has a long-distance long-term partner, and flirtations with others. Now, my long-term boyfriend/partner (who started out long-distance) lives with us, and I have another long-term, long-distance lover and a long-term, long-distance Dom. There have been some wrinkles to iron out with each of these–her partner wanting to tell me how to deal with my spouse’s depression issues, my boyfriend wanting me to commit to one penis policy, my lover and my Dom conflicting with one another in the beginning. But there have been so many more joys–my Dom guiding my explorations of Domminess with my lover; my lover and my spouse and my boyfriend and I gaming together; my spouse’s partner (my metamour–a new term I picked up recently) sending my spouse a gift card to buy feminine shoes to help with her transition and recommending excellent Indian recipes; my spouse and lover getting along so well that there’s at least slight attraction between them; my spouse and my boyfriend both kissing me at the same time on New Year’s.

I am so glad we listened to ourselves and explored together.

Previously posted on my FetLife profile.