I tend to avoid writing too many personal posts, but recently I’ve felt the need to have somewhere to discuss some of my more personal information in detail. Being involved in multiple relationships, I feel I have a duty to try and keep most of it privately, as a way to protect my lovers. Some times this isn’t the best option, which I’ve discovered the hard way. Being polyamory (you’ll find an excellent blog post about what is polymory by Hella here), as with every relationship, has rules. I knew at around 13 that I was poly, it wasn’t until I was 15 that I experimented with polygamous relationships. As with any relationship, I developed my own rules rapidly, as a way to help protect the people I cared about but also protect myself.
These rules are pretty basic and I’m certain many apply them to monoganous relationships too. Here’s a quick idea of some of the rules I’ve used, to make my relationships safe and successful:
* All partners must make sure they undergo regular STI tests.
* Following on from this, partners must use condoms and dams during sexual activity.
* Avoiding one night stands – not only because you may not know whether or not someone has an infection, but also it can hurt people emotionally when they find out. Although people who are poly tend to have sexual relationships with multiple partners, they are still relationships, so people can get hurt and some would class one night stands as a form of cheating.
Ok, those all pretty much make sense. Trust me, it’s better to have these tests and take precautions, as really I’m can’t echo how stressful it is when one of your partners gets an infection or pregnancy scare – it can take months to get every test result back, it makes everyone in the relationship panic, it can cause arguments, it can separate people emotionally, frighten people and make them not want to get involved physically with anyone for ages… anyway it can cause a lot of baggage.
*Maintain a level of privacy. As with any relationship, everyone has their own secrets which they may not be comfortable sharing with others. To make poly relationships work, you need to respect your partners decision to privacy, as long as it means they or anyone else involved aren’t at risk of getting hurt. In the past I’ve made it important to do this as best as possible. Sometimes my lovers aren’t connected together, and I feel that keeping their personal lives separate when talking to other lovers is important. Yes, I will inform other lovers that I am in a relationship, but the information I provide them will be very limited if they aren’t involved with them personally too.
*Don’t compare each other lovers sexual ability, but also don’t talk about each other lovers sexual ability to other lovers. People have different views on what good and bad sex is. But also people can become jealous too. And this has happened to me before, I’m having a good time with a lover and in the middle of sex they’ve stopped and asked whether or not they are performing better than one of my other sexual partners. It can completely ruin the mood.
*It’s not all about sex and orgasms. I have multiple relationships, not just multiple sexual partners. Yes I do end up sleeping with everyone I’m involved with, but it’s not about sex, the relationship factor is the most important part of it. We go shopping, out for dinner, play computer games together, just even sit their in silence. We do all that normal relationship stuff you’ll find in a mono relationship, and every time we get together it’s not allabout sex and doesn’t have to lead to orgasms – although it’s nice when it does.
*Be honest. If something is making you unhappy, speak up and work through it.
*Don’t cheat. Yep, you can still end up cheating even though you’re having multiple relationships. You are responsible to inform your partners that you are seeing other people, but also make sure they are ok with it. Sometimes your partners may not be ok with you seeing a certain person, this can be due to that person being abusive, or them having a negative experience with them in the past, or due to other reasons – talk to your partners about it. Trust me, cheating makes you feel guilty, and everyone ends up getting hurt.
*Avoid relationships with people who are in mono relationships where their partners are not ok with them seeing other people. One because this is them cheating, but also it can lead to a lot of complications in the long run.
Basically, these are some of the things I tend to stick to within my relationships. They are basic rules which most people follow in relationships, whether they are mono or poly. I’ve had some very successful relationships when following these rules, and I’ve now been in a few of them for over 5 years.
However, recently I broke all my rules, and let’s say it hasn’t gone well. It’s led me to being confused, unsure, and very hurt. I’ve panicked. I recently got involved with a man who only really saw the sex side to it. I waited and hoped that there would be more, as sometimes these things can develop at a later stage, but no, it wasn’t the kind of relationship I’m after and use to. I’m not really someone for casual sex, and this was. I’m also not normally someone to get involved with someone who was in a strict mono relationship. But most importantly, I lied and cheated to my partners, as part of me felt that something good could’ve developed from it. What was even worse was that I let him him set me up with other guys too. He basically only saw me as poly, and to him that meant multiple sexual partners. But also, I have to say that my choice of career influenced this partly too. The sexual experiences seemed like they would be beneficial at the time, even he felt that. I could explore more fetishes, more sex toys, and more sexual responses. As someone who is interested in learning as much as possible about sex, I felt it might work, but no I just got hurt. I probably still learnt a lot, but the most important factor I’ve learned is that I just shouldn’t have got involved with this guy. I shouldn’t have broken my rules, which had kept me safe and my partners safe. I should’ve listened to the one friend I could talk to about it all too. Now I’m left very hurt, going through all the emotions one would after a hard break-up, as well as having to fix my other relationships, although to him we never really had a relationship… to him it was just good sex. There’s still loads more complications surrounding all this which I’m not ready to go into details, and really probably shouldn’t. But the best advise I can offer to anyone who may make a similar mistake, is talk things through with your partner(s), but also if you have a set of guidelines and rules for helping you deal with relationships, stick to them. As if you don’t stick to them, not only could you be betraying other people, but really you are betraying yourself.