March 30, 2010

Polyamory vs. Monotony

Daisy, Diary No Comments

When I first changed my status on the kinky Facebook social networking site from “in a relationship with …” to “single,” I knew that in my next relationship I would seek an authentic Dom with a lot of experience. Sir M made sure that everyone was aware that I am single and under his protection, though he does not own me. I don’t wear a collar when we go to dungeon parties and he introduces me to any Dom I am interested in.

As it turns out, most of the male hetero “top Doms” are in polyamorous situations, meaning they already have multiple female submissives (or slaves). The females are often bisexual and have relationships with each other as well. So if I wanted to be with one of the more experienced Doms in the scene I would have to join their poly family — as number three or four.

Not surprisingly, I declined. Being number three or lower down the rungs in a poly relationship sounds like a raw deal to me! My impression of poly up to this point was taken from watching Big Love, an HBO series about a polygamous Mormon family. They aren’t kinky or sex-positive but I’m sure there are many parallels in the daily life issues that arise. The women have a schedule of who sleeps with the man each night, and they negotiate and trade if necessary. In the show, the man resorted to taking Viagra for a while in order to satisfy all the women when the stresses of his business overshadowed his home life.

Their version of polygamy is quite rigid, whereas polyamory has a much more fluid way of playing out. I’ve been in an open relationship and enjoyed that freedom, but having casual sex with people in addition to your primary relationship (that’s my idea of an open relationship) is quite different than polyamory — namely having longer term loving relationships with multiple partners.

Polyamory = loving many

I spoke with Cunning Minx who does an excellent podcast called Poly Weekly to get her take on what is meant by “poly” in the kinky community. The Minx is a super smart and smoking hot sassy brunette who makes a compelling argument for the poly way of life.

“Poly is a lifestyle recognizing the possibility of full time, long-term, loving, committed relationships where all people involved have full knowledge and consent,” she told me. “In the kink world, people may have more than one partner and may or may not define themselves as poly.”

The Minx explained that poly is a way of keeping it fresh and exciting, but it may not be a viable option for all couples.

“Being together forever isn’t necessarily the goal,” she said. “But the happiness of you and your partner should be the long-term goal.”

She gave as an example a common situation where a couple may find that one partner is interested in different kinky activities than the other, so they may take on “play partners” in the BDSM sense, which can include sex. Depending on their own orientation, they may or may not consider this as poly.

Pondering poly

With this definition of poly, I realized that I’m in a “quasi-poly” situation. I have a Dom who isn’t my primary — he already has a primary relationship. I’m dating a few other Doms who are my play partners, and perhaps eventually one will become my primary Dom. I also hook up with my former (non-BDSM) lover J. I am a girl who needs a lot of sex and erotic play so being able to play with several men (and possibly women) works well for me. I am transparent with everyone and clear about my intentions. Fortunately, the men I’m involved with are turned on by the idea of me being with other men so this is a positive.

I was fascinated and did a lot of reading on the topic, paying attention to what issues poly people were talking about on the kinky social networking sites, as well as listening to more Poly Weekly podcasts. I found that many of the subjects being discussed were either of logistics or communication skills that could easily translate to monogamous couples.

I asked if poly people get jealous, and how they get around that natural human emotion.

“Jealously and feeling neglected happens in monogamous relationships too,” the Mix explained. “It’s all in how you decide to cope with insecurity and jealousy.”

She reasoned that a wife might also be jealous of a husband working late, bowling with his buddies.

“You have to identify your own emotions and own up to them in a safe space — that’s a skill for both partners,” she told me.

After speaking with Minx for an hour I wondered why anyone would want to be monogamous.

Poly and alternative lifestyles

There is a high acceptance of polyamory in other types of alternative communities. I’ve spent some time in an alternative music, art and lifestyle collective that includes a lot of “burners” (i.e., people who consider Burning Man a lifestyle).

One of my close (vanilla) friends in this community is in a poly relationship as the number two. The guy is 20 years her junior and not someone she’d consider a serious love relationship with, yet they have a loving friendship — with benefits — all with the approval of his primary girlfriend. He has an “emotional contract” with his girlfriend where they stated boundaries and parameters and this has helped guide them through expanding definitions of their triad relationship.

“To me it is all about openness and honesty,” he said.

That’s a great argument for the polyamory lifestyle, if one is up to the task. There are a lot of practical issues to tackle, such as having enough time for all the partners, who pays the mortgage, what happens when you have a child with one partner, who is the primary, etc. But after seeing or hearing of many positive examples of polyamorous relationships I’m on board and pro-poly!

Daisy TraLaLA (@daisytralala) is a saucy Angelino kinkster who glides with ease between the worlds of tech, art, cuisine, electronica and dungeon parties. Check back every Tuesday for posts from her journey to the most divine surrender.


Daisy TraLaLA (@daisytralala) is a saucy Angeleno kinkster who glides with ease between the worlds of tech, art, cuisine, electronica and dungeon parties.

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