A Rambling About Polyamory

But first...

Where I live, there are a lot of homeless people. A LOT. And I try to have compassion for them and I realize that they have it really hard, and I can't really imagine or understand what they're going through, so I'm not going to pretend I do. But...They stink. Some of them are better than others. But there is a particular hobo who has been hanging around on the main street outside my apartment building, in various places. And he is the worst smelling homeless person my nose has EVER had the un-previledge of sniffing. The poor guy obviously hasn't had a bath in possibly years, or at least months. His hair is totally matted, and his smell spreads to a six-foot radius around him, I swear. I have been almost a block away and been able to smell him. And my heart really goes out to him, but when my nose comes across something my brain doesn't like, I can't really argue with that. It's biological. We don't like the smell of rotten food because our bodies are telling us not to eat it, because it could be dangerous. Same with smelly homeless people. Your brain is telling you: Don't eat them.

I'm kidding of course. About the eating. But seriously...Don't.

Anyway, he came into the cafe where I am sitting, and I had to go to the bathroom because I just couldn't stand the stink. Why do I feel kind of bad about that?

In other news, I've been reading various books lately. Among them are "Discover the Power Within You" by Eric Butterworth (sounds totally corny, but it's really great, and it puts the Bible and Jesus in a totally different light than your average Christian texts - disclaimer: I am not Christian, but I feel a connection to Christ consciousness, just not based on what is normally taught about Jesus), "Mary, Called Magdalene" by Margaret George, "50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food" by Susan Albers, Psy.D.; and now "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. That's a lot of books. My brain is a sponge, it loooooooves information. (I try to fill it with the "right kind," as in the kind that is well studied and what makes sense to me, and I think I'm a pretty rational person, not when it comes to all things - like my emotions - but for the most part.) I just picked up "Sex at Dawn" today, but it's been on my list for a while. Apparently it's a staple if you're interested in polyamory, so I'm giving it a try.


My therapist asked me recently what my attraction to polyamory is. And she asked if I was attracted to the idea of keeping my sexual options open, or if I like it because the person I'm dating potentially won't get bored and leave me because they have their options open, too. I'm not sure if I should feel offended by that question or not. I don't think she meant it in an offensive way at all, but maybe she doesn't really understand polyamory? She doesn't have a problem with it, she doesn't judge me for being interested in it...at least, if she is, I can't tell. I have a fear of people leaving me, and when someone breaks up with me, it's like I take it personally. So you would think being polyamorous would do the opposite to me, it would make me more freaked out that someone is going to leave me, because if I'm not stopping them from seeing other people, what's stopping them from leaving all together? (Then again, that is the case in any relationship, monogamous or not.)

With my recent boyfriend, I started freaking out when I realized that we didn't have a committed relationship like I thought we did. And I wasn't freaked out that he was going to leave me FOR the other girl he started dating, but I was comparing myself to her like crazy. But anyway, I wasn't actually scared that he would leave me for her. I guess the thought crossed my mind, but it had way more to do with ME than it did with HER (except the fact that I was comparing myself to her). And that's when I realized that my self esteem needed some major work. (OK, I knew it before, but this was the Janga piece that ended the game, I guess.)

If I have ever been attracted to it because of what my therapist suggested, it hasn't consciously crossed my mind. The reason I was interested in it in the first place was because I am attracted to girls, and it would be denying a part of me for someone to say "you're in a relationship only with me, and you cannot act on your attraction to women."

But it occurred to me...I don't need to be in a polyamorous relationship for this. There are lots of people out there who are basically monogamous but with bisexual people who are fine with their partners seeing someone of the same sex. Or at least, they're willing to try it. I'm sure it puts a strain on a relationship, and maybe the polyamory idea makes more sense to me because the person I am in the relationship with would "get it." Then, of course, I'd have to accept the possibility that they would start dating someone else as well, and that could be a real challenge for me, apparently.

I also thought about the idea of being in a committed relationship with someone before opening the relationship, and how that makes more sense to me because there's at least some stability in the commitment. I understand any relationship can end for any reason (death, falling out of love, whatever), but at least there's a commitment between the two people for the time being. I think it would reassure me when things get rough or when my jealousy comes up. And when my recent boyfriend started dating someone else, a polyamorous person I know asked me if I was getting what I needed out of the relationship. And I realized I wasn't, because I wanted that committed relationship, and he didn't. He started dating someone else before we had even had a chance to build that commitment, but he didn't even want to be committed to me, whereas I could have been with him.

At this point I'm just blabbering and getting my thoughts out. There's no real structure to this post, no conclusion, no offering of hope, no solutions, just...thoughts. If I come to any conclusions about all this, I will share it with you.

P.S. If you would like to get weird or interested or confused or intrigued looks, put a book called "Sex at Dawn" on the table next to you in a cafe.


  • Amethyst Midnight | 28 May, 2012 18:49

    Your rambling makes me happy. I don't mean that in a bad way...just makes me realize that it's okay to ramble on sometimes. I don't quite understand Polyamory...but maybe because it doesn't seem like the boat I'd float in. Maybe your blog will help me understand the more I read...anyway keep writing :) It's nice to read.

    p.s. I don't know the kind of books you like to read, but I'd offer up Sarah Waters' books. They are my absolute favorite.

  • Small Girl Big World | 29 May, 2012 08:22

    You know, I'm not quite sure if it's a boat I'd float around in either. I'm still exploring that. The last time I tried, it was challenging, but I don't think the circumstances were right. Also, any relationship is challenging...Just in different ways, I suppose.

    Haven't heard of Sarah Waters. I love recommendations though. What kind of books does she write?

  • LuxAeterna | 30 May, 2012 13:06

    I don't consider myself to be into polyamory but if the other half said she wanted to bat for the same team sometimes, then I more than don't foresee a problem. And I don't think I'm the only guy to be thinking this.

    However there are surely differences between a guy's fantasies/expectations and the reality of being in a polyamorous relationship, even if the two have the same agenda at the beginning.

    But I've never (sadly) been asked this.

  • Small Girl Big World | 30 May, 2012 15:49

    Oh, are you a male or a female? Just curious. I feel like males a lot of times seem to be ok with their girlfriends/wives screwing around with other women, but when it comes to another guy, they don't like the idea. It must feel threatening to them or something, which I totally understand. I think if my boyfriend had ended up dating another guy, I wouldn't have felt as threatened...

  • LuxAeterna | 05 June, 2012 12:48

    I'm male. Yes, I think it's biological that we don't like our partners screwing around with a different sex.

    Men are protective of partners so that the men do not support another man's (another set of gene's) offspring.

    Women are protective of partners so that they do not have to share the man's finite resources with another family.

    I think rationally, it's possible to justify exceptions, what with contraception and all that. But emotionally where are we at?

  • Small Girl Big World | 05 June, 2012 14:40

    What you said about men being protective is interesting. In this book I've been reading and talking about, there's evidence that in many forager communities, the men all take care of the children together and the women have sex with lots of men so that it is ambiguous who the father is. (You may have already seen this, but I wrote a post on it: http://spiritureality.blogspot.ca/2012/06/here-and-there.html

    It seems to me that we were socialized to feel jealous because someone decided at some point that monogamy was the way to go (I mean, at first, monogamy was used to score land and make deals with other clans and groups, etc...).

    Not that what you're saying isn't valid, but...it seems there's more evidence coming out that the reasons you gave above for why men/women act a certain way towards their significant others is actually just something we've grown up believing but biologically might not be true.

    But I'm probably just opening up a can of worms here. It makes me wonder...are emotions, like jealousy, learned, or inherent?

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