I conducted a Polyamory Ask Me Anything (AMA) on my social media accounts. Context: I am a polyamorous woman with a husband and a boyfriend. Ask me anything.
The guidelines for this AMA:
1) Please keep questions to my life as a polyamorous person (I will answer questions about swinging and open relationships to an extent. I might do a completely different AMA for those topics).
2) I won’t give names unless I’ve been cleared to by the person.
3) I won’t give super intimate sexual details. Get your rocks off at www.pornhub.com.
Do you only LOVE your husband but hook up with others? My friends who are poly only LOVE each other but bone other people. Was wondering if there’s instances of multiple love as well…
I love my husband of six years and I love my boyfriend of one year. I also love three other people but I don’t consider myself in a relationship with them.
It sounds like what your friends are experiencing isn’t actually polyamory. Polyamory literally means many loves and would require more than just “boning” other people. It sounds like your friends are in a dynamic called swinging, which is the act of having sex with people who aren’t your significant other and NOT having emotional attachment to the other person.
Like your husband knows your bf and everyone is super cool?
Yeah, they have met multiple times. We have done family things together and they respect each other because of their love for me. They are both very emotionally intelligent and mature individuals. Occasionally there is jealousy but that is based upon a lack of time with my husband because he lives on the other side of the continent.
So far it’s (polyamory) worked out good for you?
As for the first question, yes and no. Polyamory is a constantly internally evolving dynamic that keeps me on my toes as the relationships change. However, polyamory has a severe social stigma and I have faced ridicule for how I choose to live my life. Internally, I love polyamory. The idea that multiple people support and love and defend me is seriously comforting and liberating. The idea that I can support and love and defend multiple people instead of feeling guilt for loving a person besides my spouse is EXTREMELY liberating. I used to fear expressing love as to protect my significant other’s feelings of jealousy or rage. I don’t fear love anymore.
You’ve been poly for years? Even in Japan?
I would say that I have always been poly my entire life but spent 25 years avoiding it because of my Christian upbringing. I thought something was wrong with me when I would be completely happy with my significant other and still care for and be attracted to and love other people. I started with swinging when I was 19 and found it disastrous because I would ALWAYS fall in love with someone I was forbidden to love. I moved to an open relationship with my husband when I was 23 (in Japan) and discovered that I was still lying and hiding my actions (probably because I was dating some less than ideal people). I didn’t fully accept myself as poly until I was 25 (2015) when the man I loved asked me to be his girlfriend (I later found out he was already married and lied to me for four years and was a completely terrible person).
My husband knew I was poly for years before I knew it.
So you’ve never hooked up with current bf and husband same time?
No, I haven’t.
Is this like furries?
No, it is not related to dressing up like an animal and performing sexual acts.
Are you and your husband swingers?
No, he and I have never swung.
When you’re dating multiple people, do you ever wish you could combine x from one person with y from another to make the perfect partner for you?
I wish I could say no, but I would be lying. Of course I have thought about taking away a characteristic that I didn’t admire from someone I love and making a perfect package with multiple other people I love in a sort of Mad Science remake but that isn’t how people are and that’s an impossible standard for a relationship.
I never want any partner of mine to think less of themselves because I love someone else. I don’t choose to be poly because my husband isn’t satisfying me or because he chews chips loudly. He is an amazing fucking man, which is why I used to have a lot of self-loathing for loving someone else. I am poly because I can be completed and loved in other ways than just by one. Poly isn’t a lack of fulfillment. It is an abundance of love and acceptance and learning about all of the awesome people in our world.
Do you plan on hiding it from your son until he’s older or just being open about it?
Honestly, I’m so scared of scarring him forever with this. I think he will be fine with the whole more love thing (kids only know love really) but I worry that other kids will mock him and say his mother is a whore. I don’t want my actions to adversely affect him. Currently, we are open with him and I think it will continue. I am just very concerned about how it will affect his life at school. Older kids are jerks to anything different.
When did you decide it was the right fit for you?
There wasn’t any one moment when a light bulb came on. I watched Big Love (similar to polyamory but it’s polygamy instead) when I was in Afghanistan and I think that was my first exposure to that kind of love. I had read Stranger in a Strange Land when I was 17 and polyamory was awesomely done in that book but I just wrote it off as a bunch of hippy dippy nonsense. I had spent years watching people cheat and lie and deceive in the Marine Corps. After TONS of talks of different family dynamics with my husband, I chose to no longer hide from freely loving more than one person. Years later, and with a lot of mistakes, here we are.
Is your husband poly? As in, does he have girlfriends, other loves, etc. as well? If not, is it difficult for him to know that he is 100% fulfilled by you and you are poly and cannot be fully fulfilled by him?
No, he is not poly. And you’ll have to ask him about the second part. I won’t speak for him.
Why did you get married? Marriage seems as if it is defined by the loving monogamy between two people, whilst having a relationship has more “wiggle room” for definition per say. What was the point in getting marriage [sic] if you were going to have other lovers? Why include marriage? I ask from curiosity, not judgement! It’s hard for me to understand when I don’t have that dynamic in my life 🙂
This answer is long. I got married because, simply put, I love him and I want to be with him. I was monogamous for many years with him and believed that was how I wanted to live my life. Strictly speaking, I’m not a fan of marriage. It doesn’t take a piece of paper to stop someone from beating you or cheating on you or leaving you. I don’t need the court systems to prove my love. I didn’t want to get married again after my divorce because of that very reason. However, I was with my now-husband and loved him and we knew the Marine Corps would send him away and not send me as a girlfriend. The marriage was as practical as it was about love. We got married and were sent to Japan shortly after.
Has your son seen you show love and affection for both your husband and boyfriend? Is that confusing for him?
My son has seen me hug my BF, yes, but that’s about it. He has also seen me hug and kiss with my husband. It doesn’t confuse him; he is a very chill people person. What confuses him is why I don’t allow him to eat candy for dinner.
Are you open in work settings about being polyamorous? For example, would you take your husband to a work function if he was in town, and then if he wasn’t, would you take your boyfriend?
I have six current coworkers on my Facebook now so I’m pretty sure they know more than they want to at this point. I’m very verbally open about dating someone who isn’t my husband because it was just confusing when I was trying to be discrete. The reactions are varied. As for work functions, probably not? I don’t really have work functions like that and I can barely go to anything just as myself because I am taking care of my son alone. Maybe I’ll revisit this question in a few years. However, I think it would cause a wave of conversation if I did.
If you chose to move in with your boyfriend, and your husband moved to California where you are, would you live with your husband AND boyfriend?
I currently live alone with my son. We have discussed living together but there are a lot of factors that go into that, i.e. the BF’s family.
Is their [sic] a hierarchy of sorts between your husband and boyfriend? Like does your husband always take priority because he is your husband and not your boyfriend? Or are they on equal footing?
They are on equal footing. I mean, they don’t step on each other’s toes and they are respectful of each other and my available time with them.
How many people have you had sex with?
This is irrelevant to this AMA and perpetuates the idea that poly people are down for casual sex or want to bone anything that moves. That’s not how this works and is pretty frustrating. I have had TONS of people think this means I’ll fuck anything that moves and trust me, I don’t. I have had men become very angry at me because they think I owe them sex. No, just no.
Do you and your husband ever discuss the sexual experiences you have between your boyfriend and vice versa? Or is it kind of an unspoken rule that you don’t discuss the details of the sex you have with others? Would he be upset if he walked in and saw you having sex with someone else? I ask because I can imagine having love for more then one person, but it’s hard for me to comprehend me not being hurt by the person I love when they physically and lovingly having sex with another person and me thinking about it and it not bothering me.
No, it is not discussed but people could if that’s what strikes their fancy. Some people are extremely jealous and don’t want to know and some are cuckholds who enjoy hearing about that kind of stuff. As for the walking in situation, maybe people need to work on logistics.
How do you keep track?
I have a Google calendar that I use profusely (everyone’s anniversaries, birthdays, surgeries, trips, work events, doctors appointments, school due dates, major life events, etc) that I share out. I use group texts to make sure that everyone is getting the same information. I take notes on my phone (I have over 40 original notepads with varying topics) of particulars that I don’t want to forget. I also have been with my husband so long that his personality and actions are second nature to me. They are also two similar and different people with two completely different lives and experiences.
Also, think of it like maintaining relationships with family and friends. We all have to keep track of multiple people, right? I still have my son and my friends to remember likes and dislikes. Maybe it’s easy for me, although I have forgotten things and repeated stories. They are patient and gently remind me.
Has your family said anything?
LOL, besides my mom asking if she didn’t show what a good monogamous relationship was to me, no. I have 23 family members on Facebook and haven’t heard a thing.
Does being poly mean that you occasionally go out and look for a random hookup because you’re just looking for unattached physical pleasure?
It shouldn’t. Polyamory comes with attachment. So if there are random physical hookups, it might be part of an open relationship or swinger type situation.