I'm Kitten, a Neutral Good pansexual poly pagan geek mom living in Seattle, actively searching for new ideas and new connections. I'm a strange mix of experienced and n00b when it comes to poly; I've been actively living the poly lifestyle since 1997, but have lived in mostly small towns, and have kindof stumbled into partners by accident. I have never experienced a poly community...until very recently. This has opened up a whole new world to me, as well as new pitfalls that I'd never been aware of. Join me as I chronicle my journey into this incredibly rewarding lifestyle.
Note: Nicknames or initials will always be used in this blog. If you think you know who I'm referring to, DO NOT call them out by name or use identifying characteristics.
"A slut is a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you." -Dossie Easton
Just had a realization about myself that explains a HELL of a lot.
I tend to live life in the moment. While I definitely plan ahead, and GREATLY prefer the stability of predictability, I’ve learned the hard way that life doesn’t pay attention to your expectations and kinda does its own thing.
So I’ve learned to enjoy what’s right in front of me, enjoy the hell out of it, revel in the bliss, and wallow in the happy for as long as it lasts, then bid it a bittersweet adieu when it’s gone, and move on.
And while this strategy most definitely works for me, and allows me to accept life as it comes…it also extracts a price. For one, people who don’t know me well often mistake me as flighty, shallow or insubstantial as a result…when nothing could be further from the truth.
For another, it’s not always fair to my loved ones, is it? I’ve developed an almost fatalistic attitude that it’s all going to come to an end (because that’s what life has taught me - everyone leaves, eventually) and so I have a hard time truly trusting, all the way down deep in the core.
The one time in my adult life that I let loose and trusted with all of my being got me burned the worst I’ve ever been burned…arguably, BECAUSE I trusted so fully. It wouldn’t have hurt anywhere near as badly as it did if I hadn’t trusted…but the reverse is also true.
I actually expected my mother to turn on me. I didn’t expect the methods she used, but what happened was not a shock. I was terrified the day I came out to her; I honestly expected that she would turn right around and call CPS and hire a lawyer to take my son from me. When she didn’t, I had some hope that she and I could finally have a truthful, adult relationship where she knew all of me, and accepted all of me. Since I’d never shown her all of myself before, she’d never had the chance to show me she COULD accept me unconditionally…and when the initial reaction wasn’t horrible, I had hope.
That didn’t last, and she did indeed try to take my son. Not in exactly the way I’d anticipated, but that’s what happened. And the worst part is that she did it out of “love”, believing it was what was best for me, to bring me back to the right path. She can only accept me if I choose to live the way SHE thinks is right. If she’d done it maliciously, or out of hate, I wouldn’t have such pain in my heart over it all.
But evil done out of love or with positive intentions is still evil. And that I can never forgive.
The betrayal I never saw coming was that of my ex-husband. He was the first person since I was 8 (incidentally, the age I realized I wasn’t straight, and that I didn’t believe in my family’s religion) that I fully trusted.
Those of you who didn’t know me then who think I’m a free spirit now? No, who you see now is cautious and somewhat fearful. When I met and married my ex-husband, I believed in the concept of unconditional romantic love for the first time in my life, and I truly let go. I could be completely myself with him, as I’d never been able to be before. I learned what true acceptance felt like. And it was incredible, and amazing, and so very fulfilling. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything, regardless of the devastation that came later.
So when it all fell apart, and when he told me that who I was was no longer acceptable, that he didn’t trust me any more, and that he actually had had a lot of problems with who I was and just hadn’t told me, it felt as if a nuclear bomb had gone off in my heart and soul.
Honestly, I’m surprised I was able to pick up the pieces from that. I think the only thing that kept me sane was my son. I HAD to keep it together for him, pull myself up by my bootstraps and build a home and a life for him. So I did it. I had a lot of support that helped me through those dark months, but ultimately, I was the one that made it, and I still shy away from thinking of that time.
It’s a measure of just how incredible my fiancee is that I am even capable of contemplating the idea of marriage again, let alone eagerly wanting it. Unfortunately, he’s having to play bellhop to my trust baggage. And I am oh, so thankful for his patience.
Because we’re absolutely EPIC together, and our lives are going to be fucking amazing. And goddammit, I’m not going to let fear destroy that.
He said something incredibly loving to me last night that unclenched something tight in my chest, and made me see that I’m not being fair to him.
This business of living in the moment, savoring the bliss he drowns me in, is awesome, and I’m not going to quit that (because reasons)…but doing it with the buried expectation that it’s not going to last is going to STOP.
All my base are belong to you, my love. I think I’m finally starting to let go of the mind-killer.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
Well, I’m now officially out at work. My coworker’s response? “Well slap my ass and call me Sally!”
*dies laughing and iz ded*
I just had one of my partners in the office, showing him around. After he left, my coworker asks me, “Is that your guy?” with a big old smile on her face (since she knows I’m about to get married).
And I answered, “Well, one of them.” And just left it at that.
The look on her face! She sputters for a second and I take pity on her, explaining that I’m non-monogamous, have been for 16 years, and she got all intrigued. Wasn’t intrusive with her questions AT ALL, merely asked, “And that works?”
Best coming out experience EVAR.
My coworkers are understandably curious, and the questions and conversations I’ve been having today are, quite frankly, awesome.
Surprisingly, no gossiping has yet occurred. One coworker saw my partner come walking through, but had been on the phone and so wasn’t introduced. So he came over to ask who that was.
I said it was my partner, and then he asked about my terminology...as in, why “partner” rather than “boyfriend”. So I explained my philosophy behind “partner”…that I find “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” trivializing of one partner over another, as if it labels one as less important than another.
I also stated that I like it because it’s genderless, so I can refer to all of my partners with the same term, regardless of their gender. His eyes got HOOJ…and then came the avalanche of questions…all incredibly respectful, nothing prying.
Another conversation that occurred:
Coworker: “You’re not going to marry both of them, are you?”
Me: “Well, he’s already married, so I can’t.”
I am having WAY too much fun with this.
I am surrounded and held close by so much love; memories of loneliness and pain are seen, dimly, fleetingly, through dusty panes barely piercing the gloom of an ill-lit room.
Awesome post here: http://feminspire.com/why-i-never-play-hard-to-get/
Above and beyond the fact that “playing hard to get” plays directly into, and reinforces rape culture, there’s another consideration: If you’re not being yourself, your love interest isn’t into YOU, they’re into who you’re pretending to be. And eventually, the real you will out.
Why not be true from the beginning? Sure, I’ve had instances where I’m my honest, sometimes over-the-top self, and it hasn’t worked very well…but why would I want to be with someone who is afraid of who I am when I’m being authentic?
I am completely myself, even (especially?) when starting a new relationship. You either like me or you don’t…and if you don’t, it’s better to learn it early.
This strategy has PAID OFF for me. Not only does it weed out the relationships that are going to hurt me fairly early on, before I’m fully invested, but when I find those who actually LIKE my authentic self, we get on like gangbusters from the get-go, and the intensity doesn’t wane later.
I cannot emphasize enough: BE YOURSELF. It’ll pay off.
When I realized, at 8 years of age, that I was emotionally and physically attracted to girls as well as guys, I looked ahead at my future and believed it was bleak.
I thought I could never be accepted in general society because of it.
I thought I would never be able to be openly in love with a person the same gender as I.
I thought I would be limited in who I could marry.
And I never, ever thought it was possible that all of that could change before I hit 40.
There is so much possibility and beauty in this life. And now my son will grow up in a world where he can love and marry whomever he chooses, regardless of gender.
Something tells me I’m going to be crying a lot in sheer joy today. We are among the very first states to affirm this basic civil right in a popular vote.
I am so very proud to be a Washingtonian.
I just answered a question very similar to this; check out what I said to that one.
Bottom line: communicate, communicate, communicate. Educate yourself, do some reading, talk to others in the lifestyle, and talk honestly and openly with your partner.
One truism: going poly will NOT fix issues you might already have in the relationship. It will actually bring any underlying problems out into the open…so read, educate, communicate to find those issues before actually starting to date others, or you will have a very bumpy start.
Good luck! And don’t hesitate to ask any further questions.
Short answer: you have to just try it and see if it feels right. Literally the moment I learned it was an actual relationship option, everything clicked for me. I’m one of those that identifies as poly, the same as a sexual orientation. It’s the only way that feels honest and real to me.
At a recent discussion group, someone said that those of us in poly are relationship geeks, and that description really struck a chord with me. I tinker with my relationships, educate myself, communicate, and am constantly working on improving myself, being the best partner that I can possibly be.
If you’re interested in this lifestyle, I would do a lot of reading. Opening Up is a good start. Also, Attached, a book about attachment theory. I think this book should required reading for anyone who dates, regardless of your relationship style. Find the good poly blogs out there, and read, read, read.
Once armed with some knowledge, start attending poly discussion groups and meetups in your area. Ask a lot of questions from those of us who have made the mistakes already. And listen carefully to the answers. There are standard newbie errors that nearly everyone makes, and if you listen to those of us who’ve already learned the lessons, you could save yourself a LOT of heartache.
No worries at all. What the GAL did was to interview a lot of people, including all of my partners. He also did home visits, and ran background checks. I’m sure that if he’d found anything concerning, he would have delved even deeper, but there was nothing.