This Is How A Polyamorous Relationship Works — For US

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This Is How A Polyamorous Relationship Works — For US

Hint: It's not ALL that different...

The next question I get when folks get past the polyamory part of my relationship equation is: how does polyamory work exactly?

What these folks are truly the most curious about the sex equation because, for some people, it is more comfortable to take my relationship (and most) down to the lowest common denominator — sex. It is more comfortable for folks to think I am with my boyfriend along with other lovers because we have great sex.

And we do.

But even though we're polyamorous, our relationship is more about relating to each other than it is about sex, as most relationships should be. 

My relationships with all of my partners are like any other relationships or marriages out there — they just happen to involve more than two people. 

I’ve personally witnessed more than a few marriages that held two people who barely tolerated each other but, by society’s definition, would be considered a successful union. I never wanted that for myself. What I want is a family. People connected through mutual love and respect, who want to be in the relationship through thick and thin and are willing to actively work every day to keep the relationship worthy of those involved.

And I want great sex as well.

So my answer to the question of "how polyamory works" is this: through communication — without we are lost.

Relationships aren't always perfect because, as humans, we are far from perfect. Communication takes time and effort and there are times when we don’t want to give those for our relationship. Sometimes we want to fight it out, say our piece (sometimes loudly) before we get past our egos to really talk to each other. 

Like monogamous couples, sometimes we wound each other with words. Words we can’t always take back. 

Thankfully, the lines of communication eventually reopen and we find a way to forgive each other and work it out. We remember there are multiple individuals involved, which sometimes means we may all want and need different things from the relationship and the only way to reach a compromise is to communicate.

Communication involves respecting the other people enough to talk about and work through the rough times so everyone is heard and everyone's needs are discussed.

It means loving each other enough to understand that sometimes your needs/wants may take a back burner while another partner’s are addressed first. Communication is the key and it is all done out of love.

Real love.

Not that soggy, romantic kind, but the kind of love that will allow you to hear it when someone you love and trust points out that you're being ridiculous or hypocritical. The kind of love that allows you to feel like crap instead of getting angry and indignant when you realize you’ve hurt someone you love.

The kind of love that allows you to show compassion instead of anger or superiority when someone else needs this gentle pushing. The kind of love that reminds you of what you are building instead of focusing on breaking it all down over one angry moment.

And then you can have great sex.

Loving sex. Sexy sex. Sex on top while someone else fondles you. Sex from behind with someone else below you. Cuddly, close sex with limbs and such askew or deep, hard fucking — where keeping track of who is where is next to impossible.

Great sex.

Listen now: When people consider exploring non-monogamy, we tell them to picture a pretty good but occasionally difficult relationship (ie, every relationship) and then picture it expanding exponentially because you’ve added more people, eventually becoming a tesseract of interlocking and interconnected parts. Each of those parts, believe it or not, have a mind of their own. We’ve all had moments where it seems insurmountable, where we acknowledge that this whole damned thing is just too hard and consider the days of monogamous yore. On this episode of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast, we discuss what pushes us to the edge and what keeps us going  because playing with and loving others feels so fu*king right.

This article was originally published at Life on the Swingset. Reprinted with permission from the author.