AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Trading Traits

I’d like to share two main thoughts this week. The first, which I have spoken about with many people, is about communication and sex. I am increasingly becoming convinced that if you have good communication and good sex, you’re 80% or more on your way to a good relationship. Of course, there are other things that build relationships, but if you can talk to your partner about anything and you enjoy the physical intimacy, problems that come up can be solved relatively easily. I was recently told by a partner that our communication is the best they’ve ever had. I think that women are often not encouraged to communicate their desires and I am apparently good at this. There are times of course where I fear saying exactly what I want. I don’t like causing upset and I’m not great at handling conflict. Generally though I feel safe to say what I want and I’m grateful for that. Partners need to be mindful that they are meeting each other’s needs in a way that works for all parties. Expressing desires is definitely part of that. That’s the communication part of the story.

Sex, well, variety is good- that’s one of the joys of poly. One of the things I love is that everyone is good at different things and I really like seeing what people are good at. As I mentioned in a previous post, I met someone recently who’s into BDSM. We have done a bit of that and I’m looking forward to more. He can also be very gentle. Vive le difference! If you’re reading this and you’re monogamous and intend to stay that way- you gotta mix it up. Try new things. In a long term relationship, it’s easy to slip into the same routine. Both partners need to be willing to learn new tricks. This can also happen in poly but the great thing is, you can have different kinds of sex with different people. 

 Onto the second main thought- the search for a primary partner. This is something I feel conflicted about. One of the reasons why I became poly was to avoid traditional relationships. Yet I would like to find someone to share a life with. Many people decide to do solo poly where they don’t have a primary partner and I very much admire that. Perhaps I feel that’s not for me. Perhaps I am being influenced by my parents who are pushing me to find someone where I can be #1. Why does it have to be a competition? Is it our competitive culture? It’s hard to pin down why I feel this way. I recognize that my current relationships have limitations and I accept those. My most recent partner and I call each other ersatz primaries. We care about each other a lot but we know we probably won’t end up together as primaries in the long run. I’d very much like him in my life because I value what we have. My first partner is already married. He and I have discussed having some sort of poly compound in the future but this won’t be for a very long time most likely. I have recently been dating someone where I feel there is a lot of potential but he works quite a bit. I don’t see that as a desirable trait. One of the wonderful things about poly is being able to be picky. Of course, we cannot design human beings, but there are certain things I have now that I would like to have in a primary partner- someone who is honest, sympathetic, caring, a good communicator, and accepts me for who I am. I find that I often attract more introverted people and I’d like to be with someone who’s a bit more extroverted and who enjoys the company of different people. The one thing I cannot control for, however, is chemistry. When I had my first date with my first partner, the chemistry was undeniable. We felt close easily and quickly. That can be overwhelming sometimes but also wonderful. That is definitely something I search for…

I’m currently in Denver and I’m shortly off to Vancouver and Seattle. I will be presenting at the polyamory conference in Vancouver. For those of you who live in the area or who will be there between May 31st and June 2nd, come on by! Check out polyadvocacy.ca for details. And as always, send me any questions to miriam@askmiriam.ca  I really look forward to all of your questions and thoughts.  

 

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Things that Emanate from the Mouth

To be poly requires a lot of oral effort and I mean that in every way possible. I’d like to discuss both of those things this week. First of all, with regards to communication, lots of people say that the first rule of poly is communicate, communicate, communicate… and then communicate some more. One of the things we talk about from time to time, I say somewhat facetiously, is labels. Do labels mean anything and do they really matter? I recently met someone at a social who I found quite interesting. We went out a few times and then we ended up going to a BDSM workshop together. Both of us are pretty interested in BDSM, but haven’t done much. The workshop wasn’t the greatest- one of the people there kept staring at me, which made me pretty uncomfortable, and the instructor was not the nicest person. However, we did learn some interesting rope ties. After the workshop, I was supposed to meet with a friend and he cancelled. I turned to the person I met recently and said hey, I have the rest of the night free. We decided to go back to my place. On the way there, we talked about expectations. I told him that I’m looking for a primary partner and he can’t be that to me because he’s married. We’re both concerned because we both tend to get close to people quickly. I find that one of the most useful things about open and honest communication is that you learn a lot about people quickly and feel much closer to them. At any rate, I asked him if maybe we could be friends with benefits. I very much enjoy his company and both of us want to learn more about BDSM, so I think that label is quite fitting. Not to mention, the sex was excellent. He told me that he hasn’t had a friends with benefits before, but he’s willing to try. I am concerned because if both of us get close to people quickly, we could find ourselves becoming partners, which is what happened with my most recent partner. So, in the end, do the labels really matter? If we care about each other, like friends would, and put sex into the mix, is it inevitable that we would get even closer? Sex can be tricky. Just because you’re close physically, doesn’t mean you’re close intellectually or emotionally. However, in this case, I feel that all of those things could be true very quickly. Once again, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

So, other things that emanate from the mouth- I consider myself very lucky because the people in my life right now all love oral sex. I also love eating and the people I know also love eating. Is there some sort of connection? I find that many poly people are vegetarian, pescetarian, vegan or have some other specific diet. We tend to eat healthy. I consider myself flexitarian. There are times when I eat fish and I have accidentally eaten meat recently, which I don’t think is the end of the world but I prefer not to eat fish or meat because of the environmental impact. I’ve talked to a lot of people about the connection between poly and food. Someone I met on my trip back in February said that our culture has a perverse relationship with both food and sex. Other people say poly people are liberal and diet goes along with that. What are your thoughts? If you have any questions, send me an email to miriam@askmiriam.ca

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