AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Etiquette, Poly Style

I’m not one for writing about etiquette but I felt it was warranted given recent experiences. I was at a sex club last night and I heard a lot of talk about newbies not really knowing how to conduct themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of these newbies are single men- I don’t want to single you all out, so to speak, but some guys don’t know how to act at a sex club. Consent is of the UTMOST importance. If a woman has turned you down, don’t ask her again if she wants to join you. No means no. If a woman is being vague about something, don’t push it. Unfortunately, women are not often taught how to vocalize their wishes. This is extremely frustrating for all genders. People tell me that they admire me for saying what I want, but I don’t always do it. I was involved in a threesome last night with a couple, which was a ton of fun. Afterward, I fooled around with another woman- she seemed to be there with one guy who wanted to do things with me and I declined because I was not attracted to him in the slightest. The woman brought another guy who I was indeed attracted to and the three of us fooled around- the other guy looked on in jealousy and asked me yet again if I wanted to do anything and I said no. Finally, another guy was in the room with his girlfriend and he tried to put my hand on his penis without asking me. This should never happen. Again, I don’t like to single out guys, but many don’t make an effort to find out what women want. Many assume that their needs come first. Guys, you can make a woman happy by putting her needs ahead of yours. You will be thanked tremendously whether it’s at a sex club with someone you just met or with your partner.

Another note about poly etiquette- the art of the heads up and the check-in. I remember witnessing this for the first time back in December. This was the night I had dinner with my ex-partner, his wife, her partner, and that partner’s wife. After dinner, the house I lived in had a party and they all came. My partner and his wife were talking and I thought perhaps something was wrong but they were just checking in. This is so important in poly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or even in an email. Giving someone a heads up about any issue can be vital. I always say that in monogamy, the fact that cheating gets hidden is sometimes a bigger deal than the cheating itself. If we are trying to subvert norms, we need to do the opposite in poly. So, for example, if you want to date someone that your partner is involved with, let them know. There can be a fine line between doing what you want and asking for permission. I’m not a huge fan of asking for permission, but taking everyone’s feelings into account is important. One thing I enjoy about poly is being able to formulate different protocol for each relationship. Talk to your partner about how they feel about these issues and decide what works best.

If you want to contact me with any questions, my email is miriam@askmiriam.ca  Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

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Poly Perks and Paradoxes

A lot of people focus on how much work is involved when you’re in multiple relationships. I prefer to focus on the positives. I recently started seeing a married man, who I met through another poly friend. That friend of mine moved at the beginning of the month. I was helping her pack and as I was leaving, one of her lovers walked in. He and I chatted for a bit and then I had to leave. After I got home, I read his very long message to me on OkC. We went out the following week and had a great time. He and his wife have wanted to have a threesome for quite awhile and I was honoured to be that person last week. I also feel very lucky that I can have such a good relationship with a metamour. She and I get along very well and it definitely makes everything much easier. I have to say that one of the best parts of the threesome was watching the two of them. When a couple has been together for awhile, they know each other’s bodies so well. It’s quite beautiful to see. The wife hasn’t had much experience with women and she wasn’t sure if she did a good job with me, but everything felt very natural. They are apparently quite enthusiastic about having another threesome, particularly with me. 

I had a discussion about one of the paradoxes of poly with a poly friend of mine. I said to him that when you are monogamous, your partner is your whole world. A lot of monogamous couples end up only spending time with each other and getting bored. When you are poly, relationships are at the centre of your life, yet I think we are better at time management; seeing friends, family, and others is also a priority. I personally think it is important to have a well-rounded life and relationships are only a part of that.

One last thing: the taboo of female sexuality. Why is it that in 2013, we still view a woman’s desire for sex as somehow wrong? In the last post I wrote about the struggle to be myself. I can be a very sexual person. Poly has allowed that to flourish. Why is it that I am punished for being who I am? My friends who knew me before poly know that I am a very flirtatious person. One of the things I like about poly is that the flirting can actually lead somewhere. In a world where things are changing, why can’t we accept the fact that there are plenty of women who are very sexual and want to have sex regularly? I hope things change in this regard very soon, though I think it will take some time.

The Struggle to be Yourself

It’s been a rough little while for me, dear readers. Not with regards to my love life, but other things, which I don’t particularly feel like divulging at the moment on this blog. If you want to write to me, my email is miriam@askmiriam.ca I feel lucky during times like these that I have multiple lovers to turn to. I had a bad day on Thursday and 2 people I’m involved with were there for me. My longest standing partner is currently travelling and I do miss him; thankfully, poly can take the edge off for both of us. I have struggled with many things over the course of my life. One of them was being diagnosed with a nonverbal learning disability at the age of 15. My learning disability affects one important thing: social skills. I sometimes can’t tell when I make people feel uncomfortable. On the upside, I’m honest to a fault. This has gotten me into trouble over the years. Being poly can put oneself in a similar situation. Some people don’t really want or try to understand us. We try to explain things but sometimes it just doesn’t work. A lot of poly people don’t come out to their families for that reason. I recently started seeing someone who has only been poly for 6 months and has already told his family and his 6 year old daughter that it is possible to love more than 1 person. I’m quite impressed with this.

Being poly can require a lot of courage. When I went to the polycon in Vancouver in May, Samantha Fraser spoke about being honest. Unfortunately, this can be extremely difficult at times. Our society doesn’t value it enough; that’s part of the reason why people cheat. I remind myself that I am a good person and that I deserve happiness. Sometimes I feel like I am continually searching for what and who I want when all I want to do is just be content with what I have. I love a challenge though; I guess this is part of human nature.

Shame on Me?

There’s that old expression, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. It’s a bit of a cliche but it exists for a reason, as many cliches do. I wrote on this column a few weeks ago that I went out on a date with someone who told me he couldn’t do poly because of the jealousy. We both said we wanted to remain friends. He went away on a trip and after he got back, he emailed me to see what I was doing last weekend. I told him I was going to a potluck and he was welcome to join. This potluck is normally quite busy but last weekend’s was particularly small. When we decided to start eating, we could all fit around the table. Usually, people are scattered throughout the house. We sat next to each other and started talking. I was teasing him a little bit about the jealousy. He said that it was hard to feel jealous of my partner because my partner is so nice. Then I asked him what the problem was and it seemed like he was changing his mind. I told him I could stay over at his place. We went over there, made out, and talked, but it was increasingly becoming clear that he was still feeling jealous. There are also other issues such as his desire for children, which I don’t think I want. He’s also completing his PhD next year and he may have to relocate for work. There’s a part of me that fears we will be friends and will continue to flirt. Of course, this is not a problem for me, but it may be if he gets involved with someone monogamously. 

In other news, there has been a flirtation between myself and a roommate. We watched a film last night and things came close to happening. We both agree that a relationship between us wouldn’t work. In addition, the girl who used to live in my room had to move out because she got involved with another roommate in our house. The roommate I flirted with joked that it was time for him to move out, but he wouldn’t in fact do that because our house is great. We all get along and we’re now sharing cooking duties. Someone I know had an experience where he lived with his future wife and both of them were attracted to each other and acted on it. In my case, I don’t think it’s a good idea, but the idea is tempting…

Finally, a poly friend of mine and I are now seeing 2 of the same people. She and I evidently have similar taste in men. I find these situations in poly very interesting. Last week, my friend and her husband were packing in preparation to move. I came over to help them. As I was leaving, one of my friend’s lovers came over and he and I talked briefly. He then sent me a message through OkCupid. We met a few days ago and had a great time. He is very new to poly but he also feels strongly about it and blogs about it. He has told many of his friends and his family, which I very much respect. We’ll see how these relationships unfold, as the metamour web expands…

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