Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Random Pull From The Mailbag

I reached your article from a mention of "hot-bi-babe syndrome" (which term I was not familiar with) in a Best-of-Craigslist post and an internet search. I found your article interesting and informative, but was confused by your statement that "I'm poly and bi, and there's no way I'd be in a triad relationship, mostly because I think it's an extremely difficult arrangement to sustain."

My understanding is that polyamory is usually defined as a relationship involving three or more persons. Ah, a moment, I just checked Merriam-Webster, and they have "the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time". OK, I think I am able to answer my own question.

I was going to ask if a four or more person relationship didn't have some of the difficulties of triads, and that was why you made that statement. But you are saying you are open to having more than one relationship partner, but having those relationships in one multiple-partner relationship is too difficult, in your opinion, so you are interested in one or more relationships, each having its own partner, without cross-connection. Am I on the right track?

Well, I think you get it, although you're phrasing it a little oddly. I would not say a triad was one relationship. But that's mere semantics.

To say it's "too difficult" is putting it mildly. My observation is that it's extremely difficult to conduct a long-term triad. Not saying impossible, but very challenging. I have never done a quad relationship (four people), although in some ways, I think it might be a trifle easier than a triad.

And you may also say that I am considerably more than open and interested. I have never in my life been willingly monogamous. I tried, once or twice, a long time ago. It never worked, because I am not wired that way.

So I've been identifying myself as polyamorous since I was about twenty. I have used different words to talk about that, as the language and culture of polyamory grew and became more sophisticated. And it took me years and years to get good at being poly. Along the way, I made every mistake there is, and I'm sure I invented a few new ones.

Now, I have ongoing intimate relationships that are sexual and loving - and yes, kinky - with more than one person. I don't require a lifetime commitment, but I do not generally do one-night stands. I'm definitely not a swinger, and I don't usually go to bed with more than one person at a time. So yes, all of relationships are quite separate.

In closing, I must just say to you: thank you so very, very much for looking up the word polyamory. I am heartened to see someone actually use the vast array of information at their fingertips, instead of sending me an email saying, "hey whatz X-word-that-I-could-just-fucking-Google mean?" I am so sincerely pleased and happy that you did that and told me about it. Yay you.