For the Love of Sex: Trustworthy, Ethical Sexual Life Advice

Pollyanne Marie | Columnist

Photo from Bobbu | thebobbu.com

Pollyanne Marie | Columnist

“Dear Pollyanne,

I have been wanting to try polyamory for some time now but am worried about how I will handle my current boyfriend seeing other people. We have been together for 2 years and talked about having an open relationship but never went further than a couple of threesomes with other women. I would like us both to feel that we have the freedom to see other people without too many rules, but I am scared I won’t be able to handle it. I also don’t know where I would meet someone who would be interested in dating someone who is already in a committed relationship but is totally new to polyamory. I am also worried they will think I am stupid for not knowing all the lingo. Do you have any advice for me?”

-S.Bee143

Thanks for writing in, Bee. I spoke quite a bit about jealousy and compersion (jealousy’s much easier going brother from another mother) in my last article, which you can read on my website, Pollyannemarie.tumblr.com. As I mentioned there, I have also been learning how to deal with these feelings and continue reminding myself that, as my poly friends say, “it gets easier!”

Something that has helped me when I have a hard time thinking about one of my partners hooking up with someone else, is taking a good hard look at where I think my worth is coming from. Society spends a lot of time telling us that being someone’s one and only is paramount in our worth as a person. Honestly, this is a big part of the reason I found that being poly was important to me in the first place. It’s an enormous weight we put on people to be our partners today. As Esther Perel expressed in an interview with Dear Sugars:

“At this point, we are living one of the greatest experiments in humankind – to create something that has, throughout history, been considered a contradiction in terms – a passionate marriage. Passion has always existed, but it took place somewhere else. Everything that we wanted from a traditional marriage – companionship, family, children, economic support, a best friend, a passionate lover, a trusted confidante, an intellectual equal – we are asking from one person what an entire village once provided. And couples are crumbling under the weight of so much expectation.”*

I think it’s important to put these things into perspective and self-reflect on why you are feeling jealous. Of course, if your partner is breaking arrangements which were previously agreed upon by the two of you, or you feel that you are being made to compromise more than you are comfortable with to make your new dynamic work, it might be time to sit down and have a conversation about expectations. Just because you’re poly doesn’t mean you’re not human. You are very much allowed to have feelings and to have those feelings change, and that’s why we stress communication between partners. You’re allowed to be jealous, the attempt to change our partner’s actions so that we feel better is more so what I try to avoid.

Speaking of which, keep in mind that when you are stepping into the poly community, most of us are pretty open communicators. If you’re feeling intimidated because you’re new to the scene, my advice would be honest. Anyone who is worth dating is going to be able to have an open and transparent conversation with you about their expectations and boundaries and will be happy to explain anything you don’t understand. The beautiful thing about polyamory is that we aren’t a pretentious clique, we really do believe in a “the more the merrier” mindset. I’m not saying everyone will want to date you but they should, at the very least, respect that you are new to the scene and encourage you to ask questions to expand your understanding of polyamorous relationships.

I’d say that goes for your question on how to meet people as well. I meet poly people on regular dating sites as well as FetlIfe.com (a kind of Facebook for kinksters). You can meet poly people anywhere you go to meet people in general, you just have to know what you are looking for. Someone’s Tinder profile might identify them as “Queer” or maybe all they have is a rainbow emoji in their profile description. The truth is that “queer” is an umbrella term for anyone practicing a form of unconventional sex, relationships, or who identifies as a sexual or gender minority. So they may actually be trying to put out a discreet poly flag. I met a few of my partners on Tinder and Plenty of Fish. Those and the relatively new app “Bumble” seem to be your best bet if you are not on Fetlife. Like I said, just be honest from the start. I know that starting out can be scary and putting yourself out there in any new arena can be anxiety-inducing, but I also know that the people in the poly community of Prince George are easygoing and always happy to meet new likeminded people.

If you are looking for further materials to help you in your journey, a great place to start is the website www.morethantwo.com or the book of the same name by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert. You can purchase the book on Amazon or support a local business and order in from Books and Company as I did.

While you’re there, you can pick up a copy of “The Ethical Slut” by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, they usually have it in stock. One more? Try Cacilda Jethá’s “Sex at Dawn” for a look at the fascinating evolution of monogamy.

Remember to be honest with your current and upcoming partners and above all, take your time. There shouldn’t be a rush into any of this. If it is really what you and your boyfriend want then go slow, communicate often and take baby steps. Good luck!

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for upcoming articles, please email us at Askpollyannemarie@gmail.com. You can submit anonymously and read past articles through the website at Pollyannemarie.tumblr.com.

Until next time, keep it kinky and keep it consensual!

~Pollyanne Marie

*Listen to the full interview with Esther Perel at www.wbur.org/dearsugar