Top Ten List
For years, the wife and I had a top ten list; that is, a list of ten famous people if given the opportunity we would jump into bed with.
It was the wife that introduced me to this game, long before we were open or had ever heard of the word polyamory. You can probably tell a lot about the dynamic of a couple from the things they laugh and joke about, and how secure they are in their relationship. If you can't stand to hear your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse list a bunch of people they find attractive, and confess to each other "yeah, I'd do 'em", then what chance do you have at being poly?
What this little game does is acknowledge a fundamental truth: that we are physically attracted to multiple people. There's no denying it! I'm not talking about love. This is pure unadulterated lust and desire. We all have it.
Yet we often try to deny it, or at least try to hide it.
For many people, the simple act of staring at another women or fantasizing about other men can be seen as a betrayal! Take me for example. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have looked at porn on and off (mostly on) for the past 25 years, ever since I was 13 or so. What's more, this has never been something that has bothered my wife. As far as she is concerned, men are aroused by visual images. You can try and stop them from doing it, but you will always be met with failure. Her friend, on the other hand, hates that her husband watches porn. it's disgusting and something to be ashamed of. So he has to hide it.
So I am curious about how many couples there are here - that before they even become polyamorous - knew and accepted that their partner was a sexual creature attracted to other people. Perhaps you joked about their "boyfriends" and "girlfriends". May be you asked each other whether they found a mutual friend attractive, and were never threatened by the answer.
Beloved and I have our mythical "laminated cards" - mythical in that they never existed and we joke about them frequently, even now. When we were monogamous, anyone listed on our cards merited pre-approved 'free get out of monogamy' status. The people varied from the usual celebrities to acquaintances. Actually, just last night we had a fun discussion 'updating' our cards. It's something we return to often.
And other than Pool Boy, neither of us have had occasion to 'use' the cards. Sadly!
I have a neighbor who is very controlling of her husband. She is kind of upset that he went to a strip club before they ever met. She brags about him being a virgin when they did finally get together. (She had kids from a previous marriage.)
So once the topic of guys looking at porn came up, she (not surprisingly) said, "Why should he look at porn when he has me to look at?" I tried to talk to her about the different ways of seeing this. I suggested the "one free celebrity" type game where you can name a famous person your partner gives you permission to be with.
I once wrote a column for my local paper on polyamory which reopened the discussion. She did kind of realize that she is being controlling of his time and is acting a little insecure. But not enough for her to change her opinions.
And besides, as I put it: "Look, darling, you are craving vagina and I very obviously don't have one. Go get it.".
Think of it as an early way of realizing that I couldn't fulfill all of her needs, so I told her to seek out what she needed from someone else.
I never understood how someone can feel threatened by a mate's attractions to others, which are such a natural part of just being human. I remember my bf, when I was age 16-19, insisted that I always look straight ahead in the car when we were driving because he couldn't bear the idea that I might be looking at other guys.
Maybe that set the stage for me later in life. In my mono life, I often pointed out attractive women to my husband, and joked about the crushes I had on certain movie stars. He referred to Faith Hill as "his girl," and flirted with waitresses. When I was in an off-B'way play and had to kiss my co-star, I'd come home all turned on and give it to hubs. Neither one of us were ever threatened by that stuff. However, there were women who were a bit pushy about being attracted to my hubs, and he would come home and tell me how uncomfortable it made him, and we'd try to figure out how he could diplomatically deflect their advances. They made me mad, but I completely trusted him, even if he thought they were pretty or sexy.
I am an extremely loyal person. If I promise someone not to stray, I mean it; if I give someone my heart, it's without reservation; if I make a commitment to someone, I'm committed. If my partner feels threatened just because I find another person attractive, then I take it to mean they don't trust me and they really just think my word is shit. It's a huge insult not to be trusted.
The only time I ever feel insecure about someone's attractions to other people is when a relationship is new and there is no established commitment yet. That is another story. My self-esteem sometimes needs work in that area. But once I feel like I can count on someone and we have a real committed relationship going, I don't doubt their word and I expect them not to doubt mine.
My partner and I actually recently tried to make a top 5 list, but that was too hard so we limited it to celebrities. Still a bit difficult, as neither of us could get higher than 3. Apparently, it was too hard for us to narrow down our options, having existed polyamorous for so long.
OK this thread needs pix.
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