Idealist Poly Blog part 1
Welcome!! This blog is an effort to sort out my thoughts and feelings about my personal journey and to share with others for entertainment and to offer support and validation. The names have been changed for anonymity. Any feedback is welcome.
Born and raised in the Deep South, I am a 52 year old single female, and I’ve never been married. Living alone for 10 years now, I have created a life that works for me. At this time in my life, I have 4 male lovers and a female friend that I would like to eventually call my lover.
At the age of 16, I wanted to have sex for the first time with my boyfriend of almost 2 years, but he was either too scared due to inexperience and not knowing what to do, or his Catholic upbringing had convinced him that it was wrong. No matter what the reason, he broke up with me- probably because of the pressure. I was very disappointed and felt grief, sadness and confusion upon losing him. That was when my virginity seemed like a burden rather than anything special or desirable, so I had sex for the first time with a stranger just to get it over with.
A year later, I hooked up with a 21 year old guy and lived with him for 4 years. It was a very sexual relationship and we would occasionally have sex with other couples that we knew. It was quite exhilarating for me, having been extremely sheltered in my life up to that point. I enjoyed the spontaneity of the lifestyle and often felt an underlying sense of tension and anticipation of what would happen next. We would develop close friendships with other couples and those connections would usually become sexual. I eventually outgrew the relationship and left it when I was 21.
For the following 10 years, I was single with lots of friends. I found myself initiating sexual connections with friends, (male and female) as well as creating environments which felt safe for groups to have sexual experiences. Even now, I occasionally run into someone who remembers me because they had been invited to a group gathering over 25 years ago!
Idealist Poly Blog part 2
As that lifestyle began to lose interest for me I considered a lesbian lifestyle and started seeing a woman I met at a party. She moved in with me right away and we lived together for about a year. She had emotional issues which was confusing for me, so in an effort to understand some things about her and my feelings, I found a therapist and started seeing her weekly. Therapy was amazing and to this day I am so glad that I stuck with it. (I saw the same therapist off and on for almost 15 years and if an issue came up today that I needed help with, I would call her). So, after a few years of therapy, I started going to AA. The Twelve Steps helped me start becoming more conscious of who I am and why I made the choices I had made up to that point.
This process opened me up to the desire for my first serious monogamous relationship. At the age of 30, I met Pattie and we became involved. After dating for 1 year, we moved in together and eventually purchased a home together. We were together for 12 years. We were monogamous and only once did I have a thought or desire for sex outside of the relationship. I was open with her about it, I resisted the urge and it passed. This was an emotionally healthy relationship since we were both in recovery and were able to practice great honesty.
My years of therapy and honesty with myself, however, resulted in my leaving her so that I could pursue a heterosexual lifestyle. It took me two years to get through the grief process. I felt a lot of guilt for hurting her.
That was 10 years ago and in these last ten years, I have had 7 monogamous relationships with men.
Idealist Poly Blog part 3
So these are the guys that I've been in monogamous relationships with in the last 10 years. Four of them are currently part of my Poly Family.
Randal- My first lover was Randal and he affected me, my life, my thoughts and emotions in a major way. We were business associates and just connected right away. He was very spiritual and that was what I liked about him. We were only together for 2 months. He died about a year after we broke up.
Edward- Edward was also a business associate that I had known for many years. He was single at the time, and safe. We dated for 6 months. We are platonic friends now and still talk and get together occasionally.
John- Shortly after ending the relationship with Edward, I met John standing in the check-out line at Home Depot. There was in instant chemistry between us. We were together almost 3 years. We broke up for about 4 years and then we were together for 1 ½ years again. (See below) We have kept contact and are currently lovers- he is part of my Poly family. He is not currently seeing anyone else, but he is free to do so if he chooses.
Steven- I met Steven at a Convention. Although he lived in another state, we had a long distance relationship which lasted one year. We have also remained in contact and although he lives in another state, I consider him part of my Poly family now.
Richard- After the long distance relationship with Steven, I desired more daily contact, so I signed up with an online dating service and that is how I met Richard. We were also together about 3 years. He is part of my Poly family now also. He does tend to prefer monogamous relationships, so he occasionally dates other women and he will probably get involved in a monogamous relationship eventually and our relationship will become platonic.
John- Dated John again for 1 1/2 years. Towards the end of this part of my relationship with John is when I started thinking that monogamy wasn't working for me. I wanted the freedom to see other people. We went 8 months with no contact. Then, I contacted him and explained about my lifestyle and asked if we could see each other, under these new conditions. He agreed.
Charles- It was love at first site when I met Charles. I met him at a night club. He is the only one of my current lovers that I have never had a monogamous relationship with. He has a primary lover (Holland) and I am his secondary. I am pretty close to Holland and we have a good relationship too.
Wow! Keep up the sharing :)
Idealist Poly Blog Part 4- Rigorous honesty
Many individuals have developed a manner of living that relies heavily on deception and manipulation as a means of self-preservation. It can become a habit and even unconscious. I was shocked when I became fully conscious of how capable I am of manipulation and deception. My experiences with therapy, 12 step recovery groups and interaction with a spiritual teacher brought me to a point where I wanted to be more honest….that was the first step for me. I found that there is great freedom in honesty.
The next step, for me, was honesty with myself. How I have avoided that! It’s not easy to be honest with yourself, especially when your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and/or desires are not in line with what is considered “normal” in the society where you live. Being an extrovert (not that introverts don’t struggle with this) I have struggled with the need and desire to be accepted. So- one of the things I spend a lot of time and energy on is developing and nurturing a peer group of individuals who have similar lifestyles or similar values, and who are operating from a similar level of consciousness with the desire to live an honest life. I believe this forum is an example of that, for me, and that is why I am sharing my story here.
Idealist Poly Blog Part 5- Values
Becoming aware of and identifying what my core values are has been a very important process for me in becoming more conscious and honest with myself. I found a list of values which is quite exhaustive. (I’ll attach it to this post as a PDF. let me know if you would like a txt version) One week, I went on a vacation with a few friends and we brought the values list and each studied it and worked on identifying our core values by choosing the ones that are most important to us.
I’m going to share how I use it, but first some of my personal thoughts about life in general to lay the groundwork.
I can spend energy creating environments which are conducive to certain things like motivation, romance, success, love, etc. but the only thing I can actually control in terms of my place in the world and my interactions with others is how I react or respond to each circumstance which is presented to me in each moment. I have come to believe that I am the thinker; not my thoughts. And as a result, I can manage my own thoughts, beliefs and subsequently behaviors. I can be aware of my emotions and do not have the desire to control them, but I can allow them to flow and remain aware of them. So- how to react in the moment to a circumstance?? That’s when awareness of values comes in.
We all can (and do) make split second reactions and responses daily to people and events in our lives. What is driving my reactions? Well, we all know….. A lot of things can cause a reaction. But, I believe that becoming aware of our values; you might say bringing them out into the open will result in our responses and reactions being driven by what we value.
And as a result, we begin to create more in our life which supports our values.
So- that’s how I use the Values List.
It has been an awakening process for me and my friends. We have really discovered some interesting things about ourselves by studying our values lists. One of the things worth mentioning here is this:
I have come to believe that many life struggles are a result of conflicting values.........and the desire to satisfy some of my own conflicting values is what has landed me in a polyamorous lifestyle.
Idealist Poly Blog Part 6- the weekend
My weekend was good! I went out to dinner with Katherine on Friday night. The weather is so good this time of year in the South, so we found a restaurant where we could sit outside. We had these delicious drinks….basically a cosmopolitan on the rocks……I like mine with a premium vodka like Belvedere, with Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and a twist of lime. We had crab cakes and fish tacos!! We talked and enjoyed each other’s company.
I know I am bisexual and that having women to love in my life is very important to me. Since I’ve already been in a lesbian relationship for 12 years; and I found that I missed having a male partner…….I have struggled with having to choose between a heterosexual lifestyle and a lesbian lifestyle.
If sexual orientation is something a person is born with, but lifestyle is something a person chooses……then how do you live a bisexual lifestyle? This has been my dilemma. Until now……polyamory is the answer for me.
So- Katherine is not in a place where she is willing to let go of having male lover(s). She identifies herself as bisexual without ever having acted on it (except for once with me. I had introduced her to a guy I’ve known for many years, but I’ve never been romantic or sexual with him. She and he hit it off and the three of us ended up having a sexual three way which was very fun and enjoyable for all of us. But…..sadly…..a week or two later, the guy decided to enter into a monogamous relationship with a woman he had dated recently. She wanted to get back together and he agreed. So, it was disappointing to me and Katherine because we were looking forward to more time together as a triad). So- anyway; we talked Friday night about finding a guy that we both like and feel compatible with to form a triad or V with. So, I am really happy about that. Considering that we (she and I) are both soooo picky about the people we become involved with, and the fact that we don’t tend to be attracted to the same type of guys, it seems like an impossible thing, but we are just going to “put it out there” and see what happens.
I found it funny that she and I ended our evening fairly early which meant I was already home by 9PM when Charles called and wanted to know where we were. I had told him and Holland that I would be with Katherine that evening and he had gotten a “yard pass” from Holland to come out and find us. I don’t think he is the guy that Katherine and I are looking for. Holland is his primary and although she and I get along well, the two of them (Charles and Holland) are pretty co-dependent on each other. Charles and I have been able to manage to continue our relationship, but I’m not willing to attempt bringing Charles into a V with me and Katherine. The reason is because Holland is new to this lifestyle and I don’t want to be the one to cause her discomfort. I know her well enough and I know what she is okay with for now. I can introduce her to guys for now, but will hold off on introducing Charles to other women (for now).
Charles did end up spending the night with me and he was so sweet. It was so obvious that he just wants to be loved. And having two women who love him (in very different ways) is something he is really enjoying. Charles is interesting (like a lot of guys, I guess) because he often looks like a biker (with tattoos and lots of leather) but after making love when he is lying there, vulnerable….well OMG……that is why I can’t give up male lovers. That sweet time with a man is the most precious thing!!
I spent Saturday evening with Richard since his daughter got married. It was good because I got to see two of his brothers and two sister-in-laws along with nieces and nephews that I haven’t seen in several years. The wedding was fun….I was glad I brought my iPod with party music since we were able to hook that up to the sound system and I managed to get everyone up dancing at the reception!!!
Richard spent the night Saturday night and I just loved him!!! It was an awesome night too. It was fairly early when we got home from the wedding and we weren’t ready to go to sleep yet. I dressed in my stockings with high heels, garter belts etc. under a dress and did a strip tease for Richard which was something I had never done with him (even though we’ve known each other for around 6 years). He loved it!!! He is my sweet man…..we have such an emotional connection. We were “friends first” when we met and that friendship has continued on. I feel very fortunate in my life right now.
Everything isn’t going as good as my love life. The economy has really hurt my business and we are struggling in that arena. So- I’m going to post this and head to the office!
Idealist Poly Blog Part 7- Fear of Being Trapped
During my years of therapy, I realized that I have a "fear of being trapped" when I'm in a relationship. This "trapped" feeling has come up in every monogamous relationship I've been in. I have chosen partners who are not possessive or jealous because I have known that I could not live with that. But no matter how much freedom I had, there would be an underlying feeling of being trapped and eventually it would create enough turmoil deep within me that it would affect my ability to love my partner and feel contentment in the relationship.
I have always thought that this was “my issue” and assumed that it was not necessarily a common thing that a lot of people are dealing with. But, now I’m not so sure and I wonder if this, or something like this is one of the things that lead people to have affairs and possibly one of the things that ends people up in the poly lifestyle.
Idealist Poly Blog Part 8- John,Charles and Holland
I went out with a group on Thursday evening and Charles and Holland were part of the group. Holland wanted to leave early, but Charles wanted to stay, so he stayed and then he spent the night with me that night.
Thursday was the evening we had planned that I was going to introduce John to Charles and Holland. I have known John about 8 years, but I had not spoken to him for 8 months until a few weeks ago. I explained my lifestyle and asked if we could start seeing each other under the new conditions. He agreed.
But, Charles and Holland didn’t really like John on Thursday night. Part of the reason is that John had been out of town and had driven in (a 3 hour trip) to meet us out. On the other hand, we had been out eating and drinking for 3 hours together. He was kind of quiet and maybe didn’t really feel comfortable.....not in the same space. But, anyway….. we have a trip planned together (the 4 of us) next weekend. They have agreed to go ahead with the trip and see how it goes. I know how difficult John can be socially, but I have a great deal of respect for him and I trust him completely. So…..I’m a little nervous about it and I am having some regrets for mentioning the trip to John before Charles and Holland had a chance to meet him. I went to a movie and out to eat with Charles and Holland this evening. John was calling me and said “I would have met you guys” but I said, “Well it was a spur of the moment idea.” I really wanted to talk to them about John and they were honest to say that their first impression was that they did not feel compatibility with him, but they were willing to give it another try next weekend.
So.....that's what's going on and I hope everyone gets along next weekend!!! But, if not, I'll just see John seperately from Charles and Holland. This process has helped me to realize that I really like getting together with groups for socializing. And when everyone is compatible, it is really magical!!!
Idealist Poly Blog Part 9- thoughts about love and polyamory
Immediately after I read “The Ethical Slut” (a short 2 months ago) and joined this forum, I understood Polyamory. Giving the lifestyle a name and meeting people online who are living the lifestyle was the last piece in the puzzle for me. I understand the lifestyle to the core of my being. And, I have been explaining the lifestyle to the people who are important to me. We were functioning as “friends with benefits” before this piece of the puzzle was put in place for me.
I know my male lovers want to develop long term relationships. The thing about falling in love and surrendering yourself completely to a partner is that eventually the relationship ends and you have to suffer. Your lover goes away and you miss them and have to grieve the loss. So, these guys (my lovers) are not afraid of falling in love, but they are trying to avoid being hurt again. Which makes me think that maybe sometimes; we avoid falling in love, not because we are afraid of love, but because we are trying to avoid the pain which inevitably follows the loss of a lover.
These guys really enjoy the idea of this lifestyle and so far, the experiences we have had. They are really anticipating future get-togethers. I can hear the excitement in their voices as they talk about the future possibilities and I know they are excited about the sexual part of the lifestyle and the freedom. But, when I gently remind them that this is about long term relationships and forming connections with people that we can love because we trust each other and we can be completely honest with each other- their faces literally light up and it seems that their hearts just open up right there in front of me.
It seems that we do want exciting sexual experiences, but we also want to love and be loved. And we believe that this lifestyle is a way to experience love without the desire to possess one another. It seems that the desire to possess a lover is one of the things which will ruin an otherwise healthy relationship.
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