I am moving to the city, my primary is not??
Hi! I am new to this website and am reaching out for some advice if anyone has some to give me.
I am 25 years old, my primary boyfriend is 12 years my senior (m). I have some experience with poly, but always in that I had a relationship with a group of people, and conducted my other relationships in an honest, but separate manner. My current boyfriend of 1.5 years, m, does not have any experience in these realms, besides some beginning exploration with me. He has met my 'group of people', we have fooled around with / in group settings, but nothing serious. We are great at communicating and honest, however, m, and myself at times have issues with jealousy.
We have always maintained the pretense of poly in our relationship, but haven't really integrated it into our lives. I am moving very soon 1.5 hours away to a bigger city, so the question of dating other people is rearing it's head.
I think that setting limitations with what we are comfortable with is a good idea, however m (idealistically) doesn't like the idea of limiting me. He still has recently been very jealous, and moody when thinking about me moving to the city. I think that limitations (with in reason and in the beginning) will help with the transition.
Also, I recently found out that I have herpes. Since I found out, I have only been with my primary partner. I am responsible, safe and honest, but I am also wondering how this comes into play in being poly. Anyone?
Does anyone have any advice for me on how to integrate poly into our lives? I know that this works differently for everyone. Safety is obviously a concern, for both our partners and for us. I want him to remain my primary partner, for us to get over our jealousy issues. I was hoping someone may have gone through something similar and could share their experiences with me (/us)? Or maybe any good book suggestions. I've already read the ethical slut.
Thank you all, and I look forward to reading your helpful comments.
Hopefully you will get some good responses to your questions. I have only been completely poly for about 16 months and I know there are some great people on here who have more experience than I do.
But as one of the babies of the group, I'll give it a shot... :p
I personally agree with you. I started my poly relationship with no guidelines. My GF and I didn't want to restrict each other. We thought that true love meant living like sweet little flitting birds, flying where the wind took us. Ah, how beautiful. Ah, what a mess.
I'm sure there are older posts on here about what kinds of guidelines other people have. Some are very specific, some are very liberal. Some people operate on a polyamory basis (i.e. love multiple) and some people prefer polysexual (i.e. just sex with multiple). Some don't believe in the primary/secondary thing. Some do.
Some ideas/questions to help you think of guidelines?
- how soon after I leave for The Big City could I start actively looking for/accepting dates?
- if your BF wants to date, how soon?
- are overnight stays ok?
- do you want general timeframes and locations of dates?
- will you try to arrange dates at times that have the least impact on each other? i.e. you arrange dates on Fri nights because your BF always goes out with his friends that night?
- will you operate on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' (eeeeek), will you have general disclosure (I kissed/did some stuff/slept with him), will you have total disclosure? (we had sex this way, then that way, and I felt this and that....)
- will you want to meet each other's secondaries before sex happens? i.e. online if not in person?
- are you open to loving others and having other 'primaries', or are you thinking on a polysexual basis?
- do you want a limit on the amount of dates per week to help you balance? i.e. one date a week unless something special is happening?
- if you're going for full disclosure, how do you want to tell each other? on the phone after the event? wait until you're in person?
- ethics: can you both see people who aren't poly? people who are married? people who don't care about your primary partner?
- will you have time frames for dates, or have them open ended? i.e. you'll be back some time the next day?
It seems like a lot... hahaha... I don't think you should have 100 guidelines. But if you talk about as many of the little things as you can, then narrow it down to what is the most important and effective, it should give you a good starting point.
We started with about 9 or 10 general guidelines. We discovered about 500 little grey areas. 16 months later, the grey areas are less, but they still pop up with every new experience. And the guidelines do help us, personally.
It's great to talk about a lot of stuff before you start 'integrating' the poly lifestyle properly. But I will say... the first 6 months are known for being full of misunderstandings and silly mistakes! If you're patient with each other and you keep that in mind, you should work through them better.
What else can I tell you, based on my absolute wealth of experience? :rolleyes:
One major thing I've learnt recently?
If I'm in a poly relationship, it means that I'm not single. I want to work as a team. I want to provide the kind of nurturing that my GF needs. I want to be considered. I want my GF to say to me "I'd like to go on a date with this guy I met... how would you feel about me starting to talk to him and pursue that?"
That's not because I want to restrict her. It's because I want to feel considered. Simply being considered in the first place ramps up my compersion levels tenfold.
Now, her natural inclination would be to say, "I met this guy tonight." then a few days later, "We've been talking online every night and he wants to take me out." or even "I'm going to meet up with him this week".
I've learnt what I expect and how that differs with my GF's way of acting.
We've tried to reach a better compromise.
How do you two want to operate? Do you want to be more like free agents, doing what you want, when you want, and checking in on each other's feelings about it? Do you want to ask before things happen if the other person is ready and feeling ok about it? That's really down to the two of you and how you work. :)
As for the herpes... I'm afraid that I can't give much more advice than practice safe sex! And be honest with new partners about it. If you are unsure about how likely it is to be transmitted, do research online or go into your local clinic and ask for advice. I'm afraid I haven't been in this position and my sexual endeavours have so far been: "Do you get tested? Show me the results and I'll show you mine." Even then, I know could get unlucky. My secondary partner is fine at the moment, but she could sleep with a guy next week, not tell me, and I could catch something. We can only control our end of it.
Thanks so much for your incredibly thoughtful reply. I'll be sure to share this with my partner. Thank you for your response sparklepop!!
Oh, you're completely welcome! :-)
I hope everything works out wonderfully for you!
Since you've always "maintained a pretence" of poly, this is probably a good time to try integrating it. I say go out and meet people, dating is (mostly) harmless. If you meet someone with whom you click, talk to your bf about it and carry forward. Maximize the time you and your bf do get together.
As for herpes, the biggest thing is disclosure and of course protection. That's got nothing to do with poly, that's for anyone who's sexually active. Research as much as you can about it and about how to keep your partners safe, and respect those guidelines. Bring it up long before you're naked, so that people won't disregard safety in the heat of the moment.
Hi! I have had genital herpes for 4 years and it hasn't had much of a negative impact on my sex or poly life. It's basically just an annoying skin condition and if you approach it as such, it's not a huge deal to other people either. I take acyclovir every day and only have one break out a year. Better yet, I haven't given it to my primary of 3 years and have had only one lover complain of getting it from me. I'm not sure I fully believe her either because she told me in a context of trying to get me to reconcile with her during a separation period. The acyclovir disrupts the virus enough to make for low chances of spreading it. I don't have sex during and a week after a break out. There is still a chance to transmit it with no break out though! A number of people have it and transmit it without ever having a break out or knowing they have anything!
I've been surprised at the number of people not bothered by it. I've only had a handful of people decline sex with me over it and those folks were usually down to do other things sexually. I don't have the conversation with people until we're naked. It's no one's business until that point and I DO want people to weigh the decision with their attraction for me in mind instead of the info causing them to not be open to attraction with me. Some might say this is unfair but believe me, this serious conversation always brings a hot moment to a screeching halt. I give them all the facts and offer for them to take some days to think about it before doing anything more sexual. Most people don't need much time to think about it or talk and don't regret it afterward.
I definitely use condoms but I got it below the condom line when I was using condoms with someone who was recently infected and didn't know she had it. So condoms aren't totally safe. I explain that to people I'm going to have sex with.
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