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-   -   How do we explain? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=499)

XYZ123 07-21-2009 01:36 PM

How do we explain?
Hello everyone. N and I have been coming out as poly now for a couple of years to small pockets of people at a time. Most are pretty accepting of it, though it could only be in theory since we don't currently have a third.

Anyway, we've recently been hanging out with another couple I went to college with. The woman was very repressed and closed-minded to all things involving non-traditional sex and family life. However, she has recently been open enough with me to admit it was only because she had been through horrible experiences when younger when she had tried to express her bisexuality. She has now begun to accept herself as a bisexual and is interested in exploring this and, perhaps, allowing her husband to join. He seems intent on joining in fact.

Our problem comes to the fact that we (N and I) think they fit more the swinger approach than the poly. They've expressed interest in swinging, threesomes with another woman not involving romantic feelings, and delved into the topic of same room couple sex. N and I always placate them and side-step their questions by promising to take them to a swingers club or something after the baby is born. They've never directly asked us to be involved and we're trying to keep it light by acting as if these inquiries are in general and not (as I feel they are) directed at us specifically. The woman once, when drunk, asked me about joining her and her husband but has no memory of it. Or at least we don't ever discuss it.

We really like this couple in a friendly sense and do not want sexual involvement with them. We also do not want to say or do the wrong thing in a direct confrontation to drive them away or her back into the closet as she's had an extremely hard journey out. Neither deals well with perceived rejection. Since they've never directed anything specifically at us we don't know how to approach this. They look to us to be their guides. That's become pretty clear. But, while they want swinging, we're poly. I don't think they grasp the difference no matter how we explain. Advice please on how to proceed and keep the friendship? Thanks.

NeonKaos 07-21-2009 03:16 PM

Buy them a book. Or two.

MonoVCPHG 07-21-2009 05:56 PM

Although I have little in the way of experience with regards to this beyond second hand knowledge, I spoke with my Life Love, Redpepper and I believe she will be replying when time permits. She and her husband have dealt with a similar situation recently which should give insight.

I have finally begun to realize the importance of sensitivity with these situations. You don't want to lose friends but also don't want to go down a path out of obligation and not desire. I used to harp about "radical honesty" in poly relationships and in dealing with people "testing the waters" so to speak. I feel bad for my lack of sensitivity in this and have no doubt it was at least partly due to my own fears and insecurities. That very blunt approach to communication is better applied within relationships where there is some security.

Hopefully you will get the advice you need and move forward in your friendship:)

redpepper 07-21-2009 06:53 PM

Your situation is uncannily similar to ours!

My husband and I have some friends who just recently came into opening their relationship. They had interests in the two of us but we respectfully declined saying that we thought we would better serve them by being friends they could talk to about their adventures, rather than be apart of their adventures. The flirting continued which was not a good idea I might add as it confused the issue.

So they eventually found another couple on line that was 15 years younger than them. They are in there mid 30's. They wrote an excited email the next day about it which precipitated in a long conversation.

Its important to remember not to do things for others because it is expected. There is always an out and its better to feel like your integrity and self worth is intact than to feel used, cheap and slutty. My husband and I have had our time as swingers and in an open relationship and have come to know some of the lasting negative effects. It was exciting to feel desirable and sought after for sure, but I ended up feeling used. Please tell your friend that casual sex with people could increase her issues rather than solve them. She won't get the loving attention she deserves from swinging and casual sex. She can get that from you as her friend more!

Stand firm about what you need to see happen because you will be of better use as their friends right now. You can certainly use the baby as an excuse! You won't feel all that into it when it comes anyway! Trust me! :) (assuming its you having the baby?)

Good luck.

XYZ123 07-22-2009 01:56 PM

Yes, thank you. It is me having the baby. And we have been using it as an excuse bigtime. LOL Though we have no intention of ever crossing the boundary. If we bring them to a swingers club because they're too nervous to go alone it will be as friends and only because N and I have never been and are curious, if not interested in the lifestyle.

The thing about them is that they (mostly the husband) ask ALOT of questions about the relationship between N, P, and myself and about experiences I've had with other women prior to marriage. But all their questions are sex-based, while I try and focus on the importance of the relationships to me. Yes, sex was a nice bonus, but not the driving force in my previous encounters. They just keep going on about the "wild kinky sex" aspect. I think they're in the new toy phase. It's all about anticipation and the excitement of seeing the pretty wrapped box.

At the moment, I don't think it's a reality to them. I've had talks with the husband regarding his wife's emotions and he keeps coming back to "but she says she wants three ways" with no actual focus on what she wants on a deeper level, if anything. He's also very juvenile about it, which is starting to grate my last nerve. She isn't exactly clearly expressing what she's looking for or if she really wants him joining in sexually, or is making that concession to him so she can go ahead and do this. I want to dig deeper but not have her think I'm interested in a romantic/sexual relationship because both N and I are worried about her. But I have a really hard time dealing with other women, especially one fresh from the closet who knows I'm bisexual and seems to have her radar on me.

redpepper 07-22-2009 06:39 PM

Oh you are wise xyz123! I like you!

It sounds like you are on the right track. They do indeed seem to wrapped up in the "new toy" mentality right now. Not much to do around that except sticking by the female and reminding her she has control over the situation not him (control should always be dictated by the one is unsure or who has issues coming up or who is just plain scared, as far as I'm concerned. Not the one who is rearing to go. Very dangerous that way!).

I guess really there is nothing more to do except reiterating the fact that you are not interested and keep trying to educate them so they can reduce the chance of getting hurt. Beyond that they are on their own path.

XYZ123 07-22-2009 11:10 PM

Thanks. I'm going to have to speak to her, in private, about the control aspect. It's a great angle to approach without seeming interested in her. Also, I'm going to have N speak to her. He's always been good about communicating with women and I know they're not into having another man join at all. For once, he's safer than I am with a mutual female friend!

redpepper 07-23-2009 05:54 AM

sounds like a great idea.... please, let us know how it works out?

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