Boundaries are there for a reason.
When my husband and I began our threesome journey, neither of us were new to polyamory. I have dated two men simutaneously numerous times throughout my life, and have experimented with all kinds of fluidity and rules; sharing a man with a gay man where we had different nights of the week, but none of us living together, having a lover's apartment in a different city where I would spend weekends with a lover while my primary went away to play in bands and have fun of his own. There are lots of different situations and dynamics that are offered in polyamory, and I don't see boundaries as "controlling" so much as I see them as "contractual." All involved parties agree on what they're comfortable with, and revisit them as relationships mature.... no? I don't believe that there is an "ideal" that we all have to force ourselves into - each person, and each situation is unique.
When my husband and I decided to open our relationship up, we did so with very clear rules that we had both decided upon before entering into it. These rules were made because we didn't want to open up the emotional side of our relationship, or our marriage to a third, but because we were looking for a lover. Largely, this lover was to satisfy curiousities on my part around being with another woman and my husband was truly supportive of this and had deep rooted curiousities around threesomes. The first couple of times we went to bed with a third, he completely sat back, and waited to be invited into the mix. His exact words were "I will only participate as much as you are comfortable with." Our relationship blossomed under that safety and freedom to say "enough" if one of us reached a wall of some kind. There was great communication, and a friendship between all three of us, but the heart of it was mindblowingly hot sex.
In this particular relationship that we find ourselves in now, we are taking things to a whole new level of romancing, wining, dining, and getting to know each other. It's a lot of fun. The rules that you might see as excessively restricting or controlling are rules that we agreed upon before entering into this relationship to maintain our own emotional boundaries within the relationship. Not because I think that my husband is a robot, or our lover is "like a prostitute being hooked up with a John" (both of these statements are pretty intense, btw) or because I'm an overbearing control freak, but because these are the things that BOTH of us agreed upon after a lifetime of polyamorous situations to draw upon.
As much as I am for exploring my own sexuality, relationships in general, and the prewritten ideals that people place overtop of any manner of relationship, I also know what works for me, and what doesn't. I don't believe it's necessary to overrun every boundary that exists in a person in order to have a polyamorous relationship; every couple has different "rules" and those "rules" are in place for specific reasons. For me, it's not about striving for a place inside of me where I'm just okay with everything and anyone doing anything. It's about finding a place where all parties are having a wonderful time, feel respected, have great sex and clear boundaries in the "game of love" that we are all engaging in.
We had a long talk last night, and it was a good one; we touched on a lot of issues, and revisited all of our boundaries as a couple again, even writing them out so that we could add to them and change them as needed. My husband is an anarchist from way back; he has always bucked convention and balked at rules - ANY rules, even rules that he makes himself. He likes to bend/break them to see what happens, and in the mix of all of this, I kind of forgot that about him. We talked about the fact that if he did want to text her, that he should have talked with me about it first; not because I am some kind of weird gatekeeper, but because that is the promise that we had both made to each other. It would have given me the opportunity to do personal inventory, reflect, and share my feelings with him. What he did was wrong, and disrespectful, and he recognized it, took responsibility for it, and apologized to both of us for creating unecessary drama, and for putting our lover in an uncomfortable situation.
While there very well may be expansion and relaxation of these boundaries over time, but the most appropriate way for that to happen is in talks about the boundaries; not in the heat of the moment, and certainly not with our third there. She is a law student, and has a lot of stress in her life; our role in her life is to provide her with a fantasy-escape from her real life. She is not looking to be with both of us emotionally, and has made that clear to me as well; my husband is a delicious, respectful, gentle and primal sexual force in her life, I am a cerebral connection that offers her a deep friendship as well as a delicious foray into bisexuality for her. What we have going is an amazing thing, and part of the reason that it works so well is BECAUSE there are rules and boundaries in place.
I respect each and every person's journey into polyamory, but each of us have to be careful that our own needs and desires don't supercede respect, honesty or trust within any one of our relationships. Good communication is the hallmark of good relationships; rushing, boundary pushing, betraying promises and acting out of selfishness do not do much for successful relationships of any kinds. If any of our pre-agreed upon boundaries are no longer working for any of us, to be it should be worked out in a discussion BEFORE it happens, wouldn't you agree?
As for my fears? My fears lie in the fact that my husband would be willing to be dishonest with me. Not of losing him to our third; I would never hold him to me in any way, shape or form. Not of losing control; he and I co-create boundaries and rules, and our relationship in general. I fear that selfish sexual power has the power to overrun good communication, respecting each other or pushing each other to places we're not ready for, or comfortable with. I suppose if I was a wide-eyed silly girl, it would be different, but I am an emotionally responsible, honest, intensely sexual, connected and capable woman with an equally complex giving person. Staying equal and open during this opening of our love is of the utmost importance to both of us, and I am pretty proud of the good work that we're doing when we're coming up against roadblocks.