MrsSmythe says "Hello!"
Brief Intro: (slightly expanded version posted under Personal Summaries)
37 y/o poly bi female, hinge in V with husband, MrS, (together for 20 years, married for 16) and bf, Dude, (I first met 20 mos ago, together for 9 mos). Dude has been essentially living with us since the the day we “got together” (we tease him that he is such a U-haul lesbian...>smile<). One bedroom house, one king-size bed – I get the middle. No kids. I also have two very relaxed LDR FWB type relationships (of 19 and 5 years duration) with bisexual women who have primary type relationships with men.
I've known I was poly since ...always (well before the word came into usage, according to Wikipedia, in 1990). I'm a huge fan of classic science fiction and Heinlein has been my favorite author since the age of 12. Many of my views on sex and relationships were/are quite obviously Heinlein influenced (so much so that when MrS and I got together I told him that he pretty much had to read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and To Sail Beyond the Sunset if he wanted to have any hope of understanding me – he went on to read my entire, very complete, Heinlein collection – apparently he felt I was worth a fair amount of “understanding”).
Just because I self-identify as poly (and have now for 20 years), however, doesn't mean that I have a lot of experience with relationships. We do tend to use the primary/secondary/tertiary nomenclature (which I know not everyone is entirely comfortable with) but in a descriptive type of way. I have never “looked for” ANY type of relationship (and often avoid getting close to people if given the option - I don't make friends/form relationships easily at all - INTJ personality type?)
In my mind relationships are something that develop between people not something that can be shaped according to some script. A relationship is what it is, relationships change, people change. Forcing relationships (or people) to fit some mold or idea in my head seems like a set-up for disaster. Which isn't to say that boundaries and comfort-zones don't come into play (they so do!) but that we really need to be upfront about them (and their underlying reasons and/or insecurities) and people can choose to agree/disagree/renegotiate. Boundaries and comfort-zones ALSO change.
I've known I was bi since my (then future) husband pointed out that being attracted to (and sleeping with) men and women was, by definition, “bisexuality” (who knew you needed a word for that? My answer to “Are you straight or gay?” was always just “no”).
In some ways accepting the label of “bisexuality” has been way more annoying than I would think it should be due to the assumptions and misconceptions that seem to follow. I've been told that I am not “really” bisexual because I:
a.) am married (seriously?)
b.) have never been in a “serious” “primary” (or, even worse, “real”) relationship with a woman
c.) am not actively “seeking” such a relationship (evidently if I am bi then I MUST have one of each … or the cosmic balance of the universe is askew)
d.) am confused and experimenting to find out what I really want (this from both gays and straights) (I must be REALLY confused since I've been experimenting for the last 20 years)
e.) etc. etc. (planning on reading the BiFemale threads here to see how other women deal with this crap)
So when I say I'm bisexual I mean that I can be sexually attracted to both men and women – period. (I've slept with an approximately equal number of men and women if that matters – I don't think it does.) I am sexually attracted (or not) to an individual person – not their gender. I form relationships (or don't) with people – not their genitalia.
Why am I here?:
Back in the day (early to mid '90s) I used to lurk and occasionally post to alt.polyamory on Usenet (under a different pseudonym). But as nothing was changing in my own personal poly life I drifted away. Periodically I would check out what was up with the current state of the poly community (check out the newsgroups, surf the web, read a few issues of Loving More) and then drift away again. Now with a radical shift in my situation (i.e. Dude) I find myself in need of some poly community conversation – and am so pleased to find you all here and the conversations thriving. I have been particularly enjoying threads dealing with cohabitation, jealousy and poly/mono relationships.
PS.Other things you might notice about me – I am a.) long-winded and b.) overly fond of parenthetical asides...and ellipses >grin<.