1) Define "polyamory" in a sentence or phrase.
The ability and freedom to create relationships with people in ways that are natural for that relationship, and that are not constrained by any artificial rules or expectations.
2) Give us a quick snapshot of yourself. Whatever you want to share in a few sentences, including whether or not you ID as poly.
33, sexually bi but so far romantically straight, goofy, childlike, loves to read, loves to travel, loves children (I'm a teacher/director of a childcare center), polyamourish
(I'm still feeling my way around, learning and exploring and figuring out what it all means in a practical sense)
3) How many partners/lovers do you currently have if any? Tell us their names/pseudonyms and one or two things about them, including their role in your life (occasional fuckbuddy, spouse, romantic-but-not-sexual LDR, etc) and whether or not they have any contact or relationship with each other. Have you ever had more partners at a time than you have now?
Fly is my boyfriend of a little more than 6 years. We've lived together for 4 of those years, and he was my first real relationship and the deflowerer of my virginity. We started off as an open relationship from the very beginning because he had recently decided that he is a nonmonogamous person. He is still an "open" person rather than "poly," since his relationships are primarily sex-based and generally relatively short term. We're raising his 8-yo son together.
Punk is a man I met on OKCupid about 7 months ago. He's married with a child, and his wife is also poly and into BDSM (he is not). We've settled into a comfortable once-a-week routine where we either go out for a date, or we hang out at his house on a night when his wife is out. We're both addicted to food network ("Chopped" in particular), and really enjoy hanging out, cuddling, sex, etc. He's a lovely mix of giddy-shiny-new and I-feel-like-I've-known-him-for-forever.
I have met his wife a couple times (including one double date with one of her BFs), and Punk has met Fly a couple times when he's come to pick me up. This was HUGE, because previously Fly had told me that he didn't want to hear about my relationships, didn't want to meet anyone...so this was a big step and everyone came through it beautifully.
Fly even asked me to invite Punk and his family to our recent earth day party, which I was amazed and appreciative of.
The only time I had more partners than this was when I was dating the BF, a couple, and had a "fuck-buddy" as well.
4) Do you have an "ideal" poly configuration? If so, what is it? If not, why not (haven't figured it out yet, don't believe in "ideal configurations", etc.)?
Not really. I wish I had a partner who lived closer than Punk, so that time together could be a little more spontaneous and we could be more present in each other's daily lives. However, I have no
desire to live with anyone other than Fly. I'm not good with sharing living space in general
5) Are you out about the role of poly in your life all of the time, some of the time, or none of the time? If some of the time, when? Are you satisfied with your level of outness?
Totally out. I don't flaunt it, I'm not trying to use my life as a tool for social reform or activism, but anyone who knows me even casually ends up getting the gist of it. I also occasionally volunteer info to random strangers - hairdressers, the lady who owns my favorite boutique, that kind of thing. My family knows that we're nonmonogamous, although they can't quite wrap their heads around poly. But they love me, and are kind, beautiful people who support whatever I do.
6) Do you think that some ways of having relationships are inherently better or worse than others (poly vs mono, heirarchical poly vs egalitarian poly, etc)? If so, why?
As long as it works for the people in it and no one is getting hurt or squelched or coerced, I think they're all just fine.
7) What are the best things about poly to you? What are the worst things?
Best is being able to express love and affection freely, without worrying about whether it's appropriate or not. Having more people to love brings more joy into my life! Worst would be time resources, and concerns that I'm not spreading my time out well to meet my partners' and my own needs.
8) Could you ever see yourself being happily monogamous?
Sure. I think I'm happier poly, but I wouldn't necessarily be *un*happy monogamous in the right relationship. I don't really lean radically to either side, I'm kind of in the middle of the mono/poly spectrum.
9) Would you recommend poly to others who may not have considered it? How about to your kids if you have any now or ever end up having any?
Totally! I believe there are a lot of people out there who are unsuccessful in relationships because they're poly people trying to live a mono life. I wish more people felt like they had options other than the chick-flick gospel, whether that means poly, open, celibate, whatever.