1) Define "polyamory" in a sentence or phrase.
For me, right now, it means: flirting, dating, being romantically, intimately, sexually involved with other men while being married. If there will ever be a time that I'm no longer married, it would mean flirting, dating, being romantically, intimately, sexually involved with more than one person at a time.
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.
In my early forties, childfree, live in a major Western European city, love to cook, eat, travel, read and write, love being social and love being alone.
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?
Married to Ren for 18 years. We opened up our relationship 3 years ago (he had mentioned it before, but I guess it took me along time to be ready for it).
Ren has a girlfriend, Lou, who he's been seeing for about 10 months now.
I have a boyfriend, Curlz, who I've been seeing for 5 months and with whom i am falling more deeply in love every day. he is currently single.
I also have a lover, MrBrown with whom I have a strong connection but a mostly sexual relationship. We see each other about once a month now and do not have much contact via email etc in between our dates. He has a girlfriend who knows about me.
Then there is a guy I've been dating on and off for about a year. He has a girlfriend who knows about me and objects. He is forever breaking up with her and getting back together with her. He has very major commitment issues and I think (after a year of trying to figure him out) that to him, I am his ideal woman because I am married and would never claim him.
Right now, we meet about once a month for drinks and we catch up. It's not going anywhere, the relationship is not sexual anymore and I am finally ok with that, but he is still important to me.
Ren has met Curlz and drama-guy. I have met Lou. Lou and Curlz have met (and they both met a bunch of our friends)
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.)?
My ideal poly configuration, right now, would be strengthening my relationship with Curlz and becoming more involved in each others lives, and gradually spending more time with him. I think in my ideal world he also has another relationship, although the thought of this does freak me out a little, but I guess in my ideal world I would not freak out as much
I would still occasionally be with mrBrown for some hot and steamy and creative sex.
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?
I am very out. All my friends know, most of my co-workers know. When I meet someone new I will tell them. The only people in my life who don't know: parents and family. I don;t have a large family and I am not very close to them. I do not care that they don't know these important things about me... it's not worth the hassle, at this point. Maybe at some it it will become worth it though. I already had to lie about my whereabouts to mom once or twice and that did make me feel bad.
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?
I don't think any relationship structure is inherently better.
7) What are the best things about poly to you? What are the worst things?
The best things: more love. More connections. More variety in my sex life. Learning about myself (nothing like intimate relationships to confront you with your quirks and shortcomings and issues).
The feeling that nothing is really secure, written in stone, that everything is fluent, and that the most important relationship I have is with ME, and that I will always have me. I
The worst things: more love means (to me) also more fear of losing love. More insecurities. More vulnerability. But then I think: hey, let's just look at that as more issues to be able to work on, and I guess they become positive things again!
Also, balancing time / space/ energy is a challenge sometimes. I desperately need alone time every now and then, and with my life as it is now, I don't get enough of that.
8) Could you ever see yourself being happily monogamous?
I could be monogamous again, but I could never again give up the freedom of being open. Example: if I was with a partner and we had agreed to be monogamous, I would still consider myself free to flirt, and then to come home and be able to tell my partner I got some nice attention from a nice guy and that it made me feel good and maybe even that I have a little crush. I could never go back to my early years of monogamy (the monogamy I see with a lot of my friends) where even a little flirtatious eye contact with someone is something you're supposed to feel ashamed and guilty about.
9) Would you recommend poly to others who may not have considered it?
I would not recommend poly per se, but I would recommend (and do this all the time) more openness. A good friend (married) recently developed a major crush for another guy. She told her husband, and it has been difficult, but they both feel very good about being able to talk about things. And she actually told me that if it wasn't for me, and my life, and our talks, and what se sees happening with me, she would not have told her husband. That was kind of awesome..