Do I and When?
So, I don't know if I belong here; but that's ubiquitous for me lately, so it's not going to stop me, and feel free to tell me honestly to get lost if that's how you feel.
I've never been poly, nor even as close to it as dating more than one person; but I've long suspected I should be. I'm a, um, unique person, iconoclastic and unconventional, and nothing I've ever tried "because that's what everybody else does" has ever worked for me. I'm still adjusting to the need to accept this about myself, but it's coming along.
And that's the short version of why I'm currently finalizing my second divorce. I told him early on that I wanted to experiment and expand our relationship at some point, and he successfully avoided the topic until I sort of lost it and insisted, and then he agreed when it became apparent that burying the topic wouldn't work anymore (it had for about 7 years), and then things rather spiralled downward from there: Someone who won't discuss it for seven years is, it turns out, not someone you can turn around and then have all that conversation with successfully (at least not in this case). He finally got upset enough to get physical, and I insisted he move out immediately after -- I don't do violence; fuck that shit. I wanted to go to marriage counseling, but he couldn't stop being a vitriolic asshole long enough to, and eventually we decided to divorce.
Anyway, that's all ugly but over with; we've been separated for a bit over six months. In that time I had my first ever friends-with-benefits lover, which wasn't monogamous by virtue of being understood to not be serious or long-term -- just lots of crazy awesome sex -- and though I didn't work up the courage to see anybody else before it was over, he had a few other people, discussed it with me and that worked fine. We're done, though; he's gone monogamous with somebody else...and I'm trying to figure out where to go from here.
I thought I might want to just be alone for a while...and I probably will be for a while longer anyway; it takes me some time to get to know people before I can get involved -- I can't do sex without some emotional connection. And since I've been monogamous for the last 16 years or so (seriously, I met my second husband immediately after divorcing my first, whom I married young; and never saw anyone else in-between...even with boyfriends before I got married, which were few, I only ever did the long-term strict-monogamy thing), I realize that I probably need and will take a break to get my head straight and my life stabilized before I mess with anybody else.
But I will, eventually, or possibly as soon as I meet someone I like who's willing, because I hate being lonely. Oh yeah, and I have a whopper of a sex drive...I'm athletic and high-testosterone and easily bored and to put it bluntly, I love to fuck, and to make out, and to tease, and to flirt, and pretty much you name it. Love. It. The fact that neither of my husbands could really get ok with that, combined with the fact that I'm not nor ever have been the jealous "type" (not that I can't get jealous, but it's not my tendency, and I find possessiveness in general icky), is what leads me to think that maybe I ought to try a/some poly relationships.
But I have no idea where to start, or when, or how. Every single time I've been with someone before, it's been a) instantly and permanently monogamous, and b) because they initiated it. I'm attractive enough for most purposes, and personable enough too (if not weird and nerdy, but that's not anywhere near the turn-off nowadays as it was when I was a teenager), but until pretty recently I had crushingly bad self-esteem. I don't anymore -- I went to therapy and got divorced and did a lot of work to fix it -- but that doesn't give you the experience of finding relationships, or knowing if or when you should, or knowing what kind. I feel rather like someone who's uncomfortable naked and wants clothes, but has only ever worn ill-fitting burlap sacks before, and so has no clue how to shop. Seriously, I would pay good money to find a friend who'd help me get started with, or even just talk to me through, the process of "becoming" poly. Which I suppose is why I'm here, really.
(Don't I have friends, you may wonder. Well, I have lots of acquaintances, many of them lovely, but mostly among a small sphere that touches my work, so we don't talk about sex. I had a long-term best friend, but she and my recent ex-husband have moved in together now, so...yeah.)
Oh yes, and I used to live in the Midwest, but a while ago I moved to Boston, where things are much more open and stuff like this is not really so uncommon at all. That doesn't help me figure out how to do it, really, but it does make the going for it a bit less scary I guess. (Or it should? It doesn't feel less scary.)
Dear Forum, I would like to snuggle and date and get laid again, please. I don't want to feel like anybody owns me, especially my sexuality, ever again. I guess finding people to get along with "that way" is its own problem, but when I find them, I'd like to know what to do with them, what to tell them, and what to do so I don't wind up in the same stupid rut where I'm being monogamous because my Other wants to. Any advice at all is welcome.