Originally Posted by persephone
This is all the more frustrating to me because I recently hurt one of my OSOs in a situation where I had a knee-jerk reaction to put my primary's desires first, at the expense of the OSO. I was spending the weekend with my primary partner and OSO (not really sure if OSO could be called secondary or tertiary, he loves me and I love him, but his level of actual commitment to me is hard to quantify these days). I suggested to my OSO that he and I be sexual together at a certain time, and he liked the idea. Then, my primary wanted to be sexual with me at the same time and I made OSO wait (sadly, OSO does not enjoy group situations, otherwise we would not have had a problem). OSO got upset because he feels that I broke a promise to him. I was perfectly willing, even eager, to be sexual with him after I was with my primary partner (which didn't take very long), but OSO no longer wanted to that day.
I am not in a similar situation to you, but I just want to comment on this. Do you think that was right?
If you have a plan with a platonic friend to watch a movie on Thursday, but then your primary partner tells you he wants to watch a movie with you on Thursday, do you cancel on your friend? If not, why do you concider it ok to do that to your secondary/tertiary partner? Why does the fact that you have sex mean that he doesn't get the same respect than a person you don't have sex with?
If you want to do hierarchy, I think that's fine since you are open about it to all involved. But hierarchy does not equal the right to treat other people badly. You can tell your primary "I already have plans" without him becoming less primary. If he thinks it's a big deal that you've already made plans, you can negotiate in terms of behaviour in the future (as opposed to cancelling the existing plans - you just don't do that if you're a decent person). Your non-primary partners have the right to respect, consideration, and to being informed.
Thus, if you decide that you don't want this to happen in the future, you can make a rule, say, that you always check with your primary before agreeing to plans (if that is something you'd be willing to do), and then inform your non-primary partners that this is how you'll operate from now on. They then have an informed choice of whether they want to be in a relationship with an adult who needs permission to schedule a date.