Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
There is always lots of work if you are looking for sustainability. But it can be worth it if everyone is honest with themselves and committed to each other
Mono is very right. Particularly because this concept is starting with you, and neither of your partners will have ever expected a poly relationship, you will undoubtedly have more work in terms of making sure they both feel their needs are met and that you don't favor one over the other. The balance will be your most challenging task.
However, I think you've done an excellent job of figuring out the different needs they meet for you. In fact, it was so moving, I'm considering writing something like it about my partners. I don't doubt you love them both... there was a time when I didn't think that possible, but I have learned differently firsthand.
Would you be open to either of them having a serious emotional commitment to someone else? It sounds like you would be, at least with your friend. I totally understand how you feel about flings. I have a friend and she and her husband were swingers. He wound up having an affair with the girl they normally did this with, and she was crushed. Needless to say, it stopped her willingness to swing. When I told her about our triad, she was really supportive, but said that the emotional connection would be a real issue for her. I said that I was exactly opposite. I couldn't handle it if there wasn't an emotional connection. So, you need to analyze your feelings on that... if he's asking for permission to sleep around and it will upset you, then that's not good. If he's asking for the freedom to pursue other committed relationships, then it sounds like that is something you are open to and okay with, at least in theory.