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Old 02-16-2017, 01:23 AM
Atreides Atreides is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 10
Default Exploring longtime feelings

Hi all! I've been lurking for a while but hesitating about my first time post. I grew up in a religious, sexually repressive environment and have always had difficulty being open about my sexuality, but am hoping that this is about to change. But it's hard to know where to begin in talking about my situation.

I'm 28 years old and from the United States, currently working overseas in a sexually conservative culture in which exploring polyamory is currently not a practical possibility. I have been married for almost 6 years and my wife is here with me.

Although I have always had thoughts and feelings that leaned toward open and progressive sexuality and radical sexual politics, I have struggled with both intellectual and social repression due to my religious background. I love my wife deeply but she does not share these inclinations. My life up until this point has been a rather torturous process of overcoming my fundamentalist roots and embracing radical politics, extremely progressive Christianity, and open, positive sexuality. The latter has been the slowest in being fully realized. I feel like much of my action and social identity has been built around a rather nonsexual image, something that causes me a lot of pain and a sense of humiliation and inauthenticity due to my very passionately sexual inner life.

To cut a long story short, I have realized over the past two years that I might need an open relationship/polyamorous lifestyle in order to ever feel fulfilled and overcome this pain and live authentically. My wife and I have discussed this at some length over the last year, and it has been an up and down process. This has been complicated by the fact that I have found a deep connection with one of my American colleagues here, who it turns out is polyamorous herself. My wife and I have agreed not to attempt any changes until roughly summer 2018 when our service ends and we return to the States.

We have tried reading some books (Ethical Slut was a bust, More Than Two was better but she's still not processing well through reading), as well as some podcasts. We have no community to connect with to explore poly here, and I think that is the only way that she could really come to any notions herself one way or the other. Even then, I'm just not sure if this well ever feel like something authentic to her and I don't want to put her through the pain. On the one hand, I'm not sure that she is strong enough to say "no" when she should (something I know is not my responsibility, but still do not want to take unwitting advantage of), and I'm also not sure that I'm strong enough to... well... strike out on my own if the answer is "no" from her. But I don't think I can keep living monogamously.

I'm not sure that I've explained everything coherently or well, but I need to put my story out there in however choppy a form. So there it is. I'm hoping some exploration and contribution on this site will help me restrain the lingering feeling of frustration and repression I'm feeling while here.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:05 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 16,080

Greetings Atreides,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

It sounds like you're working on developing a sex-positive outlook in life. And I take it you don't mind if your wife remains monogamous, as long as she is okay with you being polyamorous. Mono/poly couples do exist and can function harmoniously.

If we can help with any questions or concerns you may have, let us know. It's good to have you with us.

Kevin T., "official greeter"


There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

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Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:21 AM
Atreides Atreides is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 10

Thanks, Kevin! I think a mono/poly arrangement is the best long-term solution I can hope for, but even that seems a long way off at this point.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:30 PM
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Al99 Al99 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,474

Welcome, Atreides, Best of luck on your journey into poly! You will find a lot of experienced poly folks on this forum - with sound advice and lots of information. Also - check out the search feature for topics of interest - there are over 200K archived posts to draw on.

Dramatis Personae:
Me: Al99, poly, heterosexual male, 50's
Becky: married to Al99, poly, heterosexual female, late 30's
Bouncingbetty: ldr girlfriend to Al99, poly, pansexual female, early 30's
Ben: Becky's medium-ldr bf, heterosexual male, 40's

My Introductory Post - An Unexpected Introduction to Poly.
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