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  #51  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
Another person who doesn't consider the difference between making a judgement and being judgemental. If judgement is natural and human, then why have 41% of transgender people attempted suicide? (as just one example). Do you think it might have something to do with the the prejudice they face, caused by judgemental people? The fact is, while JUDGEMENT is a natural, essential aspect of being human, being JUDGEMENTAL of others' choices is a totally different thing, which causes a great deal of stress and harm to others.
I've gotta say, I don't think this comparison makes any sense in this context. Trans is something you are whereas opp or mono/poly or unicorn-hunting or whatever are things you do. Unicorn-hunters aren't wired that way and I don't think our judgments put them in any danger whatsoever of self-harm. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, I just think that comparing the terrible prejudice a group of people faces just for being who they are to some posters having a negative reaction to some relationship configurations is over the top in a way that really obscures your point...
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  #52  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PipeDreamer View Post
While “terms don't insult people, people insult people” may be true, I would argue that when these terms are repeated pejoratively, we find they lose their original quality over time and, in fact, become insulting by default via the euphemism treadmill.
This is a good point and, indeed, I think that both of the terms that started this discussion are in fact meant to sound a little insulting or at *least* silly -- unicorn-hunting (silly and delusional sounding) and one penis policy (silly and officious sounding) describe concepts that people legitimately have problems with and the wording reflects that. If we use them we should understand that they probably will souns like insults... cuz they kinda are, even if only mild ones when divorced from the context of strong feelings some people have built up around them.

Still, even without the terms, prejudice is there, as you're seeing in this very thread with the comments directed at you. It's funny, you're experiencing in micro just what we're discussing in macro. It's a tough issue. You haven't said anything negative and yet people are directing a lot of unhappiness at you. It has nothing to do with you personally, people just get so tired of seeing the same sentiments expressed in the same way in situations that are generally leading to nothing good. You say that you're open to whatever comes, which makes you totally *not* a unicorn hunter in my book, but because you happened to use a phrasing they often use the frustration boils over in your direction.

I think much the same thing happens with OPP... people get so angry on behalf of the women upon whom it *is* actually being imposed that they react negatively whenever the subject comes up. I blame the couples and men who behave badly and give others a bad name far more than I blame the people (me at times being one of them) who get a little tetchy when certain things come up. I can see that it would be way disconcerting for a new person, though.

Of course, sometimes certain ways of talking about things DO reveal problematic mindsets... I don't think there's reason to assume that in your case, but at least now you know how you might sound to some folks.

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Originally Posted by PipeDreamer View Post
Speaking again as a newbie on this forum and to this lifestyle, I think it would be very beneficial to other newcomers to give them the benefit of the doubt before assigning labels or ridiculing their early thoughts/erroneous terminology on the topic. Couldn't we just ask or prompt them to clarify what they mean? This community has some special vernacular to be sure and I understand that some of it may be playfully tongue-in-cheek. A bit of tact is always greatly appreciated!
I agree that we should try to err on the side of kindness. I can't bring myself to assume the best a lot of the time... there are too many bad examples out there... but I can at least endeavor to control myself and give a person a chance to explain, and try to remain sympathetic to the fact that new people who are doing messed up things truly just don't have the experience or perspective to understand why something might be a problem.

It's just so, so, so frustrating sometimes!! It's funny, women who are in the position of being treated like a unicorn understand immediately why things are problematic when it's explained to them, whereas unicorn-hunting couples rarely/never get what you're trying to say. I guess people may just have to learn from experience. I can't "save" them from their mistakes and trying to do so just annoys them and frustrates me. I think I'm going to take a page from Minx's book and try to engage less when that particular topic comes up.
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  #53  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:28 AM
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I tend to think that OPP policies are often based on the male feeling out of control of the situation, that he is the only man for his partner, his manliness and his fantasy about his wife with a woman jeopardized, other men are a threat, and his need for everything to slow right down so he can think and catch up with all that. Sometimes that means "nope, not looking at it, I am the man and you will obey" and sometimes it means that they were or are blindsided by the situation and need time. In the latter case I think that the female would do best for herself and her partner by going at his pace and working at it slowly. The feelings he is having can be gotten through.

If a man says that he essentially the woman will obey and the woman shrugs and says "whatever, I want a relationship with a woman in my life anyway" then it would seem that the problem is solved. I don't think it really is however. The man seems to have just been given a pass to not work on anything, breath a sigh of relief and think that its all easy peasy now so he can sit back in his chair with his hands behind his head. In the time I have been here and experienced this scenario through other means, it usually catches up with him as it becomes evident that really ANY relationship is going to pull his woman away from him sexually, emotionally intimately and in terms of time. It becomes evident a lot of the time that it makes no difference whether or not the partner is male or female in this way.

Sometimes the situation evolves to a point where by the woman decides that she would like a male lover and he is forced to work on it all any way...

As far as I can tell an OPP is a description of a male that is coming from the place of fear and ignorance around what is achievable in poly. It is HIS policy, not the woman's. It is not a compromise or a boundary to me, its more like a veto of the woman's right to create her own path/journey, have her own independence, and empowerment.

Most men don't like the feeling they get when they know they have taken someones power away from them through and OPP (known or unknown)... I truly believe that in this day and age. It just doesn't sit right and from that movement and progress can be made to come out of that uncomfortable place... I think a woman would be wise to leave if this is not the case.

A woman with a man sitting uncomfortably in his OPP I think should allow her man to sit in that uncomfortable feeling for a bit and stew in it because it is a powerful feeling that I think brings about change. I would wager that a woman that keeps expressing how reigned in she feels and doesn't let up on her open and honest communication about how the OPP is affecting her is going to eventually see her man begin to move out of his OPP into something with comprises, then boundaries and then maybe complete freedom to follow her heart.
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  #54  
Old 11-23-2011, 08:12 AM
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this makes my blood boil.... This to me is all the difference between unicorn hunting and searching for a triad opportunity. The woman doesn't *join* anything. You become three. Look at it the other way around, you are *joining* her also. I find this explanation the key to the issue. People in triads are not a couple and their other, they are all three independent and autonomous people. The fact that two are married becomes irrelevant and a triffle in the end. This is what is not understood most of the time.
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i suppose i need some clarification. Did my post make your blood boil or are you talking about something else? I don't recall saying anything about a partner pecking order. If my relationship configuration changes from 2 people to more people, don't we need to consider terms such as primary and secondary? Don't terms like these help define how each person in the relationship interacts with the others as far as decision making and life plans are concerned? In my 7 posts to date, i don't think i have said very much about any of this. Isn't the point of this thread to help with doing away with some of the assuming and encourage more clarification? I wish you would have asked me to explain a little more.

Redpepper, maybe i am wrong, but i got the feeling that you added some sub-meanings to my words when you read my post. I was talking about my experience and ideas but i didn't put a lot of detail in with it all. My wife and i are really sorting out our ideas and hopes with a potential new relationship. I never knew anything about how asking someone to “join us” would cause such a reaction. Is this a typical phrase in the community which should be considered taboo? It certainly was not my intent to provoke and i do try to consider all sides of a situation. For me “joining us” or “joining them” has more to do with the speaker's physical point of view and logistics rather than expecting one person to be how another person (or people) demand(s). Would you be equally pissed if a single woman asked my wife and i to join her?

I would say that my wife and i are very open to whatever ideas may come our way and however things would work out with three or more people involved. If someone joins us or if we join someone is all the same in my opinion. To use what i understand to be your definition of joining someone, it could happen either way depending on who we might meet, what we might learn about one another and how we all would decide to proceed with our lives from that point. For me that's all a long way down the road.
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this is a forum. On forums we talk about stuff, push each others boundaries of knowledge and understanding, and hopefully do that with a bit of caring and consideration for the person struggling. If a person comes here and tells their story expecting that they will just have it read and not responded to that is ludicrous and they likely shouldn't be here. If they don't like the response they get then its usually because they were hoping everyone would agree with them and are struggling with the fact that not everyone does and sometimes no one does...
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Originally Posted by pipedreamer View Post
of course this is a forum and we can talk about things. What i was getting at was in reference to the op. One of my first impressions on this forum was when a polynewbie got one of these labels slapped on him when he was just getting to know the community/lifestyle/figuring things out. It was not very friendly or inviting. He was just judged with no further inquiry into the details of his situation. I wonder if he ever came back. I'm not into naming names otherwise i would consider posting a link if i could even still find the thread. (i honestly don't remember who it was.) but the thing is, the wise experienced practicing polyamorist(s) just kinda threw a label out and seemed to walk away chuckling.

Speaking again as a newbie on this forum and to this lifestyle, i think it would be very beneficial to other newcomers to give them the benefit of the doubt before assigning labels or ridiculing their early thoughts/erroneous terminology on the topic. Couldn't we just ask or prompt them to clarify what they mean? This community has some special vernacular to be sure and i understand that some of it may be playfully tongue-in-cheek. A bit of tact is always greatly appreciated!
So you are looking for a woman to join you as your secondary in your poly lifestyle.... it seems pretty clear to me by the words that you use what you are hoping to achieve. I am only reading your words.

Yes they make my blood boil. And yes they would be considered taboo. Not because they are from you in particular as I indicated in the first lines of my last post, but because they indicate a complete lack of thought about who you think you are going to get to become your secondary. Quite frankly I get sick of hearing such blatant disregard for others... whether the person means to be disregarding or not.

For the record I have never heard a single woman ever say that she would want a couple to "join her." I assume because she is excited about the idea of having two separate love relationships that would also include her together with them, not a conglomerate made up of two that will assimilate her because they are looking for a secondary to "join them" in THEIR lifestyle.

Please don't assume that this forum is entirely made up of newbie haters. I don't think it is at all fair to judge an entire forum on the remarks of one person. I suggest that you decide to take on a more positive approach to this forum as it can be a great resource and of great help if you are open to it. It seems you have decided that you are not going to be helped, that you will be scoffed at and have already decided to leave here saying "I told you so" before even getting started.... we were all new here and new to poly at one time, we know where you are coming from, but a lot of us are not new now and are only here out of our love to help others. No other reason... I would be taking advantage of that rather than trying to provoke agreements that we all suck.

Your response in this thread is not much different than most people who hunt unicorns to me. I'm sorry you feel like you were "slapped with a label." If you don't like it then I suggest changing your language to something along the lines of "I am a man who has a wife and we are looking to form a triad with a woman who is equal to us in every way because she is just as valuable to the relationship as either of us would be." If you disagree with this statement I gave you as an option then I would wonder if you are a unicorn hunter.... that is not meant as derogatory, its a term commonly used for people who tell their story (however brief) as you have thus far.

I, for one, am not interested in clarification of your story as I have read like stories over and over again. If you care to tell it I will read it (perhaps you have already elsewhere), but please understand when given the information you gave us here about finding what seems to be a unicorn to join you in being your secondary so you can have the poly lifestyle you are trying to have most of us that have read thoroughly, been here forever, or have been poly forever will likely not ask for details.

I hope I said this in the nicest way possible as you seem to be easily offended. Its not my intent to offend (as I have said before), I am just saying it like it is for myself and as others have had similar responses you might want to look at that
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  #55  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:55 AM
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In the less-common (to my observation) case that mono/poly is *not* the preference of the mono partner, but rather something agreed to at the behest of the poly partner, then I think most poly people would consider that quite problematic, probably even moreso than OPP. Now I'm certain that there could be, and are, circumstances like that where the relationship is still healthier that way than it would be otherwise (such as if there are compelling reasons to believe that the partner following the mono rule would be really bad at being poly and both partners agree that he/she should stay away from it), but in most cases a mono requirement on one partner and not the other would come off like something that might be ok as a temporary, opening up measure, but which is not ok as a long-term strategy due to its inherent unfairness.
I feel a bit funny even bringing this up because it was such a short period of time that we had this policy in the beginning, but yes, what you describe above is what we had. Even though my husband gave me the freedom to sleep with women and didn't expect the same for himself, it didn't mean that he wouldn't have wanted it.

I think I might have a different perspective on this because me and my husband did this opening up thing maybe a bit differently than many people. We started giving each other freedoms in turn without expecting things for ourselves. It was really a step at a time process (and still continuing). So there were times when the boundaries were equal and there were times when they were unequal to one of us. The thing is neither has "allowed" the other to do anything they didn't feel comfortable with just because they wanted it to themselves. I mean, fairness is not all there is. I agree that OPP/OVP is not fair per se, but what are the options if you want to be fair? To be completely monogamous or to force the more insecure one to accept other penises/vaginas? If a man feels he doesn't want his female partner to sleep with other men, but the woman has no problem with the man sleeping with other women, should she forbid him just because she's not getting the same thing? This is where some of us might disagree.

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If we're not saying the terms need to be discarded or redefined (*are* we saying that?) then the issue is just in how they're used. I know that we've said it may not be helpful to redirect the conversation back to the other thread that started this whole thing, but I do think it matters that Mags has apologized. I see her mistake not as being in using the term OPP but in using the word "imposed", which I took from the wording of her apology to be how she saw it too. That was taking (implied) assumptions too far, perhaps -- had that not yet been addressed? What are we discussing at this point? I'm not against further discussion, just curious.
I think this has been a very interesting conversation and if people still have things to say about the terminology and its usage, I don't see how Magdlyn apologizing in the other thread has anything to do with the continuation of this one (although I think it's cool that she did). These are two separate threads. I see quite many different definitions to OPP here which I think is interesting. For example nycindie's definition is different from the others and makes many people who thought they had OPP not to have it after all. I guess that's one thing to discuss. When people say OPP, they mean different things.
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  #56  
Old 11-23-2011, 10:13 AM
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On the question of "joining", I think that being in a couple and only wanting a single person naturally comes with that connotation, that she (it could be someone of either gender, but since couples are more often seeking women I'll use the feminine pronoun) will be the one doing the joining and not being the one joined. I see that desire, for a couple to find a single person, and it seems natural to assume that the purpose of her being single is that it'd be easier for her to adapt to the seekers' existing, coupled life rather than them having to re-shape their lives in some way around her and her existing partnership(s)/marriage/house/kids/etc. Why else would someone poly desire only someone single if not to keep things as simple as possible -- in other words, in order to have to do the least changing? So, right off the bat it looks a little suspect, a little lop-sided.

People often don't realize that for a single person to integrate into the lives of an existing couple, which is what is often meant by her joining them, is a tremendous feat and brings a lot of attendant insecurity. I don't even mean the questioning, not-sure-of your-place insecurity, though there's certainly that, but literally lack of security -- if, say, the new person, whether in a triad or a vee, moves in with an existing couple and then it doesn't work out, she's the one out of a home, not them. In almost every case, she's also the one without the benefit of a legal marriage. It's also much easier to ask/require a single person to be exclusive with her new partner(s), which can further create a lop-sided dynamic. Now, such single-joining-couple scenarios *can* work great (see Phy's story for a beautiful example), but not, in my experience reading here, if they're specifically sought, rather only if they naturally happen to take that form.

This is all part of why what we call unicorn-hunting, generally held up as the ultimate example of couples being selfish without realizing it, has amongst its main requirements that the mythical woman be single -- because it really does come off as selfishly-motivated to seek that exclusively.

I'm not trying to cast aspersions on you or your wife, PD, like I said I appreciate you saying that you're open to what you find (that's the most important thing for success and equity in my book, to go for quality over preconceived structural requirements), and I know that you've said it's your wife who likes the idea of a single woman, not you per se, I'm just exploring why certain word choices might bring up for us certain conceptions and trying to unpack all the stuff surrounding the terminologies and their attendant realities...
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  #57  
Old 11-23-2011, 10:53 AM
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We started giving each other freedoms in turn without expecting things for ourselves. It was really a step at a time process (and still continuing). So there were times when the boundaries were equal and there were times when they were unequal to one of us.
This process sounds really lovely and healthy to me, actually.

When you're still in the opening up phase of figuring out what you can deal with and stretching yourself I feel like there are no right or wrong answers as long as everyone is respected. I think it really is ok to go at the slowest one's pace on any given issue. It's only when one partner is badly chafing against a particular unequal boundary, or when "it makes me uncomfortable so you have to deal with this unequal boundary" is the *end* of the discussion and the less secure partner has no interest in *trying* to aim for parity that it's really not cool... and even then, it's probably better to take it case by case before making the assumption that anyone's situation is necessarily unhealthy.

It's just that we do see a lot of unhealthy relationships here, sadly -- it is largely an advice board after all, people often come when they have problems -- so it's not surprising at all that people are on the lookout for unhealthy things and might be extra quick to identify potential problems.

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If a man feels he doesn't want his female partner to sleep with other men, but the woman has no problem with the man sleeping with other women, should she forbid him just because she's not getting the same thing?
I don't think so, no, that'd be kinda petty. But if he's not doing so already, she may want to ask him to think about *why* he feels that way and whether it's something he could work on getting over. Now, why should she bother doing that if she truly has no desire to pursue relationships with other men? I dunno, I guess unequal situations and gender-based rules just irk me and seem like something we should all endeavor to rise above if we can. I suppose it's an idealistic thing. Or is it too condescending to say that it might be good for the man's soul to work on finding it in himself to give his partner the same thing she's giving him and to release his fears in due time?

Plus, I feel like, in choosing poly, we open our minds and hearts to the idea of multiple love in a way that mono folk might not, and that therefore forming unexpected emotional/romantic connections with others (who could turn out to be men!) is more likely, so it's to our advantage to be as flexible as possible so that we can handle whatever comes. Is that crazy? I don't mean to discount polyfidelity or to say that poly people can't control their emotions, just theorizing here.

As for the question of why we're having this discussion, I agree that it's interesting for its own sake, I'm not really sure what I was going for there, just trying to see if anyone had a particular desired resolution in mind I suppose.

I feel kinda ridiculous for having posted so intensely in this thread. I just love language, so these terminology questions fascinate me. I almost chose linguistics as my major in college, but downgraded it to a minor in writing instead so that I could focus on other stuff.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:10 PM
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So you are looking for a woman to join you as your secondary in your poly lifestyle.... it seems pretty clear to me by the words that you use what you are hoping to achieve. I am only reading your words.

Yes they make my blood boil. And yes they would be considered taboo. Not because they are from you in particular as I indicated in the first lines of my last post, but because they indicate a complete lack of thought about who you think you are going to get to become your secondary. Quite frankly I get sick of hearing such blatant disregard for others... whether the person means to be disregarding or not.

For the record I have never heard a single woman ever say that she would want a couple to "join her." I assume because she is excited about the idea of having two separate love relationships that would also include her together with them, not a conglomerate made up of two that will assimilate her because they are looking for a secondary to "join them" in THEIR lifestyle.

Please don't assume that this forum is entirely made up of newbie haters. I don't think it is at all fair to judge an entire forum on the remarks of one person. I suggest that you decide to take on a more positive approach to this forum as it can be a great resource and of great help if you are open to it. It seems you have decided that you are not going to be helped, that you will be scoffed at and have already decided to leave here saying "I told you so" before even getting started.... we were all new here and new to poly at one time, we know where you are coming from, but a lot of us are not new now and are only here out of our love to help others. No other reason... I would be taking advantage of that rather than trying to provoke agreements that we all suck.

Your response in this thread is not much different than most people who hunt unicorns to me. I'm sorry you feel like you were "slapped with a label." If you don't like it then I suggest changing your language to something along the lines of "I am a man who has a wife and we are looking to form a triad with a woman who is equal to us in every way because she is just as valuable to the relationship as either of us would be." If you disagree with this statement I gave you as an option then I would wonder if you are a unicorn hunter.... that is not meant as derogatory, its a term commonly used for people who tell their story (however brief) as you have thus far.

I, for one, am not interested in clarification of your story as I have read like stories over and over again. If you care to tell it I will read it (perhaps you have already elsewhere), but please understand when given the information you gave us here about finding what seems to be a unicorn to join you in being your secondary so you can have the poly lifestyle you are trying to have most of us that have read thoroughly, been here forever, or have been poly forever will likely not ask for details.

I hope I said this in the nicest way possible as you seem to be easily offended. Its not my intent to offend (as I have said before), I am just saying it like it is for myself and as others have had similar responses you might want to look at that
RP - I realize that you are burnt out by reading posts from couples looking for unicorns, but I don't believe that PD is a unicorn hunter nor do I believe that he was saying that they are looking for a single woman to join them, specifically. He never mentioned looking for her to be their secondary either. It seems that in his reading, he read that when their relationship moved from 2 to more than 2 they would need to think about terms like secondary and primary.

PD - My advice to you is to continue to stay open minded and realize that you are not required to add the labels of primary and secondary to your relationship, whatever form it takes. Many people consider themselves to be their own primary and everyone else is secondary.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:09 AM
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RP - I realize that you are burnt out by reading posts from couples looking for unicorns, but I don't believe that PD is a unicorn hunter nor do I believe that he was saying that they are looking for a single woman to join them, specifically. He never mentioned looking for her to be their secondary either. It seems that in his reading, he read that when their relationship moved from 2 to more than 2 they would need to think about terms like secondary and primary.
*shrug* that isn't what I read, but whatever, point taken... I don't have time to go back and look for where he said what. Besides, I think he has already decided I'm an asshole and is sticking to it.

I'm not burnt out actually. Where did anyone think that? Maybe I was tired that post or something.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:41 AM
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As for why the term one-vagina-policy or some variant isn't in common use, I think it's just that it's much rarer in comparison. My observation is that we have many more bi women here than bi men, so the opportunity for poly to exist without it being absurd under a one-vagina-policy is much less (you can ask a bi woman to just sleep with women, but how do you ask a straight man to just sleep with men?).
I have to pipe in.

I had a self-imposed OPP when I started building my relationship with my now-husband. He was 100% fine with me sleeping with whomever I wanted, but I did not personally feel right having coitus with another male until we had solidly established our foundation.

I also had some bothersome feelings at the time where I did not want him having coitus with another woman. I was fine with him putting his fists in them, spanking them, etc. But I did not feel comfortable with his penis getting involved.

He was ok with that (i.e. agreed vs imposed) as he was really more interested in the BDSM side of non-monogamy at that time, and wasn't really big into coitus or blowjobs anyway.

But it's no news to me that we're a weird couple. My husband has probably had sex with more men than I have.

I have since gotten over whatever issues were causing me to feel that way, and now it's wide-open across the board. But for the record, it was a "policy" more than an agreement, because he "agreed" to let me have sex with whomever I wanted, and I imposed upon myself a "policy" not to.
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dadt, definitions, don't ask don't tell, one penis policy, opp, terminology, unicorn, unicorn hunter, unicorn hunting, unicorns

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