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Polyamory Explained by Some Dude Who’s Never Done it

The world isn't as black and white as we'd like it to be sometimes. Love doesn’t come in a box with a bow on it, neither does sexuality. Back in the day, there were hushed tones whispering about the neighbors having “key parties,” (where couples dropped their car keys into a fishbowl, and whomever you pulled out from the bunch was whose house you’re having a sleepover). There were the women who lived together as “roommates” while sitting for ham at Christmas dinner, but they were most definitely swapping spit once the prying eyes of their families were in the rear view mirror. We used to know these things were happening on the hush-hush, but we never talked about them. American emotional and sexual identity is a thing built in the shadows.

Today, fucking forget it.

The younger folks coming up look at love, relationships, and society as a whole with a different lens than how many of us figured out what our slice of existence could look like. Culture is changing; there are new avenues, identities, and ways to experience life. Everything on the table and what you choose to embrace or experiment with, those concepts are yours to experience. We’ve got Lil Nas X straight up lap-dancing the devil in one video, and the next he’s got backup dancers with their dicks straight up out. 2021 ain’t Elvis shaking his hips, causing great-grandmothers to pass out in delight. After a few wars, stock market crashes, rampant predatory capitalism, and a pandemic, people are out here L-I-V-I-N’.

One of the newest subjects that’s come up is the zeitgeist polyamory or just “Poly” to those hip to the term: Polyamory isn’t swinging, where it’s cool if couples bang whomever out of sexual boredom. Polygamy like the Sister Wives folks on basic cable where some sketchy dude is married to six different women who “calls upon them” with his needs. Instead, Polyamory’s basis lies in non-monogamy (which often involves married folks) but offers a wider range of relationships, both straight and LBGTQ. There’s a lot of forms of non-monogamy out there. You can be regular-ass married to someone but have a side chick, and it’s cool. And at the same time, the husband could have a side dude, too. It’s all in how the two people structure their relationship. Some of the people who are involved believe this is their orientation. They struggle to be cool with just one person. That sounds like a lot to juggle, but it’s their party. I can only deal with one Target trip a week, let alone scheduling multiple to tickle someone’s fancy.

Statistics are floating around Google, citing that 21% of people have cruised the consensual non-monogamy life, and if you’ve ever been on a dating app, you can back that stat up because there are a lot of couples looking for a “third”. One study even said that a third of gay men have had polyamorous relationships at one point, and again, zero surprise because dudes are animals always looking for that good-good, right?

The poly thing isn’t for everyone, though. Ask anyone who’s been in a committed relationship for a hot minute, and you’re going to get a brick thrown at your head for suggesting a desire to open things up. Most people aren’t wired that way. Generally, it takes like minds and conversations from the beginning on sexual status, openness, etc. to set the parameters of what the relationship is built on rather than Joe Construction Worker from the Midwest asking his wife if she was down with getting weird with new people after the kids have moved out. “Oh, Steve, who’s always here? He’s our third.” Not judging, it isn’t effortless. Here’s the deal, emotionless screwing is one thing, NRE (New Relationship Energy) is a whole different ball game. NRE is when someone new jumps into the relationship and all of that excitement and fascination. That new relationship hot sex can derail a time-tested relationship with a fresh car smell. Experienced polyamorists know this dance and make it a point to pay attention to their regular partner so people don’t get weird because, like all things, it routinely takes shape. Everyone realizes that farts will slip out, and even the hottest people wear retainers to bed.

What about cheating? How does that work? The people I’ve asked in “the lifestyle” tell me everything is about transparency and what’s allowed between the couple’s agreement. If banging anyone and everyone is a part of the deal, then that’s how the rules were set. Otherwise, it’s considered taboo to go outside of agreed-upon people.

When you read about the poly world, you’ll hear about “compensation,” which means “a feeling of warmth or joy experienced when a partner becomes emotionally or sexually involved with another person.” This should not be confused with cuckolding.

So, does poly work? Well, that’s all in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes, people choose to get into it simply out of a desire to keep their partner happy, and it becomes a power struggle of happiness. Most of the time, couples decide to open the bedroom door out of sexual growth and into some enlightened booty action. Again, the whole deal breaks down on if this situation works for you. It’s essential to be cool and see the world from a different point of view, without judgment. If poly life isn’t your bag, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is just like the people who want to wear a goat mask and hooves when they bang, as long as they’re having a good time, they’re not hurting anyone. Life is one constant Choose Your Adventure book, so get the most out of it. Me, I’m polyamorous with tacos


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