I grew up on a farm and I remember clearly the first days in spring when we would let the cows out to pasture. They would kick up their heels and tear around like bucking broncos, drunk on the freedom of being released from the smaller barnyard they wintered in.
When I hear stories of poly partners gone wild, I think of how monogamy is like a barnyard and polyamory a lush, green field. There’s more room to run around in, but there’s still a fence that sometimes a bull will bust through. Here are some signs that you are that bull.
You Cancel Often and Can’t Keep Track of Dates
You have so many dating obligations that you find yourself inadvertently standing people up. Your Google calendar is jam-packed and you miss notifications, so you’ve started writing reminders on your forearm. You tell your friends it’s in preparation for some artsy tattoos, but they don’t believe you.
Your grandmother complains that you never come to Sunday dinner anymore, but Sunday evening is the only time that you can fuck both Katy and Madison, so she’s shit out of luck.
You Forget Names
You are on your eighth new date of the week. You know her name starts with “M” but other than that, you’ve drawn a total blank. You just hope not to see someone you know and have to make introductions.
You call out the wrong name during sex, then claim that you’re trying out a bit of role play: She’s Mandy, a struggling grad student, and you’re her advising professor, Dr. Coxwell. She’s not going to make her thesis deadline, but you have a suggestion for how she can earn an extension… she goes along with it until you slip up and call her Melissa.
You Keep Breaking the Rules
Even though you’re poly and can date as many people you want, you can’t help but sneak around. You say you’re going to change, but the temptation to misbehave is just too great. Everywhere you look, there are potential hookups and you want pursue them all.
You know you’re supposed to inform your existing partners of new sexual opportunities, but you feel that the formality of these conversations and the perceived restrictions they create, just ruin all your fun. You want to maintain your polyamory status, but you don’t want the responsibility it demands.
Your Health Is Suffering
You’re exhausted both mentally and physically. You’ve contracted an STI for the second time in a year and members of your polycule are voicing their concerns over your lack of control. You’re feeling ostracized and lonely despite your booming sex life.
Your libido can’t keep up so you consider taking Viagra. Your doctor advises you slow down instead and maybe spend some time outdoors, in nature. You wonder if you are destined to become a sexless hermit as you curse the burning piss that falls from your cock.
You Can’t Seem to Get Enough
Despite the pain and suffering your sexual escapades bring, you keep going. You get off on the drama and need more and more over time to get your fix.
The taste of freedom that polyamory affords you is no longer enough. You need absolute autonomy and a never-ending supply of partners. You feel desperate and out of control but such is life as a poly player.