I’m not a hardcore fan of Disney movies, but a guy has gotta give credit where credit is due, ha ha. Sometimes, the House of Mouse really hits the nail on the head of truth and human expression with its sanitized cartoon celluloid sensations.
When I’m talking to someone who is just dipping their cute little courageous toes in the dolphin-infested waters of polyamory, I think of that wonderfully delightful song that Aladdin sings when he takes Jasmine on that magical carpet: “A WHOOOLE NEW WORRRLD!” That’s exactly what it’s like for a newbie to take their first steps into the world of multiple relationships in an ethical and open way.
Polyamory is not about being a cheating, hiding, two-faced, hypocritical playa that breaks hearts and ruins trust. No way. We have the emotional technology, my friends. We CAN evolve out of those clichéd patterns of exploitation and sexual selfishness. But to do so, it requires we do the baby steps properly and walk with integrity before we fly into poly space.
Here’s four things you can tell your new poly partners to make sure they are on the same page as you are, as you all explore the awesome world of plural pleasure!
4 Things to Share with New Poly Partners
1. How Many Lovers You Have and Want
What is your heart’s capacity to share? How well can you handle jealousy WHEN, not if, your partners come home and tell you about their heart’s capacity to share and meet new people to make love to? How many relationships can you handle at the same time and sustain in a healthy capacity, with nobody complaining? These are some of the questions you will have to ask yourself and speak to your partners about.
How many lovers can you manage respectfully and responsibly is actually more important than how many lovers you actually want, because the appetite of the body is different than the capacity of the heart… in the beginning.
2. How Much Time You Have to Give
Once you determine how many lovers you can sustain, you can then think about how much time is required with each of those lovers. It’s the deeper level of human need that has to be negotiated and communicated early and clearly. Some people seek primary poly partners or poly anarchy or some other philosophical approach to plural pleasure, and each of these arrangements requires different time commitments and space establishments.
Some people are happy with one day a week, others want sleepovers and multiple meals together as a sign that the relationship is real. That’s your situation to solve. The time you have to share is never infinite, but if you want similar things, you should be able to negotiate something that nurtures both of your needs and wants.
3. Your Polyamory Past
Poly can be so Dickensian: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”
We sometimes never learn from our mistakes, and sometimes we actively seek to repeat them in future relationships as well! We can get ghosted and deal with possessed monsters. Or while trying to move towards triumphant victory, we mix up patterns with our horrible past partners with better patterns from present partners, and it gets hella messy.
Some people are turmoil and confusion personified. You may be this person at some point in your own poly life. I know I’ve had my own bouts of being a problematic partner. Be honest with those who are in your love life while you’re processing through any temporary chapter of your poly journey to become The Best You!
4. Your Sexual Desires
An enormous little issue to deal with. So, you want each other and are cool with being with other people. You’ve worked out a schedule that fits you both, and you’ve discussed your past issues and the skeletons in your poly closets. Something else to share is your sexual appetite and interests.
Do you like the way it feels when you’re holding each other close? Do you want to grab this person at random and show them affection? Do you have kinks and fetishes that matter deeply to you? Is there electricity in the intimate moments you share or explosive magic when you have sex? Do you want to have sex more often or less often than they do?
Sexual connection matters, as it’s one of our greatest offerings in relationships. But sometimes there are situations when you’re not necessarily physically or emotionally aligned, and you have to figure out if you are able or want to transition into something different that is still meaningful and worthwhile, until you get back on track.
In the early days of polyamory, these are the questions that will take you to the boundaries of your real self, as you see what kind of love life you can juggle, and what you can’t. Take it slow and easy, new dreamer! Polyamory takes time to grow into, because every single human relationship connection is completely different from each other, and multiplying your love takes it even farther beyond your imagination.
Welcome and take care,
Addi “Malcolm Lovejoy” Stewart