Many polyamorous peeps have a rule against this set in stone—the door is open to everyone else, but hooking up or forming a sexual relationship with your wife or girlfriend’s lovers is strictly forbidden.
Others have a different kind of rule—you can all sleep together, sure, but you do it together. Threesomes and group sex that include everyone are the way to engage.
Still others form a polycule or triad of sorts where all of you are in an emotional and sexual relationship together.
What if you don’t have any of these arrangements in place for a particular situation? How should you proceed if you’re attracted to one of your partner’s lovers, or if she unexpectedly makes herself available to you?
I can’t make that choice for you, but here are some things you should consider before you proceed.
Ask yourself what your wife or girlfriend would think.
You probably don’t have to wonder how your partner will react. You already know if she’s a person who would see this as a betrayal of her personal space and agency, or if she believes in the power of the moment above all else, and would genuinely be happy you both get along.
Examine your motivation honestly.
With all the women in the world available to get naked with, why this one? Is the spark there because you’re jealous that your wife seems to be more interested in her or share things with a woman in a way she doesn’t share them with her man?
Or are you hoping to prove that the lover will find you attractive too, or that you want a piece of anything she has on her own?
Is it pure chemistry and nothing else, and if so, is it just because it’s easy chemistry—she’s already in the picture, whereas other women to whom you are attracted still need to be wined and dined or propositioned or chatted up? If so, is the convenience worth the possible outcome?
Examine your past history with your partner.
If hookups with your lovers is something your wife has routinely indulged in or you’ve swapped occasionally, the green light is more likely than if you both guard your extracurricular lovers as a private and personal affair.
If you’re worried that asking her might upset her over your attraction, then imagine how upset she’ll be when she finds out.
You can approach the subject directly and maturely and open a dialogue with her. Maybe neither of you has ever thought about this variation, and it’s a good idea to have that talk because it’s going to come up later if not now.
“Marlene, I sometimes find myself attracted to your lovers, and we’ve never really talked about whether we’re comfortable sharing our other partners.”
Another approach might be, “Marlene, some poly couples have guidelines for what their open door policy means in different situations, and I’m wondering if we should talk about what limits we are comfortable with.”
Suggest a threesome to break the ice.
But only if you have threesomes! Not all poly people have group romps, but if you do, including your primary partner when you make love to her girlfriend is an obvious way to express your attraction without leaving anybody out.
Tell us what you think