I was having a drink with Kurt, a fuck buddy, and one of my favorite hookups—a super cute redhead!
We’d just finished an intense session where he pounded me doggy style until I couldn’t scream anymore. We opened a bottle of wine to relax on the veranda, waiting for Melinda to get home to join us. Sometimes, if his wife isn’t too tired when she finishes her afternoon shift at the hospital, we’ll start things up again, all three of us.
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Since we’re all poly, I was a little surprised when Kurt confided, “Melinda’s having an affair.”
At first, I couldn’t compute. Of course she’s having an affair—several!
But as he explained, I got angry. When you have the luxury of an open-door policy, when you have your partner’s permission to fuck other men, when you both have hot adultery and get each other off again later telling the dirty details—what is there left to lie about? And why?
I decided to hit the road before she returned, not wanting to be in the middle of something I couldn’t understand.
This was the first time I’d heard of this. The entire point of poly is to avoid lies or self-denial.
I did some thinking and investigating on poly infidelity.
For many poly people, it’s impossible with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship. But if the mutually agreed upon terms are ones where partners are shared, and full disclosure is expected, then yes, affairs exist.
Cheating when you’re monogamous is painful, but the motivation is easy to understand. When you have a loving partner’s permission to explore, the dishonesty doesn’t make sense!
Reasons Why Your Poly Partner May Have an Affair
She’s not as open as she says she is, or as she wants to be.
If someone poly feels the need to sleep around clandestine, there’s something he or she isn’t telling you. Beyond “variety” or “she’s hot, honey, may I?” there’s something the partner wants sexually that they haven’t been able to be honest about—to you, or maybe even to herself.
A girlfriend told me about an ex who cheated when all he had to do was kiss and tell. He was an alpha-male bodybuilder, hypermasculine. The poly appeal for both was the hot women around him. As it turned out, he wasn’t man enough to share with his own wife one of his fantasies—getting pegged. He was ashamed that this wasn’t manly and couldn’t bring himself to admit it.
Even among poly people, shame can still motivate our bad behaviors.
She doesn’t want to share.
This goes against the whole philosophy of polyamory, but then, we’re imperfect humans like everyone else. The heady aphrodisiacs of sex and love can still make us irrational, selfish and crazy. Sometimes we don’t want to share the person sexually, even if that goes against our core principles.
She likes to toy with other people’s emotions.
Some people get off on manipulating the emotions of others. Some men like to keep women guessing, and some women like to play chess with their men’s insecurities.
For some, being poly can take the thrill out of being naughty. When everything’s permissible, nothing is taboo. Keeping a secret or lying can make a fling feel like forbidden love, which is an epic high some get nostalgic for.
I personally think primary relationships can be healed and restored to trust after most affairs. Like any other couples, you may decide to change the rules to accommodate new needs or situations, and overcoming the problems may lead to renewed intimacy that is even stronger than before.