Honesty Is the Best Poly: Stories from Women Who Practice Polyamory

For many people, honesty is the selling feature of the open relationship. We pursue polyamory for so many reasons, but one theme that recurs over and over again is the fact that honesty is built into the very nature of polyamorous arrangements.

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I can tell you personally that honesty is important to me, and every woman I talk to brings it up shortly after conversation turns to sex and love.

“Women hate being lied to. Making shit up to soften the blow doesn’t protect my fragile feelings—rather, it saves your ass. That’s cowardly.” Kim, 27, says she would rather accept that her man needs other women sexually than have to wonder whether anything he ever says is true.

Mary, 42, has a softer perspective. “I don’t assume men are unfaithful or liars. I just don’t feel it’s fair to put a man in the position where he has to decide between a fling, potentially losing a girlfriend, or living a lie between himself and his woman.”

Mary has been in several unusual open relationships, including one where neither of them ever did sleep with anyone else!

“The fact that monogamy is so artificial to our nature sets it up to be all lies constructed around an ideal,” says Lorreen, 26. She doesn’t care about her boyfriend going out with other women. During her first monogamous relationship, she already saw that an open door would be more honest.

“The real problem was him going through my stuff, constantly asking who I was talking to, trying to catch me in a lie. I couldn’t handle the fact that my character, my words, were all suspect due to his emotions of jealousy. I remember wishing I had a tryst to throw in his face, something to show for his empty ‘gotcha!’ attitude.”

That’s when Lorreen realized she was better off in relationships that weren’t centred around obsessive monogamy. Even though she wasn’t cheating, she may as well have been!

Carol Ann, 29, says she never has and never will date a man she can’t be honest to about her love of women. “Polyamory works best for me because I’m not going to hide my nature from a partner. I need women in my life sexually, and I don’t want to hurt anyone with that so I won’t be dishonest.”

Sofia, 33, says, “It’s not that poly people don’t feel jealousy. It’s that we accept jealousy and refuse to lie to indulge it. For me, this is the main draw of polyamory—we cater to the reality and the real needs of each other, not to natural but childish emotions. Our commitment to honesty helps to build beautiful love affairs and families.”

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