Polyamory is a funny system of connection, but you know that. There are times and places that TRULY make polyamory seem extremely different—than in a heteronormative, monogamous, matrimony-promoting society like this—and one of them is the public sphere.
Polyamory especially stands out in places of entertainment where music and movies are playing. I get SUPER poly, and I love everyone I see around me, to the point where I know I’m being very slutty, generous, and open with myself, and not shy to touch, and talk about who I am in attempts to be temporary fast friends, or to prove the depth of my integrity and sincerity.
I have been called a social butterfly more than once, and I confess that I get around like a joint in a circle of hippies. But I always remember who I came to the party with, and I don’t forget everyone while I’m suddenly smitten with someone. I know not everyone is ready to share this level of poly when they’re in public, but I’m not that person.
I have told lovers: “If you see someone you’re deeply attracted to when you’re with me, please don’t feel bad about wanting to go and talk to them. I encourage it! If you come back to me when you’re done talking or exchanging contacts, then we are being very mature and poly, and I’m cool with it all. I’m not insecure…”
Sometimes my attitude has made lovers think I don’t love them, but that’s simply not the case. I’m just very confident in polyamory, in my lovers, in my love, and in myself. If a lover wants to be with someone else temporarily, then I’m cool with that. If a lover wants to be with someone permanently, then I’m cool with that too. That hurts without question, but it hurts A LOT more if I try to keep them in a relationship with me where they don’t want to be! And it’s easy, or easier, to practice the extra-curricular connections of poly in situations where a partner is not present.
When your partner is right beside you in public, and says, “I’d like to go talk to that cutie pie over there, can you wait here five minutes?” it can get real sticky and really real. Can you handle it? If you can’t, then establish those boundaries, and live in them happily.
If you want to try and let the leash go a little more, then try a version of it in public sometime… maybe both of you approach a person to see if they want a threesome with you. And if it’s the choice of your partner, then you’re trusting in trust and trying tricks. Go for the gold! Or don’t. Follow your instincts, in private and in public. And love it!