When I mention I’m in a poly relationship, everybody wants to know about the sex. Does it feel weird to be intimate with a partner who I know is sleeping with someone else? Do we sometimes feel confused or uncomfortable? Do we ever become jealous or possessive? The answer to all of these questions: It’s complicated. For the most part I can say that things go really smoothly, but sometimes (like in any relationship) there’s tension. The important thing to remember is that all of these potential issues can be resolved through empathy, communication and an opening up of the mind.
When my partner and I started seeing each other, I was hyper aware of the fact that he’s married. This is the first poly relationship I’ve ever been in, and I had to fight against some of my monogamous conditioning to feel that I wasn’t simply the other woman. It took me months and a lengthy heart-to-heart with my metamour before I felt comfortable enough to take things to the next level. Now I feel totally at home with the physical aspects of our relationship, but it took time. Don’t worry if you’re not completely ready to jump into bed right away. There can be a lot cultural learning to be undone in order for the poly dynamic to feel natural.
In terms of the sex itself, it did take me and my partner a little time to feel comfortable with each other, but once we did, it was (and is) fantastic. I think the biggest thing for me to overcome at the beginning was the misconception that I might have been taking away something from my partner’s and metamour’s relationship. I didn’t want to effectively syphon intimacy away from their marriage (yet another thought remnant of monogamous conditioning). What I soon realized is that everyone was benefiting from the openness of our relationship and that love and sex are not finite resources.
In terms of jealousy, I’ve never felt possessive of my partner from a sexual standpoint, but I have sometimes gotten angry about the amount of time we get to spend together. I prefer to have scheduled dates and if that changes, I find myself getting angry. My partner knows this and is sensitive enough to make an effort to stick to the plan. He and my metamour are also great at including me in their life whenever possible. In fact, we all had a lovely brunch together today.
In short, there are definitely some added complications to poly relationships; but with the right amount of patience and communication, the sex can be great and free of guilt. It mostly just takes opening up and freeing oneself from the myth of scarcity when it comes to love.