I think it’s safe to assume that most of us grew up steeped in monogamous values. Even if our parents got divorced but remained friends, even if we grew up happily in single-parent households, that coveted ideal of a nuclear family that sticks it out to the bitter end, got shoved down our throats pretty hard.
So what makes some of us stray from that path? Are we born polyamorous or is it something we discover after years of failed monogamous relationships? I recently sat down with four members of my city’s poly community to learn about how they first discovered that non-monogamy is where it’s at.
When Did You Know You Were Poly?
I realized I was poly after 25 years of marriage – Rebekah
It wasn’t an instant realization; it took a lot of soul searching to really get what was going on with me. I just knew that something didn’t feel right and that the life I had built with my husband no longer felt in keeping with my definition of happiness. It’s not that I didn’t want to be with him anymore, but that I felt the need to open myself up to as much love as I possibly could.
Thankfully, he understood where I was coming from and agreed to try out the whole poly thing. We’ve been doing it successfully for over six years now!
I became a unicorn after visiting the sex club – Jillian
I only went to the club because my best friend chose to have her bachelorette party there. I thought it was a terrible idea and begged her to reconsider. She and her now husband were into some super kinky stuff, so I knew he wouldn’t mind that she had spent the night before their wedding being cuffed, gagged and flogged by another man. I, on the other hand, was vanilla as pudding. Or so I thought…
After dancing and observing for a while, I met this couple who invited me into their private room. I don’t know what made me brave enough to accept, but I’m so glad I did because they made me come like, ten times that night. Now we meet once a month at their place to relive the magic.
I suspected I was non-monogamous as a teen – Thomas
Honestly, monogamy has never made much sense to me. As soon as I hit puberty, I started having sexual and romantic thoughts for all kinds of people of all gender identities. I guess I’m what you would call polyamorous and pansexual.
I’ve never had the desire to settle down with just one person, although I do love being in deep, emotionally committed relationships. As a teen I had a lot of people in my circle, some of whom were more than just friends. I didn’t have sex with all of them, but had deep, romantic connections with more than a few. It’s who I am, and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
I hate labels and always have – Daniel
I’m not sure if I would consider myself poly or not; I hate putting names on things. I just know that if I had to choose between monogamy and sexual freedom, I’d choose freedom all the way. No offense to any of you, but I can’t stand some of the practices associated with polyamory, like the prescribed check-ins and touchy-feely stuff.
I’m all for transparency and respect, but I don’t want to feel forced into participating in all that kitchen table crap I hear about. I just want to enjoy my body in any way that I choose with whomever I choose whenever I want.
When did you realize you were poly? Are you still figuring it out? Share your story in the comments!