A male friend of mine is exploring polyamory for the first time after a messy divorce. He was married for fifteen years, and found being faithful difficult, but kept his commitment.
His wife didn’t see it like that. She ultimately left because she couldn’t accept that he occasionally fantasized about other women.
Now my friend says he’s enjoying meeting a variety of women. So what’s the problem? He believes men are poly by nature, but he can’t believe polyamory really works for women. He’s afraid he’ll find himself trapped, or vilified.
I asked a number of poly women to weigh in on why polyamory works for them.
“I am unlimited, and being poly lets me play with all of my personalities, and indulge all the different sides of me.” – Jaclyn, 27
“I lost my first love over my own unreasonable expectations. And he never knew how dishonest I was. I ditched him for fucking around ONCE, when I was cheating all the time! I just couldn’t handle him looking elsewhere. I really loved him, and that loss drove me to be a more honest, mature person. For me, that means accepting a man’s need for sexual variety, and ‘fessing up to mine too.” – Miranda, 30
“Variety is the spice of life. I like to try all of it. I like them hot, average and ugly. I like them girls and guys and any binary between or beyond. I like the challenge of sharing a sexual moment with all kinds of people, it helps me see humanity in everyone and also to share it in the most intimate way.” – B. R. 25
“Umm, I’m just horny as hell all the time, five times as much as most women and twice as much as most men. My third boyfriend said I wore him right the fuck out and could I find someone else to help us out. That was the best idea I’d ever heard—no going back now. I’m married with three girlfriends and a parade of boyfriends, and it makes my husband as horny as I am.” – Gabrielle, 33
“I have a lot of love to give, but I’m not a person who is good at compromise. A full-time, one-on-one relationship is too demanding for me. Most women don’t want to be the third wheel on the wagon, but I’m relieved when your main involvement is somewhere else. We can make love, laugh, and live when we have time. As early as 20, I found myself gravitating toward married men. I got smart fast and sought out those who weren’t lying to their wives. It’s win-win-win.” – Ava, 68
“Polyamory was a touch choice for me. I was happily married and was shattered to find out my husband needed more. I was so upset about losing him that I surprised myself by making him an offer—instead of me leaving because he’d strayed, could we talk about opening the marriage and trying that for awhile? That was twenty years ago. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve kept the most important relationship alive, as well as meeting and sharing love from some extraordinary men and women along the way.” – Judith, 40
“Polyamory for me is neither natural or easy. But it’s the only choice for me. I refuse to be subjected to society’s norms or in the possession of another person. I’m not a slave or a material object. Poly means autonomy. It is a political and radical stand against religious and government orchestrated tyranny against women. I do not belong to the church, the state, or another living soul—period. And I never will.” – Taylor, 21