More Sex with More People: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Open Relationships.

Via on Sep 9, 2010

Bonus, via The Onion: “Open Relationship Gives Couple Freedom To Emotionally Drain Other People From Time To Time

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In what way does being intimate with multiple people interfere with our personal daily functioning?

Update: How More Sex with More People was Good, then Bad, then Ugly.

Throughout working on my Master’s in Women and Gender Studies I’ve had conflicting issues with the basis of monogamy, specifically marriage and all of its patriarchal glory.

If even close to 50% of marriages end in divorce, why are people still getting married?

If one of the root causes of divorce is infidelity, why aren’t we working on concepts outside of monogamy?

Lately I’ve been exploring ideas of what it would be like to have an open relationship. Mainly I’ve been debating the good and bad of polyamory—poly meaning more than one; amory meaning love—together, meaning to love more than one at a time.

Because I live mostly in a theoretical world in which polyamory and open relationships work on paper, I thought I’d go through what makes me hesitant and excited about opening up my existent four-year (and counting) relationship and what it would be like to give this outside-the-norm style of love a try.

More Sex

The Good—Ahhh…More Sex.

Whether with one or more partners sex can benefit people in multiple ways, including stress relief, cardiovascular health, better sleep, and perhaps even enlightenment, just to name a few. Also, sexual exploration can help with a lack of stagnation; as most people who have been in long-term relationships can attest, we all go through peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows.

The Bad—Time.

Having sex all the time really puts a damper on doing much of anything else. If I chose to open my relationship and I met new, interesting people who I wanted to spend time with, well, I’d have to own a pretty badass planner to fit everyone in. And right now, it seems difficult to have enough time for just one other person.

The Ugly—Slutopia and STD’s.

The majority of our population doesn’t really find non-monogamy appropriate no matter its label (open relationship, polyamory, etc.) these people generally seem to think that those who are open are promiscuous amoral sluts with STDs. But, there is a right way to be a proper ethical slut, (and even a guide book for those who want more info); part of it includes always using protection and not screwing every person you meet. People who are out doing everyone without protection have low self-esteem and a death wish.

The other problem I could encounter is that some monogamous people may look at me as a threat—a loose cannon who could blow up their existing relationship by trying to get closer to one of them. I am not a sex tornado, I respect other people’s limits and choices, so I find this concept quite frustrating as no one person is attracted to every other person in existence.

We all have our standards. I for one am not generally attracted to the mountain dew drinker, the renaissance fair attendee, the anime watcher, or the peace-pipe smoking hippie but those types seem to be the majority of poly-people who have “come out;” that, or they’re old. I guess if I do it I’ll need to start looking harder.

More People

The Good—More Fulfilling Relationships Overall.

Sometimes when people are in relationships they will put a barrier around said relationship so as to not cross over the intimacy line with other people. This can cause an inability to make more fulfilling longer lasting friendships (or more-than friendships) due to the fact that one person in a monogamous relationship doesn’t want to hurt the other by connecting closely to someone else.

The most exciting part of the polyamory concept to me is the ability to have no fear when meeting new people. I can go for it completely. I can get as deep with another as I want without feeling I am crossing over into the “danger zone.” Partly it’s because I’m already with someone, and thus in a way, I always have backup in case of rejection and I always have a support system if something (or someone) becomes dysfunctional.

The Bad—Jealousy.

I’ve always been the sort of narcissistic egomaniac that finds it okay for me to do something, but completely ridiculous and rude if someone else does the same thing, for example I can flirt, but my boyfriend better not. And here in lies the major problem. However, I am working on getting past that—as jealousy is not an innate reaction to a lover loving someone else but is more of a socially developed dilemma. I was reading an autobiography of the beat poet Diane De Prima and in it she told the story of her girlfriend coming home late, crying profusely, and confessing her “sin” of cheating. De Prima was confused. She said she didn’t understand why she should be upset that someone she loved shared an intimate moment with someone else; it in no way hurt her. Something about that story really clicked with me. In what way does being intimate with multiple people interfere with our personal daily functioning?

The Ugly—Loneliness.

How can a person be alone in a non-monogamous polyamorous open relationship? Well, probably pretty easily if one’s partner goes on a date with someone else and leaves said person to fend for herself for the night. The book The Ethical Slut lists plenty of things one can do to “treat” oneself.

It also suggests we make lists such as 10 ways to be Kind to Yourself and 15 Reasons He’s Lucky/15 Reasons You’re Lucky. Don’t get me wrong, I love making lists, but am I really going to remember to read my list when the dreaded loneliness starts looming? Or am I going to reach for a bottle of wine and pour my soul into an existential crisis where I question every decision I’ve ever made? And that is where it gets ugly. No one wants to go there. That is where egotistical narcissism would come in handy, or at least some high self-esteem and a bit more confidence than the average bear.

More Rules

The Good—Better Communication.

The best suited people for any arrangement of non-monogamy are Type A’s, who love planning and scheduling and being on top of it all. Because that’s what it takes. It seems like participating in this type of relationship would improve communication skills because people would first need to set boundaries and discuss what they want in relationships in general and specifically. And they would need to be completely honest at all times in regards to everyone’s boundaries.

If, for example, I didn’t want other people in my bed, there better never be anyone else in my bed. If he wanted me to give 24 hour warning I better give a day’s warning. Monogamous couples don’t have as many rules, basically, don’t touch anyone else in any way (mentally, spiritually, physically etc.) and it will be fine. I’m not sure if that is the best way to have a relationship for every person on the planet.

The Bad— Breaking the Rules.

Obviously humans are not perfect and though we all try to abide by our own ethical standards sometimes we slip. When this happens it can be emotionally painful both for the person admitting they broke the rules and for the person hearing the news. We are adults and we need to be responsible for our own actions and reactions. Some situations can be forgiven and some just may not be, that is all dependent on individual standards. I personally, do not know how forgiving I can be but at the same time I don’t want to find out.

The Ugly— Breaking Up.

An observation I’ve noticed about married couples is that they often don’t talk to each other, about anything. There is a security in knowing that the other one is always going to come home, but there is also a monotonousness to it that seems utterly depressing.  What appears to be missing over time, when the bore begins to occur, is a deeper understanding of oneself through the connection with another human being—a cut off, an invisibility, a routine with no positivity.

The worst thing that could happen if we decided to try out this whole polyamory thing is that we’d break up and move on—but it seems like a worthy risk. One that could lead to a more fulfilling life overall. Or one that could at least give me a good story to write about when I’m 50 and reflecting on my youthful ideology, my idealism, my inability to conform to the conventional relationship standards of our day.

I will never know unless I try and I still cannot decide…

[Update: Read How More Sex with More People was Good, then Bad, then Ugly.]


About Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugher lives in Denver. She earned her MA in Writing and Publishing and her MA in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul University/Chicago. She is the creator of Mile High Mating, a website dedicated to helping people "do it" in Denver and beyond. You can find her on facebook and twitter (as long as you aren’t a stalker).

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107 Responses to “More Sex with More People: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Open Relationships.”

  1. black iris says:

    So if you're okay with breaking up if you try it, it could be a learning experience. Something you'll look back on someday and say, yes, I know for sure that monogamy is what works for me because I tried the other and it didn't work. Just don't beat yourself or your partner over the head trying to fit into doing something that doesn't work if it goes wrong.

    On the other hand, if I were your partner, I think I would be concerned that the idea that you might break up didn't upset you. Why be together?

  2. Rose says:

    I cant stand the way sexual ADD is glorified in our postmodern culture. Promiscuity is immature, unspiritual, hurtful and messy. People are too lazy to work on themselves and their relationship, preferring to act out in avoidance. Totally un yogic, especially as having multiple male partners trashes your aura if you're a woman (yogi bhajan.) My soul cries if I share my body with a man and there is no follow up. As for STDs, condoms don't offer protection for everything, HPV can be caught even with condoms. YUK YUK YUK!! The only safe sex is monogamy or abstinence.

  3. KT says:

    Well i can tell from experience, it's all good and fun in the beginning, but NO relationship go through it unharmed, i'm currently getting divorced and we started out soft swinging and then moved to a open relationship, sex was non existent in our marriage and we used the 'open-ness' of our relationship to have sex with others, you end up having NO respect for one another and it becomes a selfish game, only for you to gain , vica versa . . I would personally NEVER enter another relationship with these thoughts, it can only end in a bad way, if you love your partner and they love you, THIS should not even come up. If your partner or you brings this subject up, you already failed in the relationship, it might take days, months, years, even as long as 10 or 20 years . . but it will end, unless one of you stays the lesser in the relationship and just accepts the fate :-(

  4. [...] Why weren’t people seeing that this connection is natural and inevitable. Since the fourth century Plato has discussed human societal bonding. We are mammals and we bond with one another through touch. When we have a sexual relationship this creates a coupling—like it or not—for everyone involved. [...]

  5. Love says:

    Jealousy is a human flaw. It come be overcame by spirituality, but for as long as you're in human form, it's NATURE.

  6. [...] of relationship types. The Democratic Party has recently added same-sex marriage to their platform. Polyamory, the concept of multiple loving relationships, is emerging in western states including Utah. I find [...]

  7. Open SB says:

    I really like this article. It's well thought out and from perspective, a very balanced view. In my own pursuit of an open relationship with my wife of 12 years, I have spent much time researching the differences, the boundaries, the do's and don'ts and what to anticipate from both a positive and negative perspective.
    I like that you have approached this sometimes touchy subject, from all the angles. You haven't indicated whether you are pro open or against it. From my perspective, it's very well balanced.

  8. Carrie Tyler says:

    Fantastic article. Way to put it all out there and open up this discussion.

  9. Wary says:

    Ugh.. being “anime watcher” it’s sad for me to see this kind of prejudice but otherwise good article.

    People need more quality communication and if polyamory promotes it then it should be supported for development of society.

    The first real concern is that it’s evidently inefficient dissipation of valuable personal resources to try and love several partners in a long-term relationship because all of those partners have their own “worlds” that are often hard to manage or attune to.

    And also it’s worth to mention that protection is a very good thing but doesn’t guarantee 100% prevention of sexual- or skin-transmitted diseases (and more so if they’re used incorrectly). And sometimes it’s perceivably better to have a partner that have almost 0% potential chance of getting those than partner with ~1-2% possibility.

  10. judithlaw says:

    I agree with cosette that jealousy is pretty natural and unavoidable. It's one of our emotions, even my puppy get jealous over me and my boyfriend, when we get close.

    Anyway, here's another interesting case studies of single men. If you never got laid, this probably should give you some news. Here it is: http://flirtinc.org/?ref=more-sex&read=single…?

  11. addy says:

    Any time we turn to other people for stimulation out of our boredom or ruts, whether it be a spouse or a mistress, we are bypassing a huge opportunity to connect with our Self. Most affairs and even most relationships begin as projections of lost aspects of our Selves. There is a difference between a relationship and conscious relationship. I think many who are navigating open relationships with good communication think of themselves as being quite conscious, just as many who go through communicative divorces do, but it is so rarely the case. If you're feeling antsy, look within and get yourself a good Jungian therapist. You're boredom will be immediately alleviated and you will start to learn what deep connection really is. Oh yeah, and maturity. Its a really wild ride that can actually lead to real fulfillment.

  12. [...] Tell him that you want to start seeing other men, preferably men in your [...]

  13. [...] probably have made a great harem wife in another era because at some level, I was only too happy to share the sex [...]

  14. [...] It was about this time that I began an open relationship with a man who had long practiced polyamory… [...]

  15. Daniel says:

    Honestly, long-term success in any relationship without breakup or codependency is a rarity in our culture because we have atomized and commidified human interaction. You will not solve this with an alternative sexuality – at least, not exclusively. That’s a problem we need to look at directly: we are programmed to be restless and discontent by consumer culture, and we need to stop letting our relationships be ruled by momentary novelty and acquisition.

    That said, having been quite exposed to several styles of relationship, I feel best being monogamous because one really deep intimate relationship really does involve a lot of time and communication and challenge. Or, quoth the article: “it seems difficult to have enough time for just one other person.” I want a full life outside of the bedroom too, and these open relationship styles, even with their best foot forward, have a lot of overhead. I have seen some of the most outspoken advocates of polyamory in my circles, drop it like it’s hot. I think it’s a good idea to come to a place where you give someone your all, not because of a church ritual, not because of codependency, but because it’s good for you both.

    I am eager to see more conversation coming from genuinely loving and respecting ourselves and our partners over time. That’s a feature of character development. You’re not going to get it automatically by being fashionably alternative – or not. That’s just avoiding the real issue, that is, being able to love and grow in all the areas of our life in each other’s company.

  16. @Kokitsuneko says:

    It just depends on yourself. Whatever you want and makes you happy, is what you want. Go ahead and find people who have similar ideas and similar feelings as you do. If you find a partner who loves you for who you are and you are happy about it, great! If you find a partner who is an open relationship with you and that's what you want without emotional commitment, that's great! It's all about finding the right people and people who will make you happy and/or satisfied.

    For me, if I was to go into an open relationship, I would only hope that my emotions would never get in the way and rather, my sexual primitive instincts would just make me have a fun time and enjoy it :p

    On the other hand, I don't think I would be up for that. I would feel so much better being in a loving and committed relationship where we trust each other and are honest with each other. . . . and we sexually satisfy each other as well :p that's all I need.

    besides, being in other relationships takes time (and money), ugh.

  17. Sarah says:

    You forgot to talk about LOVE. I'm not sure how you define amory, but LOVE is what most people in relationships share.
    I'm not on board with this, sorry. To each is own, but if one of you winds up pregnant or diseased, I don't think your situation is going to stay the same, unless you plan on polyparenting, and polyhospitalization, and polyregret. How is your job's health plan going to cover your additional partner's children or cover the expense of their labor in the hospital if they can't cover it yourself? Jealousy is another one of my main issues here I personally would never get past. I will never be happy that my husband found attention in another partner because I'm busy at work and can't meet his needs. I'd rather he watch porn than share what we share with others, because our bond has value and is sacred, not to be just handed out to anyone who can fill the position of now. There are successful couples, there's another 50% you forgot to mention here who would find polyamory really devastating to a relationship.
    End point: hearts get involved in intimacy. One person is going to be more connected with another, someone is going to be left out.

  18. lisabarbero says:

    Maybe this would work in a world of Buddhas sprinkled with Bodhisattvas where everyone had released attachment and ego. Wait… ego is the whole reason someone came up with polyamory in the first place. Nevermind. BTW, freely, equally, and deeply loving another human being and serving that love forever, always, and unconditionally doesn't have anything to do with Patriarchal concepts of marriage. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

  19. Rcherie says:

    Okay, “The Ethical Slut” was a great book, I first read it back in 2003 & it’s still on my bookshelf, next to The Kama Sutra & The Collection of Marquis de Sade.

    Before reading the ethical slut, I had already been practicing polyamory & it felt great to hear like-minded people who had their Ph.d’s which legitimatized the ideology.

    I am that Type A personality & this lifestyle worked very well for me — I had literally never tried a monogamous relationship until 2007. That was my marriage — two sluts who fell in love (monogamy just happened! Once we slept with each other, We stopped having sex with others). (I still had another boy I was dating at the time, which I ended soon after sleeping with that person who became my spouse).

    That marriage lasted 6 years & we never experienced issues in keeping our monogamy. Of course there were ppl we ran into whom we wanted to sleep with, but it was easy not to – ‘been there, done that’ sorta thing. The hardest thing was how much physical contact & overall connection that I cut off with all other human beings — almost opposite of the free creature I used to be. I was way too cautious about being near people, or even hugging them!

    That’s a short background of my personal experience – educated moral slut turned monogamous normal.

    That being said, I would never recommend a couple to ‘Open’ up their relationship. That just seems to me… Risky. Because it would be up & changing your already defined relationship.

    I don’t think that your interest in opening up your relationship lessens the seriousness you have for the relationship you have with your significant other — & as long as both of you are emotionally mature (or at least practice awareness & communication), then you both deciding to open up the relationship is fine and does certainly have the possibility of enriching your lives while still keeping intact. Just make sure the risk is discussed & that whenever one of u feels uneasy , to just talk with the other person.

    It all comes down to personal preferences. I fully & thoroughly enjoyed my promiscuous lifestyle and then also I was very pleased with monogamy. I prefer having just ONE partner, it feels more special. But I loved being a slut & don’t think my sexuality would’ve ever ‘settled’ down without my wild experiences.

  20. lisab says:

    I find the image at the very top of this article to be very offensive. Not because of big bare butts… but because that man is clearly being tortured.

  21. anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that feels bad for the partner of 4yrs after this comment "Partly it’s because I’m already with someone, and thus in a way, I always have backup in case of rejection and I always have a support system if something (or someone) becomes dysfunctional." ? The twice mentioned narcissism seems to sum up the vibe of this article pretty well. Some inner work may lead to far more rewards than seeking external gratification in the bed of another. I think we all know that inglorious road.

  22. Anonimle says:

    You hit all the points right on the head. I was in a poly quad for four years . Not only were there four of us but my boyfriend had another woman also.
    She was a swinger with her husband for a long time before they broke up and being poly was a huge issue for her due to her jealousy of me. Our girlfriend just has left the three of us when she decided it wasn't for her. She wants the fairy tale ONE.
    I had lots of jealousy early on but decided that if I wanted to be in my boyfriends life I had to let him be who he is , warts and all.
    I think that is the only way any relationship will work. If you want to change someone or demand they change for you you might as well,save yourself and your loved ones the pain of holding on to a fantasy . After of a year of not being loved for who I was and unreasonable demands on my loved ones , we ( a newly formed triad , are aware of what we want in a poly mate and are excited to see where our new adventure takes us.
    As for the other two females I wish them luck finding the ONE . I have found my two and I love both of them completely and love being poly. Good luck on your quest . It is possible !

  23. Joyce says:

    Have multiple partners if you want. Just don't expect it to make you happy. The fact is, a deeply fulfilling and satisfying relationship (on every level, in every way) whether with one partner or many, is possible only if you and your partner(s) possess the qualities necessary to make it happen. And if you don't have what it takes, it won't happen…whether you're with one person or a thousand. So rather than looking outside of yourself and your current relationship for the ultimate relationship experience, your time would be better spent contemplating how you show up in your current relationship. Here's a start…

    How comfortable are you with your emotions? With your partner's emotions? How comfortable is your partner with his own emotions and with yours?

    Have you ever felt completely exposed and vulnerable in your relationship? Has your partner? Could you do it or was it too difficult?

    How deeply do you connect to your partner on an emotional level?

    Do you struggle communicating your thoughts, feelings, desires, needs? How well can your partner communicate those things?

    Can you take feedback? Can your partner take feedback? Or is there defensiveness and an inability to look at the issues?

    Is your partner's happiness as important to you as your own? And vice versa?

    Are you dedicated…really dedicated to being true, honest and real in the relationship? Is your partner?

    My point is, if you really want to go as deep as you possibly can with one partner or many, chances are there are many things you'll need to tweak. No?

    And there's nothing saying you can't work all this out with multiple partners. That certainly may be your path. And besides, the beauty of relationships is that they show us exactly what we need to work on, provided we are mature enough to see what they are showing us. So, adding more partners into the mix may be like putting your personal evolution on hyper drive or injecting it with steroids! You'll end up having many people, not just one, telling you the same thing, over and over again. ;)

  24. vicki says:

    Infidelity is not the leading cause of divorce. See research by John Gottnan.

  25. Living it says:

    I have been married for 13 yrs and open for 1.5 of them. To say that it hasn’t been challenging would be a lie. That said, communication has not only been critical, it has been nurtured and much improved through this. Jealousy has been present on both sides which has allowed us to explore what’s really there for us.

    Being open is not forced. We are not out there trying to be with anyone we meet. It’s simply an ebb and flow. As middle agers, we have realized that people change. The person you married isn’t often the person you find in mid life or beyond. We have goals and dreams for ourselves that are independent of ‘us’. For us this is an extension of supporting and loving each other in our journey of life. Experiencing life. Living life. Yes there are rules but are rules are not restrictive to living life.

    Will it always be this way? Maybe/maybe not. I just know that we are committed to each other in all that comes our way. And that’s enough for me.

  26. EyeLean5280 says:

    "I for one am not generally attracted to the mountain dew drinker, the renaissance fair attendee, the anime watcher, or the peace-pipe smoking hippie but those types seem to be the majority of poly-people who have “come out;” that, or they’re old."

    Yikes.

    Actually, this entire article reeks of callow. But I suppose it is unfair to expect mature heads on kids' shoulders. (Or a designer's head on sociologist's shoulders, for that matter – that first illustration! Oy!)

    My dear, I heartily urge you to do what you so clearly are longing to do. Go out and try polyamory. I think you'll discover being in the community is a lot different from studying the community. Whether it ends up being for you is of course not nearly as important as the growth and wisdom you will attain, assuming you are inclined towards growth and wisdom in the first place.

  27. vernon nielsen says:

    Were all monogamous an polyamorous, it just depends on how you perceive your role in it. An unfulfilling relationship makes you think or fantasize about others , there it is , in your mind you just went poly. if it doesnt manifest in physicality , good for you , you avoid the ridiculous slut tag.
    Humans are in the dark ages sexually because we use it for stupid emotional junk food. On the occasion that we tap into the sacral chakra and explore that we just turn it into hyped emotional junk food. Sex isnt a bandage, or an internal gap filler, poly amory isnt bad and monogamy isnt bad. if peopl had a clue about the sacredness of sex , its possible that alone may stave off wars and general stupidity,,,well maybe a war or two, i mean we are geniuses at being raving morons.
    In ancient egypt , priestesses were referred to as prostitutes, or maybe modern man depicts them as such for taking money to indoctrinate people into sexual alchemy, the act of using sex to evoke deeper energies that ultimately bring one to deeper realizations of the self.
    But hey lets keep it light and just be monkeys debating some silly idea on sex and purpose in shallow materialistic ways that dont do much but challenge a person to honestly look at where they are mistaken in things as they struggle to not point fingers, realizing not, that they see it within themselves first.
    The good
    picking up other peoples subconscious information, expanding awareness.
    The bad
    The struggle to find self definition and its anxieties.
    the ugly
    thinking life has to be in a box
    not getting to the point of kundalini

    Its arguable that these little animals should even be having sex, its not like it does more than create larger internal gaps in most. i think people that tend to have a wholeness of love inside gravitate towards monogamy because they are whole and dont need more than one. A person that has to have more generally has large gaps in their inner experience of love.

  28. Lori Barron says:

    I can tell you from my point of view Open relationships are the BEST relationships. Ive had both types of long term relationships and for my there is no comparison. Open relationships can be structured in ways that both parties needs can be fulfilled. Open relationships are much more work and much more fulfilling but radical honesty is KEY. Is there problems to overcome? Of course there is but I know many people in open relationships and they is more LOVE, compassion, and honesty! The people I know are deeply connected loving, passionate people! They seem to be more genuinely happy then traditional long term relationships. As for being a slut…. well if you care that much about what other people think this lifestyle is probably not for you! I could care less about the labels a conservative society wants to put on women! Own your sexuality it is a beautiful, expressive side of you fear not the judgement of others! As for the "UGLY" , well your not looking in the right places! LOL contact me I'll tell you where the "HOT", open young couples are!!! Good luck! xoxo

  29. JFill says:

    This is well written, and if you'd like to see and experience polyamorous people may I suggest the Meetup.com group Polyamoury Under 40 (PU40).

    I came into being Poly with my most recent relationship, only having other experience in college with an "open relationship". The biggest difference here in Chicago is that finding a large community of Poly people has allowed me to hold a mirror to my own projections of good and bad possibilities. The group has a few focuses, and I use it mainly to meet like minded people in casual fun settings, but the discussion groups and other more formative events are showing to be constructing a vocabulary between us that is gradually being tuned in to by the public eye. With more and more discussion of non-monogamy in broadcasted media (as well as cool local blogs) holds us to better understand each other and our own desires to have multiple partners, and better articulate the tactics of communication.

  30. Pedro Diaz says:

    I think that sex can really get the stress out of yourself

  31. Joe says:

    Jealously come from attachment. Attachments is not love. Many of the theories mentioned here are not polyamorous, but many attached partners. I enjoyed your article very much none the less.

  32. tobye says:

    "We all have our standards. I for one am not generally attracted to the mountain dew drinker, the renaissance fair attendee, the anime watcher, or the peace-pipe smoking hippie but those types seem to be the majority of poly-people who have “come out;” that, or they’re old. I guess if I do it I’ll need to start looking harder."

    Although I come under none of those catagories and am in fact single, I live ten thousand miles away Krystal…. but if you ever visit Ireland, gimme a call and I'll buy ya a pint of guinness ;o)

  33. liz says:

    arrrgh trailing parenthesis! try this link: http://www.newsweek.com/2009/07/28/only-you-and-y

  34. walksbeauty says:

    I couldn’t have expressed this better! I agree and went through a heart-breaking soul-searching with a polyamorous woman going after my committed partner. I tried to accept it in so many ways… I could say yes to it happening but it felt like a huge “NO” to myself.

  35. integralhack says:

    I agree, Angelina. I think the essential point is not defining yourself or your relationship as poly or mono, but engaging in a real supportive relationship. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the sexual component and the basis of a real relationship. I can't help but be amused at some of the supposed "Buddhist" and "yogic" perspectives and the misapplication of "attachment" in these contexts. There seems to be a fundamental naivety and/or narcissism in these comments. I find it interesting that codependency isn't mentioned in the article since it is often that there is a narcissist who has convinced his or her partners that poly is the way to go since it fits the narcissist's needs but not necessarily the others in the relationship.

    I am not anti-polyamory, but I do think that this is a rare phenomenon since it is difficult to be in one truly supportive relationship, let alone several–particularly in hard economic times and in a culture where most people haven't been given the values or tools to succeed in a polyamorous situation. And as I already mentioned, there are those ready to take advantage of this situation under the guise of "openness."

  36. integralhack says:

    It would be interesting to have your boyfriend and his fiancee comment as well, Liz. Sounds like a great and rare relationship you have going there.

  37. Alex says:

    Shallow? How is this shallow?

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