Benefits of polyamory

Domina Jen,

I’m dating a single polyamorous woman.  She was up front about being poly from the beginning and I was cool with it.  We’ve been dating for a few months and now she’s looking at this guy as a potential partner.

It feels weird. I’m not a jealous guy so on one hand I’m cool with it but on the other… I don’t know I guess it feels weird because I feel like I’m supposed to not be cool with it maybe?

And the idea of telling my friends and family about it really messes with me. They’ve all met her and think she’s cool. But I know she won’t be cool with keeping her other relationship a secret.

She knows something’s up and she keeps asking me about it. I just don’t really know how to answer. Because I’m mostly cool with it but then there’s like “what if she likes the other guy more than me” and “what if she spends more time with him than me” and “what if I don’t like the guy” and all these “what if” things that just bug me.

And then of course there’s “what if she leaves me for him” and “what if she gets a disease from him that she gives to me.”

But then again she’s also cool with me going out and getting another girlfriend if I want so do I really have the right to not be cool with her if I have the same opportunity?

How do I handle this?  And can you list some of the benefits of poly relationships that can outweigh the negatives?  It’s all just kind of overwhelming.

Thanks in advance.

Hi, and thanks for writing.  These are actually very good and valid questions that a lot of people experience when they first get into polyamory.

It’s a lot to take in, and it goes against everything we were taught a relationship was supposed to be.

You being a man makes it even harder, because of cultural expectations placed the way men are supposed to behave within a relationship.  So we’ll start at the top and go down your list of questions/concerns.

First, I’m going to go through the list of terms, because that will make things so much easier through the rest of the post.

Polyamory: multiple loves

Polygamy: multiple spouses

There are two separate kinds of polygamy.  There is polygyny, which is by far the most common, in which a husband has multiple wives.  But there is a second kind, less common throughout history, called polyandry, in which a wife has multiple husbands.

In the vast majority of the world, all polygamy is illegal and criminalized.  So the terms “polygyny” and “polyandry” refer not to marriages, but to certain dynamics within polyamorous relationships.

Of course these are not the only kinds of polyamorous relationships, but polyandrous relationships consisting of one woman and two men are actually the most common type of poly relationship throughout the US and Canada.  This dynamic just seems to work.

It certainly works in my experience.

And the idea of telling my friends and family about it really messes with me.  They’ve all met her and think she’s cool.  But I know she won’t be cool with keeping her other relationship a secret.

Alright, so first of all, I absolutely don’t agree with trying to force your partner to keep something like that a secret.  The only way to get rid of the harmful misinformation and stereotypes that go with poly relationships is for people to see what a healthy poly relationship looks like.

But while you may know that intellectually, putting it into practice is something else entirely, and I get that.  It would be easier if you had a second girlfriend, but her having a second boyfriend makes things tough.

First, you have to understand that there are those who can just never accept it.  No matter what you say, no matter what you do, they’ll just cling to their ignorance with everything they have.  They’ll attack her, they’ll insult you, they’ll call her a manipulative whore, they’ll say that she’s taking advantage of you, or that she’s brainwashing you, or that she’s forcing you into a life you don’t want.

She’s likely no stranger to this kind of thing.  I don’t know a single polyandrous woman who hasn’t experienced this.  Monogamous men tend to get really upset at the idea of polyandrous relationships.  They, more often than not, are downright hostile to the women in these relationships.  Like it’s a personal attack on their masculinity or something.  The only way they can accept it is to assume she’s evil and you’re weak.

So if she’s experienced with polyandrous relationships, she’s been dealing with this for awhile.  She’s used to it.  But it’s all completely new to you, and it’ll be tough.  You’re going to have to decide how much you’re going to let the opinions of others influence you.

Which sounds like an easy thing to do, but in practice, it’s really not.  Ask any submissive guy.  It’s pretty damn tough.

Add to that the cultural expectations of men in relationships, that they’re supposed to “possess their woman.”  There’s this idea that a man can’t be a “real man” if he doesn’t claim some sort of ownership of his partner.  Which is why so many monogamous men get outright hostile about it.

And while, in my experience, the vast majority of the hostility will be directed at her, not at you, you’ll still get your fair share of it.

You’ll have to do some real soul-searching and decide how secure you are in your masculinity, because it will be attacked.  You have to decide whether you’re going to let those attacks affect you.

You’ve got to be prepared for that.  But, while that will undoubtedly happen, it actually won’t be the majority.

As it turns out, most reasonable people will actually be pretty accepting of it, even if they don’t understand it.  Chances are your friends will be curious at first; they won’t understand it, they’ll have this idea of it, but they’ll actually talk and keep open minds about it.

And with friends, it’s easy.  Even if they don’t understand you “letting” her have a second boyfriend.  There’s just one thing you have to say:

That girl at the bar is hot.  I think I’m going to go talk to her.  Flirt with her a bit, maybe if she’s willing, go back to her place.  Oh, and you know what?  I’ve got to get some pictures of us doing it.  My girlfriend loves that.

I mean, there’s just nothing your friends can say about that.  There’s nothing they can say when random drunken blowjobs and one-night stands are legitimate possibilities.

Nah bro, your argument is invalid.

Family is harder.  And I stay out of family issues, unless it starts negatively affecting me.  For example, living so close to Kazander’s family, and him keeping everything a secret from them, has started to negatively affect me.  So as soon as we get his health issues figured out, we’re moving.

The way you deal with your family is up to you, I’m not going to tell you how to handle that.  But as always, I recommend honesty.  People tend to forget that being in your life is a privilege.  It is not a right that anyone is entitle to, regardless of whether you share DNA.

If you are honest, and any member of your family gives you problems, then do you really want that family member in your life?  Why put up with it when you don’t have to?  You don’t have to let toxic people remain in your life.

Now to go through the “what-if” questions:

What if she likes the other guy more than me?  What if she leaves me for him?

This is a very common and justifiable concern with those who are new to polyamory.  But there is one thing you’re forgetting:

What’s stopping that from happening in a monogamous relationship?

Imagine I’m in a monogamous relationship with Kazander.  What’s stopping me from finding a guy that I like better than him?  A single dad at the park, a cute guy at the bar, anyone, anywhere.  There’s absolutely nothing stopping that from happening.

The difference is in a poly relationship, the forbidden appeal is gone.  And having to make a choice is gone.

I don’t have to decide whether I like one person more than the other, because I don’t have to choose between them.  I don’t have to leave one person for the other, because I don’t have to choose.  That’s literally not a line of thinking present in poly relationships.

Poly relationships have problems just as monogamous relationships do, and poly relationships end just as monogamous ones do.  But poly relationships don’t end because someone likes one partner more than the other.  Because no one is worried about that, because it’s not something you have to think about.

And that also goes for the concern about getting a disease.  In my personal experience, poly people I know tend to be extremely careful about this.  More so than monogamous people.

Because I know that it’s not just my health on the line.  Anything that one partner has could potentially be passed to me, which I could then pass on to my other partners.  I’ve taken risks with my health before, but I won’t do that with other people’s health.

And again, there’s nothing stopping that from happening in a monogamous relationship.  Anyone can go out and cheat on their partner* and get a disease, which can then be passed to their partner.  Monogamous relationships don’t protect anyone from that.

What if she spends more time with him than me?

A completely understandable question, and something that must be discussed.  Time management is important in any relationship, but especially so in poly ones.

Because a partner can feel neglected for a number of reasons in both poly and mono relationships that have nothing to do with other partners.  Your partner may spend too much time out with friends.  Too much time working.  Too much time focusing on the kids or other responsibilities, and not effectively managing time.

Poly relationships are just as vulnerable to this as mono relationships are, because now you have the added strain of other partners who need your time, as well.

It’s something that simply requires practice, and mindful time management skills, which can be learned.  It also requires open and honest communication** so that your partner can be made aware of a problem before it becomes a significant problem.

What if I don’t like the guy?

This completely depends on the situation.  If you’re all living together, this can be a significant issue.  Usually it can be fixed, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of emotional maturity on the part of everyone involved.

If you’re not living together, it’s much easier.  For me personally, if I don’t have to live with the person, it doesn’t matter at all.

I didn’t like Kazander’s girlfriend in the slightest.  Not even remotely.

But I didn’t have to deal with her, so I didn’t care.  He’d go on dates with her and I wouldn’t have to see her.  She’d come over, I’d do the polite greeting thing, then they’d go into the bedroom while I watched TV.  I didn’t have to socialize with her, I didn’t have to spend time with her, I didn’t have to do anything.

Now, if I was in a situation where I had to spend time with her, that would be a problem, and quite honestly, I would not have allowed that relationship to begin in the first place.

Because in poly relationships, your current partner(s) must always take priority over potential ones.  Whenever I begin a new relationship, or am even considering beginning a new relationship, I ask my current partners what they think.  And their opinions and thoughts carry quite a bit of weight.

If you don’t get along with the guy, you need to say something ASAP, so the three of you can figure out what to do about it.  Again, a lot of times, it can be fixed.  But you have to be very open and honest about your feelings and what’s going through your head.  And you have to say something immediately.  Don’t wait until it’s a big problem.

How do I handle this?

Honesty.

It’s so important.  You have to tell your girlfriend what you’re feeling.  If you struggle with it, then you’ve just got to find a way to make it work.  A lot of guys struggle with this, because men culturally aren’t allowed to have feelings, much less talk about them, but you’ve got to do it anyway.

If you struggle with a conversation, try writing her a letter, instead.  I had an ex who really struggled with this, so what we ended up doing was going into separate rooms with our laptops, and literally IM each other.

Yeah, I felt stupid at first.  But you know what?  It worked.  It was a lot easier for him to talk about our problems when I wasn’t sitting there in front of him.  It was easier for him to tell me what was going through his head.  Writing it was easier, it helped him organize his thoughts, it helped him open up in a way that he just couldn’t when we were sitting in the same room, talking to each other face to face.

It’s not ideal, but it worked.  Whatever you need to do to talk to her, do it.  It’s the single most important thing, it’s the single most important responsibility you will have, and if you can’t do it, the relationship will fail.

And that’ll be on your shoulders.

And can you list some of the benefits of poly relationships that can outweigh the negatives?

With pleasure.

First, I’ll use Kazander’s ex as an example.

I’ve got a pretty high libido.  But even I have days when I’m just not feeling it.  I also have days where I just want to be left the fuck alone.  Not because I’m angry or in a bad mood or anything, it’s just one of my quirks.  I need to be left the fuck alone occasionally.

And sometimes, the times I want to be left the fuck alone coincide with the times Kazander wants to get all up on me.

Any other time, I’d be totally into it.  But more than a few times, when I’ve been in my leave-me-the-fuck-alone moods, it’s caused tension.

When he had his girlfriend, he could spend time with her.  It was a relief for me, actually, because I could get time to myself.  Or maybe I didn’t specifically want time to myself, but maybe I just wasn’t horny that day.  Maybe I wasn’t feeling well.  Maybe I was stressed or annoyed or whatever, and didn’t want sex.

Enter his girlfriend.  It took the pressure off of me, because I wasn’t the only source of sexual/intimate companionship he had available to him.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but all I can say is that you won’t understand how much of a relief it is until you live it.  It’s one of those little things people take for granted in mono relationships.  It’s one of those little annoyances you don’t even really register.

But the first time you’re not feeling it, and she is, and she can get it somewhere else, and leave you alone, you’ll feel it.  You’ll feel that relief, and you’ll be able to just sit back and watch TV or surf the web or play video games or read or whatever you want to do.  It’ll be a big relief, and it’ll be surprising, because you’ll realize just how much that has annoyed you in the past.

Other women I’ve spoken to, who were in polygynous relationships, expressed a similar sentiment.  For example, one of the girls in a polygynous D/s relationship, had been nervous when they’d first opened their relationship and her Master collared another girl.

But as it turns out, the original girl hated giving blowjobs.  She would do it, of course, because that’s what she was told to do, but she never liked it, and her Master knew that, so he didn’t make her do it all that often.

The new girl, however, enjoyed giving blowjobs.  So all of a sudden, the original girl didn’t have to anymore.  And she told me that she didn’t realize how much tension there was and how much pressure she felt because of it.  Her exact words were, “Nothing prepares you for the relief you feel.  It’s like a weight off your shoulders that you never knew you had.”

So I know it doesn’t seem like much now, but once it happens, you’ll be surprised at what a relief that is.

And there’s another thing.  I’ll use Kazander and Sounder as examples.

As I’ve said before, Kazander sucks at listening when I’m upset.  Venting to him ends up with me being even more annoyed or angry than I was in the beginning.  It’s not because he’s trying to be disrespectful, and his heart is in the right place, but it’s something he’s just never been good at, and he likely won’t change now.  It caused a lot of tension in the relationship.

Sounder, on the other hand, is eerily good at that.  He’s very good at being sympathetic and supportive, and he knows exactly what to say to calm me down.  Like, the first time or two it happened, I was actually taken aback at how effective it was, and how fast I went from full-on outraged psycho bitch to just moderate irritation at the situation I was venting about.

Okay, so awesome.  I don’t vent to Kazander anymore.  I don’t pressure him to be something he’s not, I don’t pressure him to act or speak in a way that doesn’t come naturally to him.  I don’t need to make him be what I need him to be, because I can get what I need from Sounder.  I can talk to Sounder, I can get what I need, whether it’s advice or just a supportive ear, and I don’t have to try to make Kazander be someone he’s not.

And in this specific situation, it also eases some tension in my relationship with Kazander, because I used to get even more annoyed after venting to him, and that doesn’t happen anymore.  Plenty of arguments have been avoided because I go to Sounder instead of Kazander.

Conversely, Sounder is not a super cuddly person.  He’s very loyal and caring, he’s just not physically affectionate.  He shows his affection in other ways.

This works for me, because I’m often the same way.  But sometimes, I want more.

And Sounder is a very good, obedient sissy.  He cuddles with me on the couch because he knows I want it.  He hugs me because he knows I love hugging him.  He bends over backwards to give me everything I want, and of course that includes physical affection.  It’s just not something he necessarily wants, himself.

While Kazander is much more physically affectionate.  He actually says I could stand to be more physically affectionate, myself, that I don’t cuddle enough.  He enjoys lying in bed, just doing nothing but cuddling.  He enjoys lying on the couch, his head in my lap or leaning back against me, resting his head on my chest.

Okay, so awesome.  I can get the physical closeness from Kazander, and I don’t have to pressure Sounder to do something that doesn’t come naturally to him.  I don’t need to try and “change” him, because I can get what I need from Kazander.

Does that mean I don’t cuddle with Sounder?  Of course not.  He’s mine, I love being close to him, and I never pass up the opportunity to do it.  He also would not hesitate to cuddle with me if I told him to, and he hasn’t hesitated when I told him to.  But since I don’t have to rely on him exclusively for it, I don’t have to make him do something he doesn’t necessarily enjoy all the time.

And honestly, it frees me up to just enjoy both of them for who they are.  I can appreciate them for who they are as men and for who they are as my subs, because I don’t need to make either of them fit exactly what I need in any given relationship.  I feel like I appreciate them even more because I don’t have to try to change them.

It takes the pressure off of them, too.  Because they don’t have to be everything to me, every second of every day.

Because no one can ever be everything to someone else.  That’s not how human beings work.  And if I was in a monogamous relationship with Kazander, I’d just have to deal with my problems on my own, without support, or we’d get into arguments because he unintentionally belittles me when I’m already in a not-super-great mood.

If I was in a monogamous relationship with Sounder, he’d have to deal with more physical affection than he wants.  I have no doubt that he’d give it to me without hesitation, but he’s just not the type to enjoy lying in bed, cuddling, for an hour.  But he’d have to do it, whether he’s into it or not.

Poly relationships have their flaws, but this is a pretty glaring flaw in monogamous relationships.  Each partner has to be everything to the other.  They have to meet their partner’s needs all the time, 24/7.  Sometimes, it’s easy, sometimes, it takes a bit of work and compromise, and sometimes, it’s damn hard.

That pressure just doesn’t exist to the same level in poly relationships.

I want to live with Sounder and Kazander, and that has benefits, as well.  I’ve lived with more than one partner before, and both times I did were positive experiences.

First of all, another income coming into the house is never a bad thing.  The second time was when I lived in Alabama, when I was working 90 hours a week and netting less than $600 a paycheck.  I literally had weeks where I had to decide whether to put my last $3 in my gas tank so I could get to work for the next 4 days, or use it to buy ramen noodles so we could eat for the next 4 days.

My second sub moved in, and having another income was pretty damn awesome, and gave me some financial breathing room.

It also helps because now you have another pair of hands to help out around the house, run errands, etc.  If I was exhausted after a long shift and one partner was busy, I could ask the other to run and grab dinner, or fold a load of laundry, or pick up my dry-cleaning, or change the oil in my car, or whatever.

It helped me relax, because I didn’t have as many responsibilities around the house.

Some people worry about raising kids in an environment like that, and it’s absolute bullshit.  When is having yet another person to love and protect a child ever a bad thing?

I have a friend who has been married for 15 years, and has had a boyfriend for… 8, I think?  I don’t remember.  But they’ve all been living together the entire time.  She has an 11-year-old daughter, and she loves that her daughter has two strong, large, intimidating men who love her.

She laments the fact that her husband (the father of her daughter) and her boyfriend often conspire together to think up new ways to freak out the daughter’s future boyfriends.  I wanna think her husband is 6’2″ and her boyfriend is 6’4″ or something like that.  They’re both tall, broad, big guys.

She says her poor daughter won’t get a boyfriend until she’s 30.  Of course, neither her husband nor her boyfriend see a single problem with that.

The only possible negatives as far as the daughter goes is the way some people react when they find out that her parents are poly.  There have been issues with some teachers in different schools when the daughter was younger, but now that she’s getting older, with a thicker skin, those problems have more or less disappeared.  And they call the boyfriend her step-dad.  It’s the easiest way to describe his relationship to her, it doesn’t require a lot of involved explanations (even if her dad and stepdad are together), and people just generally don’t pry.

Step-parents are common enough that no one cares.  Even those who might raise a brow at her dad and step-dad out together with her don’t say anything.  They usually just assume the two men are gay.

As far as assets or whatever, that could get tricky.  Say, if you decide to buy a house, whose name will the house be in?  If the three of you decide to buy a new car, how will the payments be handled.  How will the money be handled in general?  How will bills be divided?

So if you move in together, those are things you need to think about and talk about before you make the move, that’s a mistake I think a lot of less-experienced poly people make, but you’re obviously not at that point, yet.

Another benefit is just the level of support you get.  For example, when Steel and I broke up, I had Kazander and Sounder who were there for me.  Anything bad that happens, I have two men who care about me and will be there for me.

And that goes for Sounder and Kazander, too.  They haven’t spent much time together yet, but they’re both compassionate men, and they share a connection through me.  I have no doubt they’d support each other if needed.

Also, due to the nature of our relationship, there aren’t a whole lot of people either of them can talk to if they need to vent about the relationship, or if they’re feeling anxious, or if one of them got in an argument with me, or whatever.

Their situations are unique, and not a lot of people can relate to anything they might be feeling or problems they may have that pertain to the relationship specifically.  But they can certainly relate to each other.

I mean, the benefits are many, and they’re significant.

*Most monogamous people I’ve spoken to have assumed that we’re cheating on each other, it’s just that we know about it.

Yeah, no.

Polyamory is not the same as cheating, and you’ll likely find that you have to answer this question a lot.  I define cheating as breaking the rules of the relationship.  In monogamous relationships, having sex with someone else (or maybe even just flirting with someone else) breaks the rules of the relationship.

Poly relationships have different rules, but there are rules, and you’ll have to hash out exactly what those rules and boundaries are.  Maybe you’re cool with your girlfriend having another boyfriend, but you’re not cool with her doing one-night stands.  Or maybe you’re cool with it, as long as she tells you beforehand, even if it’s just a quick text.  I mean, the rules are whatever you want them to be.

If either of you break those rules, you’re cheating.

In my relationships, dishonesty and deceit are breaking the rules.  Kazander, for example, has had a girlfriend, and still sees her once in awhile.  If he were to suddenly stop telling me about when he sees her, or if he suddenly started going behind my back to see her, or anyone, that would be cheating.

** Honest, open communication is the single most important thing in poly relationships, and they cannot succeed without it.

But something you’ll very soon realize is that this kind of openness and honesty is hard.

You’ll realize how often you let minor annoyances go in monogamous relationships.  You’ll realize how often something will bother you, but you don’t speak up because you don’t want to start a fight, or you don’t want to be a burden to your partner, or whatever.  You’ll realize how often you do without, how often your needs go unmet, because you don’t want to make a big deal about it, or maybe you just don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

That can’t happen in poly relationships, and it will be tough to do.  It’s not something that comes naturally to us.  It’s not something we’re accustomed to doing.  It will be uncomfortable.  It will be unsettling and unnerving.  But you have to do it.  There’s just no alternative.  The relationship will fail if you don’t.

Do whatever it takes, but you’ve got to be open and honest with your partner, about everything.

It’s a challenging, fulfilling relationship.  It’s not for everybody, but it seems like most of your fears and concerns have more to do with societal norms and what you’ve been told you’re supposed to feel.

My advice is to trust your gut and trust your partner.  Be honest with her, expect her to be honest with you, and forget about what society says you should want.

When you live in Vegas…

… What do you do when you want to get away?

I mean, we already live in the tourism capital of the world.  I was born here.  I was raised here.  It’s nothing new to me.  Nothing special.

So Kazander and I were looking at places to do another stay-cation this year.  We considered the Luxor again, but honestly, that place has just gone so far downhill, neither of us wanted to go there again.

Which is sad.  I remember when it first opened, when I was a kid.  I loved that place.  I loved staying there whenever my parents did a stay-cation.  The first time Kazander and I stayed there, I was shocked at how bad it had gotten, but I was still nostalgic.

After the second time, though, even I had to admit that it wasn’t what we wanted.

Where, then, would we go?

He suggested the bustling metropolis of Laughlin (pronounced lof-lin, like in “loft”), NV, population, 8,000.

And I promptly laughed.

But then he said, “Well, they’ve got the river, and a couple of beaches, and jet skis and things.  It could be fun.”

Hmm, that’s actually a good point.

I’d driven through Laughlin a million times, but never actually stopped in the town.  I never gave it much thought.  It was just one more tiny little town in the middle of the desert.  A couple of casinos and a post office.

Big deal.

But the Colorado River is pretty cool, and I haven’t been to any part of the Colorado River since I was a kid.

So I looked it up.  And sure enough, there’s enough other stuff to do there to keep us entertained for a few days.

Who knew?

Hell yeah, actually.  I could definitely go for that.  It’s out in the middle of the desert, which I love, in a nice, climate-controlled room, which I love, literally right on the bank of the river, which I love.

Hell yeah.

So we made the reservations and drove out today.  We’re going back on Sunday.

And it just feels so damn good to get away.

Things are quickly reaching a boiling point with us living so close to his family.  I’ve been wanting to move out for years, but never really pressed the issue, because I don’t work, and that wasn’t fair to him.

Then, in the last year or so, I started pressing.  Because I need to get away from them.  I know myself well enough to know my patterns, and they’ve been pushing me and pushing me.  When I break, there will be no going back.

And his MIL and SIL (Mother-in-law and sister-in-law) have officially gotten me to my breaking point.

I have a friend, who used to be SIL’s friend, until he realized the kind of human being she is.  But she did introduce us, and we hit it off great.

I was hanging out with him the other day when he got close and said, “I have something I need to tell you.”

My curiosity was piqued.  “What is it?”

“SIL has been asking about you and Kazander.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, she’s been asking if you’re into any kinky or freaky shit.”

At first, I brushed him off.  “She’s done that before.  She’s just bored and nosey.”

But the friend was not so easily assuaged.  “She wants to find dirt on you to take the spawn from you.”

“WHAT???”

“She and MIL want you out of the picture.  They want to find a reason to declare you an unfit mother.”

“She said that?”

“Not in those words, but she might as well have.”

He’s not known for lying or exaggerating, or drama-mongering, so I completely believe him.

“But they’d never want to take her from Kazander,” i protested.

“They think he’ll side with them.”

I started to laugh, then stopped, thinking back to all the times MIL just insisted that Kazander would side with her on different things, or agree with her, or take her (poor) advice, etc.

Yeah, she absolutely would think Kazander would side with her.

Holy fucking hell.

So I got home and told Kazander what was going on.  He was shocked, but dismissive, and that angered me.

And I mean, I could see where he was coming from.  He would never side with them over me, so there’s nothing they would ever be able to do.  They could talk to lawyers if they want, but I have no record, I don’t do drugs, I volunteer with homeless veterans, I’m a total, upstanding citizen and all that jazz.  I mean, there’s not a lot they could use.  They’d have to do some serious digging to find anything remotely close, and he pointed out that they’re not intelligent or creative enough for that.

Okay, so cool, I’m in no immediate danger of losing my child.

That’s not the whole point, though.

Because we are living in an environment where people are conspiring behind my back to take my daughter from me.  Whether or not they can succeed is irrelevant.  I don’t want to be around that, and I don’t want my daughter around that.

That’s toxic.

So I told Kazander, “We need to move.”

He scoffed.  “We’re not going to move.  They can’t do anything.  There’s no point.”

“I don’t care if they can’t do anything.  It’s the fact that they want to do something!”

But he remained dismissive.  Even after I said, “Either we need to move out, or I do.”

So I started looking at options.

I wasn’t going to play tug-of-war with my child.  If they want her so bad that they’re willing to destroy her entire world, then fine.  They can have her.  Losing one parent would devastate her, but if Kazander’s family went through with this, she would either lose both parents (if his MIL and SIL won), or every member of her extended family (if he and I won).

That would hurt her so much more.  God, that would crush her.  I don’t think she could easily recover from that.  It’s been so central to her whole world, her whole existence, ever since she was born.

God… That would… That would just kill her.

I could never let that happen to her.

And I have faith in my daughter.  I have faith in the way I raised her.  I have faith that, even if she’s brought up around those pathetic, terrible, small people, she will know the truth as she gets older.

It was Sounder who suggested another tactic, one that would keep my family together.

So I talked to Kazander again.  I told him I wanted to move out.

He said, “What if I want to stay?”

I shrugged.  “Then you can stay.”

That angered him a bit.  “You’d break up with me over that?”

“Over your family having ridiculous amounts of control over us?  Over you choosing them and that control over me and your daughter?  Yes the fuck I would.”

So we agreed on a six-month trial run.  We’ll get an apartment for six months, and then reassess and decide if living away from them is worth the inconvenience of not having them there.

And of course we won’t be going far.  The family is still so important to the spawn, so we’d absolutely bring her over 2 or 3 times a week to spend time with them, or even spend the night once in awhile.  But she won’t be spending weeks with them anymore.  I told Kazander, in no uncertain terms, that’s coming to an end.

I want to be moved out by the time the spawn starts school.  So I’m looking at apartments and Kazander is talking to his dad about how he’s going to manage the finances without living there.  It can be done.

It will be done.  Because staying there, keeping the status quo, is not an option anymore.

I’m stressed.  All the time.

I’m on edge.  All the time.

I’m short-tempered and irritated.  All the time.

I can’t do this anymore.  And I hated having to give him the ultimatum, but I was literally at a point where it was either that, or I would have to walk away.  I’m not going to live in a place where people conspire to take my family from me.

It’s just not happening.

So due to the financial burden that moving out will be, we decided not to go to Cancun, as we’d planned in October.  We’d need that for moving costs and rent.

But Kazander said, “With us not going, you really just need to get away for a few days.  You need to get out of the house.”

Yeah, I really did.

Okay, so Kazander and I have very different ideas of a perfect vacation accommodation.  I want a nice room.  I want a suite.  I want… not crazy expensive, but definitely not Motel 6.  At least 3 stars.

Kazander hates paying more than he absolutely has to for a room.  He’d do Motel 6’s the entire way.

And I get where he’s coming from.  When we go on vacation, we have a budget.  He’d rather spend the money on activities and cool things to do than the room.  Where I would rather do cheap or free activities and be comfortable in the room.

So we’ve always compromised, and met in the middle.

Not this time.

We’re staying 4 nights, in a casino that has two separate kinds of suites.  The second-tier suite, and the first-tier suites.  He said we could get the top-tier suite.

You guys don’t understand.  He has never agreed to anything even remotely like that, much less offer it himself.  I was blown away.

And I appreciated the hell out of that.  So I looked on the casino’s website, juggled some things around, combined a couple of promo packages, and found something that was $300 cheaper (I’m really, really good at doing that.  I’m good at finding deals when I need to).

We’ll stay the first two nights, tonight and tomorrow, in the second tier suite.  Then, on Friday, we’ll check out of that room and into the top-tier suite, where we’ll spend Friday night and Saturday night.

After him going so far as to give me the best suite in the hotel, I’m more than happy to have the second best for two nights to save him some money.  It’s definitely worth the minor inconvenience of checking out and then checking back in.  And the packages I combined come with some nice benefits and coupons that save us even more money on food and activities.  So all in all, we’re looking at saving about $500.

Hell yeah, I’ll take the second tier suite for that.

So we drove out today, checked in, and walked up to our room.

And the room isn’t bad.  I mean, you have to understand, it’s Laughlin.  This is not Vegas.  This is not even close to Vegas.  The casino resort we’re staying in is, according to what I read, the nicest one in Laughlin.

…… That doesn’t really say much for Laughlin, m’kay.

Without the promo, after taxes and fees, the second tier suite would have cost $5 more than the pyramid suite at the Luxor for the same nights.  And it’s about that quality, just without the big tub that the Luxor suite had.  Or without the 12 years of dust hanging from the air conditioning vent that the Luxor suite had.

I mean, it balances out.

Still, kinda disappointing when you’re under the impression these are the “elite” rooms offered.

But it’s nice, it’s comfortable, we had a fantastic view of the sunset from our room, and the river is beautiful, and brings back so many memories.  We’re going on a river cruise, we’re going to one of the beaches, we’re thinking about renting jet skis, I mean, it’ll be a really awesome stay.

 

Sounder is coming out this weekend, too, to spend some time with us.  And honestly, both Sounder and Kazander are doubtful, but I promise, promise, promise that my reason for wanting him to come out to spend time with us is not to play, but to just hang out.

Kazander and Sounder are complete opposites in a lot of ways, but they’re almost eerily alike in other ways, especially regarding their senses of humor.  I think they’d get along really well.

And my dream is to have all of us live together one day.  Sounder and Kazander will have to spend way more time with each other than the occasional drink at a bar or the occasional cock in Sounder’s mouth to find out if that’s a possibility or not.

These are two very strong personalities, in two very strong men.  It could turn out wonderfully, or it could turn out badly.  I’ve had enough tense roommate situations to know that I don’t want to jump in to one again, without at least an idea of what we can expect and how we can all put in concentrated effort to make it work.

The only way to be able to make any sort of educated prediction about that is to have them spend more time together.

That’s why I want Sounder to come out.  Not to play.

Although, of course, while we’re in the room, I’ll expect him to wear girls’ clothes.  I mean, that’s just a given.  He should be wearing girls’ clothes 24/7 when he’s not in public, anyway.  Obviously he’ll wear it here, too.

And I mean, should the opportunity for play present itself, I won’t stop it.  As I told Sounder earlier today, I will never pass up the opportunity to put a cock inside him.

But even if we do play, that’ll just be a small, short part of the evening.  That’s not going to be the bulk of our interactions while he’s here.  For the most part, it’ll just be chill, seriously just innocent hanging out.

So yeah, y’all…. I am beyond looking forward to the next few days.

And for someone who lives in Vegas, who has done the “Vegas tourist” thing over and over and over again, this is a welcome change.  Hell, this might actually turn out to be my new favorite stay-cation place.  Who knew?

Kazander often has good ideas, but he hit it way out of the park with this one.  That was just sheer fucking brilliance.

Who would’ve guessed, Laughlin?

Lunch date with “friends.”

Do you have any of those friends that you used to be so fucking tight with, and you just adored, but then as you got older, you drifted apart to the point that you really don’t have anything in common anymore, and you can’t even really stand each other’s company, but you remain friends anyway?

You know, the kind you go without seeing for months and months, and then you start to miss them, and all the cool shit you did back in the day, and their many, many, many faults start to seem smaller in the unique rosy light of nostalgia, and you think to yourself, “God, I miss them.  Why don’t we hang out anymore?” so you arrange a hangout, and ten minutes into the hangout, you think to yourself, “Oh yeah, this is why we don’t fucking hang out anymore.  Because they’re fucking idiots.  Why can I never remember what colossal idiots they are?”

Yeah, that happened today, at a lunch date with two friends, who I’ll call, for reasons that will become apparent, Feminazi and Christian.

But first, some info on my attitude towards monogamy, and idiots in general.

I’m not a fan of monogamy.  The majority of people in my life, even the muggles, are aware of my attitude toward monogamy, and toward its most vocal supporters.

It’s like with veganism.  I don’t have a problem with veganism.  I don’t have a problem with many vegans.  Not my thing, but it’s cool.  People like it, let them do whatever makes them happy.

What I have a problem with are idiots.  Like the idiots who try to feed their pets (carnivores, such as dogs and cats) a vegan diet.  The idiots who take every opportunity to tell you how awesome it is being vegan.  The idiots who loudly judge you for eating meat. You know the type.

Those idiots are not exclusive to veganism.  They exist in every area, and monogamy is no different.

If, when you find out I’m poly, your response is to scoff and say, “Well your relationships just won’t last,” I want you to know I think you’re an idiot.  Like, a big one.

Interestingly enough, now that I think about it, the vast majority of the people who have said this to me were single at the time.  But what I really love is when people who are divorced say it to me.  Especially the friend who said it to me today.

The friend who, as it happens, is literally on Husband Number 4.

“Oh wow, really?  You’re obviously the world’s foremost expert on how to make relationships work.  Please, tell me more about how you made your marriage(s) work.”

It’s fun when I get to let my inner spiteful, petty bitch out to play.  And if you get on my nerves enough, I let the petty bitch loose and just sit back and enjoy the show.

I’m not afraid to burn bridges, y’all.  And actually, I burned one pretty spectacularly here recently with Red.  And it was satisfying as fuck, let me tell you.  After months of him toeing that line between loveable asshole and straight-up asshole, he finally pushed me past my breaking point.

I fight dirty when you push me past my breaking point, and I hit him with every low blow I could think of (and I’m a very creative individual.  There’s not a lot I don’t think of).

I’m serious, I doused the fucking thing with rocket fuel and took a flamethrower to it.  It was an explosion that would’ve made Michael Bay jealous as fuck.  No one can make shit blow up the way I can (figuratively, anyway).

Push me, motherfucker.  See what happens when I lose my temper.  I dare you.

I inherited my dad’s psychotic temper, with my mom’s ability to just tear people the fuck down.  Combine that with my emotional self control and the fact that I never say anything I don’t mean, and it’s one hell of a combustible combination.  When I decide to burn a bridge, it’s not a decision I’ve come to lightly, so I don’t regret it, and I will make the biggest explosion I can.

I will fuck a motherfucker up.

Red underestimated my ability to do that.  And he really shouldn’t have, he knows that now.  I know way too much about him.  I know what he takes pride in.  I know what his insecurities are.  I know what his fears and his dreams are.  All of that shit becomes a weapon that I use to make grown men cry.

Manipulating someone’s thoughts, feelings, and headspace is what I do.  And I’m very, very good at what I do.  Nothing is off limits once I decide to burn a bridge.  Nothing.

Needless to say, he doesn’t like me anymore.  Needless to say, I’m totally fine with him not liking me anymore.

But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about relationships.  My relationships.

Because monogamy may work for you.  It works for a lot of people.  It doesn’t work for me.  And take my current and previous relationships as an example.  My first marriage, which was monogamous, ended in divorce (granted, monogamy wasn’t what ended it.  But it sure as hell didn’t help).

My second marriage, which is poly, has already lasted longer than my first.  Hell, my relationships with both Steel and Sounder have already lasted longer than my first marriage.  It works.  Despite all the people telling me it won’t, despite all the people wanting me to fail, because if I succeed, then somehow that means that their way isn’t the only way, and it actually is possible to have healthy, happy, stable relationships that don’t conform to the societally accepted norm.

Now, I understand my privilege is showing, and all of my gay readers are probably rolling their eyes.  They’ve only been dealing with the same thing since…. Oh I dunno, how long ago was the Bible written?  Somewhere around there.  I’m probably not going to be beaten to death in a back alley for having poly relationships.  Judge-y looks and snide comments by bored soccer moms and lonely single people are about all I’m going to get.

And I don’t know if any of you are aware of this, but I’m just a teensy bit on the argumentative side.  Go ahead.  Try me.  Say your snide comments and open that door right up.

What’s really hilarious is that the kinda-sorta-friend of mine, recently a born-again Christian, and I had lunch with another friend, a psycho-liberal feminazi.

Of course Christian is as annoying and idiotic as you’d expect the average born-again Christian to be.  There’s really no surprise there.  Two-dimensional and flat, there’s really not much to her personality anymore.  She used to be entertaining as fuck to be around.  Now, she just judgmental and preachy.  Add to this the fact that I’m Catholic, and it’s like a requirement for all non-Catholic Christians to hate Catholics (I think it says so somewhere in their Bible.  Because theirs is different from ours.  Quick, someone ask a born-again Christian why the Catholic Bible is different.  The hipocrisy is strong with the padawan), and the conversation gets annoying fast.

But she’s easy enough to deal with on her own.  Mostly because she actually knows very little about Christianity, and the history of Christianity, and why we do what we do, and why we believe what we believe, and she’s never actually read the entire Bible (Catholic or otherwise), and I mean really, she just makes it too easy.  Not even worth rambling about, really.

Now, the feminazi is a bit different, mostly because she’s a walking encyclopedia for male-on-female crimes.  Do you want to know how many women were raped in Chicago in June 2014?  She fucking knows that shit.  Want to know how many CEOs were women in New York in 2015?  She fucking knows that shit.  Want to know how many action movies pass that… whatever that test is, that is supposed to show whether a movie is sexist or not, I absolutely refuse to look up the name of it?  Yeah, she knows that shit.

Oh, and quick rant about that damn test.  Action movies are generally geared towards men, and are marketed towards men, for literally one reason, and it’s not to be sexist.  That reason is because a business owner, looking to make a profit on an action movie, will fail if they market it exclusively to women.  I’m a feminist, m’kay.  If I owned a movie studio that was going to make an action movie, and I looked at the data objectively, I would have to accept the fact that women are not my target audience, and I have a goddamn business to run.

I know that people don’t watch movies for social commentary, unless that’s the point of the goddamn movie.  They watch to be entertained.  Shallow, attractive characters are entertaining.

Women bitch about it all the time, and yes, they may be justified.  But you’re not going to change anything by bitching about it.  You’re going to change it with your goddamn wallet.  Show that with hard data.

We did it with a comedy, and the studio took notice.  It’s what they did/are doing with another movie that was geared toward women, and blew past expectations.  Maybe you heard of it, Trainwreck.  That one did great, because people, men and women, paid to see it.  Women loved it.  Women went to see it in the theater.  Women showed the business owners that yes, this is a good fucking idea, and they should give us more of it.

But when given the opportunity with an action movie, we were too busy bitching about Star Wars being sexist or some shit to care.

The new Ghostbusters flopped, for a number of reasons, but you want to know the biggest reason it flopped?  Because no one paid to go see it.  And because no one paid to go see it, they’re not doing the sequel(s), and no one is going to rush to do another movie like it.  Yeah, you can kiss the idea of an action movie with an all-female cast goodbye for a few fucking years, at the very least.  You blew it.

Even if it sucked for other reasons (which it did), if enough people had shown interest in an action movie with an all-female cast (and by people, I mean you, ladies), then the studio, which is a business with the goal of creating a marketable product and earning a profit off said product, would likely have taken a closer look at what mistakes were made and how to fix them, so that they would have a more marketable, more profitable product.

It doesn’t even matter what men think/thought of the movie.  Die-hard male fans of the original were going to be skeptical of a reboot with an all-female cast, anyway.  It wasn’t geared to them, because most of them just weren’t going to be interested.  It was geared to us.  And we proved that marketing action movies primarily to us doesn’t make good business sense.  The studio isn’t going to forget that 70 million dollar loss anytime soon.

Congratufuckinglations.

Oh, but you want to know a movie that did so well, it not only spawned an originally-unplanned sequel, but a live national tour and a fucking Broadway musical?

Magic Mike.

Magic.  Fucking.  Mike.

But wait, that’s not sexist because it’s men who are naked and are attractive, shallow characters (and don’t tell me they’re not shallow.  After I found out they were planning a national tour, I decided to sit down and find out what all the fuss is about.  Yeah, all of them are two-dimensional, shallow characters lacking any real depth or complexity).

Yeah, I don’t want to hear you bitch about how Pick-a-Movie is “sexist.”  Your wallets speak louder than your words.  And yeah, your wallets have spoken.  Don’t like it?  Fucking change it.  Stop bitching about the movie industry being sexist and fucking change it.

When movies like The Ghostbusters start making more money than Magic Mike or Sex in the City, and the movie industry still caters action movies exclusively to men, then I’ll be willing to listen to a damn word you have to say about that stupid test.  Until then, I’m just not interested.

I don’t fucking care.

Feminazi is the reigning queen of bitching-about-shit-but-not-getting-off-her-ass-to-do-a-damn-thing-about-it.  Because then she’d have nothing to bitch about.  And then she’d starve, because bitching is her primary form of sustenance.

She’s always annoying when she gets on her feminazi, down-with-the-Patriarchy, all-men-are-sexist rants, and I’ve gotten pretty good at telling her to shut the fuck up (or just tuning her out), but since the election, she’s gotten just impossible to be around.

No you guys, I’m serious.  She spent half the time at lunch criticizing the waiter because he said, “Good afternoon, ladies.”

She said that calling us “ladies” was sexist.  I didn’t pay enough attention to her to figure out why.  I was too busy imagining what the waiter would look like naked, tied up, sprawled out across my lap with a red, well-paddled ass.

Again, normally, I tell her to shut up, or I tune her out.  But now that the other one is a super-conservative, born-again Christian, it’s actually entertaining getting the three of us together.

The two of them argue about everything.  And 99% of the time, it’s annoying as fuck.  Like, to the point that I really don’t understand why I keep agreeing to hang out with them.

But when they start talking about me, it’s wildly amusing.

Because here’s the thing.  I’m a Dominant, poly, bisexual woman.  I run all of my relationships, and I have relationships outside my marriage.  Feminazi loves this trait in me.  Christian hates it.  She says (and I’m not making this shit up) that I’m “desecrating the sanctity of marriage.”

Bitch is on her fourth goddamn marriage.  It’s great.

So anyway, Christian always inevitably brings up my relationships, usually with a snide sort of, “So, Jen.  How is your husband doing?  Have you spent much time with him lately?  You know, since he has to share you with so many other people?”

And she says this in front of my kid, which is hilarious because she thinks a) I keep the fact that I’m poly from my kid (which I don’t), and b) I won’t answer frankly and honestly in front of my kid (do you have any idea the shit my kid has heard?  This is nothing.  And besides, she’s always too busy playing on my phone to hear a damn word that’s being said.  Which is why I only let her play on my phone in certain situations.  It frees me up to say shit I couldn’t really say if she was paying attention).

Today, I replied with, “Actually yeah, I spent some time fucking him in the ass with a strapon last night.”

The look on her face was priceless.  The look on Feminazi’s face was priceless.

After this point, with these two idiots, I don’t have to say another word.  Feminazi just can’t resist “jumping to my rescue” and defending me to Christian.

Until….

The conversation always inevitably turns to the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom.  Which Christian loves.  And Feminazi hates.

I’m serious, she always has something to say about it.  Like I’m single-handedly going to lose women the right to vote or some shit.  She and I have had tons of arguments about it, and she’s a very, very slow learner, but she eventually figured out that it’s a bad idea to start arguments with me, so she generally keeps her mouth shut about it.

Especially since her 7-year-old son is completely impossible to be around.  Like, you literally cannot take that little shit to a restaurant.  Or a doctor’s office.  Or anywhere in public.  He’s a fucking terror.  And whenever she can’t get a sitter, and gets stuck with him, she spends literally the entire time scolding him, and my kid and I just look at each other, and we’re both thinking, “Would you take a look at this little shithead, and his idiot mother?”

Okay, maybe those aren’t her exact thoughts, but judging by the things she’s said about him and Feminazi in the car on the way home, it’s pretty damn close, okay?  The kid is a fucking nightmare.

Unless, interestingly (and satisfyingly) enough, I babysit him.  He’s a fucking angel when he’s with me and his mother isn’t around.  I’m serious, I’ve actually videotaped him playing nicely and quietly with my kid, just to rub it in his mom’s face.

And she can’t understand why he’s such an asshole to her.

I’ve tried repeatedly to tell her that a big part of it is that she thinks he’s going to grow up to be a rapist, and kids pick up on that shit, and it kinda fucks with them hard.  And the other reason is she’s just a shitty parent.  She shoves him off on the cheapest, crappiest, most overcrowded daycare she could find, and then gives him no attention or structure when she gets home from work.  Because she’s too tired from her job.  The poor dear.

But no, that’s fine.  Her financial security is more important to her than her child’s mental and emotional well-being.  He’s going to end up in prison, or a sociopath, or, in the best-case scenario, with major, crippling intimacy issues, but she can afford to get her hair done as often as she wants.  Yay, go her.  She should be so proud.

So anyway, she gives me shit for staying home to raise and educate my daughter, I give her shit for actively destroying any chance her son will ever have at a normal adult life.  Give and take, you know?

And eventually she learned to just shut the fuck up.

Unless we’re with Christian, who can never resist bringing it up.  And once she does, Feminazi can never resist shitting on it.

But I don’t knock her down when Christian is around.  I don’t say a damn thing.  Because Christian will always jump to my defense, talking about how I’m doing “the Lord’s work” by raising my child.  And they’ll argue about it for awhile, with Christian passionately defending me and my family values.

Until the conversation turns back to me being poly, and having a number of successful poly relationships.  Then both their tunes change, and Christian starts attacking me for desecrating the sanctity of marriage and emasculating my husband (oh she has no fucking idea), while Feminazi passionately defends me for being a strong woman who breaks the bonds of traditional female roles.

And occasionally, if I’m bored (which I usually am, hanging around with such two-dimensional people), I’ll keep it interesting, if say they’re arguing about me being poly, and Feminazi looks like she’s winning the argument, by switching it back up and turning the conversation back to me being a stay-at-home mom.

It’s hilarious, it really is.  And at the end of the hangout, I still can’t figure out why I’m still friends with them, when I can’t stand either of them as human beings, and the only entertaining part of hanging out with them is pitting the two of them against each other (I never claimed I wasn’t a manipulative bitch, okay?) and watching them get more and more heated over someone else’s fucking life.

Like, come on, that’s just funny.  They just get so passionate about the decisions I make in my life, that in no way affect them.  It’s great.

Eventually, though, I’m going to remember why I don’t like hanging out with them, and hopefully I won’t repeat the same bullshit over again six months from now.  But I’m not always the quickest learner, so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.  Maybe now that I’ve written a post about it, the next time I start thinking to myself, “Man, I miss Feminazi and Christian.  We used to have so much fun together.  Why don’t we hang out anymore?” I can look back to this post and think, “Oh yeah, that’s why.  Because I can’t stand the psycho bitches.”

Hopefully.  We’ll see.

 

The players

Since I’m all about the nicknames, and anonymity, and all that, I don’t use anyone’s real name here except my own.  But a couple of people have mentioned being confused at all the different people in my life, and the different people I write about.  So, since I’m just super organized and all (stop laughing), I figured I’d list them here.  This is every single person that has been named on my blog (I think, I might have forgotten one or two, but I’ll add to this as needed, so it’s fine).

Kazander:

My husband, my collared sub, and the father of my daughter.  He has some switchy tendencies, and is currently a Dom to his girlfriend.  He’s a tall, loud, intense guy, and many are surprised to find out what our dynamic is.  A lifestyle acquaintance once asked me what I call him; my Sir, my Daddy, etc.  I laughed and said, “I call him my bitch.”  I had known her for four years at the time.  He’s very intense, and I’m very laid-back, so sometimes people are surprised.  He’s a Sagittarius/Capricorn cusp, so he has the Capricorn intensity with the Sagittarius fire and force.  My best friend once said he intimidated the hell out of her.

He’s in charge of every other aspect of his life.  He runs his warehouse, he’s the driving force with his friends, and he’s the head of his family’s household (his parents, his uncle, his older sister, and her husband all live in the house next door).  He runs their finances and makes the big decisions.  His sisters defer to him, despite the fact that he’s the youngest of the three (and he’s 6 years older than I am).  Even his parents defer to him.

As strong-willed as he is, he can sometimes be a handful as a submissive, but when he melts and yields so completely to me, it’s the sweetest drug.  I love bringing that strong, powerful man to his knees.

We’ve been together since 2010, and were married late in 2014.  Our first year was a rough one, but he has that Capricorn loyalty and stubbornness to offset my rebelliousness and unpredictability, and we made it through the worst without losing each other.

Spawn/Monkey/Kid/etc:

My daughter, a precocious, independent, smart-ass 4-year-old who really is too smart for her own good.  She is your typical fiery Leo and she’s quick to let you know that she expects your world to revolve around her (being the only grandchild for both sets of grandparents, and spoiled out of her mind, doesn’t help).

She is about three minutes away from me duct-taping her mouth shut whenever I take her in public because she has the uncanny ability to say the worst thing (with no context) at the worst possible moment.

For example, her newest obsession is Spider Man.  He’s her new imaginary friend.  And I cannot convince her that there is a difference between a boy that is a friend and a boyfriend.  So the other day, when the cashier asked her how she was doing, she randomly blurted out, “My boyfriend sleeps in bed with me at night.”  And this is a very, very common practice.

As much as she tries to give me gray hair, though, I adore her, I think she’s fucking awesome, and I will gladly bore you to death bragging about her.

Steel

My second collared submissive, 15 years older than I am, a quiet, introverted Capricorn who lives much, much farther away from me than I’d like him to be.  Personal things have kept him off the blog until recently, and personal obligations are keeping us separated for the time being, but that will change soon.

While he good-naturedly chuckles and rolls his eyes at my obsession with astrology/spirituality/religion/fate/whatever, and patiently tolerates when I prattle on about it, there was just too much in the beginning of our relationship to call a coincidence.  Too many things fell into place at exactly the right time, too much went exactly the way we needed it to, it was like the entire Universe aligned to bring us into each other’s lives at exactly the right time, and then to bring us together exactly when it was supposed to happen.

We both broke quite a few of our personal rules by getting together, we both went completely out of character (he’s normally reserved, cautious, and slow to make emotional decisions, and I’m normally stand-offish, cold, and unwilling to let my emotions show) by getting as emotionally attached as we did, as quickly as we did.

He has an incredible gift with words, he’s delightfully smart-assy, and deliciously slutty.  Greedy, hungry, and just as insatiable as I am, we discovered early on that we have both been limited in the past by partners who never dared to go as deep, as dark, as twisted, as we wanted to go.  Now we don’t have that limitation, and I love exploring the depths of my depravity with him.

Sounder:

My newest submissive, a fantastic mix of sweet and sarcastic, a driven Capricorn 10 years older than I am.  He’s a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with, and to do wicked things to.  His mind is as much fun to play with as his body, and the fact that it’s normally damn near impossible to rattle him makes it even more fun to pull him off-balance.

He never does anything half-assed, and his submission to me is no exception.  I’ve often been surprised at his devotion to his service.  It takes a lot to impress me, but he’s done it quite often, both as my submissive and as a vanilla man.

I’m looking forward to seeing where our relationship goes, and how things progress.  I plan on pushing him farther than he’s ever been pushed before, in pretty much every aspect of kink.  He’s still learning just how more wicked I can be, and just how much deeper I can go.

Southern:

One of my pets, a Taurus 26 years older than I am.  I don’t mean a pet in the sense of a puppy or pony or any of that.  But I have a few pets scattered all over the place, and he’s one of them.  I met him when I was a ProDomme living in Alabama.  And he was one of the very, very few reasons I was slightly bummed to come back to Vegas.

Luckily, he travels to Vegas at least once a year, so I have an opportunity to see him when he’s in town, and I always look forward to that.  Seeing him is always amazing, and he’s a lot of fun to be with, whether we’re just hanging out at the mall, or whether I’m putting things inside him and making him squirm.

We have a lot in common outside of kink, so our conversations range from sex to music to work, to really anything, and they last for hours.

Sadie:

A Domme friend of mine, the only person I’ve ever met with a sadistic streak to rival my own.  She taught me how to do needle play, sutures, and staples, and she’s just an awesome person all the way around.

She and her husband host play parties twice a month, and it’s a great opportunity to hang out with other people in the lifestyle, make new friends, and just have fun.

Kiki:

Another Domme friend, and one of the leaders of the Domme group we used to run in town.  She’s always fun to hang around with.

Mal:

Sadie’s husband, and the only male Dom living that I like.  He’s quite knowledgeable in D/s, and has a sadistic streak of his own.  He taught me fireplay, and I do enjoy talking to him and hanging out with him.

Sonic:

One of Sadie’s play partners, and the one who volunteered to be my guinea pig when Sadie taught me needle play.  We went to high school together and were both active in theater.  He’s dating a vanilla woman, and is currently unable to participate in play, but he’s still a lot of fun to talk to.

Pet:

A teenage switch under my protection.  He’s absolutely adorable, a lot of fun to hang out with, and a lot of fun to hurt.  He’s homosexual, and panromantic, and a sweet masochist that makes the cutest sounds when he’s in pain.  He was the first boy I set on fire.  Now, I’m training him to be a Dom.

Puppy:

Kazander’s girlfriend and submissive.

The Body:

My ex-boyfriend, an attractive, well-endowed man with no social skills.  He has no tact, and was always unintentionally condescending and rude.  And the constant nagging and hounding to get in my pants, and the whining when he wasn’t the center of my world got old fast.

Sissy:

One of my old play partners, a sweet boy five years younger than I am, with a fantastic sense of humor and a big heart.  He really went above and beyond my expectations time and time again, and went out of his way to serve me.

He had some pretty significant personal shit go down that would’ve messed with anyone pretty badly.  He’s an Aquarius, like me, and I know that when I’m upset, I want to be left alone.  So when he pulled away, I gave him his space.  If he decides to reach out again, I’ll of course be there for him, but I won’t push him.

Zane:

Another old play partner.  He started to feel uncomfortable with the poly aspect, so it didn’t work out.

The Virgin:

An old play partner, the youngest, at 20 years old.  He’s the first male to ever touch Kazander, but the bi element I wanted in the relationship was something he wasn’t comfortable with.

The Nerd:

An old play partner, brand new to the scene, adorable and nervous and shy.  He was also ultimately uncomfortable with the bi element.

Ash:

An old play partner, that I’ve actually known longer than I’ve known Kazander.  But he has proven himself to be a flake, and wanted a degree of micromanagement that I just am not interested in.

Chevy:

A good friend, who shares my love of Tarot, astrology, and all that fun stuff.  His ex boyfriend, Ford, asked me to carry a child for the two of them.  It didn’t work out, and thank God, because Ford went off the deep end shortly after.

Ford:

Chevy’s ex boyfriend.  They had been together for 12 years, and Ford asked me to carry a child for the two of them.  It ultimately didn’t happen, and a few months later, Ford broke up with Chevy, completely out of the blue, and broke off contact with a lot of his friends.  He got ultra Christian, and ultra Republican, and I don’t really talk to him anymore.

B:

My first serious boyfriend.  I started dating him just after I graduated high school.  He was my best friend’s dad.  I was 18, he was 44, and we dated for a year.  He pulled me out of the dark place I was in at that point and brought me back to life.

Eddie:

My mentor, the man who introduced me to this life.  He was a bisexual leather Daddy, a member of an Old Guard House, and very much into the leather and Old Guard subculture.  I met him shortly after joining an online BDSM chatroom when I was 16.  He was in his forties, and became my first real love (although we were never romantically or physically involved, because I was underage).

He began informally training me in the Old Guard protocol.  I never officially joined an Old Guard House, a) because of my age, b) because to join an Old Guard House, all members must start out as submissive, and c) the Old Guard culture was basically dead at that point, anyway.

We used his wife or my boyfriends as guinea pigs, and he taught me much over the course of the next three years.  Then, he and his wife moved away, and while we were always fond of each other, we sort of drifted apart.  He passed away when I was 23.

One-Way Street

Jenn,

I’m sorry, but I have a serious problem with something you said in your post about love.  Love is a two way street.  It has to be.  You can’t just keep giving and giving and not get anything in return.  That’s completely unhealthy and abusive.  And even you don’t actually live that way.  You talk about your relationships and it’s obvious that you have expectations.  So it can’t be a one way street.  No one can be happy with a relationship like that.  I don’t understand how you can love someone who doesn’t love you back and who doesn’t give you anything back and be happy.  I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

Beck

Hi again, “Beck.”  It’s been a long time.

Come on, did you think I wouldn’t recognize you?  You can use a dummy email address and a nickname (that was really too easy to see through, by the way), but you should’ve known better than that.  No one knows my boys the way I know them.  You repeatedly said that I knew you better than you knew yourself.

Did you think I’d forget?

And you’re putting words in my mouth, and twisting my meaning.  I mean exactly what I say (come on, you know this).

No, love doesn’t have to be a two-way street.

But relationships are a whole different creature.

But before I get into that, I want to address your comments about being happy.  I can love someone who doesn’t love me back and be happy because I don’t rely on anyone else for my happiness.  Happiness is not something you get from other people, or things, or accomplishments, or status.  Not lasting happiness, anyway.

Because every single one of those things can be taken from you.  If all your happiness comes from outside, what happens when you lose the source?

A man I loved recently learned that lesson the hard way.

And happiness is not something that some people are just born with.  Some people aren’t just “luckier” than others when it comes to happiness.

Happiness is not something you have, or even something you are.  It’s something you do.  Actively.  Consciously.  Every.  Fucking.  Day.

When your happiness comes from you, then you don’t need reciprocation, you don’t need that validation from someone else.  And for the men I love who don’t reciprocate, why, if I truly love them, would I pressure them into either lying or feeling unbelievably uncomfortable by me expecting something they cannot give?  What kind of love is that?

That’s not love.  That’s insecurity, and that’s a fear of being alone.  I’m not insecure, and I love being alone.  I’ve faced all my demons, I’ve confronted the parts of myself I’m afraid of, the parts of myself I don’t like, even the parts of myself that I hate.  I’ve acknowledged it all, and I’ve accepted it as a part of me.

There’s nothing in my head that I cannot handle, so being alone, losing myself in my head doesn’t bother me.  And because I’ve acknowledged, accepted, and embraced all those parts of me, there’s nothing anyone can do to shake me.  Not for long, anyway.

I’m still human, of course.  I have moments of insecurity, I have spikes of jealousy, or envy, or greed, or hate.  And I’m not invulnerable.  It took me a long time, one of the hardest lessons that I had to learn (and admittedly one I still struggle with) is that strength is not the same as invulnerability.  True strength is absolute vulnerability, and absolute vulnerability is fucking terrifying.

Which, incidentally, is why only the strongest can do it.

But those moments never last long, because at the end of the day, I’m secure in who I am, and I choose to be happy.  I don’t need someone to reciprocate love because my love is not conditional, and I don’t attach any expectations to it.

Three of the five people I’m currently in love with have said they love me back, and two have not.  It doesn’t matter to me whether they do or don’t, because that doesn’t change the way I feel about them.  And because I don’t need the validation of them loving me back.  My validation comes from me, not from them.

When your validation and your happiness come from you, instead of outside sources, it frees you up to love without expectations, or needs, or conditions.  And frees the recipient up to experience and feel your love without pressure, or stress, or worry.

It’s just better all the way around.

Relationships are a whole different story.  And you don’t need one to have the other.  Plenty of relationships exist without love, and plenty of people not in relationships love each other.

But I’ll take that a step farther, and say that plenty of successful relationships exist without love.

Because a relationship requires three things to be successful: mutual trust, mutual respect, and honest, open communication.  Everything else you can think of that a relationship needs boils down to one of those things.  Because when you trust and respect someone, negotiation and compromise are easier.  When you’re free to be honest and open with someone that you trust and respect, needs are more easily met, and responsibilities are more easily delegated.

When you genuinely trust, respect, and are able to be open with someone, you enjoy spending time with them, and you go out of your way to show you appreciate them, just as they go out of your way to show they appreciate you.

But you need all three for a successful relationship.  Two out of three isn’t enough (we learned that the hard way, didn’t we?).

Love is not a requirement.  Sure, it’s nice to have, but contrary to popular belief, not a requirement.  I think that’s part of the reason why so many relationships fail.  Too many people put love up on this pedestal, and assume that it’s the end-all, be-all of relationships.

And yes, a relationship has to be a two-way street.  One partner cannot do all the work, cannot keep the relationship going by themselves.  That’s when things get unhealthy, or even abusive.  Both partners need to be equally invested in the relationship.

And that’s when love becomes unhealthy, too.  Have you ever tried talking to someone who’s being mentally/emotionally/physically abused by their partner?  Have you ever tried convincing him or her to leave?

“But I love him/her” are four words that inevitably come out of their mouths.  Love blinds them to the abuse, to the fact that the recipient is narcissistic/selfish/sadistic (not in the good way)/insert-adjective-here.  It makes them endure the abuse, it makes them believe that they simply can’t be happy without that person.  It makes them easily manipulated.

And whyWhy do they feel that way?  Why do they tolerate abuse?  Because they get their validation from that person.  They believe that person “completes” them, and see themselves as “incomplete” without them.  Take that person away, and you take away the source of their validation.  You take away their source of happiness, as warped and fucked-up as it is.

And before you bring it up (because I know you will), I will come out and say that yes, I foster that kind of dependence in my relationships.  I want my boys to need me, despite the fact that I will never need them.

Does that make me a hypocrite?  Yeah, probably.  But let me explain my reasoning here.

First of all, you have to remember that I’m very deliberate with my words.  I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  And I will never say anything I don’t mean out of anger or spite or whatever.  That’s the linguistic anthropologist in me.  Words mean too much, they have too much power, to just be thrown around carelessly.

So there is a big goddamn difference between need and want.

I want my relationships.  I want my boys.  I want to be with them, I want to stay with them, I want our relationship to last.

And in that same vein, I don’t handle needing someone very well.  As soon as I need someone, I start to feel trapped.  Then I feel claustrophobic.  Then I feel anxious.  Then I start looking for a way out.  It doesn’t matter if I love them or not.  It doesn’t matter how deeply I feel for them.  I have to get out, or I feel like I’ll suffocate.

That’s part of the reason why I struggled when I was pregnant, and when the spawn was first born, because suddenly I found myself dependent on Kazander for money.  And that was not a pleasant feeling.  It still isn’t.  But with her not hitting the acceptance lotteries for the charter schools within a twenty-minute drive, and with us not being able to afford the $24k/year tuition for the private school I wanted to put her in, the options are either homeschool or public school.  With Nevada having the worst fucking education system in the country, you can guess which option I’m taking.

So the financial dependence isn’t going to end soon.  But that’s physical.  It’s as easy as going out and getting a job.  I don’t like it, but I can handle it.

It’s emotional dependence I can’t handle.  I don’t want to stay with someone because I need them.  That implies that I don’t have a choice, that I’m “stuck” with them.  I want to stay with someone because I want them.

But

I do foster that dependence with my boys.  It’s a dependence that will never be reciprocated, but one that I want, and something I actively work to create and enable.

Why?

Not because of any selfish reasons (well, sort of… hear me out).

So much of my particular brand of D/s is mental.  That’s my expertise, it’s what I’m best at, it’s what I have the most experience with, and it’s what I have the most fun doing.  I get into their heads quickly, I go deep, and I use what I find there to tailor the specific D/s relationship I have with them.

I don’t know what kind of D/s relationship I’ll have with a boy until I get to know him.  I don’t know what the end goals will be, I don’t know where I’ll take him, I don’t know what I’ll do with him, until I find out what’s in his head.

And learning about him, finding out how to get into his head, is my first goal, and it starts from the very first message he sends me.

Once I’m in his head, I use that to take him deeper, darker, farther into my BDSM world.  The journey for each relationship is different, but the end goal is always the same.

I want to break him.

The ins and outs of how and why warrant a post of their own, and I’ve already gone long here, so I’ll save that for the next post.  But I want to break him.  In more ways than one.

To do that, I need a number of things.  One of those things (sometimes the most important, depending on the boy) is a sense of dependence on me.  Because, like it or not, that’s the way the human mind works.  Trust comes easier if they’re dependent.  Obedience in the face of fear comes easier when they’re dependent.  I can take them further, I can break them more completely, and I can build them back up stronger, if they need me.

And once that happens, once I’ve broken them and built them back up, a whole new level of intensity begins, and at that point, it’s really pretty mandatory for them to have that dependence.  I can do without it if I absolutely need to, but it’s much harder on me, and much harder on him.  Everything takes longer.

You already know this, but I do want to point out, for the sake of my readers, that I’m not cruel.  I’ve seen what cruel women can do once they’re inside a boy’s head, and I’ll never do that.  I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror afterward.

Hell, that’s why I quit my most recent job.  I found out that the company I worked for scammed people, scammed the very people I was trying to help, and I couldn’t keep working there and maintain any sense of honor.  So I gave up that financial independence, because I’d rather be dependent than dishonorable.

There was no question for me, and despite Kazander urging me to stay for the sake of the paycheck, and because I was damn good at it, I simply wouldn’t.  Tarot and astrology are controversial enough as they are.  And finding out that the company I worked for was openly scamming people took away any kind of belief that I was doing a good thing.  I couldn’t have pride in myself anymore.  I couldn’t take pride in my profession anymore.  And I just wasn’t going to be a part of it.  I didn’t even give 2 weeks’ notice.  I couldn’t stand the idea of working there another day, taking one more call from someone with real problems, knowing that they were being conned and lied to, with my name attached to all of it.  I thanked my boss for the opportunity and I left that same night.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone is considering or already has gone to one of the professional psychic websites, I will not type the name of the company I worked for here, but message me and I’ll let you know which it is, so you’ll know to avoid it.

Anyway, I know that it’s possible that any one of (or more) of my relationships could end.  Just as ours ended.  And you know full well that I took the time to disentangle you from my influence, despite the fact that…. we’ll put it nicely and say we “didn’t get along.”  Because I wasn’t going to leave you like that, still dependent on me, and leave you struggling to get over me.  I’m a better person than that, and even though I didn’t like you very much then, I still knew you deserved better than that.

And that’s the way it is with every relationship that has ended.  I’ve always taken the time to help them end that dependence, to help them move on from me.  And I always will.

 

 

Poly Love

Kazander, I apologize in advance.

Dear Jen,

Greetings from a fellow Aquarius!  I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and I love it.  What you said in your post, “Being Found Out,” about monogamy really resonated with me.  That conversation you had with your mom, the things you pointed out, really hit home with me.

I’ve been trying to explore polyamory with my girlfriend.  We’ve been together for about a year, and she knows that I’m into poly relationships, and she’s known it from the beginning.  She always said she just wasn’t sure about it, and that we’d need to take things slow.

I flirted with a few girls, got some numbers, and she seemed okay with that.  She was even okay with me having sex with one of them.  She said she was surprised at how she didn’t feel any jealousy at all.  While we’re not technically a D/s relationship, I do sort of drive things, and she’s more passive.  So she, of course, is more than welcome to get another girlfriend of her own, and she knows that.  Up til now, she’s done some flirting, but that’s as far as it’s gone.  She says she likes being able to flirt and not feel guilty, and that it feels really freeing, which surprised her because she expected it to make her feel anxious and uneasy.

So that’s been going well.

But the problem is that I’ve fallen in love with another girl, and I want to be in a relationship with her.  And my girlfriend is really having a hard time with that.  She’s worried that I’ll start to love this new girl more.  She’s worried that she’ll be replaced in my heart.  And nothing I can say has been able to convince her otherwise.

I love my girlfriend.  I’ve even started thinking about marrying her.  She brings out so much good in me, and she’s such a unique, incredible, caring soul that I could never hope to “replace” her.  It’s not about that.  It’s not a competition.  Loving someone else will never take anything away from the love I feel for her.  How can I convince her that she has nothing to be worried about?

Thank you in advance.

Miranda

Hi, Miranda.  Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog.  It’s very flattering to know that my words resonated with you.

I need to start out by saying that I’m in the exact same boat you are (hence my apology to Kazander, there are certain things that will be acknowledged here that he knows about, but is not comfortable with).

I’m poly, Kazander was not.  He knew from the beginning that I was poly, and while he didn’t love it, he respected me for being upfront and direct about it.  I never intended to be monogamous with him (or anyone).

Getting pregnant and being on bedrest fucked that all to hell.  At that time, I had another sub, and had met back up with the Dom I’d dated awhile back, and we were sort-of-maybe-perhaps trying to rekindle things.  I’d sort of “accidentally” moved in with Kazander at that time, too.  When I moved back to town with no money and no job, I stayed with my parents.

My parents were hoarders, and their house was disgusting.  So Kazander let me spend the night with him every night, and in the morning, he’d go to work, and I’d go back to my parents to shower and get dressed and go out looking for a job.

I got a job a couple weeks later, working the graveyard shift.  So I slept during the day.  And Kazander said I could just sleep at his place while he was at work.  And then, about a week after that, we both sort of realized, at the same time, that we were now living together.  Despite the fact that we weren’t officially “dating.”

But he knew I had the other two men.  It wasn’t until I got pregnant and couldn’t do shit that the other two sort of drifted away, and I found myself in a monogamous relationship.

During the pregnancy, I was on full bedrest and pelvic rest (ie, no orgasms.  Have a fucking kid, they said.  It’ll be great, they said), so the option of another sub was out of the question.  And once the spawn was born, I just didn’t have the time.

So for years, we were monogamous.  And that’s what he was used to,  that’s what he was comfortable with.  So when I broached the subject of opening our relationship up, he was nervous.

And he felt the same way your girlfriend feels.  He was worried that I’d find someone more compatible, I’d find someone “better,” and leave him.

After awhile, he was alright with the idea of me having other boys.  But loving them is still something he’s uncomfortable with.

And I do want to point out that my views on love aren’t quite in line with how most people seem to view it.

For example, at any given point in my adult life, I’ve been completely in love with an average of three or four people simultaneously.  Right now, let’s see…. There are six.  Four of them know I love them, one will absolutely never know, one I haven’t spoken to in years, one I’ve never met in person, and three have said that they love me.

But that’s the thing.  I don’t need to tell them.  My default plan is to not tell someone that I love them.  In fact, of the four who know how I feel, there was always a reason I said it to them.

For example, when I said it to Kazander, we were talking about something deep and difficult for him to talk about.  There was a lull in the conversation, and I came up behind him and hugged him and asked, “Are we dating?”

He said, “I don’t know, why?”

“Because I kind of love you.”

And he surprised the hell out of me by doing something I’ve never known anyone else to do.

I fall in love fast, people.  Like, really fast.  I obviously don’t expect the people I’m with to feel the same way that fast.  And part of the reason why I’ve avoided saying it is because I don’t want there to be that pressure for them to lie.  I’d fallen in love with him long before this conversation, but that’s when I told him.

But he said, “That means a lot to me.  More than you know.  But I’m just not ready to say it.”

I was impressed.  I told him that was fine, I didn’t need him to say it, but I would keep telling him.

And I did.  But I always stuck something after it, so there wouldn’t be that awkward silence, and he wouldn’t be pressured to say it back.  He’d be getting ready for work and I’d say, “I love you, have a good day!  Text me on your break.”

He’d reply, “Thanks, I will.”

And that was great with me.  I didn’t need him to say it.  It never bothered me that he didn’t say it.  It was another couple of months before he said it back, and not once during that time did I start feeling uneasy.  My love is not conditional on  whether it’s reciprocated, or whether it’s vocalized.  That has no bearing on the way I feel.

When I tell someone I love them, and know that they don’t feel the same way, I always put something after it, so they don’t feel that pressure to acknowledge it.  As long as they know it, I’m satisfied.

So love is not a two-way street, as far as I’m concerned.  Or, it doesn’t have to be.  That requirement sort of makes love seem shallow, doesn’t it?  Like, “I love you only if you love me back.  And if you don’t love me back, then I’ll throw a fit or whatever, because how dare you not give me something in return for my love!”

Yeah, no.  That’s not my thing.  That’s not the kind of love I want to give, and that’s not the kind of love I want to receive.

I also don’t look at love as a measurable, concrete thing.  Love is an abstract emotion, an extremely irrational one.  It doesn’t always make sense, it’s not able to be controlled by our intellectual brains, and it makes some of the smartest people do some of the stupidest things.

Love is not concrete.  Love is not quantifiable.  It’s like fire.

No, not the whole my-love-for-you-burns-like-fire nonsense.  That’s not love.  That’s infatuation and lust.

But do you ever go to church?  Did you ever go as a kid?

I’m Catholic, and there was something I heard in Mass when I was young that really stuck with me.  It was at the Easter Vigil Mass (the night before Easter).  In Catholicism, there’s this thing called the Easter Candle (or Paschal Candle).  It’s this huge, gargantuan fucking thing (the Catholic Church doesn’t really do anything small) that’s like seven feet tall.  It’s a big ass white candle that they light at almost every Mass, and at every Baptism throughout the year.  Then, on the next Easter, they get a new giant fucking candle and do the whole thing all over again.

But here’s what stuck with me.  My church has this big fire pit, where a fire is lit before Mass, blessed to represent Jesus’ love banishing the darkness (bear with me, I have a point, I promise), and then the Easter Candle is lit from that fire and carried into the church, which is pitch black.

Everyone is given these little candles, and the priest lights his candle from the Easter Candle, then passes it on, and passes it on, and passes it on.  He walks down each row, lighting someone else’s candle, and then they light the person next to them, and so on, and so on, until there are some 500 candles lit in the darkness.

It looks really fucking cool, y’all.

But I think I was maybe 6 or 7, somewhere around there, when the priest walked up to the altar after everyone had lit their candles.  He said that Jesus loves each and every one of us with His whole heart (meaning He loves me with His whole heart, and He loves you with His whole heart, and He loves your mom, and your cousin, and that douchebag who cut you off with His whole heart).  It’s all complete.  It’s not like slices of a pie that you have to share with other people.

Because love is a perfect emotion inside an imperfect vessel.  It’s not love that gets jealous.  It’s peoplePeople let fear taint their love, and it becomes jealousy, and possessiveness, and insecurity.

Love is perfect, and immeasurable.  And it can never be diminished.  Just as the room got brighter the more the flame was shared, love gets stronger and brighter the more it’s given.  It was never meant to be limited, and trying to limit it makes it, and our capacity to feel it, weaker.

And holy hell, that stuck with me.  Now, was he talking about polyamory when he said that?  I’m willing to bet not.  But as I grew up, that really had a big effect on the way I view love.  And the point is that it’s not a competition.  The love you feel for one partner will not be diminished by loving another.  It will be strengthened.

Because, if you think about it, we already know this with every other kind of love.  You love your friends, and you know that loving another friend doesn’t diminish the way you feel for the ones you have.  The same goes for kids.  Family.  Pets.

Only romantic love is limited.  And why?  Because we feel like we have to possess and own each other in an unhealthy way.  We are quite literally telling our partners, “I love you, I adore you, I admire and respect you, but you are not allowed to feel this way about anyone but me.  And if you do, even though it’s something irrational, that you cannot control, then you will have betrayed me.  I am holding you to this impossibly high standard, and forcing you to try and deny your own heart, because I want to possess you and am uncomfortable with the idea of not having that power over you.  I rely on you to make me feel special, to feel validated, rather than fostering my own self confidence.  So you must always live up to those expectations, and you must never fail.”

No.  Good God, no.  Who decided that this was the only acceptable way of loving each other?  Love is not meant to be limited.  We can’t control the way we feel about people.  We cannot stop ourselves from falling in love.  But despite having no control over it, we have somehow failed our partners.  So we hide it.  We conceal it.  We try to pretend it doesn’t exist.  We lie about it, to ourselves and to the ones we love.

Love is bigger than that.  Love is bigger than what we allow it to be.

If you look at love like that, like a light to be shared instead of a box to be filled, how could you not love many, and love deeply?

So how do you convince your girlfriend of that?

Well, you don’t.  Not really.  I mean, you can tell her the things I’ve said here.  But we’re talking about the rational versus the irrational here.  She may understand all that intellectually, but emotionally she may struggle.

All you can do is show her. And be patient with her.  For someone who has grown up thinking that love is rigid, only meant for one person, it’s a difficult adjustment.  She may wonder why she’s “not enough” for you, and she may not really be able to grasp that love just doesn’t work that way.  She may feel insecure, and jealous, and afraid that she’ll lose you.

It takes time for someone to learn to let go of the idea that love has to be limited, controlled, and regulated.  We as a species aren’t monogamous by nature (and monogamy as a societal norm is a relatively recent practice, in the scope of human history), but society has pounded into her head that if you love someone else, you can’t love her completely.

When that’s all you’re ever exposed to, it can be extremely difficult to step outside what you know.

It takes time.  And a lot of reassurance.

And the only way you can really help her is to show her that loving someone else doesn’t diminish the way you feel for her.

That won’t be an easy process.  Expect her to be unsure, expect her to be anxious, or upset.  And be there for her, show her that she’s not losing anything by giving you the freedom you’re asking for.

And it’s important to acknowledge that some people just can’t make that step, no matter how much they may want to, no matter how hard they may try.  They can just never be comfortable with polyamory.

If your girlfriend gets to that point, you need to ask yourself some pretty hard questions.  How important is it to you to be able to love freely, rather than feeling caged and locked down?  Is that something you can give up?

It’s important to note that, in my experience, giving it up (“it” being poly, D/s, BDSM, or really anything that plays an important role in someone’s identity) has never worked for more than a few years.  Trust me, I know.  I’ve tried it.  When you don’t have freedom to be yourself, to be your complete self, you start to feel caged in.

When you start to feel caged in, you start wanting to run.

You’re an Aquarius.  You know that feeling.  You know how badly we handle that feeling.  And you know how long relationships tend to last once we’ve reached that point.

So you need to figure this out before you marry her.  Don’t even think about marrying her until you’ve figured this out.