The Start of Things

Where did this all start?  (Where does anything start?)

I’ve been interested in polyamory and other forms of ethical nonmonogamy about as long as I’ve been interested in sexual relationships, and definitely as long as I’ve realized my non-straightness.  From the time I was wee I had an elaborate, very fully realized fantasy life (and still do on occasion) populated with characters from books, TV and any place else I could find them.  By High School I was engaging in multiple fantasy relationships.  There seemed nothing wrong with having more than one loving or intimate relationship as long as everyone was on the same page.  But this was all theoretical, as I was too busy to contemplate dating one person, let alone more than one.

In college, thanks to the wonder of the internet, I found some of the words for what I’d dreamt about, but also came up against the stereotype of bisexuals being unable to be faithful and viewed with some amount of trepidation.  Also, I kept falling for straight girls or gay boys and obviously having no luck with either.

The summer before my senior year, I met C, a cute girl with a shaved head and the same geeky love for Buffy (and lust for Spike) as me.  What was supposed to be a summer fling turned into a year of long distance phone calls and lots of time on IM and racking up air miles visiting each other and finally moving in together after I graduated.  Two years after that, we got married in front of our families and friends.  We’ll be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary this summer.  We’ve been role models of (mostly) monogamous bisexuals.  But that doesn’t mean my fantasies of having more than one love ever went away.

One of the things I’ve loved about my and C’s relationship from the beginning is that we have been comfortable and open discussing crushes.  There was never any of that, seemingly common, sense that we weren’t allowed to look at other people.  We also had a somewhat joking agreement that if we ever wanted to have sex with someone else that we could ask the other for written permission.  It was never put into use, and I’d been thinking about asking C if we could intentionally explore polyamory for, oh, a long time.   I finally reached the point where I felt comfortable in my reasoning to have the conversation.  And had worked up the courage.

It was, like so many things, frightening and emotional but ultimately very worth it. She said that intellectually, she had no problems with it, but was worried about some of the logistics. And in truth, I thought she would be good about it, but I’m never sure, since she can be somewhat mercurial.

So I left that conversation very happy, but I still had some lingering questions. I wasn’t sure what exactly she was comfortable with, or that she knew what I wanted and why. Because I’m really bad at getting all my points across in conversation, I wrote her a letter and just kind of laid my heart bare. OK. It was an e-mail. Which probably makes me a horrible person, but it felt the safest way at the time.

She found me and basically said “I told you to go for it, I thought we were on the same page…” We talked some more, until I was sure she was really OK with things, that we had some “ground guidelines” (the biggest of which is that my parents not find out while we’re living with them, because my mom is meddlesome).  I just don’t want to hurt her by doing something I didn’t know she wasn’t OK with.

I’ve set up a profile on OKCupid, and have started chatting with a couple people, which has been fun. I’m not sure how quickly I should jump into actually meeting/dating/whatever. On one hand, I’m still wrapping my head around just the possibility. On the other, why wait? I’m not making any life-long commitments at this point, just meeting interesting people and seeing where things go.

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