*Be forewarned, this is going to be a long piece.*
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching in the last year, and a great deal more in the last few weeks. I’ve been making leaps and bounds in my personal development too, but there’s something that has been a major hang-up for me. Polyamory. The shame and fear regarding this subject has been tearing me up inside. However, after a few long talks with my husband, and assurances from him that’s he’ll have my back, we’ve decided that it’s time for me to “come out of the closet” and be honest with myself and the world about who and what I am.
For some people topics of sexuality and desire are no big deal. For others it’s an area surrounded by confusion, fear and shame. My hands are shaking like leaves right now as I’m writing this. Over the last few days I can honestly say that I’ve gained a much greater understanding of what it must be like for homosexuals to come out to the world. I have a much greater respect for them and the courage it takes them to be honest with themselves and the people around them. I may still be mostly straight, but I can see and feel just how hard it all is. People can be so narrow-minded, judgmental and cruel, it takes serious brass balls to put your sexuality out in the open.
I’m not even sure where to start, but I figure the best place to start is with some flat, factual information. You can click the first word to read the full entry.
“Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is not to be confused with polysexuality, which is attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes.
Polyamory, often abbreviated as poly, is often described as consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy. The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic. ~ Sex is not necessarily a primary focus in polyamorous relationships, which commonly consist of people seeking to build long-term relationships with more than one person on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only one aspect of their relationships.” – From WikiPedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory
So, there you have it, a definition, as best as one can give, of what I am, and what I’ve been fighting for most of my life. So-called “morality” and the ways of society have made me feel constantly shameful for my desire to be in a loving relationship with more than one person. As if it wasn’t bad enough that when I was a teen I thought I was gay and as an adult I had to come to terms with my bisexuality, there was also this dangling over my head. In retrospect I realized that even at the tender age of 12 I was trying to understand why a person couldn’t love a boy and a girl. As I got older and my interest in women faded I still wanted to be with more than one person. I thought monogamy was “weird” and not natural, at least not for me. However, to keep from being seen as a slut and an unfaithful partner, I kept my desires mostly secret.
It wasn’t until my current relationship, which is with someone who is wonderful, understanding and intelligent, that I was able to talk about and begin to explore this part of my nature. Early on there was a situation which allowed me to be with someone else. In the long run it failed miserably, but it was something, and I never really stopped thinking about how wonderful it could have been if it worked out. Later on, I actually did have a boyfriend for about a year. That was a pretty good year for all three of us. Prior to starting the relationship, Eric and I sat down and had a long, serious talk about what my motives were, what was going to happen, and we set rules that we could both be happy with. For a time, I felt like I had what I really wanted.
During that time however, it was kind of a secret. Only a few people that were close to all of us knew. We didn’t flaunt it, and the lack of openness was, at least for me, a problem. I hated feeling like it was a dirty little secret, but I understood how it might not be good for the “boyfriend”, or for any of us, because people just wouldn’t understand. Since the relationship ended a few more people know, but only those who had to know or we felt could really be trusted. It’s been close to three years since then, and things have been rough for me. I’ve thought a lot about my polyamorous nature, and honestly tried to shut it off at some points thinking it would be the better way to go. It wasn’t, and it’s been wearing on me all this time.
I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself, becoming a better person and figuring out who I really am. That polyamorous desire has actually come more to the forefront during this time. I’ve desperately wanted to look for a new boyfriend, but I’ve been scared to death of it. I’ve dropped hints here and there, even going so far as for Eric and I to set our relationship statuses to “in an open relationship” in the hopes that I might get some interest. However, I haven’t felt comfortable really seeking anyone out. I’ve gotten to a point of knowing what I need rather than what I think I want, but I haven’t had the courage to seek out that new love that I want so much. After yet another talk about the subject last night, Eric and I agreed that a “coming out letter” of sorts was long overdue.
For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is a big deal, try to think of the way people act, the way people talk. No one really has a problem when a man beds multiple women, that makes him a stud. But if a woman’s caught even talking about the thought of it, she becomes a slut. Heaven forbid she acts on her desires, then she’s a total tramp. It’s a sick double-standard. Moreover, as stated in the definition above, polyamory isn’t about sex. Sure, sex is great and something that usually happens in a long-term, loving relationship, but it’s not like we polyamourous people want to bang every hot thing we see. That is being a tramp/manwhore. I just want another love, another relationship that has aspects my current one doesn’t. It’s also not really about any lack on the part of any of the people involved. It’s not like you become polyamorous because your sex life is lacking or there’s something wrong with one partner. It’s about a knowledge, understanding and desire for multiple aspects of personality and love. It’s a bit hard to explain, but having multiple loves has little to do with any of them lacking anything really.
I know that some people in my inner circle won’t give a flip. If I find another boyfriend I won’t have to hide it from them. Extended family, friends and people I’m connected to in other ways may be less loving and understanding. That’s where the fear comes in. The time has come though for me to face the music and put it out there. I don’t get out much and the internet is the best way for me to meet people. There’s a good chance that the man of my dreams is somewhere online, or someone that knows him is. If I’m going to meet someone, online is where it’s most likely to happen, but it won’t happen if people think I’m off the market. It won’t happen if I’m ashamed of who I am and in fear of people finding out. After all, if a man is going to be involved with me, he needs to know the truth and be good with it. That won’t happen if I’m cowering in the shadows of fear because of what people might say. So this is me coming out. This is me putting myself out there so I can find the love I desire and become a complete and happy person. And God bless Eric for promising to fend off any wolves who try to give me shit about this.
By the way, I’m not doing this just for myself. Yes, I want to be “out” and have the ability to have the life I want. But it’s not just for me. It’s for every polyamorous woman out there who has felt like her desires will paste a red A on her chest. It’s for every woman who’s fighting who she is and feeling like a slut because she has a heart capable of loving more than one person and wanting to do just that. It’s for every woman who wants to be true to herself, happy and honest, but has been too damn scared to do it. Even if your situation won’t allow for bringing your nature out into the light, maybe this at least will help you to feel that you’re not a monster, not “bad” or “wrong”, and you have a right to be who you are, and if given the chance, you should go for it.
Now that this is out there… Well, I hope that this will open the gates for that new love to find me, or for me to find him. No more hiding, no more worrying about needing to keep everything all hidden and secret. I do know that there may be consequences though. I know that some of you are still going to think I’m a whore and give me shit. I have a plan to take care of that though. It’s only words, and I’m prepared for them now. I also know that there may be a flood of messages from every jackass guy on FaceBook trying to get into my pants. I have a plan for that too. I know exactly what kind of guy I’m after and anything less is out of luck. Anyone who’s rude, vulgar or in any other way offensive to me is going to get blocked and reported as fast as I can hit the buttons. If you’re that kind of guy, you’d be better off aiming it at someone else. I want a decent man, not a pig. Now, whether or not there’ll be any other fallout, I don’t know. I can’t prepare for everything, but I’m going to try to handle it with grace and dignity. I will not feed the trolls.
In the near future I may post something about what I’m looking for in a man. I’ve thought about it plenty of times, I think I may just need to do it. I think I’ll have to take it one day at a time and see what happens. And on a final note, if you’re polyamorous, or just supportive of people being themselves and living their lives as they see fit, I’ll be glad for any positive, supportive feedback. God knows that feeling like I’m not alone and not some horrid thing would do me good right now. Even if you only send a PM to maintain your anonymity, it’ll mean a lot to me. Well… I guess now I put this out there and see what happens. I’ll be hoping for the best.