(Updated: June 2, 2022)
Polyamory is a term that was coined in the early 1980s and has since developed differing definitions to those of us who identify as polyamorous. Essentially, being polyamorous means that we each have the ability to share loving relationships with more than one partner at the same time, while also having the full consent of every person involved.
I say loving relationships because each relationship does not always have to involve sex. (Obviously, being that I’m Asexual.) Some can only involve romance, kink (also not always involving sex), or sensual contact. Others can be exclusively sex. And some can involve all or any combination of those!
There is no one set way to be polyamorous. There are even polyamorous people who are in monogamous relationships for the sake of their one monogamous partner. Those people are still valid as being polyamorous. The base point here is for all partners to be fully honest and trustworthy in forming their relationships. No hiding, lying, “sneaking-around”, “cheating”, nor adultery. Everyone is fully aware, and consent is given by all parties involved before actions are taken.
Our “How We Met” Story
We shocked many of our acquaintances when Cristophe and I both publicly came out as polyamorous. Though, those who know the full story of how we met had no reason to be shocked. It’s an interesting story to tell. Definitely not your usual meet-cute, but it was still a life-saver for us both.
I was previously married to a woman when I met Cristophe. She actually introduced us two after she had gotten close to Cris while working with him at one of his previous jobs. I had never experienced being in a polyamorous relationship before, but both she and Cris had. As we all grew very close to each other, attractions grew as well. So, one day, she suggested to me the idea of us all three being in a relationship together. I agreed to give it a try, and after we both asked Cris together if he wanted to as well, he agreed. So, we formed our own throuple (three-person-couple/triad).
Now, I won’t get into the details of the many problems in my previous marriage with this woman. I’ll leave it at stating that it was an abusive relationship. I hid that fact from as many as I could, as most abused people do, out of shame and being guilted into thinking that it was all my own fault. Needless to say, gaining the support of Cristophe did save me in many ways. After a few months of us all living together, she decided that she did not love nor want to be with either Cris nor I anymore, so she left.
Once Cristophe came home from work that day, I told him her decision, and after we both had our turn at fearing the other wanted to leave as well, we finally discovered that we both wanted to continue being together, so we did. And slowly, I regained myself. The abusive fog began to clear, and I started remembering the real me. This sudden relief, coupled with Cris’ support, gave me the strength and clarity I needed to refuse accepting her back when she recanted her decision a few days later.
Healing and Learning to Trust
I continued to victim-blame myself of course. I couldn’t believe what I had tolerated being done to me for nearly six whole years. It is still a struggle for me to fight my indoctrinated guilt every now and then. But I continue to work on accepting the past, learning from it, and forgiving myself for my own part in it. I now rejoice in the better person that I’ve become, and give support and encouragement to others who are suffering and/or healing as well.
Cristophe had been through a slew of abusive relationships before meeting me. Adding my now ex-wife to that list wasn’t helpful. We quickly discovered and greatly appreciated the lack of abuse from each other once it was just us two. But years of being lied to, stolen from, and manipulated by our previous partners certainly left its toll on us. It’s taken A LOT of healing to regain our ability to trust. And healing is not just a steady incline, but lots of twists, turns, ups, and downs. Still, it’s a necessary journey, and one we are both proud to have made it so far on together.
Polyfidelity, Our Preferred Form of Polyamory
We ourselves practice a version of polyamory called polyfidelity. This means that we form a group with our partners. Each member of this group only engages in sexual contact with other members of this group. And, before any new member is added, each current member of the group must give consent to the addition.
We prefer this form of polyamory for health and safety reasons, since each person’s sexual contact can affect the health of every other person in the group. This is also why, for us, these restrictions are only so for forming relationships that involve sex. Purely sensual, romantic, and/or non-sexual kink relationships are not limited to the group. But they do still involve full disclosure to all partners, so that there is no secrecy or betrayal.
End the Stigma Against Polyamory!
True polyamory only includes fully Aware and Consenting ADULT humans. We do not support any people who manipulate and abuse others into situations they do not want to be in! True polyamory is all about Trust, Support, and Love.
It’s also about acknowledging and accepting that it is unfair to expect and pressure just one person to be able to fulfill all of your personal needs. People are meant to have multiple kinds of relationships in their lives that fulfill their various needs for connection. Even monogamous people still need the love of healthy relationships with friends and family. So, there is nothing wrong with those of us who are able to share even more forms of love with the other consenting adults we care for. Humans need Healthy Community, and polyamory is just another loving part of that.