Friday, March 05, 2021

A Polyamory blog???

 Never say never, Ken.

Sorry, folks. I know what I just got finished writing that I hadn't shared anything poly-related in over a year. I stopped because I was banging my head against a brick wall; also because I was given the distinct impression I wasn't banging enough other things to call myself polyamorous at all. 

I will never forget the first extracurricular 'date' I went on. It was just a coffee date at a Timmy's close by, and one of the first things I heard from the woman was her own rule: "I don't date people new to polyamory," she told me. "I've done enough of that. Too much drama; too many people completely unsure of what they're doing and how to do it." 

Good advice. One of many reasons she didn't date me. I had a lot to figure out, and most of what I figured out made me incompatible with most, if not all, other people who identify as polyamorous. Including her, I suspect, though we're incompatible several other ways, so it's moot. 

Today I just stumbled on a missing piece I long suspected, but now have proof exists. Voil√†.

Polysaturation.

Cute coinage. It means "whoa, whoa, I have neither the time nor the emotional energy for another partner".  Some would undoubtedly argue I hit polysaturation at two, which would mean I'm not poly at all. I do disagree, although I concede I could have done better in the early going. What I did learn without a doubt, however, is that I am most definitely polysaturated at three. 

I didn't expect to find an article on this niche subfield of a niche subject in Psychology Today. Reading it, I learn that:

(a) the average polyamorous person has had an average of just over five people they consider partners in the past year;

(b) Polyamorous people are at their "happiest and healthiest" between three and five partners.

Point of order: according to a clinical psychologist cited in the article, the exact definition of 'partner' is hazy and, like most things poly, differs between people. The psychologist  states: 

The vast majority of people in open relationships do not have more than two long-term partners concurrently. I have seen a very small number of people who seem to be able to have three long-term committed relationships. However, I could count them on one hand, and they are either retired or being supported financially by a partner, so they have lots of time and energy for relationships since they are not working. I have seen many people TRY to have three serious relationships concurrently, and almost invariably one or more will collapse rather quickly (within six months to a year) because they just do not have the time, energy, or emotional availability to keep all three people marginally satisfied.

DING DING DING

Oh, but that word "marginally" stings, and makes me wonder how poly-friendly she really is. Then again, that was my experience: love may be infinite, but time is not.

It seems that if "the vast majority of people in open relationships do not have more than two long-term partners" BUT "polyamorous people are happiest and healthiest" with between three and five partners...that seems to indicate between one and three of those partners isn't long term. That, too, jibes with my experience in the poly world: whatever most people might say in profiles or in person, what they're mostly interested in is a bedpost notch. 

I get accused of "sex-negativity" every time I say things like this. And yes, I am very much against casual sex for me. I call it a game of poles and holes, or a genital sneeze, or fifty pumps a tickle and a squirt...whatever I call it boils down to one word, and that word is NEXT. 

If you practice casual sex and never think, let alone say, "NEXT"...more power to you. I don't know how to do that, myself. I wrestle sometimes with a spiking libido that would just love some no strings attached sex...but then I rein myself in and remind myself that I can have no strings attached sex any time I want, with Palmela and her four sisters.  Sex isn't about a hole, it's about cherishing a person, and maybe polyamorous people actually cherish their conquests but it sure doesn't seem like it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong: I usually am. But it sure doesn't feel like it. 

And of course part of it's me. When I fall in love with someone, I want to learn more and more and more and get closer and closer and closer and AM I SMOTHERING YOU YET? That doesn't lend itself well to multiple relationships. Or even single relationships. I know for a fact I've gotten much better at not smothering, but that change has brought trepidation in its wake: will she think I'm ignoring her? has she forgotten me? Stupid things to think. I know just how stupid they are. So I'd love to know why they still bubble up out of the Insecurity Swamp after all this time. Like many people, I suspect, deep down I'm still not 100% convinced I'm worthy of love -- or at least of carnal love. I will never be called Muscles O' Greasestain and I'm not making the cover of Playgirl magazine, and not just because it doesn't exist anymore. 

Mine is the crying shoulder. Mine is the open ear. I'm the guy that probably a dozen women have wistfully asked "why can't other men be more like you?" on their way from one of those other men who treated her like shit to another man who will most certainly treat her like shit. Oh, the new guy's French? Sorry, like merde

It's a role I embrace...most of the time. Every once in a while I wonder if I'm irredeemably ugly or if I just need to lose a hundred pounds and get a twelve-pack. Those fleeting feelings usually coincide with an attack of wow, I could fuck a beehive right now.  Thankfully, both feelings pass. 

Pssst...wanna know a secret? I'm still think of myself as polyamorous, even though multiple concurrent sexual relationships are extremely unlikely for me going forward. That article I linked notes something I have said myself, plaintively, more than once: a "partner" isn't necessarily someone you have sex with. Yeah, so, "friend", Ken. What's wrong with "friend"?

Nothing. Nothing at all. Except it doesn't really capture the depth of emotion I feel for some of my "friends" There are some non-sexual partners about whom I know things nobody else does. I can think of three women I could go on an overnight trip with, and sleep in the same bed, and when I say "sleep", I mean zzzzzzzzz. Is that a "friend" to you? It seems inadequate. 

Back into yon closet I go. Thanks for listening. 


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