Polyamory Support Group

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

enigmaT120 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:22 am
She believes in divorce. That's it.

Good question though.
Rough.

I have something of a bubble-level perspective on relationships at the moment, but I do wonder what will happen to marriage in the next 50 years if lifespan stays high.

How long have more people been living to 80ish (and consequently living with people for a reaaaaaaallllly fucking long time)? Not really long enough for a huge shift in relationship contracts across the board.

enigmaT120
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by enigmaT120 »

I will watch with interest. I expect to participate as well.

white belt
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by white belt »

Really interesting thread and appreciate everyone sharing their different perspectives.

I don't call myself polyamorous although at any given time I do have multiple partners. I don't meet 7WB's criteria for functional polyamory since my longest relationship was a year long at age 19 and I haven't had a girlfriend in 4+ years, so I suppose I'm still in a state of youthful promiscuity? I'm in my mid-20's and just based on this thread and some encounters in real life, it seems like the poly community skews older.

One thing I found interesting is the discussion of the economic costs of having multiple partners, particularly when it comes to housing. I think 7WB's point about a need for spaces for play is rather astute and matches my experience. One challenge for single ERE is actually having a place to have sex. I've met many women who would rather not have sex in a man's bedroom while his roommates are home. I've lived with roommates for the past ~8 years so I've made it work, but I've definitely had multiple girls pass on a visit when they find out my roommates are home. Not to mention being quiet during sex is not nearly as fun and rules out many kink activities.

Obviously one solution is to go back to the woman's place. However, in my experience dating in major cities, lots of women are not comfortable with that because they live with family, roommates, etc. I've yet to pay the extra $400 a month for my own place, but I'm strongly considering it when I move again.

For those poly folks who cohabitate with a partner, I'm curious on what agreements you come to about bringing other partners to the home. I mean if everyone is poly and cohabitating with another partner, at some point someone is gonna have to go back with someone else unless everyone is just fucking in cars or outside (more feasible in less densely populated areas).

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 908
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Stahlmann »

how do you guys deal with STDs and possible SHTF scenario?
or are they "industry standard/diseases" among polyamory workers... consumers?
inb4 talking and honesty among so many people

PS. yes, there's this anniversary (one of few) closed topics on this forum. let's don't reapeat this.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

@Stahlmann,

Few things (for me personally).

1. Certain level of acceptance that these things might happen sometimes. If I were, say, rock climbing, I might expect that I could be injured. I would take steps to prevent it, like using mats, chalking my hands, being a certified belayer, being supervised, being indoors, stretching first, etc...and then a moment of inattention might happen and I might break my elbow. FWIW, the recovery time for a broken elbow is a hell of a lot worse than the recovery time for any STI except HIV, and even then with modern medicine (and good health insurance) the stigma for having HIV is a hell of a lot worse than actually having it. The thing about most STI's is that...they really aren't that bad. Really. Listen to that podcast I linked above. It's just that because we've put the word "sex" in the front of them, people have a tendency to over-react. Like, this is not a "shit hit the fan" thing. A "shit hit the fan thing" is if I go in for my needle aspiration on Wednesday and they tell me I have thyroid cancer. A sense of perspective is important.

2. I fuck people who don't over-react to the possibility that I, or they, might contract an STI and then have to communicate about it. I have been part of a chain of people where a partner's partner contracted something, he may have been exposed, and I may have been exposed, and then I had to inform partners of mine that I might have been exposed. Everybody behaved like an adult in this four person chain, which is to say that the parties that were most closely linked to the possible source got tested, I did not shame or otherwise mistreat the person who may have exposed me, I waited to see what their test results were, and my partners did not shame me or otherwise mistreat me for my possible exposure. We did change our sexual behavior for several weeks to minimize their risk. If you cannot behave like an adult about these topics, don't fuck (not just multiple people, but anyone, ever -- "monogamous" people expose each other to STIs all the time). I have something of an advantage over some other people here, because the people I fuck know I have HSV and are thus typically more educated about these topics than your average bear.

3. Part of being responsible about being able to inform people is keeping a spreadsheet that tracks when I got tested, what I got tested for, who I fucked in the last six months, and how I fucked them. My partners have similar methods of tracking. One of them sends an email out to everyone he has fucked each quarter with his test results and an invitation to check in about the status of the relationship if you so desire (which is not to say that you can't talk to him whenever, of course, and I do, frequently).

4. Use of condoms with all partners. There's nobody in my life I bareback with for penetrative sex. I take certain risks with oral, it's true, and you can contract STI's orally (and I get anal, vaginal, and oral swabs as well as blood and urine tests. Many less informed people are not getting fully tested). You could also use dental dams or perform oral sex with condoms to increase safety. I also take daily valcyclovir to reduce the risks of passing on HSV to partners that may not have it. Some of my partners do not always use condoms with other people they have sex with. YMMV.

5. Regular STI tests for the most serious concerns, which (for me) are HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and Hep B/C. I don't bother with HSV testing because I know I have Type II, but a lot of doctors won't even test for it. If you ask for a standard panel, they will probably not test for HSV because the stigma is worse than the virus. I get checked about once a quarter. Some of my partners get tested that often, some slightly less often. For closed groups, or groups with more stringent agreements, you might all get together and decide how often all of you are going to get tested. At present I am sexually active with two people who are also sexually active with others; I don't insist on second-level out testing knowledge with my metamours. I trust that my partners are using good judgment on who they fuck and are taking care of themselves. YMMV.

6. I share results when I get them. So do my partners. Depending on your level of paranoia, you might insist on seeing actual paperwork from a doctor's office rather than just getting a text that says, "got tested for these things, negative for all." I've asked to see documentation in established relationships from people who don't insist on seeing mine. I've also just taken people at their word. People can also photoshop whatever they want, these days. YMMV.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6833
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@white belt:

Well, first note would be that its not just polyamorous folk who have this problem, because monogamous couples very often live with children and other extended family members. For instance, one of my polyamours was living with his wife, her mother, and his wife's young adult son, so he mostly had to rent a hotel room when he wanted to be with me, because my housemate/sister was not cool with sleepover guests for very specific reasons having to do with her health. Sometimes we would make out in his car and sometimes he would come to my place during the day when my sister was away. Generally, if you want it, you are going to find a way to make it work, but it can be a problem.

Ideally, some sort of modular design which would provide some level of private space for each human and each couple or throuple etc. could be devised. I think this could even prove very beneficial for those who choose celibate lifestyle, because it might serve to make common spaces more common/shared. The closest I've ever come to this was when I lived in a big co-op (maybe 35 members?) in college, and got my own room after sharing one for a year. I never dated anybody in the co-op while they were living there, but there were always a lot of friends of house-mates around whom I did often date and anybody I brought around was also welcome. Also much easier just cooking dinner one night/week for 34 other people than 6 nights/week for 3 other people etc. etc.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

@white belt, sex clubs if they exist. Cheaper than a hotel room usually. Exhibitionists okay with this also probably don't care if your roommates are out.

Mostly I benefit from dating people who own their own houses, or just dgaf if people hear me.

Partner selection? Date kinkier women?

enigmaT120
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by enigmaT120 »

Sigh. No. I'm just going to keep a lot of hand lotion handy.

white belt
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by white belt »

reepicheep wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:16 pm
@white belt, sex clubs if they exist. Cheaper than a hotel room usually. Exhibitionists okay with this also probably don't care if your roommates are out.

Mostly I benefit from dating people who own their own houses, or just dgaf if people hear me.

Partner selection? Date kinkier women?
I've looked a little bit at sex clubs and it's something I may try in the future. The commercial establishment type sex/lifestyle clubs seem absurdly expensive. I'm talking $60 per night if I go as a single male and $30-$80 if I bring a girl and go as a couple. And that's just the cover and doesn't include any drinks.

I think I'd like to get more involved in my local kink community when I move to a larger metropolitan area. I don't really feel comfortable drawing attention to myself in any small towns near military bases because of possible negative career impacts.

My other issue is I've been in such unfavorable mating markets for single males that it's mostly a "beggars can't be choosers" situation when it comes to girls I date. I've made it work and had to settle for girls that are less kinky and less physically attractive, which for me is better than the alternative of celibacy.

In fact I'm generally curious to hear more male perspectives on the polyamorus lifestyle and what the gender ratio is like? It just seems like the number of guys who want multiple partners way outnumbers the number of girls. As 7WB5 pointed out earlier in the thread, there are also just a lot of women who take themselves off the market.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6833
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

white belt wrote:My other issue is I've been in such unfavorable mating markets for single males that it's mostly a "beggars can't be choosers" situation when it comes to girls I date. I've made it work and had to settle for girls that are less kinky and less physically attractive, which for me is better than the alternative of celibacy.
I think many or most people will find themselves in a "beggars can't be choosers" situation at some junction in their sex life. For instance, being tall and nerdy was a deficit for me in a rural-exurban high school, so I had to date men who were older and less intelligent than me, if I wanted "good-looking." Also, I was married to a man with a much lower sex drive than me for almost 20 years, so within that very confined market, I was the "beggar not chooser." OTOH, on almost any open market, I have done quite well, which is probably why I tend towards preferring very open market. The trade-off, as I noted previously, is that even with several willing/wanting partners you don't live with, it is difficult to have as much sex as you can have with another high sex drive monogamous partner with whom you share living space. I might be willing to commit to monogamy IFF I could find somebody who met all my standards for good-looking, intelligent, high ambient sex drive, and easy-to-live-with. Otherwise, I am sticking to polyamory and living by myself or in some sort of Golden Girls (although possibly co-ed) group situation. Unfortunately, it is not as easy to find group housing situations at my age (54) , but that will change as soon as I hit official senior citizen designation.
It just seems like the number of guys who want multiple partners way outnumbers the number of girls. As 7WB5 pointed out earlier in the thread, there are also just a lot of women who take themselves off the market.
True, and there are also more women than men who decide they are done with sex while still married (maybe 2:1?) So, if you think you have it hard as a young single man finding partners, consider the plight of the attempting to be polyamorous married middle-aged guy. OTOH, there are also a growing number of single men who are taking themselves off the market (if you exclude internet video chatting with will-dance-for-token Romanian girls, etc.) So, kind of hard to see where trends are ultimately heading.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

When a couple decides to open up, typically the woman finds it a lot easier to find partners than the dude does. I'm not buying that that more men than women want multiple partners. Poly, at least in Portland, is very female-led.

Re clubs: check to see if any of these places have a kink night. It may be cheaper. That's the only time I go, and we're talking $20 vs $60 here. Though as a single woman, maybe it's cheaper. Haven't checked. You won't get very far as a single dude in a sex club, dick in hand. Very very few women interested in that. Bring a date or expect to just watch.

white belt
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by white belt »

reepicheep wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:21 am
When a couple decides to open up, typically the woman finds it a lot easier to find partners than the dude does. I'm not buying that that more men than women want multiple partners. Poly, at least in Portland, is very female-led.

Re clubs: check to see if any of these places have a kink night. It may be cheaper. That's the only time I go, and we're talking $20 vs $60 here. Though as a single woman, maybe it's cheaper. Haven't checked. You won't get very far as a single dude in a sex club, dick in hand. Very very few women interested in that. Bring a date or expect to just watch.
I don't doubt that poly is very popular and female-led in certain areas, but so far the places I've lived could be described as the opposite of Portland on the ideological spectrum. Although 7WB5 has had success in Michigan, which probably isn't ideologically much different than say a southern bible belt state.

Well the fact that a woman finds it a lot easier to find multiple partners confirms my point that the demand in the form of the number of men looking to have sex outside of a monogamous relationship outnumbers the supply of women who are willing to have sex outside of a monogamous relationship.

Sex clubs are always cheaper for single women (again supply and demand). In fact just from the websites I've perused, it seems typical that most clubs will offer free entry for single women at least weekly or monthly. I definitely wouldn't go alone for my first time for the exact reasons you describe.

Dating markets are still hyper-local, although the internet has expanded things a little bit. I do think the typical young man would have a better time dating if he at least considered whether the local mating market is favorable for his goals before moving to a new location. For the ERE single male, if dating is important it should definitely be incorporated into your web of goals. From a systems perspective, dating in an unfavorable environment introduces friction. For me it takes the form of more time spent on dating apps/messaging women and more money spent on dates themselves (not just the activity, but associated travel costs as well).

I guess this brings up the question: is there an ideal location for people interested in or practicing polyamory? My guess is a larger population center means that there are more people practicing "alternative" lifestyles. On the other hand, perhaps a smaller population density place can still work if it's part of a relatively open community.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6833
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

white belt wrote: Although 7WB5 has had success in Michigan, which probably isn't ideologically much different than say a southern bible belt state.
Michigan is very much an all flavors possible checkerboard of ideologies. IMO, the only reason it swung Red on the last election was that a significant proportion of male rural county or blue collar residents would have voted for Ted Nugent, and it's not like Ted Nugent is exactly known for being a sexual prude. That said, there are only two or three city centers which are significantly liberal, but I have always dated within driving distance of one of them. Also, sexual behavior does not necessarily align with ideology. The 60s Swinger movement got its start on a California Air Force base full of young officers and their wives, and my partner who voted for Trump was definitely on the kinky side. The sexual landscape contains a wide variety of secret gardens, closets, cul-de-sacs, and stuff that happened but didn't. My personality type is towards being open about such matters, but mileage varies greatly.

As reepicheep noted, poly is very female led, but I think that is because poly is a sub-category of "having multiple partners" which appeals more to females. Basically, it is more relationship oriented than simply sleeping around or "hitting it." For instance, it allows for the possibility of non-sexual romantic partners or cuddle-buddies, etc. Out of the 8 men I have sexually interacted with in any way since I declared myself to be polyamorous around 5 years ago, I am still in some level of contact with 6 of them. Even the much younger guy who was just supposed to be the third for a failed threesome still texts me every 6 months :roll: It's like feeding stray dogs.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

Kink nights where I am are the same price for either gender. Swingers clubs the rest of the time are pretty alienating for folks who identify as non-binary, of which there are a plethora. There's also a little bit of politics around not supporting dual pricing structures.

Not that any of that helps you unless it exists where you live.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 758
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice »

@white belt: It's interesting to me that you are having trouble finding women who won't have sex with roommates home. I'm more used to hearing the opposite complaint, friends complaining their roommates keep loudly fucking people while they're trying to sleep. Maybe no one who's willing to fuck me cares if people hear us? I'm not sure I understand the objection to roommates, do your paramours not understand that hotels and apartment buildings have thin walls? I hate to suggested an automotive solution, but maybe rent a car and drive to somewhere secluded? Camping?

I think the interesting thing is that women don't control the monogamous dating market. It seems like the major "card" monogamous/ single dudes hold is the the potential marriage partner card. If you take this out of play, than straight dudes lose most of their "buying power."

On a personal note I've been having trouble convincing my girlfriend that it's way harder for me to find partners than her. When she was in her revenge fuck period she would turn on Tinder for 10 minutes and then an hour later be pegging an eastern European prime minister or going out with a professor of clitoral studies or something. So I'm having trouble convincing her that her leaving town for 3 days is not actually an adequate opportunity for me to 1) find someone to go out with; 2) convince them to go out with me sometime in a three day window and 3) sleep with them.

Personal Polyamory update:

As usual it's going kind of badly. I didn't go on many dates from August through October. I was working on a lot of records and getting a new band off the ground and my GF's dad had some pretty serious surgery (he's fine now) and I didn't want to stress her out more.

I added that I was non-monogamous on Tinder and Bumble, but I didn't write a lot about it. This lead to a couple of dates falling through after I made sure the women I was talking to knew I had a gf already (they'd missed or ignored my "non-monogamous" bio line). I decided to start targeting more non-monogamous and polyamorous women. I thought this would help my gf as well as she has a hard time not believing that all single women are constantly only interesting in finding husbands and she said she'd be more comfortable if I was dating someone else who had a partner.

I found a chick who had 2 other partners (including a primary) on Tinder and we set up a date. When I told my GF we were going out she started freaking out and crying and saying she couldn't do this anymore. I got really mad and left the house for the rest of the evening and decided we were breaking up. I was pretty upset so I cancelled the date.

She convinced me to go to couples therapy as a last ditch effort because neither of us really want to break up, aside from the sex/ non-monogamy issues. The first therapy session went really well. The therapist (who is really into negotiating polyamory contracts) thought we should focus on our sexual relationship first. We agreed to only date other people (and have her do sex worker stuff) when one of us was out of town.

The next session went less well. She still thought we should still focus on our sexual relationship and we extended the agreement to include the vague "do more group sex stuff" because my gf says she's cool with me solo dating chicks that we are both fucking. The wins for me out of this have been that 1) the therapist said that my GF should initiate sex everytime for now 2) in the 2nd session the therapist said that we "have to" have sex 3-4 times a week (if my GF is physically able) and 3) I got to say a bunch of stuff about how unhappy I was with our sexual relationship and how frustrating it's been for me, which is typically difficult to discuss without a 3rd party mediating.

We've got one more session left before the therapist cuts us off (because she is super booked). I'm hoping for and am going to ask that we renegotiate the polyamory agreement this time. On the one hand, the GF and I want pretty different things, I want a totally open relationship and she wants only group sex and otherwise monogamy (except for her non-penetrative sex work). On the other hand my GF is largely opposed to non-monogamy because she doesn't want to be "one of many girlfriends," which is an ill defined boundary. I'm not looking for another primary partner or too strongly emotionally support someone else. I'm also not willing to cut off a sexual relationship with someone I like after a few dates. I'm not sure whether we can find a middle ground on this or not and I'm hoping the therapist can help.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by reepicheep »

@bigato, it's like fwb who also go to museums and each other's Christmas parties instead of keeping it on the dl. And who ocassionally cry on each other when someone's other relationship ends.

@Jin+Guice, egads, man. :?

ertyu
Posts: 1511
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by ertyu »

J+G, you sound like a dude who is trying to drag into polyamory a person who would really rather not be poly. Everything in gf's behavior screams "I want to be monogamous but this dude is pushing so hard I feel like the relationship is held over my head and I'm constantly threatened with abandonment, so I do all I can to avoid being abandoned." "started crying" and "can't do this anymore" speak to me of a person in terror of being abandoned who feels constantly under threat. Right now, her subconscious sees a dude whose main priority is to see how he can abandon her. You certainly sound like you're trying to work very hard on establishing some sort of poly going. While you think, "ok, I am being considerate of her by not pushing this right now, but of course later we'll come back to it," she is thinking, "omg family crisis and that's barely done and this guy is putting the relationship under threat again."

(Don't rationally explain to me how you're not really putting the relationship under threat, subconsciouses and terror don't work that way. )

It seems to me like the only way this will work is if you deliberately make an effort to make her more secure in the relationship. This person needs to believe on a visceral level that you are not abandoning her. This won't be achieved by telling her you're not abandoning her and considering the matter closed. This also won't be achieved by an eyes-on-the-prize approach where you go, "ok I did all those things to make you feel secure, so can we do poly yet?" It might also be her low sex drive is in part because she feels insecure in the relationship. If I am not particularly poly-natured, and my partner was constantly directing their efforts to trying to see how they can sleep with other people, I would not feel particularly bonded to them. Thus I would feel afraid to be vulnerable with them and trust them. Your gf sounds like someone who needs that trust and someone for whom sex is a vulnerable place. It is also probable that your intense desire to negotiate and find solutions makes her reluctant to share her vulnerabilities with you because you seem to be in a mode where your priority is not to bond with her in them but to see how you can argue them down or find workarounds. I also think she sounds like someone for whom marriage is an important commitment and who is already making a huge compromise by staying with you even though you won't commit to her. Idk man. Might be completely off base here, writing from the pov of a shmuck who is more monogamous than not. Good luck whatever happens but I don't think that therapist appointment will help.

enigmaT120
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by enigmaT120 »

7wb5 wrote:

":roll: It's like feeding stray dogs."

Ya keep rubbing it in!

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6833
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@enigma:

Yeah, that was rude of me. It’s just that lately polyamory for me has provided less hawt sex and fun museum visits and more minor contract disputes, nursing after hernia surgery, consoling after dog death, comparison shopping for herbal viagra formulations, and drunken apologies over turkey for not manning up while married to me.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 758
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice »

@7w5: The struggle is real.

Post Reply