Could a throuple relationship really work

How do I have a non-monogamous relationship?

All photos: Jamie Lee Curtis Taete

Living non-monogamous can be complicated. One can be polyamorous, swinger, enter into an “extended friendship”, have an open relationship, live “New Monogamy”, have a group marriage or live in triads, a commune or a clan. The relationship can be sexual or emotional in nature, anything to do with fetishism, or a mixture of all of the above. You can already have a steady relationship and still meet others, be married and still sleep with some friends, single and still be aware that you will not be happy with conventional monogamy. So all sorts of things. So that you and your clan don't have to worry about losing track of things, here is our comprehensive guide to polyamory.
 
Exceptional scenario
Couples who want to gain their first experience with non-monogamous partnerships often want a kind of triangular relationship with a white, heteronormative, non-monogamous cisgender: an attractive bisexual woman who is ready to act as a sex slave exclusively with one couple be and maybe also to live with this one. These women are called unicorns (mythical creatures) because you can use a magnifying glass to look for bisexual women who are willing to do this. Another term for the third person in this exceptional scenario is "Hot Bi Babe" (HBB).

banality
Even if open relationships often evoke the idea of ​​clans with 40 partners and wild orgies in swinger clubs, the reality is far more banal. Open relationships demand the same work from those involved as normal relationships, only more often. In essence, we have the same needs in open relationships as in conventional relationships (love, security, sex). So it's not as exciting as you think (for exceptions to the rule: see below).

chemistry
When there is a special chemistry between two people, at some point you will be genuinely pleased when the partner shows emotional or sexual interest in someone else. Compassionate joy, the term for this selfless feeling, is sometimes referred to as the opposite of jealousy and is a bit like vicarious infatuation. It doesn't matter whether you are attracted to that other person as well. The happiness of your partner makes you happy.

dialog
As already mentioned under B for banality, in non-monogamous relationships you have to communicate more and better than in conventional ones. Because there aren't many role models to use as a guide, those involved have to agree on what works best. Breaking new ground in relationships requires a lot of serious conversation. Dialogue does not quite apply here, however, since you are talking to several people over and over again. So, having a non-monogamous relationship means talking about your feelings (and the feelings of others) more often than you could ever have imagined.

jealousy
The most common argument against non-monogamous relationships is, “I couldn't. I'm too jealous. " People in polyamorous partnerships get jealous too! It is perfectly normal to get jealous when your partner reveals that he / she is attracted to someone else - especially in a society where adultery is considered the most terrible thing to do to a loved one . But if you think hard (and have some of the conversations mentioned earlier), jealousy often turns out to be a cover for other feelings, most notably insecurity.

liquids
The somewhat aloof-sounding term "fluid-bonded", also known as barebacking, describes unprotected sexual intercourse.

Google Calendar
In relationships with multiple partners, it is not uncommon to maintain a shared calendar. After all, you have to know when someone has time, has to work or is hanging out with another partner. This saves excuses. If you do not want to live monogamous, effective time management is the be-all and end-all.

Hierarchies
In some non-monogamous relationships there are hierarchies to make it clear what status the respective partnership has for the other. You have a reasonably conventional relationship with your “main partner” in which you live together or at least want to stay together for the long term. In addition, a person can have numerous other love affairs. The obvious objection to this terminology is that you create a ranking in the truest sense of the word. However, you don't do anything else when you declare someone your best friend. That doesn't affect the other friendships either.

Intimate questions
These will be put to you in abundance as soon as you mention that you are in a non-monogamous relationship. Don't forget that you don't have to answer it. You can also counterattack: “So you've been married for seven years - how and how often do you sleep together? Do you ever worry about the fact that at some point you will no longer find yourself attractive? Tell me about your most intimate experiences, preferably in public in this bar. "

Yes
As in any other sexual situation, your consent should not be half-hearted. We all have acquaintances who have "an open relationship," where it is evident that only one of the partners has this open relationship while the other is sad and often alone. A separation is inevitable. If you meet someone who believes your polyamory is just a phase, stay away from it. That relationship was definitely going to break up.

"Kinky"
Not everyone who lives polamorous has unusual sexual preferences too, but there is undeniable overlap. This is probably because these preferences are very unusual and can eke out a niche existence. It can be difficult to find someone who would like to have dinner with you and find it okay if you relieve yourself on them afterwards. BDSM and fetish don't necessarily have to be sexual either. That is why someone can theoretically remain loyal to their partner on an emotional and sexual level and still have fun with a much older "daddy" on the weekend.

Long-term relationships
I am now speaking solely from my own experience as a young, white, cisgender woman under 30 who lives in a big city, but I know very few long-term couples who don't have some sort of collusion regarding sexual fidelity - be it sporadic affairs or affairs very rare threesome. The idea of ​​making romantic two-way relationships more permanent through casual sex or emotional infidelity has been dubbed "New Monogamy".

Millennial generation
The generation born between 1980 and 2000, around the peak of the divorce rate in the United States, appears to be just as suspicious of conventional monogamy as it is of traditional work hours, mainstream politics, and prejudices about updos for men. Whether or not young adults see themselves as non-monogamous today, they will definitely marry later and have more and sometimes longer relationships, which makes them more open to alternative forms of relationships.

nerds
We have already explained that. Some of the first to adopt non-monogamous ways of life were tough nerds. What applies to kinks also applies to nerds: not all non-monogamous people are nerds, but they certainly have an above-average frequency Doctor Who-Tattoos.

Orgies
Orgies are not a relic from the 70s. They take place in different places and in different forms in real life. From clichéd key parties for aging wrestlers, to pile-ons in sex clubs, to private parties for a group of friends, group sex is still very popular in 2014.

Polyamory and complacency
This is nowhere near all, but there are certainly groups in the non-monogamous community who see monogamy as a form of oppression that ultimately leads to abstinence and unhappiness. Perhaps not everyone in a monogamous relationship will be happy, but polyamory isn't the solution for everyone either. It is wrong to believe that this is the holy grail of relationships.

queer
The LGBTQ community discovered non-monogamous relationships long before heterosexuals. The most relaxed people I know are gay men in long-term relationships who still sleep with anyone they want to sleep with.

regulate
Rules, like hierarchies, are a sensitive issue in the non-monogamous world. While some are reluctant to show their partners limits in terms of behavior at all, for others rules are fundamentally important. They are designed to keep under control the plethora of potential conflicts that arise when just two people enter into a relationship — let alone four or five, each with their own different relationships. In my experience, rules develop by themselves over time. However, it is definitely important to make certain agreements on the basis of which you can discuss what works and what doesn't.

Swinging
Swinging is a purely sexual form of non-monogamous lifestyle. Just like unusual preferences, polyamory and actually everything else, they come in a thousand different forms. In soft swinging, for example, couples mess around with others but only have penetrative sex with their partners. Swingers have also coined the term “adult buffet”, which refers to a private party where guests have sex with each other.

The Ethical Slut
Sluts with Morals, Dossie Eaton's and Janet Hardy's book on responsible, non-monogamous living is a bit of a chore to read. That's because it's written in a language you'd expect from a late 1990s text on alternative sexuality — written by two people who refer to themselves as "lovers, good friends, co-authors, and co-conspirators" in the introduction . But if you're able to ignore the hippie vocabulary, you'll find a great introduction to polyamorous relationships and a handy guide to communication and honesty in general.

abundance
If we want to reduce non-monogamous forms of life to the simplest possible denominator, then this is it: there is enough of everything. Enough room in bed for three. Enough love in the heart of your partner that his / her love for you is not restricted by love for another person. There is enough desire in your loins to sleep with someone and then go home and sleep with someone else and then maybe go out again to sleep with a third person because, “Hey, the night is young and you are alive! " This abundance consciousness is in contrast to the lack of consciousness — a mindset that assumes that your girlfriend will suddenly find you less attractive just because she is also attracted to someone else.

vocabulary
As you have probably noticed, there is a rich vocabulary on the subject of non-monogamous relationships. In addition to widespread terms such as “poly” or “extended friendship”, there are also individual names for feelings and relationships: “wibbles” for moments in which we are jealous, “throuple” for a relationship between three equal partners (from three— three and couple, “spice” as the plural of “spouse” (wife), and so on.

World Wide Web (of love)
In general, the Internet is a driving force when it comes to raising public awareness of the myriad of alternative forms of life and relationships out there. If you're looking to find like-minded people and don't know where to start, Finya and Tinder are a good place to start. But arm yourself against obscene news.

(Ex partner
If you are with several people at once and they are all part of the relatively small poly community in your city, you will have many ex-partners. Prepare for it and be fair.

Y chromosome
In addition to the statement that men are not suitable for monogamy on a purely hormonal basis, there are many other arguments that argue that polyamory is a natural state. Many people argue that in early communities, like the bonobos, before real estate, patriarchy, capitalism, and all the other evils brought about monogamy, people changed partners, raised children together, and peopled the surface of the earth happily and happily. Although they sometimes oversimplify something, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá’s describe this in their book Sex at Dawn convincing (albeit controversial) - with lots of information about bonobo sex as a treat.

Zeitgeist
Are you interested in non-monogamous ways of life? Excellent! Numerous newspapers and magazines have been doing the same (and have done so for about ten years). Most of the time, interest is limited to articles in the lifestyle section, but the features section is picking up on the topic more and more frequently. Slate for example, has published over seventeen articles on polyamory in the past two years. And with this VICE article, another one is added.

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