- Sex & Drugs
- 13 Aug 18
When a recently married lesbian put pictures of herself with her new boyfriend on Instagram, it caused quite a stir. But for the polyamory couple involved, this is nothing new. For these daring adventurers, the love of many extends to group sex and lots of other delicious complications...
“Open” relationships can start with one or both partners seeking outside sexual encounters and satisfaction, while still having sex with, and sharing an emotional connection with, their primary partner. The intention of open relationships is usually not the pursuit of emotional involvement, just sexual excitement and thrills.
There is a different end game with polyamory. One definition describes this lifestyle as “the philosophy or ‘state of being’ in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time”.
Olive and Lana are in a successful polyamorous union. They are married. They are long-term, own a house and a dog together. I even sang at their wedding!
TWO AT A TIME
A few weeks after their nuptials, I saw oodles of photos of a blissful Lana with her (new-ish) boyfriend on Instagram. For most people, monogamous or not, this might be a head-scratcher. Not for these two.
“Unconventional folks try polyamory once and assume it doesn’t work. I find that funny,” says Lana. “Many people have failed attempts at monogamy: why should poly be any different?”.
Lana, who identifies as ‘pansexual’ describes one entangled triangle-come-quad, with a poly boyfriend who then found another girlfriend (P-slang: ‘meta-more’). After this girlfriend/meta-more met Olive (Lana’s wife), they (O. and the meta-more) developed a romantic relationship as well! Phew! Technically, this is called a POD.
How do they do it? I have a hard enough time keeping one partner happy!
“We have the POD over a few nights a week and break out into separate bedrooms.” They may have sex with their alternative partners, sleep, cuddle or whatever lovers do. On a few occasions, they’ll have a foursome of sorts in their Cali King. Not everyone is fucking, but cuddling – yes. Kissing – yes. Watching – for shizz!
“It can be fun and weird to see your partner go at it with another,” Lana says.
“I like watching people have sex,” Olive, who is gender-queer and non-conforming, adds. “I did enjoy having group sex with this one closeted couple we were dating together. I’d watch Lana go down on the woman. That was nice (smiles).”
“The POD dynamic is way more complicated,” Lana adds, though she enjoys ‘co-sleeping’ with more than one partner in the same bed. The caveat: it’s hot in the middle. Temperature-wise.
“I’m poly-saturated!” she laughs. Lana prefers to keep her limit at two relationships at a time. On occasion, the pair will date others in addition to, but not in a committed fashion. She had to ditch a new BF she was with because he started dating a monogamous girl who tried to break them up. There’s a name for this too: Cowgirl!
“We like to date separately. We have dated together, but it’s a lot harder,” she says. The more people, the more compatibility needs to be in play.
Another acquaintance was more of a voyeur during one particular orgy that included one poly-identified woman, along with a bunch of sex-positive friends. “She got a weekend pass,” said the camera girl. The agreement between Poly and her primary partner was, “When someone’s out of town, anything goes!”
My camera-wheeling friend witnessed five bodies in a queen-sized bed. Two men and three women, ceremoniously fucking and sucking each other in a rowdy pile-up. The poly girl was getting fucked from behind by a gorgeous Brazilian stud, with another GF sucking her breasts, while a future BF’s penis was inside her.
Here’s a poly exclusive emotion: ‘compersion’. “It’s the feeling of joy you get from seeing a partner’s joy with someone else,” Lana explains. “It’s the opposite of jealousy.”
Can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed that feeling of ‘compersion!’ /:
Currently, Lana has a boyfriend. She sees each of her partners two times a week for date nights, altogether, four nights per week. “I’m all poly-ied out,” she laughs.
At the moment, Olive is seeing only her wife. She dates mostly lesbians and reports that “not many gay women are open to fast, sexual hook-ups.” Her history is also “max, two at one time with maybe something more casual on the side…. like a third couple you see every few months.” (P-slang: “shooting stars”).
Regarding the perceived hetero couple, her friends ask Lana: “Why is O. dating a man??” Because she likes “pegging” which is anal sex with a dildo! This particular relationship with the hetero couple, comprised of a female who labeled herself as ‘straight’ but was actually ‘bi’, and a man who defined himself as ‘straight’ even though he enjoyed anal sex with a dildo, delivered by a queer, non-conforming partner.
NEW RELATIONSHIP MODEL
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to manage the ups and downs of polyamory. Even though Lana’s partner ‘Phi’ was part of the wedding preparation team, he wasn’t invited to the party. Interesting curveball. Seems Phi’s meta-more aka cowgirl gave him an ultimatum: “Choose her (Lana) or me”. This news came just before the girls’ honeymoon!
Here’s how it was for Olive.
“When the meta-more sitch got complicated, Lana was depressed,” she remembers. “She was distracted and unable to be present during most of our honeymoon. It was... complicated. It took a lot of communication and feelings and fears.” All that being said, “it didn’t mean I didn’t want her to be with Phi.”
How was the honeymoon sex, I asked? “Not great,” they replied.
Teal Swan, a renowned spiritual advisor, said this about polyamory: “The human race will not be genuinely ready for polyamory until the point at which our sense of self-worth and self-esteem has absolutely nothing to do with other people.”
This couple doesn’t engage with controlling or jealous extraneous partners. “The more freedoms you give to your partner, the closer your relationship will be,” states Lana. There’s no real hierarchy in their entanglements. They give each other the freedom to love and to relate with no limits. “For us, too many rules don’t work,” Lana remarks, un-a-poly-getic-ally.
Regarding their group sex experiences, “After a few years, the novelty is gone.” New relationship energy or NRE, aka ‘limerence’, can be a big motivator for the poly lifestyle.
One can question: is this lifestyle choice about avoiding intimacy or deepening it?
Regardless, as a couple, Olive and Lana are exercising their individual and mutual rights to create a new relationship model, unburdened by society’s rules or guidelines. Good on ‘em.
Cynthia Catania is a singer, songwriter, musician and producer. She plays with Saucy Monky and The Secret Things.