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Old 05-03-2012, 11:39 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Default Couple sexuality and poly

This comes up in so many threads on the Poly Relationship Corner and is one of the things that seems to worry people new to poly a lot. So I wanted to start a thread that is not necessarily problem/crisis centered around it.

What effect, if any, do you feel poly has on the sex life you have?
Is there a comparison? Do you or your partner(s) fear comparison?
Does gender/orientation/kinkiness of current and prospective partners affect these feelings or fears around comparisons in any way?

Do you feel you have more or less sexual energy to go around when you have several people in your life you relate to sexually? Does this fluctuate?
What, if anything, is especially challenging when it comes to the amount of sexual energy and time for sex you have?
Is NRE a factor and if so, how does it influence your relationships?

Do you think poly/nonmonogamy in general are good options for couples who don't have matching interests and/or desire levels?
What are the possible benefits/pitfalls you can see for having very different sex lives with different people?
What kind of boundaries do you feel need establishing around your sex life from the perspective of multiple people being involved?

How freaked out are you about STDs/pregnancies?
How comfortable are you with your sexuality and has poly/nonmonogamy has any effect on that?
Is there anything you would like to change about your sex life?

I could come with another ten questions on top of my hat, feel free to answer any and all. I'm not keeping records of any kinds but just want to have a thread where I can see what others think on this.

And please note that when I'm speaking of couple sexuality, I'm not presuming the couple needs to be a certain kind of couple (primary, secondary, new, established, live-in, LDR, LTR, whatever). I'm using couple sexuality just to differentiate from individual sexuality, i.e. the sexualities of at least two different people coming together.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:39 PM
Deerinthewoods Deerinthewoods is offline
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Default Ups and downs

I can speak from my perspective as totally new to all this, with only one direct sexual experience.. I want to qualify because I don't know how valid what I say will be...
Yes, I have a slight fear of comparison. With men, there is just the whole difference in equipment (size and shape etc...). It wouldn't be an issue for partners who don't particularly care about such things but I feel like my partner does in fact enjoy the difference.

This and other things have changed the dynamic between us. Our sex drives have increased and become more intense. However, without getting too much details into the mechanics and things, sex between us has changed and is not as satisfying between us...we had to stop for a little while. We did take small steps towards engaging with each other this week and it was hot and good. So far, it has changed the way we engage with each other, even the way we kiss.

I don't get jealous because I know that I can't change myself physically but it still does engender some weird feelings, including sometimes feeling inadequate. Because our arrangement is mono-poly-it leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable.

But sometimes I feel elated and very happy with our sex life. Its different now and very dynamic. So a lot of ups and downs.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:27 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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Well, I'll speak as someone in what I consider to be a primary relationship (with a long-term boyfriend).

I think becoming poly/open (me poly, him open) has allowed us to really enjoy our sexual life with each other. We have sex because we love each other and want to enjoy both the emotional connection and the physical fun with each other, not because we're each other's only option.

For me, there was some comparison issues. I definitely came from a background of monogamy (very few splits or divorces in my family), and kept thinking that I was opening up the option that he would find someone younger, prettier, skinnier, with bigger boobs, sexier than me. I finally just had to let it all go. By being nonmonogamous, it really does prove that he's with me because he wants to be. Every day we're together, every single time we have sex, we're choosing to be there.

My BF is bi, and his female partners were more intimidating than male. I guess my thought process was kind of along the lines of "Well, guys have equipment that I can't compete with, so why try?" Now that we've grown in trust, though, who he's with doesn't really bother me.

Fly had problems with my emotional attachments to people, and I think was a little bit threatened, or at least confused. Once he could see that it didn't interfere with our relationship, though, it was easier.

Both of us have more sexual energy in general when we are sexual with other partners. He doesn't really do the whole NRE thing, but I do. My NRE tends to spill everywhere, though. I love the new lover, the BF, my job, my family, my city, freaking apples delight me...

Our biggest frustration regarding sexual energy/time is logistics with other partners. Neither of us really wants the other to be having sex in our house while we're home, but figuring out how to get the house to ourselves is challenging. Time is hard, also, with a kiddo who has activities, and our own work and social lives. I think that's why I've sought out OSO's who have their own primary relationships, because I don't feel like I could really give enough to more people in a way that I consider primary right now. Maybe in the future, when kiddo is more independent.

Early on, I would get jealous, not because Fly was having sex with other women, but because he was spending time dating them, especially when he would do things he didn't like to do with me, like going to a movie. I resented the time and energy spent on these women, and would also get upset if I was horny and he was out with someone else, or not up to sex because he'd already had it with someone else. I really had to recognize that our relationship stands alone, and that I have to ask for what I need, not whine that other people are getting what I want. Establishing regular date nights has been a huge help with making me feel like I'm still special to him.

I would be cautious about poly for people with very different sexual needs or personalities, because I feel like it leads you down a path of "Well, you don't meet my needs so I'm going to find someone who does." I'm sure it works for people, but I would imagine it would take a lot of generosity and compassion from both sides to be successful.

Our major boundaries revolve around safer sex and, again, logistics. I'm much more paranoid about STDs than the BF is, so most of those boundaries are mine. He has mostly been very gracious and understanding with my fears. We've done some compromising, in that he had one long-term partner that he did not want to use barriers with. We negotiated that, with a lot of difficulty and some irreparable changes to our relationship. It was a very hard time, but ultimately helped us communicate better, and be more upfront about what we need from each other.

Pregnancy has been something to worry about as well. A couple years ago, Fly and I decided we were open to becoming pregnant. It took me over a year to be ready for another male partner, because it was really important to me (and I think to Fly) that the baby is his, and it freaked me out to not be on birth control any more. Also, we have not gotten pregnant, and I believe I would be truly devastated if one of Fly's other partners did when I seem to not be able to. This is something we've talked about quite a bit, and really needs to be addressed before it becomes an issue in a relationship.

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with our sex life I could use a little more sex, but as I'm fairly insatiable, more than any of my partners have ever been, I've learned to develop a very loving relationship with myself (and Babeland!). I think choosing poly/nonmonogamy has been integral to FLy and I having a good relationship, and that if we had tried monogamy we would probably not still be together.

I don't know if this is what you're looking for, and is probably a lot of disjointed rambling. Sorry if I missed the mark!
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:46 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyGrlJenny View Post
I don't know if this is what you're looking for, and is probably a lot of disjointed rambling. Sorry if I missed the mark!
I don't know if you can miss the mark if there was no preset mark in the first place . Thank you both, I've enjoyed reading very different perspectives.

I guess I could summarize my own situation; atm I have no sexual relationships, since we no longer connect in that way with my live-in partner, and my other love muffins live too far away. My partner and I have been together for a year and lived together since July. We became engaged a little over a month ago.

I feel that nonmonogamy suited us better in purely sexual sense. With poly and NRE hitting in, we get our needs met elsewhere. While we have been open the whole time, our sexual connection remained strong and fulfilling till very recently. My partner at the moment gets her sexual and kink needs met via porn and her new OSO. I don't have pressing needs that I couldn't take care of myself once in a week or two when I remember and have the energy.

Initially I was very worried for comparison with dominant men, especially (I'm a reasonably vanilla woman), something I think was fuelled by the fact that we met with my current partner through her ex-dom. I felt occasionally like I needed to step-up and be more dominant and imaginative and more into BDSM play to be able to compete and keep her interested. Not to say I didn't find it fun and seductive, but there was no pressing need for hours upon hours of kinky play on my side.

Now I think her having other venues to get her needs met has taken a lot of pressure off our relationship. We get to cuddle and have fun sweet times, and I don't feel like she's not getting what she needs from me or that I am tying her down (no puns, folks). I miss our sexual connection because it has been the most satisfying sex I've had, but she doesn't take up on my initiatives and I don't know what else to do. She wishes I'd make more time for our sex life but I feel I cannot really compete with porn and her bf who isn't working or studying either, time-wise. I don't mind having tired groping but she needs to really get in the mood with me and not feel rushed in any way, so we are in bit of a dead end right now.

STDs have always been more worrisome to our other and prospective other partners. I've gotten accidentally pregnant twice and contemplated going on more effective birth control but feel that the cons outweigh the pros atm.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:17 AM
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I have a richer, more balanced sex life since becoming poly. There doesn't seem to be any fear of comparison between my partners, and I also don't do that. I notice differences, obviously, but a ranking doesn't follow from those. I enjoy various things genuinely.

For me NRE with one of my partners had the most effect in that relationship, but it also had an overall effect of a higher sex drive. Now I'm not in NRE anymore. However, I am in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend Mya, and I have noticed that I have more sexual energy when I have both of my partners here with me. I don't know if it has to do with simply being jazzed about seeing her and thus feeling more energy in general, or with a feeling of balance.

I do think there are some things that are challenging in terms of sexual energy, but I haven't found any that are poly-related. I tend to have low energy overall at times, but that is no different from what it was before.

I think poly/nonmonogamy can be good options for couples who have different interests or desire levels. From what I have seen, I would say that poly/nonmonogamy are less likely to work as a solution to a problem if solving it is the only motivation to become open and the people in question would otherwise never consider it. However, many people do seem to find very much satisfaction in openness when they decide to do it, and differing interest/libidos with one partner can become less significant to overall sexual satisfaction.

I certainly feel that my sex life has become a lot more satisfying since becoming poly, because the dynamics I have with both of my partners are very different. I was craving for some forms of sexual expression before, and I did explore things with Alec, who was my only regular sexual partner at the time, but even as he wasn't against it, they just didn't feel natural in our dynamic. E.g., I am a switch, but with Alec I have very strong urges to submission only. Some of the things are also the kind that he simply can't provide, such as being with a woman. I feel a lot more satisfied and balanced with being able to express multiple facets of my sexuality. I also feel more comfortable with my sexuality when I have balance.

I haven't encountered pitfalls in having different sex lives with different people, only benefits. And same is true for my partners sex lives with other people as far as I have experienced it. I don't have any specific boundaries. I am not freaked out about STDs or pregnancies at all, because I use effective birth control, play safe, and have no reason not to trust my partners to do the same.

Here is something I have written about sex earlier, I thought I would share it here
Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
My sexuality has been through changes, and probably keeps on changing. At times I've felt like there is too little common ground for me and Alec to be able to make it work. But (in addition to having done lots of work and thinking and communication) there have been lots of positive effects poly has brought to my sex-life as a whole. There are such differences in gender-dynamics, but also in power-dynamics, in my sexual relations with both of my partners, and that has made a huge difference. I feel more balanced when I can express different sides of myself. And I have gotten some needs (or strong wants) met, of which some I likely couldn't have identified very clearly. But others I had identified and concluded not easy to meet when in relationship with Alec: most obvious one being having a woman as a regular sex partner. Before meeting Mya I didn't consider poly-relationship as a real possibility, and even in an open relationship possibilities for sexual encounters with women didn't come up very often (likely since I only feel attraction after I form a connection with somebody, so don't have sex with strangers); certainly not comparable to having a relationship with a woman. The gender-thing is not the only one, but my point is that I am overall more satisfied. And I feel that I can enjoy the dynamic that comes naturally for me and Alec when I also have a relationship with a different kind of dynamic. That is, I don't need to try fit all aspects of my sexuality into sex with Alec if he is no longer my only regular sex partner.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:32 AM
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Piroska Piroska is offline
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What effect, if any, do you feel poly has on the sex life you have?
I get a little more sex (with my girlfriend) and a little less sex (with my husband). It works out to a little less overall, but that's mostly because she and I haven't gotten past the awkward stage yet.

Is there a comparison? Do you or your partner(s) fear comparison?
I think some comparison is inevitable. It's harder for me to compare partners, because different genders, but I think Guy compares us. Not in a bad way of better/worse, but in a she likes this, she doesn't, she doesn't like that, she does kind of informational way. I do wonder how I stack up against Juliette's other partners though.

Does gender/orientation/kinkiness of current and prospective partners affect these feelings or fears around comparisons in any way?
I don't really have any fears of comparison where Guy is concerned. I know my strengths and weaknesses sexual-skills-wise; I'm pleased if she can do something better, cause that's better for him; there are somethings I do better. I do have some fears where Juliette is concerned; I'm not as experienced at topping or girl/girl as I am subbing and boy/girl. So I'm still learning, and hoping it's good enough for her.

Do you feel you have more or less sexual energy to go around when you have several people in your life you relate to sexually?
I seem to have approximately the same when we're comfy at home. Performing is what charges me up, and it's nice to be able to share that with multiple people.

Does this fluctuate?
My sex drive goes from nonexistent to "fuck me now!" on a non regular basis.

What, if anything, is especially challenging when it comes to the amount of sexual energy and time for sex you have?
It annoys me when I fall asleep when I meant to just get the baby to sleep and then go have sex. or scene. or something involving energy.

Is NRE a factor and if so, how does it influence your relationships?
In the past NRE has been a huge driver of NRE and hypersexuality. This time around I'm not apparently getting NRE. Might be hormonal. (Sex drive not back to normal yet, still breastfeeding.)

Do you think poly/nonmonogamy in general are good options for couples who don't have matching interests and/or desire levels?
Yes - not in a "you're not meeting my needs" accusatory way, but because it does help get needs met. Both Guy and Juliette have a way higher sex drive than me right now, especially with the baby. So it pleases and amuses me to hear about the 4 times a day they do it when I'm sleeping, or eating, or out with kids, or something.

What are the possible benefits/pitfalls you can see for having very different sex lives with different people?
Benefits include having variety. I like exploring my topping side with Juliette. It's different, and I never knew it could turn me on as much as it does, as I am primarily a sub.

What kind of boundaries do you feel need establishing around your sex life from the perspective of multiple people being involved?
Boundaries involve safe sex and no fluid bonding until certain situations occur, such as exclusivity and negative std tests and time.

How freaked out are you about STDs/pregnancies?
Not very, but pregnancy is especially important, and we've talked about it multiple times, what would happen just in case if.

How comfortable are you with your sexuality and has poly/nonmonogamy has any effect on that?
Very comfortable before; poly makes me slightly insecure, but on the whole that's a good thing, because I'm learning new things, and when I learn them, I'll be even more comfortable, because I'll have a new range in my repertoire.

Is there anything you would like to change about your sex life?
I would make my sex drive go up to pre-baby levels and include more time for longer, more intense, kinkier sex with both Guy and Juliette. But I'm expecting that will happen in a few years as baby gets older and we have more time to spend on it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:01 AM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
What effect, if any, do you feel poly has on the sex life you have?Is there a comparison? Do you or your partner(s) fear comparison?Does gender/orientation/kinkiness of current and prospective partners affect these feelings or fears around comparisons in any way?
It's improved our sex life, definitely. Hubby sees how happy I am, which makes him happier. He likes hearing about what I do with my other partner, which adds some spice to our sex life. I don't think orientation/gender/etc affects how my husband feels at all, though it has helped us out that my boyfriend is submissive to me, which gives me an outlet for the dominant side I can't express with my husband.

Quote:
Do you feel you have more or less sexual energy to go around when you have several people in your life you relate to sexually? Does this fluctuate?
What, if anything, is especially challenging when it comes to the amount of sexual energy and time for sex you have?
Is NRE a factor and if so, how does it influence your relationships?
I don't actually think my sexual energy changes much, aside from feeling it with more than one person. Challenges - well, I'm not able to have sexy fun with my boyfriend nearly as often as I'd like due to time constraints and such, which us both having other relationships, jobs, kids, etc. NRE is a factor insofar as yeah, I do have that shiny new want to pounce as often as possible feeling, but its tempered by reality.

Quote:
[Do you think poly/nonmonogamy in general are good options for couples who don't have matching interests and/or desire levels?
What are the possible benefits/pitfalls you can see for having very different sex lives with different people?
What kind of boundaries do you feel need establishing around your sex life from the perspective of multiple people being involved?
I think that it can be. As I mentioned above, it has helped my marriage out insofar as now I'm a lot less frustrated since I have an outlet for my dominant side. Benefits/pitfalls - I'm not sure really - could get bad if you compare I suppose. The only boundries we have are related to safe sex.

Quote:
How freaked out are you about STDs/pregnancies?
How comfortable are you with your sexuality and has poly/nonmonogamy has any effect on that?
Is there anything you would like to change about your sex life?
I'm not freaked out about STDs at all. Pregnancy, I admit sometimes I am concerned since I know no measure is absolutely safe, but I do what I can. I don't think that poly has made me any more or less comfortable with my sexuality, I was already pretty comfortable with who I am and what I enjoy. It's mainly given me an outlet to do some things my husband isn't in to. The only thing I'd like to change about my sex life is the frequency, but that's not likely to happen due to reality of life.
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Last edited by GreenMom; 05-09-2012 at 01:05 AM. Reason: missed a question
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:47 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I only have one partner right now, so I answered based on the past.

- I did not compare my partners at all, just as I didn't compare them with exes for instance, I just take each "sexy time" as it comes.

- I've only been with straight guys as far as I know. I don't think it would change much if they were bi, except that the potential for threesomes would be there, which would be cool.

- I definitely feel like I have more sexual energy when I have more partners. However it's not random sexual energy, that is if I feel like having sex with a partner, it's with that partner. But I feel like having more sex with either partner individually than I would with just one if I had none other.
I never had a problem with time.

- I think nonmonogamy can be a good option if it doesn't cause more problems. If one partner is significantly less interested in sex, and is also not bothered by the idea of their SO getting sex elsewhere, then nonmonogamy is a way for both of them to get what they want, provided they don't use the third person.

- Having different sex lives with different people can be useful if, for instance, you're a switch but your partner is only dom or sub. Or if your partner doesn't share a fetish and has no interest in indulging it. Having another partner who might not indulge some other fetishes but will indulge this one would help having a more fulfilled sex life.
Generally though, I didn't really get different things from different partners, sexually. I got the intimacy that I required and that's all I wanted.

- I think needed boundaries would be about safer sex and about being honest to everyone involved. I also don't think I would be as comfortable if people couldn't meet each other's metamours beforehand.

- I am not really freaked out. I have always been safe, with low-risk partners, and tested regularly. As for pregnancies, I have an IUD and often combine it with more birth control, which makes me feel safe enough.

- I am comfortable with my sexuality. I think being poly is part of being comfortable with my sexuality, for me, because poly is part of my sexuality and if I denied it, I wouldn't be comfortable about it.

- Right now, I could do with another partner :P
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