"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies: Merged threads/General discussion

InsaneMystic

New member
But that's not a DADT policy. When she goes to spend the night with her gf, she doesn't tell you that she's going on a business trip. You know she has this girlfriend, you know that they have sex, and you know that they're together when they are.

The opposite of DADT is not "we tell each other each and every thing that happens when we're together with our other partner." The opposite of DADT is disclosure about the fact of having the relationship, the fact of having sex with someone else, the fact of where you're going when you go out. How much detail you give one another about those other relationships is a different spectrum altogether.
I like your definition. :)

Going by this, R. and I definitely don't have a DADT arrangement in place... and I'd be equally against DADT and the "not-opposite" in a ship I'd want to be in - neither would work for me at all, as both lack in the basic respect department, IMO.
 

BoringGuy

Banned
It would exhaust me (and them) if I had to tell my partners everything about everybody else, and it would bore the hell out of me (and them) if I had to listen to everything about everybody else. I really only NEED to know if someone taught somebody else about a new sexual thing we can try on each other.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I don't have any interest in hearing the details of who farted in bed, which person gleeked during oral sex etc. Seriously?

I expect honest communication regarding new relationships. But-respect of privacy is important too.
And in case anyone wants to digress into my various threads-I think privacy is fine-up until someone is abusing another person. An abuser loses the privilege of privacy and confidentiality.

But-I don't tell one guy the technical details of sex with the other. We have better things to do with our time.

What I DO ensure is that I don't pretend that my lover is "just a friend" or that my date is a business trip or study session. That's lying.

Furthermore-I dont ask for details about their sex lives with other people & they don't ask about mine. But if for some reason a question were asked-I wouldn't lie. I might tell them it was intimate and before I could answer we needed that other person there to be ok with sharing-because it's THEIR intimacy being asked about as well-not just mine. But-I wouldn't lie or fabricate a story.
 

Velvet

New member
This thread is quite a read...

Reading this thread made me realize I pretty much have a don't ask don't tell guidelines in my relationships. As metamours the two men I am with only know what sort contraception/STD preventing safety is being used, well and I guess that there is physical intimacy. Aside from that, I live with my guy Ave, and if I go out with my long-distance relationship BB he knows when I will be out and when I will be back.

It is so odd to realize I do that because in theory the idea sounds off to me...yet I do it! And it does go both ways. BB has had other relationships but I don't even know the women's names. It just never interested me. As long as the sex is safe I never cared. His other relationships are rare and don't last long (I might be horrible for saying that but it is true). All I hear is when he tells me there is someone new he has dating (but not right away, just eventually).

In contrast to that, I have found before I can even be physical with someone I have to tell them about all the people I have dated (sexual or not) and anything sex related. It's like I'm unloading baggage before really committing to someone, being up front on what my baggage is. I also need to explain a rather sensitive topic about used by my neighbor as a kid for sex. I don't use the other person as a post to vent at, just to explain I need to be treated sensitively sometimes when it comes to physical things. But for some reason I throw in all the other bad failed relationships...I didn't always do that, but I feel a lot better telling all the ugly things together. And since I adopted that stategy of unloading it all if things start to look serious I have been happy with the results. I'm getting off topic now...
 
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Emm

Stealth Mod
As metamours the two men I am with only know what sort contraception/STD preventing safety is being used, well and I guess that there is physical intimacy. Aside from that, I live with my guy Ave, and if I go out with my long-distance relationship BB he knows when I will be out and when I will be back.

...

And it does go both ways. BB has had other relationships but I don't even know the women's names. It just never interested me. As long as the sex is safe I never cared. His other relationships are rare and don't last long (I might be horrible for saying that but it is true). All I hear is when he tells me there is someone new he has dating (but not right away, just eventually).
I'm not sure I'd call that DADT. Many people (possibly you included, which is why I'm using your post as a jumping off point) seem to be equating DADT with privacy, whereas I see it as having more to do with secrecy.

Your partners know that the other exists. You know when they're seeing others, even if you don't care about the details. If you didn't tell either of your guys that there was anyone else or if they just disappeared on "business trips" every week or two and didn't tell you about their Others then by my definition it'd be DADT. As it is I'd call it open/poly without everyone being forced under a magnifying glass.
 

Velvet

New member
I'm not sure I'd call that DADT. Many people (possibly you included, which is why I'm using your post as a jumping off point) seem to be equating DADT with privacy, whereas I see it as having more to do with secrecy.

Your partners know that the other exists. You know when they're seeing others, even if you don't care about the details. If you didn't tell either of your guys that there was anyone else or if they just disappeared on "business trips" every week or two and didn't tell you about their Others then by my definition it'd be DADT. As it is I'd call it open/poly without everyone being forced under a magnifying glass.
Feel free to use my post. I definitely respect the privacy of my lover, but it does occur to me there is no obligation to "tell" in our relationship. I didn't word it as well in my first post. If telling happens it is voluntary. And it is likely there are people I haven't been told about and I also don't ask. We've never discussed that other lovers must be disclosed, or never disclosed. It was odd to realize that was never set as a point of dialogue (or a point to be avoided) for my love BB and I. So I agree with you it's not DADT. It is much closer to it than I would've thought I wanted.

I believe I can live with knowing so little because there are very few people I know with as much integrity as BB. I believe and trust his judgement without reservation. That makes it easy.
 

nycindie

Active member
As I understand it, a DADT arrangement means that a person in a committed partnership has other lovers who he or she sees totally in secret. Their partner wants to be blissfully ignorant of any liaisons and pretends they are completely monogamous. They usually say, "Do what you want, but I don't want to know about it. Make sure I don't find out, and make sure no one else finds out. If anyone we know even suspects you are with someone else, we are through." And so, it's basically an ultimatum that forces the person to act like a cheater, and the only way they are allowed to have another relationship is if it is kept completely under wraps. Trysts with lovers get cancelled and swept aside whenever the partner needs them, and no excuse is accepted. That is DADT. I have been approached by several men who had that kind of arrangement, and I chose not to get involved. No way do I want to be someone's dirty secret.

Not divulging details about lovers or sexual practices to a partner who knows and consents that you have other lovers is not DADT. That's usually just about respecting someone's privacy or discomfort with sharing details. Additionally, there are plenty of people who are in poly situations and do not know their metamours at all. It is not a requirement to know and befriend your lover's lovers. That doesn't mean that the relationships are completely unacknowledged.

DADT is a totally different thing. DADT is all pretense.
 
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soleilselene

New member
Well, for the most part you are right, but my husband did not give me the ultimatum that he would leave if he learns about it. That is not us. He simply doesn't want to know.

Most of the people I have meet are keeping it from their families and friends because they do not want to be judged. I still have yet to meet (in person) someone who is completely open about their poly-amorous situation.
 

IndigoLoves

New member
Whew.. it's ok not to share EVERYTHING..thank you

I am so glad to have found this site. I have been in poly relationships for as long as I can remember. At this time I am the pivotal part of a triad. In other words.. I am a woman with two men as my primary relationship. One of them is poly, like me, and the other mono. We have been together 5 years. I have always been the OPEN one.. eager to talk about our experiences. That doesn't work for them. I found it perplexing that neither one of my men wants "too much information", and I didn't know where to draw the line.

I learned over time that it isn't because they don't care. It is because me discussing one with the other actually took away from the time was spending with "him". If wasn't a fair thing to do. So now, I enjoy my time with each of them and others that might come into our "circle", and if our other relationships come up, we can talk about it... otherwise, I just keep it simple and love each one in the time we have together.
 

LadySFI

New member
Hi there,

I posted something similar on another link just a minute ago, but the SO and I are different on this regards.

The bf has an open relationship that is don't ask don't tell. All I want from the boys is that they are safe and let me know if they have a new partner. I am sticking with just the two of them because I am very uppity about potential STD's.

If they are keeping sexual partners to a minimum and promising me they are staying safe, I stay out of it. I really don't want to know.

The BF has one other partner that he hasn't been with in the two months we have been together. However, he is a grown man and I'm not gonna ask him to call it off, just be safe.

The SO is slightly different, I need to know a little more, because we have a son involved. He likes to know all the details that I am willing to share. It turns him on and makes him feel secure that I won't hide anything even if it might hurt.
 

IndigoLoves

New member
just ask!!

It's not all that complicated really... I really like to talk about the details of my time spent with other partners, but I respect their wishes. For instance.. sometimes they will ask questions, in that case it is more of a turn on for us. Other times, it's better just to ask first. "Do you want to hear about what we did?" Sometimes it's "yes" sometimes its "not really". Either way, it's all about loving communication and trust.
 

nycindie

Active member
. . . I am the pivotal part of a triad. In other words.. I am a woman with two men as my primary relationship. One of them is poly, like me, and the other mono.

Generally, the term "triad" is used when all three people are involved together, with each other (emotionally, sexually). Since one of your guys is mono, I'd say that wouldn't apply. What you have, which is three people but two dyads, is generally known as a "vee." You would be the hinge or pivot person and each of your men is an arm of the vee.
 
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london

Banned
Firstly some definitions to give my post clarity. Obviously these are my personal definitions.

Ethical Non Monogamy - Relationships that have the potential of the people involved having multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships with the informed consent of all the people involved.

Open relationship - a relationship where one or more of the people who are romantically committed to each other only have or can have sexually focused relationships outside of their union.

Poly relationship - a relationship where one or more of the people who are romantically committed to each other have or can have sexual and/or romantic relationships outside of that union. It does not have the limitations on emotional availability outside of the union that open relationships have.

DADT - same definition as NYCindie. It's a relationship where the people involved are expected to completely conceal that they are not monogamous. Failure to do this would be a breach of consent.

Because I believe that polyamorous relationships do not have restrictions on emotional availability outside of the primary relationship, I can't see relationships that have a DADT agreement (as I defined it) as polyamorous. Unless you are able to speak about your other partners and although they don't have to be best friends, have all your partners in the same room for an important event in their hinge's life, I can't see how the emotional availability and opportunity to bond romantically can be unrestricted. Relationships with a DADT can only be open relationships by my definitions. I have no issue with any form of ethical and consensual non monogamy but that arrangement is not something that I could accept from a partner and nor could I enter a romantic relationship where my potential partner has that agreement with an existing partner. I might be happy to have a more casual arrangement with them.
 

Flowerchild

New member
Don't ask, don't tell?

I've experienced this rule myself, and I've spoken to others who have, as well. In all cases (admittedly, a small sampling), it ended up causing a lot of pain and confusion.

Has anyone out there successfully pulled off a "Don't ask, don't tell" relationship? If so, does/did it ever bother you to think your SO might have a serious relationship that you know/knew nothing about? Does it help you feel secure in your established relationship?

Very curious.
 
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london

Banned
What I count as a serious relationship couldn't be achieved in a DADT. I was casually seeing a guy before who most definitely had that arrangement but to make it truly DADT, there are some things to abide by that limited our emotional connection. For example, weekends are strictly their time. It isn't a rule but if he goes elsewhere on a weekend, she would ask where he is going and that would be awkward. He had to plan dates at times he knows she will be travelling our working. He initially put a limit on how many times he saw each person so obligation wouldn't build. He decided on seven times. I saw him about four before this just became tedious. Obviously, meeting his friends and family was of the cards because the DADT included them. All in all, I realised pretty quickly that a DADT, especially if the person is in a serious, long term relationship stops you being anything other than really casual. That can work sometimes, but not for people who want more than a sexually focused friendship.
 
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Maleficent

New member
It wouldn't work for me. It would feel too much like sneaking around and I'm not into that at all. Paranoia would get the better of me if my partners were slipping off and having secret dates. The idea of it just turns me off.
 
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gorgeouskitten

New member
would never work for me, part of what makes poly work so well for spouse and i is that we tell each other nearly everything, he even knows some naughty details of me and BF's sex life. (not that everyone has to go that far). I think we would both be very uncomfortable with dont ask dont tell, spouse will even reference me and BF;s intimate life TO BF, makes BF a little uncomfortable but hes getting used to it and they get on well.
 
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Inyourendo

New member
Mt ex did dadt for me, he didnt really have any game so he wanted a gf to "share" I didn't agree. Just like I use to smoke he didn't approve, he didn't want me going to bars. I did very little to hide these things but he never asked and I never told.

Having to hide everything I did over the years grew tiresome and when I met N who would accept me for me and let me be an adult and make my own choices about MY body I left. The fact that I had to be in a dadt situation to me was very disrespectful and he essentially turned me into a liar and a cheater.
 
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PaulDrakket

New member
I think that 'don't ask, don't tell' leads to nothing but suffering, as you seem to already suspect. Both honesty and openness are important to sustaining valuable, lasting relationships in a polyamorous manner. To be frank, I feel as though DADT is just not in the spirit of polyamory.
 
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LoveBunny

Active member
My husband demands DADT. I don't like it, as I feel it limits my relationships outside the marriage to sex-only, and I truly prefer emotional intimacy. On the other hand, hubby isn't interested in being poly, that's something I need, not him, and this is the only way he's at all comfortable with the situation. Also, this is a new thing for us, as it's been not even a year since I insisted upon my need for multiple partners.

His reasoning is that the first person I dated outside our marriage, I was very open about, and it was a disaster. She was a narcissist and hurt me lots, and poor hubby was left to pick up the pieces when it fell apart after 5 months, and I turned into an emotional wreck. I can understand why he wouldn't be keen to go through that again--though I've pointed out that, hopefully, not everyone I date will be a cold-blooded reptile. He doesn't know about the two men I dated after the woman, each for a couple of months, neither of whom panned out into long-term relationships. With both these men, I was able to keep a lid on my emotions and not let them affect my marriage.

If someone comes along with whom I build something meaningful with, I will push to re-discuss DADT. But for now, its the best solution we've come up with, as neither of us want a divorce. I suspect/hope as we both grow and change and evolve, this policy will change.
 
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