Open VS Poly... What a difference

Fishsticks86

New member
Recently I came across a lil cutie I work with who is in an open relationship. Him and I had an immediate attraction, but his relationship is 1. Secretive due to work issues and 2. Secretive about being open as well. So it took me more than a month to figure out what the hell is up with his love life before I finally spilled the beans and admitted to wanting to sleep with him.
My husband and I agreed to a polyamorous relationship more than a year ago because we are both vastly different people than the people we have previously dated. We both felt trapped in typical monogamous relationships, and being in an "open relationship" wasn't really our speed.
I remember living in Asheville and having many poly friends, so we talked about it and knew in our hearts that's the way we want to go.
Well..
We want to share, we want to communicate, we want to be open and loving. We want to bond, and grow together. BUT! I keep running into situations with men where they would rather me cheat on my husband than share me with him?! This has happened several times, leading to some serious frustrations. This lil cutie, named "A," seemed like a fresh perspective, but the more I talked to him the more it seemed that his situation was not as clear cut and open as mine with my husband. Mr. A is kind of.. odd. I get such an odd vibe from him, and I didn't even think he was in a commited relationship in the first place. He is not very communicative nor open, making me question if Miss S is actually the Miss S I have met. Like is that really His girlfriend? So confusing. His girlfriend and him have a lot of rules as well, like no sleeping with anyone from work, and no sharing partners. He said the no work rule wasn't a big deal, and his girlfriend will possibly bend a bit but it just doesn't feel right. My husband and I are way more attracted to other open, like-minded individuals more along our frequency. I don't want to exclude my husband from my sexual encounters, and he doesn't want to be excluded either. He wants to be friends with my potential lover, and have open communication.
I, for some reason, cannot find a lover willing to go through with that.. does anyone else have this issue?
Mr. A talked up a big game, but there have been several red flags and I'm starting to feel as if he is jealous of my relationship with my husband. He avoided meeting him, and when they finally met him, he wouldn't even shake his hand or make much eye contact. I want a lover who can look my husband in the eye and say; "Hey man, your wife is hot and I would love the chance to fuck her."
Is that a hard request?
My husband and I have hit a wall, and I feel like I'm going about everything wrong. I try to be clear and up front, but then I get led on and more or less lied to by my potential lovers. I know I'm a whole lot of woman, but hot damn this is frustrating.

Does anyone have advice for a fresh, young poly couple like my husband and myself?
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Okay so a few things. Whatever your poly stance, it can be easy to assume that your way is the only ethical way. You need to have a strong argument to support that so I'd start rehearsing it now for these types of forums 😆

Anyway, a lot of us have some version of what our very own Galagirl (hopefully she will be along at some point) coined a "messy list". This is a list, either refined or rather vague, that has people on it that you'd really rather not be on the "potentials" list for either you or your partner. This could be your parents, siblings, children, certain friends, certain exes or all exes, and relevant to you, colleagues. Now we can debate whether this is "ethical" all day. All of these people, hopefully, we will be consenting adults so I could argue that as long as they say yes (consent), and know everything (informed), then only a "jealous and controlling" partner would object. Someone else might argue that it is understandable to not want your partner to date your (adult) daughter, but a colleague is in some other arbitrary category where it becomes "controlling" if you insist on it. Someone else might say that you have every right to dictate exactly who is and isn't suitable as a metamour.

After years of pondering this and in some cases, living it, I've decided that it's mostly about compatibility. I used to think it was about what the people agreed to, but more experience told me otherwise. Agreements can be coerced and quickly become obsolete when they are made about rhetorical situations. So you have to do what works for you and for the people you want to be with. You might not think the potential risks of a workplace romance are worth totally wiping colleagues off of your "potentials" list, but if you want to be with this person who does, then you might have to compromise on that.

The next thing is that sharing sexual encounters is something that not everyone is into. And even people who are into it might prefer it in situations that do not include someone and their husband. As someone who is both poly and into group sex, there are just some partners who I don't indulge with because we aren't compatible for that. Our relationship, while not fragile, just doesn't branch out to group sex with each other even if we do with other people. I think there are ways you can express that it is on the table without sounding coercive or like it is a goal or a must. That is often what puts people off.

All poly people have varying levels of contact with metamours, but I would say most I know do not have a default of being overtly sexual in front of them in social situations. In fact, especially when you're talking about two guys, it is often seen as an immature display of toxic masculinity.
 

Fishsticks86

New member
Okay so a few things. Whatever your poly stance, it can be easy to assume that your way is the only ethical way. You need to have a strong argument to support that so I'd start rehearsing it now for these types of forums 😆

Anyway, a lot of us have some version of what our very own Galagirl (hopefully she will be along at some point) coined a "messy list". This is a list, either refined or rather vague, that has people on it that you'd really rather not be on the "potentials" list for either you or your partner. This could be your parents, siblings, children, certain friends, certain exes or all exes, and relevant to you, colleagues. Now we can debate whether this is "ethical" all day. All of these people, hopefully, we will be consenting adults so I could argue that as long as they say yes (consent), and know everything (informed), then only a "jealous and controlling" partner would object. Someone else might argue that it is understandable to not want your partner to date your (adult) daughter, but a colleague is in some other arbitrary category where it becomes "controlling" if you insist on it. Someone else might say that you have every right to dictate exactly who is and isn't suitable as a metamour.

After years of pondering this and in some cases, living it, I've decided that it's mostly about compatibility. I used to think it was about what the people agreed to, but more experience told me otherwise. Agreements can be coerced and quickly become obsolete when they are made about rhetorical situations. So you have to do what works for you and for the people you want to be with. You might not think the potential risks of a workplace romance are worth totally wiping colleagues off of your "potentials" list, but if you want to be with this person who does, then you might have to compromise on that.

The next thing is that sharing sexual encounters is something that not everyone is into. And even people who are into it might prefer it in situations that do not include someone and their husband. As someone who is both poly and into group sex, there are just some partners who I don't indulge with because we aren't compatible for that. Our relationship, while not fragile, just doesn't branch out to group sex with each other even if we do with other people. I think there are ways you can express that it is on the table without sounding coercive or like it is a goal or a must. That is often what puts people off.

All poly people have varying levels of contact with metamours, but I would say most I know do not have a default of being overtly sexual in front of them in social situations. In fact, especially when you're talking about two guys, it is often seen as an immature display of toxic masculinity.
Definitely not trying to sound like the queen of ethics, because dear God I don't have many lol. 😂 My main desire is honesty and communication. I've only had one guy so far be honest and up front with me about his stance, and I respected him highly for that. So far, the others have definitely caused a bit more of a stir. They've all eventually backed out because I simply don't feel comfortable meeting them at their house and diving into a jacuzzi naked while my partner is at home twiddling his thumbs. It's weird. I'm weird! And I'm having a hard time expressing this weirdness in a proper way, with you know.. words lol. I'm surrounded by a LOT of monogamous people here, who look at me sort of like an alien or a devil/angel. It's a loaded gun, that's for sure.

I know it's important to my partner to be included, and I've only found myself desiring solo when the other person wants me solo. My husband and I are pretty new at this so we don't want to dive in fully with the wrong people. I'm trying to be patient right now, because I've been with multiple partners many times and it was always so much easier than this lol! I feel like things are different now, especially since I'm married. I used to be the unicorn poly couples would bring into the bedroom but now I want my own male unicorn lol. Compatibility really is important, and I find myself very compatible with Mr. a but I feel as if it's for the wrong reasons. He brings out the devilish side of me that just wants to take him in a back alley, but that wouldn't be healthy for either of our relationships.
I have found myself pondering as to why I'm attracted to him, and all I can come up with is "his vibe" which isn't enough for me. So I feel like I should let this one fizzle out, as well and to be patient for someone else.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Definitely not trying to sound like the queen of ethics, because dear God I don't have many lol. 😂 My main desire is honesty and communication. I've only had one guy so far be honest and up front with me about his stance, and I respected him highly for that. So far, the others have definitely caused a bit more of a stir. They've all eventually backed out because I simply don't feel comfortable meeting them at their house and diving into a jacuzzi naked while my partner is at home twiddling his thumbs. It's weird. I'm weird! And I'm having a hard time expressing this weirdness in a proper way, with you know.. words lol. I'm surrounded by a LOT of monogamous people here, who look at me sort of like an alien or a devil/angel. It's a loaded gun, that's for sure.

I know it's important to my partner to be included, and I've only found myself desiring solo when the other person wants me solo. My husband and I are pretty new at this so we don't want to dive in fully with the wrong people. I'm trying to be patient right now, because I've been with multiple partners many times and it was always so much easier than this lol! I feel like things are different now, especially since I'm married. I used to be the unicorn poly couples would bring into the bedroom but now I want my own male unicorn lol. Compatibility really is important, and I find myself very compatible with Mr. a but I feel as if it's for the wrong reasons. He brings out the devilish side of me that just wants to take him in a back alley, but that wouldn't be healthy for either of our relationships.
I have found myself pondering as to why I'm attracted to him, and all I can come up with is "his vibe" which isn't enough for me. So I feel like I should let this one fizzle out, as well and to be patient for someone else.

Well, and still, this is going to take some work o your partner's part but it could help with distinguishing between that is you and him, and what is you. Have you considered swinging? That way, he could get his rocks off "sharing" you but when it is time for you to have your other relationships, he knows he needs to step back.
 

Fishsticks86

New member
Well, and still, this is going to take some work o your partner's part but it could help with distinguishing between that is you and him, and what is you. Have you considered swinging? That way, he could get his rocks off "sharing" you but when it is time for you to have your other relationships, he knows he needs to step back.
We have. He's done more swinger encounters while I've done more poly encounters, so we have to have more experience to realize what we both want. We can only talk about it so much, and we really don't know until we act upon this. I'd love for us to meet a chick in town he vibes with and have fmf, or even swing. I think I'd be the one more uncomfortable with a swinging situation than him, though. I just don't really know, and finding potential partners for us is difficult. We're both Celiac's and can't drink, so we are stuck in a bit of a social box right meow in lovely central Florida.
 

TXretired

Member
My wife and I came from the swinging environment. That is how I encountered Ewe. I departed the swinging scene and focus on wife and Ewe. That is my way. Wife and Ewe know each other. That for me is a just. They are good friends. My wife has two partners that are technically swing but lean toward Poly. I am friends with both of them. They are great men. One is married and we do social things with them as a couple. His wife and I get along great. But that will be only social as I am exclusive with Ewe and my wife. Make poly as it works for you.
 

Fishsticks86

New member
My wife and I came from the swinging environment. That is how I encountered Ewe. I departed the swinging scene and focus on wife and Ewe. That is my way. Wife and Ewe know each other. That for me is a just. They are good friends. My wife has two partners that are technically swing but lean toward Poly. I am friends with both of them. They are great men. One is married and we do social things with them as a couple. His wife and I get along great. But that will be only social as I am exclusive with Ewe and my wife. Make poly as it works for you.
Thanks TXretired! My husband had a lot more swinger encounters than I did, and I fall more in the Polyamorous spectrum. I'm excited to build or new life together and find people who fit into our relationship, as well as us fitting in with them.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Fishsticks wrote: I want a lover who can look my husband in the eye and say; "Hey man, your wife is hot and I would love the chance to fuck her."
Is that a hard request?


I would say, yeah, that is not a request everyone is going to be into. I would rethink that a little.

I would be super uncomfortable if a potential metamour told me my partner is hot and she would love the chance to fuck him. Like...okay, go tell him that? It's his business who he fucks? I'm not his owner? Also, ew. I don't want to discuss any type of fucking with my metamour AT ALL.

My very poly partner would NOT want to be shaking any husband's hand and asking permission to fuck his wife. He would be fine hanging out and getting to be friends with the partner of someone he's dating--but only AFTER they are already dating and have a connection that is clearly going somewhere. NOT before he's even gone on a date with the wife.

My partner WOULD be potentially interested in partner-sharing/threesomes/orgy stuff. But it would have to be discussed beforehand. He would want to know ahead of time that someone expects their husband to be involved in their sexual encounters.

For the situation with your co-worker, however, it sounds like his open relationship is too sketchy/vague/fishy-sounding for you to proceed. Also, it's rarely a good idea to date someone you work with. Seems like a whole bag of mess. Plus, why immediately push a clear limit his partner has asked for? She said she'd rather he not mess around with co-workers. Why not respect that?

Open relationships sometimes have more rules/more limits than poly relationships. Like, they can be very hierarchical, with only casual sex allowed, no falling in love, etc. Sometimes open relationships have different communication than poly, with some secrecy or don't-ask-don't-tell about the other partners rather than everyone being friends.

HOWEVER, I would also argue that open relationships can allow for more freedom and more autonomy than some poly relationships. Like, maybe your co-worker and his partner don't tell each other much about their other lovers, but in that way are able to have very autonomous connections that don't interfere with their primary relationship at all.

Some poly relationships have a lot of rules around a new partner needing to meet their metamour and get the metamour's approval before the dating can proceed, for example.

And some poly relationships do parallel poly rather than kitchen table poly--where the metamours don't necessarily have to meet each other or interact very much, and the relationships are kept very separate.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
We want to share, we want to communicate, we want to be open and loving. We want to bond, and grow together. BUT! I keep running into situations with men where they would rather me cheat on my husband than share me with him?! This has happened several times, leading to some serious frustrations.

Some people find cheating easier. And honestly? It IS. It may not be the most ethical way of going, but it does mean you don't have to communicate or coordinate with as many people, and for some? The thrill of the "secret" is the draw. If everyone is gonna up front and open about ethical non-monogamy? No thrill.

I think it's just part of the whole dating thing -- not everyone you meet will even get a date, not everyone you date will be initially compatible, and not everyone who is initially compatible will be DEEPLY compatible. That's kinda what dating is FOR -- to figure all that out.


Mr. A talked up a big game, but there have been several red flags and I'm starting to feel as if he is jealous of my relationship with my husband. He avoided meeting him, and when they finally met him, he wouldn't even shake his hand or make much eye contact. I want a lover who can look my husband in the eye and say; "Hey man, your wife is hot and I would love the chance to fuck her."
Is that a hard request?

In that exact way? I'm not my husband's property. People don't ask HIM for access to MY body. A lover who talked that way about me or had that kind of possessive attitude? Wouldn't be a lover any more if they even go to that place to begin with.

If metas want to be friends, I figure that's their business to develop on that dyad. It's not my business and it's not my job as hinge to prod that along.

I would like partners to just be "basic polite" with each other if they happen to meet or if they become important figures in my life. The same basic polite one affords to the bank teller, the post office clerk, the grocery bagger.

In the past I had that -- they never met in person, but they knew how to reach each other in emergency and both accepted they had a place in my life. The VERY few times they talked to each other over email? They were polite to each other and polite about the fact (when talking to me about the other one and time on my calendar) that I have another person in my life and my time is mine to share how I want.

I have found myself pondering as to why I'm attracted to him, and all I can come up with is "his vibe" which isn't enough for me. So I feel like I should let this one fizzle out, as well and to be patient for someone else

If you want to fizzle out? Fizzle then. Don't overthink it.

Some people? Won't even get a date. Those you date? Not all will be initially compatible. Those initially compatible? Won't all be DEEPLY compatible. That's what dating is FOR. To sort all that out.

If this one isn't a runner? Oh, well. Fizzle out, then try again elsewhere.

Definitely not trying to sound like the queen of ethics, because dear God I don't have many lol. 😂 My main desire is honesty and communication. I've only had one guy so far be honest and up front with me about his stance, and I respected him highly for that.

Then those qualities would be on your personal standard for a dating partner. You want them to be honest, and to communicate.

It takes a while to develop your personal ethics and your personal standard. They are going to be different than someone else's personal ethics, their personal standard.

Or even other ethics -- virtue ethics, religious ethics, social ethics, etc.

YOU get to be the boss of YOUR personal ones. And then you sort it out with your dating partners to see if it aligns with their personal standards and personal ethics. Somethings you might have to compromise on, and some things might be dealbreakers.

To me it's all part of the process of dating and getting to know someone. What lines up and what does not.

So far, the others have definitely caused a bit more of a stir. They've all eventually backed out because I simply don't feel comfortable meeting them at their house and diving into a jacuzzi naked while my partner is at home twiddling his thumbs. It's weird.

Well, that's just basic safety to me. I barely just met you or know you that well and you want me to do what? Go to your house alone to get nekkid in a hot tub?

No, thanks. How about a different date? Or a public hot tub with bathing suits on at a spa, gym, hotel, whatever? With PEOPLE around in case you are a creeper and I need to get help or run away?


I just don't really know, and finding potential partners for us is difficult. We're both Celiac's and can't drink, so we are stuck in a bit of a social box right meow in lovely central Florida.

Pandemic makes things harder for all people but you could try to find Tampa, Orlando, Miami and other larger cities that have the poly groups, websites, meetups, facebook groups, reddit, etc online.

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Fishsticks86,

This Mr. A at work sounds like quite a cutie ... but there are just too many red flags to continue with him. You should just let this one fizzle out, and be patient for someone else. Don't be in too much of a hurry. Poly is a game of patience. Good luck!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I find this post confusing, since I don't see any "polyamory" in it. I see a woman who wants a male unicorn to take part in sexual threesomes with her and her husband. "Hey man, your wife is hot and I want to fuck her," does not sound like the beginning of a healthy adult polyamorous relationship.

Since you were a female unicorn when you were younger, you may think that is what polyamory is. Threeway sex? It's not. Polyamory is usually seen as an individual's preference and ability to love more than one person simultaneously. That does not necessarily include group sex. In fact, it usually does not include group sex. And couples who are hunting for unicorns usually A) have a hard time finding one (after all, they are mythological beasts, and B) sustaining a health egalitarian long term relationship with one. After all, not everyone you love or lust for will be compatible with your husband.

That is why I agree with the recommendation to swing, or keep swinging. If you want to feel "hot" and desired by 2 men at once, you'll get that in swinging, for sure.

If you want to actually respect someone as a whole person, and maybe fall in love with them, that is, practice polyamory, you need to not focus so much on MFM sex as a "requirement," right off the bat. And you have to get comfortable with going to someone's house and jumping in their hot tub while your happily husband does his own thing. Hopefully he will find something better to do that twiddle his thumbs.
 
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