Showing affection in front of other partners

pixie

New member
I was just wondering if people could share, how comfortable/acceptable it is in their own situations to show physical affection when other partners are there (in vee-type relationships, I mean, not triads where obviously that would be different!)


What I mean is, if you have two (or more) partners who do not have a relationship between themselves, do you hug/touch arms or legs affectionately/kiss/cuddle/make out with one whilst the other is there, if you are all hanging out together? And in what context is that - partners are on equal footing, or one is primary one is secondary etc? Have you had discussions with each of your partners about what they find comfortable/acceptable about seeing you express physical affection with others?

I'm just learning more about polyamory and working out what I want from my own situation.
 

Somegeezer

New member
I've not yet had experience with it, but it's certainly something I've thought about. It'll be interesting to hear how other people do this.

In my head, it does feel kinda strange if I were just showing affection to one partner. But I think sometimes, people say or do something that just makes you want to hug and kiss them.

Talking with it about your partners and finding out what they are comfortable with beforehand, I would think is a good idea.

If I were one of these partners witnessing the others show affection, I wouldn't feel bad about it at all. In fact, I'd probably be very happy for their love and have a big smile on my face that they were comfortable enough around me to show their love for each other. =]
 

TruckerPete

New member
We are all at a place where any affection I would deem parent appropriate is comfortable for all involved. So, chaste kisses, long hugs, and cuddles are all fine.

It certainly didn't start that way; I think hand-holding was about the limit. But we talked, explored our own comfort levels, and found what was right for us.
 

booklady78

New member
At first, it was awkward to show any affection in front of each other. I don't think I would ever be comfortable making out in front of one of them, but hugs, kisses and touching now occur regularly between either my husband or boyfriend and I. I very clearly remember meeting my husbands girlfriend for the first time, the 3 of us went for coffee. As she was leaving, he gave her a hug goodbye, his head resting on top of hers. It was beautiful (go compersion!), I really loved being able to see him show such tenderness towards someone else :) My own personal belief is that showing affection is natural and healthy. Just as kids seeing their parents show affection with hugs and kisses isn't overtly sexual, it's just demonstrating the bond they have with one another.
 

Somegeezer

New member
Just as a bit of common sense, I don't think pouncing on any of your partners and sticking your toungue down their throat would be appropriate in any public place, whether you were will other partners or not. It's not something the general public really need to see. =P

I do agree with the beauty of hugs and kisses though. Compersion indeed! I love seeing people happy. =]
 

Breathesgirl

New member
Making out=no. That is for private moments.

What is your definition of making out? For me it's groping, french kissing, touching private parts, biting & the like.

Hugging, kissing, cuddling are all good. I've been known to sit between my two guys and play footsie with both of them at the same time, lol.

Basically if you would do something in front of your kids and other given family then it's OK to do that thing in front of partners.

I remember when Possibility and I first started dating Breathes and I were at their apartment & preparing to leave. Possibility and I were trading hugs. Breathes walked up behind me and pinched my behind at the same moment Possibility nipped my neck! Surprised and happy was I :D.
 

dragonflysky

New member
I'm in a V; FMF. We are comfortable holding hands, sitting close to one another touching, and giving hugs and brief kisses in one another's presence. (No deep and intimate....french kissing.) On the other hand, our guy hugs and kisses most of his/our female friends "hi" and "good-bye", so it's not unique to our poly relationship to share affection and observe it with others. The other female in our V has 3 young adult children and one elementary age child. We show this level of affection in their presence. They are aware of our poly relationship and of their mother's strong commitment to polyamory...not monogamy.

We will walk hand in hand. Sometimes all 3 of us and sometimes just as a "couple". I had specifically asked about this one because I wasn't sure it was ok to do out in "public" places with them. His response "The people who know and love us don't care. And we don't care about the other peoples' opinions." I know this can vary according to where you live and whether or not you feel it's "safe" to be "out".
 
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BrigidsDaughter

New member
I won't define my relationship as a V or a Triad because there are 4 of us involved to varying degrees with each other (2 married couples - 3 poly, one emotionally mono). My boyfriend was my husband and my best friend for years before he became my lover and as a cuddly, flirtatious person I am, he got used to me hugging and cuddling him and sitting in his lap.... while my husband was always used to seeing that behavior from me. I have made out with my husband infront of my boyfriend and vice versa and feel comfortable showing affection to each of them infront of the other. On the other hand, I'm comfortable hugging my boyfriend and his wife, but have only kissed him once infront of her and for now kissing her is off the table for everyone but her husband (her request).
 

garret9453

New member
here s another option

I am married to Carma. Her lover, Jack is newly single. She wants to have a 3-way . I am game. We had done it with another of her partners a few years ago. Her poly is hetero as far as we know and that is okay. When we do, if we do, I will give him to her, watch and join. Jack and I will give Carma pleasure. I consider myself the primary and I think Carma thinks so too. But she loves Jack in her way and the sex is urgent and hot. After each encounter she describes in detail and then we make love.. He is recently divorced and will eventually go his own way. Will it be with carma? Stay tuned. I know I am.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
We're more than comfortable with ANY display of affection but it is situationally dependent. If it's only us in private, we want it all to flow completely naturally. Whatever feels right should be pursued. But keep in mind we're very experienced so it's probably easier. Trying to think back to early days, I suppose there was some minimal feeling of discomfort, but talking it over we realized it was nothing more than conditioning. One of the MANY ares of societal conditioning we had to reprogram.

Only one that I recall did we have to have a BIG discussion about public behavior/affection etc. It was at a singles dance we decided to attend to see who we might connect with. She, being the female, of course had plenty of potentials to dance/flirt with etc. One in particular she seemed to really click with - and vic versa. The dancing toward the end of the night graduated to dirty dancing (she had a pretty good buzz going by then) and it really got totally out of control. At one point I thought they were going to end up getting down right there on the dance floor !
I had to intervene and we had a discussion. She was pretty embarrassed as she didn't realize how out of control she was. But in analyzing the discomfort, I discovered that the discomfort wasn't about them, or even that we might get tossed out, as much as it was the potential message we were sending to other potential lovers. We realize how a majority of people think, label etc in regards to PDA, sexuality etc. As nice (hot?) as this other guy was, we agreed he wasn't THAT special to be casting off the other whole pool of potential loversby stepping too far outside what's considered 'acceptable' behavior/PDA etc.

Lesson learned.............

GS
 

Tonberry

New member
I'm personally comfortable with doing such things in public as sitting on a partners' lap or kissing them (keep in mind I'm French, so what I call "kissing" you call "French kissing"). I grew up where both happen in public regularly and aren't weirder than holding hands or having your arm over one's shoulder.
My husband is comfortable with doing these things in public too, my boyfriend less so. Last week (he came to visit from the US, yay!) I wanted to sit on his lap when we were waiting for the shuttle and he told me he didn't think that was appropriate. I was pretty surprised as it seems pretty mild to me, certainly less intimate than hugging for instance since you're less in contact.
When I kissed him later he said he was worried people would ask us to get a room. Once again, I was surprised as it doesn't seem weird at all to me to kiss if you're a couple.

I had a friend tell me he would be fine with me coming along with my boyfriend to an event as long as we weren't all over each other. I assumed he meant things like groping and inappropriate comments, but it seems just kissing was included too.

So, the rule of "everything you'd do in front of your parents or in public" isn't that clear-cut. I French kissed my husband (then boyfriend) in front of my whole family (parents, siblings, grandfather) the first time he met them over supper. And not just once, I did it lots and nobody found it weird. I've seen my parents kiss and snuggle and I would have found it weirder if they didn't.

I guess what I mean is that it's good to check your partners' comfort level with them. If you tell me "whatever you'd be comfortable doing in public or in front of your parents" it basically only excludes sex. For other people, even holding hands would be too much. So being specific and not assuming they have the same views on what's appropriate or not would help.
 

Somegeezer

New member
<snip> I guess what I mean is that it's good to check your partners' comfort level with them. If you tell me "whatever you'd be comfortable doing in public or in front of your parents" it basically only excludes sex. For other people, even holding hands would be too much. So being specific and not assuming they have the same views on what's appropriate or not would help.
I could actually never be with someone who wasn't comfortable enough to do that. That probably sounds so silly, but yeah. It's something I find important in an intimate relationship. I wouldn't do it with a friend, but a partner, it's just something I need. I mean, not like constant hand holding or anything. But it's just nice to be linked that way. Of course if my partner was trying to chat someone up, it wouldn't really be appropriate for me to be right there holding her either. It might put them off before they even get to know her. =P So there are certainly right and wrong times to do it.

But yes... I find that is something important. Kissing and cuddling in public I can understand when people don't feel comfortable with it. I didn't for a long time. Until I began telling myself "why should I care what the general public think of kissing and cuddling?"... But that's just me. If my partner wasn't comfortable with it, then I wouldn't.

Like I said earlier though, other partners aren't the same as the general public. I would make sure they were comfortable with me giving other partners affection around them. I wouldn't leave them out though. They would get the affection too. So it's not like they should feel jealous about it or anything.
 

Tonberry

New member
I can understand why it would be hard for you not to be able to hold hands. It's hard for me to stop myself from doing what I would normally not think about twice! But I think your partner's comfort should come first. Of course, if they don't want any touching in public, chances are you were aware of that pretty early on, so if that's a deal-breaker it's easy to spot.
I think I'm probably like you, being unable to touch at all would be too hard for me. If I can't kiss my partner, at least I can hold his hand, caress it or squeeze in gently, or kiss it, etc, depending on what he's fine with or not. I need some level of physical contact.
 

Somegeezer

New member
I can understand why it would be hard for you not to be able to hold hands. It's hard for me to stop myself from doing what I would normally not think about twice! But I think your partner's comfort should come first. Of course, if they don't want any touching in public, chances are you were aware of that pretty early on, so if that's a deal-breaker it's easy to spot.
I think I'm probably like you, being unable to touch at all would be too hard for me. If I can't kiss my partner, at least I can hold his hand, caress it or squeeze in gently, or kiss it, etc, depending on what he's fine with or not. I need some level of physical contact.
Completely agree. Yeah, it's good that I can spot something like that early on, because I would hate to find that out long down the line where I'm already with them. It would be a stupid thing to break up over for sure...
But I need some sort of physical contact when I'm around them. Even as simple as holding hands. So as long as they were at least comfortable with that, I'd be ok too. Though I do enjoy being stopped and cuddled or kissed. I find it quite sweet. =]
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
We're in a slow progression.

GG is comfortable with me kissing, hugging, holding and some occassional touching of a more sexual nature in front of him with Maca. I think that he would not be comfortable with that if it were with someone else beyond hugging and a kiss on the cheek, which I do normally to all sorts of people.

Maca is still getting used to me being affectionate beyond a short hug. That doesn't mean I don't do anything in front of him, but it does mean that I try not to overwhelm him with too much, too often.

I always give GG a long hug goodnight, usually accompanied by a kiss, but generally it's not a french kiss. Sometimes Maca watches, sometimes he intentionally leaves the room first so as not to see.

More often these days I will put a hand on GG's arm, thigh, head while we sit around in the livingroom as a family. I almost always am sitting curled up "blended" (legs entertwined) on the couch if he's home.

When Maca isn't home I almost always am curled up in GG's lap or have him in mine. But I do'nt generally do either of those activities when Maca is here. Primarily because GG and I both know it bothers Maca and neither of us are comfortable dealing with the aftermath. :(

We have been together sexually on two occasions. Both men are straight and in both cases they focused their attention on me. The hard part of this is that Maca is very Dominant and GG is very submissive. However, GG does not wish to be submissive to Maca in the bedroom-even in terms of doing to/for me what Maca says. Maca naturally takes control, however, they have COMPLETELY different love-making styles and they are simply not conducive.
To be quite honest-whilst I fantasize about the two of them together with me, I haven't a desire to have it happen again anytime soon if ever, because it's too awkward for me.
 

Somegeezer

New member
We're in a slow progression.

GG is comfortable with me kissing, hugging, holding and some occassional touching of a more sexual nature in front of him with Maca. I think that he would not be comfortable with that if it were with someone else beyond hugging and a kiss on the cheek, which I do normally to all sorts of people.

Maca is still getting used to me being affectionate beyond a short hug. That doesn't mean I don't do anything in front of him, but it does mean that I try not to overwhelm him with too much, too often.

I always give GG a long hug goodnight, usually accompanied by a kiss, but generally it's not a french kiss. Sometimes Maca watches, sometimes he intentionally leaves the room first so as not to see.

More often these days I will put a hand on GG's arm, thigh, head while we sit around in the livingroom as a family. I almost always am sitting curled up "blended" (legs entertwined) on the couch if he's home.

When Maca isn't home I almost always am curled up in GG's lap or have him in mine. But I do'nt generally do either of those activities when Maca is here. Primarily because GG and I both know it bothers Maca and neither of us are comfortable dealing with the aftermath. :(

We have been together sexually on two occasions. Both men are straight and in both cases they focused their attention on me. The hard part of this is that Maca is very Dominant and GG is very submissive. However, GG does not wish to be submissive to Maca in the bedroom-even in terms of doing to/for me what Maca says. Maca naturally takes control, however, they have COMPLETELY different love-making styles and they are simply not conducive.
To be quite honest-whilst I fantasize about the two of them together with me, I haven't a desire to have it happen again anytime soon if ever, because it's too awkward for me.
I find it unfortunate that Maca does not enjoy seeing you and GG being so close. I find all the cuddling up on the sofa thing extremely satisfying. Is GG the same towards Maca in anything you and maca do together?

The sex thing doesn't seem all that uncommon really. What are the chances that you would find 2 men who would even want to be next to each other with their bits and pieces out? Never mind actually being able to cooperate when doing something like that. I think if it were females, it would be slightly easier for them to be there with each other, but I'm sure just as hard when deciding who should be doing what. I mean that is just my personal conclusion by the way people talk about it to me. I've never had experience with either situation.
 
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