Why and how did you get into poly?

What type of poly origin did you have?

  • I've always had poly tendencies and never really took to monogamy

    Votes: 42 12.5%
  • I've always had poly tendencies and tried to be monogamous before

    Votes: 119 35.5%
  • I fell in love with a poly person and have adapted to the lifestyle

    Votes: 51 15.2%
  • I read or heard about someone else's poly experiences and thought it could work for me

    Votes: 42 12.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 81 24.2%

  • Total voters
    335
Right...because if you are a reasonable person that can use logic than clearly you are not "madly" in love - so it is completely understandable to ruin some random vulnerable person's life to prove..."something"?

It is very common around here (and elsewhere) for people to blame and hate on the "other" person - because they "knew" the offender was in a relationship (that they had probably been lied to about). It is easier to blame a unknown stranger than someone you care about. NOT excusing, only interpreting behaviour. Anyone who "punishes" someone because they are angry at someone else, in my world, needs to do some serious self-reflection. Their feelings are valid - that is what they felt, but their actions were chosen - and will be judged...
I do not like to take things personally. Messing with my friends is one of the things I will get hype over though. That was when I suggested that maybe I should see other people too. Best impulse decision I'd made in years even if I caught a few black eyes.
 
My reason is a bit of a long story and one I didn't notice for a long time.

I am a child of divorce, two parents that would fight mostly psychologically and emotionally, but if you pushed my dad too far he could get physical.
Anyways, I saw the 1vs1 situation of two adults, when fighting it's a lot of finger-pointing and a lot of blaming.
On a number of occasions, when another adult was around, they could intervene and calm both down while pointing out what was really wrong in the situation and were able to for the time, keep the peace.
It also helped to have the visitor/family member to get me and my two younger brothers out of the area because kids don't need to see/hear that.

When I was in Elm school, I was in the same grade as Identical twins and I fell for both of them, but at that age (10) there was nothing really sexual in my mind .... yet. but my attraction for them was about their personality and how nice they were.
So in my infinite wisdom as a 10 yr boy, instead of breaking up the sisters that were very close, I thought why not have both girls, they could stay together and I could make them both happy etc.

Of course, I was too much of a chicken to even let the girls know that I liked them so ... eh such is life.

Because of these two things, I feel that my perception is that two adults were never a good thing and that more was better in general and later became a key part of my later and current sexual fantasies and desires.
 
She is very sexual. She brought this lifestyle into my life. I love her, and I am addicted to my devotion to her.
We were friends at first, and she would confide in me some of her sexual escapades and her kinks... She is very beautiful and dutiful and kind and I just cannot describe the feeling of utter joy to call her my wife. I have accepted her lifestyle. It definitely makes it interesting. I think that my feelings of jealousy have turned into a strange "kink", where I just feel even stronger about my devotion to her. I always feel so important and powerful with her by my side.
 
When I joined the BDSM community two years ago is when I began learning about polyamory. My first Dom was married and poly, had several submissives. My second Dom was married and both he and his wife were poly. In the course of my submissive journey, I have done a lot of research and asked my second Dom a lot of questions. I have also spent a lot of time in self reflection and realized that I have felt that way my whole life. I have difficulty making connections to people so when I did, I never wanted to let them go but did in the end because of the way I was raised and thought it was my only option.

During my second marriage, my husband and I had split up and I dated someone else (we both had an understanding). During that time, I remember being confused because, even though I loved this person I dated, it didn't diminish how I felt about my husband. I didn't know why and it made no sense to me...not like it does now.
 
My long-time lover forced the issue, which has so far led to an amazing revitalization of our relationship. I found that while I had been exposed to critiques of monogamy even back to teen years, I had just accepted monogamy as the necessary way of things all through my adult life, while being frustrated by what seemed the horrible limitations imposed by monogamy, and the impossibility, for me anyway, of not seeing it ultimately as a sort of prison -sexually, emotionally, intellectually. It seems to work for some people, but it hasn't worked for me. This dearest person put me onto some of the literature and it was like rediscovering a whole nourishing network of understanding and compassion. It's not easy, but it's real and hopeful.
 
I voted 'Other' because while I've tried monogamy (married 3x), what got me into identifying as polyamorous was not related to that. My wife, to whom I am currently, and happily married to, decided to open our marriage without telling me. At least that's how I characterize it. I discovered she had been with other men for a couple of years during our marriage. When I angrily brought this to her, she told me that she had really wanted to be monogamous for me but couldn't. She's just not built that way. She was afraid that if she had talked to me about it ahead of time I would have left her. My response to this was that her concealment and clandestine nature of getting her needs met was far more damaging to our relationship and marriage than a discussion about what they are and what my thoughts on them were prior to acting. It separated us for two years while we each examined what we wanted. Polyamory became a choice for me after careful consideration and reflection.

I realized that: 1. I can do just fine by myself. and 2. I'd like to experience other women in my life and have the emotional maturity to do so. Polyamory has helped our marriage and neither of us feels to need to hide anything from the other. I enjoy her other partners. I am 9 years older than she, in my 60's, and it feels like my opportunities for other partners have dwindled, or at least the methods I employ aren't very effective. So #1 above is more the way my life is right now.

A long-winded narrative about 'Other' but I hope someone finds it interesting and useful.
 
I picked 'Other'
I have been married for 20 years. For over 20 years I never looked at another woman because I married my dream girl. Somewhere along the way I took her for granted and didn't see how she was struggling to raise our child while I focused on advancing my career. One of my wife's friends was having a bad breakup in her own relationship and the two of them turned to each other for support. I never thought my wife would be intimate with another woman, but it happened. So I was left with the choice of walking away from my family or embracing that I now have two wives. The infidelity still stings, and I'm still working on controlling the jealousy and envy I have for the strength of their bond. On the plus side, I have two women that love and care for me. It's all still new to me, and I'm taking it as slow as I can.
 
I picked Other too, but I'm not sure what it is.. a mess?

I've been in a relationship with my partner for 6 years so far, he's younger than me and we're very different. I'm quiet, he's loud. I think things through, he doesn't. I plan, he follows. For a few years, we would play with a third together, nothing emotional though just sexual. He was always looking for the guy for us, and I wasn't really interested. With him, I have a low sex drive, to the point where I thought something was physically wrong with me. But it wasn't like that at the start of the relationship. Now, it feels like we are an old married couple that argue and rarely have sex, but support each other in life goals / plans / holidays / families and live together. At the start I felt like his mum though, which is probably why the sexual feelings eroded.

Fast forward to 2 years ago and we agree to have a free pass each. I reinstalled grindr and met someone who was actually trying to offer me a job. I met up for a casual interview with him at a restaurant... and we talked for 6 hours straight. Within 30mins of meeting we stopped talking about work and started opening up about our personal struggles with depression (my partner doesn't understand depression/anxiety and no matter what I ask of him, he can't help on that front). I felt an instant connection - he works in my career, he's my age, he understands my struggles. He was just not long broken up with someone. My partner took some adjusting but he is ok with us spending time together (but not "too much time" he says...), I went on a holiday for a month with him, we met up at least once a week and I just cannot keep my hands off him still 2 years later. I have recently started thinking "love" when I think of him... But he says he's not ready for a relationship, but is dating other people too and I'm trying not to be jealous, but maybe that means its not poly argh, i dunno. I feel like I had been getting the best emotions out of life, a supportive, stable life partner who loves me on one side, and an extremely emotional, passionate relationship on the other side...

It's like the combination of them keep me whole and happy, I can't say I just need one of them anymore... but I don't think I or they understand what that looks like in reality, other than everyone being unhappy
 
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I picked Other too, but I'm not sure what it is.. a mess?

I've been in a relationship with my partner for 6 years so far, he's younger than me and we're very different. I'm quiet, he's loud. I think things through, he doesn't. I plan, he follows. For a few years, we would play with a third together, nothing emotional though just sexual. He was always looking for the guy for us, and I wasn't really interested. With him, I have a low sex drive, to the point where I thought something was physically wrong with me. But it wasn't like that at the start of the relationship. Now, it feels like we are an old married couple that argue and rarely have sex, but support each other in life goals / plans / holidays / families and live together. At the start I felt like his mum though, which is probably why the sexual feelings eroded.

Fast forward to 2 years ago and we agree to have a free pass each. I reinstalled grindr and met someone who was actually trying to offer me a job. I met up for a casual interview with him at a restaurant... and we talked for 6 hours straight. Within 30mins of meeting we stopped talking about work and started opening up about our personal struggles with depression (my partner doesn't understand depression/anxiety and no matter what I ask of him, he can't help on that front). I felt an instant connection - he works in my career, he's my age, he understands my struggles. He was just not long broken up with someone. My partner took some adjusting but he is ok with us spending time together (but not "too much time" he says...), I went on a holiday for a month with him, we met up at least once a week and I just cannot keep my hands off him still 2 years later. I have recently started thinking "love" when I think of him... But he says he's not ready for a relationship, but is dating other people too and I'm trying not to be jealous, but maybe that means its not poly argh, i dunno. I feel like I had been getting the best emotions out of life, a supportive, stable life partner who loves me on one side, and an extremely emotional, passionate relationship on the other side...

It's like the combination of them keep me whole and happy, I can't say I just need one of them anymore... but I don't think I or they understand what that looks like in reality, other than everyone being unhappy
If you'd like to repost this to the Poly Relationships section, you'd get some great advice! Welcome to the board.
 
*If you were already with someone, how did you approach them with the polyamory subject? If instead you were single but got into a poly, how did you get into said relationship?

In my first relationship, before I knew about alternatives to mono, I fessed up to being really attracted to a female friend of mine. He said he was too and suggested a threesome, but I balked. I didn’t understand my sexuality at that time and felt like he would have pressured things when I felt like I needed to explore my attraction with women without putting additional requirements or pressures or expectations into it. That, and… it wasn’t a healthy relationship. I felt like I wanted to protect her from him. So I tried to bury that attraction and just soak up any time with her I could get as friends.

Later I met this couple and she was so vivacious and flirtatious… she and I were at another friends house and ended up in a three way make out session. I also very much enjoyed giving her bf massages because he made such delightful sounds that fed my energy and hand stamina. After that, her flirting with me intensified and she invited me for a sleepover. I was giving him a massage while she prepped dinner, and the way his lips were moving made me long to kiss them. She came into the room, noticed what was going on and pushed me towards him, laughing and enjoying as I took the cue that kissing him was a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and I had this a-ha moment of “so this is what the word bisexual means… wanting them both…” I also got to add the word polyamory to my vocabulary that night.


*Which seems to work better: a poly where it's closed between a certain amount of people, or more of an open relationship that has ground rules set down? Or do they work about the same?

I can’t imagine having a quota for a certain amount of people involved. I like having the freedom to let me feelings and attractions be what they are, but recognize that certain rules are necessary to minimize risk of disease transmission. Every person I have gotten involved with has the rules they want as ground rules. My heart is polyamorous. My spouse wants heirarchical polyamory for him to feel secure. It’s not exactly what I want, but it’s a lot better than some of the really bizarre rules that other people I dated wanted to have on my poly… like “okay, I’m fine with you being polyamorous as long as you only kiss girls you aren’t attracted to.” 🤥


*Are there actually any "closed" polyamorous relationships where it's an MMF/MFM/etc. where the guys are bisexual? Or does it seem to work better with a guy and two females?
Although I’ve been in a couple MMF make out sessions where one or both men was bi, it wasn’t closed and they didn’t last cuz the situations were weirdly complicated.

A guy and two girls has been much easier to establish long term stability in my experience, but probably won’t be everyone’s experience.

*How different is a poly from a mono relationship? How similar?

To my experience, one involves both partners getting to pursue loving relationships with the knowledge and support of their partner, while the other involves one or more partners pursuing other relationships behind the backs of their partner with all the added guilts and hurts that brings. I think all stable relationships require a lot of communication, but poly requires more time management and emotional management skills especially when it comes to handling jealousy. It also has the perks of compersion, seeing the joy of a partner from entirely different perspectives, getting to laugh with metamores over those little quirks a shared partner has that no one else knows about, or getting to bitch about their more irritating quirks with someone who totally gets it because they’ve experienced the same thing with that lover.


*Any tips/tricks/advice on how to keep one long lasting?
No matter what rules are carefully negotiated and set by couples intellectually, the NRE hormones are powerful and it can be really hard to keep the rules when the person is with that new lover and the hormones rush in full force. Errors can happen, especially with those who have forgotten the power of NRE and have difficulty recognizing those emotions for what they are. Forgiveness when learning is important, as well as a willingness to sort out what went wrong. The greater the clash between rules negotiated intellectually and someone’s true moral compass, the harder it is to keep those rules. Each person really doing the work to understand what they want vs what they need is important for coming up with solid ground rules. Books like _opening up_ have some great exercises to help with sorting out things like what fears are realistic and need ground rules to address (like std precautions) and what are unrealistic fears that would be better resolved by understanding and overcoming the fear.
 
In my first relationship, before I knew about alternatives to mono, I fessed up to being really attracted to a female friend of mine. He said he was too and suggested a threesome, but I balked. I didn’t understand my sexuality at that time and felt like he would have pressured things when I felt like I needed to explore my attraction with women without putting additional requirements or pressures or expectations into it. That, and… it wasn’t a healthy relationship. I felt like I wanted to protect her from him. So I tried to bury that attraction and just soak up any time with her I could get as friends.

Later I met this couple and she was so vivacious and flirtatious… she and I were at another friends house and ended up in a three way make out session. I also very much enjoyed giving her bf massages because he made such delightful sounds that fed my energy and hand stamina. After that, her flirting with me intensified and she invited me for a sleepover. I was giving him a massage while she prepped dinner, and the way his lips were moving made me long to kiss them. She came into the room, noticed what was going on and pushed me towards him, laughing and enjoying as I took the cue that kissing him was a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and I had this a-ha moment of “so this is what the word bisexual means… wanting them both…” I also got to add the word polyamory to my vocabulary that night.




I can’t imagine having a quota for a certain amount of people involved. I like having the freedom to let me feelings and attractions be what they are, but recognize that certain rules are necessary to minimize risk of disease transmission. Every person I have gotten involved with has the rules they want as ground rules. My heart is polyamorous. My spouse wants heirarchical polyamory for him to feel secure. It’s not exactly what I want, but it’s a lot better than some of the really bizarre rules that other people I dated wanted to have on my poly… like “okay, I’m fine with you being polyamorous as long as you only kiss girls you aren’t attracted to.” 🤥



Although I’ve been in a couple MMF make out sessions where one or both men was bi, it wasn’t closed and they didn’t last cuz the situations were weirdly complicated.

A guy and two girls has been much easier to establish long term stability in my experience, but probably won’t be everyone’s experience.



To my experience, one involves both partners getting to pursue loving relationships with the knowledge and support of their partner, while the other involves one or more partners pursuing other relationships behind the backs of their partner with all the added guilts and hurts that brings. I think all stable relationships require a lot of communication, but poly requires more time management and emotional management skills especially when it comes to handling jealousy. It also has the perks of compersion, seeing the joy of a partner from entirely different perspectives, getting to laugh with metamores over those little quirks a shared partner has that no one else knows about, or getting to bitch about their more irritating quirks with someone who totally gets it because they’ve experienced the same thing with that lover.



No matter what rules are carefully negotiated and set by couples intellectually, the NRE hormones are powerful and it can be really hard to keep the rules when the person is with that new lover and the hormones rush in full force. Errors can happen, especially with those who have forgotten the power of NRE and have difficulty recognizing those emotions for what they are. Forgiveness when learning is important, as well as a willingness to sort out what went wrong. The greater the clash between rules negotiated intellectually and someone’s true moral compass, the harder it is to keep those rules. Each person really doing the work to understand what they want vs what they need is important for coming up with solid ground rules. Books like _opening up_ have some great exercises to help with sorting out things like what fears are realistic and need ground rules to address (like std precautions) and what are unrealistic fears that would be better resolved by understanding and overcoming the fear.
This is a darn fine answer.
 
I talked a bit in my intro, but the TL;DR is... I'm not into poly yet. I still identify as poly-curious, and my wife Jess does not. That's a cup full of dice still being rolled...

I've known about poly relationships back to college, but they glanced off my mono-normative shielding, like so many weak laser blasts. Which is just a nice and geeky way of saying... I was judgemental. I came from a religious upbringing and despite having broken much of my Christian conditioning, I carried a lot of stories about how fatally wrong it was. If I attached to the idea during that time, I probably wouldn't have married Jess or spent the last 20 years together. But we also wouldn't have had what has largely been a great partnership.

Later, Sean came into my life and came out about being open in his marriage. Over time, he identified as poly as well, as he had a child with Katie, his wife (let's call her Amber) wanted to return to mono, and he remarried Katie. After that, my wife and I became aware of more friends of ours in CNM/ENM relationships. The mono-shielding still held.

Meanwhile, my relationship with my wife grew further and further into a mere companionship marriage. We had kids, we paid off debts, we changed jobs...

Then, earlier this year, S&K invited us to a swingers club to observe. I saw Sean having his... uhh... birthday present. I saw Katie getting all bent out of shape in a cuckqueanish steam cloud. And just like that... the shield is down and I took a direct hit.

I took a hit, not Jess.

While we contemplate what this means for our relationship, I started reading.
  • Blog post after blog post
    • skewed toward women who left their neglectful husbands and are predictably having a great time
  • a personal subscription to Psychology Today
    • because the therapist office politely asked me if I had ever been diagnosed as a klepto
  • "Open Monogamy"
    • too glorifying, too triggering, went on antidepressants to unwind the brainwash
  • "Polysecure/Polywise"
    • a lot more circumspect, amazing resource for anyone to understand themselves better
So, here I am, laden with great information I might not ever around to needing. I'm focused on using this opportunity to grow by chewing on whatever experiences and stories I can connect to while remaining functionally mono for the moment. Not sure where I will be in 5 years, 1 year, or 6 months from now.

But I couldn't put it better than Oliver Wendell Holmes being quoted in Polywise:
"The human mind, once stretched to a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."
 
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I will try to write this without it turning into an autobiography… but my journey to figuring out I was poly was a long one. I met my wife online when I was in 9th grade. We did long-distance dating until I graduated from community college and moved out to Arizona to be with her, except for 2 periods in there where I caught feelings for other girls and wanted to explore those relationships.

We quickly got married after I moved out. I would still catch feelings for women occasionally (for one of my wife’s friends and a couple of coworkers over the years), but other than beating myself up about it for having unfaithful thoughts, I never acted on these feelings.

Fast-forward to about five years ago, when I joined the furry fandom. The fandom is very open to LGBTQ and poly, so I started meeting poly friends. I sort of had a feeling I was like that, as well. But my wife wanted a monogamous relationship and I am still very much in love with her, so I just sort of tabled it, other than occasionally dropping hints.

Fast forward again to last year, when my wife moved to a new school district and made friends with a guy at work who was poly. They started hanging out. I could tell she had feelings for him because I’ve always been able to read her like an open book, but I trusted her not to do anything without talking to me first. In December of last year, she finally did. Basically, she had feelings for him and me and didn’t know what to do about it, so we worked out some tentative poly ground rules and went from there.
 
I kinda had poly tendencies when I was younger, non ethically, but locked it down into monogamy because that was how I was raised to believe was the only way. Poly has popped up now and again on the fringes of my life, show or article type thing. My wife was the one to suggest it to me as she had those tendencies and watched some ploy shows.
 
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