concept of sex as a spiritual exchange, polyamory


disclaimer: this is true FOR ME: I'm not saying it is universal truth.


Note: I've changed my philosophies since this post

I'm polyamorous; that has different meanings for different people, so I will define it for me. To me, polyamory is a philosophy that involves being open to more than one committed, sexual relationship. For me, it does not include casual sex, though it may include sex with deep friends who are not romantically involved with me (that is an aspect I am undecided on, for now).

I believe healthy sex is a human-to-human expression of emotional and spiritual intimacy. I believe that every time you have sex with someone, there is a spiritual exchange -- you get a tiny piece of their spirit, and they get a tiny part of yours. The more you have sex with them, the more you exchange. I do think that over time, your given-away-parts come back to you (and you can do spiritual work to make them come back faster), but it takes a while -- the length of time depends on how many times you had sex with them, and how intense each experience was. For this reason I believe casual sex is very unhealthy, because you're accepting parts of people who may be bad for you, and you're giving away a part of you that they may not be worthy of. I define casual sex as: sex with people whom you do not know well and/or do not love. I feel that you need to know them in order to judge if they are good for you, and you need to love them because sex is a sacred act and needs the presence of love so that both partners are treated with full respect and honor. So I would only have sex with someone I mutually knew well, loved, and was reasonably sure that they'd be in my life for a long time (in order to keep the parts of my spirit in my life until such time as I wanted to call them back). And for now, at least, they'd also have to be soulfriends with me, because I would need to have that level of intimacy and trust. There are many many people I find attractive, but even though they might make me flush or make my heart beat fast, if they don't also stir my spirit, I don't want to have sex with them.

So why would I want more than one partner? Partly, for balance -- I feel like (for ME) a two-person relationship is wobbly -- like if you had two pegs connected by a wire, they'd be pretty easily pushed over. But if you have three pegs, connected in a triangle, it's not as easy for them to fall. As the Bible says (haha!) "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Because in a relationship of two, if one person is weakened, the other has no support -- in a relationship of three, it is far more likely that there will be at least one person strong enough to support at any given time. But even though a triad would be my 'ideal' relationship shape, I'm open to a 'V,' where I have two partners who are not involved with each other (as long as they were open to attempting soulfriendship with each other). Or other configurations, of course.

Another reason is simply the fact that I've never so much as held hands with anyone except my partner. (not to mention kissing!) And I didn't know my own sexuality until years after I married my partner, so I never explored that either. I know that if I had learned it earlier, I would probably have thought myself a lesbian, because my partner's the only man I've ever met that I would marry, I'm pretty sure. I don't regret it one tiny bit -- I wouldn't be the person I am if I hadn't followed the path I did -- but experiencing a romantic and sexual relationship with a woman is something that is very important to me. Also, I do not like the concept of restricting myself romantically/sexually to one person, because it makes me feel 'owned' -- I know this is not something everyone feels, but it's true for me. I want to decide based on what is right for me (I feel that what is truly right for the individual is right for the group). And I think that I would grow immensely from a second sexually intimate relationship, because she would share the experience of being a woman and we would connect in a totally different way, and because it would involve challenging the accepted paradigms. Most of all, there is a place in my heart that is waiting for her. ♥ (I'm not completely closed to the idea of another man in my life, but I don't actively desire it)

This is something I have been thinking on ever since I realized that I am sexually attracted to women. It was an underlying stress in my marriage -- my partner and I talked about it many times, and he expressed mild dislike of the idea, and I believed he was the one to make that decision, so I yielded. I shouldn't have, because his mild discomfort should not be enough to squash something so important to me (it was totally not his fault in this case, I chose to believe that way). When we took a new look at our relationship, considering whether it was good to continue or not, I realized that was something I was no longer willing to sacrifice, and I said so. I told him that I would not embark on anything without asking for his thoughts/feelings, but though I would consider his opinion when making my decision, ultimately it would be my choice, and wouldn't necessarily agree with his input. He agreed, said he was comfortable with that. His main concern was that in a triad, a third person might be treated as 'lesser' by society in general and relatives in particular and he would hate to be partly responsible for that. And since I'm not dead set on a triad that's not too much of a concern.

Though I realize this may seem like 'oh, I'm tired of this relationship, lemme get a new one,' it isn't. This is something that has been growing in me for a long time, and is now blossoming through questioning everything. Even if my partner and I were at a point of near-perfection in our relationship (and I would consider our relationship the best it has ever been, right now), this is something I would begin pursuing now. Part of the reason I haven't been sure about this before is I didn't know if I was ready, if I could give my heart completely to more than one person, or handle the possibility of losing it after I had given it. But over the past year, I've developed my soulfriendship with Hannah and developed more deep friendships than I have ever had at one time before, which taught me that I can handle more than one intense relationship. I also lost several people who meant a lot to me, and from that I learned that I can handle giving my heart and having it broken, and I can heal pretty fast, because I have so many loving people in my life. ♥ I'm not afraid of a broken heart, and know I can give my full self to more than one person, so I am ready.

If you read the whole thing, you get 8 vivid violet stars!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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Comments
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beach (stormyoceana)
stormyoceana ══╣beach (stormyoceana)╠══
Have you ever seen the movie Summer Lovers?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084737/
I saw it at the movie theaters when i was young and it left a huge impression on me.

My husband and my best friend of 10 yrs were having a sexual realtionship.
We all were so close that I accepted it for awhile. Kinda like the movie Summer Lovers.
Eventually my jelousy and feelings of being left out overcame me and I ended the realtionship with her.
I understand now beacuse I wasnt invoved in the sexual part of it.*feeling left out*

I do miss her and the friendship that we all shared.

My husband says hes comfortable with me having a girlfriend of my own.

My question to you is could you deal with your husband having a girlfriend that you werent sharing?

Im sorry to be springing this on you but I have been having this internal conflict for so long....

Thank you
~Renee
iconoclast
belenen ══╣iconoclast╠══
I've never seen the movie but it looks like an interesting watch.

If they hid it from you, then I consider that the ultimate dishonesty and I think it's only right that you be upset about it! But if they approached you beforehand and you all agreed on it, then it is sad that it didn't work out but sometimes it just doesn't... *hugs*

I do think I would be okay with my husband having a girlfriend I didn't share, but only if we were all completely honest and open with each other, and I got to be casual friends at least with her. And we'd have to be past this rough patch so that we knew each other better -- right now he's just beginning to really learn who he is, and I don't think he has the energy to devote to that and our relationship AND a new one. It's a little different with me because I know myself pretty well, but even so, I wouldn't jump into a relationship right now. I'm open to one coming along, but whenever it does, I'll probably take it slow.
stormyoceana ══╣╠══
v_willendorf ══╣╠══
As simplistic as it sounds, live your life how you want to live your life. People will accept it or they won't. I think you explained things excellently, but no amount of explaining will help some people accept what they can't or don't understand. Follow your heart and you can't go wrong.
iconoclast
belenen ══╣iconoclast╠══
thank you ;-)
the_picklecat ══╣╠══
Very thoughtful post - I think you did a great job defining your feelings. While a poly relationship wouldn't be something I could do (not that I disagree with it, I just know myself), I can see why it would make sense for you.

I'm curious as to what level of involvement your husband has in your relationship with a woman, since you're not in a triad relationship? And if you were to be in a triad, would it be a relationship that your friends and family knew about? I'm guessing so, due to your husband's concerns about society's judgement of the third. It's always interesting (and dismaying) how family/friends and society often sit in judgement on such intimate issues...

I can see how being attracted to women would be a strain on your marriage if your husband was making the "rules" - it's awesome that you guys were able to work on it and find a solution that makes you comfortable and doesn't limit you.

Good luck on your journey!
iconoclast
belenen ══╣iconoclast╠══
If/when I enter into a romantic relationship with a woman, Ben would be however involved the two of them wanted to be -- it'd just depend on what they wanted. And definitely, if we had a triad relationship it would be something our friends & family knew about. I don't think we'd announce it, unless we decided to have a handfasting ceremony or something similar, but we wouldn't hide it at all and we'd answer any questions about it.

Thanks so much for the comment and luck! ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
I believe that every time you have sex with someone, there is a spiritual exchange -- you get a tiny piece of their spirit, and they get a tiny part of yours. The more you have sex with them, the more you exchange.

This is the main reason I waited until I was in love. I'm very glad Adam shares this as well. Shortly after our official engagement, we actually shared souls during a lovemaking session -- our souls locked together and merged. We now have a sort of empathic connection where we always know where the other is, in a vague sense, and how the other is feeling. Spiritually, it's like two dragons in freefall, claws locked together (ever seen that Animal Planet documentary on dragons? Like that.).

I think polyamory is wonderful if it can work out right. Good for you for listening to your heart and soul. :)
intrigued
belenen ══╣intrigued╠══
thanks so much! and wow, a documentary on dragons? wow, I'd love to see that. ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
katielilie ══╣╠══
Well, you know that I am poly. I never thought of it as a possibility for me and my relationship until I met John. I didn't understand how you could love two people romantically at the same time and then I fell in love with John and I just did. Things were good with Andrew and I at the time. We were happy together. We're not happy now, but that's something we're working on. I also wanted to add that my husband was the only person I had ever had sex with up until John too. It's not like I have ever had this craving to have a variety of different sexual partners. I was happy with just my husband, and then I discovered that John fit into my heart so well, and then I was happy with both of them. I don't know if any of that made sense, I am a little... out of it. Sorry about the delete and repost, I wanted to add that bit about only having been with my husband before.

Like someone else said, live your life the way you want to live it. As long as your confident that you are doing what is right for you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Good luck, and I'm glad to hear that you and Ben have been having good conversations and feeling just a little bit closer. :)
iconoclast
belenen ══╣iconoclast╠══
thanks so much for your support ♥ *lovelove*

I think that some people think that polyamory is about wanting more sex -- and maybe that is true for some people -- but for me, it's about wanting more romance, more intimacy, more growth. Sex is a part of it but it isn't the main thing, you know?
marion & harry / young and foolish
acid_burns ══╣marion & harry / young and foolish╠══
Your honesty and your undying need for finding beauty and love in this world is such a thing of absolute wonderfulness. And no one should ever have the right to take those away from you.


It's your life, Bel. You're the only one living it, so you better live it your way. And I know you are.


adoring
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
I adore you, lady. ;-) Thank you so much for your beautiful words ♥ ♥ ♥
birdie ][ peace and understanding ..
delicatexflower ══╣birdie ][ peace and understanding ..╠══

awww!

you should be feel proud of yourself
for being so open & honest about everything...

it takes a lot of strength to do so, i think
as long as you carry your honesty and openness
about everything you do with ben, he shouldn't
get upset.

unless, he's the type to be very jealous or insecure?
i don't think so, though... continue to talk about
this with him & make sure everything's understood.
honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
thank you ♥ He's not a very jealous person, really -- his hesitation comes from concern over who comes into my life and therefore into his. He doesn't have much of a problem with the idea of 'sharing' me. ;-)
callmebee ══╣╠══
I'm poly too!!!!

Hehe. We do have different philosophies about sex, but for the most part I completely agree with you. It should be an intimate expression of a deep connection you feel with a person, and i think you said that very well.

I'm more of a dater though, I like taking girls out and treating them well. I just enjoy it so much!!!

It's hard work. It's not accepted. It's something people have a really tough time swallowing for the most part. It's worth it.

I just read The Ethical Slut (http://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Slut-Infinite-Sexual-Possibilities/dp/1890159018 Didn't feel like embedding it, sorry). It was great. You have a lot of the things they talk about already figured out, but it was such a good book that I'm recommending it to everyone I know who would appreciate it.

Yay yay yay!!!
curious
belenen ══╣curious╠══
verrrrry cool! ;-) I read a few of the reviews and don't think that book would be something I'd especially enjoy, since I don't see sex as (the reviews said) the authors see it. Knowing my views and having read the book, what do you think? Do the authors present sex as a sort of fun activity, or more of a serious thing?
callmebee ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
Love Leather
moon_orchid ══╣Love Leather╠══
Bel,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and musings so openly. I know it takes courage to explore these realms, and I am happy you are.

I find it fascinating to discover what seems to be an underlying defense in the post and comments, with several women saying something to the effect of: 'let's be clear, I don't have casual sex, and this isn't just about sexual partners, etc etc' I wonder how much this has to do with our (speaking collectively as a woman) desire to be seen as clean, chaste, not slutty or 'promiscuous'. Who says we have to explain this? Why do we feel it necessary to share our own version of love, commitment and relationships with a disclaimer that we aren't that trashy slut people seem so afraid of?

I'm not invalidating sacred sex, or limiting sexual partners. I think each individual has the right (and responsibility) to create our own version of and agreements around relationships and sexuality. We can say who our sexual partners are or not, and the context of our sexual choices.

But I want to live in a world where a woman can have one life-time sexual partner or 100, and not have to defend or explain herself. Who cares if I've had twice as many sexual partners as you?

I'm afraid to post this, worried that it won't be taken in the spirit in which it is intended. I'm not attacking anyone's opinion or choices - I want to challenge our assumptions, as polyamory and bisexuality and anything out of the 'norm' causes us to do. And, if I'm totally off in my sense of the conversation, please forgive me. I tend to be a little passionately opinionated. ;)

Bel, keep asking yourself these questions, and your dialogue with Ben is commendable. I think that every relationship deserves open communication, and I wish you all the best in this continued exploration of yourself.

honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
I agree with you so much on that! in fact, I object to the use of the word 'promiscuous,' myself, and am gonna go edit that bit out. The reason I don't have casual sex has nothing to do with not wanting to be seen as whatever-whatever. And you're right, I was being defensive! I hadn't even realized it. Shocking how these things get ingrained. Just like the choice to have a few friends or a lot, the choice to have sex with a few or a lot has to do with the individual, not how they rank on some scale of 'chastity' or, inversely, 'popularity.'

thanks for your thought-provoking comment! ;-)
moon_orchid ══╣╠══
free2be ══╣╠══
Brilliant minds
dragonwine ══╣Brilliant minds╠══
I can see both the inherent challenge and reward in having a poly situation. I've experienced an "open" relationship before willingly and soon after regretted the decision to do so. I didn't recognize that my urge to have multiple partners at once was essentially a band aid to my wounded relationship. Being in a triad situation was a way to repress the problems occurring with my gf and myself at the time. Presently, that lifestyle is no longer in my realm of thinking or will ever be again although I pose no opposition for anyone else who chooses to follow that path.

Instead of addressing the problem at hand, I covered it up and pretended that I felt connected to this "beautiful, open situation".

Your case seems different. You seem to be assured in the reasoning behind your desire to expand the spiritual plane of your bed to include someone else. On the surface it doesn't seem as if you want to make this progression just for exasperation, experimentation,etc purposes. I'm glad that you're able to identify those concerns and I'm even more glad that you've chosen to be completely honest with Ben and yourself regarding it.

I do agree that when you share part of yourself and your body with someone that you are, in fact, giving them access to a piece of your soul in the process, so choosing the right partner is vital in these circumstances. The roadblock you're running into with Ben is truly a sticky issue. It's difficult to deny yourself something in the face of wanting to respect your current partner's feelings. And I'm sure not having his complete support would ruin any experience that you may encounter with another partner if you choose to see this through on your own terms.

But it is your life. Your body. Your heart. And your soul. And you should have the right to do with all of them as you please. What would happen in the event that you moved forward with your desire without having Ben's full support? Now is the time to consider questions like that and factor in its importance to you. In the greater scheme of things, do you think the risk is worthwhile? Furthermore, wouldn't continuing to deny yourself be a deprivation of sorts?

Does Ben understand that ultimately a third person would face the same challenges as any other group who engages in non-traditional relationship arrangements to begin with? Yet that scrutiny doesn't put a stop to the growth of non-traditional relationships in our society in the least. And as far as society's views on it goes, they'll probably never understand that poly relationships are not the equivalent of a deceitful affair.

A relationship like the one you're seeking takes a lot of communication and work and you have effectively followed that path as far as I see. Whatever decision you choose to make, and I'm certain it won't be easy, should be made with both your heart, body, mind and spirit. I'm SO against people denying themselves what the aforementioned functions ultimately desire.

And personally, I'm sorry that this has caused you any degree of frustration on your part. I've only known you for a brief amount of time, but within that time you've shown me a person who is honest, supportive, dedicated, free in thought/mind/body/spirit, and has a potential in life that is so powerful it can ultimately stand to change the life of yourself and others around you in a positive manner for years to come. Love is a gift, never an expectation, and expecting someone to never share part of that love with someone else is like asking them to deny who they really are.

I wish you luck with this most delicate of issues.

Take care.
connate
belenen ══╣connate╠══
your first two paragraphs made me say, 'oh no' but I read on and was relieved. ;-)

I don't think I could be with someone else if I wasn't sure that Ben was okay with it, so I'd either wait until he was okay with it, or break up with him. The more we talk about it the more comfortable he seems, and I think that if I were to find a person whom I really wanted to be with, he would be okay with it, because we have very similar taste in people, usually. And I do trust his judgment, to an extent -- if he was very against me being with someone, it would give me serious pause. Right now it's all theory, but somehow working through this theoretical stuff seems to be helping us strengthen our relationship a lot. I really wish he'd put his thoughts into text and let me share them, because I feel like I can't do justice to his point of view, and I really respect his way of thinking on this.

That last paragraph brought tears to my eyes each of the several times I've read it ♥ Thank you so much Dee, this comment meant so very much to me *many many hugs* Thank you ♥
juansrx ══╣╠══
You sure try to live on the most clearest, transparent and sincere way you find.

Experience is a teacher that gives the same lesson about life to many students in a different way, the things are on the way they are, but they are understood on many ways.

Maybe a moment of calm, of self-observation, of prayer, of loneliness, of silence is needed to analize the meaning of all these lessons.

There is a direct proportion between the value of something and the time it lasts, the real valuable things lasts for a long long time, but even then, we must look after them, to keep them as valuable as they were when we found them.

p.S: Just opinion, no advice, sure I can look stupid now, but If you were "open-source" with us, the least I can do is to give my sincere opinion.

honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
thank you very much ;-)
rescoto ══╣╠══
I like how well that you are able to describe what polyamory means to you. I have some thoughts on the matter, too, but unlike yourself, I don't feel that being free and open with them is right for me just now. While I am primarily responsible for myself and my own feelings and relationships and interactions, I care about others in my social network and carefully consider reactions and feelings so for their sake I will not be extremely public. That said, I will seek to find a private means to discuss this should you have an interest.
curious
belenen ══╣curious╠══
I can understand what you mean. I'd love to hear of your thoughts/feelings on the subject, if you care to email me, but I must warn you that I am terrible at responding to emails. *blush*
rescoto ══╣╠══
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
I don't see anything wrong with the way you feel about this. You explained it pretty well and I think this type of relationship could work. But it goes against conventional ways of thinkiing that it will be hard to pursue in the kind of society we live in. The third person will have to feel pretty much the same way you do about a triad or else it will not work out the way you would like it to. I give props for Ben being open to this.
hopeful
belenen ══╣hopeful╠══
I totally agree that the third person would have to have very similar, if not exactly the same, ideas about sex/relationships. It certainly won't be easy to find such a person! but I have hope. ;-)

thanks for sharing your thoughts!
in_withbothfeet ══╣╠══
I really love your icon.

I just want to let you know I read this and support your bravery in being so open. Your ability to be so is truly captivating sometimes.
Aside from that, I am going to wait to comment on this at a later time. Not because I oppose what you said, it's more that I'm currently trying to figure out something somewhat similar for myself (well, not regarding polyamory but love and sex with spirit, in general) and think it is probably better that I wait awhile since everything is fragile and probably far more easily persuaded/dissuaded than things usually are for me and I don't want to confuse myself! hehe. But yes, I'm proud of you!
nuzzle
belenen ══╣nuzzle╠══
the icon is a Grey's Anatomy quote :D

I look forward to hearing more from you on this! *hugs & snuggles*
aliyna ══╣╠══
free2be ══╣╠══
The seed of every desire contains the mechanism needed for its fulfillment.

Not having a "divine female presence" kills you...that's pretty reverent. I'm sorry you are suffering so. Maybe one day things will change...and you will be fulfilled.

Even though I know nothing about you, the torn spirit you've expressed spews pain.

I suppose it's a good thing you wrote "at this point". Things always change.
belenen ══╣╠══
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.