September 2018
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polyamory -- how I choose my lovers


Note: I've changed my philosophies since this post

I'm polyamorous. For me, this means that I am open to multiple committed relationships, and I am open to sexual experiences (with my partners and with others) for the sake of the growth and connection that they offer.

Updated from my first post on polyamory: I believe healthy sex is a human-to-human experience of emotional and spiritual intimacy, a temporary blending into one being. 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, and it builds the bonds between you.

For me to have sex with a person, I need the following:

mutual love & respect
I believe sex is a sacred act and needs the presence of love so that both partners are treated with full respect and honor. I see love and respect as inextricably connected. Respect recognizes oneself and the other person as having infinite worth, neither having more or less -- and I think when you see people that way you cannot help but love them.
mutual connection
This isn't easily definable, but roughly explained it is a sense that you are part of one another, bonded in some ethereal way. Both I and the other person would have to feel/recognise/believe in this.
similar view of sex
Both seeing sex as not only as a physical thing but also an instrument to increase growth and connection. And seeing sex as a co-creating project where both parties give and receive, both are active. Seeing sex as something that is not done TO someone, it is done WITH someone. I also don't think I could have sex with someone who wanted to include pain, objectifying, humiliation, or any sort of command, as I don't find those things respectful. (I like wrestling/passionate pursuit -- just not anything that imitates force or coercion)
honesty & openness
honesty: telling the truth, refraining from lying or deceiving. and openness: sharing truth freely, without prompting.
the agreement of my partner(s)
because I trust my partner(s) to want the best for me, and if my partner(s) feel strongly that it would not be positive, then I will consider the fact that they may see something I do not. And because my connections to other people affect my partner(s) as well. My partner(s) opinions are very important but ultimately, it is my choice -- if they are ambivalent or only slightly negative, I might go ahead anyway, if I felt that it was that important. That's highly unlikely though, as I am of the school of thought that says "if you don't agree, you haven't talked long enough." Either I would change my mind or they would. ((am no longer in a partnership, need to update this post))

I used to see sex as something that needed the frame of a partnership, because I felt that sex was such an intense vulnerability that it needed the safety of mutual history, mutual goals, shared life that is not easily untangled. But now, I see sex as an opportunity for so much growth in love that it is worth the risk of being broken. And I feel like I have survived having my heart broken so many times that I can survive it again, and like all the times before, the brokenness will not be more than the joy and growth. If a broken heart is the payment for experiences of love-joy-connection, I am willing to pay.

So, sex is never casual to me, but I no longer feel that I need a lifelong commitment to explore it with someone. I see sex as the most spiritual act we can perform with our bodies -- I see it like prayer. It's magic -- it has the power to transform. And like prayer, sex that is done hastily without much thought does not have much creative power. But sex done with loving, conscious choice is possibly the most powerful thing in this realm of existence.

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Comments
depravedhumane ══╣╠══
Oddly enough i was going to ask you questions about this in the days to come. I am glad that you posted this, it gives me, and my wife a few points of reference to allow us to start expanding our relationship into something more wonderful than it already is.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
cool! I'm happy it made a good jumping-off point ;-)
belenen ══╣╠══
Naughty look
jenniology ══╣Naughty look╠══
Beautiful thoughts - thank you for sharing. :)
connate
belenen ══╣connate╠══
you are most welcome, and thank you for honoring me with a quote ♥
mourningdoveava ══╣╠══
Hmm. I agree with all the sentiments, but I'm not so sure I've broken entirely from the lifelong commitment idea, largely because I've had a lot of scarring experiences sexually outside the frame of a relationship.
mourningdoveava ══╣╠══
partnership, not relationship, my fault.
belenen ══╣╠══
Mangoes!
jendaby ══╣Mangoes!╠══
I am happy that you have shared your own definition and beliefs on polyamory. I think it is always refreshing to be reminded that there are many of us in the world who see that love has many means of expression and can take many forms. I see sex as a shared spiritual connection as well, and I love the emotional and physical closeness of connecting with the ones I love.
I think it is just wonderful that you are so open and able to talk about this and to help inform people and show that it really is about love and that higher connection. It is awesome people like you that break down the barriers f stereotype and misconception, and I applaud you for it. *hugs*
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
thank you! *hugs back* You inspire me in similar ways ♥
flyingshaman ══╣╠══
love that icon, and I do agree with what you say here.

love-joy connection, yay!
blossoming
belenen ══╣blossoming╠══


*love!*
flyingshaman ══╣╠══
frecklestars ══╣╠══
This whole post was quite fascinating. I'd been toying with the idea of polyamory ever since I heard of (the someone who told me about it advised me to read a book called "The Ethical Slut"). I appreciate hearing someone else's view of this lifestyle.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
Thanks! I've also been recommended that book, but haven't read it yet -- I have such a backlog of want-to-reads, heh.
frecklestars ══╣╠══
bezigebij ══╣╠══
In theory, I find polyamory a very attractive concept. In practice, I'm just not sure if I am capable of it. When I first fall in love it is with this incredible intensity and I have trouble accepting that my lover is involved in other relationships and is not able or willing to give me the attention I desire and need, especially in that starting phase of a relationship - or, at least, this is what recent experiences have shown me. But maybe it was more about the other parties involvement period. Perhaps some people have a greater ability to share and show love than others. I don't know, there just seems like so much potential for jealousy and confusion in these constructions. I would like to think that I am the type of person who wouldn't stoop to jealousy, but I'm still not sure if I am. I'm not that noble, it seems. The jury is still out on this one.
honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
Well, I don't think it's so much about nobility as it is about... the amount of energy one has, and how easily one can express love. If it is hard for one to express love, then it takes a great deal of energy, and they may not have enough energy to make that effort for more than one person. But if it is easy for a person to express love, and they have a lot of energy, then they are more able to give themselves to multiple relationships (if they so desire).

There's a lot that goes into expressing love -- there are a lot of things that can hold you back, like believing that you don't deserve love or that you must protect yourself from someone's inevitable betrayal, or any number of harmful beliefs that come from being hurt. And there is a lot that goes into how much energy you have, depending on how many draining things you have in your life. Poly relationships would be harder for a person who had a job they hated, for instance, because that would drain their energy. Or even having a job they love that they pour themselves into -- that's a good kind of draining, but it still spends energy.

I think jealousy is a symptom of an imbalance -- it's not a problem in and of itself, if all parties are honest about it and strive to help their lovers overcome that jealousy.

I think it is hard to be with one person who is with multiple others, because you only have that one person, so it is easy to feel alone if they are busy with their other lover. I think because of that, polyamory works best if all people involved have more than one lover.

Thanks for the awesome comment, it really made me think! I love that :D
bezigebij ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
redarmy_pariah ══╣╠══
very interesting post. i dont know if i could ever practice polyamory, but you explain it a LOT better than 1 of my (now ex-)friends, who, when i asked her and her husband why they were polyamorous, the only thing she could give me was a rather vulgar reason. you explain it more...i'm not sure how to say it, but the way you explain your reason is more understanding than someone like my ex-friend who said her and her husband just want to have sex with different people.

i always love reading your posts. theyre so insightful and i always learn something new.
honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
yeah, it's really not about that for me. I think for some people it is about sexual desire itself, which is fine if they're honest with everyone, but that would not work for me. For me, sexual desire is a choice, it's something I can choose to turn on if I feel that sex with someone would be positive, but physical desire is not the reason that I am polyamorous. For me, it's actually a product of being polyamorous, not a cause. ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
This is beautiful, and echoes everything I feel. I'm stepping into the waters, as it were, and this is a really lovely explanation to turn to.
blossoming
belenen ══╣blossoming╠══
how wonderful! I'm excited for you, and can't wait to see what happens in your life ♥

and as I was writing this, I thought of you and knew you would feel a similar way ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
whimsy
brassdaughter ══╣whimsy╠══
I loved reading this. Though I'm not sure just why, I've been thinking about polyamory quite a lot lately. I consider myself poly-open--absolutely willing to engage in such relationships but not necessarily needing to--but I suspect that I may be oddly meant for monogamy. (I say "oddly" because it surprises me a little, knowing how deeply and potentially romantically/ sexually I love most of my close friends, that I'm not already in at least three relationships.) I'm wired to spend a lot of time alone, and I need few but very deep connections to sustain me; I just don't know if I have the energy and disposition to keep more than one partnership alive. Truth is, I'm worried about getting involved with someone who is poly- or with more than one person, and causing pain because I didn't realize my own nature.
...all right, enough of that rambling! Anyway, thank you for such an articulate post (as always).
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
hmmm, yeah, I see what you mean! Poly relationships definitely require more energy.

Someone suggested that the difference between a polyamorous person and a monogamous person is this: when in a fulfilling relationship, the polyamorous person still has the desire to seek out other lovers/partners, whereas the monogamous person no longer feels that desire. I think that is absolutely spot on.
kiwi ══╣╠══
I've never had an issue with polyamory, but I love your explanation of it. I have massive issues (as you know) with love and my current boyfriend would tell you that it took me a LONG time to get to the point that I'm at today - and I'm not even at a great point to begin with. I can't imagine trying to trust multiple people enough to have a relationship with them at that level. I admire that ability to trust in you.
giving
belenen ══╣giving╠══
aww, thank you ♥
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I see sex as a sacred act. I see it as a union of souls thorugh a physical act. I think it's important to share sex with someone you love and respect.

It's good to see I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
spiritual
belenen ══╣spiritual╠══
yes! exactly ;-)

yue_dreamflower ══╣╠══
hi Belen :)
I'm Yue, I've just add you to my list just to keep in track with your journal. I think I've found you from the webcomic about Kemet's LJ.
I also have just open my LJ so there's no much to read, neither I know what to write ^^;;
This post was very nice and interesting. I'm 27 and been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years. It's nice to hear about others point of view and how they relate whith others. I've see you have lots of friends, and I can of envy you. I had a kind of traumatic experience with "friendship" lately, and that's sad :( I really hope to change it.
You seem like a quiet, cool person. I think I'll enjoy a lot reading you :)
blessings!!

ps(I'm from buenos aires, so please forgive my crappy english)
Mrwilson Morgan ══╣╠══
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. 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.
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.