Not everyone is going to be comfortable with Polyamory and that is totally okay. There is a long history of people being either monogamous or polyamorous, and there is no right or wrong answer to how someone has relationships. There are, however, things to consider if you’re currently monogamous and want to slide over to the polyamorous side of life.
For those who might be wondering, Polyamory is when people believe that they can have loving, romantic relationships with multiple people, with the knowledge and consent of all partners. Emphasis on knowledge and consent of all partners.
Let’s start off with all the good parts of Polyamory. While this list is not complete, it gives a good overview of the perks of being polyamorous.
One of the major aspects of Polyamory is the need for excellent communication. This is valid for all stages of relationships, whether you are discussing Polyamory for the first time or you are 20 years into a relationship. You need to discuss your relationship dynamics, comfort levels and jealousy. You need to discuss your boundaries and your emotions, which is a great exercise of communication. It can really let you open up about your desires and feelings and learn about the needs of your partner or partners.
Cheating in polyamorous relationships would be counter-productive. If you’re open to each other, then you get to be intimate with other people without any cheating (that is kind of one of the perks). Of course, if there is a lack of communication, then someone might still get hurt. Often people argue that monogamy isn’t ‘natural’ because of the amount of cheating that occurs in monogamous relationships. Although cheating might be eliminated in certain polyamorous relationships, it doesn’t always mean that you can sleep with whom ever you want. The boundaries still need to be discussed between all involved partners. Of course, you should never be persuaded into a polyamorous relationship just so your partner can sleep with other people. It needs to feel natural for both of you.
Being intimate with more than one person can lead to a variety of adventures. This doesn’t only mean sexual adventures, although this can obviously be a large component. It also means life adventures. You get to be closer to more than one person, all of who will most likely have varied interests and personalities. You get to explore more facets of life, and there doesn’t seem to be anything negative about that.
The more people you have close to you, the more support you are presumably going to have. It can be added emotional support about family problems or work issues, or added physical support when you’re home with the flu. There is a Polyamory theory that the more you are loved, the more you are able to accept love, which in turn makes you a better support system for those around you. Imagine having more than one person constantly tell you that you’re brilliant? That can’t be a bad thing.
As a new topic in your relationship, Polyamory might seem filled with negatives. This list is not all encompassing but deals with major issues that might arise.
Polyamory is not synonymous with being jealousy-free. The level of acceptance depends on the level of communication in a relationship as well as the level of comfort with being in an open relationship. If your partner has persuaded you to let them sleep with other people, then obviously jealousy is going to be a major issue. If you’ve had deep, meaningful conversations with your partner about becoming non-monogamous, then the conversation should include ways to deal with jealousy. Being jealous doesn’t mean that you’re “bad at Polyamory” – it means you are human. In order for the relationships to be successful, you need to be comfortable talking about jealousy and finding ways to solve issues.
Life can get really busy, so adding in another partner might be tough. It is absolutely possible to make it work, but you have to find time to see your partners on top of work, friends, family and general life. One of the hardest parts of dating more than one person is balancing schedules and meeting different expectations. It is possible that one person needs more attention than the other, and there needs to be a way to balance everything so no one gets hurt.
Polyamory is not widely socially acceptable. Some people believe that you cannot fully love your partner if you are intimate with other people. Some people will believe you were being selfish or just won’t understand. Some might be jealous that your relationship setup can work for you, but, not for them. It can be a difficult topic to discuss with friends and family because society has told them that ‘monogamous is best’. Thankfully, there are plenty of online or in-person Polyamory groups that are able to provide support.
If you’re going from monogamous to polyamorous, or if your new partner is venturing into this for the first time, then some problems might arise. It can be easy to accept certain terms and later realize you have an issue with them. If you’re in a healthy relationship, these can most likely be worked on by communicating properly. If you are in an unhealthy relationship and using Polyamory to ‘fix’ your problems, then this might bring to light any underlying issues. Changing any relationship dynamic will bring up issues, you just need to decide if they are worth overcoming or not.
If Polyamory doesn’t come naturally to you or your partner, then, of course, there might be more negative aspects than positive ones. However, if you and your partner are open to the idea of experimenting and being honest about your concerns, then there is a vast amount of positive aspects. If you’re bringing up Polyamory with your partner, you need to be aware of all the pros and cons. Do your research and gently approach the topic. You might be surprised to find out that your partner is open to the idea. Even if you’ve never considered it for yourself, you should do some research and become an ally. This list is just a start, so make sure to buy a book and delve deeper into the topic – we guarantee there is a lot to learn.
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