Home > firsts, links, reflection > “The Good, the Bad, and the Poly”

“The Good, the Bad, and the Poly”

Before I say anything else, I have to congratulate Mollena again for winning the title of International Ms. Leather 2010.  Mo, you are an amazing woman, and you rocked the contest so hard.  They couldn’t have chosen a better representative of the leather and kink community!  And I feel so fortunate to have been present for this.

Yes, my first IMsL was a pretty incredible experience.  I noticed a very different energy than I’ve felt from other, kink-centric conventions, and the pace was much slower.  There was a lot more down time for socializing and perusing the vendor area, and even my volunteer shifts were laid back.

I was feeling non-committal about the workshops Saturday afternoon, but decided last-minute to slip into Allena Gabosch’s class, “The Good, the Bad, and the Poly.”  And I am glad I did!  Allena – executive director of Seattle’s Center for Sex Positive Culture (whose website is currently down) – had really good points about how to make polyamorous relationships work, shared personal stories to illustrate them, and was just completely down to earth.

She started off her talk emphasizing the wide variety of ways possible for making poly work.  But, she added, “If you have no other rule, you should absolutely follow this one:

No surprises.”

The weight of this was not lost on me, and, as Allena also pointed out, all of the principles she found important for polyamory could just as easily be applied to monogamy (and perhaps should be).  I am, of course, instantly reminded of my personal, vastly unpleasant experiences with surprises sprung on me by my exes: from keyloggers to a very angry fiancée.  And I have had my own share of keeping things to myself – only to have it snowball into drama and miscommunication down the road.

I do try harder, now, to be completely honest and upfront with the people I play with or sleep with.  Everyone I’ve gotten sexually intimate with knows I have an HPV infection, for instance.

Allena also touched on the various poly structures and “geometries” that exist, and she described how her triad became a poly bow tie, with herself as the central knot!

Another snippet I remember is Allena discussing how poly relationships should be more careful, thought out, and planned, as opposed to how many monogamous partners seem to just “fall into” a relationship.  She added – and I agree – that perhaps more monogamous relationships should be better thought out and planned as well.  I think back on my own experiences: I’d had sex with my first three partners by the third date, and consequently we just fell into a relationship, exactly as Allena described.

I suppose it’s no surprise that I do not keep in touch with those three people.

It also has made me appreciate all the more the care and thoughtfulness with which Max has taken me on this path we’re traveling down together.  I could not have asked for a better model of how polyamory can work, nor a better mentor to learn from.

Jealousy was inevitably brought up.  Allena talked through ways to deal with jealousy and the kinds of issues that cause it to appear – issues of trust, communication, self-doubt, and fear.  And her last topic (I know I’m skipping a chunk of the conversation) dealt with raising kids in a poly group.

Again, I’m really glad I joined this particular workshop.  I left the room feeling more informed and more excited about exploring polyamory.  Admittedly, I’m in no hurry to add to the flurry of activity and distractions my life has become recently, nor am I in a hurry to divert my focus from Max.

Ok, well, I have actually gone on a couple of very pleasant dates recently, but between my increasingly full schedule and preparing to move into the new apartment on Saturday, I am feeling a little stretched thin.  I have all but stopped going climbing and working out at the gym, sadly.  I hope to change that once this crazy week is over.

I really need to get my own life in order before I even consider bringing another person into it.

Categories: firsts, links, reflection
  1. Dov
    April 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Sounds familiar, if things have meaning then its good to take the time with them. Monogamy or poly really isn’t the point the issue is relationship

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