I behave myself for a month. But no partying (or sexual contact), coupled with yoga and meditation, for thirty days, and I start getting antsy. Do I get off the wagon?
Instead of getting off it, I decide to smash it to bits. My goal: to prove the doubters wrong by engaging in multiple fun and fulfilling relationships… simultaneously. Read on before you judge.
John. Yoga brings balance to my life. This time, however, it brings a little something more. After a year and a half of perving over the ripped, sweaty instructor at my studio, I decide to stalk him on Facebook and set the ball rolling.
We’re sitting on the floor of his apartment, talking. Hanging plants, assorted crystals, posters of Hindu gods, swirling paintings of energy and chakras in bright technicolour. We’ve just eaten a vegan meal and smoked a joint. He’s telling me that he can see energy radiating everywhere; he can actually see it vibrating between us. (Any delusion of a relationship has now jumped out the window and plummeted to a quick death but, hey, he has the body of Adonis and summer is a good time for lovers.)
Jeremy. Fast-forward a week. I’m at a friend’s barbecue. His roommate, who I met a month ago, is sweet and smart and a sensational chef. But I’ve been warned off: apparently I’m trouble and he’s carrying fresh baggage. It doesn’t change the outcome. Immersed in conversation, I suddenly realise that everyone else has left. I walk home grinning. The following occasion, I don’t walk home at all.
Wagon-schmagon. Finally content with being single in a healthy way – happiness may be found within but other people are my avenue to pleasure – my decision to date, yet avoid commitment, seems to be working out.
Anthony. I am at a high-end restaurant in Westmount, being indulged by the restaurant manager. Wine, olives, oysters, and other epicurean delights flow unceasingly. My glass magically maintains its level all evening. Friends pass through. More drinks are had. We head to St Henri when he finishes his shift for extra indulgence. Deciding that biking intoxicated from Notre Dame to Mont Royal at 3 am is not only unappealing but inadvisable. I sleep over.
Various words can be used to describe me: promiscuous, easy, or even slutty. I choose liberated.
To many, the idea of juggling multiple partners and experiencing joy – rather than jealousy – is both foreign and foolish. Yet joy is at the heart of polyamory, though I think most poly people would scoff at the term juggling. What I should say is seeing, loving, and enjoying multiple people at the same time. Well, not the same time necessarily. Although it could be…
The way I see it, love isn’t a zero sum game. When a second child is born, a mother doesn’t love the first any less. When making new friends, we needn’t drop existing ones. And, just because I’m sleeping with someone doesn’t mean I stop being turned on by others or that I no longer love the first if I make love to the next. Most of the time it has nothing to do with them at all. It’s just chemistry.
In a society where divorce and adultery reign supreme, it’s becoming evident to me that monogamy is a social construct that makes sense if you’re a strict Catholic (maybe), but it doesn’t fit for many of us condom-using city folk.
Before you torch the wagon with me, a word of caution. Navigating the road of open relationships imposes one obligation: honesty.
People get upset about cheating because of the betrayal (that’s why it’s called cheating). However, if you’re honest with your partners, you can sidestep the jealousy bit.
Jealousy is an emotion, like any other, and can be overcome if you see it for what it is: a vice. Why is it that rage and anger are expected to be controlled, but jealousy is allowed to run rampant?
Other people don’t make you jealous. You make you jealous. If you take responsibility for your emotions and just observe them as they come, then things like jealousy are unlikely to overwhelm you.
I’m not saying this is a sure-fire recipe for polyamorous pleasure. I’m sure there are people out there who have no desire to be involved with more than one person at a time. But, what I am saying is that if you are playing the poly game, best to play with a full hand of honesty. What’s in the other is up to you. (And them!)
Published in The Warehouse Magazine