I talk about polyamory a lot: for work, on dates, online, with medical professionals, with partners, with family, with my communities… and I am happy to. I am passionate about my lifestyle and I love sharing it with people. I talk about challenges – jealousy, scheduling, communication barriers, boundaries, social stigma, coming out – and I talk about how wonderful compersion can feel; how liberating radical communication is and about how much I continue to grow as a result of being poly. It’s wonderful.
But there are are a world of little things that I don’t get to talk about enough, things that don’t usually make it into workshops or panel discussion but still enrich my life every day. A few of them have stuck with me of late (and since I have serious writer’s block on the piece I’m meant to be writing), here is my silly little list of some of my polyamorous logistical perks!
1) Safe Sex Dates
As a result of our lifestyle, my polycule’s network of sexual partners is extensive and diverse. This makes for lots of hot recaps in our group chats or over pancakes but does mean safe sex is even more important for us and than it is for more monogamous people. We all try and get checked every 12 weeks (more regularly if we are on a particularly slutty streak, or have had a possible exposure) and we found that it just worked out easier to carpool to the clinic and then go get ice cream. This not only meant we all knew we were up to date and could remind each other when we were due for our next one, it also made what can be a relatively unpleasant experience into something bonding and fun! Poly also means we can split shipping on bulk order condoms which results in our flat being filled with an absolutely ridiculous number of prophylactics!
2) Outsourcing Interests
I fucking hate action movies*.
MTAS fucking loves action movies. Bad Ones. He unironically loves The Expendibles and its sequels. Its probably his biggest character flaw to be honest.
Thankfully, through the magic of polyamory, he has not one but TWO amazing partners who appreciate and somehow share this highly undesirable personality trait thereby save me hours of wasted existence… It’s bliss! It also means that I don’t have to tie him down to watch Rupaul’s Drag Race with me.
This may seem pretty small, but having partners who genuinely engage with and even share your passions is a beautiful thing. More importantly, having a significant other(s) dismiss or even belittle the things you care about is really fucking shit and can actually be very damaging. Polyamory means that neither MTAS or I have to suffer and it’s great!
(*with the one exception of this 2006 cinematic masterpiece)
3) Symbiotic Relationships
In nature, there are many instances of symbiotic partnerships where animals work together in a mutually beneficial way to help each other survive. I’ve found that a lot of my poly and metamour relationships also have a degree of symbiosis. I would consider the movie arrangement in #2 on this list to be a good example of this.
A silly example would be the fact that Putten loves the filling of the Woolworth’s homebrand custard tarts but not the pastry, whereas I like the pastry far more than the custard. Together we can demolish a whole tart in one sitting and it’s the best way to enjoy Great British Bake Off marathons.
It is also awfully convenient that Daisy has a boot fetish and I can’t lace my Pleaser Adores in a timely fashion without help. ;P
Its nice how things work out sometimes.
4) Passions Are Contagious
When you like a person a lot, you have a tendency to pay attention to their interests and passions. There is something so sexy and endearing about watching someone’s eyes light up when the thing they really love comes up in conversation. In some cases, their joy is simply enjoyable and can even be contagious, but every now and then, their passion will connect with something inside of you and the next thing you know you’re strapping into foam armor for the first LARP battle of your life!
There is a beautiful intimacy that happens when someone brings you into a community that means a lot to them and I think that needs to be acknowledged and respected. If I invite you to be my date for a poly discussion group, yoga class or kink event, know that I am opening part of my spirit to you and that means something. The person bringing you in is taking a risk, but when that risk pays off it can be absolutely magical! Sharing new experiences with someone you love is exhilarating and can be an incredibly bonding affair – plus once again, split shipping is a hobbiest dream!
Without my poly connections I would never have engaged with: make up, coding, flow arts, vegetarianism/veganism, League of Legends, several genres of music and new podcasts I now love, raving, LUSH, Blackmilk, slam poetry, alternative comedy, tabletop gaming, legal dramas or chickpeas…
And what a dreary life that would be!
5) 24/7 Sounding Board
“Oh god, I’m about to meet this girl and her tinder pictures are so hot and she’s totally out of my league and she’s going to see me and laugh!”
“GUYS! I just took the best nude! Look how great my ass looks!”
“It’s 4am and I have to be up for this exam in 3 hours, someone please yell at me to stop cramming and sleep…”
Whatever the situation, whatever the time of day… my polycule group chat has my back. Judgement-free, but no lying to save feelings. Loving support, but real talk when I need it. Enabling the purchase of new highlighters, but only when they know I can afford them. It doesn’t matter who’s partners is who’s, I know they are there for me and that means the world to me.
6) Travelling/Space Sharing
At the time of writing, I have regular partners in three cities. If you extend that to comets, play partners, amicable past partners, metamours, open-minded family members and adjacent polycules, I feasibly have accommodation in almost every Australian city and several overseas. This makes travelling for events, teaching jobs and leisure much more feasible. Daisy has even let me borrow her flat when she’s off on tour to fuck other partners! This also means I have support networks of some kind in most cities if things ever go wrong (looking at you Wombat!), which makes the amount of solo travel I do a lot less scary.
7) I’m Pretty Awesome at Small Talk Now
I go on many, many dates. I talk to many, many people. These people encompass an incredibly diverse range of ages, genders, sexualities, energies, interest groups, professions (although software engineers are disproportionately represented if I’m honest) and more. I also talk to a lot of people in both my vanilla and not-so-vanilla work and that makes for a lot of small talk!
Thankfully, by dating so widely I have acquired a mental encyclopedia that means I can bullshit my way through conversations on a vast range of topics. Do I have strong opinions on Python 3.6? You Bet! EPL? Unfortunately. Magic The Gathering? I prefer to play Green-Black. Pro-Wrestling’s infamous ‘Monday Night Wars’? Fucking Eric Bischoff. The totally poly story arcs in Steven Universe? All for it! Effective Altruism? It’s complicated!
This may sound trivial, or even like I am disingenuous in conversation, but this knowledge is an amalgamation of the people who have passed through my life and even if I am not longer with them (and even if I never was), it is a part of them I keep with me and I find that beautiful. Its a living record of my experiences and one that enables me to foster connections with even more people and it’s wonderful!