Requests Roleplaying Video Games Entertainment & Media
Politics & World General Spirituality & Philosophy Worldbuilding
Creative Forum The Sports Center Science, Math, & Technology The Nostalgia Forum
Sexuality Hot Takes Complaints Awwww
Hobbies      

Sexuality


Safe space for LGTBTQ and Allies, and any discussions of kinks, sexual experiences, and musings. Absolutely no shaming allowed!

[scrubbed]

Posted Over 1 Year ago by [scrubbed]

[scrubbed]

There are 38 Replies


I'm part of a throuple which/who just celebrated our second anniversary. Ask away!

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

I can tell you immediately that it takes a lot of work. Having therapists involved (plural, as in personal and relationship therapists) really helped us learn better ways to communicate our needs, wants, feelings, etc.

And ours is a rare configuration. I am intensely and endlessly grateful. We each and all fit together in different ways and thus fulfill each other's (and our own) needs and wants in ways a two person dynamic couldn't (or at least hadn't).

Open, truthful communication is key. Checking in with each other as regularly as our lives permit. Asking about even the smallest perceived problems helps stave off unnecessary anxiety about possible scenarios. At least, that's how it works for us.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

It was rough. I introduced the idea after a couple years of searching (and a bit of reading...The Ethical Slut helped me not feel like a total shitbag). Spouseketeer took it hard. That's where therapy really helped. Our relationship counselor facilitated so much communication which were not capable of at the time. This actually grew our own relationship. When we got to the point where I sought consent to start seeing our partner (I'll come up w GT names for them soon, sorry), there was still a tremendous amount of fear of loss from spouseketeer. And me. When our partner expressed that she thought spouseketeer was gorgeous, spouseketeer broke through two huge barriers...and responded to my question of "who do you want to see" with "well (partner) said she's interested in me...". So spouseketeer came out to me AND expressed poly interest at the same time. Our individual Kissaversaries with partner are only a month apart. We ended up with four relationships in one, and in a safe-feeling configuration.

But that didn't magically make jealousy, envy, fear, hurt, etc go away. We've been through a lot to stay together. And now we've been through a lot as a throuple and shown we can stick through the hard stuff.


CZM, it's an uphill battle that was worth it for me. You/we are going against heavily-ingrained societal constructs AND trying to do the work of keeping relationship(s) together AND adding more feelings/needs into things w each person. It'll never be easy. But for me and my Lovelies, it's been super worth it.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

There will be hurt. But that's how relationships go. You're each who you are, and you each feel how you feel. Hiding it is not something I've seen be successful. Being open, honest, and communicative is the only way I know to get through. Otherwise even little things build into big resentments.

And this will take time.

I felt so much shame, bringing the idea of polyamory into our already good life. Spouseketeer felt so much hurt. We both worked to lessen those pains and move on.

I could have lost her so easily, but she chose to stay. I was able to show her how truly, deeply I love her and that NOTHING could change that. Even if she had to move on without me. But she chose to stay. I work every day to be worthy of that trust and that love.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

Out dynamics in a nutshell:

Spouseketeer is basically Dad (to use an outdated role name). She's the main breadwinner. Cis woman. Femme in appearance. Loves murder-mysteries and cats.

Partner is more non-binary but identifies as a ciswoman. Likes quiet reading w spouseketeer and loud electronic music w me. Sex drive more similar to mine.

Tek is Mom*. Cooks, cleans, is a total drama queen (extra emotional person). Works part-time, often a couplefew jobs. Also is protector (and ragemonster if needed). Mostly just sensitive and cryful. Cisman. Bi/pan in theory (all of us bi then obv)

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

I used to be in a “throuple” with my compadre and commadre.
Technically there may still be some question whether my goddaughter is my biological daughter or her father’s (my compadre’s).
But we all think she’s his.

That was nearly 40 years ago.

....

Commadre was Mom
Compadre was Dad
chiarizio was Crazy Uncle who sometimes chauffeurs or stands in traffic that might not see the kid

....

My own pshrink mentioned that “tripod” arrangements were usually not stable.
I mentioned that neither were world peace nor the economy.
He laughed, and then said one feature of clinical depression was being more realistic about some things than “normal” people are.
He later told me he had quoted me several times.

...

Anyway, he was right. The threesome not only broke up, we each went our separate ways. But my goddaughter turned out great!

....

I don’t know if that story belongs in the Sexuality thread; everyone was cis-het.

Over 1 Year ago
chiarizio
 

I think this story fits here just fine. It's all a spectrum imo.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

@chiarizio, how long were y'all together?

Oh and the way I use "throuple" means we all have relationships with each other; 3 pairings and one group of 3 people. 4 relationships in 1.

I know it's super rare to find something like this that works. I still can't believe it's real a lot of the time 💙💜💙

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

Yuup

Oh and I thought I should note: we can't have kids. I think that is a factor in our relationships. I have ALWAYS wanted kids, spouseketeer came around eventually. Chemo killed our chances. Partner has had her tubes tied and wants no kids anyway.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

@CZM: thanks.

@Tek: Re: how long we were together:
I was no longer welcome as a permanent resident sometime after my goddaughter started pre-school but before she entered first grade. I no longer remember the exact time. We were still visiting off and on when she was seven y/o and I was already engaged to my second wife.
My compadre and commadre broke up from each other at some later point, don’t remember when exactly. My Taiwanese commadre wanted to teach in Atlanta while my native Texan compadre wanted to teach in Shanghai. My goddaughter studied medicine in the US South with occasional courses in China.

@Tek: Re: wanting kids but not being able.
I’m sure a big part of the reason my compadre and commadre welcomed me in in the first place was that they had been trying to beget/conceive and had been unable. Why me in particular?
  • both of them liked me
  • everyone thought I and my compadre were brothers
  • my personality and his were similar
  • my commadre found me attractive
    After I was included she did conceive (for the first time most likely) but miscarried. My goddaughter was actually her second pregnancy.

    My (late) second (ex-)wife and I wanted a child too. She went through two surgeries and we also tried artificial insemination using my sperm. None of it worked and my father-in-law made it clear he didn’t like her chances on a third surgery.
    We became foster parents partly in order to try out the idea of adopting.
    We eventually adopted our daughter, who was our first foster child. (We had four in all, though only two for very long.)
    TBH the strains of parenthood were part* of the reason that marriage broke up.
    My second wife knew why (I thought) my first marriage failed and made sure none of that happened in her marriage to me.
    But none of that had to do with parenthood.

    My first wife and I had also wanted children, only not yet.
    We carefully practiced contraception.
    Then she turned up pregnant with another man’s conceptus.
    The marriage never recovered, in spite of efforts including counseling.

  • Over 1 Year ago
    chiarizio
     

    @chiarizio Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Thank you. I can't reply in a way that does them justice rn but I wanted tou to know I'm grateful.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Tek Shmansen

    @CZM: Re: Other ideas brought up in earlier posts.

    It is good and reasonable thinking (in my opinion — ymmv*) to abandon strategies which are clearly not working. (I think Tek is saying as much!)
    That does not guarantee that some other strategy will work.

    Conversely:
    You might find that your alternative strategy also does not work.
    That doesn’t mean you should have stuck with your old strategy.

    *I am well aware you can easily find advice that contradicts what I just said.
    I think most reputable trained counselors without an ideological axe to grind will agree with me; that has been my experience.

    Some problems may not be solvable.
    Some are sometimes solvable, but this might not be one of the times.

    ....

    I’m making myself sound like some kind of sage! I’m not one! Definitely not!

    Over 1 Year ago
    chiarizio
     

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    It is likely that feeling sympathetic for people (which I am becoming increasingly inclined toward) influences how likely I am to want to reinforce who they are (and how I regard them) via sexual pleasure.


    This makes a lot of sense. I think a good chunk of the confusion and need for introspection here is the societal viewpoint of sexuality and sex as something either inherently bad or acceptable but only because seeking personal pleasure is acceptable.

    I think this is why you're attaching the sadism/primal hunter thing to the arousal at potential emotional connection. Not saying you don't have those tendencies (I mean realistically that's a big part of male sexuality in general), but it's probably just part of the emotional/sexual link.

    When you feel connected to people you feel more comfortable with intimacy, and if you have the potential for sexual attraction it can definitely trigger in response to that connection as well.

    One other thing to consider is the sexually dominant thing of "No, I will make you feel better."


    I also have had problems simply communicating love (across the entire spectrum) because of some of my formative experiences. It seems to me that I have learned that love should be only for partners and nuclear family, when that is absolutely not how my emotions work when I address them honestly.


    What helped for me was being around people who are already like that. Both of my IRL best guy friends have said that they love me at different times, and so I've been able to see platonic love (with the same intensity of romantic love) as a very real thing. A lot of this, again, has to do with emotional connection.

    It seems like this is actually harder to express with female friends, maybe because of the perceived romantic aspect, or maybe "romantic love" as a concept needs to be deconstructed. I have legitimately lost female friends by expressing deep platonic love for them though.

    It also gets way more complicated when there's some kind of physical attraction there too -- like hopefully it just turns into romantic love, but maybe it's too soon or it gets misconstrued or something.

    The whole thing's very messy and way too closely interconnected with societal concepts which you have a tendency to either just internalize or reject as personally oppressive instead of exploring further.

    I didn't see myself interacting in this forum, as I didn't want it -- I reject both the puritanical "sex is bad" and the progressive "sex is a form of personal pleasure, which is always good". Whatever intimacy I've experienced goes way outside of that but it's hard to talk about that, so I tend more towards "sexual stuff should be private". So yeah at the time I didn't want this forum and just wasn't going to participate in any of its topics. I'm glad I was wrong.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    I'm currently in the process of writing a big personal letter to her to try to explain as much of this as I can non-confrontationally

    I must be reading this wrong, because surely you don't intend to break the news of your dissatisfaction with monogamy through a letter? In that case why not leave a text message, or post-it note? "Out fulfilling my needs with someone other than you. Be back in the morning."

    If the internet were to be believed then we're all interchangeable, androgynous amalgams of human tissue, the nature of our beings subject to nothing more concrete than however our whims manifest at any given moment, but I do not believe that this is actually true. Speaking broadly, there are some likely distinctions to be made between men and women. When a woman suggests an open relationship, it's probably because she's already found the other man that she would prefer to have sex with more often, and is possibly already doing so and looking for retroactive permission. Insert any meme about cuckoldry here. When a man suggests an open relationship... well, the same possibility is there, that he's already found another woman and is attempting to reconcile his commitments with his boundless desires (and male desire really is without a useful limit, which is why it is often the woman's job to tell him "no" or "not tonight"), but it seems more likely that he is simply seeking a license to do whatever and whomever he wants, because infinite sexual variety is much more fun than the lack thereof. Unfortunately, our responsibilities to others (and even to ourselves) preclude that kind of fun from being something that we should pursue with abandon.

    You can continue seeking out relationship advice from the nonmonogamous (and I suppose you ought to if you're actually going to suggest this to your girlfriend) but the name of the game here is impermanence, and I encourage you to find as many examples as you can of these relationships that conform to your stated intention to remain with this woman long term. I suspect that it will not be easy. These things rarely get off the ground and almost always end up in heartbreak, shame, and failure. When, god help you, she reads that letter, she will be hurt. I can guarantee it. You are telling her that she is not quite enough, so in what other way could she possibly be expected to react? Whether or not you think the infliction of this pain is worth - what, exploring yourself?, ugh - is entirely up to you. She may have enough self respect to tell you to get lost, and she hopefully will have enough self respect to tell you no, but you might get lucky and she is both desperate and deluded enough to permit you the opportunity to humiliate her.

    Obviously, I'm making this post because I care, because I don't think that anyone's interests are served by hugbox validation, and because I don't like seeing decent, intelligent people ruin something worthwhile over a momentary fit of... poor judgment. Internet forums notwithstanding, there is more to life than endless navel gazing. I honestly think that the preoccupation with carefully cultivating each and every facet of our "identities", as if they were beautiful orchids, is a sign of cultural decadence, but that is a subject for another time. The point is, there is neither the need nor a single good reason to seek out the widest possible breadth of sexual experience when doing so injures the person that we claim to love. And if dissatisfaction with the current arrangement becomes truly intolerable then it may be worth considering the possibility that everyone's dignity is best served by moving on from it. Whatever you do, proceed with extreme caution, and be man enough to forego the letter and look her in the eye when you tell her what you want. I'm sure you'll discard the rest of my prudery, but that last bit of advice is crucial. The ability to forthrightly communicate these ideas, and without any comforting layer of separation, is a matter of moral courage. I am certain that she is worth no less than that.

    tl;dr old Famov yells at indecently shaped clouds.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Famov

    I think Famov is both right and wrong.
    If you’re capable of explaining something verbally and face-to-face that is indeed better than text or phone or finding a crowded place with too many witnesses to keep them from making a scene.
    But a well-written letter, that carefully says what you really think, and can be re-read in part without interrupting you in case something needs to be checked, is way the heck preferable to just not saying anything.
    Sometimes, at least. Most of us seem to be thinking this is probably one of those times.

    That’s what I think. I could be wrong.

    Over 1 Year ago
    chiarizio
     

    In that case why not leave a text message, or post-it note? "Out fulfilling my needs with someone other than you. Be back in the morning."


    This is highly judgmental and so right on the line of incivility. I'd tone the personal judgment back a bit.

    The rest of your post makes a lot of good points though -- "open" or "poly" relationships tend to be used as excuses for infidelity. On the other hand though those relationships can absolutely work if everyone's open about their intentions from the start -- I don't think they're inherently wrong, just that they can be used that way.

    I have more thoughts to share when I have more than five minutes at a time to respond to things.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    Of course, the car mechanic would prefer to tell me that I need a new transmission instead of a $5 bottle of transmission fluid. On the other hand, I don't go to the bicycle shop when my car doesn't run.

    Nicely said.

    I'm not even sure how much you've seen of what I've said.

    Only this thread so far. I come from the Hank Hill school of emotional fulfillment, but I sincerely wish you the best of luck navigating whatever it is you're trying to navigate.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Famov

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    @Famov- Ugh dude. Letters are absolutely valid forms of communication. My spouseketeer used one to express her feelings to me about my drinking. It was the clearest way she could express herself. I'm a talker, she's a thinker. I can talk things out but for her it's best there be a way to consider her words before expressing them sometimes.

    And as far as "permanence" goes, 50% of marriages go south. Nothing is guaranteed.

    And as far a person being "enough" or not, that's not actually a weight one should ever place on another's shoulders imo. Your happiness is up to you, not your partner. If you love each other and look out for each other then you are bringing "enough" to the relationship. Someone wanting other partners has nothing to do with whether their current partner is enough or not. There's never going to be one person who 'completes' you.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Tek Shmansen

    A really heartless or hurtful way to do it might be a PowerPoint presentation.

    Over 1 Year ago
    chiarizio
     

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    Knowing is so much better than guessing imo. I think she's ready (if not relieved) to hear what you can share.

    I personally had to have help and we sought relationship counseling (can't remember if y'all have, sorry). It was crucial in getting us both to open up and express Big Truths. It was also crucial in helping us actually, CLEARLY communicate. We'd been together...14yrs, 1 married (or close to that)? We'd already been through a lot. But we had held so much back, especially to protect the other. Counseling finally taught us how to fight, even! (we NEVER argued, thought that was a good thing)

    But anyway, hiding things is procrastinating at best. Shot's got to come out eventually.

    Open and clear communication is how we've gone from surviving to thriving. It is and was so hard, especially when we first really started getting things out in the open. And I think we're due for some more sessions (spouseketeer and me, and also us three) bc holy hell this past year(s). Gotta keep working at it.

    Over 1 Year ago
    Tek Shmansen

    [scrubbed]

    Over 1 Year ago
    [scrubbed]

    @Famov - i think tek used to raise orchids

    Over 1 Year ago
    EN

    Yes I did! Excellent memory, I'm envious.

    Under the right circumstances those odd and uniquely adapted plants are actually rather hardy...

    Over 1 Year ago
    Tek Shmansen

    This thread is archived