My Husband, My Boyfriend, His Boyfriend, Our Girlfriend: My Polyamorous Life

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Whenever I tell someone I am polyamorous, often the first question they ask is, “what’s that?” Since I live in a conservative area, most people I talk to have never even heard the word ‘polyamory’ before. The word ‘polyamory’ is the combination of the Greek word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’ or ‘several,’ and the Latin word ‘amor’ meaning love.

Polyamory is the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time. Once people learn the definition, I am then greeted with very mixed reactions. The most common reaction I get from women is a look of mild disgust, and then I am often asked if this is my husband’s idea, and if I am just going along with it because I think I don’t deserve a man who only loves me. I have gotten that reaction and comment most often. The reactions I get from men are a little bit more favorable, but that could just be because at that point they see me as their next sexual conquest, snore. I am a headstrong and independent woman in her late-twenties that lives every day as I choose to live it, I love life, I love sex, and I love love; this is my life and my story.

A lot of people, when I tell them I am polyamorous, confuse it with swinging or wife-swapping. The main difference I have experienced between polyamory and swinging is the emotional component of polyamory, swinging is typically just for recreation.

I am a very open-minded person and have no issue with swinging or swingers, but that type of sexual lifestyle is not for me for a few reasons. I have always felt like I had a lot of emotional love to give to others, and with swinging I feel there is little, if any, emotional connection between two people engaging in sex. I have tried swinging a few times and I have always felt a little dirty, hollow and unsatisfied afterward.

I had a psychology professor once say the brain is the biggest sex organ, and for me that couldn’t be more true. For me to be sexually attracted to someone, I also need to be emotionally and intellectually attracted to them. Like I said, I have tried swinging and one-night-stands, but my body literally does not respond in those situations, and my (slang word for vagina) does not get wet, it is as dry as sandpaper. Conversely, if I am intellectually and emotionally attracted to someone, it is like Niagara Falls down there.

I’ll never forget the day that I met my husband Nick, we were pursuing the same graduate degrees at a large university and we ended up being assigned to the same project. We met for the first time in a hallway at school, I remember thinking he had some of the most amazing pecs I had ever seen.

We spent a lot of time working together and grew to be fast friends, we had a lot in common and similar morals, interests and views on life. For the first nine months of our friendship I wasn’t sexually attracted to Nick, except for his pecs of course. Nick was supposed to be a one-night stand, but what he turned into was something I never expected. Since we had gotten so close in our friendship, and I found him to be aesthetically pleasing, he’s gorgeous, our first hook-up was mind-blowing. Nick and I had just given a stellar presentation at a conference and went out for drinks to celebrate our achievement, and before long we were drinking by the hotel pool until 2 am.

Nick and I had been exchanging glances all evening, the more drinks the more glances. We snuck off and left everybody by the pool so we could see what was behind these knowing glances that had been exchanged for several hours. We were sharing rooms with other people at the conference, and since the entire department was there it was difficult to find a place to be alone, let alone a place where we could be naked and do ungodly things to each other for hours.

We eventually found an unlocked ballroom, not my classiest moment, and that is when everything changed for me. Nick made me feel things that night I had never felt before in my life, he is a truly amazing lover. He makes 50 Shades of Grey seem a like a Harry Potter book. Making love for him is an art form, always putting my wants and needs before his own, it was the first time in my life that sex felt incredible.

Seven years have passed since that fateful night, my husband and I are now married and have been living our happily ever after together ever since! However, happily ever after for us differs slightly from the traditional idea of happily ever after.

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“I wouldn’t choose to live any other way and I have learned a lot about myself through my relationships with other people.”

We want the nice house with a picket fence and a dog just like many traditional couples, but we also want to be romantically and sexual involved with other people. Like I said, most people think this must be my husband’s idea, but it is quite the opposite, every relationship I have ever been in has been open to some degree.

My first serious boyfriend, Anthony, was bi-sexual and we had a partially open relationship. We were allowed to sleep with other people as long as it was a group situation and we were both involved, having sex with anyone without the other one present was against our agreed-upon rules. This was my first experience with the ideas and concept of being open sexually while still in a committed relationship, and it was new for Anthony too, and the idea to be open was mutual.

Eventually Anthony and I broke up (which is a whole other subject) and I began casually sleeping with Nick on a very regular basis. Granted, I did have feelings for Nick but I was not ready to be in another relationship, Anthony and I were together for nearly five years, so I was not about to go jumping into another relationship.

Nick and I had a casual sexual relationship for about a year before things progressed emotionally and we couldn’t hide our feelings for one another much longer, yet we both enjoyed the casual element to our sexual relationship. I have never been the type of person who sleeps with a lot of people (not that there is anything wrong with that!), so I don’t enjoy one-night stands very much. I have slept with around 20 people in my life, and would go out on a few dates with people here and there while Nick and I were figuring out what we were.

Nick would go out with other women on occasion as well, but we would always try to plan our dates with other people on the same night so that nobody was at home feeling alone and unwanted. As the years passed we were certain of two things; we wanted to be together forever and we wanted to fuck other people.

My sexual relationships with others began very casually with little emotion involved outside of good friendship. A lot of my outside lovers are good friends of mine that I feel very comfortable being around and we also have a sexual chemistry. I enjoy casually having sex with some of my friends, I feel it brings us closer together and allows for more intimacy in our friendship.

In my time with my husband I have been with many of my friends and I would say I love a lot of them as friends, and have had strong emotional feelings for some of them during our marriage. I was close to falling in love with a beautiful, sassy, free-spirited friend of mine named Emily, but timing and location never seemed to line up enough as she lived many hours away, we are still fantastic friends. And I have been in love with one other man during my marriage, a man named Cooper who I have been seeing for about a year.

My boyfriend Cooper is a sexy, sophisticated and a well-hung lover. He is the only person that has held a candle to Nick. I have felt close to several of my other partners and cared for them, but not the way I care for Cooper. Cooper is bisexual and has been with his boyfriend for the better part of a decade. They are in an open relationship as well, but the idea of polyamory and being in love with two people at the same time is a new concept for Cooper, one that I am pretty sure he is still over-analyzing. We have similar interests, he is stimulating on an intellectual level, and when we fuck it is some of the most intense passion I have ever experienced. There are way too many amazing things about Cooper to fit into one paragraph, but suffice it to say, I am surprised by how intense my feelings are for him, I am enjoying the fun and exciting feelings that accompany being newly in love with someone.

Another question I get often, once people find out I am in love with two different men at the same time, is how my love for Nick and Cooper differ, and where I want things with Cooper to go. My love for Nick and Cooper is quite different for me, but along the same general line. I don’t want to build a life with anyone or have a family with anyone else other than Nick, that is not something I would want with Cooper, and Cooper does not want that with me, he has his own primary partner who he has built a life with.

My love for Cooper is deeply rooted in friendship, full of compassion, topped off with some of the most intense chemistry and sex I have ever had in my life. However, I have no plans of showing up at his house with a U-Haul to move in with him. I would like us to be able to see each other in the upcoming months and years, but I am in no hurry whatsoever to rush things with Cooper. Nick and Cooper are the only two people (with Emily being a close third) that have made my body feel truly amazing, and yes, they have both fucked me at the same time (they are close friends) and it is incredible when they do that…talk about Niagara Falls.

This is the basic overview of my polyamorous life, a life filled with love, excitement, and a little bit of drama every once in a while. I wouldn’t choose to live any other way and I have learned a lot about myself through my relationships with other people. I have learned to establish boundaries with myself and others, learned that communication is key and being polyamorous wouldn’t be possible without open communication with everybody involved.

I think Nick and I have to have a few more conversations than traditional couples do because we like to be very open with each other about our outside partners and iron out details of our relationships, but I’m happy to have those conversations with him. The divorce rate in America is staggering, and many of those divorces stem from someone being unfaithful, that can’t really happen with myself and Nick and our marriage. Our relationship isn’t divorce-proof just because we are polyamorous, but being polyamorous works very well for both of us.

PHOTO CREDIT: Elena Ringo performing with six hula hoops” by Elena Ringo – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons