And ys polyamory problem-free? No, but it is possible.

Polyamory isn’t for everyone. But . . . neither is monogamy.

Pretty much everywhere you look, the idea that your romantic and sexual needs should and will (some oh-so magical day, anyway) be fulfilled by that one special person forever is reinforced. Can you think of a love song or rom-com missing that compulsory monogamy plotline? Maybe like, one song . . . but no, not really.

I think a lot of people feel shame about their desires in general — but particularly desires that stray outside this “soul mate” logic. Whether it’s being repeated explicitly or on a subtextual level, this is the primary shaming tactic of any lifestyle that isn’t monogamous:

Any romantic love, interest, and/or sexual activity for anyone other than your wife/girlfriend/etc is bad. “Cheating” destroys all love/sexual desire for her or makes it valuable, less “authentic.” That’s just not true.

I think it actually takes a lot of security in your relationship(s) and commitment to have a non-monogamous relationship or practice a polyamorous lifestyle.

It takes open and honest communication. Buying a copy of Opening Up isn’t going to make you a certified ‘Good Communicator.’ There’s no one workbook or workshop that will make your past, present, and future jealousy vanish.

People navigating and creating boundaries in non-monogamous relationships struggle with the balance of giving/receiving in a way that mutually satisfies their romantic and sexual (and oh so many other) needs . . . just like people in monogamous relationships do.

It might seem impossible to even imagine what polyamory or a non-monogamous lifestyle might look like. A poly friend of mine puts it like this:

“You have your favorite sandwich, right? You love that sandwich. And you could eat it every single day. There’s no other sandwich like it, no taste as perfect and satisfying. But every now and then, you want to try a bite of another sandwich. Almost everyone does sometimes. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you — and it does not mean you don’t love your favorite sandwich.”


Phone Sex Kingdom Nicole Burke