poly_bear (poly_bear) wrote in gay_poly,

On Open Relationshps....

Hey...Hope this is okay to post here...

I haven’t posted again in quite a awhile…life has been interesting and I am growing. So is my lover… When I have posted it has mostly been about poly-fi… I find that there are some developments that I never expected from a different direction.

First: I am cross-posting this and I hope it doesn't upset anyone.

Second: So often when I post here I get jumped on like crazy and no one addresses what I was writing/asking about... I will somehow offend someone by the way I phrase my posting and it is never my intention. **sigh**

A major reason why I so rarely post. It is obvious to me that I am not the only one in the world with baggage. Those people who jump my case so bad have baggage as well or they would just skip right to answering my questions or addressing my concerns instead of attacking me for phrasing a sentence in a way that personally offended them for some reason...

Big intro? Sorry... I really need some advice bad... SHIT! There is so much to say and I don’t want to write a novel or no one is going to read all this…

First (or should I say third), my baggage centers around the fact that I had a lover that for over ten years who cheated on me thousands of times. Yes, thousands. His therapist estimated three thousand. Now that is a busy man!

Not that we were ever a “Leave it to Beaver,” gay couple. We played with others (together). Once in awhile, we gave each other “permission” to play separately. These were our particular rules. As a very young gay man I wanted a totally and completely monogamous relationship, which would include a dog, cat and white picket fence. As I grew older, I saw there was nothing wrong with wanting other men, or even having sex with them. But I only wanted to include other men under very specific situations and not have what I think of as a “classic” open relationship. I had friends who could have sex with whoever they wanted, and that is not what I wanted. I saw too many breakups as the partners found a playmate they wound up liking more than their spouse. Again, all I can go my by are my perceptions of what I was seeing around me. I know there are many exceptions!

I think the most important thing is that the people in a relationship agree to an arrangement and stick to it. It can change, but all people involved must agree to the changes. That is not what happened.

So when I use the word “cheated,” it is because he didn’t follow the rules. At all. Never did. Because when I finally reluctantly just asked if he wanted an open relationship he assured me over and over and over and over again that he didn't want an open relationship. I finally came to see that in our particular situation, he wanted me faithful and he wanted to play all he wanted... What was good for the goose was not good for the gander… And then he started playing unsafely and got HIV and through some miracle, I am still neg 6 years later...

It was devastating to my ego and more... I've grown a lot since, but I still have a long way to go...

So I finally dumped him and a while later got a new lover... And my MAJOR BAGGAGE was that I did not want an open relationship!!!

But I wasn't the Cinderella Man anymore... I wasn't that innocent boy who wanted to marry ONE man and live in a castle forever... I had come to realize that I occasionally wanted to be with men besides my lover...

But the last time I had allowed my relationship to be somewhat "open" or allowed myself to be in a relationship where we had three (or more) ways or gave any kind of permission to play with others, the relationship devolved into something where my partner cheated thousands of times and put my life in danger...


My newer partner, “R,” who I have been with for 4.5 years now is a wonderful man and in most ways, far superior to my first lover.

However, there are several ways we are not all that compatible. I have a far higher sex drive for instance and it runs the gamut of interests. He is pretty vanilla. He insists he isn’t so I give him French Vanilla or maybe chocolate-ship. He never wants to bottom. He prefers the lights out. So many things…

My silly and immature out-look on being poly-fi is that we could find a husband that was more sexual for me, and more into Dr Who for him. Yes, I know it is far more complicated than that and I am over simplify to the nth degree. But it took growing for me to see that and I am growing every day…

I began to see that having a more open relationship would have many benefits. Not only could I find men to scratch my itch which “R” was not overly willing to scratch… BUT I saw that it certainly DID NOT mean that I loved “R” any less when I wanted to fuck or get kinky or just plain have a nice afternoon with someone beside him.

HOLY SHIT, it really did (at times) seem to have nothing to do with him… And at the same time, amplified my love for him!!!!

I was at a camp one day hanging out a bit with a man I played with a long time ago and “R” was out of town and it got to the point where it was hard to keep my hands off this guy. I felt so guilty! And yet I saw that if I DID play with this man that it wouldn’t mean I loved “R” any less. It would have been a really nice play time…a nice connection with another human being. He and I would have been happy and again, it wouldn’t mean I loved “R” any less…

But OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO this was scary territory!

First, allowing things like that to happen would be that it was okay for “R” to play as well! Sound familiar? This would be what my ex had done to me!!!! I wanted to play but I didn’t want “R” to play! Now again, don’t attack me! I know what is going on and I am learning and trying to work through this!

This is soooooo long…is anyone still with me?

The difference between me and my ex is that my ex just completely and totally wanted control. It was all ABOUT control. Controlling me, controlling everything and everyone around him. He had this “King of the Mountain” mentality. Everyone else was just slaves or something…

You could say that it is control for me as well, but it is totally fear based.

As I have said above, it is MY experience that what I have seen with friends and acquaintances is the following… Open your relationship and it is doomed. That is what I have seen! Don’t attack me! That is what I have seen!

It is totally common for people to constantly looking (if they are aware of it or not) for the next lover. We do NOT all do this! Not at all! But it is very very common. My lover is quite handsome enough or rich enough or whatever… Now when sex is allowed outside the relationship, in increases the chances that someone will find that new lover. Sure, they can find one without sex! I know that! But sex is a powerful thing. And it OFTEN comes with emotion. And you find a fuck-bud that you really really like and suddenly one leaves their lover for a better spouse. Then one notices, after the glitter fades, that they too fart and leave their socks all over the house and don’t do their share of the dishes… So we look for the next lover…

How often does one get an emotional attachment with a fuck-buddy or play-mate? It happens all the G-damn time!

How do you play outside the relationship without forming to deep an attachment?? Or in my case, how do I get over the blinding fear that if I allow “R” to play as well, that HE won’t find someone new? He is even more emotional than I am (if that is fucking possible). He gets just as emotionally attached to things and places and people as I do…

How do I get over the fear that “R” won’t do what my ex did?

I am seeing more and more the advantages of opening our relationship slowly, one step at a time… But I am afraid. I admit it!

This last week we took a big huge step…

I have been talking to “R” about how much I wanted to have sex with the guy I told you about above… And a few others. It hurt him so I didn’t pursue anything… And then it happened again. Something happened that opened his eyes.

We went to this big week long camping festival and got to know this guy better that we have been attracted to for a few years. “R,” the cute shy little thing got the nerve to flirt with him like crazy. I was so proud of him. He was still fairly vanilla but now there were at least a few nuts sprinkled here and there! (pun intended) It looked like an amazing and fabulous three-way was in the wings…

…when this guy made it clear (politely) that he wanted “R” but not me. Totally. I have had plenty of examples of where I have had three ways in my life and knew that the guy really only wanted one partner but was willing to do both to get at the one. This had never caused me trouble because if I was the one the guy wanted, I gave my lover plenty of attention so he wouldn’t feel left out and visa versa. But this cowboy only wanted “R.”

And suddenly to my surprise, I told “R” to go for him… My heart was pounding and I was scared and a tad jealous, but what was predominantly happening was that I wanted “R” to experience this man! I didn’t want “R” to miss out on something that I knew he would really enjoy…

My baggage reared up now and then, but I somehow managed to knock it down and go with the idea that I was doing the right thing…

Did I use the word “jealous?” Yes, I did! I hear all the time that couple have NO jealousy and I just need to cast mine off. That jealousy is silly. Well, hell! Jealousy is a very basic emotion! It is totally normal! It is instinctual! Dogs and cats and even fish in one’s aquarium feel jealousy!!! How in the blue blazing f*ck do I “just” cast off jealousy? Especially in my case???

I have the fear that “R” could wind up doing what my ex did to us, and on top of that, I have my “worth issues.” I don’t think I am even half as sexy as “R” (and he feels the same way about me). And shit, on top of that, I think the guy is hot. I want him as well!

How do I cast off jealousy and not worry about “R” playing with this man?

But I did. There was some fear, oh yes!!!

But there were other things happening.

I was happy for “R.” I was happy that he was getting to do something fun and sexy and exciting! Fuck! I have tons and tons of experiences and he has only had a few… He came out way late in life… I even got turned on thinking about them getting it on… I was scared… But more, I was in love with “R” even more. I was pretty fucking sure that “R” wouldn’t do what my ex did. That this was the real thing. That I was giving him “permission” and he wasn’t going to abuse it…

He said to me… “I want him! I don’t know why, but I do, and I feel bad about it! I am sooooooooooooo sorry!”

And this was a good thing! Because that is what I’d been trying to tell “R” for several years. It was normal!

““R,” do you love me any less?”

“No, of course not!”

And when I want someone besides “R” I don’t love him any less!

“R” didn’t understand when I wanted someone besides him. He needed it to happen to him. NOW he sees that wanting someone else doesn’t mean he loves me less. As a matter of fact, the love making has been much better the last few days!!!!

And this guy was so perfect. He lives in England for God’s sake. He leaves in two weeks. He has a lover that he is very dedicated to. What a perfect man! You know, a baby step and a great leap at the same time? We are all learning a whole bunch and THIS guy is safe. “R” isn’t going to leave me for him!

So I sent him off, my heart in my throat, and told him to have fun. They didn’t do much, “R’s” guilt reared up and he couldn’t. They just made out and “R” had a good time (even though he felt guilty about it). We cuddled and he said that was all he was going to do and I assured him he could have done more… He assured ME that nothing more was going to happen…

But then it did.

Which fed into my fears! They went off to do something the next night and jacked off together… But FUCK I told him it was okay and it was. It was sexy! Thinking of him out in the woods jacking off with this total hottie! But he’d said they weren’t going to do anything… (I hope I am not entering into the realm of “too much information,” but I think the info is relevant.)

Is this all totally stupid? And I making any sense at all? Am I being totally immature and a silly school girl?

And if “R” felt guilty about it and yet… It was okay. There was the small amount of jealousy I felt, I would have loved to at least watched! LOL! **blush**

But “R” had learned another lesson… It was okay to “want” someone else and it didn’t mean he loved me any less. He saw how powerful sexual desire was. He saw how hard it was for me not to “slip” in the past and that what I’d wanted to do was normal. When I wanted to be with that man I told you about way way at the top of this huge long novel was “normal.” And “R” had been given permission. I told him the night we cuddled that it would have been alright to do more than he did…


“R” and this guy have a date tonight…

They are going to go off for the evening and do just about whatever they want to do… More than jack off anyway… All I asked was that “R” not let the guy fuck him since “R” won’t let ME fuck him (except for maybe about once a year) and I just don’t think that would be fair! OH! And they must play safe…

And thank GOD I will be spending the evening with “R’s” and my very very good friend whom we have sex with. I won’t be sitting alone at home, I won’t have to dwell on it, fall into fear, etc. “W” and I can have dinner and fuck and I won’t be all alone…

So even this “date” is perfect. Another small step and yet, a great leap…

So what is the point of all this?

1) How do you just “cast” aside jealousy? It is one of out most basic emotions? How do I cast off 100-thousand years of instinct?

2) How do I not worry that “R” won’t do to me what my ex did? How do I not “go there?”

3) How do people open their relationships, poly or otherwise, and make SURE that it does not endanger their primary relationship?

4) How do I get over my fears?

5) Am I an idiot for having my ego hurt that the cowboy doesn’t want me as well?

And “R” really is a darling! He is still trying to convince cowboy to have a three-way with us. But I think it is a good idea that they play together without me, at least first. If I get a crack at him I won’t mind! LOL! **blush** And I don’t have to be by myself. “W” will be with me.

SHIT! It would be easier to be Spock or Data here…. No emotion. But we are emotional beings, aren’t we?

Maybe I just needed to ramble?

I don’t want us to fuck up our relationship… I want to enhance it?

Any advise at all out there?
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Wow! I think you basically summed up the whole gammut of emotions found in a "open" relationship! This is so much like the feelings my partner and I ahve dealt with. It is hard to say what you should do, and how you and R can deal with things, as all are individuals. My best advice, is keep doing what you are doing...be honest, be open and KEEP COMMUNICATING!!! I can not stress the communication aprt enough. Sometimes, even over-reactive, hypersensative, even hurtful words are better than none at all. If you are not comfortable, express it to R and in turn, he will know he can express his discomfort to you too.
So on to your questions...
Jealousy is so normal. Trust me. I still get jealous. After more than 6 years together, and more than 3 of those years enjoying the company of other men, together or alone, I still get jealous of my partner being attracted to of be thought of as attractive. Now, I don't fly off the handle and forbid his looking or touching or playing, and neither does he for me. I think the reality is, jealousy is going to exist at times...it is how you express the jealousy that counts. When I get jealous of my partner, I simply think of our realtionship. Knowing what we have been through together and knowing our strengths and weaknesses, reminds me that we are meant to be. Also, whether I allow Alex to play or not, if he meets another guy at work, or the grocery store, and falls head of heals in love with him, what can I do about it. Sure I would be devastated, but that is life. No one wants it to happen, but my point is, whether he is playing with the guy, or meets him in a non-sexual arena, he could always make the choice to leave me. I would ahve no control over that, reguardless of our open relationship.
You can never not worry. Even with anti-anxiety medications (funny, but true) I still worry. The only thing you can really do is have faith in your feelings, and trust in R's feelings. You can also communicate about these feelings. Tell R you worry. Make sure he knows what you have been through. Ask him how he feels. Ask him if he feels anything like jealousy or worry. If he does...WOW...you guys are both on the same page. If he doesn't ask him how or why he feels the way he does. COMMUNICATE!!!! It is my relationship mantra, I guess.
I don't think opening or being poly endangers your primary relationship (especially being poly, since it is more than a primary with secondary relationships, all relationships are equal) any more than being closed does. It is like I said...if Alex meets somebody and falls head over heals for them, it will happen, either in the bedroom or the grocery store. That is out of your individual control. The only thing you can do is trust in your love and your partner's love for you.
Fears are rough. I still have fears, but with time and trust and communication, I am overcoming them. Alex and I talk about our play. We have veto rights (either of us can say no, and that is that...no arguing, just disscussion about the reasons why). We play together with other guys, but we also play separately. We respect each other while doing this. If the other is not around, play is generally accepted. If the other is around, we generally do not play, unless it is together or unless we give permission. For example, after going out for a night at the bar, i generally am tired, come home and go to bed. Alex may not be as tired, and he may want to play. This is fine with me, as I am usually in no mood to get up and dressed and go somewhere to play. So I tell him to go and have fun. And he generally does, and comes home to me afterwards (which by that time, I am usually more rested, and then we play ourselves...lol).
You are in no way an idiot about feeling rejected by the cowboy. It hurts to be rejected. Plain and simple. It is a blow to the ego. It is a painful situation. You are right to feel hurt.
Hey, i am in no way an expert on this topic. I just give the advice that works in my relationship. Each realtionship is different. Everybody ahs different things that work for them. I still say COMMUNICATION is the key. Above all, go have fun.
Hope this ramble helps some!

The ramble helped a whole lot...thanks. Thank you very much in fact.


And I love the spelling of your name...mind if I use it in one of my stories?
Sure hting, go ahead. Very rare to find it spelled this way. It is a curse and a blessing. Never was able to ahve personalized pencils or keychains. take that for what it is worth!
Hope you don't mind that I am friending you!
Mind? LOL
Already had added you to my list!
Great minds think alike!