Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Oh, Sweet Irony!

I remember many, many moons ago, back in the time I was a good Mormon girl that did good Mormon girl things (meaning, nothing at all). I was afraid of penis, and only wanted an honorable priesthood holding husband so I could squirt out little babies and then later go on Prozac like every other breeding mother in the church. Anyway, I was having a discussion on polygamy, and whether it would be a practice the church would resume if it was ever legal to do so. (The mainstream LDS church prohibits polygamy, and you will excommunicated for such.)

I declared that if it were legalized, and Jesus himself came down and commanded it on live television, I still would never participate in polygamy. Sharing my husband? Forget about it! Go find your own!!

Here I am, almost 15 years later, am embarking on my journey into polyamory. No, I didn't stutter.

After I became an inactive Mormon, and delved into the delightful sins of penis, swearing, and coffee, the more and more I became disenchanted with vanilla. Oh sure, I added all the spice of kink, and it was fun, but there was something missing. It wasn't just about sex, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I'd have mind-blowing sex, but then feel empty immediately following. As if I had just gorged myself on the Chinese buffet of pleasure, and was hungry for something else 30 minutes later.

I have a long string of failed personal relationships. If I was dating a guy and I decided I wanted to "take it to the next level", they would panic and split. A few times, I would date a guy and tables would turn and I would be the one running with my tail between my legs. I'm hard to impress. Quick to get bored. And then a full-time relationship just didn't appeal to me.

Since my first sexual awakening, I had always joked that an ideal marriage for me would be where the husband still had his own house. We'd get together on certain dates, do married couple things, sometimes there would be sleepovers, and then he would go home...where I hoped he had hobbies or something to entertain him while I enjoyed my personal space.

Everyone laughed like it was a great joke. Only I wasn't joking. The trappings of a full time marriage do not appeal to me. I have no burning desire to have kids. And just bobbing along in the unreliable and unpredictable dating scene didn't sound so great either. As in a lot of other things in my life, I found myself in limbo. Not really fitting into anywhere.

So, I just gave up. I put up emotional walls. I had sex when I wanted, and just shrugged off the emptiness that followed. It's not a great way to live your life.

One day, I was talking to some good friends of mine. The wife, I feel a sisterly fondness for, and she of me. Her husband is awesome. They have the perfect marriage built on trust, honesty, openness, and I have never seen a couple as devoted to each other as those two. I was always proud to know such a married couple, because let's face it, great marriages have become unicorns.

At any rate, I was chatting with the wife (of whom I will give a nickname to later when I can think of a fitting one...I take such things seriously.), and she mentioned that her and the hubs were receptive to the idea of opening things up. Was something wrong in their marriage in that adding more people would fix it? No. Were they bored? No. They both believed that people could love more than one person, and if they could share their love and kindness to others, why would that be such a bad thing? And it wasn't just about sex. It was about intimacy.

After explaining the promptings of how this subject came about, and my feelings on the matter (if your relationship is good and both people can handle it, go for it), we talked of other things: scuba diving, triathlons, and career changes.

Now, I have always had a good rapport with the hubs (also trying to think of a suitable moniker). I met them both for the first time at a blogger meetup, and they had just started dating. I was instantly attracted to him, but shrugged it off as I don't make a play for men who are taken, even if it's just a date. Fast forward almost ten years, and our friendship is still going strong.

I'm not even sure what was the spark that lit the match, but at the end of the day, the wife had tossed in her consent for her husband to actively pursue me. Strangely, I felt equally receptive to the idea. So, the three of us have been laying the foundation. Talking about our expectations, our hopes, our concerns, our limits. Nothing is taboo. She even started referring to me as the Girlfriend. There's no jealousy there. No inkling of competition. We genuinely care for each other, and we all want the best for each other. And it totally blows my mind. I still pinch myself thinking this is all some strange dream and I am going to wake up. This goes against every single thing I was ever taught about marriage and relationships.

Funny thing is, that the idea of dating a married man with his wife's blessing doesn't startle me. I'm completely at ease with this. Everyone is. No, I think my challenges are going to be finally letting my emotional guard down, and letting someone into my life. In this case, I get two for the price of one. I get an intimate relationship from a caring man. I get an enhanced friendship with a woman I've long considered a sister. I feel like this is the piece that has been missing.

I'm still not into polygamy, but polyamory feels like a nice fit. I don't feel like I'm making any big sacrifice. Like comfortable slippers that have been waiting all this time for me to come home and slide them on.

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