Monday, November 22, 2010

98% normal.

It's weird sometimes to think of my relationship with Rowdy and Sprite as weird. We're still alien enough to society to be worthy of detachedly anthropological, vaguely freakshowish human interest articles, to experience fear and difficulty explaining our relationship to our families and some friends, to be unable to marry even in Massachusetts, to be unable to list our relationship on Facebook, and to be generally so far removed from the public consciousness that most people who see us out in public don't even consider that we could all be together.

This weekend we went had hot three-way sex and slept three to a bed, yes, but we also went shopping for drapes and a carpet. We practiced our wild and crazy alternative lifestyle at the warehouse store, where our society expects that only one man and one woman should debate getting one large carpet versus tiling small ones. It was perverted.

And pleasant, because even when it's something mundane, I enjoy doing things with all three of us. I like the fact that we can all three get along and work together even when it's not hot sexy fun. We make each other laugh and we always have something to talk about. They're not just two people I fuck, they're two people who make me happy.

Then Sunday Sprite was busy, so Rowdy and I had to answer the question "what do two bi poly kinksters do when they have a whole day to themselves?" The answer is that they rearrange and clean the bedroom, cut and place the carpet, and install the drapes. I mean, we certainly fucked, boy did we fuck, but it's not the only way we spend our time and it's not the only thing we can do together. I feel a little ridiculous saying that--would someone in a monogamous vanilla relationship have to clarify such a thing?--but I've been asked in so many words and more than once if this stuff I do is really all about sex. It's exactly as much "about sex" as dating is. Because it is dating.

I don't mean to protest too much that I'm so super normal. I am kinda weird and I enjoy it. I don't keep a sex blog to talk about how boring and housewares-oriented I am. But I think it's important to always keep in mind that 24/7 live-in slaves still have old family recipes they treasure and latex-fetishizing ponyboys still have to go to the dentist. Even when you live a totally wacky alternative lifestyle, 98% of your life will still be... life.


  1. This is a tangent, but from your writing, it seems like you're in a relationship with Rowdy, and so is Sprite, and your relationship with her is mostly that you're fucking the same guy. If Rowdy wasn't available on a Sunday, would you be hanging drapes and fucking Sprite? In the polyamorous relationships I've observed at close range, it usually seems that one person is polyamorous, and the others are monogamous within an unusual configuration (i.e. polyamorous at the behest of the group leader, to whom the others are mostly monogamous). I know we're getting a limited view of the relationship through the filter of this blog, so it's very possible that I'm off-base. I just don't get an understanding of the affection you feel toward Sprite.

  2. Anon - I think we could be good friends, but I admit Sprite and I probably wouldn't have a romantic/sexual relationship without Rowdy. And this is okay; polyamory doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical. The fact that I'm happy and relaxed about my boyfriend dating another woman (and it's not at his "behest," it's my own feelings) makes me polyamorous, with no requirement that I have to have exactly the same relationship with her for things to be fair.

    (Also, Rowdy isn't so much the "group leader"; he may have the most aggregate sexual interest but he doesn't always socially dominate or set the agenda. Sprite is probably more leaderly if anything.)

  3. I'm learning to appreciate our new alternative lifestyle. It feels strange to have such a big part of our lives that we keep secret from our friends and family. At the same time, it's a bond that ties us even more closely together.

    So glad that you have embraced your lifestyle and share for those of us just starting out. Many thanks.

  4. Anon-
    I feel the same way as Holly. Without Rowdy we prob wont have the sex but we'd be friends. But I'm so glad we can have threesomes because she's a screamer & its hot!

    Each poly relationship is different & I do know poly/mono couples where only one of them dates other people. It's all about what youre comfy with. But why would Holly be talking about MY other relationships that she doesnt experience first-hand?

    it's service leading because those two are lazy bones, and we came to NYC to do shit!

  5. I really have appreciated hearing about your arrangement/relationship from a very real and down-to-earth perspective. It upholds my secret idealist conviction that people/relationships work themselves out in amazingly variable and workable ways because people are inherently so variable, and much as in genetics, variability is a Very Good Thing because it offers plentiful solutions to whatever life throws at us as a species :) Thanks for being so open and honest...

    (and on a personal note, I have always adored the "little everyday things" like errands and decor and must-do's that are so much more enjoyable with a pal!)

  6. to be unable to marry even in Massachusetts

    This is one of the reasons I think government should get out of marriage altogether. Ain't their business. If you three wanted to get married, you should be able to get together a ceremony with whoever you want to solemnize it. And it's not up to the government to opine on any differences from, say, my own straight Christian waiting-for-sex-until-the-wedding-night marriage ideas. I don't value their "sanction" one bit. They shouldn't be defining marriage any more than prayer.

    I do think government recognition of civil unions probably has a place, with regulations on things like custody of children, allocation of shared possessions, defining next-of-kin, etc., when the parties have not made other contracts.

  7. People get like this with gays, too. It's like they never consider that 98% of being gay is just like being straight: dishes, laundry, oil changes, checkbook balancing, leaf raking, snow shoveling, everyday life banality. 98% of your relationship with Rowdy and Sprite is the same as my het relationship with my husband because 98% of everyone's life in America is the same. We all have to pee and put on clothes and eat stuff, yet people are all kinds of shocked that gays and polys and ponyboys are people, oh my! Weird.

  8. "would someone in a monogamous vanilla relationship have to clarify such a thing?--"

    In fact, we sometimes do. Although, in all fairness, Hubby and I aren't exactly "monogamous vanilla" but most people don't know that (we have an open marriage but most people think we are just your average couple). Anyhoo, it has happened on MANY occasions where I'll be talking to someone online (a man), and he asks the usual questions like "age? sex? married? etc". When i say I am married they ALL ask "Does your husband know you're talking to other men online?" (yes). Then it's "Where is he now?" (In bed, asleep, because he has to get up at O-dark-thirty and I'm a night person) and then, it almost always leads to "Shouldn't you be there with him?" or "Why aren't you in bed with him?". As if we're supposed to be humping like bunnies every chancve we get. Of course, it's always single men asking this, ones who evidently have never had any sort of long term relationship and don't grasp the concept that, while humping is fun and all, I got shit I gotta do. Sometimes, we could fuck, but choose not to because, well, I fucked him yesterday and, today, he's on my last damn nerve and if I had to have sex with either him, or a rabid porcupine, I would actually have to consider my options. Or, maybe I just don't feel like it.

    So, yeah, even us "monogamous vanilla" folks have to explain our relationships occasionally and point out that we are actually able to be in the same room with each other and not be humping.

  9. I have a question that you (or someone else) may or may not be able to answer regarding the article you posted.

    In the article she says they cannot be legally married, but then that they are breaking the law. Is it illegal to live together in a polyamorous family unit?

  10. Sprite - Oh, I see, you're the service boss. :p

    But hey, I very much appreciate the effort you put into getting us off our asses doing cool things. :)

    June Clever - I wonder if that preconception has less to do with "you should always be humping" and more to do with "you should always be together." Like the really unthinkable thing is that you're doing something without your husband, and married people aren't supposed to just run off on their own like that.

    Cortney - I think the woman in the article is speaking imprecisely and means that them living as if married is flouting the law, if not actually violating it.

    However, it is possible to be prosecuted for polyamory. In Utah, at least, state code prohibits polygamous cohabitation even if only one (or no) couple is legally married--the people from Sister Wives have been threatened with legal action over this.

  11. This post resonates with me. The other day I was affectionately watching my bf do the dishes. He was wearing one of my tight girlie t-shirts and a pair of pink fuzzy women's pajama pants I'd bought him, and I was trying to get my head around the idea that most other people would find this repulsive and weird. For us it's just the way we live: we do all the usual domestic stuff, it's just that our gender roles are kinda jumbled. But people on the outside probably assume we get up to crazy icky sex stuff all the time.

    And it's hard to explain, but even though my whole drag hag thing started out as a kink, it seems to have mellowed...maybe because I have full-time access to a girlyboy now. The girl-clothes don't seem naughty and subversive anymore, they're just his clothes. Hell, maybe my love of crossdressers never was a kink, just a preference so unusual that people made me feel like a freak about it.

    Or, hmmm. I guess "an unusual preference that freaks other people out" is the actual definition of a kink.

  12. I agree that poly marriages can be basically normal, but I don't know if that's enough of a reason to make poly marriage legal. It's probably not worth extending benefits like a lower tax rate if filing jointly to arbitrarily large groups, some of which will form just to get those benefits.

    That Utah law is just invasive of privacy for no reason, though. And perhaps some procedures like designating people who can visit you in a hospital and setting up wills could be made simpler for all people.

  13. C - Why do two people get a lower tax rate, then? And do you think groups of two people never get together (or at least bother to make it official) for the perks?

  14. I also have repeatedly asked the rhetorical question of why should the government have a bloody thing to do with who/why/when/how people arrange their personal/romantic relationships? Why benefits and taxes for "marrried" vs. "unmarried" when people in general set up housekeeping/childrearing/everyday life in a variety of forms? In the case of children, I can see where there should be a designated legally responsible adult or adults to ensure that the child is taken care of, but that can be (and IS) often someone other than a biological parent. It seems that the whole "register your relationship with the state and you get a prize" thing is more about social control and artificial divisions that stem from property than about romantic partnering, which happens regardless.

    Two (or more) people can and do decide to be together/committed to one another/responsible for and to one another all the damn time...until they decide not to anymore, legal/religious labels aside. I really don't even ask/care/register any status with people I know other than "in a relationship/not in a relationship" (and maybe a few shades of open-ness in case a mutual acquaintance inquires as to whether X is available or not because Y is interested/intrigued)

  15. @Cortney:

    The reason this is in Canada's news now is because the government of British Columbia has asked the courts for a reference opinion on its polygamy law. The law was used to charge several people from Bountiful, BC (in a "traditionally polygamous" fundamental Mormon-type arrangement).

    The charges were later dropped because the prosecutor had a conflict of interest, but it was very much an open question whether such a law was actually enforceable.

    The (old) Canadian law bans multiple simultaneous conjugal unions. It has not been enforced recently, but BC is thinking about it in order to after the Bountiful types. This of courses raises questions about how the law fits in with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (most obviously freedom of religion).

    The polyamory community has gotten involved because the law casts an awfully wide net. In theory, it could catch the "Holly & Rowdy & Sprite" relationship.

    For reference, the relevant statute is:
    Polygamy 293. (1) Every one who
    (a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into

    (i) any form of polygamy, or

    (ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time,

    whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or
    (b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii),
    is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  16. Many years ago my friend C asked me how I felt about her friend, S. I told her that I didn't really like S at all. When she pressed me as to why I had to tell her; I didn't really know S at all, but every time she (C) mentioned her it was negative and so that's all I had to go on.

    When all people ever hear about the poly world is SEX!-SEX!-SEX! then that's all they have to go off of. Since this is a "sex blog" it makes sense that that's the focus you take. It's when you move away from it and do post like this though, where you can make a real impact.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: I used to follow a blog of a ploy family that documented mostly everyday life activity. Blogs like that are hard to find, poly sexblogs aren't.

  17. Even when you live a totally wacky alternative lifestyle, 98% of your life will still be... life.

    I've been trying to convey that to well-meaning vanilla friends for the four years I've been in a poly relationship and the many years before that in a BDSM lifestyle. It's about dinner for five more often than orgasms for three.

    @anon 7:21pm -- I suspect that blogs of 'mostly everyday life activity' aren't that interesting to the majority of internet readers (many of whom want either All-Titillation All The Time, or at a a minimum a Main Course of Titillation with two sides dishes of The Mundane). So the 'mostly everyday life activity' blogs don't get read as heavily, and so aren't as popularized and as easy to find as sexblogs. I think that applies to blogs by poly, kinky, GLBT, straight, monogamous, vanilla and every other stripe of folks.

  18. "June Clever - I wonder if that preconception has less to do with "you should always be humping" and more to do with "you should always be together." Like the really unthinkable thing is that you're doing something without your husband, and married people aren't supposed to just run off on their own like that."

    I suppose some of them just thuink we should be together, whether humping or not. More often than not, it's strongly implied, sometimes outright stated, that we should be having sex. Basically I think "they" believe, because we're married, if we are "happy", we are supposed to go to bed together every night, have the required minutes of lights-off-missionary-sex and then go to sleep together.

    I get a similar reaction when someone realizes I have male friends. People have actually asked if my husband is "ok" with me having male friends or if he's ok with me talking to other men. Really? Did I inadvrtently joina convent when I got married? Hell, even nuns are allowed to have male friends.

    Bottom line is, I think, to anyone who hasn't been in a certain type of relationship, that relationship is somehow "odd" or "mysterious". It's like certain people can't grasp that 98% of evry relation ship, no matter the dynamic, is the boring stuff.

  19. Sweet Baby Jesus, I just re-read my last post and it looks like a monkey on crack typed it. I invoke my right to blame my horrid typing on the late hour. Now Im taking my no-typing butt to bed.

  20. I shouldn't have used lower tax rates as an example. Six people who want lower tax rates can just as easily join into three couples as they can one group of six (I'm assuming gay marriage is legal). One person would be left out if the number of people was odd, but such extra people probably wouldn't make a big difference when the amount of taxes paid by the whole country was considered.

    However, in legalizing poly marriage, all the benefits of two-person marriage should be checked to see if they could get out of control if arbitrarily large groups of people had them. For instance, in some places spouses can't testify in court against each other; surely we wouldn't want groups of people who can't testify against each other to get too big.

    Anyway, married couples get benefits because it's better (in general) for children if they have two parents continuously caring for them, and two parents are more likely to stay together if they've made a public, not-trivial-to-get-out-of commitment to stay together. Of course, the spouses need to make this commitment before they have children so that they don't have a child from whom one spouse can walk away with relatively little trouble.

  21. C - You know what, you're right. The whole institution of legal marriage is ridiculous and you've just highlighted two important reasons why.

  22. In the polyamorous relationships I've observed at close range, it usually seems that one person is polyamorous, and the others are monogamous within an unusual configuration (i.e. polyamorous at the behest of the group leader, to whom the others are mostly monogamous).

    ... the hilarious thing right now is that in the sixteen or so years I've been actively polyamorous I have almost never seen this or anything that resembles it ....

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm tuning in from a different universe.

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.