This post is in response to anonymous questions and comments that I receive via a SurveyMonkey form I set up. If you’d like to send me a question or comment just fill out the form at this website (www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH). I’m sorry for the delay on some of these, I received more responses than I expected and am answering as quickly as I can (without burning myself out). If you are willing to give up the anonymity and provide contact information then I will respond directly to you before (or instead of) blogging.
- One question I have is about your relationship, I know you two are poly, but does that mean you invite others to join you, or would you two be fine with sleeping with other people individually?
We don’t really identify as “poly” because to us that means that you are interested in emotional relationships (ie love, dating, etc.) with people outside of the partnership. We are emotionally monogamous but physically open. I don’t really know what the correct phrase for that is and we identify as “monogam-ish”. We have actually discussed what we would do if one of us fell in love with someone else though.
To answer your question, we are intellectually open to the idea of sleeping with other people individually but it hasn’t happened yet. Part of the reasons that we haven’t done that yet is logistical, we have been cycling around the country for the better part of the last three years and we haven’t really done much traveling or meeting people alone. It isn’t something we are pursuing, but we are open to the idea if someone asked us. We’ve made out with people and fooled around with people without each other, but it hasn’t reached the level of sex.
The other reason we haven’t done it is because we aren’t sure how we would feel. Being intellectually open to something doesn’t mean that we will be comfortable with it in the moment and a lot will probably depend on who is asking, who they want to sleep with, and other specifics that make it impossible to come up with a “yes” or “no” to a generic request. I am much more comfortable with the idea than my partner and if she wanted to hook up with someone without me I probably wouldn’t have an issue with it. There would likely be additional barriers if someone wanted to hook up with me alone, but all barriers can be discussed and you never really know what the answer will be until you ask.
As a small aside, I find the phrase “invite others to join you” kind of interesting because we have never taken any initiative, we’ve just kind of let situations develop. I think part of the reason is our more introverted nature and even a personal confidence issue. It is also impossible to know if someone is in an open relationship or interested in you without them explicitly saying so. I was kind of this way in my dating ways too, I just assumed most people were in relationships or weren’t interested in me unless they were very explicit about it. I am terrible at telling whether I’m being flirted with and really need something like a message that says, “Hey, I think you’re cute and I’d like it if we kissed”… or maybe someone just kissing me.
Additionally, as a partnership that is pretty open about our unconventional life, I almost feel like most of the burden to initiate falls on other people because we’ve made our stance known. The general social norm is that a married person shouldn’t try to hook up with someone other than their partner, which means the best way for us to live is to raise our freak flag high and see who comes over to check it out.
- Peter, For several years now I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know you through the medium of fb. I believe we somehow originally connected through mutual friend in SFL but I’m unsure if we’ve ever met in person. Regardless, you’ve grown to be one of my favorite people! I always enjoy your writing and having discussions with you online. I’ve grown and changed a lot personally over the last couple of years and I find your viewpoints to be more and more relevant and interesting to me as my experiences broaden.
It’s an odd sensation to me to feel a close friendship with you while consciously being aware that I know you quite a bit better than you know me (since I just haven’t been as active in writing online). I would really enjoy the chance for my significant other and I to spend some time with you and Anna in the future.
I hope we have the opportunity! I like the idea for anonymous and unfiltered feedback from your social group. So much goes on in people’s heads that we don’t get to see. It’s exciting to see what they put forth, or to have the opportunity to express something (like this message) which would seem a little out of place to randomly put forth. Thanks for being so open about who you are, and I hope we continue to connect and get to know each other better in the future.
I actually responded to this person directly because they left their information, but I wanted to share it anyway. Thank you so much for your kind words and I really hope I can meet you and your significant other in person someday. I have thousands of Facebook friends whom I’ve never met in person and many of them have become a really positive influence on my life. I’d love to meet up, hug (if consented to), and forge a friendship in real life as well. I am always curious about little things that you can’t tell on Facebook like how tall people are or what their voice sounds like.
So, please come visit me in Wilmington! We have a spare bedroom in our quirky old house that exists for guests. The more the merrier ?
I hope that answered the questions, but if the author (or anyone else) has a follow-up question or would like me to clarify something please feel free to message me on Facebook, Snapchat (@pneiger), or using the anonymous SurveyMonkey. Or if you have a completely unrelated question please send it my way.