Once upon a time, polyamory terrified me.
The idea that someone could be in love with multiple people was just wrong; plain and simple. Movies, television, radio, everything told us that you had to find that one person to live with for the rest of your life to be happy.
1 Man + 1 Woman + 2.5 Kids + 1 House (with a picket fence) +/- 1 Domesticated Animal = Happiness
I believed it.
Why wouldn't I though? The idea was that if someone loved you enough, you would be all they needed and they would never stray, ever. So, until you find that right person, you wade through relationship after relationship, person after person, hoping to find THE ONE. Given the amount of people on this Earth though...doesn't that make the odds 1/7,000,000,000? Ouch. Seems pretty hopeless when you look at it that way, but they teach us that "compromise" will fix all of the issues, if you try hard enough. Makes the odds a little better, however if you compromised too much, you were settling; which is also "wrong."
In 2009 I met a man that opened my eyes to a different way of living. I was already a bit familiar with BDSM, but still learning, and now there was this big scary "P" word. All I could imagine was being in one of those polygamy camps you see on television, but he seemed normal enough and television exaggerates, so maybe it isn't so bad.
It wasn't easy. Sure, it is for some. For some it is the easiest thing in the world and a completely amazing thing to finally be able to express love in the way they want to and have wanted to all their lives. I wasn't forced into a life of polyamory; I wanted it, but it didn't make deprogramming my brain any easier.
I had to get through the idea that loving more than one person was wrong. Even after I was ok with more people being around, I had a hard time letting myself be in love with anyone other than my partner. Sure I loved the other partners in my life, they were family, but I couldn't wrap my head around that last idea of being in love with multiple people being ok.
Finally I started to get the idea a little better when the original plan of having shared submissive partners got thrown out the window. This amazing young woman entered our lives, but she didn't want to be my submissive partner. This was one of the first times I truly ever felt compersion. Sure my ego took a bit of a hit at first, but I knew she was filling a spot in his life I couldn't and didn't want. My thanks go out to her for helping open my eyes.
Now it was my time to find what really made me happy. I sat and rewrote my needs and wants lists and realized that though my partner and I's wants are similar, they aren't the same. Our love languages are different, so are our kinks. It was time for me to find a partner that matched me, not us.
As many of you know, I believe I've found that person in my boy. I feel like I've won the lottery with him and am thankful every day that he's around now; but this isn't about me getting to where I am currently. It is about what I learned through the entire process: Ferocity of Love.
People fall in and out of love all the time. There are Love Languages, and Types of Love, but this is about something much deeper. This is about that level of love that makes you feel like you're constantly experiencing NRE (new relationship energy), even after the "Honeymoon Phase" is over. The love where telling your partner that you wish "so-and-so was dead" isn't possible, because they might just end up that way. That level of loving that you feel with your entire being, even when you feel like garbage.
This is something that I've come to experience not only in my "Big R" type relationships, those you're "in love" with, but in my "Little R" relationships/friendships as well. Those times where you really would give everything out of your wallet, the clothes off your back, and so much more just to make a good friend happy again. My time working at the Woodshed, forming my chosen family, and trying to help others in the community has helped bring this feeling to fruition for me.
Commonly people use the phrase "I love you so much," which seems to give the idea that there can be a quantity of love, and thus a limit. I had a hard time understanding this for a long while, that time (which is finite) and love are not the same thing. Yes time spent together is a Love Language, but it isn't the only one. Though I'm sure I will continue to use the phrase out of habit, I prefer to think of it as loving passionately and completely, and less in the "I love you more than you love me" type of sense.
Do I believe that only polyamorous people can experience this ferocity? No, not at all. I think that to get that level of loving though, you have to instill the ideals and concepts that you hear of most commonly in the polyamorous and BDSM lifestyles:
My thanks go out to so many people for the happiness and love I feel daily:
Ignixia is an international kink and alternative sexuality educator. The following blog entries range from educational information and resources from her classes to daily musings had on things occurring in the world.