The Dreaded, but necessary, Disclaimer
We poly in mish mash of swinging, poly and openness and we organize our relationships in a hierarchical way. Our marriage is our primary relationship. Our other relationships are our secondary relationships and we refer to the partners of our partners (the ones we are not directly romantically involved with) as metamours. Not everyone does poly this way, but since we do, this post is written from that perspective. However you do poly, maybe you will find something in the spirit of this post that will resonate with you.
Since the beginning of our relationship (14 years ago) Daddy and I have had other people in our lives. We started as fun time, play only swingers and then about 10 years ago we began to transition into more of a poly mindset with the introduction of a couple of long term girlfriends. About a year ago we swam into the deep end of the non-monogamy pool and opened our relationship.
We aren’t the balls to the wall, fuck everything that moves sort of open. It’s more about relationships and connections and explorations than it is about sexual conquests for us. We are open in the sense that we have the freedom to explore any of the little zings life presents us with in whatever way we wish to explore them. Of course, there are rules and guidelines to keep each other safe, to keep the lines of communication open and to try to limit the heartbreak and destruction that can come from being carelessly open.
There have been lots of rules over the years. But, three that were more unspoken than written, I believe, have served us the best.
- We do not bad mouth or bash each other and we do not allow our partners to do so either.
2. Our primary relationship is the most important relationship we have. It is our core and it must be protected and nurtured.
3. We do not compete with our other partners and we do not allow them to be competitive with our primary partners.
One: We do not bad mouth or bash each other and we do not allow our partners to do so either.
We don’t complain about each other to our external partners. We may discuss things with them when it would benefit our growth and changes, but we do not bad mouth or bash each other in these conversations. We do not verbally nit-pick each other’s faults and shortcomings with our other partners. We do not bitch about each other to our other partners. I’m not saying that faults and shortcomings don’t exist, but we do not spend our time pointing them out and dwelling on them in a negative way.
We do not allow our other partners to do so either.
I’ve seen this kind of thing happen in two main ways.
- Where primary partners are bad mouthing /bashing each other to their secondary partners and/or having a bitchfest about how bad things are within that primary relationship
- Where secondary partners are bad mouthing / bashing one or both primaries to the primary or to the metamours or just around town and in a general sense.
If our partners attempt to engage in either form of bad mouthing or bashing, we put a halt to it quick, fast and in a fucking hurry. There is nothing but destruction down that path and to us, poly, is not about destroying one relationship to have or build another but instead, it is about building all of the relationships to interconnect and support each other. Engaging in negativity and bitch fests effects our outlook and our relationships and not in good ways.
— When Daddy and I fight, our other partner(s) generally will not even know we are fighting until we have come through the fight to the other side. We don’t turn to them when we are fighting. We turn to each other. We work through whatever issue it is that we are fighting about AND THEN when we are on solid ground again and feeling strong, we may choose to share the fight and it’s outcome with our partners if we feel that telling them will be beneficial to the growth of that relationship. If, for some reason, a partner is aware that we are fighting, there may be conversation about it (like asking for a different perspective to help see the situation more clearly) but there will not be any bashing involved.
— When our partners (if we have partners who are coupled or who have other primaries), are fighting with their primaries and we are made aware of the situation, we are careful to try to help them see the situation from an outside perspective, offer our experience and advice (if we have any), and to be there for distraction or as a place for them to vent. But… the moment it stretches from venting into bashing we will re-direct them into something more productive and positive.
— When a metamour talks to people outside of our relationships about any of the partners or metamours in a negative or bashing way or in a way that could have others viewing them in a negative light.
— When a secondary partner bad mouths or bashes a primary partner or a metamour. If my secondary partner(s) decides to bad mouth or bash my other partners, I would ask them not to do that. If they continue, they will not be my partner for long. I just won’t put up with it. My partners do not all have to get along and be best friends but they do have to be civil to each other and they have to have something else to talk about other than the shortcomings in my other partners or my relationships.
Two: Our primary relationship is the most important. While we love our secondary relationships and all the fun we are having in our life, we insist on nurturing and caring for our primary relationship and we seek out partners who understand and encourage this.
We believe that our primary relationship is at the core of all the other relationships we may engage in and that it must be solid and nurtured in order for all the other relationships to be strong and lasting and that when it is all of our relationships benefit from that core strength.
We take time to focus on us. We date each other. We play together. We laugh together. We spend good, quality time together. We fuck each other. We talk to each other (even when it’s hard). If we feel ourselves disconnecting from each other, we take some time to fix that… a date night, a weekend get away… a walk around the neighborhood… a movie night curled up, just the two of us on the couch.
If we find ourselves in real trouble, which we have from time to time, we explain where we are to our partners and we take the time needed to re-connect and get our relationship back to the fun, loving place it has always been.
Three: We do not compete / make comparisons.
This one is pretty simple. We don’t compare…
body styles, cock sizes, boob firmness, cock sucking techniques, thrusting techniques, etc. We don’t compete to be the best talker, the most fun, the funniest, the most adventurous. We don’t clock the minutes we’re together and the minutes we’re with our other partners. We don’t scratch into the headboard each time we’ve had sex and with which partner so that we can be sure that one partner is getting just as much sex as the others.
Sex, intimacy and affection are custom fit to each partner and they are not compared one to another. We don’t stack ourselves up next to our partner’s other partners and make comparisons. We don’t compete for each other’s attention. We work hard to ensure that each of our partners KNOW that they are special to us in their own way while nurturing our primary relationship to maintain a healthy and happy balance in our lives. We do not compare our partners to each other or allow them to compete with each other.
Very much like constant nit-picking draws our attention to the negative, competition / comparison does the same and maybe even worse.
We do not allow our partners to say things like…
– wouldn’t you be happier if…
– she’s being so mean to you when…
– your husband is too this negative thing or too that negative thing…
– you spend more time with her than with me…
– you have more sex with her than you have with me…
– is he better at…
– you’re more affectionate with them than with me…
– i can love you more than…
– have you ever thought about leaving…
– does he/she do X thing for you…
– do they do X thing as good as I do…
– do you love them more…
The list of possible comparisons / competitions is long. These are just a few examples. If a partner is feeling neglected or left out there are other ways to express those needs which do not involve comparisons.
We work hard to focus on the good things in each other and within our other partners and our partner’s partners. We believe this is one of the main reasons why we’ve been together as long as we have and how we’ve stayed as happily together as we have for all of these years.
We aren’t perfect at it, we definitely don’t always have our shit together… but we do consistently try.