More Than One Partner

polyamory
Image courtesy of blogthings.com

Although I’ve seen myself as poly for 2 years now I still haven’t had more than one partner at the same time. On some days, like today, I feel frustrated by this. Why? Because it feels like most of the other poly people I know have at least 2 partners. Hmm… I’m not really sure what I mean with partner so I’ll guess I have to start finding my own definition before I can answer why I’m frustrated.

4 Dimensional Relationships

Steve Pavlina has written 2 great articles on 4D relationships (Enjoying Rich and Abundant Relationships and 4D Relationships, funnily the first one explains 4D relationships better in my opinion). I’ll give a quick summary for those of you that don’t want to spend 30+ minutes on these articles, although I can really recommend reading them in the specified order.

Steve argues that all relationships can be split up into 4 connections: body (physical), mind (intellectual), heart (loving/caring/open), spirit (spiritual?). A high body connection is very satisfying physically, i.e. awesome sex, hugs, kisses, cuddling. With a top score of 10, 0 would be no physical contact, 4: cuddling/kisses, 5: sex, and so forth. A short disclaimer: This scale is personal (and not even my own), some might rank kisses higher than cuddling, etc.

A mindful connection is one that intellectually stimulates you, i.e. you have to think. Let say you come home to your partner and they ask you how they day has bee, you say “OK” and that’s the end of the conversation. That’s not very stimulating. If most of your conversations are like this you would score 0–1. On the other end if you have discussions for hours about a topic you both love, some philosophical topic, or just anything stimulating and you feel intellectually stimulated often then that would be a 10.

A ‘heart’ connection is basically split into two parts: 1) How much love you feel for your partner and 2) how open you are towards your partner, with open I mean if you can and dare to say things you are afraid of how they will take. I won’t mention how a low/high score would look like, but I want to stress that you can have a strong heart relationship with your best friends. As I mentioned, these apply to all relationships, not just monogamous partner relationships.

Spiritual connection. I always have trouble defining this connection. But in Steve’s terms: A spiritual connection including helping each other grow, i.e. the overall flavor (or spirit) of a connection. I like to think if we do projects together, coach each other, but mostly if I feel a special kind of bond to the person—some, including me, would use the word soulmate.

Now that I’ve gone through all these relationships I can finally describe my definition of partner in this post, almost. I just want to point out that when you have a higher score in the 4 connection. your relationship will feel deeper.

Define: Partner

Ever since I defined myself as poly I’ve thought that I don’t have to have a very physical (body) connection with a future partner. I have always felt that a strong physical connection with a partner is required, else it just feels like a friend. But during all these 2 years I’ve always felt like it shouldn’t really matter and that I shouldn’t feel the need to define any person as a partner or not, i.e. being a relationship anarchist. Subconsciously I’ve forced myself to be this person who doesn’t think a strong physical connection is what defines a partner or not. Almost like a person subconsciously resisting that they are gay or bi, because that’s not what they want to be.

My guess is that this comes from my love-hate relationship with physical connection since adolescence, or more specifically sex and everything around it. I don’t really know where I picked it up, but since adolescence I thought sex and masturbation were something bad and sinful. After masturbating I always felt like I had done something bad and my self-esteem would usually drop. Today I rarely get that feeling after masturbating and thus I thought the bad mindset had left my mind. But I can see that they are still there, in my subconsciousness.

I guess it’s time for me to stop denying and start accepting that my partner definition includes a body connection with at least kisses and sex. As I write this I wanted to add “But it doesn’t have to mean that everyone I have sex with is my partner”, which in my case translates to “I still don’t want sex to be such a big deal for me”.

Frustration

Now that I have a partner definition I can clearly see that most of those who I know who see themselves as poly have multiple partners. The problem I feel is that I have multiple frustrations that are closely tied together. First I’m frustrated that it feels like no one likes me “in a partner way”, except my current partner. I know this isn’t true, but it’s so damn hard when it feels like it. I talked more about this in Sharing Your Fears if you’re interested in reading that. Secondly I’m frustrated because I don’t really do anything about it. I bail because I’m scared. Thirdly I’m frustrated because the other poly people usually have more new partners sexual partners in a year than I’ve had totally. Fourthly: Why I’m even comparing this, it feels so silly. And finally, I’m frustrated that I’m not sure if I only want a one partner, a couple of partners or many. Let me explain.

The Truth

This autumn I read the book The Truth by Neil Strauss, also known for the infamous book The Game, which I’ve also read. With The Truth Neil tries and succeeds to undo everything he wrote in The Game, at least in my opinion. It’s abouts Neil’s journey from a sex addict going through therapy, to exploring polyamory, to being true to yourself and others and living a fully authentic life. It’s the most eye-opening book (about myself) I’ve read. I learned so much about myself in it. I recommend it to anyone that want to learn more about themselves, polyamory, therapy, or any combination. A short disclaimer though; this book might break you if you’re feeling unstable—proceed with causion. Better yet, take a friend and listen to it as it’s Neil himself that reads the book.

One of the many topics the therapist speaks about in this book is your inner child and your adolescent child. Extremely basicly put the inner child is your true self whereas the adolescent child wants to overconsume experiences it feels like it missed out on during the teens. For me that had minimal physical connection and never had any girlfriend during my teens my adolescent child wants to make up for this by having lots of sexual experiences with multiple partners. When I think about it, it could be my adolescent child that defines a partner by having high physical connection. I can’t really remember how to distinguish between the two except that your adolescent child has a mindset of scarcity, meaning you’ll do it because you’re afraid you’ll lose out on some experience. The inner child, however, does it because it feels true and because you actually want it. Another way of putting it is that doing things the inner child’s way will make you happy, doing things the adolescent child’s way might leave you with an empty and miserable feeling.

So… do I really want multiple partners or is it just my adolescent child talking? I honestly don’t know, I have no clue. One thought I remember, however, was when I listened to the book I felt that I didn’t have to rush into other relationships. But currently I’m not sure if I should wait passively and just hope something good comes up. I usually want different things on different days depending on my mood and honestly how horny I am. Basically when I’m a bad mood, great mood, or horny I want to explore what it is to have multiple partners. Maybe it’s both my inner and adolescent child’s wants, but my adolescent child can take over when I feel a strong urge to ask anyone.

Strategy

I want a strategy to overcome this obstacle and to actually explore what it is like to have multiple partners. As I’m writing this I have butterflies in my stomach. I interpret this as something good. I really want this strategy to work as it would mean a lot to me. So what do I want? I want to come up with a strategy and some tactics to at least have kissed and cuddled someone else until 14th of March and have a sexual experience with another person than my current partner before the 30th of April. At the same time I want to make sure I take it slow enough so I don’t hurt my current partner. I shouldn’t stress anything. Why these goals? Because tangible goals are good and these have some sense of urgency. As an extra rule I would like to add that before I actually have a sexual experience with a person they should know that I currently have a sex goal. Everything should be in the clear. I feel like these are stepping stones for me, something more might happen. One thing is for sure, I’ll definitely learn more about myself 😀

  • I will actively pursue these experiences by putting them out there—i.e. talking about them to people.
  • I will talk about these things in ways I find most comfortable—I’m not doing this to become better at opening up to new people.
  • I will keep my current partner in the loop with my plans and ideas, and ask them what they feel and think about it if they want.

Tactics

Now that I have my strategy I can brainstorm various tactics that hopefully move me in the right direction, but it’s not necessary. Before I even start brainstorming I know that there will be some weird tactics and I’ve decided to keep them (even before I’ve thought of them) so you can get a glimpse of how I work—i.e. thinking of stupid, bad tactics are OK, you don’t have to chose them. After the list is finished I will color code them (I love color coding :P) into the following: Focus on these, good, don’t use, OK tactic, comment.

  1. Write to someone that I think is interesting in one way or another.
    1. If I haven’t talked to them before, ask them out for a conversation so I can get to know them better.
    2. If I know them ask if they want to hang out and talk for a while. Also mention the cuddle and kiss goal and if they would be willing to test cuddling, kissing, or both once and see how it feels: Is it awkward, nice, OK? Would we want to do it again later sometime, or nope? Also make sure that none of us have any expectations, i.e. this could be the only time we will ever kiss.
  2. Take small steps. When I’m with someone I like, tell them something like this: “I’m trying to face my fears and would it be OK if I can give you a peck on the cheek? It’s totally fine to answer no.”. If they answer no I want to act as normal and respective as possible, just as I would if I’d ask them if they could take out the trash but didn’t want to.
  3. After I’ve kissed someone and we’re both interested in each other. Message them the next day and talk about the sex goal and if they would be interested in trying something together. This might scare people or think that I’m objectifying people. I’d want to say my end goal isn’t sex, but getting to know a person deeply (which includes sex). And it’s the telling people I like them and I would want to try to have sex with them that is the hard part for me. That’s why I’m focusing on this, because I always bail to take the next step after I’ve gotten to know a person.
  4. Ask people I’m interested in to read this blog post (note: just because I sent you the link doesn’t mean I’m interested in you in this way).
  5. Posting this on facebook, but I guess that’s a given since I always do that 😛
  6. Talking about this to multiple people at the same time. I don’t want to go to fast with many people, I’d say max two.
  7. List the people I’m interested in and write something about why I would want to get to know them better and why it would be nice to cuddle/kiss them.
  8. Take at least one step each day, it could be small but it should be a step even if it doesn’t feel like it’s a step.
  9. Start chatting with people again.
  10. Broadcast that I’m willing to test to kiss anyone at least once (doing it right now)—i.e. anyone can just message me and I’m up for it. When I say everyone I mean everyone, I promise on my soul that I won’t say no to anyone. By kiss here I mean a peck on the mouth, not a long kiss.
  11. Talk about this project and goal and ask if they want to try to have sex, even before we’ve kissed. It might work, but I guess some part of me is too scared and still have a block that says “This behaviour is bad, asking for sex is bad, trying something”.
  12. Messaging someone new on OkCupid and tell them about this project and ask if they would like to try kissing if we wanted to meet. I want to focus on those I know or in my vicinity foremost.
  13. In the loop
    1. Always ask my partner if they want to be filled in or not.
    2. Before acting on any of the above, talk with my partner about them and with who I’m interested in writing to.
    3. Tell my partner how it went and what I thought about it.

OK, I have some tactics, now I just need to make them more tangible and maybe make a couple of small simple deadlines and goals.

The Plan

I decided to split the plan into two parts, one before the kiss and one after the kiss as it’s a lot easier to organize things that way 😛 In one way I like to have a clear goal, but I guess the last goal can be seen very negative. I don’t want to push or rush either myself nor anyone else, it’s a goal and it’s not the whole world if I don’t have a sexual experience with another until 31st of March. It’s more a call to me to take action and stop thinking it’s going to happen all by itself, especially when I can be the one that bails on continuing exploring an existing relationship because I’m afraid.

Before The Kiss

Daily

Make sure that I take one active step towards my goals.

Weekly (check every Sunday)

Until I have kissed someone, make sure that I ask out another person once a week.

2016-01-25

(7) Create the list and (1.2/1.1) message one I know and ask them out. Add the daily task to my TODO-list and on Habitica.

2016-03-14

Cuddled and kissed with someone 😀

After The Kiss

Daily

Make sure that I take one active step towards my goals. The day after a date where I kissed I message them and tell them about (3) my sex goal.

Weekly (check every Sunday)

If I didn’t messaged someone about the sex goal this week and I don’t have a ‘pending’ sex date: (1.2/1.1) Message someone new and ask them out.

2016-04-30

Had some sexual experience with someone else than my current partner.

Conclusion

I feel like I have learned quite a lot about myself during this marathon writing session. It started out as a blogpost where I wanted to learn more about how I want to have it and don’t feel frustrated. I now know my definition of partner, I’m quite certain it’s my inner child that wants to explore multiple partners, I have a strategy, lots of tactics, but foremost I have a plan 😀 I have butterflies in my stomach, almost like I’ve fallen in love with someone but that someone is unknown.

If you think I’m contradicting myself during this post I might be. I had one idea or truth at the start of the post and then it evolved into something else. Some of the earlier paragraphs I wrote seem kind of alien to me, like it was someone else that wrote them…

If I feel like it I will make a new post how everything went afterwards 🙂 It’s probably more probable I’ll post something about it if things didn’t go so smooth 😛 But I don’t promise anything.

 

Have a nice day folks! 😀

P.S. Don’t hesitate to ask me for a kiss 😛 D.S.

// Matteus

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