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Polyamory – sometimes it is about the sex

September 26, 2011

It feels strange to write that as the title of this piece as I, and I’m sure many other polyamorous people reading this, have spent quite a lot of time telling people it’s not.

Except sometimes it is, and maybe it wouldn’t do us too much harm to say so out loud.

Attraction between people is a funny thing, and not well understood. There are theories about shared interests, intellectual equality, familiarity and social backgrounds. But at the end of the day, the reason you love the people you love has probably at some point had more than a little to do with the sex.

Most people will have had at least one awesome month of sex with a partner, where everything went right. You had exactly as much sex as you wanted with that person, and it was the right amount for them too. You shared fantasies and desires, and felt completely sexually fulfilled. It was fucking awesome. Awesome fucking.

But everyone is different. Some couples get lucky, and fit together so well sexually that monogamy never feels limiting. That month never ends. They match.

My husband and I don’t.

I have a much higher sex drive than my husband. I’m writing this in late September, and we’ve had sex maybe four times this year. If I were in a traditional marriage, we would be in deep trouble and I would be heading my frustrated way to the door. Fortunately, we’re not, and despite the fact that I have way more sex than him, our marriage is solid as a rock, and this works for us. We’ve been together for six years now, and have been poly from the start.

But it’s not just the frequency. I only ever have non-kinky sex with my husband, but we’re both deeply kinky – they just don’t overlap. So, I share my kinks and my higher sex drive with my other partners, and he shares his kinks with his. We’re planning to make a life together, the five of us (there are significant other partner overlaps) but it wouldn’t work without the sex.

So, does this devalue polyamory? I don’t think so. The love is there, and it’s deep. It isn’t all about the sex. But that doesn’t mean that we should feel compelled by the puritanical undercurrents of our society to deny the sexual element of polyamory.

I feel love and sexual desire for more than one person, and act on it because I see no reason to hurt my feelings or anyone else’s by suppressing that. Love is not binary. Neither is lust. And thank fuck for that.

 

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