Seven years of polyamory and even when we fight and say ‘should we stop this?’ everytime we arrive back at NO. But I find that we evolve, I evolve, I change my thoughts around the topic. Hopefully I improve.
I’m reminded sometimes of the strange language White Americans adopted post Civil Rights Movement when speaking about so-coined “diversity” in the United States. Even as late as the nineties “progressive” Whites used to promote the term “tolerance” when speaking of how presumably Whites should react to people of color in their communities. Now this kind of racist language seems almost inconceivable to us but it was only around the late nineties/turn of the century that progressive White Americans were beginning to transform the word tolerance into “celebrating” diversity. The difference is clear–between distantly tolerating and actively engaging with people different from ourselves and celebrating what they bring to our communities.
In the context of polyamory, there is a big difference between just being okay with a partner having sex with other people, basically tolerating it because one wants to do the same, and actually enjoying that one’s partner is with someone else.
Actually enjoying the fact that a partner is with someone else means appreciating the differences the other lover offers, seeing the benefits in a partner’s personality and in ones sex life.
The difference between tolerating and appreciating is also relevant to information sharing. Are we sharing information about encounters with other lovers because we have to? Is it enjoyable for our partner to hear about or is it like waxing our balls … or is it like a knife stab to the heart? In which case what purpose does it serve? I’m not suggesting that there is a clear answer, but perhaps its an important conversation to have: does the need for information come from a place that says, I have to know everything so I can feel in control of the situation or does the need for information come from a place that’s built on desire and appreciation for the details?
I know that an early strategy I adopted for coping with jealousy was to imagine myself in the other person’s shoes, therefore I was tolerating the idea of an another lover because I would choose the same, but an evolved strategy for dealing with jealousy could be something more like: let’s try to enjoy this idea, let’s look for all the sexy things about my partner’s lover, let’s see the things I admire in this other person and perhaps cannot do myself.
4 December 2011
Prague Klub 007