Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Three's a crowd?

Living in a kinky girls' flat the issues surrounding poly and it's many permutations never stay out of the conversation for too long. Of the four of us I have the boy interest (though it's probably more accurate to say he has me :) ) and we can play with other people, one girl has a vanilla monogamous boyfriend (which causes all sorts of problems - particularly because she's very minxy and he is horribly possessive), another has a boyfriend but they play and have sex with other people and the fourth was in a poly relationship with a couple.

'Was' being the definitive word above as the last few days have been fraught with the break-up. Things hadn't been good for a while - they alternated between voicing their adoration and ignoring her when life got busy and so the poor girl's been up and down like a yoyo. At a party at the weekend they pretty much ignored her to play with another girl (henceforth to be called skanky ho bag) and talked about skanky ho bag visiting them and being their pet, which understandably really upset lovely flatmate.

All of this got me thinking about how well various dynamics do or don't work. I have several friends who have been badly hurt by being the third in a collapsed poly dynamic. I think the problem is that unless all three people meet at once the original couple have a shared history and tendency to divert to looking after each other when things get tough. You also have the issue of roaming eyes - if they spot something newer and more novel there's a fairly high risk that the third gets pushed away to make room in the cupboard for a new toy. Not pushed out, just pushed away, at which point self-protecting types walk away and take their independence over a dusty corner (aka most of my friends).

Don't get me wrong - I do think poly can work but am not sure about proper poly relationships - I do know people who have them but generally not all dynamics are equal, which seems to help. Please comment if you have your own thoughts! Some friends I have are a couple and have multiple girlfriends and special friends and coordinate it all via complex diaries, a ginormous bed and strict divisions of time - they swear by it. Others keep the emotional stuff monogamous but play and physical things are more flexible. Don't even mention all the various shades of grey!

What's great about our house is that we can talk about these things - so if someone has a problem with a playmate or kink influences relationship issues there are no barred topics. We can convivially discuss increased risk of STIs, problems with bruising between sessions and how to deal with someone's boyfriend wanting to have a threesome with a girl they don't like as we can problems at work or whose turn it is to clean the bathroom. Actually, I think threesomes are easier than the dreaded cleaning chat!

Thoughts, insights or experiences very welcome. I think it is quite an individual thing and dynamics very much depend on the personalities involved. What I know I don't like is people hurting my friends. The question is - is it pleasure doubled or sorrow doubled?


A.S.S. said...

There are so-so many dynamics that they certainly can't all be covered. The best bet seems to be doing things like they're done in your house though. That is... ~open lines of communication~.

Your roomie that showed up at a party, only to get ignored... is a prime example. If this couple was interested in a short-term play partner, hey nothing wrong with that. Just be *honest* about it and share that fact. There are plenty of girls that are not only okay with that, but that's what they're looking for too.

It's dishonesty that kills any dynamic. The hurt that comes from that... well, hurts no matter the dynamic.

~Todd and Suzy

Scarlett De Winter said...

I know what you mean, I think regardless of whether it's in a relationship or a friendship, threesomes don't tend to work because it's an odd number and someone always tends to get left out. There are multiple dimentions to being poly, and I think some of them clearly work better than others, you def have to go into it knowing what you want from the situation. I have to say, no matter how many lovely people I meet who are poly, it's not something that I'd really want in a relationship. I like the emotionally monogomous concept, I think that's one of the few variations of "open relationships" that can work, but at the end of the day, someone's always going to be getting more action and so if you're a jealous person (which I think I sometimes can me) it could be pretty soul destroying.

Hope the flat-mate is feeling a little better... People like that are, to quote Bridget Jones, "Just big knob heads with no knob."


Jessica said...

I agree with Todd and Suzy - it's honesty honesty honesty right down the line. There are lots of shades of grey - sometimes a pleasure shared doubles it and sometimes, it halves it. But it can go both ways. What works for HWMBO an I is contantly talking and not just to each other but to our playmates as well. Because *all* our playmates are special in some way. And I just love having them all around me and being with them. They all light up my life xx

Rebecca said...

It's interesting to hear what people think, and communication is very important. We have encouraged lovely flatmate to get back in the game and she is chatting to a nice boy and debating jumping on a plane to the Czech Republic to meet him. Just ranting and being sad a lot inbetween because they treated her so badly when she thought they cared - evil people!

Sami said...

That sounds very hard - I guess the main thing is being there for your friend and taking her side so she feels supported. And maybe bitchslapping the other girl?!