“So I’m gonna warn you up front,” I said. “I’m the queen of secret makeouts.”
“The Secret Makeouts, eh?” he said. “Hawt. Guess I missed the best volume of the Hardy Boys.”
“I wanted to let you know because it can be difficult for some people.”
“Okay, what exactly are we talking about?” he asked.
“I’m all for sexual health and safety. But I have to let you know, upfront, before we would ever have any sort of relationship-relationship that if I just feel like making out with someone at a party, odds are that I’ll do it.”
“Ah,” he said.
“I’m not going to text anyone for permission or get an ‘all clear’ up ahead. I know this about myself. And it’s bothered partners in the past, so I want to be clear about it that this is something that I do.”
I continued. “The spontaneous makeouts are so natural to me that I might even forget after the party is over that I even made out with someone. I might not even think to tell you about it. This means you might never know that I made out with a given person.”
“Thus, the secret,” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “Given all of this, how do you feel about it? I understand either way. It’s totally your decision. I just know this about myself.”
He paused and considered my disclaimer for what seemed aeons.
One of the most difficult things about poly is knowing what we should and shouldn’t compromise on in order to be with someone. Sometimes it’s an easy matter. We can tweak something slightly in order to accommodate a major preference that another has.
For example, my former partner Seth liked to schedule our relationship processing talks at certain times and days, with a time limit for discussion. This was because he worried that he would be kept up all night processing and not get sleep (which was an important self-care point for him).
Disclaimers can be helpful.
Sometimes we know things about ourselves that aren’t easy to change and bring us a lot of joy, and it’s best to just warn people.
I’ve identified that while I like to manage health risk in a responsible way that a bit of spontaneity is important to me.
In a lot of ways, one of the things I most enjoy about polyamory is the improvisational aspects. I’m a jazz musician, and I love the freedom of experimentation and the ability to follow the energy of the moment.
Secret makeouts are a good middle ground between recursive sex bureaucracy and diving into a ball pit of naked bodies and never coming up for air.
For me. Maybe not for you. And that’s more than okay. All that it means is that we shouldn’t date.