PQ 16.9– Do I support my partners’ relationships with one another in ways that respect their agency and right to choose their level of intimacy?

a photo with a person who is wearing glasses with their arm around a statue of Dobby the house elf
Image by Weltbild Verlag GmbH / CC BY

PQ 16.9– Do I support my partners’ relationships with one another in ways that respect their agency and right to choose their level of intimacy?

*

I take a deep breath and type the following:

So I’m in a weird situation and wanted to keep you in the loop. 

Justin was supposed to have a date tonight with someone. I found out that they want to come over and here watch a movie, and they want me to hang out with them.

I think it’s just a friendly hangout thing?

She’s flirted with me some, but it seemed like she was joking. And she has had sex with women (during her swinging days) but has never really dated a woman. Plus, she is very saturated – has a husband, boyfriend, and newly dating Justin. 

Also maybe TMI, but I’m still a little sick and on my period, so like… that limits things, too. 

But I wanted to give you a heads up so you knew, just so you wouldn’t feel weirdly blindsided. 

I don’t think it’s a weird group date. But sometimes I’m bad at judging these things beforehand. 

I literally have no idea what I’m doing half the time because my life is so weird. 

I cap it off with a heart emoji.

Twenty minutes later, my partner’s reply rolls in: I totally get it, and no, I have no issue with whatever develops. I never know either, and this is Free Elfistan. 

“FREE ELFISTAN!” I shriek aloud. I laugh so hard that I half-hurt myself.

LMAO. <3 you, I write back.

Meanwhile, Back in Free Elfistan…

It’s one of the hallmarks of my current relationships: “Dobby is a free elf!” A blog post that originated from a silly meme I made for Poly.Land’s Facebook and Twitter, mixing the high-agency polyamory that my partners and I tend to practice with a bit of Harry Potter: “Dobby has no master. Dobby is a free elf.”

I care immensely for my partners (and I get the impression that they reciprocate), but at the end of the day, we’re all independent agents. Sure, certain decisions could carry undesired consequences, and everyone gets to set the level of risk they want to assume (whether directly or by extension through another person’s choices). We just haven’t positioned one another as gatekeepers. Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s complete chaos. Instead, we’re obtaining informed consent and doing buy-in check-ins rather than asking for permission.

This isn’t just one-way freedom. I’ve noticed it as a general pattern among everyone in my closest circle.

And it’s totally amazing.

*

This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.

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