When First Night Effect Doesn’t Fade & Becomes Chronic Polyamorous Guilt

a black and white photo of a tree with red crepe paper stuck in its branches (the crepe paper is the only colorized thing in frame)
Image by Paleontour / CC BY

Recently, I answered a reader letter in an advice column called “I Have My Partner’s Blessing, But I Still Feel Like I’m Cheating. Is This Normal?”

In my response to that letter, I wrote about first night effect. Essentially, first night effect is a phenomenon that many polyamorous folks experience whereby they feel either guilt or shame after their first preapproved nonmonogamous encounter.  » Read more

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Sleeping with the Enemy: On Women Dating Women While Still Viewing Them as Competition

a pink measuring tape on a wavy patterned white cloth background
Image by gina pina / CC BY

“Keep your top on,” she said.

“Sure,” I said, dropping my arms to my sides and then quickly wrapping them around her waist. And as we kissed, I moved my hands up her torso, feeling her body through her shirt. Her chest had its own topography. Subtle places where she came in. Went out.  » Read more

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PQ 9.8 — Does my partner make me feel worse about myself?

a very sad-looking pug dog lying down
Image by hannah k / CC BY

PQ 9.8 — Does my partner make me feel worse about myself?

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Before I begin, a quick caveat: I get what this question is driving at, but saying someone “makes” us feel a certain way can have a downside.

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A lot of people are scared of polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy because they worry their partner will compare them to others.  » Read more

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Stop Worrying If Things Are Even, or You’ll End Up With a Sad Shrub

a closeup of a dead shrub
Image by oliver.dodd / CC BY

It’s a dangerous road to travel down, comparing yourself to others. It might just be the biggest no-no in polyamory.

Many of us know we shouldn’t be playing the “better this way, better that way” game with our metamours. Wondering how we stack up against the “competition” (and indeed competition and zero sum thinking can be really bad for us).  » Read more

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