When You Give People Who Don’t Deserve It Your All, What Do You Have Left?

a black and white photo a person holding 2 empty outstretched hands
Image by Caitlin Regan / CC BY

A lot of people involuntarily cringe when you use the word “deserve,” regardless of context. Because the way most people talk about who’s deserving and who isn’t, there’s a deterministic bent to it, an underlying belief that some of us are born into this world entitled to happiness and prosperity. And others aren’t. Usually this is predicated on factors beyond our control: How rich our parents are,  » Read more

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PQ 23.6 — Do I give my partner space to conduct his relationship with my other partner, without trying to take sides in conflicts or carry messages between them?

3 lit candles on a plate all melting together
Image by Peter Becker / CC BY

PQ 23.6 — Do I give my partner space to conduct his relationship with my other partner, without trying to take sides in conflicts or carry messages between them?

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2011

“You were at Justin’s last night, weren’t you?” Michelle asks me.

I sigh. I wish I didn’t,  » Read more

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Is It More Ethical to Hide a Metamour’s Insecurity From Your Partner? Or More Ethical to Tell Them?

a statue of Janus, a bearded man with two faces, one facing forward and one looking back
Image by DaveBleasdale / CC BY

Fall 2010

One night, my boyfriend Rob called me on the phone after his wife Michelle left for the library. It was a low-key conversation. Just chitchat, really. We weren’t even having phone sex or anything. At least not yet, although in recent weeks, we’d fallen into a habit of sliding into phone sex after initial introductions.  » Read more

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How I Accidentally Got Closure On One Relationship From Another

a broken heart-shaped mirror sitting on a red flower on what appears to be pavement
Image by TimOve / CC BY

“I love you,” Skyspook said. “And that’s why if you go back there, back to that house, this relationship is over.”

“Yeah,” Seth said. “You’re not going back there.”

I’d just gotten done telling them (my husband and boyfriend) and two of our friends — Crock and Hilda — about an unfortunate incident with my other partner Rob.  » Read more

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PQ 10.5 — What happens if the agreement doesn’t work for my partners, or my partners’ partners?

a large red x on a multicolored background (fractals, lots of yellow, green, and red in the pattern)
Image by Karyn Christner / CC BY

PQ 10.5 — What happens if the agreement doesn’t work for my partners, or my partners’ partners?

“If Your Calendar Shows That You’re Available, I Expect You to Be Here”

“I looked at your calendar. There wasn’t anything on it,” Michelle said.

“Ah,” I said, not sure where she was going.  » Read more

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Polyamory and Reformed Cheaters: Fessing Up is Hard to Do

a photo of a person in a white shirt viewed from the back, they are sitting in a field of grass, text over picture reads "the first boy I ever loved was my best friend and I'm afraid that's what pushed him away"
Image by whatmegsaid / CC BY

Polyamory is Harder for Reformed Cheaters

“Polyamory? That’s something that’s for reformed cheaters, right?”

And I want to say no when people say that, but it’s a great deal more complicated than that.

While there are plenty of people who become polyamorous without ever being physically unfaithful as monogamous people, there are others who did.  » Read more

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PQ 3.1 — Have I disclosed all relevant information to everyone affected by my decision?

a red telephone, one with a dial
Image by DaveBleasdale / CC BY

PQ 3.1 — Have I disclosed all relevant information to everyone affected by my decision? (Chapter 3 questions are all asked in the context of ones to ask to evaluate whether your choices are ethical.)

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“You can’t just add on another relationship without consulting anybody. That’s not how poly fucking works!”  » Read more

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Truth Drip: Titrating How Much We Share and When

an iv in the hospital
Image by marissa anderson / CC BY

It’s difficult to know how much to share about what goes on (sexually and otherwise) with one of your partners with another. It’s like titrating the truth, just like you would medicine in a hospital — a truth drip.

On the surface, it seems so easy. But you gotta be careful! You can overdose by saying too much or by saying too little.  » Read more

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