A Nice Thing About Polyamory

Few people talk about how polyamory affects your friendships.

I have a couple of close friends who I’ve described as “Like poly, except I’m not having sex with them.”  They’re super-dear to me, and we have a very intense friendship where we share all sorts of highs and lows – they’re just not interested in me sexually.

That’s cool, though.

And what polyamory means for Gini and I is a sort of relaxation.  Because some of those dear friends could have been sexual – if the friendship had deepened in a slightly different way, maybe we woulda been lovers.

Yet we were free to explore that friendship in whatever way we wanted.  And in some monogamous relationships I’ve been in, I would have been afraid to get too close to those friends, because yeah I liked them a lot, and I didn’t want to risk firing up some weird attraction, and so I just sort of kept them at a polite arm’s length.  I was cordial, but I didn’t invite them out for coffee, and I certainly didn’t stay up until past midnight discussing all my needs and fears with them.

What we got instead was a very emotionally intense friendship.  Which is just as satisfying as any of the sexytimes I have with other people.

Polyamory allows us to form organic relationships.  Too many “poly” people have this desperate yearning need, trying to wrangle every person they know into bed with them, tossing them aside if they’re not amenable.  And even then, there’s this constricted form these sexual relationships take: you can’t stay overnight with them, I don’t want you to discuss these topics, you have to call by 11:00 so I can mark you with my affection.

Whereas what we have?  There are rules we’ve established for our protection, but in general we let the relationships flourish into whatever makes us happy.  Sometimes that’s a fun romp with a buddy, sometimes that’s sitting next to each other on a couch without so much as holding hands but discussing the pivot points of our life.

Polyamory has let more love into what we experience with others.  And that’s all kinds of love: eros, agape, philia.  We wind up with good friendships and silly hugs, and we don’t have to force things into one shape or another.  It can evolve.

And that’s beautiful.

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