So I spent most of last week at the Rainbow Health Ontario conference (which, this year, took place in Toronto). And it was a really good conference. I talk about one particular workshop here, but I may talk up other parts of it as well, later on.
That being said, since I’m trying to focus on Polyamoury in half of these GGBP posts, I’m actually going to swing the topic away from the conference and towards something else. See, going to a conference for work? Also meant going to Toronto without my wife. She spent the week with two of her other partners, and I… went off to “Gay Hogwarts” (as one deligate put it) with a suitcase full of office-appropriate clothing and safer sex supplies. Y’know, just in case. I also went with these words, from my wife, echoing in my ears: “You should totally flirt with her. She’s really cute! And she’s kinky!”
I didn’t (I don’t think), but the point is, the option was there.
Thence “Condonance”, a word that, with a bit of a squint, means “permission”.
My wife says that she wants me to have some fun, to experience the part of poly where I’m not the one “sitting at home” while my partner is out with her other Person(s). She’s been saying this for years, but it’s only in the past six months or so that I’ve even started to do anything beyond really casual[1] flirting.
Baby steps, right?
And that – that permission, that option to express, and even just to have, desire for people beyond the one[2] with-whom I’m Involved – is why I wanted polyamoury in the first place. I know there are buckets of people who are brilliantly happy with their respective one-and-onlies, and who can experience extra-relationship desire without succumbing to crushing guilt about it. But I’m not one of them.
A friend once gave me the difference between “secret” and “private”, and it’s an important distinction. In my last monogamous relationship, there was no distinction. Anything that I kept for myself was Keeping Secrets. So I opted for a relationship style that had Open Honest Communication[3] built into its bedrock, and personal autonomy and agency were totally A Thing.
And, here I am, five or six years into this experiment, and I’m starting to look at the whole idea of play-dates and more-than-just-friends-dates as… possible. Enjoyable. Maybe even desireable nd worth seaking out. Hm. Look at that. 🙂
Ms Syren.
[1] If, by “casual” we mean “with people who cannot possibly mistake this for me actually angling for a date”.
[2] Since we’re comparing this to monogamy.
[3] The real kind, not the kind where everyone speaks in very calm, clear, factual voices and uses “I statements” to ensure that nobody can ever actually say “YOU are hurting me by doing X” and all problems are really “the problem is that you are voicing a problem” rather than “the problem is X type of harm”.