Friday, March 21, 2008

Poly family update

Wow, it's been more than a week since my last update! That's probably a record for my modern blogging history. I can't remember the last time I let it go for more than a week.

The upside is that life is good right now, and as periodically happens, I've been too involved in actually living life to have much time to document it. Since March 10 when Bee and I had our talk while putting bookshelves together, my family has continued growing closer again, as we were last year when Tara and I first told everyone we were in love. Both Bee and Bug have always been wonderfully supportive of our relationship through all its ups and downs, and I have always tried to be supportive of their respective relationships with Tara as well.

As far as my relationship with Tara is concerned, things could not be better, and probably have never been better. The only thing that spoils our present happiness is having to retreat to separate living spaces at the end of the night (which lately has been in the wee hours of the morning). We've been having some discussion about the possibility of us all buying a house together someday (which it seems these days you need four people to afford a house) and last night, Tara and I both said we are starting to think about having some kind of commitment ceremony at some point in time.

This is all, of course, very preliminary, but it's quite a change for someone who if you asked two years ago would have sworn she would never be "married" again (that person being me). And while we can't get any kind of legal recognition of either our union or our poly family status, I am allowing myself to start thinking about what would be an appropriate way to recognize the commitment we wish to make to each other that would be meaningful to us. As I often say, there's no roadmap for being poly so we're making it up as we go.

I attended our regular PolyNYC meeting on Wednesday and we had an excellent speaker who keeps a library at the Kinsey Institute devoted to polyamory. His presentation centered around the 12 Pillars of Polyamory, which I'll briefly recap here from my notes:

1. Authenticity - knowing your own love needs, triggers, hot buttons, kinks and being able to share those with your partners up front
2. Choice - you are free to choose your path in life, and watch out for people who want to control these choices
3. Transparency - there are no secrets between poly people, especially when it comes to sex
4. Trust - you must believe your partners will honor agreements and do what they say (poly is sometimes called "responsible non-monogamy" emphasis on "responsible")
5. Gender equality - in other words, what's good for the goose is good for the gander
6. Honesty - we can handle anything but deceit
7. Communicative - you must have open discussion with all your partners all the time
8. Consensual - everybody must agree or else it's cheating
9. Non-possessive - all partners have complete autonomy to create and sustain relationships that work for them
10. Sex-positive - being open to experimentation, communicating your desires to partners, accepting their sexual kinks
11. Accepting of self-determination - you have little control of others' behaviors, but you must tell them your likes and dislikes
12. Compersion - the love we feel when others feel love, pleasure we feel when others feel pleasure, autonomy (not control) is the way of the lover

Plus I loved one of his quotes in talking about poly as being one of many diverse ways to love: "Natures loves diversity, society hates it." Which makes a whole lot of sense when you think about it.