Sunday, May 25, 2008

Poly anniversary

There are some anniversaries that should be celebrated that are universally positive, like birthdays and first kisses and such. Other anniversaries are less about celebrating than about marking the passage of time and the changes in our lives. Today is one of the latter.

One year ago on Memorial Day weekend, Bee, Tara and I made love together for the first time and started our poly triad relationship that lasted for six weeks in 2007. Today, we form what is called a "V" in poly parlance, where Tara has separate relationships with both myself and Bee, but we don't talk about intimacy outside of those one-on-one connections.

I still remember that first night with the three of us, when we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, all talking together, and naturally progressing to touching, kissing and eventually being intimate together on the living room floor. I think I remember leaving their house at around 5 a.m., with the sky just starting to get light from the dawn.

And the truth is, I don't really think about the sex too often, because Tara and I still have wonderful sex regularly and we are learning more each week about how to please each other. I'm a lot more comfortable emotionally with sharing my body than I was last year, and more adept at giving and receiving sexual pleasure. But it's easier when there's only one person in the bed because my sexual response seems to be very specific and it's taken months for Tara and I to figure it out together.

What I really miss about being in a poly triad is the communication and openness that seems to have gone missing in my family, at least with me around. I can't fully understand or explain why things have changed in the past 12 months because we've stopped talking about these deep relationship issues since last summer, with the exception of one instance earlier this year when Bee and I were building bookshelves together.

All I know is that no relationship can survive without communication, and repeated disappointments on my part to improve things will cause me to slowly slide into indifference. I am starting to realize that love can be a wonderful and magical thing, but the strength of your love does not necessarily translate into the strength of your relationship with others. Sometimes you can love someone with all your heart, but you can't overcome the very real obstacles that keep you from giving and receiving all you want and need from each other in a relationship. For poly people, we give ourselves the option of not giving up on that kind of love, despite those limitations. But those kinds of relationships are complicated, and not being able to communicate is the equivalent of neglect.