Your Friend Told You They’re Polyamorous and You’re Confused

Dear Samuel,

My dear friend (who we’ll call “Samuel” because that’s his name) told me that he’s polyamorous. The thing is that I’m pretty sure he’s European, what should I do? Should I show him his grandparents’ Ellis Island certificates or play along with his delusion that he’s from tropical islands? Help!




Well Samuel, you stupid little twit, the word  you’re thinking of is “Polynesian” and that’s quite different from what “Samuel” actually said. So why don’t you grow a pair of ears, you miserable excuse for a human, and sit down so I can explain to you what your friend actually meant.

Considering that your friend and I are the exact same person I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what he was talking about. Your friend is using polyamorous to describe the fact that he can feel romantic and/or sexual attractions to multiple people at the same time. Samuel feels comfortable acting upon his various attractions even if he’s currently involved with other people. You need to understand that Samuel is not cheating as he has not entered into any relationship with the expectation that it will be monogamous. To achieve this Samuel places a premium on constant communication to ensure that all participants are informed and feel safe/comfortable.

Here’s some basic advice:

First of all it is not your place to question the validity of Samuel’s, fuck this I’m going to use first person pronouns, of my relationships. If I am in six relationships (long term relationships with two people, casually hooking up with three, just starting to date one- obviously this is hypothetical because in what universe can I get one date, let alone six) then I am in six relationships that mean as much to me as your one relationship. What I feel for each person is genuine and sincere and it is not your fucking place to tell me otherwise. If we’re close friends and you feel that there’s something wrong with one of my relationships because it just doesn’t seem healthy then please express your concern but the fact that my relationships might look different than yours means jackshit.

You might have some questions with terminology. Who is my boyfriend? Who is my make out buddy? Valid questions and they deserve valid answers: I’ll tell you who is who. If you’re confused then you can ask, “Hey, how do you refer to Steve? Or Belinda?” Be polite and I’ll be polite in return. It’s probably not a big deal but you’ll make it one if you obsess over it.

In trying to answer all the questions that I felt people would want answered I realized that what I really cared about was respect. Please respect my relationships and my feelings. When I act upon my attractions it’s because they’re sincere emotions that I truly feel. Furthermore I do my best to keep communication at the forefront of my relationships. Also, it’s not really your business. I mean, as long as everyone involved is freely consenting and know what’s going on then you can’t really complain. So fuck off?

If you have any questions about polyamory please ask. I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities and provide resources that I’ve come across.

9 responses to “Your Friend Told You They’re Polyamorous and You’re Confused

  1. Perfectly Paralyzed Pet

    SO… I am married to my Beloved Hubs and I have my Sadist Master, my Incubus on the side. Both are aware of the other. And I am having an issue trying to define a title for the Incubus. (This came after a public question, was mentioned we don’t know how to define his title)_
    So if he was a woman, he would be my Mistress. What is the male role?
    Yes I get lots of odd reactions when out with Incubus, I sport my custom wedding bands and a bonus engagement ring on a necklace and make no apologies for who I am with out and about. But finding him a title… It is rough. Master tends to work, boyfriend feels awkward unless speaking with my Husband… any creative ideas?

    • Oh man, titles and terms of address/introduction can be such a hassle, part of the problem that comes from speaking a language that is geared towards monogamy and binaries. Today I was trying to come up with non-gender specific forms of boyfriend/girlfriend that aren’t so serious sounding as “Significant Other” or “Partner” or “Lover”.

      Gentleman Caller? Beau? Boo? Intimate Friend? Consort? Recreational Partner? Dear Friend? Hmmm, I’ve been thinking about this since seeing your comment and those are the best I’ve got… Maybe I can think about this more and turn it into a full post?

      • Perfectly Paralyzed Pet

        I’ve used all of those actually. Nothing seems to fit properly. Second Husband is the best I can conjure so far, but really that is a bit too much.
        We have an intense emotional bond to go with the physical, and I just haven’t been able to come up with anything suitable without degrading or inflating his status 😦 Will watch your blog now anyway 🙂

        • I hope that my eventual post is some help! I don’t know if you’re on Twitter but I’m going to be Tweeting links to articles and resources about this subject in the upcoming few days. Might be some help. Good luck!

  2. Another interesting bit is that I have a pet. Titles for him came easily, his role in our relationship clearly defined. (I’d like to say that I know what he likes because we have communicated exhaustively on the subject, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with him, and that he would like it, long before we ever had a proper chat.) But I have to laugh, because mine is “Master,” which I love but wish were more androgynous.
    Why can’t there be a gender-neutral term for that sort of thing?
    “Owner” isn’t quite right, although it comes close, and it’s a term I’ll use in a pinch. I like the idea that my maleness is thoroughly acknowledged in the title, but my dominance has nothing to do with my maleness. “Mistress” doesn’t feel right, either, because for me, my sexuality eclipses my genders. I need a term that holds the impressiveness (and threat of a beating) of Master/Mistress without having anything to do with a gender that doesn’t apply to me.
    Currently, I like “Titleholder,” although that’s a little hard to gasp in between spanks. It implies that there’s a literal contract (well…), it’s completely awkward and clunky and also exactly perfect for my pet, because sometimes “Oh, that’s my Master” doesn’t work quite as well as “Oh, that’s my Titleholder.” I also like the fact that, because “Titleholder” isn’t common parlance in BDSM circles, there’s no immediate assumption that I do ___ or ___ just because I have a pet. That “Titleholder” leaves room for my pet to have other people who might want to do naughty things to him– “Master” seems monogamous, which it usually isn’t, but still– is icing on the delicious, spankable cake.
    Still, it’s not exactly a catchall term, and I’m still looking for one of those. Why is it that, in general, terms for submissives/bottoms/pets/etc. seem a lot easier to come up with than terms for dominants/tops/owners/etc.?

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