Why Poly?

Panzer and I have been asked on numerous occasions why, after almost 14 years of monogamy, we decided to change the dynamic of our marriage. We usually chuckle a bit. It’s a long story, like almost everything else about our life together.

Panzer was the first man that I was successfully monogamous with for more than a year. Prior to that, I usually didn’t make it past a month or two. I would always develop a crush on someone and end up cheating on whoever I was dating at the time. Panzer had a better track record, but his first marriage did end because he cheated. We just couldn’t help ourselves, I guess. (And before you think it…no, we did not become poly because one of us cheated.)

When I met him, I knew I was in love immediately. And yes, I was dating someone at the time, as was he. Within a few weeks, we’d both ended our other relationships and he proposed two weeks after we started dating. Six months later, we bought a house, and a year later, we were married. About 5 years into our marriage, our sex-life was non-existent. Ok, we might have had sex every few months, but for both of us, that wasn’t enough. His arm was getting over-developed and I was spending too much money on vibrators. Our options were divorce or try seeing a therapist. Neither of us wanted divorce because we really do love each other, so we opted for therapy. It was, hands-down, the best thing we’ve ever done for our relationship. We spent six months learning how to REALLY talk to each other, openly and honestly. It was amazing. In fact, without that ability, polyamory doesn’t work at all.

Things got good again. Our sex life was back to our “normal” five times a week average. We were really talking to each other. It was wonderful, but something was still missing. It took another few years for us to figure it out. We’d always had a kinky relationship; bondage and spanking were common activities. However, neither of us had ever truly opened up to the other about exactly what kink got us hot. So, roughly 8 years into our relationship, we finally started talking about what we really wanted in bed.

It turned out that Panzer had never talked about it because he was afraid of what I’d think of him. He couldn’t figure out how to tell his wife that he wanted to beat her with a riding crop until she cried. Men didn’t do things like that to the women they claimed to love. I’d never mentioned anything because the after-effects of being raised Catholic were still buried deep inside me and I felt ashamed. I couldn’t admit to my husband that I wanted him to fuck me, choke me and call me a whore. What kind of a woman actually *wants* that? Looking back on it now, it seems ludicrous.

After talking about it and feeling each other out, we decided to start trying new things, and made the decision to become active in our local kink community. That decision is what changed our lives. Within a few months of joining the community, we’d met so many other “kinksters” that neither of us felt ashamed of what we enjoyed anymore. It was okay to enjoy these things. We reveled in trying new things together to see if they turned us on; some did, some didn’t. And occasionally, an activity would work for one of us, but not the other.

And that, my friends, is what led us to discussing polyamory. It was roughly three years ago. We had gone to a national convention for Shibari enthusiasts. (Shibari, or Kinbaku, is the art of rope bondage.) We’d discovered that Panzer loved tying me up and I loved being tied up. During the five-hour drive home, we started talking about having “scenes” with other people. A scene does not necessarily include sexual conduct. It’s quite common in the kink community for people to scene with friends or new acquaintances and do nothing sexual. Well, we began discussing it. Both of us agreed that a scene with someone else would be okay. But then we started discussing it more in depth.

We’re kinky – fetishes are sexual, even if there is no intercourse. Having a knife held to my throat gets me wet. Spanking a woman’s ass gets Panzer hard. Neither of these are sex acts, but they are sexual kinks for us. So, we began discussing how we’d feel about one of us taking part in a scene with someone else where some of these kinks were indulged. We discussed it for months. It was exhausting, but we needed to be sure that every concern had been addressed. And while we were talking about that, we also talked about how we felt about each other. We both needed to be 100% secure in our relationship. Without that, the chances of a marriage surviving are slim. We read books, we talked to other poly people that we knew. We went to meetings. We talked, and talked, and talked, and talked…and then talked some more.

And then one day, we decided to give it a try. There was one condition: either partner could stop it at any time if it got too difficult. But you know what? It’s been almost two years and our ability to communicate with each other has gotten us over every speed bump we’ve hit. Communication, scheduling, and being able to tell the difference between jealousy and envy are the three most important skills to have when you’re poly. So far, Panzer and I are doing well. I love him more now than I ever thought possible. He is still the man I’ll grow old with. There might just be a few more people in rocking chairs on the porch with us now.

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One Response to “Why Poly?”

  1. Red Baron Says:

    Thanks. Especially for talking about how exhausting all of the talking is.

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