Just Because Everybody Does It Differently Is Not An Excuse

26 Sep

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it often, everybody does polyamory differently. But that’s not an excuse for being a douche.

Ok, he’s not really a douche.

But his behavior is unacceptable. I’m speaking about Cassius. It seems there isn’t a single polyamorous woman in this city he’s not had his grubby little hands one. Ok, that’s not his fault, it’s just the reaction I had the second time we found out  a woman I was dating had slept with him.  And that’s the behavior I really do have a problem with, the way we find out.

Cassius is Bayani’s boyfriend, who is married to Junia. We met Cassius and Junia through some other poly friends, and we sort of moved into their social circle. Now, there aren’t many poly folk in our fair(and by that I mean backwoods and conservative) city, so groups tend to be rather, um, incestuous. We’ve been to a few of their parties(and by ‘we’ I mean Bayani, I’ve been to one). Even brought Isadora along. She was a hit, of course. Some time later Junia and Cassius invited her up to Junia’s boyfriend’s cabin for the night.

It felt to me like she was being invited along so Cassius would have some company while Junia and her boyfriend went off and fucked. Isadora and Cassius hooked up, because why not? He was there, she was there, there was a fire and stars and a cabin. Now, I have no resentment that Isadora slept with Cassius. She’s a big girl and can make her own decisions. I did, however, have a little resentment about how Cassius and Junia approached the whole thing.

Cassius never told Bayani about it. That’s a bit of a problem for me. I believe that you owe it to your partners to inform them about other partners. But ok, one incident, I can deal.

Then Bayani found out about another girl he had started dating regularly, while talking to Junia(who has become a good friend to us both, and we talk to her to sometimes get a different perspective on our reactions). And then another girl he started dating. So, here is Cassius dating Bayani, and he starts dating two other women, without telling her. At Burning Man Cassius had drunk sex with another woman we all know from the poly community(and whom I have a little crush on).

Not once did he tell Bayani about any of this.

The last straw for me was Lylith. Junia had started dating Dante, and at a dinner party one night Dante and Junia went off to fool around, and Lylith was left alone with Cassius. Same as with Isadora. It felt like Lylith was brought along solely so Cassius would have some company. That was when I felt like there were no poly women in the state he’d not had his grubby little hands on. My wife, Isadora, Burning Man Chick, Lylith…

Again, Cassius didn’t say a word to Bayani. That was six women he’d had sex with and didn’t tell her. That is completely unacceptable.

Junia and Cassius do polyamory differently than we do, and that’s fine. They enter into sexual relationships much more casually than Bayani and I. Hell, I enter into sexual relationships more casually than Bayani, I’m able to have FWBs while she tends to stay with romantic secondaries. But I still tell her all about my FWBs. Junia and Cassius have no such agreement between each other. They don’t need to tell each other about every partner, only the serious ones.  But we do. And Cassius, it seems, simply assumed the same rules applied to his relationship with Bayani.

Practice polyamory however you like, you’re hurting no one. Unless you’re potentially hurting someone, and THAT is what this blog is about. STDs are an issue, so there’s the practical concern about informing partners about other partners. And then there’s the emotional concern. No matter how long you’ve been living this lifestyle, you can still be fragile, can still get your feelings hurt, and finding out the Secondary you’re falling in love with has just fucked a couple of other people kinda hurts.

So live your life how you like, sleep with whom you like, fall in love with whomever you like; but when it comes to sex you rather owe it to your partners to keep them informed.

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2 Responses to “Just Because Everybody Does It Differently Is Not An Excuse”

  1. Nop November 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    “They don’t need to tell each other about every partner, only the serious ones. But we do. And Cassius, it seems, simply assumed the same rules applied to his relationship with Bayani.”
    Rules like this need to be stated up front if you wish to have the ‘right’ to get butthurt about them being ‘violated’. If B had told C that she was to be kept informed about his roster, then sure, he fucked up. If she didn’t, then she has nothing to complain about. And either way, you have no right to be be shitty with him, only perhaps with her, if you & she had agreed that she would keep you informed about her partners’ partners. (I personally think that it’s silly & impractical to expect to be fully informed that many levels deep, but hey, different strokes, etc.)
    Upon this revelation, they need to have a conversation about this _new_ requirement & work out some mutually acceptable deal, but I can’t see any just reason for butthurt about the prior history.

    • Myrddwn November 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      She thought she had made that expectation clear. This was a communication break down, obviously she was not clear enough.
      And when you consider more than just feelings, once you toss the possibility of STDs I believe you do, in fact, owe it to your regular partners to inform them of new partners. Not because they could get butt-hurt, but because they have the right to make an informed decision about the risks involved.
      No one is butt-hurt about prior history, Bayani and I are upset that he was not informing her of new partners, while he was involved with her. Six people is quite a large number, and carries quite a risk.
      Part of the point of this post, and perhaps I am at fault for not being clear, is that yes my wife is at fault for not being perfectly clear what her communications expectations with him were. This is a cautionary tale.

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