#28: Multiple Lovers, One Husband: How a Polyamorous Relationship Works

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Welcome to episode #28 of “Rewrite the Rules with Alex Starr” Podcast, available for free on iTunes or any podcast app, direct links and audio at the top of the page ↑

I first saw “polyamorous”  as I sat in the sweltering Arizona heat, trying to use my hand to block the sun on my screen. Jessica had mentioned it after a few casual correspondences on Tinder.

What the fuck does that mean?

3 dicks?

A vagina and a dick?

2 dicks, 1 vagina, and a goldfish?

All I saw was the word POLY staring back at me and I knew exactly what that meant: multiple.

Maybe she has crazy multiple orgasms, that could be neat.

I of course didn’t realize then that the root of the second part of the word, amorous, is from the latin “amor” and literally means love in Spanish. She could have multiple lovers.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I read that description, 
content that I did not have to deal with a bunch of dicks.

We set up a time and place to meet, a local saloon near the border of Mexico with pool tables and a giant patio. I was unsure of how the date would go but I was hoping for a good story or good sex, maybe both. It was a warm night in early summer, a few other patrons relaxed around the patio while Jessica and I bantered and played pool.

Eventually I learned of her marriage and the complete honesty the relationship has and is required to maintain its “open” status. We talked about her bisexuality and how that plays into the entire mix and her upbringing in a strict and rigid religious household that gave no slack towards these types of relationships.

We met up about 5 times that long summer. We got food and listened to music in Mexico, drank cold beer on warm August nights and of course, we fucked. My curiosity was becoming as hard to contain as my libido around this girl so I kept asking questions:

“What does the conversation sound like in the morning after being out with another guy?”

“Do you both hook up with other people?”

“What if you fall in love with somebody else?”

And then the best one which I asked in bed at about 2AM:

“Does your husband know what you are doing right now?”

“He knows I am here. He knows exactly where I am, I sent him your address just in case.”

Shit. The husband of the girl I just had sex with knows where I live and that she is here right now. Instantly my thoughts imagined 5 guys hauling up the small hill to the house I was staying at, taking one look at my Subaru Outback with a fucking dreamcatcher in the window, and deciding that they didn’t need 5 guys to beat up that guy. Instead 3 of them rampage into the casita and destroy everything I own along with my pride and masculinity. 

Luckily she quickly added:
“Don’t worry, this is not our first rodeo and he is not the type of guy to come do that.”

“O, well then. Perfect.”

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As we continued to hang out, I became more and more enthralled with the idea of an open relationship, of polyamory, of anything besides the standard model. I read Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Dr. Chris Ryan. How does this type of relationship fit into our contemporary society, is it something you could try? Is it something I could try?

Most of the responses I have received from discussing this type of relationship follows a general theme of “I could never do that, somebody else with my girl/guy. I would go crazy. I would be too jealous.”
I can’t imagine it either, but I know there are people who are successfully navigating this realm.

A few weeks before I took off from Southern Arizona to travel around the West, we met up at a hotel in Tucson to hang out one more time. After eating some Chinese food delivery and whiskey, we sat down and got into the nitty gritty of how these types of relationships work.

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What we talk about/questions and where to find them in the show:

1. Explain how your open marriage relationship works (7:00)
2. How did this relationship start and how did it transform into this type? (8:55)
3. How do you deal with possessiveness and/or jealousy? (11:15)
4. What is the primary use of sex? (13:00)
5. What do you say when people ask you about loving your husband enough? (14:50)
6. How we all react to different perspectives ( 18:30)
7. Does polyamory mean you have sex with a lot of people are just have the option? (20:20)
8. How do you deal with dating other guys while being married? (23:30)
9. What did you tell your husband before you came over here today? (24:45)
10. How did you initially bring up the subject of an open marriage to your husband ( 25:45)
11. Does your husband have sex with other women as well? (26:30)
12. The one thing that does threaten you in the relationship (28:00)
13. Honesty and Blowjobs (35:15)
14. Getting away from the ‘game’ and is it still interesting? (38:30)
15. When monogamy works and for what type of people (41:30)
16. What suggestions do you suggest for people curious about exploring this type of relationship? (46:55)

Extra Goods

1. Dr. Chris Ryan’s podcast  “Tangentially Speaking” covers almost everything you would want to know about these subjects and     a wide array of topics on sexuality and modern life.

2. This episode of Aubrey Marcus’s podcast has he and his partner talking to each other about their own open relationship.                Definitely a must-listen as they are extremely honest about the extremely difficult parts of the process and how they have              both benefited in the long run.

3. Of course, here are some reads on the subject:
Sex at Dawn
The Ethical Slut (Haven’t read this one but heard from multiple people about how great it is)
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Not specific to polyamory but fascinating in our pre-agricultural life and its implications for how we could be living differently today)

Are you trying this type of relationship? Do you think you could? Why or why not? Let me know in the comment section below.

Alex Hartley Starr