“I’VE HAD SEX WITH SOME­ONE ELSE AND MY WIFE’S DE­LIGHTED” Our polyamory colum­nist opens up

In the third in­stal­ment of his col­umn, Jack* finds that pop­ping his polyamory cherry isn’t as sim­ple as it sounds

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Contents -

Acou­ple of months ago, a polyamorous life­style was thrust upon me by my wife of nine years. It’s been, shall we say, dif­fi­cult. I’ve clocked up one pleas­ant but chaste date, and another ‘dis­as­ter date’ that led to a blip of de­pres­sion and ar­gu­ments at home. My wife, Lucy*, on the other hand, has had more suc­cess ini­tially, man­ag­ing a date with a good-look­ing guy in his twen­ties, which ended with ‘good sex.’

I wouldn’t de­scribe my­self as a com­pet­i­tive per­son. I’ve never been a big one for races or team sports. But when it comes to poly, I’m begin­ning to find it dif­fi­cult not to ‘keep score’ with my other half. Turns out those evo­lu­tion­ary the­o­rists know their stuff – com­pe­ti­tion in the sex stakes re­ally is hard­wired into the male psy­che. Lucy thinks I’m be­ing ridicu­lous, but if we’re count­ing con­quests, I’m one-nil down.

This said, slowly but surely, our mar­i­tal sex life is hot­ting up – just as she said it would when she first an­nounced this new chap­ter for our re­la­tion­ship. Whereas be­fore poly, some­what shell­shocked from the daily de­mands of three small children, sex was vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent, now Lucy and I seem to be redis­cov­er­ing each other. The freer avail­abil­ity of sex with (in the­ory) who­ever we want seems to be turn­ing up the heat in the bed­room.

But there’s still the small mat­ter of pop­ping my poly cherry to at­tend to. I’m begin­ning to think Tin­der is not nec­es­sar­ily the right place to find like­minded peo­ple. So many con­ver­sa­tions end abruptly the minute I high­light the ‘non-monog­a­mous’ line in my pro­file. A lit­tle on­line re­search re­veals that OKCupid might be a bet­ter fit for some­one ex­per­i­ment­ing with polyamory, and I de­cide to give it a go. Sure enough, poly seems to be, if not the norm, then cer­tainly pop­u­lar. I’m quickly matched with a few po­ten­tials.

One such woman is Vicki.* Within a few days, we are ex­chang­ing dozens of mes­sages a day on What­sApp. She and her hus­band have only been polyamorous a few months, so, al­ready, we have that in com­mon.

I de­cide to go all-out for our first date, buy­ing tick­ets for a gig and book­ing an Airbnb near the venue. The evening goes bet­ter than I could have imag­ined. After a few large G&Ts and din­ner, we head to­wards the gig venue. On the way, we kiss… and Vicki asks me if I fancy do­ing a ‘back­wards date’ by head­ing to my ‘place’ first, and the gig later. I don’t need ask­ing twice.

Within half an hour, we are naked be­tween the sheets in the up­mar­ket bed­sit I’ve rented for the night. Sex is pas­sion­ate and fun, if lack­ing in any real emo­tional con­nec­tion, which is hardly sur­pris­ing since we’ve only just met. It’s also slightly weird that our re­spec­tive spouses are at our re­spec­tive houses, bliss­fully aware of what’s hap­pen­ing. Weirder still is when, after a sec­ond round, Vicki starts tex­ting her hus­band…“Just to let him know I’m OK”. ‘Fine,’ I think. ‘That’s sweet.’ I do not do the same.

Vicki tells me that she is cur­rently see­ing two other men and a cou­ple. She also en­joys go­ing to sex par­ties. My mind is reel­ing. Then she sud­denly starts get­ting dressed and gath­er­ing up her things.“Oh, I never like to stay out all evening,” she says. “My hus­band and I have agreed we al­ways come home be­fore the end of the night.”

Just as soon as it be­gan, it’s over. I’ve had sex with some­one else, and my wife thinks that’s fine. I feel happy and free. Be­cause of the con­sen­sual na­ture of the ar­range­ments, there are none of the feel­ings of guilt I’d as­so­ciate with cheat­ing. Be­cause it’s not cheat­ing. It’s polyamory.

The next day I get a text from Vicki… ‘Hey. Things have been a bit fraught this end, sadly.’ ‘Oh, why?’ I ask, now tense.‘My hus­band wants us to stop be­ing open.’ Given the way Vicki had thrown her­self into the whole sex-with-oth­er­peo­ple set-up, I can’t say I’m that sur­prised. Her hus­band, by her own ad­mis­sion, had taken some con­vinc­ing to go non-monog­a­mous in the first place. She seems gen­uinely sad to fin­ish it so soon, al­though a part of me does won­der… is this just the way all polyamorous re­la­tion­ships end? After all, it’s a ready-made per­fect ex­cuse: it’s not you – it’s him.

The Polyamory Di­aries con­tin­ues in the next issue. Read the other in­stal­ments at Cos­mopoli­tan.com/uk/polyamory-di­aries

“After sex, she starts tex­ting her hus­band”

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