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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Learning by doing

I keep trying to work out whether or not I am actually polyamorous, and the answer is I don't know. I'm definitely in an open relationship, and (time permitting) keen to date and see other people, just as The Photographer has his partner. And we're certainly both busy trying to find those special someones who would like to tie us up and put us through our paces.

I'm not sure if that makes me poly, though. I don't know precisely where the line is between "feelings" and "play". I know that I need some connection with my partners, but I think that's true of everyone. Certainly better play has happened with those I've felt something for. Whether that is pure attraction, affection, friendliness, confidence in their presence or a mixture of all of these. I don't know where this leads - I am reasonably confident that I don't have the room in my life for another relationship that is as emotionally involved as the one I have with The Photographer, and I absolutely will make time for him before anyone else. Which is meaningful in and of itself. Does that make me not poly, then? Equally, I'm not sure that hanging labels on things ever does much good, I know that I've had a few cheeky little sniggers at people who introduce themselves as being firmly fixed in one category or the other. But perhaps they are. Just as I am happy to try new things, and would hate to shut the door on potential options. Which admittedly makes me sound greedy, but a little bit of what you fancy does you good. As my gran says, though probably not in this context.

So why the worry? If I'm happy to keep sampling from the varied menu of sexuality, why do I feel the need to work out just what my ideal relationship status is. I suppose the key here is in the word "ideal". As many of my friends are now cemented in their Noah-esque pairings, with weddings going off here there and everywhere, I'm starting to wonder how everything will pan out, where the dust will settle. Part of this has come from recent conversations in which I've tried to sound out how the future might look, but of course no-one can do that, and as time moves on, things change. I've changed. In the last nine or so months my life has moved into a very different place and I feel more comfortable with my love life, my sex life, my life. But less settled in my future.

Where once boy met girl and they went and chose curtains I'm not even sure I could begin to plan for anything now. It's a curious mix of freedom and anxiety. Worries about how it might all turn out, terribly aware of the fragility of these relationships see-saw with the excitement of possibilities, of everything from fun dates to finding love. Again, again and maybe even again. For as long as it works. And that's the rub. Which I know is exactly the same with any sort of relationship ever, but I think that recently I've been forced to be more honest and appraising of how relationships work (and don't work) and more accepting of impossibilities, of things that can't be changed.

It sounds a little maudlin, I suppose, but I am generally very positive, but perhaps also cautious. The more people that are involved, the more complex things get, and the less in control of the situation each individual feels. I've lost the illusion of control. Which can only be a good thing, but I'd gotten used to it, and now I'm doing without.

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