Revelations

I’ve been evolving my feelings about how and when to reveal that I’m not monogamous. My general principle has been to hold the information back, not because I want to hide it, but because I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. A corollary worry is that if I mention my open marriage, someone will think I’m hitting on them. I know this has happened a few times. However, as time goes by, I’m realizing that I’m overestimating three things:

  1. The extent to which the rest of the country’s (world’s?) attitudes mirror the ones I tended to encounter in Indiana.
  2. The extent to which people are uncomfortable with knowing about things that they disapprove of.
  3. The extent to which anyone cares even a little bit what I’m doing in my private life if they’re not involved.

That last one can’t be overemphasized. Folks in general really are just remarkably tolerant of whatever you’re doing, or at least whatever I’m doing.  I’m aware that for various other people that’s not always the case.

For a long time now, I wasn’t telling anyone if I hadn’t known them for a while, and even then only if it came up in conversation.  The latter is still important, it’s not like I blurt out that I sleep around to anyone I meet, but I’m relaxing on the former restriction. I’m not sure what the effects have been; I’m made many new friends in the meantime, but can’t be sure how many people were put off by knowing this about me.

I still try to avoid it in situations where I think it might come off as hitting on someone.  I mean, unless I’m intending to do that, but frankly as I’ve discussed here before, it’s incredibly uncommon for me to approach someone in person, partly because of the difficulty in navigating that piece of information but mostly just because asking people out is super weird and I’ll take any excuse not to do it.

Now, for some time now most of the people I’ve been meeting have been in the slam poetry and alt lit communities, and it’s more than possible that those people are much more open to being around someone open/poly than the baseline. But some number of people I work with now know, both in and out of the office, just as a result of incidental conversations or, ah, seeing me out and about with, say, Ravaella.

It’s analogous in interesting ways to being bi, although obviously a lot less marginalized (yes, straight poly folks, it is). It’s something that I don’t necessarily want to talk about all the time but that I have to tell people or they won’t know. Having an invisible identity means doing that balancing act an awful lot, and mine aren’t even that invisible. Straight people don’t have to talk about how they’re straight, monogamous people don’t have to talk about how they’re monogamous. I guess I could publicly make out with guys more often, maybe, kill both birds at once.

Advertisements

Moving forward

I’ve been thinking of moving this site to my main writing site, NickSimmonds.com, to sort of consolidate everything in one place. I haven’t done so primarily because this site is sort of semi-secret; it’s not that anyone shouldn’t know anything here, it’s that I have friends and family who’d just rather not be confronted with my love life.  It probably wouldn’t be a huge problem, but I still feel a need for a little bit of separation. Like, if my mom goes looking and finds this site, then she’s welcome to read it, but that doesn’t mean that I want to put it in front of her face every time I write a new post.

It’s also, as I’ve pointed out before, no longer accurately named. At six years or so of writing on the subject–however intermittently–I’m no longer reasonably considered a novice in the world of open dating.

There some value, too, in having it more accessible. I’ve been seeing Ravaella Huntinghawk, half-elven monk, for a couple of months now, and she only recently stumbled across the thing (Hi, Ravaella).  I certainly could have sent her the link, but didn’t think to. I’ve often found as a writer that it’s useful to let new paramours find out about me through my writing, or at least find out that either all the stories I’ve been telling are true or I’m an incredibly prepared liar.

Things with Ravaella have gotten more intense more quickly than I was prepared for. I have found myself holding back a touch because it’s unclear how into the poly lifestyle she’s going to be, and that’s a recipe for a certain kind of hurt. You can see that in what happened previously with Ravamorel; I’m often someone’s one experiment in open relationships before they go back to monogamy, and it’s worth it, but there’s a melancholy to it. I’m sort of always gaining new and exciting people but I’m also sort of always just post breakup with someone.

I think I’m past the holding back, though, and now I’m just in the moment with everything. I’m really, really into her, and things are going well. If anything, I can’t manage to see her nearly as often as I want to.

Honestly, the one thing I’m sort of missing now is a local non-dating friend that I can go do arbitrary things with, rather than seeing each other at Events. I haven’t had, say, a “best friend” for a long time, and this is the sort of place that people seem to move away from a lot, as I mentioned here.

In any event, things are good. If you’re in Providence and free on Jan 15th, I’ll be performing in the semifinals slam at AS220. Hope to see you there.