Polyamory Is Messy, Joyful, Not for the Faint of Heart

"It is anxiety that I am not enough, it is the relief I don't have to be."


Written by Sara Youngblood Gregory.

Art by Talitha Khachik.

Non-monogamy looks like my girlfriend living with my girlfriend before I live with my girlfriend.

It looks like struggling to remember which partner I described to which coworker the I thought you said your girlfriend was German not French but how to not even mention the Russian or Cuban? It is cutting my life into bite size pieces of mirror — don’t look too hard or I’ll be hearing from HR.

Non-monogamy is having a party wherever you go with your best friends and there is laughter and disagreements on which kind of dairy-free milk because we all get terrible stomach aches. It’s having a family where before there was void.

Non-monogamy is having a family where before there was void.

It is the freefall when a friend turns to me while driving from downtown to home with triumph and chocolate to declare I’m polyam now too! It’s been 6 days since the end of their 6 year relationship. Non-monogamy is the catch-all term for anyone who wants to sleep with anyone.

Non-monogamy is proximity to heartache, it is the constant submission to her. 

Non-monogamy means sharing; it means nothing I love is ever mine.

Non-monogamy means sharing; it means nothing I love is ever mine.

Non-monogamy is watching your lover fall in love with someone else again and again and again. It is pulling up a new chair and making the table feed more than expected.

It is not driving it is watching the wheel spin out while hoping to god.

Non-monogamy is the belief that my freedom can coexist with yours. That our shared dignity is greater than my need to control. I am tired of control. I see red and green and Christmas color anger. I see stars. I see the world going flat with longing then skyscrapers with open mouths.

Non-monogamy means being single for a long time. 

It is doing the readings. It means my life looks nothing like the readings. It means writing your own readings, comparing the notes. Scribble it out. There are no scripts. Get used to the explosions.

Non-monogamy is learning the thing about good threesomes is everyone taking turns being the third. If you know what I mean I want to know more.

Non-monogamy means everyone gets their own bedroom and if you are a non-breeder it means triple/quadruple/multiple income no kids, formerly known as DINKs, we will find financial stability through the pooling of sex and love and interdependence. I recall now women were not allowed bank accounts without a husband’s name until the 70’s. This motivates me.

Non-monogamy is learning to say yes again and again. It is learning to say no again and again. It is learning to tell the difference between what is expected and what is felt.

It is a breakup with spectators. Meaning any breakup is a team effort and/or sport where no one wins.

It is anxiety that I am not enough, it is the relief I don’t have to be.

[Non-monogamy] is the anxiety that I am not enough, it is the relief I don’t have to be.

It is the synergy of realization. The bifurcation of sex and companionship is impossible. It is about the disappearance of the and.

It is being a bottom and knowing there is no shortage of people willing to bend over.

Non-monogamy means holidays are a nightmare. It means family is messy. It means more secrets or less depending on where you come from. It means something like lesbian seperatism, but I’m not sure what.

Non-monogamy means I don’t believe in primary partners. Except if I did she would be my cat, Pom Pom, who sleeps with me every night which no other partner presumes.

Non-monogamy means thinking about a commune and buying goats and maybe a tax cow if my lover’s lover’s metamor can only get that promotion. It means a big party the day everyone drives eight hours to my house after months of planning.

Non-monogamy is nothing to do with sex. It is everything to do with talking, long, long talks and learning how to communicate again and again and again. It is learning how to ask the same question ten different ways, then asking ten more clarification questions, then asking yourself ten more while journaling.  So, actually, yes this is sex, too.

Non-monogamy is nothing to do with sex. It is everything to do with talking, long, long talks and learning how to communicate again and again and again.

Non-monogamy is an arsenal of sex toys, an entire room for sex, a bureau of rope, a lending library of vibrators, nipple clamps, floggers, latex, spandex, hoods, sparkly butt plugs, strap-ons of all sizes.  It means endless imagination.

Non-monogamy is the explosion of the private sphere. There is no public sphere there is no private sphere. My lovers and I know where you work. We go there in leather packing plastic genitalia. There is nowhere outside we won’t fuck and there is no parking lot safe from our lust. There will be one million freaks holding hands at once.

About The Author

Sara Youngblood Gregory (she/they) is a polyamorous, disabled dyke. She writes about sex, BDSM, and lesbianism. Their work is featured in Vice, Huffington Post, Autostraddle, and others.

Follow on IG: @sinister.spinster | Follow on Twitter: @s_youngblood_g

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