When it comes to discussing alternative relationships – being open, polyamory, etc., there’s a lot of planning involved and so much that a lot of couples, even when interested, can be loathe to bring it up because just thinking about it as an individual can bring up a tsunami of things that have to be thought and talked about, from why this is being brought to the table to how things are gonna work and, jeez, so many things that it becomes an information overload.
But couples manage to wade through it all, get their rules all hashed out and, provided they’re fortunate enough to find others to join them in this, they’re off and running. I’ve had the honor and privilege to have sat with quite a few couples to help them sort all of this out and one of the things that can trip a couple up comes when I ask them about same sex stuff.
Some come right out and say that this is off the table; ain’t gonna happen and better not happen; some say that they talked about it briefly… but dismissed the possibility and, sure, some have, tentatively, said that they didn’t think it would be a problem but not something they’d talked and they’ll worry about that if such a thing happens.
And I’ve told them, “That’s a mistake…” and then I’ve told them why it’s a mistake. In these things, couples tend to think about what they want to do and experience… but not think so much about what could happen. Many do believe that no “funny business” is gonna happen because neither of them are into that – and it’s understandable… but. still, some “funny business” should never be dismissed out of hand because, at the very least, shit does happen and when you’re not expecting – or wanting – it to.
Then tack on that you never know when one or the other person is going to change their mind about that and, sometimes, on the fly and then because something inside of them is saying, “Go ahead… do it… you know you want to…” In this, a lot of couples think that “heat of the moment” stuff can’t and shouldn’t happen, that everyone involved should always be in complete and total control of themselves and, well, hmm, let’s just say that I’ve seen this happen so many times that thinking this way is a mistake.
It becomes a huge shock to the system and can start some pretty nasty arguments… and usually because it’s something they didn’t discuss, didn’t plan for, figured that they didn’t have to allow for such a thing to happen
One couple I know got off the ground and running and were having the time of their lives. One day, I happened to run into the male half of the relationship and asked him how things were going and he had said it was going very well until, one night, his lady suddenly went down on the other woman.
“I didn’t see that coming!” he had said.
“Well, um, when we all talked about that, I remember telling you that such a thing could happen – and you both insisted that it wouldn’t and couldn’t. I also remember telling you that it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, you did, but, shit, I didn’t think it could happen,” he said.
“I hope you didn’t jump in her ass about it,” I said. “I also hope that this… surprise didn’t ruin the moment for everyone.”
“Nah, nothing got ruined – the other couple was pleasantly surprised,” he said.
“Good… and I hope that the two of you talked about this later and y’all weren’t arguing about it,” I said.
“We talked about it and, I dunno, I wasn’t mad… but I was just surprised because she never said anything about that,” he said.
“Let me guess at something. I’ll bet that when you asked her what happened, she first said she didn’t know but then she said that it just felt like the right thing to do,” I said. “That sound about right?”
He blinked then asked, “Did she talk to you about that?”
“No, she didn’t,” I said. “But I’m right, aren’t I?”
“Yeah… how the fuck did you know what she said?” he asked.
“Because I’ve both heard and seen it happen before,” I said. “I’ve even seen guys do this and they’ve said that it just made sense or it felt like the right thing to do in that moment. I’ve heard both men and women say that they’ve even shocked themselves to realize what they were doing and, later, would say that they didn’t know what made them do it or, in some cases, allow it.”
The situation turned out well for them… but it doesn’t always turn out well and what started out being a good thing has turned into a bad thing… because no one really wants to factor any of this in. They don’t want to acknowledge the possibility and they most certainly never take into account that someone might change their mind about this. Ideally, this should be part of the conversation to begin with and, just as ideally, if one is feeling this at any time after the rules have been set, it merits some discussion. Doesn’t mean that the next time out, something’s gonna happen but it’s always important to find out and know what your partner is thinking about all of this.
And the main reason why this isn’t given a lot of real consideration and attention is because that’s not the way things are supposed to happen; it’s not what they want to experience and other such things that causes a great disturbance in the Force if/when it happens, whether it’s in the heat of the moment or it’s something someone had on their mind and in that moment just said, “Fuck it… I’m gonna do it!” and, perhaps, thinking that it’s better to beg forgiveness – and say, “I don’t know what made me do that!” – than it is to plan ahead for such a thing.
Maybe it comes up… maybe it never does but I’ve learned that the biggest thing that fucks up such arrangements is the one thing no one planned for, allowed for, and didn’t see coming. I’ve seen people discuss it… and dismiss it; they’ve said, “We’ll worry about it if it ever happens!” Sometimes, someone is really thinking about this… but they don’t say anything about it and usually out of fear of some shit getting started but, of course, that’s a mistake, too; since you need to talk about everything and I do mean everything, well, this is part of that everything.
Any thoughts you might have about it. Any experiences you may have had or came close to having. Yeah, you can say that things shouldn’t come to that but at the very least, you both have to seriously and truthfully acknowledge that the possibility exists for shit to happen. Those folks setting up a poly “family” should equally be aware of the potential because even in closed family environments, the more you interact with each other, the more some…. stuff tends to surface.
Maybe it comes up, maybe it doesn’t but if you don’t plan for it and make it a legit part of the conversation, you can either be pleasantly surprised or everything you’ve worked on in this will disintegrate.
Let’s not have that happen, aight? Whether you’re into it or not, plan for it; talk about it and, maybe not expect it to happen but put yourself in a position where, if it does happen or come up, you won’t get surprised by it.