I’ve probably written about this before but while perusing the Reader, I saw a blog asking about this and my first thought was that bisexuality is almost tailor-made for polyamory since, at the simplest of levels, one finds that their capacity to feel things for others gets greatly expanded and, yeah, even when some of those feelings are not much more than pure and unadulterated lust. It tends to cause confusion in some since being monogamous – and even in our feelings – is highly and strongly mandated and I’ve seen so many people falling all over themselves because they’ve found themselves being in love with someone… but having similar feelings for someone else… and then doing a Jedi mind trick on themselves in order to convince themselves that, for one, they’re not supposed to be feeling like this and, for another, convincing themselves that whatever they’re feeling for someone else – for the most part – isn’t what it really feels like and that there’s some great difference between loving someone and being in love with them.
A lot of people are guilty of this and, yeah, I used to be one of them until I got kicked in the nuts – figuratively, not literally. As I recall, I was well aware that to some degree, I had feelings for guys and gals – lust or otherwise – but really failed to connect the two things and, yep, knowing that I had feelings for someone but I also had feelings for someone else but, like many, suppressed them… but not so much. It took finding out that through no fault of my own, the love I had for someone wasn’t enough for them; they needed more and even from a different direction; it wasn’t that they didn’t love me because they did… but. The whole heart-rending situation forced me to see the reality of the situation, that it really wasn’t “impossible” to have feelings for one person while having feelings for someone else but it was just a matter of that being monogamous thing that was really the biggest problem.
Like, how are you gonna tell someone that if they have feelings for you, they cannot ever have feelings for someone else and they sure as hell aren’t supposed to do anything about those other feelings? Yet, that’s exactly what we’ve been told to do and with the admonishment that trying to love more than one person at a time would be the biggest mistake ever made and is guaranteed to blow up in your face and catastrophically so. Through my sexuality, I learned a few things and beginning with the reason why it can blow up is because while we can have such feelings, shit – we barely know how to love (or otherwise feel) for one person, let alone more than one and, of course, everyone has their own ideas about this but still predicated on the tenets of monogamy.
It’s not that bisexuals can’t be monogamous physically because they can… but emotionally? As I’ve said hundreds of times now, a woman I loved so very much told me that you can’t do a damned thing about the way you feel; you can only do something about how you may or may not act on those feelings. I learned that, yeah, sometimes you are compelled to act and even more so when we’ve all been taught that if you care for or love someone, then you gotta do some stuff about it… and I learned that at the very least, all you have to do is accept that this is how you feel but, yeah, not doing something about those feelings can be a bit of a bitch.
Now, you don’t have to be any kind of sexual to be able to understand this; it’s just that my wakeup call with this one had me “going back” and looking at myself and my bisexuality to really see what had been going on the whole time: Me having feelings for a lot of people and not just for one person whether it was lust, infatuation or even love. I think that had I not been bisexual and “finally” understanding how my own feelings were working, getting hit with this would have been much harder to accept… and off we went, freeing each other to act on our feelings instead of doing what everyone else does: Have those “extra” feelings and just flat out denying them or, yeah, stepping off to the side to do something about them.
I had time to think about this and to see the fallacy of being monogamous; growing up, I was pretty much told that I should (read that as had to) love my parents and siblings and other relatives but if I met a girl, I could only love that girl and no other at the same time. I realized that I’d literally been taught to be polyamorous, only to be told that, outside of the family, I couldn’t be. That realization was an even bigger kick in the nuts and saw that by invoking monogamous behavior, sure – I was being told what I couldn’t do but I was also being told that I couldn’t feel the way I felt… and, again, my bisexuality had already proven to me that I was more than capable – and often very willing – to feel whatever I felt with anyone even though doing something about it, I saw, wasn’t always possible. When the woman I loved told me this, it became an even bigger revelation and epiphany when I eventually saw that I had already learned that lesson – I just hadn’t connected it all together.
When people bitch about bisexuals and say that we’re greedy, they’re not just talking about our greater need and desire for sex and it begs a question: Is there really such a thing as loving and being loved too much? Is caring for more than one person really that bad of a thing and, yeah, do we not know that lusting after more than one person has always been seen as very bad? We see cheating as such a horrible thing to do and always asking why it happens and we always think that it’s about sex alone… when that’s not the whole truth since a lot of infidelity starts with feelings; you love whomever you’re with but then someone comes along and, the short version, you feel more “love” in that sense and while we tend to see it as being different, well, of course it is since everyone is different and how you react to them emotionally is going to be different… but it’s not always a matter of replacing feelings for one person with feelings for another: It’s the addition of those feelings, getting more from someone else than one is already feeling and getting. Of course, the “bad” part about this is doing something about those feelings and sex, it seems, becomes inevitable because other than for the sake of lust, nothing expresses the deeper feelings better than having sex with someone.
It’s not that difficult to see what’s really at fault here… and it’s not really us: It’s what we’ve been made to believe. Being in love and loving – in some way – someone else at the same time cannot be done; it should never be done and we still haven’t, as a whole, made the connection that this demand is unrealistic and we do fuck up a lot of shit – including ourselves – because of this very unrealistic expectation and forces us to control or suppress our natural ability to love more than one person at a time as well as our innate “compulsion” to do something about what we’re feeling.
Bisexuals get exposed to this and even when they’re of a mind that it’s “easier” to just have the sex and without any other feelings getting in the way but, again, you don’t have to be bisexual to see this at work; swingers, in particular, have no problems letting their lust for others loose… but developing feelings other than lust for those they’re having mad crazy good sex with? Verboten. Do not even go there and it had better not be discovered that you do have more feelings other than lust for someone because there will be hell to pay… which brings me back to the question of why and how we feel that we have the right to tell each other how we’re supposed to feel and placing such dire restrictions on them and ourselves? The fact of things and as I learned them is that you can feel whatever the hell you want to and for as many people as you can; doing something about those feelings? Yeah, that can get interesting… but if you could, hmm.
One of the things that solidified all of this in my mind was something my mother told me the day I told her I was getting married – and other than, “I hope you know what you’re doing!” She said, “Your marriage is only going to be as good as the two of you are willing to make it.” And then I learned what that really meant and the “bottom line” thinking and realization that it is better to ask permission than to keep begging forgiveness – and then not ever forgiving or being forgiven. While it’s all well and good to be free to sexually express yourself with whomever you can, it feels even better to be freed from monogamy so that you can feel whatever you’re feeling and without being guilty over the fact that you love this person… but you love that person… or persons. Doing stuff about it is complicated but not impossible…
And these days, a lot of people have figured it out and, again, sexuality isn’t the only method of figuring out but it does, in fact, help. The much dreaded word “threesome” comes up and freaks a lot of people out and that’s understandable… but what they don’t understand so much that, in this situation, sharing sex with someone you love and with others involved isn’t just about sex – it’s also an expanded expression of a great many feelings including the love you feel for the person you’re with and, yeah, it’s often conducted in a way that where sex can be shared… as long as there are no other feelings other than lust going on even though lust is a feeling, too – it’s just one that doesn’t require a relationship in order to be a valid emotional state – we just continue to believe that it does.
Bisexuals probably do understand this better than other types of sexual; it’s not wholly about doing shit about it but being able to feel what we’re feeling and being open and honest with ourselves about this very polyamorous aspect about ourselves. It is a wonderful feeling and part of things that makes being bisexual so eye-opening liberating and allows one to understand that not only can we be bisexual, but we can feel whatever we want to feel for more than one person at a time. There was a time in our history when humans were very polyamorous and relationships included many people joined together in a common cause – primarily survival and it lent itself well to the perpetuation of the species… until some folks decided that this wasn’t the best way to do things and invoked the Word of God… and monogamy.
But especially in bisexuals, this is a difficult state of mind to find one’s self in and to the point where bi guys, in particular, will tell you in a heartbeat that they don’t like men like they do women – and they’re talking romantically, not sexually and it’s like, duh, of course you don’t since women aren’t men and, oh, yeah, that’s right – being romantically interested in men is a very gay way to be. This becomes such a thing in the minds of many that they are unable to see how polyamorous they really are because, again, lust really is a legitimate emotional state – just one that really doesn’t have anything to do with being in love or, as I like to say, you do like them – or want to like them – enough to make sex possible and doable.
Being polyamorous isn’t just about sex but the inclusion of sex isn’t that bad of a thing if you can put your heads together and figure out how to “do it all” and without monogamy fucking everything up and invoking the learned behaviors of being possessive, jealous, envious, and many more feelings. It seems to be impossible… and I know for a fact that it isn’t and I’m not the only one who has learned this. Many of us are very much aware of our capacity and ability to have feelings for more than one person at a time and whether sex is involved or not but it’s being able to open admit and accept that you can, indeed, feel what you’re feeling even though many people see this as emotional infidelity because you just are not supposed to ever love anyone other than the person you’re with… and that has never really stopped anyone from having such feelings and when we do, we’re pretty quick to shut it down in ourselves because it’s wrong and there’s no believe that this should be going on inside of us to begin with… and denying, to a certain extent, that this is how we are really feeling.
There’s nothing you can do about the way you feel; you can only do something about how you might act on those feelings… and my question is, “What if you could? What if you could and without totally destroying everything in the process? What if you really could have your cake and eat it, too… and enjoy everyone else’s cake? Would that be something you might be interested in?”
There was a time when a great many people would say, “Oh, fuck no!” These days? People are changing their minds about that because they realize that no matter what the rules say, their relationship is only going to be as good as the two of them are willing to make it. How do you prevent infidelity? By removing the elements that can cause it to happen whether it’s emotional, physical, or both – and then understanding that it is unrealistic to expect and demand that one person is all you’re ever going to want and need for the entirety of your life. And it’s not that there aren’t a lot of people who don’t know this already because they do; they just don’t know what to do about it and they don’t know because it’s something we are forbidden to learn and even those who try to make being polyamorous work often fail because they’re trying to do so while applying many of monogamy’s rules…
Which is exactly why I’ve been saying that in order to be and embrace polyamory, you have to unlearn everything you know about love, sex, and relationships so that you can learn an entirely different way to go about these things and that calls for rewriting and/or abandoning the very rigid rules of monogamy and rules that, by design, prevent us from feeling the way we can feel. And we believe it to the point that when we find ourselves feeling something for anyone who isn’t the person we’re already with, we feel guilty as fuck about it and that, my friends, is a conditioned response and confuses the shit out of us because, on the one hand, feeling whatever for someone else at the same time we’re feeling something for someone else does, in fact, make us feel good… but we’ve all been mindfucked into believing it is morally improper.
You don’t have to be bisexual to see this at work… but it’s probably the “best” way to experience what it’s like to be polyamorous – and even without sex being involved. And as always, you don’t have to believe me and it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t… because you’re not supposed to believe that such a state of mind is even possible and if you were to ever feel this, you are demanded to reject it, deny it, suppress it and at the risk of your own mental wellbeing. And don’t we do this even though we know that it’s actually doing us more harm than good? Polyamory isn’t about doing first and foremost: It’s about feeling. You love this person and there’s no denying that… but you love this other person, too, and you do your best to deny that you do while knowing that you do love them or have, at the least, deeper and, yeah, even lusty feelings for them and, yup, ya just might find out that someone is feeling pretty polyamorous about you which is both a good thing… and a seriously fucked up thing; not because it really is all that fucked up but it’s what we believe and more so when we get hit with many horror stories about what happens to people who are found to love someone and they love someone else; it’s a relationship killer and it is wholly unacceptable for you to be in love with someone and have the immoral audacity to have deep feelings of love, affection, and even lust for someone else.
But what if it didn’t have to be such a disastrous and damaging thing? What if that which we believe really isn’t the truth of how we can be? What’s the best thing to do? It won’t be easy but the best thing to do is accept that this is what and how you feel and enjoy being able to feel this way. You don’t have to do anything other than that but, yeah, I know how it goes and now you’re battling yourself because you want to be able to express your feelings in some way but you can’t… or, really, you don’t know how to be able to do it without destroying everything you already have and that includes even letting it be known that you love the person you’re with… but you really do love someone else and you know it’s very, very real.
It’s the thing that fucks up a lot of bisexuals because they become… innately polyamorous but those damned rules insist that not only can you not do anything about it, you’re not supposed to be feeling this way to begin with. Even in this, one of the lessons I learned was just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean that you always have to… but not allowing yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling? Who has the right to have such control over your feelings and then why are we so willing to let someone else control our feelings and telling us who we can love or care for (or lust after) and who we can’t? The fact of the matter is that regardless of sexuality, a lot of people aren’t buying into this anymore and they are changing the rules because they understand that their relationship – and even their life – is only going to be as good as they want it to be and are willing to make it… even if that means openly loving and sharing more than one person in their lives.