Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Interviews with Strangers--Kimberly

A couple of months ago, I posted an interview with a man named Josh, who was in a polyamorous relationship with a married couple. I’ve decided to do an interview with someone from the other side. Here we have Kimberly, a married woman who is also in a couple of other relationships and whose husband dates others as well.
Just to recap some terms here for anyone who may not know--
Polyamory--”A polyamorous person is someone who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners. A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners. Polyamory is the idea or practice of being polyamorous or having polyamorous relationships.”

Pansexual--A pansexual is a person who is attracted to people of any gender. They aren’t confined to a specific ‘gay’ ‘straight’ or ‘bisexual’ orientation, they are just simply attracted to anyone. A very well-known example of a pansexual is the character of Deadpool. The character frequently makes sexual comments that are not confined to one orientation. The Guardian did an interesting article on it, which you can read here.
Interviews with Strangers--Kimberly
I’m Kimberly.  I'm a 5'2, 130lb brunette cis woman, age 28. I'm pansexual and in a polyamorous marriage, with a serious boyfriend and 2 casual girlfriends.
(To be clear, my marriage is a heterosexual one.)
How long have you been married?
I've been married for 2 years.
How many relationships were you in before your marriage?
Oh man...gotta think back on that one.
Six major relationships before I met my husband.
Were you poly before him? How did you two meet?
Before my husband, I would consider myself poly in the fact that I had participated in poly relationships before, but it's worth noting that all of my major relationships were strictly monogamous, aside from my first one in which I was dating a man and had a casual girlfriend at the same time. I met my husband on Okcupid! :)
How long have you two been together/married?
We have been together almost 5 years, and married for 2 years :).
Do you want to have kids in the future?
Initially we were open to the idea, and I think we still are to some extent, but we are NOT interested at all at the current time. We have also considered not having kids at all. I'd say we are kid-agnostic right now.
Hahah I love that term. Does your family know about your polyamorous relationship?
My brothers know and are extremely supportive. One of my brothers has actually recently been approached to join a triad relationship, so they are also open to the idea of polyamory in their own relationships. My parents do not know, and I am not sure if I will ever tell them. They are extremely conservative and traditional, and I worry that they would not understand. I'd LOVE for them to know, and to support me, however. Maybe one day I will feel comfortable sharing with them. I guess another facet to my hangup over telling my parents is the fact that I am not out to them as pansexual, either, and that's an essential part of my polyamory.
Has your marriage always been open?
Yes - to an extent. In the beginning, we were only open to members of the same gender as we are both pansexual. It has more recently become open to all genders.
What is one of your most memorable sexual experiences?
Oh man, I have SO MANY. How do I pick just one? I'll give you my top one-- when I had a five-some with my friends on their wedding night in the Honeymoon suite.
Wow, that sounds like an awesome experience!! But how do you deal with jealousy in your marriage? Do you and your husband know each other's partners?
We treat jealousy as a non-productive fight or flight response to the fear of abandonment. When you can look at it as counterproductive to a happy relationship, while still acknowledging that larger societal expectations and sanctions tend to encourage that kind of behavior, it helps us to re-frame and deal with the jealousy in a more positive light. There are two major ways we combat jealousy. The first of those is the concept of compersion - which is the intentional (initially--after awhile it becomes natural) feeling of "I'm happy because you are happy" when your partner has a good date, or gets giddy about another partner. If you're able to demonstrate that you are ALSO happy and excited because your partner is happy and excited, it brings you much closer together because it encourages more free sharing of feelings between you. The second way is to always, always be reassuring and telling your partner how much you love and value them in your life. Having multiple partners does not mean you are replacing each other, you are simply adding more color to your collective romantic lives. Kind of like you have multiple friends who you keep in your life because they all are special in their own way. You don't just have one friend that you expect to fulfill every need you might have.
We know each other's partners, and that's the way we want it. Being able to humanize each other's partners, and even become friends with them, makes the whole process a lot easier. It's more difficult to see someone as a threat when you acknowledge they're a living, breathing, and likely cool human being.
That's so awesome. What would happen if you didn't like his partner, or vice versa?
We try not to exercise "veto power" which is when one of us would say that "you are not allowed to date this person." But, we resolve to be entirely honest if we have misgivings about other partners. It's a case by case basis.
Has that ever happened?
It has not yet happened 🙂
Nice! Is polyamory something you two plan to practice forever? Or do you think there will come a time when you want to become monogamous?
For now we plan to practice it indefinitely. But of course if one of us were to want to close up, it would have to happen. Open relationships take 2 consenting people. What I always say is, "It takes two people to open a relationship, and one to close it." It would definitely take a lot of discussion, especially if the partner NOT suggesting closing up had some other serious partners.
Any other things people tend to ask you about?
People tend to ask what rules we have.
And that's a hot topic in open relationships.
We are anarchists in that way. We believe that rules, at their core, are unrealistic ways for you to "protect" yourself. Instead of making rules, we believe it is better to come to agreements. Rules are made to be broken, so we try not to have any. The only "rule" per se is about safe sex, since that affects everyone.
Making a rule is about exerting power, and that doesn't sit right with us.
How about your situation with your boyfriend and your husband's girlfriend? Do they plan to remain polyamorous or do you think that eventually, they will leave to have their own monogamous situation?
My husband's girlfriend is also married and seeing multiple other partners. They have been poly for quite some time, so I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future. My boyfriend is a different story. He wants to be with me long term.
How long have you and your boyfriend been together now?
We have been an official "out" couple for about four months 🙂
Why was it so long until you were officially out?
Honestly, my husband was shy about people knowing. He didn't know how to handle it if people would ask about it. But we recently started listening to the Multiamory podcast and it gave us TONS of confidence and tools so we decided to say fuck it and be out!
That's awesome!! How did people take it?
So, my boyfriend is integrated in our lives, he came with my husband and I to my best friends birthday, he has met my brothers, and sometimes I have a cuddle train between both of them (husband and boyfriend) on the couch as we watch movies :). People have been overwhelmingly supportive!
Is it weird at all? Especially for the guys?
It's way too awesome! It's not weird, it may be for the boys a little bit but they are really sweet to each other. One day, my husband walked in on me on top of the boyfriend, and he just laughed and went and got the boyfriend a beer.
Are they open to threesomes?
My husband would be, but my boyfriend is too straight, hahah. It would be a dream come true.  It's such a fantasy. The two hottest dudes in your life.
How do you all handle love?  For instance,  are you in love with your boyfriend? Are you and your husband okay with expressing love to more than just each other or how does that work?
That's also fair game. We have a lot of love to give. Being in love with multiple people doesn't diminish those feelings for any partner. If anything it makes me want to express more love for each of them as a result. It's hard to explain. But yes, I'd say I'm in love with my boyfriend :).

Have you ever been in a polyamorous relationship, or do you have any interest in it? Tell me about it in the comments!!

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