#037: Rainbow Umbrellas, Vegan Apple Pie, and How Polys Pay the Bills

August 27, 2018

Today’s episode features Part 2 of our Q&A! We kick it off with a question regarding moving in with someone you have never met in person, and how it may change the power dynamic. Next, we give our thoughts on the ideal living arrangements for poly triads, tackle the issues of guilt and fear, how to divide time in a group dynamic, and where to turn during a wrongful accusation of a consent violation. Finally, we share the announcement of our Desire Map, and why it can be a game changer for you and your partner(s).

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Show Notes:

[1:29] We recap our time at the Pride Festival in Harrisburg, PA. Shout out to the small group of people blocking out the bigots with their giant rainbow umbrellas.

[8:41] I’ve been talking to someone online for 2 years. He has asked me many times to relocate and live with him, but we haven’t met. Is this a good idea, and how can I go about this in the best way? I don’t want to mess up the power dynamic while I’m making my decision.

[8:55] We encourage folks to do what feels right in their heart, but there are definitely some safety measures and precautions you will want to take before making such a big move. First, figure out what it will cost you emotionally, financially, time wise, and make sure you have a contingency plan in case it doesn’t work for you. While you certainly can get to know someone very well online and over the phone, living together is a whole different ball game. No one knows quite how compatible they are until they actually live together, and that’s why it’s imperative to have an exit plan. We highly suggest talking to others that can possibly vouch for this person as a safe player, forming your own support network, and planning at least a visit to give it a trial run. If your partner is understanding and thoughtful, it will be okay for you to take a while and think about this decision, and won’t be a dealbreaker on the D/s relationship. If they are pressuring you, that may be a sign that it is not worth uprooting your life.

[17:53] My wife and our girlfriend have been together for two years. Financially it makes sense for us to all live together, but we want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Do most find that poly triads work best if all partners live together, or separately? What are the issues that come up, and how do you overcome those issues?

One of the benefits of poly is that it can work out well financially, and a lot can be done around finances that can make it work for everyone. First, it depends on the nature of the relationship, and calls for an open discussion so all involved feel that it is working for them. The same process when you date monogamously and make a decision to cohabitate can be applied in poly relationships as well. Just make sure everyone discusses established rules in the house, and integrate slowly with open dialogue.

[25:41] There are two main ways we’ve seen poly households handle finances: either there is a certain amount of rent charged (like a typical roommate), or a percentage based scaled system where everyone pays a percentage of their income into the household. It’s also important to take legal actions to protect everybody in case of death, divorce, eviction, etc.

[29:59] It’s incredibly important to have solid conversations around expectations on finance, chores, household duties, and children if they are present. Also, expect to revisit these conversations a few months into the new living arrangement.

[33:32] Sleeping together, both literally and figuratively, are issues that usually need to be navigated. Varying desire levels, and the logistics of adding another living and breathing (and snoring) human being to the mix warrants conversations about how to navigate new issues that may arise.

[34:04] I’m the third in an FMF triad, where the wife wants every activity to be the three of us. I love doing things with both my partners, but sometimes would like to go things with just one partner, or the other. I spend 99% of my time with my female partner, and would like the opportunity to have those dyad experiences with my male partner as well. Is this unrealistic?

Even if you are in a triad, his wife should not be exerting power over the relationship that you and your boyfriend are having. Your relationship should be a negotiation between all parties involved. The mindset of “accepting limitations” needs to shift, otherwise you will always be giving up your relationship rights to work towards getting your needs and wants met. It’s very important that everyone gets time to foster their individual relationships, and experience dyad and triad time.

If you are in group poly, most of the time you can find dyad time during natural downturns in time. Finding times where one partner isn’t in the mood or activities they don’t like to do helps them not feel so left out.

[43:08] I have been wrongly accused of the consent violation. What do I do?

Contact the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, to file an incident report. After that, listen to our episode #035 on Consent and Sexual Freedom with Susan Wright.

[43:51] My wife and I were married before we decided to go poly. She has since picked up a boyfriend, and I am still struggling and feeling guilty for going against our vows.

Evaluate if you are actually feeling guilty about your vows, or is it something else? Resolution will start with identifying the problem. When we see guilt pop up in folks, it’s usually a belief that we are not providing a promise, and a go-to emotion instead to mask fear.

[48:15] When my wife and I started to talk about me dating, she seemed super positive and encouraged me. When I put effort into it, I get the feeling she doesn’t like it as much as she says.

When folks are talking about opening up their relationship, it is a lot easier to be positive and excited. Once it starts unfolding into a reality, that’s where a lot of fear and anxiety comes in. Now that you are practicing it rather than it just being theory, it may be bringing up some fear and concerns for her. Trying to mind read someone is a dangerous thing to do, so it’s important to say what you are noticing, and ask her about it instead of creating a story. If your wife tells you she is fine, take it at face value and end the conversation with an invite to talk about it more in the future.

[55:08] I can’t ever tell if my wife is in the mood. How do I know what she wants, and when she wants it?

Check out our latest blog post about the Desire Map, it’s an amazing tool for everyone to understand when your partner is in the mood or wanting a certain activity. It’s one of the best tools we have ever created, and we are very excited about how it can help others!

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