Polyamory Week 2020 – My Polyamory

Day 1: Polyamory Week 2020
Day 2: What is Polyamory
Day 3: What Polyamory Means to Me

Part of the reason for engaging with Polyamory Week was to fill people in about our situation. Frankie and I decided we weren’t going to make a big deal about what we’re doing. But it’s also something we want to celebrate.

We’ve told those closest to us, and some friends have noticed and asked us questions. And there have been plenty of posts online that have made it obvious what we’re doing. I know it’s everyone’s right to want to ask questions or not. Some of you might honestly not care. But I’m certain some of you have questions that – as I enjoy putting it – you’re far too English to ask us to our faces.

So I decided a good way to celebrate our lifestyle would be to fill people in on how Frankie and I got here, and what the deal with our relationships is.

But I’ll be refraining from going into too much detail. I’ll keep it general. If you’re interested in knowing more, let me know. The rest of you, hopefully there’s nothing below to make anyone uncomfortable.

So, how did Frankie and I reach this place in our lives?

IMG_0374We first discussed opening up our relationship not long after we were married. I think there were a few things that led to this, but one of the big points was our age. We got together at 21 and married at 25. Both of us had only had two partners before we met. There was a part of us that recognised that we didn’t want to look back on our lives and think that we had missed out on experiences with new people.

The outcome of the conversations we had was we were happy to open things up as long as each of us benefitted from the situation and we were honest with each other.

It wasn’t easy. Accepting that your spouse is leaving for the weekend knowing they’ll be sleeping with someone else is a hard thing to do the first time. But we were strong and supported each other. We talked through our feelings, and started learning how to break through the wall of monogamy.

We didn’t throw ourselves into this new world. In fact, we did very little. We were more into a “when the opportunity arises” mindset. And then when Frankie became ill the whole thing took a back seat while we focused on that. Once she recovered, we decided we wanted to reignite this side of our relationship. And I think the perspective we had gained from her illness made us keener to make the most out of our opportunities in life.

Just over a year ago, Frankie starting seeing someone who she ended up dating a few times. Until now, our encounters had mostly been one offs. But she liked him, and so we discussed exploring dating other people. Could we move on from this being purely sex, to sharing emotional connections?

We decided yes.

As it happened, the relationship that started the conversation then abruptly ended, but we decided the decision was still valid. We both then started looking for people in the poly scene to start dating. This, again, was hard. I went to a few social events and got on some dating apps. But I wasn’t having much luck.

67cc088b-22aa-4dcd-8561-00bfbd49e063Then one night we went to see a burlesque show in London. We were sat chatting with friends, but I couldn’t stop looking over at a woman stood at the bar. She had curly hair and an amazing smile, and our eyes kept catching. It turned out she was a friend of a friend, so we ended up chatting after the show. Before we left we exchanged numbers.

A month later we went on our first date. Five months after that we told each other we loved each other.

She’d never been polyamorous before. I’m so incredibly lucky she was interested in the idea and willing to take a risk on something so new and different. I’m also incredibly lucky that she and Frankie got on like a house on fire. They consider themselves Sister-Wives, a phrase I adore due to its use in the Wheel of Time novels.

That’s about it. Frankie’s had her own adventures during this time, but those are hers to share. There have been ups and downs, but all in all this has been one of the most satisfying and exciting years of my life.


Now, let’s answer a few questions

So, what’s the situation with you guys now?

Frankie and I are still a couple. Our marriage is as strong as it ever was, and we’re still romantically and sexually connected. We just both also see other people as well.

For me, this has meant meeting, dating and falling in love with an amazing woman called Aine.

So you’re cheating?

Nope. Cheating means someone is breaking the rules. This is why what we are doing is so often referred to as ethical non-monogamy. Everyone involved is fully aware of the situation, comfortable of the situation, and engaged with the situation. 

Is this all about you then?

Not at all. Frankie is also seeing someone great as well. I’ll not be putting too much about him in these posts as I simply don’t have the right to talk about his life without permission.

So, are you guys, what, a thruple or something now?

No. We don’t have a relationship with the same person. What we have is known as a “Vee”, with me as the “pivot”. I am in a relationship with Frankie, and another one with Aine. They are aware of each other – and in our case very good friends – but their relationship has no romantic or sexual connection.

Both of them date other people, and I’m free to do so as well. This is called a “polycule”; a group of polyamorous people connected through each other’s relationships. Kind of a more intimate version of six-degrees of separation. 

It kind of sounds like you’re getting the best deal out of this, having two woman.

I won’t lie, my life is pretty awesome. But this isn’t all about me. A lot of media focuses on the idea of a man getting two women, but it’s so much more than a fetish. Both Frankie and Aine date other people. We’re all making the most out of this lifestyle.

Is this a sex thing?

No. A lot of ethical non-monogamy is about sex. What I’m celebrating in these posts is polyamory, which can potentially have nothing to do with sex.

There are many reasons a relationship can decide to do away with sexual monogamy. But polyamory is the romantic side of things. I love both these woman, and if sex wasn’t involved I would still love them.

So you guys sleep with anyone?

No. We have the freedom to sleep with other people, but it doesn’t mean we’re looking to do so.

Ethical non-monogamy isn’t a free for all. None of us want to sleep with anyone and everyone. We’re just as picky as we would be were we single and uncommitted.

Also you need to take into account being “poly-saturated”. That’s when you are seeing the maximum number of people you are mentally able to be involved with. Relationships take time and energy. I don’t mind committing that time and energy, as a good relationship will generate benefits equal to the effort you put into it. If this isn’t happening, you need to evaluate your current situation.

This sounds complicated.

It is. Very complicated. It involves a lot of communication, and a lot of reading, and processing feelings and information. Neither Frankie, Aine or I had considered polyamory until just over a year ago. It’s needed a lot of adjustment as we’ve worked around the social norms we’re used to.

Monogamy, and the idea that one person should automatically provide everything you need, is deeply ingrained in us from childhood. We’ve all had to work through this, alone and together.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask me, either in person or online. I’m more than happy to answer them. Or, if I’ll let you know if I don’t feel comfortable doing so.

Polyamory Week 2020 – What Polyamory means to me

Day 1: Polyamory Week 2020
Day 2: What is Polyamory

Polyamory means different things to different people.

For me, polyamory is the freedom of possibility.

I found a description that I thought best fit my personal views. Unfortunately, I can’t recall exactly where I read it. But the general ideas was as follows:

Polyamory – and ethical non-monogamy in general – offers the freedom to know when you meet someone and make a connection, it has the space and freedom to develop to its natural conclusion.

I know if I make a connection with someone it could go anywhere from a one-night stand to a long-term romantic relationship. There’s no weirdness, I’m not hurting anyone. As long as I keep those I’m close to up to date, and take into account their feelings, I’m not constricted by having already reached a point where society dictates I can not longer explore that connection.

In short, it opens up new experiences to explore the world without traditional views becoming barriers.

I’m not saying people in monogamous relationships can’t make connections with new people. But they know, deep down, that those connections are restricted. Any sexual connection can’t be acted upon, for a start. And worse, we’re programmed with the idea that even feeling the desire for that connection is somehow wrong.

And even if you don’t take that into account, there’s that unfortunate notion that doing anything without your partner is somehow wrong. I remember one time I visited my parents on my own as Frankie had plans, and my Grandmother was convinced my marriage was failing. She couldn’t imagine any reason we wouldn’t go everywhere together without there being a serious problem.

Yes, these are old fashioned views. But they’re views that are still out there, to a greater or lesser degree. It’s called “toxic-monogamy”; the idea out there that once you find “The One” they will be all you will ever need, and wanting more is somehow a sign of a failing relationship.

How many people are there in the world who’ve fallen in love and thought that that was it? That this person was all they ever needed? I know I did. My first relationship was tainted by this idea that this was it. But what if your partner doesn’t share an interest with you? If “The One” is supposed to be everything you need, doesn’t the fact they don’t like something about you mean you’re not truly compatible?

This can be a little thing, easily addressed. Each person in a couple can have separate friends and do different things with them. But for so many people the doubt it there. I can recall having it myself, when I was younger. That nagging feeling that something it isn’t right that this disconnect is there.

And what if it’s something you can’t share with friends? A kink or sexual preference you and your partner don’t share? Should you have to give it up for the rest of your life? Or should they be forced to do it to keep you happy, despite not enjoying it?

I’ve always held the belief that sex and emotions are not necessarily directly connected. It’s fine to have casual sex, but once feelings developed, then you settled down. Then, as I’ve grown older, I’ve seen that it works the other way as well; if you’re in a committed relationship, having casual sex with someone else has no effect on that commitment if you don’t want it to.

And now I’ve realised that it goes even further. Developing feelings for someone doesn’t lessen the feelings you already have for someone else.


The symbol of polyamory is the Infinity Heart. It symbolises that love is infinite. Developing love for someone new doesn’t require taking it from somewhere else. In the same way a parent who has a second child doesn’t suddenly love their first any less, committing yourself emotionally to a second person doesn’t mean you love the first any less.

This is why I chose an Infinity Heart as my first tattoo. Even if, in the future, I was only in a relationship with one person, or even none, I’d still be polyamorous. It’s who I am, and the tattoo represents that. Love is infinite. We’re free to hold and give as much or as little as we need. If you want to love one person, two people, or more, you’re free to do so.

We make the amount of love we need for the people we need it for.

Polyamory Week 2020 – What is Polyamory?

Day 1: Polyamory Week 2020

Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy. It literally means “many loves”. It’s a lifestyle in which I and my partners agree we are all free to fall in love with multiple people.

I’m going to start with the assumption everyone reading this understands monogamy, being the standard default relationship in western culture. So default, in fact, that a lot of people never even consider there being alternatives.


Let’s start with non-monogamy as a whole.

The world of non-monogamy encompasses a large swath of different permutations. The most common ones in modern media are, usually, cheating, swinging, and unicorn hunting (a straight couple looking for a woman to join them).

Non-monogamy is not ideologically better than monogamy. It is not a world in which it’s impossible to hurt someone. In fact, it can be easier to do so. This is why you will often find people talking about ethical non-monogamy. This means that everyone involved is aware of and agrees to the rules or agreements that govern the situation.

This is why ethical non-monogamy isn’t cheating. Cheating implies someone is breaking a rule. If you change those rules so that you are fine with your partner having sex with other people, then sleeping with other people can’t be considered cheating.

But there are so many more different ways to live non-monogamy. From non-exclusive dating, to sexual commerce, to relationship anarchy; it’s far more varied and interesting than people sometimes realise.

Franklin Veaux* created a Venn diagram of non-monogamy, which is a very useful way to visualise all the differences.



Polyamorous people are open to loving more than one person. 

This can involve a sexual element, or not. A lot of people come into non-monogamy from a sexual point of view, but decide they have no wish to have more than one romantic partner. But some of us are open to this happening.

As you might guess, once the traditional two-person pairing model goes out the window there are all sorts on configurations for polyamory. You can have “thruples”, where three people date each other. You can have “Vees”, where one person dates two people who have no romantic or sexual connection. And then, depending on everyone’s situation, people in those groups might date other people as well. So one part of a Vee might be part of a completely different thruple, while another member of that thruple dates other people outside the group.

For example, I am part of a Vee; I am married to Frankie and in a second relationship with Aine, and while the two of them are friends, they are not in a relationship themselves.

These groupings are called “Polycules”; a group of people who may not have a personal connection but are connected through this interlinking net of relationships. It’s 6-Degrees of Separation, but much more intimate. This is one of the reasons the Polyamory community is very open and friendly; it’s very possible you’ll be connected in some way.

The important thing about Polyamory is everyone involved is aware and everyone is comfortable. If I, for example, met someone new and was looking to potentially date them I would check in with my two partners first. While they don’t have a veto on my relationships, I would always take their feelings into consideration before doing anything new.

Misconceptions about Non-Monogamy

There are a lot of misconceptions about non-monogamy. This is because it’s almost always portrayed in the media as a sex thing or a way to fix a broken relationship.

There are a lot more films and TV shows about non-monogamy now. However, most them will follow – to at least some degree – the following plot: A couple will be in a loving relationship that’s gone stale. They want some excitement, so they decide to invite a girl to join them to “spice things up”. Then they will follow the ups and downs of learning to deal with the many problems of having a gorgeous, sexually adventurous, younger woman (in most cases) willing to sleep with both parts of the couple. There will be jealousy, confusion, excitement, and sexual titillation for the audience.

This then usually ends in one of two ways: The relationship will survive, imbued with life by the sexual excitement, or it will fall apart as the desire for non-monogamy was a sign the relationship was broken.

I’ve never seen a portrayal of non-monogamy as something someone – either single or a couple – sits down and makes a conscious effort to live. Not because they need excitement. Not because they need to jumpstart a failing marriage. But because the lifestyle makes sense to them.

There are many ways into non-monogamy. Don’t believe the only one is through desperation.

And more…

There is far more to non-monogamy and polyamory than what little I’ve put down here. I’m not an expert, and even I could take each of the sentences above and expand it to a full chapter. If you’re interested, I’ll try to link to a few good online resources on my website.


*There are issues with Franklin Veaux and his work, which I will address on Thursday’s post.

Polyamory Week 2020

I was browsing Instagram last month and came across the following post from the account of @polyamoro.us:


Polyamory week is February 9th-15th! Mark your calendars! In spirit of the new year, we thought to bring together the polyam community in a new way. Be sure to like, share, repost, and tag to spread the word (We didn’t add our watermark because this info is meant to be shared)! The hashtag will be #polyamoryweek 

Now, so far in my journey I’ve not made a big thing about my polyamory. When Frankie and I decided to go down this path, we decided we were going to keep this personal. It was new to us. We were seeing where things went. And then, as things grew, we decided it wasn’t something we wanted to make a big thing out of.

We weren’t ashamed. We just weren’t the sort to make a big statement about it. This was always about us. Not about what other people thought about us. If people asked, we would happily explain it. But other than family and very close friends we weren’t going to go out of our way to announce this was something we were doing.

But when I saw this post I thought, “Why not?” It seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about our new lifestyle and how it’s impacted us. I’m proud of my life, the choices I’ve made, and the people that those choices have led me to. I will never be a polyamory-evangelist, but I love the idea of spreading awareness of the lifestyle.

I also hope it might answer a few questions some of you might have about our personal journey that for whatever reasons you didn’t feel comfortable asking us directly.

So, through Polyamory Week – today to next Saturday – I will be posting about my experience with polyamory; the community, the lifestyle, my own personal experiences, and some wider thoughts on relationships and love in general.

Hopefully you’ll find it interesting. If you have any questions feel free to send them my way. I’m always happy to talk about all these things. I’m planning on summarising these posts, and any questions I get, and putting up a section on my website for the future.

A little disclaimer: I don’t claim to be an expert. I can only talk about my own experiences. I’m sure there are people to whom polyamory and non-monogamy mean something else. And those who’ve been doing this for far longer who have a much deeper understanding of all of this. Their lives are their own, and I will happily engage with those who see things differently.

Recommendation: “A World in Us” by Louisa Leontiades

The most relevant note from my read of this book is that it’s the first one I can remember since school where I’ve actually highlighted sections to refer back to later.

A World in Us is a memoir of two parts. The first is the actual story, depicting how the author and her husband came into polyamory and the soaring highs and crashing lows of their first relationship with another couple. The second is a commentary of sorts written several years later as a letter to the Leontiades’ younger self, going through each chapter in turn and commenting on what she has learned.

On the first level, this is simply a wonderfully written story about someone’s personal journey. What they went through to find who they were. These are four people discovering a new side to themselves, being willing to do something that doesn’t “fit” with societal norms because it’s what feels right for them, and learning things that a traditional, monogamous relationship would have never revealed. It’s honest, emotional, and at times brutal, but also beautiful and affirming.

The second level is as a guide for people newly exploring polyamory. Leontiades never shies away from the light or the dark of her experiences. There a moments both exciting and thrilling, and moments where she’s is emotionally crushed beneath the weight of everything. We are show the pure joy of discovering something that you didn’t know was missing in your life, but also the pain of trying to find your way in a lifestyle your upbringing never prepared you for.

The beauty of this story is its honesty. At no point does the Leontiades try to hide her own faults or issues and how they fed into the dynamic the four of them created. There are times that the others come off as the “bad guys” in situations, this is only because Louisa is our protagonist and so naturally the depictions of the other three are seen through her point of view. And this is effectively address by the author herself in the second half, where she reflects on the events of each chapter with the benefit of time, growth and reflection.

And this isn’t a piece of polyamory propaganda. We are simply presented with Louisa’s story, and are free to take away from it what we want. At no point does she argue polyamory is better or worse than monogamy. Only that both are valid options with their own benefits and pitfalls.

But through her honest depiction of her own experience, with all it’s failings and unaddressed issues, we are presented with the fact that this isn’t a gateway to a perfect life. It will be hard, and it my not be what we were expecting. But, if it fits your personality and you work on it, it can be a rewarding why to life your life.

Overall, if you are newly coming into polyamory I couldn’t recommend this book enough. Even if, like me, Leontiades’ situation doesn’t mirror your own there are so many universal learnings to take away from it.