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104. From Serial Monogamy to Polyamory and The One Penis Policy with Chad from PolyamFam

Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo. I'm your host, Nicole. On today's episode, we have Chad from Polly and Pam join us for a conversation all about the wild learning journey of non-monogamy.

Together we talk about the one penis policy, designing your own relationship structures, and the pitfalls of open relating. Y'all, it is spring in Chicago. The trees are blooming. Everything is coming back to life. I have finished my finals and wow, does it feel really good?

It feels so good to be free and have a little bit of a break before I have to go back into a summer semester. I appreciate all of you who sent me good luck messages and DMs on Instagram. I appreciate all that love from that final last week. This week's conversation was really fun to have with Chad. I appreciated that he talked about how he came into non-monogamy and that it was his wife who had had previous experience in non-monogamy and brought it up in their marriage. Now, y'all, what I think is really interesting is the research on this. So we know there was a 2017 study on British adults, over 11,000 British adults aged 16-74, and it found that specifically for women, not for men, that a lack of interest in sex was higher among those in a relationship of over one year in duration. And specifically that women living with partners were more likely to lack sex interest than those in other relationship categories. So we see here that specifically women are showing a lack of desire in long-term monogamous relationships. There was a 2012 study of 170 men and women, and it found that in relationships of up to nine years, similarly, that women's sexual desire, not men's, to be clear, was significantly and negatively predicted by their relationship duration after controlling for age, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. So again, we see that women's interest in a long-term sexual relationship, monogamous relationship decreases at a significantly different rate than men. And then there were two German longitudinal studies published in 2002 and 2006 that shows that women's desire drops off drastically in long-term relationships while men's hold relatively steady.

Now, y'all, we have some things to talk about here. Women's desires are dropping in long-term relationships while men's hold steady. I ask, is monogamy serving women? I said it, I asked it, is monogamy serving women when we find the research that shows that lack of interest? I wonder if there might be another paradigm that women would enjoy. And when I see research where it talks about how women are initiating these conversations in marriages, are leading the conversations with swinging and other sorts of dynamics, I just wonder if maybe another relationship structure is better for women. And I think it's important to remember, everyone, that marital rape was not a thing until 1976.

Up until 1976, every state had a marital exemption law that allowed a husband to rape his wife without fear of legal consequences. So we have to remember, this is 2023, right? It hasn't even been 100 years that women have had freedom. It hasn't been 100 years that women have had credit cards.

They're right to have credit cards to open up their own bank account, to have their own house, and to do all of these things. So again, I ask, is monogamy serving women when we look at the reality that women have different responses to sexual desire in long-term monogamous relationships than men do. Men are doing fine, according to research in those, and women are not.

And so, y'all, we are in a new future, okay? Women, I will not say are free in any capacity given what is going on with the abortion laws, but we are in a radically different time than 1976, and we have much more freedom to construct the relationships that we want, okay? So, you know, we can continue to talk about this on the podcast and explore it together, and what this all means for the future, but the research shows that women's desire in long-term relationships does drop off significantly more than men.

So I will keep asking if another relationship structure fits women, myself included in that category better. And I also really appreciated that Chad talked about the difficulties of non-monogamy and how it can be really triggering and very uncomfortable at times. I will be the first to say that, yeah, I have cried about my insecurities with my partner. I have had difficult moments of being scared and sitting with my partners and processing, feeling insecure and needing reassurance in our dynamic and needing connection. Y'all, that does not mean that you are failing non-monogamy, and more importantly, it does not mean that you are necessarily monogamous if you have a hard time with those things.

It is a process. When I first started rock climbing, y'all, I was afraid. I was so afraid to go to the top of that wall to let it go. The first time I climbed outside, I was terrified. And you know what? I climb outside now.

I climb and it is normal and I have a great time doing it. But you know what it took to get there? It took a lot of calming conversations with myself of regulating my nervous system and using my support systems around me to encourage me, to sit with me, to be there with me in that. And I am just recalling the conversation that I had with Dean Spade on the podcast, right, about relationship anarchy. And he had talked about, you know, we don't run away from the difficult things in life and just say, that's not for me and I can't do it. If I had that mentality, I would have never gone to grad school. I would have never climbed up a rock.

And you know what? I would have never gone to my first play party with my partner. Because that was scary.

Okay, I had to talk to them about my fears and my insecurities and what it was going to be like to see them with other people and that whole dynamic. And you know what, y'all? I feel secure in it today kind of like Chad talked about in a way that I never could have predicted on those first conversations when I was crying about it and going through it or when I was scared going up that rock climbing wall. But we know that we don't run away from those difficult things just because they're hard. And often we embrace them because they're hard. That's what makes it all worth it. At the end of the day, we enjoy those challenges.

And for me, I would say, nominogamy has been an incredible challenge, but one that has been so, so rewarding. And just remember that you're not alone in those emotions and those insecurities and the feelings of jealousy. That is normal.

It happens. What is important to remember is that you get to decide how you want to respond to those feelings. You can get support from your partners. You can continue to climb up that wall. You can continue to climb that mountain. And again, I'm not here to say that if you choose rock climbing isn't for you, if non-monogamy isn't for you, your life isn't any less valuable or wrong.

That is perfectly fine. Hang out on the ground, hang out in monogamy. But what I will say is that, again, I am enjoying the view up here.

And when we see the research on women's lack of sexual desire compared to men, I don't know, y'all, we got to start thinking about another way to do this, because clearly the research shows that women are the one suffering and not men. Y'all, I am here to support you in this journey. I have gone through it myself. It is difficult. It is, I talk about it being a psychedelic experience of its own as you start to unravel the reality around these things of the social conditioning we have all received around relationships and what it means to be in love. And I am here to support you in that.

You can head on over to the modern website. I have resources. If you want to connect with me one on one for support and more focused attention, whatever you're needing, just know that you are not alone in this journey. And I am with you in this climb. And together, we are going to see beautiful heights and explore so many things as we co construct this new reality for all people and especially for women in our new freedom. Y'all, I am wishing you all a very happy spring and I hope that you enjoy today's episode. How would you introduce yourself? Well, I generally have my spiel of my name is Chad, better known on the internet as polyamfam.

And since 2019, 2020, there's definitely 2020 because the pandemic was going on. I started an Instagram account initially to share polyamory memes and people really liked them. At the time, I was new to polyamory myself, so it was kind of a way for me to benefit as well as anybody actually viewing them.

But people really, really liked them. And since then, it's grown into a whole fully blown video content sort of thing. So that's kind of how I got here.

If you told me five years ago that I'd be here, I'd probably ask you, what's polyamory? That's hilarious. I love that. Yeah, because your account is doing really well. There's lots of followers on there. Could you have imagined that? No, because especially when I started out on Instagram, this is before Reels even existed, I think, or it was brand new. So I was just sharing the meme stuff or whatever. And then TikTok started coming up more and more and it kind of blew up.

It was already popular, but it really blew up. And I'm like, I think I could give that a shot. And I did.

And it just kind of like to the moon. I think my fourth post went what I would consider at the time viral. And I was like, what is this? I didn't expect my TikTok account to like eclipse my Instagram account like so fast.

I was like, wow, this is this is wild, which is so exciting. And I mean, your content is hilarious. And I think tops into so many of the shared experiences that people in this community have. Yeah. I try to I try to, you know, make it into some sort of like bit or something most of the time.

I have this weird paranoia about just giving straight up advice or like, you know, telling a story or whatever. I don't know why those posts do just as well. Sure, I always like try to make it into some sort of bit. Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of my favorite ones that I had seen a little bit back was the one about the different types of polyamorous people, right? Like the burner, the climber, the D &D. And it was so funny because I was actually at the climbing gym with another person in my community telling them, oh, yeah, there's the different types, you know, yada, yada.

And then another climber literally finished the joke with a line of the different people. And I was like, look at you, like your content is like going through the community. Yeah, that's awesome. I'm I'm literally going climbing after we're done here.

Hell, yeah. OK, so we're just falling into the stereotypes. I like to think that's because we live on the edge. We enjoy like pushing ourselves and like really testing those boundaries and trying difficult things in our lives. And I think that overlap between that kind of starts to fall into that as well with the polyamorous community. I mean, we could talk the psychology of all that.

What's the overlap of all these different communities, you know? Right. Yeah. Curious. Yeah. Yeah. But that's so exciting. And I think that I'm curious.

Do you think that we are on a cultural wave that polyamory is becoming more normal? I mean, I think your content, the following could be assigned to that. Oh, yeah.

I this may sound a little like outlandish. I think like this is just the beginning. Like I look at how Gen Z engages with like polyamory, even monogamy stuff on the Internet. And I'm like, oh, my God, these kids are going to like take the torch and just run with it.

Like a couple of my younger family members, like their their mom will be like, oh, yeah, this is like the normal thing now. And I'm like, that's fucking awesome. Yeah. So like, I yeah, I truly think because I can't remember the context of this comment, but someone had said something about it just being like, you know, oh, a fad or something like that.

And I'm like, I don't think so, buddy. Look at look at how the younger people are talking. And like, they're going to be us in like a short period of time.

And yeah, I think it's like, I think it's going to be bigger than any of us really imagine, you know? Yeah, I can see there's not too much data on it. But we do know that the younger generations are saying that a non monogamous relationship is ideal more so at like a 40 % rate compared to older generations around in the 20 % rate. Right. So like even that shift alone, yeah, like you said, we're just getting started and to have content out like out there, like your stuff and content like this podcast, other sort of creators out there. Part of this is just having the idea that there's a different world that's even possible.

Right. And like once that starts to get out there and people realize there's a different way we could do this, that kind of changes the community and how we decide to embark upon relationships. And that way it's just consciousness raising as another option, right?

That is a beautiful way to connect with people from that spectrum of monogamy to relationship anarchy. Yeah, like I was I was raised as if it was not an option, you know, for the vast majority of my life, like including my young adult life, like I really had no idea that was an option. I was raised to just not like I had heard the term swingers and like I had heard of like, you know, non monogamy in the context of like, oh, those crazy Mormons out there and like, you know, stuff like that. Like, but I had never, you know, it had never been presented to me as like an actual like valid option. And I'd always just kind of been like, oh, those those people are freaks or whatever. And I'm like, no, not really.

It's pretty great. Right. Right. And I think that's where I get into the informed consent of this, right? We talk about being an ethical world, what we want to do. I'm like, we need to have conversations about all the different types of relating that are possible in a way that talks about the risks and benefits to each, right?

You know what I mean? Though the problem is people have so many negative connotations about something like not non monogamy as being, yeah, like you said, freakish, all these other sorts of otherings that we experience when I think there just needs to be more space to talk about all of these things in an informed way so that each person gets to choose what sort of life they want to craft and what sort of risk benefit ratio they want to play with in their lifetime. Exactly. I think one of one of the things I've started saying more and more often is the goal of non monogamy is not to replace your monogamous rule book.

It's to help you write your own book. Like we're not just handing you like a different set of rules to abide by the monogamy. We're like, here's what's possible.

Build it however you like, you know. Exactly. Exactly. And what a better world it could be when people know that they have that option to create that in a way that's going to fit their unique needs, their unique desires and relationships, just to know that you get the chance to craft that. And if one of these models doesn't feel good for you, there are other models out there.

Exactly. It's okay to go from one to the other and explore it all, make some mistakes and find out what's good for you. I think that's another part of the difficulty for people is like, I think they're just afraid to make mistakes. And I'm like, well, that's inevitable. Like, you're gonna, but that's fine. As long as you don't cause some kind of crazy harm in the process, we all learn, we all grow, we all make mistakes.

It's fine. I'll be the first to say that I've made a million mistakes, right? And I'm going to keep making, making a million mistakes. I think that's part of what it means to be human, right?

Is to stumble, to fall and then pick yourself up and learn again. Like that's part of our process. And so like you said, yeah, that's an inevitable piece of it, right?

And I mean, I'm always processing that even as a clinician, right? With my supervisors of like, what if I say the wrong thing? What if I do the wrong thing? They're like, you will.

And I was like, cool. Thanks guys. We're getting this out real early. Like let's just deal with it now. So, but it's true. Like that's a part of what it means to be a beautiful, imperfect human.

Yeah, absolutely. But I think the reason my videos resonate with so many people is if I say it, it's probably because I've done it negative or positive, right? If I say it, it's because I've been there and I've done it and I've made the mistake myself. I have, I have a couple of YouTube videos now that are like, you know, mistake oriented or like, watch out for this, watch out for that. And I start them off by saying, like, look, I've done most, if not all of these, like you're not a bad person. If you're going through this, like it's fine. Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that your vulnerability with all of your followers. Because I think that's an important piece of this is not to like create this vast expertise person that has never struggled with any of these sorts of things.

Right. It's like, we're all human. We all go through this.

And so then that lowers the bar. You know, I even for me, I've had some people talk to me and like they were shocked that I dealt with jealousy in my relationships. I think there's this persona of the podcast and what I study and all sorts of things.

And I'm like, yes, I get insecure. Let me just clarify that for the whole world. Absolutely. Yes.

And I make mistakes. Yes. Right.

And so like having the space to talk about that when you start to have people who are listening to your content, I think is a really important piece of this. Yeah. And kind of to touch on what you said about like, you know, the polyamory expert thing or whatever. I am very open about the fact that in the grand scheme of things, I'm a baby polyamorous, right? Like I've only been polyamorous since 2019. I am not somebody who has like done this for an incredibly long amount of time. I'm not somebody who has decades of experience. It's just like this expert. I'm kind of learning and growing along with everybody else, you know, time is crazy.

Things can happen so slow and also incredibly fast. Yes. Yes. And to put like all of my research content into this has been a wild ride because then it's like all aspects of my career have become this part of myself. So it has been fascinating to study things that are directly related to you.

Yeah. And it's it can sometimes be a little weird. Pardon my dogs, by the way, if you can hear them, it can sometimes be a little tricky to separate those things, right? Because you do need a little separation. Like what is what is work life balance when your work is so intimately connected to your life, right? At that point, I call it play.

At that point, there is no work. I'm just playing, baby. I am enjoying my life.

I am curious as hell. I am creating. I am enjoying it and helping people in the process. So yeah, it becomes that sort of place face where that balance is needed in the sense that I stop doing that work and I sit down and watch a movie and smoke a J and relax and have a good night to myself. You know what I mean?

So there is that work play balance. But sometimes when I'm sitting there, then do I get ideas about what I want to write in my book? Yes. And I come over and type in a way and it's just it's fun for me. Do I consider my own kink exploration part of my research?

Hell, yeah, that's real fun for me. You know what I mean? And so at that point, it's like a little bit less clear. But yeah, still using the boundaries to make sure that I take care of myself in a holistic way, I hope.

Oh, yeah. And I relate to getting struck with inspiration at the weirdest, weirdest times. Like I can sit down like in front of my computer and be like, all right, I am writing for the next two hours. And then I'm just like, hmm, I got nothing. And then I'll just sit down and dig around and see like somebody say something in a show and I'll be like, oh, there's a bit right.

Exactly. It always hits when you're not ready for it. That's when it hits. That's when the creativity comes. Because yeah, when I try to sit down and just do it, it's hard.

It's hard. I mean, people used to say that back in the day, you got to keep that little notebook in your pocket from the ideas. And now we got the iPhone, which is like our magical, magical tablet, right? Our drawing. Yeah.

He is. But I have ADHD. So like if I think of an idea and I don't have some where to write it down, like right in front of me, I'm going to forget it in five minutes. Same. And I don't even have that. Yeah. Yes. Yes.

Absolutely. Well, I'm curious too, if you could tell me a little bit about your own personal journey into nonmonogamy, how did you first hear about it? I would love to hear all the details, all the mistakes, the joys, the wonders of it all. If you've got time to share your story with me.

Absolutely. So the maybe surprising thing is I in my, I was always a serial monogamous, right? Until I'd say like 2018, early 2019, like I had only been, I think my shortest relationship, which was monogamous, was like two years at the shortest, like just serial monogamous. And my wife at the time had actually been the one to have been in nonmonogamous like setups before. And I was like kind of clueless, which you probably wouldn't expect that given what I do now. But like I was the monogamous. So to be very specific, what happened that kind of initiated the whole thing is my wife identifies as bisexual and we were out, out drinking, just out for a night, having fun or whatever. And she met this woman who was nothing shady.

Like I was aware of the whole thing or whatever. And then like they exchanged numbers and then a day or two later, I kind of asked her, I'm like, so is this like a friend thing or is it something else? And she was just like, I'm not sure. And like my initial response was kind of a freak out. I'm like, what do you mean?

We're not sure. But again, like they had just like chatted very innocently back and forth or whatever. So then I'm just like, all right, well, it's time to have this conversation. And I had, I had known previously before even being in a relationship with this person, generally what they had experienced. So like I wasn't all that shocked, right? And I had known that the conversation would come up eventually.

Like before we got married, like as we were, like I knew the conversation would come up eventually. Didn't think it would be so soon. But you know what? It was a good thing. But yeah, we talked it out and kind of did what a lot of cishet presenting couples obviously there's, you know, not not cishet, but you know, presenting couples do and kind of talk about, well, how does this work? Do we date people together? Do we, you know, date people separate? And we, we dated with a joint dating profile for like literally like two, three weeks and very fast determined like, this is not, this is not for us.

This is not really what we want to do. So then like made our separate profiles the whole time. Like it just like the learning just smacks you in the face, right? We didn't like jump directly into it.

Like we tried to like read, read up. Like we read like parts of a couple of books and just like it, I, it's, it's when people ask me like, how do you know if you're polyamorous? I'm like, that is the toughest question to ask because you can read about it all day and you still don't know what it feels like, right? Until you're like kind of in it. So that's one of the scary parts is like, you don't always know until you know.

Like sometimes you just got to like dip your feet in the water and see, you know, if it's for you or not. But yeah, the, I mean, the lessons came for both of us like very quickly. Like, you know, most thankfully a lot of it, obviously constructive because I am where I am today. But you know, a lot of hard times too. A lot of difficult conversations, a lot of jealousy, especially from someone who, like I said, had been in only monogamous relationships before. It was like brand new to me. And it's kind of a trope almost that like, you know, women presenting people versus men presenting people, the dating pool, the dating experience is very different.

Right. So I noticed my wife getting all of this attention, just, just so much of it. And it really bummed me out. But then, you know, at some point she's like, do you want to, do you want to see my matches?

And I looked at him and I was like, okay, I like where I'm at. I don't need this. 99 % of these are horrible.

I'm, I'm kind of, I'm sorry that this is your experience. So it's just like a matter of perspective. A lot of the times. But yeah, I have kind of explored more types of relationships because like even initially going into it, I was still kind of on that like almost monogamous relationship escalator path. Right. I expected to meet someone.

Really liked them and continue to follow the steps that I had always followed in my life just more. Right. But, you know, it, at a certain point I realized like, oh, it doesn't have to be that way either.

Like I can have. Casual friends that are sometimes, you know, there's a romantic or sexual connection either or like it's pick your own adventure. You know, it's like, it doesn't have to be like, oh, you're just going to be in multiple long term committed relationships. And like that's kind of generally still my style, but like it's nice to kind of explore outside of that. And, you know, so yeah, just mad.

What do you, any, any specific like less, cause like I'm, they're just coming at me. I'm just like, oh yeah, I remember that time that I learned this real the hard way. Like, yeah.

I mean, like you said, the lessons hit you in the face, at least personally from what I've experienced too. Right. Where yeah, it's all one thing to read about non-monogamy and the books and to process that like, oh yeah, when my partner goes to have a date with another partner, I can ground myself in the fact that I'm unique and no one else will ever replace me because I'm special and I'm worthy and I'm meaningful.

You know, you can read that. And then there's that first date when they go out and you're like, why do I feel like such a mess? Oh my God. You know, having that experience with it. And in that way that, that can hit you like a brick that you, you process through and you learn through, or at least for me, you know, adjust to and learn how to ground yourself better each time. And it kind of eases up each time now where I feel much more comfortable with that. But at first it was like, holy shit, what is my biggest, like in my opinion, most valuable piece of polyamory advice is the one that people like to hear the least time, one word time, like you're going to feel different later than you do now. And like, I keep saying, like the question isn't, am I like shutting off my jealousy? And am I feeling good right now? It's over time.

Do I feel better about these things than I did previously? Yeah, it's time is the ultimate answer. And it's, it's the least satisfying answer. It sucks. Like I hate it. I hate that it's the best answer. Like I'm just like, I don't want to wait.

Exactly. I want, I want there to be a switch on my wall. This is has a big label over it.

This is jealousy that I can just turn off. Right. Absolutely. Not how it works most of the time.

Right. And it's so scary for people who have been, you know, even like yourself in long term closed relationships, then to ask them to try something that might not work out. And then you can't really go back because you now, I mean, you can go back, but you will always now go back with a experience of having opened up, you know, like that once you do it, you're kind of their sort of experience. So you have to tell people like, Oh, you'll find out in time. Sounds horrible. But I think the reality is that's kind of anything with life.

Right. You can choose a career path where you're like, this looks good on paper. And then many people get into that career path and months later be like, uh-oh, this is not what I thought it would be. I don't like it anymore. And that's when we decide we're going to go a different way. Right.

And we have compassion for ourself for that journey. But kind of like you said, time, I think that's a really big thing in this where, in my opinion, stepping into non-monogamy is its own psychedelic experience truly because you are stepping out of a different paradigm. You know, just when you start that acid starts to kick in, the wall start to melt a little and you're like, I have never done this before. What is happening? The same sort of thing happens when you step out of the paradigm that has been monogamy, the relationship escalator, that has given us a sense of gravity, a sense of direction in your entire life of what's going to happen. And it makes it clear this, this, that when you start to step out into one where it's like an all terrain, you've got a Jeep to go any way you want. What that's going to be scary. That's going to take time as you step out into that, as you learn how to navigate that new terrain and decide where you want to go in it.

It's a trip and it takes time to learn how to do that skill, you know. Not to, not to tip off my assigned FBI agent, but you just kind of blew my mind and connecting some dots with those parallels. I was like, Oh, right? I don't know how that other thing feels.

Not at all. The question that like, I think I struggle to answer the most is like, how do you approach a monogamous partner with the idea of non monogamy? Because I was very privileged in that area, because I was the one like, my partner was the one who had previously experienced that wasn't that wasn't a hard thing for me to approach.

Right? Like, did you transition into polyamory from a monogamous relationship or otherwise? No, I met someone who was practicing polyamory. And so it was one of those Okay, if I want to be with this person, then I'm going to learn how to adapt to it.

So it was a different one. But in my coaching work, I've helped people on the other side who have come to me with asking for support exactly with this of how do I come to this person? And it's a journey I would recommend help or like community in that because there's so much that can get triggered in that conversation so much, even just the way you bring it up can immediately, you know, defenses can just start the person can say like, you know, like, what's wrong with me?

Why am I not enough? All these sorts of things and it can divulge into a lot of attachment and security triggers there that can just unpack. And I mean, there's no like easy answer even to answer that of how to do that process, right? Because it's all going to be individual on each person. And there might end up being this point at which, you know, the person that you're with ends up saying, you know, I don't want to do non monogamy. And you might have to hit that difficult point of deciding that, like any other piece in a relationship that you're doing, you know, someone wants to live a life on in a van, you know what I mean, and do that. And the other person wants to stay grounded in their community, you have to make a decision at that point, whether you want to continue to converge and meet somewhere in the middle, or go your separate ways, because at that point, we're constructing completely different lives. Not to say there's one right or the other, but you can't convince someone else to live the life that you want to live.

And if that's a big piece of it, you got to go down your own path on that one. Yeah, I think it's I think it's also kind of a tricky issue because the number of reactions someone could have about their partner approaching them about polyamory is infinite, right? So like, it's hard, you can't give advice when like, each individual person knows how their partner would react better than anyone else, right? Like, it's like, this person gonna like just lose their mind, or they're gonna be chill, like it just infinite amount of reactions that could happen. So like, it's, it's, you know, that's, that's the tricky thing, right? Like, you can give tips all day. But in the end, like, you know, your partner best. Absolutely. Yes. And maybe your partner will hear that and be like, you know what, I've been thinking about it too.

And this sounds really great, right? Like, there's the full spectrum, like you said, of depending on that help that person, and you you don't really know until you bring it up or to talk about it. And even then, I think what you know, for me, bringing up that desire for non monogamy, there's so much discussion that you could have about what that means, because you say that word. And if you have not talked about that in your relationship, immediately, it's going to mean a lot of different things where there's a full spectrum to non monogamy. Maybe your non monogamy means, you know, swinging or having three sums where you occasionally you're very monogamy, right? Where you have that sort of primary dynamic and have someone come in on an occasional basis, and you create that sort of relationship. Maybe it means polyamory in relationship anarchy. However, when you say I want non monogamy, that blanket way, your partner can interpret that in a lot of different ways. So maybe just even being careful about how you bring that up to not say that word directly because that word's not specific enough for maybe what you're looking for, and trying to get kind of clear about what it is that you're searching for rather than just throwing that word out there. Yeah, because there's a good chance your partner be like, oh, hell yeah.

And then you'd be like, they're thinking about something else. Right. And to some people, non monogamy can be even emotional relationships with someone of the gender that they're attracted to, right? Like in some worlds, that's emotional cheating. And so to step outside of that and even have a world where you could have deeply committed emotional relationships with the gender that you're attracted to, that's non monogamy to some people, you know what I mean? So like, just getting clear to unlike what this means for you, what you're looking to have because there really is such a vast, wide diverse way to incorporate connection and to have relationships with other people. And there's just so much that is assumed because of the relationship escalator and other sorts of things like that of how we relate with other people and find love, meaning and create family when really there's a it's it's pretty wide, you can create a lot of different things with this world.

Yeah. And I'm hoping, like I said, I expect non monogamy to be more popular than any of us expected to be very faster than we expected to be. And I'm hoping that my videos and stuff help if someone's approaching their partner about non monogamy, maybe they scroll past me on TikTok and heard at least a thing about it, right? Or somebody else not necessarily me but just like, with the more out there, there's a reason like one of my biggest like, you know, selling products not to plug myself but is my normalised polyamory design because like that's really what alleviates a lot of that stuff is just like having it in, you know, common vernacular with people who are not just polyamorous but also monogamous like having people aware of at least what it is even if that's not then, right? Yeah, because kind of like our conversation earlier that allows for more informed consent of the different ways that we can exist in relationship with people just so people know that there are other options than the relationship escalator. There are other options than monogamy. Just to know that alone allows people to have more freedom in choosing the life that they want to create for themselves and to honour that and unfortunately now there's still so much stigma around it and I think a lot of that is just a lot of it triggers people's inner feelings about their relationship, inner feelings about their insecurity maybe inner feelings about all that sort of stuff and so it's fascinating I think to see with content creators on public platforms like Instagram and YouTube, other sorts of things the way that people are just outright attacked I guess even myself included, you know, I've got comments about it and it's like, wow, what is this bringing up in you that makes you so triggered that you're coming to attack me about the way I'm living my life and I'm not even telling you you have to live it this way I'm just trying to live my own like yeah and there's there's so many I know there's there's so many people out there being like why won't polyamorous just shut the fuck up and I'm like because we we feel like we can't because like we're just being coming at us from all sides right like it's just like even the simplest little thing that someone says you know in the context of monogamy it seemed like harmless or whatever might trigger something in a polyamorous person that goes no that's bullshit like you know like there's a reason like there's this you know kind of idea that we don't shut up it's because like you know it's it's a thing you haven't heard before so it sounds louder than it really is right I was just a guest on another podcast and even I was talking to him about you know my non-monogamy and then after my response he said well you know like do you think you'll ever change though because like maybe down the line you'll you know the stuff I was doing when I was your age you know and now I feel very differently about it where it's like that's a great question sir yes I agree that at any point I could become Christian again actually I could convert my life to something completely different I am open to the reality that I don't know but also behind that question I feel like it is kind of hinting at the fact that you're young you don't know you'll get older you'll figure it out you want to settle down one day yada yada yada and it's like stuff like that those even like little microaggressions in my opinion because it's coming from that space of like you'll figure this out one day and that's okay and you just don't get it so stuff like that absolutely is why I think a phrase like normalized polyamory is important because there are smaller things like that or like even in my my doctoral training I asked one of my professors about applying some of the therapy models that were very couple dyad focused to a non-monogamous couple and then she said well you know what I know about that is that frequently people come into the office and only one of them actually wants it and the other one didn't want it at all and I had her smile back in class I was like well that's not what I've seen in the community I've seen people who are equally wanting this and desiring this sort of dynamic and I think what the problem is then even within the field of psychology someone like her in her office gets all the people that are struggling with the dynamic and having difficult you know difficulties in the dynamic and that and so her lens to it is one where polyamory is always failing and that's the bias of her positioning in that sort of context where I'm not you know I'm in a community of people who are loving this thriving in this but yeah all these little pieces create this sort of social context of how people understand polyamory especially when we get you know some of the podcast who has social political power in that way someone who's a therapist who has social political power in that way yeah and I see it I see it even outside of that like clinical context too I see people like commenting just like well the only polyamorous people I know one person didn't want it and like ruin their lives and I'm just like there's a good chance that you know at least someone who is non-monogamous and you just don't know like they just don't feel comfortable telling you because that's your mindset right like yeah there's more than you think and it you know doesn't just fit under your very narrow umbrella Yep, absolutely. And that's why I'm talking about it on this podcast and have people like you here and it's so important because people have been swinging for decades. Oh, yeah.

People have been non-monogamous for decades, but because of the bullshit culture around sexuality where we don't talk about it, that is something that you know in the 1950s at the housewife and the heterosexual Modern normative, you know, everyone is happy, you know, and gets divorced, but you know, Sally and Johnny on the weekends are playing at a swinging party, but no one talks about that. Right. No one talks about that. Yeah. Yeah. What the fuck? It's something that has been around forever, but that has just like, you know, been, you know, it hasn't even always been that weird, right?

Well, right. And that's the thing about even the context of other cultures, there's other cultures that have been practicing this for centuries, for decades who have this as a part of their structure. Again, it's a part of our, you know, the, at least in America, the funding of it from, you know, a patriarchal, colonial construction of this is how we do relationships, you know, so like, yeah, that's when we talk about why it's important to normalize polyamory. It's that because all that is still the water we breathe in as fish, right?

We're just in there and not even realizing how we're in our own lens. There's other societies that have done this. There are other histories and other civilizations that have done this and thrived and had great lives, you know, and now there are people doing it now. But like you said, it's too scary at times to come out because of the fear of judgment, the lack of safety, you know, there's those horror stories of people having judgment towards polyamorous parents and worried about their kids and the dynamics. So I mean, there are so many reasons to be afraid to come out. And that's why it's important to start to normalize these things through conversations like this, through all the content that you're creating.

It's it's making waves. Yeah, that's that's the goal. And yeah, I think like there's a reason that recently there's a polyam proud had a vote for a new polyamory pride flag. And one of the contenders had a lot of you read the description, a lot of references directly to like indigenous culture, because a lot of those cultures, you know, are the OG polyamorous. Like they're like, this isn't like a brand new thing.

And like that specific flag, it wasn't the one that was ultimately ultimately chosen, but wanted to be like pay homage to that and just be like, Hey, we see you. Right. We see that we're not the a lot of the white people involved in this process or not. You know, this is just our thing.

Like we value that and we see that and we know more of the origins where it comes comes from. Have you read Sex at Dawn? Not yet.

I have it downstairs, though. I mean, there are so many. Oh, this is this is something that my YouTube channel is going to inspire, like like help me do because I've been wanting to read these books forever. I'm I got to admit, I'm a terrible reader. Like I don't want to blame everything on my ADHD, but it doesn't help. Like if I if I'm not immediately gripped by a book, I'll set it down and then I'll forget it exists. And I would like I but I want to I want to finish these books and talk about them and like stuff like that. And like that's on my list.

That's what I actually have downstairs. My wife has read some of it. I haven't read into it yet. But oh, yeah, I really want to. I feel that I feel that I have the same thing. It's so hard for me if I'm not caught immediately in something. Then, yeah, it's it's hard to stick with it and I'll put it down and just never read. I have a stack of books that I've yet to go back through.

So I really feel that in that sort of way. But like, yeah, all these discussions about the, you know, just humanity and its earliest forms. Was it more collective where it was more a shared dynamic between people rather than this nuclear family? And I think some of the research, you know, when you look at even just evolutionarily, some of the primates and other sorts of animals that existed, you know, it was never in this monogamous structure. Very, very few animals ever exist in a truly monogamous structure. Obviously, that sort of argument from evolution is always a little bit, you know, not the same because the reality is we're humans and we might get in a fight with our partner about the color of our towels in our kitchen. OK, and I don't think that the primate is getting, you know, so I could I never want to make those one to one comparisons of like, well, evolution said. And I'm like, because I'm like, we don't argue about the same things.

You know what I mean? It's not comparable. But I get that. But exactly.

But it's another piece of this where people are always like, oh, she's so crazy. I can't believe we're doing this. But yeah, really, I can't believe that we ever existed in monogamy in some ways in that way. Right. And like, I think it's really fascinating to even look at the history of monogamy and look at the fact that historically women were property. Right.

And marital rape was not a thing until very recently within the last 100 years, which is really sad to think about. Bananas. I know, right?

I know. And so there was a whole, you know, the whole human experience where women were property in that way and men were not assumed to have to be sexually phidelitous. That was not a part of the equation. It was very normal to have this idea of like, this is the wife that you come home to and you care for and you make the kids. But you have extra extra sexual relations on the side. And that was very normal for a lot of society. Now that we're flipping the script to have it go both ways, because marital rape is a thing, because all these other changes for the, you know, freedoms of women to be equal in this game, I think we're in a different time. Yeah, I think it's funny that so many people have this mindset of like, well, monogamy monogamous is how humans are. And society has just gone to this weird place where we're not going to do that. And I'm like, it's the opposite. Like, like societal structures and shit like that are what made monogamy the norm. Like, it's like, you got it backwards.

Like, it wasn't always like this. I know. And I honor the fact for all the people that choose to be monogamous, right? My sister is, is Mormon. She is married. That is going to be her whole life there, right?

Is that sort of dynamic? And so I'm always here for all of that, you know, and even my own journey of going through this. But like your, you know, your content normalizing polyamory, that's what we need.

Just another option to know that it's possible. And until that happens, we're going to keep yelling about it. And we're going to keep talking about it and fight for that liberation.

So other people know that this is a way they can construct a beautiful life. Yeah. And I've also seen people, you kind of touched on it, that people will say that, oh, well, non-monogamous people just think they're, it's the golden way and like monogamy stupid.

And it's like, OK, yeah, sure. You can go on Twitter or whatever, especially nowadays and find somebody who will take any position, no matter what, right? The vast majority of us do not hold any sort of content for people who want to be monogamous. We don't care. Well, it's fine.

It's fine. Like, do what you want to do. That's our whole stick is like, just just do what you want to do, be what you want to be, and just be aware of the options you have that will possibly make you happy. Like, you know, absolutely, absolutely, because all of it has risks, rewards, right? It's the same thing with like having kids versus not, you know, you're going to live radically different lives, depending on what you choose to do. But with that, I'm not here to say one is more meaningful than the other. There's a lot of different ways to do it, and you're going to have different pros and cons for all the different things that you're going to do in that.

You know what I mean? And like you said, at that point, the people who are doing polyamory don't care what you do, just as long as you know that there are other options. And my thing is with that, though, because of the cultural context of where all the things we said before, there are so many people, though, who get upset and are like, I feel like I want to connect with someone else. I met at a bar and I feel these longings to have a romantic or sexual relationship.

Or, you know, I would like to have more sexual diversity in who I'm sleeping with and to have that sort of experience. But I feel like I can't. That's where I'm like, OK, y'all, we got to talk about this because you you can. Yeah, and if you start to complain, like, just know there's another option and you are not powerless in this.

Yeah. And that makes me think of like if you're the situation that made me think of is the situation that a lot of bisexual or pansexual women specifically find themselves in where they want that, you know, they want to explore their sexuality or whatever. And their monogamous male partner will, I hate saying it, let them. I hate that word so much. Yeah, it's it's gross to say it. And then they're stuck in a situation where it's like, OK, well, you can do that because, like, I think that's hot. But like, you can't, you know, see other things like be careful when setting your boundaries and like talking to your partner, because you may think like, I mean, this applies to everyone. But like, you know, my example, buyer pan women, you may think that you don't care to date another man or something like that. Yeah, you don't care right now.

That might change. Like, like so be very careful when you're setting up your boundaries to not, you know, be just basically having who you can date be completely controlled by somebody else, right? You just because I see that I'm like, I did the one penis policy.

I made a whole video about like how I hate it so much and think it's never unethical, even when so like going back to the beginning of my polyamorous journey, we never had a one penis policy because even in my monogamous mindset, like I'm like, all right, that's not cool. Right. Like I didn't quite like know everything about why it wasn't cool yet. But I'm like, I know that's not cool. But there was like a preference, right? I was just like, I would be more comfortable if you didn't date men for a while, whatever. And that's problematic to like, there's there's a lot wrapped up in that. You know, we all we all make these newbie explorations.

It's fine. But like that. I feel like they do so much damage. Those policies do so much damage. And I see women justifying. them and it kind of hurts me because it's like a moment where we like well it's fine that we have one because I don't want to date another man and I'm just like that's not the point also if you don't want to date another man why does there have to be a policy about it? Why does that have to be a thing if that's just not even something you're interested in?

Why is it a rule? So yeah just be so careful when you're like setting up rules and boundaries like it's it's you don't want to set up something that the other person is going to stick to their guns about that is really going to cause you problems in the future you know? Yeah yeah so to clarify how would you define the one penis policy? Oh man so I guess to try and put it very simply one penis policy is you can only date it's usually so it's it's imposed on women right and I've had people be like what about the one vagina policy?

I'm like the scales are not even like one penis policies are like so much more common so like sure there are one vagina policies as well but it's almost like I have I don't know if I've ever even encountered one in real life like only online but so one penis policy is usually imposed on women and it's a thing it's like oh you can date other women but you can't date anyone with a penis and obviously and anyone listening might be getting a little ahead of me here there's homophobia in there there's transphobia in there like how do you handle you know oh I want to date a trans man a trans woman like what what does that mean for one penis policy they're not a man a woman whatever like so yeah just that a rule that you can only have be dating or in a relationship with one penis have her at a time it's like people will be like well there's always cases where something's ethical I'm pretty stuck to my guns of like it's never ethical it's just like you can't like I'm usually the one who's just like alright let's see this thing from different perspectives and whatever I've never seen someone give me a comment a reason anything like that of how one of these things can be ethical I've never seen one right.

So let's talk about that this is an interesting conversation because yeah so the one penis policy someone comes in and say says that to yeah this is all the heteronormative framing of all of this right and like you said right trans people you know really define all of this boundaries of what this means and that's a part of the equation that people are not even taking into this sort of question you know which is problematic like you mentioned but the one penis policy then being that like okay so my wife can sleep with other women right because there is you know a lot of people who because of the normalization of LGBTQIA plus identities people now feeling like wow I've been never able to explore this aspect of myself and I want to be able to explore that so I think there's a lot of that sort of energy within a lot of monogamous relationships for people right now and so yeah so then allowing your wife to go out and to be with other women could allow her to fulfill that and I could see the space where someone's like that's great yeah I don't want any other person penis right reality with that is that like kind of like you said like you also don't know that you know you start doing this and then you fall in love with another person that does have a penis of regardless whatever gender it's like yeah okay how are you gonna prevent against that and I think one of the big things about maybe why this isn't ethical at least in my opinion is that what is saying about sex there is something about the one penis of vein like I am the only you know person that you're asleep with that gets this right also what kind of penises are we talking about we're talking about dildo so like what happens if someone fucks me with a dildo does that does that count as a penis question mark okay confusing right but even without okay someone who was biologically a penis like what is the purpose of that where's the insecurity line in that because at the end of the day the sex that I am having with that woman is just as deeply insecure should make you just as deeply insecure as sex with any other man okay because they have the same level of realness to the sexuality I think that's where it comes into this like socialization around this of women that have sex with other women being just play and it just being this hot thing that they do on the side and it's not real sex you know what I mean I think that's where all of this is like one that deep insecurity of not wanting anyone to take your partner and because it's just going to be female and female sex there's no way that I could ever lose my partner in that that's just play they're doing on the side so I think that like you calling this out as unethical I think is because it's impinging on all of these other problematic understandings in terms of valuing sex with one sort of you know anatomy being more real than another set of anatomy being not real and just play and not threatening.

what yeah look yeah and it's it's there's a homophobic aspect to it because like you said like people view like you know same-sex relationships especially to women as not as threatening not a real thing like it's it's it's not always stated but when you start when you start acting like a child who just keeps asking why why why you get you get to the you get to the bad stuff pretty quickly with the one penis policy like if you just keep digging like a layer or two deep there's always and there it is and yeah and like to anyone like back to the point of like you know you if you're agreeing to a one penis policy because you don't want another you don't care about having sex with another penis haver just think about it like this you are clearly attracted to at least one penis haver and you are exploring nonmenogamy put those two things together and what is probably going to happen eventually right like those two pieces exist at the same time and you can't exactly separate be careful absolutely so that's why it begs that question like what happens if I do find another penis that I enjoy right what is it gonna make you feel as a person wanting to enact that policy yeah says someone who like helps people in this space and a psychologist in training like that's where I would want to probe of like what does it mean for you if your partner found someone with a penis because I think kind of like you're saying like it all stems down to this fear which is very normal all of us have this we all want attachment we all want connection but this fear that someone is gonna leave me yeah right and can we can we have a conversation about that that really at the core of this I'm afraid that you'll find someone else that is giving you something that I can keep secure over here right now is the only penis that you're ever gonna get and so that gives me some sort of grounding that you won't leave me yeah yeah that's that's yeah that's one of the big cores of it hitting nail on the head right yeah there's always some underlying thing of just it's you know and the the best the absolute best reason for someone justifying a one penis policy that I've seen is a man saying well I don't trust other men uh well it's not your place though you should trust your partner's judgment about those other men right like that's that is the best thing the best reasoning I've heard because as someone who tries to be very conscious of like how hard you know women have it in this world like I do understand that that does appeal to not trusting other men does really hit in my core because I get that but you know it's it's their decision it's their place to determine that it's their place to make those judgments not yours right if we're you know in a non-monogamous space right absolutely and I think that's the nuance of it right of knowing that like you're right the patriarchy has really given men a shitty education on how to be in relationship with other people so you're right like it's it's it's reasonable to not be super excited about men you know what I mean in terms of connecting with other ones but like yeah what you don't trust your partner to navigate that you know like obviously there are situations where you know sexual consent is completely not listened to and there's sexual violence that people of all genders you know cause but outside of that context what are you saying about your partner you're saying that you don't trust your partner to make wise decisions to make good decisions I mean they picked you after all uh was that about you not trust your judgment oh I've just remind me I've seen a couple of people now that I'm surprised this wasn't like just a one isolated incident but say well my partner has control over who I see because I can't be trusted with my own relationships and yeah same yeah exactly I'm like there is so much more to unpack there than what is happening like that is uh weirdly unfair to both of you not their responsibility but it's also not their place like it's it was such a bizarre take that I've heard like not like a crazy number of times but like a few times now and I'm just like then you probably shouldn't be in those other relationships to begin with I don't know if you can't trust yourself with those decisions like just don't do it like I don't like maybe that's I don't know if that's like insensitive or like ignorant of me from some sort of other perspective but just like that feels like you're violating your own autonomy in a way like you're just giving it away so I'm just like yeah yeah because I'm like do you trust yourself with that partner that you gave all that power to because if you don't trust yourself to do the other ones I wouldn't trust that first initial one that you gave all the power to what we don't start somewhere else in that therapy room hold on hold on let's go back yeah I mean I think there's a nuance answer to all of this right And that like, you know, I go through my life and I check all my, you know, I check most of my like things with my community in terms of like, I don't come to, you know, my, my people in my world and be like, should I date this person or not, but I do bounce off ideas, you know, so like, it's never fully list like individual thing because I'm always in community growing getting other people's opinions on my relationships listening to their perspectives on it because sometimes you have blinders to stuff. And so it's important to get like other opinions on this sometimes from an expert, right, these sorts of things. But yeah, it's fascinating to like completely to get your autonomy and just give it over to another human being and that that would make me ask a lot of questions. And I think that's you kind of touched on something that I think a lot of people struggle with. There is a huge, huge difference between asking for input, considering that input and making your own decisions, and just get putting those decisions on someone else there's a massive difference between those two things because people will, you know, comment like oh well this is the way we are because this and I'm just like well, we talk about your partner having the ability to end your other relationships like having that authority people will go like well, we have veto powers but like it's something we like talk about and like you know they give me information and like they share their concerns and then like we talk about and I'm like well that's not.

Is that a veto that like it sounds like you're just communicating like it's fine to like let your concerns and stuff about relationships be known that's a lot different than just giving someone unilateral power, right and just just, you know, it's, there's a big difference between those two things. And I think that's all that's something that a lot of people just mash together and like can't separate right. Right.

Right. And what is the veto power rooted in right again control security I am so deeply afraid that you could fall in love with someone so much so that I want to veto this or that you would fall in love with someone in a way that's going to change our dynamic so much so that I would want to take it out, or I just don't like them you know what I mean I'm just going to take it out like all the ways that we're trying to hold on to control, but in that it's it's radical to think about what that means truly in practice you know like you're in a partnership with someone say you started in a monogamous you and then you open up, you fall in love with another person and say you've been with that person for two years at that point your other partner wants to veto because they're not liking it anymore. Do you know how much emotional impact that is going to have you to try and control another human like that and the third party of this that is going to get hit I mean that's where it doesn't make any sense because at that point you're you're not honoring the fact that these are humans that you are connecting with that are going to be deeply impacted where with the person with the veto power now that power is affecting that third person and dynamic in a way that is completely unethical in my opinion because it's taking away the power and the honor of all those people to have a relationship with one another. I mean granted there's ways to do this where you can not have to have the veto power and communicate talk about that talk about the fears of this changing your dynamic and maybe you do come to a collective decision that I would like to even close back the relationship to a monogamy you can collectively decide to do that but it's radical to just give that power up to another person in this veto hierarchy controlling way versus it being a collective decision at that point to come back to monogamy. Yeah I don't I don't consider any collective decision as a veto right that in my mind those two things are completely separate so that's why when people say oh we have veto powers but this is what has to happen I'm just like well that that just doesn't sound like a veto to me and it's I think any hard line veto power is extremely short-sighted because like you said like you set it up to keep the security the security that you become accustomed to in a monogamous relationship right but just think one step like put yourself in that situation when you veto somebody is the other person going to be like oh them is the rules oh well no they're going to be hurt there's going to be resentment like you said other person's going to be hurt like it's very short-sighted like it's yeah just there's yeah a lot of problems with that too. Yeah absolutely and there's so many pieces on this journey where yeah you might fall into that you know and those are the things that we do on this journey of coming into polyamory of starting maybe in a relationship where you tried that and then two years later you have that experience and that's that's why so many of us are kind of saying like hey don't do this other people have done this we've seen what this happens you know like we understand where it's coming from but this is what happens in the long-term context and so that's why I think it's so important to have you know conversations about these things that bring this out into the light again with the taboo we need to be having more conversations about this so people can hear about these things so they can avoid all these different like pitfalls that are really based in our wanting for attachment and security and it's a different way to do it.

It's totally possible to have all of that attachment and security and open relating it takes a lot of conversations it takes a lot of talking and a lot of negotiation and a lot of time being vulnerable about what all these things are bringing up in you and your connection and your attachment what you want to create in terms of the relationships you want to have and so all of that takes a lot of time. Yeah and I don't want it to come off like I'm judging anybody for having like these policies right because I mean context is important but like we said earlier like we're all learning and figuring stuff out like any criticism I have of things like that you know it's like hey this this kind of sucks in my opinion but like I'm not I'm not going to judge you for for figuring things out your own way right like it's nobody. It should feel bad that like they watch a video of mine where I'm talking about one penis policy and they have one nobody should feel like oh I'm a shitty person because of this like no like we're all figuring our stuff out we're all like no matter how staunchly anti one penis policies or Vita systems I am like we all have to figure our stuff out right and it's an individual thing it's not this I'm not passing down some you know word of God knowledge here like. Absolutely absolutely and in this existential void you could still have that one penis policy and love a great life you know where it just works for the two that do that and like if that's what it takes to get into it that's great just be conscious of the ways that this is.

Making comments about what is valid sex versus not valid sex let's be conscious of the ways that it is rooted in our desire for control right like you can do it I'm not here to say don't do it or not let's just be aware of what we're doing right and if you consciously know all this and the two you decide we're like yes we do understand it says this and this is how we want to do it. Go for it Godspeed to you run with it play have fun and if it hurts you one day I'll be here to talk to you about it. You're still welcome in the community you know I'm not here to say if you have these things you suck I'm here to say just think about it and be careful exactly because we're all here we're all learning and we're all doing it together and like. And no point do we want to be like cancel culture with any sort of this like polyamory I mean obviously holding people accountable for enacting harm and things there's boundaries with this. But even like yeah you know all the concepts of restorative justice and not canceling people in as we all learn because like I said earlier it's an asset trip and a half okay so like there we there's going to be a couple times that you fall on your face and we're going to be there for you okay we're not going to shun you we're all going to process it together and really. I would I'm seeking for myself but I think speaking for you and that we want everyone to have the freedom to create the life that they want to create and the freedom for everyone to have the connection and the love and the community that they deserve.

That's really at the core of this and so we're trying to be conscious of the different ways where when we're exploring this new paradigm some toes might get stepped on and how to avoid that if we can. Yeah 100 % yeah you can speak for me in that regard. Okay good I know I was like I don't know if I should do that. No I feel like I learned.

Yes agree agree. Is there anything that you would want to say then to someone who's maybe at the beginning of your journey right the partners coming to them asking to open up and looking back on your time your wisdom the lessons that you've learned is there anything that you would share with them. Keep an open mind and think about what you want it's not all for your partner, even if they are the ones approaching you about it you also have to consider your own happiness. Don't sacrifice that to do something you don't want to do. And also like we said earlier time is a wild thing there are certain things that I felt a certain way about in the beginning of my polyamory journey that made me spiral into horrible shame and guilt and depression that now. I don't care about it all and like it's crazy sometimes those things will come up and I'll be like oh my god the same thing happened two years ago and I had a meltdown and today I'm just like oh yeah that's cool whatever. Yeah, like time is your friend as unsatisfying as that is but yes keep in mind what you want. Keep an open mind you know like hear them out but you know make sure you're comfortable with what you're agreeing to and not just sacrificing things for the joy of only your partner.

Absolutely and dare I push on that even a little bit and say. It's normal to feel uncomfortable in this experience because like any difficult thing it's going to feel really rigid at first right and so like there's space for that kind of like in the time like exactly like you said right that first moment when you freaked out when someone mentioned things compared to two years later and feeling differently about that just normalizing that where like in the process which is such a delicate dance that. then between honoring what your partner wants, feeling your own uncomfortability, trying to figure out if that uncomfortability means that you shouldn't do nominog me or if it's just a part of the process of learning how to ride this bike where you're falling off and you're learning how to ride the bike.

But part of that includes falling off on it. So like trying to negotiate that is really difficult. So yeah, be kind to yourselves people as you're exploring this because there's a lot of different emotions that are going to come up and learn to sift through those, you know, of what sort of dream you want. Like you said, thinking about the life you want, our perspective is so important.

It is so important. What you choose to focus on creates your reality, right? And so in those dynamics where, at least from my own experience, right, having a partner connect with someone else and all the sort of insecurity that that could spark up in me of like, what if they like them more? What if they want to spend more time with them?

What are our and then you start to spiral there and then I'm there. And that's really all I see at that moment compared to what if I find someone that I like? What if I find someone that I really want to spend time with? What if I actually make a relationship with that person that they're even with and we could even create a try, you know, other sorts of connections in this dynamic? Like if you can hold that frame of the like, yes, what is happening?

And also what can you do? What do you want to create? It kind of makes this more balanced approach to the experience when naturally our brains are going to be so fear driven because we are animals to a degree, right? And so something like another partner striking up fear about your attachment is going to make all those sorts of things feel so prominent in your brain, right? Because that your brain is trying to protect you evolutionarily, right? Potential for risk of losing our resource and that way in connection and trying to take a moment to breathe, slow down that nervous system.

And then also think about the other ways this could go, the other possibilities that are open through this dynamic. And that takes time and it depends on how long it takes for you to breathe. And some people it might take a couple of weeks to a month. But I promise you gets better each time you practice that. How your how your perspectives and feelings change over time is vastly more important than what your perspectives and feelings are right in this moment. That's, that's like, that's it.

Like you have to like observe how you feel over time. There's no other way to do it. Exactly. And the feelings are out of our control, like very much so normalizing that, right? Of like, it's the freedom. I mean, the response to our feelings is where we have the control, right? We can have that experience where it brings up all this emotion and to allow that and then to choose how we want to respond in that.

I'm not saying we can throw tantrums and be start throwing things, right? Like, let's be honest, but like, let's be clear about that. But also the, you know, if your partner goes out and it creates feelings of insecurity and you cry, like, that's okay. Yeah, that's not something you have direct control over.

But you have control over then is going afterwards to your partner and saying, Hey, like, that was really difficult for me. I had an emotional response. It made me feel insecure. Can we talk about ways for the two of us to feel more secure in this dynamic? And like, you didn't fail polyamory because you cried when they went out on the date. You were achieving polyamory.

If I can give anybody that label, Jesus, I shouldn't, that's not label I can give out. But like, you are doing it when you come to them and you sit down and have that experience about what came up for you, because that's the life you're choosing. That's the mindfulness and all of this. And so you're doing it even if you're having those moments of the emotions that are outside of our control. Yeah, if you're when you're experiencing those things, just like, I know it's hard in the moment, but just remember that you are experiencing a point on a graph.

You're not experiencing the whole graph all at once. Like, there will be how did you feel before? How will you feel later? There will be different times and it's gonna be okay.

One way or another, even if you decide that, you know, non monogamy is not for you, great, it'll, it'll still be better in the future. Now you know, now you know. I want to hold a little bit of space as we come to the end of our time. Do you feel like there's anything maybe we didn't hit on today that you were really craving? Otherwise, I have a closing question I can direct us towards. Okay, okay. I mean, I feel again, I feel like I just had something in my brain and it just like, you know, escaped just there.

Those thoughts are elusive. But no, I don't, I don't think so. Okay, great. Well, then the closing question I ask everyone on the podcast is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal? Oh, one thing that I wish that is a good question.

Oh my gosh. In the context of non monogamy, it is absolutely normal to sometimes feel like you are monogamous. Even when you are deep into it, right?

Even when you've been doing it for a long time, it is normal to have those feelings. You are not on an island. You're not alone. It is, it is, you may think that like, you're even if you've surrounded yourself in this polyamorous, you know, space with all these polyamorous, like people would talk and create content and stuff like that, that you're, you suck and you're doing something wrong.

It is normal to have those feelings and you're not the only one. It makes me want to ask, is that something that you've experienced? I mean, less and less over time in the beginning, absolutely. Yes, like months into, you know, exploring polyamory. Yeah, like, is this for me?

Am I just doing this for my partner? You know, those kind of very paranoid sometimes thoughts like they're normal. They're normal to have. It doesn't mean, it doesn't mean that you don't belong where you are. It doesn't mean that you're not going to get any better. It's just feelings that you have and that we all deal with, you know.

Right, right. I've always wondered and part of that is then, yeah, the process of figuring that out through lived experience of seeing what feels good to you in this process. And I think it's definitely something that I've felt personally, right, or, you know, going to my first play party and then stepping out and being like, whoa, that was a lot. Maybe I'm monogamous and maybe this isn't for me, you know, and you have that thought. And at least for me, what has been interesting is to think about is what does monogamy mean? Because when I've had those moments, I don't truly want sexual fidelity.

That's not truly what I'm looking for. I've had to like ask myself, what is at the heart of what monogamy means to me, which it might mean closer security and more attachment, like all those sort of things that it kind of represents in my craving. And so I've been trying to sit with that when those moments do come up of wanting monogamy, but knowing intellectually that I don't, like what is it in that moment that is making me crave that?

Because I think there's something deeper, just like the one, the one penis policy, right? Like it's a thing we do, but like below it, what are the reasons why we're craving that in that moment? And there can be so much juicy content wrapped up in there when you start to look lower and deeper in terms of our attachment and connection needs with other people, what these things signify, and then can't we communicate that to our partner?

You know, I'm craving more connection, I'm craving more time together, I've, you know, all those sorts of things. Absolutely. Nail on the head. Yeah, yeah. What was so lovely to have you on today's podcast.

Let's plug all of your content that way people who are connecting with you, they want to see all of your memes, all of your reels, all of your YouTube content, confine your stuff. Yeah, and it was absolutely awesome to talk to you as well. I am Holly, am fam pretty much anywhere. TikTok is my biggest platform. I'm really, really working on that YouTube channel. I think like it is, there is a period where a little behind the curtain, there was a period where I only had a few videos sort of intentionally, and I just let them sit there and saw how they did without posting anything new. And like, unlike TikTok and Instagram, they just kept going, right? And I'm like, I let that go on for a little longer than I meant to and didn't post for like a year, but back on it.

I'm like determined because I do want to like dig into those more long form things. But yeah, I'm probably am fam on TikTok, on Instagram, on YouTube. I'm the polyam fam on Twitter, but I don't really post there at all, especially with all the Elon Musk stuff going on. But yeah, I have I, I just ordered brand new stickers that are, I don't want to give away too much, but they are based on the colors of the new polyamory pride flag. And I have two new stickers coming and I just have regular polyamory pride stuff that I'm going to be, you know, trying to get out there for a little cheaper than I usually do. But yeah, I have a shop, I'm also an artist. I make all of my own designs that are in my shop, polyam slash shop. I make all those designs.

And I have everything from like, you know, very, very loud about being polyamory to pretty subtle to where if you don't know what it is, maybe it doesn't even matter, or you can show it to anyone and whatever. Got nerdy designs, I got, yeah. You got it all. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. It was lovely to have you today and I'll have all of that linked below so people can go directly to your content, your community and your art. Yeah, thanks so much for having me. This was awesome.

Of course. Yeah, it was a lot of fun.

If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast and head on over to modern anarchy to get resources and learn more about all the things we talked about on today's episode. I want to thank you for tuning in and I will see you all next week.


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