Poly And Us

I have been married for nearly 8 years. Our relationship has always been poly, it is very fluid and flexible. We discuss everything and we always know where we stand. I recently realised that I think so little now on how this relationship works because it does naturally and very well due to the way we are. This is probably not productive to any new relationships I enter into, as I don’t give enough information about how I think poly works, resulting in confusion and crossed wires.

I decided it might be a good idea to sit and talk things through with my husband, to make sure we are on the same page still and so I can clearly define things to people who need the details. We decided to write it down so its easy to share.

We have come to this agreement of how poly works for us over a number of years, many things have changed over that time but most is the same as when we started out, we possibly have less rules now and things are more guidelines with flexibility.

  • Any type of relationship is allowed, to any level.
  • We do not need to be each others singularly most important relationship, steady partners are all equal, their needs and feelings are just as important.
  • At the beginning of a relationship partners are allowed to give their opinion on potential partners and veto them within reason.
  • All new partners must be told about current partners and must be poly positive. Details of other relationships must be given if asked.
  • Relationships are allowed to form and progress naturally, without limitations on how far they can go.
  • We do not become involved with anyone who is not respectful of current relationships. Everyone must continue this respect.
  • We communicate about everything, often and honestly. If there is any fear, jealousy or other problems we discuss it and deal with things as soon as possible finding solutions that benefit everyone if possible.
  • We are mainly out about our being poly, there are a few exceptions to this, it is preferred if potential partners are also out.
  • We have no issues with seeing partners being affectionate or them doing so publically.
  • There are no sexual comparisons made, it is not a contest.
  • We try our best to find time for all partners, making sure everyone gets enough attention. There is no cancelling on one partner to spend time with another.

Safety rules

  • Condoms/protection must be used by all partners outside of the marriage.
  • We must get regularly tested, if possible exposure to STD happens all partners must be notified immediately.
  • All play must be performed as safely as possible.
  • Edge play is only allowed in committed relationships.

Why I am poly

I have always been poly. It comes naturally to me. I believe whole heartedly in love, it is a beautiful wonderful thing. I believe it lasts forever, there is no one I have ever told I loved who I don’t still love. I know my feelings for one person do not change my feelings for someone else. My love is not limited. I feel intimacy adds quality to my life and I do not want to limit the ways in which I can be intimate with people.

I tried monogamy briefly, it made me feel very restricted. My usual ways of showing affection over step the boundaries of most monogamous relationships. I feel like I am having to change who I am to fit someone else’s standards.

I am a very sexual person with a variety of wants and needs, which are much better fulfilled by multiple people.

Hypersexuality, Sexual Addiction and Bipolar

I am not sure at all how to start this piece. I wasn’t told about hypersexuality with my original list of things bi polar can cause because I was too young for anyone to want to talk to me about it. This meant that when I first started having sexual relationships I thought my behaviour was normal. It was at least 10 years before I found out this wasn’t the case. I changed psychiatrists and we talked about sex, something no other therapist had done.

My new psychiatrist told me that lots of things pointed towards the fact I at times had both types of sexual dysfunction common with bi polar sufferers. Sometimes I am incapable of arousal and sometimes I am hypersexual. My patterns of sexual behaviour were linked to my mental illness, how could I have not seen it? Why had no one told me? What did it mean? What could I do? I had so many questions. We started working through them. This is my journey a question at a time.

How could I not have seen it?

I don’t know how a normal mind works, I don’t see in other people’s heads. There was nothing for me to base my judgement on. I didn’t even know hypersexuality was a thing. I couldn’t possibly know I had it.

Why had no one told me?

I can’t say this for sure but I know my first therapist didn’t want to talk sex with a child, I was diagnosed young. Now the therapist who should have told me about it I will never understand why he didn’t. I think maybe it was because he thought everything could be fixed with drugs.

What did it mean?

It means I have a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy and behaviours. This is apparently (I don’t agree with some of It) why I have had a large number of sexual partners, get into awkward situations sexually, have had a partner just for sex, can’t think properly after a few days without sex, get aggressive after a few days without sex, can’t sleep without sexual release, need a lot of physical contact, dress provocatively, dance in a sexual manner, am flirtatious, am into fetishism and enjoy sadomasochism.

What could I do about it?

I can accept my addiction, look at its cycle and consequences. Make a moral inventory of my behaviour and see what I personally think were bad sexual decisions. I can look back and see if my sexual behaviour has been harmful to others and make my apologies for it.

I can try and take control of my hypersexuality. Once I know it’s patterns I can watch out for it and try to avoid things that will increase the chance of my making a bad sexual decisions.

To help with this I can avoid drugs, alcohol, dressing sexually, flirting, intimate situations, people I have sexual connections with, dancing sexually, and any risky situations. I can also try and find other ways to relax, write down my feelings and see if there are other physical activities that give me and equal release.

No longer visibly self harming doesnt mean I have stopped

I am told most people self harm when things aren’t good or when they are depressed. This isn’t how it is for me. I self harm when I am anything. Any strong feeling is enough to make me self harm. I used to be a classic self harmer, cutting, burning and banging myself, there were times when everything dangerous was taken away from me and then I would resort to scratching and biting. I have needed stitches due to my self harm. this is no longer the case.

I guess I need to back track a little bit or a lot here.

I have bipolar, ocd, and an anxiety disorder and that’s just for starters. I am healthier than I have ever been mentally and am now almost completely unmedicated. I was diagnosed at 16 which is 11 years ago now. The problem was there a long time before that though. By the time I was diagnosed I knew there was definitely something strange in the way I handled my emotions. I hated them. I never seemed to feel anything in moderation. I was an all or nothing type of girl all my feelings came in extreme doses. I was never simply happy I was ecstatic but more often than this I just wanted to curl up and die.

Then there were the meds that took all these feelings away but the left me with nothing and I felt more lost than I ever had. I felt alone. A stranger in my own mind. Disconnected from everything. I couldn’t live on the meds so I had to try and work through all of the emotions and try to work out ways to keep my head in a moderate place I worked hard to keep my emotions in check. I have found ways to do this I now mainly feel a normal range of feelings. I am capable of being an average level of sad about something and it not destroying me. I can like something without obsession. Neither of these things would have been possible at the beginning of my fight with mental illness. I am proud of how far I have come but this process comes with its own problems. When an intense feeling comes along I don’t trust it. I try to rid myself of it which isn’t always the right thing to do some feelings should be allowed to stay. Some feelings don’t need to be pushed down and hidden.

Love is an example of this. Love is intense because it should be not because there is something wrong with me. It isn’t meant to be a mediocre feeling. This is the kind of feeling that makes me self harm now. I don’t know how to handle it. It over powers my brain. I would do almost anything to make the out of control feeling go away. This is where my new forms of self harm come into play. Now I self harm by sabotaging my life, I try to make those I love hate me, I push them away, I find myself screaming and shouting. I want them far away from me because the pain would be easier to deal with than something as unpredictable as love. I will never trust love. It over powers my senses and doesn’t behave how I tell it to.

So I hide from people who tell me they love me. People are ditched and ignored for being too affectionate. I hurt those who love me and myself in the process. When things are great I don’t know what to do so I self harm in far more discrete manners than ever before. I take the good out of my life because I don’t trust my feelings if I think I am too happy. I self harm for control over my brain still but in a totally new way. I don’t know if this evolution is a good thing I am no longer physically scarring myself but I am hurting others along with me and that worries me.

Over the last couple of years this evolved self harm has caused a loss of friends, lovers and even a job. I am so grateful for those who choose to stick around. Those who fight through my pushing them away. I can not even begin how my behaviour must make them feel sometimes. It must be hard knowing there may be no end to this. I have had several types of therapy some of which has helped immensely, for example its been years since my last suicide attempt and I am not self harming on a daily basis, but nothing seems to help with this problem. No therapy can make me trust me, my emotions or my brain. I have been taught I shouldn’t be trusted by so many therapists and the things I read about my illness. Maybe they are right……….

modelling

So a little while ago I started doing photo shoots with photographers who I knew and asked me nicely. One of them suggested I join a modelling website, they thought I would do really well I was totally unsure.

I braved the applications etc and I did it. It has been an amazing confidence building experience so far. I am aware that I am not size 8, 6 foot perfectly toned beauty, so I don’t take offence when that’s what someone is looking for, I get passed over a lot because of this and I am completely ok with that. I am relatively happy with myself the way I am and it would appear so are many others. Within a week of joining the site I had 8 bookings and many more responses.

I was so nervous when I went for the first shoot I have ever done with a photographer I hadn’t met before, but it went wonderfully. Ideas were flowing we tried lots of different things. I am so excited I have only seen a few of the resulting photos but I love them I am so happy right now and excited to see what will come next.

UPDATE

Since this I have shot with lots of photographers and had paid work. I love it. I am more body confident than ever. I like bits of me I used to hate. I have tried looks I never would have thought of.