Mar 28, 2010


I read an article in The Lavender Lens, (a San Diego lesbian oriented magazine) that dealt with the lesbian relationship cycle. It's advice in breaking that cycle was to become part of a multi-person relationship.

I read this article over a month ago and am just now finding a fraction of the words I want to say. I am for this idea, I am against this idea. My own personal beliefs and my wish for mainstream society to accept LGBT relationships are at war with each other and themselves. This idea of a relationship is tearing me apart, mostly because it makes me question my foundational beliefs.

Do I want to get married? Am I a monogamous person? Can I love more than one person at a time? There are so many aspects of a multi-partner relationship that I can really see myself fitting into. Economically, it's a fabulous idea. However, mainstream American society has not been very accepting of multi-person relationships in the past.

(Can I just jump in here with how I'm reluctant to use the word threesome? It seems so sexual when I'm actually talking about a full relationship, more than just for sexual gratification. Does anyone have a better word for this?)

One of my biggest fears? I'm worried that by moving toward multi-partnerships, gay marriage would lose ground and be dismissed entirely. For those who are monogamous, a majority shift to multi-person relationships could ruin their chances of the happy marriage that they have always wanted.

I also have felt disgust for polygyny (the relationship consisting of one husband for multiple wives) in the past. While hopefully a multi-partner relationship in the queer community would promote equality among the parties involved, I worry that a weaker partner could feel exploited. Then there is jealousy, who loves who more, time spent together and apart.

I know I have felt extreme love for more than one person at a time before, but can a relationship with more than two parties really last? Would I want it to last? Do I believe in being in a relationship that would span the majority of my lifetime, or do I wish to experience a series of meaningful relationships with many different people?

The Lavender Lens proposed a model where each person in the relationship has their own bedroom in the house. It is a sanctuary. Permission would be asked to enter a room or engage in sexual activity. This part of the model makes me feel safe. Safe because I would have control over what sexual situations I want to participate and when. If one person is better at handling me while I'm emotional, I could go to her for comfort and cuddling. If I'm in a particular mood and crave a specific kind of sex, I could go to another person for that. If I wanted multiple partners, or for all of us to be together, I could request that they come into my room. They can say no, I can say no; everything is within our own personal control. I love the idea of that.

Expect more pros and cons as I mentally think this through, day after day.

To be continued...

Here is a link to Part 2.

1 comment:

  1. My impression is that the standard word for a three-person relationship is "triad."

    I feel like the losing-ground-for-gay-marriage argument is a dangerous one. If there's a majority shift away from monogamous relationships, wouldn't that indicate a problem with prioritizing marriage, and therefore prioritizing the recognition of monogamous queer relationships over multipartner relationships? Monogamous gay politics often takes a worrying "us first" attitude towards polyamorous lifestyles, just as cis gay politics sometimes does toward trans folks.

    The marriage debate in general tends to do this -- many of the rights associated with marriage are things that people in nonmonogamous relationships want and deserve, and even that single people want and deserve. People sometimes neglect the need to challenge why it makes sense to be restricting these rights to people in particular kinds of relationships in the first place, in the process of trying to expand the category of relationships to which they're restricted -- and by doing so, they can leave out not only poly people but asexuals and single people.