the desire collective

a vain dilettante's collection of time-for-print photos and random sex-related musings. hey, it's not quite a collectivised artpr0n site yet, but we can dream. THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR ADULT READERS. IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 PLEASE GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND READ A BOOK. lemme know if i'm missing any cool links, or just write to me out of boredom! desirecollective[at]gmail[dot]com.

Friday, July 18, 2008

word of the week: jealousy

welcome to word of the week, wherein i take a word and explain how it relates to the safe, sane and consensual non-monogamous community. and today's a good one! this week's word is jealousy.

having been involved in, and privy to, more than my fair share of polydrama, i know a little something about jealousy. a lot of people in the non-monogamous community think jealousy in a polyamorous relationship is a myth, much like het people view bisexuality. well, my answer to both is the same: it does exist, deal with it. (in the case of het people sometimes i throw in a "fuck you" too, just for posterity. it's annoying to be told that your orientation doesn't exist.)

during my first forays into non-monogamous dating, i hit some stumbling blocks with jealousy. either my partner could not accept that i was sharing my body with someone else, or i felt displaced by a newer rival. the former, for me, had an easy solution. i've always disclosed myself as poly at the start of a relationship, but one particularly bad relationship with a monogamously-oriented guy led me to my my-way-or-the-highway rule: if one of my partners can't handle the fact that i will be sleeping with other people, i break it off. immediately. i've learned that it's best to end an incompatible relationship immediately after its fatal flaw manifests instead of waiting until you have to threaten to file a police report to get your shit back.

but what about when i'm the jealous one, i hear you ask? (humour me, the two people who read this blog.) let me tell you a story. about 1 or 2 months before i went to my first dark odyssey event, my primary relationship at the time imploded due to a perfect storm of jealousy, emotional insecurity, and a wicked STI scare coming from the source of my jealousy and insecurity. (we'll get to the scare in a later post.) yeah, it was mostly the guy's fault - had the amount of time he spent with me stayed the same or increased while he was initiating his new relationship, i may not have responded the way that i did when we found out that our sexual health was under threat. however, it was also partially my fault - had i taken the time to discuss my concerns with him, instead of bottling up my emotions and then lashing out at him when i felt vulnerable, he may have been more sensitive to my needs within the relationship.

jealousy can be difficult to work around, but it can also be a great way to open a discussion about your relationship. as anita wagner taught me at spring fire 2007, jealousy typically masks deeper problems in a relationship, such as lack of couple time, emotional distance or feelings of inadequacy. so now, when i find myself jealous of a partner's other partners, i ask myself why the other relationship is getting to me and whether or not i can make immediate changes in my behaviour to improve our relationship.

it's also important to ask questions if your partner appears to be jealous of another partner. the relationship may be working well for you, but perhaps your partner wants something more - more time to be together, greater intimacy or just a small reassurance that they occupy a special place in your life.

ultimately, i find that reassurance in general is the best way to combat jealousy. polyamory and nonmonogamy in general can be fraught with obstacles and drama, but the knowledge that this is the right lifestyle for you, and the reassurance that your partners love and trust you no matter who else they're seeing, goes a long way towards fighting the green-eyed monster trying to have a threesome with you and your partner.


Avah said...

Anita Wagner is the shit. For reals.

That jealously class this Winter Fire was so eye opening for me.

Anita Wagner said...

Thanks Avah - I'll take that as a compiment! I've never been referred to before as the shit, at least not in a good way. (grin)

Jeannette said...

really enjoyed this perspective on jealousy.. it's very helpful--