I’ve been trying more vigorously to finish Opening Up by Tristan Taormino which, if you don’t know, is all about non-monogamy. I started it months ago but have yet to finish it because I keep picking up other books in the meantime (mostly ones I have to review).
In Opening Up defining a relationship is emphasized, but not in order to box in or pin down a relationship (because the ability to revise or change the relationship at any time is also emphasized) but in order to make sure that everyone within the relationship is in agreement and happy with where it is and how it’s progressing and feeling and working.
Basically, communication is key, and though that’s true in every relationship it can be exponentially trickier in non-monogamous relationships to make sure that everyone is happy with everything that’s going on.
Part of successful communication can be coming to agreement on terms and labels used for certain interactions and activities. I like labels as long as they are recognized as flexible and subject to change. While terms don’t dictate a relationship one can use terms to define a relationship as close to accurately as possible.
Sometimes defining a relationship is a useful tool to use to check in with everyone in that relationship and make sure everyone is on the same wavelength. I’m over-explaining a bit, I realize, but I have a point to make, promise.
The reason I bring this up is because this morning I changed my FetLife profile information from reading “Polyamorous with Onyx93” and “It’s Complicated with MarlaSinger” in the “relationship status” portion and “Switches with Onyx93” and nothing defined with MarlaSinger in the “D/s relationship status” portion to what is below.
Little changes on social networking sites like this aren’t really a big deal in some ways, but they definitely do mark a change in the way I’ve been thinking about our relationship that I’m able to actually put that we’re in a relationship quite solidly. I do feel like we’re more solidly in relationship territory rather than the “getting to know you” or “friends who are interested in each other” territory which is where we’ve been for a while, even without the presence of gettin’ down and dirty.
I’m not really sure what the distinction between “In a Relationship and Polyamorous with Onyx93” and “In an Open Relationship with MarlaSinger” really is but I think it has something to do with the stages each of those relationships are in.
Onyx and I are very much set in our relationship, though that’s not to say we’re stagnant or unsatisfying. We’ve been together for about four years and have been living together for over two and a half of that. While we still have our bumps and explorations for the most part we’re really very solid in where our relationship is, which is also why we’re able to start branching out into other relationships. I am in a relationship with him and we are also polyamorous, that’s just how I see it.
Maybe part of the difference too is because Marla and I are long-distance and still exploring the beginning stages of our relationship. To me, indicating that we are in an open relationship also indicates less permanence in our relationship as opposed to being polyamorous in a relationship. That’s not to say our relationship isn’t permanent but it’s not as set as my relationship with Onyx because we are still discovering nuances and facets of each other that are new and unexpected and discovering the ways in which we fit together.
These are just the distinctions my brain is making between the two terms, of course, and I wouldn’t force these definitions on anyone else, they’re just what work for me.
We are still slowly progressing in our own long-distance way, which is really enjoyable and wonderful but also frustrating because, well, it’s long distance.
We’re constantly getting more sexual with each other, getting to that next step, moving beyond the “abstractly sexual” talk of toys and such to much more personal talk of desires and where we think we fit together. It’s fantastic, and I find myself fantasizing about being with her (my latest Microfantasy Monday post was in many ways inspired by her) but I’m also getting anxious for the next sexual step.
Neither of us seem terribly desirous of engaging in sexual activities online or on the phone, preferring to wait until we meet to explore the physical sexuality with each other, but the desire and the drive to do so is slowly becoming more and more apparent. This is definitely a good thing, but also a frustrating thing.
I’m confident that it will unfold in a way that works, though, and really have hardly any doubts or worries about the relationship and how it is progressing. It almost seems too easy sometimes, too perfect for my overlyanalytical brain to handle, but it felt like this with Onyx as well and look how that turned out…
Also, Marla wrote a delightful, adorable, and fantastic post on her blog that you should read in the same style as my five things that make me constantly and undeniably happy.