I talk about my life as a poly person a lot, but this week I want you to meet my poly pals Candy and MC. Candy and MC have been together for 10 years and married for 5. MC is 29, he's a graphic designer, and the ultimate Frisbee team that he plays for won a national championship in 2004. Candy is also 29, she's an independent personal trainer and she loves Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.
How do you structure your poly relationships?
MC: We are each other's primary partners, all other partners are secondary. If push comes to shove, our needs trump any other partner—but we try to keep things from getting to that point. If either of us feels weird about anything, we talk about it. The few times something has gone bad, it has been where some level of discontent was left to simmer instead of being aired out, and it eventually blew up.
CANDY: We don't have hard and fast rules, except that everyone needs to know what's going on. Last year I had a relationship that started taking too much time away from my relationship with MC. That was a good learning experience—I know now that I need to make sure we have not just enough time together, but that I have enough emotional and sexual energy to go around.
Do you both pursue other relationships in more or less the same way?
MC: We definitely have different styles. She regularly has multiple secondary relationships of varying levels of intensity and commitment, whereas my poly activity is more casual BDSM play. A lot of the difference is just our differences as people—forming and having relationships with people is a huge part of who she is, and I'm not as driven in that way. It's all cool, though—we both allow each other the same level of potential flexibility and range in being poly, regardless of how much is utilized.
Do you think you're "wired this way" or is being poly a choice?
MC: I don't think I'm wired this way—I could be monogamous if I had to be, but having been in a stable, successful poly relationship I certainly wouldn't go back willingly.
CANDY: I am absolutely wired this way and can't give it up. Trying to be everything for each other—I just don't think that's normal or healthy. Plus, he's not a girl, and I like girls.
How does being poly add something positive to your relationship and your life?
CANDY: On MC's birthday we went to a strip club and I bought him a lap dance. Before the dancer started she asked, "You're not going to get jealous, are you?" I smiled and said "No, go ahead and work him over!" He and I shared a smile and then I watched her do her thing. It was great to see the look on his face. I got super turned on and carried that energy into the rest of the night. We talked about how awesome the night was while we drove home. I told him about my feelings during his lap dance, and he told me how much more comfortable and natural it had felt than it would've a year ago—we were both psyched. We had sex and played for hours.
MC: There have certainly been the three- and foursomes, the wild sexual encounters, which are awesome. But a lot of the joy and sexiness we get from it is pretty everyday. Like flirting with someone in a coffee shop, or checking people out on the street—either alone or together. Having this sort of relationship really allows us to live as comes naturally to us. There's not that sense of keeping yourself in check around people you find attractive and have some chemistry with, and no paranoia as to whether or not your partner is doing the same. And, it's the sort of thing that I feel all the time, every day, and it adds so much sexiness to our relationship because there's nothing to hide, nothing to feel awkward or secretive about. I've heard monogamous people say the fun of those little things is that they are illicit—I suppose I can see that. But I'd rather flirt with someone because I think they're hot than because I'm not supposed to.
THURSDAY 9/22THE BEDROOM CLUB
Live burlesque shows, and pinup models to photograph. Suggested dress: pajamas or lingerie. Fenix Underground, 109 S Washington St, 405-4314, 8 pm, ladies free.
SATURDAY 9/24CLITORAL REVELATIONS
Teri Ciacchi conducts an educational exploration of the clitoris, using live models and illustrations. Wet Spot, firstname.lastname@example.org or 679-1610, 2 pm–6 pm, $35–$50.BEAR NIGHT
The Seattle Eagle likes 'em big and furry tonight. No cover with NW Bear, PDX Bear, or Vancouver Bear cards. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 9 pm, 21+.TANTRA TEMPLE PUJA
A puja is a tantric ritual celebrating the union of sex and spirit, and honoring the divine masculine and feminine in each of us. School of One, 523-5544 or www.schoolofone.com, 8 pm–midnight, $30 per person/$55 per couple, pre-registration required.
SUNDAY 9/25BOTTOMING SKILLS
Do you want to surrender to a partner's erotic demands? Learn about safe words, SM play, negotiation skills, and more from Jennifer of Libido Events. Wet Spot, email@example.com or 679-1610, 1 pm–3 pm, $20.ORAL AMBITIONS: CUNNILINGUS
Babeland Sex Educators Amber and Audrey discuss cunnilingus tips and tricks and share toys to tease and please. Open to all genders and orientations. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30.
MONDAY 9/26MONDAY METAL MADNESS!
Indulge your kink for head-banging noise and adolescent emotion at Monday Metal Madness, this week featuring Fatalis, Triad, and Waking Hour. Central Saloon, 207 First Ave S, 622-0209, 9 pm. $5, 21+.