SL Letter of the Day: Girlfriend, Interrupted


Sounds like a booty call.
Weird first sentence:
"I'm a straight guy, but I met a beautiful, wonderful transwoman a year ago."
What does he thinks happened, being with a transwoman made him bi?
@1 no, sounds like they care about each other a lot. Enough to tell each other the truth about their feelings.

The LW is upset and should take some time to collect himself. It hurts to find out that the relationship isn't headed where you thought it was heading... but drinking yourself into oblivion probably isn't called for here. Think about whether you can be friends and/or lovers, or if that would hurt too much and you need to establish more distance until you feel better.
Just a thought as someone who has done both poly and monogamous relationships. The woman in question sounds polycarnal as opposed to polyamorous. While a lot of poly-a folks are pretty good about the poly-c folks they know and love it's a much harder change for someone who is monogamous to make. I feel pretty bad for the guy but I hope he gives it a chance but isn't afraid to step back when and if he feels that it's not for him.
Usually "not wanting to prioritize one person over another" means not wanting to prioritize YOU in particular. She'd probably be pretty quick to prioritze the right person. Just deal with it and have fun, or move on.
@2, well, no, but I think I read on this blog that it does make him at the very least queer, or not exclusively attracted to the cisgendered. Or something. There is a distinction, without there being any transphobia.
If he has really strong feelings for her, it's probably time to cut his losses. If it were just that he kind of liked her and thought there might be something more, that would be one thing. But if he really was falling hard for her, doing a non-exclusive, non-primary type thing is probably just going to bring him nothing but heartbreak and frustration.

Plus consciously or not he is going to hope that she'll come around, and that is going to impede him from going out and finding someone who is interested in the kind of relationship he wants.

Better to just cut ties and move on.
no Slog on gay marriage in WA?
Tough stuff! Good luck to the letter writer in making their choice!
Maybe. It's hard to say without knowing her personally whether she means exactly what she says, or if it's an attempt to let you down gently. I'd just ask directly--do you still want to see me? If so, under what terms? Then you can decide if those terms are acceptable to you.
I'n my humble opinion, people who need and want things that are out of the standard assumptions have a responsibility to mention that earlier on than 2 months, or when feelings start to deeply engage.

That's the downfall of living an alternative lifestyle. When you start to involve people in your world who are not accustomed to your ways, if you respect them and don't want to see them hurt, then you do the adult thing and be transparent about your intentions.

That all aside, maybe she didn't realize he was as serious as she now, 2 months in, can see? He also carries a responsibility to be transparent about hopes, dreams, needs etc, sooner than later, if you start to realize feelings are growing.

Bottom-line: communication is key.
This guy needs to move on. I've been in his situation before (not with a transperson), and it's no fun at all. It feels like being dumped, even though it technically isn't. What it IS is a red light with klaxons going off, warning that the woman he cares about doesn't care about him with even close to the same fervor. He needs to run, not walk.
I agree with @4 that this could possibly be a "she's just not that into you" situation. Not that it would change the advice Dan gave.
I'm hip to the poly scene, so what your gf says can be taken at face value. That being said, all I hear is "I'm gonna fuck you until I find someone better. Don't wait up for me while I hunt."
Oh, and there are so many women (and transwomen, if he is specifically interested in transwomen) looking for a guy like this guy, that he should get out of there, unless he can successfully kill off all romantic feelings for her. Otherwise being with her is going to really hurt him.
If this guy hasn't been dumped, he's definitely been downgraded.

I'm guessing she is perfectly capable of prioritizing one person above everyone else, provided she finds the right person.
I guess she "deserves some credit" for waiting less than two years to tell him this, but it seems like she could have told him sooner than a few months into the relationship when he was already falling in love with her, especially when she sounds so definite about what she wants. It's also sad that, as a "disciple" of Dan's, this guy's been led to believe that exclusivity is a "ridiculous thing", even though he wants an exclusive relationship. Hey LW, your desires aren't ridiculous! You shouldn't compromise what you want in order to make someone else happy.
@2: What does he thinks happened, being with a transwoman made him bi?

If the transwoman in question has a penis, and this guy was into said penis, wouldn't that make him at least a little bi?
In my humble opinion, people who need and want things that are out of the standard assumptions have a responsibility to mention that earlier on than 2 months, or when feelings start to deeply engage.

That's the downfall of living an alternative lifestyle. When you start to involve people in your world who are not accustomed to your ways, if you respect them and don't want to see them hurt, then you do the adult thing and be transparent about your intentions.

That all aside, maybe she didn't realize he was as serious as she now, 2 months in, can see? He also carries a responsibility to be transparent about hopes, dreams, needs etc, sooner than later, if you start to realize feelings are growing.

Bottom-line: communication is key.
He didn't mention "what happened two minutes beforehand". He may have asked for some sort of exclusivity, and she said "no".

Nice to see Dan keeping up his batting records of corrects, though.
I like that the fact of her trans identity was in no way relevant. No, really. It's just a thing that is. Doesn't matter much here beyond it being background information on the relationship.

That said, I think the LW should dump her ass. If he wants a different kind of relationship than she does, trying to stick it out will only end up hurting him in the long run. I feel for the guy, but we're not always a good match for the people our hearts and hormones tell us to want.
Leave and find someone who wants the same thing(s) you want, LW. No point staying in a relationship where both of you are looking for different things.
I am a poly person who doesn't want to "prioritize one person above anybody else" (although that's not quite how I say it), and I've got a partner who feels the same. Right now we're really close, and in some ways we feel like primary partners, but we're both happier not labeling our relationship as "primary." I've got another partner who really wants a primary partner, and I've made it crystal clear to him that I can't be that person for him, so he's looking for a primary partner (his other girlfriend might end up being that person), and sees me as a secondary partner. There are all kinds of healthy ways to be polyamorous without having a primary partner.

I think that ATGDMIO's partner failed at clearly communicating the situation to him in a timely fashion (I don't know where the communication breakdown was, but there was one). I think it's helped my communication greatly that my new partners know that I currently have other partners. Everybody knows that polyamorous people in primary relationships have secondary partners, right? So if you start out in a situation where the new person seems like a secondary partner, I think it's easier to communicate that primary partnership is not going to happen.

When I describe my relationship style, I prefer to say that I don't want to make rules about my future emotions. Right now, I've got two really good relationships going, and I think the best way for me to nurture those relationships and myself is to let those relationships change over time.

I really liked Dan's answer, but I do want to say something directly at ATGDMIO:

There isn't one way to do polyamory. It's not normal to be polyamorous, and being disinterested in having a primary partner is a minority way to be polyamorous. But that doesn't make it any less real, any less important, any less of what your girlfriend actually wants (assuming she's telling the truth, but what she's telling you is all you've got to go on).
Drinking oneself into the next world can be a pedagogical experience. I still don't want to couch it in such terms of ignoble--advantage. So many people worry about long life. So many people live only to wake with the sun the following morning, their only care being the continued normal operation of the universe. We could well do with death--Ragnarok, whatever. So bitter, overly saccharine is our enlightened complacency.
I don't find it hard to believe she doesn't want a primary partner. Look at the Opera Carmen -- it's been a thing for, well, a while.

Whether she'd feel differently if "the right one" came along doesn't matter.
@5, @15, @17: Why assume the woman is waiting for the "right one"? There are folks who don't believe there's somebody for everybody, and they choose to not commit/obligate themselves to another person. There's more to life than just coupling.
ATGDMIO, here's the short analysis of your predicament:

You can't have what you want, but you can have what she wants.

It's up to you to decide whether you want that as well.
Yep, you've been dumped from everything more than fuckbuddy-hood.

Run. People who say this are, IME, cold and manipulative; what they want is to keep a harem of people that they're more powerful than. As has been said, if she actually liked you she'd find a way to make that matter, and she's being very clear that won't happen.

I know plenty of folk who are poly without having primaries, and the ones who are capable of love don't talk like this.

The problem with dating someone like this is that as long as you're in her stable, you'll live by her rules. Technically she's not requiring you to be exclusive or "prioritize" her either, but in practice no one who's up for an actual relationship will want anything to do with you. If she walks the walk she's talking, rest assured she's already got a reputation that'll make you radioactive to anyone sane.
Other commenters are missing the significance of his opening words: "I'm a straight guy, but . . . "

What those opening words reveal is superiority. He *deigned* to form a relationship with her, despite her obvious handicaps and disabilities--that's what a saintly human he is, the Florence Nightingale of heterosexuals--and instead of being grateful for and indebted by his magnanimity, she is asserting a different preference! He is shocked, shocked that inferiors could dismiss the altruistic benevolence of their betters.

Facing up to one's own prejudice is difficult, especially by those falsely prideful about lacking it . . .
Am I the only one who thinks this sounded like the modern day equivalent of "It's not you, it's me"?

Kathleen Parker recently grumped that “open marriage” is "a stale phrase from the silly ’70s..." This letter writer speaks of an "open relationship"? Is that a stale phrase, too?

I think I've seen both phrases used regularly in 'Savage Love'. It appears Ms. Parker reads Mr. Savage's column since she recently wrote, "He (Santorum) also has suffered some of the cruelest attacks of anyone in the blood sport of politics, some so vile that they don’t merit repetition here. Suffice to say, those who have attacked him personally couldn’t hold up Santorum’s socks in a contest of personal honor."

It would appear she's as wrong about the term "open marriage" as she is about Santorum's chances in a contest of "personal honor".

Are you sure drinking heavily while you're down is a good idea? For me it is the best way to make a bad thing worse. OTOH, going out and socializing with friends, and alternating alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, might do more good.

Good Luck.
I fall squarely into "unable to prioritize love." To me, either someone's happiness is integral to yours....or it is not. There is no, "I'll be okay if I make this person a little miserable to make this other a little happy."

What I prioritize are responsibilities. Right now, those responsibilities are to my dependent children, so I feel more responsibility to be healthy and have a healthy relationship with their father over anyone else. And anyone who doesn't get that is not a good fit for me.

But, no, I cannot honestly say that I love my husband more than my boyfriend. And my boyfriend gets it, which is why he's still around.
Am I the only one who thought that having multiple sex partners with casual relationships doesn't sound weird at all, but is in fact the (frequently untrue) stereotype of how all men approach relationships? Is the LW confused because it's a woman who wants that in this case?
@2: "What does he thinks happened, being with a transwoman made him bi?"

@19 I agree with seander, it sort of depends on the state of the transwoman in question. And also might depend on what activities they engage in. If there hasn't been any lower modifications and if he's enjoying those unmodified parts in certain ways, he could be or have become at least a little bi.

I used to know a transwoman who had large unmodified male parts. Her boyfriend liked to be receptive of the largest of said parts. I'd say this made him a little bi.
your fwb dumped you

it's not the end of the world
She sounds awful.

Basically she is saying, "I wanna be a big ho bag and feelings drag me down and interfere with my ho baggedness," except she likes to use fancy passive aggressive words to feel better about her HoBag status.

Dump her.
There may be such people who are genuinely uninterested in a primary partner. However, I think that it's more likely that this trans-lady was probably trying to say was she's "just not that into you".

Also I agree with others who say that if you're into a transwoman you're probably at least bi or heteroflexible- not straight (not that there's anything wrong with that).
One aspect that I don't think I've seen anyone mention is that a transwoman may have particular reasons for putting up walls against ordinary romantic relationships.

Was our LW envisioning the possibility of marriage & children with his girlfriend, or was he just envisioning a couple of years of good times? Of course, 2 months is too early to know about marriage... but if she has been burned by trusting men before, finding out that they never really thought of her as marriage/motherhood material, she may very well have come up with this line (convincing herself in the process) to protect herself from heartbreak.

This doesn't really help him, except that if he really feels she is the one for him, his soul mate, he might try to persuade her that he is serious by talking about permanent things like marriage and children. She may still not be interested, but it's ever-so-slightly possible that she had just given up on the possibility of someone she cared about caring for her in that way.
@12/18 "people who need and want things that are out of the standard assumptions have a responsibility to mention that earlier on than 2 months"

Um, he wrote "I knew that all her previous relationships had been open or polyamorous."

So, yeah, maybe she should have emphasized exactly how she does poly. But he's not even sure if they were dating or just fucking. So maybe they've just fucked a handful of times, and there's a lot she hasn't told him about how she gets through life.
@34 Just looking for some clarification. You state what your boyfriend knows and understands, but not what your husband thinks, knows, and understands. Is your husband aware of your feelings/attitude and does he get it like your boyfriend does or is he oblivious? Are you in an explicitly open marriage? You have a boyfriend, does your husband have one or more girl/boy friends? You make it clear that your primary commitment is to your dependent children, not your husband. Is the same true for him? Do you hear what you want to hear and not what your husband is or is not saying. Men don't always say what they really think or feel (as if that is any surprise).
Mr Horstman - Without backup from the letter, that comes off as a bit nasty, or as if at least you've been on the same wave for a really long time.
I definitely sympathize, as I was in a similar situation once. I really liked this woman--before we really became involved we even had a talk about not wanting to be in a relationship, yet somehow it didn't sink into my head that she meant she didn't want to try monogamy (in part at least because she was bad at it, for which I don't blame her). What I thought she (or I) were saying is a mystery to me, now.

I chalk it up to lack of experience, not only with non-monogamous arrangements, but with dating in general. Also: seems like straight guys can be pretty dumb (even--or especially--smart ones), very thickheaded when it comes to infatuation...

Anyway, a little while later another conversation made it clear what the deal was, so I realized I needed to break it off. Lucky or my own emotional state we hadn't been sexual, as I attach too easily (and badly enough without sex involved)--that conversation actually came just in time, as we probably would've done some things that very night.
It wasn't an accident that she checked in on that account to make sure I really knew what I was getting into first, so major props to her and her communication skills.

Shame that it went the way it did I sometimes think. Would have been cool to be just friends, but I couldn't live down my own stupidity. Oh well, I'm pretty sure an open or non-monogamous arrangement wouldn't have worked for me.
The importance of sexual compatibility to a relationship is a given, as you would expect from a sex advice column. However, emotional compatibility is even more important. No matter how great the sex, a relationship can also fail if the emotional needs aren't fulfilled.
@2, 19, 36:

Maybe he just mentions that she is a transwoman to make clear that he is not closed-minded as a lot of straight guys are thought to be, especially if they then go on about wanting a monogamous/ traditional partner.

If she has a penis, and he likes that specifically, wouldn't that make him queer rather than bi?
@41 -- Dude, I never said that what she wanted was outside of standard assumptions, or that people should be making standard assumptions in the first place. I think if you're a self-possessed person who knows what you want -- which this woman sounds like she does -- why play coy about it for even a few months while fucking around with someone? Then again, I can't imagine myself developing any kind of sexual relationship -- be it fucking a few times or whatever -- with someone I didn't even feel comfortable enough having an honest conversation with about that type of thing.
No, ATGDMIO, you weren't just dumped, but you definitely just had the industrial steel blast doors slammed in your face concerning further entry. Do not waste your time trying to get inside.

You can still be fuck-buddies if you want that, but don't spend any effort trying to become more special to her. She just told you, she doesn't do special. You are, at absolute best, on par with the other boys in her stable, and she just told you that is where she intends to keep you. That's no foundation on which to build a relationship. If she doesn't value or your interests above others, then frankly she puts your interests at risk, by potentially valuing others interests fully as highly as yours. Do not attempt to partner with that. Might just as well pull someone off the street and sign over power of attorney.

Honestly, though? Don't still be fuck buddies. You want, in your own words, "to have a special connection with [a] woman, to put her first, and have that reciprocated." Go find a woman who wants that too -- and most women who want that aren't going to be interested in a guy who claims to want that but is still trying to hold onto what he had with the last girlfriend.

Let her go, and put your energies where they will bear fruit.
@21: Yep, the two minutes leading up to this conversation are probably materially significant. If they consisted of him asking for an escalation, and she was saying no to that, then it was fair warning that she doesn't do monogamy worth a shit.

If, on the other hand, she initiated it out of the blue, it most likely means she recently found herself a new flavor of the month; is giving notice that she is either intending to sleep with him tomorrow night, or is sleeping with him already; and that Letter Writer is now not even entitled to the benefits of being Mr. New Relationship Energy.
Lots of poly people have more than one main partner. Just because you don't want to make any of them the primary one doesn't mean that it's a booty call, that she doesn't care about him, that he's being dumped or downgraded, that she doesn't love him, or that anything at all has changed in their relationship.

It just means you don't want one primary partner.

Is there this much misunderstanding about poly? Are poly people who don't want one primary that rare?
@35: It doesn't sound like it's casual, just that she doesn't want to choose a primary. It sounds like a serious boyfriend-girlfriend relationship to me.
"Your girlfriend isn't interested in having a primary partner, as the poly kids say."

This response is in fact very wrong. "I don't want to prioritize" means a different thing in fact: that this woman is not interested in distinguishing between primaries, secondaries, tertiaries and so on - but that instead, she wants *everyone* to be her primary (at least if you, like me, think that the meaning of the word "secondary" implies there is at least one primary).

Sorry Dan, but you too apparently have to learn a few more things about poly.
Accept it as the status or move on, do not pretend to accept it, or convince yourself to accept it, actually ACCEPT it, or move on.
@46: ding ding ding!!

She says, in other words, "I can't/won't meet your emotional needs because my idea of a relationship makes you miserable." How is this not a break up convo? Even if she didn't break up with him, if she cared the slightest bit about him, she would have because he is obviously not interested in a "no one person above all" poly relationship, and the idea of it is painful to him. She is putting him in a cowardly and unfair position, because he would and *is* prioritizing her above others right now. She has the upper hand emotionally, but won't be the one to pull the plug.

LW might not have the strength or will to peace out now, but he'll wish in however many months it takes that he had a long time ago.
This sounds like the normal dating process. People date for 2 months before seeing where they stand. You don't marry everyone you date. She sensed that he was getting more emotionally involved with her than she was comfortable with so she put the brakes on. This is just "where do you see this relationship going?" That's normal, right?
This is to me just like situations in which two people have mismatched libidos: they may like each other very much in other areas, but are now facing the fact that, at the sexual level, they don't click.

If this woman really can't live with a primary partner; and if the LW really can't live as a not-better-than-other-partners partner; then their relationship can't go further. Both he and is gf have to examine themselves and see if they're willing to compromise; if they can, they'll have to live with their compromise; and if they can't... well, it's a big world, full of fascinating people in it.
I disagree with the comments that seem to condemn the LW's girlfriend for not wanting to prioritize someone ('that's not a way to build a relationship', says avast2006, I think). We would never say that about friends -- even best friends -- who can also have as many friends, in common with us or not, as they want, without this implying that we can't have a meaningful and even deep relationship. The same can be true with sexual partners, if you are the kind of person that the LW's girlfriend is.

Of course we don't know anything about her. But she might be the kind of person who would be much more 'there' for him if he needed her than many a manipulative person whose sole claim to honesty is a preference for monogamy. She might also not be. We don't know.

The problem is not that one of these two people is being 'bad.' As far as I can tell, both the LW and his girlfriend acted correctly. Two months is actually not so much time (they've had sex on, what - 10 occasions? 12? 8?); the LW's girlfriend revealed details about her life right from the beginning (the LW knew her previous relationships had all been poly), and they had a conversation about monogamy, exclusivity etc. early on. Everything seems to have happened as it should.

The only problem is that they disagree on what their relationship should look like. Inasmuch as this is a deal-breaker for the LW, things should stop here. If the LW can't be 'non-prioritizable' and if his girlfriend can't learn to prioritize for him, then, since nobody has been unethical, they should part ways as friends.
What should a relationship look like? I am picturing a lovely couple, going out, having a good laugh, and then the other partner in the couple going out the next night with someone else. Is this a problem? Only if you don't like to share.
What should a relationship look like? I am picturing a lovely couple, going out, having a good laugh. And then one person going out the next night, with someone else. Is it a problem? Only if you don't like to share.
I disagree with Dan here, and I think that the letter writer's instincts are correct. "I can't prioritize..." sounds like a hipster version of "It's not you, it's me."

At the very least, the two of you have very different ideas about what constitutes a relationship. It's probably best that you both move on.
It doesn't make him fucking bi.

Maybe he is bi, in which case he would be attracted (in some way, romantically or sexually, however it works for him) to men, or to a man. You're not taking into account the women's feelings about her (theoretical) dick. Maybe she relates to it as more or less a permanent strap on - inconvenient at times, devastating at others (because it's seen as something she doesn't see it as, because it's considered male when an identical but plastic one wouldn't be). If a cis girl can peg her boyfriend and not make him gay, but a trans girl can't do the exact same fucking thing... and that's assuming penetration is on the table. For many women, erections become impossible with hormones, and even before that point, many women find penetrating other people traumatic because those women do associate their penises with a maleness they've never felt or wanted or been able to escape from. He didn't fucking mention any details there, so your assumptions are really fucking offensive.

No, commenter who said being attracted to non-cis people makes you queer. No. If you're a man attracted exclusively to androgynous or boyish women - to muscular, athletic women or women who had stereotypically butch hair or women with boyish frames - that would be a straight preference. If you're attracted to those people and to men, then yeah. If the attraction is to masculinity in people, or if there's something else going on, then sure, maybe you're queer. But if you're a man attracted exclusively to women, even unfeminine-looking women? Fucking no.

Dan, a while back you rolled your eyes as a woman who called herself cis in a letter where that wasn't even vaguely relevant, but you didn't call this fucker out at all? Not even a sentence? Nothing? Why the fuck do you think you're being called transphobic?
"I'm straight, but I'm attracted to this non-normative woman anyway." I'd not fucking invest in this piece of shit either.
Also you don't fucking know where she is surgically. Point out where the fuck he mentions that, you ignorant fucks.
@ 62-64: Um, If she's a girl with a meat baton that he likes to suck and/or ride, then LW just might be a bit bi, whatever her attitude about her cock is.
You seem nice. Let's be friends.
I'd say, give it a try! If being non-primary makes you miserable, break up with her then. But, you never know. There are a lot of awesome, sexy people in this world, and maybe you'll enjoy having a connection with more than one of them at a time. It's also a uniquely fun experience to love somebody and know other people who love them too (google "compersion").

Most poly people do the primary/secondary thing, and in my opinion, it sucks. If I'm ever in an open relationship again, I too would nix that structure. It's the worst of both worlds, in my experience. Fine for sexual openness, but if you're talking about love...who wants to be secondary? Who wants to treat a person they're in love with as secondary? Some people, apparently, but not me. So I don't blame her.

Try. Then you'll know. :)

Very nicely said.
@65, the writer @62-64 takes a severe tone, but makes a good point -- we can't tell if the ATGDMIO's girlfriend still has a "meat baton," as you charmingly put it.

Also, most transwomen think of themselves as women, not as non-normative freaks. I mean, we're all non-normative freaks in our own way, but we don't like to think of ourselves that way... The letter would stand the same without any info about her being a particular subclass of woman. For instance, suppose ATGDMIO had written "I met a beautiful, wonderful Asian woman a year ago." How is either her physiology or ethnicity relevant to the question of polyamory?

In fact, I do think it may be psychologically relevant (as I explained @40), but certainly most of the posters here haven't given any advice that requires thinking of her as any different than a regular woman.
@68: We don't know. That was also my point. And it therefore follows that the question about bisexuality is not completely outrageous.
@58: I didn't mean to imply the girlfriend was a bad person or had acted unethically. Sorry for that unpleasant impression.

I just thought that the two of them are severely incompatible in how they approach relationships. By "severely" I mean that I expect it will be "severely" painful for him to try and fit himself into her mold. And by "relationships" I meant relationships of the lifelong committed partnership sort, of which marriage generally is one example, and best friends generally isn't. You don't generally give your best friends direct access to your bank accounts, power of attorney, custody rights over your children, and rights of inheritance. I can't speak for others, but I certainly would not prioritize someone the other people in my life -- the kind of access, rights, and responsibilities that come with marriage do indeed represent a very real, materially significant, legally binding prioritization -- when that person prioritized me only exactly as high as any other of her friends/lovers/fuck-buddies/whatever you want to call it. I might or might not be content to remain one of that group, but I would not create an elevated status that was patently not reciprocated. Treat me as one friend among many friends, then that's what I am - a friend.

He wants what he wants, and she wants what she wants; the two sets of wants do not remotely match up. Her approach is not necessarily "wrong" per se, but it most certainly is wrong for him. If he insists on trying to fit his square peg into her round hole, there will be nothing but grief for both of them. He will spare himself -- and her -- a lot of heartache if he graciously excuses himself and goes and finds someone who wants the same thing that he wants.
@69 He says he's straight, and seems to think of her as a woman. He doesn't say anything about cock. Isn't it more reasonable to take him at his word?
@66: Really, most poly people do the primary/secondary thing? I didn't know that. Why do they?

I mean, a lot of times it works out that you end up spending more time or getting closer to one of your partners for a variety of reasons, but I don't see the need to formalize it or give that person extra power over your life.
@BlackRose, in my limited sample, poly people with primaries live with said primaries (myself included). There's all the reasons anyone moves in with their lover--closeness, sleeping warm every night, shared expenses/chores.

And with increased interconnectedness comes increased obligation. If I'm going to be an hour late (for any reason) I call. If I want spend more than a predetermined amount of household budget, I check in first. If I want a new lover, or to go without barriers with a current lover, I get her consent.

She does not get consent about how I feel about my other partners. As long as she doesn't feel slighted, neglected, or stressed, it doesn't bother her if I fall in love with one, of if I just remain good fuckbuddies.

Does that make it clearer? Sometimes I think I'm making sense, but not so much really to other people. :/
@73: I understand that kind of primary, sure. What about poly people who don't live with a lover, or who live with multiple lovers?

Are you thinking that a primary has to be someone you live with?
@71: That seems like a reasonable way to put that. You somehow managed to avoid telling me to fuck off and die. Your point was not the point being made by @62-64, who seems to say that suggesting that a guy liking cock (if that's even what's happening) could point toward a bit of the bi is the same as saying that a guy liking transwoman = bi. With a bunch of fuck-you's thrown in to warm up the crowd.
Not to mention the absurdity of the idea that the guy's bi/not-bi status depends on what the woman thinks of her dick, not what he thinks of her dick.
@75 agreed.
He knew all of her past relationships were open and/or poly. They've been fucking for a couple months and he's not sure whether dating is the appropriate term. I'd say that she gave him adequate information in a timely manner. It sounds like he didn't bother to ask about what the two of them were or what they both wanted from this until now, and then discovered the incompatibility. But he knew there likely was one, since he prefers exclusivity and he knew she prefers non-exclusivity.

That said, they should probably break up. Neither did anything wrong, but they don't want the same things. And it doesn't sound like he's likely to be happy accepting what she is interested in. You don't need a villain to have an attempt at a relationship not work out. They're just incompatible. Both of their desires are fine, but they aren't likely to meet them well with each other.
@74, no, I don't think that all primary partners are live-in. As I said, I've a limited sample of what I've seen in my friends and acquaintances.

I'm no expert on terminology. I can't speak to what 'most' poly people do--haven't done the research. I can only say what I've experienced and witnessed.
Differences between a guy loving a dick ON A WOMAN (but having no interest in it on a man, or in men in general) and liking a silicone one ON A WOMAN? Or a guy loving nnarrow, mannish hips on a wwoman? The difference is what you're used to being acceptable, and transphobia is still acceptable.

And wwould you have told, say, a black person in the sixties to be nicer to people spouting racism, or is it just the bigotry that's acceptable today that the people being oppressed by it have to be nice about? Fuck you. This is not irrational fucking anger and you are a piece of sshit if you think otherwise.
@79 -"Differences between a guy loving a dick ON A WOMAN (but having no interest in it on a man, or in men in general) and liking a silicone one ON A WOMAN? "

Or, as you said @62 "If a cis girl can peg her boyfriend and not make him gay, but a trans girl can't do the exact same fucking thing."

I forgot that part of your point. Yes, you're right. Apologies for getting confused there.
Uninterested = not interested
Disinterested = impartial