I went to see Superman Returns with my secondary partner, Monk. It was a fun movie, but one of the things about being polyamorous is that any story with a torn-between-two-lovers aspect always seems a bit silly.

"I mean, it's not like Superman could really be Lois Lane's main squeeze anyhow," I remarked as we walked out of the theater. "He's married to his job. They'd be in the middle of making whoopie, and he'd go zooming off to save a little old lady. She should keep this new guy she's got, and have Superman as a secondary partner."

Monk nodded, "I agree. He'd make a lousy primary partner—way too emotionally unavailable. But I think even being a long-term secondary partner could be too much for him. A weekend at the Fortress of Solitude might be about as much as the Man of Steel could commit to."

"You have a point," I said. "Superman obviously has problems with commitment, probably childhood abandonment issues from being shot into space by his dad. So the picket-fence thing is not happening, and he may not even be able to handle being a full-fledged secondary. He'd have to be more like a tertiary partner, someone you just see every now and then."

Now, "tertiary partner" is a somewhat controversial term in the poly world. Aside from the fact that some poly people don't like any kind of ranking system for lovers, period, others feel that designating someone a tertiary, which means "third," is just a fancy way of saying, "I'm occasionally having casual sex/play/whatever with this person." I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I can see where it looks more like swinging than a system of multiple committed-love relationships—and poly people can be a little sensitive about how they are not swingers.

But I like the term. I've had relationships in which I was genuinely fond of someone, but our lives just weren't going to line up in any deep or long-term way. I like that I can experience moments of intense connection with someone, and then when it's over, I let it go. I sometimes describe it as a relationship that takes place in a glass bubble—it doesn't touch the rest of your life. But just because your world doesn't change doesn't mean the moments are not worth having.

Monk kept thinking about it. "Okay, so that's Superman. But what about the other superheroes? Who do you think would make a good tertiary lover?"

"Batman. He's definitely the hottest superhero," I said. "I bet he's got every sex toy money can buy, gearhead that he is. Maybe he'd give you your own special booty-call Bat Signal. But doesn't he seem like the type who gets all angsty and depressed after sex?"

"Yeah, Batman's emotional baggage is definitely not going to fit in the overhead compartment. Plus there's the Robin factor."

"True. I have no problem with bi men, but I don't date couples. Who else is there? Aquaman?"

"No way," said Monk. "That wimpy fish-boy is the Justice League's bitch. He doesn't have the self-esteem to be a good partner of any kind. The only thing he's good for is Wonder Woman's lariat-bondage practice. But there's The Flash."

"Honey, if you go to bed with Flash, the love is going to be over in, like, 10 seconds. How about Green Arrow?"

"That could work. He's been a liberal activist and all, so he'd probably be down with polyamory. Plus, he likes tough chicks in fishnets, so he'd go for you."

"Speaking of guys who'd go for me... Can we talk about Xavier?"

"Oh, you mean about how you two are starting to develop a tertiary relationship?" said Monk. "Yeah, he came by my shop yesterday and we talked about it. He respects my role in your life and isn't looking to usurp that, so I'm cool with him. There's just one thing."


"If he starts dressing up in blue tights, then I am so getting a long black cape."

"And a tight rubber suit? Sounds like a fun scene to me. I'll bring the magic lasso."


Kink Calendar



Appropriate dress encouraged; $50 prize to the hottest hunk in leather. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 9 pm, no cover for full leather, $3 for partial leather, $5 otherwise, 21+.


Socialize, flirt, and do BDSM with the girls. All orientations welcome. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746 or women-only@wetspot.org, 9 pm–3 am, $15, members only, female ID required.


Party at this friendly Eastside swing club. Single men must RSVP for the waiting list, couples and single women can just show up. Tonight is "Bi-Female Night." 425-868-8169 or www.redmond-ranch.com, doors at 7 pm, new people must arrive by 8 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.



Play parties, workshops, leather tastings, and fetish swap meet for self-identified women. The Longhouse, Redmond, register at home.comcast.net/~bwpresents, bwpresents@comcast.net, or 246-1132, $65.



For all you Clan of the Cave Bear fetishists: "Forget" to shave and show up to fondle pelts, skeletons, tusks, skulls (including the braincases of giant gray and sperm whales!) and talk with sexy, sexy mammalogists. Burke Museum, University of Washington, www.burkemuseum.org, 10 am–4 pm, $5–$8.



This class covers how to identify what you want in bondage and BDSM, various play styles, finding appropriate partners, and some basic bondage techniques. Wet Spot, 270-9746 or www.bondagelessons.com, 2:30–5:30 pm, $30, membership not required.


Babeland sex educators Andrea and Audrey teach how to give pussy pleasure and discuss favorite cunnilingus tips and tricks. Open to all genders and orientations. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30.