Sex Is Like A Velociraptor
Posted on April 15th, 2010 in Mating And Relating, Polyamory, Three's Company
Last night, before falling asleep, I posted the following Tweet:
I wasn’t whining or making a play at being passive aggressive, I was simply expressing mild frustration at a situation that I’m certain comes up in EVERY relationship. I wasn’t angry with Aiden, since we were both very tired, and I fell asleep almost immediately afterwards.
I received the following reply to said Tweet, from my friend ChickPea:
It raised an interesting point, that I don’t believe I have touched on here previously – how it works when one of them isn’t “giving me what I want”.
In this particular instance, I was actually sleeping with Aiden, and Jack was out for dinner with an old friend of his. However, suppose that Jack had been home, would it have been ok for me to go upstairs and have my way with him before returning to bed with Aiden?
The short answer is: No
Allow me to explain further.
The guys share time with me at nights. I’ve mentioned before that we currently use a 3-day rotation, more or less (sometimes nights are traded, etc.) and it works out well for everyone. Time before bed can be divided up depending on the circumstances. Last night Jack was out, so Aiden and I spent all evening together. Sometimes Jack and I cuddle on the couch before Aiden and I go to bed together, or out for a date, or whatever. Tonight, for instance, Jack and I are going to the greyhound rescue to volunteer, and Aiden will be asleep before I even get home. That, however, is a rarity. Usually I go to bed at whatever time the person I am sleeping with goes to bed, because often we will talk quietly before falling asleep, and some of our closest quality time occurs as we are snuggled up in bed together.
As sometimes happens in all relationships, sometimes when I go to bed with Jack or Aiden, one or both of us is angry at the other. Or we argue about something as we are laying in bed. When that happens, it’s VERY, VERY tempting to say “Fuck You!” and leave the room to sleep with my other partner.
That, however, is something I never allow myself to do.
On rare occasions I have left the room, but in those situations, I opt to sleep on the couch, or in the guest bed.
As much as possible, I do my best to avoid doing anything that uses poly to my unfair advantage. I don’t think it would be fair to either of the guys if I stormed off and crawled into bed with my other partner. For one, if the person I ran out on wanted to come and talk to me, they would be unable to do so. For another, I feel that it sends the message “I don’t really need you, I can always get my needs met somewhere else” which will only breed resentment. Often I ask myself “If the roles were reversed, how would I wish to be treated?” and that guides many of the choices I make. I would be very upset if Jack and I had a spat, and he decided to go sleep with P instead, and so I do my best to avoid doing things that I would find hurtful.
The same goes for sex. Just because I can have sex with Jack, when Aiden isn’t in the mood (or vice versa) that doesn’t mean it’s particularly thoughtful of me to do so. If we hadn’t been in bed yet, well then it may have been a different story. Poly is often a complex balancing act, and each situation seems to need individual evaluation before a decision can be made.
Suppose it was later in the evening and the three of us were all in the house, although perhaps not doing the same activity. In this hypothetical situation, it’s Aiden’s night to sleep with me. I ask him if he’s interested in going to bed early, so that we can have sex before we go to sleep. He replies that he is probably far too tired for sex, although he is gentle about it and reassures me that he loves me. I have two options now. I can accept that, and go to bed early with him so that he is well-rested and perhaps up for some lovin the following evening, or I can ask him if he minds me having sex with Jack instead (assuming that Jack is up for it).
Why would I have to ask him? Well I don’t technically *have to* but seeing as he and I will be sleeping together, I would check first, in case he wanted to go to bed immediately, or in case he just wants to cuddle for a while before sleep. Likewise, when I am sleeping with Jack, I generally try to be thoughtful of him in this capacity as well.
There are also nights when I have the whole evening specifically booked off for one of them, and in that situation, I probably wouldn’t ask if they minded me having sex with the other, because it would just seem terribly rude. If I have a special “date night” with Jack, I wouldn’t feel right about asking him to give up time with me just so I could have sex with Aiden, even if Jack wasn’t in the mood.
See what I mean about complex? I get a headache just attempting to explain it.
There are many aspects of our daily lives that do not adhere to any hard and fast rules. We generally muddle through, making decisions based on what seems like the right thing to do in any given situation. Much of it is trial and error. There are plenty of mistakes along the way, but we are all still learning.