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So this is my reality now. I am both black and polyamorous, which can be quite challenging. Being black causes me to be judged. So does being polyamorous. As I am typing this, even WORD says polyamorous is not a word. Sigh.
So anyway, I have come to terms with the first part of my existence. I can continue to be bothered by those who think being black is a curse, both in white and black America. I choose not to follow that ideology. I am who I desire to be, not what someone says I should be.
Polyamory on the other hand was a choice I made consciously after much thought. I have been married and divorced twice. After the second one, I considered that perhaps I was not meant for monogamy. Especially since most of my life has been spent actively loving more than one woman at a time. I will say that I mostly behaved during my marriages. Like many in monogamy though, I didn’t feel free enough to talk to my wives about things I was interested in without feeling like they would judge me or dismiss my thoughts as irrelevant. Like many, I kept things to myself to keep the peace, particularly mine. But I was not happy. I didn’t feel like there was a mutual exchange of truth in my marriages.
So on the other side of divorce, I questioned my poly friends as to why they seemed so happy and the simple answer was HONESTY. They literally talked about everything and accepted each other as they were. And that cut down on feelings of rejection, jealousy and more. A huge problem in monogamous black couples is feeling of ownership. No one owns anyone, but that belief among monogamous couples causes some pretty bad behavior. That is not to say that jealousy does not play a part in polyamory, but those who practice it are very much aware of that and work to fix the problem rather than letting it control them.
I cannot speak for all ethnicities on the subject of perceived ownership of mates, but I can say that I have seen enough of it in the black community that I realize how detrimental it is to true and loving relationships. Polyamory challenges that because it dispels the notions of ownership and control. The word itself means Many Loves which alone implies that those who practice it MUST free their mates to be themselves.
Now of course there are rules. Polyamory still deals with relationships even though many critics feel it is just a bunch of people who want to have a lot of sex. I will attribute that more to swingers than to poly couples/triads-quads etc. Everyone knows everyone involved and there are no secrets. How each poly coupe handles that varies depending on those involved, but they are still considered relationships and respected as such.
I have a wonderful woman who works hard to walk with me in this lifestyle. There is no coercion and she is as much interested in understanding polyamory as I am. We do tons of research, watch videos, talk to others etc and it helps us understand the liberty we now walk in. So what’s the problem?
Being black and poly typically means that friends and family will not understand and judge you based on traditional beliefs. I have some of those beliefs, having been a Christian since the age of 15. On the religious front, I have arguments for and against what I do, but I feel I have a solid grasp on what I am doing and I sleep at night. I have always had a rule that if God wants something fixed in me, He will make it known. And so far, I get no blowback. There are much more important things to worry about than how many girlfriends I have (currently one LOL).
Seriously though, polyamory is not for those just want to have a lot of sex. Men and women have feelings and if all you want to do is screw, then say that and leave it to them if they want you. Real polyamory encourages loving others and that is not always in a romantic manner. Some, like me have a significant other where everything is discussed and there are no secrets. Some share a girlfriend or boyfriend, have threesomes, foursomes etc but all under whatever rules they determine in advance. Breaking the rules means you’re cheating. Again, it is still a relationship.
This lifestyle takes bravery. First with your mate, then with the world. Only 3-4 percent of Americans currently call themselves Polyamorous but the number is growing as more people come to admire the honesty element. People want to be free in life, especially in their relationships. And no one can do that if they are made to feel like they cannot truly be themselves.
I, in no way, would ever discourage monogamy or marriage. I think they are both beautiful, but they need to be revamped. They are either failing too often or not even being started. Men and women are starting not to even trust each other. Maybe polyamory cannot fix every one of those problems, but the basis of it which is honesty, real honesty deserves a closer look. What would it be like to really share with your mate who you truly are?
So what is my personal experience with polyamory? I love it. I am still relatively new to it, with less than a year of practice. What has changed is my relationships with my women friends. I no longer feel like they threaten what I have with my mate and that was a huge problem in my marriages. I am also a musician who tours from time to time and having a woman who is not on your butt about my career choice is amazing.
Are there downsides? Sure. Many of my family members are religious and either do not or choose not to understand because of traditions. I have learned how to deal with this by joining poly groups in my area.
My advice is to make friends and learn about what you are doing and if you already have a mate (solo poly is a thing too), bring them to meetings so you can learn together. Most importantly, talk to each other, not AT each other. And above all, do not allow anyone to make you feel like less of a person for what you feel inside. Maybe poly is not for you, but you decide that. People will always tell you what they think you should do, but I have found that such people are generally not happy with their own lives.
I hope this has helped someone. If so, share it with others you know who may be struggling too. Blessings!!!