Straight to the source

Polyamorist shares her thoughts
By YOUR SECRET ADMIRER  |  April 2, 2009

Katie, a queer 24-year-old artist and activist, shares her thoughts about polyamory.

WHY IS POLYAMORY APPEALING TO YOU? It appeals to my more radical nature, definitely. And part of that is trying to undo what our society says a relationship should be. So, it's primarily a political choice, you know? I want to undo social norms, for other people and for myself.

"Poly in practice: Being open-minded about open relationships" by Your Secret Admirer. 

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? I think, for me, the biggest challenge is finding the root of my jealousy. There's nothing wrong with being jealous or having hard feelings—what's wrong is if those feelings exhibit or play out in really bad ways. I often find myself having to stop, breathe, think, and then express what I may or may not be feeling, because more often than not, my feelings are more about my insecurities than the fact that my partner is going on a date.

HOW DO YOU RELATE THE CONCEPTS OF LOVE AND SEX TO YOUR CONCEPTION OF RELATIONSHIPS? Let's look at it this way: no one has just one friend. We all have many friends, and we turn to different friends, for different reasons. Right? Right. So, there are friends that I go out for drinks with — and that's great. And there are friends I call when I'm sad or in crisis. I get different things from these different friends. This is the same for a Relationship with a capital "R," or a casual romantic connection. ... There might be one sort of love, or sexuality, that I get with my partner, and a whole 'nother kind I get with someone else. We can't get everything we need from just one person — our society tells us we should, and we can, and we must — but we can't. It's not realistic. By trying to be everything for someone, or trying to make someone our everything, we're placing an incredible amount of pressure and weight on that relationship. This is the part of polyamory I love so much — this is the piece that really shatters concepts of relationships. Because the truth of the matter is, it's highly radical to realize that your friend, or your lover, or your parent, or your roommate can only be a piece of the puzzle. You need to respect that they can't be the entire puzzle.

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