How can I manage a three-way relationship? I consider myself a very open-minded person, and I’m a partner that likes to please. I’m in a relationship with the father of my baby. He has always wanted to have a threesome. After seven years of him coming and going in our relationship, I’ve decided to have one with his mistress. I fear that I won’t be able to control my feelings, and I don’t want to bring any drama in to it! What should I do? How should I handle it?
Greetings, LC, and thank you. I don’t believe you’re asking me about a simple sexual ménage à trois, but a committed experience shared by more than two standard partners known as a polyamorous relationship. Polyamorous relationships take many forms and aren’t easily defined. Often they are comprised of two members of the same sex and one of the opposite sex. That’s a very general standard, and isn’t always the case. A polyamorous group can be composed any number of participants, but the triad is a very common incarnation of this dynamic.
As our culture moves deeper into the cyber age, a trend toward tribalism has resurrected itself from the ashes of patriarchal culture. Many people find that they aren’t content to confine themselves to traditional roles. The techno age is fast shattering the barriers and restrictions set up by old social mores. Ingrained cultural identities begin to meld into a collective hodgepodge; a simmering stew of Homo sapiens data. As always, sexuality is at the forefront of this revolution, and everything that was ever assumed about human sexual behavior will be questioned. Relationship standards are being redefined, and it’s not about what suits society best anymore. For many a brave pioneer, it’s about what fits the needs of them and their family best, and society can go straight to hell. Still the stifling beast of patriarchy dies hard, and we’ve still got a good majority of people out there eager to tell you how wrong you are for doing what feels best for you and the people you love.
Don’t fall for the nonsense. Don’t listen to the lies. What you have to do is examine your own emotional needs. You already know you want to be with the man. Are you attracted to women as well? Is that something you really want to try and translate into an emotional relationship – a long-term arrangement? It’s a very serious step to take. There would be a lot of trials and tribulations not found in standard two-person relationships. There would be many benefits as well. In any case, forget your boyfriend for a minute, and ask yourself how you feel about being in a relationship with another woman period. This isn’t a simple sexy experiment or two after which everybody walks away. You would be coming into a relationship with this other woman, being her lover as much as you are his. It would mean putting jealousy aside as much as possible. Since you refer to this other woman as his “mistress,” I’m not at all certain you’re ready to take that step.
Right now, what I sense is a whole lot of confusion about what’s going on. No one seems to be on the same page, which is a really bad way for people to start out in something like this. It seems to me that what began as a simple sexual encounter is now something somebody wants to be more permanent. No one seems to know what that means, or what roles are to be played. It’s total confusion. I’d suggest you sit down, and talk to this other woman. You need to know her much better before you make any decisions about anything. It appears to me that you’re putting all the emphasis on your boyfriend, to the exclusion of the other lady and yourself. That’s not how these relationships work. I think you would actually do well in a nontraditional relationship, if you allowed yourself to really understand and go with your feelings. However, I sense that your boyfriend will bring drama into this situation, eventually. Think about him carefully before you follow him. Is he selfless and mature enough to share you and her and not be the center of every encounter? What if you and she decided to make love alone? A polyamorous relationship is not a harem. All the partners are equal lovers, and it is important to nurture those individual bonds. That might not be at all the thing he’s after. Time will tell.
Do you have a question for Liam? Ask Liam your question now.