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Navigating your first poly relationship

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Non-monogamy can be difficult the first time around. Sex-positive educators and long-time polyamorists Cunning Minx and LustyGuy share their tips for navigating your first polyamorous relationship, valid for both solo polyamorists, couples and more. To find out more, visit www.polyweekly.com

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Navigating your first poly relationship

  1. 1. FIRST POLY RELATIONSHIP NAVIGATING YOUR www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  2. 2. www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  3. 3. TODAY’S AGENDA AGENDA 1.Before you go What you need to know before you go 2.Vetting partners Checking the relationship road map of potential partners 3.Once you’re there What to do once you get to Disneyland (your first poly relationship) www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  4. 4. FOR TODAY LEARNING OBJECTIVES ▸ Take inventory Know how to take a personal and relationship inventory ▸ Vetting process Understand how to vet a potential partner ▸ Stock your toolbox Get the first tool or two in your toolbox of managing poly pitfalls and relationship communication www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  5. 5. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO KNOW THYSELF www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  6. 6. ADULT DISNEYLAND POLYAMORY = www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  7. 7. WHY ARE YOU POLY? WHAT DOES “POLY” MEAN TO YOU?
  8. 8. KNOW THYSELF
  9. 9. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO ARE YOU YOUR BEST SELF? ▸ Integrity How’s your integrity? (do you say what you mean?) ▸ Shit-owning Do you take personal responsibility for your actions and emotions? ▸ Dealing with change Can you cope with changing emotions, boundaries and expectations? ▸ Staying true Are you good at being true to yourself? ▸ Asking for what you want Do you know what you want and how to ask for it? www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  10. 10. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO ARE YOU A HAPPY AND HEALTHY COUPLE? ▸ Relationship health Is the relationship happy and healthy right now? ▸ Dealing with change Can you both adapt if needs or expectations change? ▸ Mental health Are all mental health issues under control? ▸ Commitment to processing Are you committed to talking about every issue that comes up and owning your shit about it? ▸ Coping with negative emotions Are you prepared to experience and see unflattering emotions? www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  11. 11. RELATIONSHIP BILL OF RIGHTS EMBRACE THE https://www.morethantwo.com/relationshipbillofrights.html
  12. 12. RESEARCH THE TERRAIN SEEKING OUT PARTNERS www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  13. 13. 99% OF SUCCESSFUL POLY IS PARTNER SELECTION. Franklin Veaux, co-author, www.morethantwo.com RESEARCH THE TERRAIN www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  14. 14. DATE YOUR SPECIES. Reid Milhalko, www.reidaboutsex.com RESEARCH THE TERRAIN www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  15. 15. RESEARCH THE TERRAIN RESEARCH THE PARTNER’S UNIVERSE ▸ How do they describe their current relationship? ▸ Talk to their partners (your metamours) to the extent possible ▸ How many partners do they have and to what degree are they entangled? ▸ What boundaries do they have, and under what circumstances can those boundaries change? ▸ What are their safer sex guidelines? ▸ Communicate your guidelines/boundaries as soon as possible www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  16. 16. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET THERE HOW TO AVOID A DISNEYLAND DISASTER
  17. 17. YAY DISNEYLAND! www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  18. 18. EXPECTATIONS VS. REALITY COMMON POLY PITFALLS www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  19. 19. EXPERIENCE SHOCK “Help! I thought I’d be cool with this, but I’m really not, and I’m freaking out about it!”
  20. 20. MYTH OF POLY PERFECTION “I have to be OK with this in order to be the perfect poly person.”
  21. 21. ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT “It’s selfish for me to want […].”
  22. 22. YOUR POLY COMPASS “Does this make everyone involved happier and healthier versions of themselves?”
  23. 23. “I’m fine.” Sacrificing your happiness COMMUNICATION SKILLZ HEALTHY COMMUNICATION 101 Owning your shit Letting things sit Make up sex Using “I” statements
  24. 24. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND COMMUNICATION SKILLZ ▸ Ask for what you want ▸ Bring things up at the first sign ▸ Weird and unidentified is OK ▸ Talk about your feelings ▸ Talk about behaviors rather than assumptions ▸ Use “When you ___, I feel ____.” ▸ “When you text her repeatedly when we are out on dates but won’t text me when you’re out with her, I feel like a second-class citizen.” www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  25. 25. OWN YOUR SHIT Taking personal responsibility for understanding, diagnosing, analyzing and stating your emotions without shame www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  26. 26. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT OWNING YOUR SHIT ▸ Barring cases of abuse, in which case please do whatever you need to keep yourself safe ▸ What you feel is OK ▸ There are no “shoulds” ▸ Emotions come from within you; no one “makes” you feel anything ▸ You are empowered to understand and affect your emotions
  27. 27. METAMOUR RELATIONS NEVER FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF
  28. 28. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND METAMOUR RELATIONS 101 ▸ When in doubt, refer to the Relationship Bill of Rights and remember that it applies to your metamours as well ▸ Understand that your needs have nothing to do with your metamour ▸ When negotiating guidelines/ boundaries, remember that everyone has a say and must buy in www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  29. 29. JEALOUSY HOW TO DEAL WITH
  30. 30. IT’S OK TO FEEL JEALOUS IT’S NATURAL!
  31. 31. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND HOW TO DEAL WITH FEELING JEALOUS ▸ Ask for more information. In the absence of information, we tend to imagine our worst fears. ▸ Ask for/get comfort. “Do you want to cuddle?” is the best response a partner can have upon hearing “I feel jealous.” ▸ Drill into the details. What are you afraid of? Answer that question. And then answer “and then what?” over and over again to the point of ridiculousness. ▸ Lather, rinse, repeat. You’ll continue to feel jealous—keep applying these steps. www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  32. 32. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND HOW TO DEAL WITH A JEALOUSY-INDUCING EVENT 1. Discuss any fears or concerns you have before the date 2. Distract yourself during the date • Take a bubble bath • Play WOW • Smoke stinky cigars 3. Do your partner once he/she/zie gets home! • Have reconnection sex • “Mark your territory” www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  33. 33. SAFER SEX RULES NEGOTIATING
  34. 34. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND NEGOTIATING SAFER SEX ▸ Remember the Relationship Bill of Rights ▸ Everyone gets a say ▸ It’s likely that everyone will sink to the lowest common denominator ▸ Everyone must listen, comment and buy in to the final agreements www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  35. 35. PRACTICAL SHIT NEGOTIATING
  36. 36. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEYLAND NEGOTIATING PRACTICAL SHIT ▸ Choosing labels can be difficult—see Franklin’s glossary of terms to choose from or make up your own ▸ Invest in Google Calendar accounts and share ▸ Amazon Wish Lists ▸ Write your user manual ▸ Other tips? www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  37. 37. FOR TODAY LEARNING OBJECTIVES ▸ Take inventory Know how to take a personal and relationship inventory ▸ Vetting process Understand how to vet a potential partner ▸ Stock your toolbox Get the first tool or two in your toolbox of managing poly pitfalls and relationship communication www.polyweekly.com @cunningminx cunningminx@gmail.com
  38. 38. WHERE TO FIND US WHERE TO FIND US ▸ www.polyweekly.com ▸ cunningminx@gmail.com ▸ lustyguy@polyweekly.com ▸ @polyweekly, @cunningminx ▸ www.facebook.com/polyweekly

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