My focus in relationship interviews is helping flesh out the experiences that inform where a person is today: who they are and what relationship values they hold. In this podcast, my guest excels at ruthless honesty, being self critical of her struggles, learning experiences, and failings along the way. She certainly doesn’t make herself out to be anyone special. Yet I find her vulnerable, public transparency bodly authentic.
Shame is, in my opinion, one of the big Intimacy killers. Even the experts fail, even those who now espouse a great set of values may have taken a winding path to get there. Until we stop glorifying the end result without the arduous fight-for-my-life journey, we’ll likely keep shaming ourselves for not succeeding right away.
When people mention Toxic Masculinity, they often mean some toxic elements of masculinity, not that all masculinity is toxic. Similarly, when people discuss Toxic Monogamy, they mean tropes that are toxic in monogamy like Amanda Marshall’s song If I Didn’t Have You or the line from Hotel Transylvania “for a zing only happens once in a your life.” Sometimes Toxic Monogamy myths spill over into one’s practice of polyamory and like so many monogamous relationships, those relationships fail or hold abusive elements.
Regularly I face stigma that non monogamous relationships are unethical, don’t work, are coercive, are male fantasy, etcetera – none of which have been true for me. All of those things are probably true only of some relationships both monogamous and not. There’s a tendency to want to showcase only the good elements of non monogamy because many monogamous people don’t believe non monogamy is healthy, natural, attainable, or even possible.
Yet here I sit in two different happy relationships. I can only speak for my experience but over 6 years I’ve been in 5 non monogamous relationships, averaging probably two years per relationships. My current relationships both have the capacity to feel loving, intense, intimate, sexually charged, considerate, kind – at the end of the day I feel so grateful to be where I am. In fact just last week my partners met each other for coffee in what I hope marks the beginning of a happy metamourship – that’s the relationship between partners of partners.
For me metamourship is often life affirming, characterized initially by challenge but now by compersion. Compersion is experiencing joy when seeing joy in others. When you see two people kiss and smile, that’s compersion. I mention this not to gloat but to stress that non monogamy can and does work just like monogamy can and does, even if the strongest ones both probably fail half of the time – here I’m talking about marriage – and I’m unfortunately using the notion of termination as failure even though I disagree with that standard.
As a relationship anarchist, many polyamory practices are not for me. Yet my purpose in this amazing, intimate, and often intense session with Sara Blaze is to help her share her authentic truth. Authenticity leads to Intimacy, and Intimacy is the focus on Intimate Interactions.