I AM a Polyamorous Man

I AM a Polyamorous Man. And no, that does not mean that I love my wife less than a Monogamous man. It means that I am clear on the difference between a partner and property, and it means that I am clear on the difference between love and sex.

I AM a Polyamorous Man. That doesn’t mean that I am weak. Weakness insists that relationships are a competition. Strength understands cooperation and diversity. Weakness looks at life and relationships as some sort of beauty contest, where all the positive attributes are added up, and the “best” contestant wins over all the other contestants. This belief makes it imperative that the monogamous male keep his partner from ever experiencing another man, for fear she will choose one and reject the other. Strength does not fear comparison. Strength knows that she can have it all, and more.

I AM a Polyamorous Man. I don’t own a woman, and I don’t want to. This doesn’t mean my love is inferior to a man who does. It means I reject centuries of patriarchal indoctrination that romanticizes the literal slavery of women, the suppression of feminine power and independence, and the assumption that women are less intelligent and weak. My love comes from a deep honoring of her as a divine human being, an embodiment of the Goddess, and a fully functional adult.

I AM a Polyamorous Man, and I get it that I may be incomprehensible to the Monogamous man (or woman), steeped in a society-induced stew of fears, insecurities, and assumptions. I don’t apologize for who I am. I have fears, insecurities and assumptions of my own that I get to deal with as a human being. I don’t have to own yours, and I choose not to. I choose a Polyamorous Woman, who gets who I am, who honors me as a I honor her, who loves what I have to offer her – freedom, respect, adoration, and support as a powerful, independent, divine, adult woman.

I AM a Polyamorous Man.

©2017 Michael Inanna

Man in the Box

­­­­Transformation is a process of growth and life. Stagnation is a process of death and decay. I have experienced many times of transformational growth in my life. We all do. Whether it be the natural and inescapable process of our childhood, public or private schooling, marriage, raising children…it’s impossible to experience life without transformation.

Attitudes on transformation, however, vary widely. Some fight it tooth and nail, as if caught in a terrifying tsunami, grabbing onto whatever tree or structure they can, trying to rise above it and look down from a place of perceived safety. Others embrace it, acknowledge its place, and perhaps even learn to enjoy the ride.

One important result of transformation is change of perspective. Learning shifts paradigms, and experiential learning – learning attached directly to experience – can shift paradigms most rapidly and dramatically.

Looking back at my own transformational processes, I have come to realize how important they are, not to making me into new person, but to getting me in touch with the reality of my true self. The process is ALWAYS an uncomfortable one – sometimes intensely so! Whether it be an unexpected life change such as divorce or job difficulties, or my taking on a challenging program designed to stimulate personal growth, there will be tears, moments of weakness, and pain before the benefits can manifest. Each time, as I look back on how I was showing up, how I viewed myself, even how I viewed the world, I am amazed and gratified for these life processes. I am rarely so gratified while it’s going on, however.

While I have learned to respect the importance of growth experiences, I have been struck by how rarely they are appreciated by others. So many times, the friends or family of those experiencing radical transformation push back, and push back hard.

I recall in my prior life as a Mormon coming across an argument that the LDS church is anti-family, because sometimes, when a person (especially a youth) is converted, their new religion is rejected by the other members of their family. Examples are trotted out, of young people who were forced by their family to either reject their new-found religion or else be rejected by their family. If they choose to stay true to what they feel is their path, they are ostracized, and the family is “broken up.” This is used to “prove” that Mormonism is anti-family. What utter nonsense. The complete lack of respect and controlling, conditional love shown by this family is an indictment of that family. Insisting that he would be better off being forced back into that environment is a rather peculiar and short-sighted stance.

I’ve seen similar arguments raised against voluntary programs designed to jump-start personal growth. Programs such as Landmark Worldwide (of which I’ve heard), and Impact Trainings (of which I’ve experienced) involve large groups of participants in intense exercises, processes, and discussions oriented towards releasing limiting beliefs and self-defeating behaviors. People often come away from these trainings seeing the world in a whole new light, committed to a path more in tune with their core values, and letting go of the things in life that are keeping them in their smallness. Sometimes, that means letting go of people in your life who are toxic. Sometimes that involves divorce. Once again, as a graduate of Impact Training, I got to experience the power of conformity – accusations that the organization was “anti-family,” a “cult,” and on and on, ad nauseum.

It can often result that some of the greatest trials experienced in transformational growth are from “loved ones” full of angry denunciations. “You have changed!” in accusatory tones, as if this were automatically a bad thing. “Get right back in your box” seems to be the message, and the person caught up in this turbulent process must now undo every life lesson and painfully acquired insight, or else. The refrain can seem deafening, and unfortunately, it can sometimes have the effect of cancelling out all lessons, releasing the insights, and submerging back into the murk – selling out on your own soul. All that pain, all that effort, wasted. And if there’s one sure thing, it’s that the lesson will come up again, to be learned again in all it’s pain and glory, until we finally accept it, internalize it, and move forward on our path.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion basically states that every force results in an equal force in the opposite direction. Transformational change is inevitable, but so is resistance to that change. It’s sad that, so many times, that resistance comes from those who claim to love us.

Paradise Found

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A lot of what I write sounds easy….like I’ve got it easy.

I do.

I may come across like I’m living an idyllic life, full of joy, eroticism and abundant love.

I am.

Reading my posts, one may think that I would do anything for my beloved Goddess.

I will.

But oh-my-god it wasn’t always like this. I am a veteran of four previous excruciating marriages, years of soul-crushing emotional and verbal abuse, a stint as an enabler for an alcoholic, half a lifetime of bearing the shame for a large family, and one hell of a lot of growing up, most of that at a snail’s pace.

Getting from THERE to HERE didn’t even start to happen until the day I chose into my own life. I’d already spent years reading self help books, taking up space in counselors’ offices, beating dead horses with the help of close friends, and basically getting nowhere. It wasn’t until I started enrolling into experiential-based trainings that I finally started to break out of my self-imposed isolation from myself.

Impact Trainings in Bluffdale, UT (http://www.impactslc.com/) set the stage for my comeback, and it was there, after almost 2 years of an intense process of falling in love with myself, that I met and fell in love with my Goddess. We finished the training as we started into our courtship, and the world hasn’t been the same since.

We continued on our self-growth together, but separate now from the Impact program. Moving to the Oregon Coast, we grew, together. Once you rediscover yourself, it takes some time to get reacquainted. Doing it with a like minded, energetic and sensitive twin-flame partner makes it even better. Eventually, we started running into a ceiling again. We were playing for keeps, but smallness has a way of creeping in again.

Just in time, Integrative Orgasmic Healing (inannasanctuary.com) came on our radar, and we instantly knew this was our next transforming experience. We were right. Harnessing entirely new techniques and bringing in ancient energies and practices, we blew through the small into the wide open again. A whole new world opened up for us, only glimpsed at before. It’s going to be years before we come close to exhausting the avenues of growth presenting themselves to us. It can feel a bit like the kid in the candy store!

Following one’s life purpose with a fellow traveller. That’s living….

My Lover’s Lovers

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My lover, my Goddess, is seeking another lover. Her steady sweetness and authentic spirit brings in many possibilities, but her standards are very high and she is patient. Only two others have a powerful hold on her heart. One, a passionate artist, committed to his work, with high integrity and a careful, measured pace. The other, full of life’s lessons, a fighter and a student, committed to personal growth. Both are authentic, and must be, to hold her interest. Both are geographically far away, but that may change soon.

We have made the decision to relocate to the west coast of Florida and start a new career path. We will be living in a new home in a new city on the other side of the country, with new careers and my Goddess has even taken on a new name. This might seem like a lot, but you don’t live in partnership with such an amazing woman if you want boring.

Our new career is with Integrative Orgasmic Healing, a relatively new somatic bodywork oriented modality for creating radical transformation on the spirit-emotional-body level. We realized quickly that this was our life calling, dove right in, and spent months studying, practicing, and immersing until we completed the licensing process. You can learn more about it here: InannaSanctuary.com

Florida holds our future, the next stage of our lives, as well as the third member of our triad, whoever that turns out to be. It also has beaches. Beautiful beaches, and we’ve learned that the ocean is an important part of our lives. I’m ready to experience that with this vibrant, fascinating woman by my side.

The Constancy of Change

A lot can happen in 5 months. I’ve spent that time raising our child, organizing our home, remodeling the basement, building a chicken house. All-in-all, a peaceful time. The last two weeks, not so much. Our other partner chose out of our relationship through his actions. I’m not sure he fully intended the consequences as they occurred, but he has lost our trust.

Hopefully we remain friends, but things are still a little raw. It was almost EXACTLY like a breakup in a monogamous relationship, especially for my Goddess. The biggest difference was that she has a friend and lover to hold her while she cries her heart out. It was not less painful – the feelings of betrayal, inadequacy, and loss were all there. She didn’t have to go it alone, however, and that made a big difference to her. We still remain committed to the structure of a triad. When it is good, it is very, very good. The fact that some are not up to the task of true commitment at times, doesn’t reflect badly on polyamory – there are plenty of examples of that with monogamy.

I read through all my past posts before starting into writing this one. I was curious as to how my attitudes are holding up over the past year or more. I would not change a word. (Well, ok, there were a very few typos…) I feel as blissful about my relationship with my Goddess, and our relationship to polyamory, as I ever did, and so does my Goddess. We will find another, and he will be worthy of us and what we are creating.

I’m baaaaack……

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It’s been quite awhile since I last posted. During the almost-year-long break, much has happened in my life. For starters, our amazing and beloved baby boy was born, and I quit my job to spend more time at home and give dedicated parental care to all our children. This was a challenging choice to make. My income was an important part of the household finances. However we decided to go with the desire of our hearts. In this case, my long absences from home, for work, was putting a great deal of strain on my wife, who also worked full time. Her other husband also had responsibilities, and the quality of home care was less than perfect. Her income is higher than mine, her work is very close to home, so we took the plunge and let go of my employment. Much to our surprise, this decision turned out to have an additional benefit – it paved the way for us to purchase our home. I won’t go into the details, but that decision removed the final barrier to get the home of our dreams, which had been elusive up to that point. It was an important lesson for us in being “all-in” for our goals, and in the principles of abundance. We still have challenges ahead, but I know that, in partnership with these amazing people, we will succeed.

How to Speak to a Goddess…

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(a captured text message exchange)

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Me:
Sigh…..I love the feminine…. I love how much you embody it and share it with me…..

Her:
Thank you…

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Me:
I love the passion you so freely share…..

Her:
Love that last one…

Me:
It reminds me of that photo we have of you on your knees, [Your other husband] behind you, lost in the moment…..

Her:
Oh…that’s one of my favorites!

Me:
Mine, too! Sooooo passionate!
No wonder I am so lost in love with you….you are an amazing woman!

Her:
Thank you, my darling
I love you…

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Me:
I love you, sweetheart…

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You are the embodiment of feminine beauty and passion for me…..

Her:
It makes me very happy that you see me that way!

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Me:
When I see beauty, when I desire the feminine, when I admire a beautiful woman, you are in my heart and mind, and I am seeing you in my mind’s eye…. The experience brings me back to you as the embodiment of the divine feminine….as my Goddess….the source of all my desires and passion…..

Her:
Sigh…I love you soooo much, sweetheart!

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Me:
I have no need for cathedrals to fill me with awe….your body is my cathedral, and your divinity is the focus of my worship…..loving and adoring you brings me in touch with the divinity in me, and carries me to that place where our divine selves are intertwined, doing the eternal dance of love…..

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Her:
Your soul is and always will be your own but our souls are linked…though aeons of time!

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Me:
The more enthralled I am with you, the more possessed I am by you, the more entranced you keep me, the greater freedom I experience – the freedom to love unconditionally, the freedom to experience unconditional love, the freedom to be me completely and to be accepted as such…..

Her:
Your words touch me deeply, my darling…they are soooo beautiful and my heart is full!

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Me:
I know…..I feel you….I get to adore you, to share my complete submersion in your love and how that lets me feel, to let you know that you are my soul partner and always have/will be…..

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Me:
Every experience of desire, every heartbeat, every bit of passion I have ever felt in my life has been for you, inspired by you, owned by you…..I know this now….

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Me:
You deserve this by virtue of who you are, and because you accept your place as Goddess….you inspire me, you drew me to you, you keep me fully engaged, every bit of me, and I absolutely love it….
Me:
…and that concludes my morning devotional to my sweet Goddess…..thank you for all you are, do, and feel…..you honor me every day and I appreciate you for this…..

Dirty Cheater

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Ok, I’m in a (more) open marriage than most, therefore the dynamics of cheating are different. It’s No Big Deal now…sort of like forgetting to put the toilet seat down. Right?

Wrong.

Cheating is called cheating, because someone’s breaking the rules. Commitment and being your word are the same, regardless of social arrangements. This is true because they are the foundation of trust.

Since there are less commonly-held assumptions that can be relied on in a polyamorous relationship, it is important to clearly state the rules, and have everyone sign on. This can be written, or it can be otherwise communicated, but everyone involved gets to have clarity.

When the rules are clear and all have openly agreed, an atmosphere of trust is created. Break the rules, break the trust. This is really no different than a monogamous relationship, and the consequences can be just as dramatic and painful. For instance, my wife has two lovers but I am restricted to her, alone. After much discussion, we both felt that this was the perfect arrangement for us. She knew herself enough to know that she could not share me with another. I knew myself enough to know that I truly prefer this arrangement. That’s the agreement, and she is trusting me to be my word. If I someday decide that I don’t like this, I get to open up a discussion on renegotiating the relationship. Living relationships are often renegotiated, sometimes openly, sometimes not. Stagnation is death in living things.

Break the rules, break the trust. When someone you love violates the trust you have created together, pain results. Are your actions putting everyone in the relationship at risk? If you can’t be trusted to be your word, can you be trusted to use protected sex? Are you threatening the foundation of a carefully created and nurtured triad? Why? Feelings of betrayal, anger, guilt and blame can come up, just like in any other relationship.

And forget “fairness.” Seriously. Let it go. In the above example, is it fair that she has two lovers and I only one? This was clearly stated and accepted by consensual, mature adults. Both expressed a belief that this was perfect. I don’t get to appeal to some vague “fairness” doctrine as a sleazy way of shifting the blame to her.

I’ve lived monogamy and now polyamory, and it is my experience that of the two, polyamory requires a higher level of honesty, trust and communication. Maybe it’s just because the assumptions aren’t programmed into our psyches by society from birth. Maybe multiple relationships complicate things too much to just coast from day to day.

Honesty, trust and communication. The world can use more of these, and it can use more love – whatever form it takes.

House Goddess

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What kind of woman can create the sort of relationship with two men that leaves out jealousy and drama? The kind of woman who writes this:

“I have experienced the most exquisite joy and pleasure of being held and kissed in the arms of a man who adores me while being made love to by another man who also loves me with every fiber of his being… I AM so blessed to have these beautiful men in my life!”

She didn’t write that for this blog. She wrote it to me in a text a couple of months into our triad. She is the reason this works and works so well. Taking on the daunting task of loving two men intimately takes a special kind of woman. She is abundantly loving, authentic, caring and considerate. What she gets back in return is adoration and devotion. I am very blessed to be in partnership with her.

Do I put her on a pedestal? Hell yes! So what? What stands on that pedestal is the divine. We all have the divine within us, and I honor the divine in her. She beautiful embodies the divine aspects of the Goddess, in particular, her femininity, passion, compassion, beauty, grace, girlishness, and unconditional love. This can never “fall off the pedestal” since they all exist independent of her. What makes her wonderfully unique is how completely she represents these aspects. Is she perfect? Well, yes, actually, but maybe my definition of perfect is different than others’. She is perfectly herself, and I accept her as herself, exactly who she is.

One thing that makes this easy, is she returns the favor. She never, ever requires me to be someone else in order to be accepted. We both encourage each other to grow, but it isn’t the price of admission. We call this being “All in.” Nothing held back, nothing in reserve, nothing conditional. She has my back, I have hers. I am her biggest fan, she is mine. Unconditional love, given without conditions.

The other thing that makes this work is something we said to each other early on, a space we continue to hold: “I don’t need you. I want you, I love you, I am yours. You don’t complete me. I was already complete when we met. You enhance me, give me joy, and walk beside me on my life’s journey.”

Upon hearing of my lifestyle a friend asked me “Do you think it will work? Is it going to last?” Our society seems to feel that if something doesn’t last forever, it is a failure, from beginning to end. While I can’t imagine a life without her at this point, I don’t spend a lot of time focussed on who I will be married to when I die. That is not my measure of success. It is working now, it is wonderful, all involved are swimming in an ocean of love, and that is enough.

Two Men and a Goddess

Our triad is two legged. He is married to her, I am married to her, she is sexually active with us both, and he and I are friends who share a common passion – her. She is legally married to me, but is carrying his child. Her two children still at home (from a prior marriage) consider us both equally as stepdads, introducing us as such to their friends. It causes slight confusion, but they’re young, and kids at that age seem to accept things easier.
My relationship with him has elements I consider fascinating and rather unique. We both quite enjoy texting each other or sitting down with a beer talking about her in ways that would be completely inappropriate with anyone else. In fact, I can’t imagine feeling comfortable talking about my wife like that with anyone else. We get sometimes rather graphic and explicit, but it’s always done from a place of respect and adoration. We also often share expressions of amazement and awe of her – easily, frankly, and sometimes hardly missing a beat from the graphic discussion of before…. She knows that we respect her intrinsically in these discussions, and seems to be quite secure in her sexuality. When I mention that “I’m talking about her with T____ again”, she enjoys the idea.
We seem to click well in dealing with the children. I’m gone a lot during the week, he tends to be gone during the weekend (although there is some overlap). The children get consistent messages and discipline from us. They respect him, and like him, just like they respect and like me. Our respective relationships with the children are not identical. I’ve been in the home longer, and they are still adapting to him, but there is a lot of love going around in that home.
It’s also very handy to have another man around when working on household issues. We’ve worked together on sprinkler projects, computer projects, and simple things like organizing the garage. He’s a very hard, conscientious worker. It surprises me how easy things can become. Sometimes he runs the grill, sometimes I do. Bending over can be a hazard for her in the kitchen – she never knows when and from where she might get that appreciative pat on the ass or risqué comment of appreciation. She enjoys the attention, though, and feels it’s healthy for the children to see those sorts of interactions between life partners. Basically, we tend to have a lot of fun together.

Sometimes we like to mess with people in subtle ways. The three of us will walk into a restaurant. She’ll be on his arm, and I’ll be following up behind. “Table for 3 please!” Then, when the bill is paid, she walks out on my arm, with him trailing behind, more likely than not checking out her ass. It’s not always picked up on, and then, it’s generally the waitress or hostess that gets it. No one has ever said anything, but we’ve gotten some grins here and there. We’ll also walk along a sidewalk, her in the middle, the three of us holding hands. I can only imagine what others are thinking, but this becomes less important all the time.

Not everyone will have relationships like this, and I’ve heard of a number of variations. In fact, there seems to be as many variations as there are triads. This is how it works for us, and it is a beautiful thing to experience…