Jealousy and the Open Kinky Relationship

Polamory, to me, is about the connections and relationships I form with my partners. It isn’t just about sex. I keep meeting people in the poly community for whom it is primarily about sex, and I noticed I am forming an opinion that seems judgy and disdainful. Maybe it is a little bit judgy…

Many poly people I have met who became poly initially for kink reasons tend to be far more jealousy-oriented than more “naturally” poly people who crave the relationships and interactions with other partners. I think that these sexually-driven couples (almost entirely my experience here is around couples) who branch out to new partners to meet sexual/kinky/BDSMy needs their spouse/partner/whoever can’t meet are not as well prepared for the emotional responsibilities that come with poly relationships, as opposed to just playtime.

One of my partner’s other partners is a very kinky dude. I think he and his wife are both very dom-y, and look for subs to dom outside of their primary relationship. He is really struggling with her being an active dater and seems to be overcome with jealousy and possessiveness.

Personally, I have a really hard time empathizing with him. Sure, most of us have to deal with jealousy every now and then. For me, it isn’t jealousy over attention spent elsewhere or time that isn’t mine. Don’t get me wrong – I need reassurances, too: little “I love you”s and “hello”s during the day, anything to let me know that I’m in her mind somewhere. But I need that whether my partner is seeing someone else or not. Hell, I need that even when I am with a partner! She doesn’t have to be off or away from me to crave little confirmations that I am important.

It’s a scary time when the focus of polyamory becomes managing jealousy instead of managing relationships. And the key to making it work, like so many other dimensions of open relationships, is communication. I am not prone to jealousy, but with my own insecurities, once I can figure out what it is that I am needing, and then how to tell that to my partner(s), it’s far easier to solve than just dealing with the hot mess of emotions.

The next time you’re having a poly jealousy episode, write down the things that you’re feeling and figure out what will make you feel better. For me, most of the time just knowing that she thinks about me and that there is going to be a next time I am seeing her is enough.

If you can identify something you need and properly express your need to the person who can give it to you, that’s lots of crazy points you are avoiding. And we all need less crazy points.

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