Chris's article

Sister Wives How To: Talk About Changing the Rules


One of the defining characteristics of poly+ relationships is the amount of talking you have to do to keep things running smoothly. While most practitioners know how to handle the day-to-day (how are chores being divided, what’s the schedule for the week, where to have dinner out), conversations about changing the rules of the relationship can feel intimidating and complicated. After all, the potential for conflict increases exponentially with every additional person in a relationship!

 

But in order to keep any relationship healthy, it’s important to go deep every so often and make sure you’re all as happy as you can be together. (Keep in mind, this guide is written with the intention of helping people already in poly+ relationships, but the general principles can also apply to talking to your partner about trying the poly+ lifestyle.

 

  1. Reflect on What Your Deal breakers Are
    First, talk to yourself. Think about what you like and dislike about the way the relationship is currently structured, and what rules feel like a burden. Take some time before you have the conversation to envision your perfect relationship, both in the abstract and with the people you’re currently with.

    Then, journal or record voice memos about what makes you feel happy, alive, and motivated to be your best self. Consider if there are expectations from your partners or yourself (said or unsaid) that feel antithetical to who you are and want to be as a person and partner. If you’re unsure of where to start, try these prompts: “This is what happens on the days I feel happiest…”, “This is what happens on the days I feel saddest…”, and “I feel the most like myself when…”

  2. Schedule the Conversation

    When you feel ready to have the conversation, talk to your partners about it in advance. Schedule a time when you will all be most likely to be fed, rested, and calm. Try to make it a time when you won’t have to rush from or to anywhere, and when you’ll all have the opportunity to wind down afterwards, whether it’s together in a cuddle puddle, or solo with each of your thoughts. Offer the same prompts and practices you use to be prepared. Most people feel nervous when they hear the phrase “we need to talk” without context, so try saying something like this: “I love you and I want to make sure we’re taking care of each other in the right way. I’d like to have a conversation about how the relationship is working for all of us on [DATE] at [TIME]. Here’s something I’m thinking about so I’m ready for it, would you be up for trying it too?”

  3. Be Honest About What You Need

    At the appointed date and time, show up with your best self. Be ready to be open, honest, and vulnerable. Make sure to have snacks and drinks at hand so if the discussion takes a while, no one gets hangry (but you’re probably better off skipping alcohol or heavy drinking). Ensure everyone has an equal chance and time to talk (an egg timer or stopwatch on your phone works well for this). When it’s your turn to speak, don’t shy away from what you really need, whether it’s dipping into new bedroom activities like BDSM or group intimacy, or needing time to yourself on Thursday nights to catch up on your novel reading. The only way you get what you want is by asking for it with words.
     
  4. Approach Conflicts as a Team

    As you listen to your partners, use the mindset of listening to understand, rather than respond. You might find yourself having strong, immediate reactions, and the impulse to interrupt them if you feel they’re wrong. That’s perfectly human, but not necessarily perfect for the discussion!  Rather than interrupting, make a mental note or write down your reaction so you can talk about after they finish their thought. When you find you have a conflict of need or desire, problem-solve together. It’s you as a team against the problem, not against each other. Yes, sometimes you’ll find that your needs are incompatible, but it’s better to know and make a decision than burning out the relationship and each other.

Keep Talking

After the conversation, you hopefully have adjusted your relationship rules so they work beautifully for everyone! Even so, give yourself time to wind down and reflect. In the days and weeks following, keep talking to each other and adapting what you’ve agreed on as you apply the rules to everyday life. It might be clear that Thursday nights aren’t great because one partner needs the living room for their DnD sessions, but Wednesdays are perfect instead. Life changes your circumstances all the time, so keep the lines of communication open, and remember to celebrate when you make decisions that keep the relationship healthy, happy, and vital.










Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc: Sisterwives.com


Even with the rising support of feminism and the LGBTQIA+ community, polygamy is often cast aside as the weird, freaky one in the group. Thanks to pop culture and the inescapable narrative of straight, monogamous relationships, alternative romantic and sexual lifestyles like polyamory are often vilified. It’s easy to reciprocate hate and animosity, but the poly community believes in friendly exchange of ideas. So it’s time to set the record straight and bust some myths about polygamy, polygyny, polyamory, and consensual non-monogamy as a whole.



Why all this hate against polygamy?


It would be foolish to ignore some of the darker histories associated with polygamy, especially polygyny. Polygyny, the marriage of one man to multiple wives, is often compared to society’s patriarchal nature. Men in power enjoying the benefits of multiple women partners has negatively influenced the cultural attitude towards poly lifestyles.


Most notably, religious male leaders or abusive male partners have traditionally coerced young women into non-consensual (or seemingly consensual) relationships--a big source of hate against polygamy. This is a despicable stain on polygamous relationships, but only a small fraction of what it actually is now.



Is polygamy just another form of patriarchal control?


Today, polygamy’s rebirth clearly demonstrates that the former imbalance of power and choice between man and woman is finally leveling out. Moreover, polygamy today has a broader definition. It’s no longer a strict bond between a straight man and multiple wives or a straight woman and multiple husbands. For starters, bisexual men, bisexual women, queer men, or queer women can enter a polygamous relationship if they choose to.


The key is in everyone’s consent and honest communication. No two relationships are exactly the same, after all. Just like a monogamous couple might clearly define their boundaries about what cheating constitutes in their household, a polygamous couple in the dating stage can define what makes them uncomfortable and what the other people in the relationship can do to build trust.


Women--or anybody, for that matter--are no longer forced into a polygamous relationship for fear of violence or evil consequences. The polyamory and polygamy dating world is actually rooted in choice. In a way, modern polygamy flips the table on patriarchal ideals. Women are free to choose what they want, even if they are in a polygamous relationship. They may even enter a relationship with a sister wife should they desire to do so.


Renowned researcher and expert in consensual non-monogamy Dr. Elisabeth Sheff perfectly sums up the anti-patriarchal nature of polyamorous relationships in her article, “Polyamory is Deviant--But Not for the Reasons You May Think.” The three main reasons being that women are now on equal negotiating status with men, women can now pursue multiple partners if they choose to, and that polyamory forces us to ask questions like, “Why is monogamy so pressed into our society that we feel like it’s the only choice?” When it comes to polygamy, choice is front and center, so the argument that polygamy is just another form of patriarchy is extremely weak.



Is polygamy dating an abnormality only a few people practice?


It might surprise you to know that about 22% of Americans have been in a consensual non-monogamous relationship at least once (Haupert, 2016). Judging by the rising visibility of polygamous relationships in the media, this number has likely increased since the article’s publication. It’s safe to say polygamy dating and the polyamory world isn’t just an anomaly a few hundred people practice in secret.


Chances are, you know people who are in polyamorous or polygamous relationships already. Although recent legislature like Massachusetts’ broadened definition of a relationship to include households with more than two adults is a step in the right direction, polygamy representation still has a long way to go.



Polygamy dating is just an excuse for sexual experimentation


Perhaps the most common misconception of all is the inseparable connotation between polygamy dating and sexual exploration. While sexuality has a place in polyamory or polygamy, it’s usually not the only driving force for individuals seeking these types of relationships. Just like one monogamous relationship can prioritize emotional needs over sexual needs, a polygamous relationship might focus on other aspects of a healthy relationship, as well.


In fact, polyamorous dating requires even more mindful relationship building than a monogamous partnership. With multiple people to build a home or relationship with, it requires more mental, emotional, social, and sometimes even more financial effort. As a result, polygamous ties produce deeper commitments that are often harder to shake than a monogamous partnership.


This isn’t to say that every monogamous relationship is fickle, nor that every polyamorous relationship is a serious, lifelong commitment. It’s to say that critics of polygamous relationships can’t--or refuse--to look beyond the stereotype of a hypersexualized polygamous relationship. In Cathy Young’s Time article about same-sex marriage and polygamy, she argues that “..the private sexual choices of adults should not be criminalized. But they are not automatically entitled to cultural approval or societal support systems.” 


This is a vast simplification of polygamy and polyamorous relationships. Again and again, articles like these reduce polygamy and polyamory to a mere sexual preference instead of a relationship choice, perpetuating the tired stereotype that consensual non-monogamy is rooted in sexual deviance.



The future of polyamory, polygamy, and polygyny


The umbrella term of polyamory and its subcategories polygamy and polygyny deserve a place in mainstream media and culture without the obvious prejudice against alternative lifestyles. Although the polygamy dating world is being acknowledged through accessible T.V. shows and docu-series, the focus is often misplaced.


In the future, we hope to be portrayed in a positive, or at the very least objective lens, instead of a side show watched with a discerning eye. For now, we’ll continue to educate and enlighten others without taking offense at deep-seated prejudices or preconceptions. After all, understanding begins with an open conversation.









Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc: Sisterwives.com


The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Poly Partners

 

 

If you’re new to polyamory, potential partners way ahead of you in the game will avoid you like the plague because you probably have a lot to learn and they won’t have the patience. Of course, why would they risk the emotional traumas when they can easily find themselves a stable partner? The stakes are even higher in polygamy, which involves a legally-binding agreement in the form of marriage.


But that’s not necessarily the case for everyone – especially not for those who go through this guide. In this guide, we’ll equip you with all you need to know to present yourself as a seasoned polyamory pro to your potential polygamy partner to make them open up easily to you.


We’ll be covering:


1. Hard facts about finding a partner

2. A checklist for finding partners

3. The best places for finding partners


Let’s dive in!

 

Some Iron-Clad Facts You Shouldn’t Ignore When Searching for a Partner

 

First, let’s talk about some hard facts you need to have at the back of your mind all through your search. These facts are immutable and non-negotiable, regardless of your circumstance. You can’t build a solid foundation for your poly partners if you ignore them.

 

You Need to Find a Polygamy Partner for the Right Reasons

If straight-off the bat you go looking for a partner with the wrong motives, you shouldn’t expect the relationship to work for long.

For a stable, lasting relationship, you’d want to make sure that your motives match the qualities you need in your potential partner. It could be a total disaster if those two don’t meet. For instance, if you’re looking for long-distance relationships, you need to look for a partner who can accommodate your long absence.

 

You Need a Set of Guidelines for the Relationship

A clear set of guidelines will help make your relationship more predictable – especially on your own end. This will help you establish expectations and ease anxiety in the relationship. With this guideline, you’ll know exactly what to do in delicate situations to prevent emotional fallouts.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when creating your guidelines;


·       What do I generally want in this relationship?

·       What would I love to have but can do without?

·       What are things that I must have?


Use these questions to set guidelines for various circumstances from pregnancy to sharing your living space, and safe sex practices.

 

You can’t Plan Your Partner’s Life for Them

As much as you’d love for your plans for the relationship to pan out well, you shouldn’t bank on the predictions you make about your partner’s behaviors. It’s best to come with multiple plans and an exit strategy to cover just about any event. You can’t dictate how they see and feel about things, so it’s best to focus on your own actions and behaviors in your plan.

 

Your Relationship Can Change or Evolve Over Time

You should also prepare your mind for circumstances where either of you changes your mind about the relationship. But sometimes, this change occurs subtly, slowly eating up the relationship from the inside and building into a serious breach of trust.

It’s best to keep track of any possible changes to your relationship to minimize the damage that might occur down the line. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a relationship playbook that you can frequently revisit and revise whenever you feel something odd is happening.

 

Regular Check-Ins is Essential

As in every relationship, communication is the key in your polygamous relationships. If the channels for communicating thoughts and feelings are blocked or obstructed, the bottled-up emotions and thoughts might be released through other channels that are not healthy for the relationship – jealousy fits, for example.

 

Disagreements are Bound to Happen

You shouldn’t expect your ideal partner to sees eye-to-eye with you in every issue. Rather than making you happy and at ease, a yes-yes partner can quickly bore you out.

A little bit of variety isn’t bad for your relationship, so you need to be prepared to court each other’s differences and agree to disagree.

 

Therapists and Relationship Coaches Can Help You Find a Good Partner

Relationship coaches can help you establish your motives and the right qualities you should expect from your potential partner. They can also talk to your potential partner to help you resolve any critical differences that may fizzle out the flow of the relationship.

 

 

A Checklist for Your Search

Now that you’re acquainted with facts that’ll help you lay a solid foundation for your relationship, you know exactly what your relationship should look like in general.

But you need to drill down more specifically on the qualities of your potential partner. To help you do that, here’s a checklist you should use when checking out potential candidates:

 

What Makes You Jealous?

Some people are fine with their partners having casual sex with others, but not with a deeply intimate relationship – where the partner virtually sells their soul. It can be quite dicey to gauge your jealous impulses – sometimes you need to take the plunge and learn the hard way with a real-life situation.


If you can’t handle seeing your polygamy partner dating others, then you can limit your search to partners who’ll make out with other people while they’re with you. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:


Do I feel secure about this relationship?

What level of commitment can I tolerate in my partner’s relationship with others?

Can we resolve fights easily?

Can we both agree on certain rules and goals?

 

Are You Both on the Same Page over your Relationship Style?

It’s never advisable to go looking for a polygamy partner in a monogamist. You and your partner should agree on the type of relationship you want from the onset. Don’t go in while hiding the fact that you’re looking to have a polygamous relationship. It’s unethical and could backfire.

 

What Motivates Your Partner?

You’ll most likely succeed in your relationship if you and your partner have common goals. For starters, you and your partner need to be on the same page about the limitations of monogamy and how to explore polyamory relationship to fill the void.


A simple motivation to find more love and happiness in life can keep your relationship going during a thorny patch. For polygamous relationships, partners are usually motivated by more tangible benefits like financial stability or ability to support certain lifestyles. 

 

 

Do We Have a Future?

Do you intend to quit the relationship at a certain point in time – probably when you have kids or take on a political office? You should make this clear from the get-go and have your partner prepared for that eventuality.


You can also talk about your future with them anytime you feel like the relationship is heading off the rails. You two should be able to talk to each other comfortably about the future of the relationship whenever something’s bothering you.

 

 

The Best Places to Find Your Polygamy Partners

Armed with your checklist and guidelines for finding polygamy partners and managing your emotions and behaviors, you’re now fully equipped for your search.


Here are some of the best places you should check out first.

 

Ashley Madison

One of the most renowned meeting places for polyamorists on the web is Ashley Madison. With over 54 million users from all works of life, you’ll have plenty of options to explore here. You can also rest assured that the people you meet will most likely get on the same page with you. The platform parades itself as one for the “most open-minded” relationships. Users here range from single to married, sexually curious, and swingers.


The site also has a good track record of safeguarding the security and privacy of its users, so you can feel at ease about sharing your personal information n the platform.

 

Feeld

Feeld is another popular destination for polygamists. However, the user base here isn’t as refined as that of Ashley Madison or other platforms, as it’s mainly frequented by people looking for flings and one-night-stands, not a lasting relationship.


However, with over a million users, you still stand a good chance of finding good partners who share the same goals as yours.


Feeld also has a bad reputation for bugs and glitches in its app, but its website is more stable. Most web and mobile app users enjoy a wide variety of features that connect them with potential partners, including incognito mode, couple accounts, and group chats.

 

Fetlife

If you’re looking for a poly relationship with fringe sexual behaviors like fetishes and BDSM, Fetlife is right in your alley.


The site boasts over 8.5 million users worldwide, many of whom are fervid fans of extreme fringe behaviors.


Fetlife is also integrated with Facebook, with users allowed to share their Facebook groups, events, profiles, and multimedia with others on the platform.

 

OkCupid

One of the oldest dating sites on the internet, OKCupid is one of the best places where you can find polyamory partners today.


But as a long-established platform, OKCupid is heavily frequented by people looking for more traditional relationships. However, given a user base of over 5 million people, you still stand a good chance of finding polygamy partners here.


The platform’s matching system can help you quickly find potential partners, showing you people whose preferences are comparable to yours. Note, however, that polyamory users here often use emojis and code words to describe what they want, so you need to find and use these code words when searching for your partner.

 

Meetup

This platform is also frequented by decent, everyday people looking for poly relationships. The platform can match you with potential partners based not only on your sexual preferences and goals but also factors like hobbies. You might be in luck to find a polygamy partner who not only shares your relationship goals but also shares your same hobbies.


Another advantage of using Meetup is that their user base is spread more evenly across the nation, so you’ll have nearly as many partners to choose from as people living in major cities.

 

 

Connect With Your Polygamy Partner Today

 

You don’t need to make any major lifestyle changes to prepare for your polygamy partner. All you need to do is to come to terms with your emotions and personal needs. Once you’ve established these, you can then set out to find a partner who can cater to those needs. There are a plethora of places to find potential candidates, but you need to ensure that the partner you choose is motivated toward the same goals.









Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc: Sisterwives.com

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