Chapter 1 – OPENING
In the first chapter, we can see that Selina is distracted and very engaged in using her phone. Alex begins to notice, so he becomes curious.
Selina tells Alex he’s a friend… but that’s just half the truth…
He’s a potential lover. To any friend, she would have simply said he is a potential lover. Why should she lie?
They’ve talked about it many times in the past, and it’s about time that there is actually a first time…
They have read many books together to inform themselves about the possibilities beyond monogamy.
They’ve both always known that if one of them would hook up with someone else it would not be the end of their relationship, so looking more into this idea, they felt the sensation that not only would they not break up, but maybe it would make their relationship stronger and longer lasting in a long term perspective.
Well, perhaps hooking up with other people wouldn’t make their relationship stronger, but having sex and intimacy with other people, and not having to break up because of this, would mean that they could be more coherent with their feelings towards how they feel in the world. Therefore, in the process, they’d be happier with their relationship, and thus one another.
It was important for them to analyse the reason why they felt they wanted to open up their relationship; they wanted to make sure that if there was any problem to resolve in the relationship, they weren’t just opening up to avoid confronting it. For example, if they wanted to do things that they hadn’t dared ask each other, or if they were feeling a lack of atraction for one another, or any other problem that might be the cause. They wanted to be sure that they wanted to open up their relationship for the right reasons, to add something more and something positive to their lives and, by proxy, to their relationship.
The thing is that the world that Selina and Alex know, like most people, is very monogamous. This brings the challenge of doing something for which they have no reference in the real world.
Add to that, all the friends saying it’s simply not going to work out… great!
Even though it feels like everything is set against them, they decide that they’re going to get out there and play without thinking of losing. They are convinced; they’ve read everything they could and they only need to go and try.
Before diving right in, they’ve gone over their limits, especially when it comes to making sure that having other dates won’t affect the quality of their time as a couple.
Selina and Alex have a special day for the two of them during the week, in which they do some sort of activity that makes them feel good together.
Then, since all of this is new to them, they’ve agreed that a date with another person will not happen just before their special day together, reserved for just the two of them. They decide on this because they will need at least a day or two to talk and deal with the feelings of their new situation, and this would distract and interfere with their scheduled time.
What’s more, if they’re thinking of having a nice sexual encounter on their special day and the other person arrives exhausted, then that’s hardly ideal.
For that reason they’ve talked about leaving a space of 2-3 days before.
They’ve also talked seriously about safer sex.
Basically the idea is that, whatever they do, it won’t affect the quality of their encounters as a couple.
They have agreed in talking honestly about everything that happens, and they understand that it’s a job between the two of them, for it to work.
Bibliography of the materials that Selina and Alex consulted up to this point:
The Ethical Slut
Book by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy
Book by Tristan Taormino
Website with a weekly podcast full of resources!
Chapter 2 – HOBBIES
We are going to use the persective of ‘hierarchichal polyamory’ to understand, in a more simple way, what may be happening with Sylvan, Selina and Alex.
There are more ways to relate in a non monogamous way than just this, such as ‘relational anarchy’ for example.
In the second chapter, Selina meets up with Sylvan to talk for a while, while partaking in the same hobby activity.
She explains to him that she talked with Alex about the fact that they are opening up their relationship, and that they’ve also talked about him.
Here is a guide to better understand the kind of things that they could have talked before stepping into action; in order to arrive to agreements.
Sylvan is okay with everything that Selina is explaining to him, like the fact that what they are doing is agreed upon and not in any way hidden or secret; he still however explains that he feels a bit worried about the possibility of provoking problems in someone else’s relationship.
Selina tells him how the decision to open up their relationship has been made through mutual consent and agreement, and that the problems that this choice could bring are between Selina and Alex, and not Sylvan. Therefore, he doesn’t have to feel that he is in the middle of anything.
Selina already has a friendship with Sylvan and wants to be sincere with him, explaining to him the situation, especially since the atraction emerged through the process of knowing one another better.
Up to this point, it’s all quite simple; we’re just talking about a first date.
Although these people are new to our lives – and perhaps we might ever only share a fleeting encounter – and might not yet be considered a primary or secondary partner, it doesn’t mean that they should be treated somehow less, without respect, and without their emotions taken into account; we all have feelings, after all.
In polyamory slang, the situation that could be evolving between Selina and Sylvan, would be called a ‘secondary relationship’. A ‘secondary relationship’ is one that is decided as such because the existing couple, or simply one partner (such as Selina), or the new person involved (Sylvan) chooses it to be so. This could be a conscious decision from any of those involved, or the situation could be that simply because not enough time has passed between those involved, for it to be seen in another light, so in effect, it is seen as a ‘secondary relationship’ by default.
In the future we are going to explain further about ‘secondary relationships’. We will explain it from all three different perspectives.
Despite whatever names, slang or terms that might be used, the main thing to take into account is that this new person shouldn’t simply be taken for granted; like everyone, they are someone unique, that doesn’t need to be compared to your other partners, and deserves to be respected and taken care of as a lover, friend, or whatever kind of relationship it turns out to become.
Of course, just because someone is not your primary partner or lover, it still of course means that just as you would with anyone you share a friendship or relationship with, you should give them appropriate attention, consideration and caretaking in regards to any problems derived from sexual encounters and intimacy – such as STDs, pregnancy risks, unexpected situations, etc .
It is down to the individuals involved to agree and put their own limits and consent to how far things will go, but let’s be responsible with our sexual and intimate relationships, by not being misleading, but instead honest with our intentions and limits toward each other.
The clearer a couple can be with each other about what they do and don’t want, the less likely it will be for drama to be played out between them and others.