The Pitfalls Of Polyamory

Three people practicing ethical non monogamy stand with their backs to the camera and hold one another

Opening up a relationship is never straight forward.

“Have you ever watched nine and a half weeks?”

“Heard of it, why?” I enquired.

“Just heard of it myself, that’s all, I didn’t know if you’d seen it. Apparently it’s got Kim Basinger in it” Matt replied.

“No, and anyway, it’s the wrong Friday for those sorts of movies. You have to be nice to me tonight” I purred as I ran a casual finger over his belt loop and flicked my eyes up to meet his. Goading? Me? Maybe a little bit.

“That depends, do you want me to be?” he asked. My confidence drained from me for a moment.

“But… I… it’s date night.”

“It doesn’t have to be.”


My eyes glanced over the TV as the lights dimmed low. I’d heard of this show before and I’d cast it off as the usual ‘sex-positive’ crap that Channel 4 produces. Putting couples in open relationships in with a group of single people in a secluded country house, then letting them get it on with one another? What could possibly go wrong?

Welcome to Open House: The Great Sex Experiment. Sure, it wouldn’t be my usual choice of Friday Night entertainment, but as someone who writes about sex and kink on the reg, I thought I’d give it a watch. Even if nothing else, it gives me something else to write about.

“Well it looks like a nice place,” I noted, “secluded, no neighbours to hear the screams, big gardens – I bet they do pony play there”. Matt laughed.

“What?” I shrugged.

“You, only you would think of that” he said with a chuckle. He’s probably not wrong.

In the programme, I don’t know that I saw one couple who were really in what I’d call a ‘secure’ place to be exploring ethical non-monogamy. Insecurity, jealousy, anger and hurt run abound, communication was lacking and resentment was still boiling over from past affairs.

“There are millions of places on this planet, and he’d rather be at any one of them than there” I said of Nathan, who was led on the bed in a noteably resigned state while partner Mady gushed of her enthusiasm to share him with another woman. In the end, it was an experience that very nearly destroyed them.

“The problem with threesomes, and with ethical non-monogamy, is shit like this happens when people just jump in and don’t communicate,” I began. “We’ve got the list of questions up there on the shelf so we know where we’re at. It’s boring as hell yes, but it’s better than an unregulated free-for-all where feelings tend to get hurt.”

Me being me, I made a list of not less than 45 questions when we ‘opened up’, which I put to Matt to make sure I fully understood just how far he was happy for me to go with ENM right now. Not only, but I have one Golden Rule of my own – unless enthusiastic consent is given, I will always reduce my physical contact with partners if/when in group settings, purely so that I can help reduce feelings of jealousy and insecurity. I’m not big on PDAs beyond a peck on the cheek or the light holding of hands anyway – I personally find it needlessly possessive – but when you dealing with multiple partners who all want a slice of the proverbial polyamory pie? You need to be extra careful.

On the topic of polyamory, I’m sad to report that the Captain and I have made the decision to cool things down. There wasn’t the explosive break up like there has been in times before, and we are at least still friends. I could see that he was struggling with kink and everyday life, I could see that he had his plate more than full and I could see that a submissive partner was the very last thing he needed right now, he just needed a friend. I’ve been there myself, back caring for Nan during my Domme days, there were times when I just couldn’t dominate anyone and I’m sure there are times when he can’t, too. I laid it all out for him, we talked, he apologised for letting me down and he still has my respect for that because it takes balls to admit that you’re struggling, real balls. We’ve both got some healing to do now for sure, but then I firmly believe that time heals all wounds.

And so as that concludes today’s ramble. I have another drafted for you all for later, a hilarious misfortune that came upon me yesterday. I wish you all a happy and peaceful Monday. Keep smiling – it’s TMI Tuesday tomorrow!

Until next time.

Stay safe & have fun,

Helen xx

4 thoughts on “The Pitfalls Of Polyamory

  1. A relationship is built on communication.
    A marriage survives or falls on communication.
    Ethical non-monogamy multiplies that communication exponentially.
    In our poly quad lines of communication run 4 to the 7th
    And we aren’t doing group sex anymore. It’s complicated.
    This was a great post on tough topics.
    Good luck and seasons and relationships change over time. It will be interesting to watch your friendship ebb and flow.
    May you have fair winds and following seas.

    1. Thank you David, communication is definitely the key to success and has been the foundations of my 14-year relationship with my husband. It’s not always easy, but it is possible and even incredibly beneficial when it’s done fairly and done well. I wish you well with your poly quad, too,

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