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Polyproblema

Plus, one hetero woman's VDS fantasy

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I'm a middle-aged, fat and happy gay man. My partner has a best friend, and they share everything — including our bed. Most weekends, we tromp through town together, watch TV together and share waking and sleeping moments together. Recently I referred to us as "poly and in a triad," and I was shocked by my partner's response. He claims that we aren't a triad; I say that if we're sharing home, heart and bed, we're in a poly relationship. Sign me ...

Honest Accidentally Poly Person, Yep

Being poly means being open to or being in more than one romantic relationship — concurrent committed relationships — and what you've described sounds pretty poly to me. Perhaps it's the triad designation that makes your partner uncomfortable. That particular label implies that you're all equal partners — not just equally attracted to each other and in love with each other (which three people rarely are), but equals on the emotional, social and financial fronts as well, i.e., equally obligated to one another. Your partner may regard his best friend as fun to have around, but not an equal partner, and not someone he is responsible to/for in the same way you two are responsible for each other.

Or maybe your partner regards his best friend as his boyfriend, not yours, and while he's happy to share his boyfriend with you sexually, he's not into the idea that you might be in love with his boyfriend and vice versa, so the "triad" label irks him.

Or maybe your partner is one of those people who believes that poly folks are deranged sex maniacs and whatever he's doing can't be poly because he's not a deranged sex maniac, HAPPY, which makes him more comfortable with cognitive dissonance than the "triad" label.

I am an adult hetero woman, and I have a recurring fantasy that gives me pause. I was never abused as a child, and I have ABSOLUTELY NO sexual interest in children. However, in my fantasy, I am 9 years old and being seduced by a gorgeous man in his 30s. It ends with us having intercourse. I don't feel guilty — no harm done, after all — but I do feel strange. Help me out: Fight the fantasy?

Kinky In Distress

You're not fantasizing about having sex with children — excuse me: You're not fantasizing about raping children — you're fantasizing about being a child who is "seduced" (read: raped) by a gorgeous man (read: a rapist). Your fantasy is unrealizable except through consensual "age play," a kink that has not been linked to pedophilia. So while your fantasy is very deeply squicky (VDS), KID, no one is harmed when you indulge yourself in your VDS fantasy. But be careful with whom you share it, KID, lest you wind up attracting an actual pedophile (someone who wishes you were a 9-year-old girl) or repelling someone who can't wrap his head around the essential harmlessness of your VDS fantasy.

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