Who is this beautiful woman going down on me at this elite orgy? Why is it so hot to watch my partner across the room? Yes, sometimes life as a person who is both bisexual and polyamorous is exactly how you'd imagine in your wettest fantasies. But also, why is my boyfriend turned on by my new girlfriend but hates a former male lover? Does this have anything to do with the "one dick rule" I learned about? The members of our planet who are both bisexual and polyamorous know what I'm talking about. Read on for seven things that bi poly people can relate to.
Within the poly community, there is a term known as "the one dick rule." This refers to situations in which there is one (generally straight) man who has multiple bisexual female partners. Maybe some people are cool with it, but it sure as shit sounds like patriarchy trying to control one more aspect of how we mate by giving an advantage to straight men. "My perspective on that would go back to how men are socialized," says sex therapist David Ortmann when asked why some poly men would want to be the only dick in the bunch.
Another, more compassionate explanation for why so many groups of poly folks tend to involve one cis het dude and a plethora of girlfriends is that speaking in gendered terms, bisexuality in women is often fetishized. It is encouraged. Men want to experience lesbian porn. If a woman has any desire to experiment with her own gender, she is often encouraged to do so by her male partner(s). Unfortunately, the same isn't true for men. As too many beautiful bi boys know, there's quite a bit of stigma against bisexual men. As a result, many may find it easier to identify as either straight or gay. "I think it’s more natural to say everyone is on a spectrum," Ortmann elaborates on orientation. The 'one dick rule' sounds like more a patriarchal arrangement."
Bisexuality in general is often stigmatized by both queer and straight people. One of the misconceptions about bisexuals is that we are incapable of monogamy. This is not true. As polyamory and other forms of open relationships become more normalized, those of all orientations are giving it a shot. However, since we're already known for being sluts (and sometimes we indeed relish this reputation) if you're both bi and poly, some guilt can accompany, as you fear you're confirming people's misguided perceptions. "I think it is just another reason for people to judge me," says sex educator Jimanekia Eborn. "I do think overall people look at it and do not understand and may think it is just us being greedy and wanting everyone," she says, before delightfully adding, "IT IS TRUE!! I DO WANT EVERYONE!"
Yes, some bi and poly folks can be both bi and poly and only have two or even zero partners in their entire lifetime. But generally speaking, if you're bi (meaning that you're attracted to multiple genders) and poly (in which you date more than one person at the same time), you have a more varied sex life than a straight, monogamous person. It's just the truth. And practice makes perfect. So we can eat a pussy and suck a dick far better than you. Accept this fact and move on.
Really quick: Polyamory means having multiple relationships at the same time and falls under the umbrella of consensual or ethical nonmonogamy, which covers all open relationships. Being poly is exhausting. It requires immense time, attention, and effort. And it is not the same thing as giving your partner a pass to experiment—that's just opening up, which is dope. However, when you first come out as bisexual, especially if you're in a monogamous relationship with one gender, you may feel an urge to try "polyamory" to confirm your sexuality, and well, because let's be frank, it's a trendy word. Practicing polyamory when you're not truly polyamorous can lead to mental breakdowns. So if you just came out as bi and want to date and experiment, do so, but research polyamory, go to a poly cocktail events (Google it; they happen in most cities), and talk to poly folks before you find yourself sobbing in a bathroom at work because your live-in partner is on vacation with a poly partner and you're at home realizing that you're bi but you sure as shit ain't poly.
The idea of my partner fucking someone else turns me on; the idea of my partner going on vacation with someone else makes me jealous. We're all different, and what makes us jealous teaches us much about ourselves. In bi poly set-ups, sometimes, one gender may find that they feel threatened by metamours (your partner's partners) of their own gender. For instance, as a bisexual woman, I have had male partners become jealous of other male partners of mine but see my girlfriends as potential threesome partners (not cool). PRIDE editor Zachary Zane has also had one partner become more jealous over one gender than another. "There was a guy who was super jealous of any woman I liked. He had fear of what he called 'bisexual abandonment,' meaning that a guy was gonna leave him for a woman. That happened at his first relationship and he never got over it. The truth was, he was just insecure and needy. If the guy didn’t leave him for a woman, it would have been for another man," Zane says.
Beyond your partner's jealousy, you will experience some of your own. It's just part of the deal sometimes, unfortunately. So how do you deal? "In the beginning of [my current] relationship I would feel it," says Daniel Saynt, founder and chief conspirator of NSFW, a members-only sex and cannabis club in New York, who is both bi and poly. "I would get a little worried or think someone would make him happier than me or more satisfied. To counteract jealousy I actively try to practice compersion in my relationship. I think of the joy that my partner deserves to experience. I think of the joys he allows me to experience. It's a balancing act of emotions in which you experience pleasure by sharing in the pleasure of your partner. Similar to how you feel when a friend gets better after battling an illness, actively practicing compersion brings you happiness from the happiness of others. It's a great thing to practice because it leads to better empathy in your everyday life and a closer connection to those around you."
All genders? More than one lover? Let's end on a high note. If it's right for you, being both bi and poly is incredibly satisfying. "It’s just a better way of living. You’re mentally stimulated, you’re experiencing and exploring a life that is filled with satisfying sexual experiences, you learn how to communicate better, you experience an existence that’s more community-focused. You get to open your heart," Saynt says.