Friday, April 17, 2015

The Impossible Dream

Conversations about my life with other people often get pretty weird.  In particular I find that straight guys react in a predictable way that I wish I could change but which clearly is going to be a thing for quite some time.  The two things about my life that cause this reaction are me being a homemaker and being polyamorous.

Finding out that I am a homemaker often starts off with people not being too impressed with me but once it becomes clear that I do this not because I want to scrub floors till they shine but because it gives me lots of time to play video games the reactions change right quick.  (It also gives Wendy lots of time to read books and play The Sims, keep in mind!)  Sometimes there is a bit of incredulity that my wife lets me get away with this but mostly people get that it is a choice with consequences - having less money, for one.

The thing that totally rocks their world though is finding out that I am polyamorous, particularly when I talk about going out on dates during the day while Elli is in school and Wendy is working.  The idea of me hanging around my place having romantic / fun / sexytimes with somebody while Wendy works makes their heads spin around and around and seems to make them question their life choices.

My response to this is to say "You know, you could do this too, right?"

That phrase never seems to be received in the way I want it to be.  That is, I am trying to say "You know, I eat breakfast.  If you want to eat breakfast, you can too!"  What they hear is "You know, I climb Mount Everest naked.  You could climb Everest naked too!"  They see my life as impossible, obviously achieved by magic.

The reality of the situation is that being a guy who is a polyamorous homemaker is neither as simple as breakfast nor as hard as climbing Everest while naked.  The world pushes back, seeing me as having no drive, no ambition.  People often think of my lifestyle as wrong, unstable, or dangerous.  There are real social costs to living as I do, though they are far lower than I had thought they might be and certainly are lower than most people anticipate.  Stepping outside the expected norms forces you to come up with your own rules and that can be a difficult process.  It is a process I cherish, but it does take time and effort.

One of the big reasons I talk about being poly is that I want the world to see how I live as just a thing people do.  I want poly to be like bowling.  Maybe you like bowling, maybe you don't, but you probably don't worry too much about somebody else who likes bowling and you are pretty sure if you felt like it you could go bowling too.  Bowling isn't quite as simple as breakfast, but it is sure a lot closer to breakfast in terms of difficulty than it is to climbing Everest while naked.

Living way outside the norm is possible.  There is a choice there, and to dismiss it as not a choice is to place unfortunate limits on your own happiness.  No matter whether your happy place is right in line with what other people expect or not it is a good thing to recognize that the choice exists.  It is not a question of what you must do, but what you choose to do.


  1. You really, REALLY need to meet a guy I know (well,meet him again).

  2. You really, REALLY need to meet a guy I know (well,meet him again).