A letter to a friend about the thing I created at my home burn.
With some luck, bust mostly a lot of really hard work and very late nights over the course of about three months, I created an absolutely gorgeous space. The shelter tent was covered with lengths of gold damask that stretched from the ground on one side all the way over the top and to the ground on the other side. Within the tent, I covered the ceiling with gold and rose sheers. The inner walls were made of gold and red damask, with coordinating panels hanging crosswise to provide a bit of privacy for each meditation alcove. At the back of the tent, I constructed an altar and hung a wooden hoop. Participants would go through the four self-guided meditations, then light a stick of incense and place it upright in a bowl of earth. Then, they could tie a strip of colored cotton fabric onto the hoop to mark their place in the global web of human interconnectivity. The hoop was burned in the temple/art burn on Sunday. At night, the tent was illuminated with white, orange and red twinkle lights. I almost think it was even more beautiful at night.
I want you to know with certainty exactly what draws me to you. I am consistently awed by your ability to pursue that which will add to you and to remove from your life that which does not support you in fulfilling your highest purpose. I am drawn to you because you are always seeking for more and better, deeper and higher. When I look at you, I see a well of potential, the dark center of the lotus, the thousand petaled blossom. New petals constantly opening as older petals curl backward. Your colorway is always changing, the shades and patterns in perpetual evolution. You are always learning new things about yourself, and adding powerful self-care tools to your practice. You are not afraid to know what you want and to go after it unapologetically. This enriches your life as much as it enriches the lives of those you bless with love. You bless me with love. You listen to me, you tell me the truth, even – at times – the truth about myself. You encourage me, too, to pursue more, better, deeper and higher. To cast off the weights I am carrying. To leap, to fall, to float. I am looking forward to enjoying gardens with you and holding your hand, to afternoon tea and saying I love you, my breath grazing the smooth skin of your neck. I am looking forward to making my body an offering to you. And to bringing you pleasure.
I’m seeing her in August, and I’ll be singing this song.
From a visit with my far away person last month…
She has gone to visit her family in town and I am sitting in an empty banquet hall watching the sun illuminate last night’s snowfall. We trudged through it about a mile with our luggage, heating up our bodies such that I had to take off my scarf and other articles to keep myself from overheating. Today, though, I am comfortably warm in my body and spiritually warmed by the timeless vision of a historical campus blanketed in snow. I am thinking about the many women who were educated there, especially those educated in times when women having knowledge was radical (even more than it is now). I head back to the room we are sharing, pick up her button down shirts and walk upstairs to the laundry room where I set up the ironing board and plug in the iron. As the iron is heating, so is my love for her. This is but one kind of warmth through which I express my love. Warm heart, warm body, my mind on fire. I am thinking about her soft chest enclosed in crisp cotton, her strong arms straining the seams of the sleeves. I imagine her fingers fastening each button with precision, her brow is tight and her lips are proudly, confidently posed. As my imagination wanders, I think of her dress pants belted comfortably at her waist, just above the buckle. I imagine the warm yellow light emanating from her solar plexus – the center of her creative power. And lower, the gentle orange glow of her sacrum. In this region of her body, her erotic power and her creative power are interwoven, each influencing the other. The erotic is ever present in her creative expression and there is art in her expression of eros. With the heated iron, I press the collars, the backs, the sleeves, the plackets and the bust darts of each shirt, carefully, and return them to their hangers. I put away the ironing board and set the iron out to cool. As I carry the shirts back to our room, I am thinking about the transgressive nature of my presence in this place. I am no student, nor a student’s relative, nor an instructor. I am here with my lover who is preparing to engage in professional activities. The only people who know I am here with her are the three different people I have met in the lobby. In moments of pleasure, we have struggled to keep quiet, though neither of us feels much remorse about that – perhaps I feel slightly embarrassed, but it is an embarrassment that arouses me. She has given me these instructions. Take time for yourself. Iron these shirts. Be ready for dinner later. Wear something that makes you feel sexy. Even running short on time, I finish every last one of her instructions. That success keeps me warm as I rush through ice and snow on foot to the restaurant in my favorite dress.
From twisting vines
hangs her bower
flowers and moss
make her bed and
adorn her hair
gleaming in the dark
warm skin enclosing
First: a golden heart
Second: blood of molten silver
shining in her veins.
Third: bones bronzed
She calls down
from the high leafy branches
the name of her lover
but cannot descend.
her lover cannot climb.
so much like the murmur
of birds in the darkness.
Who will come to lower
her bower? Who
comes to help her lover alight?
In the night their
wind rustling the trees,
cooing doves in nests obscured
wailing souls wandering
through willow groves under
streams of cold moonlight.
They silence in
the instant of recognition
visions vanishing like mists
swept off by a breeze.
Bend, high branches!
Lower, you slender vines!
Rise, O earth!
Love is no adynaton
while creation still
responds to desperate calls
woman to companion.
(I have no idea when I wrote this. Best guess, 2012)
Don’t make assumptions based on the title of this post. It’s not going to say what you think it will.
If you love it, let it go.
Right now I am intentionally, very specifically practicing this mantra. The best part is that letting those I love go, at least for now, means I get to keep them! I have two sweethearts who also have other sweethearts and we all are so very satisfied with that. Simon has a sweetheart who lives in a nearby city. He sees her once a week, or so, I sometimes feel guilty that I get to spend so much more time with him. I met his sweetheart recently, a beautiful soul, whom I am now privileged to know.
Kali also has a special someone whom I have yet to meet. Before she went on the road, Kali’s sweetheart lived closer to her, so she had someone to spend time with. That made me happy. Kali’s big news is a fancy job overseas. I will be learning to give her up for the second time. It is not as dramatic as that sounds, we are accustomed to loving each other from afar. For my birthday last month, some friends of mine gave me a passport cover and money to renew my passport. They know how much I care about her and they know that I will undoubtedly go to see her.
Right now, Kali is sitting at the desk in our hotel room, there is lilting tropicalia dancing out of her laptop as she mutates her thoughts and theories into digital format. This is our third visit since I saw her back in March. The first was for one night before she had to make professional appearances. Less than 24 hours. The second one was for almost a full day before she had to go and visit family. This time, I had the beautiful experience spending a full day with her before taking time out for sex. I so enjoyed participating in the mundane with her. We dined, ran some errands, stopped at my house to meet Simon & look at our plants, walked in a public garden together, kissed behind a tree when no one was looking.
In my last post about her, I talked about how I chose to name her Kali because Kali is the goddess of time. We are always racing against the clock to have as much sex and physical contact as we can before having to part ways. Until she got hired by an ancient college in another country, I thought we wouldn’t have to be so conscious of the clock and the calendar anymore. Now I have two months left before she becomes significantly less accessible to me. She will have a new time zone, a new way of living, new people occupying her attention. As disappointing as this may sound, this is one of the best things that could happen to her after putting her career on hold for so long, and for all the wrong reasons. My hope is that she will also find a companion there. Someone to increase her enjoyment of life, and expand her use of her corporeal manifestation beyond its professional applications.
As of right now, I have a little more than a day left with her, more than we’ve have had during either of our last two visits. We’re having lunch with Simon and the one who is dear to him. It will be the first time any of us has ever had a poly double date. Everyone is open to it, but I am really the one asking for it. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it is because I want concrete evidence of the progress I’ve made with respect to polyamory. Perhaps it’s just because I think the three of them (Kali, Simon and his dear one) are all such fantastic people who would find a lot of common ground with one another. Regardless, I’m looking forward to an engaging conversation this afternoon.
Kali leaves by flight tomorrow afternoon, I’m taking her to the airport on my lunch break. We may or may not see each other before she leaves the country in August. Either way, I know I will see her soon enough.
I do lament her leaving, losing the softness of her touch and lacking the sound of her liquid voice with which she is, even now, speaking to me about the interconnectedness of music, language and culture. However, I know full well that this is the best choice for her. I want her to be recognized for who she is: A leader with a sharp mind and an electric personality, who, knowingly or unwittingly, draws up others with her as she rises.
I am adamant that she not stay. I will not stand in the way, nor passively allow myself to distract her from her purpose. I am willing to let her go.
The night before Halloween 2011, I met someone who became very special to me. I never told you about Kali because… it didn’t seem appropriate. She works in the education field and was in an open marriage at the time, it seemed like a better idea to keep things to myself and cherish them privately. I wanted to lunge for her instantly, I wanted her to kiss me. But I kept my composure and sat on my hands. So appropriate, so proper. We didn’t kiss until the next date. The waiting was excruciating.
Kali and her wife had a lot of rules for their open marriage. In general, I think that if people want to have rules for their relationships, they should have them. Going into it, though, I couldn’t have predicted how much the rules were going to affect me. Some of them seemed arbitrary – can’t have an intimate date more frequently than once every three weeks. Social dates allowed in between. No extended phone calls, no gifts, no romance. Most serious of all: No love of secondary partners whatsoever. No love? How can there be no love? Or if there was, it mustn’t be spoken aloud.
By Thanksgiving I had jumped down the rabbit hole. We communicated so well, we could turn each other on in an instant through words alone. There must have been only a handful of days on which we didn’t get a chance to check in. Kali had traveled extensively through Portuguese speaking countries and so I spent hours listening to Portuguese language courses, practicing the differences between Spanish & Portuguese. I called her “a minha professora” – My professor (feminine). We had a sex date in November and one I think in December, and I wish I could remember all the details. No such luck – I didn’t write down the specifics in my paper journal, though I did find the places where I wrote about her. The first sex date was at my home. I remember crying, which I often do at first because the feelings are so overwhelming. I remember she had to leave because her beloved was requesting a ride home from another city. I didn’t want her to go. The second date was at her home while Kali’s beloved was out. I remember still feeling nervous, but that is the closest I’ve ever had to having someone’s whole hand in my cunt. No vibrator, nothin, just pure ecstasy from connecting with another human being.
By the middle of January 2012, I almost broke it off. I cared for her so much and couldn’t envision myself carrying on without saying it. Without being allowed to say it, allowed to express myself in the way that was healthiest for me.
Except Kali beat me to it. Things were going on in her primary relationship that required their full attention and I couldn’t be part of that anymore. She tends to be a bit of a workaholic. That combined with the work she was doing personally in her marriage meant that we didn’t speak much. Then… then I left the metropolitan area where I grew up and went to a place with almost no Internet connection or cell service. I had to focus on creating my new life. I traveled back a couple of times in the first six months or so, and tried to schedule a social date but it just wasn’t meant to be. We hardly spoke in 2013.
March is the time of year when I experience an annual rebirth. It’s not at New Year’s or near my birthday. I cannot explain why it happens in March, it just does. This year, on March 2, I was in my hometown and she called upon me to come see her. My professora, whom I thought I had lost, came back to me with her life fundamentally altered in a way that meant we may have a chance to truly reconnect in a meaningful way. Two years and 6 weeks after I had to let her go, here she was in front of me. Broken, but undergoing a deep healing, rising from her own ashes. I hesitated to reach for her hand, but when I did, I instantly felt the pulsing exchange of our electric currents, just as before.
For a brief couple of hours, we talked and wept and kissed and added little bits of kindling to our flame. Slowly, cautiously, until the wee hours, when I had to make a long drive back to where I was staying that night. Now, it’s been a week. A full week of continued communication, exchange of regrets and refreshing our memories to all the things that originally drew us to one another. In a few short days we will meet again in a city foreign to us both. For one night, we’ll be completely free to access the as yet untapped well of care and connection between us. Already, as always, the feeling saudade (sow-da-jee, Portuguese) is present with us. Represented by a word that has no direct relationship to any English word, saudade is the longing one feels about a person who was loved and lost, for relationships that were never meant to be, for a homeland to which one can never return. Saudade is the longing for things one can never have but which one greatly desires. It dominates my feelings for Kali.
Although we’ll have this time together, we do not live in the same city and our lives are necessarily separate. Our paths intersect unpredictably and at random. Though we may feel strongly for each other, a sustained association to one another is impractical. I have no idea what will happen to our story after this visit, but I do know that she will always hold a little piece of me.
She will always hold a little piece of me.
I name her Kali because, although that is a goddess of war & destruction, Kali is the goddess of empowerment. That is my greatest desire for her: empowerment in her relationships and in her life overall. I want to see her steering confidently toward her best relationships, her best self and her best life. Kali is also the goddess of time, specifically the end of time. Death. In this sense, I name her Kali because time is constantly present between us. We are always spending time awaiting the next opportunity to speak to or see each other, counting the minutes until our visit is over, checking the clock, setting alarms. One of these days, I hope we can let go and let the sound of the ticking clock fade into the background. Irrelevant.
Flight is back in my life as well. I hardly know how to properly explain my feelings for Flight. Love, sorrow over lost time, and a relief I can feel with my entire body. I knew she loved me, but I had grieved for her and relinquished my claim to her exquisite company. Yet here she is, speaking to me with loving words as if no time has passed. We had little solitude together during my travels, but it was enough for me to feel safe, to trust again in her love.
I can hardly wait to be transformed by this annual trial by fire. Whereas I used to cringe, flinched when I saw the sparks begin to fly, now I am so eager to ignite and arise.
Over the past several months, I have been developing my relationship with my sweetheart. For the duration of that time, I have constantly been trying to convince myself that it is a low-commitment, low-maintenance, low-expectation, minimal-feelings relationship. However, each time I visit, I hate the leaving part more and more. I still cry at least once per visit because I’m so scared that I care “too much.” How much is too much? I do not want to love him more than he wants me to. Love, yes, we now classify our association to one another as love.
Any time I love someone in this way, I do it with my whole being. It is a kind of spiritual, sanctified self-immolation. This is something I do only for those individuals in whose eyes I see grains of stardust, who show me maps of myself, who touch divinity with their bare hands and speak through shadows. But the flame of my love does not result in a loss of myself, as you might imagine. Rather, this fire helps my true colors burn fearlessly. It gives me a gift of sight – to see the true colors of others.
Two days ago, we had the opportunity to connect in an extremely intimate way. In the morning, we rolled around a little bit before finding ourselves wanting to breathe together. He sat cross-legged while I sat in his lap with my legs around him. We embraced and breathed and brought up the light between us, resting our heads on each other. There’s a reason that posture is part of the kama sutra. It literally aligns your chakras to one another. After that, I was so turned on that I was literally dripping down my own thighs. My sweetheart gave me a super fun, quick & sneaky orgasm right before our time together was cut short. I could hardly wait for more.
We were able to once again have skin-time that evening. For a long time, we simply kissed and intertwined ourselves, talking in between. Eventually I could wait no longer to give of the warmth and softness of my mouth. That really is one of my favorite things, but it’s hard to pick favorites. Next on the agenda, and also on the list of favorite things in no particular order, is getting fucked really hard, kneeling with my face down, fistfuls of blanket, holding me steady, and my beautiful curly hair displayed magnificently. That is a feeling that defies language. I would say that it had potential to be the best ever, but each and every time has felt like that. The best. Ever. Then, I put my mouth back to work until my sweetheart submitted to the pleasure I was providing.
Even if that is all that had happened, it would have been a deeply satisfying interaction. Even when it is just cuddles and kisses and closeness, I am happy.
My sweetheart reclined serenely with his eyes closed, breathing after the big release, and something stirred in me to put my hands on him. I began to stroke his skin from finger tips to toes and back again with firm pressure and gentle pressure, breathing all the while. Focusing on his legs for a few minutes, I brought both my hands down to the bottoms of his feet – which are, on my body, like the drainage valves of stuck emotion. Then, kneeling beside him, I reached out with my left hand to gently touch each of his chakras one by one for maybe about 45 seconds each. I listened as he breathed deeply, intentionally, knowing what I was doing. I breathed with him, envisioning each color and listening for the buzz of spinning heat and light. As I reached his crown chakra, I placed my right hand a little ways above the top of his head and nuzzled myself into the nook of his arm.
The tears always come from places inside me that escape detection. First, the pressure in my throat built up, my lips trembled and a few tears slipped away – the scouts checking to see if the coast is clear. I held him, he held me, and I allowed myself a few more. I talked to him about my fears. I said, “I’m afraid to love you more than you want me to.” His response was and is always just right, exactly what I needed to hear at that moment, “I don’t want you to give up your life.” What I heard in that was, “don’t lose yourself in me.” I haven’t, I don’t, and I won’t. With tears still flowing quietly, I brought myself up to my knees. My sweetheart did the same, moved around behind me and put his hands on my back. My tears were harder to choke back now, cleansing tears, healing tears. His strong breath grounded me while he moved energy around with his hands, jiggling the sticky energetic knots until they moved freely. He touched my long hair and treated me with such reverence.
Turning around to face him, I said, “This is why I say that sex is my religion. [my voice cracking] Because sometimes I touch the god parts.” Sometimes I find the beacons of divinity in other people and the beauty destroys my composure.
Sometimes sexual intimacy lets me reach my hands inside a ball of light and touch the divine water. Sometimes, through the language of sex, I can send and receive messages to the deepest parts of myself and others. I knew I could heal others, but it has only just now become clear that sometimes the healing touch I give can also be reflected back in healing for myself.
I am ever less afraid of loving my sweetheart even the slightest bit too much. I’m trying just to let it happen as organically as possible.
So the property I was telling you about? The entity that owns it is sending representatives to meet with us next month. We’ll be able to ask questions, properly tour the insides of the buildings, and maybe even talk about a lease option to give us access to the land while we’re establishing the non-profit organization and sourcing the funds to make the purchase. I’m shocked that my sweetheart’s connections and self-confidence have already gotten us this far.
Unfortunately in the time that we have been planning all this with some folks we know, many of them have stepped forward with offers of part-time help, but few have committed to being founding members. My concern now is in finding additional members to participate in the physical labor and eventually agree to live there and be part of the community we intend to create. With every little inch that we move forward, my confidence in the viability of the project expands, though doubt is still whispering in my ear.
If the talk goes well, there could be work to do on the land very soon – pulling out invasive plants, plotting gardens, killing the algae that is overgrown in the pond, repairing structures, and possibly even setting up an aquaponics rig in the empty swimming pool. We need hands to work and hearts that aren’t afraid to put all their chips in.
If you know any hippies who work hard and play hard, who like to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy, would you send them my way?
A few days ago, I asked if my sweetheart had any plans for us during my next visit. I wasn’t expecting much, only because I try not make a habit of expecting things. Still, I was giddy with surprised to learn of the romantic gesture I will be treated to this weekend: a nice home cooked supper and a bath together in the spa tub. In the past, I have either scoffed at romance, or have put a lot of effort into gestures that went largely unappreciated. But this makes me feel so appreciated and cared for. I can hardly believe someone offered this to me with no prompting, or that I am looking forward to it so very, very much.
The last time I lived out in the country, I was miserable and angry about it. This was in 2006, at the missionary school. There were a lot of things that made it a miserable place for me, and many things to be angry about, but being out in the country didn’t help. It was a half hour drive to the nearest WalMart in any direction, and my cell phone didn’t work. The wireless internet only worked within about 30 feet from the offices. Part of what really kept me sane during that time was letters and postcards from friends – most of whom were shaking their heads, wondering why I had chosen that life when there were so many better ways for me to make my mark on the world.
Moving to the country this time has not been so drastic. I can get everything I need within about 15 miles and I am fortunate that the vehicle I bought outright nine years ago is still serving me well. There are friends, pubs, libraries, grocers and activities within that distance, and after fighting with the phone company for six months after I moved here, we finally got Internet access. I can easily articulate what I am missing from city life: stores besides WalMart that are open after 7 PM and “better” jobs (although that is completely relative; the better paying jobs tend to be worse for my overall health).
My sweetheart has dreams for a piece of property. It’s about 113 acres, with camping structures, cabins, a pond, a swimming pool, a meeting hall with kitchen, and a 2-bedroom house. Electricity, plumbing and a well are already integrated with the structures. It is an absolutely perfect place to start an intentional community. The idea is to set up a non-profit organization that teaches sustainable living to children and adults. An intentional community would live on the land, facilitate camps and workshops, and do the work that is necessary turn this little bit of earth into something productive, useful and even more beautiful. The flat land seems perfect for gardens and friendly creatures, while the wooded areas could likely be turned into a food forest after some effort. Perhaps one of the best features, in my mind, is that it is now nestled into a populated area that has grown up over the past 80 or so years since the property was first established as a campground. Downtown is a 10-15 minute drive away, the interstates are close, and the metropolitan area is home to many schools, colleges and other organizations that may be interested in bringing groups of students or individuals to learn about sustainable agriculture.
The price is a very big number that I don’t really even want to mention right now. Money keeps a lot of good people from doing a lot of good things. For the moment, however, I think that it is possible to set aside worries about money and dream fearlessly of a different way of living. Sustainable living doesn’t have to mean abject poverty, or swearing off modern technology entirely. What I think it does is reconnect humanity with the earth we came from, and perhaps fuel in us a desire to see those resources used to their fullest potential.
Being a city girl for the majority of my life has meant having a lot of junk. At this very moment, I’m sitting in bed typing on my computer, one of four internet-connected devices that I own. I am surrounded by junk. After purging probably half of my earthly possessions before moving to North Carolina, I am still overwhelmed by the quantity of things in my life. How many hours have I wasted fishing through these things for the exact thing that I thought I needed? How much money have I wasted on things that I have only used a few times, or that serve only one purpose? All this junk is stealing from me. It is robbing me of my joy, and it has to go. Organization is not my problem. You cannot organize clutter. You can only get rid of it. And I mean to.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have had such rich experiences around campfires. Not camping campfires. Just simple backyard autumn fires. I was given a proper knife, one such as everyone should have, and which I have never owned. In my mind, a knife is/was either a weapon or a cooking utensils. But as I have begun to unleash my wildness, my understandings of knives and of myself have been transformed. Knives are tools just as much as they are weapons and cooking utensils. The next day, I learned about selecting and cutting would from a wood pile. I can’t help mentioning, too, that I am embarrassingly aroused by the vision of my sweetheart chopping firewood with an ax. Silly, I know! The day after that, I started a fire from smoking embers that remained from the night before. All by myself, I brought up the flames. Soon I may know the joy of starting a fire on my own without the help of hot embers.
So, what’s next? Now that I apparently like camping, own a knife, and can start fires?
I can do anything.
The last day or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about relationship mapping and hierarchies. Awhile ago I had decided that I was not in any position to be having hierarchical relationships. Part of my thought process in deciding that was realizing that I don’t want various partners to feel less special than other partners in my life, and likewise it doesn’t make me feel very good to be one of the less important partners. It really sucks being a secondary when every interaction with your partner must be petitioned, evaluated and approved by their primary partner. It sucks. But. Being that primary partner and doing all of that negotiating is also exhausting and even sometimes just fuel for more drama. Other times, these “requests” for time spent with another partner actually bring up important things that need to be discussed, and that help the primary pair grow closer. Still, I think that if everyone is communicating in ways that are respectful, timely, and bravely honest, then these kinds of dramatic discussions would be obsolete.
This is all coming out sounding extremely idealistic… and just as a disclaimer, I’d like to note that hierarchical terms like “primary” and “secondary” are problematic to me. Perhaps it is only natural that we have deeper connection and stronger fondness and greater desire for some people than others, but does that mean we care for and/or love them to varying degrees? In my case, I feel confident in saying that I have a baseline equal love for everyone. But my degree of connection, fondness, and desire for my partners can vary drastically. I’m starting to understand that the place where hierarchies become most apparent, or most useful is in the issue of time. There is only so much time in each day, in each week, and in each life. Hierarchies are relevant because they influence how we choose to spend our time and who is “deserving” of our time. It would seem reasonable that we should devote the most time to any person or persons with whom we are “building a life together.” I mean that in the most simplistic sense. These are people who we expect to factor strongly in our future, and those who hold the greatest mutual responsibility, whether they are our legally or socially recognized spouses or not. The task of doling out our own time is affected by a variety of concerns, though I think it comes down to our own personal desire. We should spend whatever length of time we want with whomever we want – and we must expect that those desires will reveal things to us about ourselves and our relationships – maybe even things that we have been hiding from ourselves or our partners. What happens if we want to spend more time with our so-called “secondary” partner than we want to spend with our primary partner?
I have been in situations as a secondary where the person I’m interacting with has to literally drop everything and run home to their primary partner because they just happened to have a disastrous emotional crisis during the three-hour time slot in which I was scheduled for quality time. I don’t mean that people should try to manage their crises so that they fall at a convenient time, but it becomes suspect to me when it happens repeatedly. Alternatively, after a few dates, the primary partner may begin to feel that they are uncomfortable with the arrangement, even though I had received “approval” from them up to that point. It really sucks to be told, “I can’t spend time with you anymore because my primary partner won’t let me.” Is that fair to any party? From that perspective, veto power sucks. On the other hand, what if the other person your partner is interacting with is a low-life, a drama queen, or for some reason you perceive that interacting with them would be a bad idea? So maybe, speak up and voice your opinion, keeping in mind that your opinion may or may not affect your partner’s actions. But isn’t it a warning flag if you can’t trust your partner to (a) interact with quality individuals, (b) if they do have concerns and go ahead with it anyway, to still own their decisions and accept the risks? Who am I to say that my partner shouldn’t date a particular person? How do I really know if my own motives are pure? I would rather entrust that evaluation to someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight – a partner’s trusted friend, for example.
There are a lot of things that I still have to release. Philosophically, I have a problem with veto power, although, letting go of that power, or any power one might wield over another person, is a solemn undertaking. Still, I don’t think it’s fair to say “you can’t have veto power over me, but I can have veto power over you and others.” You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. For me, it is coming back to trust. A polyamorous relationship that is free of veto power cannot be successful without profound trust and fearless, explicit honesty. You can’t be too polite. You have to just say your words and be prepared to truly hear the truth that will be spoken to you.
I still think that hierarchies and veto power are shrapnel from monogamy that remain lodged in the places where polyamory is vulnerable, but things are also more complicated than that. And maybe a little scary. And definitely not for the faint of heart.