by Dan Savage
on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Me and my girlfriend are poly. It's my first time in a poly relationship, but it's not hers. So far things have gone pretty smoothly. I have another girl who I occasionally hook up with, she has two guys with whom she does the same. I get along with her two other boyfriends surprisingly well, and while I have had moments jealousy, I'm able to deal with them. But my girlfriend recently started hooking up with a new guy, and for some reason her sleeping with this particular guy bothers me.
There are two reasons for this. First off it may be jealousy. This guy has a bit of a reputation around our city for being a ladies' man. Seriously, outside of rock stars, I don't think I know of anyone whose gotten with more girls. Every guy in this town is probably Eskimo brothers with this guy. So his sexual prowess may be making me feel a bit insecure.
Secondly, I also just don't like him. Now that may be the jealousy talking, but I do honestly find something off about this guy. He seems manipulative, he uses superficial charm to get away with a lot of shit that would get anyone else labeled and asshole. Also, while most girls I know who've slept with him have either positive or only mildly negative opinions on him, I do have one friend that dated him for a while who claimed he physically and emotionally abused her. (This girl has a bit of a rep for being emotionally unstable though so I take what she says with a grain of salt.) Not saying I think the guy is a full on sociopath, but he seems sort of like a misogynistic douchebag in a sexually progressive hipster's clothing.
My girlfriend's pretty smart, so I like to think if this guy tried to pull some bullshit on her she wouldn't fall for it, but even the smartest of us are susceptible to manipulation. She knows I'm not this guy's biggest fan, but doesn't know to the extent her hooking up with him bothers me. Any attempt on my part to "forbid" her from sleeping with someone else would probably have a really negative impact on our relationship. So what should I do? Kust deal with it and hope that if he turns out to be the piece of shit I think he may be my girlfriend will realize? Or tell her about my concerns?
Probably Only Lonely Years
My response after the jump...
I'm no expert on polyamorous relationships—ask any poly blogger—but I do know that poly Rs come in different shapes and sizes, and each poly couple, triad, quad, quint, etc., has its own set of rules and regs. But we are all entitled to our opinions as individuals, poly or not, and we have a right to express our opinions. And when a friend is messing around with someone who squicks us out, for whatever reason, we don't just have a right to express that opinion, POLY, we have a responsibility to do so.
I think that goes double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, ad infinitum, when your it's your lover who's messing around with someone who squicks you out.
Your poly arrangement clearly doesn't include a veto power over each other's outside sexual contacts, POLY, so you can't forbid her to fuck this guy. But if you're not even allowed to say, "That guy gives me a bad feeling," you might wanna give some thought to ending this relationship now as it's clearly doomed. (All relationships need open and honest communication in order to thrive. But while a halfway decent closed relationship can limp along without open and honest communication, poly relationships tend to go boom in the absence of open and honest communication.)
If she asks you to elaborate on that bad feeling, POLY, inoculate yourself against charges of jealousy by admitting upfront that you might actually be jealous. Then spill. Considering the numbers of women this dude has fucked, POLY, one dissatisfied customer (one who may be an unreliable witness) probably won't be enough evidence to convince your girlfriend to drop him. But it will hopefully prompt her to scrutinize his behavior more closely and she'll call things off if she detects any signs that he is, in fact, physically or emotionally abusive.