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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Still a Happy Triad


This blog is about achieving full marriage equality and related issues, not me, Keith. But this time around, I’m necessarily part of the story. I have interviewed my good friends before, but this interview is more of a chat between four people, led mostly by me, than me interviewing three people. I had an idea what they were going to say, as I already knew the answers to most of my questions, but I wanted to allow others to get a glimpse of what amounts to a marriage that is denied legal recognition.

I strongly recommend reading previous entries about my friends. To make a long story as short as possible, "Linda" was a good friend of mine before we started dating on a casual basis because we enjoyed each other’s company. (And because she’s hot.) Linda had two children when she was very young, both of whom were adopted and raised separately by other people. Linda’s biological daughter, Melissa, got in contact with her, and came to meet her. Because of what was likely Genetic Sexual Attraction, they got together (both women can be described as bisexual). Since I’m open-minded and they’re open-minded and Linda and I did not have a commitment to be monogamous with each other, I was able to see their love and support it. As a result, I was still around when Linda’s other child, Matthew, reunited with her and met his sister Melissa. Matthew, also experiencing GSA, didn’t stand a chance of avoiding the inevitable. They became a happy triad, I became inspired to blog for full marriage equality, and I’m still around.

The transcript is below...

***



Keith: Thanks for agreeing to another interview. I wanted to get an update and talk more about some of the issues you face in and because of your relationship, what life is like day to day, and so on. How are you doing?

Linda: Very well.

Melissa: Terrific.

Matthew: Life is good.

Keith: Good. Let’s start with a simple question often asked of people in polyamorous relationships: Is your polycule a “V” or a triangle?

Linda: It’s a triangle. Each of us is with the other two. But it isn’t a closed triangle, with the likes of you around.

Keith: Well, yes, but I wanted to talk about the core polycule, the people who would be legally married to each other if they could. We’ll get to me later. That would be you, Melissa, and Matthew.

Melissa: Yes.

Keith: You’d all be in the marriage.

Matthew: Correct.

Keith: What kind of a triangle is it? You all live together here. But is this three “couple” relationships, where each person happens to be a member of two couples?

Melissa: Of course we each have our one-on-one relationships, we’re completely enmeshed now. We’re a unit.

Matthew: Right. Everything is connected. My relationship with Linda would not be the same if Melissa wasn’t here, and vice-versa, and I know they feel the same.

Linda: Yes.

Melissa: Yes. Linda and I had that time before Matthew arrived, so we know from experience.

Linda: Exactly.

Keith: How does that work?

Matthew: Very, very well.

[All laugh]

Keith: That’s for sure. But what I mean is, do all three of you, say, go out to dinner together?

Linda: Sometimes. Obviously, we can’t all be free as lovers out in public. Aside from a poly[amory]-friendly event where nobody else knows the biological relation between us.

Matthew: It is easiest to have some [public display of affection] when I’m on a date alone with Melissa, or when you go along with us as Linda’s date. When I’m on a date with Linda, people probably look at her as a cougar.

Melissa: Some are still rude about same-sex relationships, so when I’m out with Linda there’s that.

Linda: People in the immediate neighborhood know that they are my biological children, so they still have to be careful when it is just them, depending on where they go.

Melissa: Sometimes people will see a resemblance. “Oh you could be sisters,” or “You could be mother and daughter.” We have to bite our lips. It would have been so much easier if nobody here knew the biology. We don’t want more people to know.

Keith: So you do have your date nights and outings as couples, not just outings with all three together.

Linda: Right. We’re joined at the heart, not at the hip.

Keith: I wanted to go back to what you said, Matthew, about me going along. We do that sometimes, and Linda and I can walk hand in hand, kiss, etc., and sometimes, depending on where we are, you and Melissa can do the same. It is hard to stick to that, or do you want to plant one on Linda? And have you wanted to kiss Melissa when you’ve been around people who know you’re siblings?

Matthew: Well, yeah, on the one hand it is tough to hold back the natural affection. You can see that when we’re safe at home, we’re always showing affection. Hugging, holding hands, kissing, flirting, playing around. You know, I’ll walk by and Linda will pinch my butt and I’ll turn around and dip her like we’re dancing and give her this deep kiss. Can’t do that hanging out where everyone’s seen me holding hands with Melissa. You can only get away with something like that at a poly gathering. Sometimes I’ll go to do something when we’re out and I’ll have to catch myself. But [on the other hand] we’re frequently reminded that people hate us – people who don’t even know us – just because of our love, and unless we want trouble, we have to hold back.

Melissa: Basically, it sucks. It sucks to have to hold back. That is something others have had to do for a long time, though. Interracial couples, intergenerational couples, same-sex couples, polyamorous people. Anyone in a consanguinamorous – as you’ve put it - relationship where others know the biological relation. This has been going on a long time. Many have had to endure this.

Keith: Nobody should have to hide their love.

Linda: [Laughs] I was just thinking about one time when I screwed up. Matthew and I were browsing in a store and we had been all over each other. It was obvious we were together in every sense of the word. We were noting our similar tastes about so many things, and I said something like, “Half of your genes do come from me, after all.” I caught myself immediately, but it was too late.

Matthew: A store clerk heard it. It wasn’t a big place and he no doubt had seen that we were acting like we were newlyweds, and then he heard that. He did this headshake thing, like he was having a spasm.

Linda: We quickly got out of there. Fortunately, it was some place out of the way from our usual haunts.

Keith: It is different here, in your home.

Linda: It’s our sanctuary. We usually will only have very close friends over, so we get to be ourselves here.

Keith: Flirting and playing, as Matthew put it?

Melissa: Lots.

Keith: It hasn’t gotten old, or grown mundane?

Melissa: No! The passion, if anything, has grown more intense. We’re in love, a love like none other.

Matthew: We’re like a married couple that’s deeply in love and having lots of fun together, but there’s three of us. I mean, we’ve got our routines and we have the usual household tasks to take care of. We all work.

Linda: We have our little squabbles. Nothing serious, just little things you’ll see in any relationship.

Matthew: But there’s nothing better than when we’re all here together, relaxing, just being with each other.

Keith: Describe what that’s like.

Matthew: What do you mean?

Keith: I mean what is a typical evening at home together like? What do you do?

Linda: As I said, we’re joined at the heart, not the hip. We all have our own things, our own friends, our own work. When we’re all home together, though, it looks much it looks in any other home. We have dinner and we’ll sit together and watch a show or a movie, or pay bills. Same as any other relationship where people are living together.

Keith: There seems to be something more, though.

Melissa: There is. I’ve never been in a relationship this strong, this- I don’t know any other way to say it but natural. It feels like destiny. There’s a strong feeling of belonging.

Keith: Maybe that’s just youth an inexperience talking.

Melissa: I have experience.

Matthew: In other words, she’s a-

Melissa: Don’t say it!

[Laughs]

Linda: Obviously I’ve been around longer than Melissa, and I’ve had more relationships, and I feel the same way. This is it. This is the best.

Keith: So you don’t regret this relationship?

Linda: The only regret I have is that it didn’t start sooner.

Matthew: Me too. We’re married. We’re not legally married, we haven’t had a ceremony, but in our hearts we’re married, and we treat each other that way.

Melissa: No regrets. And you know each of us would say that to you in confidence, away from each other. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t sit back for a moment, think about it, and grow a big smile. I stop to think if there is something I can do to make their day better.

Keith: That’s a big sign of true love. Matthew, you mentioned not being legally married. There are polyamorous families where there are legal marriages.

Matthew: Well, sure, but it is always one-on-one, at least in America. If there are three people, two of them are married to each other by law and the other person isn’t married to anyone. We can’t even do that, not legally anyway. Even if we got the paperwork through, it would be invalidated if someone figured it out, and we could face prosecution for just being together. It’s great that more states are letting gays and lesbians marry, but they still wouldn’t let Linda and Melissa marry. I can’t marry, Melissa, either, in any state.

Keith: Will there be a legal marriage as soon as one becomes possible?

Linda: We’ve talked about it and we don’t want to do it unless we can all do it together.

Keith: So, if the polygamous freedom to marry is granted…

Melissa: We still won’t be able to marry if consanguinamorous marriages are banned.

Keith: And if the consanguinamorous freedom to marry is granted without the polygamous freedom to marry, you’re in the same boat.

Melissa: Right.

Keith: Full marriage equality is needed, so an adult is free to marry any consenting adults.

Matthew: Yup.

Keith: Let’s get to the really good stuff, the thing everyone always wonders about polyamorous triangles.

Linda: Who gets to use the bathroom first?

Keith: Yes. No, I wanted to talk about your lovemaking. Is it one-on-one or is it a threesome?

Matthew: Yes.

Keith: Thanks for clearing that up.

Matthew: Anytime.

Linda: Sometimes it is a foursome.

Keith: Wait, let’s stick with the basics for now. Mathew and Melissa will make love, Matthew and Linda will make love, Linda and Melissa will make love, right?

Linda: Right.

Keith: With some triangles, that is the extent of it. But sometimes the three of you will make love together?

Linda: Most of the time.

Keith: How does that work?

Matthew: I can draw you a picture. Or maybe show you a video.

Keith: I’ve seen it. I'll never forget it! I think most people understand a threesome, but what I mean is, is there a schedule? Is there a plan for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday?

Melissa: We’re more spontaneous than that. Sometimes we’ll plan something ahead of time, but usually it is just whatever we’re feeling at the moment. It might happen in the morning, it might happen at night. If we’re together during the day it might happen then.

Matthew: We don’t need a schedule like you’ll see in a plural marriage where one man is married to multiple women, but the women aren’t married to each other.

Linda: There are rare occasions where, for example, I have to be up and out the door especially early in the morning, at it’s late at night before we’re done with things we have to do, and I’ll say “I need my sleep, you two have fun.”

Keith: What’s the ratio of how often you’re all together and how often it is just two of you?

Linda: Usually we're all together. We all have high libidos – it must run in the family - so there’s some sort of sexual activity every day.

Keith: But it isn’t a problem if, say, Melissa and Matthew request to go off and make love without you?

Linda: It hasn’t happened. I mean, after Matthew came along, they got together, but that was what Melissa and I had planned. They have their dates where they are out, and they do whatever they want on the date, and there are times when I’m not here. But that happens to each of us. There has never been a time when any two of us have excluded the third, if present.

Melissa: If the mood strikes and one of us isn’t here, that doesn’t stop the other two.

Matthew: It isn’t like any of us have ever come home, wanted intimacy – or a quickie for that matter – and was denied. “Oh, we got that out of our system earlier. Sorry you missed it.”

Linda: There have been times when one of us has come home to find the other two in the middle of lovemaking.

Keith: What happens in that case?

Linda: Usually, it means a fresh boost of energy to the lovemaking.

Keith: So the person who just came home joins in?

Melissa: Yes. Even if he or she just wants to watch. We never reject each other. Whether I need a hug or I need to make love, I know all I have to do is ask. Or initiate.

Matthew: Think about it. What’s one of the problems you hear about in relationships, especially marriages? “Not tonight” becomes a habit. We don’t do that to each other.

Keith: Isn’t it possible that it is like that because it is so new, and that things will change?

Matthew: I guess it is possible that things can change. Things can change in a relationship. But this isn’t like the first six weeks or three months. We’ve been together years now, and it just seems to be getting better overall.

Linda: The lovemaking definitely is. But other things about the relationship, too.

Keith: So nobody feels neglected or jealous?

Linda: I don’t.

Matthew: No.

Melissa: No. Not internally. It may not be the same for other triads, but I haven’t felt either of those, and they haven’t said anything like that. There’s a strong sense of what poly people call compersion. You’ve seen yourself, haven’t you?

Keith: Yes, I have. In fact, I have seen you do that thing where one of you will tell the other two what to do with each other, and I'm not sure who is enjoying it more.

Linda: You’ve done more than seen it.

Keith: True. You have asked me to give the suggestions once or twice.

Melissa: And…?

Keith: And as with other times, I see just how much you love each other and how strong and profound that love is.

Melissa: And… some other things have happened?

Keith: Right. I have not been an outside observer the whole time. I have been very well rewarded in this friendship.

Matthew: Sometimes, one guy in the mix just isn’t enough.

Melissa: While we’re on that subject, I’ll ask you a couple of questions. How do you see our relationship, the three of us.

Keith: I see it a beautiful marriage.

Melissa: What is your relationship to us?

Keith: A very good friend, and I’m very happy with that. What the three of you do is make love. Sometimes, I get to share sex with you, but my relationship with you is very different from the relationship you have internally. It is the difference between being a professional sports team playing in a championship game and a friendly game together in the local park with a friend. I have never seen, personally, a more beautiful marriage than the one you have. That’s my observation, and of course I support your rights, but what about those who don’t?

Matthew: What about them?

Keith: What do you say to people who say, “This is sick. This is disgusting. You shouldn’t be doing this?”

Linda: It has gotten to the point where, when I read that or hear about it, from people who don’t even know us, I think it’s like they are from some insane other world. They might as well say I shouldn’t be exercising.

Keith: I should break it down. Let me ask you about what people typically say when they hear about polyamory and they don’t approve of it. “Isn’t this cheating?”

Melissa: How can it be cheating? We’re all open with each other about what’s going on, and we agree.

Keith: But, they say “You can’t love two people at once.”

Melissa: That’s not true. There have always been people who’ve loved more than one person at a time.

Linda: Wouldn’t they expect that I would love both of my children at the same time? I know they don’t mean love in every sense of the word, but why is it any different when it is in every sense of the word?

Keith: That is a common example used my polyamorists, the example of loving more than one of your children.

Matthew: I think it is safe to say that I speak for all of us when I say that we respect monogamy. We would never tell anyone that polyamory is the only way. They shouldn’t tell us monogamy is the only way.

Keith: Okay, we’ll then let’s get into what is perhaps even more of a problem for more people. Matthew and Melissa came from your womb, Linda. They’re your flesh and blood. What people say is “You don’t have sex with your own children.”

Linda: Why not? They’re adults.

Keith: But they came from your womb.

Linda: I’m well aware that they came from my womb. I went through the pregnancies and the deliveries. I did the pushing, thank you very much. Then they were taken away from me. So I know. But why not? Why shouldn’t we love each other in every way? They are adults, capable of making their own decisions. I love them and they love me.

Melissa: Have you seen anything that disturbs you?

Keith: No. Quite the opposite. The only thing I find disturbing is that anyone would deny you the right to be together and be married.

Matthew: Nobody’s getting hurt.

Keith: Melissa, there are people who’d say that you can’t possibly consent to sex with your older, biological brother, and certainly not with your biological mother. You must be a victim. You must not be sane.

Melissa: [Laughs] Well, I might get a little crazy when I hear such complete bull----.

Keith: Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

Melissa: Yes, actually. All over. Sorry, that’s what it is. It is nothing but prejudiced s---. I wasn’t groomed to be some victim. My adoptive parents, if anything, were repressive when it came to sex. I’m quite sane. I’m not stupid, and I wasn’t starved for attention. This is the life I’ve chosen and I couldn’t be happier. Actually I could. I would be happier if these idiots who aren’t harmed in the least by our love, or the love of so many others they try to beat down, would stick to running their own lives instead of trying to run everyone else’s. I’ve got a great pair of spouses I love, a good life, and the sex is hotter than a habanero pepper. We’re leading productive lives. We pay our taxes. We’re good neighbors. We’re not hurting anyone. Why can’t we have each other?

Keith: Linda, There are people who’ve experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction, who know the feelings, who say they understand, but they say you, being the more mature person, should have kept a boundary and not crossed it, or should take the relationship back to that point even after you did cross that boundary.

Linda: If that’s what someone thinks is best for themselves, then okay. I think there could be denial there, in many cases. I mean, it has to be hard for people who are committed to others and then this hits them and they don’t want break up their marriage. I feel for them. That has to be tough. Ultimately, I’m not in their shoes, and they can live their lives their way. But they aren’t in my shoes, either. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have what we do. You did an interview with [Anonymous Daughter]. She called the first time with her father a spiritual experience. This whole thing is a spiritual experience. Isn't that the way marriage is supposed to be?

Matthew: I wouldn’t want things any other way. What, I’m supposed to leave the best relationship I’ve ever had, and go settle for a distant second best with someone else? Because someone I don't even know is grossed out by the thought of our relationship? Screw that. I have a mother and a sister already. Linda and Melissa are the loves of my life.

Keith: But there is that biological relation.

Matthew: So what if someone else wouldn't want to do the same with their biomom or sister? Maybe they are ugly or maybe they are bitches. Or, maybe they just don’t feel the same way. Fine. They can think whatever they want. We feel different. We have an all-around attraction. Yes, I’m very attracted to them on a sexual level, but it isn’t just that. We’re the best of friends, too. All of those people who don’t like it can’t go right on not doing it. I won’t stick my nose into their marriage, and they shouldn’t stick their nose into mine.

Keith: But there are so many other people out there that you’re not related to.

Matthew: I could never have what I have with Linda and Melissa with someone else.

Keith: How about a practical matter.

Linda: Who gets to use the bathroom first?

Keith: Again, no. Sleeping arrangements.

Matthew: We usually sleep together.

Keith: All of you?

Melissa: It’s a big bed. It’s a king.

Linda: If one of us is sick, that person might sleep in one of the other rooms. Or, if someone comes home late and just wants to get to sleep, or has to wake up early.

Matthew: I may have to turn over my man card, but I’ll admit it anyway. I like cuddling with them. I’m there with the both of them, feeling their skin, and I know I’m the luckiest man in the world.

Melissa: It is easier to keep each other warm on a cold night since there are three of us.

Keith: That is very practical. And… who gets to use the bathroom first?

Matthew: Linda does typically, but there’s more than one.

Keith: Do any more people know about the complete nature of your relationship than the last time I asked that question?

Matthew: I haven’t told anybody in my family. They may have figured it out, but if they have, nobody has said anything. I haven’t told anybody else, either.

Melissa: I don’t think so.

Linda: No. I don’t want to jeopardize the best thing that’s ever happened to us.

Keith: So you’re not going to let me post this audio, and you’re not going to pose for a picture?

Matthew: Sure we will. Put them both on the blog along with our real names and our address.

Keith: Seriously, you could have declined the interview and I appreciate your trust. You’ve been very open.

Melissa: You’ve always been so supportive. And if this interview helps just one other relationship out there, it is worth it.

Linda: Unfortunately, we still have to hide and be extremely cautious.

Keith: Anything else to add?

Matthew: Support love, not hate.

Linda: Love shouldn’t be a crime.

Melissa: We’re happy and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to legally marry.

Keith: Thank you very much for finally sitting down together again and doing this.

***

When I think of how they are denied the right to marry, despite there being no good reason to deny them that right, it boils my blood. That's why I do what I do here.

Read about others denied the right to marry.
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3 comments:

  1. Yay!! I'm so happy ! Great interview. Wow, if you think being in a polygamous or incestuous relationship is stressful because of societal stigma...how would you like both? LoL xD
    I'm so glad they are happy together. Seems like an awesome Triad couple ^^. Every time I read these interviews I myself as well get a bit more "agitated" when people say that these type of people shouldn't be together.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am very glad for them.
    -Cornelius

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wish I had what they have together. As for blood and family details: all that matters is happiness.

    ReplyDelete

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