Polyamory married and dating gay
When Ivy*, a 35-year-old activist, lived in New York, her relationships never seemed to work out.
She dated the way a lot of people date in the city, juggling multiple partners without any real forward movement.
If she did end up in a monogamous relationship, the same thing would happen when she hit the six- or eight-month mark: she'd cheat. There she met a man at a conference who was "super polyamorous," she says.
Her new partner's version of "super polyamory" was different from the secretive multiple-partner dating she'd been doing back in New York: this was all out in the open, with lots of discussions about boundaries and agreements; what was okay between them, and what was not.
She became his polyamory protégé, and has since had four open relationships.
In her second open relationship, her boyfriend already had a serious girlfriend.
Ivy was, for all intents and purposes, the "secondary." She was more curious than turned off: "I've always been one to question relationship paradigms, and I thought, well, the only way for me to really understand this is to try it," she says.
The expiration date on this experiment was crucial: "I didn't want to be obsessing every day whether it worked for me, because that's a recipe for unhappiness." At the end of the six months, she'd assess.The threesome eventually split up—the duo wanted to return to a monogamous arrangement—but she's still close with them both, and she's still nonmonogamous. "I'm planning on coming out of the poly closet," she says."I just haven't yet." Sunday Styles section published a story about the open marriage of the actress Mo'Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks that created such reader interest that, two days later, the paper ran a comment-filled companion piece online.A few days after the Mo'Nique story ran, Direc TV debuted a new show called , about a married couple in Portland who start seeing a woman; it was quickly renewed for two more seasons.The rise in interest in open relationships has been chronicled in countless print and online outlets over the past five-plus years ( The recent media glut notwithstanding, an important voice has gone missing: that of the extracurricular partner, the lover, the girlfriend or boyfriend—people like Ivy.
The focus is always on the couple—how their adventures in nonmonogamy fuel their partnership and heighten their sex lives; how they're able to navigate sleeping with others without breaking their sacred union.