Non-monogamy

My local mate is trying to get with my long-distance mate for the wrong reasons

I’m in a polyamorous relationship with three lovely people, two of whom are monogamous, and two of whom are long-distance relationships for me. My short-distance partner (who is monogamous) has said she is fine with my setup since the start, but I recently went to visit one of my long-distance partners (the polyamorous one) for a week, and honestly, it’s one of the best weeks I’ve had — we fit so well together, and everything was perfect. Now I’m back and my short-distance partner is having tantrums, breakdown after breakdown, and this partner is trying to get into a relationship with my polyamorous long-distance partner, and I am very uncomfortable with that, as I know she isn’t doing it out of love, but out of the fear she has of me doing things without her, and I am worried it will put a strain on the fantastic relationship my polyamorous long-distance partner and I have. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but it doesn’t seem to help, and usually just adds more stress on top of everything. I’m completely for them talking to each other, but the fact that she is going into this with the intention of getting into a relationship really puts me on edge. I’m completely at a loss for what to do. I’d love your input.

A polyamorous quad shares their experiences with ethical non-monogamy

Hey, everyone! Viro here. I’ve been busy with travel and running our Open and Polyamorous Furry Relationships 101 panel at Texas Furry Fiesta, so this week we’re featuring a guest column from a happy polyamorous quad who took the time to share their experiences with polyamory with us. I hope you all find this fresh perspective on the polyamorous lifestyle within the fandom to be as interesting and educational as I did!

Guest Column: Think twice before putting sex outside of the “friend zone”

I (Viro) have been traveling extensively for a number of weeks and I’m currently re-adjusting to life stateside, so instead of answering a question this week, I’m posting a guest column on sex within the context of healthy friendships from Soatok, your friendly neighborhood gay dhole (Asiatic wild dog), “cryptografur,” and pun enthusiast. I’ll soon be resuming the usual weekly advice column posting schedule, hopefully beginning next week!

My mate says I shouldn't have feelings for my FWBs, but I can't help it. What do I do?

Hey hey, I have a quick question. So I'm polyamorous, my partner is monogamous, our relationship is open, he has a person I'd call another partner, he sees her often enough, maybe once weekly, but he claims he has no feelings other than sexual there. I think he expects me to cut off any relationships I make it I develop any feelings, but I don't think we have the same definition of feelings. I care for people very easily, if there was someone I met with for sex as often as he does I would bet I'd have some connection with them. Is he lying to himself? Should I downplay it if I get feelings - they wouldn't threaten my relationship with my partner. I get feelings with many of my friends where I just look at them and admire their beauty as they're relaxed and chatting away. It's all so blended together. He's very against polyamory but he has someone he's been seeing for months. He says the difference is that he'd stop seeing her if I asked him to. So is that where I should draw the line for myself?

I feel less important to my primary partner now that she is seeing other guys. Help!

Hello. I am a male in a polyamorous relationship with my mate, who is female. The problem I am having in my relationship is that I have been feeling significantly less important to her than her other partners seem to be. When I bring up my feelings to her, she denies that I am any less important to her and tells me that I am overreacting. I still struggle with these feelings, so I would be grateful to any help or insight that you might be able to provide

Help! I'm worried my mate will forget to tell me what happens when he sleeps with other guys

I've been in an open relationship with my mate for a little over nine months now. It was understood between each other that we could play around with other people as long as we told each other about it before or, if it were a spontaneous moment, right after sex happened. I'm not worried about him purposefully keeping things from me — we're open enough with each other for that not to be a problem — but I do worry sometimes about having things forgotten about or overlooked when talking to me. I don't want to be the crazy boyfriend and go accusing him of sleeping around with me in the dark but how could I approach the subject with him in a rational way? Is my wanting to know what he's up to too "jealous?

My long-distance mate wants us to open our relationship, but we haven't even had sex yet

Greetings. I'm currently engaged in a long distance relationship that's lasted approximately four months. We both love each other dearly, but are not able to visit in person frequently. In fact, we only just saw each other for the first time on the 17th of December, having made the relationship official in early August. During MFF 2016, however, he ended up getting a little too close with another furry for my comfort, and it went past the boundaries that we had previously established for the relationship. There was no actual sex, but some rather dirty dancing did happen, and eventually my BF ended up in the bedroom with that same furry cuddling in a quasi-sexual manner. He stopped before they got any further, but it wasn't something I was comfortable with. We made up quite soon afterward, and he told me that he was sorry for stepping out of line. Fast forward to Christmas day this year, and he's told me that things aren't as satisfying for him as he would like. Keep in mind, we've only sex-roleplayed over Telegram and haven't done much else. No sexual Skype chats, nudes, nothing else. Well, he wanted to know if it would be ok for him to do cuddling in and occasionally out of suit. That's something I think I would be able to get along with as long as it was relatively safe. Then he asked for some dirty dancing, and that's when I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. Then he asked for doing things with other people up to but not including anal. This is where I started having some really mixed feelings. On one hand, I want him to be satisfied in this relationship and I want us both to be happy. He also mentioned that he still wants me as the primary mate, and that he's not looking to replace me or anything. On the other hand, we haven't even kissed each other in real life, let alone had sex. I feel like I am being replaced even though we've never done anything in real life to begin with! I really want to be able to let him enjoy himself more, and in my own fantasies the idea is quite arousing. However I've been struggling with depression for a while now and I would feel crushed knowing that some other random furry had sexual relations with him before I could even kiss him. The idea came up of "How about if I don't tell you? A kind of what happens at the con stays at the con deal.” The problem with that is that I would know that every con he goes to he's probably doing something sexual and I'd feel even more helpless. He's told me that he would be willing to let me have physical/RP relations with other people too, but RP just isn't the same as real sex, and I haven't a chance at real physical encounters because I'm not comfortable with using Grindr or just random hookups, and I don't have a car. I'm truly at a loss here. I love him dearly, he's my whole world. We make each other better people, we're there for each other through thick and thin. Again, he's made it clear that he still loves me dearly and wants us to stay together. I'm determined to make this work too, I really truly am. But I need some help here, and I would like to hear your guys' opinion on the matter. I also plan to talk about this with my therapist. Thank you for your time

My mate and I are exploring polyamory, and he's upset now that I've slept with someone

My mate and I are beginning to dabble with polyamory. I'm built for it,  he's not.  He has a secondary partner as well as me, and we have someone we see together. We have clear rules, which are working. He usually sets the rules, as he is less comfortable in general, and we have been taking baby steps. Yesterday I slept with my first other partner, with consent from everyone, and I followed all of our rules. My mate reacted very badly and has since requested that I stay at home and away from him, telling me that he needs time to process it all. He's feeling angry and jealous, and doesn't want me to see him that way. He's considering breaking up with his other partner and saying that he can't handle this. I'm just at home feeling sad is all. I'm used to spending every night with my mate snuggled up. I feel I've betrayed him because I could have avoided this by not being polyamorous at all. What can I do to feel better, and to help my mate feel better?

Is my friendship with my now-taken lover worth saving?

I really want to stay friends with B, even though he was mean to me, because I still like him and I don’t want him to be angry at me. How should I approach someone after that? Have I missed anything from their perspective? Do I maybe deserve their silence/isn’t that what I wanted?

My mate and I have changed during our relationship, and now we aren't sexually compatible. What should we do?

Our most recent problems stem from my views on love and sexuality. When we started our relationship it was as adventurously monogamous. I encouraged him to not feel restricted by me, as at the time I wasn't very sexually active (perhaps a product of depression). Jump forward to three years and I find myself in a situation where I love my partner, but I don't feel as though we're on the same page anymore.

I'm unable to really fulfill his sexual needs, but at the same time mine have grown in an opposing direction. I want to keep him in my life, but I understand that my hopes of having my cake and eating it too are likely in vain. We've discussed this before, but unless I approach the subject of splitting up he tends to evade the topic of having an open relationship and instead tries to ply me with ways in which to be more intimate.

I don't know really how to proceed from here. He says he can't live without me, and I admit our lives have become very tightly interwoven. I don't want to shatter the life we've built together, but I don't think it can stand the strain.

I can't date the love of my life officially because he's already with someone else. Help!

For a year now I've considered myself to be in a relationship with a guy who I love with everything I have. He's the first person I've ever had these feelings for, the first person I've ever dated, and the first time I've been romantic with another male.

Technically, however, we are not in a relationship because he already has a long-term girlfriend. He has considered the possibility of become a polyamorous triad and has asked her about this option, but she is uncomfortable with the idea and is unlikely to be persuaded otherwise. He has not told her about me or our relationship because he does not want to hurt her and lose what he's had for a number of years.

So I guess the question I'm asking is: Am I insane? To think that I'm in a secret, long-distance, semi-polyamorous, closeted, almost-relationship? I'm not expecting a perfect solution to my conundrum but I'm desperate for advice. I don't want to hurt anybody, but I can't keep this up with a smile forever.

Help! I agreed to a monogamish relationship, and now it is coming back to bite me

My mate and I met each other a little over a year ago though a mutual friend and have been mated for almost a year. We hit it off pretty well; if I have any confidence in the things I feel anymore, it's how darn infatuated we were with each other in the very beginning. The moment we became official was when I made my first mistake, when I agreed to his proposal of a monogamish relationship versus what I preferred; a 100% monogamous relationship. 

What are the red flags for a toxic poly relationship?

When should you back out of a poly relationship, no matter how awesome it appears to be right now? What are the key ingredients that, if found missing, make it so that it is better to just move on and save everyone the heartbreak? Are there any red flags?

Interview with International Anthropomorphic Research Project’s Nuka about Furry Fandom Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships

I’m here today at Anthrocon 2016 with Dr. Courtney Plante, aka Nuka, who is a post-doctoral researcher at Iowa State University. Nuka holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Waterloo. He is a co-founder of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), a team of researchers that has published a number of peer-reviewed scientific papers about the furry fandom and how it compares with other demographically similar fandoms. Nuka, thanks so much for sitting down with Feral Attraction.

Should I try a closed long-distance relationship if I'm used to open relationships?

I have a question about trying a closed relationship because I've usually been in open ones in the past. I really think I have feelings for this guy, but he wants a closed relationship, and I'm not sure whether that will work for me in the long term, especially given that we're long distance. Should I give it a try?

How do I define cheating in my non-monogamous relationship?

I am a 22yo male wolf in a polyamorous triad with two wonderful mates, a 19yo male fox and a 24yo female vixen. We all identify as bisexual. Lately, we’ve dealt with some infidelity problems, and we’ve been able to work through it, but I think we’re all a little confused about expectations given that we are in a non-monogamous relationship. How should we define what cheating is, given that we have more than one mate as it is?

What do I do with my online pets if I find a mate?

So, I have a situation that I wonder how to go about. So I'm a master, purely online at the moment, but me being how I am and enjoying purely monogamous relationships, what would I do with my pets if I found a mate? Would I leave them if my mate didn't like the idea? Or was a non-furry and just found the idea of online roleplays with strangers really off putting. It's alway worried me getting a new pet or two that was sexual because if I got attached and got a mate I'd feel obligated to put all my sexual focus on them. But I wouldn't want to leave my pets hanging there, since they have needs and might have an emotional connection to me as well. I don't want that clash, and luckily I haven't had this happen, but I would have no idea how to go about this whole situation if it did and I imagine others have wondered or been through this as well.

I'm crushing hard on a guy that my husband is currently flirting with, and I'm having trouble handling it

It's very rare that I have a crush on someone. As such, it took me until 30 to realize that, for me at least, the "love makes you dumb" trope is fairly accurate. 

I'm the kind of person that doesn't friend people I don't know on Facebook. I rarely initiate a conversation with strangers. Hell, I rarely even say "hi" on dating apps on the off chance I might end up having to tell someone it turns out I'm not actually interested in them. Yet for some reason I decided it would be alright to friend a guy on Facebook (partly from the Hubby's suggestion) and, before he responds, initiate a conversation on Scruff. I can't remember most of the content, but I recall it being somewhat awkward and not the most positive interaction. I decided to pull back and not force anything. Within a couple weeks I realized the messages and his Scruff profile were gone. I canceled the Facebook request soon thereafter. Initially I thought he was just blocking/avoiding me, which was disappointing though understandable. But months later I found out he had a boyfriend briefly around the same time that may explain the disappearance from dating apps. That brings us to the present. Half a year later and I've mostly put the idea behind me when I noticed that my husband had started chatting with him, the two seemingly getting along fine. Since that point I've been dealing with a jealousy/envy that I'm not accustomed to. I"m happy that my husband's found a guy he likes, but I don't know if I'll be able to handle if their relationship progresses. It might be easier if I knew for sure that he wasn't interested in me, but since there was never any definite closure I'm just left wondering what if and what might be.

My main optimism for a friend/relationship is from the fact we mutually liked each other on OkCupid. Unfortunately my initial message was sent before I found this out. It was shortly after our brief communication that his profile came up and I starred it, since I was apparently still on my dumb kick. Of course I got the "Congratulations!" pop up. I recall perceiving it as a cruel irony. For all I know that may have hurt my position even more by making me seem stalkerish. 

The main issue is the brief conversation we had is gone thanks to (I assume) him deleting his app profiles. Though even if it were there, I know there wasn't any closure. Still, if I had the chats I would be in a better place to know how to proceed now, but since I'm not clear if I just came on too strong/creeper-like or possibly offended him it's hard to say what direction to take. ltimately I just want to know if there's a possibility. I would just ask, but if he does have a negative association with me, I don't want that to influence his thoughts on my mate. Though at the same rate, should they end up wanting to do more than just chat, I don't know if I'd be able to handle it.

We live in a small community, and I'm seemingly more selective (hesitant?) than most, so it's rare that someone comes along that I'm actually actively interested in. If I knew for sure that he wasn't interested for whatever reason, it would suck, but I could manage and move on. But if he was turned off by my being abnormally forward, or perceived me as stalkerish when my feelings were just giving me a case of the dumbs, I'd hate to pass up something that otherwise seems to have potential.

What is the right thing to do when considering intimacy with someone who might be mated?

Yesterday morning I read an article about a woman who'd enabled a man to cheat on his girlfriend, and when the woman told the girlfriend about it, her reward was to be bitched out for it. On one level, I would say the reaction is somewhat understandable, but at the same time, it's illogical since the woman didn't know the man even had a GF at the time. In any event, the woman has since adopted the perspective that whether the guys she sleeps with are taken is not her business to know; rather, it's their business to tell her. I went in expecting not to be too thrilled with the piece, but ultimately I by and large agree with her conclusions. What do you think about it?

I love the idea of non-monogamy, but jealousy is preventing me from enjoying it

I'm a 22-year-old straight-ish female furry, and I am currently struggling with some jealousy issues. My boyfriend and I have been trying to explore non-monogamy together recently, but I am having some problems with it. Intellectually, I am totally cool with him being with another girl, and I really love the idea of us being able to experience other people sexually during the course of our relationship. However, right now, emotionally, I am having a hard time with it all. The last time my boyfriend and I had a threesome, with another girl we were both into, I enjoyed myself a lot until I saw him put his hands on her and embrace her intimately in a way he usually does with only me, and I just snapped and hated the rest of everything that happened. I didn't really let on that I was no longer comfortable or enjoying myself so as not to ruin their time, but I ended up hating myself both for having that reaction to begin with, when it's something I should be okay with, and for not speaking up for myself. How can I move forward as an ethically non-monogamous person, when that's really what I want, when I am experiencing such crippling jealousy issues?