Polyamory

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!

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

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?

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.

I'm struggling with my age-gap relationship, help!

I have been with my mate for years, since I was in my teens and he was in his early 20s. Now that my mate is approaching 30, I feel he treats me like a kid and doesn't value intimacy with me the way he used to.

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?

In my pack, I always get stuck doing the chores. Help!

Sorry for bothering you, but my mates and I have been having some trouble with delegating responsibilities in our day to day life such as cleaning, taking trash out, dish washing, etc.

I am OCD in having things cleaned up, so my mates and I have different definitions of what is a "mess" and I'm not sure what I should do. We can't seem to figure out a solution that is fair and that everyone is happy with.

I can clean up my own stuff and they clean up theirs, but the problem is, they are willing to let it go a bit more than what I'm comfortable with, and it bothers me. They tell me I'm just being a "neat freak" and that it's no big deal.

For example, it's unfair to me to constantly have to be the one that brings up, "Hey, we should do laundry." When I do bring up this topic, all I receive back are groans followed by procrastination.

For once I'd like to stop always having to be "that guy" that wants to do adult stuff.

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.

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?

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?

My mate and I are open, but I'm falling for someone I'm sleeping with. What do I do?

My mate and I are in an open relationship that he asked me for, so he could have sex with other people. I am having sex with someone else too, but I am falling for him. I still love my mate, though. How do I tell him that I have feelings for someone else?

When is it okay to add a new mate to an existing relationship?

My mate and I have been exclusive with each other so far in our relationship, but I think I am falling for a friend of mine. My mate is open to the idea of a poly relationship, but how do I know if that is a good idea for us? I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with my existing mate — I love him very much.

Introducing polyamorous relationships to parents and family

In many ways, “coming out” as polyamorous can be as difficult as coming out as gay or lesbian or transgender to one’s parents and family; just as with an LGBT coming out, parents are likely to be surprised, confused, and potentially even hurt. Therefore, when coming out as polyamorous, it is important to keep a few ideas in mind to avoid making your coming out experience any more traumatic than it needs to be — for either you or them.

Long-distance polyamorous relationship?

I am considering becoming mates with someone who is already mates with someone else, but it would be a long-distance relationship. How likely is it that a long-distance polyamorous relationship would work out?

Episode One Listener Feedback

We at Feral Attraction were very pleased to receive a substantial amount of listener response after our inaugural episode this week. While much of this feedback was positive, we did receive some criticisms that it is important we address.

A furry relationship advice column is born

Feral Attraction is not a commercial website; our goal here is to give back to the furry community by letting others benefit from our (albeit somewhat limited)  wisdom and experience. With that in mind, we meet our objective by helping other furries navigate the complexities of dating and mating in a non-traditional community, where complications such as non-monogamy, LGBT issues, and emotional problems are common.