“Rule Number One: Don’t you bring that, that person into my bedroom!“
That rule, or one like it is repeated in some 50% of the houses in these United States.
Rule Number One is my own wording but I got to thinking about it because Cunning Minx and Anita Wagner brought up the same dismay in Advice for Poly Newbies.
Minx will watch the Man Burn tonight. So will gekko.
50,000 enthusiasts came together in a Nevada Desert this past week to create Black Rock City, home of the Burning Man. The 2011 art theme there is “Rites of Passage,” an invitation to everyone there to camp on and create the trials by fire of life. They all depart on Monday, having left no human trace whatsoever.
I know a number of people there, either personally or virtually. Black Rock City attracts poly peeps who love gatherings. Poly Asylum, PolyBurn, PolyParadise, Queer Women’s Camp and more have set up theme camps.
Theme camps have become Burning Man’s core. And, since it is B-Man, any theme camp must be participatory.
The Polyamory theme camps may have orgies. But they also may have just people who love to talk about (and celebrate) the way they live.
Living is up close and personal in Black Rock City.
Readers who have had long-distance relationships know the effort it takes to keep the intimacy. We do it with text and email and phone and Skype and organized visits. We’ve often thought about how much easier it would be to live in the same place. Heck, it would be easier to live in the same state!
Or would it?
Rule Number One would suddenly be … challenging.
We all are newbies when it comes to building compressed relationships when in the same place with each other, so I’m not sure how John or Jane would take it if their sweetie hooked up with a hottie in the same (Black Rock) city or the same tent. Burning Man sold out; there were a ton of newbies this year. I’m thinking a lot of Johns and Janes have found out by now.
Rites of Passage could take on a whole new meaning this year.
As an aside, I’m not sure why there is the emphasis on techno rock when Light My Fire still burns strong after more than 40 years.
[Editors Note: gekko and I shared the four-part polylocution that lead up to these afterposts. Please visit The Poly Posts for the entire series and for other resources.]
I went to the link, but don’t feel like listening to a pod thingie, so I guess I won’t understand why this advice is given. I mean, of course I get that if one partner wants to poly and the other doesn’t really, but accepts the polying of the first party, the second party might toss out a few rules, the no partying in my pantry being one of them. Makes sense. But if the couple is poly, then I don’t see why it should matter where either of them is partying if all is consentingly copacetic. Then again, what do I know?
Of course any relationship changes, and most likely for the harder (npi), when people spend more time together in the same space, even if they swear they want this. I am always harping on this topic myself actually, with full awareness of the likely challenges. Unlike other people however, I am incredibly willing and able to change my habits, so it’s all good.
Paula: “I went to the link, but dont feel like listening to a pod thingie, so I guess I wont understand why this advice is given…”
Rule Number One is my own invention, based on experience, it was Minx and Wagner’s conversation that gave me the jumping off point. I gave the link for two reasons. One to give them a nod and two because their conversation does touch on some worthwhile newbie stuff.
Another topic they suggested was that hard and fast rules often hurt more than they help. After all, codifying any behavior simply means that anything not written down is legal. That’s a slippery slope that gets us 12,000 page bills in Congress.
I am home. Not everyone left Monday. Some (such as Don) are leaving tomorrow after carefully cleaning up their theme camp site. Others who are volunteers with the BMan Org will be leaving later still, after doing even more extensive clean-up.
I wimped out, leaving yesterday, arriving home only a short while ago to ecstatic puppies who thought I had died, but OMG I’m alive after all and it’s a miracle, a miracle, um, where’s our tummy rubs and food, woman?
Meanwhile, I have a few stories that may tie into this. One concerns a woman who, tho married, attended BMan by herself. She ended up with a Playa husband and enjoyed herself. She has no intention of ever seeing the guy again, at least not in meatspace, but also recognizes she needs to make changes at home.
Others involve a couple of poly seminars, and one at a camp of femmes who demonstrated and lectured upon female ejaculation. Fascinating stuff! I eschewed the invitation to participate and try to get one of the two demonstrators to ejaculate. Sorry, ‘Dust! No photos!
The poly seminars? Nothing earthshaking. Missed the one on Radical Honesty, but due to timing hit one that was just generic and about “alternate relationships”. Talked at length with a youngun whose BF knows she’s poly, but has asked her to choose to be his one and only, or leave the relationship. She’s torn about it. I offered no advice, but did listen and comment with what I have experienced. Dunno if that helped her, but it was something.
Anyway, wot’s Dick’s poast about?
I am seriously behind on podcasts — lost my smartphone which is where I have the ‘ware that makes it easy for me to listen to these things while at the gym or on the road. So I’m hauling my tablet around with me, which works fine in the car, but not so much in the gym.
Anyway, did finally get to listen to the Advice to Poly Newbies ‘cast and found that about, mmm, 18 to 20 minutes in is where there was the most pertinent information as far as I’m concerned. It’s good for the serial polyamorists and the mono-amorists as well, in a few parts. And those who are dissatisfied with their present mono-amorous relationship and thinking of stepping out or moving on, which falls under serial but not everyone recognizes that.
Anyway, I’m’a gonna prolly blog about the three bits from that that struck me as useful.
Newbiness sets up a conflict for me.
On the one hand, every relationship we ever have starts out with courting; we can’t have a stable, long-term relationship without actively starting it from that initial rush of hormones.
On the other hand, too many of the poly ‘casters espouse the ideal that polyamory is another word for deep, meaningful one-night stands.