I'm sure many of you have heard the term "Poly" thrown around somewhere, maybe even polyamory or polyamorous? Triad? Throuple? Unicorn? There are plenty of different names and terms that are used by many people when it comes to this topic, so I'll start by explaining what some of these terms mean, or at least what our interpretation of them is.
So let's start with poly... This simply means many or multiple. Amore means love... So put the two together and you get polyamory which simply means many loves. It's important to understand that polyamory has a slightly different meaning to everyone, as with most things it can he adapted and modified to suit you in whatever way best works. It is one hundred percent up to the people involved to decide what works best for them. To say you are polyamorous, to most people, means that you are happy to have multiple lovers or relationships, generally ant variation that involves more than two people together.
Now to explain the terms triad, throuple and unicorn becomes a little controversial and I apologise to anyone in advance if they have different views to us but this is only personal opinion. People in a triad situation generally still refer to themselves as polyamorous because they are in a relationship of three people. Some people call this a closed triad or poly-monogomous. Put simply, it means that the same rules apply to the three people involved with each other as they would to a standard socially acceptable two person relationship. A triad generally only sees the three people involved and are monogamous (meaning they don't have relations of a romantic or sexual nature outside of each other) with each other. A throuple means exactly the same thing, three people acting as a typically exclusive couple would.
Unicorns are a special breed in my opinion. The term typically unicorn refers to the person who joins with an existing/pre-established couple to create a triad. Often the couple seeking this person are labelled as unicorn hunters and they are quite frowned upon by the polyamorous community due to the belief that they create a third wheel by adding this unicorn into an already existing relationship. Yes, there is a thing called couples privelige and it is real and does happen. But in saying that, the majority of couples looking to expand their love and relationship do wish for the relationship to be an equally loving one for all three parties involved! Just as there are good and bad Doms and subs, there are also good and bad poly people!
On that note, let me make it clear that BDSM and polyamory do not go hand in hand. You do not have to be involved in BDSM to be polyamorous and vice versa. to actually practice BDSM and polyamory together is quite the feat if you ask me. Not only are you engaging in more than one relationship by being polyamorous, you are engaging in a while other level of relationship by adding BDSM scenes, play or lifestyle into the mix as well. Plenty of people run amazing familial households that live day to day lives involving various D/s dynamics and many, many intricate and all inclusive polyamorous lifestyles and relationships. But to stick to what we know the most about and to give you the little inside spin, I'll tell you a little about my personal journey of poly life with Sir so far.
I met Sir when I was 18yrs old with what I thought was a pretty good understanding of BDSM, relationships, D/s and generally who I was and what I wanted. Well I definitely didn't expect to walk straight into my first serious relationship as the unicorn to a couple, effectively making a closed poly triad! But I did, I had accepted during my high school years that I was indeed bisexual and quite enjoyed the company of both males and females in a romantic and sexual relationship. So although I didn't have too much of an idea what polyamory was, I was very much open to the idea - best of both worlds for a bisexual girl right??
Well this was a massive learning curve for me, the biggest part being to learn how to actually communicate my thoughts and feeling in a relationship and to be truly open about them. Which by the way, is still a work in progress to this day. Polyamory is not easy, being in a triad is not easy. It requires even more work than a stereotypical relationship, the more people you add, the more time and effort must be put into each relationship. You must understand that within a simple triad, there are 4 relationships. Take us for example, we had the relationship between Sir and I, the relationship between Sir and his wife, the relationship between myself and Sir's wife/my girlfriend as well as the relationship between all three of us together. We worked at the relationship with the aim of all three of us being equal and loving one another equally, nobody loved someone else more than the other. This is easily said and hoped for but sometimes it doesn't quite work out that way. Each person has different feeling sad each person will have a slightly different relationship with the next. To achieve honest equal love between all partners takes a multitude of trust, communication and openness.
Within a triad, or any polyamorous relationship, there will be a huge range of feelings you'll work through. Speaking from the point of view of the unicorn in this situation, there were times when jealousy would flare up and I'd need that bit of extra reassurance. Jealousy is a big part of polyamory and it is in fact healthy and totally normal to feel jealous at times, no matter how long you may have been together. The key to jealousy is to not let it get out of control and eat you up. Lay it out on the table, talk it out with your partners and discuss exactly how you feel, what made you feel that way and why. Because that is the only way that one, your partners will actually know how you're feeling and two, you can begin to work on a solution to fixing or helping to navigate those feelings.
As a unicorn, I had many a time were I would feel like the third wheel. When they would talk about their wedding day or "their song" or reminisce about an old memory. But the funny part is, when we would all sit down and talk about it? Both of them had felt left out and like a third wheel at times too. We had a lot of off and on going on in the first 2yrs together, sometimes because life got in the way, others because one of us would have doubts and sometimes simply because we would have an argument! But after a bit of breathing time we would always come back to each other and work it out and do our best to fix it and improve on the relationship.
Both Sir and I are still polaymorous, always have been and always will be. I will most definitely always be bisexual too! But I will freely admit that for a while I was quite content to just have Sir to myself. After some lengthy discussion, I came to realise that I was actually afraid of trying again. I was now scared to jump back on the horse and be open to introducing another person into our little family. It took me a lot of conversation with Sir and a lot of quiet thinking and soul searching to realise and accept that fact. All the fears were real, they all made sense in my head. But once I actually spoke to Sit about those fears, he helped me to come to terms with them and deal with them. It was quite odd for me to look at this from a different perspective, to not be the unicorn anymore but the one wanting to bring another into our relationship. I think it makes me a better partner going forward, having previously been in their shoes. I can completely understand and relate to how someone would feel coming into this and I hope that knowledge allows me to be a better partner to them in the future, when we do meet that special lady.