Poly and mono what?
If that title confused you, rest assured, you are likely not the only one. And flash back to about six months ago, I probably would not have been able to tell you exactly what those terms meant.
Also, to be honest, exploring this world of sex positivity and alternatives to what is perceived as “normal” sexual and romantic relationships, is fairly new to me too! So my terminology, definitions and interpretation of terms and subjects may not be entirely accurate, but I will do my best to educate you guys 🙂
According to the Urban Dictionary, poly-sexuality is “the sexual and/or romantic attraction to one or more gender.” Bisexuality and pansexuality are forms of poly-sexuality.
However for me, poly-sexuality also means engaging in sexual activities with more than one person at a time, but from the research I have done, this is not an accepted definition. Still, I just like to use it this way, instead of saying “multiple sex partners” or slut 🙂
Non-monogamy, this time according to Wikipedia, is “an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of non-dyadic intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to standards of monogamy”. Phew that’s a mouthful! But essentially, it means that you are open to intimacy with more than one partner.
So, last summer, when I was in the middle of what I now see as a bit of an identity crisis, I decided to explore my sexuality with women. To be honest, being sexually attracted to women was something that I felt from my early teenage years. I did explore a bit as well then, but I very much felt ashamed of it.
I think with all the sex-negative messages out there, I had been convinced that seeking lesbian sexual encounters was most likely a cry for attention, and that is was slutty.
However in the spirit of truly getting to know myself and to not turning down new experiences and opportunities for growth, I decided to go ahead and explore. Exploring sexuality with women has lead to me also exploring poly-sexuality as well as non-monogamy.
I purposely seeked encounters with open minded people and individuals who are already living a non-monogamous lifestyle to learn more about it.
Sorry if some of you guys were hoping for detailed stories about my sexual escapades, but I’m not here to talk about that (however, I have often thought about writing erotic short stories so if ever it’s something you guys would read, let me know!!).
I am writing to talk about the amazing transformation that has ensued, and how setting myself free sexually has helped me gain confidence and foster self love.
Opening up my dating apps to match with women was such an eye opener. I had never even thought of the beautiful variety of people that are out there – so colourful and all equally fascinating and invidual.
I have come to realise that I have lived as a people pleaser and a perfectionist (blog series on that subject to come soon 😉), and I have sadly almost always shaped who I am according to what I thought others expected/wanted of me.
So when it came to dating, I honestly found it very hard to put together a profile, and it was constantly changing, subconsciously trying to morph into men’s ideal of the perfect woman.
Browsing through women’s profiles made me realize that it’s okay to be quirky and own your weirdness. It has taken time, though, for me to even find my weirdness and figure out what my quirks are, and even more time to muster up the courage to let that shine and show it to the world, especially the dating world.
I think I have reached a point, though, where I am fairly comfortable with who I am, flaws and all. And I am also okay with people not liking me, because I no longer see it as a reflection of my worth.
And finally I am also starting to be okay with displeasing people. It’s very much uncomfortable, don’t get me wrong, and I have to coach myself through it quite intensively. But slowly, I am starting to be a little selfish and put myself and my needs first.
Being romantically involved with more than one partner over a period of time, has also contributed my growing sense of confidence and self-sufficiency. I used to often feel lost when intimate relationships grew, and in retrospect I now recognize that it’s because I was so focused on pleasing the other person, that I forgot to take care of and love myself.
So dating two people at a time has kinda forced me to put myself first, and to ensure that my own needs are meant first. This means that when I engage with a partner, I come from a place of abundance, and I am also much more purposeful with who I spend my time with and how I spend my time. Now, when I do something for someone, when I offer help or when I offer time (whether it be with romantic partners or with family and friends), it comes from a much more genuine and authentic place.
So, the lessons I have learned from exploring my sexuality are probably not quite what you expected 😅. They certainly aren’t what I expected!! But I am so grateful for having had the courage to break free from the shackles of shame and the sex-negative society, because it has lead to a beautiful transformation and self-actualization ☺️🙏.