Hi anon! I would answer you privately, if you were not an anon.
As it is:
- Polyamory is not seamless. It does not move like clockwork without any discussing, negotiating, and working out kinks (as in, the non-sexual ones, though those are a good thing to talk about, too!). A lot of people on tumblr like to yell ‘poly!’ to get rid of the love triangle problems in a fandom, and that’s a beautiful idea, but if there are already difficulties, polyamory is going to cause more of them before things are shiny and happy. So just remember to follow a simple rule: the more people involved in a relationship, the more the need for honest communication increases. If two people need to look over their wants and needs in a relationship periodically (and they do), then three, four, or more people need to do this even more! Dividing time, managing intimacy, and working out boundaries are all a big deal.
- Polyamory is not inherently (just) about sex. Spot the ‘amor’ snuggled in there. Poly relationships comes in many different forms, and they may involve varying levels of physical and emotional intimacy. If you want to write swingers, or people who have open relationships that involve a lot of casual sex, go for it! These are great topics to cover, too. But polyamory (whether closed - say, three people in a romantic relationship committed to each other and only each other - or open - where one or more partners are actively seeking or open to adding partners) is about connections between people. Friendship, romance, dating, marriage, child-rearing…all of these things can and do come up in poly relationships. They are not just about sex. (Not that anything is wrong with just sex, am I right?) There is a place (a big, welcoming place!) for people on the asexual spectrum in polyamory!
- This is just a general note about all writing, but diversity is good! Differing sexual and romantic orientations (one of my girlfriends is straight! surprise!), gender identities, races, religions, cultures…people who are different date each other! There are more people involved in polyamory, so you have even more chances to do a lot of research, be a bit creative, and give a little representation to all the diverse lovelies practicing (or looking to practice) polyamory!
- There’s diversity within types of polyamory, too! I mentioned open and closed above, but there are other things to consider. Polyamory comes in almost infinite forms. One person may date two or more people who prefer to only date them (often represented as a little V, where the polyamorous person is the vertex, and the other relationships are seen to be separate from one another). Three people may form a triad, where each pair has a relationship of some sort, as well as the overall three-party relationship. You may find a group of people who form a sort of ‘6 Degrees of…’, Jill dates Jack who dates Kevin who dates Laura who dates Angel who dates Dina. Obviously, these can be expanded, or mixed. People are diverse, relationships are diverse, polyamory is diverse!
- If you’re going to write a married couple looking to date a third person together, especially a younger man or woman…please be careful. If someone is objectifying someone else, or there’s manipulation or abuse involved, or if all three parties aren’t full steam ahead with the idea (reservations are normal, ‘I don’t want to do this but I think you’ll leave me if I don’t’ is not), POINT THAT OUT. Resolve it. Don’t treat this as okay.
- It’s alright to portray some relationships as taking more priority than others. This is normal for many polyamorous people. The concept of a ‘primary’ relationship and other ‘secondary’ relationships is common, and others add a ‘tertiary’ option as well. Some people don’t like this kind of terminology and prefer to think of every relationship as equally important, despite their differences. This is fine too!
- I’m just gonna repeat myself a little here. Polyamory does not magically solve a love triangle. Two people who hate each other but love a third person will not easily accept sharing said person, nor are they likely to spontaneously develop a relationship with one another (if you’d prefer a triad direction). You can work toward these ideals slowly and realistically, but it’s not a quick fix.
- Polyamory IS NOT CHEATING. Polyamorous people can cheat, and I’m sure there are some who do, but polyamory is inherently based on communication and agreed-upon multiple relationships. Even if a person is polyamorous, if they are hiding one partner from another, that’s a serious problem, and it’s not excusable.
I might add to this later if I think of things.
Writing in my brain: Beautiful flowing sentences full of powerful phrases and enigmatically witty dialogue.
Writing on the page: They did the thing and said some stuff. There was snark.
"Yes I’m editing this novel"
*draws on photoshop*
I wanna write something so good people stay up till three in the morning writing theories and head canons about it.