A lesbian triad comes out in print
Lesbians are much less likely to be in open relationships than gay men, according to any number of surveys, possibly even less so than straights. But among those who are, it's my unscientific impression that lesbians are more likely to embrace the family-formation model of polyamory than polys in general. Does somebody have any data?
Cherrie, a glossy lesbian magazine in Australia, profiles one such group and their opinions about why it works in an article on varieties of lesbian relationships.
By Francesca Sciacca
...Tathra, 39, a sustainability consultant and Emma, 29, a teacher, have been together six and a half years. From the beginning Tathra was very clear with Emma that polyamory, the practice of being in ethical, open relationships, was part of who she is. However, it wasn’t until almost five years into their relationship that Jac, 32, a secondary teacher, came on the scene as Emma’s lover. [In the picture, from left: Tathra, Emma. Jac.]
...Having an ethical polyamorous relationship that works is based on agreements. For these women, it’s clear and simple. Don’t bitch about each other. If any of them have a disagreement it must get resolved before they sleep with someone else. Keep in open communication and even talk about it as a group. Schedule date nights. Don’t take each other for granted. Be present with whomever you’re with in the moment.
This is made all the more challenging when you all live under the one roof....
Jac adds: “Tathra is really great for me because she’s got so much experience in relationships, but also in her relationship with Emma… Tathra totally gets it because she knows my partner the way that I do! There’s that bond between Tathra and I that works really well.”
The bond between the three of them is palpable. [The author says she's] moved by their maturity and the depth to examine who they are in relationships. Jac says, “Even jealousy is not forbidden or taboo.”
Tathra explains, “There’s a term in the polyamorous community compersion. It means finding pleasure in your lover having pleasure with another. In a Buddhist sense it’s more like, enjoying the joy of others. It’s basically the opposite to jealousy. Jealousy is completely natural, and in fact it’s important to acknowledge when you feel it, which allows it to pass much easier.”...
...Tathra says, “It’s not even that monogamy is unfulfilling. I just believe that one person can’t meet all the needs of another. Sometimes platonic relationships can fulfil those other needs when you’re in a relationship with someone. And sometimes they don’t.”
...Emma says, “Some people operate in, ‘I want what I can’t have.’ We don’t have things you can’t have. Because there is nothing forbidden, that’s not a driving factor for anything. We’ve had difficulties in our relationship, but it’s not so much the polyamory. It’s relationship stuff, trivial stuff like the housework.”
Emma continues: “Ours is a lot more about choosing to be with the person rather than feeling obliged to because of your commitment to someone. We’re together because we want to be together, not for any other reason.”
The article concludes:
...Maybe monogamy isn’t outdated, but rather what is outdated are the types of questions we’re asking in relationships. What if the question was, does this relationship serve me? Does this relationship serve them and ultimately does it serve the world?....
Read the whole article by flipping to page 18. (April 2012 issue; after this month look for it here). The text is also reprinted on Australian's Gay News Network.