Redbook magazine: "We Bet This Isn't How You Pictured Polyamory"
Now she's interviewed by Redbook, one of the leading traditional women's magazines (founded in 1903, circulation 2.2 million).
Read the whole article (undated but just recently posted). It also just went up at Yahoo/ Shine (Jan. 24, 2014).
We Bet This Isn't How You Pictured Polyamory
A decade ago, Kendra Holliday, 40, was your everyday Midwestern mom and wife. Now, she’s a sex-positive activist who blogs about her less-than-typical life with her primary partner… and the men and women she dates.
As told to Anna Davies
As a teenager, I was a cheater. I wasn’t proud of it, but it always ended up happening. I thought it was a maturity issue — that when I grew up and got into a serious relationship, my behavior would change. And it did… for a while. I got married in my early 20s and spent the next 10 years focusing on my marriage, career, and motherhood. I didn’t cheat. But I nonetheless got divorced at 30.
I thought that since my marriage didn’t work out, perhaps I wasn’t relationship material, and that I’d be better off playing the field forever. As soon as I became single, I made a list of all the people I wanted to sleep with. And I had a lot of fun going on dates and exploring different sides of my sexuality....
Little by little, with the help of the Internet, books, and local groups, I... began to realize that having multiple partners was an option. I could settle down and still be able to play the field.
Around that time, I met a man through a mutual friend. He’d recently gotten divorced after 10 years, and though his marriage was monogamous, he felt like I did about being with only one person. So we hit the ground running and happily began dating other people, together. This time, it felt more natural. I was more experienced and more compatible with my partner. We’ve been happily together for six years, and have dated dozens of people, together and separately.
At first, I’d feel very anxious whenever he went on a date with another woman. My heart would race and I couldn’t sleep. But nowadays, it feels fine. I feel very secure and comfortable with it. I’ve always been turned on by it, even early on, but now it feels warm instead of edgy.
People don’t realize that it can take years to acclimate to polyamory. You can’t just wave a magic wand and de-program decades of social norms. Also, monogamy has one built-in rule: Don’t be intimate with other people. Polyamory is much more challenging, because you get to make your own rules, the list of which can be long and must be discussed often. Open and honest communication is the key to polyamory. That means pushing past the fear and saying things you are afraid to say. You have to replace the fear with love.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it actually feels like our relationship receives a steroid shot every time we tryst with other people and share the details with each other. Talking about how we felt, what we loved, what made us feel insecure — all that openness makes us feel closer. There are no secrets.... I’m proud of my partner, so I love when another woman gets to experience his sexual prowess. I think it’s hot to watch him in action, so to speak. And of course I like feeling desired by other men. A lot of people enjoy fantasizing about orgies, but it’s another thing altogether to witness or be a part of one.
And it’s not all sex, not for me and not for others I know who also engage in polyamory or nonmonogamy.... It’s also about intimacy. Do you limit yourself to intimacy with just one person, or do you allow it to occur with multiple people in an ethical, open, and honest context?...
Kendra Holliday is a 40-year-old bisexual mother living in St. Louis. A passionate sexplorer when it comes to kinks, fetishes, BDSM, swinging, and polyamory, she is a sex and relationship consultant, a sex [surrogate] worker and educator, and editor of the award-winning sex blog The Beautiful Kind.