In Ireland's largest newspaper, "Woman opens up about the benefits of polyamory"
Irish society has, in the last few decades, thrown off with a vengeance much of the Catholic Church's historical oppression and domination, especially after the exposure of floods of horrors that the Irish Church long perpetrated and concealed. I know that's harshing on some people's faith, but there is no honest way to say it nicely. Today Ireland is a much freer and more open society.
|Emotional challenges: Beth says being polyamorous forces you to deal with insecurities.|
One sign is that Ireland's largest, most established newspaper just published, in print and online, the story below, told by a lady who is not afraid to be out about her life and practice.
What it feels like to have more than one partner – one woman opens up about the benefits of polyamory
Tired of conventional romances, sex coach Beth Wallace embraced polyamory – being in more than one relationship at a time – and has reaped the emotional rewards
By Beth Wallace
...The idea that you meet someone, marry them, have kids and stay together until the day you die — that works for some people, but I think it's a relationship choice that's largely born out of societal norms and expectations. If you throw out that rule book of what a relationship 'should' look like, then what goes in its place?
Polyamory means quite simply having a loving relationship with more than one person at a time, or being open to having a love relationship with more than one person at a time. Imagine a monogamous relationship and then imagine that with several people.
...In my 40s I met a man who was already in an open relationship and if I wanted to be in a relationship with him then I had to be okay with how his life was already set up. That took a while to get my head around. We would be out for dinner with 12 or so people including his wife and he and I would leave together to be with each other for the night and she was fine with it. ... It redefined for me what love is.
In my experience, polyamory is something like being gay, lesbian or bi, it's an orientation, it's who I am, not something that I do. ... If you're a polyamorous person who finds it easy to love and be intimate with, and find a connection with, lots of people, you can't switch that off just because someone isn't okay with it, because then you're going to feel like you're not being true to yourself.
People make a lot of assumptions. One of the most common reactions I get from women is that they think the men I'm involved with 'just want to have their cake and eat it'. I find that very insulting because they're assuming the male in whatever group of people it is the one calling all the shots, which isn't my experience.
...In fact there's so much discussion around boundaries, and time planning that goes on, there's often more talking than sex. People assume being polyamorous is all about getting as much sex as you can, but it's not like swinging or open relationships which tend to be more about sex, being polyamorous is about having a full-on relationship.
It can be a logistical nightmare. Three relationships at once is my max. Recently I was seeing three men, two in Ireland and one outside the country. Each relationship offered me something different. With one of them, we had lots of fun. He was quite a bit younger than me and it was a very fun-based relationship where we laughed a lot and did fun, stupid things. The second guy was quite a bit older and we would have very deep meaningful conversations about life and spirituality, he brought out the philosophical aspect of my personality. The other guy was an artist who brought out the creative side of who I am.
It can be the most emotionally challenging and difficult relationship to be in, because it really forces you to be vulnerable and deal with insecurities and excruciating jealousies. But, done right, polyamory can teach you to be an excellent communicator, very self-aware and good at listening. It also offers a very deep love for people that transcends what a relationship 'should' look like. ...
...I think Ireland is becoming more open to non-traditional relationships. My family has mixed feelings about me being polyamorous varying from 'sure whatever, if it works for you, great!' through to 'don't talk to me about it'. Most of my friends are absolutely fine with my choices, although I reckon a few think, 'Oh Beth just hasn't met the right man yet, she'll settle down when she does' — good luck with that!"
Beth runs a relationship course on polyamory; see www.bethwallace.org.
The whole article (online October 4, 2017; in the print issue October 3 across a two-page spread).
The poly movement in Ireland has had other media attention in recent years, most of it quite positive. (In the link, scroll down.)