Polygamous relationships and how to make them thrive

Skylor Harris


Through curiosity or personal desire, threesomes and polygamy are enticing in their lustful allure. Now to clear up some definitions: A threesome is a fantasy shared by a couple to add a third to the bedroom. A polygamous relationship is an agreement between three (or more) people to love and respect each other as a monogamous couple would.

Dynamics between three or more people rather than two allows a shift in expectations of one’s partner(s). What I know to be true is that not in all cases does one or all three partners expect sex from one or both partners and are satisfied with the emotional aspect (though kissing, handholding, and even cuddling are allowed and even welcomed). It’s rare when one partner claims to be seeking only sex from one or both partners. What I’ve observed is they often will succumb to human need for affection and love, admitting their fondness for their sexual partner(s). These dynamics work because they allow for each partner to go at their own pace. Slowing the more sexually aggressive and encouraging the sexually meek.

This dynamic, however, will not continue if one important factor is not adhered to, and that’s honesty. Secrets can’t be allowed and not everyone is going to be included one hundred percent of the time.

These times when everyone is not included should be shared, just to make sure jealousy is avoided and the loving is being spread equally. Dynamics as simple as these are applicable to any relationship, and lay the foundation for a healthy one to thrive.

One of my most healthy relationships lasted a little over a year and was a polygamous one at that. It was the healthiest because the dynamics forced us to be open and talk about everything. It also helped that none of us were overtly jealous people. Don’t get me wrong, there were times someone felt left out. The two lived together, and one of them had Friday as movie night with me, while the other had work. The reason these things didn’t ruin our relationship was because our partner said Friday nights sucked, so Tuesdays became bar night with myself as a designated driver.Living together, when the two had their “alone time,” I’d get text messages with flirty winky faces or some overly embarrassing details.

Not everything is always rainbows and butterflies. There was a time for about a month we did decide to become an open relationship simply to stop the fighting. For a while, it ended up with one of my partners and I having a lot of movie nights while our third came home from bars and one night stands. It allowed my other partner and I to grow closer together having not had the childhood friendship bond our third and I shared. Even when it ended on all ends permanently it was mutual agreement because of school or enrollment overseas, not because we shared anything but love for one another.

I fell into this relationship coming out of another one. It was a gift to spend the weekend of our break up with some good friends of mine who had been discussing adding a third to their bedroom for a while. Naturally curious myself, I volunteered for the position. What was supposed to be a one night thing turned into an almost bi-weekly excursion. On a date night the two were having I was invited and I didn’t understand why I had to come along only to be the third wheel. Little did I know it was the two tricking me into a date with them, where at the bowling alley they asked if I’d like to be a part of their relationship. I was happy enough being invited into their bedroom and after thinking about it that night I was really happy, more so than I had ever been with any one person before them.

That night, we went home together and sat on the couch playing a game of Sorry. We discussed what we expected of each other both physically and mentally. This was something that was really rewarding and extremely embarrassing to openly talk about. It changed a few times throughout our relationship but looking back I definitely want to go into any relationship with those preferences and expectations laid out in plain English. The relationship taught me how to laugh at the awkwardness of sex and how to ask for what you want and make sure everyone, including yourself, is comfortable and happy in the relationship.

Love is love and sharing it with as many people as you can is alright in my book.


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