Tag Archives: poly


That Loving Feeling is Gone

Racist white folks broke my heart.  Power wasn’t just unbalanced in our relationships, it was positively skewed.  My choice of partners for a quick shag, wham bang, see you later, could be wide as I want.  Yet anything else; deeper relationships, down on one knee proposals were for white folks and their polycules alone.

When I realised I could not be Polyamorous in this society, I felt like a failure.  Poly wasn’t something I did – it was who I was.  Had I lied to myself all this time?  Surely love conquers all?  My heartbreak was a brutal crack in the core of my being.  I knew I’d never recover that loving feeling, the full expression of how I navigate sex and relationships.

I’ve experienced racism all my life, yet nothing could have prepared me for racism from people who said they loved me.  I cannot imagine the cognitive tangle of thoughts and actions that lead to such a thing, but down in my bones, I knew I was never seen as a full human to them.  My breasts, my heart and my lips could express my love in acceptable ways, but my skin would forever undermine all of that in their eyes.

I have received white tears, white guilt, but never white respect or action when I was bereft.  I just get silence.

Most of my partners have been white.  My two black boyfriends both put me in hospital, but white partner’s violence was a slow terrible poison.  How could I fight against an assumption?  What moves can combat neglect?  When my every action paints me as the angry black person, what do I do?  How do I react?

Letting go of things hurt, but it means my shoulders no longer slump from the strain of carrying such a heavy load.  I can now walk upright instead of wishing I were taller, less bent over.  My arms and my hands are empty for the first time – empty and open to embrace whatever comes next.  And if nothing comes, I can hold myself.

When white Poly people don’t see People of Colour as human, we become disposable.  We don’t consider the feelings of a piece of paper – we write on it, use it up and when we are done, throw it in the bin and pick up another sheet.  This is what happens to Poly People of Colour.  White folks fetishise us, especially if we are LGBT+ and/or into kink.  We are hypervisible in a sea of white faces, but once we serve our purpose, we are ignored, neglected or mistreated.  We are never primary partners; we are interchangeable and something to add spice to your white vanilla world.

Poly People of Colour are at a disadvantage.  We face many issues that white people never will.  Most of us don’t have the family, money, energy or time resources white people have.  We are more likely to experience domestic violence, sexual assault, poverty and physical/mental issues.  We shouldn’t have to factor in a broken heart to all of the above.

My identity of Poly turned into an identity of trash.  Rejecting the label will lead to yet more isolation for me, but it will be an honest isolation instead of the pretence of community and belonging.  I do not want to be a square on someone’s bingo card of experiences.  I deserve better.

I have so much love to give.  I don’t want to close off my heart because of racism, but what choice do I have?  You may not want to marry me or anyone else, but I ask white Poly people to be upfront and honest with your desires.  Don’t tell me you love me if it isn’t so.  If all you want is a hookup with no contact after, say it.  I may turn you down, but I’ll respect your honesty.  Right now I don’t respect you at all.



Polyday was brilliant!  The day started off with me feeling quite emotional as I left home to travel to Holborn.  I thought of all the times I’d been told that it was impossible to love more than one person, and that I must be some kind of a deviant for doing so.  I got quite tearful thinking of how fortunate I was to be able to live in the present as a polyamorous, bisexual woman; to have understanding partners (most of the time), and to have events like Polyday close to home. 

I arrived at Polyday while the sun was still shining.  I walked into the main hall where I instantly saw several friends I knew from bisexual, kinky and genderqueer spaces I’ve been to.  Everyone seemed to be in a really good mood, and that just added to the chilled-out atmosphere.

I visited Jemima Wilcox’s stall where she was selling copies of her Poly project book.  She had the cunning plan of giving away free sweeties and a bag with every copy, which seemed to be working very well for her.

The first session I attended was ‘Getting Polytical’  I had been impressed by the sheer enthusiasm of the Polytical folks since meeting them two years ago.  Polytical are working on a series of educational leaflets and packs.  Some of the subject they hope to cover are: Sex education, advice for Human Resource workers, social workers, and sexual health workers.  Polytical also hope to produce some documentaries on poly.   During the session I was also struck by how it was possible for me to be in an activist space, and not get annoyed or angry by clueless people.  I felt positive and understood, which was refreshing!

I attended ‘Poly 201’ next which was full of useful knowledge from more experienced poly people.  There next followed a short break where I went out to a local sandwich shop with two friends of mine. One of my friends managed to stop a thief in the shop, which was an unexpected thing to happen on an already exciting day!

After the break I went to the ‘Poly T-shirts’ workshop.  Somehow my dormant sewing skills resurfaced for the hour, and I was able to create a little applique on a T-shirt.

The next session was ‘Poly Stories’  I’d brought a few things to read, but I wasn’t sure what the format of the session would be as I wasn’t running it.  A man with a Poly-Quaker T-shirt told a fairytale that ended in a three-way wedding, another man told of his real-life experiences of discovering polyamory.  I read two stories, one from NSFW and one from my upcoming Bisexual Men book.  A woman then read the most lovely children’s book, Six-dinner Sid, about a cat who lives with six families on one street.  The session ended with a short but beautiful poem by the Poly-Quaker.

The evening ‘Speakeasy’ was a simple, but wonderful idea.  Everyone mingled, chatted, and enjoyed the music from a very talented pianist who played music from the 1920s and 30’s.

I went home with a huge smile on my face, a happy poly woman. 

Many thanks to all those who helped make Polyday a wonderful day for me.

If you also loved Polyday, then OpenCon is a Poly weekender that happens in October.

An Expanded Love is my polyamorous novel, part of which takes place at Polyday!

Polyday 2011: Not strictly bi, but with so much crossover, why not?


An expanded love

I’ve known I was polyamorous from an early age.  I didn’t have the words for it, but I knew that I longed for more than one person to love.  The longing stayed with me all of my life, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I heard the word, Polyamory.  I was amazed that I wasn’t the only one thought that way.

I started writing this book in November 2009.   My story was to be a romance that one woman has with multiple people, and with herself as well. It was a challenge for me; to chart my heroine’s journey from monogamy to polyamory when I’d never done anything like it before. I wanted to reflect the polyamorous communities that I’d come in contact with: the pagans, the bisexual folks, the radical vegan queers, and the plain old hopeless romantics. Writing this novel made me remember how excited I used to be whenever I read or heard about polyamory; just the idea of a different way to live made me tingle.  I want to pass on that tingle.


I became Polyamorous at exactly eight-thirty-two that very same evening during the disco; I danced to an old rock track I remembered from school.  The music distracted me from a task I’d fallen into during the course of the day—counting the number of corsets that the attendees wore.  I’d reached sixteen before I started to get confused.  I let the music sway me from my silly musings, tried to remember how to dance without hitting anyone with a stray arm.  I had closed my eyes to help ease my self-consciousness, but when I opened them, there were two people dancing beside me; Jasmine from the relationship styles, and the organiser who looked like Santa Claus.  Jasmine was throwing herself about to the wild music when she bumped into me.  I instinctively held her, and then we danced together, bopping about to the tune.  When the music ended, she kissed me.  I kissed her back; a gentle press that made my lips tingle.  Christine appeared as if by magic.  She kissed Jasmine, and then she kissed me long and slow.  We all looked at each other and then started squealing like little girls.  I checked my watch, marked the time.  I could barely focus on the digits; everything was a swirl.  Jasmine held me from behind, Christine held onto her back.  Before I knew it a conga line had formed with me at the front.  We danced around the pub, a snaking trail of happy people.  Things would never be the same.

An Expanded Love: available as a paperback or as an e-book


Tanya Davis – How To Be Alone

great video from: oblittw



I have issues about being polyamorous and alone.

Loving more than one person at the same time, with the knowledge and consent of my other lovers doesn’t guarantee that I’ll always have someone with me.  I’ve loved people who have lived hundreds of miles away.  My heart doesn’t comprehend the curvature of the Earth; how distance (and not owning a private jet) meant that in one of my relationships I only saw my lover in person twice in the nine months we were together.  But those two weekends we enjoyed were amazing, and all the letters, phonecalls, postcards and emails that travelled between us meant that I rarely missed him.  The relationship only ended when one of us stopped communicating.  Poly and alone is one thing.  Poly and silent is a whole other bag.

Poly to me, means that even when I’m 200 miles from my girlfriend, or when my boyfriend is asleep next door, I’ll sit on the sofa on my own and feel close to them. The times we are able to share together in the flesh means that when I’m alone I rarely feel lonely.

I feel lonely when I’m around bigoted people, especially when I have something in common with them.  Being ignored, dismissed, or treated badly and no one backing me up is something I’ve experienced an awful lot, and it only adds to sense of isolation I feel.  When I am told that I’m not a proper black by a black person, that I’m not a real woman by a feminist, that I’m sitting on some fence by a queer, I feel totally and utterly alone.  I feel lonely because I feel that I’ll never belong.  I’ll just be a little dot on a big spinning globe.  

Christmas used to make me feel lonely too.  Everyone I knew would trek off to their biological families, and I’d end up on my own.  But something I realised is that I not only share my lovers with their lovers, but when it comes to time and energy, I share them with their relatives too.

Poly doesn’t mean living in a big house with twenty people.  At least it doesn’t mean that to me anymore.  Having a better relationship with myself first, and then with others is what’s important.  So let me be poly and alone sometimes.  It’s not the end of the world.


I saw Noel Coward’s Design for Living a few weeks ago at the Old Vic Theatre.  I’d only heard vague murmurings about the story of three people who couldn’t choose between one or the other.  I didn’t really know what to expect.

“I love you.  You love me.

You love Otto. I love Otto.

Otto loves you.  Otto loves me”

Leo says these magical words in the opening part of the play.  I felt like someone had slapped me on the back of the head.  No matter how bad things get today, being polyamorous and bisexual in the 1930’s must have been hellish.  Or would it have been any different to now?  The threesome were young, wealthy, white and mostly removed from the everyday world.  When other characters in the play disapproved of them, the threesome could either ignore them or tell them to shut up and go away.  Social scandal seemed to be the biggest worry they faced.  I have very little in common with these characters.  But with all the privilege that seeped into every aspect of their lives, I still adored the performance.  I grinned like a loon whenever Leo and Otto kissed (hooray for bisexual men!).  I loved the straight-speaking way they would declare their love for each other.  I willed them to all just stop bickering, and pile into bed!  I was so glad that I could see this play.  No one used the words bisexual or polyamorous, because Design for Living existed decades before those words were in popular (or unpopular) usage.  This was certainly an occasion that behaviour differed from labels, and not only because the threesome didn’t label themselves.  "Our lives are shaped differently to yours.“  I loved it.  Now if I could find a way to use the line: "Careful, Leo.  Remember what happened in Mombassa,” into my daily speech, I’d be very happy indeed. 


Polyday happens on 20th November in Bristol. Ball gowns and dinner suits are not compulsory, but would be much appreciated.


Photo from the Artsdesk