An interesting conversation I have with folks sometimes goes like this . . . .
Them: Oh wow, you are poly. So, you like sleep with anyone you want, right?
Me: Not exactly, though I'm free to follow my heart when it comes to loving other people.
Them: So like, your girlfriend can sleep with other people?
Me: Sure, if that's what she wants to do. Depending on who it is.
Them: That's cool. Wait. Depending on who it is? What do you mean?
Me: Well, there are some people who may be off-limits. We do have some rules you know.
Them: Rules? I thought you just slept with whoever you wanted? What do you mean you have rules?
Me: --Starts thumping head on table--.
Yes, surprising as it may seem many poly's do have rules. I've seen rules around the type of people that can be dated, rules about how to act in certain situations (play parties, rituals, etc.), and even rules about specific sexual acts that can or cannot be performed. I've heard rules about communication, respect, time, and even rules that support equality. Maybe more unusual is finding a poly who doesn't have any rules!
Some rules are fairly common. . .
*No cheating! If you sleep with someone, don't hide it. And don't lie about it.
*Tell me as soon as possible when you start liking someone, or have slept with someone. (See previous rule).
*Meeting rules. Such as; I have to meet someone before you sleep with them or start a relationship.
*OPP - One Penis Policy. Usually means a woman can only have sex with one guy, usually the one making the OPP rule.
*OPP - One Pussy Policy. Yes, you can only own one cat at a time! Haha, just kidding. Usually means a man can only have sex with one woman, usually the one making the OPP rule.
*Anything but intercourse rule. This can apply to either a male or female and is hopefully self-explanatory.
*Check with me first rule. I'll let you have sex with anyone you want as long as you check with me first. Oh, when you check with me first, I might say No.
Those are just a few of the common rules. I've even seen some strange ones like. . .
*Anal only policy. Which means, you can't have vaginal intercourse but you can have anal intercourse with whomever you want.
*Fair sex policy. If you have sex with your girlfriend when you get home you have to have sex with me too.
So what kind of rules have you had in your relationships in the past? What kind of rules do you see using in the future. Or, if you don't believe in rules, why or why not and, how has that worked out for you?
I'll discuss rules more in future articles, including rules I've tried and how they have worked out.
I'm trying to keep articles short and hope that comments from readers will actually direct the topics going forward.
So come on, chime in and let me know what you think!