Posted on | August 5, 2007 | 12 Comments |

I’m terribly disappointed in all of you, dear readers. Here I was expecting derisive and inflammatory comments – trolls, even – in the comments to my post on swinging vs. poly, and instead everyone was thoughtful and had interesting things to say. Obviously I’m moving in the wrong circles. *shakes head in mock disappointment*

Anyhow. The Butterfly Temptress asked me a very interesting question in response to Apollo Sandwich, and it relates well to another question that Z asked in Social Intercourse (where I requested questions from anyone who cared to ask – and if you haven’t asked and want to, go for it! Want to know the colour of my favourite pair of knickers; why I say knickers instead of panties; the meaning of life, orgasm and everything? Ask away!)

Temptress commented:

Forgive me, but I must ask…

How is it that you’re ok with sharing? Try as I may, even though the thought of it turns me on, I can’t really say I would be ok with it. And it makes me feel dreadfully selfish, even though The Knight has *never* asked for a threesome.

I’m just curious how others handle it.

and Z commented:

I know you’ve touched on this before, but as it is one of the things I wrestle with, I’d really like to know how you deal with feelings of jealousy – both yours and those of your lovers.

I think of myself as fairly secure, and I’m a realist, and I’m not possessive – and nor am I willing to compromise the way I live my life… and yet, I still can’t stop the pangs at times. And then it’s worse, because I hate myself for my mean-spiritedness.

But despite that, I know I could do this no other way.

Sharing and jealousy. Definitely related topics, and very much intertwined when it comes to polyamory.

The answer, for me, is very simple (and yet, as simple things often are, immensely complicated). I love Apollo. And in loving him, I want to share him with others so they can see why I love him so much. The same goes for my other lovers, past and present.

That’s the sharing part answered. About the jealousy? Everyone deals with that differently. And anyone who tells you they don’t get jealous is, well, either very self-evolved, or deluding themselves just a little.

I don’t get jealous very often. More on that in a few paragraphs. But when I do get jealous, it’s how I react to my feelings that makes the difference.

Examples are all good, so you get a humdinger!

When I was still seeing Dionysos, and had been his only lover for a few years (although he was not my only lover), another friend of ours developed an interest in him. She trod very, very carefully – telling him of her interest (after first talking to her primary), and then telling me and checking I was okay with the situation before moving further. All the communication done in the initial stages helped prevent a lot of potential jealousy on the parts of her primary and me.

(Lesson: communication about valid topics with the appropriate people = a good thing).

But Dionysos had been all mine for quite some time, and while I was really pleased to be sharing him with someone else who wanted to be with him, it didn’t stop me feeling those mild pangs that someone else was ‘playing with my toys’.

The first time I really felt jealousy about the situation, I was driving along and I pulled up to a traffic light. I was sitting there waiting for the lights to change and I thought, “She’s with him right now,” and I was suddenly completely overwhelmingly jealous. I saw green, and it wasn’t the traffic light.

I didn’t drive over to his house in a rage and throw my toys out of the cot. Instead, following that thought were more thoughts. A conversation with myself that went something like this, as I continued my journey:

“Why did I just think that?”
“Because she’s got Dionysos, and I want him!”
“But I have him too.”
“Not right now!”
“I couldn’t have him right now anyway. I’m doing this errand and then going home to Apollo.”
“So why am I feeling this way?”
“Because he might like her better!”
“Is that likely?”
*sulkily* “Maaaaybe.”
“She has a primary too. Do I think she’ll leave him?”
*reluctantly* “Noooooo.”
“So I’m worried that he’ll stop seeing me?”
“Because she might be better in the sack that me?”
“Is that likely?”
“Um. I guess not.”
“And why not? Spell it out.”
“She’s my friend. She’s his friend. She’s great at communicating. Neither of them want to hurt me. Both of them want me to be happy.”
“And I want both of them to be happy.”
“So. Why am I feeling jealous?”
“Because she’s there and I’m not.”
“Exactly. But I’ll be there this weekend, and I’ll get to talk about it with him, and it’ll be even better, won’t it?”
“Dammit! I hate it when I’m right.”

(Lesson: communication with yourself is just as important as communication with others.)

Back to being jealous less often. I’ve never been terribly jealous – I don’t know why, but it’s part of how I am (remind me to tell you sometime about the theoretically-monogamous-ex who cheated on me with a flatmate, admitted it, and got remarkably little anger or recrimination from me, which perplexed me – and him – a lot).

For me, a lot of my jealous feelings boil down to my sense of self-worth. As my self-worth increases, my fears of abandonment recede (that, and I have the knowledge that even were I to be abandoned by everyone I love, I would still cope, for I have that strength). You’ve probably all figured out, dear readers, these days I have a very high sense of self-worth. Hence, not so much jealousy for me.

But everyone is different. Apollo tells me that he feels jealous occasionally – generally about me being with another person at that exact moment – but either distracts himself until he forgets (!), or tells himself he’s being silly. He describes it as selfishness, wanting me for him right then even though he knows I will come back to him.

Adonis, on the other hand, tells me he feels jealous frequently, and deals with it badly. “The first step [for me] is to recognise jealousy from paranoia from valid problems,” he says. To deal with it, he keeps telling himself it’s wrong. Again, though, he’s not feeling jealousy in the abstract, but at the particular point in time when a person that he sees as ‘his’ is being affectionate with someone else.

He assures me he doesn’t feel jealous when I’m with Apollo, though. “You are his, then mine.”

Of course, both Apollo and Adonis’ feelings, jealous or not, are far too complex for me to write about. They’re their feelings, not mine.

But as for mine – I love my men and my women and I want to share them with other people who will appreciate them and see how wonderful they are. Yes, I still get jealous sometimes. But it passes swiftly and I am left feeling incredibly lucky that such amazing people are a part of my life.

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12 Responses to “Green-eyes”

  1. Lady in red
    August 5th, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

    I started to write comment here but lost it and as it was getting rather long I shall probably do my own post on the subject sometime very soon.

  2. Z
    August 5th, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    Thank, Dee! I agree that communication is key, and also do the giving myself a talking to thing – it helps to wallop the green-eyed monster with logic.

  3. Gillette
    August 5th, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    Sounds like you do the jealousy thing like I do- lots of being honest about all the feelings, not hiding from them at all, but then self talking them with logic and reminders of what’s real instead of just hearing FEAR voice.

    For me, it’s also the thing I’m feeling this. It’s not like I’m expecting anyone to change their behavior, I just feel it.

    Great post (this and the last one..loved the line about fruit), Dee..thanks for this.

  4. The Man With Secrets
    August 5th, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

    Jealousy is also a confidence thing. OK, confident people still get visited by the green-eyed monster, but they can deal with it better by communicating and trusting. I suppose there’s a virtual circle (or vicious spiral) thing going on here. Oh dear.

  5. Musns
    August 5th, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

    Before we were married, my dh cheated on me once. He told me and my response to him was “Well, was it any good?” to which his was “No, she laid there like a log” (which I gleefully chuckled at, in my head).

    I didn’t feel jealous then and I don’t now. Granted we are also monogamous – but I’d like to expand that…at least experimentally. I have no qualms and have even ‘gently’ suggested that he could have sex with someone else. His reluctance in experimenting with others is because he is fearful of losing me; he doesn’t see that love is what binds me to him – not the sex.

  6. ~martha
    August 6th, 2007 @ 2:44 am

    hi there…first time visitor but I am sure I will be back. Poly intrigues me and I am sure I can learn a lot here. I added you to my links, hoping it is acceptable. If not, say the word and its gone.
    my best to you….I enjoy your writing!


  7. Emma Kelly
    August 6th, 2007 @ 3:23 am

    Hi CD,

    My guess is that the more secure people are with the commitments they have made to each other the more likely they will be able to handle jealousy.

    I used to get jealous when Em would go off to play alone and still do sometimes. But that’s more from feeling excluded than that she “loves” someone else more than me or that she might leave me. The fact that she enjoys some other guy’s cock differently than she enjoys mine is part of why she does it.

    As her cuckold I’ve learned to eroticize my feeling of exclusion. Being kept in chastity is also related to this in that she denies me pleasure until it suits her to allow me to have some.

    It’s all about managing our feelings and using them to enhance our pleasures. That we stumble sometimes is how we learn.


    Mrs. Kelly’s Playhouse

  8. Curvaceous Dee
    August 6th, 2007 @ 8:25 am

    Lady – I shall look forward to reading your post!

    Z – Logic seems to be one of those things that makes the green-eyed monster shrink. Which is a good thing when it’s the size of a house to start with! Much easier to deal with when you can squish it in your hand :)

    Gillette – I’m glad you’re liking the posts – thank you for letting me know! I find that accepting my feelings for what they are, and trying to understand them, works much better for me than (my previous behaviour of) squashing them down hard until they pop up and smack me in the face…

    Musns – your reaction to your dh was much like mine to my ex. ‘Any good?’ I love hearing how my lovers (and ex-lovers that I am friends with) are getting on with current partners – it pleases me if they are finding pleasure.

    Man – I think that you’re right about the vicious spiral happening with jealousy and confidence. But how does one gain a foot-hold to get out of that spiral? I don’t know how I pulled myself out, but I’m glad I did.

    Martha – lovely to have you visiting, and I look forward to you returning! And thank you very much for adding me to your links :) I’ll have to check your blog out and have a read.

    Scott – I’m fascinated by what you say about eroticising your feelings of exclusion – is that something that’s grown over time, encouraged by Em? That we stumble sometimes is how we learn. How very true – very true indeed.

    xx to all of you, Dee

  9. The Butterfly Temptress
    August 6th, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

    When we’ve discussed the possibility of a third, even just to try it to say we did, he’s always told me that it would be just sex to him. He says that he’s found in me everything that he’s ever wanted and no amount of sex could ever tear us apart.

    For all the reasons you mentioned in the conversation with yourself, I’ve let this one stay on the back burner. Though more and more lately it keeps coming to the front and I’m not sure why.

    Communication should be something that is simple and easy, but rarely is it. Sometimes it’s harder to communicate ones thoughts and feelings than it is to own them.

    However, you’ve given me wonderful food for thought, CD. And for that I thank you.

    The Butterfly Temptress

  10. Curvaceous Dee
    August 6th, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

    I have to say, Butterfly, I find the concept of ‘everything I’ve ever wanted’ absolutely terrifying – it’s so much pressure to be under! Apollo knows he’s not everything to me – although he is incredibly important, loved, and desired – and in some ways (so he tells me) that takes the pressure off, knowing he doesn’t need to be the only rock I rely on. That there are others who can help me, love me, heal me, and keep me safe when he isn’t available/able/willing to do so.

    I think – for us – having a third who is there just for sex loses the potential for a stronger connection. If it’s just skin and not minds connecting, it’s fun, sure, but not creating something bigger than the three of you.

    Yes, communication is bloody hard. I did a degree in the stuff and I still fuck it up with alarming regularity. I still try, though!

    *hugs* and xx Dee

  11. Lady in red
    August 7th, 2007 @ 6:58 am

    I have published my response now

    hope you dont mind but I quoted you and the questions posed by temptress and Z

  12. Curvaceous Dee
    August 7th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    Lady, I don’t mind at all. It’s an interesting and very thoughtful post.

    xx Dee


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