From Polygamy to Polyamory - My Journey

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I thought I’d begin this month by writing a bit of my own story, and how I got to the place I’m at now, working with pleasure and sexuality. We all have a journey with ourselves and our relationships, and these are rarely ever straightforward!

I believe, looking back now, that I always had a fairly strong desire for touch, for pleasure, and for intimacy. In my early 20’s, I lived in the UK, where there was more permissiveness around sexuality than in the Maritimes in Canada. The clothes and fashion sense were about 20 years ahead of here, the art and music scene was more forward thinking, and there was more opportunity to explore all kinds of erotic interests. At a time in my life, where I was looking outward, and exploring who I was, this was both exciting and terrifying!

I was drawn into situations that pushed my boundaries almost too far, and I began to be afraid of what I was finding in myself. I began to look subconsciously for a safe haven, somewhere to hide for awhile. As things usually transpire, when you seek, you shall find, and I was led to discover the religion of Islam.

Being very much a ‘jump in with both feet’ kind of girl, I took up the role of being a Muslim, with great gusto. Within a year of converting, I was wearing a full burka, with a veil that covered my face. It was definitely a way of staying hidden and inward-looking! Along with my newfound piety, was an interest in the relationship customs of Islam. The prophet himself had nine wives, although it was deemed prudent to allow other men only up to four women.

I was intrigued by the idea, the social implications, and the personal ones also. Another ‘sister wife’ would be great company and help around the house. I had begun to produce children fairly quickly, and the increased demand on my time and energy was immense. I talked with my husband, about the possibility to help another woman who might have had misfortune in her life. Maybe been widowed, or unable to bear children, or even older and not so attractive to a man looking for a first wife.

We did end up finding a woman to join our family, and although there were ups and downs, having a polygamous marriage was a great learning experience. In the end, I believe my co-wife helped me to see that being with my husband was not the best choice for me. In a strange way, she and I could see him more clearly, because we could combine both of our perceptions.

In the end, I did not stay in the marriage, and I miss her as much as I miss my ex-husband. We shared so much together.

What is interesting to me now, is that I still love having more partners in my life, in an important and intimate way. This led me to begin exploring other ways of loving multiple people, and different relationship paradigms. Polyamory is a relatively new term to describe what may be a fairly ancient social model. The word still means different things to different people. To me, it means that I am capable of loving more than one partner, at the same time. I find different shared interests and explore more aspects of myself, having different people to do that with.

I am fairly certain that my journey is not yet over, as far as how I walk in the world and navigate relationships. For now, I am enjoying the discovery of what works and doesn’t work for me in the present moment. I find the freedom from trying to fit a cultural mold, works well, in that I come face to face with my own subconscious beliefs about what is ‘right’. I believe that I can be more open-minded and less judgemental about other people’s choices when I am challenging my own places of feeling imprisoned.

How do you walk in the world, and find fulfilling relationships? Are you fulfilled and content with where you are or are there places you’d like to explore? These are some of the topics we could discuss together if you want to connect with me. Maybe you are happy with your overall relationship/s but want to expand yourself within them? Leave a comment, connect with me, and let’s keep the dialogue going!

With love,

Ailsa

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