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Blogging about polyamory, ethical-non-monogamy, and modern relationships | (He/Him) | thomashbrand.com | ko-fi.com/thomashbrand

RELATIONSHIPS / STRUCTURE

Relationship security comes from substance, not structure.

A woman looks directly at us over the top of a book she has been reading. It is clear she is unhappy with what she has just read.

I love reading. Always have. But sometimes, books are mean.

There I was, minding my own business, lost in a book, when suddenly…

We often assume that having more structural ties in a relationship means more security.

BAM! For no reason at all, the book decides to personally attack me!

You see, when I was young, I was never what you would call successful with the ladies.

Why was this? Well, all sorts of reasons, to be honest. I could go into detail about never being one of the Cool Kids, not being conventionally attractive, etc., etc. But the most…


RELATIONSHIPS / CHEATING

Let’s discuss the reasons they give, and then the real reasons

If you follow the UK news, you’ll be aware that our Healthy Secretary was recently forced to resign over an extramarital affair. Which means that the UK press has had a burst of human interest articles on the mechanics of infidelity.

I mean, personally, I’d focus on his demonstrated inability to do his job. Or maybe his blatant corruption in giving his mistress a paid government role.

But hey, sex sells.

So one morning, I signed into Twitter to find the following article was trending:

Oh ho! I thought. This should be good. And so I signed up for a…


RELATIONSHIPS / POLYAMORY

The secret is… it’s not someone else

When people talk about polyamory, one of the bigger misconceptions is that it’s about competing for attention.

“I shouldn’t have to fight for my partner’s attention,” they’ll say. Or, “What if you like one partner more than another?” Sometimes it’s “If my partner doesn’t want to always be at my side, then they don’t clearly love me enough”.

But the thing is, they’re getting polyamory — and love in general — all wrong. If you’re competing with anyone for my time and attention, it isn’t any other partners I might have.

It’s me.

If you believe polyamory is about competing…


RELATIONSHIPS / INSECURITY

And all it took was one conversation.

A close up of male and female hands linking their little fingers, in front of of a sunrise.
Photo by Irina Gutyryak at iStock

In the last few weeks, my insecurity around my relationship has been growing.

Luckily, I’ve known why this is. Our dynamic is shifting a lot this year. As lockdown eases, we have social lives again. We’re planning on moving in together later this year. We both have new jobs. And, probably most impactful of all, she’s building a new relationship — with a wonderful guy, I might add — and so is brimming with New Relationship Energy that I’m not a part of.

The status quo is being shaken, and so my sense of security has taken a hit.

None…


RELATIONSHIPS / POLYAMORY

Continuing to disabuse your of the misconceptions you didn’t know you had

Photo by kali9 at istock

A while ago, I published an article discussing a few of the common misconceptions people have about polyamory and ethical non-monogamy. Because the lack of education and representation around our lifestyle leads to be people having some wildly inaccurate or biased views about what we are doing.

But do you think it’s possible to discuss all the things people get wrong about polyamory in a single article?

Of course, it isn’t.

And so I felt it was time to come back to this topic and discuss 8 more things that polyamory isn’t.

It is important to know that polyamory is not…

…more “enlightened”

We’re not better than monogamous people. We haven’t…


We need to be comfortable communicating our boundaries at any point in a relationship.

Photo by borchee at iStock

Part of creating any modern relationship involves stating your boundaries. Where are the lines you will not cross and will not accept your partner crossing if they are dating you?

A common example of a boundary is monogamy. You make it clear to potential partners you will not accept them seeing anyone else while they are in a relationship with you. Having stated that clearly, your partner is free to agree to this or not. There is no ambiguity.

And these need to be communicated upfront. Because I think everyone will agree it’s not ethical to wait for someone to…


RELATIONSHIP / POLYAMORY

Girls had no choice. They were simply added to my list.

Photo by Motortion at iStock

When I first explored polyamory, everyone involved knew their place.

I had quite a few girls in my social circle at this point in my life, and I decided which ones were to be my “girlfriends”. They didn’t really have much choice in the matter. I would simply inform them they were now my girlfriend. There was romance involved. And I wasn’t really concerned at all about their thoughts on the matter.

And the toxic behaviours didn’t end there. Oh, no. I ranked them! Each of my “girlfriends” was given a number in a constantly shifting order. Their level of…


It’s time to prepare yourself to step into the unknown.

A white hand holds a pen over an open notebook. The page shows a number of items written into a checklist.
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Starting your journey into ethical non-monogamy is stepping into the unknown. Whether you feel certain this is who you are, or if you are dipping your toe to see if ENM might be right for you, the one thing I can guarantee is you don’t truly know what’s ahead of you.

You might think you do, but believe me, you don’t. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of friends who are, in some way, part of the ethically non-monogamous world, and not one of them found it to be what they were expecting.

So, in the interest of helping…


RELATIONSHIPS / SEX

I believed her sexual satisfaction started and ended with me.

Photo by IPGGutenbergUKLtd at www.istockphoto.com/

I was 19.

It had taken me a long time to get a girlfriend. 19 years, in fact. But, at long last, I had managed to achieve the impossible. An actual human girl was now dating me. More than that, actually having sex with me.

And boy, was I determined to do it right. And I thought I wasn’t doing too bad a job. For someone in their first sexual relationship, at least.

But then, one day, I happened to be going through her bedroom trying to find something, and I discovered her vibrator.

And, all at once, it became…


RELATIONSHIPS / INTIMACY

Is the secret to good sex… keeping secrets?

A man and a woman are in bed together, each of them holding the covers so that all that can be seen are their faces from the nose up.
Prostock-Studio

So, the big question. The one every polyamorous person will hear eventually. The one we ask you all to move on from.

How does the sex work?

Well, at long last, I’m going to give in and tell you. That’s right, the big secret. The dirty little secret of polyamory that none of us wants to admit. The revelation of how sex works when you are dating multiple people.

How the sex works is…

… a secret.

And isn’t it more exciting that way?

Why don’t we talk about sex more openly in general?

Sex is amazing. And it’s natural. And, whatever your personal opinion on the matter, it’s simply…

Thomas H. Brand

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