The Whole Truth

Aug 25

2014

Open Relating, Slut Shaming, Brand Management & Reputation Cost

by Alexis Neely - Posted in Freedom, Life, Moving Beyond Fear, Personal, Pursuit of Truth, Truth, Waking Up |

Last night, a dear friend came to me for guidance about whether she should come out publicly with her sexuality and the fact that she is a polyamorous woman, an open relater, a woman who dates more than one man.

She told me I am the only person she knows who is fully “out of the closet” with the open nature of my sexuality who is not a sex educator by profession.

Given the number of people this friend knows who are open relators, I found that at first surprising, then a bit shocking and finally just plain sad.

She was worried about slut shaming, brand management and reputation cost.

I get it. It’s a worthy concern.

I’ve had to face the reality of all of it.

Even though the Atlantic and HuffPo are beginning to write about it, being “poly” today is the equivalent to what it used to be like to be gay.

A career killer.

A friend loser.

A brand nightmare.

Ouch. Being a pioneer isn’t easy.

How will we ever change the paradigm if we remain in hiding?
Come out, come out wherever you are.

And, of course, there is the part of me that denies it all.

I’m not really poly. I’m just dating a few men and have close relationships with a couple of women. We are all really just friends. With benefits.

I’ll probably end up back in a monogamous relationship the way I have done every other time I’ve ventured into these waters in the past.

But that’s a lie. I know it and, probably, so do you.

I am a lover.

I may choose to have one primary partner (though I am really beginning to love the idea of multiple primaries), but I will have lovers, whether I am having sex with them or not is actually irrelevant.

I am a lover of many people.
Poly-amorous.
Open relator.

 

This is not my job. It’s my life.

I am learning to live, work and love in community in every aspect of my life.

I believe it’s the only real hope we have for the future. To learn to get along so deeply that we can love each other more than we ever dreamed possible.

To be able to say yes to each other’s Desires, even when they contradict our own on the surface.

For the expansion of all.

I can feel the pull to become a sex educator. To abandon my work around new economy personal finance to slip into the stream of consciousness where my sexuality isn’t just accepted, it’s intimately tied to my livelihood.

But no. That would be going backwards. And not truly in deep service to the “both/and” I am here to model and support.

I am a new economy personal finance expert.

 

I write about how we can make money (and relationship) decisions differently going forward to create a sustainable world in which as many as possible are liberated.

I write about the cultural shift that’s coming, from patriarchy to matriarchy. This is where the Western woman truly will save the world. It’s happening. More of our men than ever are discovering the joy of being part of a woman-led home and community and workplace. For the most part, there isn’t much conversation about it in the cultural lexicon, but it’s happening.

If I drop all that to go where it’s safe for me, out of the mainstream conversation, into the world of sex education, I’m falling prey to the belief that I cannot have the credibility of a personal finance expert and be “out” about my sexuality. Nothing changes from there.

And, truth is … money, business, masculine, feminine, sex, open relating. It’s all intimately intertwined.

As we live longer and our dreams get bigger, we will no longer be able to rely on old constructs around retirement, paying off debt, and what we used to think of as freedom.

We will naturally want to love more people. We will want to live in community. We must find new ways to approach our understanding of family.

It’s evolution.

To abandon all of that to just write about sex and relationships because it’s safer for me there would be a retreat into fear.

So yes my friend(s), I invite you to join me here in the light. Stand proud in the truth of your non-monogamous ways. Stop cheating. And hiding. And lying. From yourself or anyone else. No more pushing the truth if who you are into the shadows.

Own your Desires in full, out loud, when called for (and it isn’t always).

Let others know the truth about you. Whatever it is, it isn’t shameful, it’s simply a different way of loving Self and Other.

There IS a time and a place for a conversation about your sexuality and relationships. When that time and place arises, and I trust you to know where and when (it’s not necessarily the way I do it), I invite you to say yes.

I Am.

(This article began as a Facebook post that got so many comments and discussion that I decided to begin a whole Medium channel for it with the intention of finding a wider audience for this conversation. If you like it, please share or recommend.)


  • James Schollain

    I have found that the best way to be sucessuly polyamorous is to keep quiet about it, except to those who I love. I explain it carefully and specifically to her, and once she understands me and nature of my relationship with her, we can continue. But being out there in the world proclaiming myself as a ‘poly,’ gets me in trouble with people I could otherwise have a good relationship with. I am labeled a ‘manwhore,’ or ‘manslut’ and at times I even become the object of scorn and disapproval. So when it comes to being happy with my polyamorism, discretion has always been the best path to success.