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Dear Ashley, a weekly sex column in which Sex Expert Ashley Cobb answers your most intimate questions. Nothing is off-limits!  Have a sex question? Ashley, “Your Favorite Friend In Filth,”has an answer. For questions on sex, email Ashley at ashley@sexwithashley.com

 

Dear Ashley, 

My girlfriend and I are considering a poly relationship and wondering how to go about it. I have experimented with poly in the past, but it didn’t work out because my partner at the time didn’t like it. My current girlfriend decided it would be ok if we explored open relationships. The issue is I’ve recently found someone I liked who I know likes me back and we’ve started talking. My girlfriend has met this person and they get along really well or so I thought. But just a couple of days ago, my girlfriend let me know that she was uncomfortable with me dating this new person. Her reasoning was “it doesn’t feel right. “I’m not sure what to do?  I’m a pretty open person and have an open mind. I understand there is communication between both of us that is needed. I don’t want to hurt my girlfriend but at the same time, it really sucks not to be able to date how I want. 

Sincerely,

Poly But Not Quite

 

Hey Poly But Not Quite,

For future reference, you should probably date other poly women. I know that’s not exactly the advice you were looking for, but dating women who identify as monogamous and trying to convert them after the fact, isn’t working out in your favor. Why not just date people who are already interested in polyamory? That would alleviate most of your problems. The downside to exploring new things as a couple is that one person may not enjoy the exploration as much as the other, then decide the old way of doing things was just fine. Changing your mind isn’t a bad thing because people are allowed to change their minds. However, the question you need to ask is why. Why did she change her mind? Why does it not feel right anymore? Because your girlfriend is new to the poly way of life, she could have discovered upon exploring polyamory that poly isn’t her thing or she might be feeling a bit jealous and insecure. Sharing your partner with someone else isn’t easy and takes patience and a lot of communication. Jealousy is a natural emotion that a lot of poly couples have to learn how to navigate. I would sit her down and get to the root of what doesn’t feel right for her. 

I would also suggest researching and reading about other poly women of color. Gabrielle Smith, a polyamory educator who appeared on Red Table Talk, is an excellent resource. She offers peer support sessions, non-monogamy workshops that both you and your girlfriend can attend to gain a better understanding of how to explore polyamory as a couple. Another resource is Kenya Stevens, she and her husband of 20 years operate the Progressive Love Academy.  Kenya offers 1-on-1 coaching for couples who are moving from monogamy to polyamory. Both of these ladies will be beneficial to you and your girlfriend. There are many aspects to being poly and many complex emotions. Having the proper tools in place to assist on this new journey as a couple will hopefully generate a better outcome. However, at the end of the day, if poly is just not your girlfriend’s cup of tea, it may be time to go back to my first piece of advice and find a girlfriend who already lives the poly lifestyle. 


Ashley Cobb is the millennial microphone that brings the conversation of Black women’s pleasure to the forefront. Creator of digital platform Gossip And Gasms, her work and words have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Shape Magazine, Business Insider, and Huffington Post. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter via @sexwithashley

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