have been actively involved in the Alberta BDSM community since about late 1989.
In that time I have seen and been involved in a variety of relationships. I have
also experienced both the benefits and drawbacks of these relationships. I am in
no way saying that this makes me an expert on this topic, but I do believe that
it does give me some insight to how these relationships work.
Triads are a very basic form of polyamory. It is not exclusive to any
particular lifestyle, but forms of it occur in a range of lifestyle choices. It
is finding to be a popular choice in the BDSM lifestyle as people in the
lifestyle begin to explore their sexuality in context to their lifestyle. A good
example of a basic triad is the married couple, with one partner exploring
outside the marriage, with the acceptance of the other partner. In the BDSM
lifestyle this is very common, as one or the other partner may not want to
engage in BDSM activities, but is willing to allow their partner to explore that
aspect of their sexuality.
Triads however are not for everyone and as with any thing, they need to
be discussed with your partner. In my opinion one has to be very confident of
their mental state before embarking on any type of relationship. I am a great
proponent of love does not equal sex. Sex is a bodily function, while love is a
state of mind. I believe that I can love my partner deeply, both emotionally and
physically and still be able to practice aspects of a polyamorous lifestyle.
Not everyone is capable of this, as we have been brought up to believe
love is forever is forever and you stay with the one you brought. Not all of us
are wired that way, and I congratulate those of you who have succeeded in
forming a long lasting relationship. You cannot however convince me that
havenít thought about something different, at least once. We are after all
only human, both perfect and flawed at the same time. Itís very healthy to
have these thoughts, you are in some ways no different I am. The only
difference, I have embraced my desires and have become a different person for
The first step in forming a good triad is to ensure that all partners are
compatible. For you married couples out there, donít assume that because your
choice is a huge turn on for you, that your partner will feel the same way.
Sometimes you need to compromise. You and your partner need to consider the pros
and cons of a potential partner. Start with things like, what do you want in a
partner? Obviously males and females will bring different things to a
relationship. You also need to be honest about your desires and needs. What you
may find important may not be that important to your partner. This requires good
communication skills. Saying you ďwant to fuck aroundĒ just doesnít quite
cut it. Be prepared to explain why you want to do this and be prepared for your
partnersí reaction. It may not be what you expect. This brings us to another
important key to a triad relationship. Honesty. If I had to rank these in order,
honesty would be at the top of my list. I cannot trust anyone who is not honest
with me and have little respect for those who are not honest with themselves.
Now there are a lot of things to consider when trying to find a partner
for your triad, and I cannot discount attraction as being very important. I can
list a lot of things that I would find important but you need to establish these
things for your self. Only you know what is important. One thing I will say is,
use your intuition. It can give you an insight to a person and can be very
valuable in avoiding problems. Also do not be afraid to talk to people who may
be acquainted with your partner. They can be very helpful in giving you
information that can help in you decision. People bring a lot of things with
them to a relationship, good and bad, we are after all only human.
Now no relationship, monogamous or otherwise, comes with any guarantees
of longevity. Knowing the pitfalls of a relationship and in specific triads, can
help you make your relationship more fulfilling for you and your partners. None
of what I am discussing here is new by any stretch of the imagination. They are
all true regardless of the type of relationship you are involved in. If honesty,
communication and open-mindedness are necessary for forming a good triad, their
opposites form the reasons why a triad will fail. If any member of the triad
cannot be honest with the others involved, you have lost a big building block in
your relationship. NO HONESTY= NO TRUST! Admittedly
communicating can be difficult for anyone and I know that expressing your wants
and needs can leave you feeling vulnerable, but I also know that if you donít
speak up, feelings of inadequacy can destroy you and your relationship. It can
make the relationship seem very one sided and make you feel excluded from the
process. As intuitive as people can be they cannot read minds. Just remember
this, embarrassment fades faster than anger. So, so what if you think what you
want is embarrassing, guess what, I bet the others involved are feeling the same
way. Ironic isnít it?
All things considered triads are a very good and safe way to explore your
relationship and your sexuality, but how do you know if you are ready or if a
triad is right for you. Well in honesty there is no real physical way of knowing
this and when it comes to what you think and feel, well only you can know that.
Talking about what you are feeling and making suggestions that may help you in
your relationship is a very good way to start. Donít get discouraged if you
are met with negativity and donít get angry either. Be patient. If however it
seems that there is no common ground for discussion, try another tact. Ask your
partner what they would like or how they feel. Youíll soon discover the common
ground and you may be surprised at what you have learned. Something to
especially remember is never, never let your frustrations turn into anger with
your partner. You can never take back things said in anger.
As with anything else in life things can go wrong in a triad
relationship. There isnít very much you can do to stop an inevitable breakup
of your triad. It can be a very easy breakup or it can be very hard on all
involved. Either way it is not a very comfortable situation to be in, I know I
have been there. The best way to deal with this eventuality is to be honest.
Talk about your feelings and what you think may be the problem with the
relationship, keeping the focus on the relationship not the people involved. I
know this seems difficult, as generally it is clashes in personalities that can
be the downfall of a triad. If things are kept in their proper perspective, things can be
One of the things that can never be predicted is how a person is going to
react and sometimes things you may have said in privacy find their way in to
your community. There is a very good way of dealing with this, especially since
you are bound to be asked your side of the story. The best way is to be honest
with out maligning the person you believe to be the root of the problem. You
need not add more fuel to an already out of control fire and generally you will
find that things have a way of turning around on the individual fanning the
flames. I know I used a lot of clichťs, but in this case they are true. By
dealing with the inquiries honestly and not laying blame on any one individual
is a very good way to stay respected among your peers.
1999 - 2001
Koi Media Ltd. No unauthorized reproduction in part or in whole permitted.