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VelvetLips Guest Blogger: Polyamory - Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too

It's not always the sexy musings of Marla on VelvetLips, sometimes there are other playful people featured in her blog.

It's not always the sexy musings of Marla on VelvetLips, sometimes there are other playful people featured in her blog. One such person is Tia Marie, aka the Vixen Voyager. And in today's guest blog on VelvetLips, Tia gets into the nitty-gritty of polyamory and what it really means for her.

Why Can't I Eat My Cake, Too?

I hate that American idiomatic proverb, “You can't have your cake and eat it, too.” Why not? What else are you supposed to do with cake, other than eat it? But, this expression accurately represents the pious monkey we carry around on our backs that discourages certain acts of pleasure.

What I Learned at Frolicon ATL

Of all the Saturdays to oversleep, my body chose this one and I missed the 11am cuddle party and massage demonstration. I arrived to Frolicon ATL just in time to catch the Polyamory class. I ducked under the leash of a collared submissive guarding the doorway and took a seat on a table, in the far back. Ms. Ann, the facilitator, stood at the front of the room with her hands perched at her hips.  She was a cute, round woman with wild, curly red hair. She’d been in an open marriage for 17 years, and although that marriage had ended she continued to practice polyamory. Both of her male lovers were seated next to each other and her pregnant lover, who Ms. Ann vehemently denied knocking up, was at home. She started off by saying that she was not telling us the right or wrong way to live a poly/open lifestyle and that we could ignore everything she said, except one RULE: Open people should not date MONOGAMOUS people. Now, let’s proceed with talking points and ideas for open/poly couples:

  1. Polyamory = Flexibility. Being in a poly relationship requires ongoing conversation and acknowledgement that feelings are fluid and changeable.
  2. Communicate your desires and limits honestly to help specify a mutual destination.
  3. How do you feel about Fluid Bonding and the STD risks that increase with each partner?
  4. What are your social, emotional, and sexual needs and how will they be met. What influence will meeting those needs have on your relationship?
  5. What is sacred in your relationship?
  6. What are you willing to know about what your partners are doing with other partners?
  7. DO NOT make rash decisions while you’re high on NRE (New Relationship Energy).
  8. Jealousy. When it happens take a step back, and look at what triggered that response. Was it a thwarted expectation, breakdown in communication? Is your lover’s new partner hotter or younger than you?
  9. You are responsible for your own happiness, and so is your partner. But in times of dejection commit to supporting your partner through those feelings.
  10. Remember the heart has an infinite capacity for love, no one can be replaced and new partnerships do not decrease love for another partner.
  11. Drop fear. Stop researching and reading about polyamory+open relating, and LIVE IT and have those uncomfortable, hard conversations.

What it Meant to Me

Number 9 provided a missing piece for me. I realized early on that I was responsible for my own happiness, but failed to allow or give support. I’d ignore or dismiss my partner’s feelings of anger, pain or sadness, since that was his problem.

What a simple concept and easy question to ask, “Is there anything that I can do that will help you feel better or what will make you more comfortable?”

I’m not looking forward to the next emotional challenge, but I can’t wait to expand my communication and genuinely take interest in a resolution. And then I thought about what I love and hate about my open/poly lifestyle:


  1. I can be honest. I don't have to lie to my boyfriend, even though because of some undiagnosed personality disorder I still, sometimes, do.
  2. I love meeting and exploring new entanglements, while maintaining my primary relationship. The heart has an infinite capacity for love and I never have to choose between freedom and adoration.
  3.  I’m more accepting of other people's lifestyle choices. V's, triads, compound living, monogamy, cults, cross-dressers, wizards and warlocks.  My heart is bursting with love and acceptance and I spend far less time trying to understand other people’s choices.
  4. My friend and family stock has increased 10 fold! So my lover’s lovers are my friends... and then now their kids are my semi-kids and those grannies and aunties belong to me! The family tree is complicated and no one will entrust me with picking up the children from day care... but my extended family has taken care of me in grave times of illness and despair.
  5. I am learning to communicate beyond my wildest imagination. Ever had a 3-hour conversation about your feelings without kicking your lover in the chin and storming out of the house? I have, just recently.


  1. Unlearning Jealousy. The non-hierarchical arrangements where relationships are not placed in order of importance clash with my princess syndrome symptoms. I must be number one, by command and when I say so. Poly life, and being raised as an only child clash, BIG TIME. If my lover is spending time with someone else, I still WANT his full attention -- which is impossible -- AND I don't give a damn.
  2. Monogamous people don't get it and they assume I’ve chosen this lifestyle so that I can have sex with any man I make eye contact with. A friend asked me, "What's the point of having a relationship if you get to fuck other people?" "Do you think he really cares about you if he's ok with you having sex with other men?" "Aren't you afraid of catching xyz?" I haven't come up with an appropriate, well-received answer, besides wanting to yell; "Fuck you very much."
  3. I still have a few lurking fears: Will I end up on Maury Povich, running off of the stage because my baby's father is lover No.1, but I really wanted it to be lover No.2?  How will I do this dual-living situation if no one will cook or clean the bathroom? What if I wake up one day, and discover my poly lifestyle was an undesirable symptom of a brain tumor... What if I just plain change my mind?
  4. Just because I love orange soda doesn't mean I want to drink or taste yours. Or, yes, I love socks, but I won’t steal your socks. In other words, just because I'm open, in NO WAY does this mean I want to date, sleep with or even share a sentence with coworkers, friends, friends of friends, and the husbands and boyfriends of friends. I have boundaries!
  5. I still hide. I hate that.

Tia Marie, aka the Vixen Voyager, hails from Houston, TX and has been in Atlanta for over 13 years. By day she serves as a manager for Branded Entertainment and Integrated Media. And by night…a creature of creativity: stage-manager, voyeur, event planner, writer, lover and juicer of strange veggies. She's been navigating through the cross sections of eroticism, sensuality and social limits for nearly 10 years. While she holds a B.A in Mass Communications, she learned mostly from her peers and through practical play in elevators, swingers clubs, sensuality workshops/events and training. She's equally soft and attentive and plans to take on Atlanta's erotic scene and share her escapades. Her quenchless desires include sex, food and the supernatural. You can contact her at

Marla Stewart

Marla Renee Stewart, MA is a professional sex, intimacy and relationship coach and sex educator. Not only is she a lecturer at Clayton State University, she is also the co-founder of the Sex Down South Conference and the Sexual Liberation Collective. Gaining her reputation for being "The Sex Architect", she created Velvet Lips to empower people of all ages to embrace, educate and enjoy their sexuality and their sexual lives. She has studied human sexuality for more than 16 years at San Francisco State University and Georgia State University, respectively, and has expert knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. She has published academic articles and continues to do sexuality research. She has conducted workshops at conferences, not-for-profit and private organizations, as well as universities in the Atlanta area. She has been featured on many radio shows, documentaries, books, magazines and has been invited to speak at Universities around the country. She also sits on the board for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!
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