The Fulfilling of Needs
Sometimes polyamorous people make the mistake of dating a monogamous person. (Me. I’m the person.) Rarely does it ever work out, but it does lead to a lot of fulfilling learning experiences. Most of the time a major conflict is a difference in the way mono and poly people look at what they need from relationships and how they meet those needs.
We often think of needs in a rigid way. Most people do have a similar set of needs, especially in the context of monogamy. We all know that we need quality time with a partner, common goals, physical affection, or acts of kindness. There are common needs that apply to most relationships. In monogamy, they are generally implied and don’t need a lot of investigating to determine.
In addition to those standard needs, there’s the extra stuff that varies depending on the individual. Those needs can be something like crazy-kinky sex or plenty of vacations. (Mine is tacos) Each person has needs that can take a regular relationship and turn it into the kind of life they’d like to see themselves in.
Polyamory lends itself to a lot of self exploration and identifying of needs. While the little need bars we fill up like sims characters look the same from afar, things get a little different up close. Different people are more well suited to fill some needs but not all of them at the same time.
A poly lifestyle opens up the possibility of filling those needs with the help of many partners. In a mono lifestyle you can find ways to fill those need with your one romantic partner, yourself, and a network of family and friends. This is a normal and healthy way to need-fill and it has been working for most history.
For those of us that subscribe to ethical non-monogamy, things get a little more complicated. We get to fill a need for female and male affection. We get to take bubble baths with some partners and cuddle with others. There are still hang-ups and arguments and boundaries. Filling multiple needs with multiple partners is not a magic pill, but it is a major perk of being poly.
I am often asked if I will ever find the one person to fill all of my needs. I am told that I just haven’t found the one person that can take care of everything I want. Usually this person is a guy and they are very obviously talking about sex.
Most polyamorous people aren’t poly just so they can have enough sex to fill up that little sims bar for sex. Some people have just one sexual need – that is to get it – and when they get enough they’re all done. This is the same for dates in some cases.
Speaking from experience, there is not one bar for all people. Some people have a lot of little bars that are built for specific kinds of partners and relationships. Things like NRE (New Relationship Energy) can only be filled if there is always a new relationship. Filling this bar cannot be done by one person.
Needs also change and level out depending on where you are in life and the evolution of the relationships you are in. Needs flux just like you do. Check out the little examples and think about what your needs would look like if they made a graph. Navigating relationships is a little easier and more fun when you check in on what you need or what your partner(s) need.
Here’s an example of some standard need-filling. To fill up this affection need you need some cuddling together, a lot of meals together, and a little a bit of sex. If you get all of these things, you’ll be all full up for affection.
Below is an example of a standard sex bar. This is how most monogamous see their sex bar. It may be smaller or bigger in some people. Any kind of sex will do and this person will feel satisfied if it is full.
This is more along the lines of what a poly persons sex bar would look like. Some polyamorous people have a standard sex bar but for sexually driven or diverse people, there are many gauges. I have many gauges, but they fill up really quickly because they’re small. Some people have a couple of kink gauges or maybe no sex gauges to fill up at all.
This is my personal gauge. These needs are a requirement for me to feel satisfied in a relationship.
Not all people are alike pharmacie europe viagra. Everybody has different gauges that fill up in different ways and change constantly. I hope these illustrations make you think about what your needs are and how they differ from the norm. I encourage you to ask your partners what their own gauges might look like.
If you’d like me to make you a needs gauge that reflects you needs, email me what you like in a relationship to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you one!
Britt Vasicek | @fullabritt | www.fullabritt.com
Britt is a writer, comedian, polyamorist & producer living in Houston, TX.
You can listen to her podcast about polyamory here.