Writing for New York's The Indypendent newspaper, Ichi Vazquez recounts how becoming polyamorous has changed her life for the better. Vazquez grew up believing in the restrictive boxes that women are often forced into, and for a long time, she accepted that that was just how things were.
I was raised to believe that there were only so many ways I could behave when it came to love. I was told no sex before marriage -- wait because the right man will eventually sweep you off your feet. I was told cheating is wrong but if your husband does it, work on your marriage anyway. I was told not to dress too provocatively, and that I should only be with one person -- anything else wasn’t moral.
These social rules governed the way I looked, felt and interacted with others. But when you don’t know that it is your birthright to love and express your emotions in whatever way your heart desires, how is one supposed to discover that there are infinite choices?
But five years ago, Vazquez moved to New York City, discovered polyamory, and began tossing out those old restrictions and becoming the woman she wanted to be. In the process, aside from learning new things about love and relationships, she has learned to live honestly and make her own happiness.
Discussing which rules I wanted to follow in my relationships gave me a greater sense of freedom, empathy and empowerment -- not just in my connections with others, but also within myself. I was an equal on a team, a life adventurer -- not a subordinate or a passive participant. For the first time, I truly felt like I was living out subconscious curiosities that were coming from the deepest recesses of my heart.
. . . The point is to design your own safe space where you can express intimacy and love with whomever you want and not have outside forces dictate the "right" or "wrong" way to do this.
As women, we have long battled these forces -- manifested as sexist political debates, cultural norms or even friends and family who don't understand us. By taking control of our hearts and sexuality and seeking others who are like-minded, we can take control of the most precious gifts of self-expression and sharing we have.
Read the whole thing in The Indypendent.