ENM Manifesto

I love seeing how other people’s minds work and how they express their wants and needs, so I figured that anyone reading my blog has to be at least a little bit curious about me. So I decided to post a snippet of my manifesto. I took out some of the more personal things that are reserved for those closer to me, but feel free to read below to learn more about how I try to operate.

The template for this was taken from online friends and personalized. It serves as an outline of core elements/practices that will dictate my actions while engaging in ethically non-monogamous relationships. This is a blueprint – it is reflective of the person I am striving to be every day. The intent of posting this is 1) as a reminder to myself, 2) as public information to “interested” newcomers as to my current status, 3) to enhance awareness/understanding of my personal poly aspirations, beliefs, and practices.

General Personal Info About Moi:
I want fulfilling relationships, whatever that looks like for each respective relationship. I want the option to explore and transition relationships. 

  • I want my relationships to be honest and open, where we talk about our thoughts, feelings/emotions, wants, and needs – whatever the level of relationship. No matter what, we communicate. We are considerate. We do not threaten and do not demand that it’s our way or the highway. I expect respect and reliability.
  • I want my partners to respect each other. You don’t have to like each other, but be cordial.

  • I want to be able to see the people I love regularly – that is, whenever I want, they want, and it fits within our respective schedules. This doesn’t mean just sex. This means spending time with people and doing non-sexual things as well. Since I need plenty of alone time to decompress, the most I can do is one date night a week that’s focused quality time. We could see each other more than once a week at functions, but I can only give one day/night a week as dedicated time. The least I can do is once a month (this includes in-person or video dates). If I see you less than once a month in times of non-crisis, then I feel disconnected.

  • I like to be in frequent communication with my partners – that is, some kind of contact at least 3-4 times a week. This doesn’t mean we have to have long, drawn out text conversations. I count interacting on social media as communication!
  • I want my relationships to be nurturing. I have quite a bit of past issues/trauma that I am coping with. I have ways to manage my trauma, and I need the support to have space to be able to process my thoughts and emotions (although it will probably take me a long time to even truly open up to a partner about them fully).

  • My love languages are physical touch and words of affirmation. I need constant touches to be reminded that someone cares (even when disagreeing), and I need semi-regular communication as well. When having conversations, I may constantly ask “What does that word mean to you” because, well, words mean things and have connotations and I need to be sure that we are on the same page and understanding each other.

  • I give love through physical touch and acts of service. If you receive love in a different way, please let me know so we can talk about it.

  • I prefer to date people who are comfortably polyam, and aren’t set on riding the traditional relationship escalator with me.
  • I need people who are familiar with obtaining enthusiastic consent and are familiar with queer/non-binary culture.

  • How much depth I desire from a relationship is really dependent on the person. Every individual is different, as is the way we relate to each other, so what I need from one may be different than what I need from another. My relationships need to be free to develop and become whatever they become. I don’t want to be married, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want commitment. I want my relationships to go past certain milestones, if that’s the connection that I have with the person.

  • I want to do active things with my friends and partners. But I also want to just laze around – I need that fancy-free time more than activities. I want to go to the theater, take classes, go to museums, go to presentations, etc. I’m up for all manner of hangouts. Except in winter. In winter I hibernate.

  • Food is a requirement.

  • I don’t mind going dutch or even all out paying for dates (especially if I’m the one who proposes the activity). But if there’s a financial inequality, on either side, this is gonna be negotiated.

  • In order for me to be content and emotionally stable, I need A LOT of alone time/time to decompress. I need both space to do this and acceptance that sometimes I will be withdrawn. Ways I may decompress include:
      1. Alone time – either at home or taking a stay-cation somewhere alone
      2. Cleaning/organizing/scheduling
      3. Sometimes needing to unplug and communicate less (only for a set time)

  • I have a budget and I stick to it! I put leisure and contingencies in budget, so if I say I can’t afford something, don’t try to convince me. Alternately, if I say I can afford it or “I got this,” please don’t argue with me unless you really want to give it to me as a gift.

  • I’ll eventually have pets.

  • I don’t have a desire to be pregnant or this overwhelming drive to have human children at all.

  • On that topic – I don’t care if my partners have children with their other partners. But do not automatically assume that means I’m volunteering to be a co-parent. I’m not. However, I love kids, don’t mind having them around on casual dates, and I will help out with their care.

  • I like traveling. I like to go overseas, and on cruises and excursions, so I’d either like to do that with my partners or if they are unable to do so with me, they need to be aware that sometimes I’ll be unavailable for large amounts of time.

Family Background/ Personal History/Quirks:

[this has been redacted due to its personal nature]

HANGRY ME: If I seem just generally irritable, it’s probably because I am hangry. This happens often. Ask me if I want a snack (or if you know me well, hand me a snack). For me, a snack is anything that is not full meal portion. If I do not get less annoyed after offering me food, then I’m either irritated at a specific thing or I’m in pain.

SLEEPY ME: When I get sleepy, I get super silly. I may present like I’m tipsy, as a matter of fact. I giggle a lot. And then I get grumpy. I’ll start to doze off intermittently but claim I’m not tired. If I’ve been fighting it for a while (even if you can’t tell that I’ve been fighting sleep), I will pass out with no warning.

DRUNK ME: So if my journey into tipsiness was in graph form, it’d look roughly like:

Graph with steady line, then a steep incline, then a steep decline.

Basically: chill, chill, chill, party time, dance dance dance, HORNY, immediately asleep. (I will drop where I am and go straight to sleep.)

ANGRY ME: [this has been redacted due to its personal nature]

SAD ME: [this has been redacted due to its personal nature]

Availability and Desire for New Relationships:
I’m never actively seeking to establish any new relationships. I’m not opposed to new relationships; however I usually have stuffs going on that require a lot of my time and energy, as well as other relationships (romantic, familial, and platonic) that need nurturing. Note: when someone who’s interested in me asks what I’m “looking for,” I never know how to answer. Maybe because the answer is always “nothing.” I feel I have what I need already – and I’m not looking. So if someone comes along, I won’t know what I “want” (in that way) from them. At the end of the day, I usually give people a chance, then engage whatever works and let it settle into what it will be; but I’m not seeking anything explicitly.

I am also not looking for casual sex partners. There are opportunities where I would entertain casual/semi-casual sex partners, but in those instances I will come to you. Same with pickup BDSM play.

However, I am always up to meet new friends to heavily flirt with and to discuss things such as cartoons, kink, food, being poly, geeky stuffs, life, everything under the moon. Some of these have developed into deep, wonderful friendships/flirtationships.

Relationship Boundaries and Structure:
I don’t have any preferred type of ENM structure; I believe in letting relationships develop as they will and giving them the freedom to become whatever they may. I want the option to be able to explore and transition relationships so they are the best fit for both parties. I should note here that I am a relationship anarchist. I don’t think that my romantic relationships are inherently more important than my friendships. The only structure I have is that those with the most pressing need come first, and after that, it’s first come/first serve or whatever/whoever I feel like being with, etc at that moment.

As far as boundaries, I have a few but most can be summed up to “Listen when I say not to do that” and “Don’t be an asshole, please.” Hard/soft limits depend on the relationship, as individual people – as well as my comfort level and connection with them – are different.

A given boundary is safe sex. I will practice safe sex at all times; however I usually do not use barriers for oral. I have been fluid-bonded with more than one partner before, but don’t count on it happening again. That requires a level of trust that involves several people. See the end of this note for more info.

Another boundary is knowing that my metamours know that I exist. This can be tricky because it depends on another’s preferences as well, so I guess my metas have to be people who are willing to talk to me at least once (read: I don’t do DADT). I don’t have to have lunch with them every week; A one-time online/text convo will suffice.

I will make every effort to help my established partners understand the place they hold in my life and just how important they are to me. I will strive to be in constant communication about what they can/cannot expect from me regarding ongoing, committed relationships. I will make every effort to inform my partners (and metamours, if applicable) of any potential needs or needs that have changed. In addition, I will do my best to create a comfortable environment for anyone to approach me with their needs openly without fear. I ask that my partners do the same for me as well.

Transparency and Full Disclosure:
I will be transparent and honest about my relationships (sexual, emotional, and commitment status). I will not conceal my activities/plans/intentions from my partners. I will not agree to being asked to lie or evade – I will use my own discretion to determine what falls into that category as there is obviously margin for grey area. I will notify partners and metamours of changes in relationships that could impact them. I will try to inform ahead of time those affected by my plans with others – as well as notify them beforehand of circumstances where they would meet/see other individuals in our polycule.

I will negotiate privacy parameters with each individual partner – this includes what and how much information they do not wish to be shared, as well as the level of disclosure they prefer regarding my other relationships.

Relationship Preservation:
I will do everything in my power to preserve and protect my current relationships – whatever type of relationship they happen to be. I will expect all partners to treat each other with respect and to honor my individual established relationships, no matter the length of time they have been in effect.

Relationship Resources:
I will be clear, honest, and realistic to my partners about my resources – physical presence and energy, emotional energy, availability from a distance (text, email, etc.).

I like explicit, blunt communication. Do not worry; you will not hurt my feelings – and if you do, we will talk about it. I would rather know than not know. I do not play guessing games, so I take what people say at face value (unless, of course, I know we are bantering/being sarcastic, etc. and even then sometimes I need to be told that one is not being literal). I prefer when people take what say at face value as well, instead of trying to “read between the lines.” Just don’t.

I will strive to stay as connected to my partners as possible via the communication channels and frequency we both agree upon. I will encourage written communication (mainly email) if sensitivities/conflicts arise quickly or are very emotional, rather than solely relying on face-to-face conversation or live discussion via phone calls.

I will notify my partners if I am experiencing discomfort at the earliest time I can logically articulate it – sometimes I can be too overwhelmed with emotion to effectively communicate immediately. I will encourage my partners to inform me of their hurt/pain/discomfort whenever is most comfortable for them, but insist that they do inform me! Because without knowing the problem, there can be no growth – and I do not read minds. I am not willing to accept no communication or being ignored for prolonged periods if/when conflicts arise, nor will I do so to my partners.

Most importantly, I will alert my partners (for connections involving regular communication) about changes in my communication availability ahead of time to the best of my ability.

I will encourage my partners to be forthcoming and let me know if/when they may be experiencing sensitivities or vulnerable spots in the relationship.

I will, and will encourage my partners to, propose solutions or make requests for support intended to ease such feelings. I will do my best to be responsive to such requests or try to think of and communicate alternatives if I am unable to satisfy them, as there are requests that I will not be able to fulfill regardless of how much I would like to help or how upset my partner is. I will strive do the same when I find myself struggling. However, I will not take full responsibility or be blamed for my partner’s emotions and reactions to these emotions – I love mature people who take responsibility for themselves and their growth, and I love assisting them where I can.

I also hope that any partner (or even metamour) will ask for help whenever they may need it. This does not have to be related to our relationship or any relationship in the polycule; it can simply be work stress, anxieties, etc. I will try to remind myself to do the same.

Permission vs Coordination:
Seeking third-party “permission” from me to play with/date any of my partners is not necessary. I’d also prefer the individual I’m dealing with to work out permission/blessings/rules/whatever from their established partners without my involvement; however, if it is your preference for us metamours to meet/communicate beforehand, I am not opposed to it!

I prefer that all partners, metamours, members of the polycule are at the very least cordial – somewhat “kitchen table poly,” but the type where some are at the dinner table, some are in front of the TV, and some get their plate and head out. I do encourage parallel arrangements, however, because not all personality types get along with each other. 

I will encourage positive connections between my partners and metamours. I am out and open(†) about being non-monogamous, and I intend to include my polycule in multiple areas of my life including vanilla, social, and kink situations when appropriate and desired. In settings/situations where partners, metamours, etc. may overlap or co-mingle, I will make efforts to gauge and accommodate expectations ahead of time to optimize potential for comfortable co-existing.

Since my family and friends know I am poly, they will be around; any partners will probably be introduced as such (unless they tell me their desire not to be otherwise). My family and friends are supportive and will be discrete if they need to be.

I do not mind my partners having children with other people. I do not mind other members of my polycule bringing their kids around.

(†) all my partners may not be able to be open with their relationships, and so I may not always be as open/inclusive as I desire.

[Miscellaneous Tidbit: I am very family oriented. I have this fantasy to have a place big enough to house all of my polycule who wish to live there (partners, metamours, etc.). It’s a fantasy, ya’ll, I can do what I want! At the very least, I want everyone to feel welcome to come over at any time.]

Poly, Kink, and Relationship Hierarchy:
I personally don’t do relationship hierarchy. I just let relationships develop as they will and have the freedom to become whatever they may. All of my relationships are important to me – different, yet still important. Some of my relationships may not be as entangled as others, but I regard any relationship I have determined as deserving of my time and energy, no matter what that amount is, as important. I feel the need to reiterate this as many have discounted my previous relationships (especially those with women) as “not real” or tertiary or “for play play”. Many have also done this with my close friends who I consider platonic partners, as well. Please be advised that discounting any of my partners (or the importance of their opinions/observations to me) is a quick way of being written off.

I recognize that because life is nuanced and everything is intertwined, a totally parallel situation is impossible and my relationships (romantic, platonic, familial) have the potential to impact others. I also recognize that my D/s dynamic with Daddy could have a greater ability to impact other relationships….However, I and I alone make the decision to end or change the dynamic of any of my relationships.

As I am already in a TPE relationship, I am not looking for another one where I am the submissive. If a power exchange develops with someone, it will be a top/bottom relationship only with limited play (i.e. I would entertain a relationship where the only kinky thing we did was rope, impact, etc.), or one where I am the dominant. This is something that would be discussed if/when the time comes.

Other pertinent things:
I love small humans and animals.

I am pansexual. I do not have a physical type, I’ll tell you that. If you’re sexy, you’re sexy. I do tend to gravitate towards artists, nerds, and engineers. Typically, if you’re neurodivergent and/or you’ve been through some serious shit in your life that resulted in you being highly self aware, you’re probably a beep on my sexy detector.

I LOVE connections. I love meaningful conversations. I love physical touch. My love languages (receiving) are physical touch and words of affirmation, and I give love through physical touch and acts of service. I love freely – it’s not always romantic love, but I still display the same love languages. This usually causes people to feel as if we are dating when I don’t believe we are. So I’ll say this again: I LOVE explicit communication. If you do not explicitly tell me that you are interested in me romantically, I will just assume we are good friends or in a flirtationship/romantic friendship and nothing more is desired.

Also, if you don’t like to talk, and talk often (or write and write often), then you have to know that we will stay in “casual friend” category forever. Honestly, even if you do like to talk, we most likely will still stay friends. You know, that whole compatibility, “love is limitless yet time and energy are not” thing.

Sex (General)
The next couple of topics will be discussed individually, as needed. However, I’ve laid out some general guidelines for me. Before beginning a sexual relationship, we’ll talk about our STARRS:

STI status
Turn ons
things to Avoid
Relationship intentions
Risk factors (what I may be exposed to vs my personal STI status)
Safe sex plan

Emotional Turn Ons/Sex and Safety/Sex and Arousal:
[this has been redacted due to its personal nature]