You are reading



Alternative Relationships



Before my husband, Sasha, and I engage with another couple, I make contact with the other woman first before anything else. If the two women do not connect and like one another, then exchanging sexual energy will not work for the rest of us and if forced, would only cause conflict. The sexual and loving energy must flow naturally. All parties must honor the energy that is rather than trying to force that which is not. If lovemaking does not work for all then it does not work for any. The couples are a system and that connection must be honored at all times.


For me the dance of the foursome begins with the women. Having discovered my bisexual side well into my adulthood, I find two-couple interludes to be particularly delightful for they reconnect me with the feminine in ways that I have not known since pre-adolescent childhood.

For many women the separation of the Goddess began long ago with our sexual development When boys started to notice us, competition became the theme. As young ladies, if we girlfriends were not competing with one another, we had the tendency to abandon each another to the attentions of men. Whenever one of our boyfriends called we jumped and went running rapidly dismissing any plans we had made between us girls.

I remember how close the four of us where. I met Pam when I was 8, Tracy when I was 9 and Rose joined our group when I was 13. We were an awesome team, young, attractive and yes, sexy. We were inseparable, always throwing pajama parties or sleep-outs together and talking about boys. We were like the Four Musketeers; united against the dark forces of the world. We could hardly wait till the end of the school day to see each other and in summer we were together from dawn to dusk. If we weren’t hanging together in person, we were on the phone with one another gossiping away.

We shared our deepest sexual secrets and desires. All seemed to be right with the world until several events happened. In the spring of 1967 Karl discovered me and started hanging outside my bedroom window calling for me to come out and play. Suddenly boys were on the scene and I had become an object of desire.

I reluctantly responded as my Aquarian curiosity got the better of me and soon discovered the concept of romance. It was pleasant enough all right, but I really wanted to hold off on this boy stuff until I was about 17. Even with that, all would have been fine except for one thing. While Karl was falling in love with me and I with him, my closest friend Tracy was falling for Karl.

Enter complication two. Karl introduced the gang to his best friend, Jerry. Jill and Jerry started hit it off and started dating. Then things really started to escalate. Jerry was a horny little fella and began sneaking around behind Jill’s back trying to seduce me! He kept showing up at my house. I had to literally fight him off and kick him out the door.

Years later, I found out Jerry had secretly declared that before the end of summer of love (1968), he was going to have sex with all four of us. I also found out not only was he was sneaking and visiting me behind Jill’s back, but Pam and Tracy as well! What a slime! And yet looking back, for some reason we all participated in this group deceit.

Despite all that was going on behind the scenes, a couple of years went by and our gang for all appearances seemed to be a happy, friendly family. There was a genuine love developing in our circle of friends which consisted of the Four Musketeers, a steady boyfriend for each of us and at least one male lurker for each of us girls. These single males loomed waiting for our “steady” boyfriends to screw up and we’d dump them. These were the final years of 60’s, the height of the hippie movement; an idealistic time of new forms of family, high ideals
and free love. We found ourselves caught up in the mood of the times.

After years of lying to one another and fighting off Jerry’s affections, guilt, competition and embarrassment began to break down the Four Musketeers. Our tribe lost a level of open and honest communication and the obvious end of us was near.

I was both attracted and repulsed and was experiencing a strange paradox within myself which I couldn’t resolve, I became disgusted and ashamed of myself for not speaking up to Jill, yet was afraid of hurting her. How could I tell one of my best girlfriends (Jill) and my boyfriend (Karl) what his best friend (Jerry) was doing? And underneath that, how could I confess what I was doing.

Bottom line, I was turned on. Jill told me how wonderful Jerry was as a lover and Karl and I were too afraid of pregnancy to let go and fully experience lovemaking. Consequently, I was still quite virginal and wanted to know what making love was like.

Christmas of 1969 Jill got pregnant. It was a shock to all of us. I guess we never thought it would happen to any of us, we had deluded ourselves. Since Jill was only 15 and Jerry 14, and neither sets of parents would give permission for them to get married. This was pre-abortion days and abortions were illegal. Jill was about to become an unwed mother.

That was almost the final blow for the fantastic four. We held on for one final summer then things deteriorated to another level when Pam and Tracy followed suit, almost as though responding to some deep primal call, and got pregnant as well! I was too smart for that and politely bowed out of that competition.

Some of us married, some didn’t, bottom line the search for husbands and
fathers began. I got married at 16 and I wasn’t even pregnant! Looking back, I’m not certain what I was thinking. From this perspective, 30 years down the line, my behavior was quite bizarre. Funny how time changes perspectives. I’m certain I thought it was a good idea back then.

At first the Four Musketeers talked once in a while. As our lives grew more complex with children and husbands and boyfriends, our communications dropped from seldom to once in a while to our current situation which is not at all and where in the world are they? I’m left wondering what happened? And yes, ouch, it does hurt.

In disconnecting with our feminine we women disempowered ourselves, not only personally but on a global level. In the days of tribe in community we women KNEW who we were. In knowingness we contributed and maintained a balance with the masculine and the partnership society reined across the world.

Somehow, and on some level quite voluntarily, we women co-created the
patriarchy with men by removing ourselves from primary contact with other women and entering into the world of the masculine. In monogamy and the nuclear family women became more isolated from each other. Working in a male-dominated world we women focused on our inner male in order to succeed.

So for me polyamory and bisexuality is a way to reconnect to women–my mirrors, the divine feminine–in a path of self-discovery and exploration examining our current roles in relation to one another and developing new models of greater intimacy and deeper connection.

One day in therapy I remembered my earliest sexual experience which I had
repressed and totally forgotten. I was about ten years old and my girlfriend Pam was eleven. She was developing breasts and I was absolutely fascinated by them. I would grab them then we’d both giggle. On some level both of us getting turned on and excited. The acts themselves were forbidden. Parts of me were ashamed yet neither of us ever verbalized our thoughts. We just experienced our desire by acting upon them while simultaneously suppressing them, erupting in an explosion of laughter, which we couldn’t quite understand.

I woke in the middle of the night in a puddle of what I believed was urine. I cried from embarrassment and shame and my friend’s mother rushed into the room, calmed my fears, changed the sheets and assured me it was ok, accidents happen to everyone. The incident puzzled me for there was no smell or color and I had never lost control of my bladder before or since. I was so embarrassed but somehow managed to fall back asleep and never spoke of it to anyone.

Upon reflection and from the perspective of what I know now, I realize that I hadn’t wet the bed from urine, that I had experienced the equivalent of a feminine “wet dream” where I ejaculated amrita from the excitement and stimulation of the activity with my girlfriend.

I’ve learned that poly dating is a format where my hidden dreams can become reality. I’ve hungered for the connection with the beloved female for so long and repressed it due to my programming which judged such things as “bad.”

When Cleo and I met eyes across the room our hearts connected and our eyes lit up. We “fell” in love instantly, just like male to female, lovers at first sight.

I was taken aback, a bit shocked. I hadn’t felt that type of connection with a woman since “R” several years ago and I thought I’d never feel that again. Sasha and I were involved with another couple. My heart broke when we broke up over my jealousy and hurt. We four didn’t seem to have the tools to discuss it, let alone resolve it (see ERE: External Relationship Energy?, Loving More #17, Spring `99)

Cleo and I held back politely while the others ran through formal
introductions. She approached me first, with a hug and a smile and declared “I would like to be with you.”

She wanted to be with me! Despite the presence of two incredibly delicious men, two traditionally hetero-leaning ladies connected soul to soul and chose above all else to be with one another.

In the middle of my enthusiastic embrace I shifted and looked toward Sasha for “permission”, which some part of me feels is necessary and the other part realizes that it is not required as Sasha supports me fully in my mission of reconnecting with Goddess.

I prefer the inclusionary model where Sasha and I are there together always in our sexual connections. He had to leave for work and he assured me that we would maintain our linkage; our energetic connection despite the fact he would not be physically present.

The magic was obvious for all four of us. Sasha and Tony and I had been
friends for many years. We had always wanted to get together and yet we never could seem to find the time. Now Tony and Cleo were lovers and the circle seemed complete.

It was agreed that the men had work to do and it was delightful that the ladies felt strong connection, so they should go have some private time together and then the four of us would convene at the Lessins’ home after sun down.

Cleo and I met after our showers and we were giggling, we were so nervous. Neither of us had any extensive experience with loving ladies. It was difficult to begin. Our monkey-brain chatter kept us laughing and engaged, distracted from what we were feeling. It was good, in a way, we needed to diffuse some of the excitement, the energy was so intense. With every word we spoke, every mannerism, the nuances of our extremely-expressive faces, our body language, we melted our fears and opened our hearts. We poured out our thoughts and feelings, so hidden, repressed, suppressed from a lifetime of religious supplication.

After a while, we realized how we were distracting ourselves with giggles and talk from our true desires of physical intimacy and consciously decided to slow down our breath and focus on our intentions.

Nervous and hot, I said, “Let’s take off our clothes.”

She laid on her back and invited me into her arms. I joined her, flesh upon flesh. Our eyes met. She spoke “is this what men fall in love with?” We smiled and silently agreed. Our faces softened into curiosity. We kissed our first kiss followed immediately by childlike giggles in a final unconscious attempt to sabotage ourselves. Then came recovery, composure, then passion exploding and the giggles dissolved into squeals of delight. It felt like a homecoming, so natural, so sweet. I longed that all my sisters would know such tenderness and delight. What a delicacy for the soul. My heart soared. I felt born anew reconnecting with long-lost parts of me and finding yes, indeed this too is good.

Cleo had to leave. She promised Tony she’d meet him at the appointed time. Sasha returned from work and had time to reconnect. All was perfect. At sundown Tony and Cleo arrived at our home.

Our eyes lit up when we saw each other. Our hug was eternal. It seemed we
couldn’t stop hugging one another. Even when we finally parted, our hands
groped for one another as the four of us sat in a circle on the floor politely chatting. We patted each others’ legs and held hands in an attempt to comfort one another in our nervous anticipation.

The guys wanted us to connect together, alone at first, since all of this was so new for us, and perhaps overwhelming.

We assured them that we wanted them here with us, to witness our love and share our joy. They insisted on leaving, so we agreed and focused on one another.

We melted into one another again, amazed at the intensity of our hearts.
Nothing more was required.

The guys returned full of smiles. They were quite pleased and full of
themselves, looking forward to an evening of loving and playing.

I felt so full of love that wanted to gift Cleo with my beloved and his tantric skills. Sasha is so incredibly proficient at freeing the female ejaculate. She had never experienced her flow and felt inadequate as all of her girlfriends had. Once again a sister felt competitive, throwing herself into comparison with women who weren’t even there.

As I looked at my two special beauties, my love for both of them overflowed. I wanted dear Cleo to experience the bliss that she as a Goddess is entitled to know.

Sasha and I became one organism, one instrument of love. With Cleo in the
middle we connected and sent our energy and love out through her chakras
removing in that instant any blocks to her complete and total fulfillment as a woman.

She flowed, and flowed, and flowed. The Goddess gave birth to herself.

Tony had remained silent, the witness, the observer. We gathered our foreheads together in a hug and savored the energy of the miracle we had all just witnessed. It mattered not whose body gave or received or watched. We all felt it as if it was our own body reveling in bliss. For that moment in time the veil was pierced and we were truly all ONE.

It was late, nearly 2 AM. The guys begged to be excused. They had early
morning appointments and needed to get a few winks of sleep.

Cleo and I cuddled and held onto each other wanting time to stop, our energies to sustain us, fighting weariness. Soon it was past 3AM and we could do no more. We weren’t going to solve all the mysteries of the universe.

We kissed goodnight and parted to go join our men in our separate beds.

Cleo left the next day. Her home lies elsewhere..

I love Cleo. I really do. I miss her. I acknowledge within myself there is a longing. No, I hunger.

My practical self knows that her life lies elsewhere. I feel our love at all times and value it no matter what we manifest in terms of time and interaction. I KNOW that we will see each other and love again. In the meanwhile, I dance with Sasha.

Addendum: I wrote this article six months ago. Three things happened between then and now which show how strange life can be:

Jill had an embolism and dropped over dead right in front of her daughter (the one she conceived when we were all hanging out together.) Now I’ll never be able to confess and apologize to her. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Cleo and I met again this summer in the mainland and the energy just didn’t flow. In a few short months we had changed and become different people. Once again, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Out of the blue I received an email from “R” and we are now back in each others lives in full force. Sasha and I are ecstatic reveling in our bliss with our newly returned beloveds. I guess that WAS meant to be.

Here’s a triad experience I was blessed to be involved in.


A month has gone by since Sasha and I began our new live-in triad with the fabulous Janey. I know we are on our honeymoon and just like all others who begin love anew, in the beginning all is rosy. However, we; Janey, Sasha and I, are conscious enough beings to realize the trials and tribulations of communicating and living together and are committed to the process, confident that our love will heal all wounds.

I am amazed at the depth of our love. I wake up mornings with tears welling in my eyes. I’ve never felt such joy knowing at last that two people love me totally, unconditionally. I was afraid at first that I was not worthy of such adoration. And there are still moments when I find myself hovering outside of myself judging who is she that she can have such depth of connection, such love, such intimacy? I come back in and think, “How can I at last be worthy?” I find my Inner Critic taking center, judging my age, appearance, and all the superficial things that society creates to determine self worth and distance myself from me and others. When did I buy into all of that? When did I take that on and make it mine to the point that it affects my self-esteem and
physical health?

Sasha reassures me. So does Janey. I am finally loved and adored. There was a moment there during the first few days that I thought Janey would bolt. Who wouldn’t? After all, I’m so difficult? Sasha and I are so intense sometimes in our interactions. When Janey began to speak that morning in our check in,

I saw her pain, felt her fear and waited for the fatal words to come, “I’ve decided to leave”. She even began with something on that line. “Last night I almost left”. “Oh my”, my critic declared in dismay, “What horrible unpardonable sin have I committed again?” I waited for the ax to fall, the other shoe to hit the ground, when much to my amazement Janey came back with, “But I decided to stay
and face the fears. I only needed to step out of it all for a moment, reflect and view it, and get a better perspective. Then from that clear space, I returned and was able to move forward in “love”. I know that’s not her exact words, but that’s the energy and message that she conveyed to us. Especially to me.

I judge my pain, how silly I am to hurt so readily even after all this time embracing polyamory. How can I be so sensitive and yet move forward to explore such an experimental lifestyle as polyamory? Why do I chose such a deep level of intensity when I could keep my poly-loving on a more casual basis and not have my lovers live with me? What drives me to do something so out-there, so bizarre to so many? Won’t I just destroy everything I have?

When I ask myself that question, the answer that comes back is complex and multi-faceted. It reflects many parts of myself which I believe reflect many parts of our society. There’s a part of me that wants the security and intimacy of a beloved. I want the devotion and love of a family. While embracing both of those in my heart, I also long for the excitement and variety of many loving encounters. I desire the diversity of melding my body and consciousness with other races. I love loving lovers of my same gender and well as the opposite.

I couldn’t imagine choosing only one, male or female, as I know I’d be cutting myself off from a part of me that I see with each gender. It would be like losing half of me. Or worse yet, Id’ just be suppressing that part of me, making it bad or wrong when I know when in my heart of hearts that when I make love I am connected to not only the other that I touch in the moment, but to all parts of myself, God, the Universe and the Divine.

In my self-examination I find that another driving force is the pain I feel from my clients. I work with so many who are hurting because they are trying to shove themselves into a box that no longer fits. Society is currently operating from the illusion of pluralistic ignorance, meaning that what is actually happening in our culture in terms of relationships and sexuality is not what is being shown.

Thousands come to me and Sasha in our practice and school to explore the new paradigms of relating: swinging, tantra, polyamory, bisexuality, etc. They say they must hide their thoughts, desires and actions from their mates, children, parents, employees, co-workers, society for fear of repercussions. From my perspective as the Dear Abby of the internet, the revolution is here. While there are many who are celebrating and joyful in their new-found revelation, there are still many times more who suffer because they must hide who they really are behind shame and guilt which does not accurately reflect the truths of their hearts.

I believe it’s time to bring this into the light. I am driven by my love of humanity. My pain meets your pain and my joy seeks to dance with your joy. It is only by going through the fire, like a Phoenix rising, that we can find truth. And once that is revealed, then the truth will set ALL of us free.

Yesterday our triad took a moment to reflect on our month together. Sasha and Janey have been holding themselves back, not acting on impulses because I would feel uncomfortable if I were left out and not included. I acknowledged and appreciated that they exhibited such restraint.

I, what I believe is my center, sees all the parts of me. Part of me is joyous, in total empathy (or what we call compersion in the polyamory movement), when I see Sasha and Janey love, kiss, hug and make love. However, a few weeks ago, my Inner Child collapsed in fear and panic. I was as helpless; Janey and Sasha and I watched me sink into a well of despair. And I am not sure right now what I can get to calm my Inner
Child’s discomfort and allow her to meet this situation with the joy and love that the rest of me feels.

Oh my poor walking, wounded Inner Child. When will she ever find total peace? I’ve named my Inner Child, Janney Banney, after the affectionate nickname my father gave me when I was very small. “Janet the Bandit, she stole my heart away”, Dad would say as he held me in his lap, my eyes staring up, looking into his eyes.

I looked again at Janey and Sasha. They held space, love pouring forth from both of them. Tears flowed freely down my face as we opened ourselves even more to one another. “I guess there’s really six of us here: not only the three of us but each of our inner children,” I said. “So how can I make each of us feel safe, feel more comfortable, feel the love that I give?”

That rhetorical question needed no actual answer in the moment. Time will
reveal more as we proceed. The invitation is there for any of us at any time to express our thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires. We’ve become a three-way biofeedback system. My beautiful mirrors show me what I need to pay attention to. Their reflection is honest. For myself and my healing, I know I only need to internalize the love they shower on me. I think that time is the element that will allow me to integrate the love that already exists.

I know if I honor my mirrors and heed what I am getting then I’m well on my way to the spiritual growth and evolution I seek. While maybe I’ll never achieve true perfection here on this planet, I can become more and more conscious, take personal responsibility for my thoughts, deeds and actions and stop inflicting my dysfunction on others.

Our family’s expanding. October 1st we’ll be joined by Jose and Mandy. We’re so excited that they are joining us. We welcome the love and adventure. We also have others who want to join us. Some want only the moment, to mix energies, stories, love and joy while others seek longer connections as students, teachers, clients, seminar attendees, party participants, lovers and community members. They are all intriguing. I wonder who’ll get on the plane? I wonder who’ll chose to stay?

It’s my deepest hope that our new model for family and paradigm for relating will open the world to honor the very deep and personal choices that each individual makes from their hearts for relating and connecting to others. Each path to source, to whatever we perceive as God is unique and valuable for all of us to view.

My family and our trials and tribulations are but a microcosm of all that
exists. Nothing in the human condition is alien to me or mine. My internal
strife unhealed reflects externally and thus affects all around me. As within,
so without. As above, so below. My personal wounds are no greater or no less
than yours. My story is universal. As I heal I heal those around me. Same goes
for each of us. As we each own our reactions and heal ourselves, we are in
affect healing the planet. Every internal conflict resolved affects the
morphogenic field and shifts us to an alternative reality of peace, away from
the model of war that we are being offered right now.

Since I am a social being, I chose my family as my place of healing and
evolution. I know with the love and support of others around me who share the consciousness vision, that I can live authentically from my deepest personal truth to become my personal best and give the most I can in the short while I have to dance on this planet. I invite you to look at your hearts. What do you find? If so moved, I welcome your answers.

Sasha: I’m so grateful for Janey. Since she’s come to us, we’ve played, laughed and enjoyed ecstatic group sex more often. The three of us problem-solve and work more smoothly than Janet and I have in years. Janey stays clear and centered and her few words of neutral observation help us return in mere moments to love and cooperation when Janet and I destabilize into soured interaction that would otherwise have lasted hours. A few days ago, Janey asked me “Who pissed in your cornflakes,” when I snapped at Janet. Her comment snapped me back into awareness and I was able to apologize and talk about what was really bugging me, stuff that had nothing to do with Janet. Janey brings us back to love.

Janey’s here to meet Janet’s needs for constant companionship, shopping for fun and woman-woman sex. Polyamory provides people to meet each other’s needs better than the isolated nuclear family. Since Janey’s come, I no longer have to struggle with Janet’s need for constant company each day and get away and swim, bike, do yoga, hike my mountain or go to the gym. Janet’s got Janey to work and play with while I’m gone. Janey even swims with me too.

And Janey’s easing Janet’s fear of loss of intimacy as our family expands even further. Janet had been apprehensive (as well as excited) that Jose and Mandy will join us in three weeks. After the journeywork and loving we did yesterday, Janet knows we’ll never abandon her and looks forward to even more love, attention and satisfaction.

Janey: I’m the third. Number three. The outsider. Breaking into this strong dyadic conscious stream. I look for my break-like a sperm attacking an egg-tail flagellating. Yet knowing full well I am the one to fertilize this waiting ripe ovum that has been waiting for my love. Breaking through all barriers. Please be the one! Be strong enough to come inside our vulnerable lives, strong enough to love and live. Transcend our spiritual egg-cause life to unfold.

One month later: I’m still here and learning the intricacies of my beloveds. We have had this full month alone without other community members to get to know one another and form the bonds between me and Janet, between me and Sasha and synergistically among the three together. It has been wonderful, interesting intense and a month long honeymoon. We stretch and purr with the kitties while having tea at our early morning check in where we analyze our dreams and plan our day. We share our thoughts, needs and desires while our energies meld and soar as it becomes it’s own entity with it’s own intuition. The triad seems to take it’s own loving course now with no forced movements.

I came to this relationship with such a newfound emotional freedom and strong calming spirit. This was such a welcome addition that was easily woven in. I felt their needs so strongly. Their intensity was off the scale at times. I just had to step back, gather my thoughts-close my eyes-then laugh out loud because I swear I heard the pitty-patter of Janet’s inner child’s feet running. For through the intensity, their love and joy is just as strong and my commitment, love and devotion bring me back to center and I am at peace again.

Janet Kira Lessin, Author of “Polyamory, The Poly-Tantra Lifestyle” (excerpted above) facilitates the panel, “How We Do Poly” at the THE HARBIN HOT SPRINGS CALIFORNIA POLYAMORY CONFERENCE AND CELEBRATION, JULY 15-17 . Learn how to make polyamory work, network with other polys and celebrate our lifestyle: 808 244-103

Chief Focalizer, World Polyamory Associaton