HD User Manual v1.0

'The unexamined life is not worth living' (Socrates)

I'm trying to relate more consciously and compassionately to myself and others. This user manual is intended to:

  • Consolidate all that I have learned in my (six) years of relating more consciously.

  • Feed into ongoing conversations with my close people about how we relate to each other.

  • Help us avoid 'treating each other as crash test dummies' (Aggie Sez), because just winging it doesn't work - especially when you've opted out of conventional relationship scripts.

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By 'close people' I mean all the people I have an intimate (close) relationship with, and those I'd like to be closer to. Harriet Lerner describes intimacy as what occurs when 'both parties can express strength and vulnerability in a balanced way'. It.does.not.mean.sex.

When I told my brother I was writing my user guide he said 'oh right - where's the OFF button?' Ben's question and many others are answered within.

Here's a short video of me talking about user manuals in Vancouver.

Some questions for you to consider while you read this:

  • Is there anything you'd like to know about how to relate to me/ how I relate to others, that I haven't covered?

  • Is there anything I've said that you feel uncomfortable - or unclear - about?

  • Is there anything you'd like me to know about how to relate to you, under any of headings I've used here or different ones?

  • Is there anything else we (you and I) could do with talking about?

  • Is there anything you think I could usefully 'work on' that I haven't already included?

  • Is there anything you think I'm particularly good at that I haven't included?

Contents

1. Introduction
2. My guiding principles and intentions for my close relationships
3. A selection of relationship ideas I geek out about, and how they're relevant
4. Brief relationship history
5. What I'm ‘good at’ in relationship, and what I'm working on
6. Communicating with and spending time with me
7. Sex and kink
8. Some other basics
9. Behaviour flags: green - amber - red

1. Introduction

I'm 41, queer (since always), solo (since 2011) and a vagabond (since 2015). 'Vagabond' means I now have no fixed home or routine. My modus operandi is bike + tent. 'Solo' means that while I have close relationships of many kinds I choose not to be part of a couple or other unit.

'If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.' (Paulo Coelho)

I'm travelling slowly from Vancouver BC to perhaps Argentina/Uruguay. From August 17 to January 18 I've stopped in Oaxaca, Mexico to learn Spanish. Tengo la intención de hablar español con fluidez.

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2. My guiding principles and intentions for my close relationships

Since 2011 - prior to which I was monogamously coupled for almost 15 years - I have become obsessively interested in the paradoxical human tension between wanting to feel connected and known, and wanting to feel separate and free. Some people say you can’t have both; that 'you can’t have your cake and eat it'. Having observed many people - including myself - compromise one for the other to the point of chronic unhappiness, I now work hard at balancing the two.

'I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand.' (Amanda Palmer lyric)

'Perhaps a fundamental continuum from an existential perspective is the one from freedom to belonging, and it can be useful to conceptualise the tension in this way to explore where different partners’ values are in relation to it... For some freedom may be associated with healthy independence, for others selfishness or flightiness. Belonging may be felt to be about mutual support, or security, or dependence, or obligation... It is also worth being aware that living outside societal norms often involves facing one’s freedom and the inevitable uncertainty of life in profound ways.' (Dr Meg-John Barker/ ‘MJB’)

As part of being increasingly open to life I find it helpful to be as clear as I can about my values, guiding principles and intentions for close relationships. Though its title sounds highfalutin, the Swedish 'manifesto for relationship anarchy' expresses really beautifully the guiding principles that help me relate according to my intentions. These are so important to me; if you follow only one link in this document please let it be this one. It's only short. Go on, click on it!

To summarise my intentions:

  • I have created more space for myself to be. I intend to relate more consciously to myself - and therefore the universe! - by getting better at tuning in to my experience, thoughts and feelings (some call this 'mindfulness').

'We sit in meditation so that we'll be more awake in our lives.' (Pema Chödrön)

  • Building on the previous point I intend to work at becoming more compassionate towards myself and others. I intend to treat myself and others more consensually.

  • I intend to honour and encourage my own and my close people's autonomy, agency, stated boundaries, values, intentions, growth and other relationships, and to ask for the same in return. (It never ceases to amaze me how radical an approach this apparently sounds to some people; I’m very excited that I now have several people in my life who share it!)

  • I intend to allow each of my relationships to be whatever it is (any permutation of friendship and other kinds of closeness such as shared history, shared beliefs or projects, touch, ‘romantic feelings’, kink, sex, etc.), to find its own level, and to change. To be clear, my close relationships take many forms.

  • I intend to read more.

'As Ram Dass has pointed out, we are human beings, not human doings. Being is very hard for some of us, and we may need to rehearse silence more than we need to practise speech.' (Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Connection)

'Don't try to figure out what the world needs. Figure out what makes you come alive, then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.' (Howard Thurman)

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3. A selection of relationship ideas I geek out about, and how they're relevant

What is a relationship? - Look at the stick person below. The realisation that I can give and get different combinations of things with a wide range of people is fundamental to how I'm approaching love and life now. For example, the people I do 'belly', 'brain' or 'boots' with aren't necessarily the same people I enjoy 'pants' with. I've noticed that 'pants+favourite hobby' or 'pants+shared gas bill' seem to be the Holy Grail of 'Relationships' for many people; this makes no sense to me.

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Relationship hierarchy - It’s popular to assume that some kinds of adult relationships trump others automatically. For example many people deprioritise their friendships when they’re ‘in a relationship’ (sic).

Many non-monogamous people have a hierarchical approach too. Imagine if Uri said to me 'I will allow you to be friends with my sister Noa but she can only be a secondary friend: you can only spend time with her when I’m there or with my permission; you can never eat Japanese food with Noa because that's a special thing you and I do together; if you start to like Noa as much as you like me you will have to drop her'. Sounds ridiculous? Many people do non-monogamy like this, overtly or covertly. I don’t.

To be clear, the only adults who get to define and delimit the relationship between you and me are you and me. My intention is to step back from any relationship of any kind where this principle is not passionately shared.

Consent, and 'the three handshakes' metaphor - MJB and Justin Hancock have developed a great workshop - and now a video too! - that uses handshakes as a metaphor to learn about how consent feels. The first handshake 'just happens', because everyone knows when and how to shake hands, right? The second handshake is negotiated verbally beforehand - in detail - to ensure it is consensual, which participants usually say ends up feeling a bit laboured, a bit clunky. The idea with the third handshake is that you try to tune in and find the sweet spot between the first and second methods, using eye contact, body language etc, so the handshake feels mutually consensual without being clunky. Relevance here? My intention is to become more Level 3 in the way I do relationships of all kinds including sexual ones, but I recognise that I need more practice and, in the meantime, Level 2 is better than Level 1!

Here’s another thought-provoking exercise for exploring consent.

Eagle-eye vs. mouse-eye view - This is a concept my excellent therapist in London explained to me. When under emotional stress, some people's perspective is very much 'mouse-eye view': so immersed in their immediate feelings they lose the ability to see the bigger picture.

Others, like me, tend to fly up to get an 'eagle-eye' view: looking to make sense of the situation with reference to the bigger picture, the long-term view, principles, theoretical models etc, and losing touch with the immediate feelings at play (my own or others'). Another way my therapist described this is 'using (my) mind as a strength and a defence'. To a more mouse-eye (or just less eagle-eye) person this response can appear cold, second-handshake, clunky, unattuned... they feel a massive disconnection and, in my experience, can say rather unkind things! My intention is to keep getting better at 'feelings' (mine and yours) while keeping the bigger picture (including my other intentions) in sight.

Nonviolent communication - Not everyone's a fan, but NVC has really helped me develop my emotional literacy. I do my level best to communicate non-violently, which basically means trying to say what I feel/need rather than what I think's wrong with you. I also try to be mindful of my many advantages and privileges.

Myers-Briggs personality types (based on Jung) - This is one of several models I’ve found helpful for understanding dimensions of difference between people, and some of the ways I have changed during my adult life. At 40 I'm now quite close to the middle on most of the various continua; this rings true.

I'm now an 'ambivert', loving and needing solitude but also loving to have lots of human interaction. I'm definitely more observant than intuitive. I remain more thinking than feeling, but I've recognised this and am working on tuning in to feelings. It's interesting that I also fall right in the middle of the assertive/turbulent scale; I regularly observe both traits in myself.

Adult attachment styles - This is a model I've found helpful in understanding the dynamics of close relationships. Uri introduced me to it, and we've both concluded that while we're somewhere within the 'secure' range we can find ourselves more anxious in relation to an avoidant person and noticeably more avoidant in relation to an anxious person.

To be clear, because I'm very 'solo' and have a bit of an engulfment anxiety, people who have a very anxious attachment style are unlikely to be compatible with me unless they (too) have well-developed strategies for managing their (opposite) anxiety. Because I am solo and independent I'm likely to continue to attract people with an avoidant attachment style; painful experience has taught me to spot these folks pretty quickly and to manage my own expectations!

The five love languages - Different people prefer to receive (and show) love in different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch.

I prefer to receive quality time and words (presence not presents!), though variations on a theme of 'I see you' often mean more to me than 'I love you'. I tend to show love through quality time (and ideas) and - if it's a physical relationship - touch. I can be quite tactile and cuddly, though I'm not big on public-displays-of-affection mostly because I think they make other company feel awkward. My intention is to ask my close people about their preferences.

Beginnings - I've learned from my own and others' experience that we can make all manner of bad decisions when in the throes of New Relationship Energy (NRE), including failing to advocate for ourselves, setting unsustainable expectations, making exaggerated declarations, and abandoning other relationships including the crucial one with our Self. My intention is to enjoy NRE while trying to avoid these pitfalls.

Endings (and other transitions) - When relationship transitions are painful I try to remind myself that

'...Not taking it personally when someone hurts us is a profound practice of compassion, for ourselves first of all.' (John Welwood)

It is my intention to honour important relationships as they end or change, using this approach.


A 'metamour' usually means your lover's lover. While I'm not at all attracted by the idea of 'kitchen table poly' I'd consider it a red flag if my close people and their close people (of any kind) were unwilling to acknowledge me/ each other or to communicate directly as needed.

Compersion is often described as the opposite of jealousy but in fact it's the opposite of schadenfreude. I enjoy my close people's enjoyment of their other close people (of any kind), so long as they seem good for them! I've yet to experience jealousy, though I can feel something similar after being disposed of.


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4. Brief relationship history

Childhood. Firstborn child (London, 27/07/76) of Gill and Giles, verbal very early. Ben came along when I was three and a half, the same age I learned to read. We moved three times before I was ten. As a child I was typically described in terms such as 'delightful', 'zany', 'measured' and 'no trouble'.

'From the moment we are (born), family members encourage us to be our authentic selves, while they also unconsciously encourage us to express certain traits, qualities or behaviours and to deny or inhibit others. People need us to be a certain way for their own sake, and for the most complex variety of unconscious reasons... We learn that the survival of our relationships, and the very integrity of our family, depend on our being this way or that.' (John Welwood)

From my Dad I inherited my eccentricity, the semblance of not giving a shit about convention or what 'people' think, an enjoyment of ideas, the tendency to be more attuned to thoughts than feelings (I'm being generous there!), and a good sense of direction.

Amongst other things I have my Mum to thank for my good physical and dental health, my facility with and enjoyment of language, but also the difficulty I sometimes have separating my own story from the stories others need to tell about me.

Teens. In Nottinghamshire I attended the local comprehensive (secondary school) from 11-17 (1987-1994). I tended to be a bit of an outsider because I was neither one of the kids that did all their homework (I never did any) nor one of the kids that smoked on the park (in fact, I wore a badge to school that said 'yes I mind if you smoke' - what a dick).

Once I hit puberty I became very withdrawn especially at home, and tended to be typecast within the family as grumpy and not-very-nice. My parents were at a loss for how to support a (queer) teenager's lonely struggles with identity etc, so they diligently housed and fed and taxi-ed me about, but that was about it. My mum tried to cure my adolescence with evening primrose capsules. She also talked to me about periods and The Pill (in fact she took me out for dinner when I started my periods which was SO EMBARRASSING - but obviously I went along because FOOD), but no-one ever talked to me about identity, relationships, desire, consent or pleasure; my parents literally don't have a clue about that kind of stuff and nor apparently did any other adult who ever had any kind of responsibility towards me. Thatcher didn’t help matters.

I had good friends throughout my childhood and teens, but felt stifled by my environment and couldn't get away to university fast enough. Somehow I pulled off good enough A-levels to get into the University of Sussex (in Brighton, where I stayed for five years). I immediately came out, got very involved with the LGBT society and had a whale of a time socially though privately I was very uptight about sex. In my second year there I met Zoe.

'The Darvill-Farmers', age 20-34. Zoe and I were a couple for almost 15 years. We used to take smug pride in the lack of 'drama' in our relationship. I now realise there were downsides as well as upsides to this. Among the upsides was a strong sense of security. Among the downsides was an unspoken agreement not to scratch much below the surface, which arguably inhibited our growth.

Zoe has said I sometimes seemed quite angry during those years, often with myself. Looking back I think ‘angry’ was a label my family-of-origin and Zoe frequently applied to avoid recognising other emotions. Now that I’m starting to recognise feelings like frustration, sadness and fear I very rarely feel angry.

Midlife transformation, age 30-40 (2006-2016), during which I gradually pulled all the rugs from under my feet! Starting in 2009 Zoe and I talked for 18 months about how to move forward given our increasingly incompatible needs, but - as my therapist brilliantly summarised it - in the final reckoning neither Zoe nor I chose our relationship. I didn’t continue to choose it over my freedom, growth and sense of self; she didn’t choose it over her safety.

I had weekly therapy from 2010-2015, which helped massively with ‘becoming more the author of my own story’ and ‘growing into the spaces in myself’. It also helped me learn from my past and present relationships.

My current constellation of close people (most but not all of whom are based back in the UK) includes:

  • Several long-standing, stable friendships (my 'family of choice'), each of which is based on a combination of brain/heart/belly/boots/gloves (see stick person cartoon above).

  • Several important newer friendships - again based on different combinations - that seem likely to shift into the first category over time.

  • A (usually small) number of friendships that include pants; to be clear, getting laid is important to me but it's not what drives my relationship model.

  • A growing friendship with my brother Ben, which feels very healing.

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Here's a review I wrote of my first nomadic year.

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5. What I'm ‘good at’ in relationship, and what I'm working on

I'm good at... being interested and present when I'm with people; being open to new and different types of relationships; being open generally; trying new things generally; asking for and receiving feedback gracefully (so long as it's fair and given kindly!); being mindful about consent across all aspects of relationships; holding myself to account according to my values, principles and intentions; making the most of every AFOG. I also have a lot of energy and time for relationships.

'The only way to have a friend is to be one.' (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

‘Nothing stretches our capacity to embody great love like learning to accept others in all of their differences and limitations, especially when these trigger our emotional hot spots. There is nothing like a relationship to show us where we are frozen and shut down, where we have trouble making contact, where we are most afraid and where we refuse to accept what is. Nothing else so quickly brings our core wound to the surface, exposing all the ways we still feel unloved or unlovable. Human relationships provide the ultimate litmus test of how healed, or whole, or spiritually mature we really are.’ (John Welwood)

I'm working on:

  • Tuning in to myself better, which helps with...

  • Not 'giving myself away' in relationships. (This tool is brilliant and will really help me.)

  • Being more intuitive ('third handshake') and less 'eagle-eye' about relationships generally, including but not limited to sexual ones. I know I can be a bit clunky still. Drawing attention to this in a disappointed, patronising or mocking way is a sure-fire way to distress me and/or turn me OFF. It's really helpful when my close people know I'm working on this and support me kindly.

  • My sexuality. Until my mid-thirties (having only had one sexual partner!) I had major neuroses around sex, convinced that everyone else knew who-should-do-what-to-whom-and-in-what-order. From 2011 I faced this anxiety head-on and I've largely nailed it, but I still have a button that can get pushed occasionally. (If we have a sexual relationship we can talk more about this.)

  • 'Partner selection'. I'm excellent at choosing friends. I'm getting wiser about choosing 'lovers', which is an important skill for anyone and an essential one for those of us doing relationships differently. A wise adage here is 'date your species'. See also the flags section later.

  • Balancing openness and privacy. This hasn't been a frequent source of difficulty, but it's a key dimension for negotiation in non-monogamous relationships. I'm big on honesty but I need privacy too.

  • Making eye-contact while speaking.

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6. Communicating with and spending time with me

OKCupid is my main method of meeting new people because its algorithm filters out people with different values and expectations. For this reason I almost never contact/meet anyone with a match rating of less than 90%. I also don’t ‘date’ people who describe themselves as non-monogamous (whether they have existing partners or not) but who have no stance on hierarchy, couple privilege and other nasties. [My OKCupid profile.]

Facebook is one of my preferred and most frequently used modes for collective and one-to-one, synchronous and asynchronous communication. Since my time online is often limited - because I rely on Wi-Fi - I can feel overwhelmed if lots of people try to chat to me at once when, for example, I need to prioritise some kind of admin or route-finding. My intention is to let people know if it's not a good time to chat, and to arrange another time to do so. When the opportunity arises I also enjoy Skyping.

Somebody expecting to have contact with me every day would be likely to trigger my engulfment anxiety.

Spending time with me. I hope to continue punctuating my solo travels with the companionship of my close people. What's worked particularly well so far is people coming to join me for low-key micro-adventures (generally of 3-7 days) where my budget is neither an impediment nor a source of awkwardness/disparity: self-catering city-breaks or camping, hiking, cycling, etc. I underspend when alone and expect to exceed my daily budget when with others, but if I do the latter for several days I start to worry and that can affect my mood. Before spending time together I usually initiate a conversation about our needs and preferences including my need for spaciousness, without which I cannot sustain 'presence' for days on end.

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7. Sex and kink

Since my mid-thirties I've learned a lot about myself thanks to the queer, sex-positive/kinky community.

'We learn skills that we can translate into every part of our life: how to claim our desires, negotiate for what we want and need, set boundaries, celebrate sexuality, and accept each other's difference... an opportunity for self-reflection, challenge and personal growth.' (From 'The Ultimate Guide to Kink' - Tristan Taormino)

The rest of this section (which is available as an appendix) is separate from the main manual partly for privacy and partly because most of my relationships don’t involve sex or kink. My younger self would surely be amazed to discover that it is less about who-should-do-what-to-whom-and-in-what-order, more about how I like to feel when I top and when I bottom.

Sexual health - My approach to sexual health is to communicate and take responsibility for my own boundaries, as opposed to policing/ relying on other people’s behaviour. In London I went for STI screening every six months because I could; I guess while travelling I'll aim to go once a year. I'm particular about toy hygiene etc and often use condoms and gloves. I've been vaccinated against Hep A, Hep B and HPV.

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8. Some other basics

Food. I live to eat. I eat everything. I eat a lot of everything. I'm not aware of any allergies.

Sleep. I have come to think of my (mostly past) tendency towards sleep-deprivation as a form of habitual self-harm. I think as kids we weren't helped to tune in to things like tiredness, and as adults we've both had a tendency to stay up way beyond the point we are tired, 'stealing from tomorrow'. When camping I sleep when I'm tired, which means I'm a much better version of myself. When I haven't had enough sleep I'm not great company, especially first thing in the morning.

Drugs. Alcohol is my drug of choice. I try to be mindful about the ways I use it. In the last few years I've taken and enjoyed a few other drugs, typically in the company of trusted and more experienced friends. I intend to continue exploring the consciousness-expanding potential of drugs, including - probably - ayahuasca.

My body. I'm pretty comfortable in my skin and happy to be naked.

Gender. The more time I spend thinking about it, the less I understand what gender is or how it applies to me. Aged eight I wrote to Father Christmas 'I am a tomboy (half boy). For Christmas I'd like a really decent set of meccano'. I hover somewhere on the very margins of the broad category 'women' and tend towards 'she/her' pronouns, but most gendered terms like 'madam', 'sir', 'lady' and 'girl' (and their equivalents in other languages) make me cringe to my core.

Labels. I moderate the excellent Facebook discussion group on 'solo polyamory' but I prefer to describe myself as queer, solo and non- or post-monogamous. To avoid feeding the system that judges romantic intimacies more important than other types I try to refer to all my close people simply as that.

Money. Throughout my working life I considered money 'unimportant' to me. I now realise that was because I had more than enough of it to be independent. Now that I'm independent on a lot less money (10-15 Euros/day when stealth camping, double that in cities), I'm more mindful about it generally, including its role in my relationships.

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9. Behaviour flags

Note that unless specified [in square brackets] these behaviour flags apply to all types of relationship.

Green flags. My heart SINGS when:

  • You are independent, bright, warm and funnier/ more 'fun' than me (not hard). I am blessed to have a lot of people in my life who meet this description.

  • You live and love with clear intentions and guiding principles, even if some of these differ from mine. (To be clear, the opposite is you wing it.)

  • You share my desire to grow in relationships. You stretch me, kindly and consensually. You can initiate difficult conversations.

  • You're confident about some aspects of yourself.

  • You have relationships and passions of your own, and are generally curious.

  • You are passionate and thoughtful about striking an intentional and sustainable balance between autonomy and intimacy.

  • Harriet Lerner describes intimacy as what occurs when 'both parties can express strength and vulnerability in a balanced way'. Achieving this is the holy grail for me in any type of relationship.

  • [If we might date/ be lovers] you are PROFOUNDLY and PERMANENTLY committed to consensual, non-hierarchical non-monogamy, and you have experience of this.

  • You have a relatively secure attachment style, in other words you are comfortable with emotional intimacy and with separateness.

  • [If we might have sex] you have thoughtful strategies for dealing with all relevant kinds of difference, such as turn-ons, health, libido etc.

  • And just to address a frequent misconception, you do not need to ride a bike to be close to me!

Amber flags. My heart SINKS when:

  • Conversations reveal you cannot conceptualise intimacy or commitment except as supposedly 'demonstrated' by riding the relationship escalator, or are dismissive of my intimacies (e.g. ‘sounds complicated’).

  • Your words or actions show you assume some kinds of adult relationships trump others automatically. For example you are a friend who automatically de-prioritises me for your lover/s. Friends aren't placeholders!

  • You make sex-negative or slut-shaming remarks.

  • You want - or worse, think you're entitled to - a lot more contact than I enjoy or can practically offer, and/or do not negotiate constructively with me about this.

  • You regularly try to second-guess me and/or you don't take what I say at face value.

  • You tell me I’m ‘angry’ when I haven’t said that I am. (By all means ask.)

  • You regularly try to fix problems I haven't ask you to.

  • You lack self-awareness of your tendency to under- or over-function (most of us have one!).

  • You blame all your exes without reflecting on your own part in those dynamics. (Trying to make sense of past hurts is OK; I definitely do this.)

Red flags (learned the hard way!). It's a deal-breaker for me when:

'O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; / No more of that.' (King Lear)

  • You are dishonest.

  • You have dodgy politics (including, for the avoidance of doubt, being right-wing, racist, disablist, misogynist, trans*phobic, bi-phobic, fat phobic etc) and/or take no interest in world affairs, social justice etc.

  • Your core relationship values appear to be non-existent, facile and/or chameleon-like.

  • You objectify me/ aren't interested in seeing the whole of me.

  • You appear to have a disproportionate amount of your well-being or self-esteem bound up in your relationship with me (or someone else).

  • You seem to push my buttons deliberately to get a reaction.

  • You lack skills/strategies for managing your anxiety and other difficult feelings - e.g. self-care, self-soothing, talking to other friends - or you seek to make me responsible for all your difficult feelings.

  • You monitor my behaviour and/or expect me to seek your permission.

  • You allow another adult in your life to define or delimit your relationship with me, or in any other way demonstrate an overt or covert hierarchy amongst your relationships with adults.

  • [If we might date/ be lovers] you show signs of aspiring to ride the relationship escalator and/or to monogamy and/or to hierarchy. To be quite clear, I don’t date monogamous or hierarchical people, or people who date such people!

  • It becomes apparent you’re 'trying' non-monogamy because you want to date me or you're PWL (poly-while-looking). People aren’t experiments, and in the past few years I’ve been quite enough people’s little adventure for one lifetime thanks. If you’re thinking of me as light entertainment between your main acts, at least have the courtesy to tell me so I can consent - or not!

  • You are vague or inconsistent about your needs, expectations and boundaries, particularly with regards to non-monogamy and contact.

  • You describe yourself - e.g. on OKCupid - as non-monogamous (whether you have existing partners or not) but present no stance on hierarchy, couple privilege and other nasties.

  • You're a cheater, or believe 'don't ask, don't tell' is an ethical way to practice non-monogamy!

  • Regarding metamours, you or your other close people are resistant to direct lines of communication when needed.

  • [If we might have sex] you aren’t proactive, honest and consensual in discussing sexual health, or you have poor awareness of risk factors. You are non-consensual generally.

  • You smoke heavily in my company, or consume alcohol/other drugs to the point you can't be consensual or aren't good company.

Thank you to the people who discussed earlier drafts with me: GR, JE, MJB, RF, SM, TM, UB <3

If you’d like a Relationship User Guide of your own, check out this great zine, then show me yours?

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