User Manual

Minx advocates it so much on Poly Weekly, and since I’ve begun to actually date new people as a solo poly, I figured I should probably get around to writing my user manual, so here goes.

This is a living document and is subject to changes.

Family Background

I’m an only child, and basically spoiled rotten. My family is important to me, but I live half-way across the country from them, see them only a few times a year, rarely call them, and text them every few days. However, my parents taught me to be exceptionally independent, organized, a world traveler, and to put family BELOW just about everything else. I enjoy prioritizing relationships over other parts of my life, but it isn’t intuitive for me to put anything that feels like “family” above work or play.

Communication

It depends on the specific relationship, but generally speaking, I like to hear from you every day. Actually, ideally a lot more than that. My primary modes of communication are texting and Google or Facebook chat. I don’t really like using the phone.

I like scheduling dates ahead of time, or coordinating last-minute ways to fill an empty evening. If I text repeatedly about scheduling things, please don’t interpret it as clingy. Also, I always appreciate a prompt reply “I don’t know yet if I’m free, but I’ll know by [time].”

I enjoy conversation about academic things – literature, science, history, linguistics… Too much academic conversation can be tiresome, but now that I’m not in school anymore, it’s fun to have that sort of discussion on a regular basis. This also includes in-depth topics about Harry Potter and Doctor Who.

I’m very confident about some things (e.g. my sexuality), but other things I really like extensive positive feedback on (e.g. anything I write, music). You will get lots of points if you make reference to specific bits and say why it was good, interesting, or surprising! I don’t necessarily receive negative feedback well (unless I specifically ask for it), so if you have a negative comment, tell me, but couch it nicely.

I like talking about myself. I like being asked questions. If you’re not sure what to say, a prompting question will probably work. I also love talking about sex and polyamory, so that is always a topic for good discussion.

Do not earnestly say you’re proud of me for something that is not an accomplishment. This applies more for less-established relationships than for long-term ones, where I’ve gotten more of a perspective on their mind. But please, don’t say you’re proud of me for buying a blender. Even if I plan to use it for healthy smoothies, I could just as easily use it for milkshakes. Buying a blender is not the same as losing 10 pounds.

Sexuality: Flirting

I don’t like flowers; I don’t see the point. They’re raised to be chopped, sold often at an obscene price, only to die a few days later. Don’t give me a plant either; it will die before long. Instead, chocolates (but not dark chocolate!) are always a safe substitute, or something that is a nice reference to a shared experience.

Playing with my hair is an instant way to get me relaxed and turned on!

I love massages; getting and giving! I also like them hard. However, massages (at least given to me, I’ll give them whenever) should come after sex, not before (or not associated with sex, that’s nice too).

Cuddling and touching is crucial. I’m extremely physical when it comes to connecting with a partner, and especially when in the throws of NRE, a moment spent not touching feels like a moment wasted.

I do like holding hands, cuddling, and kissing in public, as appropriate. I’m out as poly to most of my friends, though there may be places I’ll avoid PDA with a partner other than the one I’ve already introduced, or ask the partner to take off his wedding ring (if applicable and previously agreed on).

If you know how to swing dance, take me dancing! I love a guy who’s a good, fun lead on the dance floor.

I am addicted to lip gloss. I go through a tube every 2-3 weeks, and can’t go without it for more than an hour. I always have multiple tubes with me.

Sex

As my poly network is only growing, I have a strong responsibility to make sure everything is safe. Condoms must be used for all penetrative sex, and I’d like to see a recent STD test. I also have a rule to keep the pants on on the first date, just so it gives me a chance to get to know you a little better, as well as gives me a chance to tell my other partners before we go any farther.

I don’t like talking during sex. I’ll tell you before, after, or in a completely different moment what I like, don’t like, whatever. However, the brainpower that goes into forming words doesn’t belong in the heat of the moment. The same idea also applies to 69. I’m not that much of a fan of 69, because I have to control the pleasure I feel in order to pay attention to what I’m doing.

After I have an amazing orgasm, stop and let me cuddle for a bit. I won’t take that long if we’re in the heat of it, but it really does feel best when you can savor the moment.

People always like to ask what your favorite position is. Other than generally preferring positions where I am in a more subordinate role, the best position really depends on the specific physiology of the two people involved. If I haven’t had sex with you, I don’t know what my favorite position is!

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