Poly Guacamole

The scene had stopped and started a few times, like last time. My friend turned occasional play partner Skies was having a night of being unsure what to do with me, unsure what to do with himself. Ours has hot passion mixed with random moments of dissociative behavior, where we both step out of ourselves and into this place of not quite right any more.

We both needed to eat, so the plan came to pass of wrapping my wrists in hospital restraints and going grocery shopping in bondage. My hands found their way to spinach, mushrooms, limes, cotija cheese, chicken breasts, green beans, serano peppers. He requested guacamole, and I proposed pico de gallo as another side. White corn chips, and a smile as I tried to maneuver the grocery cart in bonds.

Back at his place I cooked and prepped, we laughed and found our way back to being us, this strange kinky friendship, again. Knives and threats and finally crying for him by way of a red onion welling up my ducts. Fresh garlic clung to my flesh as meat sizzled and my layered salad took form between bites of home made guacamole and pico.

Two days later I found myself in a local cafe. Skies’ lover, White, was working that day and she looked up from work and had a smile slowly erupt across her face. She shook of the days’ challenges for a moment and with unabashed joy declared loudly, for no particular reason- “You make fantastic guacamole!”

Turns out that Skies’ had taken all the leftovers and bundled them up, and the next day when White had come to visit, he had told the tale of my hard work in the kitchen and presented the spread. I laughed out loud, gave her a big hug, and bundled myself up in the back of the cafe to get some work done. No rest for the wicked, or the polyamorous.

Fast forward a few days and I found myself on the phone with Ming. She and I were discussing this thing called Poly, and yet again a challenge, a wall, discussing someone else in her life. Where was the frubble, the compersion, the unabashed joy for just being happy your partner is happy?

I paused and asked if her partner ever received guacamole.

A pause at the other end of the phone. Um, no?

The tale fell from my tongue, and she laughed. No, no one had left behind guacamole. What about cookies? Had I been bad at not sending her boy cookies?

Don’t get me wrong- I think compersion is a great concept, and something I have felt may times. The sensation of being joyful for someone we love finding joy with their other love(s). This slang of the poly community is also known as frubble, and I personally like frubble as a term a bit better for the emotion. It conjugates better. I was frubbling, I frubbled.

But there are those moments when it is profoundly useful to see, categorically, that my lover having another lover is actually good for ME. That when White went over and visited Skies, she had home made guacamole because I had been there. I made her life that much better, because I had been there with Skies having a good time with him.

Last month another Poly Guacamole moment. At Leather Retreat Janice and I were hanging out and it turned to pinching, punching, in general rough housing and having fun. I left a pretty little bruise under the surface of the skin on her sternum. A few days later her partner and she and I are walking the Labrynth, offering toasts to the Gods, when he mentions as we sit on a bench that he appreciated the easy button. I laugh out loud. “Hey, anything I can do to make your life easier!” We all laugh, and move forward after a few well placed additional bruises of love.

Too often I have expected my partners to understand my other partners. Hey, me getting other people means you get other people, that’s cool, right? But my reality is that I prefer to live in a poly-tribal system, where my lover’s lover is not just able to tolerate me, but likes grabbing a coffee, is cool watching a movie with us, likes my cooking. I don’t want them to be my lover or partner (except in random instances), but gosh, something more than acceptance of the arrangement makes my life soar so much more.

Today on the phone Blaise and I were catching up on life- tales of radical faeries and festivals, co-op housing and finding bliss in each others voice for a moment of profound friendship. I tell him about Poly Guacamole. He pauses and says yeah, in New York City (where he is based), so much of the functional barter system nowadays is based around extended poly-tribal-sprawls of connection. Sitting on a porch one person mentions that they need speakers moved from Brooklyn to Upper Manhattan, and a housemates’ lover’s lover overhears it and pipes up that they have a truck.

A web of fresh fruit, tech support, stage performers for benefits, painters, electricians, theatre artists and wholesale shoppers have woven together bonded through love across New York. Where a love’s love’s capabilities means improvement in the life of your other love’s love. The Burningman gifting economy is taken to a more sustainable level, gas still covered, rent still paid.

I am happy my people’s other people make them happen. But once in a while, it is nice to have tangible or substantiated evidence of how the stress and fabulous challenge of managing polyamory networks and systems is really worth it. I want to be embraced and appreciated, not just tolerated and accepted as simply part of the package of loving their lover.

I love living in a world…
where once in a while…
someone gifts me with some Poly Guacamole.


If so moved…




Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.


  1. I am sooooooooooo passing this around my tribe! You captured my sentiments exactly!


  2. Pingback: Poly Questions: A response to Clarisse Thorn « Trust and Betrayal

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