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Compersion is a word I discovered recently, which apparently denotes the emotion of joy in knowing that your romantic partner is happy with his or her other romantic partner. In the polyamorous world, it is the opposite of jealousy. I’m really glad that I have this word to describe my new feelings.

Related terms include the questionable “frubbly,” which refers to the feeling that compersion creates. I don’t think I could ever say that with a straight face. Moving on.

Looking back, I realize that I’ve always felt a degree of compersion. I liked hearing stories about my partners’ exes, because hearing about what made them happy at one time (even if the relationship didn’t work out) made me happy as well. I had friendly relationships with many of them, even with those I hadn’t known previously. Instead of viewing them as competition, they were people who obviously valued the same things I did.

After ending my first sexual relationship, I had quite a few regular sexual partners at once. Not merely hook-ups in succession, but friends with benefits that I truly cared about. I liked this arrangement, since part of the reason I broke up with A was the feeling of confinement. Even though I didn’t really know of the term polyamory then, I guess I was living it. After my relationship with J began, things changed quite a bit, but I still feel that monogamy is for chumps. Or, at least, not for me.

I first met the most important man in my life, J, when he was in an open relationship. That, combined with the fact that his partner F was transgender, was what piqued my interest in him. I had a mental picture of snuggling up in between them, like a new pet. Unfortunately, they were separated by an entire ocean, which is part of why their relationship was so non-traditional. And even more unfortunately, it didn’t last.

J and I, at first, described our relationship as open. Then he told me that he wasn’t comfortable with me having sex with other men, and we were so close geographically and sex with him was so much more satisfying, that I didn’t really mind. Then it became apparent that I have really bad luck with women, which narrowed it down further– we now come as a package.

Honestly, I can’t complain. Though I am outgoing and open (sometimes to an absurd degree) with the people I’m comfortable with, I am often too terrified to break the ice. Luckily, that is J’s specialty.

At school, I developed a crush on a beautiful and dainty girl, E, who also happens to be absolutely insane. My type. Now that it is summer vacation, J is in a better geographical position to hang out with her, and so has been attempting to woo her. It worked. So when I came to visit a few weekends ago, we had our first date as a menage a trois.

Our evening included wonderful food, heavy petting, ice cream, an orgasm, and group cuddle puddles. Honestly, it was my first real sexual experience with someone of my own sex. All of that was more than lovely. But really, the highlight of my evening was when I came back to J’s room from the bathroom. J and E were both clothed, and she was wrapped up in his embrace and they both looked so joyous and peaceful. I stopped on the landing to watch for just a few more seconds as they kissed with placid goofy grins on their faces. Not only was I happy to know that they were so happy, but I was happy to know that J looks like that when he holds me too.

J and I have a really nontraditional relationship, but it’s perfect for us and that’s what matters. Often people will try to own other people and disguise it as romantic love, but not us. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like our relationship takes more compassion, trust, and honesty than most people ever even try to achieve. I’m so thankful that J and I can continue to grow together. Hopefully there will be much more compersion to be felt.