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The Poly Love-Gathering
Sharing Sacred Sexuality
by Janet Kira Lessin

 When you and new lovers get together to make love for the first time, you can better honor your fertility and health concerns once you've heard each other's sexual health information, asked questions and perhaps performed a home-HIV test.
 Each of you tells her or his sexual history.  Share your test results for sexually transmitted and other contagious diseases.  Say who and how you've touched sexually since your last HIV tests.  Say what methods you used (or didn't) for disease protection.  State your fertility status.
 Notice your partners' body language and eye movements as they share their sexual history.  Body and eye movement can indicate truth (people lie most about sex).  Ask questions until you get enough information to make intelligent decisions. 
 Focus, breathe, find your center.  Notice signals your body sends you.  Is your belly tense, head aching, breathing rapid?  Then gather your thoughts and take turns saying what you seek, prefer and what you do not want sexually with each person at the love-in.  Consider all health, emotional and social factors and remember, you can say "No" anytime. 
 You may hide your desires if your Giver-- an inner voice that says to please others first–dominates you.  Your Giver knows how to make other people comfortable.  Trouble is, sometimes giving becomes more than an option, your Giver becomes your main voice, the only one you hear inside.  Your Giver takes you over and can ignore your own needs.
 If your Giver dominates you, you do what other people want you to do so they'll like you.  You think, "I'm nice and just naturally try to make them happy first."  This may please them and you for a while. 
 But when you automatically please others first, you suppress your ability to choose how you want to interact sexually with your lovers at the love-in.  The Giver, always gratifying others, keeps your Taker--the part of you that wants to meet your own needs–offstage.
 Offstage in your unconscious, your Taker gathers strength and bitterness and can explode without consideration of your inner ecology or relations with your polymates.
 What works for me is inclusive, pair-bonded loving (Mono-poly), with Sasha and I each having a veto on one another's sexual involvement.   Sasha never exercises his veto, but I often do.  In inclusive loving, all sexualloving takes place in each others' presence.  Relating to other couples has to be right for both of us, no small requirement, since we're bi, eccentric and intense and we need all-round approbation with our lovers.
 Show your protective voices that you can, from your discerning center, experiment with new behaviors and still feel secure.  From your Center, face your sexual self, overcome your family and cultural programming, burn karma, heal trauma and drop inhibitions.  If your love group encourages emotional release and reprogramming, emotions you experience in the love-in give you a chance to heal and learn.
 Tell each person how you want to share sex with her or him.  You don't have to justify a request; just state it.  Hear but don't judge other's requests.
 When you request, say, double penetration, your love-in lovers may or may not give you that.  If they ask you to do something you need not comply.  Offer each other alternative intimacies.  Match your sexual interactions with your comfort level.  Perhaps, refrain from coitus at first.  A man may, in some instances, ejaculate only with his mate but share oral sex with others in the group. 
 Many woman, like me, were forced, raped, controlled, manipulated or dominated by male caretakers or lovers.  We may have attitudes that limit our sexuality.  
 If you have primary partners present at the love-in, after each person expresses sexual wants and limits, tell your partners how you feel about their sexual desires for others and ask them to say how they feel about your sexual requests.  Reach consensus with your partners before engaging in sex with others.
 Always honor and respect the wants, desires and needs of your partners to limit how you relate to the others at the love-in.  Give your primary partners they want and thereby create space for their healing, space where they can feel safe.  Then they can open up later on in the current encounter or future episodes rather than retreat and shut down from this experience or from polyamory.
 Your partner, through hesitancy, reflects a part that is not healed within him or in your relationship and must be addressed before he can expand sexually.   The sexual sharing must satisfy your partners as well as you for polyamory to work.
 You may have requested something on the line of the following:  "Sue, I would like you to have intercourse with me and Joe, I would like for you to stroke my hair while Sue and I make love."
 Sue may respond, "Tom, I don't know you that well at this point and I am not comfortable with saying yes right now, but I would be willing to let you honor my pearl." [kiss her clitoral head]
 Joe, who is Sue's husband may add, "It's fine with me if you make love with Sue at this time, and I am open to it whenever she is comfortable.  However, I would like to assist your joining, at that time.  And yes, I would love to stoke your hair when you two make love and also pleasure you in any way you would both desire."
 Ann, your wife may interject, "I wouldn't be comfortable with Sue and my husband joining together and Tom assisting unless Sue and I connect first and get to know each other intimately in that fashion.  Once we know and love each other, then I am open to anything."
 And so on around the group until all have expressed their desires, preferences and limitations.  But, no matter what you expressed in the beginning, you can change your mind at any time.
 And honor emotional interruptions to sexualloving.  Honor a person's feelings and don't take them personally.   An upset person, her history and her life's experiences trigger her and she'll process and reveal what is up for her in her own time and way.
 As a group, you can be there for her in ways she previously never thought possible.  Let her release things long pent up and heal and reprogram herself.
Sasha Lessin, Ph.D. 808 244-4103
 Before getting sexual with your lovers, I suggest you Join hands in a circle.  Imagine energy circulating through you, from left to right; receive energy from the hand that holds yours on your left, send it down your right hand to the hand you hold on your left. 
 Make eye contact for 30 seconds or so with each person at the love in, then lower your hands. Each shares
 How would you would like the relationships among you to develop?
 What's the best that can happen for each of us?
 What's the worst for each of us?
 Your sexual history?
 Test results for sexually transmitted and other contagious diseases?
 Who touched you sexually since your last HIV tests?  How did you touch?
 What methods did you use (or not use) for disease or pregnancy protection?
 What's your fertility status?
 What do you seek, prefer and not want sexually with each person?
 Make eye contact with each person and tell her or him how you want to share sex with her or him.  You don't have to justify a request  just state it 
 Hear and repeat in your own words each person's requests with the understanding that each will consider the requests.  Then respond to the requests or offer each other alternative intimacies. 
 If you have primary partners present, after each person expresses sexual wants and limits,
 tell your primaries how you feel about their sexual desires for others
 Ask your primaries to say how they feel about your sexual requests 
 Reach consensus with your partners before engaging in sex with others