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It's Complicated: Lesbian relationship adds a third.

The names of the subjects in the following interview have been changed at their request.

Betty and Jane have been partners for 17 years. Six months ago, they became a threesome, adding Al, who they have known for over 15 years. While this type of alliance may seem unusual to many, the number of "polyamorous" relationships (multiple romantic partners) is on the rise.

Polyamory is an emotional relationship between more than two people, who can be any combination of gender or sex with varying combinations of sexual involvement between them. This differs from polyandry (multiple husbands) and polygyny (multiple wives), which are contractual.

The reason the two women expanded their partnership was because Jane and Al wanted to be more than friends. "The major inspiration," said Al, "was I was divorced and was fed up with loneliness, so I set out to explore polyamory, thinking maybe I just wasn't cut out to be monogamous. Jane got jealous and we had a long discussion." Then he joked, "we drug Betty along kicking and screaming."

"There had always been sexual tension between Al and I,which finally came out in the open," interjected Jane. Jane and Al wouldn't have gone further without Betty's consent. "I trust both of them completely," commented Betty, "although it took a lot of soul-searching to allow such a drastic change between Jane and I."

A l t h o u g h i t m a y b e a complicated and occasionally

Difficult relationship,all three love being together. Jane likes that they get to express themselves outside of American cultural gender roles. They all agree that if they constrained themselves to gender/sexual norms their relationship would not work.

"I love that I can 'tap out' and pass a responsibility or something else over to TWO other people instead of just one," Jane added. "We get to divide up projects based on skills instead of proscribed roles."

Al feels more centered because he has "known these ladies a long time and they are safe, but not boring. That doesn't mean there isn't risk, though. Besides, Jane and Betty aren't limited to the box of heterosexual female behavior. "

"We have loved each other from the start," commented Betty, "and we have weathered so many ups and downs that we have already worked through a lot of friendship-slash-new-romance awkwardness. There's just been a slight transformation."

Like all lovers, Betty, Jane, and Al dream about the future. They stress, first of all, that they are just like everyone else: working, paying bills, "being happy and successful," according to Jane. Second, there is strength in their relationship. Al said, "with two people, there is a lot at stake -- the house, kids -- everything that should be said in that situation can't be because there is too much to lose. With us, I can say what I need to say. With that third person here, there is clarity."

Betty gushed, "I get to spend time with the two most talented, smart, and sexy people I know.That rocks!" O
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Publication:Liberty Press
Date:Feb 1, 2014
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