Poly people: how "out" are you?

Roz W Roz W
In my experience, poly people have different levels of openness about having multiple relationships. In places with decent-sized poly communities, it seems like people are open with friends and sometimes family (who might figure it out anyway), but not professionally. What's your experience? Private voting and multiple choices enabled.
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
some of my friends
35
all of my friends
11
friends and family
8
out at work
5
out to everybody
8
in a closeted relationship
5
Total votes: 72 (58 voters)
Poll is closed
03/02/2012
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Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Roz W
In my experience, poly people have different levels of openness about having multiple relationships. In places with decent-sized poly communities, it seems like people are open with friends and sometimes family (who might figure it out anyway), but ... More
We do not advertise the relationship to Sigel's work because it's none of his coworkers and bosses business and his company actively encourages not asking. Far from making this an unfair or hostile work environment it encourages people to work together based on job performance rather than a sense of us vs. them.
He wouldn't be fired for being poly and most people who deal with his insurance claims for our son know he is Monkey's step-father but the older two children are his and mine. It's just not a big deal to the company.
However, it COULD be a massive deal to the customers because we don't exactly live in the most tolerant area of the country!
03/02/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
There wasn't a great fit for me among the choices, so I just picked "friends and family" as it's close enough. I'm "out" to most of my friends, unless there are circumstances where it might be inappropriate to tell them. For example, friends from certain jobs I've had in the past didn't know, but it wasn't appropriate for them to know tons about my personal life in the first place. My siblings and my mother know, but I'm not regularly in touch with most of my extended family to the point where they would need to know. They'd be supportive, but probably not terribly understanding. In their case, I simply don't see it as a necessary detail to disclose.

Essentially, if you're close enough to me that you are getting lots of info about my primary relationship, you'll be hearing stuff from time to time about secondary partners. Otherwise, I generally assume (with reason) that most people don't care and that many wouldn't really "get" it. That's fine; there's probably stuff about their life I don't care about and wouldn't "get" either. Full disclosure of every detail of my life isn't needed in every acquaintanceship, friendship, etc. However, being open is a big part of my life. If I consider you an important person in my life, I will probably want to share that piece of me to some extent with you. The level of detail obviously depends on your level of interest.
03/02/2012
Kitka Kitka
Most of our friends and his family know about it. My family doesn't yet and I'm not sure I want them to know but we'll see what happens with that in the future. Hubby's work knows; they're a family owned business who are very tolerant and they don't mind knowing things like that.
03/02/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
There wasn't a great fit for me among the choices, so I just picked "friends and family" as it's close enough. I'm "out" to most of my friends, unless there are circumstances where it might be inappropriate to tell ... More
Pretty much how I feel about the subject...I am very open and apt to talk about my guys with friends so it'd be a bit difficult to hide. Some people only want the basics and are content with knowing that My girls have an amazing relationship with their father and so does my son. If, however, I am asked and the person seems genuinely interested I may talk about my family structure. Most people seem to be more interested or against my religion oddly enough...
03/02/2012
MimiPhryxus MimiPhryxus
Main reason I'm not out to more than a a few of my friends is because we (my husband and I) aren't with many people and the one person we would like a long term relationship with...well, its complicated. I think if we were long term or with more people, we'd be more out as it would effect more of our life.
03/04/2012
xxjoel xxjoel
Because of me and my partner, my entire friend group has turned into swingers... 0_o
03/29/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by xxjoel
Because of me and my partner, my entire friend group has turned into swingers... 0_o
Ya, it happens...frequently for us as well!
03/30/2012
kendra30752 kendra30752
Quote:
Originally posted by Roz W
In my experience, poly people have different levels of openness about having multiple relationships. In places with decent-sized poly communities, it seems like people are open with friends and sometimes family (who might figure it out anyway), but ... More
Some fam members (by marriage) are like this and they're out and too open to everyone including at work. They are quick to invite people into their relationship and they like to announce it. That plus bringing this stuff in their work is why I say "too open." It caused some SERIOUS trouble at their jobs. Lots of hurt people.
03/30/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by kendra30752
Some fam members (by marriage) are like this and they're out and too open to everyone including at work. They are quick to invite people into their relationship and they like to announce it. That plus bringing this stuff in their work is why I ... More
There is a balancing act you have to do...work really isn't the place to be discussing who is in your bedroom unless your work involves your bedroom. No matter what your relationship configuration if you are bringing it into work it can cause problems. When we were monogamous (or I THOUGHT we were monogamous) it caused many problems just admitting we were happily married because of the jealousy of those who were unhappy or unattached.
Still inviting people into your relationship should be undertaken carefully and slowly like you SHOULD if you are contemplating marriage. People are people though, so for some just jumping in trumpeting to High Heaven seems to be their preferred course.
03/30/2012
Tangles Tangles
When I was last in an open relationship, the only people who knew were a couple of my close friends.
04/02/2012
VelvetDragon VelvetDragon
I'm out pretty much everywhere; all my friends, family, and coworkers came to our wedding/commitment ceremony (200ish people I think), even.

I'm not pushy about it, so if it comes up it comes up, but I don't just out and say, "Oh yeah, random person, I'm in a triad!" *lol* But friends and family and coworkers and other people who are involved in my life know.

I've been involved in this relationship for 9 years, and have been out for around 8 years of it.
05/05/2012
VelvetDragon VelvetDragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Airen Wolf
There is a balancing act you have to do...work really isn't the place to be discussing who is in your bedroom unless your work involves your bedroom. No matter what your relationship configuration if you are bringing it into work it can cause ... More
Being in a poly relationship is more than just the bedroom. This isn't true with all open relationships, but it's certainly true of mine.

My coworkers need to know that when I attend "family events", my entire family will be coming, for example -- both my partners. My SOs places of work (large and small companies which shall remain nameless) have always sent us invitations to company events for "plus spouse(s)" once they found out, and two extra tickets to events, etc. And my work has family events, and both my spouses attend with me. Neither of our work has anything to do with "naughty" things.

Our "bedroom" activities are none of their business, but there's so much more to my relationship than what happens in the bedroom.
05/05/2012
thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
Happily, I have a poly best friend and very open-minded parents, so I have a core of people I'm out to. I'm also out to most of my friends at college because I mainly hang out in queer-focused community spaces and people have slightly more familiarity with different relationship models or are at least less likely to be mean when they disagree with me. A couple of my friends in established poly relationships called our coming out "beautiful," which was a bit dramatic, but sweet. Neither of my partners are out to their families - one is scared her mother in particular will equate it with cheating, and the other is from an extremely socially and politically conservative family who are scared of college turning her liberal. They probably wouldn't like realizing that she is very literally in bed with "the liberals."
05/07/2012
SkinFlute SkinFlute
A select few know.
05/25/2012
RosesThorns RosesThorns
I say everyone, but I am not out to my partner's friends/family because he isn't out to everyone.
06/20/2012
Mistress Dragon Mistress Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Airen Wolf
Ya, it happens...frequently for us as well!
I thought that was what happened with us too. LOL Most of the people that find out that my partner and I are in the sharing life style then they start to ask all kinds of stuff. Most want to try it once and see what it is like and go from there. These life styles all are built on trust and honesty. Without both those things then it would crumble just like a badly built house of cards.
I also had trouble with what to pick on the vote, some of our friends know, most of mine, and my sister knows. As for work his did not know when he was working do to being in security at the Marriott Hotels would not have been a good setting for him. He was not only security but a supervisor as well.
06/21/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by VelvetDragon
Being in a poly relationship is more than just the bedroom. This isn't true with all open relationships, but it's certainly true of mine.

My coworkers need to know that when I attend "family events", my entire family will be ... More
Oh sure, and that's amazing that your partners companies are so willing to do the right thing. I didn't mean that our lives are all about what goes on in the bedroom just that there are things you just shouldn't discuss at work...and what goes on in your bedroom is one of them.
My husband's company always asks how many tickets he needs to avoid issues of discrimination, but Sigel is still really leery of discussing his living arrangement with co-workers.

I was answering the concern brought up by Kendra not commenting across the board.
10/20/2012
smlove smlove
Quote:
Originally posted by Roz W
In my experience, poly people have different levels of openness about having multiple relationships. In places with decent-sized poly communities, it seems like people are open with friends and sometimes family (who might figure it out anyway), but ... More
We haven't told my parents in so many words, but they're probably aware. It's just some of my family members that we haven't talked to about it.
But she's out at work (works for the gov't too), and we're out to our friends. She's out to her family too.
We do have some partners that have to keep quiet in their profession. Firefighters can actually get fired for having multiple partners. Which doesn't make sense to me. With my wife, she just has to worry about anything that she could be blackmailed about. And she can't be blackmailed about our love life because we do it together.
10/23/2012
Vex Vex
Quote:
Originally posted by Roz W
In my experience, poly people have different levels of openness about having multiple relationships. In places with decent-sized poly communities, it seems like people are open with friends and sometimes family (who might figure it out anyway), but ... More
I am out as poly to my friends and my parents.

I've had some jobs where I'm out; some not. I live in San Francisco so it's not like it's overly taboo but there are just some work environments in which no one ever shared much about their personal lives so it didn't come up. It's really depended on the work environment I'm in. On the other hand, I've worked have more or less be run by a bunch of queers so it was almost more the norm to be poly than monogamous.
10/31/2012
TransGuy14 TransGuy14
I'm out to a lot of friends that I have close contact with now. A lot of people I was close friends with in the past and see from time-to-time don't know (I'm not against them knowing, it just hasn't come up). None of my family know yet, I don't know when that time will come.
11/21/2012
Sparklegabbie Sparklegabbie
Quote:
Originally posted by VelvetDragon
Being in a poly relationship is more than just the bedroom. This isn't true with all open relationships, but it's certainly true of mine.

My coworkers need to know that when I attend "family events", my entire family will be ... More
I was so absolutely thrilled and inspired by this post. Sorry if my reply bothers you but if you could maybe message me some time I have a ton of questions I'd like to ask...
I'm poly and not reaaally out about it yet because I'm really nervous as to how it'll be perceived both by my friends and family, and by potential partners...I'd just really love to know how you've made your relationship work and if it wouldn't be too much to ask, please get back to me?
Thank you so much
11/24/2012
XYCopperheadSly XYCopperheadSly
Some of my friends know. None of my family knows.
11/29/2012
hall5885 hall5885
I'm causal about it. I don't feel the need to tell everyone but I'm like that with everything. But I don't hide it either. If it comes up I mention it. Some friends and family know I'm poly friendly (single at the moment). So far the worst response (besides my mother "your going to hell" but she thinks everything I do is sending me to hell so her thoughts are invalid to me) is "not something I could do myself but can see how others could do it." Which isn't a bad response at all.
02/11/2013
Hipposterous Hipposterous
I'm not currently in a poly relationship, but when I have been I have been in the closet to everyone except my dad and certain friends. I live in a very intolerant area, so being out could be very risky.
06/15/2013
Total posts: 25
Unique posters: 20