Episode 16: Gettin’ Poly Up in Here
Almost Bare Podcast
September 26, 2019
Episode 16: Gettin’ Poly Up in Here
On this episode of the Almost Bare Podcast, Lyndsay Soprano and Jon Ramirez sat down with Nick Pagliochini to answer some of their burning questions about polyamorous relationships and how exactly they work. Consider this an auditory threesome!
Lyndsay starts off the episode by wishing our pal. Jonny Boy, a big happy birthday! He finally got those Air Pods he’s been wanting and is ready to enjoy his new level of Gucci.
Nick dives into the topic of today’s episode by explaining the difference between polygamy and polyamory.
- the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved.
- the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time.
Polygamy is illegal in the United States.
Nick explains that this is something that’s okay because everyone in the relationship is consenting and aware of what’s going on.
He considers himself polyamorous and describes it as loving more than one person at the same time. He also identifies as gay, and has been married to his husband, Brian, for four years now. In addition to dating people separately, they have also shared a boyfriend. He talks about the importance of strong communication and being vulnerable in order for this sort of relationship to work.
He explains the complexity of the “triad” and how there are really four relationships within this. Your relationship with each person, and then the relationship.
- a group or set of three connected people or things.
He had his first sexual experience when he was 12, the girl was 15. He had sex with two other girls before his first experience with a guy at age 15.
They go on to discuss the role that religion has played in their lives, especially the “rules” that surround sex, with both Jon and Nick coming from a Catholic background. The Catholic church teaches that intercourse is for procreation, not pleasure. Nick talks about how growing up in the Catholic church caused him to have personal insecurities about sex from a young age that he had to work through as he got older. He goes on to talk about how insecurities fuel jealousy.
He discusses the boundaries that he and his husband, Brian have in place for their marriage, like setting aside Tuesdays and Fridays as designated “date nights,” but it doesn’t really matter what they’re doing as long as they’re together. He shares that on their most recent date night, they spent it unpacking boxes in their new apartment naked, and that it was super intimate without touching each other.
Jon shares that growing up Catholic, he always felt limited by what he was allowed to think and feel, because of what is and isn’t allowed by the church. He gives the example that he just started kissing his wife, Kari, on the lips during the kiss of peace during mass because he felt like he couldn’t share PDA in the church.
Nick talks more about his marriage to Brian, and how it initially started off monogamous and pretty much just like any other relationship. They met on an app called Adam for Adam and refers to Brian as the booty call that didn’t go away. They were married by an Anglican priest and went through the Marriage Encounter program within the church. The Marriage Encounter program is to learn about relationships and insecurities to help make your marriage as strong as it can possibly be.
He shares how he had to navigate the “children” aspect of polyamory with his nieces and nephews and explained to their siblings the situation and that there may potentially be another person there when they are watching their kids. He says that it’s important to be open about things, because once it’s out there, people are able to form their own opinions.
Jon explains that he is just now learning about these different lifestyle preferences because he was so limited by the church. He is accepting of all people, even though the church isn’t, because he doesn’t see a reason for there to be any more fights or animosity in the world.
Lyndsay talks about growing up with right-wing conservative, Christian parents and how she decided that she didn’t want to be like that. She looks back and sees that a lot of her “rebellion” when she was younger was just her real self–coming out.
They go on to talk about the hypocritical side of the church. She explains her frustration that people make a bunch of mistakes, and then go to confession and be forgiven. Nick shares that his family left the church after his priest who was having three affairs with three different parishioners, got one of them pregnant and disappeared in the middle of the night. They felt like they couldn’t be part of the church anymore because it would seem like they were supporting that behavior. Jon tells a story from his first year of seminary about a high bishop being shunned for fathering a bunch of children and then hiding them in Mexico.
Jon asks Nick about his sex life. Nick shares that being polyamorous has made it open and able to accomplish a lot more. He goes on to explain that someone can also be solo poly, which is when someone lives alone and has multiple partners that come and have sex but don’t live in the house and share any other responsibilities.
Lyndsay explains that she feels like she’s been morphing since her divorce. She talks about the transition from marriage to her emotional relationship and where she is now. She shares that she doesn’t necessarily love each guy that she’s been with, and some of them have been strictly sex.
Nick talks about labels and boundaries, explaining that boundaries are safe and necessary, but labels are not. He analogizes his boundaries to screen doors, a solid, defined break between him and what’s on the other side, but room for free thought and breathing. He says that you never want to have walls, because then things become unhealthy. He shares that what works for him is to have good communication with his primary partner and an open, honest connection.
They talk about therapy and the stigma of “therapy means your broken.” Nick explains that he thinks of therapy as getting his own mind right and “making sure his side of the street is clean.” Lyndsay talks about therapy as an opportunity for growth, and how you need to talk to people who don’t love you because they are unbiased. Nick says that it can help strengthen your relationships because you can realize why you’re really angry instead of taking it out on the other person.
Jon and Nick’s safe word is “pineapple,” Lyndsay’s is “Pina Colada.” It’s important to have a safe word so you can just stop and give each other some space for a minute.
Nick shares his family’s response to his “situation,” and says that he never really had a coming out, he just kept bringing both guys and girls around. His family has been very patient and loving and he’s very thankful for that. His husband, Brian’s experience was vastly different. Brian was just in the beginning of his coming out process when he and Nick got together, and none of his immediate family members came to their wedding. Nick shares that since he was really never in the closet, it was hard to watch Brian go through that with his family. He credits a few traumatic situations that happened after their marriage for bringing the family back together and reknitting their closeness.
Lyndsay talks about her relationship with her mom and how she doesn’t really understand her at all. She shares that she has struggled with not being understood and has really held herself back and is finally ready to stop doing that and just be herself.
We are thankful to Nick for coming on the show and talking about his personal experiences and adding a human element to this topic!
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