Saturday, April 6, 2013

Traveling While Poly - Part 2

In March, Regina, Camille, and I were able to take two weekend-long trips to Lincoln City, Oregon and Camp Sherman, Oregon. What follows is just an informal reflection on what made the trips work, what some of our strategies were, and our general experiences. This got so long that I've decided to break it into parts. You can read Part 1 before this one, if you'd like.

Camille loads stuff into the back
of the Poly Passat (have you noticed
that poly people drive VW Passats?!)
Another thing that we do is advanced planning.

I felt it made a big difference.

A week before our trip, the three of us got together to discuss what it would look like. We actually had this conversation in a bar following a kink community event. Um, on second thought, a bar was probably not the greatest place to do this. The very attendant waitress seemed both curious and concerned towards the end of things - I wonder why?

Still, the conversation included a lot of practical matters:
  • Who'd be responsible for meals and snacks
  • Who'd be responsible for bringing games and entertainment
  • Where we'd make stops along the way
  • Schedules and agendas, time constraints
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • How densely we should pack
  • When we'd go shopping and pick up groceries and food and the like
  • What joint projects or touristy things we'd want to do together
... the characteristically unpractical:
Camille and Gina share a tender
moment in the forest. Aww.
  • Which sex toys to bring?
  • What kind and number of restraints?
  • How much waterproofing should be taken?
  • What kinds of scenes or play were we interested in?
  • Who wanted to experiment with what and with who?
... and the really unconventional:
  • What kind of alone time between the separate dyads were we expecting?
  • How can we signal that we need alone time?
  • What things could one person do to stay entertained while the other two were doing other things?
  • How would emotional check-ins work?
If you're interested in the geeky operational pieces of this process, when we work through these kinds of issues, it's common for each of us to:
  1. Have our mobile devices open (phones or tablets)
  2. Schedule through Google Calendar
  3. Take notes and share them through Evernote

Gina took charge of lunch that day.
Again, I feel the advanced planning piece helped. It's a low-hanging fruit exercise. It got the mundane logistics stuff out of the way and helped to remove the stress from the occasion. It also laid down the groundwork for working together and to ask for what we'd want in moments of crisis. And it set expectations so there wouldn't be any big surprises.

Now, we didn't get to do everything on the agenda and there were some things that were planned that didn't happen. I still feel that's okay. I don't think there should be the huge pressure to adhere absolutely to plans; sometimes the coolest things happen totally at random. It's still good to have most of the trip pre-planned and ready to go so we could concentrate on the harder relationship stuff in the field.



Lin said...

i'm really glad you wrote on this topic. i am about to take a trip and the poly dynamics are a bit weird right now (i am in transition with one of my partners so our relationship is up in the air which results in a lot of emotion for all of us), so i am wondering how things will go. this will help guide me in what i should talk to them about before hand.

Travel said...

Great topic, this is definitely worth reading.

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