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Polyamorous and sex-positive essayist, poet, and over-thinker.

Hearing your own voice speaking words of self love has a powerful impact

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Last night I woke up at 2 am, the time I often wake up when there’s stuff that I need to process. As I often do when I wake up that early, I smoked a little herb and put on a long meditative music track. I lay on my back, breathing mindfully, deeply, fully, and allowed the thoughts and feelings to come. I knew I wasn’t getting to sleep any time soon.

As I stared into the dark of my closed eyelids, I noticed my throat was constricted. Earlier, I had shared some personal information, including my pen name (and…

I died and was reborn — all on the first day of class

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I have known pleasure, and I have a sense of my body’s capacity for it. For that, I am grateful.

I’ve experienced orgasms during which everything stops. The world comes to a crashing halt and the only thing that exists is pleasure.

I’ve experienced connections both alone and with partners where I lose track of myself and become part of a greater existence.

I’ve reached states where my entire body becomes a sex organ, where the mere touch of fingertips on my leg is bliss, where I am so fully inside of touch, I become it.

I’ve experienced all of…

What’s the worst that could happen when you come out as poly to a new friend?

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I recently wrote a piece about my pen name and how it has come to represent an identity. “Anne Shark” is confidently polyamorous and not afraid to say so.

During this pandemic year of being mostly alone or around close friends and family, I was feeling sure I was comfortable being out as poly — as comfortable as Anne Shark is. As I return to the real (non-virtual) world though, I’m finding that I’m not so confident here.

I hid my non-monogamous relationship status from new friends.

My partner and I were hanging out with some new friends when one of our hosts made a joke that he and…

I’ve been discovering who I am under a different name — will I ever integrate my two selves?

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I ran into an old professor the other day. He asked how my writing was going and I told him I’m not really writing. That was a lie.

Not only am I still writing, but I’m also publishing regularly. I didn’t say that though because I didn’t want to tell him I use a pen name, that I write about sex, and that I’m polyamorous and kinky.

I’ve been writing as Anne Shark for the past several years because Anne is less afraid to say things. …

We’re all just finding ways to fit our full, uncontainable selves into a society with little wiggle room.

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Polyamorous and other ethically non-monogamous people are often accused of being cheaters with a fancy name by those who either don’t understand or don’t want to understand.

However, there is an important difference between the two in that cheating is done behind your partner’s back, without their consent, and polyamory is practiced with full transparency, and everyone’s consent.

Cheating can happen in a poly dynamic, just like it does in a monogamous one. However, in being polyamorous, people have taken steps to bring honesty and openness to sexual and romantic freedom. …

Let’s talk about what’s “fair” in open relationships.

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When my partner Drake and I first opened up our relationship, I fixated a lot on what was fair. If Drake was seeing someone, I wanted to be seeing someone, as well. If I was sleeping at a partner’s place a couple times a week, it only felt right if Drake had that opportunity, too. If he didn’t, I couldn’t fully enjoy it.

Drake, on the other hand, has never been too concerned with what’s “fair,” even though he’s more often the one at home while I’m out on dates.

Eventually, I came to understand that what appears fair isn’t…

My last three attempts failed — what went wrong?

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During the pandemic, my relationship with a very serious partner ended. I rebounded with a younger guy, and though we ended up dating for nearly a full year, it was mostly long distance. Talking primarily through text messages, it always felt more like we were more virtual playmates than partners.

So for the most part, I’ve been “poly-single” for a year, which is to say, I have a long term partner, but none of my new relationships stuck.

I’ve also made a big decision that may require me to move, so…

The rules you set in the beginning will probably change drastically or fade all together

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Five years ago, I never would have imagined I’d be in a non-monogamous relationship. I met an openly poly person once, but it was such a foreign concept to me at the time that I simply didn’t comprehend it enough to learn more, much less consider doing it myself.

But when, just a couple of years later, after being in a relationship with the same person for four years, I started feeling myself craving more, I didn’t end up where I’d so often ended up — broken up and looking for a new relationship.

Instead, my partner suggested an open…

Our thing was a struggle for power, which I generally won. But if I “lost,” I still felt fully in control of that loss.

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I’ve been in a few relationships involving power play. I’ve had one relationship with a dominant man and a couple of exchanges (mostly virtual) with submissive men.

Both have been sexy in their own way — but none have been as consistently a turn-on as the dynamic I had with a switch.

A “switch” is someone who enjoys both — dominating and submitting. Sometimes they’ll enjoy different roles with different people, other times they’ll switch within the same relationship. I enjoy the latter.

What I like about switches is that no matter what role you are currently in, they have…

In my dreams, I’m daringly seductive in a way I’ve never been before.

I haven’t had sex with my long-term partner Drake in over a year now. For the most part, this hasn’t been a huge problem. For one thing, we’re polyamorous, so sex isn’t something that has to be fulfilled by one person alone. For another, removing the pressure of sex has made our relationship more easeful, which was important this past year of lock-downs, when we were together all day every day.

But now I’m at a place where I want to investigate our sexual relationship a little more and figure out what’s blocking us. Is it his low sex drive…

Anne Shark

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