Join us today as we welcome Brigham Vaughn to talk about polyamory.
When googled, the first definition that comes up for polyamory is: the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.
I can’t say I thought much about the concepts of polyamory in my late teens and early twenties. I had a vague notion that it was more than Mormon sister wives, but if pressed, I probably would have said it was a trio of people in a relationship with each other or something like that.
Pretty limited definitions, right? So when I started dating and exploring my sexuality, poly didn’t seem to be a word that fit me. I was more familiar with the idea of ethical non-monogamy, and felt pretty comfortable with that.
When my now ex-husband and I started dating, I had zero interest in settling down or getting serious. He was patient, we talked about it, and finally decided that a semi-open relationship was something we could both agree on. So for roughly a decade, I didn’t really think about it beyond the scope of how it impacted our relationship. I loved him and he was the only person I wanted to be romantically involved with. Anyone else was just the cherry on the sundae.
After eleven years together, we ended things. It had nothing to do with our marriage being semi-open. We were struggling to communicate about completely different issues and wanted very different things for our future. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately the right one for both of us.
After the divorce, I took some time to myself and did a lot of soul-searching. Part of that included an in-depth look at what I wanted for my future, which raised a whole host of questions about polyamory.
In the year and a half since my marriage ended, I’ve thought a lot about it. And I realized I had some really inadequate and incomplete information about polyamory. So, like always, I did research, I read, I talked to people who identify as poly.
And I’ve thought a lot about my own past relationships.
It’s almost laughable, because the vast majority of relationships I’ve been in have had some degree of polyamory to them. The last time I was in an entirely monogamous relationship was my freshman year of college. I was eighteen. I’m now thirty-five.
To be clear, I’ve never cheated on a partner. These are all relationships where non-monogamy was discussed beforehand and agreed upon.
I haven’t always taken advantage of the openness of that relationship, sometimes because I didn’t want to and sometimes because the opportunity wasn’t there. But mentally, I needed to know the possibility was there. Because a relationship that’s entirely monogamous feels suffocating.
Writing “Three Shots” and taking a look at polyamory from three different perspectives (Reeve’s, Grant’s, and Rachael’s) was really fascinating. Although I try not to insert too much of myself into any of my books, my recent experiences did help shape the end of the story.
Grant shook his head. “No. April taught me love doesn’t have to be limiting. It should only expand who you are and make you feel free.”
Like Grant, I believe love should never stifle who we are, but help us grow.
Reeve shrugged. “I’m not looking for anything. But if an amazing opportunity like this drops in my lap, I’m willing to give it a shot.”
Like Reeve, I’ve realized that I’m open to whatever life brings me.
“Okay, so scratch everything we’ve just talked about.” Jenna waved her hands. “Forget all of this speculation, and tell me one thing. If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be? Don’t think about whether they would be okay with it or how you’d make it work. You can worry about that later. Just close your eyes and picture the perfect scenario of you with Reeve and Grant. What would it look like to you?”
Feeling silly, Rachael closed her eyes and let her mind wander. Various scenarios flitted through her head until she landed on one. It made her smile, and she opened her eyes. “The three of us dating,” she admitted. “Not separately, but all together. Like a trio, I guess. All of us involved equally at the same time.”
And like Rachael, I’ve had to expand my ideas of what a relationship could entail.
Now, unlike Rachael, I haven’t been swept off my feet by two beautiful men. In fact, I’m happily single at the moment. But when the time is right, I have a good idea of what I’d like my future to hold. And that’s a great feeling.
Why am I sharing something so personal?
Because it really helped me to know that there was a whole world of people out there like me. I want to help someone else who’s struggling to figure out how they feel about ethical non-monogamy and polyamory.
I won’t claim to be an expert in polyamory by any means. But I feel like I have a unique perspective I can offer. And I think writing books and talking about my personal experiences are a great way to reach out to others.
So like Jenna—Rachael’s best friend in the story—I am here as a sounding board. If reading this post or this book leaves you with questions. I am happy to lend an ear and do what I can to help.
And I hope you enjoy “Three Shots”. It started out a smutty little short story about three people having an amazing night in bed, but it gradually evolved into an exploration of polyamory and the various non-traditional relationship out there. And I am so pleased to share it with you.
Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.
But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.
Length: Novella – 35,949 words/94 pages
Rachael sighed and took a seat at her desk, forcing Reeve and Grant from her mind. They made for a fun fantasy, but had no place in real life. She had hours of work to do, and not enough time to get it done in. Hawk Point Tavern didn’t run itself.
She tackled the paychecks first. Her employees would want checks to cash soon, and it couldn’t wait. Thankfully, she had few employees and it didn’t take overly long to tally hours and make out the checks. She had moved on to sorting order invoices for the month when she heard a soft knock on her partially open door. Thinking it was Jenna or Tyler—the other bartender on tonight—she absent-mindedly called out, “Come in.”
“Excuse me,” a low, sexy voice replied.
Rachael’s head shot up and she was startled to see Reeve peering in the door.
“I, uh, hey. Um, hi Reeve,” She stuttered. She cleared her throat. “Come in.”
He stepped into the room and pushed the door nearly closed. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”
“Uh, sure.” She frowned, puzzled by what he wanted, but not entirely displeased to have him in her office either. She stood and walked around the desk—leaning back against it and looking up to meet his gaze. “Is there a problem with your bill? Or something else I can help you with?”
He gave her a slow, sexy smirk. “I certainly hope so.”
Rachael stared at him, waiting for him to continue, but he was silent. His gaze raked over her body and she felt heat building between her legs at the slow, frank perusal of her body. By the glittering, heated gaze of his eyes, Rachael could see that he liked what he saw. Her jeans and t-shirt were hardly high fashion, but Reeve didn’t appear to have any complaints. Besides, Rachael knew she had a tight body and the jeans showed off her ass nicely.
“What can I help you with?” she asked, her voice breathless.
“Well you see, I came here looking to have a drink with a good friend, nothing more, but I found something else I am interested in.”
‘I’m … I’m sorry?”
Reeve stepped closer until he was just a foot from her, and she felt her heart speed up in her chest.
“What’s that?” Rachael repeated when he didn’t reply immediately.
“You.” The word was simple, but it did nothing to clear up her confusion.
“But … but what about Grant?” she asked. “I mean, it looked like you two were together, and I—I don’t want to cause any problems or get in the way of anything.”
Reeve moved so he was standing in front of her, booted feet on either side of her crossed ones. He leaned in, breathing softly against her cheek and she wet her lips reflexively.
“It’s pretty simple actually,” Reeve purred in her ear. “Grant and I hook up occasionally and we are both very attracted to you.” His lips brushed the sensitive outer shell and she shivered.
Bi then. Her experiences with Tom made her a little leery of bi guys, but it’s not like she was going to get involved with them beyond a quick—or maybe not so quick—roll in the sheets, she thought. This was a one-off. It wasn’t like she was going to see them after tonight so she might as well enjoy it while she had the opportunity.
“You aren’t in a relationship with him?” she said aloud. The last thing she wanted was to get involved with another cheater. Jonah had been more than enough, thankyouverymuch.
Reeve shrugged. “We’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s nothing exclusive. We keep things fluid.”
“So how would this work?” Rachael asked, her voice going a little breathless as she imagined what could play out if she said yes. “We’d have a threesome?”
“That is entirely up to you. If you’re only attracted to one of us, the other will step aside, although we’d both be very disappointed. And I somehow don’t think that’s the case, is it?”
“No, I’m definitely attracted to you both,” Rachael admitted. Reeve wrapped an arm around her lower back and pulled her flush against his body.
“Then how we fuck—” he skimmed a hand down her back to cup the lower curve of her ass “—is up for negotiation. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
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Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
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