The on-going explorations of a polyamorous pansexual man

October 11, 2020 / by Michael

I Am a Polyamorous Pansexual Man

I am a polyamorous pansexual man.

Looking back at my life, I suspect I always have been, but for a variety of reasons didn’t have permission or the opportunity to accept and explore these parts of my self. I have recently started the on-going process of loving, accepting and exploring myself, and I’m happier than I have ever been. I feel like I am living my best life.

I have decided that for me part of living my best life is to share my story. Today is October 11th, which is National Coming Out Day. I honor those who have come out before me for their bravery. I acknowledge that there are many who do not have the safety to come out. I mourn for those who have been harmed, even killed, for daring to be themselves. I hope that sharing my story can add to the conversation and make the world a better place in some small way.

Growing Up

I was raised in a religion and household where we were taught that love was between a man and a woman and anything else was a sin against God. I remember hearing about Ellen DeGeneres coming out (I would have been 7 at the time) and being told that what she was doing was wrong, but I was too young to understand why. But I understood that because she was gay, it made her TV show and everything she said suspect, because people who are attracted to their own gender were just inherently bad and not trustworthy.

I was taught that sex was a horrible dangerous thing. That it was a sin somewhere near the severity of murdering someone. But when a man and a woman get married, it’s suddenly fine. To give you an idea of how young Michael interpreted these messages, at somewhere around the age of 12 I was asked by a sibling “if you could remove one thing from the world what would you remove?” and I responded with “sex” because at that age, I thought that sex was the worst thing in the world and that removing it would make the world a much better place.

(Actually, now that I think about it, young Michael might be on to something. If humans stopped having sex, within a hundred years or so the planet would likely be much better off, but I digress.)

I remember masturbation being accompanied by feelings that I was the most vile and disgusting person. I was taught that genitals are something to be ashamed of and that sex was evil. And here I was touching my genitals and enjoying it. What kind of monster enjoys something so wrong?

I’m a curious human by nature, so as I sexually matured I had many experiences with several of my peers, some of whom were my own gender and some not. (foreshadowing!). Things like being naked around each other, talking about our bodies and generally just being sexually curious. Looking back I know these kinds of behaviors can be a normal and healthy thing children do. (Emphasis on “can”. I am not an expert, I’m just sharing my experience and journey. If you have questions about sexual behavior and children please consult an expert.)

However, at the time the messaging I received around these behaviors (both just as a baseline teaching and when I was caught) was that they were horrible sinful things because God said it was wrong. That people who engaged in those behaviors would go to hell and that we don’t want to associate with that kind of person. As you can imagine, this triggered a lot of shame which made me try to hide my behavior. Every time my parents wanted to talk to me, I was filled with shame as I assumed they had discovered my deviant behaviour. I remember being told that if I didn’t fix my sexual problems that my future marriage would end in tears and divorce and I would be alone and unhappy.

Not My Fault, but Now My Responsibility

One thing to make clear is that I don’t hold much resentment towards most of the adults in my life for the way they handled things. They weren’t perfect and they showed immense amounts of love and support to me growing up, in the best ways they knew how to. But it did leave me with a lot of incorrect beliefs. That my body was something to be ashamed of. That sexual desires were “temptations” to be overcome. That sex was a horrible thing (until you get married, then suddenly it’s great). That gays have an agenda and that being attracted to the same gender was disgusting.

An important lesson I have learned is this: The fact that I was taught these things is not my fault.

But it is now my responsibility to sort through those things and discover who I am and what I believe.

In this house we believe

I have been spending the last four years or so doing this, one step at time. It’s been a long, slow journey, including years of therapy and countless amazing vulnerable conversations with friends. I hope to share many of my experiences and things I’ve learned on this blog.

As I worked on improving myself one of the major changes I made was the type of people I was spending time with. I made a conscious effort to spend time with people who I felt were good people, who exemplified the things that I felt were important. I credit so much of my journey to having amazing people in my life that created an environment for me to grow and flourish.

I Am Polyamorous, and It’s Not Easy

As I continued my journey of improving myself and associating with forward thinking individuals, about two years ago I began to cross paths with many amazing polyamorous individuals.

If you aren’t familiar, polyamory is loving more than one person. This is in contrast to monogamy, which is the practice of having a single exclusive partner. Monogamy is the de facto norm in much of our world. Both monogamy and polyamory are valid relationship dynamics. A key factor in polyamory is that everything is done with informed consent and done ethically and responsibly. This is what distinguishes polyamory from cheating or other harmful practices like some forms of polygamy.

My polyamorous friends were very kind to my inquisitive nature and the more I learned the more it resonated with me. The things they were saying fit me in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I continued to learn and read and it continued to click into place. This is me.

I wish I could say that was the end of the story, and that I instantly began to live my truth and lived happily ever after. But it was a long and messy process to finally come to terms with who I am. It was less than a year ago that I fully came to terms with the fact that I was polyamorous and gave myself permission to embark on that journey. When I made that decision, a friend of mine told me that polyamory would be hard, that it would bring all my weaknesses and insecurities to the surface and she was exactly right. As I look back on my process getting to where I am, I recognize that I have made mistakes along the way, many of which hurt people that I love and care about deeply.

I look back on some of my actions with a somber aching for the hearts that have been hurt. I give myself grace for doing the best that I could based on what I knew at the time. But it still claws at my heart that my actions and decisions have hurt people. I certainly have moments where I get stuck regretting things I’ve done. It’s a constant struggle to look at those as lessons and choose to spend my energy on continuing forward rather than wishing I could change the past.

Don’t get me wrong, while there have been many hard moments, my polyamory journey has been so fulfilling. I have met so many wonderful people and had so many amazing experiences. My friend was right that polyamory would bring all my weaknesses and insecurities to the surface, it’s been hard work but I have thrived and grown more in the last year than I ever thought possible.

Am I Attracted to Men? Can I Even Ask Myself That?

A few months ago some friends and I were talking about how attracted we each were to men and women. When I tried to answer that question about men the wiring and untruths I had been taught my whole life kicked in, like autopilot. “No I don’t like guys. Of course I don’t. I’ve never thought about a guy sexually, never, not once. Why would you even think that?”

It was so jarring to realize that. I had left the religion that taught me those things. I have many LGBTQ+ friends and firmly believe in equal rights. But I suddenly became aware that when I had any kind of thought along those lines of thinking a guy is attractive that I instinctively and strongly reacted in a negative way. It was so normal to me that I hadn’t noticed and I took it as meaning that I wasn’t attracted to guys.

This epiphany of how I was reacting began the process of allowing myself to question if I was attracted to men. For many months, every time I noticed myself going down that brain pathway I told myself “I accept and love myself how I am. It’s okay if I’m attracted to men. It’s okay if I’m not attracted to men. I love myself for how I am.” This game myself space to just be me, whoever that is.

I Am Pansexual 💜💛💙

I have discovered that I am attracted to humans. The prefix pan- means “all,” so pansexuality is an attraction to all genders or an attraction to others regardless of gender.

I believe strongly in intention and I have several affirmations that I repeat to myself every day that represent who I want to be. I put polyamory into my affirmations several months ago. About three weeks ago as I began to come to terms with being attracted to men, I rewrote a part of the affirmation that said “I am a sexy polyamorous man” to be “I am a sexy polyamorous pansexual man”. When I made the change and put my affirmations back above my mirror, I had a moment looking at it that felt like I was getting closer to me. I love that my affirmations and beliefs about myself slowly morph and change over time as I discover more of who I am and who I want to be.


So far everyone I have told has showed nothing but love and acceptance. I’m sure that won’t always be the case and I’m at peace with that. I am in a good emotional place and have a strong support network and have sufficiently strong boundaries that I should be able to handle that.

I can not fully express the gratitude I have in my heart for everyone in my life. I am fortunate to have had (so far) only positive experiences, but I recognize that is far from the case for everyone. I have been able to surround myself with loving and supportive people. Not everyone has that opportunity. My heart goes out to those who are disowned by their family or friends, kicked out of their religion or community, fired from their job, threatened, harmed and even killed just for daring to be true to themselves. I see you, my heart aches for you, and I will fight for you.

I share my experience in the hopes that everyone reading it can be a little kinder, a little more accepting, and a little more loving.

I am a polyamorous pansexual man and I am living my best life.