Adult Topic Blogs

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa

Poly queer bisexuality advocate and educator Gabrielle Noel (Gabalexa) stops by The Pleasure Provocateur to talk about all things queer, poly, and kinky. From writing about misconceptions about vaginas in women’s magazines to joining Jada Pinkett Smith for a discussion on The Red Table, Gabby’s work covers the vast depths of sexuality.

This candid conversation between Gabby and Lorrae addresses how other people’s projections of their bisexuality and being told they’re not ‘queer enough’ has influenced their embodiment of their identities, and quest to be outspoken advocates for empowerment. They then dive into both the philosophy and practicality of practicing polyamory, navigating jealousy in open relationships and developing friendships with metamours, and how setting boundaries within their relationships has helped them thrive and grow.

Their frank conversation inspires us to investigate the deepest parts of ourselves, from our queerness to our kinks to our deepest desires; in order to find the pleasure and satisfaction that we all deeply deserve.

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa Gabalexa headshot scaled 1
Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa 9

Being Authentically Queer Online as a Healing Practice

Lorrae: When I first started my journey as a baby bi who was trying to figure out my identity and mixing that with polyamory, there were so many unicorn hunters out there and people who are still very heteronormative in the poly space. They look at bisexual femmes and women as “token people” to add to their monogamous relationship, but just for sex. It can almost feel like you’re just getting added as an accessory to somebody’s existing monogamous partnership. It’s very fetishized. 

So coming across your work and how open you are about bisexuality and polyamory and how there’s all these different ways to do it and it doesn’t need to look like these very heteronormative scripts is so amazing and has opened my mind so much. 

So I’m curious how you started to come to own that and want to speak on that and find your space in queer and poly community?

Gabby: So I was doing software engineering and interning at Galore Mag. I was freelance writing and then eventually, I felt like I had like 9 million jobs. As much as I love software engineering, and obviously I now work in sex tech, which was the dream, I really wanted to be in the media landscape of the sex industry. And especially back around 2018 in the Buzzfeed era, everything’s popping off, I wanted to be authentic on the internet. 

It took me months to figure out I could pitch to my editor at Galore, at the time, something related to my queerness. I feel like I spent so long just being like, “what is my story?” I was following content creators like yourself and seeing that there was a space for women to be really authentic online and find community that way, which has always been my experience since I’ve been making content. And I remember reaching out to you because my boss wanted to do a partnership and being met with the realization that you can make a business out of creating content around sexuality. 

I was active in my sorority because this was in college, my intern years, and sororities have really strict rules about dress code, about representing yourself online. And this was before Gen Z brought a certain earnestness to the internet. So everyone disagreed so much with my perspective and my views. The people around me just had this status quo box that I had to fit in and I felt really misunderstood and I wanted to find understanding online. I wanted to find my people. 

Lorrae: When I get put in a box, I want to break it. There are all of these like taboos of how we’re supposed to show up and act, whether it’s through a lens of femininity and being “proper” or even just the heteronormative or the monogamous lens. I love getting to be outspoken about that online and say, “no, there’s a different way, I’m living a different way”. And then there are even all the stereotypes and misconceptions that come with that. 

When you were starting to get open about this, what were some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that you faced and how did you overcome that to really feel empowered in your identity?

Gabby: That has so many layers. 

I was very actively on Twitter talking about bisexuality at first. This is before I was not monogamous and the politics of the queer community caused so much discourse in every aspect of identity.

There are so many historical reasons behind that in terms of there being these different camps of belief around gender that feed infighting all the time. And I used to take it so personally. I showed up on the internet and I wanted to be authentic and I wanted to meet my community and I trusted that everyone was going online and being equally as earnest, and that’s not true. 

So I feel like I got chiseled by all the trolls and it made me recognize what strawman arguments people use in general. It made me research a lot. I was deep in academic research because I just graduated college at this point. 

I would read so much history and see all of the overlap between kink, non-monogamy, the leather community, bisexuality activism and trans activism. Like that entire little group has had some of the same rhetoric used to stigmatize. And then I recognized the thought, “so then why am I not non-monogamous?” 

I was interviewing people for multiple publications because they seemed like they were having so much fun. I think three articles in, I was like, “I think I should go do this.”

I also used to write for Tinder. They used to have an editorial section that is no longer in existence. And they would send the most unhinged prompts for what they wanted people to write about. And I was in my unhinged era. And so one of them asked me to reach out to all of my exes and ask what happened, what went wrong. And I did that.

I feel like the introspection involved in writing on the internet and being personal on the internet and not everyone on the internet is doing that, but I was doing that and I learned so much, healed so much. So that’s why I’m still here.

Lorrae: When I started to talk about these things, it was really like a healing practice for myself because I was struggling with various aspects of my personality and getting called a slut and struggling with things like my identity as a queer person and feeling like I wasn’t queer enough because I had only been with male identified folks at that point. 

A lot of it was understanding it more, feeling into the historical culture and history and activism and feeling like, “okay, I am allowed to be myself and be my identity even if I haven’t quite explored it yet because we’re all at a place when we’re coming into our identity where we don’t yet know what we don’t know and we have to have those experiences and do it.” 

Everybody starts somewhere.

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa gabalexa ep18 2Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa gabalexa ep18 2
Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa 10

Claiming a Poly and Queer Identity

Lorrae: So when you were getting into understanding yourself as polyamorous and understanding yourself as being queer, when did you feel like you really started to fully claim and embody that and understand yourself through those lenses?

Gabby: It really was that I kept trying to prove my queerness to other people. 

In my sorority, there was this “lesbian club” with a group chat. And when I was exploring and trying to figure out who I was, I was like, “Gab, you’re not gay. Like you’re just in college or whatever.”

Nobody saw my identity as real when I just wanted understanding, acceptance as I was exploring. And then I started creating content about bisexuality and every argument that people had I would go research a rebuttal and then I’d respond and then I felt like I was chasing experiences for a long time so that I could be like, “you think I haven’t done it, but I have.” 

At a certain point I was so trapped in finding proof for people that I just had to be like, “enough is enough for my own self.” I recognized that people will never be satisfied with my representation of queerness.

I was dating pretty much only women for an era. And I was talking about bisexuality and bi history. And there was this post on a discussion board that read, “I hate that Gab Alexa always talks about  the LGBTQ community cause she’s probably married in New Jersey with a husband and two kids and a picket fence.” I was first of all horrified. That’s when I realized it really is fan fiction – it’s a story. iThey’re inventing all of these productions and that’s so icky. There’s no escaping it and I don’t want to anymore. 

I guess I got to the point where I felt like I don’t care if my queer is enough because I have to explore it more and I have to go deep and I have to do so authentically and unapologetically. When you’re always walking on eggshells in certain spaces because you feel like you don’t belong, you don’t get to take up space in them fully. I felt like I was cheating myself out of my queer experience.

And then who knows, I became polyamorous and I work at a non-monogamous dating app. I didn’t expect all those things. I really admire the life that I’ve created, but every time I get sad about something, which happens in anyone’s life, monogamous, non-monogamous, bisexual, straight, whatever, I felt pressure. There’s so much pressure on marginalized identities to always be demonstrating how happy and perfect their life is, otherwise it’ll be attributed to the identity. 

That is the reason it’s just life to me. Life is meant to be a little messy and painful and complicated. The best way to navigate that is just being earnest.

Lorrae: I’ve faced so many people’s projections about who I am and what it means to be slutty or open about your sexuality and whether you’re a public figure on social media or even just in a community. Like you said, your sorority, school system or maybe it’s a community around where you live, is having that judgment put onto you. I’ve had people be like, “you don’t seem slutty enough,” or like, “you’re like the sluttiest person here.” 

There are all of these conceptions about what does it even mean to be open about your sexuality and then getting labeled that you wouldn’t be a good friend or a good partner, a good parent, whatever it is, just blows my mind because my sexuality is part of me. Yes, I can speak on it and be open about it, but it’s also not all of me. 

We get to be these complex, multidimensional humans, but that there is such a stigma and taboo around sexuality that it’s like once somebody knows that you’re open about it, it kind of pigeonholes you into another box and you don’t wanna be in that box.

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa gabalexa ep18Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa gabalexa ep18
Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa 11

Polyamory as a Community of Relationships

Gabby: At this point, my friends have watched me grow in this space for so long, the ones that have stuck with me for my life. They recognize what my life is about, but theirs is so removed from it. 

It’s like I’m telling a fantasy story to them of orgies and consent speeches and going to burlesque shows for my anniversary. But I see so much of the healing that I have done could benefit them. 

Not to say that they should be fully where I’m at, that they should go to kink parties or whatever, but to just sit and consider who you are outside of the status quo, I think is so important. If I didn’t incrementally get here, I certainly wouldn’t have thought of it.

I look at them and some of the problems that they’re facing that I sometimes used to relate to, so much of the pressure of the relationship escalator and of bi-phobic stereotypes, like those things are still so present in their identities. Even though they occupy spaces where they are treated as straight people, they feel like they still are experiencing the pressures we all face under patriarchy and all the systems that make us divorce from pleasure and intimacy and the ability to conceive of multi-partnered relationships.

Lorrae: There’s so much that goes on and so many misconceptions that I know when a lot of people hear about polyamory, their first thought is, “oh my gosh, I can never do that. I get so jealous.”

When I first started experiencing and exploring polyamory, I considered myself a very jealous person. I was spiraling in the relationships. I was in monogamy, and not that that’s everyone’s journey, but the relationship escalator is so much pressure. And it just creates a lot of the problems that people are complaining about.

Once I started to explore poly, I realized that I was really afraid that my partner would leave or meet somebody new and then leave me. But then in the poly situation, suddenly that’s no longer a threat because you can see them and you can see me. And I know that I fill this special space in your life and I can’t fulfill every single need. But I no longer have that fear of abandonment.

Gabby: You could not pay me to go back to monogamy at this point. In podcasts I did not even two years ago, I was like, “I don’t know, maybe I could see monogamy maybe in a certain context,” but no, because it has pushed me to grow in so many ways and I have, I just feel completely differently in my jealousy.

I feel so much more resilient. I’m so much more capable of self-soothing. But I feel like I’ve gone to hell already. Like my partners met other people and it wasn’t a big deal. And like, then you get to dig even deeper to the appreciation of your partner’s partners.

I remember my partner was not yet at the level of emotional comfort with her newer partner to be like, “Oh my God, I’m having a mental breakdown.” But my partner needed a little bit of support and care. My book was coming out and my deadline was a week out and I was like, “I want to support my partner.” Of course I want to support my partner, but I need help. And that was the first moment where I was like, “Oh my God, I can call my metamorphic, I can ask my partner if maybe we can break this barrier together.” And that was really fun. 

Or even when I was on Red Table Talk right after my book was out. I was doing  a tour of all the bookstores where I could see my book. And my partner had been telling me the whole day how it was a trauma anniversary for her the next day and she really needed my support. And when they called for my next location, we looked at each other and I was terrified. She’s made such a huge deal out of this one day. Should I be sacrificing for my partner?

And then my metamorph said they’d be here. And I mean, at first I was a little bit two things. I was relieved, but I was also terrified. Like who am I if I’m not the person my partner relies on for emotional support? I had a whole spiral. I kept asking myself that question. And then eventually once I stopped ruminating on it so much I realized there’s not an answer. I still emotionally support my partner all the time. It’s the same as your friendships, you know?

Lorrae: That’s really a beautiful reflection. We hold this unique space, and monogamy makes us think that the relationship is valid because of these different roles that we provide. And then we even forget that friendships and larger community can provide that, too. And that doesn’t take away our unique space and the relationship. 

I love polyamory for being able to get all of these different diverse perspectives when I’m going through something and have different sounding boards and voices and have different elements of community care. You can think about it similarly to raising children. Literally it takes a village and being able to have multiple perspectives and viewpoints can really be an asset.

Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa winEp. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa win
Ep. 17 What is Polyamory with Queer Advocate Gabalexa 12

Listen to the Full Episode

On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. New episodes released every week!

To support the podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star review on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, so we can reach more pleasure-seekers and empower exploration and embodiment!

You can also share this episode and tag @sluttygrlprobs on Instagram. It helps so much!

Episode Resources

Get my favorite vibrator, the Magic Wand Rechargeable and the Magic Wand Mini! You can also get the authentic Magic Wand Original – available at my favorite sex-positive shop.

Connect with our guest Gabalexa via Instagram | Website | Podcast | Queer ENM Resources

Related Posts

Leave a Reply