TOPANGA (CBS) — “Three’s Company” is not just a TV show; it is the way some people are living. They are having multiple, intimate relationships at the same time and everyone involved knows about each other. It’s called polyamory.
We spoke with a polyamorous family — one woman and two men — living under the same roof and raising a child.
“I get to live my life in a way that is extraordinary. I get to be who I want to be and experience what I want to experience,” Jaiya Ma said.
Ma, 34, has been in a relationship for a decade with Jon Hanauer, a 49-year-old heterosexual.
“Oh yeah, It’s kind of mind boggling,” Hanauer said about his love for Ma.
Then there is Ma’s more recent boyfriend, 44-year-old Ian Ferguson, who is also heterosexual.
Here is the twist, they all live together in a house in Topanga, raising 2-year-old Eamon — Ma and Ferguson’s son.
This polyamorous triad started when Ma took on a lover at Hanauer’s request.
“We had gone through a really rough situation – really rough. And my kind of way of dealing with things is to retreat and just to kind of heal,” Hanauer said.
That is where she met Ferguson at a dance class, fell in love, and — with Hanauer’s blessing — became pregnant.
“I just remember Ian being right in front of me, I mean this man was present with me for all of but one hour of my 20-hour labor, where he was just gazing in my eyes. Jon was behind me giving me a massage and brushing my hair. I’m pampered, Ma said.
Whether single or married, gay or straight, more people are living in polyamorous lifestyles. By estimates some 500,000 Americans are polyamorous.
“For us it’s not about dating a bunch of people or having sex with a bunch of people. This is a very deep relationship. I think we have the potentiality to love more than one person,” Ma said.
When it comes to providing for the unit, Ferguson’s furniture design business pays the bills. Hanauer takes care of Eamon and chores at home, which allows Ma, a renowned sexologist, to focus on her career.
“I love it. I feel like I have it all. I feel like I have a partner who is in service, who does a lot of things around the house, who helps take care of my son. And a partner who does a lot of work and brings home the bacon,” Ma said.
But who does she sleep with at night?
“We actually all have separate spaces in the house. I think there are times when I have moods for different one of them, because they fulfill different needs in me,” she said. “So for Jon it may be when I’m feeling more emotional. Ian’s when, you know, you just want something good,” she added.
“We get along. Yes,” Hanauer said regarding his relationship with Ferguson. “I do get jealous, but I understand, I put it in perspective.”
“In terms of my relationship, my dynamic with Jaiya and Jon, there isn’t any sense of jealousy. There’s just a sense of comfort,” Ferguson said.
That comfort, they said, is important when it comes to raising Eamon.
Hanauer does not consider him to be his son.
“No. I don’t go there. I don’t think that’s fair to him. He calls me his Jon, his protector, his caretaker. I’m perfect with that,” he said.
Perfect is how this family sees life right now. As in any normal household, there is always a struggle to find balance. But for this polyamorous family, they said the key is in living with an open heart.
“I think some of the benefits of polyamory [relationships], that think anyone in monogamous relationship can use learn from and use, is great communication. It is a deeper and more profound experience, for certain,” Ma said.
There is a study being conducted at Georgia State University on the effect polyamorous relationships have on children.