The Hacienda Villa is Bushwick’s intentional, sex-positive, polyamorous community. Polyamory involves the practice of consensual non-monogamy. People in the community are open to having multiple romantic and/or sexual relationships concurrently. Except, rather than lying about it like many married couples do, for poly folks, all partners are in the know about what’s going down. As their website states, “Hacienda is a social experiment designed to celebrate sex, educate the curious, and dispel shame.”
Folks in the poly community are particularly excellent communicators. Monogamy is often not defined or discussed. Whereas, for poly folk it is necessary to figure out which type of relationship is best for each individual and each partnership. Some practice relationship anarchy, where they don’t believe in labels or structure. Some have primary and secondary partners and make explicit rules regarding how to allocate time in each relationship. Many practice something in-between.
I visited the Hacienda Villa and spoke with Kenneth Play, one of the co-founders of the villa, who is also a celebrity sex coach guru. Play first attended the villa as a participant and later became professionally involved. The first time I met Kenneth was at a party where Lola Jean beat the world record for most ejaculate squirted in 30 seconds, and reconnected with him again
during an educational event on squirting at the Hacienda Villa. First, Dr. Zhana gave us scientific information on squirting and then Play gave us practical advice regarding how to get it done.
After buzzing into the Bushwick walk-up of the villa, I received a warm welcome by Play, grabbed some tea, and we sat on the beautiful terrace overlooking a hot tub to chat about polyamory.
Bushwick Daily: What experiences led you to realize that you might be poly?
Kenneth Play: I struggled with relationship structures for most of my 20s. I would have serial monogamous relationships, but I would find myself getting bored because my novelty drive is so high. It’s not because I don’t still love this person, but I go through the infatuation phase, and then experience such a big dip. I kept thinking to myself that something must be wrong, it’s supposed to be magical and feel good forever. Later in life, when I discovered this community, I felt so much less alone. Also, working with Dr. Zhana provided sex science that helped me navigate it, understanding that after the infatuation phase this chemical drive transitions into something else. I learned to navigate how my biology works. Being in a non-monogamous relationship allows me to have enough novelty.
BD: How did you become part of the Hacienda Villa?
KP: A lot of really weird circumstances. I was in a really bad romantic relationship and then didn’t have sex for almost two years. I finally decided I needed to date again. But I knew that monogamy was not working, so I was thinking maybe open relationships. I met this girl who showed me there were things like sex parties and threesomes. At this point I was really insecure, like I could never fuck a partner at a sex party.
But once I started going to Hacienda, it led to changes in my life. Unfortunately, my partner only did sexual exploration, and she didn’t know how to handle my romantic side. I am mushy and loving naturally, so kind of like being on “molly,” but I don’t have to. When I would give people affection it was challenging for her.
It’s unfortunate that the culture that we have now is very all-or-nothing. If someone shows any signs of emotional availability or physical attention to a woman it means they want to “wife” them. People are being such dicks and so distant to avoid any intimacy and not send partners mixed signals. You don’t have to be an asshole or the love of my life, there is somewhere in the middle where you can have edict and close, respectful relationships.
BD: What has been your experience with different relationship styles?
KP: I have one primary romantic partner and that works really well for me. I actually love it when my partner has other serious relationships. I prefer one romantic relationship because I travel quite a bit and my career has become my other primary relationship—my partner already has to share a lot with that career. Sexually, I’m more slutty.
BD: How do you manage jealousy?
KP: There is a book called “Attached,” which has good research and science about attachment styles. Depending on if you are anxious, secure or avoidant you have to navigate jealousy with a different strategy. I don’t think about jealousy as something to overcome. Just because I feel angry, doesn’t mean that I punch you. Some people have more of a tendency to feel those feelings, learning how to handle it in a way that creates a healthy relationship is important. Improving self-esteem and investing into your own worth helps with jealousy.
Also, provide reassurance to partners. I have to navigate that with my own partner because I’m probably 50 times sluttier than her and she is super picky. But she built a really good team of partners, it’s like the navy seal, only a few survive.
I don’t feel like I’m in competition with her lovers. My partner is in a brand-new relationship and has that new relationship energy, and I celebrate that. I’m going to love her for a lifetime; I hope that she has many lovers and things that trigger that for her. I don’t want to heart block her for having those experiences that are natural. I think love is such a miracle and when you first have love and all the good sex in the beginning—it’s the best.
What Play is speaking about is compersion. It is a feeling of joy when a loved one experiences pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship. A lack of feeling ownership over a partner, and an experience of true happiness from their happiness.
After speaking with Play he gave me a tour of the villa. There was recently a sex party downstairs, so there were lots of mattresses set up. He then let me take a ride on unicorn Sybian, while attempting to take a coherent Instastory and thanked me for my time.
Like any growing community, there are mistakes made as systems get put into place to support and protect members. Play briefly mentioned the growing pains in ensuring enthusiastic consent and communication at hacienda parties. Also, the poly community is still predominantly middle-class and white.
However, I have met many people who were labeled as deviants, as cheaters, who were always unhappy in monogamous relationships. People who felt isolated and alone, and unable to conform to the standard relationship structure. Because of the larger population of people living alternative lifestyles in Bushwick, many have found folks who love and accept them for who they are and that is a wonderful thing.
For those interested in squirting, Play gives online training here. Dr. Zhana and Play are also engaging in the largest squirting survey in history, so that we can learn more about this elusive release. To join a sexy party and the poly community, check out the Hacienda Villa.
All images courtesy of Hacienda Villa.
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