Legal assistant Benno Kaiser started dating Sierra Kuntz while he was still married. But as their relationship progressed, he later revealed to his wife Cristina that he wanted a divorce. In many marriages, such a request might have come as a devastating blow, but she was over the moon.
Benno and Cristina first met in Virginia in 2005 when they both worked as part of the military police. After a whirlwind four-month relationship, the pair tied the knot. A year after their marriage, they welcomed their first child, a little boy named Isiah. They would then go on to have two girls named Rebecca and Brianna.
To the outside world, it probably seemed that Cristina and Benno had a perfectly happy marriage. But the former, who is bisexual, began to feel that her love life was lacking. Cristina wanted a girlfriend; but that didn’t mean that she no longer wanted to be with Benno.
Cristina therefore hatched a plan of how she could introduce another female into her relationship with Benno. So she went to her husband with the proposition of opening their marriage up. Perhaps surprisingly, he agreed to her proposal. Now, all that Cristina needed to do was to find the right person.
In 2017 Cristina, who is also a legal assistant, told Barcroft TV, “Initially, it was my idea to open the marriage. I brought it to Benno’s attention and told him I would like to introduce women to our relationship to see where it goes.” And so, the couple began to invite other people into their romantic lives.
After a couple of unsuccessful dates, Cristina met Sierra Kuntz at a mall in Las Vegas – where the latter worked in a pet store. Recalling her meeting with Cristina, Sierra told Barcroft TV, “I sold reptiles and this very beautiful woman came up to me and asked for my number.” However, the request left the sales assistant a little confused.
Sierra explained, “She had just been standing there with who I thought was her husband.” As a result, she understandably had her reservations about handing over her digits. Sierra added, “I thought, ‘Oh, no! If I give this girl my number or get her number, this guy’s going to be so mad.” She couldn’t have been more wrong, however.
Later, in her interview with Barcroft TV, Sierra laughed, “Turns out, I guess, [Benno] was really happy about it.” Cristina was also thrilled with the arrangement too. The two women started dating, and before long Benno joined the relationship as well
Benno then revealed how he slotted into the three-way relationship with Cristina and Sierra. He explained that things had happened naturally and soon they’d all become a so-called thruple. He said, “[Sierra] and Cristina and I all clicked and shortly after our first date we knew that we were meant to be with her, and that this was something we wanted to pursue.”
But while all three adults seemed to be on board with their setup, Sierra was still unsure about how things might unfold between her, Cristina and Benno. She admitted, “At first I was very hesitant about getting involved with a married couple. I was worried that I would be disposable and that this was a phase they were going through.”
However, it seems that Sierra’s fears were unfounded. She explained, “When I spent time with them I realized what they wanted and [felt that] this was a situation I could work with, so I jumped on board.” As a result, the threesome embarked on what’s known as a polyamorous relationship.
Polyamory is defined by the desire for or practice of relationships that involve more than one partner – where all parties involved consent. The term was first coined by the Neopagan leader Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart in a 1990 article entitled “A Bouquet of Lovers,” which was published in Green Egg Magazine.
Furthermore, in 1999 the Oxford English Dictionary asked Zell-Ravenheart to provide them with a definition of polyamory. She described it as, “The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.” And that’s probably the most widely accepted definition of the practice.
People who practice polyamory don’t agree with the general view that exclusivity is needed to establish deep and committed bonds with the people they love. They also reject feelings of jealousy. Furthermore, polyamorists often value other factors such as commitment, communication, equality, honesty and love within relationships.
While the concept of polyamory may seem unusual to some, the practice is actually more common than people might expect. According to an article published in Quartz, a 2017 survey of 8,700 single adults found that over one in five of them had practiced consensual non-monogamy at one point. Meanwhile, a 2014 study found that four to five percent of Americans were practicing polyamory.
These studies suggest that the number of people who practice polyamory in the U.S. could in the hundreds of thousands – maybe even millions. So in the grand scheme of things, the set up that Cristina, Benno and Sierra were enjoying actually wasn’t that unusual. And in any case, it seemed to work for them.
Cristina, for her part, explained to Barcroft TV how she felt about their so-called “poly triad” relationship. She said, “I knew I was attracted to both men and women and I think that this type of relationship helps me satisfy both, you know, the male attraction and the female attraction – because I’m bisexual.”
Cristina said that before Sierra had entered their lives, she and Benno had been happy – apart from the fact she was the only female in their relationship. She explained, “Other than that we had everything going for us. Three kids, a great relationship and adding Sierra into our lives has just made it a hundred times better. I feel like I’m complete.”
And it seems than Benno also found the polyamorous relationship fulfilling – especially in the bedroom. He revealed, “We share a bed together, we share everything together, so since we met Sierra we have not had a night that we don’t all involve each other in some sort of sexual activity… I think that’s the nicest way to put it.”
Sierra agreed with Benno’s assertion. Speaking of the triad’s sex life, she told Barcroft TV, “Everyone’s usually involved.” Benno then interrupted, to add, “We’re all involved with each other and as you can imagine, it’s a threesome. So it’s good… it’s busy. There are lots of hands everywhere.”
Benno continued, “The beauty of what we do is that we can have a very active sexual life and it’s completely safe and it’s with people that we love. I don’t ever have to worry about having a boring sex life 20 years from now when other couples or monogamous couples are. We have a lot of intimacy between all three of us.”
Sierra eventually gave up her job at the pet store and moved into the Kaiser family home with Cristina, Benno and their three children. And the latter then revealed that the decision to introduce Sierra into their household had been an easy one to make. He said, “It was just the natural course to take – to have her move into the home.”
Benno revealed how he and Cristina introduced their kids to Sienna and the idea of their polyamorous relationship in his interview with Barcroft TV. He said, “We had talked to our children before this and let them know [that] we wanted to adopt someone and bring somebody into our relationship. Our children have been very supportive of this. They have understood.”
As of 2017 Sierra, Benno, Cristina and the Kaiser kids all lived together at their home in Henderson, Nevada. The latter fulfilled the role of a stay-at-home mom in the family, looking after the children while Cristina and Benno went out to work. And apparently, the youngsters were happy with this arrangement.
In fact, the Kaiser kids accepted Sierra to such an extent that they even called her “mommy.” She, in turn, felt as much of a parent to the children as Cristina and Benno. She explained, “I absolutely feel like their mom. I hope now, they love me, they call me ‘mommy Sara’ and I love them just as much.”
Sierra said that she felt just as attached to the kids as Cristina and Benno did. She explained, “I’m not jealous that the children are not biologically related to me at all. Just because I didn’t birth them doesn’t mean I can’t love them and they can’t love me. That doesn’t hinder my love at all for them.”
Many people may struggle to understand polyamory and the effect the practice may have on children. However, Sierra is convinced that the Kaiser kids benefit from their arrangement. She told Barcroft TV, “We have three times the love and support that one parent could give. Their teachers even comment on how happy they are.”
Furthermore, Benno agreed that the kids seemed happy with their polyamorous parents. He said, “They’re always bringing up the fact that they have two moms and one dad.” And the children themselves could even attest to some of the benefits polyamory offered families.
For example, the oldest Kaiser kid, Isaiah, said, “I have two moms to help me out with my homework. I also have two moms to love, and for them to love me too. My friends think it’s weird. They don’t understand how mom likes to have another mom in the house. So, they don’t understand.”
But while Cristina, Benno and Sierra’s three-way parenting style may have attracted confusion from the outside world, they felt that they were teaching their kids an invaluable lesson. Sierra explained, “We never want our children to feel like they have to hide themselves from us. We’re proud of who we are and we expect the same from our children.”
So it seems that the Kaiser/Kuntz household contained three happy kids and three cheery parents. So why then, in 2017, were Cristina and Benno filing for divorce? Well, the answer had to do with the impact that Sierra had had on their family. But it wasn’t for the reasons that you might think.
Cristina and Benno had decided to call time on their marriage to make things more equal within their triad. After their divorce, one of them would then marry Sierra, so that all three of them would have legal rights to the Kaiser kids. However, the threesome was yet to decide who exactly would tie the knot.
Benno revealed that he and Cristina felt that being married to one another somehow set them apart from Sierra. He told Barcroft TV, “We knew that being married was something that would exclude the other person from feeling included as part of our family. So we decided that the best thing to do was to get a divorce.”
So while a divorce is usually symbolic of a relationship breaking down, for the Kaisers it was a sign of their growing love – which now included Sierra. Benno added, “Cristina and I decided this was something that needed to be done in order for Sierra to understand the depth of how much we love her and want her to be part of our family.”
Benno continued, “The benefits of one of us marrying her are going to be on many different levels. She is going to be legally considered a parent to the children and, more importantly, it will show her that this is not a temporary thing, we both love her and it’s something that’s meant to be permanent.”
Revealing her thoughts on the matter, Sierra said, “It was Benno and Cristina’s idea for the divorce. But it won’t change anything, it’s just who is going to be legally married to who. They decided that would be the best way to make sure that I didn’t feel disposable. It wasn’t my idea but I really don’t care whom I’m married to – I love them both.”
However, Sierra insisted that there was no jealousy in her relationship with Benno and Cristina even before they had decided to divorce. She said, “Sometimes we have a hard time communicating because there are three people instead of two, but we always work through it. We have always been the best in every situation and we always work through our problems.”
Explaining how the triad made their somewhat unconventional relationship work, Benno told Barcroft TV, “We share all of our feelings with each other and we don’t hold anything back. Everything is equal, so there is nothing to be jealous of. We are very happy with all three of us together.”
While Cristina, Benno and Sienna acknowledged that polyamory isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly seemed to be working for them. They claimed that their household was full of love – not only between the adults but with their kids too. So, the thruple were confident that their relationship would continue long into the future.
Benno explained, “This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of people that are monogamous and are happy with just being with one person and that’s completely fine. Every one of us is different. But before you judge, take a look at our lives and see the benefit of it. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.”