Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan



November 22, 2007

"Kinky sex makes for happy people"

The Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

The cover of Vancouver's alternative paper ("Canada's largest urban weekly") declares, "For a growing number of young adults, swinging and spanking trump monogamy and the missionary position." The article profiles people and places in the local kink scene, and poly gets a section too:


By Pieta Woolley

..."Polyamorists" (those who love more than one person) are finding each other on the Web, and [University of British Columbia] PhD candidate Danielle Duplassie believes their numbers may reach the thousands in B.C. "There seems to be a trend that one person cannot meet all of another person's needs," she told the Straight. "There's certainly a trend to more openness."

...Nine years ago, [Scott] Barnes was 17 and travelling across Canada with his girlfriend. In Montreal he met another woman. He asked his girlfriend, "If I sleep with this other woman, does that mean we have to break up?" She thought that didn't make sense. So Barnes began a two-year "freeing and liberating" sexual era in his life: lots of partners, lots of sex.

...To help himself and others sort through the issues, Barnes started a Facebook group called 'Poly-Monogamy: An Inquiry Into Open Relationships.' After heated online debates and private thoughts, his conclusion is, "Except for those who enshrine a coherent set of principles — like Roman Catholic or fundamentalist Muslim marriage, unless it's that strict — I think everyone wants something different out of their relationships."

That conclusion, and Barnes and [Lulu] West's own histories, are consistent with their demographic, according to sex counsellor [David] McKenzie. Those under 40, he said, are far more willing to try kink and open relationships than their seniors. In the six years since McKenzie started his practice, the biggest change he's seen is the more liberal attitudes of many of his clients toward swinging.

...Monogamy is not working, according to Duplassie, the founder and director of Burnaby's Shanti Counselling Centre.... Her PhD thesis in counselling psychology addresses polyamory. She hopes that a better clinical understanding of the subject will aid counsellors in helping those with more than one partner.

Duplassie started her research when, two years ago, she found herself to be in love with two people. At a conference she attended in Ottawa, she talked about the idea of polyamory.

"My questions were shut down," she told the Straight during an interview at a Commercial Drive coffee shop. "They said, 'I wonder what polyamorists are running away from?' and I thought, 'Wow. That's ignorant.' I wanted to research women who can speak to that experience, without the pathological viewpoint."

What she's found so far is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Vancouverites who identify as polyamorous, and probably many more who consensually have more than one partner without self-labelling. And — apart from the December 2006 issue of the U.K.–based Sexualities online journal, which was devoted to polyamory — there's very little recent academic research on nonmonogamy, Duplassie has found. Canadian laws governing marriage and benefits don't support it; universities don't study it; the pharmaceutical companies would rather medicate low sex drives than promote alternative sexual expression; and society does not yet embrace it, she said. Yet lots and lots of people are doing it....


Read the whole article (issue of November 22–29, 2007). Word is that the author, Pieta Woolley, may be doing more on poly in the future.

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