"Family" polyfolks interviewed on radio
Terisa Greenan is the creator and producer of the polyamorous web sitcom "Family" (see previous post). Christopher Bingham is the musician from Gaia Consort / Bone Poets Orchestra who wrote and sang the theme song. The two of them did a very fine interview yesterday morning with a gabby talk-jock, B.J. Shea, on KISW Rock Radio in Seattle. You can download and listen to it (March 11, 2009).
A few bits:
Terisa: I say it's "loosely" based on my life. As the episodes go on and as people point things out to me, I realize it's less loosely based than I thought — maybe pretty closely based on my life.... and some things I don't know if I want to say on the radio [laughing].... The configuration that I live in is very accurately depicted in the show.
Chris: I'm involved in a fourple. We're involved with a couple — they're currently living in Amsterdam, it's long-distance at this point — we still consider ourselves together — but we were living in each other's back pockets for a couple of years.
B.J.: ...What I don't understand is if you and Chris are such good friends, and you guys are polyamorous—
Terisa: —Why haven't we had sex, Chris?! [Laughter, banter and flirting.]
Chris: There are only a few reasons why I wouldn't do it. The first is that I'd have to ask my partners, and we'd have to talk about it. It would probably be okay in our setup. Like Terisa said in her setup, we're very strict about safe sex stuff, because we all like to live, and it's really important. In terms of opening up the circle, the fourple that we have is more of what we call a polyfidelitous relationship. We are committed to each other, unless we want to expand the group. And if we want to expand the group, then we need to talk to all of our other partners about it, and define what that means. So I could theoretically have sex with Terisa, and I'm sure it would be absolutely lovely, but we would have to decide how much we want to be involved.
Terisa: ...Since you brought up the topic of rules, I would just like to say that every poly family has their rules. Some are bisexual, some only play as a couple, some say "everything but intercourse," whatever. But the main thing to remember, is each polyfamily has their own customized rules. And no two polyfamilies have the same rules.
Chris: ...We're dealing with human beings. Every relationship you go into— most Americans go through life doing what's called serial monogamy, where we decide that if we want another lover, or it's not working out or whatever, we just break up our lives and move on. Well in polyamory if we decide to have another lover, you don't have to do that, you have honesty as the basis of what you're doing—
B.J.: ...Terisa, do you feel like this is the way we really should be living as human beings?
Terisa: I do. I feel that very strongly. I don't think there's anything natural, or normal, about only having sex with one person for 30 or 40 years.
B.J.: ...Well this is what I loved about the show... What I really loved was the New Year's Eve episode, where—. I have a wife, I also have a daughter, and so as a man having to deal sometimes with, you know, the emotional outbursts and problems that sometimes the two women in my life have, sometimes I go "God, I would like to pass this over to somebody else." And, what a great episode— where one dude's out having a good time, where normally that would be a problem, 'cause he'd have to come back and deal with this woman who was upset that he was gone. But then the other dude was like reassuring her, sticking up for the other guy— that is pretty cool. The two dudes are able to actually give her the nurturing she needs, while the other guy doesn't have to deal with the grief.
Terisa: And that is one of the episodes that's practically transcribed from a real-life event.
B.J.: Which I think is fantastic.... The real tough stuff does come from the nonsexual interactions.
Terisa: ...We're telling people all the time that. It's so true. When I have a conflict with Larry, Scott mediates and helps us through that, and it's really nice to have that impartial third party, and when I have a conflict with Scott, Larry mediates. It's wonderful to have that extra support! And they're both fond of having time alone to just read a book or do whatever they want to do alone, and they're happy that I've got someone else to be with.
They go on and talk about lots more stuff for almost an hour, intelligently and excitedly. We're lucky to have such good spokespeople! Especially because Terisa says she's very new to being a public poly figure and said on the air that she'd been scared to go on the show. I say we've got a new star.