Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 21, 2011

Poly movement in France taking hold

There's new stuff out since my last roundup of poly media coverage in France, including a feature article in France's largest weekly newsmagazine. These items come from organizer Guilain Omont in Paris (a member of the Polyamory Leadership Network) and his resource-filled site, Amours Pluriels (amours.pl).

From Le Nouvel Observateur, the weekly newsmagazine:

Polyamorous and proud to be so

By Charline Blanchard

...Like any church, that of plural love has its prophet, Charles Fourier (1772-1837)... and its high priestess, the writer Françoise Simpère. [Her books] Guide des amours plurielles and Aimer plusieurs hommes (Poche) have become the old and new testament of poly-lovers. She pleads the cause on radio and in newspapers and claims "single love is only a dream." Another face up from anonymity is that of Guilain Omont, a thirtyish independent entrepreneur and creator of amours.pl. He came to "polyphilie" after long having believed that his one Princess Charming would someday appear. Neither a Don Juan nor supermacho, but a normal boy small and shy, he's perfect to normalize this controversial lifestyle.

It exploded in the 1970s — post-68, if you will. But French polys today, following the American style, brush that off. They are doing something "modern." No flowers in the hair or colorful robes: these are men and women of their times. They are architects, managers, cooks, teachers. With their heads on their shoulders, they create their own identity using tools 2.0....

This is no longer the sexual revolution, but one of emotions. Not always an easy way to live....

On polyamour.info, they discuss at length. "I fell in love with a mono," says Toni, alarmed. Another concern: "I think I'm jealous. Am I selfish?" They help each other, they refine the concept. Poly cafes, organized from time to time in Paris or the provinces, try to structure the movement. And avoid the pitfalls. For there is no family without confits, and polys are not all agreed with each other. There are activists who see this way of life as a political commitment, even revolutionary. An act of resistance against hidebound moralism, the imperialism of possession.... And there are those who are not so in their heads but look only for happiness with two or more.

The "monos" are also interested. Intrigued anyway. In the cafes polys, plenty of "classical" couples come to see what's going on. On the forums, they confide their fears of deception and say they are tempted by the "third way."

...The 21st century will be one of "multiple love, polyunion, polyfidelity, polyamory," Jacques Attali prophesied in Amours: Histoire des relations entre les hommes et les femmes (Fayard). And if he's right?

Read the whole article in witty French (Aug. 11, 2011).

If you'd like to hear Françoise Simpère, she appeared on a radio talk show July 4th: Has infidelity re-entered our morals?

Next: a five-page article appeared in the June 2011 issue of the magazine Psychologies ("to live life better"): "Are The Polys Happy?"

Neither swingers nor libertines, they claim the possibility of being in love with several people, openly and honestly. How do they love? Is polyamory is it the future of couple-dom? Investigation and evidence.

The article draws upon psychologists pro and con and profiles several polys themselves, giving them the last word. Read it on the magazine's website (remember, you can translate a foreign-language site into machine English using Google Translate). Or read the scanned pages, including art-quality photos of the three poly people profiled.

Those are just the most recent media items. See Omont's press list for many more going farther back.

His site also lists upcoming events and other resources, including other French-language poly sites and eight (!) French books:

Des sites Web:

Vous pouvez aussi rejoindre le groupe polyamour sur facebook (le mur est ouvert pour toutes les "dernières actualités polyamoureuses"), et la liste de discussion poly-quebec (Yahoo group créé en 2003, 500+ membres, 20 messages/mois).

8 livres en français sont actuellement disponibles sur le sujet:


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Anonymous Robert919 said...

The great thing about polyamory in much of France is that, while it is pretty common, it isn't talked about as much as in the anglophone world. Not because it is taboo---but because usually it's a non-issued.
Whereas an American would say something like "You have three boyfriends? Oh my god!". Most French would say "Lucky you!"

August 23, 2011 12:22 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

I have a sneaking impression that today's poly movement, with its particular values and practices, was slow to catch on in France because people there assumed (often wrongly) that it was what they were doing all along.

One of Françoise Simpère's books was published in English here in the US less than a year ago, and I've heard a criticism that it's pretty old-school when it comes to things like honesty and intercommunication all around. (I haven't read it yet.)


August 23, 2011 2:17 PM  
Blogger Daniel Cardoso said...

My advice: steer clear of "Les vertus du polyamour". I had the unfortunate luck of reading it.


August 30, 2011 2:34 PM  

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