More college coverage of poly concepts
The Daily Wildcat (University of Arizona)
The Concordian (Concordia University)
The McGill Daily
The Mooring Mast (Pacific Lutheran University)
The Flagpole (Athens, GA)
A bunch more college newspapers have published poly articles since my last roundup ten days ago (we've just been through Valentine's week). It's good to see consistently accurate reporting of the basic concepts.
First, a big feature article at Brown University:
Sex, love and dating: the Brown alternatives
Despite taboos, some students delve into kink, group sex, polyamory or open relationships
By Emily Wooldridge
Lynne could not decide what color to wear to the stoplight party. An open relationship doesn’t come in colors red, yellow or green.
“Do I wear green because I can hook up with people or yellow because maybe I can’t?” she asked herself....
For the multitudes of alternative relationships and sexual practices on campus — including group sex, kink, open relationships and polyamory — there is no cruise control. These practices can be difficult to navigate or understand, because every experience is different.
“There is no such thing as normal sex,” said Anica Green ’17.
Instead of worrying about what color to wear, “why don’t you ask him?” Lynne’s friend suggested.
“Gossip Girl” warns, “Inside every threesome there is a twosome and a onesome,” but what about a fivesome?
In a dorm room, there are 10 condoms on the floor. When first-years walk by, they ask, “Is this the room where the orgy happened?”
For Dominic, a male undergraduate, that threesome was “the climax of a term where everyone is having meaningless sex,” he said.
For others, group sex is “the best thing that has happened in their lives,” said Andrew, a male undergraduate....
More to love
“I found myself diving into it without knowing what I was doing, without even knowing the word,” Andrew said.
Polyamory — the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the consent of everyone involved — “was something every movie and book told me was wrong,” Andrew said.
“How can I be in love with more than one person at once?”
Andrew’s girlfriend is drawn to monogamy, a notion that he believes is destructive and “the root of a lot of problems in relationships.” Andrew has fallen in love with people outside of their relationship, flirting on the boundaries of polyamory, but is afraid to tell his girlfriend.
“She would think I’m crazy,” he said, even though falling in love with other people “doesn’t mean my feelings for her are any different or less real.”...
...In an Italian cafe, crowded with young people by night and old men playing cards by day, James, a male first-year, kissed his girlfriend on the dance floor.
James left to get a glass of grappa, a grape-based brandy. When he returned, she was kissing another girl.
“Everyone was talking about it,” said James. “Even the bartender asked me about it.”
But this did not bother James, because he had been in a triad with these two girls for a little over a month. One of the partners was Maria, his former girlfriend — “a hippie from Canada who smelled like cigarettes and always had leaves in her long brown hair,” he said. The other partner was Maria’s friend....
Read the whole article (Feb. 14, 2014).
In the University of Arizona Daily Wildcat:
Just the tips with Kat: Three (or more) not always a crowd
By Kat Hermanson
Keith and Roscoe [pseudonyms], two UA seniors, have been together since Valentine’s Day 2012. Six months ago, they made the decision to open up their relationship from monogamous to non-monogamous.
“It’s mainly been sexually open,” Roscoe said about his relationship. “[Non-monogamy in our relationship looks like] being able to hook up with other people, but I’ve been upfront when I’ve been crushing on other dudes. Neither of us see that as a threat to our stability.”
Non-monogamy and polyamory are a challenge to the tradition of two people per relationship that has been ingrained into our society for hundreds of years. Rather than being based in jealousy, possession and boundaries as monogamous relationships tend to be, non-monogamous relationships rely on communication, openness and self-reflection.
...If you don’t have consent, you’re cheating.
...“There’s a lot of inherent jealousy and ownership in monogamy,” Roscoe said, “and neither of us are comfortable with that.”...
...Every shitty young adult book with an overblown love triangle (looking at you, Stephenie Meyer), every romantic comedy with the “this is my ex from college” trope, every Disney princess’ happy ending, have taught us that one person will sweep us off our feet and make us happy forever, and that anyone who comes close to that one person is a threat....
Kat Hermanson is a gender and women’s studies freshman..
Article (Feb. 12, 2014).
At Concordia University in Montreal:
Polyamory: Love multiplied is love shared
Here’s a joke: a polyamorous couple decide to have a date with their special somebody on Valentine’s Day. By the end of the night, it doubles as an excuse for a house party.
Graphic by Jennifer Kwan
If you don’t get the (admittedly lame) joke, it’s probably because you don’t know what the definition of polyamory is.... Because of its not-as-prominent profile, polyamory arguably remains even less understood and accepted by society than swinging.
So, to clear the air, The Concordian decided to interview Jocelyn Beaudet, a staff member, Concordia student, and polyamorist himself, to find out the dynamics, both positive and negative, of this often misunderstood lifestyle. What follows is an edited and condensed Q&A....
The guy interviewed strikes me as rather rigid and doctrinaire, but judge for yourself (Feb. 11, 2014).
Also in Montreal, a gay columnist in the McGill Daily:
Polyamory and the potential for new ways of loving
By Eric White | Visual by Saad Salahuddin
I always dreaded having to play the game. Soon after coming out I entered a relationship with the first guy I hooked up with, and when we finally broke up almost two years later I felt lost and helpless in a world of single, gay men I knew nothing about. We attempted making our relationship an open one in the last few months we were together, which in hindsight was just a vain attempt to make a failing relationship work....
In some ways, I sometimes feel this invisible pressure that as a queer person in this day and age, a successful polyamorous relationship is the rainbow-covered, glittery, golden peak I should be striving for. Given the benefits of polyamory, I understand why.
...Of course, given the dimensions that seeing other people adds to a relationship, it can mean a lot of hard work and commitment in figuring out what makes you and your partner comfortable. Based on my own experiences, and what I’ve heard and seen from friends, nothing is more pivotal to an open relationship than communication....
The whole article (Feb. 10, 2014). Incidentally, that bit about the glittery golden goal mirrors a sad piece just out yesterday on Huffington Post Gay Voices: All the Cool Gays Are Polyamorous (Feb. 18).
In The Mooring Mast of Pacific Lutheran University:
Sex Positive with multiple partners: polyamory
By Reland Tuomi, News Editor
Pacific Lutheran University’s Women’s Center and Diversity Center have been hosting an award-winning Sex Positive series focusing on spreading knowledge and understanding of sex and relationships. To start off the semester, the series introduced polyamory to PLU.
...“Poly has many definitions,” Allena Gabosch, a Sex+ panelist and executive director of the Center of Sex Positive Culture, said. “But it is mostly focused on relationship structures and communal ethics between partners.”
The panel was made up of five people in polyamorous relationships, one exclusively gay, two in bisexual relationships and a married couple. When asked how polyamory works in their marriage, Adrianne and Jay gave informative answers.
“I love the freedom to connect with other people,” Adrianne said. “I love seeing him [Jay] be in relationships and be happy with those people.”
Jay agreed, saying polyamory has allowed him to make deep connections with a few people whereas monogamy only allowed for a relationship with only one person.
...Attendees also asked the panelists what major misconceptions people have about the polyamorous community. The most common one the panel discussed was the myth everyone in the community has sex all the time.
“I wish,” Gabosch said. “The funny thing about the poly community is we spend a lot of time talking about sex and relationships and don’t have a lot of sex.”
...To learn more about polyamory, visit the Center for Sex Positive Culture’s website.
Article (Feb. 16, 2014).
Lastly, this isn't in a college paper but a college town's alt weekly: The Flagpole of Athens, Georgia. Matt Parsons writes, "Hey Alan, I've recently started a polyamory group and the local paper covered us. The front page of the paper edition is for this article! Fairly exciting."
Polyamory Group Aims Arrows at Many Hearts
By Rashaun Ellis
It shouldn't be surprising, but it is. The young woman sitting with members of Athens Polyamory — a newly formed social group for people in non-monogamous relationships — leans over to kiss her partner on the cheek when he had clearly arrived at the crowded coffee shop with someone else. The woman he'd come with doesn't seem to really notice.
Athens Polyamory started meeting last month and is open to couples and single people of all genders and orientations who are either currently non-monogamous or would like to learn more about ethical non-monogamy, say co-founders Matt Parsons and Eli Gaultney.
Polyamory, often shortened to just "poly," is a relationship model whose main principles are ethical and consensual non-monogamy. Participants in these relationships will typically have some sort of agreement that governs the conditions of their relationship, and this requires a “very radical degree of honesty,” as Gaultney puts it, to make sure that everyone's wishes and feelings are respected....
...Group members can't stress enough that their organization only supports ethical and consensual non-monogamy, with all participants being on board with all the goings-on. That's why swingers are welcome, but people looking to cheat on their partners are not.... Athens Poly intends to both teach and encourage “openness, honesty and really clear channels of communication” within relationships....
...There will also be training in nonviolent communication with local facilitators.
...Members of the group are all young and energetic types.... Everyone involved so far has been practicing polyamory for at least two years, except Rebecca Seidl, another Athens resident who has only been practicing poly actively for a few months now. Far from being nervous or dealing with horrible bouts of jealousy, she says that, so far, it hasn't been too difficult....
Article (Feb. 12, 2014).