"Polyamorous Somerville residents balance multiple relationships"
An old-line local newspaper right in my neck of the woods printed a 2,000-word feature article on polyfolks in town. Somerville is on the northern edge of Boston and Cambridge — a mix of working-class families, students and other college people, and geek-chic cool culture. Poly Boston has been a presence since the 1990s.
Joel in the article writes, "It's pretty good overall but we've had to go back and forth with the author and editor to correct some mistakes."
Sharing the love: Polyamorous Somerville residents balance multiple relationships
Zach Peery and Laura Blake at Grendel's Den in Harvard Square. (Wicked Local photo by David Gordon)
By Monica Jimenez
Although 31-year-old Ball Square resident Kate Estrop plans to go out to dinner for Valentine's Day, her evening won't look like the couples' tradition you might expect.
Accompanying Estrop to dinner tomorrow evening will be her partner of five years, Joel, 34 — as well as her other main partner, Adam.
Three friends will be joining them, including another couple and the woman who first introduced Estrop and Joel to Adam. She's also Adam's wife.
"It's a triple date for Valentine's Day. I will just say it might be ambiguous as to who is out with who," Estrop said. She added, "There's a lot of interconnectedness in our friend group."
...Asked who's going home with whom, Joel said, "We have not figured that one out yet. It's been a topic of some discussion and also possibly some stress."
This is Estrop's and Joel's first Valentine's Day identifying as polyamorous or "poly," defined on the organization Poly Boston's website as "having or being able to have consensual, honest, respectful relationships with more than one person at a time, or being able to romantically love more than one person at once."
Think of it like breakfast cereal, said 19-year-old resident Nessie Fox, who chooses to go by this pseudonym when discussing being poly and lives in Somerville with one of her two main partners.
"You wouldn't want to wake up every single morning and eat Honey Nut Cheerios for the rest of your life. You're gonna kinda hate Honey Nut Cheerios in five years," Fox quipped. "But if you had Trix and Captain Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios… you would still kinda like them after three or four years."
Fox, Estrop and Joel aren't alone. Many people in the Boston area and particularly Somerville choose to live and love this way, as evidenced by the 280 members on Poly Boston's meetup.com page, who are invited to a poly mixer Tuesdays at Diesel Café in Davis Square — a few doors down from a monthly Wednesday discussion group at Blue Shirt Café by the Boston Queer Polyamorous Women's Group (375 members).
Contrary to common belief, polyamory isn't all about sex, and it's certainly not easy, according to Fox, Estrop and a handful of others. Poly relationships come with most of the the challenges of a relationship between two people, including jealousy and time management — only multiplied and intertwined with other people's, and without a standard script.
Poly people also face confusion and tension from more conservative family members, according to Somerville resident and tribal fusion belly dancer Laura Blake....
...Most others were interested in living with multiple partners in the future, including Peery and Blake [who] both envisioned a "poly family home."... Joel imagined living with a group of five people in a "vague family situation."
Fox's vision of the future was simple. Although she cheerfully said she hates children and can't imagine herself as a mother and Jordan doesn't want children either, she wants puppies and he wants ravens.
And she does envision living with multiple partners, she added.
"I want a big, happy house with people who love each other and puppies," Fox said.
Read the whole article (Feb. 13, 2014).
While we're at it, here's another story recently in from a chain of small local newspapers, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania: Sharing while keeping: introducing non-monogamy to monogamous relationships.