"PolyGlamorous": Latest crop of student-newspaper poly stories
The Stanford Daily
The Reporter (Rochester Institute of Technology)
The Tab Aberdeen (Scotland)
The Link (Concordia University, Montreal)
The Red & Black (University of Georgia)
KaLeo (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
|Uncredited / The Tab Aberdeen|
It's college newspaper roundup time again.
First up, this appeared in The Stanford Daily:
By Lily Zheng
...But when I started falling in love with multiple people instead of just hooking up, I had to ask myself if I was ready for polyamory. Well, the first question I asked was: Was poly even okay?
...We were all from campus, we all talked about it, agreed on it, had the consent of everyone involved. We went on cute dinner dates, bickered over completely pointless things, flirted over Skype, cuddled — how was that different from “normal”? My friends had similar relationships and were some of the happiest, most content people I knew. But for some reason, poly didn’t make sense to people around me.
Some people told me that my love wasn’t genuine since it was “spread out,” or something — how could I be so cruel to my partners as to only love them half as much as I should, or a third as much as I should? I was honestly puzzled by the question; what about people with two kids?...
Polyamory is hardly perfect — we deal with the same things that all relationships go through. Jealousy, miscommunication, loneliness; we work through the same issues as people in monogamous relationships, except that for polyamorous relationships, communicating about these things is not a choice but a necessity....
Everyone has their own style; everyone talks through their relationships differently. I have friends who have been polyamorous for more than 10 years with the same group of people, friends who stay with their primary partners and freely rotate through their secondaries, friends who, every few months, have two or three different people they’re in relationships with.
And they’re all really, really happy.
...The silent movie script in today’s society regarding love and intimacy from flirting to frolicking, the romanticization of “sending signals” and “reading actions” — they all make love into something that doesn’t make sense. And we’re told that the confusion and frustration we feel about love is “natural” or even “magical.”
...When we look at love through a more communicative lens, we start to fall for actual people — not a set of social gestures....
Read the whole article (April 27, 2014).
At the Rochester Institute of Technology, a workmanlike explanation appeared in a monthly student magazine yesterday:
Spreading the Love: Polyamory
By Nick Bovee
In almost every movie, from action adventures to romantic comedies, we have seen the protagonist finally find and fall in love with the perfect person: their love; their soul mate; “The One.”...
However, despite the lack of evidence in pop culture, people are pushing to expand the view of how romantic relationships are structured. Some individuals are contributing to this changing perception through healthy, communicative, romantic relationships that involve more than two people, commonly referred to as polyamory....
...People in poly relationships don’t need to spend equal amounts of time with each partner, but this division of time should be discussed before jealousy arises. As in any romantic relationship, if someone feels jealous or left out, it is the problem of everyone involved. Adam Borders, writer for Modern Poly, explains, “In polyamory, jealousy is recognized not as something that might happen and is to be hidden, but rather as something that will happen and should be worked through.” The thing to remember is that jealousy is a symptom of a problem, not a problem itself. It needs dissection to reach the root cause, which can then be addressed.
It is also important that people who are polyamorous are happy in the relationship(s) they already have before they add another person to the mix. Including someone else in a relationship is not a solution to problems within a relationship; it will likely make the problems worse. It is also unfair to the new member who will be expected to act as the patch in the relationship rather than an equal partner.
...There are many wonderful people in the world. In polyamorous relationships, you have the option to be with more than one.
Whole article (May 3, 2014).
The Tab is a commercial online product for students with editions at many U.K. universities. It's owned and run by the company that owns Britain's sleazy tabloid Sun and others. But this long article, by a student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, is pretty creditable:
‘It’s about love, not sex’: the rise of ‘polyamory’, where you have more than one sexual partner
By Rachel Donald
From excellent time-management to rigorous sexual health check-ups, there’s more to being a poly student than you would expect.
“Polyamory is about loving, everyone’s perception of love is different – the main crux of poly is you discuss that shit.”
I’m talking to Frank, an Aberdeen student who practices polyamory, “the practice of engaging in multiple relationships with the consent of all the people involved”.
While the open relationship is a well known arrangement among students, polyamory — which practitioners say is more about love than sex — is still quite a new idea.
Frank is a “non-binary, queer, anarcha-feminist”.... They said about their experience in polyamorous relationships: “Polyamory is about communication, it’s about honesty. In polyamorous relationships you discuss everything.”
Polyamory is a multi-dimensional term and covers many types of relationships, ranging from consensual non-monogamy between partners, to having two — or more — primary partners.
Frank says: ...“In poly relationships, when we promise someone our time, we keep that promise. When you’re monogamous, there’s an expectation of someone’s time, but in poly relationships you have to make it. Breaking that promise is akin to cheating and lying in poly relationships.
“Of course, cheating and lying are also possible, but what matters is that you keep to promises of time and don’t prioritise something else instead.”
...However, Frank’s relationships have not always been met with understanding by the public: “I’ve been kicked out of bars and clubs when I’ve been with two partners. It’s not like we’re having a threesome on the middle of the dance floor — it’s more like I’m holding hands with both of them, or kissed both of them before going to the bathroom. There’s too much sexuality for people to handle.”...
Read the whole article (April 17, 2014).
The Link is the student newspaper of Concordia University in Montreal:
The More the Merrier: The Benefits of Polyamorous Relationships
By Madeleine Gendreau
...While entertained by the free-love musings of bands like Jefferson Airplane and Love... I imagined it would involve much secrecy, and would undoubtedly amount to the over-use of pet names like “honey” and “sweetie” to avoid tripping up (à la John Tucker Must Die)....
Growing up in San Francisco among a host of non-traditional relationships — for example a friend with two sets of moms and dads, all of which identify as gay, yet wanted to raise a child together — loving who you love doesn’t really phase me.
...While the relationships worked well when her partners were in the same city, Stephanie felt that there were issues of dishonesty and inequality, as well as a general lack of control, when they were apart. These days, she has opted to work on her own independence, happiness and self-love before diving into another monogamous relationship, and has decided to divide her time and energy into a variety of people instead of any individual.
Different people have different definitions of what polyamory is; James sees it as a matter of primary and additional relationships.... Since being introduced to the idea by his partner a few months ago, James has learned a lot about polyamory — primarily that everyone has different needs, and that comfort is key.
“We don’t own each other, and as such we trust each other to make our own decisions, keeping in mind that we don’t want to hurt each other either,” he said....
Anna became interested in polyamory when she noticed its increasing prevalence in her university. It would seem that jealousy would run wild in polyamorous relationships, but James and Anna say that wasn’t necessarily the case....
Anna found it helpful to view her sexual relationships as extensions of friendships. “A healthy relationship is a solid friendship foundation,” she says. “You don’t have only one friend at a time, so in the same way, if you meet someone else who is cool your friend hopefully doesn’t get territorial and make you decide.”
The whole article (March 18, 2014).
At the University of Georgia, in The Red & Black:
More Love to Give
By Stephen Mays
...On a chilly night, I sat down with a handful of members from this group to receive their perspectives on what it is to be poly. Coffee and tea mugs in hand, the conversation immediately revealed that there isn’t one definitive way to practice polyamory.
“Everyone practices differently,” says Fey, a 35-year-old member of the group who declined to give her last name. The five other members of the group at the table nodded in agreement.
“It really just depends on the people,” says Matt Parsons, a 25-year-old member of the group who’s been poly for a year and a half....
Though there seems to be no set precedent for how to conduct a polyamorous relationship, the members present did come to a consensus that polyamory derives success from an emotion called compersion....
For example, "Ooh, my boyfriend is out on a date with a new partner, and he just texted me to say that it's going really well,” says Sarah McManus, a 24-year-old member of the local group, in a later email. “I'm feeling kind of a complicated mix of happiness and maybe some anxiety; can I look inside myself and try to intentionally cultivate empathetic joy in his happiness?”
...For Parsons, he recounted the feeling of compersion after finding out that a previously monogamous girlfriend had cheated on him while she was out of the state.
“I [was] mad she cheated on me, but I [was] glad she got laid,” he says with a laugh....
Whole article (Feb. 27, 2014).
At the University of Hawai'i at Manoa:
The many possibilities of polyamory
By Roman Kalinowski, Staff Writer
While traditional monogamous relationships and marriage seem to be losing popularity each year, more people are learning about the plurality of possibilities offered by polyamory, or “the love of many.” It’s time to stop treating love as if it were a scarce commodity and instead embrace it like the air we breathe.
TRIADS, QUADS AND FREE AGENTS, OH MY
...Children certainly benefit from having two parents of any gender to learn from; if there are three (a “triad”) or four (a “quad”) parents in a family or household, children are almost guaranteed to have someone to play and talk with at all times....
...In contrast to cheating, which is based on deception and secrecy, polyamory strives to maintain a free and open flow of information between relationship participants to the benefit of all involved. Sex is great daily exercise, pleasurable to all consenting parties and is no longer morally or legally reprehensible. All that’s required to be an ethical modern slut is to be open and honest with everyone you encounter about your dreams, desires and expectations; maybe your partner(s) are just as freaky as you are....
The article (Feb. 24, 2014).
I wonder how many more of these I'm missing?