"Louisville has growing polyamory community"
This local newspaper story about Kentucky polys has been in the works for at least a couple of months. Now that it's finally out it sounds kind of clunky and uninspired to me, but the people in it represent us well. Big thanks to the folks who volunteered to be interviewed — those who made it into the story and those who didn't.
Update August 10: Despite the story's overall mediocrity, USA Today has just picked it up: Polyamorous Relationships Become More Visible. The topic must be popular. (Both papers are owned by Gannett.)
Update August 16: Now it's being reprinted in local papers all over the country, despite being very tied to Louisville, Kentucky. Hey journalists — this topic is in demand.
Louisville has growing polyamory community
By Janica Kaneshiro
Her mother calls him “the man from Kentucky.”
But to Jacque Hanson of Lebanon, Ohio, Jason is more than the boyfriend her mom won’t accept.
He would be her second husband if she could get her way.
“I would marry him today if I could,” Hanson said, adding that she has no intention of leaving her husband, Jim.
Instead, she and Jim have agreed to an open relationship.
Hanson identifies as polyamorous, a brand of consensual non-monogamy — or ethical cheating [Groan. –Ed.] — in which partners are in more than one committed relationship at once with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
It is difficult to determine the actual number of people in such relationships because of a lack of research, but they are becoming more visible because of the Internet and social media, according to psychologist Meg Manthos, whose clientele is about 30 percent poly groups.
“Poly relationships have been around for as long as we’ve had documentation,” Manthos said.
And according to a national Avvo.com study from June 2015, about 4 percent of the U.S. population admits [groan] to being in an open relationship, which amounts to about 12.8 million people, or roughly three times the population of Kentucky.
In Louisville, Hanson’s boyfriend Jason and his wife lead a support group of polyamorous couples. The group started five years ago and has grown from four people to between 10 and 25 at each of the monthly meetings, they said. In addition, the Louisville Poly e-mail list which they also run has 420 people on it.
...He said he and his wife have only two rules: safe sex and “don’t be a jerk.” The latter has taken the place of a longer list they made when they first started exploring outside their marriage.
...Hanson, who works as a nurse at a nursing home, talks openly about her lifestyle with anyone who asks, so people often pepper her with questions.
“Some people think I do this because I have low self-esteem, but I think I’m awesome,” she said. “I don’t need help with that.”
One of the most common questions she gets: “Which partner do you love more?”
Hanson said the question is like asking someone which of their children they love more.
She and her husband are perfectly compatible, Hanson said, but “no one can be 100 percent of the things you need, no matter how compatible. I want him to be happy and he wants me to be happy.”
She said it’s a poly principle called “compersion” in which a person gains something emotionally when their significant other finds happiness in another relationship.
She said her relationships are “pretty normal,” the only difference is that she has more than one at a time.
Psychologist Manthos said most of the poly couples she counsels have problems similar to monogamous couples she works with, except poly couples tend to have more issues with how they are perceived....
The Hansons go on to describe compersion, and the level of support and mutual aid among the local poly community. Here's the whole article (August 7, 2015).