Australian poly pioneer Anne Hunter in print, TV, radio
Anne Hunter — an early, key poly-movement pioneer in Australia (population 24 million) — writes that she and two of her pod are on the front page of today's Melbourne Age. They're serving as photo icons of relationship freedom practiced by baby boomers today.
Boomers with benefits: A free love revolution with no rings attached
By Miki Perkins
Anne Hunter with partner Peter Haydon, right, and friend James Dominguez.
Anne Hunter has a deep and committed relationship with her long-term partner of 22 years, Peter Haydon, who lives down by the coast with his other partner.
Yes, you read that right.
Hunter, 52, used to have another long-term partner, but they are now just close friends.
She also has about six or seven "intimates" like James Dominguez; friends of all genders she might have sex with, or just "jump into bed naked together and cuddle".
Some she sees rarely, others live nearby and they catch up often.
...Research on baby boomers like Hunter who have "friends with benefits" will be presented at the Let's Talk About Sex conference in Melbourne on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Conference speakers plan to challenge the assumptions and stereotypes about older people and sexual intimacy, in an event organised by Alzheimers Australia and the Council on the Ageing.
La Trobe University researcher Dr Linda Kirkman did her thesis on rural baby boomers in "friends with benefits" relationships.
Her interviewees had sexual relationships that were ongoing but didn't consider themselves in a couple or share finances, she said.
She found many desired sexual pleasure and intimacy but didn't want the ties, financial entanglements and commitments of the relationships -- often marriages -- in their younger life.
Some of the people she interviewed were hippies in their youth and influenced by books like Robert Heinlein's free-love classic Stranger in a Strange Land, while others had regarded sex as frightening or taboo when young but hungered for a richer sex life as they aged.
"Several of the people I spoke to said they were having the best sex of their lives."
Anne Hunter describes herself as "polyamorous". She defines polyamory as having multiple ethical relationships, with an emphasis on emotional connection, not just sex.
With Haydon she founded PolyVic in 1994 [error; should be 2004 --Ed.], the first polyamorous network in [the state of] Victoria.
..."We support each other in all sorts of ways. When [Peter's] other partner had a severe illness a few years ago I moved down to the coast for a couple of months and did cooking and cleaning," she said.
...Despite lobbying from PolyVic, the Australian Bureau of Statistics was yet to include a question about polyamory on the census, making it impossible to reveal how many people were "raising the level of love in the world", as Hunter put it.
The whole article (September 7, 2015).
And here are two items from Australian TV and radio that have been waiting in my to-post files:
● Late last March, a Channel 10 news show broadcast a segment titled "Open Relationships." It's no longer available online, but Nikó Truffelish in Sydney, who's done her own share of Australian TV, wrote,
It is short and somewhat tabloidy, without giving a good enough background or details, though to their credit there is mention of jealousy, and polyamory is mentioned as having a wonderful advantage over cheating... but it stops short of calling it an alternative practice, showing its popularity, or explaining its mechanisms or why people would engage in it.... and falsely states twice, I think, that polyamory is taken up 'for the sake of the relationship'.
Brave folk [referring to the poly folks who went on the show]. It's so hard to draw the line between wanting to get to a wide national audience and leaving yourself completely open to be edited into bits, re-framed and re-cycled later in different contexts. Anne and Peter and Darren are all amazing poly activists, leaders and thinkers; even they get heavily re-framed.
I still think it was probably beneficial overall, as this segment does spread the word and ideas.
All About Polyamory with Anne Hunter (March 13, 2014). "Join Andrew the Apprentice and Avi Miller as they talk to Anne Hunter from Your Relationship Toolbelt all about polyamory: the rules, tips, tricks and pitfalls."