Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

January 26, 2020

In Israel, a polyfamily of three are declared the children's equal parents.

Another step for polyfamily recognition: An Israeli judge, guided by "the best interest of the children," has granted a women and her two male living partners equal co-guardianship of their children. Erez Benari from Seattle tells us,

This broke yesterday and hasn't been officially translated to English yet. An Israeli thrupple asked to legalize their non-traditional union by approving all 3 adults in the family (2 guys, one woman) to hold "legal guardian" status of their 2 children. Each of the men had a separate child with the woman, and now each of the dads is officially a father to each child.

Hopefully, this is a first step towards a legal union between the adults.

The original article (Jan. 23, 2020) in Yedioth Ahronoth, reportedly Israel's largest-selling newspaper. Google Translate turns the Hebrew into English as follows:

The judge ruled: Mother, Father and Father

Orr, Gil and Glee formed a family and sought to register as co-parents of the two children born to them — each man as another guardian of a child who never came from his seed.

By Yoram Yarkoni

The Tel Aviv Family Court recognized triple parenting — a new family unit that includes Mom, Dad and more Dad as guardian. The two children born to three are officially siblings.

The state is in principle opposed to recognition of a family structure of three parents. ... The judge who recognized triple parenting is Yehoram Shaked. The decision that gave the three parents equal status to their children reads: "The children were created and born into a situation where they have three parents. Rejection of the lawsuit will have one and only meaning for the parties: Continued disobedience and conduct that does not benefit the minors or the whole family."

Judge Shaked further stated that when considering the best interests of the minors, the good of the whole family must also be taken into account. In the past, Shaked has made a decision on triple parenting, in another case with other legal circumstances, but is prohibited from [publicizing] and cannot [give details] about it.

...[The two men] living together wanted to have children. They contacted Glee, whom they knew, and together decided to start a single family with three parents. The pregnancy process took place abroad.

...The three parents' attorneys, attorneys Haggai Kalei, Danielle Jacoby, Carmel Ben Tzur and Carmit Mizrahi, argued that the request to add a guardian to each child came to reflect the reality in which the children live from their day of birth and that they consider themselves brothers for everything. The parents' attorneys said: "In the State of Israel there are thousands of families where children are born prematurely and intentionally to a loving family unit that includes three parents. In the LGBT community, this family structure is particularly common. But so far, the court has not given a proper response regulating the rights of these family [units]."

Itai Notak, a member of the Tel Aviv City Council and who assisted in the struggle of the three parents, said: "Life is stronger than conservative perceptions that our lives must not be waged."

Attorney Dalit Yaniv-Messer, a family law expert, said: "The importance of providing guardianship to a non-biological parent is that it has the right and duty to care for the minor's needs like his biological parents."...

This recalls a similar landmark ruling in Canada's Newfoundland in April 2018.


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January 24, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Activists on the Tamron Hall show, two poly plays, poly-mono crises, my mission, and more

Once again, it's Friday Polynews Roundup!  — for January 24, 2020.

Polyfolks do the Tamron Hall show. Yesterday five of our fine representatives went on the new Tamron Hall daytime TV talk show, which is syndicated to stations by ABC/Disney and reportedly has 1.3 million viewers daily. Kevin and Antoinette Patterson and their polycule partners Chrissy Holman and Pace, plus open-relationship psychologist Dr. Justin Clardy, held forth for about 11 minutes during the second half of the one-hour show.

Many of you, alerted beforehand by Chrissy's social campaign, watched and then swarmed into the show's FacebookInstagram, and Twitter with supportive comments and explanations.

Antoinette and Kevin Patterson. "Ignore that tacky backdrop," writes co-guest Chrissy
Holman. "We said polyamory despite what the media would have you think."

So far the show's website has only 1½ minutes of the video up (and it's not embeddable here as best I can tell). But a friendly person got low-res video of the whole thing by pointing her phone at the TV for the three segments between ads. At that link: Left, Antoinette and Kevin start off alone. Bottom right, Justin Clardy came next. Top right, all four partners close it out. Too bad they got so little time as a group of four.

Posts Chrissy,

Our day was bananas. Talking to a mostly non-sympathetic audience of over one million people about polyamory wasn't an easy task, but we did it. Live. That took a lot - make no mistake. I am drained and I'm sure my Phillycule is, too.

The stars getting prepped to go on.
I am proud of us. We did our best with what they gave us, which wasn't much, but we made lemonade and will continue to do so. Hopefully this is a catalyst for many future conversations. Let's normalize and destigmatize non-monogamy. It's clear given their questions and assumptions that there's much work to be done. I'm here for it.

My personal mission is simple - make polyamory inclusive, center folks at the margins, and make polyamory as BORING as possible. My dream is to pick up a book or see a movie where there are polyam folks of all races, genders, abilities, and orientations... BUT... it's a non issue. No one even bats an eye. It becomes a non-issue."

...There's so much love and compassion, and this is what we need. I hope others can have the same love and support we're so blessed to have."

BTW — Come meet Kevin in person in two weeks at Loving More's Poly Living convention in Philadelphia!  He's keynoting the con on Friday night. See you there.

● In Dan Savage's "Savage Love letter of the day," a sad and oh-so-typical crisis of a poly-mono couple who married five years ago without discussing and learning of their basic incompatibility on like, maybe, the second date? Much less before getting married? At least there are no kids yet. She Can't Do What He's Asking Her To Do — So What Should She Do? (Jan. 21).

All I want to do is to cheat on my husband of five years, whom I love passionately. My husband is intelligent, goofy, athletic, respectful, adventurous, and intellectually curious. We share the same values, sense of humor, and hobbies. We have great conversations and amazing sex. But I’m always falling for other men, which has never diminished my love for my husband. Crushing on other men is exhausting, thrilling, and miserable. I hate the unavoidable blushing, ear-to-ear smiling, crippling guilt, and occasional panic attack. (Compounding the misery, I can’t giggle with anyone about my crushes since I’m a married lady. I instead repress everything, which feels horrible.) Two years ago, I thought I had a solution: severing ties with all my male friends and acquaintances. This ended badly. ...

My rant: When I got into polyamory-awareness activism 15 years ago, the concept that multi-relationshipping could be successful and joyous was practically unknown. A life mission I privately set for myself was to help make it a cultural norm that when a dating relationship turns serious, the question "Do you want us to be open or closed?" is right up there with things like "Do you ever want to have kids?" Rather than just assuming that of course everybody who's worthwhile always turns monogamous, there's no other way except being a rat, no need to ask.

And not just no asking, no cultural room for telling. Even in the most intimate soul-relationship of your life.

I'm kind of amazed that, as early as 2020, this discussion has gone from culturally unthinkable to a fairly widely known wise thing to do — across much of the Western world and beginning to spread elsewhere (India, Russia, Japan...). Too bad this couple failed to get word that they could and should, you know, talk.

Two poly-centered plays are making news in California's Bay Area: How to Transcend a Happy Marriage by noted playwright Sarah Ruhl, reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 20) and elsewhere, and PolySHAMory, a solo standup show by Kate Robards, also reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 12) and elsewhere.

Both plays have been going around for two or three years; see my past posts for Transcend and PolySHAMory. From those SF Chronicle reviews,

[How to Transcenda Happy Marriage]   Take all your feelings about matrimony and monogamy, in all their contradictions. ... Maybe you revere the way present-tense love can stretch forward and backward in time while you also chafe at the limitations of giving your whole self to only one person. Maybe you’re curious about what other modes and loves are out there but too afraid to admit it or explore what that means. Maybe all that affection and lust you feel — for your partner, but also friends, co-workers — resist the compartmentalization the world demands.

“How to Transcend a Happy Marriage” acknowledges all those feelings and then, miraculously, stages a kind of ritual that makes them all OK.

In Sarah Ruhl’s play ... orgy becomes sylvan vision quest, which in turn leads to botched animal sacrifice. Everything falls apart. There are cops and protests and scars and fractures and losses, all manner of trauma. But the result is that two heterosexual couples, all best friends, are a little less tethered, a little more truthful with themselves and each other, a little bit more like the family they perhaps always secretly wanted to be. ...

[PolySHAMory]   Kate Robards recounts how a Cinderella story of a wedding devolved into a nightmare of a marriage. She describes the nightmare as her relationship’s particular breed of polyamory, but you can imagine members of the poly community questioning her use of the label. In Robards’ telling, her now ex-husband drives each step of the pair’s decision to start looking for “paramours,” as she fakes enthusiasm in return — sometimes hilariously, her words drying up, no more sound squeaking out — or awkwardly acquiesces.

If polyamory is supposed to come from a superabundance of love, receptivity and openness, Robards incarnates her ex, Josh, as a meathead prone to glossing over pain and complexity with a “Hey, babe.” ...

So is Robards a total poly-basher? Well, no. From an interview with the Chronicle January 7th:

Q: I was wondering if with the word “sham” you had any worries about reinforcing simplistic stereotypes about polyamory.

I’ve had a lot of people who are polyamorous come to my show, including friends … and they were like, “We get enough of a hard rap for this, and we don’t need one more person telling a bad story about it.” But I have to remind them that as an artist I have a point that I’m getting to and ideas and questions which are unanswered to me, which I want to explore in the piece, and they get that.

...Anytime you do anything autobiographical, I think you have to tread the line of being respectful to the communities and the people you speak about. … I make sure to use my “I” statements. It’s my personal story. It is authentic and it is autobiographical. I make sure not to delve into the other people’s perceptions, the other characters’. It’s just my point of view. It’s truly a monologue.

Honeysuckle magazine is a black-culture print and digital quarterly. Now up: Porn and Politics with King Noire and Jet Setting Jasmine: On Being Black and Polyamorous (online Jan. 22). Jasmine and King Noire are "the powerhouse couple behind the award-winning adult entertainment company Royal Fetish Films."

By Keyanah Nurse

Although polyamory is neither new nor revolutionary, the increased buzz around it brings forth a slew of questions around how polyamorous people and communities appear within mainstream media. As others have rightfully highlighted, coverage largely focuses on polyamory’s white middle class practitioners, creating the impression that polyamory simply isn’t for people of color. But even when larger media outlets specifically highlight this issue, their analyses always stop short of simply acknowledging that yes, people of color, and black people particularly, practice polyamory. Such coverage is useful insofar as it provides a platform for the conferences, online communities, and books that have emerged specifically by and for black polyamorous people. However, it still begs the simple question: how does it work? ...

Metamour Day this year is gonna be a Thing! It's February 28, Valentine's Day times two. And as told here last week, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is throwing its weight behind making this take hold in 2020 after a good start last year.

NCSF says its purpose for Metamour Day is "honoring polyamory's most distinctive relationship," as well as

to foster acceptance and heighten understanding of consensual non-monogamy (“CNM”), strengthen the CNM community, and create awareness of the NCSF mission.

In an effort to broaden the reach and celebration of this holiday, we encourage you to spread the word and host an event for your community. Some of our supporters are hosting parties, others are participating in our greeting card contest (details on the website), and using our hashtag #MetamourDay2020 on social media to promote the occasion. We would love to hear about what you do so we can share in the fun and boost Metamour Day now and into the future.

Eventually, we want to create an archive of information and examples of the fantastic things our constituents do to acknowledge this important relationship. Additionally, if you need any participation from us, we are happy to help. Please let us know if you’re interested by reaching us at metamourday@ncsfreedom.org at your earliest convenience. Please visit our website, https://ncsfreedom.org/metamour-day-2/, for more information.

Used by permission. Click to embiggen.

And before that comes #PolyamoryWeek, February 9 – 15, though I'm seeing less momentum there so far. Yet people do keep putting up graphics on Instagram....

See you next Friday, or sooner if stuff comes up!


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January 22, 2020

Watch, and comment on, polyfolks on ABC-TV's Tamron Hall Show. Airs Thursday Jan. 23

--- UPDATE --- The show airs at different times in different cities. List.

This just in from Chrissy Holman via the Polyamory Leadership Network list:

We have some exciting news for the entire non-monogamy community. On Thursday, 1/23 (yes, this Thursday), Kevin Patterson of Poly Role Models, Antoinette Crumby Patterson, Pace and myself will be on the Tamron Hall show on ABC/Disney, talking about polyamory and open relationships. EXCITING! They will be talking to the four of us about what our polyamory looks like, and how we relationship in this dynamic. This outlet seems highly sympathetic, which is both rare and gorgeous. This is a nationally syndicated talk show with over a million viewers. This is a huge deal for our community, and we hope you’ll join us in destigmatizing and normalizing non-monogamy… but we need your help.

Here’s How You Can Help!

1. Tune in to the show! We are LIVE on Thursday, 1/23. Find your channel or stream here [near top of page]: https://www.tamronhallshow.com

2. Share this information on your social media and with your email lists. Wrangle all your non-monogamous friends across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other channels, and let them know where to tune in, and how they can also help. I've provided sample copy below, so edit at will, but make sure you use the provided hashtags and promote Kevin's work (links below). Start conversations where you can.

3. Help us moderate the comments sections across the Tamron Hall social media channels (listed below for your convenience). The show has covered non-monogamy before, and as expected, there are some not-so-positive comments. How do we combat stigma and judgment? With accurate information! Your lived experience matters here. If you’re good at keeping a cool head and want to educate some misinformed people, the comments sections across the Tamron Hall show channels are a great place to help. In addition to promoting Kevin’s work (links below), tagging his pages (@polyrolemodels), share your own experiences.

Thank you so very much for your time and energy! Let’s normalize non-monogamy!

Tamron Hall Show Social Media:

Promote Kevin’s Work!

Sample Copy (edit for your own voice, but make sure you use the hashtags and tag Kevin @polyrolemodels and link to his work where appropriate):

Exciting news! On Thursday, 1/23, Kevin Patterson of @polyrolemodels, Antoinette Patterson, Pace, and Chrissy Holman will be live on the Tamron Hall show on ABC/Disney, talking about polyamory and open relationships. Find your channel or stream here: https://www.tamronhallshow.com/ #TamronHallShow #TamronHall #polyamory #openrelationships #nonmonogamy #polyrolemodels

Hashtag Bank:
#TamronHallShow #TamronHall #polyamory #openrelationships #nonmonogamy #polyrolemodels

BTW, in the How It's Done department: If you're ever going to be on a TV show yourself, this a model for how to crank up community support.

The Tamron Hall show, aimed mainly at women who are at home on weekday mornings, runs for 1 hour starting at different times of day in different cities. List of times. No word on when during the hour the polycule will be on. The show does not seem to post its full episodes online, at least not right away.


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January 17, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Network TV shows, tabs, estate planners, Metamour Day, Poly Week, and more

It's Friday Polynews Roundup! — for January 17, 2020.

Poly invades even network TV shows.  On ABC's comedy series Single Parents this week, a triad involving key characters explained themselves. (This was in Season 2, Episode 12, "Welcome to Hilltop!",  aired January 15.) From a transcript:

Poppy: [Sighs] I have a question. Sorry to sound like the old Millennial, but how does this work? Anybody ever feel left out or...?

Homily: We have a three-pronged approach for working through the sticky stuff — radical honesty, active listening, and open communication. And it just works.

Angie: Well, now I want to be in a throuple! How did you guys meet?

Brian: Oh, there's a poly dating app. It's called Big Bed.

Each episode becomes viewable for free a week after it airs, in this case January 23.

The right-wing Newsbusters site grumps, Now Even Network Sitcoms Have 'Throuples:' ABC Comedy on Polyamory: 'It Just Works!'

Polyamory is the emergent radical sexual revolutionary idea that is popping up on everything from cable shows to police dramas. We can now add "network television comedy" to the growing list of Hollywood junk pushing this idea.

This week, the ABC sitcom "Single Parents" introduced a "throuple".... Single dad Miggie (Jake Choi) and his gilfriend, left-wing public school teacher Homily Pronstroller (Sarah Yarkin), create a throuple with a guy they met on a polyamorous dating app.

Meanwhile over at CBS, the police/crime show S.W.A.T is now in its third season. Jessica M. writes us,

In Season 2 starting with Episode 6 ("Never Again"), the female bisexual character of Christina "Chris" Alonso is dating a gal named Kira. Kira tells Chris that she is engaged to a guy named Ty and that they are polyamorous and looking for a woman to be their third in a triangle. This plotline appears in the following episodes as well: Season 2 Ep. 8, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21; Season 3 Ep. 3, 7, 8.

Unfortunately the relationship doesn't seem to last, as Chris moves out when it becomes clear to her that she has more intense feelings for Kira than Ty, but the whole situation is handled in a pretty realistic manner, in my opinion.

More doings on TV.  The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association and Polyamour Montréal have issued press releases objecting to a falsehood on Télé-Québec:

In episode 24 of "Zone Franche," a TV show on Télé-Québec, Canadian lawyer and television personality Anne-France Goldwater stated that polyamorous relationships are the equivalent of bigamy and polygamy, and therefore were criminal acts in terms of the law. The episode was broadcast on January 6, 2020.

Goldwater’s comments are not true, of course, because on November 23, 2011, British Columbia’s Supreme Court ruled that Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada [against polygamy] does not apply to unformalized polyamorous relationships. ...

The whole statement.  En Français from Polyamour Montréal. The episode itself, "Le couple ouvert, pour ou contre?". More on the combative host Anne-France Goldwater.

● The British tabloids keep piling on with the happy polyfamily profiles. I've got 27 new ones burdening the queue for the next data dump of these, which may never happen at this rate, but I'll inflict only one on you now: this week's Mother reveals her family now 'feels complete' after she and her husband became a throuple with another woman after 15 years of marriage, from the state of Washington and published in the Daily Mail (Jan. 14, 2020). With lotsa pix. It's typical of the genre.

Ava Miller, from Washington State, has been in the unconventional relationship with her husband Anthony Miller, 37, and her fiancé Ashley Welp, 24, for around two years.

Ava and Anthony, who married in 2003 and have two sons together, claim the trio are 'head over heels in love with each other' despite the 'strange looks' they often receive when together in public.

'People who judge poly families need to realize that we are people just like them. Sharing is the best part of polyamory, it makes me so happy.

'We have built a beautiful foundation together and my family feels complete.'

...Ava said: 'At first we told the kids that Ashley was our friend. They grew to really love her and considered her their fun auntie.

'But one month later, the kids caught on. They asked us, "Are you guys in one of those triangle relationships?".

'We told them we were and they accepted us immediately. I was relieved at how laid back they were.' ...

The story includes a video of another MFF triad:

Lots more of these stories from my past collections; scroll away.

Where do the tabs find all these people? Hint: They pay! Contact the agencies in the image credits — but expect to earn that money, and to sign a scary nondisclosure agreement about the amount. Get competing bids from a couple of the agencies, try to bargain up from their first offer (which is probably for suckers), and insist on editorial control over the final product so you can keep them from portraying you as freaks. Remember, the tabs are not journalism on anyone's part.

Another advice column. Here's an unusual question on The Good Men Project: Ask Dr. NerdLove: I’m Too Scared To Let Myself Be Polyamorous (Jan. 12)

Dear Dr. NerdLove:

My partner and I are non-monogamous, and I know that it would be ok for me to be with someone else, but I’m scared to.

I don’t feel this way about my partner dating, and I don’t get jealous. But any time I have feelings for someone outside our relationship I get filled with self-loathing feelings. I worry over hurting my partner. I feel like a traitor. ...

My partner encourages me and wants me to date additional people if I so choose, and I want to as well. But I don’t know how to deal with these feelings.

Less Than Two

...You’re not the first person I’ve heard from who has issues like this. ... And often, the reasons are what you’ve listed here: they’re worried about hurting their partner or that they are betraying their relationship somehow. It doesn’t matter that their partners are fully ok with them dating other people. Nor does it matter that their partner doesn’t feel threatened or upset by the possibility that someone they love may also have feelings for other people. ...

So I think it’s worthwhile to dig in and start asking yourself the hard questions....

Are you actually poly? ...Is it possible that you’re feeling self-loathing or worry, not because you’re afraid of hurting your partner but because you feel like you’re supposed to want these things but don’t? Are you feeling like you’re betraying your partner by NOT dating other people?

(The non-poly folks are shaking their head at this but trust me: it’s a thing.)...

The next question I think you have to ask yourself is what, exactly, is stopping you from trusting your partner when they say that they’re cool with your dating other people. ...

Another possibility is to ask yourself: are you worried that this is going to expose fault lines in your relationship? ...

● The Capitalism Always Adapts department. WealthManagement.com is advising professional estate planners about a newly visible category of clients to pursue. WealthManagement is a newsletter for "over 540,000 financial advisors and wealth professionals [who] rely on WealthManagement information, editorial insight, and analysis to assist them in their client activities." Now up in its Estate Planning section: Dead Celebrity Podcast: Jerry Weintraub and Modern Polyamory (Jan. 6):

By David H. Lenok

If you had a client with multiple partners, would you know how to handle their estate planning?

...In this episode, WealthManagement.com’s senior editor, David Lenok, speaks with Kim Kamin, principal at Gresham Partners, about the success of Jerry Weintraub’s estate plan. Its success is notable given that this Emmy-Award winning producer, talent manager, and actor had lived with a long-term girlfriend while still staying married to his wife. Together, David and Kim discuss... the overlooked prevalence of polyamorous couples in today’s society, and considerations for advisors who are working with polyamorous clients.

In this episode, you will learn:

     – About the many variations of modern polyamory
     – How to tactfully ask your coupled clients about their relationships
     – Considerations that have to be made depending on whether the polyamorous relationship is a public or private arrangement
     – Ways to help your polyamorous clients dodge estate planning hurdles

Metamour Day is already coming around again, can you believe it? We're already hearing word of groups planning stuff for February 28th, which of course is Valentine's Day times two.

Metamour Day was successfully launched last year by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), which ran a campaign that was widely picked up on blogs and social media. For this year their slogan is, "Honoring polyamory's most distinctive relationship."

Click to embiggen. Used by permission.
Which is exactly on target. Your metamours, of course, are your lover(s)' other lover(s). The defining aspect of polyamory, the thing that sets it apart from other forms of consensual non-monogamy such as open relationships, is the understanding that your metas — your partners-in-law — are significant persons in the mix who require, at minimum, your consideration, respect, and basic good will. Even if you hardly know them and/or don't much like them, and even if ordinary politeness is as far as you go. Because polyamory, much like a traditional extended family, carries an implicit ethic that for better or worse, "We're all in this together."

And, of course, metamour relations often blossom into deep friendships and companionships, platonic or otherwise, and sometimes outlast the relationship with the person who brought the metas together in the first place.

This year NCSF is running a Metamour Day Card Contest:

Are you creative? Want to show your appreciation for your metamour, or help others to do so? We're hosting a Metamour Day Card Contest!

All accepted contest submissions will be featured on the Metamour Day page, and will be available to download to give to your metamour on February 28th. More details, including prizes, will be announced soon. Follow our social media to stay up to date with the latest news on the contest.

Guidelines for contest submissions:

- Must be original artwork; no copyright infringement, please!
- No personal information. We want these cards to be useful to everyone!
- Keep in mind that there are many varieties of metamour relationships out there.

For inquiries or submissions, email metamourday@ncsfreedom.org

Metamour Mug, from BashfulBatCreations

Small bumpersticker from Cafepress. Other designs available.

Polyamory Week. Meanwhile, a bunch of folks on Instagram have just launched #polyamoryweek, with the graphic at right among others.

Let's see if we can get this one to take off too. Writes Canadian polyactivist Steve Ks, "I kind of like how this pre-empts Valentine's Day (without mentioning it)." Though of course we're not pre-empting traditional couple romance, we're adding to its possibilities!


 Ta-ta till next Friday, unless something big comes up before then.


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January 10, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Poly hospital drama in the NY Times, L Word, conservatives turn on a heretic, and more

It's Friday Polynews Roundup time! — for January 10, 2020.

Polyamory and open relationships are fundamentally different (yes I know about the blends and overlaps), and the difference is the metamour relations. In this morning's New York Times comes a heartfelt reminder that sometimes, life doesn't want you to compartmentalize your relationships: Two Open Marriages in One Small Room. It's the Times's Modern Love article for Jan. 10, 2020.

A motorcycle accident brings together four lives that had been kept intentionally separate.

Brian Rea / NYT

By Wayne Scott

“I want to see the body,” said my 12-year-old son, Miles.

He and I were sitting in our minivan outside of the hospital. ...

“Miles, it’s not ‘the body,’” I said. “You only say ‘the body’ when a person is dead. Eric’s still Eric. He’s just had a terrible accident.”

“Then I want to see him,” Miles said. “Can’t we go inside? Just for a few minutes.”

“It’s private,” I said.

“Well, Mom is there.”

“Mom and Eric have a special relationship,” I said. “Eric is in an intensive care unit. They’re cramped spaces full of sensitive equipment. We don’t want the room to be too crowded.”...

“I think it’s just Mom there, and Eric,” Miles said. “Maybe Shelley.”

Here’s where it gets interesting. Shelley is Eric’s wife. My wife (and Miles’s mother) is Eric’s girlfriend. We both have open marriages and respect each other’s privacy, but this accident propelled us into a new reality.

...Like other couples we know in open arrangements, my wife and I compartmentalize, keeping our dating relationships mostly off each other’s radar, a buffer against jealousy and insecurity. ...

Good luck with that.

Spoiler coming:

...Months later, Eric would come through all of this — ambulatory and healed, if altered. But that evening, looking at him, I felt a fluttering in my gut, a stir of mortal awareness, as if holding him in our gaze was the only thing tethering him to the earth.

● Remember last week's buzz about polyam coming to another TV show? Insider, for instance, ran 'The L Word' just showed a lesbian 'throuple' on TV in one of the first same-sex polyamorous storylines. That was Episode 4 of "The L Word: Generation Q."

Well the next episode aired last Sunday, and Insider issued a new story:

By Canela López

Episode 5 of Showtime's "The L Word: Generation Q" had audiences gasping Sunday night after the lesbian drama portrayed long-time audience favorite Alice Pieszecki and her wife possibly turning their relationship into a "throuple."

...With more celebrities openly identifying as polyamorous, it may not come as a surprise that the boundary-pushing show is attempting to normalize this unconventional way of dating.

...The episode doesn't reduce the throuple to a messy side story to poke fun of. Rather, the three are portrayed working through a strategy on how or if they should tell the children, how they should show up in public, and what other boundaries they'll have in their relationship.

This portrayal of communicative and, for the most part, healthy polyamory is a big departure from typical portrayals of being poly which typically conflates the practice with polygamy — a far more sexist version of non-monogamy [such as "Big Love" and "Sister Wives"]....

The episode's two-minute trailer:

● It's all too much for National Review, America's long-established magazine of old-style conservatism. This week it published an article against a conservative writer, Geoffrey Miller, who recently defended poly at length in another conservative magazine.

The reply is noteworthy because it's not overtly based on religion and does raise some issues that are worthy of attention (if you can get through the rest of it). It's titled The Counterfeit ‘Honesty’ of Polyamory (online Jan. 7).

By Daniel Frost and Hal Boyd

The trend toward privileging desire over commitment and morality has predictable consequences.

Hold it right there. Poly and other forms of ethical nonmonogamy are all about commitment and morality. Yes, we know that unethical people do the opposite of those things. That's why we do it our way.

[Segueing from a discussion about a man who visits sex workers,] evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller recently wrote favorably about a related, albeit slightly different, form of openness: “polyamory,” which, he argues, “is going mainstream, like it or not.” ...Miller and others tout polyamory, or consensual non-monogamy, as allowing more honesty regarding our true desires. ... Miller, in fact, characterizes polyamory as “radical honesty,” claiming that it allows once impermissible desires to be articulated and pursued more openly and truthfully.

This is perhaps one of the main arguments advanced by advocates of polyamory and consensual non-monogamy. After millennia of deceiving ourselves and others, we’re told, polyamory finally permits us to say what we really think and to act as we really feel.

...But before polyamorists congratulate themselves too much over their honesty, it’s worth investigating what they mean by “radical honesty.” It turns out that, in practice, this kind of “honesty” more often deals in half-truths and plays the role of legitimizing a self-centered form of sexual consumerism.

Actually, half-truths are not honesty at all, and "self-centered consumerism" is not ethical, caring, or loving. But the authors, who teach at Brigham Young University's College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, come from the doctrine that sex outside of monogamous marriage is contrary to God and therefore is necessarily destructive and bound to end in misery. And therefore so is love outside of strict bounds. In fact, their jobs at BYU require them not to think otherwise in public. So they close that loop of circular logic right away, perhaps without even knowing it.

But then things get more interesting:

Proponents often tout polyamory as an ethical, “consensual” form of non-monogamy. However, a recent survey, co-sponsored by the Wheatley Institution and Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life found that less than half of women who had been in a consensual non-monogamous relationship said that both partners desired the arrangement equally.

And, among all survey respondents, it turned out that “men desired an open sexual relationship almost four times more than their female counterparts.” To be sure, plenty of male respondents in the survey reported that their female partner wanted an open relationship more than they did; but, no matter the direction of the data, the findings suggest that the mainstreaming of polyamory would likely result in many individuals (particularly women) feeling pressured to enter arrangements that would not be their first choice.

And there exists a genuine problem. Women (and men) must have the power and agency to say no to a relationship style they don't want, and to leave it if necessary. But Poly Under Pressure, PUP, indeed happens, and as I've said before, it's a sick puppy whose diarrhea fouls us all.


Polyamory is the latest expression of sexual freedom championed by the affluent. They are in a better position to manage the complications of novel relationship arrangements. And if these relationships don’t work out, they can recover thanks to their financial capability and social capital. The less fortunate suffer by adopting the beliefs of the upper class.

...Marriage norms have seriously deteriorated among the poor, with serious consequences for single parents and children.... We are arguing that the spread of “radically honest” views of commitment and relationships will make family stability increasingly unlikely.

First, consensual non-monogamy is not peculiar to the upper class; elites simply attract more eyes no matter what they do, and they have less to fear from saying what they think. A 2016 study, spanning 8,718 individuals, found that the percent of the US population reporting experience with CNM "remained constant across age, education level, income, religion, region, political affiliation, and race." If the poor and marginalized lead more troubled, chaotic lives than the affluent, maybe it's because not having money means life is usually bouncing between trouble and chaos.

In fact, CNM can be adaptive among the marginalized. Talk to folks at a black polycon and you will hear that for many generations, long before the word polyamory was invented, networked intimate relationships in the black community were providing buffers against hard circumstances, even if they were kept on the down-low out of white view.

On the other hand... it's true that social trends often degrade as they go mass market. I've been saying for 12 years that as the poly bandwagon gets rolling, we need to steer the bandwagon to keep it on a path of good ethics, respect, integrity, and compassion, difficult as those things may be, or our defining word will come to mean nothing. So, yeah.

BTW, if the BYU profs are reading this, remember that quote from last week, "When a man is penalized for honesty, he learns to lie." Often without even realizing it.

● Sociologist Eli Sheff, in her long-running Psychology Today blog "The Polyamorists Next Door," is doing a series on how and whether to open a marriage together. Part 1 was Relationship Broken, Add More People? "Dangers of opening a broken relationship, what to do instead, plus one caveat" (Nov. 18).  Part 2 is When Can Opening a Heteroflexible Monogamous Relationship Work? "Four tips that can help when opening a previously-monogamous relationship" (Dec. 30). From the second one,

1. Establish True Consent

The most important factor contributing to the success of opening a relationship is ensuring that it is truly consensual. Bullying, badgering, and coercing a partner until they finally give in to something they really don’t want to do is setting yourself up for disaster, and getting your mess all over the people you try to date. [The PUPpy diarrhea.]

...Real consent is a living thing negotiated among people who can say yes or no. When someone is unable to say no, then their yes is just lip service and not true consent. Consent is not only negotiated, but it can also be renegotiated as requirements and experiences change. People who want to try CNM would do well to educate themselves about how to attain and sustain true consent because it can be especially tricky in CNM relationships.

2. Cultivate Relationship Skills

Polyamory and other forms of consensual nonmonogamy require some skilled relationship maintenance. Just like other kinds of relationships, polyamory thrives on compassionate communication, active listening, and creative problem-solving. For these relationships to be successful, people must be willing to put in effort and view relationships as worthy of investing time and energy. This usually means taking the time to learn communication skills, listen deeply, work on compassionate responses to conflict, and try different things when the old ways no longer work.

If all of that sounds like a tall order, it is. ...

3. Be Flexible

Many people in established monogamous couples — especially heteroflexible couples composed of heteroflexible or bisexual women with heterosexual men — approach CNM with a very clear idea of how it will work for them. Often based in fantasy, this idea can calcify into an inflexible structure that might not actually work in the real world. ...

4. Find Support

Finding social support is key for establishing a happy polyamorous relationship. Swinging, open, monogamish, and some other forms of CNM tend to be more separated from family life and sometimes exclude emotional intimacy. Polyamorous relationships, in contrast, are generally more deeply embedded in daily social life and family interactions. Connecting with [others] provides access to advice, other perspectives, role models, friendship, emotional support, and companionship.

...Sometimes, however, CNM does not work even when couples work to establish consent, gain relationship skills, stay flexible, and get support. The third and final blog in this series addresses when CNM will not work for an established couple and what to do about it.

I'll flag that when it comes out.

● Zinnia's daily Polyamory Advice column has returned from a four-month hibernation, taking new questions every day since January 6th. Yesterday's was about a common newbie issue: I really want to be in a specific type of triad, and it's all I can think about (Jan. 9)

I really wanna be in a triad relationship with two boys (I’m a girl), but I've never met anyone who is down with that and it's all I really think about and I really want this?

It’s totally fine to have desires and fantasies and dreams — most people have at least a few. ...

It’s important to remember, though, that ultimately, we date people, not relationships. Pursuing a specific relationship style rather than seeking intimacy with individuals is an easy mistake to make but it will lead you down some rough roads. Seeing a relationship as a “goal” to “achieve” will also cause you tons of anguish, so be careful with that.

Work on yourself, find ways to meet polyamorous people organically (dating sites, meetups, the local scene), and try to be patient. ... Inevitably, reality won’t end up looking like your expectations, and it’s better to live in the present than the future. ...

● From another advice column, "Ask an Alaskan: Sex and Relationship for the Last Frontier" in the alternative Anchorage Press: Poly Problems (Jan. 8)

...Now we are in a situation that I never expected. I am going to break up with my boyfriend that I moved to Alaska with, but I also want to continue dating the person that we started dating together.

How do we break up with each other but continue to date our mutual partner when we are not together?

● From another newspaper, in New Zealand, We want an open relationship but don't know where to start (Jan. 10).

Since opening up to my partner about being poly-curious a few years ago, we've been talking and reading resources about open relationships, and we're thinking about opening up. Our current relationship is strong and my partner has expressed their open-mindness about this.

We recently visited a local polyamory support group to seek advice but didn't feel that we could do so once we got there. Besides an interest in open relationships, we didn't really have all that much in common with the other attendees.

Where should a long-term couple like us start?

My own advice? Go back to that group and pick their brains for knowledge even if you don't "really have all that much in common." In a big important way, you do.

Even if, let's say, you're quiet churchmice and they're fluorescent-haired 20-something psychonauts. To learn new things, be ready for new things.

That's Friday Polynews Roundup for now. See you next week, or sooner if something big develops!


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January 3, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Black poly on NBC, family poly on The L Word, we're now in country music, and more

It's Friday Polynews Roundup time! — for January 3, 2020.

● This week NBC's LX division ("LX, or Local X, stands for the exponential possibilities of storytelling in our communities") put out a sweet 7-minute segment on a poly group. A couple opened their marriage four years ago after the wife was intrigued by a TV program just like this. They've ended up in a quad, and their communication and honesty all around made it work.

And if you've been waiting for one of these nice TV profiles to exhibit successful poly entirely in the black community, bookmark this one.

Simone and Tony Frederick opened up their monogamous relationship after four years of marriage. They are now in a polyamorous relationship, meaning they're in intimate relationships with more than one partner with the consent of all partners involved.

I don't how widely this is airing. NBC's LX division says it's "redefining local news"; I assume this means it supplies human-interest filler for the local news shows on NBC affiliates all over. Notice, for instance, that there's no indication of where these nice people live.

● Elsewhere on TV this week, on Showtime's The L Word – Generation Q, episode 4, Nat and Gigi tease a poly relationship with steamy threesome we are told by Meaww.com (Dec. 29). Spoilers coming:

In what we can vouch to be the steamiest of lesbian threesomes, the scene was just about Alice, Nat and Gigi — one that was not shot for the male gaze, and is passionate and simply beautiful.

By Pooja Salvi

When Alice (Leisha Hailey) had suggested that her current partner Nat (Stephanie Allynne) and Nat's ex-wife Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) rekindle their friendship, we had expected the show to take the same downtrodden path — a love triangle destined to be doomed.

What we did not expect — okay, actually, we had already called it — is one episode later, the trio will be participating in an extremely steamy threesome!

In the latest episode of 'The L Word: Generation Q', Alice is being interviewed by LA Times — her work, her show, her queer life, her partner, their life together.

At the same time, Gigi shows up at the office with the kids and their change of clothes for the shoot. The newspaper gets a photo of the three together around the kids, as a family.

We — along with countless fans of the show — are hoping that the makers of 'The L Word: Generation Q' explore polyamory for the trio going forward.

...The throuple not only has physical chemistry with each other but also an emotional connection. ... With the next episode literally titled 'Labels', could it be that Alice, Nat and Gigi put a label on their relationship? 'The L Word: Generation Q' airs on Sundays at 10/ 9c on Showtime.

Over at the right-wing Newsbusters, they're furious about this: Showtime's 'L Word' Reboot: A Throuple Is 'A Family' (Dec. 29)

By Elise Ehrhard

Polyamory is the next frontier in the radical left’s sexual revolution. Every left-wing medium, from the New York Times to network television, has been attempting to “normalize” and desensitize the public to this "lifestyle." It was only a matter of time before Showtime's The L Word: Generation Q, a show dreamed up in a lesbian fantasyland somewhere in Los Angeles, would join the polyamory push.

In this week’s episode, “LA Times,” on December 29, talk-show host Alice (Leisha Hailey) created a “throuple” with her current lesbian lover Natalie (Stephanie Allynne) and Natalie’s ex-wife Gigi (Sepideh Moafi). Of course, Gigi and Natalie were already raising two children together. What could go wrong for children to live under such sexual chaos?

Before the explicit scene that establishes the threesome’s new “relationship,” the trio are already talking about themselves as a “family.” They first use the word “family” after friends show Alice a recent feature article and headline promoting her as the “Queen of Queer Life.” ...

● Meanwhile, poly invades country music! "Polyamory" by Colorado's Sugar Britches:

The Advocate reviewed 8 Incredible Illustrated Books for LGBTQ Readers, including this one, subtitled "how the ethics of polyamory helped my rescue dog and me heal from trauma" (Dec. 27).

Oh, Luna Fortuna is more than queer author Stacy Bias’ weird little picture book for adults about trauma, mental health, and dog rescue in the vein of Go the Fuck to Sleep (i.e. not for kids). It... shows us how loving something else requires us often to love ourselves first. Bias, an author and well known fat activist, weaves together polyamory, animal rescue, and PTSD into a slim graphic memoir that will make many LGBTQ folks nodding vigorously with recognition (and sometimes delight). Available from Etsy/Oh Luna.

● More in a long series of poly advice from columnist Yana Tallon-Hicks in the alternative Valley Advocate (where I once worked!) serving western Massachusetts: V-Spot: How do I stop avoiding my partners’ partners? (Dec. 30):

I’ve been practicing polyamory for three years. ... My big problem is that once my partners either a) show an interest in someone or b) have sex with them, I immediately do not want to spend any time with that person. I barely want to make eye contact (avoidance much?).

...I know I’m missing out on valuable and lovely social experiences because of this, AND I’m disappointing my loved ones.

— Avid Avoider

First, not all non-monogamous relationships are required to include interactions with partners’ partners in order to be successful. The boundaries of all relationships (monogamous or not) are able to be negotiated to best suit the emotional and mental health of all players involved. ...

I find it interesting that you differentiate here between your jealousy (which you describe as “manageable”) and your desire to entirely avoid your metamours. It makes me wonder, what’s fueling your avoidance?.... Are you good at reframing negative self-talk? Do you have effective ways of caretaking yourself and your feelings during a jealous spell that could work here?

...Also, what is The Big Scary you’re avoiding by not making eye contact with these lovers of your lovers? I sort of wonder if some casual “exposure therapy” is in order here. Meaning, what would it be like to gradually face these fears and thoughts rather than keep them in the dainty little glass cabinet called Avoidance you’ve stored them in, leaving them untouched and, ultimately, perfectly intact?

...Whatever you do, the only way to stop avoiding is to stop avoiding. ...

News You Can Use

This week I'm reading Jim Fleckenstein's new book Love That Works, a collection of 38 relationship hacks. Jim has been a kink and poly activist for decades. He formed the Institute for 21st Century Relationships back when "21st Century" meant science fiction; it later became the nonprofit foundation of his other passion, the kink and poly National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), which thrives today. He's also a relationship coach. Love That Works is not poly-specific but offers tools that poly people and groups should find useful.

I've just started the book, and it begins with an insight I've rarely seen elsewhere, though it's obvious when you see it. Before any relationship processing can work between people, they have to explicitly prepare a safe space between them for difficult disclosures and discussions.

Family therapists often miss this fact because their own office and presence provide such a setting automatically. In fact, that simple thing is a lot of what you pay them for, though no one might quite say so.

"If it’s not safe to share everything," writes Jim," then it’s not really safe to share anything, because you never know what’s going to be triggering and derail the conversation."

He quotes Criss Jami: "When a man is penalized for honesty, he learns to lie."

So, for this week's News You Can Use from the community itself, here's from Hack #1:

Reflect upon a time in your relationship when you punished your partner for telling you an unpalatable truth, large or small. ...

Do you think that your approach encouraged future honesty, or did it encourage deception and secrecy?

What might be some ways that you might have handled it differently?

Just sit with that one for a while.

(Disclosure: I have no financial interest in the book, but Jim's a friend and I hope it succeeds.)

See you next Friday, or sooner if something comes up!


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December 27, 2019

Friday Polynews Roundup — New polyamory music, Israeli poly anarchitecture, guess who faces more scrutiny, and more

It's Friday Polynews Roundup time! — for December 27, 2019

● From Israel, Graduate of elite IDF Unit 8200 breaks barriers with her free-love commune (Dec. 20):

Shir Talor (crouching) and companions building a mini-dome.

Just a short drive from the hummus shops and hairdressers in the center of Pardes Hannah, there is a free-love commune where dozens of people happily give the finger to societal norms.

Old-timers in the Israeli town think it’s a myth, and even the many hippies who have migrated to the small city of 42,000 an hour north of Tel Aviv aren’t sure whether to believe the rumors of the love collective established last year.

...[Shir] Talor doesn’t take the predictable path of most alum of the Israeli Intelligence Corps’ Unit 8200, who often head successful tech startups or lecture at international forums on cybersecurity. Instead, after 11 years in the elite unit, her big project is to pioneer polyamory in a home dominated by a “cuddle space” large enough for several people to get intimate.

She is convinced that society must become more “pluralistic” about sex rather than view it as necessarily bound up with marriage, childbearing and exclusivity.

“For us, sexuality is not a goal you get to on the way to something or somewhere. It’s a tool, just like conversation or playing board games, to spend time with another person and build intimacy. Sometimes sexuality leads to other things and sometimes it doesn’t,” she says.

Talor is an architect — or as she puts it, an “anarchitect,” meaning “anarchist architect” — and uses her design skills to map the intricate relationships between more than 30 people in the polyamorous group with crisscrossing lines. She calls the diagram a “polycule” because it resembles the blueprint of a molecule, but the web is actually much bigger, she stresses, with many more relationships between members of both the same and different sex. ...

● In his Savage Love column (in many alternative newspapers), Dan Savage this week lays into more baaad "CNM" that sullies our name. He responds to a question about a girlfriend who says she's monogamous and also says she wants the opposite: Open Ended (Dec. 25, 2019).

...We are interested in opening up our relationship, but I have reservations. She wants the freedom to throw herself into her new world without the constraint of having to shut down non-platonic sparks. [She] has brought up marriage several times. While she admits she doesn't have a good track record with monogamy, she insists marriage will change that.

Another concern: The last time she was in an open relationship, she cheated on her then-boyfriend with me. "No exes" was one of their rules, and I was her ex at the time. (I didn't know she was with someone else.) Another wrinkle: When I confided in her recently that I had developed romantic feelings for another person, she asked me to choose between her and them....

I would be fine with her hooking up with women, but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about her with other men.... She would be willing to put her desire for experiences with other women to the side in order to be with me, she says, once we are married. I would love to hear your thoughts....

Don't open it. End it. It's time to put this dumb, messy, past-its-expiration-date shitshow of a relationship behind you. Would knowing your girlfriend is already fucking other people help you do that? Because when someone with a shitty track record where monogamy and nonmonogamy are concerned asks their partner for an open relationship while at the same time demanding their partner "abort" any potential "non-platonic" friendships... yeah... already fucking other people.

...People who are bad at monogamy don't get better at it once they're married. If anything, people who were good at monogamy tend to get worse at it the longer they're married. ... And if your girlfriend cheats because she gets off on risk, danger, or deception, getting married — which would obviously make cheating riskier and more dangerous — could make cheating more appealing to her, not less.

● Indie-pop singer-songwriter Jyoti Mishra of Derby, UK, under the name White Town, released a new album,  Polyamory, on Christmas Eve. Tracks:

You and Him and Her and Me (3:19)
You're Free (2:15)
Love Isn't Property (2:57)
Troo Love (3:50)
Night of Rain and Monsters (2:30)
You Be Me (3:57)
Christmas Eve 2019 (3:40)

Listen here, with lyrics and videos.

From a review:

The "band" White Town consists of Jyoti Mishra, who writes and records the music almost entirely on his own, with occasional help from other musicians. Although best known for the fluke 1997 hit "Your Woman," White Town's mix of musical, political, and social influences makes Mishra one of the more intriguing, although frustratingly inconsistent, musicians in '90s indie pop. – Stewart Mason, AMG

I wasn't much impressed on first listening, but then these tunes began to haunt.

● A significant article from the Black Youth Project: Black women face greater scrutiny than white women for being polyamorous (Dec. 20, 2019):

The societal impact of straying from what is considered a norm is greater for Black people than it is for our white counterparts.

(A scene from Spike Lee's unfortunate She's Gotta Have It)

by Sarah Thomas

Of the many places to learn about my sexuality, That 70’s Show was as good as any... but one episode in particular stood out to me. Red and Kitty attend a party with their neighbors, Bob and Midge. After a few minutes of conversation and mingling, it becomes clear just what kind of party they’ve been invited to.... Kitt rises to leave and giggles nervously as she says, “My God. You’re swingers!”

Red and Kitty quickly dash away from the party, whose attendees seem to be having the time of their lives. It was the first time I saw an instance of open relationships on TV. Instead of tapping into the implied humor at the expense of these “debaucherous” people, I was entranced with how free they seemed. The only problem was that I didn’t look like them. That 70’s Show was a snowy-white sitcom, and it would be a while before I saw myself reflected in portrayals of polyamory in media.

...While conversations about sex and sexuality have become less taboo, the face of pleasure is still being defined. BDSM gear graces the runways and think pieces about triads are found in major publications. Alternative lifestyles such as polyamory can be brought up at dinner parties and people (mostly) don’t bat an eye. [But] when we picture that dinner party, and that quirky person who is empowered by their sexuality, what do they look like?

...In an interview with yesyesnonmono, Kevin Patterson, author of Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities, comments on the responsibility of white people to hold space for people of color. “It’s so easy to not see yourself represented in a thing and then to assume that thing is not for you. Polyamory is one of those things. We need more visible people of color in these spaces,” says Patterson. “But that also means that white folks with platforms need to use them to prop up people who don’t get the same kind of exposure. That means bloggers, organizers, community leaders, etc.”

Like white feminism, the white sex-positive crowd benefits from white supremacy. White people benefit from the assumption of innocence when exploring their sexuality. Compare this to most Black people’s experiences with kink and polyamory. ... As said in Shirley Yee’s Black Women Abolitionists: A Study in Activism, 1828-1860, “[S]tereotypes of black and white women were mutually reinforcing images, not simply opposites; the assumption that black women were sensual and physically strong served to buttress the notion that white women were delicate and passionless.” The assumption of this fragile innocence and passivity of white women harms us because we are seen as deviant beings.

...There is less of an outcry from a white community that could alienate those that are behaving outside of social norms. The people that they have to answer to are usually parents and a few friends instead of an entire people. For some Black people, adopting respectability politics is a gateway to acceptance across communities. ...

News You Can Use

A reminder: Find your options and plan your trips to hotel polycons, wilderness polycamps, retreat intensives, and other polyamory-community gatherings for the coming year at Alan's List of Polyamory Events.

Back again next Friday if not sooner!


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December 26, 2019

The 35 polyamory conventions, retreats, gatherings in 2020!

In addition to Polyamory in the News, I maintain Alan's List of Polyamory Events: conferences, retreats, and so forth that are large enough to draw people regionally, nationally, and internationally — with paragraph descriptions and my impressions from the ones I've been to. Right now, 35 such events are on deck for 2020.

Below is a snapshot of the list as it stands at the end of 2019. I maintain it continuously for 12 months ahead. Bookmark it, and keep checking in!

And there's always a link here in the right-hand sidebar.

I hope to meet you at some of these.


Any I missed?  Fixes needed?
Write me at  alan7388 (at) gmail.com
—Alan M.,  Polyamory in the News

● Poly Living East (Philadelphia)
February 7–9, 2020
Philadelphia, PA

Poly Living is put on each year by the Loving More nonprofit group, in an excellent large hotel near the Philadelphia airport and a rail stop. This will be Poly Living's 15th year (the 13th under Loving More's management). It's been drawing a lively, increasingly diverse crowd of 200 to 250 interesting people for talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Here were the 2019 presenters. Here's my writeup of the first Poly Living I attended (2006). In 2012 I gave the keynote speech. I'll be back again this time. Hope to meet you there!

Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

Winter Poly Wonderland
February 14–17, 2020
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, Michael Rios and their friends and partners in Network for a New Culture organize several poly and poly-friendly workshop retreats around the year at the Abrams Creek Conference Center in the mountains of West Virginia. Their goal is to build, over several days, an enduring network of sympathetic people from all over who won't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. “The point is building tribe,” says Michael.

I went to Winter Poly Wonderland 2018 and have attended the (largely poly) Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East for many years. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development, from ZEGG Forum to relationship-skills workshops, are ideal for this ambitious goal. “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.” Winter Poly Wonderland is one of the smaller, more intimate of these events; 29 of us attended in January 2018.

● Kleines Polytreffen, Winter (Germany)
February 21–25, 2020
near Fulda, Germany

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, runs transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. According to the organizers, the gatherings serve as "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical know-how. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants. Minimum age 18. Two 'Grand Poly Meetings' take place every spring and fall; these draw 40 to 150 people for up to 70 workshops, talks and other events, depending on the format. The smaller winter meeting gathers about 40." In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

Southwest Love Fest: A Conference on Ethical Non-Monogamy
April 3–5, 2020
Tucson, Arizona

This convention is on the way up. The first Southwest Love Fest in 2018 sold out with over 225 attendees, and the second in 2019 had over 400. (The only polyamory/ ethical nonmonogamy convention with more was the one-time OpenSF in SanFrancisco in 2012 with 500.) I was at SW Love Fest in 2018 and found the vibe exuberant and excited, the attendees (80% from Arizona) great-hearted and significantly diverse, and the presenters I saw were mostly excellent. The Saturday-night social-activity events included a simultaneous treasure hunt, dance party with costuming available, and a cuddle puddle in a pop-up gazebo under the stars. In 2019 a CEU track enabled psychology professionals to earn continuing-education credits. There was child care both years. The 2019 event featured a record 50 workshops, discussions, meetups and a town hall.

Conference organizers Kate Kincaid and Sara Bachmann-Williams recruited many volunteers from the Tucson and Phoenix poly and kink communities, and the success of the event seems to have come largely from word of mouth. Heavy involvement by the local community seems to make the difference for the success of a polycon. They're looking to do a complete hotel takeover in 2020.

Kate says that she and Sara will help advise anyone who wants to start a hotel polycon in their own city; write to southwestlovefest AT gmail.com.

● SoPoCo: Solo Polyamory Conference
April 18–19, 2020
Manhattan, New York, NY

Solo poly symbol 
This roving conference, centering on SoPo's, is entering its fourth year. "Are you new to polyamory and exploring the many possible configurations, or been practicing honest non-monogamy for decades? Regardless of where you are on the experience spectrum, you’ll appreciate the support, community, camaraderie, hospitality, and awesome keynote speakers we’re assembling for your enjoyment, learning, and growth. Building on 2017's inaugural worldwide event in Vancouver BC and 2018's event in Seattle [and 2019's in San Francisco], in association with Facebook's largest and most vibrant solo polyamory discussion group, this is your opportunity to meet other solo non-monogamous people and share real life experiences!" In past years SoPoCo has sold out in advance.

● RelateCon - Boise
April 24–26, 2020
Boise, Idaho

"RelateCon provides a unique and supportive gathering place for polyamorous people to connect as a community through educational workshops, social spaces, and opportunities for networking. The core value of this conference is to empower healthy relationships across a myriad of configurations." The first RelateCon in 2017 drew about 120 people, impressive for a first event, and in 2018 it nearly sold out. Here were the 2019 presenters. Facebook page. Twitter. Wrote organizer Ginger Polynirvana in 2017, "We are able to offer a simultaneous Professional track at RelateCon, which will offer CEUs to a wide variety of disciplines such as lawyers, social workers, counselors, and teachers." Here's Kitty Chambliss's enthusiastic writeup of the 2017 event. Here's the local alternative weekly paper's writeup that year.

The organizers are also starting a RelateCon in Atlanta; See August 7–9.

● Polytopia
Early spring 2020 (dates to be announced)
Portland, Oregon

Sex-Positive Portland will host the city's sixth annual "polyamory and open relationship symposium and celebration." The 2018 event sold out with a capacity of 150. From the 2019 description: "This three-day weekend exploration of polyamory includes an opening night gala, workshops, panel discussions, a poly house party and a guided poly massage-a-trois. Come learn, play, and explore your edges. Learn from our experienced and inspiring presenters sharing knowledge, tips, and wisdom while we celebrate a passion for loving more. Bring your friends and extended poly family, meet new friends and lovers, find your people!

"Polytopia offers workshops for those who are relatively new to navigating the joys and pitfalls of loving more and workshops for those who are already well-experienced with polyamory who are looking for ways to better live the life they love. Workshops will be in a variety of formats ranging from lecture and discussion to experiential and embodied activities in dyads, triads and more. We will also offer lunchtime discussion panels and affinity groups to choose from each day to deepen our knowledge and connections with each other." Facebook page.

● Rocky Mountain Poly Living
April 24–26, 2020
Denver, CO

Rocky Mountain Poly Living is run by Loving More (based in Colorado), which has put on Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February for 13 years. As in Philly: Talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, dance party, warmth, and fun. Now offering a CEU track for professional therapists.  The Denver attendance in 2019 was 125. Here were the Denver 2019 talks/workshops and their presenters. (In 2016 I gave the keynote speech.) Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

May 15–19, 2020
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; the focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy that can create radically better relationships of any type. The events aim to build an enduring network of people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios. I've gone to the West Virginia New Culture Summer Camp for years, attended the smaller Winter Poly Wonderland retreat in January 2018, and I can't recommend New Culture events highly enough.

"At Spring Camp, we’ll dive into compassionate, loving exploration of our desires and boundaries – spiritual, sensual, emotional, and more. Starting with intensive training in consent and clear communication, we’ll be gently encouraged to step into our power as autonomous, playful, flexible beings." The 2019 schedule. Video. Another camper speaks.

● Chicago Non-Monogamy Conference
Spring 2020 (date to be announced)
Chicago, IL

This one-day event began in 2017 with help from the Relationship Equality Foundation and has continued each year since. "Our goal is to help bring the Chicago non-monogamy community together across all the lines that divide us — age, gender, race, class, location, ability, configuration, label, and all of the other categories which house us." Facebook page. The 2019 schedule, sessions and presenters. Contact: chinonmonocon (at) gmail.com

Atlanta Poly Weekend
June 2020
Downtown Atlanta, GA

A super-friendly weekend hotel conference of talks and discussions on poly relationships and making them work, and whatever other topics people propose; comedy, dance, and games; community building and socializing. Here were the 2019 speakers and sessions. Family-friendly; ask about the kids' program. I've been to most APWs since the first in 2011 (see my writeup from 2012) and gave the closing keynote talk in 2013. Total attendance in 2018 was over 200 (not all present at any one time). On opening night at least half the crowd raised their hands when asked "Who's here for the first time?" If you plan to bring a kid, please register as early as possible for planning purposes.

● International OpenCon Catalonia
Spring 2020
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain

2020 will be OpenCon Catalonia's ninth year. Originally modeled on the UK OpenCon, it runs by a self-generated unconference program. "An opportunity to get together in a friendly environment and share our experiences, our questions, the lessons we’ve learned, and the joys we’ve experienced in this new territory of polyamory/non-monogamy/open relationships. The basic plan is to combine workshops with plenty of opportunities for relaxing and socialising. Check the what will happen page for details on the programme as it develops." 
The working language is English. Over 18 only. Capacity 40; sells out far in advance. 
Read about past years.

OpenCon València
Late spring 2020
Alborache, València, Spain

"Un esdeveniment per a compartir experiències sobre les relacions afectives ètiques no normatives: Poliamor, Anarquia Relacional, Xarxes Afectives, etc. Un cap de setmana de debats, tallers i activitats lúdiques que ens brindaran l'oportunitat de conèixer gent amb idees i actituds obertes entorn a les relacions afectives. Un espai on compartir experiències i inquietuds sobre models de vincles entre les persones, des d'una perspectiva feminista, solidària i basada en el respecte. El contingut de l'OpenCon el proporcionen les persones assistents, per la qual cosa cada convocatòria és una sorpresa i una experiència única." Poliamor Valencia Facebook page.

● Black Poly Pride

June 4–7, 2020
Washington, DC

This will be the second year for this event and its first in DC. "Co-founders @calicoeyez215 and @therealchanee are already hard at work with the help of the leaders of the black polyamorous community on the ground in D.C. and Nation wide! ... The theme for #blackpolypride2020, 'Black Polyamory: A Revolutionary Act,' will honor our past and highlight the many ways black polyamory enriches the ways in which we love, live and shape our futures." Facebook page.

● Summer Polytreffen (Germany)
June 9–14, 2020

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.deruns transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The organizers say the gatherings are "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical knowhow. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants." Minimum age 18. In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

● Colorado Poly Weekend Retreat
June 25–29, 2020
Steamboat Springs, CO

"The Colorado Poly Weekend is an annual long weekend retreat for polyamorous people and people in poly-relationships to hang out together in a poly-normative, accepting environment. The weekend goes from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon and is held each summer in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Relax, make new friends, and enjoy the beauty of the Rockies!"

Organizer Tom Satter has written that this event is quite different from the Loving More Campout in Colorado a couple weeks later, which is run by his Loving More friends. "The [Loving More] campout is for families and is a camping event. Our retreat is for adults only, because there does tend to be some drinking and a lot of innuendo and we tend to play adult-oriented games like Cards Against Humanity. Also, our retreat is lodge based — people pay one fee for the weekend and that covers all lodging and food from Friday afternoon to Monday at noon. I donate monthly to Loving More and really like Robin and Chuy when I get to see them."

● PolyDallas Symposium
July 9–10, 2020
Dallas, TX

This large hotel conference centers people of color and the black experience. "This does not exclude anyone else! We love bountifully," writes organizer Ruby Johnson. "Our symposium provides a sex-positive safe space for those seeking knowledge about ethical nonmonogamy, who have questions about ethical nonomogamy, or are experienced with ethical nonmongamy. We bring to the forefront people of color who are queer, trans, and nonbinary.  This is space for all lovestyles. We leave all that stops us from loving fully and freely at the front door." Continuing Education Units (CEUs) available for professionals.

● Polywood Camping 2020
Summer 2020; dates to be announced
near Eganville, Ontario

"A kid-friendly poly camping weekend, at Raven’s Knoll Campground. Join us for a weekend of community building as we learn from each other via informal discussions, socializing, and fun. Come meet fellow like-minded poly people around the large communal bonfire; take part in various relationship building and strengthening discussions; share your poly knowledge and experiences over wine and cheese." Swimming, showerhouse, food truck. Camper hookups available, dogs welcome.

Rocky Mountain Polyamory Family Campout
July 9–13, 2020
near Aspen, Colorado

Robyn Trask and Jesus Garcia of Loving More have held this informal family-friendly campout nearly every year for more than 15 years. Of late about 30 people usually attend. Robyn writes, "Join us for a weekend of hiking, playing, and just hanging out with other poly families from the Rocky Mountain Region. This is the one thing each year where the kids get to join in. My kids love the campouts as much if not more than I do. It is wonderful to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Mountains and spend time with wonderful poly people." Registration opens in March 2020.

● Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 17–26, 2020
Abrams Creek Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, powerful, ten-day event for nine years. Network for a New Culture explores building intimate sustainable community through practices of curiosity, transparency, self-exploration, and self-responsibility. The days are structured around ZEGG Forum, various self-improvement and human-potential presenters visiting to offer their stuff, and sharing life, work, and play in the West Virginia mountain woods.

“While not exclusively a poly event,” says co-founder Michael Rios, “Summer Camp East is about 70% polyfolk, and 100% poly-friendly.” Here are my impressions from my first year. Here's a bit more from my fourth (last two paragraphs).

About 60 to 80 people attend. Vegetarian group meals; cabins and campsites in the woods (no vehicle hookups); bathhouse with sinks and hot showers. Some indoor accommodations are available onsite. Conditions are rustic, but a camp-owned motel is 3 miles away. Kids welcome; inquire about kids' program. Here's a beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it). Another camper speaks.

● Polyamory Unconference
July 2020; date to be announced.
Columbus, Ohio

A one-day event. "Polyamory Unconference is an event that is run by you, the participants! Attendees get to propose, vote on, and run sessions themselves. You’ll set the agenda and create an environment of innovation and productive discussion! Request topics and workshops on issues that you want to hear about, or present something — a facilitated discussion, a workshop on a specific skill, or a lecture on a topic you are familiar with. Advantages of the unconference format include: a focus on topics that are relevant to the attendees, an opportunity for teamwork development, flexibility of schedule, and an emphasis on contributions from every participant. The relationships built during an unconference often continue well past the event."

Minnesota PolyCon
Summer 2020 (date to be announced)
Minneapolis, MN

In 2018 this new one-day event drew 86 people to workshops and presentations on sex positivity & consent, anatomy of arousal, solo poly, polyamory & mental health, poly & parenting, poly & religion, deconstructing jealousy, being out & poly, and fundamentals of good communication for your polycule. It ran all day and into the night. It repeated in 2019, and now it's back for a third year. Sponsored and run by the MNPoly Meetup group.

Endless Poly Summer
August 2020 (dates to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center and Campground, Mt. Storm, WV

This will be the seventh year for Endless Poly Summer, one of the seasonal poly retreats that Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, Michael Rios and friends produce at Abrams Creek based on Network for a New Culture principles and ideas. These aim to build, over five days, enduring intimate community. I've gone to many of their events and endorse them highly. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are remarkable and effective.

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together.” Conditions are rustic, but indoor accommodations are available. A lovely, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it). Another camper speaks.

● RelateCon - Atlanta
August 7–9, 2020
Atlanta, GA

"RelateCon-Atlanta is a three-day family-friendly conference that focuses on ethical non-monogamy and alternative relationships, providing education, socializing, and networking opportunities. We are the sister conference to RelateCon-Boise, that's in its fourth year.

In our inaugural year, we will be hosting 5 different tracks for different interests and experiences:
**Ethical Non-monogamy and Polyamory
**BDSM Relationships
**People of Color and ENM
**ENM and Family

We will also have a full-time gaming room that will run its own track, a catered Friday night social, and a formal Saturday Night Speak Easy!" The hotel is a Marriott near near the airport. Facebook page.

● Loving More Oregon Retreat
August 14–17, 2020
Vernonia, OR

After a four-year hiatus, the Loving More summer retreat is back — now in Oregon instead of upstate New York. "This weekend-long retreat is an open-forum, highly interactive and participant-driven weekend of community, connection and opportunities to learn. You, the attendee, will co-create the agenda and schedule with fellow attendees and facilitators. We feel the best way to learn is to share with each other, so we offer a safe space for creative discourse, ideas and spontaneous workshops and playshops. The natural venue and smaller group allow an opportunity for deep connections." The site is about 30 miles north of Portland in view of Mount St. Helens.

On the dock at Polycamp Northeast
● Polycamp Northeast
August 14–17, 2020
Eastern New Hampshire

This 3½-day event began with a smashing success in August 2016 and has been running ever since. I attended three of the first four, and what a collection of loving hearts this has been each time. About 65 extraordinary people self-organize a variety of talks and fun activities: nonviolent communication techniques, general poly discussion, genderqueer topics, yoga, nightly campfire, board games, crafts, a kayak race, cuddle party, dance. The venue is a well-equipped old New England summer camp (all cabins have private baths) in the New Hampshire lakes region north of Boston. Waterfront with paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, water trampoline. Three meals a day included. It's put on by organizers of New England Polyamory.

At Burning Man
August 31 - September 7, 2020
Nevada desert

Village of PolyParadise
PolyParadise has been running at Burning Man for two decades. This is a large theme camp cluster, typically 350 x 440 feet, usually with about 300 campers, more than a third of them new each year now. Workshops and events include Heart of Now, Poly High Tea, the famous Human Carcass Wash, the Hiney Hygiene Station, Mind Melt, Revolutionary Honesty, Mindful Hugging Meditation, and a poly mixer. Writes Benevolent Dictator Scotto, "PolyParadise 2019 was absolutely incredible and our best effort yet at creating this amazing On-Playa home. Each year there are many challenges and together we find a way to make things right, together we build an amazing space within the gates of BRC, a place to really call home in the desert." Details.

PolyCamp UK
Late summer 2020 (dates to be announced)
West Midlands, UK

This new event was cancelled in 2019 after two key organizers were seriously injured, but it may make a new start in 2020. Stay tuned. Facebook page.

OpenCon Italia
September 2020 (date to be announced)
Perugia, Italy

Now that the nonprofit running this event, Associazione per la promozione delle relazioni etiche non-monogame (RETI), has finally expelled its problem co-founder and banned him from all events after interviews with seven women and a series of other things, I feel okay listing the annual OpenCon Italia here. See RETI's statement, in Italian and English. They've also set up a formal code of conduct.

About OpenCon Italia: "OpenCon Italia è un evento della durata di un week-end, aperto a chiunque ritenga che le relazioni felici ed etiche non debbano essere necessariamente monogame. Nel corso dell’OpenCon potrete partecipare a workshop, gruppi di discussione e attività sociali che vi consentiranno di incontrarvi e confrontarvi con persone che la pensano come voi, di far crescere la nostra comunità e di celebrare le sue diversità."

OpenCon Madrid
September 11–13, 2020
Madrid, Spain

"OpenCon Madrid es un evento abierto a todas aquellas personas que quieran descubrir que las relaciones felices y sinceras no han de ser necesariamente monógamas. ¿En qué consiste? Consiste en una combinación de debates, talleres y actividades lúdicas que te brindarán la oportunidad de conocer gente con tus mismas ideas y actitudes, compartir experiencias e inquietudes, ayudar a fortalecer nuestra comunidad y disfrutar de su diversidad. El contenido de la Opencon lo proporcionan las personas asistentes, por lo que cada convocatoria será diferente. Este año es la quinta vez que se celebra en Madrid." Each year the conference sells out fast when registration opens.

● Fall Polytreffen (Germany)
September 23–27, 2020

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.deruns transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The organizers say the gatherings are "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical knowhow. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants." Minimum age 18. In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

New Culture Fall Camp
October 2020 (dates to be set)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July here for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; the focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy to create radically better relationships of any type. The aim to build, over several days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios.

I've gone to the larger New Culture Summer Camp for the last eight years and can't recommend New Culture events highly enough. From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long!”

Explains Michael, "We are exploring the questions: What does it mean to be there for each other? What would it take to be solidly present in each others’ lives, responding flexibly and with love to the needs that emerge? What might we do right now to be there for each other? What role does commitment play? The deep truth is that each person is fundamentally alone. Yet at the same time, there is beauty and skillfulness in interdependence.... And beyond merely meeting needs, we can find delight in co-creation, and in the many ways we can support each other in greater joy. At this community journey, we will open these explorations in a field of love, curiosity, and compassion." Video. A camper's video.

Outside The Box: Pittsburgh Polyamory Conference
Fall 2020 (date to be announced).
Pittsburgh, PA

Laszlo Productions, a Pittsburgh-based GLBTQIA events producer, put on this new one-day conference in 2019. organizer Lyndsey Sickler posts "We had a great time! Looking forward to planning the 2020 conference!" From the 2019 announcement: "We are excited to be putting together Pittsburgh's First Poly Conference. Outside the Box will take place at Persad Center.... The conference is FREE (donations gladly accepted)." The Persad Center is an LGBTQ human services, activist, and community center. The program ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here were the 2019 sessions.

Polyday 2020 (UK)
Fall 2020 (date to be announced)
London again?

In the last few years Polyday has been drawing 200-plus people. The 2018 Polyday got a nice writeup in Vice UK. From the website: "Come and meet hundreds of people that identify as non-monogamous at the largest event in Europe on polyamory, Relationship Anarchy and other forms of non-monogamy. New to polyamory or just curious? Experienced in all forms of non-monogamy? Something in between? Polyday has something for you! In previous years talks have covered designing relationships, sexual health, polyamory and mental health, polyamory and children, and BAME and non-monogamy. There will be opportunities to socialise, meet up after the event, and quiet space if you need a break." Facebook page. In past years PolyDay has sold out in advance.

Beyond The Love

November 13–15, 2020

Columbus, Ohio

Last year this weekend conference, under new management, moved from its hotel to a somewhat smaller venue, the poly/kink/LGBT-friendly Columbus Space for Alternative Expression. It will continue there in 2020. No on-site accommodations, but hotels and restaurants are within about 0.4 mile. Many local volunteers help to put on a rich social-event schedule in addition to the class sessions during the day. Here were the 2019 presenters, classes and schedule. The new diversity and inclusiveness policy. Here's Kitty Chambliss's writeup of her experiences at the 2018 BTL.


Watch this space....

To add an event (of wide geographic interest, please) email it to me at alan7388 {at} gmail.com.

Kimchi Cuddles is based the cartoonist's real life. See her followup strip. And yes, she, "Rajeev" and "Terra" all made it to the Beyond the Love polycon in Ohio.

and their get-togethers!

For socials, potlucks, discussions, support, etc. near you, find and join your local poly group(s). You can:

● Try googling polyamory with your state and/or city

Check Meetup.com with keyword polyamory and enter your zip code or city.

Search Facebook Groups for polyamory with your state and/or city, and for poly with your state and/or city.

● If you're on Fetlife (NSFW landing page and content; TW: BDSM), you can search its groups for polyamory with your state and/or city, and for poly with your state and/or city.

● Check these lists:

   – Directory of Local Poly Groups maintained on Facebook. It's editable! If yours isn't here yet, add it.

   – Tristan Taormino's big list (needs updating), on the website of her book Opening Up. (Send additions, corrections, and changes to raymond (at) puckerup.com )

   – Canadian Polyamory Groups, courtesy of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.

   – Local Poly Group Registry, currently kept alive by Michael Rios at polyinfo.org. This once-grand list seriously needs updating. Send additions, corrections, and changes to groups (at) polyinfo.org. If you'd like to take over the updating project, please write to that address.


Can't find a local group near you? Maybe that's the universe saying you should start it!

– Here's organizer Kitty Chambliss's Polyamory Guide to Community Building. "So perhaps you’d like to start a community from scratch in your local area. I’m going to give you a roadmap for success to do just that!"

– And here are Joreth's many thoughts on the kinds of poly community events that might work in your area. She's been an organizer for a long time and has pretty much done it all.

– Simple, exact details of how to run a good, no-frills poly meetup: How I run poly picnic discussions, by Andrea Green.

– Prefer audio? From the Polyamory Weekly podcast: Episode #365, Building your poly community with meetups; and Episode #464, Building Your Poly Community as it grows.

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