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

February 14, 2008

"There's Always Room for More Love"

Student Life
(Washington University in St. Louis)

A college newspaper presents (in its annual sex issue) an excellent introduction to what polyamory is about:

Imagine this: Melissa and John have been in an intimate relationship for two years. They are perfectly happy. One day, Melissa meets Michael, and begins to develop a deep attachment to him. She brings Michael home to John. All three sit down to talk and by the end all three are content with the outcomes.

Melissa is now in two relationships — one with John and the other with Michael.

Wrong? Unnatural? Plain cheating? Perhaps to some, but for those engaged in such relationships, it is simply the most natural and right way — that is, polyamory, the practice of multiple relationships.

...[Susan] Stiritz [a professor of women's and gender studies] attended a workshop on polyamory as part of a wider sex education conference held in St. Louis. As the only non-polyamorous person at the workshop, she learned a great deal from those around her. "These are very serious people," she said. "They're innovators in exploring how humans can connect.... They have developed their own techniques, insights that would help anybody understand how to give up jealousy. If you want to go to somebody who can work through marital difficulties, go to somebody who is polyamorous."

...Senior Josh Ellman, a member of Safe Zones, said that the group at Washington University held a panel on Tuesday, Feb. 12 that touched on issues including polyamory. The panel was made up of Washington University students and faculty, as well as others from the St. Louis community.

"They [spoke] about their experiences and what polyamory means to them. For Safe Zones, this is definitely something we want to learn more about and be able to educate other students on."...

Read the whole article (Feb. 13, 2008).

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Anonymous buxom bey said...

While for the most part I think this is a good article, there are a couple things that don't sit exactly right with me.

The main source quoted in this article is Susan Stiritz, a professor of women and gender studies, who is not Poly but once "attended a workshop on polyamory as part of a wider sex education conference held in St. Louis." Here is some of what she had to say.

"...the practice (of Polyamory) is grounded in the belief that humans are not inherently monogamous and that the limitation to only one relationship is unnatural."

I don't know if "humans" are inherently monogamous or non-monogamous. I do think certain individuals are inherently one or the other, but I would never say either is unnatural.

"What is natural in polyamorous relationships, however, is the establishment of hierarchy."

While I personally have a primary, my husband, I know many Poly people who are avidly anti-hierarchy of any kind. Even in my case, beyond putting my spouse first, I've never tried to give rank to the people I'm dating. I feel like that's akin to asking a parent to list their children in the order they love them most. *shudder*

"...it is not a type of relationship that would generally apply to adults looking for long-term intimacy."

I think what she's trying to say is that the majority of adults, particularly those with whom she's acquainted, are not interested in pursuing a Polyamorous lifestyle. However, the way it's phrased seems to infer that Poly people are not looking for and/or capable of long-term intimacy, that the two ideas are mutually exclusive. Through observation and experience, I can attest to this not being the case.

Another person was interviewed, a student who is a member of a group that organized a panel which "touched on issues including polyamory". He said the following.

"It's also a common misconception that polyamorous people are just not interested in being monogamous; these people are realizing that just the typical man and woman [relationship] is not working.

I'm here to testify that I am JUST NOT INTERESTED IN BEING MONOGAMOUS! I think monogamy works fine, for some people. I am not one of those people and therefore I have no interest in pursuing it.

To the students of Washington University in St. Louis who were involved in the creation and publication of this article, I will give an A for effort. However, you really should work on finding better source material.

February 16, 2008 4:36 PM  

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