Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

June 29, 2009

More poly em Português

Jornal de Notícias (Portugal)

Several articles on polyamory have appeared in Portugal in the last year, such as this one:

Polyamory is a new model of relationship

By Helena Norte

Multiple relationships, simultaneous and consensual. Not just sex. Sex and affection. Multiple loves. Polyamory. A new concept for a practice that has always existed and that challenges one of the greatest taboos of our society: monogamy.

It's a new form of marriage partnership without emotional and sexual exclusivity, and with equal rights. This means that there is no room for betrayal, illusions or infidelities. Because nobody is being fooled.

It's not just sex, like swinging or agreed-upon sexual infidelity in which emotional involvement is prohibited. In polyamory, the affection is the most important dimension.

"Polyamory takes the excessive weight off of sex," argues Ana, or Antidote as she is known among nonmonogamy activists. She adds, "The commandment of monogamy — exclusivity — is replaced by the commandment of honesty."...

It's unknown how many polyamorists exist in Portugal. The concept was introduced to our country relatively recently. The "poly portugal" [Yahoo group] has about 60 participants, a number that does not reflect the real size of the community, explains Ana, one of the moderators.

Five years ago Lara created the site www.poliamor.pt.to, which gets about 170 visits per month. More recently, weekly meetings have started in Lisbon for people interested in this lifestyle.

To Gabriela Moita, a clinical psychologist specializing in sexuality, "Man is not monogamous or polygamous by nature. Socialization teaches us how to think and choose feelings, leading us to punish or allow certain types of emotions."...

Read the whole article (October 19, 2008). And the sidebar: "Relações em "V" e em triângulo". Or read a .pdf image of the printed pages, with pictures.

Two weeks later, a bemused elderly columnist expressed skepticism:

Is "Polyamory" the solution?

By António Freitas Cruz

I think readers have given deserved honors to the comprehensive work that Helena Norte published in the Sunday edition two weeks ago. I refer to the report on "polyamory," presented as a "new concept" that "defies one of the greatest taboos of our society: monogamy"... a brand new phenomenon, a "unique form of nonexclusive conjugality with equal rights."

In the scholarly opinion of a sociologist, "polyamory" signifies "a strategy of democratization of intimacy" — a statement that will be enough to accredit it to a broad layer of the political world, especially the youth faction, always eager for excuses to break down the barriers of values and principles....

Read the whole column (Nov. 2, 2008).


Also: Antidote writes the Portuguese poly blog Our Laundry List. She tells us, "We have now a group of more people who tomorrow (June 28, 2009) will start a new poly blog, again in Portuguese. You can aim your feeder to PolyPortugal. As for me, I will continue with the Laundry List blog as before, writing in parallel on both projects."

Description of the new site: "É um grupo de discussão e apoio para pessoas que se interessam por e/ou praticam o Poliamor. Alguns dos membros interessam-se também por tornar activamente a sociedade mais amistosa para com o Poliamor em particular e para com a diversidade em geral."

Also: at Poliamor (www.poliamor.pt.to) is this roundup of other print articles and radio programs, most of which were new to me.


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June 28, 2009

More poly en Español

La Capital (Rosario, Argentina)

Argentina has modernized a lot since the fascist horrors of 1970s. Here, a newspaper reviews a new book on the future of love, sex, and gender. (But it's too bad the paper had to use Photoshop to get two men and a woman into a poly triad!) An excerpt, translated:

Bye-bye to just one partner; on polyamory and bisexuality

A study speaks well of a "revolution in relations."

...This study predicts that in the near future, tender and loving bisexual relationships will be common currency. [The book is] La cama reb/velada: Pasado, presente y futuro del sexo y del amor (Editorial del Nuevo Extremo). The author, Regina Navarro Lins, is a renowned Brazilian psychoanalyst and sexologist, author of several books on the subject and a former professor at the Pontificia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro.

She asserts that "the range of choices of love is expanding" and presents a detailed analysis of love, marriage and sex throughout history and across cultures. She concludes that the assumption of people "being satisfied with one single partner is weakening, leading to the hypothesis that it is possible to love more than one person at a time."

The study speaks of a true "revolution in relationships," with paths to new forms of loving bonds among human beings. One new configuration that is gaining ground in connections among lovers is "polyamory."

...On the sexual level, one manifestation of polyamory is bisexuality. To explain how this can grow into bonds among men and women, the researcher mentions the North American doctor Alfred Kinsey... who claimed that what with the fluidity of sexual desire, for every heterosexual there is at least one person with varying degrees of desire for both sexes....

Read the whole article (June 15, 2009).


Another item: in Spain, canal Odisea (Odyssey Channel) presented eight TV documentaries on "new family models" (in cooperation with the BBC, CBC Canada and Chello Multicanal); one was on "the polyamory alternative." It was titled "I love you. And you, and you too." Description:

In a world where one of every two marriages ends in divorce and a high percentage of couples have adventures, many people seek alternatives to monogamy. Among those alternatives is polyamory: multiple relationships, but stable and durable. For many people this is taboo, for others a fantasy, but for some it is a reality. Odyssey invites you to follow families with several men and women, and explains the operation of this kind of life. We introduce a world where personal relationships are different than what we are used to, and consider the difficulties involved. (47 minutes.)

Here's the listing, with a winsome photo. The show was broadcast last February and was rebroadcast June 1, 2009. I don't find it online.


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June 22, 2009

"Multi-love: It's complicated"

RedEye (Chicago)

The mainstream Chicago Tribune puts out RedEye, a free daily "lite" newspaper read by more than 100,000 public-transit commuters. It's aimed at (as it tells advertisers) "young, urban professionals who are short on time and long on disposable income." Today it offers the longish feature article excerpted below.

Nitpicks aside, this is another little step toward our poly-friendly future world.

Multi-love: It's complicated

For some Chicagoans, enjoying multiple serious romances without cheating makes more sense than monogamy.

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

...Today, Kumar, Prather and Bennett are in a relationship known in polyamory parlance as a "vee," because the structure resembles the letter "V": Bennett, representing the center point, is married to Prather and is dating Kumar, but Prather and Kumar are not romantically involved with each other (though they are close friends).

Unlike swingers, who swap or add partners to spice up their sex lives, polyamorists maintain multiple intimate relationships that are emotional as well as sexual — "swinging with breakfast," some call it. The "vee" is one of many forms of polyamory, which, once you add hierarchies and outside partners, can begin to look like an extended family of lovers.

...Sound complicated? It can be. The relationships take work, scheduling is paramount, and partners are not immune to jealousy. But for some people, enjoying multiple serious romances without cheating feels healthier than committing to one person for life — and society increasingly is taking notice.

...Though no statistics show the ranks of the polyamorous are increasing, anecdotally there seems to be growing awareness of and interest in the lifestyle, particularly among young adults, said Richard Sprott, executive director of the Berkeley-based Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities.

"Many people question if one person can fulfill all of their needs," Sprott said. "They want to explore many parts of themselves and not put such a burden on one person. And they want to do it honestly, ethically, upfront."

...People are hard-wired to want the security of connecting profoundly with one other person, said Josh Hetherington, a marital and family therapist with the Family Institute at Northwestern University.... "Anyone I've come across who wants to have multiple partners or multiple relationships, somebody is feeling burned by that," Hetherington said....

...But just because monogamy works for most people doesn't mean it works for everyone, said therapist David Rodemaker, who runs Many Loves, a workshop that meets monthly at the Center on Halsted for people practicing or interested in consensual nonmonogamy....

...To many, multiple partners may seem like more trouble than they're worth. But Prather said Kumar brings important elements to his marriage: a different point of view, a companion for Bennett, and another person to turn to in hard times. "He's like family; he's on our emergency contact list," Prather said.

And if Bennett and Kumar broke up?

"I'd be heartbroken," Prather said.

Read the whole article (June 22, 2009). With it are two sidebars: "Poly Lingo" and "Living the polyamorous life".

Nitpick: the writer naturally sought voices expressing the other side, but is the family therapist she quoted really so dumb as to think that the troubled couples coming to him for therapy are the only kind of couples? High-school students should know more about sampling error than that.

(Side rant: One of my beefs about our dumb high schools is that basic concepts of statistics often go untaught, even in the data-driven 21st century. Why? Because algebra and calculus were what our great-grandfathers needed — to get mechanical-engineering jobs based on pencil-and-paper math and 19th-century analytical techniques. So in 2009, algebra and calculus still often fill up the whole math curriculum, no room for anything else, sorry, don't bother us.)


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June 19, 2009

The Calvin Klein foursome ad, and its nationwide buzz

ABC News.com and others

Clothing designer Calvin Klein has always grabbed attention with ads that push sexual boundaries. The latest is a five-story mural in lower Manhattan of three hunky guys and a young woman who appear to be taking a languid break from an intimate foursome. Take a look. What a fuss this is raising.

An article on ABC News.com suggests that the ad is bringing polyamory closer to mainstream life (yes, they use the word). The article is by the same writer who did ABC News.com's article on poly and legalized group marriage one day earlier, and she quotes one of the same poly people:

Calvin Klein ad taps foursome sex

Edgy is Calvin Klein's middle name.

By Susan Donaldson James
June 19, 2009

And now, once again, the fashion company is shocking and titillating passersby with a new ad campaign in New York City's Soho neighborhood, a place where young mothers with strollers mingle with artists and hipsters.

A giant 50-foot-tall billboard advertising Calvin Klein jeans features two young men and a young woman entangled half-clothed (a male and female kissing) as a third man lays at their feet, either undressing or putting his pants back on.

Some say they find the ad so outrageous they won't buy Calvin Klein products again. Others have called it "disgusting."

"Not only the billboard, but a company — a corporate giant in America — feels it appropriate to put a semi-nude photograph in a major billboard in a high-traffic area where tens of thousands of children see this kind of activity going on," said Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the American Family Association, a Christian organization that promotes preservation of traditional values... whose members have sent off more than 15,000 e-mail complaints to the company.

...Calvin Klein Inc. did not return calls from ABCNews.com, but has earlier said its "intention was to create a very sexy campaign that speaks to our targeted demographic."

Some of those younger consumers are less judgmental about gender roles and have a more tolerant view of their sexuality, embracing gay marriage in larger numbers than their parents and, perhaps, seeing a threesome or even foursome as no big deal.

Many couldn't understand what all the "commotion" is about. One commenter on New York magazine's Web site declared, "All I can see are beautiful people having a good time. It's not the advertising that makes little children confused, it's the uptight handling with sex-related issues in general of their parents."

Even those who have never considered a ménage a trois (or more) don't seem shocked by the notion that more is merrier.

"I think that many younger people are OK with threes and fours, theoretically," said Lauren, a 28-year-old New York City teacher who did not want her last name used. "In college, many people engage in threesomes either with three friends, strangers or even their main partner and then a friend."

...The New York media -- accustomed to the bare midriffs that adorn Times Square -- has looked down its nose at the sexual implications of the four semi-nude models on the billboard.

"There's no such thing as a foursome," chided the Daily News. "Anything over three and it's called orgy."

That remark, said Ashara Love, a 51-year-old who belongs to Loving More, a Colorado-based organization that promotes polyamory, reflects society's disapproval of more sexually free attitudes.

..."With cultural imperatives, the mainstream media frequently reinforces what you should think," said Love, who is happily married but engages in threesomes. "Hey guys, it's over there, pay no attention, it's just an orgy."

What critics are upset about, according to Love, is the unusual combination of one girl and three young men.

"Everything about our arts and culture is homoeroticism and denial," she told ABCNews.com. "What men are really afraid of is having sex with another guy. That's what's scaring people."

But Love and others, say the brilliance of Calvin Klein is his ability to tap into the next wave of shifting attitudes -- especially among those who buy their products.

"He reaches young kids at a place where they are and opens them up even more," she said. "Everyone is really comfortable. They are having a good time, no wink, wink, nod, aren't we naughty for doing this. Everyone is completely in the moment and it's extremely confronting for people. It pushes the cultural input button."

But media observers say the issue is less about censorship and more about "media sanity" and what is age-appropriate.

"I can guarantee everyone below Houston Street [in Soho] is having a conversation with their children right now," said Liz Perle, editor-in-chief of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that provides ratings for parents....

Read the whole article (June 19, 2009), and join the rapidly growing comments.

ABC also put up a short video news clip of offended city residents.

Also: CBS-TV News report (video).

Article at NBC New York.

AP video report.

Fox News's Bill O'Reilly weighs in (transcript).

New York Daily News.

Toronto got a slightly milder threesome version of the billboard.

Calvin Klein's own site offers other versions from the photo shoot, including one with two guys and three girls (click on "Jeans" and mouse-over to the right).

And more.

Update, June 24: Calvin Klein has taken down the mural and replaced it with a conventional ad of a dripping girl in a string bikini. Moralists heave sigh of relief.


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June 18, 2009

"Polyamory: When One Spouse Isn't Enough"

ABC News.com

This is kind of a biggie: ABC News profiles poly people regarding legalized group marriage. The article is on ABC's website; as far as I can tell the story wasn't broadcast on TV. (If you do see it on TV, please let me know.)

Polyamory: When One Spouse Isn't Enough

Some See Polyamorous Marriage as the Next Civil Rights Movement

June 18, 2009

She was born Barbara, but calls herself "Ashara Love" because most people don't understand her unconventional family.

Love, a 51-year-old insurance underwriter from California, has been married to her husband "Cougar" for a decade, but they've had numerous sexual triads, which they insist have enriched their relationship.

"I am living my life partially hidden and partially open," said Love, whose friends and boss know about her sexuality, but her parents do not.

"Many of us adopt another name because it provides us with protection from being outed," she said. "We are the next generation after the gay and transgender communities."

As polyamorists, the couple belongs to a small group that believes people have the right to form their own complex relationships with multiple partners. The most vocal want the right to marry — as a cluster.

"We have rights to love any way we want unless we are harming other people," said Love. "Like the air we breathe, we have a right to be and do and say whatever is our full expression, and this to me is a civil right."

The polyamory movement grew out of the communes of the 1960s and the swingers of the 1970s, but today, with gay marriage legal in six states, some, like Love, say their cause should be next.

This nascent and as yet small effort to legalize group marriage is likely to enrage conservative religious groups that upheld Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage. In hard-hitting ads, those groups charged that allowing gay marriage would open the door to all kinds of non-traditional relationships, including polygamists.

"These group marriage people are certainly fringe, but clearly growing," said Glenn Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family.

"Google the word 'polyamory' and see how many groups there are," he told ABCNews.com. "And look at their rhetoric. It is word-for-word what same-sex marriage advocates employ in their effort to redefine marriage. Is it really a good idea to open this Pandora's box?"...

...Polys say that monogamy is a cultural norm that often fails. "As a result, many marriages are train wrecks, even when they don't end in divorce," said Love's husband, Cougar, 58.

"Few people have good models to base their polyamory rules on," he told ABCNews.com. "For this reason, polyamory agreements must be negotiated with tenderness, empathy, partnership, and the commitment to keep everyone safe."

Polyamorists Value Fidelity

Love and Cougar's goal is to create a "polyfidelitous family" -- four, five or six people who don't have relationships outside the marriage.

"Every person in a cluster or family realizes that no one can be completely happy if anyone is not," he said.

But Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a sex therapist and professor at Columbia University Teachers College, says being successful at polyamory is a tall order.

"[It] demands knowing knowing yourself, replacing guilt with acceptance, communicating and embracing sexual energy, spirituality, new beliefs and a new culture," she told ABCNews.com. "Overcoming jealousy is key."...

Most Not Interested in Marriage

[Deborah Anapol says] today's polys have little interest in legalizing marriage and "the state being involved in their lives."

"Polys don't want to make it into a special identity and don't want to be known as a poly person," said Anapol. "They just want to live their lives. A movement tends to put you in an oppressed, underdog position."

"I'd like to think the movement has already succeeded and in the most liberal parts of this country, it's more accepted," she said. "The shift has already happened."

At 57, Anapol is now "single" after two marriages -- one traditional and the other polyamorous -- which produced two daughters.

"Both are comfortable with the idea," she said. "The 37-year-old has chosen a conventional monogamous marriage and the 20-year-old is still experimenting, but definitely attracted to the idea."...

Read the whole article, and go pile onto the comments. (Here's the article's plain text.)

My own take is that the more you think about it, the more impossibly difficult a group-marriage law would be under our current legal setup (as I've written before). In the best of circumstances, laws will probably take a couple of generations to adjust.

This is in marked contrast to gay-couple marriage, which fits right onto the existing legal framework for straight-couple marriage.


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June 15, 2009

"Ask Professor Foxy: Am I Nonmonogamous?"


A columnist for a top-notch feminist site gives advice for the nonmonogamy-minded:

Q: ...I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 and half years, and for most of that time we've been very happy with an amazing sex life! I've always had trouble when it comes to monogamy, though, and I've had to work very hard to resist the temptation to cheat.... As much as I hate to admit this, I have even reached the point where I slipped up and kissed a guy I met at a party. Because of all this, I have had a really hard time enjoying sex with my boyfriend....

I still really love my boyfriend and we're really happy outside of the bedroom. We have openly talked about these issues. I guess I'm just wondering, if I've always had issues with monogamy, do you think that will ever change?...

A: Nonmonogamous relationships in all their iterations (more about this in a minute) are just as valid and functional and workable as monogamous ones. The media and society really only portray monogamous relationships as valid and as soon as one person in a monogamous relationship begins to look at other people (GASP), the relationship is headed for doom. In reality, strong nonmonogamous relationships are much like strong monogamous relationships. The people involved talk about their feelings, their boundaries, and where they want the relationship to go.

It is also important to realize that there is a really wide range of nonmonogamous relationships. Some involve just the occasional kissing outside of the primary relationship, some just sex, and still others are polyamorous (many loves) and involve multiple relationships and lovers.

...Your boyfriend is really trying to accommodate your needs and desires. He gets big points for that.... Since you two are clearly having some good conversations about this situation, why not ask him about the possibility of opening up the relationship a little bit more. Not just for you, but for him as well.

...Start off slow — maybe limiting it to kissing strangers at bars. See how that feels for both of you. You may love hooking up with others, but if he is engaging in the same behaviors: how do you handle it? Keep it there for a month or more, then see how it feels to ramping it up a little more: maybe making out without penetration of any sort (no oral, anal or vaginal sex or fingers into orifices).

You should make sure to discuss what I think of as a checklist for nonmonogamy:

1. What time and spaces are just for the two of you? For example, no kissing other people at family functions. Can other lovers come into your bed, or do you have to go to a neutral space?

2. What behaviors are off limit? People in nonmonogamous or polyamorous relationships often reserve certain activities just for the primary relationship. These are not just sexual activities....

3. What people are off limits?...

4. What about sexual safety?... Barrier methods are paramount here.

5. What must you tell other sexual interests? Do you tell other people you hook up with that you have a primary relationship and that needs to be respected?

6. What details do you share with each other?...

7. How do you honor your relationship? This is so, so important. After you hook up with someone else, what do you do to reconnect as a couple? Do you have dinner just the two of you? Do you cuddle for an hour? This step can be the most relevant to keeping your relationship healthy and strong. The other person needs to feel loved and cared for....

Read the whole article (June 13, 2009), and the interesting comments.

My beef is with item 5. Of course you tell the others that you have a primary relationship. Unless you're a scumbag who likes jerking hopeful people around on purpose. Sheesh.

Meanwhile, over on The Frisky, a columnist describes her latest doomed date with the latest unappealing man:

Dealbreaker: The Polyamorous Guy

...We were no more than two minutes into our first drink when he dropped a bomb. “I’m Polyamorous,” he said.

I coughed slightly and rolled my lychee martini around in my mouth, waiting to feel shocked or react at all, but instead I kicked into dating survival mode. “Okay!” I said with genuine enthusiasm as if he had just told me what college he went to....

What — she'd rather he'd hid the potential dealbreaker till later? The time to lay it out is up front, I say. Reduces everybody's wasted time and hurt feelings. If anything, he should have told her before they met for drinks.


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June 10, 2009

A Poly Spokesman in Mexico

Universia México

Rolando Díaz-Loving, a highly accomplished psychology professor at Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM), had a press release issued by the university in which he describes polyamory and its moral and psychological basis. The press release was picked up by, among other places, the Mexican edition of Universia, a publication of university news and resources with editions in many Spanish-speaking countries. Translated:

By nature, a person can love more than one without any guilt

Polyamory is what this feeling is called, said UNAM professor Rolando Diaz.

Every human being has the capacity to love more than one person; it's in their nature. So this raises the possibility of having multiple relationships without guilt or misfortune; it's called "polyamory," said Prof. Rolando Díaz Loving of the UNAM School of Psychology.

According to the polyamorists' philosophy of life, simultaneous relationships must be dealt with openly, and their members should be aware that they form a part of these. "A characteristic of human beings is that they are social and gregarious; they require the presence of others to live," he said.

...According to the website poliamoria.com, the two essential ingredients of the concept are "more than one" and "loving"; that is, it is expected that more than two people can, at the same time, be interconnected emotionally and mutually in multiple dimensions....

Read the whole article, en Español (June 9, 2009).


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June 7, 2009

Murder in DC; Poly gay triad suspected

Washington Post online

Heads up; here's a really ugly case of "polyamory in the news" that bodes to get more attention in the coming year. The online edition of the Washington Post presents a very long, thorough story on the impossibly strange killing of a young lawyer named Robert Wone, in the Dupont Circle home of three well-to-do, well-connected gay professionals living as an MMM family.

"We need an ambulance," Victor Zaborsky blurted, his delicate voice pitched so high that the operator mistook him for a woman.... "We had someone . . . in our house, evidently," Zaborsky said, gasping, "and they stabbed somebody."

...So began a real-life parlor mystery — an unsolved killing and alleged coverup in the guest room of an elegant home in the heart of Washington's gay community, with a trio of seemingly unlikely suspects: a self-described "polyamorous family" of three men. The bizarre murder that evening of a young Ivy League lawyer named Robert Wone, still grist for gossip and conjecture on the city's gay blogosphere, has vexed police and prosecutors since the 911 call just before midnight Aug. 2, 2006....

..."These three males describe themselves as a family, using the term 'poly-amorous' to describe their relationship," a detective wrote in an affidavit....

The Post didn't print the article in its paper edition, but it did tease it there:

The housemates he was visiting — three professional, highly educated men, a self-described “polyamorous family” — immediately fall under suspicion. But how could they have done it? And why would they?

A trial isn't scheduled to start until May 2010. The lawyer for the victim's wife was Eric Holder before President Obama named him attorney general.

Part 1 (5 pages)
Part 2 (5 pages)
Q&A with the reporter

Warning: Don't start reading this 8,100-word article unless you have nothing to do for a long time. It's a complex gripper.

June 6, 2009

"Slut-Muscle Mania"


The San Francisco Bay Guardian, one of the oldest alternative newspapers, has a blogsite called SexSF. This morning it offers a long article musing on a workshop being offered this afternoon (Sat. June 6) by Dossie Easton, co-author of The Ethical Slut. The workshop is titled "Exercising Your Slut Muscles" (it's at San Francisco's Center for Sex and Culture, 2-4 p.m.).

...It isn't the non-monogamous aspect that confounds me, because, quite frankly, we've all been there. What fascinates me about polyamory is the notion that deep feeling is an essential aspect of being with multiple people, that the very meaning of "I love you" can exist on the same emotional spectrum as "I love you, you, you, and you". Maybe my heart is closed off, maybe I'm calloused or jaded, but I find it so difficult to even accept the notion that I'll even meet "the one" that the very concept of meeting "the many" is so ludicrous to me that I'm tempted to laugh (or, what is more likely, cry). At the same time that it's strange to me that there are those who exist who naturally embrace this lifestyle, it's also comforting to know that there are people out there capable of loving not just another, but others (emphasis on the plural).

What doesn't sit so well with me is the view that many polyamorists hold that monogamy is a myth. Just as monogamists tell ourselves that polyamory is unnatural, weird, or even disgusting, many polyamorists have an equally closed off view of monogamy, proclaiming that a connection between "merely" two people is somehow bogus, that monogamy is an indoctrinated and fictitious idea, that it's a "recipe for emotional disaster". Just as there are those who are comfortable with waiting until they meet that one special someone and there are those who believe that life is lived fuller with many loves, both types of people should be able to live comfortably with one another in the same world, a world full of many definitions and possibilities for love.

One thing that I love about living in San Francisco is that our city is so accepting of the multiplicities of love and sexuality. San Francisco has some great resources for polyamorous folk, from MeetUp groups to local polyamory conferences. In our city, the poly lifestyle is often associated, though perhaps unfairly, with the hippie residue left over from the Summer of Love. The stereotype is reinforced by the often New Age sensibilities of many public figures associated with polyamory.... But more and more, young, culturally aware, and (gasp) "normal" people are identifying as polyamorists, and new life is being blown into the movement. There is even a long list of psychology professionals who are "poly friendly" in the Bay Area. It appears the polyamorous need "couples therapy" just as much as actual couples do, and I'm actually relieved....

Read the whole article.

SexSF also recently ran another outsider's essay on poly — by a woman who was won over by Jenny Block's book Open, at least theoretically:

Mostly, I'm glad that my fear about what a relationship has to be is starting to be lifted. Because I do want a partnership. I just don't want any of the kinds I've already seen. And Jenny Block says I don't have to.

Read the whole article.


June 5, 2009

"Why I Hate Monogamy"


Sirenita Lake's long, fiesty essay, celebrating 23 years in an open marriage that she says has worked great in every way, got an Editor's Pick to grace the June 5th cover page of Open Salon:

...I know the objections and stereotypes. “You must have low self-esteem.” No, I’ve always liked myself and expect to be treated well. “Sex isn’t as sweet when you know he has other women.” Yes, it is, and there’s a reason he gets the girls. “He will never quite trust you knowing that you might be with another man.” Yes, he will, because there is no jealousy and no lies. “You are not truly committed to your marriage because you allow others into your lives sexually.” We are very committed; our so-called “open” marriage is not really open to anyone else. We’ve had more than our share of challenges and would not be together today if our marriage didn’t matter a great deal to us. “You can’t avoid jealousy and its corrosive effects.” Yes, you can; it all depends on the interpretation you choose to put on your partner’s sexual autonomy. If you don’t believe you’ve been done wrong, you won’t feel hurt. If you don’t believe that other people are better than you, you won’t feel jealous or threatened. “That might work for you but not for most people.” Monogamy isn’t working for a lot of people, either. It might be time to change attitudes.

Read the whole article, and leave a comment.


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