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

December 18, 2009

Ken Haslam on "Sex and Sensibility"

"Sex and Sensibility"
"In Bed With Dr. B and Ted" radio shows

People who've gone on mainstream media to carry the poly-awareness banner say that TV is the hardest to do well and the easiest to do badly; print is much better; and radio is the easiest and best. On the radio you're generally having an unedited, back-and-forth conversation seemingly between equals. And if you get snookered by prankster disk jockeys or the like, it's easy to just walk out or hang up.

Ken Haslam did a fine radio appearance on a weekly show in the Philadelphia area called "Sex and Sensibility." Haslam is a 75-year-old retired anesthesiologist in Maryland who's been a poly activist for a decade. He has spoken at many poly gatherings, written many articles (a favorite of his is "The 12 Pillars of Polyamory"), has helped introduce the subject to academic, medical, and therapeutic professionals, and co-founded Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. Today he's best known as the founder and organizer of the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory Collection at the library of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. This is where, in the coming decades and centuries, scholars will turn to research the early history and growth of the poly movement in our time.1

Ken was also involved in forming the PolyGeezers Yahoo Group and is delighted to be living the hippie life he missed out on for more than a half century of living as a respectable physician. A quote for which he's become famous: "If I'd known how much fun growing old would be, I would have done it long ago."

The show was hosted by Jill McDevitt on WCHE in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Listen here, or download it as a podcast (24 minutes).

A few bits:

It occurred to me three or four years ago that no one was recording the history of polyamory. It's becoming fairly widespread internationally. So I put together a collection and went to Kinsey, and Kinsey indeed liked the idea of an archives of polyamory history.... And now it's growing and growing and growing.

...To say it facetitously, "With swinging you get sex, with polyamory you get breakfast." [per the late George Marvil]. Swinging primarily revolves around sport sex. Polyamory, we like to think, revolves more around relationships.

...It's always difficult to introduce the concept of multipartnering into a monogamous relationship. Because we have no training, there are no templates, no paradigms, for becoming multiple-partnered.... But people in the poly commmunity do talk a lot. And sometimes fight a lot. It sometimes takes years to figure out how to do this correctly. Nobody knows how to do what we're doing, yet for us, the poly people, it works better than monogamy works.

...Poly is a touchy topic because it pushes buttons in people who might want to do it.... More people than you might think, want to do it.

...Generally speaking I like the people in the poly community. They're intelligent people mostly, they're open, they're communicative, they laugh, they touch, they're affectionate, they're fun to be with, and they're not judgmental.

A little later he did another radio interview, on "In Bed With Dr. B and Ted" on KCAA in San Bernardino, California, by phone (Oct. 16, 2009). He comes on a little more than halfway through the recording.

You can tell he's having fun. And that's what listeners will remember. Feel inspired to try it too?


1. The Kinsey Institute archive especially wants materials relating to the history of the poly movement before the internet. Don't leave this stuff in your attic to be thrown out after you're gone! To donate materials contact the Kinsey Institute's librarian, Liana Zhou, at zhoul (AT) indiana (DOT) edu, or phone 812-855-3060.




Blogger Anita Wagner said...

Great article, Alan, thanks for letting us know about this. Ken is such a smart, fun guy, and his contribution to the culture of polyamory and the growth of interest in it by academics is significant. He definitely deserves our thanks.

December 26, 2009 2:05 PM  

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