More poly college voices
The McGill Daily
The Whitman Pioneer
The Uniter (Univ. of Winnipeg)
Time for a new roundup of poly discussions in college newspapers.
This first one is sweet, out today from the McGill Daily at McGill University in Montreal:
My love is not a battlefield
By Edna Chan
...A month from my twentieth birthday, I’ve been in my first and only relationship for over two years, and I believe I have much to owe to the fact that the relationship has been open since it started.
...What I initially feared might be some kind of sexual free-for-all turned into a deeply intimate commitment to one man, with an allowance that I might someday make deeply intimate commitments to other people and still be with him.
For the better part of a year, I barely considered dating or sleeping with other people, but the fact that the option existed was hard to ignore. When friends complained of being attracted to people outside their relationships, or of their fear of commitment to a single person, I couldn’t help but feel a bit smug. Once I did eventually decide to try having casual sex with other people, I found myself empowered by the ease with which I could let those people walk in and out of my life, demanding nothing and sharing only the time and intimacy I decided to share — all within the security of knowing I was loved and cared for....
I’ve grown in immeasurable ways in the last two years, and while not all those ways are explicitly connected to my relationship, there are things that would be entirely different if I hadn’t learned to be a polyamourist. I wouldn’t have explored half the number of kinks I now frequently enjoy, and I’m not sure I would have come out as queer, or as genderqueer. I believe the freedom to experiment coupled with the assurance that I was not unlovable made all the usual, tumultuous self-discovery of late teenagehood a much better experience than it would have been otherwise....
It might turn out that at thirty years old, I’ll be in a serious relationship with one person, or two, or three, or none. Whatever the case, I’m certain the experiences I’ve had with polyamoury will have formed a good foundation for a willingness to explore and share those relationships if I have them, and to know how to take care of myself if I don’t.
Read the whole article (Jan. 28, 2013. Montreal is officially French-speaking, which is maybe why she uses the French spelling.)
This one's less happy. In The Whitman Pioneer, at Whitman College in rural Washington state:
No Half-Assing It With Multiple Partners
By Spencer Wharton
I take issue with the way you make open relationships out to be a positive thing. I’m a straight dude who’s been in three open relationships, and all I’ve ever gotten out of them has been misery, regret and nasty breakups. Communication wasn’t the problem — we dialogued everything to DEATH. We established terms upon terms, checked in, read tons of shit online, yadda yadda. In the end, it just never felt okay. I didn’t like the feeling like I was in some sort of contest with her for who could get more action.
—Open Relationships Not Operating Tolerably
Are you sure you really want to be in open relationships?
Believe me, I know that anyone who’s not in a traditional monogamous relationship is sick of that response. Those in non-monogamous relationships are told with tiresome regularity that their relationship troubles are all due to the fact that they’re seeing multiple people. This is an annoying double standard — after all, monogamous couples having issues are never advised to try seeing more people — but in your case, ORNOT, I think it’s important to gauge just how much you want to do this....
In a culture inundated with monogamy like ours, adjusting to the framework of an open relationship can be tough....
Successful open relationships require you to be honest, self-reflective and committed to the idea. What’s more, it helps immensely to have someone you can trust and work through it all with; you can’t build a very stable open relationship if the foundation is shaky. It’s definitely possible, but as so many of the non-monogamous people I know have confirmed, it’s not something you can half-ass.
The whole article (Jan. 24, 2013).
Anlina Sheng is a very public polyactivist in Winnipeg who's writing a book, was featured in the daily Winnipeg Free Press, and was recently named as one of 30 up-and-coming young Manitobans to watch by The Uniter, the student newsmagazine of the University of Winnipeg:
The Polyamory Advocate
Sexual health educator, polyamory advocate, animal activist, Occupy Winnipeg organizer, one-time Green Party candidate — Anlina Sheng’s many interests stem from their many identities.
Anlina Sheng on right. Photo by
“I’m polyamorous, I’m queer, I’m genderqueer, I’m mixed race — a lot of my identities are pretty marginalized,” explains the 30-year-old, who prefers gender-neutral pronouns over the conventional, binary “her” or “him.”
Sheng adds that as a result of these marginalized identities, working for the organizations they’re involved in is something they have a lot of personal investment in.
“Also, to me it’s just a core aspect of being a good, empathetic human being - to care about others and to strive for improving the world for everyone.”
Sheng works as a health educator at Nine Circles Community Health Centre, putting on workshops and presentations to promote safe sexual health.
When Sheng’s not freelancing as a graphic designer outside of her Nine Circles office hours, they sit on the board for the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association. Sheng also helped start PolyWinnipeg, a social, support and discussion group for polyamorous people in Winnipeg and the surrounding area.
“I think it’s really important to create communities to provide people with support and education, especially because there can be a lot of marginalization for people who are practicing polyamory.”...
Whole article (Dec. 6, 2012).
Many more (including these; scroll down.)