Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

January 28, 2013

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.

...I knew they were polyamourous, but I didn’t know how well I could handle being involved with someone who was in love with someone else. To be sure, in two years there have been a fair share of stumbles and awkward conversations as we felt our way around what worked, but it has, for the most part, worked.

...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:

Anlina Sheng

The Polyamory Advocate

Anlina Sheng on right. Photo by Dylan Hewlett
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.

“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.”...

—Aaron Epp

Whole article (Dec. 6, 2012).

Many more (including these; scroll down.)


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January 25, 2013

Andrea Zanin: "The Problem with Polynormativity"

Sex Geek

Andrea Zanin is a smart, perceptive queer sex educator based in Toronto, and her "Sex Geek" blog has earned its large readership. I don't often post about blogs as opposed to items in the wider media. But she has just put up an article significant enough to the community, and to people who read Polyamory in the News perhaps to the exclusion of other things, to merit an exception.

Several clues in her piece suggest that it comes in reaction to the Toronto Life magazine article currently on the newsstands in her city, which was the subject of my previous post day before yesterday.


The Problem with Polynormativity

Polyamory is getting a lot of airtime in the media these days. It’s quite remarkable, really, and it represents a major shift over the last five to ten years.

The problem — and it’s hardly surprising — is that the form of poly that’s getting by far the most airtime is the one that’s as similar to traditional monogamy as possible, because that’s the least threatening to the dominant social order.

Ten years ago, I think my position was a lot more live-and-let-live. You know, different strokes for different folks. I do poly my way, you do it your way, and we’re all doing something non-monogamous so we can consider ourselves to have something in common that’s different from the norm.... So we’re all in this together, right?

Today, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have much stronger Feelings about this. I mean Feelings of serious squick.... Feelings of genuine offense, not of comradeship. Fundamentally, I think we’re doing radically different things. The poly movement — if it can even be called that, which is debatable for a number of reasons — is beginning to fracture along precisely the same lines as the gay/lesbian/queer one has....

At its most basic, I’d say some people’s poly looks good to the mainstream, and some people’s doesn’t. The mainstream loves to think of itself as edgy, sexy and cool. The mainstream likes to co-opt whatever fresh trendy thing it can in order to convince itself that it’s doing something new and exciting.... The mainstream likes to do all this while erecting as many barriers as it can against real, fundamental value shifts that might topple the structure of How the World Works. In this case, that structure is the primacy of the couple.

The media present a clear set of poly norms, and overwhelmingly showcase people who speak about and practice polyamory within those norms. I’ll refer to this as polynormativity....

Here are the four norms that make up polynormativity as I see it.

1. Polyamory starts with a couple. ...With this norm, the whole premise of multiple relationships is narrowed down to what sounds, essentially, like a hobby that a traditionally committed pair of people decide to do together, like taking up ballroom dancing or learning to ski. So much for a radical re-thinking of human relationships....

2. Polyamory is hierarchical. ...Within this model, it’s completely normal to put one person’s feelings ahead of another’s as a matter of course.... And we think this is progressive?

This is precisely what gives rise to things like Franklin Veaux’s controversial (?!) proposed secondary bill of rights or a recent post that went viral outlining how to treat non-primary partners well (note how these are not mainstream media articles). These posts make me sick to my stomach. Not because there’s anything wrong with what they’re saying, but because — according to secondaries, who are exactly the people we should be listening to here — it means that a lot of polynormative people actually need to be told how not to treat other people like complete garbage. These posts are a crash course in basic human decency. That they are even remotely necessary, to say nothing of extremely popular, is really fucking disturbing.

...Let me clarify my position here just in case. There is nothing wrong with serious, long-term, committed domestic partnership. There is also nothing wrong with dating casually... I am not playing with semantics here. I’m talking about... treating real, live human beings.

3. Polyamory requires a lot of rules. ...Rules are implicitly set by the “primaries,” the “poly couple” — at least that’s how most discussions of rules are presented. Some books and websites will tell you (“you” presumably being someone who’s part of a currently-monogamous, about-to-be-poly couple) that it’s really super important not only to have rules, but also to set them out before you go out and do this polyamory thing. If ever you wanted confirmation of the very clearly secondary status of “secondary” partners, this is it: the rules get set before they even show up, and they have no say in ‘em. Again… we think this is progressive?

Here’s the thing. Rules have an inverse relationship to trust....

4. Polyamory is heterosexual(-ish). ...Also, cute and young and white.... If the mainstream media were to give too many column inches to LGBQ polyamory, then people might think poly is a gay thing, and that wouldn’t sell nearly as many magazines. So the typical polynormative hype article goes something like, “Meet Bob and Sue. They’re a poly couple. They’re primary partners and they date women together.”

...These articles are looking to present a fantasy of conventionally good-looking people having delightful transgressive (but not scary transgressive) sex while remaining as firmly within the boundaries of conventional couple-based relationship-building as humanly possible under the circumstances. That fantasy sells things. It does the rest of us no favours.


...This whole state of affairs screws over the newbies.... You can google “polyamory” and get a whole lot of nearly-identical polynormative hype articles, and you can meet up with locals who’ve read the same articles you just did, and you can all get together and do polynormative poly exactly the way the media told you to. And if that’s all you ever bother to do then essentially you are selling yourself short.


I feel the need to reiterate, one last time, that my problem here is with the polynormative model and the mainstream media’s insistence on it — not with a specific relationship structure or with any people who happen to practice it....


If you’d like to expand outside the polynormative model, I have some recommended reading for you. First, read Wendy-O Matik’s Redefining Our Relationships. Then, check out Deborah Anapol’s Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners. (I haven’t read it in full yet myself, but the excerpts I’ve seen lead me to believe Dr. Anapol has a lot of really wise shit to say about non-polynormative models, though I don’t think she uses that term specifically.) Spend some time reading Franklin Veaux. Read my 10 Rules for Happy Non-Monogamy. If you’re doing D/s or M/s relationships, read Raven Kaldera’s Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic (full disclosure: I contributed an essay to it). Look for information, ideas, works that challenge you to think hard, build your skills and stretch your heart.

Don't just read these fragments; go to her more cohesive whole article (Jan. 24, 2013). And the thoughtful comments that it's fast collecting say something about the quality of her readership.

Not all of them agree with her.



January 23, 2013

"The complicated couplings of Toronto’s pleasure-seeking polyamorists"

Toronto Life

Photo caption: "Stephane Goulet (middle) and Samantha Fraser (right) at home with one of their girlfriends, Gayle"

Totally out, public poly spokespeople are all too few. Samantha Fraser in Toronto is one of them, both in the region's media and on her blogsite Not Your Mother's Playground. She's also writing a book, Not Your Mother’s Playground: A realistic guide to honest, happy and healthy open relationships, and swears this is the year she'll finally get it done.

Fraser and her primary partner have a more forthrightly libertine philosophy than some of us. A splashy, 2,300-word article about them just appeared in the glossy city magazine Toronto Life with the title "Sex Without Borders: The complicated couplings of Toronto’s pleasure-seeking polyamorists" (the online title). The article rated a teaser on the magazine's cover, "The rise of the multi-partner marriage", and it leads off the feature section inside.


Stephane and Samantha’s open marriage includes shared girlfriends, bacchanalian house parties and always asking permission before taking on a new lover. A portrait of Toronto’s new generation of polyamorists.

By Courtney Shea

...Seven years later, Stephane [Goulet] and Samantha are Toronto’s best-known advocates for polyamory, the term preferred by people who have turned their open relationships into a lifestyle. Samantha, who is 32, writes a blog about her sex life, offers polyamory life coaching and runs an annual sexuality and relationships conference called Playground (this past fall the three-day event filled a ballroom at the Holiday Inn on Carlton Street). Stephane is 36 and an art director at a video game studio. He is less actively involved with other polyamorists than his wife, though he doesn’t mind her rendering the personal aspects of his sex life (how many lovers they share, their preferred sex toys and so on) into teachable moments for her blog. Stephane and Samantha, in the poly vernacular, are known as a primary couple — a committed partnership in which both parties engage in sexual relationships with additional, lower-ranking lovers. This is the most common set-up, though some polyamorists live family-style in groups of three or more in the same house. Poly individuals are often bisexual (like Samantha), but not always (Stephane is hetero). Some relationships employ the “one penis per party” rule.

...What distinguishes the modern poly movement from the free love ethos and orgies of the ’60s and ’70s is the absence of politics. Hippies rejected monogamy in the same way they rejected haircuts — as symbols of patriarchal society. Today’s polyamorists are more concerned with the pursuit of self-actualization through satisfying relationships and the honest exploration of sexuality. They don’t want to “drop out” any more than they want to grow hemp on a commune [Ed. note: I have plenty of poly friends who'd like to overthrow the patriarchy and grow hemp on a commune.] Besides, their busy work lives and regular-person obligations probably wouldn’t allow it.

Toronto, it turns out, is one of the most poly-friendly places in North America.... In addition to Samantha’s annual conference, a 350-member group called Polyamory Toronto meets monthly at a midtown pub to discuss such issues as coming out as poly to your family, coping with jealousy and explaining polyamory to your kids. Another group called Ethical Lovers convenes monthly at the U of T Centre for Women and Trans People, and monthly #CrushTO dance parties are a melting pot for the various, and often intermingling, “sex-positive” communities....

Polyamorists like Stephane and Samantha want to be accepted by mainstream society in the way that gays and lesbians have been accepted — and they’re making progress on that front. There have been some notable watershed moments. The Oxford English Dictionary first recognized the term in 2006, and last year The Movie Network [in Canada] broadcast a poly reality TV series: Polyamory: Married and Dating.... But there’s no better barometer of the mainstream than a Jennifer Aniston movie. In last year’s middling rom-com Wanderlust, Aniston and Paul Rudd play a monogamous couple who lose their Manhattan jobs and move into a poly commune.

...Samantha, with her black bangs and red pout, reminds me of a live-action Betty Boop. Her features are cherubic, which makes it even funnier when she describes X-rated sex scenes as though she were talking about the weather. Stephane is comparatively reserved, and admits he has a penchant for “fiery women.” He looks like the quintessential dude-who-works-in-a-modern-artistic-discipline—rock T-shirts, funky glasses....


...For all the talk of sexual freedom and liberal attitudes, polyamorous people are exceedingly preoccupied with maintaining rules and boundaries. It’s a delicate dance of seeking consent, managing feelings and not crossing certain lines. Stephane says that being poly has forced him to communicate more. Samantha says their relationship wouldn’t have remained healthy if they hadn’t decided to open up. She describes their pre-poly lives as caring, but boring (“A big weekend used to be a trip to IKEA”). Becoming non-monogamous forced them to look at what they had built together — where the partnership was strong and also where it was lacking. Compared with most monogamous couples I know, there’s a refreshing degree of honesty between Stephane and Samantha.

...At times, Stephane and Samantha have each experienced “new relationship energy,” a poly term that describes the sometimes all-consuming honeymoon period with a new love interest. An established, long-standing union can’t compete with the fresh passion and exhilaration of a new romance, a fact that successful polyamorists don’t try to deny. Instead, a couple like Stephane and Samantha expect the heat will subside and their primary relationship will remain....

...Part of the reason for [a trip to Mexico] was to attend Stephane’s cousin’s wedding. During the beach ceremony, the officiant quoted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, who wrote that “love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Stephane and Samantha, sitting in the audience, agreed that they couldn’t have put it better.

Read the whole article (February 2013 issue). And join the comments.

Update: Fraser has blogged about her experience being so out, especially since the Toronto Life article appeared:

Sex Without Borders: Public Response

Every time I agree to a new very public appearance about my personal life I have to question my sanity. With the recent Toronto Life article... I’m re-evaluating my position on a few things related to my now — even more public — persona.

I am sort of a poster child.

I’ve hated this term because I don’t want to be seen as some sort of leader or ideal when it comes to polyamory. Everybody’s relationship is different, with its own set-up, rules, issues and ideals; why should mine be the example we look to? There’s plenty of people who are “more successful” in areas of poly that I/ Steph/ we fail at sometimes/always, but... I’m ok with this role now....

...Now that I’ve gotten to know my own strengths and weaknesses, I have accepted the fact that I do have a goal, an agenda, an end game. In short? I want people to be truly happy, whatever that means for them. I want to challenge the status quo/ traditions/ mediocrity and help people discover the world around them that they may have been unaware of before.... It’s important to me that people know just how normal this all is, which makes me an activist for the mainstream poly people out there....

I don’t know how else to be.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; while everyone is telling me that it’s amazing/ brave/ crazy to put our personal lives so very in the public eye, I really just don’t know how to not do that. “Oh, but the hate mail!” — Ok... There will always be people in an uproar about how I live my life, but how does that matter to me?

I’ve already lost jobs (hearsay only) based on my “lifestyle”, so I’ve dealt with that fate and frankly, I’m better off for it. I have people saying that I’m a heathen occasionally. Even some poly people disagree with how Steph and I run our lives together. Haters are always going to hate, that’s life.... I put myself out there because my life, and how I run it, is perfectly normal to me and I am not ashamed. Besides, like I’ve always felt about acknowledging the fact that I’m fat before others do, I’m out there telling people that my husband and I see other people. How can you use it against me when I’m telling you first that it’s true?

Sometimes, we get lucky.

This recent article in Toronto Life is probably the best press experience we’ve had. Courtney Shea was wonderful to work with.... We spent hours on the phone with the fact checkers, and I’m thrilled to see that they really listened to what we were saying.

Sure, it’s still nerve-wracking to put our personal lives in the hands of journalists. We never know how our words are going to get twisted... but it’s also exciting. It’s thrilling to be able to be a voice for people who still have to hide in the shadows for their own personal reasons. It’s rewarding to know that I’m doing my small thing in the world to make other people feel less alone....

Read her whole post (Jan. 16, 2013).

Comment from me:

> We never know how our words are going to get twisted...

Two things to do with print journalists:

1) Ask for the chance to verify your quotes before they are printed. You'll get a yes surprisingly often.

2) Record the interview — ask and then put the recorder in view on the table, or make a point of getting permission to record on the phone and then say, "OK, (pause) now we're recording, go ahead." This keeps the journalist more careful about quoting you accurately. I know — I've been on both sides of recorded interviews throughout my career. Confession: I have lied to journalists and said I'm recording a phone interview when I'm not.

Of course, if you say careless things, it's not the journalist's fault for quoting them accurately! Plan your key messages in advance, rehearse your sound bites, and find a way to work them in regardless of the questions asked.1


1. Further coaching, the kind that important people pay high-priced trainers for, may be available to you for free from volunteers at the Polyamory Media Association. If you're going to deal with the media regarding poly or anything else, you should learn the basic tricks for presenting yourself and your message effectively and making things go your way.

At last year's Atlanta Poly Weekend, Joreth, the PMA's founder and mainstay, gave a talk on this. From my very incomplete summary:

Joreth explained how the PMA can help you pick your agenda, craft your media persona “using your best aspects to get your message across,” develop your message goal, and create the necessary sound bites to have on tap for this goal. She emphasized the need to decide your boundaries between your public and private spheres and to enforce them. You need to choose to keep focus on communicating what you intend to (“you must look and seem like your target audience”) and not what you don’t (“de-emphasize those aspects [of yourself] that will distract your audience”).

The PMA also helps members of the poly community examine media inquiries for their agendas and possible warning flags. It can provide advice in negotiating with writers and TV producers. Joreth focused mainly on TV, since that's the medium where your details matter the most.


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January 22, 2013

"Power of Three" in the news

Sydney Morning Herald
Brisbane Times
Melbourne Age
...maybe others

Successful poly is still fascinating and unbelievable to many people ("How is that even possible?"), and mainstream media continue to find it newsworthy accordingly. Even when journalists don't get everything right — or get things right that are unflattering to us — this attention serves a crucial function for creating our future. It educates people that poly life is possible, and is happening, and that in time everyone will get used to it.

This latest major newspaper feature (3,000 words) appears in several leading papers in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times, and Melbourne Age are part of a chain (Fairfax Media) that reprint each other's articles throughout Australia and New Zealand, so it may show up in more of them.

Also: even now, articles like this continue to come as a life-changing revelation to isolated polyfamilies and groups who still think they're the only ones, not knowing about today's abundant sources of support and hard-earned community wisdom.

The power of three

By Jacqueline Maley

Intimate affair: Darren Ramsey with his fellow polyamorists – and lovers – Jennifer Lee (at left) and Melissa Coller. Photo: Randy Larcombe

Darren Ramsey is a consultant, life coach and relationship coach whose methods include talk therapy and neuro-linguistic programming.... His tiled, Italianate home in Devon Park, in Adelaide's inner north, has a well-kept garden (it's that kind of suburb), a concrete driveway and a couple of dogs out the back....

Ramsey is part of what's known, in the "poly" world, as a triad. He has two female partners, 28-year-old Jennifer Lee and 35-year-old Melissa "Melly" Coller, who are also lovers. They sometimes have sex as a threesome. "There are three separate connections, so each has its own dynamic and own little cocoon," Ramsey explains. "It's just that it's more open when we're interrelating."

Defined broadly as "ethical non-monogamy", polyamory — distinct from swinging (which emphasises recreational sex rather than love), polygamy (marriage with multiple partners) or good old-fashioned adultery — is an increasingly vocal and active movement.

Polyamorists say that jealousy is learnt, not innate, and can be overcome. They believe a person's capacity for love is infinite and, just as a parent's adoration for their first-born does not limit the love they have for subsequent children, so the heart expands with numerous sexual partners. Polyamorists even believe jealousy can be transmuted into a feeling of joy, experienced when you see your partner enjoying the love of someone else — a feeling so uncommon, polyamorists had to make up a word for it: "compersion". (It's not in the Oxford Dictionary.)

When I visit the Ramsey ménage, it is a light-filled evening and the burghers of Devon Park have turned sprinklers on in their gardens. All three householders greet me on the patio. Ramsey, slight, fit and silver-haired, puts his hand out first, and introduces me around. Lee is creamy-skinned and pretty, with dyed-red hair and a Goth-lite aesthetic. She has a tattoo on her calf and a quiet, shy manner. Over the ensuing hours, she frequently defers to Ramsey in conversation, as though not quite confident she has landed on the right word. Coller is friendly and self-confident but also hangs back, perhaps out of deference to the group dynamic. Ramsey does most of the talking....

...By phone from California, Janet Hardy explains polyamory as "ways of structuring a relationship that are not about ownership. There are a whole lot of ways to love and be loved: the romantic, the sexual, the intellectual. The chances of finding all those in one person are small. In the [poly] lifestyle you have all these people you connect with in different ways. It just feels a lot more fulfilling. I don't have to give up anything."


...In the small and unscientific sample I interviewed, it seemed only bisexual polyamorous women were truly interested in having partners outside their primary relationship.

Niko Antalffy, 38, is one such woman. "I kind of knew from about 23 that I wasn't monogamous," she says. "After a few turbulent years, I realised I could either be happy but unethical, or ethical and unhappy. You either cheat on people and you're horrible, or you are monogamous."

Antalffy insists it's not just about sex. To her, polyamory is more a "life philosophy". "Life is full of potential connections and possibilities. I did not want to miss out on those. I didn't want to say no to connections because someone else expected me to," she explains.

Antalffy has a live-in partner, Chris Wotton, 31, with whom she has just had her first child.... Speaking before the birth of his child with Antalffy, Wotton said he didn't expect to change his lifestyle. "If you got pregnant, would you suddenly stop playing golf with your golfing buddies?" he asked. A few months after the birth, he is more circumspect. "We've talked about the fact that polyamory is very much still part of our lives," he says. "But practically it's hard to find the time for ourselves, let alone other people."...

Read the whole article (Jan. 19, 2013).

Niko Antalffy in the article comments, "I'm so glad there's such a big bright representation of ethical non-monogamy in the Good Weekend magazine! [of the Sydney Morning Herald]. Well done, guys."



January 16, 2013

Poly Living conference and Atlanta Poly Weekend: See you there?

A reminder: It's less than a month to Loving More's annual Poly Living conference February 8–10 in Philadelphia, and two months to the third annual Atlanta Poly Weekend March 15–17 in Atlanta.

I'm again going to both. These things are loads of fun — wonderful warm people, shared ideas and dreams, much to learn from each other, and friends and contacts to make. Last year I gave the opening keynote talk at Poly Living, and this year I'll be doing a closing keynote at APW.

What are these things like to attend? Here are my writeups of the first Poly Living I went to and last year's APW. They've been growing, and last year each had about 150 people; both expect more this time.

See you there?

P.S.: Other poly events for the rest of 2013.


January 15, 2013

Poly and neurodiversity: How come?

The Skinny (Scotland)

Hang out in the poly world and you quickly find that it overlaps the techy/ geeky/ life-hacky world. And among techy/geeky people you're going to learn the words "neurodiverse" and "neurotypical," referring to whether people do or don't show tendencies toward the autism spectrum and suchlike. You'll learn the joke, "How many Aspies does it take to change a light bulb?" Thoughtful pause. "One."

This week, Cunning Minx addresses "Poly and Asperger's" on her Polyamory Weekly podcast, Episode #346. A listener asks: can you be poly with Asperger’s? Does it help? And she presents some numbers from researcher Amy Marsh.

Deborah Anapol, in her book Polyamory in the 21st Century, devotes four interesting pages to polyamory and Asperger's syndrome.

If polys do include more than the average number of people with autism-spectrum traits (and remember, everyone is sub-clinical something), then a non-neurotypical writer for The Skinny in Scotland has just given the most plausible explanation I've seen for why. It echoes a reason given in Anapol's book: the poly community's ethic of careful communication and explicitly spelling things out.

The Skinny is Scotland's monthly alternative paper of arts, entertainment, and "independent cultural journalism":

An Uncommon Sense Approach To Polyamory

Lisa provides a personal account of the intersections of polyamory and neurodiversity.

Collaborative relationship design. Art by Laura Griffin.

Feature by Lisa

...I have dyspraxia, a specific learning difference that affects co-ordination, organisation and several other areas. For some dyspraxic folk, including myself, it overlaps with or includes traits of autistic spectrum conditions.

I’m also polyamorous. It may seem surprising that someone with social difficulties would gravitate towards a relationship style involving multiple loving and/or sexual partners. Even the most enthusiastic proponents of polyamory will often recite the warning, “It’s not easy. You need to be great with organisation and have excellent communication skills.” These are two areas where I certainly don’t excel.

I have trouble picking out information from body language and contextual cues. I find it difficult to link literal meanings with background information or other more subtle forms of communication. For example, I’ve occasionally appeared rude for not realising that sentences like, “Would you like to take a seat?” can be requests rather than questions. I also find it hard to pick up on the unwritten rules of social interactions.... What comes ‘naturally,’ or is seen as ‘common sense’ (an ableist concept in my opinion) to most people, can be more difficult for me to keep up with....

Traditionally, a monogamous relationship set-up is the norm.... The somewhat queer nature of poly relationships means they can’t rely as heavily on prefabricated scripts. They must be built from scratch around the needs, personalities and bodies of each partner. As someone who has trouble figuring out the unwritten rules of social interaction, it’s incredibly liberating to throw away the rule book altogether. There is no room for assumptions; the multitude of expectations and boundaries functioning in the relationship(s) are more likely to be explicitly discussed and defined in detail. Knowing exactly what’s OK, what isn’t, and what a partner wants from me is a much more comfortable way to be.

There’s also a structure there to get everyone’s slots of time worked into something resembling a schedule. The aspects of a poly relationship style that may seem regimented or unromantic to others are what most appeal to me. It feels safe, with some level of certainty and predictability....

Read the whole article (Jan. 2, 2013).

Another possible reason, I wonder: Is jealousy one of those social intuitions that Aspies tend not to grasp? My experience is that people "on the spectrum" tend to be very logical and don't see why other people aren't too. Logically, it just seems wrong that you'd want to keep someone you love away from something that makes them happy. And, as polys so often say, when you have a second child it doesn't mean you have to stop loving your first child, right? That just wouldn't make sense. Kind of like light bulb jokes.


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January 13, 2013

Teen reporter looks at how poly works for his peers

Youth Radio / Huffington Post

A high school student in Oakland, working for Youth Radio, interviews Dossie Easton and evolutionary psychologist David Buss about why jealousy is not an issue for a poly friend. Buss seems at a loss for an answer, except to say that poly can't work because theory says it can't. (Sometimes the youngest journalists trip prominent people into saying the most revealing things.) The story was reprinted on Youth Radio's Huffington Post blogsite. You can leave a comment both places.

The Evolutionary Role of Jealousy In Teen Dating

By Sam Fuller

A few years ago, my friend Kina, whom I’ve known since we were toddlers, told me she had started dating a girl I’ll call Lexi. Kina had already told me she was queer so that part of her news didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that Lexi was dating another girl I’ll call Janie, and that they had all decided to begin a polyamorous relationship so that Lexi could continue to date both of them.

“It seemed really natural to me,” Kina told me over the phone a few months later. As she put it, she “didn’t have any hang-ups” about sharing her girlfriend with Janie. “I was just happy that I got to be in a relationship with Lexi,” Kina said, “I didn’t really think about it that much.”

But I did think about it. I had a lot of questions. Some that Kina could probably answer: “How do you stay happy dating someone who has another girlfriend?” And some that I’d have to ask experts: “How does polyamory fit within the history of human sexuality?” As I looked for answers, I started to think that we teenagers bring a lot of evolutionary baggage with us on our dates....

Polyamory was new to me. Dossie Easton is a prominent psychotherapist in San Francisco who works with sexual minorities and who wrote the book “The Ethical Slut,” a guide to navigating polyamorous relationships. I asked Easton: why some people become polyamorous?

“I certainly don’t believe it’s some kind of gene that we’re going to find that you’re either monogamous or polyamorous,” said Easton. But even if it’s not genetic, Easton said biology is full of non-monogamous examples....

Research psychologists who study jealousy say it is a nearly universal emotion, although one that is experienced in many different ways. Some people are more jealous than others....

David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin... said a person’s level of jealousy isn’t constant. He likens the emotion to a biological defense mechanism, like a callous that forms depending on how much friction your skin comes up against. When someone cheats on you, you become more wary, a more jealous person.

To evolutionary psychologists like Buss, emotions are adaptive traits that are passed down through human history in the same way as physical traits, like eye color and disease resistance. According to Buss, that extra wariness that comes with jealousy gives you a better shot at reproductive success. “Jealousy is usually explained as an immature emotion, as a character defect,” Buss said. “But in fact it is an emotion that evolves primarily to protect a valued romantic relationship, and that is highly functional in most cases.”

Except, perhaps, in the case of poly relationships, when jealousy would seem to cause only dysfunction. According to Buss, it’s what makes polyamorous relationships inherently unstable and much more likely to result in breakup than monogamous ones. Dossie Easton calls jealousy the most common fear that stops people from forming open relationships. And as an advocate for open relationships, she spends a lot of time thinking about why that is. “You have to ask the question, why are we so afraid of it?” said Dossie Easton. “We expect to deal with sadness, we expect to deal with frustration, with loss and grief. Why is jealousy the only emotion where you are supposed to get a gun and shoot somebody?”

...Kina’s survey results made me wonder: had being poly and working on her insecure feelings actually made her a less jealous person? When I asked her about it, Kina said she thought it had, and she was glad for it....

...In Kina’s case, she found ways to get rid of her jealous feelings, and that’s made her feel happy. In the end, evolution aside, that’s the question that mattered most to me.

Read the whole story at Youth Radio and/or at Huffington Post (Jan. 8, 2013, for both).


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January 10, 2013

Showtime renews Polyamory series for a second season


Natalia Garcia (second from right) with the San Diego quad from Season 1.

After months of waiting, and after months of vigorous efforts by producer/director Natalia Garcia to recruit additional cast, the Showtime cable channel has just announced that it's renewing last summer's Polyamory: Married and Dating reality docu-series for a second season. From Variety:

Showtime has renewed racy unscripted skeins "Gigolos" and "Polyamory" and will return the shows to its latenight lineup this year.

"Polyamory," which quietly entered the TV space but built buzz online after its debut [ahem! ––Ed.], follows people in polyamorous relationships, though it is unclear if season two will feature the same couples featured in the first season. However, in the fall, one cast member used her blog to call for new polyamorous people to "join" the original cast in the "next chapter" of the show. (At the time of the blog post, the status of "Polyamory's" future had not been determined.)

Congratulations to Garcia for doggedly pursuing her vision of portraying, explaining, and humanizing polyamory to a wide audience. Whatever you think of the entertainment industry as a whole, her passion for doing this is genuine.

She writes, "I'm very excited to continue enlightening viewers on alternative love styles. We're still working on what Season 2 is going to look like and should know soon. And thanks to everyone who supported this project, especially you Alan."


Trailer from Season 1, Episode 1:


January 8, 2013

"Is Polyamory Bad for the Children?"

Personality and Social Psychology Review

My last post ("Study: No evidence that monogamous couples are more happy than open couples") described research findings about polyfolks collected by Terri Conley and her University of Michigan colleagues. Their paper, A Critical Examination of Popular Assumptions About the Benefits and Outcomes of Monogamous Relationships, is behind a paywall unless you have an in with a good library. [UPDATE: Here's the full published version free.] Its findings are being summarized and discussed by Psychology Today blogger Bella DePaulo. This morning DePaulo put up her third and final article in this series:

Is Polyamory Bad for the Children?

The benefits and drawbacks of polyamory on kids.

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

...I wish I could say that there are stacks of methodologically rigorous studies comparing the implications for children whose parents are or are not polyamorous. Instead, there are very few, so any conclusions are tentative at best.

The authors of [Conley's] review article believe that the implications for the children of their parents’ relationships are most likely to be noteworthy if those relationships are not hidden from the children. So the review article focuses on those families in which some or all of the various partners are involved in the children’s lives, either as co-parents or in roles similar to those of aunts or uncles.

Elisabeth Sheff has conducted two studies of the well-being of the children of polyamorous parents. In one, she interviewed the parents, and in the other, she talked to children between 5 and 18 years old....

The Perspective of the Polyamorous Parents

In the interviews, the parents described a number of ways their children benefited from the polyamory:

• “The children had more individualized time with adults.”

• They “could spend less time in day care because of the flexibility of having multiple parental figures involved in their lives.”

• “…the greater diversity of interests available from adult figures helped children foster a wider variety of hobbies and skills.”

The parents mentioned drawbacks as well, particularly “the discomfort of having partnerships between adults dissolve and the resulting emotional trauma for children who may have been very attached to a departing partner.”

The Perspective of the Children

The children Sheff interviewed were mostly White and middle class. Her impression was that they were “articulate, thoughtful, intelligent, and secure in their relationships with their parents.”...

The children did not express the same concern with the real or potential loss of adult attachments as their parents did. As the authors of the review article explained:

“Many of the children reported that their parents’ former partners stayed involved in their lives even after the sexual or romantic phase of the partners’ relationships to the parents ended.”...

“Overall, the children were satisfied with their family arrangement, acknowledging that they may not choose it themselves but that it works well for their parents.”

...The parents, in particular, may have been inclined to present a positive impression to the interviewer. Yet they did mention misgivings, especially with regard to the potential emotional difficulties for their children of having adults coming in and out of their lives....

Read DePaulo's whole post (Jan. 8, 2013).

Update, Feb. 2014: Interview with Terri Conley in New York magazine (Feb. 4, 2014).


Here are many other children-and-poly items of interest to parents and researchers:
More on Raising Children in a Poly Home.

Here's a bibliography of research material on the subject that members of the Poly Researchers list put together in 2012:

Barker, Meg & Langdridge, Darren.  (2010).  Understanding Non-monogamiesLondon: Routledge. 

Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria.  (2010).  Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 

Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria (2006).  Polyparents Having Children, Raising Children, Schooling Children.  Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, 7 (1), (March 2006), 48-53.

Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria.  (2010).  To Pass, Border or Pollute: Polyfamilies Go to School.  In Meg Barker & Darren Langridge (Eds.), Understanding Non-Monogamies.  
New York, NY: Routledge. 

Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria, Haydon, Peter; & Hunter, Anne.  (In press, 2012).  These Are Our Children: Polyamorous Parenting.  In Katherine Allen & Abbie Goldberg (Eds.), LGBT-Parent Families: Possibilities for New Research and Implications for Practice. 
London: Springer.

Sheff, Elisabeth.  (2011).  Polyamorous Families, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Slippery Slope.  Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40 (5), (October 2011), 487-520,

Sheff, Elisabeth.  (2010).  Strategies in Polyamorous Parenting.  In Meg Barker & Darren Langridge (Eds.), Understanding Non-Monogamies.  
London: Routledge. 

Older studies:

Constantine, Larry L., & Constantine, Joan M.  (1976).  Treasures of the
Island: Children in Alternative Families.  Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. 

Constantine, Larry L., & Constantine, Joan M.  Group Marriage: A Study of Contemporary Multilateral Marriage. 
New York: Macmillan, 1973, pp. 148-162.

Constantine, Larry L.  (1977) Where are the kids? Children in Alternative Life Styles.  In Libby, Roger W., & Robert N. Whitehurst (Eds.), Marriage and Alternatives: Exploring Intimate Relationships (pp. 257-263).  
Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman & Co.

Johnston, C., & R. Deisher.  (1973).  Contemporary communal child rearing: a first analysis.  Pediatrics, 52(3), (September 1973), 319-326.

Salsburg, Sheldon (1973).  Is group marriage viable?  Journal of Sex Research 9(4), (November 1973), 325-333.

Weisner, T.S.  (1986).  Implementing New Relationship Styles in Conventional and Nonconventional American Families.  In Hartup, W., & Z. Rubin (Eds.), Relationships and Development (pp. 185-206)
New Jersey: LEA Press.

Weisner, T. S., & H. Garnier.  (1992).  Nonconventional family lifestyles and school achievement: A 12-year longitudinal study.  American Educational Research Journal 29(3), 605-632.

See also Laird Harrison's bibliography giving paragraph-length descriptions of many of these references.


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January 6, 2013

Study: No evidence that monogamous couples are more happy than open couples

Personality and Social Psychology Review

Relationship researcher Terri D. Conley and four colleagues at the University of Michigan have published an overview of available research and conclude that, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that ostensibly monogamous relationships are happier or more satisfying that sexually open ones.

Their paper is noteworthy because actual research on this is hard to find, though anecdotes on both sides abound. Note that much of the information comes only from gay couples.

I first learned about this from an article in Salon (later picked up by Alternet), which was given a title that stretches what the paper actually says:

Study: Non-monogamous couples are as happy as other couples

When it comes to consensual non-monogamy, one study suggests we shouldn't knock it until we've tried it.

By Katie McDonough

...Researchers looked at consensual non-monogamy — relationships in which both adults agree to have multiple sexual or romantic partners — among gay couples and found nearly identical levels of satisfaction as those in monogamous partnerships.

Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Moreover, the men in these partnerships often felt more intimate with their partner when they agreed to be non-monogamous. Just as monogamy can provide a sense of support and protection, consensual non-monogamy can provide the emotional support of a primary partnership while also allowing exploration of other sexual relationships.

Surprisingly, jealousy was also less prevalent in non-monogamous relationships because it is “more manageable … and is experienced less noxiously.” Because both partners established the boundaries of their partnership in advance, there was less reason to feel threatened by other men.

There are very few studies on consensual non-monogamy out there, perhaps because it appears to be so rare. Currently, between 4.5 to 10 percent of all relationships fall into this category, but the number could be higher....

Read the whole article (Jan. 4, 2012).

The original paper appears in Personality and Social Psychology Review with the title A Critical Examination of Popular Assumptions About the Benefits and Outcomes of Monogamous Relationships (first published online Nov. 21, 2012). The abstract is free, but the bulk of the paper is behind a $25 paywall unless you connect through an academic library account. UPDATE: Here's the whole paper free.

At the Psychology Today blogs, Bella DePaulo quotes the paper's findings in two posts: Are Non-Monogamous Relationships Really Better? (Dec. 20, 2012) and Satisfied? Jealous? On Deciding Not to Be Monogamous (Jan. 3, 2012). Key parts:

Terri Conley and her colleagues have been studying stereotypes of people who have what they call “consensually non-mongamous” (CNM) relationships.

...There is not all that much research on CNM. As Conley points out, scientists seem so sure that monogamy is best that they have not bothered to do all that much research on the matter. Conley and her colleagues now have an ongoing program of research, and they have also reviewed research from other labs....

...As for how safe the sex is in monogamous vs. CNM relationships, the assumption is that monogamous sex is safer. The research disagrees. What seems to happen is that people assume there is more safety in their supposedly monogamous relationships than there is in fact. As Conley put it, “couples put condoms away, typically within the first couple months of dating, and switch to other forms of birth control when they feel comfortable with one another, rather than after objective testing for STIs.” (STIs are sexually transmitted infections.) In long-term relationships, including many marriages, partners often do not take into account the very real possibility of infidelity.

Here are more specifics of the research findings....

● “Sexually unfaithful individuals were less likely to use barriers during their extradyadic encounter, less likely to tell their partner about the encounter, and less likely to be tested for STIs than individuals in CNM relationships.” [This and some other findings are from research by Conley and others published online March 29, 2012, that received some media attention at the time.]

● “Sexually unfaithful individuals were less likely to use barrier methods in their primary relationship than CNM individuals.”

● “People in ostensibly monogamous relationships were also more likely to make condom use mistakes.”

● “Individuals often use condoms or other barrier methods more frequently with casual partners than with ‘regular’ partners.”

From DePaulo's second post:

● “…gay men in CNM relationships are quite comparable with gay men in monogamous partnerships in their level of satisfaction.”

● “Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Moreover, the men in these partnerships often felt more intimate with their partner when they agreed to be non-monogamous....

● “…levels of jealousy were actually lower for those in CNM relationships than in a monogamous sample.”

● “…jealousy is more manageable in these relationships than in monogamous relationships and is experienced less noxiously.”

Conley and her colleagues add, “To the extent that other relationships are explicitly allowed, experiences of jealousy should almost by definition be lower in CNM relationships. Still, the fact that jealousy was managed by individuals in CNM relationships, rather than overwhelming them, is inconsistent with presumptions about monogamy conveyed by participants in our research.”

DePaulo promises a third post about the paper, on "What About the Children?"

1. Conley, T. D., Ziegler, A., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., & Valentine, B. (2012). A critical examination of popular assumptions about the benefits and outcomes of monogamous relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Review. doi: 10.1177/1088868312467087



January 1, 2013

Forthcoming poly books:
maybe 8 or more!

Two weeks ago I posted a complete list (I think) of all 31 books about polyamory since 1985, with descriptions.

To follow that up, here is a forecast of upcoming poly books that various writers have in the works and that seem to have a reasonable chance of happening.

I doubt that I know all of them, so if you have or know about a forthcoming book to add (or subtract), please say so in the comments. Get some free advance publicity!

Coming Right Up:

● This first one doesn't sound like it'll be a polyamory book, contrary to some expectations, but I'll include it because its publication date is tomorrow (January 2, 2013) and it may make waves. This is Tammy Nelson's The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity. At first the book seemed like it would be an expansion of Nelson's 2010 article "The New Monogamy", which I wrote about here. There she used "new monogamy" to mean carefully negotiated non-monogamy within a primary couple:

The new monogamy is, baldly speaking, the recognition that, for an increasing number of couples, marital attachment involves a more fluid idea of connection to the primary partner than is true of the “old monogamy.” Within the new notion of monogamy, each partner assumes that the other is, and will remain, the main attachment, but that outside attachments of one kind or another are allowed -- as long as they don’t threaten the primary connection.

...The fidelity resides in the fact that these couples work out openly and together what will be and will not be allowed in their relationships with Party C, and maybe Parties D, E, and F. To couples engaged in the new monogamy, it isn’t the outside sexual relationships themselves, but the attendant secrets, lies, denial, silences, and hidden rendezvous that make them so destructive to the marriage.

At the time of that article, Nelson didn't seem to grasp that a vibrant polyamory movement exists with lots of hard-earned knowledge for newbies starting down this path (example, example). Since then Nelson has had more contact with the poly world; for instance, appearing last May on Cunning Minx's Polyamory Weekly podcast episode #318. But the book seems tailored to not scare off an intended audience of wounded mainstream affair-survivors, Nelson's main therapy clientele. The publisher's description is careful to say, "The new monogamy contract is an explicit relationship agreement created after the affair that allows each partner to openly, honestly, and safely share their desires, expectations, and limitations. This agreement does not create an open marriage, but rather, an open conversation...."

For the record: The first use of the term "The New Monogamy" to mean negotiated non-monogamy seems to be New York Magazine's cover story "The New Monogamy", by "Em & Lo," in its issue for Nov. 21, 2005 (published online Nov. 12, 2005). The subtitle is "Marriage With Benefits." I wrote about it here at the time.

Books Farther Out, But Likely

Elisabeth Sheff, a sociologist who has long studied polyfolks and especially their kids, is working on The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families. She writes us:

I am really excited about how it is shaping up. It is under contract with Rowman and Littlefield and I will have the first draft to them by the spring; hopefully they will not want too many revisions and it should come out by fall of 2013, but that will depend in part on how things work on their end.

The book presents the cumulative findings of a 16-year longitudinal study of polyamorists (11 years of that focused on poly families with kids) and is designed as an informational book aimed at lawyers, counselors, therapists, social workers, DFACS officials, and others who serve poly clients. Hopefully it will also be the book people who are already poly will use to introduce the idea to important others in their lives -- mothers in law, ex-spouses, etc. It is not persuasive in that it does not aim to recruit people into being polyamorous, but it is persuasive in that it attempts to present polyamory as a viable relationship choice for some people who should be able to retain custody of their children as long as nothing else counter-indicates that -- polyamory alone is not sufficient reason to take children from an otherwise functional family (poly is not definitionally pathological and can be a great system for raising children depending on how it is done, very much like monogamy only with more help potentially).

The first four chapters introduce and define polyamory, the second four chapters present the findings of the study and investigate the advantages, disadvantages, and strategies families use to deal with disadvantages, and the conclusion looks at policy implications and what people in serial monogamous relationships can learn from poly families.

● Jessica Burde should be coming out in a few months with an e-book, Guide to Pregnancy and Polyamory, the first in a series of Poly on Purpose guides she hopes to write. She lists future topics for these as "Children", "Safer Sex", and "The Poly Home." Burde runs the Poly on Purpose blogsite. From what I've seen of the pregnancy book so far, it's a well-written walk-through of unique-to-poly pregnancy issues, some of which she has experienced firsthand, with suggested discussion guidance.

● Kathy Labriola, author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Guide to Open Relationships (2010) writes,

I am writing a book called The Jealous Workbook, which has a lot of exercises and techniques for poly people to manage jealousy. I teach a lot of workshops on jealousy in open relationships, and I use handouts with specific techniques and have the participants do the exercises in the class. Many people have asked me if there is a book with these exercises in it, and it seemed obvious that such a book could be useful. It will be published by Greenery Press, not due out until towards the end of 2013.

● Dawn Davidson in California is working on a book about drawing up poly relationship agreements, tentatively titled KISSable Agreements (and Other Secrets to Negotiating in Poly Partnerships). She writes,

"I've been serializing it in my blog for quite a while, and am getting close to having a full draft. I'm hoping to have something ready by the academic conference" (Dave Doleshal's first International Academic Polyamory Conference happening in Berkeley February 15-17), "even if that's only a photocopied, comb-bound version and/or a pdf. At the moment I have no publisher, and will probably self-publish the first round."

● From Meg Barker in the UK, author of Rewriting the Rules and Understanding Non-Monogamies:

A book I have coming out later this year with Christina Richards has a major section on [therapy] practitioners working with both monogamous and openly non-monogamous people: Richards, C. and Barker, M. (forthcoming, 2013). Sexuality and gender for counselors, psychologists and health professionals: A practical guide. London: Sage. It should have a good overview chapter regarding work with poly clients.

● Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli in Australia, author of Border Families, Border Sexualities in Schools, has another academic book in the works, "due out hopefully in 2014 by Lexington Books: Outside Belonging: Women in Relationships with Bisexual Men, which includes lots on polyamory and other forms of non-monogamous arrangements. It presents the findings of my semi-structured interview research with 78 women of diverse ages, sexualities and ethnicities in relationships with bisexual, MSMWs, heteroflexible and homoflexible men."

Books Farther Out and Maybe Iffy:

● Ever since Franklin Veaux moved his massive, much-linked-to poly advice site to www.MoreThanTwo.com, he has posted on its front page: "More Than Two is also the name of a book about non-monogamy that I've been on-again, off-again working on for some time." Meaning at least since 2006. He just wrote us,

That project is on again; I've dusted off what I've written so far and begun working once more. I have a query letter and proposal I've sent out to about 50 agents and publishers now; I've got back about 40 form rejections, about 5 hand-written rejections, and several rejections that have said "If you re-cast the book as a personal memoir we'd be interested."

So I have largely given up on going the traditional publishing route, and I'm planning to self-publish.

● Anlina Sheng is a very public polyactivist in Winnipeg who was recently featured in the daily Winnipeg Free Press and chosen by The Uniter, the student newspaper of the University of Winnipeg (billing itself as "Winnipeg's weekly urban journal"), as one of 30 young Manitobans "who are making a difference and impacting their community or who are outstanding in their field." She writes us,

I'm working on a book about polyamory as a person who is single or without a primary. I don't have a publishing date and I'll likely go the self-published route, so I'm not sure if there's much worth mentioning publicly yet, but a manuscript is in the works (though still a ways off.) Working title: Poly On My Own.

● In Toronto, on her Not Your Mother's Playground site, Samantha Fraser is running an Indiegogo fundraiser "to help me get the cash to print my book, which is still in development."

Not Your Mother’s Playground: A realistic guide to honest, happy and healthy open relationships (NYMP) is a book on modern open relationships aimed at a new generation, discussing everything from swinging to polyamory (multiple loves). It includes personal triumphs and challenges mixed in to give it a relatable, intimate feel.... My plan with NYMP is to talk about open relationships from a realistic and experienced viewpoint, giving people honest advice and examples from not only my own life but others’ as well.

The idea behind Not Your Mother’s Playground is to walk the reader through everything they will encounter should they choose to open up their relationship. It will show all sides from the good to the bad, not ignoring the reality that these relationships come with complications that can put even the strongest couples to the test....

● Jay Wiseman, longtime BDSM community organizer and author of well over a dozen books on that topic, has been rumored to be at work on a book about poly and kink. But in fact this project seems to be far down on his priority list.

Okay, did I miss anyone? If so let's hear about your project.