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

February 12, 2013

Yet more college poly reporting

Queen's Journal (Queens University)
The Daily Northwestern
The Daily Lobo (Univ. of New Mexico)

Valentine's Day approaches, and the wave is under way.

The Sexual Health Resource Centre at Queen's University in Ontario is running a series on non-monogamy in the student paper The Journal. From Part 1 (Jan. 31, 2013):

QJSex: What is non-monogamy? Part One: Exploring the terminology

Posted by The Expert Sexpert

...With all these ideas and concepts floating around like non-monogamy, polyamory, open relationships, or friends-with-benefits, its easy to get confused and lost within the vast world of non-monogamous relationships. Hopefully, a quick intro to non-monogamy will settle any confusion and open the door to a whole myriad of relationship possibilities.

Non-monogamy is basically a big umbrella term that describes any relationship that doesn’t follow the structure of two people only romantically and sexually involved with each other. That obviously leaves a lot of wiggle room, which is where various types of non-monogamy come into play, such as open relationships, polyamory, threesomes, or dance-floor make outs.

...Polyamory describes a relationship in which a person is intimately involved with more than one other person. For some people this might mean not just sexual relationships with more than one person but also relationships involving love, commitment, or emotional attachment.

In contrast to open relationships, which are usually centered on a primary relationship, polyamory involves multiple partnerships that are often of equal significance. As with open relationships and all non-monogamous relationships, a polyamorous person negotiates unique boundaries with each person they are involved with....

...Venturing into the world of non-monogamy can be intimidating at first, especially as we aren’t surrounded with positive role models who lead non-monogamous lives.... Thanks to movements like sex-positivity, people are slowly reclaiming the right to define what a relationship means to them....

Support, information and resources do exist, and the SHRC [Sexual Health Resource Centre] is a great place to start. In our library we have plenty of resources on non-monogamy, as well as informed and non-judgmental volunteers who are more than happy to help you with any questions you have or to point you in the right direction to more support.

I left a comment correcting some of their muddled definition of poly, which forgot the defining "knowledge and consent of all concerned" bit and also made it seem like, "no primary couples allowed."

Here's a better intro to poly from a different college's student counseling center.

From Part 2 (Feb. 7, 2013):

QJSex: What is non-monogamy? Part Two: Healthy relationships

...Let’s tackle the harder question: how to actually make it work.... It’s pretty difficult to determine what is a ‘working’ relationship, but generally we can agree that a relationship that is healthy, in which both partners are able to communicate, give and receive respect and care, can be said to be a relationship that ‘works’.

Healthy relationships involve safety, honesty, acceptance, respect, and enjoyment, and these aspects aren’t limited to just one relationship. These factors can be in place in more than one relationship, for example a situation where one person has two partners, and shares these values with each person.

Communication & Boundaries

A key factor that differentiates non-monogamous relationships from the derogatory labels of ‘cheating’ or ‘affair’ is communication. Being in a non-monogamous relationship involves communication and honesty with one’s partner(s) so that each person involved is able to be comfortable and happy. Communication involves acknowledging and respecting both yours’ and your partners’ boundaries and needs, and keeping your partners informed about your thoughts and emotions regarding the relationship.

Communication goes hand and hand with boundary setting, another important aspect for all healthy relationships....

Sexual Health

...Regular STI testing, exercising birth control options, using safer sex barriers such as condoms/dental dams/gloves, and maintaining your overall health become very important when sharing sexual experiences with many people.

You wouldn’t cough on your hand then shake 10 people’s hands so why would you spread unnecessary infections through unsafe sex with multiple partners. Healthy communication, again, is great for talking with partners about sexual history, safer sex methods, or personal/partnership boundaries around sex.


Northwestern University's Daily Northwestern presents an informative opinion piece:

Between the Sheets: When one boyfriend just isn't enough

By Tonya Starr, Columnist

...It seems our generation is reconsidering its commitment to monogamy. In its place, a few alternative lifestyles have come to light — everything from cohabitation to civil unions to eternal spinsterdom. I’d like to introduce a relationship structure I find particularly intriguing and under-reported — polyamory.

Polyamory, according to Polyamorous NYC, means participation in long-term, romantically committed, multiple-partner relationships. For example, two women and two men all date one another. Each group member involved carries on romantic and sexual endeavors with whichever other group member he or she chooses, provided the person has the full consent of the group before the act is committed. They aren’t swingers or polygamists — just little clusters of folks all around the country for whom one partner is not enough.

A 2009 Newsweek article speculates there are more than half a million polyamorists living in the U.S., and they’ll be rising to the mainstream in the near future. There are now blogs, non-fiction books, Showtime specials and match-up networks dedicated to polyamory.

...Don't get me wrong — I'm not discrediting monogamous relationships. I, too, have apron-donning, childbearing, husband-loving fantasies about my future self. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't inform ourselves about the alternatives. Doing so on a wide scale will foster the eventual acceptance of polyamory — and similar lifestyles — into the mainstream. Experts say that after the battle for gay marriage is won, the battle for multiple partner marriage could be next. So suit up and keep your mind and eyes open as we ride into 2013.

The whole article (Jan. 16, 2013).


At the University of New Mexico, the Daily Lobo ran an article on a dramatic local BDSM demonstration put on for the public by poly kink educator and performer Julian Wolf (a genderqueer female whose stage persona, Jack D. Nimble, is referred to with masculine pronouns). Trigger warning: simulated assault.

BDSM and polyamorist communities alive and well in Albuquerque

By Nicole Perez

Two men dragged a screaming woman off the dance floor at Evolution Nightclub Saturday night, covered her mouth with a rag and bound her in the fetal position with green plastic wrap. A brief kiss later, they left her whimpering in the corner as a security guard with an earpiece and studded boots guarded her from the crowd.

To an unsuspecting bystander, it appeared the woman was assaulted. In reality, she knew it was going to happen; it was a planned fetish performance-art piece....

The performances are often led by Jack D. Nimble, the alter ego character of Julian Wolf, who is an educator on topics such as bondage, domination and sadomasochism.

“It’s a quote that’s not original to me, but ‘Fear is an underestimated aphrodisiac,’” Wolf said. “And it’s true. It stimulates all the same cortexes in the brain as other sorts of stimulation.”

Wolf, a former sexual-health lecturer at CNM, travels the country giving demonstrations on flogging, wax play and role playing. She said sadomasochism is often confused with abuse, but in fact, the nonegalitarian relationships are based on consent.

“If you are being coerced, it’s abuse,” Wolf said. “If you do not want to do it, it’s abuse. If at any point you said, ‘no,’ and it was ignored, it’s abuse....”

Wolf, who is polyamorous and a member of the kink movement, said everybody has their own threshold of comfort, which is why she talks to her sexual partners before engaging in any activity. As a polyamorist... Wolf has multiple sexual partners of both genders. She sees some every day and others twice per year, and her partners typically have multiple sexual partners as well. She said she rarely gets jealous when her partners engage with others, but when she does, it’s because she hasn’t seen them in a while, not because they are enjoying themselves with others.

“‘Compersion’ is the opposite of jealousy: when you’re really happy that somebody else is happy,” she said....

Wolf grew up in a conservative family, attended church and led her church’s drama troupe. She said she began to realize she was queer in high school, but didn’t officially come out until later....

The whole article (Jan. 31, 2013), with pix.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Somewhat muddled definition of polyamory"? Here we go again...

February 12, 2013 4:14 PM  

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