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

March 12, 2013

Latest college-newspaper poly roundup

The Link (Concordia University)
The Diamondback (Univ. of Maryland)
The Capilano Courier
The South End (Wayne State)
The Pitt News (Univ. of Pittsburgh)
The Review (Univ. of Delaware)

It's college newspaper roundup time again.

At Concordia University in Montreal:

A New Sexual Standard: The Nature of Relationships and Sexual Orientations Are Evolving

By Elysha del Giusto-Enos

Gender & Sexuality Special Issue

Graphic: Jayde Norström / Paku Daoust-Cloutier
...Role models are scarce for anyone deviating from heterosexual relationships, and even those who deviate from homosexual relationships, too. People who identify as polyamorous, bisexual or whose sexual orientation fluctuates end up confronting negative stereotypes from all sides.

But without any social expectations defining them, the rulebook for these kinds of relationships ends up being written by those in them. And for people working to further diversity and tolerance in our society, the variety of ways they see people defining themselves are staggering.

...“When I was attracted to women, I was still attracted to men,” said artist Shaista Latif, who self-identifies as a queer woman. “But it wasn’t until I decided to act on my impulses to see what it was like that my feelings for men went away.”

Latif has been “out” to people in her life for about a year.... Being Afghan has made it even more stressful for her to out herself....

...[Marla] Schreiber agrees that the definitions coming from the mainstream leave a lot to be desired. “Television tells us that homosexuality exists, but it tells us that it exists in very specific kind of way,” Schreiber said. “I also do workshops on polyamory and part of why I do that is to talk to the norm — to talk to the people about other ideas that are out there. Because if you’ve never heard of it, and you can’t fathom it on your own, this ignorance sort of continues.”

Schreiber herself has been living what she calls “the poly life” for almost ten years. It started when she was in CEGEP, where she said that polyamory was an unheard-of concept. But one ethics teacher was living a polyamorous lifestyle and she credits him with “opening her eyes.”

She said that once she decided to pursue this lifestyle, there weren’t any templates for how to model her relationships based on what she saw in society.

Today, one man has been her partner for eight years and another man for three years. The way they make it work is by constantly communicating and setting, then re-setting their boundaries and values.

...But open-mindedness towards these emerging relationship styles from established communities can still be a struggle. “I definitely experienced judgment,” Schreiber said. “A lot of people assume that polyamory means that you’re super easy.”...

Read the whole article (March 5, 2013).


The Diamondback at the University of Maryland publishes a nice endorsement of the quality of poly people generally:

The advantages of polyamorous relationships

By Ezra Fishman

...I am the wrong person to explain exactly what polyamory is, as I fall under the umbrella of monogamy. However... the polyamorous people I have encountered in my life are some of the most stable and rational people I know. They develop strong emotional connections with their partners. They have real, loving relationships and can even be happily married with children. Though their relationships are often hidden to avoid social stigma, when you get to know them as people, they are just as open and happy about their relationships as anyone else.

...It’s not a choice, or a moral flaw; it’s simply a different way of loving....

Read the whole article (Feb. 28, 2013). Thank you to whoever made such favorable impressions on this guy. As the saying goes, "be a credit to your kink."


At Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada:

Lydia Fu
WHEN TWO WON’T DO: Polyamory doesn’t have to be a relationship death sentence

By Ben Last and Natalie Corbo

“Why is it acceptable in our society to love more than one sport with a passion? Read different books? Why is it acceptable to love more than one child?” writes Kendra Holliday, the leader of sex-positive website The Beautiful Kind....

...Ryan* has been in polyamorous relationships since 2006, and explains that he had a lot of trouble in monogamous relationships in the past because he always ended up cheating. He is now in a happy, co-parenting relationship with his daughter’s mother. “It’s still a very close and caring relationship, but not one that has a sexual aspect to it, but still a very intimate relationship.” Beyond that, “there is someone else who I am dating, and people who I see three or so times per week, and then there’s also a few other long-term very-casual people in my life,” Ryan explains. “It is very realistic, it is very doable, [and] it can be a completely satisfying way to live.”

...Bob Muckle, a professor of anthropology at Capilano University, explains that monogamy is actually not a “natural” evolutionary trait. “There are 300 species of primates and only a few that are monogamous,” Muckle explains. “Increasing research shows primates may have one primary relationship and then have relationships outside of that,” much like polyamorous relationships in humans....

...Marnie’s open relationship is honest and communicative, and they always tell each other about other people, though not all of those relationships are equal. “Obviously we’re each other’s primary partners and so the emotional connection there is not comparable with what I have with anyone else.”

For Marnie, there’s also a political aspect involved in that she wants to break away from the idea of owning people or owing people — an aspect that might be found in traditional relationships. “We wanted to feel the type of intimacy and connection that didn’t necessarily involve that part of owning or owing each other things,” she says of her relationship with her primary partner.

...Open relationships, however, are not just an “easy way out” of any sort....

Read the whole article (Feb. 13, 2013).


At Wayne State in Detroit:

Dissecting alternate outlooks on love

Despite widespread stigmatization, polygamy sustains in states

By Nicole Hayden

With shows like “Big Love” and “Sister Wives,” the understanding of what defines marriage has been questioned more and more. From alternative relationships such as those explored on television, to LGBT relationships and even “open” relationships, the dynamic of social acceptance is starting to shift — specifically the idea of a polyamorous relationship.

A polyamorous relationship is one with more than one intimate partner,with the complete consent of everyone involved. Being polygamous means being part of a marriage with multiple partners.

...Steve Lott, who comprises one-third of a polyamorous relationship, said one benefit of having not just two, but three, incomes within the household makes paying the bills much easier. Standard tasks such as “cooking, cleaning and caring for our daughter is easier with more people on the job,” Lott said.

Lott’s family structure consists of himself, his wife Nicole and his second relationship with Dana Kitchens and her daughter....Unfortunately, Lott said neither his family nor Nicole’s family supports their decision of an unofficial polygamous marriage. However, Kitchens’s family does, which gives them a welcoming place to go on holidays, Lott said.

No matter what the issue is, however, “there is no question that any time a group (or individual) bring up some new idea, this provides a suggestion to other members of society,” said Mary Sengstock of WSU’s Sociology Department....

Read the whole article (March 1, 2013).


In the Valentine's Day Sex Edition of the University of Pittsburgh's student newspaper:

Rethink monogamy's place as our society's default relationship type

By Danny Zaidi \ Columnist

Monogamy is so 20th century.

Honestly, you probably love all your friends, anyway. Why not love them a little more? Be polyamorous.

...The notion that everyone will be satisfied by a monogamous relationship is not necessarily true. Yet most are reluctant to push these boundaries and enter into a polyamorous relationship — or one that is “[a] long-term, romantically committed, multiple-partner relationship,” according to the organization Polyamorous NYC, which serves the needs of the LGBT community.

...Elisabeth Sheff, a scholar in the field of ethnography and particularly polyamory, cites Morgan, a 29-year-old white accountant and mother of one. Morgan believes, according to Sheff’s work, that monogamous relationships create competitive grounds between women. Morgan connected what she viewed as stronger bonds between polyamorous women not only to the potential for them to develop a sexual relationship but the shift in the balance of power generated by bisexuality and increase in choice and autonomy from men. In other words, she grew to love her fellow woman and include her, rather than leave her on the other side as a potential competitor for other men.

During her life, [Emma] Goldman also believed in the ideals of polyamorous relationships and, more specifically, she argued for these relationships as beneficial in eradicating the... jealousy that leads to so much divorce and mistrust among monogamous couples. Goldman stated, “Jealousy is obsessed by the sense of possession and vengeance.” This idea of possession is nearly eradicated via polyamory because of the exchange of partners, so this proves another push toward the issues of monogamy. Ultimately, sharing is caring.

That’s not to say that the realm of polyamory completely escapes the threat of jealousy. The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography says: “Feelings of jealousy or strife often plagued relationships among polyamorous women. The most common source of discord was difficulty sharing a lover.” However, I suggest that this is a version of jealousy that most are not accustomed to — it’s a jealousy we see and don’t embrace in monogamy. In other words, bring on the jealousy, because it’s no longer one-on-one.

Jealousy within the polyamorous relationship can be dealt with in a more reasoned fashion because of the nature of the group structure.... We must again look to the benefits of the group versus a pair....

...How would you feel in a community where everyone was open about the love and compassion for others? If only monogamy wasn’t so ingrained in this society, we might have a more peaceful, mutually serving outlook today.

In Goldman’s words: “All lovers do well to leave the doors of their love wide open.”

Read the whole article (Feb. 14, 2013).


At the University of Delaware:

Open relationships allow students to date in new ways

By Alexandria Murphy

Senior Rose McNeill says she does not want to feel that a potential relationship or friendship with another person is limited because she has a boyfriend. For this reason, she is part of an open relationship.

“No one has every single interest in common with their partner, so it makes sense to be able to spend time with other people who do have those things in common with you,” McNeill says.

McNeill, who has been with her most recent partner for four months, has been involved in open relationships throughout her time at college. She says she feels that she has a better relationship with her partners in open relationships because it takes away the expectation and pressure that one partner will satisfy all of the other’s needs.

...Psychology professor Jean-Philippe Laurenceau, who studies relationships and couples, says although an open relationship may be unconventional, it is not necessarily unhealthy.

“I would define a healthy relationship as one where both parties are able to grow and ultimately, let each other flourish,” Laurenceau says. “This can be achieved in an open relationship, but I imagine that it would be very, very difficult.”...

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




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