"Love as a many-partnered thing. First polyamory convention in Canada celebrates emerging relationship trend."
Jen Day, left, and Pepper Mint, a polyamorous couple from San Francisco, spoke about their relationship at Polycon - Claiming Our Right To Love, in Vancouver. (Photo: Arlen Redekop/ PNG/ Sunday Province)
Here's more from PolyCon (#Polyconvan) now underway in Vancouver, courtesy again of the daily tabloid paper The Province. The story is in this morning's Sunday edition, awaiting folks as they wake up, and is by a new writer now. It profiles longtime alt-sex community organizers Pepper and Jen from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Love as a many-partnered thing
First polyamory convention in Canada celebrates emerging relationship trend
By Thandi Fletcher
When Jen Day wants to take in an evening of high culture, she doesn't ask her live-in boyfriend to go with her.
Although she has been dating Pepper Mint (yes, that is his real name) for 10 years, and they recently bought a house together, Day would rather go with one of her other three boyfriends.
"Pep isn't a big fan of opera or ballet, so I have somebody who I go do those things with," said the 34-year-old.
The San Francisco couple practise polyamory, an emerging trend of multi-partner relationships.
The two spoke about their lifestyle choice at Polycon — Claiming our Right to Love. The weekend convention at the Robson Square campus of the University of B.C. in downtown Vancouver saw almost 80 attendees on Friday and another 100 Saturday.
Hosted by the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association, organizer Zoe Duff said the event — the first polyamory convention to be held in Canada — was a celebration of sorts.
Although the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the law against polygamy in 2011, it didn't put an end to informal sexual arrangements. The polyamory community, which views itself as completely different from polygamists, saw the legal clarification as a victory, said Duff.
...Day currently has four boyfriends, an unusually steep number for her. Her "poly number" - the preferred number of partners she likes to date at any given time — is two.... "I'm having a more playful year," she said. "I'm kind of going out of my way to have a bigger number just for a little while."
Outside of his relationship with Day, Mint, 38, has two serious girlfriends whom he has dated for five years each. He also occasionally takes on casual lovers, the number of which can fluctuate, he said.
Adding a layer of complexity, each of their partners are also dating other partners. At one time, Day and Mint, a bisexual, even dated the same man.
Although the couple are aware their lifestyle choice may seem complicated to outsiders, Mint and Day are adamant they rarely deal with issues such as jealousy.
They have met each other's partners, and Day is even in a book club with one of Mint's girlfriends, Julie.
"Part of it is realizing that there are things that he is getting from his other partners that are very important and make me very happy that he's getting them there," said Day.
...Communication, honesty and a basic set of rules make their relationship work, they said. When one of them starts a new relationship, Mint said it's important all other partners are informed as soon as possible.
With so many partners to please, Mint said simply finding the time to see everyone is a major logistical challenge. "You learn to have a strong emotional connection on a low time commitment," he said.
While the relationships are hard work to maintain, Day said their lifestyle does offer unique benefits. When she's going through a tough breakup, for example, she said she gets to vent to her other boyfriend....
Read the whole article (June 2, 2013), and go establish some good comment threads.
The writer tweeted yesterday, "Today I covered Polycon, Vancouver's polyamory convention. It was an eye-opening experience to say the least."
The article first appeared on the paper's website yesterday evening under the headline Polyamory: Keys to multiple relationships are honesty, communication and some basic rules. It also appears on the site of the Calgary Herald today under that title.
As for the conference itself — word is that Samantha Fraser brought down the house with her Friday night keynote talk. Co-organizer Zoe Duff posts, "Great turnout for PolyCon!! Lots of intense discussions and terrific networking. Final session tomorrow [Sunday] afternoon is the only one NOT sold out. $10 at the door from 2:30 p.m., UBC Robson Square. An amazing weekend thanks to an awesome team of voluntolds."
More to follow, I'm sure.
P.S.: Want to know about all 15 other poly conferences, retreats, campouts, and other regional/national gatherings for the coming year? Then you want ALAN'S LIST of POLYAMORY EVENTS, with detailed descriptions. Pass it on.