"More Than Two": Crowdfunding launches for Franklin Veaux's forthcoming book
Franklin is a prolific online essayist and commentator on all sorts of topics, from the future of sex toys to rape tolerance among BDSMers to malware-design strategies in Bulgarian organized crime. He also runs one of the oldest, most intelligent (IMO) and most widely linked-to poly advice and information sites on the web. It's now named More Than Two. That's also the title of his forthcoming book. Yes, he is finally doing it.
|Eve (photo by Michael Petrachenko)|
Franklin writes on the book's blog and elsewhere,
It's going to be a monster -- it's looking to shape up as a 500-page hands-on guide for folks who want to explore polyamory, chock full of problem-solving ideas, hints and tips.
...More Than Two, the book, will be a very different animal than More Than Two, the website: more detailed, more personal, more concrete, and with a wider range.
They have further ambitions. After Franklin's experiences with publishers who wanted a book of his personal memoirs rather than the book he wanted to write, he and Eve have decided to self-publish it and, perhaps, set up a publishing company that can produce and market others' books as well under Eve's and Franklin's imprint. Update: They've gone and incorporated it, under the name Thorntree Press.
Toward these goals they launched an Indiegogo campaign today, August 22. Their goal is $19,800. The amount is budgeted to allow them sufficient time off from their jobs to complete the book and to produce, manufacture, and seriously market it. There will be both ebook and paper editions. They intend to print enough paper copies at the outset to be able to sell it at a good price.
To get this off to a running start, Ken Haslam has put up $5,000 and I have put up another $1,000, both outside the Indiegogo campaign, to match the first $6,000 that people make to the campaign. So get in early, and we'll match your donation. By doing this outside the campaign we brought their Indiegogo goal down under the $20,000 mark.
Here's the donation link, with more info about the project and a broken-down budget.
They're also having an Indiegogo launch party in Portland this evening:
The party will begin at 8 p.m. at Ringlers Pub, 1332 West Burnside. So we know how many to reserve for, if you plan to attend please sign up at our Eventbrite event page.
I wish I could be there and raise a glass.
Meanwhile, here's a recent interview with Franklin on MultipleMatch.com:
Conversations with Franklin Veaux: An Uncommon Dialogue
Many people believe that polyamory is a choice – a conscious choice – as is monogamy. Others believe it’s an inclination – but you believe it’s both. Is this a deduction, a belief or empirical evidence?
...I’ve heard a lot of folks compare polyamory to sexual orientation. I think the comparison is apt; inclinations toward monogamous or polyamorous relationships aren’t simple, just like sexual orientation isn’t simple.
A lot of people talk about homosexuality being genetic. It certainly seems quite likely that it is, but that doesn’t mean there is a “gay gene” and if you have it, you’re gay. Genetics is complicated. For example, one of my partners raises standard poodles. Poodles have nine genes that control what color their coat is. Nine genes! So it seems unlikely that there is just a single gene that controls human sexual behavior; on and you’re gay, off and you’re straight. Sexual orientation is way more complex than that....
It seems likely that this behavior is both genetic and environmental.... People on the extreme ends of the spectrum are probably less likely to be affected by environmental factors and less likely to be able to arbitrarily choose an orientation than folks somewhere in the great expanse between.
I suspect it’s the same for monogamy or non-monogamy. It’s important to consider that polyamory is not the only form of non-monogamy, too....
won’t necessarily end up being married, people who are “born non-monogamous” won’t necessarily end up in poly relationships!
You’ve written a lot about polyamory, especially jealousy, and I’ve followed your advice myself. What prompted your wealth of writing?
...Even as a kid, monogamy made no sense to me. When I first started dating, I didn’t have the language to describe what I wanted, and I didn’t have a community of people like me. So, as you might guess, I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t know there were other people who also wanted non-monogamous relationships, I had no models for what those relationships could look like…hell, I didn’t even know what words to use! I made mistakes and I hurt people I loved because of it.
In the 1990s, when the word “polyamory” started being used and people started forming poly communities, I had an incredible “aha” moment.... Suddenly, I wasn’t alone.
...So I wrote the things I wish the younger version of me had known. In a sense, I was writing for myself ten years earlier – the me who made mistakes, who didn’t have a model of what non-monogamous relationships could look like, who didn’t know there were other polyamorous people out there.
...One of the tenets of eradicating jealousy is to examine the underlying assumptions held to see whether they hold water. For example, insecurity caused simply by the fear of being alone is a common human sentiment, some say driven by biology designed for our protection. What purpose does it serve to overcome such a mechanism? Fear is useful... but fear of being alone can be paralyzing. Nobody likes the thought of being alone, but if you’re driven by fear of it – if you’re so afraid of being alone that you think losing your partner will destroy you – it’s almost impossible to have a healthy relationship.
If we’re held hostage by our fear, it becomes almost impossible to feel empowered in our relationships.... It’s okay to not want to be alone, but when we believe we can't be alone, things can run off the rails.
...Have you even seen a relationship ‘downgraded’ and have it survive romantically?
I have! In fact, I’ve had a relationship with someone I love very much change to become less entwined and we are still life partners.
This is, I think, a part of good expectation management skills. Feelings on my part are not obligations on someone else’s. If I love someone, the fact that I love her doesn’t obligate her to love me back, or to do what I want her to do. People aren’t need-fulfilment machines.
There is a social trope that says ex-partners are never supposed to like each other, as though once you’re in a relationship, you either remain in that relationship or become bitterly detested enemies. I actually find it a little bizarre....
And now you’re writing a book on polyamory too. How is it different to the existing literature?
Polyamory is receiving a lot of mainstream attention right now. Quite a few poly books have been released in the last few years, some of them quite good. Where More Than Two is different is it’s not intended to be a personal memoir or an overview of different poly relationships. Instead, what we’re creating is a practical, hands-on guidebook to making poly relationships work: problems you may encounter, tools that work to help overcome those problems, relationship skills-building for managing more than one romantic relationship.
We want our book to be pragmatic and useful, filled with tips and tricks for building healthy, happy polyamorous relationships.
A lot has changed in the poly community in the years since I first started working on my poly website. The book isn’t a repackaging of the website; it’s entirely new, with all kinds of good stuff in it. One of our goals in this book is to keep our conversations away from abstract “poly theorizing” and firmly grounded in real-world relationships. For example, we’re using only real-life examples to illustrate the ideas we present....
Read the whole interview (August 9, 2013).
More on what's in the book.
Franklin is particularly known for his advocacy of egalitarian freedom in relationships, as opposed to the "illusion" that veto power and detailed rules can protect a primary partnership's security. That's behind his compare-and-contrast grid here: Polyamory, Monogamy, and Ownership Paradigms.
To which Wes Fenza, another notably smart poly guy, presents this rejoinder: Poly Isn’t Necessarily Egalitarian, but Egalitarian is Necessarily Open.
|Franklin's poly sayings show up in the weirdest places.|
P.S.: A reminder: Showtime's Polyamory: Married & Dating, Episode 2, also happens Thursday night, at 11 p.m. ET/PT. I'm told that Polyamory in the News will make an appearance onscreen. Unfortunately I'll be in the Maine woods away from TV and the internet until Sunday. Here's what I wrote about last week's episode.