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

January 24, 2014

Redbook magazine: "We Bet This Isn't How You Pictured Polyamory"

A few years ago Kendra Holliday got the kind of bad break that many readers here dread. She made a brief Twitter slipup that outed her under her real name — not just as poly but as involved in heavy-duty fetish and BDSM. The nonprofit where she worked fired her, on the grounds that it couldn't afford to be seen associated with such things. She had trouble from her ex-husband. But she rolled with it, embraced her involuntary outness, and made a new career as a sex educator, writer, and sex and relationship consultant.

Now she's interviewed by Redbook, one of the leading traditional women's magazines (founded in 1903, circulation 2.2 million).

We Bet This Isn't How You Pictured Polyamory

A decade ago, Kendra Holliday, 40, was your everyday Midwestern mom and wife. Now, she’s a sex-positive activist who blogs about her less-than-typical life with her primary partner… and the men and women she dates.

As told to Anna Davies

As a teenager, I was a cheater. I wasn’t proud of it, but it always ended up happening. I thought it was a maturity issue — that when I grew up and got into a serious relationship, my behavior would change. And it did… for a while. I got married in my early 20s and spent the next 10 years focusing on my marriage, career, and motherhood. I didn’t cheat. But I nonetheless got divorced at 30.

I thought that since my marriage didn’t work out, perhaps I wasn’t relationship material, and that I’d be better off playing the field forever. As soon as I became single, I made a list of all the people I wanted to sleep with. And I had a lot of fun going on dates and exploring different sides of my sexuality....

Little by little, with the help of the Internet, books, and local groups, I... began to realize that having multiple partners was an option. I could settle down and still be able to play the field.

Around that time, I met a man through a mutual friend. He’d recently gotten divorced after 10 years, and though his marriage was monogamous, he felt like I did about being with only one person. So we hit the ground running and happily began dating other people, together. This time, it felt more natural. I was more experienced and more compatible with my partner. We’ve been happily together for six years, and have dated dozens of people, together and separately.

At first, I’d feel very anxious whenever he went on a date with another woman. My heart would race and I couldn’t sleep. But nowadays, it feels fine. I feel very secure and comfortable with it. I’ve always been turned on by it, even early on, but now it feels warm instead of edgy.

People don’t realize that it can take years to acclimate to polyamory. You can’t just wave a magic wand and de-program decades of social norms. Also, monogamy has one built-in rule: Don’t be intimate with other people. Polyamory is much more challenging, because you get to make your own rules, the list of which can be long and must be discussed often. Open and honest communication is the key to polyamory. That means pushing past the fear and saying things you are afraid to say. You have to replace the fear with love.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it actually feels like our relationship receives a steroid shot every time we tryst with other people and share the details with each other. Talking about how we felt, what we loved, what made us feel insecure — all that openness makes us feel closer. There are no secrets.... I’m proud of my partner, so I love when another woman gets to experience his sexual prowess. I think it’s hot to watch him in action, so to speak. And of course I like feeling desired by other men. A lot of people enjoy fantasizing about orgies, but it’s another thing altogether to witness or be a part of one.

And it’s not all sex, not for me and not for others I know who also engage in polyamory or nonmonogamy.... It’s also about intimacy. Do you limit yourself to intimacy with just one person, or do you allow it to occur with multiple people in an ethical, open, and honest context?...

Kendra Holliday is a 40-year-old bisexual mother living in St. Louis. A passionate sexplorer when it comes to kinks, fetishes, BDSM, swinging, and polyamory, she is a sex and relationship consultant, a sex [surrogate] worker and educator, and editor of the award-winning sex blog The Beautiful Kind.

Read the whole article (undated but just recently posted). It also just went up at Yahoo/ Shine (Jan. 24, 2014).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I are both polyamorous. Honestly, I think this article is painting it in a very bad light. Most of the article focuses on sex driven motives, which is not the true focus of a polyamorous relationship. Rather, what she succeeded in describing was much closer to if not the exact definition of a swinger. This upsets me terribly. An orgy really? This is the behavior of a swinger. There is no intimacy in an orgy. This is lust not love. This article should be removed or put in a more appropriate place.

January 29, 2014 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously? You want to go on record for pointing out that someone else is doing poly wrong?

Poly is defined by the people involved. That's it, end of story.

If you try imposing "your" version of poly on someone else, how are you any different than the monogomists saying that loving more than one person is wrong?

I have been in a bed with four people that all loved each other. It went beyond "cuddle puddle" so I think orgy is a good, simple term that people, including the target readers of Redbook, can wrap their head around. Doesn't mean there wasn't love, just means a lot of non-focused sex with people not knowing and not caring who or where they touched.

Let this person enjoy her life if it makes her and her lovers happy.

February 04, 2014 10:31 AM  

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