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

February 9, 2014

Poly in more college papers

Long Beach Union Weekly (Cal State Long Beach)
The Post (Ohio University)
The Phoenix (Swarthmore)
Best of Midd Blogosphere (Middlebury College)
CU Independent (University of Colorado)
The Shorthorn (Univ. of Texas, Arlington)
Her Campus

Here's another college roundup, no doubt incomplete, following my others in the last three years.

A pro-poly editorial at Cal State University Long Beach, in the Long Beach Union Weekly:

Same Love, Just More People

By Stephanie Reynoso

I flirted with the idea of being polyamorous for some time before meeting my current boyfriend, although I wasn’t exactly sure how it worked or what rules to follow. I had been dating multiple people, and they were well aware of me dating others simultaneously.

...I see relationships as serious moments in our lives in which, ideally, you and your partner share passions together and learn from each other to grow and become better people. Sharing intimate thoughts and communicating ideas with multiple people gives you a beautiful opportunity to learn from people. This wouldn’t signify that you love one lover more than another; it’s merely a different type of love, which is satisfied by only that person.

Multi-Cupid Arrow. Illustration by Rose Feduk
Samantha, from the movie Her, spoke a brief yet really profound and beautiful quote on this subject. She argues, and I agree, “The heart’s not like a box that gets filled up; it expands the more you love.” You can apply the knowledge you gain from one partner to another, and love each one individually for being their own person.”

Being able to express these thoughts with my boyfriend, openly and without the fear of being faulted, has provided me with an outlet....

The whole article (Feb. 3, 2014).


At Ohio University:

A polyamory club is coming to Athens, thanks to some OU students

By Tiffany Touville

...Millions of people are living a polyamorous lifestyle. Although polyamory doesn’t have a set definition, and there is no “right way” to be polyamorous, it generally means being romantically attracted or involved with more than one person at a time. This can mean multiple people involved in one relationship, or a relationship with two people both dating others.

Because of the general sense of silence surrounding polyamory, a group of Ohio University students are getting together to start The Southeast Ohio Community of Alternative Relationships (CAR), a club for people who associate with a non-monogamous lifestyle. An upcoming potluck is being held to unite people with this common link.

“It started because there was a polyamory convention in Columbus a couple months ago,” said Jasper Jones [pseudonym], leader of CAR and a sophomore studying economics. “I got a group of people together to go up to it. At the convention we decided that there needed to be a group here in Athens.”

Delfin Bautista, director of the LGBT Center, said a SafeZone event specifically geared towards all non-monogamous relationships is also being planned to clear up any misconceptions about these types of partnerships.

“We don’t want to just be limited to those four letters; LGBT,” Bautista said. “Our goal is to use SafeZone to raise awareness that there are a lot of misconceptions and even prejudices from people not in non-monogamous relationships.”

...“There are many different ways to love,” Jones said. “I think they’re all beautiful.”

Whole article (Feb. 6, 2014).


A looong (6,300-word) feature article appeared at hyper-intellectual Swarthmore (my wife's alma mater), examining the varied realities behind the hype about college hookup culture. It includes a case history of an open relationship that fell short:

Having sex at Swarthmore: The myth of hookup culture, deconstructed

By Anna Gonzales

...Open relationship. The words were nothing more than a joke to Allison — something you might choose as your relationship status on Facebook with your best friend from high school, not something people actually did....

Allison and her boyfriend, Ian, who started dating during their senior year of high school, had fallen more and more in love over the course of the year. After graduation, they faced the question of whether to stay together as they began college. They were headed to schools several hours apart, and neither had means of transportation beyond trains. Both wanted to lead full lives and have a complete college experience, which they saw as including random hookups with people at their respective schools. But they also still loved each other, and didn’t want to break up.

So they chose to be in an open relationship.

There would be rules: Allison and Ian had to tell each other about the people they hooked up with — not the details, but the basic facts — and they weren’t going to date anyone else. If they found themselves growing too attached to someone else, or drifting apart from each other, they would become exclusive again.

Finally, there would be no jealousy. Allison and Ian reasoned that they were both too intelligent, and that their relationship was too strong, to be affected by jealousy....

...For summer reading, Allison and Ian both perused the acclaimed guide to open relationships and polyamory, “The Ethical Slut,” which explained that the entire idea of monogamy was based on a starvation-economy model. Love, the book proclaimed, was not something to be rationed or limited — it didn’t run out — but instead could be extended to a theoretically boundless number of people, as long as everyone was honest about their feelings and actions. The couple both considered themselves liberal and sex-positive, and an open relationship fit with this ethos.

“After we read the book and started our open relationship, we felt like we were enlightened or free in this intoxicating new way,” Allison told me. “We had sort of unburdened ourselves of this kind of close-minded, conservative, old-fashioned relationship model.” It seemed like nothing could go wrong....

...Allison fully embraced all that Swarthmore’s social scene had to offer: on Thursday and Saturday nights, Allison would drink and go out with a few of her friends, and she never went to bed alone unless she wanted to....

As freshman year continued, Allison felt somewhat intellectually superior (at least in one sense) to her classmates, whom she saw as either shackled to their high school relationships, unable to have nearly as much fun, or as somewhat sad, filling their weekends with empty hookups. She thought she had everything figured out, able to have all of the advantages of hookup culture and a steady relationship with none of the downsides. She could go out and hook up as much as she wanted, and then crawl back into her dorm room bed and talk to Ian until she fell asleep....

[Later:] ...The stigma of being in an open relationship was also extremely difficult for Allison to deal with. “I’m kind of private, but I felt like everyone suddenly knew about the open thing and thought it was okay to ask me really really personal questions, and treat me like some rare special breed of non-monogamous animal,” Allison said.

She added that some of her friends thought she was being flaky, and that a few of them tried to slut-shame her into either becoming exclusive with Ian or breaking up with him. While she was secure in her decision to be open with Ian, many of her friends questioned her decision.

“Everyone wanted to fit me into their little script — it really threw people off and freaked them out that I wasn’t single and just floating around hooking up all the time, but I also wasn’t in an exclusive relationship,” she said. “Fuck that. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, you should be able to make whatever choices you want.”...

Can't skip this bit of class-of-2016-speak:

...“It also depends on where I am in my life, whether I want to spend my Saturday nights grinding on a rando or if I want to stay in and cuddle with someone while we watch a movie”.

Article (Jan. 20, 2014).


Another long piece, by an international student from Eastern Europe at Middlebury College in Vermont. Its tag line is "Spiritual Polyamory":

Love Unlimited: or why Polyamory is good for you!

By Maggie Nazer

Author Maggie Nazer and intimates
I have been obsessing about Love ever since I was 12 and fell in love for the first time. My life over the next few years could easily be fit in one word: misery.... Throughout my teenage years I either pitied myself for not being with someone, suffered the consequences of dysfunctional relationships, or grieved over my past romances.

In 2012, I travelled to Thailand for a meditation retreat. The Thai monks who led the retreat promoted unconditional love, and among the many different Buddhist values they introduced me to, the idea of non-attachment and non-possession in relationships were the ones I felt the most urging need to master.... It was a whole new world of perception I was entering. As I strived to learn more about the appealing practice of “love without attachment”, I wondered whether it was a mission possible for people other than ordained Buddhist monks....

...As I discovered that relationships are a powerful way to learn and grow, and started practicing letting go and non-possession, I opened myself for greater compassion, greater passion, and greater Love.... At about the same time I mysteriously stumbled upon the formal definition of what seemed to best incorporate the values and freedom I aspired to create and share with others — polyamory.

Polyamory, or “the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved” goes far beyond justifying multipartnering. To practice polyamory is to be willing to face the social stigma and unacceptance, in addition to one’s own deeply rooted fears and insecurities, in order to intensify personal development and improve one’s relationships with others. Polyamory as a spiritual practice is not much different from yoga or meditation &mdash it takes time and effort, and determination. Yet, learning to be mindful towards oneself and others, taking control over one’s own emotions and behavior, and creating relationships based on mutual respect, love and appreciation instead of neediness, desire to dominate, or to fit social expectations, is crucial. It is crucial because it empowers people to be effective communicators and to support each other’s growth, resulting in the creation of happier, more aware and more emotionally mature individuals....

...Polyamory does not view people as interchangeable, which is often the case in modern monogamous relationships....

...Respecting your partner’s freedom to experience intimacy with others is a sign of spiritual maturity: “sharing the body of another human being is the greatest ego challenge we face in our desire to experience unconditional love”, “Spiritual Polyamory” insists. As jealousy and control are transcended, joy overtakes....

...The biggest challenge for all of us, no matter how we distribute our Love, is to stay engaged and strive to improve ourselves and bring the most out of the people we share our lives with and the relationships we build with them. Continuously. One at a time, or simultaneously altogether for those of us who like a good challenge.

The whole article (Dec. 17, 2013).


At the University of Colorado:

Opening up the Bedroom with Polyamorous Relationships

By Caitlyn Zimmer

For most of us, college is the ultimate age of exploration. It is the time when we get to decide what we want to do with our lives, explore different countries and continents, test our alcohol limits and... maybe you discover the multiple functions of rope, and that handcuffs shouldn’t just be reserved for detaining convicts.

Unfortunately, relationships can sometimes get in the way of exploring these possibilities. We can find ourselves feeling isolated and stuck in overbearing relationships with no room to breathe. We want love, sex, romance and independence, but finding this balance can be difficult. Many of us turn to the hookup culture that permeates the college campus, but maybe you want to actually remember the name of that attractive fellow you woke up next to this morning....

I propose we open up relationships. We can still pursue love while satisfying our sexual curiosity. We can still have trust with our lovers without tying ourselves down with a relationship.

The answer is polyamory: the practice of loving multiple people at the same time. Now, I know what you are thinking: open relationships don’t work because we are not capable of overcoming the very human emotion of jealousy. I dare to disagree....

....In fact, you might learn how to communicate with your partner better through polyamory. Many CU students have experienced successful, non-monogamous relationships.

...You need to say outright whether you are feeling jealous or insecure. Otherwise, you will find yourself glaring at your partner when he or she enters the room, and you might find a formerly close relationship destroyed.

...Russi’s best advice for people interested in open relationships is to “establish why you want to have an open relationship, and stick by that reason.” There are many reasons to want to have a polyamorous relationship, whether it is to sexually explore another gender, experience a different type of sex, or keep your options open. Whatever the reason, stand by it, and be open about it with your partner.”...

You should never feel like somebody’s property....

Article (Oct. 5, 2013).


In the University of Texas/ Arlington Shorthorn, a brief item about poly at an LGBTQA event; Workshop debunks polyamorous myths (Sept. 11, 2013):

“I was really confused... I thought it was just homosexual relationships."


Her Campus is a commercial college women's magazine distributed at many schools. This long piece appeared in the University of Ottawa edition:

By Ariel Holmwood-Bramwell

...My question is: is there really just one?

Imagine you’re in line for Starbucks and the barista takes your order. They ask for your name (to put on your cup) and your number (to put in their phone). The next day, you have a text from the barista, asking to meet.... You’re psyched, except for one small problem: you’ve been seeing a girl for a while now. But the barista was so cute, and seemed like fun; It’s decision time. What if it didn’t have to be? What if you could go out with both of them?

...A polygamist relationship isn’t the only type of relationship that involves more than two people. There are many others, ones that aren’t based on religious beliefs or a hierarchy, but on something more: equality, love and honesty.

What is Polyamory?

Honesty is Key...

Let’s go back to your imaginary dating dilemma. You’ve decided that you want to go on dates with the barista and the girl you’re already seeing. Great! Now you have to tell them about your decision. You can’t hide new relationships in a polyamorous relationship. Before you go on your date with the barista, meet up with the girl and explain how you’ve met someone that you’re attracted to, and that you’d like to go on a date with them while still seeing her. Once you’ve made sure that the girl understands, it’s time to talk to the barista (preferably on your first date). Let him know that you’re already seeing someone, but that you like him too and that you’re really excited for your date. The key part of all of this is to be open and honest.

...No matter how honest and open you are, be prepared for negative responses. Much like LGBT relationships, polyamorous relationships aren’t part of the traditional view of love....

DYI Relationships

Once you’ve entered a polyamorous relationship, you’ll need to define the rules. No two relationships are the same. In fact, because the umbrella term “polyamory” covers so many different types of relationships, you’re free to create the lifestyle you want, with your partners’ consent....

And then it moves into an interview with the woman who runs Poly Ottawa. Read the whole article (Sept. 20, 2013).




Blogger Euphrates said...

Hey Alan - you need to make a correction. That's Ohio University, NOT Ohio State - Ohio State is in Columbus, OU is in Athens. TOTALLY different and unaffiliated schools. It's correct in the actual article quotes, but not in the body (or title) of the blog. (Side note - we met the gaggle of folks that came to Beyond the Love from Athens - GREAT bunch!)

February 10, 2014 11:47 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Done! Thanks for the correction.

Alan M.

February 11, 2014 7:49 AM  

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