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

March 7, 2014

Newspaper coins word: Bopo, the "bourgeois polyamorous"

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Canada's largest national newspaper continues its recent spate of coverage of open and poly households as a wave of the future.

The writer of this article coins a new word. Bopos are the "bourgeois polyamorous," families of "the most conventional members of the 'poly' sub-culture." Especially if they are raising kids.

Sarah, Ayla, Nekky, Hannah and Noah Jamal and Catherine Skinner
(Photo by Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail)

What one family looks like today:
Three partners and kids under one roof

By Leah McLaren

In many ways, Catherine Skinner is a typical stay-at-home mom.

The 37-year-old former actress lives with her family on a 30-acre farm in rural Ontario where she spends her days cooking, knitting and caring for three children.

...But there is one aspect of Skinner’s life that is far from regular: Her family is polyamorous. The man she calls her husband, Nekky Jamal (37), also has a legal wife, Sarah (41).

For the past five years, since moving in with the family, Skinner has been a full partner and spouse to both of them, as well as an adopted mother to their two biological daughters, aged 8 and 10. A year and a half ago ago, she gave birth to a son, who is growing up, like his sisters, with two moms and a dad.

“What I tell the kids is that we have a unique and special family,” she says.

“Not everyone will appreciate it, and some people will be fearful of it, but to us if feels like the most natural, normal thing in the world.”

The Jamal-Skinners are part of a small but noteworthy number of families who are making the choice to raise their children in polyamorous partnerships involving three people or more. Call them bopos (bourgeois polyamorous) or polyfidelitous (the more academic term), they are the most conventional members of the “poly” sub-culture, a group that includes everything from orgy-obsessed swingers to S&M enthusiasts....

...There are no hard statistics on the number of poly families, and few polyamorists are as “out” as the Jamal-Skinners. But academic researchers estimate that anywhere from 3 to 5 per cent of the North American population engages in some kind of consensual non-monogamy.

While still uncommon, poly families have at least become more noticeable....


...Tara and her family eventually moved to one of B.C.’s Gulf Islands where they have found a more socially tolerant community. But she says it’s still difficult: “One woman actually said to me, ‘Why can’t you just have an affair like everyone else?’ ”

It’s this perceived hypocrisy that frustrates many bopos. They point out that while marital infidelity is an open secret in our society, polyamory is still viewed as aberrant. Or, as Skinner puts it, “Most people are polyamorous to some extent. Unlike us, they just choose to lie about it.”

Once you get past the taboo aspect of polyamory family life, the practical benefits begin to emerge. The Jamal-Skinners, for instance, are double income family with a stay-home parent – an enviable set-up for any family with three young children....

Read the whole long article (March 6, 2014).


P.S.: Last chance to see Showtime series.

If you've been meaning to watch Showtime's docu-reality series Polyamory: Married & Dating on demand or online, you've got one month. It will cease to be available after April 8th, and director Natalia Garcia tells us Showtime has no plans to release it on DVD. (Showtime subscription required.)


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Blogger Jonathan Woodward said...

It's not spelled "bourgeous".

March 07, 2014 1:05 PM  
Blogger Rob Renahan said...

Alan...time warner doesn't have polyamory showtime show on demand anymore...do you know how I can possibly view the series otherwise?

March 07, 2014 1:31 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

> not spelled "bourgeous".

Fixed!! Maybe I was conflating bourgeois and gorgeous...

March 07, 2014 1:57 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Rob, try "Showtime Anytime" online:


You'll have to subscribe to Showtime at least temporarily -- there's no escaping paying.

March 07, 2014 2:01 PM  
Blogger Lori Wheeler said...

good article except I cringed a bit when he mentioned swinging and S & M .. in the same sentence as Poly...swinging is NOT poly ( although it does fall under the umbrella of "ethical non monogamy" ) ... and yes some poly people are also into S&M ( but they also may by into hiking, biking, running, etc !) why mention it? do we mention it if its an article on monogamy ? In MY opinion.. and I do not claim to speak for all Poly people.. being Poly is something you ARE or choose to BE. Swinging and S&M are ACTIVITIES you choose to participate in... whether mono or poly... so why bring it up ?

March 07, 2014 2:36 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

If you find three mature adults, and they're content with this idea, why not? I would welcome that in my home. Obviously two female partners would be nice, but the dual income with one parent home is appealing.

March 08, 2014 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

Lori, I said the exact same thing after reading the article. It seemed like an unnecessarily sensationalist jab.

March 10, 2014 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of these days I want to see a profile of a poly family where the poly aspect is *not* the focus of the story.

"Tom, Dick, and Harriet, along with their four children, have been making waves with the pink & green striped llamas they raise on their ranch in northern Colorado. The luxuriant coats of these creatures...."

March 11, 2014 11:29 PM  

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