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

November 15, 2014

Poly triad in Sweden is suddenly famous

The Local: Sweden's News in English
TV4 (Sweden)

In some countries it's easier to be out than in America, I get the impression. Am I right? This just in from Sweden:

Sweden's blogging 'polyfamily' goes viral

By Maddy Savage

After married couple Linda and Erik Fridland fell in love with the same man, they decided he should move in with them — and their children. The Local caught up with Hampus Engström — their new partner — as the family's blog started to go viral.

Erik, Linda and Hampus
Hampus Engström, 29, says that falling in love with a married couple was the last thing he expected when he met fellow taxi driver Erik Fridland through work.

But after hanging out with the 35-year-old and his wife Linda, 34, he started to develop strong feelings for the couple.

"I used to go round for dinner with them and I found I liked them both and we had so much in common. We could just speak about everything, right from the beginning," he tells The Local.

After an "uncomfortable" couple of months, he says he finally had a conversation with Linda when it became clear that she and her husband Erik both had feelings for him too.

"I didn't think you could love more than one person at a time before this," says Engström.

They all decided to move in together in January 2013 with Hampus bringing his daughter — now five — to join the couple's nine-year-old twin boys and their thirteen-year-old son.

The new family later launched their own taxi business in Strömsund in Jämtland in northern Sweden along with a store selling children's clothes.

"We work together and we live together. I sleep in the same bed as Linda and Erik. Yes, we have a sexual relationship. We all have sex together".

He says that the family decided to start blogging about their experiences to "show that there are other ways to live than those 'normal' relationships".

"We have children, a house, a car and jobs. It is not all about sex, we do all the mundane things too," he adds.

Engström says the three adults were worried about the impact their decision could have on their children, but he insists that none of the kids have been bullied and says that some of their friends "think it is cool that they have two dads".

Polygamy - when a husband has more than one wife or vice versa - is illegal in Sweden, but there are no rules to stop groups of people living together.

Sweden's Centre Party previously lobbied for a change in legislation, while it was part of the previous centre-right coalition government, but dropped its support for polygamy following rifts within the party.

Engström says he is still hoping that the law will be adapted in future, to allow him to marry the Fridlands.

"It is currently tricky for us in certain situations. When you go to the bank they are usually looking for two signatures, there isn't space for three. Usually only two people get a mortgage so that was tricky for us but we managed to make it happen".

Engström says he knows of "several other polyfamilies" living together in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe thanks to a strong Facebook community and thinks that the phenomenon is becoming more common.

"I hope we will eventually be able to get married and that hotel staff won't find it so strange if three of us want to book a room and share a bed together."

The original (Nov. 12, 2014).

Here's their family blog, running for a year and a half now. And their new Facebook page.

Here they are in a large newspaper (Nov. 11).

And here they are on TV (also Nov. 11):

Whatever's going on here, I'd say they need some TV training; they act frozen for all but about five seconds. C'mon, you're on camera! Smile, gesture, interact! Or is this a Swedish thing, or were they reacting to some kind of awful tragedy? Swedish speakers, help us out here?

P.S.: Now they've gotten picked up by the news-cartoon video site of Apple Daily HK, Hong Kong's leading pro-democracy newspaper. Watch here: 戀上同一情人 夫婦大床3人齊齊瞓 (Nov. 16, 2014). Don't ask me what's going on.

Swedish poly site: http://polyforeningen.org/




Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just a guess, but being on camera can be intimidating. You worry about putting your foot in your mouth, or some sudden gesture sending the wrong message about you, so you go to the other extreme - not doing anything spontaneous or natural, in an over the top attempt to look as "normal" as everyone else.

It's a shame more people don't practice in front of a video camera at home when they know they're going to appear on TV, or at least practice in front of a mirror. Then again, who knows, maybe they did, but nerves perhaps still got the better of them in the end.

November 15, 2014 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the video, they are discussing how the man in the white shirt doesn't have any contact with his parents anymore because of being poly. Then the host asks about how it's a problem that instead of seeing them as an ordinary family, people immediately ask about the sex. The man in the black shirt answer that it's the second question after "are the children okay?". Then in the middle when they all laugh, it's because the man in the black shirt is explaining that their life is a just a lot of normal every-day things, and how "the biggest part of your life is not spent in bed". Laugh.
Then they're mentioning stuff that was in the article, how they've gotten into contact with other poly families and how they think it's going to become more common and accepted.
So it's a serious interview, they're talking about how weird it is that you get such diffrent questions about your personal life just because you're deviating from the sexual norm.
Also, in a lot of Swedish interviews, they like to keep an authentic feeling to the conversation, especially when discussing such serious matters. They want it to feel natural and true, instead of practiced and fake.
Hope this helps! :)

November 15, 2014 7:10 PM  
Blogger Euphrates said...

I have a good friend in Sweden I actually met on Poly Percs...I'll poke him and see if a) he knows these folks and b) what his impression of is. :)

November 16, 2014 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Swede I can tell you that there are actually a lot of emotions showing in this interview!
The first segment where the man on the right is talking about how his parents are no longer speaking to him because of the life he's living is very strong! The tension and the sadness fills the room and you can see his heart is aching.
People in the most northern part of Europe do not use hand gestures or toneage as much as people in the south, but it doesn't mean the emotions do not show or it doesn't carry on camera. You just have to know what to look for :)

November 16, 2014 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Louisa Leontiades said...

I second what my Swedish friend said. The interview starts off with asking why his parents don't want any contact with him. It's a tragic moment so yes, the sadness and the difficulty or this 'frozen' look is perhaps why they look caught offguard with this the very first question. Also she's asking a lot about feelings. Swedes don;t normally launch into rhetoric about how they feel. But nevertheless it seems very emotional to me. I think this might be just a cultural difference.

November 18, 2014 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a European I second the commenters above. In Europe it is not common to smile. In fact, to us your TV smiles look fake and shallow.

December 08, 2014 3:26 AM  

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