Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

December 29, 2014

Ambassadors to Brazil, and other poly news in Portuguese

If you only follow the internet in English, you're missing a lot of what's happening in the modern polyamory movement throughout the Western world. I used to post more foreign-language stories here but have fallen far, far behind.

For instance, a backlog has piled up of stories in Portuguese. Get ready for a data dump, prompted by this first item.

O americano Leon, entre as namoradas Fukumi e Kischa: elas se conhecem e aceitam o fato de que Leon gosta de ambas. (Foto: Jayme de Carvalho, Jr.)

Leon Feingold of Open Love NY had his poly life featured in Brazil (by way of a New York writer), in a high-status men's magazine that's actually named Status. The article, Quando Dois é Pouco, draws upon other Americans too, including Billy, Melissa, and Jeremy in Atlanta. The story conveys poly values well, judging by Google Translate (online July 14, 2014):

When Two Is Too Few

By Edu Graça, New York

...This dynamic has not only gained a name, it's gaining more and more fans in countries like the USA, Canada and Australia. This is polyamory, a way of love advocated by people opposed to monogamy [sic], with the acceptance of several people in the same relationship. The concept is reminiscent of "open marriage", in which each partner can relate to who they want, or "swinging", which allows the exchange of couples for sex, but the fact is that polyamory has its own rules. And how.

...Billy... met Jeremy Mullins, an information technology professional, in 2008. Jeremy and Melissa dated, and the relationship became serious enough that Melissa suggested they "officially" become a relationship of three. Billy tells that he had a crisis of jealousy, but that, in a way, he was also was attracted by Jeremy. Today the three share the same home, tasks, bills and even the raising of Billy and Melissa's daughter, age 9... [Billy] says the relationship is so natural and transparent that the daughter likes that the men are "both parents".

The loving arrangement of the group does not stop there. Besides being, for all practical purposes, married to two people at once, Billy is dating Lindsey, who in turn lives with Brian, also her boyfriend. "Time, or rather the lack of time, is a major obstacle in a polyamorous relationship. The logistics to deal with so many partners can be very complicated," admits Billy. He says jealousy attacks are rare, but still arise from time to time. "No one is immune to jealousy. The difference, I think, is that we polys are open to deal with this feeling productively, not destructively. In other words, if someone is not satisfied, talk about it, try to modify the rules, etc."

Theoretically, polyamory embodies all the ingredients needed for a relationship to work: mutual trust, space to discuss grievances, gender equality, freedom (albeit limited) to take on more relationships with the right to love two, three, and so on. "In real life, however, the human being is complex, whether monogamous or polyamorous," says the American sociologist Elisabeth Sheff.... "Polyamory can be extremely liberating, but it is not for everyone."...


Eve Rickert just forwarded a nice piece that, this time, draws on Brazilian sources: Muito Amor in the magazine Tab, with happy art and animation.

Excerpts from Google Translate:

Lots of Love

By Lilian Ferreira

..."What is good [in monogamous relationships] is very good [in polyamorous relationships]. But what is bad is also bad," summarizes a poliamorista. He and his wife have a girlfriend. TAB talked with several fans [of poly] and everyone said that, jealousy aside, the problems that occur are common to any relationship: physical distance, and daily fights over lack of time, for example.

Andreza Hack de Abreu, 38, of Porto Alegre, has had an open relationship for two years. For three months, she and her husband lived with a friend of hers. "We lived three always together, bathing, brushing teeth, cooking. But when he was not with her, he did not help in the housekeeping activities such as shopping, washing, cooking. That was a major cause of fights."

...But not all polyamorous relationships require that the lovers engage 100% of the time. According to Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, authors of the morethantwo.com site and luminaries in the subject, usually the [partners'] activities are separated.

That's because polyamory is primarily poly relationships. It is the ability to have two or more concurrent partnerships, which include affection and sex.

The first polyaffective union [união poliafetiva] officially notarized in Brazil was recorded in 2012 [see stories at the time]. Five of them have been notarized to date, and, say experts, it is increasingly common for relations to be in this format. According to the anthropologist Antonio Cerdeira Pilão, expert on the subject at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), the most common format is a man with two women. Regina Navarro Lins, psychoanalyst and author of The Book of Love, says in 30 years many more people will adhere to polyamory.

...In August this year, Brazil had its largest poly meetup [poliencontro] in Rio, with 180 people. On Facebook, Brazilian groups about polyamory number 10,000 members.

Rio Quartet

Sharlenn is dating Rafael, Will and Adamo. Rafael is the longest-term boyfriend, of just over three years. He, a polyamory activist, presented the idea to the other two. Sharlenn lives with Will, Rafael with Adamo, and all get along very well, thank you!

Trio in Ponte Aeréa

A is married to B. They live in Guarulhos and started dating C, a Rio de Janeiro university professor. The three are interconnected. And no lack of love and a little negotiation. Because of prejudice, they do not want to reveal their identities.

The End of Monogamy?

...In research by anthropologist Mirian Goldenberg, 60% of men and 47% of Brazilian women admitted they had already been unfaithful. According to Gilberto Freyre, from the beginning of its colonization Brazil was not monogamous but polygynous, meaning only the patriarch could keep more than one; it was unthinkable for women.

...55% of women poliamoristas say they are bisexual. Among men, 25% are bisexual.

...São Paulo, Rio de Janiero and Rio Grande do Sul have the greatest concentrations of poliamoeristas in Brazil.

...But not everything is perfect. Romantic love is good. Navarro says we love being in love, but this state can also bring some problems. You idealize the person, it creates addiction, a possession, a belief that one can only be happy by your side and vice versa.

The love of poliamoristas is more like what's preached in Buddhism. It's a love similar to what friends share. No exclusivity without possession. The search for individuality, very fashionable, is giving a boost to that kind of love. You can be "just" you, not everything that the other expects.

...Marriage as it is today — and based on monogamous romantic love — is losing steam and brings suffering to anyone who does not fit. More and more people have sought models that answer to what they feel and how they want to live. But against them there is still prejudice.


In other Portuguese-language news,

• Leonie Linssen's book Love Unlimited has been published in Portuguese: Amor Sem Barreiras.

• In Portugal itself, Poliamor.pt.to has a page listing lots of coverage in print. Click the Imprensa tab.

PolyPortugal has an active blogsite, with Poliamor nos media listings in the sidebar. You can also search the site for posts tagged actualidad.

• The leading poly activist in Portugal is surely Daniel Cardoso, a sociologist at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, who co-runs the PolyPortugal site. He also maintains a webpage in English. In 2012 he sent me a roundup of poly in Portuguese media that I never got around to posting! Here it is at last (slightly edited):


June brought the LGBT Pride Parade in Lisbon, and each organizing member has a few minutes to speak at the end of it. I spoke in representation of PolyPortugal, and it was recorded here (with English subtitles).

July 15th: a conservative LGBT sexologist (and somewhat shady activist), who has a weekly program about sexuality on a regional TV channel, spent almost an hour talking about polyamory and, specifically, me (in rather insulting terms). Here's the promo video, where it's clearly stated that polyamory doesn't exist and is also wrong. In the show, he made a point of mentioning that polyamory isn't something that's scientifically researchable, and is wrong because "some things aren't up for discussion".

Also in July, a group of Brazilian journalism students did a digital magazine on polyamory: Amor aos PedaÇos Poliamor.

August 29th: A Portuguese friend and former colleague of mine interviewed me for an article that came out in Macau, a former Portuguese colony on the coast of China [and now semi-independent like Hong Kong]. The magazine is called Ponto Final, meaning "Period." The article was named Ele tem dois amores (He has two loves). The intro reads: "In a land filled with stories of concubines, polyamory has no known supporters.... This relationship model, which allows one to date several people at the same time, is more frequent in the Western world. And it's been much discussed in Portugal." The article spends some time distinguishing polyamory from male-centered non-monogamies, as with concubines, due to Macau's historical connection to China.

September: Portugal imported the reality show "Secret Story", and one of the participants claimed to "suffer from polyamory" (as if it were a disease). So the word got around a lot due to that, but it quickly died down.

October 14th: Pepper Mint and I published on his blog Dialogue on Power and Ethics: the Polyamory and Queer Movements.

December: Polyamory was brought up in the Portuguese female magazine Happy Woman (its name is in English). They interviewed a Brazilian psychoanalyst, Regina Lins, in an article titled "Is Monogamy Over?"

So do you think women will be happier in their marriage if they accept that there is no such a thing as monogamy?

Of course! The issue of fidelity is a major source of suffering. From very early we're lead to believe that those who are in love don't feel any need to relate sexually to other people. And that's a lie, but if a person believes that, then they end up suffering when they discover that their partner is having sex outside the marriage — if makes them doubt about whether they're being loved or not.

...In that case, it's natural to want two people at the same time?

There's no doubt that we can love several people at the same time. And we can love them with the same intensity, in the same manner, or differently. It happens all the time, but no one likes to admit it. The demand to choose always pops up; the notion that one person has to be discarded in favor of the other.

Does that mean that we're going in the direction of polyamory relationships?

I believe so. There is an organized movement that broadcasts the idea of polyamory. That movement has grown, in the USA, in the last 20 years, and has been closely followed by movements in other countries. In polyamory, one person can love their steady partner and also love the persons with whom that person has extra-marital affairs, or even have multiple loving relationships where there is reciprocal love between all involved. One can do what one wants, with whom one wants, without exclusivity. Polyamorists say that they don't love with a possessive feeling, so they don't feel jealous. To them, jealousy is connected to the fear of loss. We have no way, yet, to weigh the pros and cons. But yes, we can surely say that the way we live love is deeply unsatisfactory.[...]"

The whole thing's here: A Monogamia Acabou? (Dec. 2011 issue).

December 19th: Following a public debate/ awareness-raising session in Oporto (Portugal's 2nd biggest city, famous for its wine) with me and one of my partners, Inês, the national Jornal de Notícias covered the event with an article called "Polyamory, the challenge to monogamy. Multiple consensual relationships up for debate in Oporto". It opens with this (actually a description of part of my poly constellation):

Inês is a lesbian and has a relationship with Daniel, who lives with Sofia, with whom he's been for 7 years now. They all know about each other and they're open to integrate others into their relationship constellation. A portrait of a polyamorous relationship, made yesterday in Oporto.

And it ends with this:

"What Daniel Cardoso doesn't like is the capitalist notion of love as a scarce resource that must be jealously guarded. 'If I have three kids, no one will criticize me for not having just one; if I have 10 friends, no one will think it's wrong. So why is it wrong to have more than one partner?'.
Inês Rôlo agrees that love is about multiplication, not division. That doesn't mean that feelings don't sometimes end up hierarchized or that polyamorous people never feel jealous. It's a 'deconstruction' of myths and preconcieved notions, she says. A way to fight mononormativity."

Here are the article and a recording of part of the debate.


January 27th: Again in Oporto, two other PolyPortugal members (Juliana Azevedo and João Paulo) and I participated in a round-table debate on a regional TV channel. It lasted for an hour and a half, and the psychologist invited to comment was, in a way, "on our side". On the other side were a Catholic school teacher and a conservative manager and marketeer. Perhaps the best part was when the (married) conservative manager and marketeer said that it was better to cheat and not tell the spouse (to prevent suffering) than to be polyamorous, since polyamory seems "very confusing". At that moment, the conservative Catholic teacher jumped ship and sided with us... *grin*. The whole thing is available on YouTube and organized here: Em Foco no YouTube — Poliamor.

February 28th: One of my partners, Sofia, and I were invited to talk to psychology undergraduates at Évora University and lecture on "Polyamory and Psychology". It was recorded; all the info and the video are accessible here. It was an attendance record for talking about poly in Portugal, with about 70 people present.

...And that's it for now! There will be more stuff in the upcoming months! :D


A particularly noteworthy flurry of events happened just last April. Daniel writes,

A really important newspiece came out on national TV, and had about 1.2 million people watching it (more than 10% of Portugal's population): Um caso de poliamor que assume a liberdade de escolha [April 25]. The piece focuses on the 40th anniversary of the last Portuguese revolution, and deals with non-common notions of "liberty" — a few of the other people interviewed included a Suicide Girl and a gender-bender. The piece focuses a lot on the 101 of what polyamory is, on equality for everyone involved. Besides myself, two women also speak about their experiences.

This piece was a joint venture between a TV channel and a weekly newspaper, and so this piece was accompanied in print: Revista do Expresso de 5 Abr. 2014, com a peça "Mural da Liberdade" onde se fala de poliamor.

Just before this one came out, a morning talk show also interviewed a polyamorous woman (accompanied by a very supportive anthropologist). The video: Queridas Manhãs
Afinal, o Que é o Poliamor?
[4 April].

Five days later, a partner of mine, myself and another person from PolyPortugal gave a public talk on polyamory in the context of the Braga Pride Parade preparations, and it also made the regional press: Tertúlia "Poliamor e o questionamento da mononormatividade" - gravação e notícias [10 April].

All the material is available on www.polyportugal.org — on the right column there's a section called "Poliamor nos media" with a list of links to every media appearance.


• Finally, here are all of my own posts on Portuguese-language poly in the media (including this post; scroll down).


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December 27, 2014

Margaret Cho to be alt-sex and poly rep for TLC

NY Daily News / Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images
Remember Margaret Cho? After 11 years of open marriage, the comedian and her husband Al Ridenour are divorcing, as you may have noticed at the supermarket checkout. In today's New York Daily News she says it wasn't the openness that ended the marriage, and she describes her upcoming new role on TLC's All About Sex:

...The comedian, always happy to make her private business everybody’s business, will star on TLC’s new chat show “All About Sex” along with comic Heather McDonald, actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and sex and relationship counselor Tiffanie Davis Henry.

“It’s really an advice show about sexuality, and women’s sexuality in particular,” Cho told Confidenti@l. “I’m the representative for alternative sexuality, polyamory, sex toys. I’ve been part of the alternative sex community for my entire adult life. That’s my arena.”

Doesn’t she find it slightly incongruous to be chatting about sex on a network that features the Duggars in all their virginal glory? “Maybe those people really need to learn about vibrators so you can hold your boyfriend’s hand but still have a good time,” Cho theorizes....

It’s a difficult time in Cho’s life right now. She recently announced she was separating from artist Al Ridenour, her husband of 11 years. They were in an open relationship, but Cho says that’s not the reason for the marriage’s demise: “The totally sad truth is that sometimes people grow apart … it’s sad for me, I’m learning to live without him, and it’s really painful.”

She’s still an advocate of polyamory and plans to talk about it on the show.

“Opening up your relationship is very risky and a very mature decision, and it needs to be really negotiated,” she said. “I think it’s one of the hardest ways to have a relationship, and the most rewarding.”

The whole article (Dec. 27, 2014).

All About Sex will air Saturdays at 11 p.m. (10 Central) on TLC starting January 10.

Update: And here she talks about poly on HuffPost Live:


Update, April 2015: The New York Times Style section runs a vignette of her daily life (April 10, 2015) and observes, "She refuses to be shamed, her chatter on 'All About Sex' racy enough to tackle onetime taboos like polyamory, B.D.S.M. and sex toys. 'Life is rather racy,' she said."

Update, March 26, 2016: In today's New York Post, in an article titled What led to Margaret Cho’s meltdown?:

Cho divorced her husband of 11 years, Al Ridenour, with whom she had an open marriage. “I’m not polyamorous anymore. But I was in my marriage, and it was great. It opened me up to a lot of things sexually, but I just don’t think it’s my style.”



December 26, 2014

"More Love to Give." A story spawned by Big Data?


Here's a long, sympathetic article about a delta triad raising a 3-year-old.

What I find especially interesting is where it appeared. Vocativ is a big, aggressive, well-funded but struggling outfit that calls itself “a new type of media company, bringing audiences hidden perspectives, unheard voices and original ideas from around the world via the Deep Web.” Its claim to uniqueness, as New York Capital reports, is the Deep Web part: “Its proprietary software, called OpenMind, scans sectors of the worldwide web not crawled by Google or other search engines, analyzing it and producing news leads and stories.”

Fast Company's Neil Ungerleider wrote, “Their search technology is similar to that used by law enforcement to detect terrorist chatter, hedge funds to find hidden financial information, and by intelligence agencies to gauge sentiment and collect intelligence.” In fact, those things are actually what the company's founders did before they decided they might have the Next Big Thing in news.

Which would make their attention to a polyfamily sound like big data validating that We Are The Future. However, former Vocativ employees say the technology hasn't panned out as well as hoped, and that a lot of Vocativ's stories come from writers looking for topics the old-fashioned way, by guess and by gosh.

The story itself is an especially good, professional example of its genre.

A Poly Family Portrait: More Love to Give

"Family is important to Britt, Cliff and Dave [left side], and Gareth has no shortage of grandparents." Photo by David Ryder

Putting aside the novelty and the otherness of polyamorous relationships, the experiences of one family—love, marriage, children—look a lot like any other

By Luke Malone

Cliff greets me at the door of his family’s apartment in Tacoma, Washington, trying to contain an excited golden Labrador mix that has managed to wriggle between his legs. Behind him stands his wife, Britt, who offers a cheery hello, while their 3-year-old son, Gareth, sizes things up from a safe distance.

I pass the test. The blond toddler grabs my hand and leads me down the hallway into his immaculate bedroom, where he immediately begins pulling toys down from a shelf.

...Britt, 24, offers me a drink as we sit chatting on their brown sectional sofa. Cliff, 29, occasionally interjects from the adjacent kitchen, where he, a former coastguardsman turned chef, is cooking a dinner of pulled pork. Gareth, a curious and tactile child, gives me an unsolicited hug, and his mother asks him to stop bothering me. We’re discussing the family’s recent move to the area from Sarasota, Florida. Out of the corner of my eye I notice Gareth sidle back up to me, a picture book in hand, which he slides into my lap.

“Gareth,” groans Britt. “Dadave will read that to you when he gets home.”

“Dadave” is Dave, Gareth’s other father. The four of them live together in a cozy two-bedroom apartment that overlooks a large reserve, 40 miles south of Seattle. In many ways they are a traditional family: Cliff and Dave both work, and Britt spends her days looking after Gareth. All three adults settle on the couch at night to watch TV once their son has gone to bed.

“It is very normal, except for the fact that we have one more adult living in our household,” says Britt. “The only real difference is that we’re buying food for one more person, and that person sleeps in our bed.”

...Without census information or other quantitative data, the exact number of polyamorous families is hard to pin down, though polyamory nonprofit Loving More estimates there are between 1 million and 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. who identify as poly. (A recent article by Scientific American states that between 4 percent and 5 percent of the U.S. population practices consensual non-monogamy, which includes polyamory.)

...Britt is quick to point out that no one situation, her own family unit included, is representative of polyamory as a whole. “Poly is a build-your-own relationship structure. Your mileage will vary depending on what the person involved is doing,” she explains. “All that really matters is that everyone is ethically treated. As long as everyone is on the same page, it can be whatever you want it to be.”

...Walking along the street in downtown Seattle, Britt and Cliff are holding hands, and Gareth is hanging onto his mom. He reaches out to grab my hand, and we end up four in a row during the lunchtime rush hour. A couple of passersby smile at us even though we are taking up the vast majority of the sidewalk.

“It’s easier to just be a person, frankly,” Britt says later, when I ask her about the difference between life in Washington versus what she experienced in Florida. “Florida is very draconian in many ways. I don’t feel like I have to be afraid out here, so that’s nice.”...

Read the whole article (Dec. 24, 2014).

The article was reprinted by Yahoo Parenting on December 29th.

Update: And it was reprinted on the website of The Week, the national newsmagazine, on March 18, 2015. They gave it the title What life is like in a polyamorous family.


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December 24, 2014

Managing the holidays with your family of origin

Anne Hunter and partners, of PolyVic in Australia, made this Christmas classic in 2007.

Happy Christmas Eve. And if maybe it's not quite so happy, here are some items for polyfolks who are doing the holidays with relatives who may not approve.

● An LGBTQ counselor offers guidance for anyone outside the norm, with several good additional links: How to Survive the Holidays with Homophobic Relatives (Dec. 14, 2014). Excerpt:

...For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, or polyamorous persons, here are some survival tips:

1. Make sleeping arrangements beforehand.
2. If you are bringing a new partner, communicate ahead of time about how they will be introduced.
3. Estimate how much time you can sanely handle being in a place, plan to be there that amount, and stick to your plan. Let your family know when you plan to leave if it’s going to come as a surprise for them, but then don’t feel like you need to apologize for yourself when it’s time to duck out. Thank your family for the experience, and leave.
4. If things went better than expected, follow up with your relatives with a sincere message of thanks.
5. If your participation in the holidays follows a faith-based tradition, look for an open and affirming worship space near you! One great resource is gaychurch.org. [And I'll add, another is your local Unitarian Universalist church.]

● Polyamory Weekly podcast, Episode #411: How to handle your bio family during the holidays, with advice from FBI hostage negotiators [really!]

By Cunning Minx (Dec. 7, 2014)

The topic begins at 10:15. From the online summary:

How do you handle the family during the holidays when you’re poly? A few tips:

– Be quietly out if you can. Lead by example. Model great behavior and tolerance.
– If you need to be in, be in.
– Some fun crisis resolution tactics from FBI hostage negotiators!
– Listen
– Acknowledge
– Don’t lie but omit certain truths
– Dan Savage has a great article on being out
– Start your own traditions and invite your family – the home-field advantage

● From the new Poly in the Cities podcast: Episode #4, Poly and the Holidays (Nov. 22, 2014).

● At PolyMeansMany.com, "a group blogging project on the subject of polyamory," bloggers tell their Christmastime tales this year and last year.

● In previous years I've done big roundups of all things poly for the holidays, jolly and otherwise and most of them timeless, so if you're in the mood, here you go. Includes more music.

● To close, MeghanAM posted on reddit/r/polyamory yesterday, "Now that my reddit friends should have gotten theirs, I want to show off this year's card! Drawn by a redditor again this year :) the lovely and talented /u/heyredridinghood":



December 21, 2014

A therapist impressed by poly culture


This one gets my Show Your Parents tag.

"Some relationships have two partners, some have more. Which kind is right for you?"

The Big Difference Between Polyamory And Cheating

"My husband bought me a beautiful dress for my birthday and I went away for a trip to the mountains with my boyfriend," Tessa shared in one of our coaching sessions.

Tessa is not cheating. Her husband knows about her boyfriend, and her boyfriend knows about her husband. Tessa is polyamorous and among a growing population who are insightful and bold enough to live out what works for them: non-exclusive, committed relationships.

...When I mention that I have clients who are polyamorous, the reaction is usually one of surprise, and then the assumption that they must be emotionally damaged people in some way; they are unable to commit and a threat to other people's monogamous relationships.

By contrast, my polyamorous clients tend to be more honest about their needs and wants, having forged the challenging road to claim what truly works for them in a culture that is terrified of female sexuality and independence.

They have freed themselves from the potentially crippling expectations of society to create partnerships that are specific to them:

– These long-term relationships are based on ongoing open and authentic communication among all parties.
– They are loving and generous.
– They encourage autonomy and interdependence without ownership.
– They are more concerned with authenticity than exclusivity.

They recognize that we are all multi-faceted and that it's okay not to be all things to one person. The trust they develop is tested by the freedom they afford each other.

I am myself monogamous, knowing since childhood that I was seeking my soul mate and partner. Having found him, I am sated sexually and emotionally. Still, I find myself uplifted and heartened by my polyamorous sisters, proud of them for walking a path that is deeply counter-cultural in a historical moment that seems bent on controlling, restricting, and punishing women.

Ultimately, it is up to each of us to find out what works for us, whether it adheres to our cultural norms or not. By probing our own souls and living from our truths, we create lives we are thrilled to be living, in a world that desperately needs us to shine our lights.

Here's the original (undated).


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December 17, 2014

In hours, Buzzfeed's Ask-a-Poly video shoots past 1 million views.

A three-minute video titled "Ask a Polyamorous Person" went up on Buzzfeed late last night. In the 11 hours since, it has had 837,138 views on Facebook and 227,014 on YouTube. At this rate, it will surpass the daily circulation of the New York Times (1.8 million) by the end of the day. (Update: Not quite; by midnight it was 1.6 million.)

I'm impressed that the four people who Buzzfeed rounded up did such a fine Poly 101. Thank you. (If you're reading this, I'd love your comments on how the video came about!)

The bandwagon is rolling out of control now, but so far it's still heading in a good direction: carrying the basic concepts of modern ethical polyamory, with honest communication and respect and caring among all involved, to a wide audience.

Deep thanks to everyone who worked hard over the years, when the bandwagon was barely moving at all, to point it carefully in this direction in the faith that it might someday take off. You can be proud.


Transcript of the video, courtesy of Aby Miau on Facebook:

Erin Judge:

Erin Judge:
Yes. I'm so exhausted.

Gaby Dunn:
No, you know how hard it is to plan an orgy?

Steve Aleck:
And orgies are not that common - I've been to one, and most of the time I spent there was in the corner eating oreos...

Buzzfeed presents - Ask a polyamorous person about relationships

A polyamorous person is often defined as someone in multiple romantic relationships

We asked fans to send up questions they'd like to ask a polyamorous person

Here are a few of them

Steve Aleck:

Steve Aleck:
By that logic you should only have to have one friend.

Erin Judge:
I have friends who I'm just Facebook friends with, and friends who I would pick up from jail. It's not that one person isn't enough, it's that lots of people fascinate me.

Kate Loree:

Erin Judge:
The difference between poly and cheating is that cheating is a violation of the relationship.

Kate Loree:
Polyamory is all about consensual discussion, being on the same page..

Erin Judge:
..make out with somebody else, that's part of the deal.

Kate Loree:
It's not about betrayal. It couldn't be any [more] different.

Steve Aleck:

Steve Aleck:
You're thinking of polygamy.

Kate Loree:

Kate Loree:
Most definitely that bothers me. Polygamy, for the most part, one - is a legal term, two - is more linked to religion, it's more about the man and some subservient women. Polyamory is egalitarian - everyone has a voice.

Erin Judge:

Steve Aleck:

Erin Judge:
To being honest - you have to talk about what you think, how you feel.

Kate Loree:
Love and compassion comes first.

Kate Loree:

Kate Loree:
I think the question really is, is monogamy normal? We can choose to be monogamous, just like we can choose to be vegetarian, but as Doctor Ryan says.. it doesn't mean the bacon won't still smell good. It's ok to be non-monogamous as long as you do it in an ethical way that doesn't betray anyone.

Kate Loree:

Erin Judge:
In seriousness, jealousy is something we all deal with. We're jealous of people in our industry, sometimes we're jealous of people in our family.. but for some reason we consider sexual jealousy to be this insurmountable problem, and it's not..

Kate Loree:
Another thing that can help with jealousy is meeting any of your partner's potential partners. We blow up in our mind what they're like, we think they're a supermodel, or they're somebody that's out to get us..

Steve Aleck:
I want great experiences for my partner, and if that includes a different lover then I'm ok with that.

Erin Judge:

Erin Judge:
I am a bisexual, plus-sized nightclub entertainer who grew up with two mums in Texas. I find it's best not to worry what other people think.

Gaby Dunn:

Gaby Dunn:
My advice is to be honest, no matter what. Don't pretend to be chill with things you're not chill with just because you want to be "cool" or poly.

Kate Loree:
Reach out to different resources, and just educate yourself. Take your instincts past just what you think is right and really listen to people who have done this for a long time.

Erin Judge:
Figure out who you are, and stay true to it. Don't try to change, and don't try to change other people.


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December 16, 2014

New York Mag’s 35th reason to love New York

“35. Because He and She and He and He and She and He and She and She Can Live in Sin Together in Bushwick”, in the new poly-friendly building designed and rented out by Open Love NY's Leon Fiengold. The place that was all in the news six months ago.

From the magazine's year-end roundup:

Photo: Kava Gorna

Kenneth Play, a Hong Kong–born, Brooklyn-raised 33-year-old personal trainer turned sex educator, is the house manager of the Villa — a three-story, socially networked, sex-positive, poly-supportive, self-selecting community in Bushwick. This is no scrappy “three in a room” flophouse. It’s luxe down to the last detail: slick open-plan kitchen, cowhide rug, marble counters, hot tub.

The building’s owner enlisted poly advocate and “hetero-flexible” real-estate broker Leon Feingold to fill the 15 rooms with a range of sex-positive, poly-supportive 20- and 30-somethings. Christopher Sands, a 34-year-old web developer from West Palm Beach, was a pioneer occupant; he has six dates with six different women lined up for the holidays. A 32-year-old female housemate doesn’t identify as poly but was sold on the idea of a community where sex isn’t seen as taboo. “Nobody resents you if they hear you experiencing pleasure,” she says.

“We geek out over sex in the same way foodies geek out over what they eat,” Kenneth explains, noting that it’s hard to find a roommate in New York who will put up with the noise, traffic, and unpredictability that may accompany a sexually adventurous lifestyle. It’s the anti–“smuggle your boyfriend into the bathroom, eat dinner in bed, angry notes left on empty milk cartons, tiny New York setup.” But that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. There are rules, including a ban on passive-aggressive sticky notes. And “Villa on Villa” hookups are discouraged. “It’s like a work environment,” he says. “Don’t sleep with your colleagues. Our personal sex lives are epic enough, anyway.”

Here's the original (Dec. 14, 2014).


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December 15, 2014

New sex- and poly-positive mag sets off media flap in Australia, and other Oz news

"Banned in Boston," in our grandparents' day, was a surefire boost for sales of a book or magazine everywhere else. Something like that just happened in Australia, where a handful of newsdealers refused to carry the new small magazine Archer, "The Australian journal of sexual diversity" — resulting in coverage by from some of the country's largest newspapers. The controversial issue included an excellent long feature on polyamory.

In The Age of Melbourne:

Archer takes aim: The bold new magazine targeting sex and gender in Australia

Amy Middleton, editor of Archer magazine.  (Anu Kumar/Fairfax Media photo)

By Annabel Ross

Sex addiction. Polyamory. Aboriginal and gay. Gender and sex-drive.

These were but a few of the headlines to appear on the front cover of Archer's second issue, but it wasn't the racy subject matter that caused a couple of newsagents stocking the magazine to complain to the editor.

Rather, says Amy Middleton, they were concerned about the cover image, depicting a couple of young men, one shirtless, in an affectionate pose.

"But they were 18," she says. "18-year-old men have sex."

Archer bills itself as "Australia's first journal of sexual diversity." Middleton launched the bi-annual publication in November 2013, with the help of a Pozible campaign that raised $20,000.

She had been working in the fast and furious world of digital publishing for a decade when she decided to buck the online trend and publish her own glossy print magazine. "I thought I'd like to edit a luxe, high-quality, Mag Nation-style publication about sex and gender," she says.

"When I realised that it didn't exist, I decided I was going to do it myself.... The manifesto is that sex is weird for all of us, so we should just all talk about it together."

Here's the whole article (Dec. 14, 2014). It's also in The Brisbane Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, and elsewhere.

And here is Archer's poly article mentioned in the lead: The Joy of Polyamory. It's by Anne Hunter, a longtime activist and a founder of the poly movement in Australia. Excerpts:

The joy of polyamory

By Anne Hunter

...In the beginning, [my husband and I] didn’t have a term for what we were doing — all I knew was that I didn’t want to be monogamous. I wasn’t interested in the forms of non-monogamy I already knew of. I didn’t want to swing: I wasn’t into sex for its own sake. I had no interest in clandestine affairs: I wanted to be honest and open about my intimate liaisons....

Sarah Misfud
So, we made it up as we went along. It was hard work at first. Along with the glorious freedom from traditional monogamy, there was a commensurate effort to sort out what form we wanted our relationships to take. Our perceived notions of ‘how relationships work’ were inadequate for multiple relationships. We grappled with questions such as “What do you need to know before I start something with someone else?” and “What if a new relationship becomes more important to me than my other ones?”

Where were the other people like us? We kept falling in love with people who were fundamentally monogamous, or who only hooked up with us while they were between ‘serious’ relationships, and then dumped us. A lot of people tried out non-monogamy with us and found it wasn’t for them. All of these situations caused us heartache.

When we finally heard the term ‘polyamory’, we knew we’d found our thing. Fundamentally, polyamory is a claim that the heart is capable of loving more than one person deeply and intimately at the same time. In polyamory, everyone is free to choose multiple lovers, partners and intimates if they wish. Poly relationships are often sexual but may not be, and they may shift in and out of being romantic and sexual.

For me, one of the strongest reasons for being polyamorous is freedom; in particular, the freedom to ask myself deeply and honestly, “What do I want?”. For example, I have discovered that I love kissing. I love the sensation and the intimacy. I love the freedom to kiss heaps of luscious people, where everyone is clear that a kiss is just a kiss. Also, I choose to live alone despite having several deep, committed relationships, because I need my own space. These are two needs that wouldn’t have been considered normal or acceptable in my old monogamous circles.

Sarah Mifsud
As I peeled off the expectations of the mainstream, I came to realise that there are several kinds of connections we can experience.... [And] such connections can be experienced with different levels of involvement.... With polyamory, you can negotiate the forms and levels of connection you want to explore in each relationship.

For example, I know people who have kids together, are happily co-habiting, are financially blended and have a good friendship, but who look to have their sexual, emotional and romantic needs met outside of that relationship.

One happy household I know comprises a married couple, the husband’s same-sex partner, and the wife’s other de facto husband who is monogamous to her. All but one have other lovers and partners outside of that household.

I have one life-partner who lives with another partner in another town, but who stays with me about a third of the time; a same-sex intimate who lives nearby; a ‘platonic boyfriend’ (his term) with whom I can hang out and share practical and emotional support; two interstate intimates; and some friends-with-occasional-benefits. I am on snogging terms with a large number of people. I also have heaps of lovely, long-term intimates within cycling distance.

Many of my relationships don’t have a simple label available to them. For example, I have some beloved intimates with whom I will jump into bed, naked, and talk about absolutely anything. The relationship is way past what most people think of as a friend — there’s no sex, so it’s not a lover; we don’t make life decisions together, so it’s not a partner. There is no term that accurately describes our connection.

...In reality, within the constraints of consent, honesty and intimacy, polyamory seems to be infinitely plastic in form....

You also don’t have to break off an existing relationship to start a new one. So much unresolved pain experienced in monogamy is generated by this ‘out with the old, in with the new’ approach. With polyamory, you can allow relationships to change and morph over time. I’m on friendly terms with someone who was my partner for eight years. I’ve had relationships that were exciting sexual and romantic connections in the beginning, which are no longer sexual, but are now deep loving friendships....

Alongside all its benefits, there are plenty of challenges to polyamory, too. It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain several intimate relationships. There is no well-worn societal groove to slip into, and little support for insecurities. I’ve been confronted with many uncomfortable truths about myself and have had to be willing to undergo a lot of personal development. I’m grateful for these challenges, but those 3.00 a.m. deep-and-meaningful conversations can be wearing at times.

My partner had a major issue with jealousy in our early years, which nearly split us up — this is a common stumbling block for poly people. Fortunately, we both had the necessary communication skills to navigate the difficult parts of our path; without those, it would have been even harder.

One of the biggest problems faced by poly people is a lack of understanding and support from the community at large.... If a monogamous relationship breaks up, people never consider monogamy to be ‘the problem’, or take it as proof that monogamy doesn’t work. But they do with polyamory.

...A very common myth is that loving a second person must diminish the love available to the first person.... My lived experience tells me something different: the more honest, vulnerable and deep I am with one person, the more love I experience and have available for others....

Read the whole article (Oct. 27, 2014; June 2014 print issue; issue #2).


While we're at it, here are some other recent items from Australia.

● A radio interview with Anne Hunter and a female poly minister:

Tal, Rachel and Joy interview Anne from PolyVic and Rev. Diane, a minister with MCC who is a polyamorist. They seek to find the answer to questions about polyamory such as what is it and what structure does it take.

Listen here (42 minutes; posted Oct. 19, 2014).

● At the online magazine The Big Smoke, "a platform Australia-wide for voicing a broad range of varied, topical and interesting opinions": Polyamory is not a dirty word by Belinda Marsh (Dec. 27, 2013).

...While this threw Angie initially, when Ray got a message from Liz, his wife, saying she had arrived at her lover’s house, she finally understood. She still found this confronting, but it was also liberating. Hearing that two adults could have an honest and open relationship with such a high level of communication was astounding to her....

● And a sweet new blog from Hobart, Tasmania, which the writer calls the hippie town at the bottom of the bottom of the world. She started The Triad Next Door three months ago. From the intro post:

Our triad consists of one female (me, Emma), and two males (Ashley and Aidan). I am dating Ash and Aidan simultaneously, while the boys have a sort of sibling relationship with each other. Between the three of us we have a lot of different interests, but the main thing we all love is games (video games, board games, card games… you get the idea). I suppose you could call us geeks, which is okay with us!

Despite being the female of the group, I’m sure the boys would agree with me when I say I am the one who wears the pants. Of course, that doesn’t mean I get my way all the time. Just most of the time. I’m a 21 year old university student majoring in painting, and as such I love everything creative.

...A lot of people ask us what our relationship is like, and really the answer is we are your typical dysfunctional family. We do things that normal couples do, only as a three. We go to the movies, bicker over who’s turn it is to take out the garbage, come together in the evenings to share a meal, and of course look after and support one another....



December 12, 2014

"When I Say I Hate Monogamy, What I Really Mean Is..."

This morning comes a reminder that you display poor values and an unevolved mind when you diss people who choose monogamy as their preferred relationship style. The key word, of course, is "choose."

Louisa Leontiades is a prolific writer on life issues, poly, and feminism and is working on a new edition of her memoir The Husband Swap for Thorntree Press. Her newest piece just made it onto HuffPost/ U.K.:

When I Say I Hate Monogamy, What I Really Mean Is...

Actually I've never come right out and said I hate monogamy. But through viral articles like 'My Problem with Monogamy', it's easily inferred.

But monogamy is not something I hate.... I hate that it's more or less an enforced binary structure — to be single and dating, or together and exclusive. I hate that there are plenty of people who don't actively consent to monogamy, who are not happy in monogamy, but through society pressure and lack of information, unwittingly follow the prescribed norm hoping for that elusive happy ever after. I hate that so many monogamous people think I am, and treat me like, a second class citizen just for choosing polyamory. I hate that blinded by their own prejudices, they choose not to educate themselves in alternatives or believe me when I say that monogamy is not for me. That they think they know best for me, or view me as someone to be fixed....

I know several happy couples who are monogamous and are also my very good friends... they treat me with respect. I like them because they discuss with me for hours on end, the complexities of my lifestyle trying to learn what implications my choices might have for them as I learn more about why they choose monogamy. I like them because they teach their kids that freedom, voice and consent is important. I like them because they examine their own motivations for their actions....

When you first enter into the world of polyamory, you meet many people who have thought carefully about issues like gender, break-up, sexuality and conflict.... In general, polyamorous people have been forced to consider these things much more than your average monogamous person because they're questioned about it, time after time....

There are some activists who elevate polyamory by bashing monogamy. I don't like that.

I dislike even more that I've done it myself....

Read on. (Article published December 12, 2014).



December 7, 2014

"The Future of Marriage" and its widening possibilities

HuffPost/ Divorce

Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy, rejoins the ongoing discussion about whether marriage is collapsing or changing or both. She says that people who get married will increasingly assume that they can define marriage their own way, and she starts by describing open marriages and polyamory as options for some.

The Future of Marriage

...In the way we think of and define "marriage," there has never been a more intrinsic and foundational change happening than right now. Our structural definition of the legal, emotional, and sexual act of committed partnership is on the cusp of something totally new.

...Marriage is still defined by being married to one person, unless of course, you are a Mormon. [Actually, in 1890 the mainstream LDS Church shifted its polygamy doctrine from this world into the afterlife]. But you can also stretch the definition to include things like polyamory. Polyamory means "poly, many" and "amorous, love" which translates to being in a relationship where you can love more than one person at the same time.

More polyamorous couples are living in openly agreed-to multiple partner relationships in this country than can fill the island of Manhattan. [That would be more than 1.6 million people; I'd like to know the basis for that estimate.] And that is only the people that openly identify as 'poly.' Some have this arrangement but do not care to call themselves 'poly' or check off the box when researchers come around to ask who the other partner is that's sleeping in the guest room. Although polygamy is not legal in the U.S. (polygamy means to marry more than one person at the same time), polyamory is a lifestyle where couples choose to be in loving and committed relationships with more than one person, sometimes living all together in one home.

The rest of the ways in which she says marriage is changing are

– The acceptance of same-sex marriage

– The awareness that we may not be marrying for a lifetime

– New, less catastrophic alternatives to traditional divorce

– "Marriage no longer being a guarantee of sexual fidelity." (She says "studies show that 45 to 55% of people will stray at some point in their marriage," but in reality, studies of infidelity rates disagree with each other wildly.) "Some partners negotiate a more fluid type of monogamy with outside partners or sexual agreements that do not threaten their emotional monogamy. The integrity of the relationship is maintained through emotional commitment, not sexual exclusivity."

She predicts that in the future, marriage will be definable "by shorter, more renewable contracts, in five year increments, or smaller two year contracts with options to renew." And,

In the future, gay marriage will have been legal for decades. More arrangements between couples will include open marriages with sexual agreements, polyamory will be more common and perhaps even polygamy will be visited in the legal system.

More of us will be bisexual, transexual and even more sexually androgonous than ever before. More babies will be born without clear gender identity and will not have surgery to assign a sex. We will judge less on sexual identity and more on how we treat one another.

More families will live in village-like arrangements where expanded child care covers our offspring's needs and more of us contribute to the workplace based on our skills, interests and aptitudes....

In the future, couples will have monogamy agreements that are defined early in their relationship and revisited often, in open, honest conversations that include their desires and fantasies, and are renewed with new visions of their relationship on a regular basis. Sex will be seen not as a threat to the relationship but as a way to maintain the individual's health and well being, and will not become compulsive or split off outside the marriage, since shame around it will have decreased....

...Couples no longer need to marry to have children, to pass on their property or to have sex. In one hundred years, marriage may not even exist.

But we will always want a primary partner....

Read on (Dec. 4, 2014).

This comes just after a much-talked-about New York Times article, The Divorce Surge Is Over, But the Myth Lives On (Dec. 2). It notes that the divorce rate has been declining for 20 years after never quite reaching the much-talked-about 50% rate. The Week published a criticism of the article: Sorry, New York Times: The state of marriage in America is not good (Dec. 4). It points out that recent improvements in the quality and duration of marriages are limited to the educated middle and upper classes; for others, family stability is getting worse. And the declining divorce rate is offset by the fact that fewer marriages happen at all; marriage-like cohabiting relationships, often now with kids, go through their "divorces" off the books.

Update: New NYT article: The Real Reason Richer People Marry" (Dec. 6)."



December 5, 2014

Nick TV's Degrassi introduces a "polyamory" plotline, sort of.

The teen high-school drama Degrassi, now in its 14th season and highly regarded for its treatment of real issues, just made a thing of introducing the word "polyamory."

Two girls are getting into a romantic relationship; one says she wants to date others, is into polyamory, and "I just don't know if I buy into this heteronormative idea of romantic love." Her budding romance partner stumbles a bit and then agrees that it's okay and says she thinks the same way too. Watch the clip.

But then it turns out the budding romance was faking it. She takes it all back and declares she is "a one-woman woman, it's just who I am." The first then admits that maybe she was faking too because she was scared of getting too close. Those parts are in the full episode at 12:10, 15:00, and 16:55.

The show makes "polyamorous" just seem to mean "dating around."

Says one commenter on the page, "I am polyamorous the way Jack was describing, and this was a terrible introduction to the topic. Jealousy and insecurity win! Ugh."

Says another, "Jack's using desperate hipster excuses as defense mechanisms, to cover up her commitment issues."

Update: This just belongs here (used by permission of Kimchi Cuddles):


December 4, 2014

22 Poly Events in 2015

So would you believe there are 22 regional, national, and international poly gatherings in 2015?

As we near year's end, this is copied from Alan's List of Polyamory Events, which I maintain at http://polyevents.blogspot.com .

If you're running an event that's not listed and would like some publicity, or if you see something that needs fixing, please write me at alan7388 {at} gmail.com.


Winter Poly Wonderland
January 16–21, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” wrote Michael Rios and Sarah Taub, of Network for a New Culture, on their Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page. Endless Poly Summer 2014 had about 60 people, Fall Into Poly somewhat less; these events are scaleable to work well building intimacy and community at any size. Michael, Sarah, and friends have set a big goal for each event: to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. “The point is building tribe,” says Michael.

I've gone to their (mostly poly) Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this ambitious project. Michael and Sarah have a vision of “turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created” around any number of interests and commonalities. “If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.”

From the Winter Poly Wonderland Facebook page: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, spend 5 days immersed in an all-poly environment, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.” Sounds like a good place to get your hygge on.

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy
February 13–15, 2015
Berkeley, CA

Now in its third year (the fourth counting an earlier conference in Europe), this conference is organized by Dr. Dave Doleshal, longtime West Coast poly and sex-positive organizer. This year it will have seven sessions, described as follows:
The Friday night session (Feb. 13) is geared towards Psychology/Social workers/Therapist types and medical professionals, but anyone is welcome to attend.

The main academic sessions are on Saturday, Feb. 14. This is the core of the event. Most of these presentations will be standard types of psychological and sociological studies, but we are trying to attract presentations from as a wide variety of disciplines as possible. Student presentations are also very welcome!

This year we are also having a session for presentations related to Folklore/Mythology/Media studies, and another session devoted to historical/humanities studies as well.

There will also be an Art Exhibition on Friday afternoon, Feb. 13, consisting of art objects related to the theme of consensual nonmonogamy. If you have created such a work of work and wish to display it, please contact us. If you know other artists who create art with such themes, please pass this information along.

The political conclave and sessions related to poly-activism are all happening on Sunday (Feb. 15). The Political session is being run as a distinct event through a separate website and has a separate registration fee, but it happens nearby on the same weekend. We are still recruiting presenters for this section.

In previous years, a variety of impromptu poly-related meetings, parties, and other events were instigated at places nearby the conference site to take advantage of the presence of the influx of a couple hundred people interested in consensual nonmonogamy who happen to be in town for the few days before, during and after the formal conference. The trend seems to be accelerating.
The call for papers.

February 12–15, 2015
Atlanta, GA

A new hotel poly conference I've never heard of is appearing this year, "to discuss and celebrate romantic love in all its configurations. Learn skills for navigating through the challenges unique to non-monogamy. Connect with your loves and other like minded people. Enjoy our 'Fun' track for dancing, social time, and good old fashioned relaxation. InfinityCon! Because love is infinite." This event is adults only (21+), unlike Atlanta Poly Weekend in June, which is family-friendly and has a kids' track.

The organizers, LoveInfinity LLC, are planning both poly and kink tracks. Less than three months out their website says they expect to host 500 to 2000 people, which seems wildly unrealistic unless maybe this is a branch-out from an established swing thing. Is it? (Not to be confused with Infinity Con, a comic and pop-culture con in Florida.)

Poly Living East (Philadelphia)
February 20–22, 2015
Philadelphia, PA

Poly Living is put on each year by the Loving More nonprofit group, in an excellent large hotel near the Philadelphia airport and a rail stop. This will be Poly Living's 10th year (the 8th under Loving More's management). Keynote speaker: Franklin Veaux of More Than Two. For the last two years (2013, 2014) Poly Living East has drawn about 200 people. Here was the 2014 workshop list, to give you a sense of what goes on. Here's an outside reporter's long article at Nerve.com about her impressions of the 2014 conference.

my writeup of the first Poly Living I attended (2006). In 2012 I gave the keynote speech. I'll be back again this time. Hope to meet you there!

Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

Rocky Mountain Poly Living (Denver)
May 8–10, 2015
Ramada Plaza Denver North, Northglenn, CO

This will be Rocky Mountain Poly Living's second year, after drawing about 150 people for a very successful first time in 2014. It's run by Loving More, which also does Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February.

Poly Big Fun
Spring 2015, date to be decided
Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, TX

Glimmer Blazeflower writes, "Poly Big Fun is hosted every year by the Austin Poly group. It is the absolute cheapest weekend retreat you kind find anywhere. The weekend includes all meals and a place to sleep for $75 or less [as of 2014] depending on when you register. It is an amazing event that usually has between 80 and 120 people attend every year."

From the website: "Poly Big Fun, or PBF, is a time for us to come together as a community and celebrate. We hold multiple workshops on various relationship-building topics such as effective communication, time management and relationships, multifamily households, community parenting, and more."

Poly Spring Fever
May 15–20, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” write Michael Rios and Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture. Check the Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page for updates.

Endless Poly Summer 2014 was the first of this series of four seasonal events. About it I wrote: “Endless Poly Summer aims to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. ‘The point is building tribe,’ says Michael. I've gone to their (mostly poly) Summer Camp for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this. Michael and Sarah have a vision of ‘turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created’ around any number of interests and commonalities. ‘If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.’ ”

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together for up to 5 days or more.”

OpenCon Catalonia
May 29
–31, 2015
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain.

2015 will be OpenCon Catalonia's fourth year. It's modeled on the U.K. OpenCon with a self-generated "unconference" program. "A weekend-long international event in the Catalan countryside, open to anyone who knows that happy and honest relationships don’t have to be monogamous. Discussions, workshops and socialising to give you a chance to meet like-minded people, to build our community, and to celebrate its diversity." In 2012, 2013, and 2014 there were about 40 people, a full house; here's more on what happened. The working language is English.

Atlanta Poly Weekend 2015
June 5–7, 2015
Northern perimeter of Atlanta, GA

This growing hotel conference began in 2011. It's a three-day weekend of talks and discussions on poly relationships and making them work, and whatever other topics people propose; comedy, dance, and games; community building and socializing. Here was the schedule for 2014. Kid-friendly; families encouraged: a "Kids Con" track runs all weekend (parents are asked to volunteer two hours per day per kid they bring). I came to the first APW in 2011, was back again for 2012 (see my big writeup) and gave the closing keynote talk in 2013. Total attendance was 113 people the first year, 151 the second, and about 200 in 2013 and 2014.

Großen Polytreffen, Early Summer (Germany)
June 4–7, 2015
Truckenthal, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has organized local meetings and, in the spring and fall, "Grand Poly Meetings" that draw 50 to 120 people — "for contacts, networking, and planning the organization of activities. At the large meetings, up to 40 workshops, talks and other events are self-organized by participants." Previous ones have sold out.

Poly All Ages Camp BC
Date to be announced
Goldstream Provincial Park Campgrounds, north of Victoria, BC

Formerly named PolyFamilyCampBC. This is a kid-friendly polycamp with programs for grownups too. "A weekend of camping and activities with people who share a common philosophy of abundant love, honest and open communications on beautiful Vancouver Island.... Children from [poly] homes gain a sense of community from attending events like this one where other children from similar homes are in attendance," Zoe Duff writes. "Activities and workshops for all ages are simultaneously held, and the facilities are comfortably supportive of a community atmosphere." Here's the website.

Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 10–19, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, rich, ten-day event for five years now. Network for a New Culture explores building intimate sustainable community through practices of curiosity, transparency, self-exploration, and self-responsibility. The days are structured around ZEGG Forum, various self-improvement and human-potential presenters offering their stuff, and sharing life, work, and fun in the West Virginia mountain woods.

New Culture East is largely the work of the much-respected poly activists Sarah Taub and Michael Rios. “While not exclusively a poly event,” says Michael, “Summer Camp East is about 70% polyfolk, and 100% poly-friendly.”

Summer Camp East is one of the few New Agey type things that I find to have genuine intellectual integrity. Here are my impressions from my first year. Here's a bit more from my fourth (last two paragraphs).

About 80 people attend. Vegetarian group meals; campsites in the woods (no vehicle hookups); bathhouse with sinks and hot showers. Some indoor accommodations are available onsite. Conditions are rustic, but a camp-owned motel is 3 miles away. Kids welcome; inquire about kids' program.

West Coast Polyamory Gathering
July 2015; dates to be announced
Los Gatos, CA

Organizer Dave Doleshal of Saturnia Regna wrote for 2014: "This summer’s California polyamory gathering happens in a lovely clothing-optional resort in Northern California called Lupin Lodge. The event is intended to be primarily educational, social, and experiential. It will focus on the exploration and deepening of skills such as clarification and expression of desires, jealousy management, expansion and deepening of intimacy and multi-partner relating. It will also address other practical concerns related to polyamory, such as vital communication skills and negotiation tools." Workshops are experiential rather than lecture-style. Lupin Lodge is a private naturist resort in rural surroundings. 2015 will be the third year for this event at this location.

Rocky Mountain Polyamory Family Campout
Dates to be announced
Aspen, CO

Robyn Trask of Loving More and her family hold this informal campout nearly every year. About last year's event (2014): "This will be the 14th year. Join us for a weekend of hiking, playing, and just hanging out with other poly families from the Rocky Mountain Region. This is the one thing each year where the kids get to join in. My kids love the campouts as much if not more than I do. It is wonderful to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Mountains and spend time with wonderful poly people." 

Endless Poly Summer II
August 2015 (dates to be decided)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“[The first] Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” wrote Michael Rios and Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture. The dates and name for this one are tentative as of late August 2014; check the Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page for updates.

Endless Poly Summer 2014, the first of these seasonal events, had about 60 people. About these events I wrote: “Michael Rios, Sarah Taub, and friends, who organize the Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East each July, are starting an ambitious new project. Endless Poly Summer aims to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. (That's the ‘endless’ part.) ‘The point is building tribe,’ says Michael. I've gone to their (mostly poly) Summer Camp for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this. Michael and Sarah have a vision of ‘turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created’ around any number of interests and commonalities. ‘If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.’ ”

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together for up to 5 days or more.”

At Burning Man
Aug. 31 – Sept. 7, 2015
Nevada desert
(Note: You cannot get into Burning Man without a ticket that's legitimate by Burning Man's anti-scalper rules. Beware of ticket scams.

Poly Paradise theme camp.
Poly Paradise will be in its 17th year in 2015. Since 2012 it has been awarded prime central locations on the A or B rings. This is a large theme camp; in 2012 it was 200 x 600 feet and had 170 campers. In 2013 it had 183, almost half of them new. Workshops and events include Heart of Now, Poly High Tea, the famous Human Carcass Wash, the Hiney Hygiene Station, Mind Melt, Revolutionary Honesty, and a poly mixer. Two years ago Benevolent Dictator Scotto wrote, "PolyParadise 2013 was the truly the best Theme Camp iteration we have ever created. Each year there are many challenges and together we overcome, together we build an amazing space within the gates of BRC, a place to really call home in the desert."

Polycamp Northwest
Late summer, 2015
Olympia, WA area

This big, multi-day, kid- and family-friendly campout, now in its 14th year, is held in a reserved area of cabins and common buildings in a state park. Workshops, hikes, canoeing, singing, dance, games from Calvinball to frisbee golf. It has been getting 150 to 200 people. Adults-only workshops take place in their own separate area. Facebook page (which is more active than the website). See newspaper article about Polycamp by Dan Savage from 2010.

Organizer Quintus writes, "We also do three other events each year:
— Post Polycamp Party
— Room Party at Norwescon (sci-fi convention)
— Polystrip (fundraiser for Polycamp; burlesque by members of the poly community)

Loving More Retreat
September 2015 (weekend to be decided)
Easton Mountain Retreat Center, north of Albany, NY

A smallish rural gathering for fellowship and workshops. Navigating poly life both for beginners and long-timers; building intimate community. Beautiful rural setting, hot tubbing, pool, fun, stars. Clothing optional (though not many go bare except around the hot tub, sauna, and pool). Intimate crowd, newbie-friendly, typical attendance 30 or so. Here's a FAQ. I've come to this many times since 2005. Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the oldest poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

OpenCon 2015
Fall 2015; date to be decided.
Dorset, U.K.

OpenCon in the U.K. is a participant-created convention on the
unconference model, which means the people who show up organize the content. This will be its sixth year. "A 3-day event in the English countryside for everyone who knows that happy and honest relationships don't have to be monogamous. OpenCon combines discussions, workshops and socialising to give you a chance to meet like-minded people, to build our community and to celebrate its diversity." These events have been selling out; attendance in recent years has typically been about 80ish.

The team putting it together in 2013 told us, "This year we're not running a gender balancing policy as they did last year, but our explicitly feminist ethos, and actions to increase accessibility of the event, (which you can read more about on dedicated Ethos and Access pages on the website) have resulted in our current attendees' gender profile being very well balanced."

Here are the self-generated schedule boards from 2011:
1, 2, 3, 4. This is how an unconference works. "We had 33 workshops run, only 5 of which had been arranged in advance."

Großen Polytreffen, Fall (Germany)
October 7–11, 2015
Gut Frohnberg, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has organized local meetings and, in the spring and fall, "Grand Poly Meetings" that draw 50 to 120 people — "for contacts, networking, and planning the organization of activities. At the large meetings, up to 40 workshops, talks and other events are self-organized by participants." Previous ones have sold out.

Beyond the Love
Fall 2015; date to be decided
Columbus, Ohio.

This hotel conference had a very successful first two years, with about 200 people attending in 2013 and 2014. I was there in 2014. I was impressed by how imaginatively the organizing triad and the volunteer staff had planned everything to make it lively and fun. They write, "Beyond The Love’s mission is to provide an opportunity for the polyamorous community to come together in an educational and social forum. At Beyond the Love you will find a wealth of classes, workshops and mini events to learn tools, techniques and communication skills to enhance our poly relationships. We provide a safe environment for meeting with other like-minded people in a supportive and inclusive community. We are passionate about recognizing poly as a relationship choice and sharing common experiences on our many different paths."

Here were the 2014 schedule and workshop presenters, a fine selection. There were also attendee-generated unconference sessions, poly speed dating, yoga, and a masquerade ball. Over 18 only. Facebook page.

Playground 2015
Fall 2015; date to be decided
Toronto, Canada.

In 2014 this event drew some 250 people despite happening on the same weekend as Beyond the Love in Ohio. As it enters its fifth year now, poly and nonmonogamy author Samantha Fraser's Playground conference "will bring together the brightest minds in sexuality education, activism and media to examine the ways in which the sexual and erotic play a part in our everyday lives. Everyone is invited to attend from those looking to educate to those looking to get educated. And most importantly, for everyone looking to have FUN! Over the 3 days, workshops and presentations will touch on kink, non-monogamy, dating, sexual/relationship fulfillment and more. Playground is an all-inclusive event for every community to take part in and celebrate diversity."