"24 Questions About Gay Polyamorous Relationships," and other gay poly news
Did you know polyamory is all the rage now? This is a question three different people have asked me in just the past month. Whether they asked it in jest, somehow rhetorically, or in all seriousness, I knew the answer: Yes. Yes, it kinda is.
24 Questions About Gay Polyamorous Relation-
ships You Wanted to Ask, But Were Too Polite To
...The first polyamorous 'unit' I met was over 10 years ago. It consisted of a primary couple, in which each partner had a secondary boyfriend. I met three of the four of the unit in Fire Island, although they were all based in the DC-metro area, where, in the gay community at least, there seems to be a growing number of unique arrangements involving more than two partners.
This particular unit had all sorts of rules....
Fast forward about a decade, when I moved to Baltimore and met Jason, a scientist and ex-boyfriend of a friend of mine. Jason is a member of a polyamorous unit comprised of four men — all attractive, all accomplished, and all very approachable. I asked Jason if I could write about their relationship, with an emphasis on its mechanics (i.e., the day-to-day), which, based on my biased, statistically unsound research among friends on Facebook, seemed to be what many people were most interested in.
What follows are snippets from my conversation last year with Jason; John, a veterinarian; and Mark and Sid, two entrepreneurs and the co-founders of a trendy new store in Baltimore. [Names are changed.]
Jason: Polyamory, in my view, is a committed relationship among multiple, consenting adults. After that, there's a great deal of flexibility in how polyamory can be defined, independent of the sexual component, which many people seem to get too hung up on.
Mark: Polyamory doesn't have to be anything, but what it is for us is having the flexibility and freedom to love each other in our own way — that's why we're together. It's kind of the opposite of marriage.
Sid: I almost look at marriage as a four-letter word. It's a bastardized institution in many ways; it's something I don't want to be a part of.
...Q: How do you address your lack of rights and benefits given to couples and recognized by the government (i.e., financial, legal, health, etc.)?
Jason: These become open discussions. We formulate our decisions together and put everything into writing. We're very pragmatic that way.
The interview then turns to specifics of their home life. Many of them. Read on (Jan. 30, 2015).
One of the quad joined the discussion about the article happening on reddit/r/polyamory.
Some other gay poly in the news:
● Also on HuffPost right now is a video that first appeared at I'm From Driftwood, "a 501(c)(3) nonprofit archive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer stories."
Polyamorous Relationship Lasts 46 Years
...We had shared so many memories together. And held each other when our parents died. All three of our parents brought us up the same way: “Excuse me, I’m sorry, Please, Thank you.” It just kind of comes natural, like holding the door for a woman, that my mom said you hold a door for a lady, until nowadays....
Original site, with transcript of the video (late January 2015).
● Three, a webseries about a gay triad, is reviewed at Out & About Nashville: New Nashville-Based Web Series Explores Gay Non-Monogamy (Jan. 9, 2015).
THREE is focusing on a common issue facing gay couples — non-monogamy, and the possibilities of polyamory — head-on. As interest in the show is building, with coverage from outlets as diverse as Huffington Post and Spanish-language gay entertainment blog Ambiente G, Jeff Swafford, the series’ producer/writer/director, sat down to talk with O&AN about his production company, the series, and why Nashville is home to it all....
Three's website and Facebook page.
● Why Should Polyamory Be a Problem? in SameSame, an online gay magazine in Australia (May 21, 2014).
...I realise there are people who already feel that the LGBTI rainbow family is too ‘crowded’, but that’s a different debate. If we are going to have a broad umbrella acronym, and for the moment we do, shouldn’t we make sure that it includes all relevant groups, including polyamory?
I think that it should, and here’s why....
● In The Washington Blade: Is poly a relationship cracker? (March 26, 2014)
I’ve been with my wife Carol for seven years and she told me from the start that she considered herself polyamorous. This was a little outside my comfort zone but given that she wasn’t involved with anyone else, I didn’t really worry about it and kept dating her. We fell in love and ultimately got married.
"Sweeping potential deal-breaker issues
under the rug will haunt you later."
We now have a 2-year old daughter. Carol has been seeing her new girlfriend Julie with increasing frequency for the past six months and now she wants to start spending one night a week at Julie’s place.
I’m unhappy for a few reasons.... Carol says I came into this relationship with my eyes open. True, but I didn’t imagine the potential problems when I said “yes.”...
The two of you have some difficult territory ahead.
It sounds as if you both have gotten into a “my-way-or-the-highway” situation. What’s needed is for you and Carol to take a serious look at what’s important to each of you and to have a frank discussion where you listen to your spouse with curiosity.
Given that you and Carol had very different feelings about polyamory from the get-go, it would have been useful to have spoken in depth about what a poly lifestyle might mean to both of you before you married and certainly before you had your daughter. However, it’s not too late to talk together about what you each value most, as a first step toward figuring out how to go forward.
...Some questions for you to consider: What would it take for you to want to stay in this marriage? Can you tolerate Carol’s other relationship if she foregoes her sleepovers? Or do you really only want a monogamous relationship?
Another question: Have you and Carol ever considered any rules or boundaries that might allow both of you to be content in your marriage? Such agreements are sometimes helpful, although they are not a guarantee of anything, and people often change their minds about what they are willing to tolerate.
From your description, neither of you is going to get everything you want. But that’s always the case. Marriage pushes us to figure out what’s most important to us. Try to find a way to be open minded and respectful of each other’s preferences for how you want to live your lives....
Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with LGBT couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at personalgrowthzone.com.
● And a personal account of a mono in love being blindsided: All the Cool Gays are Polyamorous (Feb. 18, 2014).
...Then he asked the question, his voice muffled into my hair. "How do you feel about open relationships?"
I swallowed hard, allowed myself to be crushed for only a moment, and then stuttered a few attempts at being casual. And I vaguely heard him tell me about the other boy, the one who already knew about me, the one he'd been dating long before me. "I showed him your picture," he told me, "and he thinks you're cute."
...I've thought a lot about heartbreak, this alien emotion that will just creep up on me like a cloudburst when I least expect it. I'll be sitting in traffic or watching Netflix, when suddenly my throat will knot up and I'll choke even before I realize what I'm sad about....
I also think about if I could've tried his polyamory if I'd known about the other boy from the beginning, if I'd been given a chance to frame the way I thought about the situation, rather than being blindsided in media res. Basically, am I cool enough for an open relationship? I honestly don't know, and I don't think I'm going to find out....