Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

November 29, 2015

No, Mo'Nique objects, her open marriage is not "a pass to cheat."

Remember Mo'Nique? The Oscar-winning actress and comedian has enthused about her happy open marriage to Sidney Hicks for at least eight years, most recently in the last couple weeks.

It started with an interview at TrueExclusives.com November 17 that had a catchy subject line. From the transcript:

...On the secret to having a long-lasting marriage:

“Honesty. That’s it. When I hear men say ‘I don’t tell my wife everything, you crazy?’ and I hear women say ‘I ain’t telling my husband that, you crazy?’ So you mean you trust somebody else other than the person you lay with every night, you slept with, you cried with, you make love to. So I think those long lasting things is simply honesty and communication. It’s gotta be your best friend.”

On having a “free pass to cheat” in a relationship:

“The person that you stood up and you said ‘for better, for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer,’ you took those vows in front of the universe. If you don’t live by them, then maybe you shouldn’t have taken them. And when you say ‘a pass to cheat’… see when you’re with your best friend and you say to your best friend ‘I’m having these feelings about this person, sexually and I wanna share it with you’.. when you’re best friends, you can have those open and honest conversations.

Often times people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue and you say we’re just human beings and all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’. Now if you wanna go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you wanna sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not gon’ do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.

See how she knocks down that "cheat" language?

Husband and wife. (HelloBeautiful / Rodrogo Vaz / Getty)

Nevertheless, when TheGrio.com picked up the story the next day, it titled its piece Mo’Nique defends giving husband ‘free passes’ to cheat.

That same day the New York Daily News headlined an article Mo'Nique doesn't mind giving her husband 'a pass to cheat', which again makes it look like her quote.

She did a followup interview with Periscope to clarify. As presented in Us magazine:

Mo’Nique Clarifies Open Marriage to Sidney Hicks: “It Was My Idea”

The Oscar-winning actress, 47, said her words about her nine-year marriage to husband Sidney Hicks had been misconstrued, and gave fans her side of the story.

...“Originally it was my idea because at the time when Sid and I got together 10 years ago — now keep in mind this was my best friend since I was 14 — but when we first got together I was still stuck in being famous and a celebrity and being a star, and I felt like I could have whatever I want. So I was still in an insecure place of, ‘I can have that, I can have that, I can have that.’ And because I was dealing with my best friend, my best friend said, ‘If that’s what you think you need, as your best friend, I don’t want to stand in the way of it.’”

Mo’Nique took offense to critics claiming her husband was forcing her to make these rules so he could cheat.

“It makes me laugh when people put it all off on my husband as if it was something he was doing,” she said.

...She went on to further clarify her comments about a “pass” to cheat, saying, “We don’t give each other passes to cheat, because when you cheat, you lie, when you lie, you steal.”

The stand-up comic also revealed that she and her husband have a radio show called Mo’Nique and Sidney’s Open Relationship premiering on New Year’s Day, where they can talk about the secrets to the success of their marriage. [Update: It's actually a podcast scheduled to start January 11th.]

“Open means we’re open-minded to the world,” she clarified. “That’s what we’re open to. We are open to being honest to each other all the way through.”

The whole article (Nov. 20).

Lots more recent coverage in the entertainment press.

The entertainment world's fixation on cheating prompted polyactivist and alt-relationship therapist Jay Blevins to dissect this misuse of language with an article at The Good Men Project:

Men, Mo’Nique and Polyamory vs. Cheating: The Times They are a Changin’

When Mo’Nique discussed the need communicate openly with her husband, her words were publicly twisted. Consent, compassion and communication are traits the media are unable to grasp.

Jay Blevins
...What she actually talked about was the importance of being able to have the trust and connection to be completely honest with your partner. To be able to admit when you have an attraction for another person.

She not only talked about being able to acknowledge those feelings, but also, as the person hearing them, being compassionate enough to treat them gently and to learn from them.

She not only talked about being able to acknowledge those feelings, but also, as the person hearing them, being compassionate enough to treat them gently and to learn from them. To find out what it is that makes your partner attracted to someone else. Is there something they aren’t getting out of your relationship that is important to them?

Instead of being about fear, anxiety and insecurity she describes a relationship that is based in love, trust, commitment, honesty, compassion and consent. As part of that she acknowledges that if she loves her partner and there is something important to her partner that they aren’t getting from her, then she wouldn’t want to deny her partner.

That was in response to the interviewer’s use of the term “free pass to cheat.”... Because frankly, she isn’t talking about cheating. Cheating is about breaking rules, breaking vows, breaking trust.... Apparently The Grio isn’t paying much attention to the world around them. Because more and more people are exploring and embracing the concept of ethical non-monogamy....

Blevins goes on to expound the precepts of ethical non-monogamy and lists misconceptions about it. Read his whole article (Nov. 23). For the record, he objected to the stock patriarchal polygamy illustration that The Good Men Project stuck on top.


Update, Jan. 18, 2016: Their new podcast, Mo'Nique & Sidney's Open Relationship, has gone live. Essence magazine tells about its first episode: Mo’Nique Sets The Record Straight On Her Open Marriage In New Podcast: ‘It Was My Idea’ (Jan. 16, 2016).


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November 27, 2015

Poly families portrayed on CBS's prime-time "Elementary"

"Elementary," CBS's hit detective show, has a modern Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson working the crimes of New York. Last night's episode starred two group marriages. They were presented in a respectful and informative manner, sympathetic even, although it is a murder mystery....

Family photo in happier times.

You can watch the whole episode here. It's titled "All My Exes Live in Essex" (43 minutes plus ads; season 4 episode 4, first aired November 26, 2015.)

Warning, spoilers ahead....






In the end, the murder had nothing to do with poly drama or moral comeuppance. The unusual families were an attention-holding plot twist and a misdirection from the eventual solution.

The polyamory theme begins at 15:30. Long before then, we have the corpse: Abby Campbell, a fertility researcher at a hospital. Holmes quickly discovers that she was having an affair with a doctor. Holmes and Watson show up at the home of her bereaved husband, also a doctor — and find the affair partner grieving right there with him. They were a triad living together, as Holmes instantly deduces from things like the different-size mens' shoes by the front door and the identical wedding rings the two men are wearing. He uses the term "throuple." They confirm it. BTW, they're bi.

The bereaved being questioned.

It turns out that their poly marriage was Abby's idea. She had been in a group marriage before, but she left it seven years ago after a fight.

The husbands explain to Holmes and Watson,

"Arrangements like ours happen more often than people think. For some people, it just works."

But in Abby's first marriage, "It ended badly. She had a falling-out with one of her fellow wives."

"There was a dispute. Over money. Community property. And she was still fighting it, years after."

That had been a household of six adults, two men and four women. The remaining five are still married, living in a big house with their six kids.

Holmes enlightens the incredulous Captain Gregson of the NYPD, as follows:

"Americans have experimented with every possible variation of matrimony, from the adelphic polygyny of the Omaha tribe, to the patriarchal polygamy of the early Mormons, to the free-love hippie communes of the 1970s. And while some of those experiments were abject failures, many were remarkably long-lived."

Abby's five exes are hauled in and interrogated.

The rest of the former six.

From them we learn that Abby had worked hard, earned a lot, and wanted to keep all of her income — but, they say,

"Denise insisted we all pool our money."

"It got a little ugly. Especially when it came time to buy the house."

"The house thing. That was when it all went bad. Abby had this inheritance. And Denise pressured her to use it as a down payment. Abby agreed, but she was never really happy about it."

The division was compounded by an imbalance in the two women's attractiveness to the men. After the arguments got bad, "She just left."

"She'd been trying to get that down payment back ever since. But giving it to her would have meant selling the house."

Which would have meant displacing their six kids. And, one of the two men looks pretty suspicious.

But then a new thread curls in from the edge of the picture. The all-too-sudden windup turns on an unsuspected twist that no viewer will have guessed. One of the characters is indeed the baddie, but not for anything to do with the family structures.

Verdict: The episode writer (Robert Hewitt Wolfe) was at least a bit sympathetic to the poly ideal, used it to hold the viewers and misdirect them into following their prejudices, and to do a bit of public-service educating about alternative family structures.

This reminds me of ABC's sympathetic subplot on "Private Practice" almost four years ago (Season 5 episode 10; January 5, 2012). I bet we can expect more.

● A scene-be-scene recap of the whole episode, at Celeb Dirty Laundry (scroll down).

● A thoughtful review by an expert on the series, at A.V. Club.

● Another review by a serious fan, at io9.



November 26, 2015

From Minx, "What are you grateful for?"

"Count your blessings while you have them" is a family saying of ours. We took it on in a bigger way after my first wife died of cancer. You always have things to appreciate — and cultivating a sense of gratitude is now proven to boost happiness and mental health (says science!).

Cunning Minx of the Polyamory Weekly podcast posts for Thanksgiving day,

We asked on Facebook last week what y’all were grateful for, and you answered with a big dose of poly gratitude.

For me, I’m grateful for people like you: who seek every day to live in love, to understand others and to accept the changes life brings.

Minx with Lusty Guy

She put up a word cloud of your replies, and solicits more in the comments. Here you go.

Me, among other things I'm grateful for all the extraordinary hearts and souls I have met in the movement for polyamory awareness. What a blessing to the world you are!


November 22, 2015

"Ethical cheating" using OpenMinded.com, on Kansas City TV news


"Ethical Cheating"? I hate that phrase. Cheating is unethical by definition. What's ethical isn't cheating by definition. But we're going to see more of this kind of talk, as more mainstream people try swimming the poly waters while loaded down with unexamined cultural-assumption baggage.

In this case, a well-meaning mid-America TV news program profiles an apparently nice, well-meaning local couple who are hunting for their (female) third using the Las Vegas-based dating site Open Minded. Watch the segment here (3:45).

The text story on the station's website matches the video pretty closely:

Ethical cheating: Inside look at the polyamorous lifestyle

By Ellen McNamara, Anchor

Liz and Garrett have been... married for more than seven years. They say their relationship is strong but something is missing. That something, they say, is another woman.

...Liz and Garrett’s polyamorous lifestyle is in the minority but not as much as you may think. New York University estimates five percent of American relationships practice some form of “consensual non-monogamy.”

“It wasn’t like we went out looking for this. It kind of fell into our lap,” Garrett explains.

A few years ago Liz and Garrett had a friend. She spent a lot of time with them and soon the three found themselves in a romantic relationship. When that part of the relationship ended, the couple realized they missed her and wanted a similar relationship with someone else.

“We’re not looking for somebody to have threesomes with and one night stands. Yes, sex would be a part of the relationship, the way it is for a marriage, but that’s not the primary thing,” Liz explains.

Liz and Garrett are on the dating site Open Minded. The site launched in April and promotes polyamory, which means being romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. It does not promote polygamy.

“We like to call it, ethical cheating,” said Brook Urick, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas-based site. “There are so many people who are in relationships who are unhappy. They’re cheating and being adulterous. It would be lot easier if they were just in an open relationship and be honest about what they want with their partner.”

About 40 couples in the Kansas City area have signed up along with 70 single men and 60 single women.

Urick adds, “I think the public doesn’t understand polyamory. People are very vanilla. Very modest.”

Dr. Doug Greenens, a psychiatrist in Johnson County, said there is no evidence that supports monogamy as a healthier way to maintain an adult relationship....

Just don't call it ethical cheating! Read the whole article (November 17, 2015).


Vice magazine ran an interview in June with Open Minded's founder, Brandon Wade:

Having Sex with a Bunch of People Might Save the Institution of Marriage

[Originally titled, "The Man Behind the Original Sugar-Daddy Site Is Investing in Polyamory"]

By Toby McCasker

Brandon Wade is a 44-year-old MIT grad with a receding hairline and glasses.... In recent years the former software engineer has founded WhatsYourPrice.com (where men bid on first dates), CarrotDating.com (where men offer "incentives" in return for a rendezvous), and the original sugar daddy hub SeekingArrangement.com. Now, he's taking advantage of a growing public interest in polyamory with his latest venture, OpenMinded.com.

Brandon Wade and his wife.

Polyamory is when a relationship involves several people and couples. It's not cheating because everyone is in on it, nor is it a basic open relationship, as all those involved are emotionally invested. Brandon noticed and capitalized on this cultural shift by creating a site to match couples who want to keep it tight while playing fast and loose, and not let their network of open relationships interfere with their marriage. Although guilt-free open relationships sound like a pretty sweet deal, he's quick to point out that getting everything you want actually takes more work and communication than just sticking with one person....

He does say some good things:

"Open relationships are really not simple. People think, Wow, these are hippies sleeping around like nobody's business. There's a lot of communication, and a lot of emotional consideration, as well as mental processes before people can successfully engage in open relationships. You go back to the basics of brutal honesty: communication, communication, communication...."

"...So polyamory is unique because it's more about building a sort of community, rather than just each person having a series of relationships. But I feel that connectivity would bring so many issues. Well, you'll be interested to know I'm working with my legal team on a pre-dating agreement. It's like a prenuptial agreement that we'll be making public, hopefully by the end of the year, so that people who are about to start dating each other can negotiate the conditions and terms and put them on a piece of paper. That way, when they do break up, things can be done in a cordial and organized manner."

The whole interview (June 30, 2015).


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Reports from the Beyond The Love convention

Last weekend I went to one of the newer poly hotel conferences that have sprung up: Beyond The Love in Columbus, Ohio, now in its third year. It sold out three weeks in advance, and a lively crowd of 240 showed up all told. Like last year, I was impressed by how well Dan, Dawn and Karen — the triad who created it — run the convention together along with their big and dedicated volunteer staff, including much of Poly Columbus.

Karen, Dan, and Dawn

First here's my report, then one by Kitty Chambliss of Loving Without Boundaries.


Ostensibly, the centerpiece of the convention was the four simultaneous tracks of classes/workshops, 30 in all, running during the daytime. Many of the presenters (partial list) that I saw were excellent. Of course I had to miss 3/4 of the sessions, but I was especially impressed by Neil Wehneman's superb Poly 101 for newcomers at the very beginning (slides), Michael Rios on Poly as a Spiritual Path/ Tool for Personal Growth, and Kathy Slaughter's presentation of John and Julie Gottman's famous research results on the simple things that create lasting, happy long-term relationships.

But like last year, I was particularly impressed by the effort that went into the social aspects of the weekend. Set up in the center of the conference space was an always-buzzing social area with big round tables, display tables, and snacks nearly around the clock. (Some of the more substantial, healthy snacks were provided by sponsors, such as other Midwest poly groups, in exchange for time with a display table. This helped keep people fed.)

Each evening offered a solid schedule of organized activities with effective leaders. Friday began with ice-breakers: a people scavenger hunt (“Find someone who’s been to the top of the Empire State Building. Find someone who's been poly more than 20 years”), and then the big welcoming gathering with introductions and announcements enlivened by giveaways. And a thoughtful and moving keynote address by Ferrett Steinmetz, science fiction writer and poly blogger, which he kept to 12 minutes. (Here's an attendee's later podcast interview with him.)

Next came a mixer run by Boi Kris, including a PolyAthlon — in which, for instance, we were teamed up with strangers for a race to complete a list of silly tasks. A game room off to the side was always in use (Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity), and quieter spaces were available for those who preferred.

On the Flirt Board. (Photo by Kitty Chambliss.)
Saturday featured an impressively designed Roaring Twenties Ball. All weekend a Flirt Board was out. And you could put Flirt Dot signals on your nametag: red, yellow, or green.

At one point Neil Wehneman gave a class titled "You Are Cleared For Take-Off: Formalizing Your Poly Group for a Larger Scale." A notable point on one of his slides was this:

People value social events more than organizers do.

People value speaker/ educational events less than organizers do.

Big cheers for the BTL organizers, staff, and volunteers. The core triad have produced other events besides Beyond The Love and seem to have this thing nailed.

And they want to teach you how! Want to start a poly convention in your city? Dan says they'd be delighted to share all their knowledge and resources — including their project-management timeline that lists everything to do starting many months out, materials lists, advice on negotiating with hotels, the works.

Not only did BTL sell out, some of the wait-listed people showed up and ended up with a gathering of their own in the hotel lobby. The event was proof that you can gather a jumping poly convention even in a seemingly forlorn place like central Ohio — if you've been networking the local alt-relationship community vigorously, working social media, building a reputation, and if you involve a lot of local volunteers starting far in advance. Hey Seattle… Boston… St. Louis… Minneapolis… Austin… NYC… Tampa… Chicago… Here's your chance for a jumpstart.


And now, from Kitty Chambliss, who had a press pass as a relationship writer for her website Loving Without Boundaries:

The “Press Is In” and the Beyond The Love Conference was AMAZING!

...It exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way imaginable. Not only was the content and the quality of the various presentations excellent, but the overall loving, happy and accepting vibe of the entire event was just a breath of fresh air. Add to that I was meeting for the first time many friends that I have been chatting with and getting to know for years, and it’s just an explosion of AWESOME! The producers Dan, Dawn and Karen really have come up with an excellent formula. They managed to marry great and useful information via workshops with varied activities for every personality type, as well as fun socializing opportunities fostering a sense of connection with your tribe.

...Our keynote speaker Ferrett took the stage of the ballroom. He explained how he’s been married for 25 years and identified as polyamorous for half of that time. Then he went on to explain very beautifully that polyamory is most certainly not just about the sex. He spoke of “polyamorous friendship” — which he explained as deep, loving, connected friendships with special people that he considers every bit one of his loves.

...Polyamory as a Spiritual Path, by Michael Rios — What would relationships with others be like if we really were our own best friend? The more we do our own spiritual work, which is really about learning to fall in love with ourselves, the more available and loving we become.

...Relaxing Relationship Containment, by Kelly Cookson — Couples often have a lot to lose if their relationships deteriorate or break up. Consequently, couples protect their relationships by engaging in something called relationship containment. A possible alternative: Couples can learn to relax relationship containment, giving everyone involved greater freedom to develop close relationships.

...Solo Poly, by Master So’N’So — This lecture discussed the joys and pitfalls of being your own primary partner.

...Building Relationships That Last, by Kathy G. Slaughter, LCSW – This workshop explained the day-to-day habits that help strengthen long-term relationships, as well as the four habits that will destroy a relationship.

...Stay tuned for many of the above speakers to appear on my podcast!

...Don’t dream it, be it! “Showing up” is half of what life is about.  :)

Read her whole article (November 19, 2015).


● What's coming up next? Here's the schedule of poly conventions, retreats, gatherings in 2016: Alan's List of Polyamory Events, with descriptions. Pass it on.

If you missed Beyond The Love, the next similar hotel con is Poly Living East, February 19–21 in Philadelphia. And I'm interested in what the brand new Infinity Con in Atlanta will be like, February 4–7....


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November 17, 2015

We get a rise out of Ask Amy

Many newspapers

Three weeks ago in one of her columns, Amy Dickinson ridiculed the idea that a husband might ask his wife for permission to have an affair. New Culture activist Sarah Taub sent around a note asking polyfolks to write her, and some of you did. Now Amy prints one of your letters (way condensed) and a reply:

Dear Amy: “Affair Bound” asked if he could get his wife’s “permission” to have an affair. You should have taken the opportunity to educate him about polyamory. This is a lifestyle that can work for many people.   — Poly

Dear Poly:
I do not advocate for polyamory and thus don’t feel compelled to educate people about it.


Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

At least the letter writer did a bit of education right there.

Amy has dismissed poly in the past fairly consistently, though not always.



November 11, 2015

Abuse in polyamorous relationships: A discernment tool, and a new roundup

At last February's Poly Living convention, you may remember, Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert spoke and led workshops on abuse in poly relationships — and especially, how poly communities should address it. The subject was hot; the Polyamory Leadership Network had just expelled a popular figure following several complaints of abuse and harassment from his local community.

Hint: If people around you have come to feel that you harass, threaten, or abuse, it's really unwise to apply to the PLN. We urge communities to make space for complainants to be heard safely, to listen to what they say, and to act decisively to ensure safe spaces.

"There was a time, long ago," Franklin said in his keynote at Poly Living, "when I had this naive idea that polyamorous relationships were less likely to be abusive than monogamous relationships. Isolating a person is one of the hallmarks of abuse. So if you’ve got more people in the relationship, it’s harder to isolate someone, right? You have more eyes on a potential problem, right?"

However, said Franklin, he came to realize that because abusers are often influential and charismatic — and because groupthink is such a known bug in human nature — an abuser can sway an entire group against a person he or she is mistreating, belittling, controlling, or gaslighting. (Gaslighting: undermining a person's confidence in their own perceptions and memories.)

Emotional abusers or harassers often turn an accusation of abuse back on the victim and say that they themselves are the victims. Often they believe it! Whole communities sometimes tear apart bitterly over who to believe.

So, how can you and your community discern the truth?

pattern of accusers is pretty damning; think Bill Cosby. But in a recent PLN discussion, Franklin described a tool for seeing through the awful fogs when matters are not so clear or so physical. I'll call his tool The Arrow of Control. He cites Emma Fett's influential formulation and its key sentence:

“I was victimized by acts of control” is not the same as “I was victimized by the other person’s resistance to my control.”

Franklin writes,

Something I would like to see more of in these conversations is a realization that the axis of control often points in the direction from abuser to victim.

It is incredibly common for abusers to assume the mantle of victim. And in every case I’ve seen, looking at the direction in which power and control flows is an incredible tool for helping to figure out what’s going on.

Who is attempting to assert control over the other person? Not control as in “you will not interact with me in this way” [that's boundary setting, which is about oneself  –Ed.], but control as in “I want to tell you what you may or may not do with your body/ your decisions/ your life.”

Now you too have this tool.

The Arrow of Control points to the truth in messy emotional-abuse disputes more clearly than anything I know.


Since my last roundup on this subject, much has been published. Here's a selection.

● At September's CatalystCon West, Eve, Cunning Minx, Tamara Pincus and William Winters (grouped at right) ran a panel on how to recognize and respond to emotional abuse in relationships. Here's Minx's Storify of their presentation. Here it is as a slide show. Here's the session's handout.

● Jessica Burde, who is working on her second book The Polyamory Home, is posting a series about the topic on her Polyamory On Purpose website. So far:
    – Abuse in Polyamory
    – What Is Abuse?
    – Is Polyamory Abusive?
    – Types of Abuse
    – Vectors of Control in Abusive Relationships
    – “There’s no right way to do polyamory!” (But, there’re lots of wrong ways)
    – “Abuse, Boundaries, and Incompatibilities in Mono/Poly Relationships

Her Patreon page.

● By Ginny Brown, at Everyday Feminism: Yes, Abuse Can Show Up in Polyamorous Relationships – Here Are 7 Red Flags to Watch Out For (May 29, 2015). Excerpts:

...For many people, their first mentors in polyamory are also their first partners. And while often this works out fine, as more experienced people help their less-experienced partners navigate the difficult waters, the power imbalance creates the potential for control and manipulation.

And we need to be talking about it.

Here are a few toxic dynamics that seem to come up often when poly people share stories of abuse.

1. “You’re Here to Serve Our Relationship”

A lot of people come to polyamory as part of a monogamous couple opening up.... A Secondary’s Bill of Rights is a good read for anybody involved in hierarchical poly relationships.

2. “I’m Watching for Your Mistakes”

...The key dynamic is that, instead of healthily expressing their hurt and frustration [at something], the abusive partner uses every mistake or perceived mistake as an excuse to shame and control their partner.

3. “You Are Responsible for My Emotions”

...A lot of us carry some “poly guilt” — feeling that by being poly, we’re getting away with something.... Poly guilt can make it easy for a partner to pressure, punish, and coerce us into dancing on eggshells around their negative feelings, even if we haven’t actually done anything wrong.

4. “I Don’t Have to Care About Your Emotions”

The flip side of the above point: Because boundaries and taking responsibility for your emotions are so essential for healthy polyamory, some people will use these principles to justify being indifferent or hostile in response to their partner’s feelings....  In healthy polyamorous (or monogamous!) relationships, all parties are given space to have their feelings heard and considered.

5. “My Way Is Best for You”

You might think that poly people, having broken away from mainstream expectations about relationships, would be immune to the belief that there’s only one right way to do relationships. Alas, it’s not the case....

6. “You Can’t Talk to My Other Partners” (Or, “Everything You Say Will Be Shared with My Other Partners”)

...While the shared partner certainly has a stake in how metamours get along, they shouldn’t be controlling the interactions.

7. “Your Other Relationships Are Inferior”

Regardless of how metamours get along, a baseline of respect and understanding toward the other people our partner loves is fundamental to healthy polyamory. Abusive partners, on the other hand, will sometimes work hard to undercut their partner’s other relationships....

Trust Yourself

...It’s okay to trust your instincts and seek help if you’re unhappy – or if you feel unsafe or controlled. Looking at general resources on abuse in relationships can be very helpful.

...No rationale gives someone the right to control your actions, disregard your feelings and needs, or treat you as disposable in a supposedly loving relationship.

Mo Daviau
● By novelist Mo Daviau: The Polypath! Red flags to watch for if you’re dating a polyamorous narcissist. This was published in November 2014. Recently she updated it with the note, "I’m astonished at how popular this essay has gotten. If you’re struggling with recovery from a relationship with someone with NPD [narcissistic personality disorder], please see my list of resources."

In the interest of protecting the guilty, the innocent, and the integrity of the DSM-5, I have coined the word polypath. (Portmanteau: polyamorous sociopath).

Sociopaths, especially of the narcissist variety (the personality-disordered ones, not just the flagrantly self-absorbed) are usually charming and highly sexual, charismatic, attractive, and fun. They are also [literally] incapable of feeling empathy or compassion for another human being. Yet, because they are charmers, they are very talented at pretending they can. And they are also very talented at sniffing out easy targets. Solid, decent people who are talented and smart, and who are also at a point in their lives where they are vulnerable, such as having recently gone through a break-up, divorce, job loss, sexual assault, or other trauma, are easy targets. I was an easy target....

Narcissists are also, generally, non-monogamous.... The narcs who openly identify as polyamorous are able to adopt the earnest vocabulary, ethics, and norms of the community. However, when you hand these tools to a narcissist they quickly become weapons.... In many instances, the rhetoric of polyamory, while positive and respectful... easily shifts blame to the victim, who is often found beating herself up for being insecure, jealous, or for asking for boundaries....

Here's a handy little list of red flags.

Healthy poly folks do not use poly as an excuse to “trade up.” If you find yourself involved with someone who has never successfully managed multiple relationships, or who overlaps relationships and drops the old one when the new bright ‘n shiny comes around, that’s classic narcissist behavior.

Check the intensity of the relationship early on! If you are being courted, charmed, complimented, and told you are so special after only knowing each other for a short time, this is what the experts call “love-bombing.” We all want to feel loved and special, but too much too soon, with a shocking intensity that only grows hotter after you begin having sex, is Phase One of the classic narcissist Idealize-Devalue-Discard relationship cycle....

Any poly person who cannot come up with at least one ex with whom he maintains friendly relations. [And, I'll add, who you can meet. –Ed.]

If he uses the occasion of introducing his two partners to play one against the other [perhaps behind each others' backs].

If you are being accused of hurting his other partner by asking for boundaries, with no visible concern for your feelings: narcissist! Skilled poly folks know how to make sure everyone feels heard....

Be extremely wary of anyone who says that he hates making compromises. Compromises are necessary in any relationship....

Someone who treats polyamory like an affliction that can’t be helped.

...My narcissist accused me of going on dates with other men to “get back at him for being poly.” He even told me I was “using other men as a weapon against him.” What kind of projection horseshit was that?

A note from me: It's easy to throw around clinical diagnoses like "sociopath," but some of the people who do some of the things above have just bought into bad culture.

● On WikiHow is an excellent, compact resource in outline form with categories and bullet points: How to Address Abuse in Polyamory. It's editable; that's how WikiHow works. It includes many useful links. Here are the top-level categories as of November 11, 2015:

...Polyamory can be especially tricky to navigate. So what happens when abuse comes into play?... Below are examples of issues specific to polyamory, and methods for reducing harm or avoiding it altogether.


1. Understand the various manifestations of abuse. Become informed about common (and not so common) ways that abuse can manifest in polyamory....

2. Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for red flags, such as the ones below....

3. Learn as much as you can. Read articles, books, zines, blogs, etc. that speak specifically about abuse in polyamory and open relationships....

4. Find help....

5. Call a hotline if you are in a crisis situation, or even just to talk with someone....

6. Be kind to yourself. Remember these key points....

7. Advocate for abuse survivors. If you feel comfortable, nip dangerous attitudes in the bud....

● From Kai Cheng Thom, a Chinese trans woman writer, poet, and performance artist: 5 Common Ways Our Communities Fail to Address Intimate Partner Violence (September 10).

1. Not Talking About Abuse...
2. Defining Abuse Too Narrowly...
3. Thinking About Abuse as an Individual (Rather Than Collective) Problem...
4. Blaming Everything on a Caricature of ‘Abuser’...
5. Centering the ‘Abuser’ or the ‘Rescuer,’ Rather than the Survivor...

So Let’s Start Talking.... I believe in the courage of our communities to speak.

Her related articles.

● From a black perspective: The Poison Hidden in the Heart of Non-Monogamy (July 28).

...And despite the remarks written in More Than Two about those who’ve been abused, [the experience] in no way diminishes our ability to recognize healthy boundaries. If anything, it makes us all the more sensitive to boundary violations.... Not all survivors of abuse are the same. Those who don’t have healthy boundaries to begin with are more likely to put up with the abuse for a longer period of time, to not recognize certain actions as abusive, and to believe they deserve the abuse. The rest of us develop more awareness of what we can and cannot handle, of who is likely to be an abuser, and are quicker to notice red flags and get the hell out of there. You don’t survive long by putting yourself in danger when you know better.

Additionally, abusers can only take advantage of weaknesses that already exist. But for black women it is not any individual failing that makes us more prone to being the victims of abuse. No, our weakness is tied into our blood, woven there by history itself....

● And at Black Girl Dangerous, 9 Strategies For Non-Oppressive Polyamory by Janani Balasubramanian (October 4, 2013).

10 things I wished I'd known about gaslighting, by Emma Fett (July 15, 2015).


And, here are resources that I listed with my writeup of February's Poly Living conference:

● Franklin's Some Thoughts on Community and Abuse, reflecting his Poly Living talk. (Feb. 11, 2015).

● Here's the article that he references midstream: The Community Response to Abuse, by Emma Fett (Jan. 30, 2015). This continues to get a lot of buzz.

● That post was a followup to Fett's Abuse in Polyamorous Relationships, including Six Poly Traps (Nov. 22, 2014).

● Here are Eve and Franklin's Resources on abuse in polyamorous relationships that grew out of the weekend. See the interesting comment there, by Liz, that women and men may abuse in similar numbers, but that this is not visible because men are more able to inflict obvious injury, and are more ashamed to admit that they are being abused when they are the victims.

● Also helping to prompt this discussion was Cunning Minx's Polyamory Weekly podcast Episode 418, Emotional Abuse in Polyamorous Relationships (Jan. 23, 2015). Minx says it was a difficult episode to create, months in the making. In it Shannon Perez-Darby, Youth Services Program Manager for The Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse, shares her advice on how to recognize abuse of all kinds and how to respond when you or someone you love might be surviving emotional abuse.

● There's a hashtag: #AbuseInPoly

● And here's relationship coach Dawn Davidson's collection of links, with commentary: Abuse in (poly) relationships: A link roundup.


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November 9, 2015

"Death Is Way More Complicated When You're Polyamorous"


A life with more loves will inevitably be a life with more grief. But you will not be alone when it happens, nor without intimate loving support. Nor will your loves, when your own time comes.

But get your legal papers in order beforehand, goddamn it.

Vice magazine takes a thoughtful (and practical) look at an aspect of poly life that I haven't seen discussed in the larger media before.

Death Is Way More Complicated When You're Polyamorous

(Screencap via Death Becomes Her)
By Simon Davis

In February, Robert McGarey's partner of 24 years died. It was the most devastating loss McGarey had ever encountered, and yet, there was a silver lining: "I had this profound sadness, but I don't feel lonely," McGarey told me. "I'm not without support, I'm not without companionship."

That's because he has other partners: Jane, who he's been with for 16 years, and Mary, who he's been with for eight. (Those are not their real names.) And while his grief for Pam, the girlfriend who died, was still immense, polyamory helped him deal with it.

There's not a lot of research into how poly families cope with death — probably because there's not a lot of research about how poly families choose to live.... And while polyamory can bring people tremendous benefits in life and in death, our social and legal systems weren't designed to deal with people with more than one romantic partner — so when one person dies, it can usher in a slew of complicating legal and emotional problems.

"Whether people realize it or not, the partner to whom they are married will have more benefits and rights once a death happens," explained Diana Adams, who runs a boutique law firm that practices "traditional and non-traditional family law with support for positive beginnings and endings of family relationships."

Since married partners rights' trump everyone else's, the non-married partners don't automatically have a say in end-of-life decisions, funeral arrangements, or inheritance. That's true for non-married monogamous relationships, too, but the problem can be exacerbated in polyamorous relationships where partners are not disclosed or acknowledged by family members. In her work, Adams has seen poly partners get muscled out of hospital visits and hospice by family members who refused to recognize a poly partner as a legitimate partner.

McGarey and his girlfriend Pam weren't married, so the decision to take her off life support had to go through Pam's two sisters. The money Pam left behind — which McGarey would've inherited had they been married — went to her sisters too, who also organized Pam's funeral.

This kind of power struggle can also happen among multiple partners who have all been romantically involved with the deceased. The only real way to ensure that everything is doled out evenly is to draft up a detailed prenuptial agreement and estate plan. Adams works with clients to employ "creative estate planning" to ensure that other partners are each acknowledged and taken care of....

...In 2006, Melissa Hall's husband Paul died at the age of 52. Both were polyamorous, but Paul's death presented "no special problems," since they were legally married and Hall had all the rights of a spouse. Instead, she found unexpected benefits in dealing with her husband's death: In particular, she told me that "being poly made it easier to love again." Since they had both dated other people during their life together, Hall knew her husband's death wouldn't stop her from dating again.

In traditional relationships, it's not uncommon for people to impose dating restrictions on themselves to honor the desires of their dead spouses, or to feel guilty when they start dating again. Of course, you don't win if you don't date either, as people eventually get on your case to "move on with your life." All this goes out the window when you're polyamorous....

Read the whole article (November 9, 2015).


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November 7, 2015

*Monogamish* the movie premiers

Remember the Kickstarter appeal last March for Tao Ruspoli's indie docu-movie Monogamish? It passed its goal of $35,000 and ended with $50,210 from 515 backers.

Now the movie is finished, but it's not yet available; it's supposed to be by the end of 2015. Among its featured people are polyamory movement stars, such as Diana Adams, Christopher Ryan, and Dossie Easton. Here's the trailer (2:28).

Monogamish premiered October 21 to an audience at the Rome Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter ran this review:

Tao Ruspoli explores the highs and lows (mostly the lows) of long-term fidelity.

By Jordan Mintzer

Love and marriage make for rather poor bedfellows in Monogamish, a documentary investigation that questions the way most modern relationships are supposed to function, underscoring why the concept of long-term fidelity may be the worst way to keep your couple going far into the future.

Directed by Italian-American filmmaker Tao Ruspoli, who was prompted to pick up his camera after suffering a heartbreaking divorce (from actress Olivia Wilde, with whom he was married for 8 years), the movie provides a thorough expose on conjugal practices both past and present, revealing monogamy to be a rather bogus concept that humankind has espoused for only the last hundred-odd years. It also clearly stacks the deck in favor of open marriages and polyamorous relations, with experts and practitioners preaching the benefits of a love life guided more by natural instincts than current societal norms.

...Both a personal odyssey and global overview of monogamy and its discontents (which was the film's working title), Ruspoli chats face-to-face with a number of writers, thinkers and therapists about the failings of his own relationship, and how the desire to stick with a sole sexual partner may have been the root of the problem.

A brief foray into the director’s origins – he’s the son of an Italian prince and American actress; his grandfather was Spaghetti Western star William Berger – reveals a family tree bolstered by royal alliances, until the Ruspoli men squandered their wealth in unions of passion, rather than ones of pure convenience.

To reinforce his study, Ruspoli talks to pundits and authors responsible for cheekily titled treatises like Mating in Captivity, Sex at Dawn and The Ethical Slut. They all have interesting, sometimes provocative things to say about how we’ve constrained ourselves to living against our nature, with one expert summing up the monogamy issue as “not a problem you solve, but a paradox that you manage.”

Their arguments can be more convincing than Ruspoli’s attempts to illustrate them cinematically, with archive footage and cheesily staged reenactments showing various couples going through the throes of a relationship. The filmmaker also relies too heavily on subjects leaning towards one side of the debate: there are only one or two examples of successful monogamous pairs, while many of those interviewed seem to be of the free-loving, West Coast variety (particularly two Santa Monica hipsters who rather smugly describe how they came to embrace polyamory as a way of life).

The film never really questions the emotional repercussions of open marriages or three-way couples, which may be more of an ideal than something many of us could live with on a daily basis. But who knows? Monogamish might be ahead of its time, and in a century from now the idea of spending the majority of your adult life with a single soulmate may seem as archaic as horse-drawn carriages or prefrontal lobotomies....

The whole review (October 29, 2015).


Kate Hakala did a story about the movie for Connections.Mic last April:

A New Movie Is Shattering a Major Myth About Modern Relationships

...Ruspoli was hoping to tackle the subject of monogamy — specifically why, as the 40% to 50% divorce rate suggests, it seems to fail so often.

..."We have tendencies in both directions: We want to pair up with people, we want to make commitments to each other and have a sense of safety and security," Ruspoli told Mic. "But we also have other desires to explore, have a sense of mystery in our lives and obviously keep our sexuality alive. So the question is, how do we negotiate all those tensions?"

...In a 2014 survey of 18 to 49-year-olds conducted by USA Network, 82% of respondents said they had absolutely no tolerance of cheating, but 81% would cheat if there were no consequences....

About half of the Generation X and Y participants surveyed admitted that monogamy was a "social expectation but not a biological reality."

...As a society, we're questioning that ideal now more than ever. Polyamorous, swinging and otherwise open relationships have been around for years, but they're getting more mainstream press now.

..."There's a lot of industry around making people feel like there's something wrong with them if they're not having passionate sex with each other if they've been together for 10 years," Ruspoli said. "We pathologize that — maybe that's a natural thing that happens and we need to address that."

That doesn't have to mean encouraging infidelity or abandoning "traditional" marriage. Rather, said Ruspoli, "We should question monogamy in the service of maintaining that commitment, not as a way of rejecting it."...

The whole article (April 9, 2015).

The movie's website. Facebook page. A podcast interview with the director.


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November 4, 2015

"I was in a committed relationship with two people — then I got pregnant." And, happy parenting in a poly group house.

Two related stories coincidentally popped up in the last few hours.

First, here's a triad's adorable pregnancy-and-birth story, 2,400 words long, at HelloGiggles — a People magazine spinoff "covering the latest in culture, female empowerment, style, relationships, friendship, careers, and issues that matter most to young women’s lives":

I was in a committed relationship with two people — and then I got pregnant.

By Lizzy Leis

The night I found out I was going to be a mom I sat down next to my husband Kevin, clutching the pregnancy test in one hand and holding his hand with the other, the three minutes waiting for the test results felt like forever....

As the test turned from the little hourglass into a sign that read ‘Pregnant: 1-2 Weeks’ I looked at my husband and began to cry.... I was happy. With his next breath he said, “I can’t wait to tell Sarah.” And in that instance I knew I had the perfect partners to start a family with. Sarah is my girlfriend and together she, Kevin, and I were about to begin a new journey as we started our family.

...From the moment I met my husband through our mutual friends, he and I spoke about how I’ve never really believed in committing myself to one man or one woman for the rest of my life. I was upfront from the start that I am polyamorous and he accepted me for all that I am.

...I had been with Kevin for just about three years when Sarah came into our lives, and having them meet one another early on was a big deal for all three of us....

There are so many different meanings of the word “family,” just as there are so many ways to define love. For me love is seeing Sarah laugh as she dances around the kitchen. Love is seeing the passion in Kevin’s eyes as he tells me about his day at work. Love is waking up and seeing the smile on our daughter’s face first thing in the morning. Love, in all of it’s forms, is my little family. In our own perfectly imperfect, boundary pushing, weird, goofy, and unique way, we have created our own definition of love. And it only gets better from here.

Lizzie Leis is a 26 year old woman working in the Human Services field by day and singing in the rock band Project Alice by night. She lives with her husband, girlfriend, and daughter in a suburb outside of Worcester, MA.

The whole story (November 4, 2015). Update next day: It's now featured on the homepage of Yahoo.com. Update November 8: And now in the U.K.'s Daily Mail.


The second is at MuthaMagazine, "exploring real-life motherhood, from every angle, at every stage":

An Interview with A, on Parenting While Polyamorous

This good friend of mine, called A here to be Anonymous, and I, we had babies around the same time, a couple of years ago. Incidentally, she practices polyamory, which was true before and after the baby situation....

My marriage is closed (for the record) and hers is actively, happily open. She is like success academy poly....

A: My high school boyfriend and I talked about becoming a “tripod” relationship, but it never came to pass. From that age, I had heard about it, it made sense to me. Whenever I am in love, I don’t stop having crushes. I don’t stop being in love with other people. The more I am in love with my partner, the more open I am to love generally. The more my feelings for my current partner would intensify, the more attracted I would become to other people....

MUTHA: Was it because you felt more desired and desirable?

A: It was less eros and more agape. The bliss of love, of being totally enthralled with someone, made everything beautiful, not just people — I would walk through the grass thinking how the city I lived in was beautiful. It was the lens that I saw the world through....

...Our rule list is short: if you are feeling uncomfortable or jealous, you are required to mention it to the other partner. We are required to check in with each other before engaging with intercourse with a new person (but not other things). Oh, and always practice safe sex. And be good to each other. Accept each others’ negative emotions and work towards compromise....

...MUTHA: And you live in a community house, and it happens to include other poly couples.

A: ...Now we all have kids. I don’t think we’ll ever host another sex party here; at least until the kids grow up. Because that would be inappropriate....

...MUTHA: So the fact that you live in a communal house is coincidental to you also being poly — but I’d love to hear more about the benefits of communal living.

A: Around parenting, it’s kind of amazing. We use the house like a family — we share all the food, tools, cars (not formally, I still own my car, but we share through informal key drawers/text messaging and google docs… we have a ridiculous number of google docs). We have monthly house meetings and discuss maintenance. We have a cooking rotation. My husband and I cook on Monday and get a home-cooked meal every other night of the week, except Saturday, though often Saturday we all get together, too. Sunday nights, we try to all make it for a house dinner together. Add child-rearing to that – my son has several adults in the house who he trusts, who know him, who can pick him up if he needs.

When my husband went back to work, I can’t imagine how I would have coped without my housemates. How could I have taken a shower? I was able to ask someone I trusted, who lived with me, to hold him for twenty minutes.

I’m watching all the children in the house grow up well socialized, familiar talking to adults. Communal living is open, sharing, warm, and it feels good raising children in this atmosphere. More love equals better parenting....

Read the whole story (Nov. 4).


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November 1, 2015

Poly and Everyday Feminism: 3 weeks, 3 articles

The modern polyamory movement continues to carry forward the feminist outlook of its female founders 30 years ago. Increasingly onboard of late is the popular online magazine Everyday Feminism, boasting 4.5 million visits a month. It posted four polyamory articles in October, after putting up about one a month for most of 2015 and only one or two a year before that.

Here are snips from the three new ones since I noted Sian Ferguson's 5 Myths About Love, Sex, and Relationships That Stop Us From Accepting Polyamory.

3 Ways Polyamorous People Are Excluded in Queer Communities – And Why It’s Wrong

By Sian Ferguson

Finding a queer community saved my life. I’m not exaggerating.... Finally, I could live out my truth as a pansexual person while being supported and loved by a large, beautiful group of people I felt connected to and in alignment with.

Queer communities are incredibly important... But they can be oppressive too.... After coming out as polyamorous, I encountered yet another source of exclusion in the queer spaces I used to navigate....

Heteronormativity promotes certain kinds of sex, relationships and families as ‘normal’, ‘natural’ and ‘acceptable’. Namely, it privileges monogamy, heterosexuality, sex between married partners, and sex for reproductive purposes.

...Homonormativity, on the other hand, is the assimilation of queer people (especially homosexual people) into a heteronormative system without challenging the core ideas of heteronormativity.

Homonormativity is heteronormativity repackaged and tied up with an elaborate rainbow ribbon.... Queers often assimilate to heteronormative ideals because we want the same kind of privilege that is afforded to straight people.... But instead of aiming for assimilation into a system, we should be challenging the system itself.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways polyamorous people are excluded and marginalized by some queer communities.

1. We’re Ignored In The Push For ‘Marriage Equality’....

2. We’re Harmed By The Promotion of Normative Family Structures. All families are structured differently. What matters is not the quantity of family members, but the quality of the relationships between those families.

I grew up in a home with an interesting familial structure. My mother was a single parent and I was raised mostly by her and my grandparents. My older siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins and other extended family members were very involved in my upbringing....

3. We’re Harmed By Sex-Shaming Sentiments. ...Queer communities can be sites for radical change, acceptance, love and healing. But when these communities reproduce oppressive ideas, they perpetuate the status quo instead of challenging it....

Here's the whole article (October 25, 2015)


Three days earlier, a long one:

15 Comments Polyamorous People Are Tired of Getting

By Miri Mogilevsky

When people find out that I’m polyamorous and that I prefer to date multiple partners with everyone’s knowledge and consent, I get a variety of responses....

Here are 15 assumptive statements people say to non-monogamous people, and why they are misguided and hurtful.

1. ‘That Could Never Work’. Often accompanied by an anecdote about a friend who tried polyamory and totally hated it, this comment seems like a well-intentioned statement of opinion, but it’s actually very invalidating.... How can you claim that polyamory “doesn’t work” when speaking to someone like me, who’s been happily polyamorous for three years?...

2. ‘You Must Have a Lot of Sex’. ...The fact that someone is polyamorous says nothing about how much or what types of sex they have.

3. ‘So Which One Is Your Main Partner?’...

4. ‘Well, My Partner Is Enough for Me’....

5. ‘Oh, You’ll Find The One Someday’... This is similar to telling a lesbian that she’ll meet the right man someday....

6. ‘You Just Want to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too’. Statements like these reveal some resentment....

7. ‘But What About Kids?’ Some people, including some polyamorous people, are not interested in having children. Many polyamorous people do raise children with one or more of their partners.... If you’re interested to know how a polyamorous friend sees their future, ask them.

8. ‘You’re Polyamorous So You Can Have Both Genders, Right?’ ...If you find both redheads and brunettes attractive, does that mean you always need to be dating at least one of each?...

9. ‘I’d Never Let My Partner Do That’ (Or ‘Wow, Your Partner Lets You Do That?’). A partner is not a child.

10. ‘Your Partner Just Wants to Take Advantage of You’. It’s valid to worry about someone you care about. Abuse can happen in any relationship. But suggesting that someone is being manipulated or taken advantage of simply because their partner has other partners denies their agency.

11. ‘Oh, So You’re Available!’

12. ‘Sounds Like the Polyamorous Thing Didn’t Work Out After All’. ...Like monogamous relationships, open relationships end for all sorts of reasons.

13. ‘But Don’t Your Partners Get Sad When You’re On Dates With Someone Else?’

14. ‘Why Do You Have to Talk About Polyamory All the Time?’ The short answer is because of everything I’ve just written about.

15. ‘But Don’t You Get Jealous?’ Vegetarians and vegans sometimes talk about how frustrating it is to be asked, “But what about bacon?” The jealousy question is the what-about-bacon of polyamory.


Rather than making comments like these, consider taking the opportunity to learn more about polyamory and about your polyamorous friends.... Even if you’ve chosen monogamy, you can pick up some helpful relationship skills from them – or at least hear some great stories.

The whole article (October 22).


And a week before that,

More Than Two: Examining the Myths and Facts of Polyamory

By Laura Kacere

...Often described as “consensual and responsible non-monogamy,” polyamory can characterize anyone who engages in intimate relationships with multiple people in a way that is consensual and communicative of all relationships. (That is, cheating on a partner doesn’t count as polyamory!)

These definitions are broad, and polyamorous relationships come in all different shapes and sizes....

The ways of organizing relationships are endless – and so are the myths surrounding it....

Myth #1: With the right partner, you only need one person.

Myth #2: Polyamory means you love your partner(s) less.

Myth #3: Polyamory is for people who “just want to sleep around” and avoid attachment and intimacy.

Myth #4: Polyamory is for people who don’t get jealous.

Myth #5: Polyamory is for enlightened people. While there are a lot of prejudices against poly people, there can also be a romanticization of it, seeing polyamory as the truly evolved way to live. The truth is, poly people are not perfect. People hurt each other in polyamory just like they do in monogamy.... Polyamory comes with its own set of challenges, requiring a process of unlearning and challenging our cultural conditioning around love and relationships.


Fact #1: You are already complete.

Fact #2: Valuing all of your relationships.... Sometimes monogamy can close people off because of how the parameters of all other relationships are defined – the relationships that aren’t romantic are denoted to “less-than.” In polyamory, the distinction of a new relationship can be blurred and less defined, allowing more space to nurture new friendships....

Time is a factor in platonic relationships as well, and because poly people may have a different sense of how to allocate time, they often come to recognize that they need to share value and affection with friends and lovers alike.

Fact #3: Other people are not your competitors....

Fact #4: You have the right to choose....
No one should ever feel pushed into polyamory by a partner or by those around them – that choice should always be completely yours....

Read the full article (October 15).


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