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

April 13, 2016

"Are Young People Really More Open to Polyamory or Do We Just Like to Cheat?"

Sigh. A staff writer for Vice who thinks "polyamory" just means, you know, dating, and who's fixated on cheating and jealousy, interviews Jillian Deri, author of Love's Refraction: Jealousy and Compersion in Queer Women's Polyamorous Relationships. Does he even hear her?

At least she gets plenty of space to explain things to those who do.

Are Young People Really More Open to Polyamory or Do We Just Like to Cheat?

By Jake Kivanç

...My generation's defining romantic issue is simple: we all hate to be heartbroken, yet we're all probably breaking somebody else's heart in the process.

This age of youth — the blasted millennials — have been tagged by the media as "polyamorous": a compulsion for sleeping with and/or dating multiple people. Some people swear by it.... Others think it's just an excuse to cheat, a byproduct of a generation too gung-ho on fucking on the first date.

...What isn't totally accepted yet, however, is how to deal with the jealousy that comes along with that rabid desire for multiple partners, or how that carries over into an actual relationship.

VICE reached out to Jillian Deri, a sex sociologist and professor at Simon Fraser University. Deri authored a book called Love's Refraction, which focuses on how polyamorous couples deal with jealousy and learn to love their partner loving other people. We talked about why my peers seem so compelled to cheat, and whether whippersnappers like myself are truly ready to take the plunge into open relationships.

VICE: How would you describe what polyamory is?

Jillian Deri: It's useful to distinguish between a poly relationship and a non-monogamous relationship. People who are poly tend to have emotional connections to more than one person, as opposed to people who are just dating around. People who are generally monogamous in their heart and are just dating around until they settle down are not necessarily poly, because poly people tend to want friendships, deep connections, or potentially love with multiple people.

Is there any evidence that shows there are people who are able to turn off their jealousy alarms off and have open relationships without the conflicting emotions we associate with monogamy?

Jillian Deri
Definitely, there's lots of people who've done so, we just don't have any studies to really back it up. In my [research], jealousy can range from a slight tinge of uneasiness to full on emotional upset. The theory that I particularly honed in was a word called "compersion," a word coined by polyamorous people to mean the opposite of jealousy. It's when a partner actually feels pleasure by their partner's other love. It's interesting that the English dictionary doesn't have an official word for this. The only potential outcome that we know of in Western society of you being with somebody else is jealous.... I studied how poly people make compersion possible in relationships.

This idea of compersion: Is it something that is learned or are some people more prone to have less jealous personalities?

Who knows? It could be based upon individual relationships and how secure you feel. You might be with somebody who makes you fiery with jealousy, and another person who just makes you feel secure. Often it has to do with the power dynamic and where the relationship is going or if there's potential for growth.... At the start of a relationship or at the end of relationship, we tend to be more jealous because we wonder how the other person feels or if they've lost interest.

...Almost everybody I know that's tried an open relationship has failed because somebody starts getting jealous of how many people their partner is hooking up with compared to them. Is that a common trend in poly relationships?

Not necessarily, it's something that requires planning and maturity....

Read the whole article (April 11, 2016).

● On another note, remember that nice little Newsy video that was going all around the media's nooks and crannies last week? Newsy has since put out five more. They're all from the same sitting, where a friendly interviewer talks about various poly issues with three happy and articulate millennials (one genderqueer) who are raising kids in a vee triad. Yay for great representation! I've updated my post with links to all six videos.




Blogger marcusfish said...

Deri is certainly the voice of reason. I'm glad she was able to calmly talk to this poor interviewer who had exactly zero idea of what was going on.

That is just painful.

"a compulsion for sleeping with and/or dating multiple people" - facepalm

April 13, 2016 10:10 PM  

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