ABC News: "How This Polyamorous Couple Plans to Celebrate Valentine's Day"
As Val's Day approaches, the annual uptick of poly in the media is under way. The biggest item I've seen so far is this story on the ABC News website.
The type of poly that the featured vee practices seems to me unhealthy and cringe-making, rooted in unexamined mainstream assumptions. Does a TV network's attention to it spread awareness of the "polyamorous possibility" more than it just makes poly look awkward and male-centric? Or am I being too critical of other people's poly?
In any case, I think we've succeeded pretty well by now in messaging the public about the polyamorous possibility — that happy multi-love relationships exist and can work well, maybe even for you. So in terms of media coverage, I say it's time that we push for quality over quantity.
How This Polyamorous Couple Plans to Celebrate Valentine's Day
By Joi-Marie McKenzie
...Jamal Benjamin, a 40-year-old freelance editor, is in a loving relationship with his two girlfriends, Amy (who asked ABC News to create a pseudonym for her) and Ebony Thomas.
Amy, 40, and Benjamin have two children together. Thomas, also 40, and Benjamin are parents to a 3-month-old baby girl.
The three all live in New York City and Benjamin alternates daily between the two households. When it comes to celebrating holidays, including Valentine's Day, they're pretty diplomatic.
"We alternate each year," Benjamin explained to ABC News. "I know Valentine's Day is important to [Amy] -- well, it’s more important to her eldest [10-year-old] daughter."
Benjamin and Amy, who have been together for seven years and met at a house party, plan to travel to Cuba in March to belatedly celebrate Feb. 14.
Thomas, who has been with Benjamin since 2015 after meeting through Facebook, is completely fine with that.
...All three, however, admit Mother's Day this year will be a bit tricky. Just the thought of celebrating the holiday with both girlfriends is "rough," Benjamin said.
"I'm hoping I have to work that day," he quipped. "But I really don't know how that's going to work right now because [Amy] asked that to be her day."
As for their children, Benjamin said his two kids with Amy are too young to understand the unique dynamic.
Thomas, however, said she plans to inform her newborn daughter when she gets older. "My conversation with her will be, 'Daddy has another family that he loves just like he loves us,'" she said.
Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D., an expert on polyamory who's been studying sexual minority families for 20 years, told ABC News that she estimates between 1.2 and 2.4 million U.S. adults are having sexual non-monogamous relationships. Still, the number of adults who actually identify as polyamorous is a lot smaller.
"What is clear is the growing interest in consensual non-monogamy and that is clear because of the number of websites available and the traffic available of those websites, [along with] the number of meetup groups for people to meet in person and the media attention it's being given," she said.
...Still, Amy, whose mother and stepfather have been married for more than 30 years, prefers monogamy and calls her relationship "very weird."
"We had a lot of ups and downs and I've had a lot of struggle with it," she said, adding that she's accepted the lifestyle because she's in love with Benjamin.
But there are restrictions. Amy, being the first girlfriend, must approve of any future girlfriend "to see if they're somewhat suited for my family lifestyle," she explained.
"It's not carte blanche," Benjamin clarified. "I can’t just go find another girlfriend...at my age, I’m not too interested in that."
And he's fine with his girlfriends having other boyfriends "if they can handle it."...
The whole article (February 10, 2017). There's no photo of them. Ignore the embedded video — it's irrelevant.
This piece also showed up in the Daily Mail.