Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

July 31, 2017

New, third edition of The Ethical Slut coming out in two weeks

A classic of the polyamory literature is being reissued in a new, modern edition for 2017.

The Ethical Slut, first published in 1997, introduced poly relationships to audiences far beyond the movement's New Age and Pagan wellsprings — although the word "polyamory" barely appeared in it. Authors Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (as "Catherine A. Liszt") gathered up much poly and sex-positive wisdom, won by many people's hard experience, and the book helped to establish much of this as standard poly doctrine. But it spoke mostly to people of the "independent agent" variety, who might now call themselves solopoly.

The first edition read like a romp and became a runaway word-of-mouth hit. Enough so that in 2009, Random House took it on and reissued it through Ten Speed Press in a second edition, revised and expanded 35% by the authors, with the new subtitle "A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures." To me, the second edition seemed to have a toned-down style for a wider audience. It also, for the first time, spoke directly to established couples seeking to open up. By that time these had become the most abundant form of poly newbies.

Now comes The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love, with authors Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton now listed in reverse order. It will be available August 15th (I haven't seen it yet). The publisher's description on Amazon says it has been redone to align with today's hot concerns:

For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two": couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.

Franklin Veaux, co-author of the competing guidebook More Than Two, praises the new edition to the skies in a blurb:

“The Ethical Slut is a classic, a book that helped launch the modern non-monogamy movement. Updating a book of such historical significance is no easy task, but The Ethical Slut, Third Edition succeeds beautifully. Where the original broke radical new ground, this edition is more nuanced, a book for a more complex age. In the third edition, we see the wide variety of forms ethical non-monogamy, and indeed human sexual relationships, can take. This new version brings a new focus on consent, talks about the many wonderful and varied ways ethical non-monogamy happens, and shows an appreciation for the vast range of human sexuality. This is The Ethical Slut for a new era, and cements the book’s place as one of the cornerstones of modern non-monogamous thought.”

—Franklin Veaux, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory

Here's a 7-minute audio excerpt from Janet Hardy's "The Ethical Slut Then and Now," a workshop she presented in June at the Festival of Really Good Sex in Melbourne, Australia.

You can pre-order.

Update August 15: The Multiamory podcast, by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack, interviews Hardy (Episode 132, August 15, 2017).


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July 28, 2017

Peter Singer on the future of polyamory

Here's one not likely to cross your radar elsewhere. In a Polish journal called Liberal Culture, Peter Singer, famous Princeton ethicist, is asked about polyamory and he declares for it, though with biological-determinist reservations that I think are overstated. He guesses that someday it may be adopted by up to 25% of the population.

Peter Singer is best known to the world for pointing out that despite appearances, humanity continues to become increasingly kind, moral, and civilized decade after decade. For instance, the average person on Earth is less likely to die by war or personal violence now than at any time in human history.

On polyamory, the migration crisis and right-wing populism

We meet Peter Singer in a Warsaw bookstore. The biography of Singer’s grandfather, “Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna”, has just been translated into Polish. Although the story’s main focus is on the changing fortunes of Singer’s family, it is often only a springboard to broader questions about ethical challenges we face now.

Emilia Kaczmarek: ...You revealed some very intimate facts about your family’s past. Your grandparent’s relationship started in a very unusual way. They were engaged in a relationship one would now call polyamorous. When I was reading your book, I had an impression that you were astonished by the lack of jealousy between them. Do you think it would be morally better if people could live in open relationships?

Peter Singer: I think it would. Certainly, people living in such relationships talk more openly about it than they used to, there is also more discussion about that in the media. It seems to work for some people, and I welcome that, but I’m not sure if it could work for everyone. I think that this feeling of jealousy might still sit pretty deep in a lot of people for reasons, which are rooted in our evolution.

So monogamy is rooted in nature rather than culture?

I am not sure if it’s more nature than culture, but there is definitely an element of nature in the idea that a man wants to know if the children he takes care of are actually his children, and in the fact that many women want to know if they can rely on their partner to help them provide for a child. In open relationships, the men can never be sure whose children they are raising.

Can you really explain people’s attitudes by this primal need to pass on their genes in times when so many of us decide not to have children at all, which leads to a serious demographic crisis in many developed countries?

What evolution has given us, is a strong drive for sex, not for having children. For 99.9 percent of human history, sex has led to reproduction. The desire for sex hasn’t gone away, but now we can have sex without reproducing. This is why it is completely understandable, from an evolutionary point of view, that nowadays people often choose not to have children. On the other hand, if men are going to care and support children, many of them do want the children to be theirs, in a biological sense.

So you don’t think that polyamory might provide a future model of love relationship in western culture?

I suppose it will become much more popular than it is nowadays, especially in advanced countries where societies aren’t very religious, but I would be surprised if it is adopted by more than, say, 25 percent of the population.

On the other hand, I don’t want to say that the current, typical model of a relationship will not evolve. The problem I mentioned before, the need to know who is the father, could be solved through genetic testing. So maybe in the future people will start to think: “Well, I don’t need to worry that she is having sex with other men because I can still find out whether her child is mine or not.” ...

Read the whole wide-ranging interview (July 27, 2017).



July 23, 2017

The Guardian/Observer: "A new way to love: in praise of polyamory"

And now the third in the trifecta of UK big-media attention to poly in the last couple days (see last two posts). Elf Lyons, an up-and-coming comedian and performer (photo below), declares bold and proud for poly as an ideal feminist way of life. She writes the cover story of today's Observer Magazine in the Observer, the Sunday sister paper of The Guardian.

A new way to love: in praise of polyamory

"It opens the boundaries between friend and lover in a safe way"

(Those awkward people with her are models, not partners.)

By Elf Lyons

I have never enjoyed typical monogamy. It makes me think of dowries and possessive prairie voles who mate for life, and historically all monogamous relationship models have owned women in some way, with marriage there for financial purposes and the ownership of property.

For the last few years I’ve defined myself as a polyamorist. ... It’s a philosophy. Rather than the active pursuing of multiple partners in a lascivious way, it’s the embracing and understanding that it’s possible to fall in love, and have relationships, with more than one person at the same time.

Alongside developing CEO-worthy skills in multitasking, polyamory is the most empowering way of loving that I have encountered. It gives women more autonomy than other relationship models ever have. Although monogamous relationship models work for many, they’re not the only way to have relationships in society. In non-monogamous relationships, success relies on everything being on the table from the start. I believe that it could be the huge relationship revolution that the feminist movement needs. ... It opens up the boundaries between friend and lover in a safe and transparent way.

"The giraffe-limbed clown and raconteur"
in costume for her performance "Swan"
...If I had known as a teenager it was possible to love more than one person, it would have saved so much anxiety, guilt and time spent writing awful poetry. ...

I discovered polyamory when I was 23. I met a parliament of poly performers at the Adelaide Festival who were hippyish, liberal and kind. These performers spoke about their partners, children, poly-families. There were ex-couples who were working together on shows while their other poly families toured elsewhere, married couples who had live-in partners, triumvirates where they all balanced an equal partnership. I was entranced by their openness. It seemed symbolic of our changing global world, and most peoples developing nomadic lifestyles where we travel for work and find love with others on the way.

...And the reality? Non-monogamy is rather ordinary and occasionally dull. Stereotypes of weird Eyes Wide Shut sex parties and Sartre/de Beauvoir/Olga ménages à trois aside, it’s like any normal relationship, except with more time-management, more conversations about “feelings” and more awkward encounters with acquaintances at parties who try to use you as their “Sexual Awakening Friend Bicycle”, i.e. that shy girl from book club will get drunk and put her hand on your leg, before leaning in to kiss you, hiccuping: “I really loved Orange Is the New Black.”

There are misconceptions – a date once grabbed me for a kiss unexpectedly despite the fact I had made it clear I was in no way interested (my words were exactly: “This is not going to work. We have entirely different opinions on the EU and you have just told me I am ‘very funny for a woman’.”) When I pushed him away he was shocked. He believed because I was “sexually awakened” he could do what he liked. Luckily my experiences have meant that I am more vocal and confident, and able to stand up for myself. ...

People often ask: “How can you truly love someone if you want to be with someone else?” and “Don’t you get jealous?” I think these statements enforce unhealthy relationship ideals. ...When you take a step back, drop your ego and realise you’re one unique component of someone’s life, it’s liberating and freeing. Jealousy ebbs away and you realise that, of course, they may find another person attractive, because we’re all different pieces of a puzzle. This has made me more comfortable about myself — I am not holding myself up to standards about traditional female beauty, because I can experience it in a hundred different ways.

...When I started getting to know people in the poly community it was as liberating as taking off an underwired bra. I have had partners of both genders. I didn’t have to “choose”: the people I met understood that it was possible to give infinite, equal love to both sexes. My confidence soared. I wasn’t hiding. Men and women had equal place in my life. I no longer felt like a pendulum, swinging from one to another. This refreshing awakening did result in many awkward conversations with my mum and dad though....

...Although I love sex, because of past unpleasant experiences I’m also mildly afraid of it. So when I started experimenting with non-monogamy the idea of being intimate emotionally as well as physically with more than one person was a challenge. But, the choice gave me a power and ownership over my wants which I felt I had lost and been made to feel ashamed about. I’m not saying I jumped in the sack with everyone I met. God no. I’m too busy. But through being less judgemental on myself, I relaxed, opened up to the people I trusted and started loving myself again. It forces you to be really honest, to live life with an undefended heart.

...In a time of censorship on women, increases in assault and constant critiques on how we should behave, polyamory and its manifesto of embracing our evolving feelings, sharing responsibility and communicating and working effectively with people from all around the world could help revolutionise the way we tackle privilege, inequality and control of women’s rights.

I have an authority and a voice that I didn’t feel I had before. My friendships are better, my health is better. Through being polyamorous and being a part of the community I have been made aware of issues, both personal and political, that need to be uncovered and addressed.

The world would be a better place if everybody was more open to polyamory. As well as that traditional idea, that it takes a village to raise a child, it would mean we’d all love more, and love better. Loving different people at the same time is like learning a different language. There are different rules every time and it’s always open for discussion. ... Every time you say “I love you” to someone it takes on a new meaning. It’s retranslated, and it’s wonderful.

Read the whole article (print issue July 23, 2017; online July 22).

Advertising experts say that to make the most impression on the public, hit them with your message in different ways all at once, rather than with scattered messages spread out in time.


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July 22, 2017

"Polyamory, non-monogamy and swinging – what are they and are they right for you?"

From the BBC World News yesterday to the lowbrow mass-transit Metro today, UK media are on a tear about polyamory. Tomorrow comes a big piece in The Guardian. But first, currently on UK Metro's website (excerpts):

Polyamory, non-monogamy and swinging — what are they and are they right for you?

Sometimes, three isn’t a crowd (Picture: Irene Palacio for Metro.co.uk)

By Miranda Kane

...While I’m sure my poly friends have happy moments in their relationships, I always see a lot of posts on Facebook and other social media sites where I just think the whole thing looks exhausting.

But then I watch married friends and think the same.

Basically, I think I’ve already talked myself into keeping the very happy relationship I currently have with my cat, my sofa and Netflix.

But if you’re interested in the sea of possibilities when it comes to this brave new world, then here is a quick guide to what’s what....


...If someone describes themselves as non-monogamous, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re a player.

But it could.

...It’s OK to be non-monogamous, but it’s not OK to lead someone on. ...

Polyamoury [sic]

Polyamorous relationships are a lot more committed, and the poly community was recently celebrating the news that three gay men were allowed to marry legally [sic].

It’s not always heteronormative or heterosexual. You might have a boyfriend who has a boyfriend, while you also have a girlfriend who has a boyfriend and a husband, who is going out with a non-gender conforming individual.

Sometimes all parties communicate with each other, sometimes not.

...It takes full support and trust from everyone involved, which is kind of why it’s nice. Wouldn’t we want that from any relationship?

But also, like any relationship, it takes a lot of hard work and communication....

Speaking as someone who can barely open my Google calendar without breaking into a cold sweat, I think the logistics alone put me off.

Open relationships

I cannot tell you how many times I have had this conversation with one side of a long-term couple.

‘I just think we need something else. I thought about an open relationship.’

‘So you want to see other people?’

‘I think so, but I love my partner so I’d always come back to them.’

‘And what about if they started to see other people?’

‘…we’d have to talk.’

Open relationship seems to have become the umbrella term for ‘I’m bored and need something else, but I don’t want to let go of this lovely comfy blanket I have.’

...Who knows, by actually talking to them you might stumble upon why you’re unhappy in the first place.


The red-headed stepchild of the ‘non-monogamy’ family.

I’ve found a lot of serious polyamorous families like to steer their ship far away from the ‘swingers’ title.

I can’t blame them, as the two are very different.

And yet… it’s just fun!


When I’ve asked my friends if they’ve ever gotten a visit from the Green Eyed Monster, It’s always been fascinating to hear how they’ve overcome it, and that’s only if they’ve identified with being jealous at all.

Sometimes, when they’ve taken the plunge, they’ve realised they’re a stronger person for it. Sometimes they’ve realised it’s cemented a relationship. Sometimes they’ve realised it’s just not for them.

Everyone is different, and maybe that why we should be more open to having relationship with even more people.

The whole article (July 22, 2017).



July 21, 2017

BBC World: "Polyamorous marriage: Is there a future for three-way weddings?"

The gay triad who registered as a family in Colombia last month continue to be very out, proud, and photogenic — prompting BBC World News to publish a long article today, with video, not just about them but other polyfamilies who have come out.

The BBC has treated poly well and reported on its significance before; for instance, Polyamorous Relationships May Be the Future of Love (June 23, 2016).

Polyamorous marriage: Is there a future for three-way weddings?

By Jasmine Taylor-Coleman

A so-called "throuple" in Colombia have been hailed as having the first legal union between three men in the world. So will we see three-way marriages in the future?

"Victor tells the bad jokes," says Manuel.

"Very bad," agrees his partner Alejandro.

"I tell the smart ones," says Manuel.

Manuel José Bermúdez Andrade, Víctor Hugo Prada and Alejandro Rodríguez are all in a relationship together. They used to be four but their boyfriend Alex Esnéider Zabala died in 2014.

"The decision to marry was there before Alex died, the four of us wanted to get married," says Víctor.

"Alex's cancer changed our plans. But I never gave up."

When Alex died, the remaining three, who live in the Colombian city of Medellín, say they had to fight to be seen as his partners and get access to his pension.

Alex Esnéider Zabala was in the relationship for eight years before he died in 2014.

It made them all the more determined to get legal recognition of their relationship.

They are now planning their long-awaited wedding ceremony after a supportive lawyer signed a special legal document last month. ...


The paperwork formalises their union, but it is not a full marriage certificate. Like in most countries — except those that accept polygamy — it is illegal to marry more than one person in Colombia.

But Alejandro, Manuel and Víctor's legal success is a big step forward in a world where group marriage has been firmly off the agenda.

Could cases like theirs signal the start of a concerted effort by campaigners to allow it?

"The movement is absolutely going to develop if the activists so choose," says Hadar Aviram, a professor of law at University of California in the US.
How does a polyamorous relationship between four people work?

Prof Aviram said she found little appetite for marriage among polyamorous groups when she first started her research in 2004 but she began to see a change around 2012.

A study by the US-based organisation Loving More the same year found that 65.9% of more than 4,000 polyamorous people said would want to marry multiple people if such marriages were legal.

...Prof Aviram believes changing attitudes may be due to wider acceptance of same-sex marriage around the world, making way for new taboos to be broken.


...Legal marriage may still seem a distant prospect but cases like that in Colombia are giving hope to others in three-way relationships.

"It's really encouraging," says DeAnna Rivas, a married mother of two from Florida.

The 28-year-old suggested to her husband, Manny, that they start experimenting with another woman in 2014. "I grew up having crushes on both men and women," she says. ... "When we met Melissa it just felt right."

DeAnna, an art teacher, now lives with both Manny and 20-year-old Melissa James; they share incomes, childcare and household duties, and a bed.

The family find it helpful to have three incomes but the best thing is the "amount of love in our home", Manny says.

Melissa, Danny, and DeAnna. Their kids Vaneza and Gabriel "love having two moms", according to DeAnna.

Manny, 30, says some people are upset by the relationship   a previous employer even threatened to sack him as a result   but others are intrigued. ... "When I say it was more my wife's idea than mine, then people get more understanding."

The trio admit they have all struggled with jealousy but they have learned to be more open with each other.

They are now planning a wedding ceremony for June 2020. ... Manny and DeAnna are giving Melissa guardianship of their two children, who already call her "Mamma MJ". Melissa is also planning to change her name to Rivas.

Without marriage rights, though, people even in the most committed polyamorous relationships do not have access to the same legal and tax benefits as married couples. ...

'There's nothing wrong with it'

The idea has provoked backlash, including in deeply Catholic Colombia where there are calls for the Medellin lawyer to be investigated.

...Many people in polyamorous relationships are also sceptical themselves; they may have no desire to go public or embrace traditional family models, says Prof Aviram. "People don't necessarily want to resemble the mainstream," she says. ...

The whole article, with video (July 21, 2017).

Update next day: Big, positive feature story on the NBC News website: Meet Colombia’s First Legally Recognized ‘Throuple’.


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July 19, 2017

"Dallas Symposium Puts Polyamory On Center Stage"

Dallas Observer

One of the newer poly hotel conferences, PolyDallas Millennium, was held last weekend with the theme “Power, Anarchy, and Equality in Polyamory.” Founder Ruby Johnson writes, "We are not simply an academic symposium. We are sexologists, sex educators, community leaders, and therapists... AASECT CEU providers, and Texas Regulatory providers for LPCs, SWs, LCDCs, LMFTs, and PhDs."

The alternative weekly Dallas Observer sent someone to cover it. The reporter did a shallow job in my opinion, talking more about polyamory than the interesting conference.

Dallas Symposium Puts Polyamory On Center Stage

Marla Stewart speaks to attendees about polyamorous relationships during PolyDallas Millennium. (Paige Skinner photo)

By Paige Skinner

During Marla Stewart’s presentation of “Being Black, Poly and Kinky: Navigating Power, Equity and Anarchy in Alternative Relationship Modalities,” she encouraged members of the audience to think about their polyamorous relationships. The lecture was just one part of the third annual, three-day PolyDallas Millennium this weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel off Interstate 35.

...Therapist Ruby Johnson founded the symposium three years ago when she realized there was no training for polyamory in Dallas. “My thoughts were and are ... maybe we can have some de-mythification". ...

Attendance at the conference is growing. The inaugural event hosted about 30 people during one day. The second year, it expanded to a day and a half, and this year, it took place over three days. About 80 to 100 people attended, Johnson says, and she suspects about 10 percent were not in a polyamorous relationship but simply curious about the lifestyle.

...Jessica Hoffman says she enjoys PolyDallas because there is no matchmaking overtone. “A lot of other events where you can get to know each other, it might be a little bit more like get to know each other with the end result of maybe finding someone, but here that’s, like, super back burner,” she says. “It’s more about education, being yourself and personal journey, but also building a community.”

...Muscarella, Hoffman and Muscarella’s boyfriend, Sean Sparks, say coming out as polyamorous in Dallas hasn’t been that difficult, although there are some misconceptions. “I think Dallas has a lot of conservative pockets,” Muscarella says. “If you’re trying to date outside of the poly community, it can turn into this whole thing of, 'You’re just slutty and you don’t want any kind of meaning in your relationship.'”

Johnson says there are many misconceptions about polyamory. One is that it’s “polyfuckery,” in which people just go out and have sex. Instead, she says, it’s about many loves and being open to loving people. Johnson also says it’s not just an excuse to cheat, and it’s not just about couples.

"There's all kinds of structures,” she says. “There’s people who are solo-poly, which is they are by themselves; there's individuals who are in quads, who are in polyamorous families.”

Often people think polyamory is simply an open relationship, but the difference between the two is identity, says Johnson, who identifies as polyamorous. “[Polyamory is] liberating not only in my intimate relationships, but it's liberating in my relationships with friends,” she says. “It's liberating in my relationship with my family. It's liberating in my relationship with my job because I'm not so territorial. I have freed myself.”

The whole article (July 17, 2017).


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July 18, 2017

New long trailer for the polypic "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" raises buzz

The real-life polyfamily behind the creation of Wonder Woman in 1941 is getting a biopic that will open in theaters October 27th, as I wrote about last month. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women comes from the independent Annapurna Pictures but will be distributed by Sony, so it might show up in your local cineplex. Where your relatives may see it. A conversation starter?

Just out today is the first trailer that reveals the movie's approach:

The central drama, it seems, will be the efforts by the polyamorous triad of William Moulton Marston, Elizabeth Holloway, and Olive Byrne to hide their home life while seeking to change the world through the Wonder Woman comics.

● The trailer is setting off a fresh round of media notice. For example, just up on the site of the New York Daily News: Wonder Woman creator’s polyamorous relationship the focus of new biopic trailer (July 18):

Meet the man — and women — behind Wonder Woman.

...The new film stars Luke Evans (“Beauty and the Beast”) as Marston, Rebecca Hall (“The Prestige”) as Elizabeth, and Bella Heathcote (“Fifty Shades Darker”) as their lover, Byrne.

The film explores the polyamorous and radically sexual relationship Marston, Elizabeth and Byrne shared until his death in 1947. As the tagline says, the movie is the story of the women behind the man behind the woman. Both women had children by the writer and continued to live together until Byrne’s death in 1985.

"Dr. William Moulton Marston died in 1947, but before his death he accomplished a lot: a radical sexual relationship, creating an iconic comic book character, inventing the systolic blood pressure test, and inspiring the polygraph. (Meurer, Bill / NY Daily News)"

“I want to study her,” Marston says in the film, as his wife warns: “She’ll break your heart.”

As Marston becomes more interested in Byrne, Elizabeth does too. She tells her husband: “Maybe I just want her because you do.”

Eventually, the film shows, the three decide to go for it. When Elizabeth asks, “You think it’s possible to love two people at the same time?” Byrne replies: “Why not?”

The upcoming film also dives into the creation of one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time, which Marston first wrote about under a pseudonym in 1941, Charles Moulton.

Connie Britton also stars as a psychologist who looks at early issues of “Wonder Woman” and questions the frequent themes of bondage and Marston’s desire to hide behind an alias.

“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” directed by Angela Robinson, is due out Oct. 27, just four months after Wonder Woman’s first major blockbuster film appearance.

● At ScreenCrush:

Comic Books Meet Polyamory in ‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’ Trailer

By Charles Bramesco

Behind every great man, there’s a great woman; behind Wonder Woman, there was a wondrous man. Dr. William Moulton Marston was a professor of psychology when he first ginned up the idea for DC’s most famed distaff defender, working under a pseudonym to protect his reputation. But the man had more secrets than the average reader might realize. He and his wife Elizabeth entered into a passionate polyamorous relationship with one of William’s students, Olive Byrne, though the time’s standards of propriety forced them to live in secret. And then there was all the bondage stuff.

His whole story — the rise to prominence, the controversy over indecency charges, the intense private life — gets the big-screen treatment in Angela Robinson’s upcoming Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, due October 27. Today brings us the first trailer, and there’s discord in the golden-hued past. Luke Evans steps in to portray the eccentric Dr. Marston, with Rebecca Hall as his devoted wife and The Neon Demon star Bella Heathcote as their joint lover. It’s a novel corner of history to poke around in, freely commingling old-fashioned morality with some saucier shots of leather corsets being laced up and riding crops slapping against skin. The presence of Connie Britton as Person Whose Job It Is To Baldly State The Creative Subtext Of The Movie does not sit so well, however.

In summation, it looks like an atypical approach to a subject becoming tiresomely typical. If we’re going to have to sit through another troubled-genius biopic exposing the troubled personal life of a revered figure, normalizing polyamory along the way is really the least it could do.

● Screenwriter/director Angela Robinson tells Entertainment Weekly that her movie's release so soon after Wonder Woman (which has grossed $766 million worldwide to date) was a super-lucky fluke:

“It’s weirdly an accident of history that they’re coming in the same year,” Robinson tells EW. “I’ve been trying to get the film together, like all indies movies, for a while. It came together a couple times and fell apart a couple times. Then, it just started gathering steam, but the actual stars aligning in the way for this type of timing just kind of happened.”

A lifelong Wonder Woman fan, Robinson started working on the movie’s script almost eight years ago. She became interested in Marston and Olive’s relationship after reading about it in a coffee table book given to Robinson as a gift by Jordana Brewster, who starred in Robinson’s D.E.B.S..

“It was just this fascinating story behind them,” she says. “They invented a lie detector and he kind of lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and one of his students, Olive Byrne, and they all had kids together and lived together for many, many years.”

...The trailer, which opens and closes with Josette Frank (Connie Britton), one of Marston’s detractors, questioning him about the contents of the comic, frames their story as one of them against a world that might not understand them. “The world won’t let us,” says Elizabeth in the trailer, to which Marston replies, “The world can’t stop us.” Because of the need for secrecy, there’s this sense that the Wonder Woman comic became their means of exploring what they had to keep hidden.

“For me, not to get heady about it, the dialectic in the movie was between fantasy and reality, and that they really found freedom in their lives in this notion of fantasy, be it role play [or] the comics,” says Robinson.

Salon: See the trailer for the film that traces Wonder Woman’s polyamorous roots (July 18).

...The trailer... seems to offer a glossy, Hollywood take on queerness, kink, polyamory and, yes, comic books set in the conservative world of the 1940s (Connie Britton makes an appearance as the apparently disproving children’s-book expert Josette Frank). Dramatic music and edit cuts abound.

Many more.


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July 10, 2017

TV news in Australia: Women were fired for being in a poly family, they say, and plan lawsuit.

TV 9 News (Australia)

In most places, most employers can usually fire you for no reason or any reason except for certain specific classes of reasons: race, sex, religion, etc., or perhaps mistreatment. "Relationship structure" is not a protected class. (The one exception I know is the Unitarian Universalist Church in the US, which voluntarily added this nondiscrimination class during a General Assembly of its members.)

The following report appeared today on TV 9 News in Australia. The women have gone public and are fighting back, claiming mistreatment at work.

Polyamorous love life behind double servo sacking, women claim

Andrea, Michael and Laura

By a Current Affair

Two women who live in a polyamorous trio with a male partner claim their unorthodox love life saw them fired by their employer.

Laura and Andrea both worked at the same independently-owned BP service station west of Melbourne.

Laura was already married to her husband Michael, but a relationship began to blossom between her and Andrea during their shared night shifts.

"We used to hang out a lot, go to the movies, stay home and watch TV, and we became really good friends and things just progressed," Laura said.

Michael also became an active part of the relationship.

"I'm loved by two ladies, how good is that," he said.

"And it's just a normal family, seriously."

However, Laura and Andrea allege that after they were caught talking on the service station's CCTV one night, they were split up and banned from working together or even speaking to one another.

Andrea claimed she was told during a shift to not talk about her sexuality because it was making a co-worker uncomfortable.

A spokesperson for the service station denied the accusations. They said nobody had been sacked and they were not even aware of the women’s sexuality until very recently.

Laura, Andrea and Michael are now pursuing legal action.

The service station released a statement to A Current Affair rejecting "outright" that they made any employment decisions "on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual preference".

"We are an inclusive employer and take very seriously our responsibility to provide a safe workplace for our staff."

BP Australia also released a statement saying they took the claims seriously and were looking into the matter.

"BP actively supports diversity and inclusion in the workplace," a spokesperson said.

The service station in question is independently owned and operated, meaning the owners are not franchisees and are responsible for their own operations including the hiring and managing of staff.

The original (July 10, 2017).

That's just a part of the long, sympathetic story that appeared on TV. The link includes the video report, nearly six minutes long. It's viewable worldwide (though not embeddable here).

I say that this family has a already won polyfolks a victory, regardless of how their case turns out. After seeing this kind of coverage on television, any Australian employer will think twice about the possible repercussions if they treat polyfolks like that.

Say it out loud, we're poly and proud.

Update next day: Now it's in the Murdoch chain of Australian newspapers: Women accuse employer of discrimination after over their polyamorous relationship (July 11).


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July 5, 2017

Bi and Poly Nico Tortorella: "This Is What a Queer Family Looks Like"

Luke Fontana / The Advocate
The current issue of The Advocate, arguably the leading gay publication for the last 50 years, is themed "The Many Ways LGBT People are Creating Families Today." The cover story features Nico Tortorella — the bi and poly star of Younger — his partner Bethany Meyers, and their fluidity. For 3,000 words. It went online this morning. Excerpts:

This Is What a Queer Family Looks Like

Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers are reinventing what it means to be family.

By David Artavia

From the outside looking in, Nico Tortorella doesn’t seem all that different from the straight cisgender character he plays on the sweetly addictive hit comedy Younger, which had its fourth-season premiere in June. ... And as the show has grown, so too has Tortorella’s public openness.

...Tortorella is also the guy behind the super popular podcast The Love Bomb, now in season 2, where each week he interviews one of the many, many people he loves. He’s committed to shaking up norms around gender and sexuality. His decade-long polyamorous romantic partnership with Bethany Meyers, a fitness and lifestyle entrepreneur (who identifies as gay) is proof. It’s a different kind of queer relationship, they admit, one that is thoroughly open and modern and enduring.

...Tortorella — who has been described as queer, bisexual, demisexual, and sexually fluid — and Meyers — who usually dates women, calls herself “gay,” and admits Tortorella is the only man she’s ever had intercourse with — are open with each other and the public about their romantic relationships with other people. ...

...Tortorella and Meyers have been in love for over a decade, and their relationship seemingly has but one rule: to love each other. Boundaries are more or less nonexistent when it comes to having additional relationships outside their own. It’s an idea founded on trust, and a notion that has yet to be fully understood across the cultural mind-set. Even they don’t have a word to describe it, except for possibly being “witnesses” to each other.

...The first episode [of The Love Bomb] sparked a much-needed dialogue on what it means to be part of a polyamorous arrangement as well as the fluidity of love and sex.

...Polyamorous relationships have been around for centuries, yet it’s only now that people are becoming less afraid to speak openly about them. Tortorella and Meyers's relationship is 11 years in the making and survives on what they refer to as a “day by day” pace, knowing that no matter what happens they’re always going to be in each other’s life. As Tortorella explains, this type of trust needs to be sealed before exploring such nonconventional avenues. It doesn’t happen at the beginning: “It’s not like you can jump on Tinder and look for a Nico or Bethany,” he says.

Meyers also admits that due to a lack of examples of similar relationships, she had to teach herself how to navigate the rules....

...They told me they never get jealous when the other is dating someone of the same sex, like Tortorella’s highly public relationship with Los Angeles-based hairstylist and Instagram star Kyle Krieger. It’s only when they’re dating someone of the opposite sex that jealousy intervenes, mainly because there’s a chance of having a child, and they both desperately want to have a baby together.

Luke Fontana / The Advocate
...“We’re still figuring out the best way we can bring other people into our relationship,” [Tortorella] agrees. “I think we’re in the best place now [that] we’ve ever been, but we’re definitely still on an amateur level.” Then he urges, “If anybody is reading this and wants to give us some advice, and has been living this way for a long time, seriously, we’re sponges! [Hey folks, that's a hint! --Ed.] We’re so down to hear stories because these stories aren’t told often.” [Where have you been?]

The truth is Tortorella and Meyers know their relationship is a threat to others. “[Past partners] didn’t fully realize and understand who we are and what we mean to each other,” Tortorella admits. “Like, ‘OK, you have Bethany, [but] where do I fit into the puzzle?’ ‘Am I ever going to be as important as Bethany is?’ And what’s the answer to that? How do I best answer that question?”

“So many people have this idea that if you can love this, you cannot love this,” she adds. “And I don’t understand, because I do. I can have feelings for two people. There are different kinds of feelings, they fulfill different needs. I don’t find it very realistic to think that I’m going to get everything I need out of Nico.”

...Their sexual needs exist along the same lines. Tortorella says he’d rather wait to have sex until the love blossoms in a relationship, while Meyers has no qualms about her love of casual sex. The best part is, despite their contrasting approaches, their goals are ultimately the same: to reach empowerment, fulfillment, and satisfaction. So what if they happen to take different avenues to get there?

“For me, sex is such an explosive exchange of energy between two people that if you’re not connected, energetically, before you have sex, it can be damaging,” Tortorella says about the rising hookup culture on apps like Grindr and Tinder. “If you open yourself up to somebody on that level it can be damaging to yourself and damaging for the other person if there isn’t trust there. … That being said, I totally understand people who want to have casual sex. I think what you have to do in this scenario is stay in your lane. Find people who want similar things — physically, energetically, and emotionally. ...”

Meyers, who was raised in an ultra-conservative Christian family, has a different opinion: “I think sex can be really fun and really empowering. I think for someone who’s raised in a culture where sex is so bad and you can’t orgasm… I find a lot of empowerment. And I do think there’s a lot of responsibility to be up front and honest. I’m proud that as I’ve aged, I have been [honest]. I think women haven’t gotten to feel super empowered with sex for a very long time.”

...They’re both still learning how to navigate this brave new world, they admit. But as a Hollywood leading man, one of the most valuable lessons Tortorella has learned was about his responsibility now that he has this place in history. ...

“...There would be so much more love if we just saw each other. As much as I love getting worked up in these conversations, imagine how much energy we’d save if we weren’t having them, if it didn’t exist, if we were all just people and we could love [who] we wanted and it wasn’t an issue. Granted, is that some utopian idea? Yeah, sure, but what if? What if we allowed ourselves to just be ‘me?’”

Read the whole article (July 5, 2017).

Tortorella is indeed a star; his life and ideas have been getting lots of attention all over.

For instance, to pick one story that went around more than most, a couple weeks ago the tabloid New York Post ran this: ‘Younger’ star Nico Tortorella talks polyamory, hallucinogens and Hollywood. With video (June 22).


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July 3, 2017

Building poly awareness, country by country. Poly-in-the-media lists outside the US?

When the histories of the modern polyamory movement are written — tracing how, in just a few decades, the concept went from literally unthinkable to a relationship option eventually known to all — one of the characters in the tale will be Green Fizzpops (not her real name) in South Africa.

She was, as far as I know, the key person who made it her mission to build the movement in her country. She started South African Poly, and its ZApoly discussion list, well over a decade ago, collected a coterie of members and fellow activists, and persisted for long years when the returns were few. Now poly in South Africa seems to be gaining force.

One thing that she's done is maintain a list of poly coverage in South African media. The list is reprinted below with permission.

I'd love to find such lists for other countries, or regions, or languages, to link to here and maybe repost. This website is being archived at the Kinsey Institute Library. So a reprint of your material here will help preserve it for researchers forever.

If your country or language does not already have such a list, maybe this is the universe telling you to create it. And if your country or language has nothing yet to list... well, you have a mission.




South African media articles related to polyamory







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