Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

August 16, 2017

Ad campaign for Yoplait uses a polyamory theme

Her three lovers soon roll their eyes; they know her yogurt comes first. 

Remember that poly-themed TV ad in Australia for Tim Tam cookies, "Love More Than One"?

Now, newly posted in Advertising Age:

Yoplait's First Campaign for Oui Is Not Your Mama's Yogurt Marketing

By Jessica Wohl

Oui by Yoplait is General Mills' big bet responding to the explosive growth of brands including Chobani, Noosa and Siggi's in recent years....

The campaign stresses [Oui's] French roots. The woman playing the French girl is indeed French, and so are two of her three lover characters, all of whom have names that begin with Jean.

The tagline seen at the end of the spots is "Say Oui to Pleasure." There are also playful shots at some cliches, including her choice of pet: a French bulldog. "People appreciate the French female's iconic style — her confidence, her control and her celebration of small pleasures every day," says Yoplait Marketing Director Doug Martin. ...

The campaign comes from 72andSunny and was directed by Gia Coppola.

...The campaign includes TV, social, digital and print. The bid for a playful feel carries over to the packaging, with lines such as "Keep Smiling" and "Dance in the Mirror" appearing on the peel-away foil that tops the jars. ...

The whole article, with more (non-poly) videos. (August 14, 2017).

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal:

Meet Melanie, Yoplait's new polyamorous pitchwoman

By Mark Reilly

...Yoplait has been hammered in recent years by an influx of Greek-style challengers like Chobani and Fage. General Mills has tried its own Greek-style offerings, but it's obviously tripling down on the French theme for the new brand, which is based on Yoplait’s Saveur d’Autrefois, sold for years in France.

...Mélanie strolls through Paris on her way to be late for yogurt and coffee with her three French boyfriends, one of whom is actually dressed like a mime (I think it's Jean-Jacques). The campaign also includes print and digital spots with the tagline "Say Oui to Pleasure," a nod to the sort of carefree indulgence that goes along with a rich yogurt and social life. ...

Whole article (August 15).

For a good 10 years, according to people in know, the entertainment and ad industries (so tightly linked) have been salivating over the attention-getting potential of polyamory, but have been scared of going too far before the public is quite ready.

Now, predicts the ad agency Sparks & Honey, we're going to see a lot more breaching of that dam.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for us? Discuss.



August 10, 2017

Prevention mag now does poly

Prevention magazine, with a print circulation that declined to a mere 1.5 million last year, was pushing dietary supplements, organic foods, and "natural cures" in my great-grandmother's day. Founded by J. I. Rodale in 1950 and run by him and his son until 1990, it has since gone through nine editors and is grasping to ride new waves, including. . . .

Sex / Relationship Advice

My Husband Has A Boyfriend. Here’s What Our Life Is Like.

Stock photo: Getty Images

As told to Ronnie Koenig

When I met my husband, Paul*, we were both waiting tables in LA. ... I knew from the start that he identified as bisexual — in fact, the first night we hooked up he was in a relationship with a man.

...My friends told me I was crazy ... but the way Paul kissed me and handled my body that night in my apartment, I knew for sure that even if he liked guys, he was very much into women too — and really into me.

Prevention Recommends:
Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure Meds

...After six months, we agreed to an open relationship with certain rules. ... There was a lot of freedom but no secrets — and our devotion was to each other first and foremost.

With that kind of trust and transparency to ground our relationship, we both had a lot of adventures — together and with other people. ... The first time Paul and I had sex together with another guy, it was strange to see him going down on a man. But ultimately, I found it really sexy that he was so confident and open about what he liked.

After three years of fun and exploration, Paul surprised me with a ring. We decided we were done being with other people and wanted to give a traditional monogamous relationship a go.

...Then I met Oscar.

...We had a threesome, and it was both enjoyable and extremely weird for me. When Paul and Oscar kissed I could immediately tell that it was intense, and that it might be more than just a hookup.

...We saw movies, had picnics in the park, and started to develop our own rhythm of being together. After a few months, we started introducing Oscar to friends as "our boyfriend."

...A lot of people wonder what our life is like, and for the most part it's normal. Paul and I go to work, come home, and eat dinner together when we can. We do a lot of things with Oscar, like go drinking or to parties on the weekend, but sometimes it's just Paul and me, and sometimes Paul and Oscar go out together. Oscar and I are usually intimate only when Paul is there.

I don't feel like I'm sharing my husband — in fact, I feel like I have two times the love and friendship. ...

It's not a traditional marriage by any means, but it works for us. As long as we are all happy, Paul and I have no plans to stop seeing Oscar. We're not sure if we want to have kids yet, but if we ever do, Oscar would be an amazing uncle!

*All names have been changed

The whole online article (July 11, 2017).

● In Prevention a year ago: I'm In A Polyamorous Relationship (July 1, 2016).

As told to Julissa Catalan

I met Sean, my husband of 12 years, when I was 23 years old. He was working at a coffee shop and we instantly hit it off. And then, after a few months of dating, I fell in love with someone else.

I met Chris while I was away for the weekend, and came home to Sean and immediately broke down. ... And was completely shocked when Sean suggested I date both of them. I knew what polyamory was, but I never thought it was an option. I was blown away by the suggestion, and found it heartwarming that he cared enough about me to give me that.

...I instantly took to the flexibility the polyamorous lifestyle affords. For me, wading into those waters came easily; my body is just not meant to be monogamous. ... My biggest concern was making sure everyone involved was practicing safe sex.

...Chris went on to be the best man at our wedding (he brought a date) but after a few years together, Chris and I ended our relationship amicably. But the experience made Sean and me realize that we wanted to continue being polyamorous. The lifestyle let us support one another and allowed us to be ourselves. It let us to make connections with other people, without any hard limits or boundaries. We also found that dating other people didn't devalue our marriage in any way, because we felt just as connected as ever.

...Morgan has been living with Sean and me for 2 years now. We selected our home specifically because it's comfortable for all of us, and conducive to our lifestyle: It has two suites with private bathrooms and we also have a spare bedroom for guests — like Sean's current girlfriend — who want to spend the night. In a way, I have two bedrooms.

...Different poly people have different ideas about how to honor NRE while practicing safe sex. I'm well educated about keeping safe, and a bit paranoid about it. When we meet new people, I require testing — I have a list of diseases I want my partners to be tested for, and I also provide my results. It is a little awkward at first, but it's important.

Living honestly

My coworkers know about my lifestyle; same with Sean's and Morgan's. Our families all know now, too. Sean and Morgan's families are very understanding, and mine has come to embrace and accept everything. This past holiday season, Sean, Morgan and I took the same flight to see our families since they all happen to live in Northern California – I of course had the middle seat on the plane.

Having to explain polyamory to people who are unfamiliar with the idea, or have a knee-jerk reaction to things that are different, is really the only downside to our choice, but the pros heavily outweigh that con. ...

...We're even talking about having another ceremony to include Morgan next spring.

● And three months ago Prevention picked this up from Your Tango: 12 Principles Of Polyamory That Can Totally Benefit Monogamous Marriages (May 17, 2017). It's definitely a cut above those tabloidy first two.

By Jenna Jorgensen

I believe that understanding how relationships work is key to being happy in them....

A friend recently shared "The 12 Pillars of Polyamory" (by Kenneth R. Haslam, MD) with me, and I thought, gosh, these ideas are just too good to keep to myself. No matter what kind of relationship(s) you’re in, you will benefit from pondering these principles and figuring out how they apply to your life. ...

1. Authenticity
This is the first step in even determining what you want from a relationship: knowing who you are and what your needs and desires are. ... If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you be honest with anyone else?

2. Choice
... If you approach your relationships with choice in mind ("I choose to be here" rather than "I have to be here"), how might that change your outlook?

3. Transparency
This takes on a slightly different meaning in non-monogamous relationships, where individuals might have arrangements about how much detail they want to know about their partner's adventures with others. But in general, it's important to have high levels of transparency in relationships. Don't keep secrets from your spouse, your friends, your family members, your bridge partners.

Yes, there are topics that require delicate handling, and there are times when keeping information confidential on someone else's behalf might be the most ethical thing to do. Still, check in with your relationships every so often and ask yourself if you're being as transparent as you might aspire to be.

4. Trust

Duh. ... If you find yourself hesitating to trust someone who's a major player in your life with something important, maybe try to figure out what's going on there.

5. Gender equality
Again, in non-monogamous relationships this might take on a particular significance: participants should closely scrutinize whether they're putting gendered restrictions on their partners and if so, what purpose it serves. ...

6. Honesty
...You must be honest with yourself. You must be honest with others. Deceit, lying by omission, and fabrications have no place in healthy relationships.

7. Open communication
Everyone in a relationship needs to be kept in the loop about the happenings with its members. ...

8. Non-possessiveness
This one doesn't just apply to non-monogamous folks. Even married couples don't have the right to be possessive of each other's time, emotional energy, bodies, or other resources. You know that saying "If you love something, set it free"? Yeah, that. ...

9. Consent
...You should know the expectations and parameters of the relationship you’re entering so that you're able to consent to them consciously and knowledgeably. In non-monogamous relationships, this may require more explicit discussion of your boundaries (Is it okay to kiss other people? ...Which acts require previous discussion, and which can happen anytime?), but it’s also good to have these check-ins in monogamous relationships and friendships.

In the original poster's words: "Everyone knows what is going on in all the partners' lives and everyone AGREES to what's going on. If there's no agreement it's cheating. And if it is cheating then it is NOT Polyamory. It is cheating." Informed consent and agreement thus constitute the ethical foundation of non-monogamous relationships… and quite likely monogamous ones, too!

10. Accepting of self-determination
You cannot control your partner's, friend's, or family member's desires and life directions. Accept this fact. ...

11. Sex positivity
...At heart, it's about setting healthy boundaries for yourself based on consent, pleasure, and safety. It includes saying "no" to things as well as saying "yes" and "maybe later."
It involves not judging others so long as they're being honest and healthy....

12. Compersion
Compersion is the idea that you can experience joy when someone you care about is happy, even if you're not the source of that happiness. In non-mono circles, it tends to mean feeling happy when your partner has a good time with another lover. However, I think it could apply just as well to other areas of life....



August 2, 2017

Amanda Palmer on her open marriage with Neil Gaiman, now.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

I've fantasized about Amanda Palmer showing up at one of the national poly conventions, such as Poly Living or Atlanta Poly Weekend or Beyond the Love. Widely known as Amanda Fucking Palmer, she's an outspoken performer and singer (The Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn) and has been upfront about her open marriage with her husband, science-fantasy author/screenwriter Neil Gaiman. They are geek royalty and, whether they like it or not, have been a poster couple for open marriages.

Five years ago Palmer told Out.com,

I've never been comfortable in a monogamous relationship in my life. I feel like I was built for open relationships just because of the way I function. It's not a reactive decision like, 'Hey I'm on the road, you're on the road, let's just find other people.' It was a fundamental building block of our relationship. We both like things this way.

...The open-ness is grounded in total honesty with one another. We're very communicative with each other and we share everything. I think that's the way you gotta do it. I can't speak for anyone but myself, and there are a million ways to love and be in a relationship. But fundamentally, I think if you're going to have a really, truly loving partnership, you have to be completely transparent, communicating and sharing everything. Neil and I fall more and more in love with each other every day, and I think part of that is because we encourage each other to say more, share more, to peel ourselves open to each other in the middle of the night when the day is done and the real talking happens. It's not always easy, the peeling sometimes hurts, but the deep love it fosters is clear to see.

In 2013 during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (now on her website), she wrote,

"i actually know quite a few people (artists and otherwise) who are in open relationships, but don’t go around broadcasting it. neither do we. i don’t really hang with the poly community or go on “open marriage” pride marches. that being said, there aren’t a lot of people trying to oppress our way of doing things, not actively, at least. if people showed up with pitchforks on my lawn (and my friends’ lawns) regularly, doing some parades might start to look more tasty.

Last year she recommended The Ethical Slut and More Than Two to a questioner on Twitter, but if she ever talked much more about the subject, it's not very findable on the web. So, naturally, the poly world has been curious.

A few days ago she did talk more about it, on the celebrity-chat podcast Talk The Line. And my fantasy balloon kind of went pssshshhhh. Listen here:

The original site (July 28, 2017). Update: The interview (audio) has been taken down, but see my transcript of its poly-related part below.

Palmer talks about their very primary open marriage from 31:30 to 36:45. I see no sign of anyone else but she and Neil being considered, like, an actual person, with, you know, agency and feelings.

Maybe she's just been about getting it on with casuals with nobody's heart on the line, and that would be fine, but is that really all there is here?

My transcript:

...It was a condition of our relationship. ...The relationship that I came out of before Neil, [former guy] was a strict monogamist. And I was enough in love that I thought ya know, I'm in my early 30s, I have done a lot of slutting around. I'm really in love, I can do this. I can be done with sleeping with everyone I want to, that's fine. But the conversation came up pretty fast, 'cause when Neil and I met and started dating we talked about everything. And he was like, "I'm totally game to let you sleep with whoever you want," and I was like "Great! I'm game for that too. Let's definitely do that."

And to be fair, or to be totally honest, we agreed to shut down the openness of our relationship until further notice at least when I got pregnant, because it was too complicated. And it's been complicated. Being in an open marriage, or a polygamous relationship [sic], you might think it would make the relationship easier, simpler. It actually means you need to maintain a stronger relationship, a more communicative relationship. It needs to be so grounded, to weather the energy of other sexual partners, that if you're not really ready to do that work, I wouldn't recommend it.

And do you talk about it? Like "Hey darling, what did you do last night?" "I just went and fucked some guy."--?

Yeah, except that doesn't happen very often. Especially as we've gotten older and we've experimented with what works and doesn't work and what drives the other one into a jealous rage, we've had to impose sort of more boundaries and rules and understandings, because, fundamentally, we love each other and we are a primary relationship. And so anything that is going to threaten our marriage has to go. And, plenty of those things have happened. And any time something comes in to threaten our marriage, whether it's a breaking of trust, or a person who's slightly too crazy, or this that or the other thing. It's difficult but we have to sit there and talk about it, sort it and deal with it. And we deal with that — the same way people in "more normal" monogamous marriages, deal with all the shit they have to deal with. ... So a lot of it is the same set of issues, you just stick a different frame around it.

... A lot of it now is now like, Neil's in his fifties, I'm in my forties, neither of us are all that into super-casual sex. And neither of us are into sleeping with random crazy people. So, a lot of this happens in a more boring adult way.... Things like that do come up in conversation, and since it's been a number of years now since I've slept with anyone but Neil, I can't even remember. I'm so focused on my child right now instead....

UPDATE December 20, 2017: An article about Neil Gaiman in the UK Times today says,

His marriage to Palmer was, initially, “a very open relationship”. They have a two-year-old son. So while it is “a theoretically open relationship, it’s kind of closed in practice. Because neither of us is going to sleep with other people when we’ve got a two-year-old with us; and neither of us is going to sleep with other people when the other can’t because they’ve got a two-year-old with them.

“There is a fairness to relationships. At some point maybe it will open up again. Right now it’s kind of moot,” he says, given that they are “sharing a bedroom with a two-year-old who’s just figured out how to get out of his crib.”


UPDATE Sept. 6, 2019: They're open again, Palmer says in an interview in the Irish Mirror today on the occasion of her upcoming European tour:

Neil and Amanda, May 2019  (David M. Benett/WireImage)

...Amanda will probably have one precondition for her husband if she does decide to have another child – that he doesn’t sleep around during the pregnancy!

“We have a pretty progressive open marriage based on really clear communication and a lot of compassion and the rules, and the boundaries change around all the time,” she explained.

“For instance, when I was pregnant I respectfully asked Neil to close the marriage down for a while because it didn’t feel emotionally safe to go fooling around with anyone else. So, we closed the marriage down for a while.

“I think there’s a lot of options out there for a lot of relationships and, once again, as a society we’ve got a long way to go just in terms of how we relate to each other and do relationships and do them compassionately.

“But Neil and I have been on a 10-year learning curve about how to be in the most liberated and yet compassionate relationships where we ain’t ever stomping on one another’s feelings.”

She admitted jealousy can “absolutely” at times come into play as a result of an open marriage.

“And negotiating that can be really difficult,” she concluded. “But voluntarily negotiating it together, the awareness and the self awareness of all of that stuff can strengthen your relationship instead of tearing it apart…”

Whole article: Former Dresden Dolls singer not afraid to share her opinions on social issues (Sept. 6, 2019).

 Don't miss any Polyamory in the News!
 SUBSCRIBE by a feed, or
 SUBSCRIBE by email



Labels: , ,