Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

May 31, 2018

"Do polyamorous people understand love and sex better than you do?"

Now that the polyamory bandwagon is racing ahead of us on its own momentum — after devoted activists spent years pushing and straining to get the bandwagon's wheels to move half an inch — what's next?

One way our movement is succeeding in steering the bandwagon, even from behind as we run after it, is by continuing to press for correct narratives of polyamory's true nature. So many of you dear people — in your blogs, websites, Facebook presences, lectures, TED talks, and media appearances — continue spreading the word that poly done right demands high ethics, free and informed consent among all persons affected, and a foundation of good-heartedness, caring, and respect. And that if you want to succeed, you want to develop fearless communication, honesty, self-knowledge, a toolkit of relationship skills, and good character in general.

Of course many polyfolks fail to live up to such standards or even try to. But bad actors and messups often find themselves called out by the community around them before they can taint everything. Keep that up.

Ideally our communities should be safe places full of trustworthy people who get it. We're not always there, and we seem to be losing ground now that "polyamory" is trendy enough that anyone can announce a local Meetup and collect a flock of newbies, people who may not recognize an untrustworthy leader.

In helping us keep steering the bandwagon toward good directions, the news media — love 'em or hate 'em — have been crucial. Writers, whether for the Washington Post or network news shows or the smallest new-media fly-by-nights, are impressed by our insistence on good practices and good character, and they almost always get the basic definition right: "with the full knowledge and agreement of all concerned."

Sometimes they almost seem in awe of us, as if we're the relationship ninjas. The grad school of relationship skills. Cool! Such media treatments help inform newbies what they shouldn't tolerate from that random Meetup organizer — or from once-reputable established groups where a problem person has muscled their way to the top.

Some examples:

● The May Men's Health magazine at the drugstore checkout, with a muscly alpha male on the cover and headlines like "Protein Up Your Diet," has an Open Relationships 101 article that might scare a guy like the model on the cover. A version went online last week. Thanks Kevin and Antoinette, and Robyn and Chuy, for representing so well again.

Why More and More Married Couples Are Opening Up Their Relationships

They're married, but they sleep with other people. Do polyamorous people understand love and sex better than you do?

By Kristin Canning

Kevin and Antoinette, a married couple in Philadelphia, are out to dinner with their two little girls. Between inside jokes and bites of chicken fingers and pasta pomodoro, they talk about their day, about school, about movies. Like any typical family. But two other adults are with them at the table, a man and a woman. After settling the check, Antoinette leaves with the man — her boyfriend, Gary. Kevin says goodbye to them and to the woman, his girlfriend, Maggie. (Some names have been changed.)

Just a random threesome photo from Getty
Kevin will take the kids tonight while Antoinette sleeps at Gary's. Tomorrow, Antoinette will be with the kids while Kevin stays with Maggie. People sometimes think they're divorced with new partners, trying to make coparenting work. Nope: "I have a new partner," Antoinette quips, "but I kept the old one too."

...If that's hard to wrap your head around, you're not alone. For most of us, the traditions and limits of monogamy are deeply ingrained. There's courtship, marriage, and children. Then you grow old together, faithfully. That's relationship success, right? For those who aren't monogamous, there's no such road map. And that, they'll tell you, is a good thing. With fewer rules, there's more negotiation, more talking.

"Open relationships require so much communication just to survive," says Kevin. His previous monogamous relationships, by comparison, were on nonverbal autopilot. "We didn't feel we needed to talk about things, because all of our lessons came from TV shows and pop culture. Everything was just on a default setting." Antoinette agrees: "The moment we chose to step off the relationship escalator, we had to say, 'Okay, what are we doing?' "

...Another married but open couple in New York City, Sam and Kate, say they'll sometimes share partners and sometimes date separately. ... The unexpected result: Outside dating brings a new, appreciative vibe to their relationship.

...Start by nixing your default setting. "We shouldn't be static," says Renee Divine, LMFT, a sex and relationship therapist in Minneapolis. "We should constantly be looking at what's going on, communicating what we need, and thinking about how we can make things better."

For Kevin and Antoinette, that means not taking each other for granted — ever. ... That desire to continuously be a better partner — that's where open couples might be onto something. The lifestyle may not be for you, but their love lessons could be instructive:

– Know what you each want.

...Lots of monogamous people know that walking-on-eggshells feeling. If needs aren't expressed, Divine says, a relationship can crumble. Successful poly people form their guidelines from scratch and know exactly what they are and aren't cool with.

– Make a "want, will, won't" list with your partner.

...Wants are what you'd like to get from your relationship (support for your goals, for instance), wills are compromises you could make (moving for a partner's job), and won'ts are hard-stop things you can't live with (drug use, say; or handholding with an old friend). You each write yours down on separate Post-its and stick them to a board in three columns. Then share and compare. ...

– Take time for yourself ... Agree with your partner that you each deserve "me time."

– Accept the inevitable jealousy.

Robyn and Jesus first met in a small town in northern California at a conference on polyamory (aptly named "Loving More"). Robyn was running it; Jesus was a rookie. They started dating, keeping things open — Robyn already had two long-term, long-distance partners, and Jesus later got another girlfriend too. Now they're "nesting partners" on a farm in Colorado.... Idyllic, right? Well, even after years of living a peaceful, poly lifestyle, they still struggle with jealousy. "Jesus recently had this hot chick over and took her up to the bedroom, and I managed to sit on the couch and watch TV by myself, and I was like 'Yes!' " says Robyn. "That's still a major victory for me."

How do they deal? By admitting the emotion — out loud. And by taking responsibility for it. ...

– Welcome change, always.

Open couples and poly groups are constantly tweaking the boundaries of a relationship — adding people, breaking up with others. They expect change, which can help the relationship endure even as partners evolve with age....

Asking for a change can be terrifying, Smith admits. Focus on what's going well first, and then use the word "and" (not "but") to segue into your request. Such as: "I'm really happy with how things are going and wonder if it could be even better if we didn't go out with the same people every weekend."

If you're asking for a change in behavior, your keyword is "I," says Divine. As in: "I feel bad when you get ticked off at my schedule, and I'd feel great if we could come up with a compromise." ...

This takes the blame off the partner and turns it into a discussion that you both can tackle. Awkward, maybe, but Smith says being direct is productive. ...

– Be radically honest.

People don't hold back at Loving More conferences. They get real about their feelings, sometimes while naked. "After I took my mom to a Loving More conference, she told me, 'I can't be around normal people now. They don't talk about anything!' " says Robyn. ...

The whole article (online May 23, 2018).

● From the Parenting and Family section of Greater Good magazine, published by UC Berkeley as "science-based insights for a better life": What You Can Learn from Polyamory, by Elisabeth Sheff (Feb. 13, 2018)

A 20-year study of consensually non-monogamous adults reveals seven lessons for anyone who wants to keep love alive.

...I studied polyamorous families with children for a period of 20 years, and I discovered their relationships can be intense, complicated — and fulfilling.

I also found that polyamorists have developed a set of relationship practices that can serve as lessons to people in monogamous relationships. ...

Polyamory isn’t for everyone, but here are seven lessons from polyamorous families that anyone might find helpful.

1. Spread needs around

...In their quest to maintain sexual and emotional fidelity, some monogamous relationships prioritize the couple ahead of other social connections. When this focus reduces other sources of support, it can lead to isolation — and the resulting demands can be too much for many relationships to bear.

By and large, that’s not the case for polyamorous people. ... This process can also be good for children. “It gives my children a sense of community,” said Emmanuella Ruiz, one of my study participants. “They don’t have cousins or the typical biological extended family. But they have a big, happy, productive, healthy family nonetheless, and it is a chosen family. They know each person’s relationship to them the same way they would know if they were first or second cousins, aunts, or uncles.”

2. Don’t leave too soon

In serious relationships, giving up without trying hard to work things out can mean prematurely ending a good relationship that is simply having a difficult period. ... Polyamorous relationship require even more of this kind of work, because of their complexity. My participants report developing the skill to stay with a difficult conversation, even if it is uncomfortable. As one study participant, Morgan Majek, told me about moving from monogamy to polyamory with her husband, Carl:

"It really opened up communication between us. Because we’ve been together for nine years and that was my biggest complaint about him was you don’t talk to me… It really just helped us to learn how to be completely honest and communicate."

People in polyamorous relationships are also more likely to seek support from others, something that could benefit and sustain serial monogamous relationships as well. When things get rocky, we’re prone to hide the trouble from friends and family. Polyamorists suggest an alternative: reach out to friends and community members for sympathy, support, and advice. ...

3. Don’t stay too long

In what can be a delicate balancing act, polyamorous people find that it is important not to drag things out until the bitter end, when partners have been so awful to each other that they simply must run away.

Instead, polyamorists suggest that it is better to recognize and accept when people have grown apart or are not working well together, and then change — not necessarily end — the relationship. “I am not best buddies with all my exes,” said study participant Gabrielle. But she doesn’t think of many of her “former lovers” as exes at all.

...From this perspective, gracefully ending or transitioning to a different kind of relationship can be a celebration of a new phase instead of a catastrophe.

4. Be flexible and allow for change

Polyamorous people sustain their relationships through these changes in part by being willing to try new things. (This may also be because there are so few role models for consensually non-monogamous relationships that polyamorous people are usually making it up as they go along.) If the relationship isn’t working, then trying something else can be quite effective for both polyamorous and monogamous people. ...

...Polyamorous families must routinely adapt to new familial and emotional configurations as they accommodate multiple partners. To manage their unconventional family lives, polyamorous families try new things, reconfigure their relationships or interactions, and remain open to alternatives.

“I guess I’m not necessarily what you would call normal, but who cares?” said Mina Amore, the teenage child of one couple I interviewed. “Normal is boring.”

5. Support personal growth

...Instead of trying to avoid painful emotions, polyamorists try to face them head on.

People in long-term polyamorous relationships say that a combination of introspection and candid communication is the route to managing potentially challenging or painful feelings. Having to face their self-doubts, question their own motives, and consider their own boundaries often forces poly people to either get to know themselves — or to quit polyamory. ...

6. De-emphasize sexuality

Even though most people associate polyamorous relationships with sex, polyamorists frequently de-emphasize sexuality to help reconfigure and cope with change. ... Polyamory emphasizes that the end of sex does not have to mean end of relationship. Remaining friends is a real choice....

Another important element of de-emphasizing sexuality is the tremendous importance polyamorous folks often attach to their friendships and chosen-family relationships. Emotional connections with intimates do not rely on physical sexuality. Monogamous people can also establish deep friendships that provide support, emotional intimacy, and meet needs.

7. Communicate honestly and often ...

Monogamous relationships have many social rules that structure the way partners are supposed to interact. Some of these rules encourage people to tell each other small lies to smooth over possibly difficult or hurtful situations. While diplomatic phrasing and empathy are important for compassionate relationships, small lies that start out protecting feelings sometimes grow into much larger or more systemic patterns of deception. ... If you want to be close to your partner, tell the truth and create a compassionate emotional environment that is safe for them to tell you the truth as well. Gentle honesty may break well-established monogamous rules about hiding things from a spouse....

● In Humans magazine, Best Polyamorous Relationship Tips to Make It Work (Feb. 2018)

By Ossiana Tepfenhart

...Speaking as someone who was in a polyamorous relationship with five different people, I'll be the first to say it's not for everyone.

In fact, if I was honest, I'd say most people do not fare well in poly relationships. However, if you're extremely emotionally intelligent and are able to control yourself, you can find a really unique and rewarding way to have an amazing family.

In my days, I've seen seriously fucked up people who hid under the guise of "poly" to emotionally manipulate, abuse, and neglect people who just wanted a relationship. This is not what a polyamorous relationship is about.

Some of the best polyamorous relationship tips include...

Meet your partner's other partners, and give them permission to be a partner. ...

Use protection with all the other partners, talk sex health with each of them, and get tested regularly. No excuses.

As hard as it is, don't try to force your relationship to be some kind of way. ...

Don't keep score, but do keep an eye on trends. ...

Here's what you need to understand about poly mindsets versus normal ones:

Your needs matter, but they do not have anything to do with other partners. ...

Similarly, if you feel squeezed out and your complaints are falling on deaf ears, it's on you to extricate yourself and find happiness on your own. If anything else, polyamory puts a huge amount of personal responsibility on you.

...A person who is insecure will flip out in a polyamorous relationship ... Do yourself a favor, and fix yourself before you even consider this kind of relationship.

Don't be afraid to ask others for advice when it comes to complex emotions. ...

Therapists can help, as can polyamorous communities. ...

You need to tell your partners what you need. In a polyamorous relationship, letting problems sit and stew is a great way to destroy your life. ...

A lot of the polyamorous relationship tips you'll read deal with arguments. You need to learn how to argue without hurting others. To start, stay calm, bring facts. ...

...[Getting disapproval from friends? Look for] friends who are more interested in making sure that sex and relationships are healthy rather than traditional.

● Esquire: How to Be Non-Monogamous Without Being a Jerk (Aug. 16, 2017)

By Sofia Barrett-Ibarria | Aug. 16, 2017

...As Michon Neal writes for Everyday Feminism, consensual non-monogamy is "a community that prides itself on offering healthier solutions regardless of relationship orientation." Polyamory can be a way to build a family, or spread out your sexual and emotional needs so that they don't fall on one person's shoulders alone.

...When done correctly, consensual non-monogamy is meant to be a mindful, communicative practice that a lot of people find incredibly fulfilling. ... Alex, a researcher in New York, describes her current poly relationship as "the most honest relationship I've been in."

...Speaking from personal experience, I can point to a few ill-advised situationships with guys who said their girlfriends were "cool with it" (SPOILER ALERT: they were not). They made excuses for their shitty behavior by telling me there was "no wrong way" to do poly, my feelings of being left out were the fault of "society," and I was just too much a normie to "get it." The use of gaslighting and general dishonesty violate both the "ethical" and "consensual" part of the whole "ethical and consensual non-monogamy" thing.

One of the core components of consensual non-monogamy is talking candidly and honestly about everything — face to face, not in angry emails. Be honest about your own boundaries, but never assume anyone is cool or not cool with something just because you are.

Occasionally, ugly, uncomfortable feelings like jealousy toward a partner's partners will arise. ... Own your mistakes and know when to let go — no one's perfect.

...Be honest, be respectful, don't be an ass. Basically, try to leave people better than you found them. Not only is this the decent thing to do, but it will help build your network....

Lots more, but that's enough for now.


Labels: ,

May 26, 2018

Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho to "marry" two women in private ceremony

Several of you sent me this news item that's stirring up world soccer fans. From the version in the New York Daily News:

Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho to marry two women in private ceremony

By Megan Cerullo

I, Ronaldinho, take you both to be my wives.

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho will "wed" his two fiancées in a private ceremony in August, Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Dia reports.

Polygamy and bigamy are illegal and punishable by up to six years in prison in Brazil, so the union won't constitute a legal marriage.

Ronaldinho began dating Priscilla Coelho between 2012 and 2014, while he was playing for Atletico Mineiro, according to local media reports. He met Beatriz Souza in 2016 and began dating her as well.

The lovers have reportedly lived happily together in Ronaldinho's Rio de Janeiro mansion since December.

The threesome will "marry" in a small ceremony at their home.

Ronaldinho will likely establish a private contract that creates a set of rules for the family he forms with the women, according to Brazilian lawyer Michelle Viana.

The contract could cover financial responsibilities and repercussions should the civil union come to an end, she said. ...


Brazil is in the process of reviewing its marriage laws — a National Council of Justice hearing on polyamorous unions was postponed Tuesday. So far, four council members have stated their opposition to legalizing the unions, while two voiced their support. Five council members have not yet cast their votes.

"Brazilian law is changing to adjust to society, but it might not be ready to accept polygamy," said Sergio Botinha, an international family lawyer based in Brazil.

In 2012, county clerk Claudia do Nascimento Domingues approved the first civil union between a man and two women.... Three years later, three women entered into a civil union, approved by another county clerk in Brazil. But the validity of those unions is up for debate. ...

The article (May 25, 2018). Scan down this list for news coverage of previous poly civil unions officialized in Brazil.

In reaction to the furor, Ronaldino insists that an actual group marriage (which would be illegal) is not happening. "It's the biggest lie," he says. Even so, according to other reports, the ceremony, planned for August, will include exchanges of rings.

Sports Illustrated says,

All three people live together in Ronaldinho's [palatial] Rio condominium. A small [ceremony] will be held in Ronaldinho's home, though his sister, who does not agree with his lifestyle, says she will not attend, O Dia reports.

From O Dia, one paragraph long: Ronaldinho Gaúcho vai se casar com suas duas mulheres (Ronaldinho Gaucho will marry his two women) (May 24).

Earlier, on March 29, the paper wrote ‘Poliamor’ pode colocar em risco pretensões políticas de ex-jogador Ronaldinho Gaúcho ('Polyamory' Could Endanger Political Hopes of Ronaldinho Gaúcho). The three have often been seen out and around together.


Labels: , ,

May 23, 2018

And more happy polyfamily goodness in the tabs

Here come more stories in what has turned into a whole new genre for the notorious British tabloids and their syndication partners overseas. I'm now letting a bunch of these stories accrue, then noting them in batches. Here are five more — with the now-standard happy storylines in long headlines, choppy paragraphs, and heaps of smiling family pix.

And, of course, the setups are always white.

Most recently,

● In the Daily Mail — sensationalist, conservative politically, known as "that dreadful rag," and read mostly by older housewives — comes this: Polyamorous trio preparing to welcome their first child say they plan to parent as a 'complete' threesome – but insist they won't 'judge' their baby girl if she decides to be monogamous (May 21, 2018).

For the triad, polyamory means being able to love more without restriction. Ashta (right), Ash (left), and Rowen (center) agree this means that there is a community within their home.

Ashta Monogue, 33, and her husband Ash, 36, from Georgia [US], met seven years ago at a street fair; they have been married since 2013.

They met Rowen, 28, online in May 2016. Ash and Ashta weren't planning on forming a triad relationship, but after the three met, they all fell in love.

Ashta is now pregnant, meaning the three are now joyously expecting their first child in October this year.

They intend to raise their baby in a happy and healthy environment and have lots of adventures as a family of four.

...Ashta has been polyamorous for a decade, and throughout their marriage, she and Ash have explored the concept. They met Rowen, 28, online in May 2016. Ash and Ashta weren't planning on forming a triad relationship, but after the three met, they all clicked and fell in love.

The three are now joyously expecting their first child in October this year, as Ashta is pregnant.

'We're pretty complete as a family of three, and I think we would be happy even if we never had kids. But Ash and I have always wanted children, so when Rowen came into our lives, we decided to make a go at parenting as a triad,' Ashta said.

'The pregnancy was very planned. We had begun treatments at a fertility clinic when we found out that I was pregnant naturally. All three of us were very excited and we still are.

'Rowen had decided that they (Rowen is gender-queer and prefers neutral pronouns) would have a baby for us if I couldn't, but they are happy that I got pregnant.

'It's possible that they will have a child someday, but that will be a conversation for later. We're all very focused on this baby.'

Parents: 'I think we will all encourage our daughter to be who she wants to be and do what she wants to do.'

They say that any feelings of jealousy that may arise don't affect them because they function as a group, and they discuss and resolve any emotions that may arise.

'We're all geeks and have lots of common interests. We love animals, board games, hiking, and trying new food. ...

'We're not restricted in our relationships, so we're not restricted to whom we can spend time with, or who we can date or love. Being in a triad means having a community built into our home. There's always someone around to help you, or to talk to.

'I don't know how to answer how our relationship works. It just does. We're mature and we talk about our issues and discuss our feelings. We're each delegated chores and responsibilities so that the house runs smoothly.

'We're pretty well past the point of jealousy. We function as a group so if someone has feelings of jealousy, we talk about it and address any issues that come up. We occasionally have disagreements, but usually about how to decorate the house or what color pillows to buy.'

Once the baby arrives, Ashta will be a stay-at-home mother to look after their child, while Ash and Rowen will continue working as a customer support engineer and transcriptionist (a typist who transcribes audio recordings, usually medical reports) respectively.

...Ashta says that the three won't force polyamory on their child and will encourage her to be whoever she decides.

'I think we will all encourage our daughter to be who she wants to be and do what she wants to do,' she said.

'If she decides to be monogamous, no one will be mad or judge her for it, but we're not going to make her think that polyamory is better in some way. It's not for everyone and that's OK.

'Poly people aren't abnormal. We're just like monogamous people in many ways. We have jobs and hobbies and go out to dinner. We just live life with a few more people around.

'Lots of our friends are poly as well, so we're lucky to be surrounded by a good support network.

'We rarely get bad reactions from people. Most people just acknowledge that our lifestyle isn't for them, but they see that it works for us.'

Versions id this packaged story (from the Media Drum World agency) also appeared in Metro UK, the Mirror, the Daily Star, and probably elsewhere.

● Three weeks earlier, the Daily Mail's UK and Australian editions edition picked up on a couple who appeared on SBS Insight on Australian TV: Swinger couple reveal what it's REALLY like to welcome other partners into their bedroom and juggle multiple lovers (May 1). They started as swingers, then relationships grew.

Wye and Dave

...Wye has been dating another man, Andrew, for 16 months and Dave has another girlfriend called Chrissy, who he was friends with for 15 years before starting a sexual relationship six months ago.

'He and his girlfriend Chrissy share a deep, solid, loving connection. Loving Dave has brought me face-to-face with some mighty big scary demons!,' she wrote for whimn.com.au.

Wye soon found herself dealing with feelings of jealousy, insecurity and fear on a level that she had never experienced before.

...Dave and Wye share a home and finances and she says that all four of them have even become friends, often spending time together in a group.

'We individually spend on average two nights a week with Chrissy and Andrew respectively, [who] both have their own homes in which they live with their children,' she wrote.

Wye originally met Dave at a swingers event she went to with a previous boyfriend, and both couples became friends. ...

● The Daily Mail made a separate story out of others who appeared on the Australian TV show: From separate apartments for their lovers to a three-date limit and 12 sexual partners: Inside the lives of the polyamorous and their open marriages (May 2)

...Crystal said she was married for years before she branched out in search of a new relationship.

Crystal appeared on the program with her second partner Andrew, and Andrew's primary partner Cassie.

Crystal said her relationship with Andrew worked seamlessly, despite having a husband and two young children at home.

But the mother-of-two said polyamory wasn't always smooth-sailing.

'My previous partner and I tried it, and that was when the jealously kicked in. We had a foursome and my partner got incredibly jealous,' she said.

Crystal admitted she also let jealously get the better of her.

'He wanted to be alone with another woman and I had to confront my insecurities. What if she's better in bed, what if he falls in love with her?' Crystal said.

She said that relationship ultimately ended, but her current polyamorous relationships made her happy.


...Revealing intimate details about his open relationship, Michael said his infidelity ended up being the best thing for his marriage with wife Renee. ... Michael said the couple struggled at first because Renee suffered from depression, but they quickly went from strength to strength.

The couple told Insight they were together for 20 years before they made the joint decision to open their marriage and invite other people in.

It wasn't long before Renee developed a strong connection with another man.

She said the connection helped her realise she too wanted an open relationship. ... The couple said they now had 'total freedom' and an 'amazing' bond.

...A study conducted at the University of Michigan in 2017, found people in open relationships were just as happy, if not more happy, than people in monogamous relationships.

The sample included more than 2,100 people, with about 1,500 in monogamous relationship and 600 in committed non-monogamous relationships.

Researchers found people in consensual open relationships felt similar levels of satisfaction and passionate love.

However, levels of jealously were lower and trust was higher among those engaged in committed open relationships.

● The free-on-mass-transit Metro UK presented this article and podcast: Sex with seven men – we talk polyamory on the Good Sex Bad Sex podcast (May 2, 2018).

...There were definitely moments of fear – because you’re essentially changing your entire value system around relationships.

I was like ‘Am I ready for this?’ For my values to change. What does it mean in other areas of my life? How I relate to people in general.

And something that’s been so strongly embedded in me by my family and generations before.

Am I ready to put all that on the side because I feel, strongly, that my sexuality as a woman wants to be expressed in that way?

I thought about it quite a lot and these days I believe that the world would be so much better off if we as women owned our pleasure and owned our sexuality much more – which is why I’m here!

● And this rather different, deeper story, just in today from Metro UK: ‘I’ve learned a lot about how I function in relationships’: How I became polyamorous and why it works for me (May 23)

Irene Palacio for Metro.co.uk
By Julia White

I leaned over to my lover from Norway and kissed him on the lips. Then I leaned over to my husband and did the same. Both smiled at me lovingly.

The three of us were attending a tantra weekend retreat.

‘How are you doing?’, asked my lover. ‘Which one of us would you like to do the next exercise in pairs with? Or one of the other guys in the group perhaps?’ asked my husband John.

I went with my lover as he was flying out of London the following day. John blew me a kiss and went off to be paired with a random lady in the group.

It may sound extreme but this type of scenario isn’t unusual in my polyamorous life these days. There are seven lovers in my life, based all over Europe (I travel quite a bit); several (but fewer) in his.

All of us love hanging out together, having long weekend brunches, attending play parties and self-development courses, chatting about anything from philosophy to kink.

I’ve never felt juicier, more fulfilled and more honoured in my womanhood.

And yet, just over a year ago, I wouldn’t even dream of this lifestyle. ...

In spring 2017, I attended a relationships and sexuality themed weekend festival called Togetherness and suddenly connected with my body in a way I haven’t done before.

I feel my blood boil and my vagina ready to make love to all the beauty in the world.

As a friend puts it, I finally lost my mind and came to my senses.

I noticed men, in casual situations, looked into their eyes and felt shivers go up my spine.

This wasn’t just about physical lust. It felt more like an awakening, an adventure of a lifetime – scary and exciting, waiting to happen. ... We decide to test whether we actually mean it.

A couple of gentle, conscious (and generally alcohol free) play parties later, ‘compersion’, a word used in the poly community to describe a sense of satisfaction one feels when seeing one’s partner delighting in his/her sexuality with another, started to make sense to us.

...My entire value system around relationships, how they work and how I look for meaning in them, underwent a thorough upgrade. And, like any major upgrade, it’s rather painful too, at times. ...

All my recent posts tagged Tabloids (including this one; scroll down).


Labels: , ,

May 19, 2018

Baaad poly in the news: 50 Cent sued for posting revenge porn after friend's girlfriend declined polyamory

This is becoming hot in celebrity and #MeToo news. In TMZ:

'Love & Hip Hop' star Teairra Mari made good on her tearful vow to sue her ex-boyfriend and 50 Cent for posting her sexually explicit video and photos.

In the suit, Teairra says her ex, Akbar Abdul-Ahad logged into her Instagram account and posted the video, which included an image of Teairra with ejaculate all over her face. She believes Akbar was getting back at her because she didn't want to be in a polyamorous relationship, as he had suggested.

Teairra says that's why she broke up with him earlier this month, and shortly afterward he informed her his phone had been stolen. In docs, obtained by TMZ, she says that was the moment she knew he was planning to post their sex videos.

Teairra says she deleted the IG post as soon as she saw it, but that's when 50 Cent got involved. According to the suit, the rapper posted the ejaculate screen grab in black and white, in order to highlight the fluid on her face. She points out 50 has 18 million followers....

Teairra adds, Fiddy [50] has a bad track record ... pointing out he already had to fork out $7 million to a Rick Ross baby mama for posting a sex tape clip of her.

Teairra says it's a brazen attempt to "slut shame" her that's causing her "significant long term emotional injuries, requiring psychiatric services." She's suing both men for revenge porn, invasion of her privacy and emotional distress.

The article (May 17, 2018).

The Blast:

...Marí says Abdul-Ahad was upset because she claims he was trying to develop a polyamorous relationship, and a reality show highlighting that polyamorous lifestyle, but she wanted no part.

Marí says after she removed the video and photo that Abdul-Ahad had posted, his friend 50 Cent posted the material on his own page. She says 50 even applied a “black and white” filter to highlight the color contrast of semen on Marí’s face. He captioned the photo “get the strap,” to which the reality star claims was a possible reference to encourage his fans to harm her.

Whole article (May 17).

USA Today:

...“[Abdul-Ahad] had my Instagram password, so he posted them on my Instagram to make me look terrible,” she said at the press conference.

...Bloom, who represents high-profile clients including Blac Chyna and Kathy Griffin, revealed that she planned to file both a police report and also a lawsuit against both Abdul-Ahad and the rapper that same day.

“Apparently, 50 Cent’s misogyny and ego is so inflated that he still needs to be schooled that the law applies to him, just like everyone else,” she added at the press conference.

In response to the controversy, the rapper, 42, has been posting a series of joke images to his Instagram. ...

Whole article (May 17). Many more.

● Akbar Abdul-Ahad says he wasn't the one who posted the tape and will countersue her for defamation.



May 17, 2018

"Polyamorous people worry Bountiful polygamy case will impact them." And Canadian poly study results

"Winston Blackmore, left, is alleged to have married 24 women in the practise of “celestial” marriage, while James Oler is believed to have five wives." (Jeff McIntosh / Canadian Press)

After more than a decade of legal wrangle, two leaders of a fundamentalist Mormon community in Canada have been found guilty of polygamy and face jail. In 2011 British Columbia's supreme court decided that Canada's law against polygamy is allowable, while carving out an exemption for people in polyamorous relationships that do not involve formalized multiple marriages.

However, the polyamory exemption is less than complete. "Polygamy," the court ruled, includes not just multiple marriages formalized by the state (which would require committing fraud to get an invalid marriage license), but also marriage-like ceremonies that have some other kind of binding power, such by Blackmore and Oler among the fundamentalist Mormons in Bountiful, British Columbia.

The Toronto Star, and its chain of papers Canada-wide, is reporting on the extent of the polyamory carve-out:

Polyamorous people worry precedent on Bountiful polygamy case will impact them

By Tessa Vikanders | StarMetro Vancouver

Polyamory and polygamy both include non-monogamous relationships, but lawyers and members of the polyamorous community say the buck stops there.

Although the two practices are vastly different, some polyamorous people worry the laws against polygamy could impact them.

On Tuesday, a Crown prosecutor recommended that Winston Blackmore and James Oler of Bountiful, B.C., be given jail time after they were convicted of practising polygamy, for having married 24 and five wives respectively.

The judge has yet to sentence the men, who are the first two people to be convicted of polygamy under Canada’s criminal code in more than 100 years.

Family lawyers say the case won’t have any direct impact on the polyamorous community, because the polygamy law is in place to prevent multiple marriages, and it doesn’t prohibit multiple romantic relationships.

John-Paul Boyd, director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, said polygamy is a patriarchal practice and includes forced marriages that are said to be mandated by god.

“Those two things are the key distinctions between what’s happening in Bountiful and the experience of people who identify as polyamorous,” he said.

“Polygamy involves one dude and a harem of women, but for polyamorists the potential range of relationships are endless ... and people place a very high value on equality, regardless of gender.”

Jenny Yuen, [with a] forthcoming book Polyamorous: Living and Loving More, has two romantic partners. Polyamory, she said, is about respect, and both of her partners can be with other people.

“It’s open, it’s fluid, everyone knows what’s going on and consents to it,” she said. ...


Things can get sticky though, when polyamorous people want to get married and have a ceremony.

barbara findlay, a lawyer who specializes in gender and family law, said the law stipulates that three people living together for two years, in a polyamorous “triad” relationship, are given common law status, but they can’t have a legal marriage with a ceremony.

Zoe Duff, co-ordinator and spokesperson of CPAA [the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association], said people contact her “all of the time” with questions about whether the laws against polygamy could affect their polyamorous relationships.

“Recently I’ve been getting people who want to do some type of ceremony for their triad, and they’re concerned about the legality of it ... but when you get into ceremonies there can be problems,” she said.

Based on her consultations with lawyers, Duff said she usually tells people to avoid having a ceremony if possible, especially for those who are looking to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes. But for those who feel strongly about it, there are ways around it.

“If it’s not a religious ceremony, incorporated in an organized way, it will skirt the law,” she said.

findlay said the government needs to update family laws to reflect the polyamorous relationships and families that already exist. But immediate protections for polyamorous people are not required.

“People in polyamorous relationships are not at legal risk of being arrested or prosecuted for being in a polyamorous relationship,” she said. ...

The whole article (May 16, 2018).

● This comes after a Canada-wide study on poly households and their legal needs made the news. An article in Canada's The Lawyer's Daily sums up some of its findings:

Mapping the demographics of polyamory

By John-Paul Boyd

John-Paul Boyd
The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family began a national study of polyamorous individuals and polyamorous relationships in 2016. The institute’s first research paper on the subject was summarized in a previous article in The Lawyer’s Daily [Polyamorous relationships might be the next frontier for family lawyers, Sept. 17, 2017] discusses how polyamorous relationships are and are not accommodated by the domestic relations legislation of Canada's common law provinces, and it provides an overview of the initial results of its national survey on polyamory.

The institute’s second research paper was released in December 2017 and presents a detailed analysis of the data collected from the survey. It examines the sociodemographic attributes and attitudes of people identifying as polyamorous, the composition of polyamorous relationships and perceptions of polyamory in Canada, with the goal of better understanding the prevalence and nature of polyamory to inform the development of family justice policy and legislation.

The survey, which ran over a course of seven weeks in the summer of 2016, yielded 480 valid responses. The majority of respondents (91.6 per cent) lived in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. Most respondents were aged 25 to 34 (42.3 per cent), identified as female (59.4 per cent) and described their sexual orientation as heterosexual (37.3 per cent) or bisexual (31.7 per cent).

Respondents to the institute’s survey tended to be younger, better educated and wealthier than the general Canadian population. ...

The whole article (March 14, 2018. Registration wall.)

Boyd notes there that 55 percent of the survey's respondents had taken no legal steps to formalize the rights and responsibilities of the members of their relationships. The steps most often taken were "the execution of emergency authorizations, cohabitation agreements, school authorizations, medical powers of attorney and legal powers of attorney." Three-quarters of the respondents felt that the Canadian public increasingly accepts poly relationships.

Boyd also points out that "The legal needs of those involved in cohabiting polyamorous relationships can be complicated, and determining how those needs can be addressed through the current law on domestic relationships, wholly predicated on the assumption that all family relationships involve only pairs of adults, can be still more so. Lawyers assisting the polyamorous must be highly creative and prepared to reassess their understanding of the law. However, given what we know about the demographics of the polyamorous community, serving the needs of this community has the strong potential to develop into a stimulating and lucrative practice niche."

Boyd is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family in Calgary.

Vanier Institute / BigStock photo
He summarized the first of the survey's two reports on the Vanier Institute of the Family's site here: Polyamory in Canada: Research on an Emerging Family Structure (April 11, 2017).

Here are the survey's two original reports, as published on the University of Calgary's Faculty of Law site:

Polyamorous Families in Canada: Early Results of New Research from CRILF (Aug. 24, 2016)

Second CRILF Report on Polyamory Studies Sociodemographic Attributes and Attitudes (Mar. 27, 2018).

● As discussed in 2016 on CBC Radio's popular national news-and-opinion show "The Current": Polyamorous families want Canadian law to catch up with their relationships (text article and audio link, Sept. 16, 2016).

● Regarding the Canadian situation, in Law Times: Consider research when it comes to polyamory, by Rebecca Bromwich (Sept. 18, 2017).


Also: in the US last month, the Brown Law Offices in Champlin, Minnesota, published Exploring the Legal Complications of Polyamory for Americans (April 18, 2018).


Labels: , ,

May 14, 2018

Another country heard from: "Polyamory takes off in Norway"

From a TV report: "LARGE HEART. Lynn Myrdal, leader of the organization PolyNorge, is happily married and has children, but gladly dates others." (Lovise Gangnes / TV 2)

A radio report with the title at top came out the other day from Deutsche Welle, Germany's international public broadcaster. It's just the latest reminder of Norway's upfront poly scene, led by PolyNorge. The blurb:

Monogamous relationships in Norway are a thing of the past and the future belongs to...living openly with more than one partner. That's according to a Norwegian group founded about a year ago. [No, that's extremifying what they say.] It wants acceptance and ultimately the possibility of marriage for those who love in groups of three or more. Our reporter John Laurenson went to Oslo to meet some of them.

Listen here (6 minutes, in English). The interviewer talks to a longtime open MFM V triad with a baby and attends a public event hosted by PolyNorge, which he says has about 100 active members (May 11, 2018).

For a group that small, PolyNorge seems to have a lot going on. It formed officially in September 2016 but its roots go back at least a decade earlier. It's been quite effective in getting media notice and starting public conversation about the open-ended possibilities of love and relationships. When the group launched, a member posted this to Polyamory.com:

Norwegian Poly NGO founding gets huge press

In connection to the public startup of the Norwegian polyamorous NGO PolyNorge, the national press was in touch even before the startup. The past two days, poly people were featured in the national news channel NRK three times:

● A radio interview featuring a polyamorous woman, a poly friendly psychologist and a polyamory researcher: Polyamorous people start up NGO on the debate program "Ekko" on NRK P2, "the culture channel" [Sept. 17, 2016].

The researcher, Audrey Stark, has published her master's thesis, based on 8 in-depth interviews with members of the Norwegian polyamory network: Polyamory – A Labor of Love: Boundary Work and Legitimization of Non-Normative Intimate Relationships [June 2015].

● Text summarizing the radio interview: Lynn har to elskere — ektemannen har kjæreste (Lynn has two lovers — her husband has a girlfriend). The intro says, "Lynn Myrdal loves plural men. Saturday, the country's first organisation for polyamorous people will be founded. Many more than you would think, expert says." [Sept. 17, 2016]

● An article on the broadcaster's debate forum, NRK Ytring: Kjærlighet er ingen privat sak (Love is not a private issue) by a well-known journalist, based on the NGO startup and her own poly experience. It prompted a huge debate. [Sept. 18, 2016]

More articles are listed on the PolyNorge site; see the News section at its bottom. Google Translate handles the language well.

We have a compelling message, and it continues to spread.



May 9, 2018

Eliot Redelman as an upcoming new poly spokesperson?

I posted yesterday about Eliot Redelman and the story of his poly life that he sold to an Australian newspaper chain ("From the age of 12, I knew that monogamy wasn’t for me"). Today he's is getting press worldwide. The Daily Mail is running a long interview with him, 'Imagine all the love of a single relationship, multiplied': Polyamorous man, 26, explains how he juggles 'two and a half' partners (May 8); it's in both the Australian and UK editions. It has been picked up by the UK's tabloid Daily Star and a women's mag in Hungary, so it's syndicated and off and running.

Redelman looks to have the makings of a great new poly spokesperson. He managed to get some remarkably intellectual poly points across in trashy outlets, no small skill. He's got a lot so say, and I'm betting he'll find wider platforms to say it. Does he have a good reputation in the Sydney community? Should I invite him to apply to the Polyamory Leadership Network? If you're there, please email me privately at alan7388 (at) gmail.com.

Several thoughts in his Daily Mail interview, some of them new to me:

'One thing I love is that I get to appreciate all the special things of one partner because I get to directly contrast to another partner. I get to realise why I value each partner for what they have.'

'Monogamy takes so much for granted. I need security and stability above and beyond weak assumptions about the way people are supposed to behave in relationships.'

'I really like the analogy of dog years. There are seven dog years to a human year. Poly is like that but for relationships. In one year, I could be going through two, three, four, or more relationship years.'

'These days, nearly everyone I meet [in Sydney] is open to it and willing. I'm actually constantly shocked about how open people are to the idea. It might not sound like first-date material to talk about, but I keep having positive reactions so I must be doing something right.'

'The most important thing to do with feelings is to listen to them. Validate them. Give them the space to breathe. ... That's why we talk about it. You don't make feelings go away by suppressing them. You just make everyone miserable. And I mean everyone.'

'I want people to think about the way they have relationships right now and be curious about how the defaults shape our lives.'

'If the poly community can teach the world anything it's going to be communication. Not just "we talk". But so much more,' he said.

'If you've ever thought "I could never say that, my partner would be so upset", that means there's something very right and very wrong with your relationship. Very right because you care so deeply about your partner that you are willing to sacrifice your own emotional validation for what you guess is their emotional candor. Very wrong in that it's a guess, and you didn't even give that person the right as an autonomous adult to correct your guess.

'Who knows, maybe both of you are poly inclined but don't know how to talk about it. And wouldn't that be sad. People trapped in assumptions for the rest of their lives.

'If you can't talk about topics with your partner, that means either you are not feeling safe enough to talk about it, or you can't find the words. Either way you can work on those. Try this. Ask each other: "What can't we talk about?". And see how many answers you can come up with.'

And especially, this:

At the tender age of 12, Eliot said he realised he didn't want to be in a monogamous relationship after reading a blog about polyamory.

'I was reading a blog of an American writer. He was talking about his marriage experiences and how he moved to polyamory. That was really inspirational and from then it made more sense,' he said.

That was around 2004 — so betcha it was Franklin Veaux (on what he then called Xeromag, now More Than Two). Karma points to you, Franklin, for setting a kid on the far side of the world on a path to become such a good spokesman for us today. "It is not given to us to know the results of our works. We do them anyway, on faith." But sometimes a result newly seen reminds us why.


Update May 14: Redelman writes us that it wasn't Franklin but Ferrett Steinmetz — another worthy early poly blogger who is still active today.

Also Redelman sends, for the record, his original email replies to the interviewer's questions; "You should see what I sent the Daily Mail before they butchered it."

Hi, my name is Eliot and I'm 26.

How long have you been polyamorous for?
In some ways I've always been poly.  I've had somewhere between 25-35 relationships in my life - some poly, some not.  It's always hard to count, but I'd say at least 5 years.

When did you realise you didn’t want a monogamous relationship?
When I was 12, I was reading a blog of an american writer by the name of TheFerrett.  He was talking about his marriage experiences and how he moved to polyamory.  That was really inspirational and from then it made more sense.

Girls didn't exist before I was 16.  From about the age of 8 I made a unilateral decision that girls were too confusing and I would not talk to them.  Life was simpler with only 50% of the population to deal with. On my 16th birthday I reversed that decision and had to learn how to communicate to other humans.

Have you ever been in a monogamous relationship?
I have had a few monogamous relationships.  I was a romantic 16 year old. It was disgustingly sappy.  I used to text poetry to my girlfriend and she wouldn't take any notice of it.

Why do you think monogamy doesn’t appeal to you?
I could never understand why I wasn't allowed to love or care for more than one person at a time.  I have more than one friend, I have more than one parent, two siblings, several pets, I have plenty of people I have close relationships with - why is some definition of "relationship" different or special.  Somewhere there is a line in the sand about what "counts" and the way societal expectation says we must do relationships in an exclusive way. I don't have to agree with that.

I can love and care for more than one person.  I can have sex with more than one person, I can go to a romantic dinner date with more than one person, and I can cuddle on the couch with more than one person (at the same time or at different times if we all consent).  What makes a relationship and what matters to me? that's a discussion I am happy to have. Let's talk about what is significant to our relationships. Don’t pretend that we are special to one another just because of some assumption that we are.  It’s time to know why we matter to one another and share and connect over those details. Monogamy takes so much for granted. I need security and stability above and beyond weak assumptions about the way people are supposed to behave in relationships.

What are the benefits of being in a polyamorous relationship?
Imagine all the love of a single relationship, multiplied.  Then imagine all the stress and all the interpersonal drama, also multiplied.  Not only do I get to love and care for more than one person, I receive that love and care back several times over.  I really like the analogy of dog-years. There are 7 dog years to a human year. Poly is like that but for relationships.  In one year, I could be going through 2, 3, 4, or more relationship years.

One thing I love is that I get to appreciate all the special things of one partner because I get to directly contrast to another partner.  I get to realise why I value each partner for what they have, and that's a huge gift.

How many people are you dating at the moment? How do you make it work and how do you manage multiple relationships?
Right now two and a half.  I live on my own. Any time we want to see each other, we send a message, and open our diaries and find the next available day.  Sometimes as I say goodbye I plan the next time I see them. Calendars definitely help. As long as you are willing to communicate, lots of methods can work.  I know people who have regular days. People who plan two months in advance, then plan the next month half way through, keeping always 1-2 months ahead.

How often do you see your partners?
Most weeks I will have seen all of them.  Depends on all kinds of life circumstances.  Someone might have to travel for work, someone might be sick.  We just make it work.

Were there ever any jealousy from your other partners? If so, how did you deal with it all?
Of course!  You talk about it.  

Jealousy often points to something deeper.  It's not about the momentary "I feel Jealous". It's about the other half of the sentence.  "...because I am worried that you don't value me". Or "...because I feel like I am missing out".  The most important thing to do with feelings is to listen to them. Validate them. Give them the space to breathe.  Once you realise that you care about not missing out on special experiences, then solving that stress gets a whole lot easier.  That's why we talk about it. You don't make feelings go away by suppressing them. You just make everyone miserable. And I mean everyone.

How do your polyamorous relationships start? Do you lay out the ground rules?
I talk about it on the first date, preferably sooner, but that's why we have first dates - to talk about these things and see if we like each other.  I think it's wrong to lead people on. It's unfair to go any further than that and not have the conversation. I've done that too and it's not something I'm proud of.  These days, nearly everyone I meet is open to it and willing. I'm actually constantly shocked about how open people are to the idea.

It might not sound like first date material to talk about my girlfriend, but I keep having positive reactions so I must be doing something right.

Why did you decide to share your story?
I’m not afraid to talk about it.  I feel like I understand myself, my partners, and relationships much better than anyone stigmatising this lifestyle.  I suspect most stigma comes from misunderstanding or fear before it comes from hatred or anger.

Why do you want to challenge the stigma surrounding poly relationships?
There’s a lot less stigma than people expect.  These are my interpersonal relationships, no one has a right to take issues with my personal life unless they are involved.  I would like people to be happy for me the same way I am happy for them to have their own relationships.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I want people to think about the way they have relationships right now and be curious about how the defaults shape our lives.  If the poly community can teach the world anything it's going to be communication. Not just "we talk". But so much more. If you've ever thought, "I could never say that, my partner would be so upset", that means there's something very right and very wrong with your relationship.  

Very right because you care so deeply about your partner that you are willing to sacrifice your own emotional validation for what you guess is their emotional candor.  Very wrong in that it's a guess, and you didn't even give that person the right as an autonomousagenty adult to correct your guess. Who knows, maybe both of you are poly inclined but don't know how to talk about it.  And wouldn't that be sad. People trapped in assumptions for the rest of their lives.

If you can't talk about topics with your partner, that means either you are not feeling safe enough to talk about it, or you can't find the words.  Either way you can work on those. Try this. Ask each other, "what can't we talk about?". And see how many answers you can come up with.


Labels: ,

May 8, 2018

"From the age of 12, I knew that monogamy wasn’t for me"

In Australia this morning, the organizer of the Sidney Polyamory dating group gets his enchanting first-person story into daily papers owned by the News Corp. chain.

You can do this too.

From the age of 12, I knew that monogamy wasn’t for me

WHEN people think of polyamory they tend to think of lots of sex ... but the reality is often quite different.

By Eliot Redelman

Eliot Redelman
I’M at the pathologist again. She smiles at me.

“The usual?”

I look at the pathology form. My doctor forgot to write out the STI tests. I rush back to him and he scribbles on the page. HIV, HEP, SYP, CHM, HSV.

“Round 2”, I say to her. This is our ritual.

“How many girlfriends this time?” she asks.

I pretend to count on two hands. “Three and a half right now,” I say, and she laughs. It’s a cute little dance we have going on. I’ll be back for ‘the usual’ in about 2 months.

48 hours later, I’m collecting the results. I text my partners “All good” to let them know I got the all-clear. I don’t feel anxiety myself, but one of my partners, Annie, likes the peace of mind that comes with the routine tests.

...It’s before dinner on our regular Wednesday night and I’m sitting on the couch with Annie, cuddling and having a catch-up about our week. She saw Chris this week — they’ve been together about two years. Chris is the opposite of me — heavily introverted and needs a lot of time to himself. They work well with a low-pressure relationship. Too much contact and they stress each other out. They catch up about once a fortnight for dinner, cuddles, probably more. It’s lovely to hear that they’re going well. I don’t have to ask much; it’s none of my business. But, it’s always good to know that someone I care about is happy.

I tell Annie that I had dinner with Dianne and her parents on Monday night — Dianne hasn’t told her parents she’s poly yet, but she’s not feeling any pressure. She’s still learning how — or even if — she wants to label herself; there are too many types of relationships once the door opens to non-monogamy. Dianne had another boyfriend, but he let her know he wasn’t up for dating right now. They’re friends, and from time to time they might sleep together. But it’s not ‘a relationship’. She’s deciding if she eventually wants to try to find another boyfriend, but she says she is in no rush.

I’m always open about my relationships if asked, but my grandma doesn’t exactly know all the logistics.

...Bella starts telling me the latest about Eric, a German guy she’s been dating for about a year. Whenever I meet him, we end up talking about economics for hours. He’s been travelling for work, and is about to leave again for a few months. Bella says she’s finding it hard being long distance.

We order our food and start talking about what’s gone wrong with Eric. At first, I think Bella is simply feeling fed up because he’s heading away again, but something different is troubling her. She tells me that he was down in Melbourne last week when he reconnected with an old flame. That was fine, she tells me. She’s a nice girl; Bella’s met her several times, and the two of them even Facetime from time to time. But Eric and his ex went to a restaurant called Pastuzo that Bella’s been telling Eric she wants to try, for months. She’s had some twinges of ... something. Jealousy? This was a special thing between Bella and Eric — at least it was in Bella’s eyes. “And he went and took someone else there”, she says, resentfully.

She says she’s feeling bad about resenting the situation, but also that she can’t help how she feels. She tells me she knows it’s okay to feel upset about it. I nod. ...

People often thinks that it’s jealousy that kills poly relationships. But I believe it’s poor communication. These days I work very hard to make sure that we can always tell each other anything without anticipating painful reactions or any reactions in general. There needs to be a sense of safety.

One thing that frustrates me is that people assume that because I have multiple relationships, I think that everyone should. I really don’t. I won’t speak for everyone, but generally, people in the poly community very much recognise that relationships need to suit the people participating in them. Our commitments are as individual as we are. Socialising with the poly community very much opened my eyes to the diversity and complexity of ethical non-monogamy. I wish everyone could be more curious about how strangers live, and that they wouldn’t judge until they hear what it’s like through other people’s eyes.

Eliot Redelman runs the Sydney Polyamory dating group.

Read the whole article (May 8, 2018).


Labels: ,