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

August 27, 2018

Poly values may reduce #MeToo incidents, says prestigious think mag.

With the polyamory concept percolating deeper into mainstream society, the topic crops up in the media so often now that I'm way more selective in what to highlight here. I'm focusing on high-influence articles in major media, anything substantial in mass media that your friends or family might be talking about, and other items that seem especially insightful or interesting. Keep those suggestions coming!

The Pacific Standard is a small but prestigious, foundation-supported magazine "for readers interested in working toward forward-looking changes to private behavior and public policy." This article goes into the "insightful or interesting" and "possibly influential" categories.

A condensation:

Will the Sexual Openness of the 'Hook-Up' Generation Confront the Concerns of #MeToo?

There's a chance the sexual culture being cultivated by Millennials can diminish the environment of harassment and assault that's plagued so many workplaces.

Andras Vas/Unsplash

By James McWilliams

...Most of the abusers identified by the #MeToo movement [are Baby Boomers who] came of age in an era of conflicting sexual norms. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s brought Americans greater access to birth control, and, in countercultural circles at least, experimentation with free love. At the same time, conventional marriage — heterosexual and monogamous — remained the sanctioned end goal of the mainstream. ...

Might the clash of these competing expectations — premarital freedom and marital monogamy — have fostered a dysfunctional sexual identity that's especially predisposed to abuse others?

...One way to start testing [this idea] might be to look at the emerging sexual habits and ideologies of Millennials (and Gen Z).

...[Today's] easy prevalence of sexual themes and content [porn especially] ... has not led to greater promiscuity among young adults. According to one study, American adults born in the 1980s and '90s had the same number of sexual partners as Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Contrary to the stereotype of a "hook-up generation," young adults are also waiting longer to have sex. And while greater sexual permissiveness has not coincided with greater promiscuity, it has emerged alongside a broader tolerance for multiple partners and open arrangements, skepticism of marriage and childrearing, and a radical openness to all gendered and sexual identities.

At the core of these expanding attitudes is a suspicion of monogamy. According to a 2016 study, nearly 20 percent of people who are under 30 and in a serious relationship have engaged in sex outside of their relationship with their partner's knowledge. Nearly half interviewed expressed some level of tolerance for consensual non-monogamy. ...

Tolerance of non-monogamy demands something the Boomers, half of whom are divorced, did not practice especially well themselves: constant communication. Non-monogamous seekers of multiple relationships are more obligated to discuss boundaries, needs, and desires than are monogamous couples (who can more easily go on auto-pilot). ... Bjarne Holmes, a [Champlain College] communications professor, explains how "People in these [non-monogamous] relationships really communicate.... They are potentially doing quite a lot of things that could turn out to be things that if people practicing monogamy did more of, their relationships might be better off."

According to [Robyn] Trask, director of Loving More, a non-profit dedicated to fostering polyamorous arrangements, polyamory is increasingly popular with Millennials. Trask works closely with all age groups to support polyamorous relationships (which can be sexual or platonic or even alternate between both). But she notes that, while overall interest in polyamory is "on the rise," "this growth appears to be driven by the 20-something crowd."

And their approach, she suggests, is unusually tolerant and communicative. She says people in their 20s are "much more comfortable exploring polyamory" and that, in so doing, "they are constantly dealing with a need to communicate better" — about jealously, family, sexual health, wants and needs, and so on. ...

Polyamory isn't going mainstream anytime soon. But to the extent that its growing acceptance portends a larger cultural shift away from the demands of monogamy (both within marriage and not), and to the extent that this shift is complemented by healthy communication over sexual issues, the conflicting cultural norms that plagued those raised in the 1960s and '70s may yield to a sexual culture that, while more exposed to graphic sex, is nonetheless less repressed, no more promiscuous, better able to discuss sexual desire, and, no matter how powerful a person is, cognizant that we all have boundaries. ...

Read the whole article (August 23, 2018).


PS: Vote for a poly presentation at SXSW! Leon Fiengold writes, "My submission for a polyamory presentation at SXSW 2019 is in. I helped put together last year’s SXSW presentation on polyamory; this year I want to do my own presentation on helping people in all relationships use the skills polyamory teaches to find happiness in their own relationships. PLEASE sign in and vote for it! Takes just a minute, promotes polyamory awareness in a positive way on a national level. Deadline August 30."




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