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



December 17, 2018

Getting your poly group in local media


Two nice articles showed up in alternative city weeklies this week.

Yes, these matter. A surprising number of people still have never heard of the poly concept — especially accurately! — even among well-read folks I meet.

It can be easy to get your city newsweekly to run an article about your group. The trick? Just call and ask! This first story appeared in the Pittsburgh City Paper. It was written by one of their regular columnists who also podcasts:


Learning to negotiate consent and communicate well is central to poly relationships

By Jessie Sage

Jessie Sage
 
If thousands of hours of conversations as a phone sex operator have taught me one thing, it’s that for many folks, strict monogamy is tremendously stressful.

...A local group, Poly in Pittsburgh, is working to create a community that supports poly folks and to normalize polyamory as a practice. Morgan Hawkins, founder of Poly in Pittsburgh, described polyamory as simply “opening yourself up to the possibility of more than one loving relationship.” She tells me that not everyone practices polyamory the same way, adding, “the beauty of polyamory is the freedom you have to form relationships in a configuration that works for you and your partner(s).” ...

...When Poly in Pittsburgh started in August 2016, it was just a Facebook group with a dozen of her friends and former partners.... But soon those folks started adding their friends and partners, and now the Facebook group has 900 members. Active members not only participate in online discussions, but also meet for monthly socials and attend other events together. Hawkins describes the community as serving a really important function for poly folks.

“Like many other countercultures, it's comforting and validating to have a community where you don't feel like you have to defend yourself and your way of living and relating,” she says. ...


Read on (December 12, 2018).


● In the Sacramento News & Review, this one's about a local podcast by four polyfolks, again by one of the paper's regular writers:


Rolling in the hay together

The rising podcasters in Brown Chicken Brown Cow mix humor and body positivity when talking about sex

By Aaron Carnes

In a rhythm like ’70s porn music, Monkey and Miss Laura sing the words “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” when they get on-air. Childish jokes follow, and Laura announces to the internet that her colleague is blushing.

“Let’s bump up the blush meter to 2,” she says. Monkey (real name Sean Makiney) reddens easily. The highest he hit on the fictional meter was 32. ...

Today’s guests are Robert and Samantha, a polyamorous couple with two daughters, 8 and 10 years old. Laura asks: How did you tell your kids about having multiple romantic partners?

“It was more us explaining that we have a very open family, and we want to be open to anybody that we feel is important to us,” Samantha says. “It was fun to see how open and excited they were to have the conversation with us.”

The interview stays serious until Laura (who asked not to be named) poses a final question, as she does with every guest: What barnyard animal are you?

(Sean Makiney illustrations) 
“We are an inclusive show, and we believe in all types of barnyard animals, not just traditional, hetero-normative barnyard animals,” Laura prefaces. Robert says he’s a dolphin, and Samantha’s a kangaroo.

“You have a pouch and you can carry your two kids in there,” Laura says. “That is a great animal to be.” This cracks everyone up, including Robert and Samantha, who had just cautiously revealed their alternative lifestyle to the web.

In a year and a half, Brown Chicken Brown Cow has become one of Sacramento’s most popular podcasts. ... The podcast now regularly lands in the Top 100 of all podcasts on iTunes. That’s impressive considering that, according to an early 2018 Nielson report, there are more than 550,000 podcasts worldwide.

...The polyamory episodes were one of the podcasts’ monthly themes. With some topics, the hosts bring their own experience (they’re all polyamorous). Others they approach with naiveté. ...


The whole article (Dec. 13).


● And while we're at it, a good Open Relationships 101 just appeared in Prevention, an old-line commercial woo-woo promotion rag magazine heavy on health supplements. Eli Sheff got quoted a lot and, as always, she does us proud.


What to Know About Open Relationships Before You Even Think About Trying One

Psychologists explain how open relationships work, whether they’re healthy, and how to start the conversation.

By Cassie Shortsleeve

...“I generally let people tell me what they mean by ‘open relationship,’” says Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, one of a handful of global academic experts on polyamory, recognizing that the broader category of an "open relationship" is a consensually non-monogamous union.

How do open relationships work? Are there rules?
People usually enter open relationships to get more of their needs met — a relationship might have a sexual desire mismatch, for example — but every pair is different. ...

People in polyamorous relationships, for example, seek the emotional element. “They’re looking for love and a deeper ongoing relationship,” says Sheff, adding that polyamorous couples tend to emphasize communication and honesty. ...

Are open relationships healthy?
“Open relationship are as healthy as the people in them,” says Sheff. “Just like monogamous relationships, some of them are amazing, fantastic, life-affirming, and really wonderful. Others are abusive, horrible, and the worst thing that ever happened to someone.” ... How healthy a relationship is usually boils down to how it is handled — hopefully with love, integrity, and kindness to one another, Sheff says.

What to consider before entering an open relationship
First and foremost, think about how things might play out in the long run. “Don’t assume just because you want more sex that polyamory or an open relationship is for you,” says Sheff. “A lot of people get excited about the prospect of having multiple partners but then get upset when the tables are turned and their partners have other partners.”

...Also, your initial relationship must be healthy to begin with, says Sheff. “Consensual non-monogamy is kind of like a stress test or a jetpack — whichever way the relationship is headed, it just really zooms it in that direction.”

How to ask for an open relationship
...Sheff often tells people to use something in the media — an article you read or a show you saw — as a jumping off point. Ask your partner what they think about the topic or if they’ve ever heard of it to test the waters, she says.

Be vulnerable, clear, and tenacious—and be able to regulate your feelings, too, if you don’t get the response you expect or want. ...


The whole article (Dec. 12)

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