Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

January 31, 2019

Tumult grows in Israel over psychologists' conference on polyamory

Fury is building among religious conservatives in Israel over a conference by psychologists titled "Treatment Issues in Polyamory" scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th, at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

The psychology department's building at Bar-Ilan University
Rabbi Naftali Bar-Ilan, grandson of the university's namesake, has called the conference an insult to his grandfather's memory. The prohibition on adultery, he is quoted as saying, "is not subject to discussion, even under the guise of a scientific gathering, neither in public nor in private. Conferences should be organized to combat this phenomenon, bringing in professionals and experts who strengthen the institution of the family.”

Students are circulating a petition saying, “Is that what you call integration of Torah and academia? We strongly demand that the university stop this disgrace, immediately cancel the ‘adultery conference,’ and declare that it upholds family values in Israel and does not cooperate with all sorts of inventions against morality, Torah and family.”

The conference organizers are pressing ahead but have instituted security measures, changed the names of some sessions, and are cancelling registrations of attendees who are not psychologists or therapists.

Bar-Ilan University, originally founded with an Orthodox orientation, is one of the country's largest universities with about 33,000 students.

News of the dispute is spreading in Israeli media.

● From the Jewish Press, based in Brooklyn with a Modern Orthodox viewpoint: Rabbi Bar Ilan’s Grandson: Conference on Open Marriages Violates my Grandfather’s Memory (January 27, 2019)

...Rabbi Naftali Bar-Ilan said that “the founders of the university aspired to establish a high level academic institution that would not harm the supreme values ​​of the Jewish people. Not only that, but one of the seven Noahide laws that bind non-Jews is the prohibition against incestuous relations,” stressing that billions of people around the world adhere to it.

...Bar-Ilan University issued a response saying, “The professional conference, as its name suggests, deals with treatment issues and is not intended to encourage this phenomenon. This is a new social phenomenon that resonates [in the public arena] and is being discussed by the professionals. The School of Social Work, attentive to the public arena, which has been among the few to engage in training sexual therapists for 12 years, thought it necessary to address the issue. Despite the fact that this issue is controversial, conference organizers believe it requires professional discussion based on knowledge and clinical research.” ...

● In the Times of Israel: Bar-Ilan University’s polyamory conference draws fire from students, professors (Jan. 30)

...The three-hour conference, which will be held on February 5 at the university’s Ramat Gan campus, is titled “Treatment Issues in Polyamory.” It will include talks by professors from the psychology and gender studies departments titled, “On Polyamory, Open Relationships and Judgment in the Therapeutic Space,” and “Polyamory — Fusion and Healing in the Face of Fracture?” Organizers specified that it is intended for therapists only and will be closed to the general public.

Over 600 opponents signed a petition calling for the conference to be canceled, claiming it supported dismantling families, and saying it was “shocking to think about a child growing up in a house full of this kind of betrayal and fornication,” the Israel Hayom daily reported.

Protesters hung signs over the weekend in the area around the campus that read “Adultery at Bar-Ilan,” according to the right-wing Israel National News site. Other opponents held a protest outside the home of the university’s rector.

“Although in academia there is the idea of freedom of expression at a scientific conference and this is very important,” said Professor Ely Merzbach, “the polyamory conference organized by the school of social work does not appear academic at all; it offers treatment methods that are completely against the Torah, the sacred values of most of the university population and the structure of the family.”

The organizers changed the structure of the conference following protests, with “the goal of better reflecting its professional face more accurately.” ...

● And today in Arutz Sheva / Israel National News (identifying with Religious Zionism): Growing criticism of polyamory event at Bar Ilan University (Jan. 31)

Religious Zionist university ramps up security ahead of the scheduled conference highlighting open marriages amid demonstrations, petitions.

The controversy surrounding a conference highlighting the subject of polyamory that is scheduled to take place at Bar Ilan University refuses to die down.

The event has caused an uproar at the institution, with upwards of 2,000 students and faculty alike signing a petition this week protesting the event as one that "destroys families". Demonstrations have also been held outside the house of Bar Ilan University Rector Miriam Faust and students received emails and text messages imploring them to flood university management with complaints.

...According to the blog 'The Hottest Place In Hell', the university has ramped up security to an "unprecedented level" after the moderator scheduled to host the event said that she feared for her physical safety.

Meanwhile, booklets promoting the conference have been changed and do not include racy quotes that graced the original version. In addition, a lecture that was formally titled "A Painful Compromise Whose Name Is Polyamory" has been renamed and is now called "Polyamory: Associations Of Impulse And Anxiety And Clinical Patterns In Professional And Public Attitudes To The Phenomenon".

...A slew of restrictions have also been imposed regarding who is allowed to attend the controversial conference. "At first, no restrictions were imposed on registration for the conference, but the second leaflet stated clearly that 'the conference is intended for therapists and early registration only," reported The Hottest Place In Hell. "People who registered and paid received a cancellation notice."

● The previous instances of Israeli poly in the news here, few and surely incomplete, are more positive (after this one; scroll down).

● Here's the Polyamory Israel Facebook group, in Hebrew. Can someone tell me if anything's going on there about this? Please reply in the comments here.


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January 24, 2019

10 new servings of happy tabloidy tabloidness in the tabs

They're called the red tops. Laugh, but they
were a major force in Britain's voting for Brexit.
Metro UK and its sister rag The Sun predict: One of the hottest sex trends for 2019 will be... you guessed it.

So I suppose it's time for another data dump of the polyamory stories that are overflowing the British tabloids, to catch up since my last batch posted in September.

As before, the stories are resolutely cheerful and upbeat, almost always about poly families, almost always as threes, and preferably with kids.

● First, here's that prediction for 2019: Polyamorous relationships, sex dolls and ANGRY dirty talk: The top sex trends for 2019 revealed (Jan. 3, 2019)

Open relationships, polyamorous couples, swinging and threesomes – there are many forms of relationships nowadays and many involve more than just two people.

Lelo [an "intimate and luxurious lifestyle company"] said: “BDSM and kink were thrust into the public consciousness in the wake of 50 Shades. Now, the mainstream is being aware that more complex, and potentially more satisfying relationship styles are out there.

“The poly community is long established, and there are plenty of really good advocates for it. [That's you, dear readers! –Ed.]

“2019 will likely see these communities and dynamics explored in more understanding detail by the mainstream.”

● The tabs are not always about cis het polyfolks: In the Daily Mail: Married gay couple who have been together for a DECADE invite a man they met on TINDER to join their relationship – and they insist they are happier than ever in a 'closed triad' (Dec. 12, 2018)

Edson, Emerson, and Sebastian in Barcelona
Edson, 39, and Emerson, 46, were happily married for 10 years living in Spain.

In October 2017, the couple met up with Sebastian, 31, on Tinder for dinner.

They weren't searching for a polyamorous relationship, but the three men all fell in love with each other and bonded over their love for yoga.

Edson and Emerson invited Sebastian to join their relationship in a closed triad.

The triad recently celebrated their one-year anniversary all together. ...

● As noted before, the British tabs often recruit their – presumably paid – poly subjects in the US. The following three folks and their offspring are in Connecticut, as told in the Mirror: Woman who shares bed with husband AND boyfriend in polyamorous 'throuple' reveals how 'rotating pairs' works (Oct. 30, 2018). The two guys are bi.

Daniel, Bella, Ken and kids
...Daniel works as a magician and Bella joined him as his assistant, often travelling out of state to perform fire-handling as part of his act.

On jealousy within poly relationships, the group swear by communicating their feelings.

Ken said: “If you ignore it it will breed resentment, and if you talk about it and you deal with it then maybe you can find the root cause and get past it.

...As parents, when Daniel moved in, Bella and Ken had to explain it to their then three and four-year-old daughters.

Ken said: “They were really happy with it, and now they don’t remember before that.

“We share the responsibilities of parenting – parenting together in our own various styles and on the same team.”

Bella said: “The girls were playing with one of their friends and the friend kind of remarked to our little one saying ‘you have two dads and a mom’ and she said ‘yeah, some people have two dads, and that’s okay’.”

Daniel said: “I never wanted to have children because I always worried about my lifestyle being too selfish for children, like that I would be travelling all over the place and bringing kids with you is a big problem especially when they are little.

“So to have this situation where I can love these two girls and be a parent, but when I’m not there I know that they are taken care of and I’m not leaving one person at home to take care of all the duties is really nice and really comforting.”

Bella and Ken’s daughter Aurelie, seven, said: “My favourite thing about my first dad is that he likes to write books and I like to write books, and the thing about my other dad is that I like to do magic and he does magic.”...

The story comes with a video of them:

● Nor are the subjects always white. In Los Angeles, from the Mirror two days ago: Polyamorous 'throuple' plan children after family members disown them (Jan. 22, 2019). The story also appeared in the competing Daily Star yesterday, January 23, under the title Polyamorous thruple reveal ALL about three-way relationship and sleeping in the same bed.

Carly, Kassandra, Paoulo

A polyamorous 'throuple' who share the same bed are planning on starting a family together.

Husband Paoulo Quispilaya, 28, and his wife Kassandra Diaz-Cervo, 27, both fell in love with Carly Martinez at a party in October 2017.

...Despite the strong attraction, Kassandra did not initially act on her feelings and she became platonic friends with Carly, who had also never been with a woman before.

But when Carly started to also 'connect' with Paoulo things became romantic and she joined the relationship in February 2018.

Carly, also of Los Angeles, California, said: "...We were a triad from the very beginning."

Kassandra said: "I didn't even know polyamory existed. It just happened. We were unsure of what it was."

"We tried not pursuing it and suppressing our feelings because we have been taught that there's no such thing as loving two people at once.

"We researched it and found that there was a community and a word for it: polyamory.

"We decided to just do it and not be held back by social conditioning."

...The throuple admit that family members were shocked to learn of the new relationship and many could not accept it.

Kassandra said: "At first our families were shocked. Some to the point of no longer communicating with us. As time passed, some of them came to accept our relationship but other family members still won't speak to us.

"But I would never have gone through telling my family if I didn't believe this relationship was worth it."

Paoulo added: "People's first thoughts are so often sexual. "They don't understand that this is a committed, long-term relationship. "We definitely will raise children together." ...

The throuple share their experiences of life as a polyamorous triad on their YouTube channel Trifecta Love.

A bubbly sample from their YouTube channel:

● From Arizona, in the Daily Mail: Throuple of Navy vets tell of their polyamorous relationship and say they are still 'very traditional' as they raise their four kids (Nov. 21, 2018):

Princess, Eddie, Kayla and their kids

A polyamorous trio have spoken exclusively to DailyMailTV about their 'traditionally non-traditional' lives and insist that their unconventional relationship is far from a 'sex cult.'

Eddie Colon, 34, and his wife, Kayla, 27, have been in a sexual 'triad' relationship with 23-year-old Princess Birdsall after they met on dating app OkCupid earlier this year.

The three, who are all Navy veterans, now share a home in San Tan Valley, Arizona with their four young children.

Eddie said, 'It takes a lot of selflessness and being able to deal with other people.'

Kayla and Eddie both refer to Princess as their 'wife' and share their bedroom and Californian king-size bed with her. Kayla and Princess both identify as bisexual whereas Eddie is straight.

...Eddie said: 'I don't worry about my kids getting bullied. They want a big family, so they are happy. Now Presley and Tatiana are so close that we call them 'the twins'. It's worked out perfectly.'

Kayla said: 'Jessica is the oldest and she just understands that we all love each other and we're all here together. She sees us cooking dinner together, washing cars, doing laundry. So it's just a normal family to her and they don't really know anything else.'

Eddie said: 'Jessica already knows Princess as mommy.'

The self-described 'throuple' are quick to point out the benefits of having three people in a relationship – including the sharing of domestic duties.

Kayla said: 'Eddie cooks and he's daddy day-care. I do a lot of the cleaning and Princess is always helping with laundry. It's really just all hands on deck every night.

Princess said: 'We have a strict routine because we're all military. I'm up at 4am and then it's boom, boom, boom. All the kids are in bed by 8 o'clock.'

Eddie said: 'We have to do laundry four times a week in this house to stay caught up on everything because the little kids go through stuff like crazy. ...

'We're going to be a family forever, until one of us croaks. We want to find someone to perform a blessing and a promise ceremony.'

● In the Daily Mail's Australia edition: Young polyamorous woman who dates as many as SIX people at once offers a glimpse into her 'chaotic' love life (Nov. 15, 2018).

...Penny has been in polyamorous relationships for five years — a lifestyle where she enjoys spending time with more than one person on an emotional level.

Like any monogamous relationship, the woman goes out with the man or woman she 'loves' on romantic dates, cuddles up with them on the couch and has sex with them.

She explained her diary can get 'very chaotic' after she found herself dating as many as six people at the same time.

Speaking to The Sex Files podcast, Penny — who's currently dating a man and a woman — said despite sleeping with more than one partner, she insists she's in love with both of them.

No pix of them, but that Sex Files podcast is surprisingly excellent and super-well produced. It sounds like the audio of a 30-minute TV documentary — and indeed, The Sex Files turns out to be a TV show from Discovery Channel Canada with versions aired around the world. If the video version is online, I can't find it.

The Daily Mail story did include this embedded video about a different poly group, filmed in Russia in winter. With English subtitles.

● The Daily Mail, and on the same day the Daily Record in Scotland, ran a long, surprisingly excellent article from Pennsylvania: Polyamorous married couple of nine years joined by girlfriend to form 'triad' (Sept. 27, 2018):

Kristina, Ashley, Mike

...The three instantly clicked and started to date on a casual basis before Mike and Kristina asked Ashley to officially form a triad as they had fallen in love with her and they have now been together as a throuple for 10-months.

...Kristina, Mike and Ashley have three children between them who they raise together and who they identify as, BR, 11, BB, 7, and GB, 7, to respect their privacy.

Ashley works a busy schedule that often means she is away from the family home, so feelings of jealousy sometimes arise over the time that they get to spend with each other, but the throuple have now found a way to navigate these emotions and work through them together so that everyone feels included.

The triad view their relationship as a triangular shaped unit with each person benefiting individually from their unique setup. ...

Said Mike: "Being poly gives you a different perspective on the world in general. We don't view things through the normal society's spectrum."

Ashley continued: "Polyamory is about being open to more. More love, more partners, more experiences. Society is largely centred around monogamy, this idea that there is only one 'person' for you.

..."Having more than one partner means I see the world through my gaze, his gaze, and hers. ...

"Our relationship works through open and honest communication, respect and consideration for one another's feelings and thoughts, and a willingness to compromise for the best interests of all.

..."We are also all unique and different, and so rather than having to consider one partner's needs and differences, we consider two.

..."We talk a lot and have developed a POT (polygon of trust) where we all hold hands and agree to listen without judgement to one another. Having a 'safe space' where we take time to consider our needs and be mindful of being respectful allows us to communicate more openly and honestly.

..."We joked once, months ago, that we should have a word to express when someone feels left out without having to share the vulnerable feelings, because feeling left out in our triad is complicated, as you feel both excluded and guilty for potentially taking time from your partners.

"So now we say 'orangutan', which is comical, but also allows us to share when something or some configuration leads to feelings of exclusion. When we disagree, we sometimes talk in our triad, and sometimes if the disagreement is between a pairing, the third partner will try to bring the other two together to hash out the feelings and needs."

Despite being madly in love with each other, the triad have received mixed reactions from their family members, with only Ashley's parents supporting their arrangement and willing to learn more.

...When out in public, the triad receive confused looks from strangers who don't understand their relationship, but they have been shown an outpouring of acceptance and support for their relationship online.

..."We've been working on a blog and we share as much of ourselves as we can on social media because we believe that visibility and openness is the best form of activism to encourage the world to accept our choices.

● We've seen these next nice folks before, representing themselves and poly well despite the tabloid showcase. This time they're in a women's mag called Now To Love in Australia: Real life: I fell for my husband's girlfriend, and now we're all having a baby together! (Nov. 13, 2018):

"Ash, Rowan and me – a happy family." Photo by Bella.

..."The thing is…," I hesitated as Ash smiled at me. "I'm not really into traditional relationships."

I never had been.

...I preferred to have relationships with more than one person at once.

I liked going on dates, spending cosy nights in, even having sex…with lots of people.

I was always honest with everyone involved but it didn't always get a positive reaction. ...


...Still, neither of us found anyone else we wanted to start a serious relationship with.

Until Ash started chatting online to someone called Rowan.

I didn't usually get involved in the people Ash met. But this one intrigued me.

"Rowan doesn't like to be thought of as a man or woman," Ash told me. "Rowan's gender fluid."

"Interesting," I said, curious.

And Ash seemed pretty smitten. ...


...My hubby's bit on the side became one of my best mates. I was so relaxed with Rowan, I could talk about anything. Even my dream of having a baby…

"I'm not sure it'll ever happen," I sighed to Rowan one day. Ash and I had been trying for years.

"It will," Rowan replied, squeezing my hand. "You'll be a great mum." ...


That night, when we were together, I reached for Rowans' hand. After a while, we all started kissing and ended up in bed.

Our couple had become a trio.

Rowan moved into the spare room.

But we all wanted to be together… so in the end, we bought a huge bed that all three of us could share.

Life was great.

Of course, like any relationship, we had our ups and downs, arguing about whose turn it was to do the washing up, or what colour to paint the living room. But mostly, we got along brilliantly.

Then one day, I started feeling ill and took a test. ...


...Our families were all happy for us.

Some people questioned our unusual setup – but once we explained how it worked, most accepted it.

We can't wait to meet our baby girl and be a family of four.

I know it sounds weird to say our baby was born after a threesome, but we love our unusual arrangement and will all make great parents – we wouldn't have it any other way.

● This time it's an identical-twins twist. From Western Australia, in the UK's Daily Star: World's most identical twins plan to get pregnant together – and they even share a partner (Jan. 4, 2019):

...While this may seem like an unusual set-up for many, the 33-year-olds are very happy with the relationship.

This week, they appeared on daytime TV to announce their plans to marry their partner, as well as their dreams to fall pregnant at the same time.

Anna and Lucy have been dating Ben Byrne, 35, for six years. ... As a twin himself, he also understands their bond.

The trio now live together and enjoy a polyamorous relationship.

Previously, Lucy explained why this agreement works so well for the trio. She said: "We're with each other 24/7, me and my sister; it's just easier to share a boyfriend because we're always together.

..."We have the same taste in everything, so obviously we're going to like the same boy too.”

...This week, they told Australia’s Today programme: “Our mum’s actually convincing us to give birth naturally…

“We need to be pregnant at the same time.”

How is that going to work?

“It’s going to be another challenge. There’s a lot of pressure on Ben.”

● This next triad have also been featured in the tabs before. This time they're in Metro UK: People judge me for having a husband and a girlfriend, but my open marriage is proof that polyamory works. Cathy Keen, writing here in the first person, is the Community & Events Manager for Feeld, a dating platform for the multi-minded originally named 3nder.

Nicole, Cathy, Thomas

...Many people still idealise being sexually faithful to one person for life, despite statistical evidence that over one third of divorces involve some form of infidelity.

...Life-long monogamy has always seemed like a strange and bleak option to me – but as a committed married woman, I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt or upset my partner.

Thankfully, early conversations with my husband Thomas signalled that we were on the same page when it came to relationships. We both longed for the stability and security of a long-term partnership, but also the freedom to get intimately close with other people.

...Not knowing how or where to start, we found ourselves in the only place that seemed remotely capable of giving us what we desired: a sex party.

Our first party was a very interesting experience.

Thomas is a beautiful creature and tends to catch the attention of admirers whenever we go out. Normally those admirers will look away if I notice them staring, but not here.

At a sex party, onlookers are more than happy to hold your gaze and will normally back this up with a smile, before they sidle over for a chat and a closer look.

It’s interesting how a consensual, safe space affects the dynamic between people and partners. There’s ease and a certain playfulness to conversation when the threat of jealousy is removed. I was made to feel very included by everyone we spoke to, and I loved it. ... We surfaced six hours later, feeling exhausted but alive.

...We attended more parties but enjoyed them less as time went on. The people we met were always short term ‘acquaintances’ and without any real opportunity to get to know them, it started to leave us feeling cold. What Thomas and I really desired was to have more meaningful, long-term relationships.

...We had a relationship with two other people and identified as a poly-quad for about a year. Falling in love with others – while still in love with my husband – was an intense experience.

The first time it happened, I didn’t know if (or how) I should set boundaries. Without any experience to rely on, I made my mistakes and learned the hard way that making sure all parties want the same thing is a must if you hope for an easy life.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case on this occasion and the relationship broke down. It took Thomas and me a long time to recover from the heartbreak, which was a very strange and sad experience to share as a couple.

After a year, we plucked up the courage to date other people again and this time, armed with our new awareness, we were much more careful about the people we courted. ...


...As soon as he and Nicole started talking, the sparks began to fly. The relationship progressed effortlessly into the three-way setup we have today.

People always assume that I must struggle with some kind of jealousy in a relationship like ours, but the truth is that everything is easier with Nicole around.

She’s kind, considerate, loving and supportive, and also fiercely independent and aware of her own needs and desires, which I really admire.

Although sex is part of our life together, it’s our friendship that I value most. Organising our time is never an issue either, because we are all very laid-back about the situation.

The most difficult part of of our relationship is actually having to tell other people about it. ...

Update: Cathy gives an interview that appears in the Huffington Post: Our Marriage Survived — And Thrived — When We Opened It Up (March 25, 2019).

That's it till next time!



January 16, 2019

Polydar: Do polyfolks show certain personality traits?

You know about gaydar: an alleged special ability to spot fellow gays. Although some gay people show their identity pretty clearly, some do so subtly enough that it takes good gaydar to get a hunch, and some don't at all.

People talk of polydar, and I can't say I have it. I sometimes get a hunch if a person seems especially outgoing, interested in other people, secure, brainy, and forthright, especially if they show other alternative interests. But lots of mono people are like that too, and I've given up trying to guess.

Do polyamorous people display certain characteristics often enough to be significant? Jasna of the Redefining Love blog did some online research so you don't have to, and she says maybe yes.

Are there personality traits that are more common among people in polyamorous relationships?

Rawpixel / Unsplash

Lately I’ve been crossing paths with quite a few polyamorous people as more and more friends have been coming out as poly and introducing me to their poly circles. I started to notice that most of [them] share a few personality traits. So I set off to learn the true reason for this — was it just coincidence? Or is there actually any research that would indicate a correlation?

What triggered my curiosity was a conversation with a friend after she came back from a date with a polyamorous person. She asked “Are all poly people that open??” I asked her to elaborate. She said that her date had no reservations about sharing personal life details with her — things she wouldn’t expect to hear from someone she had just met. I then realized that most poly people I’ve met tend to share quite a bit in the first few minutes of conversation. Including myself. I get so excited when I meet like-minded poly people that I often pour my heart out to them in the first half hour of conversation. ...

First of all, let me say this — there is not enough academic research on polyamory v. personality. Most of the data I found appeared in online discussions on Reddit and Quora, random PsychologyToday articles, and blog posts written by poly people sharing their personal experiences. There is one old study [actually 2017] focusing on consensual non-monogamy and its correlation to the Big 5 personality factors among LGBTQ individuals, which found that participants who were in open relationships scored higher on “openness to experience” and lower on “neuroticism” subscales than those in monogamous relationships (according to Elizabeth Retief). And that’s about it for academic research on this topic. ...

Anyways, based on the unofficial interviews of my own poly network, this and this Quora discussion, this subreddit [here's another reddit thread –Ed.], and a whole bunch of other random articles (1, 2, 3, and 4), the top traits that many polyamorous people share are:

Openness and honesty. In polyamory it is very important to be open and honest with ourselves and all our partners about how we are feeling. Openness to new experiences helps quite a bit too!

Flexibility and adaptability. When we have more than one person in our life that we care about, we have to learn to accept them and their needs to make space for them. The “making space” part may require some degree of flexibility.

Non-conformance to tradition. ...We tend to question the norms and not care as much about rules and traditions.

Empathy. Being empathetic to others’ needs is crucial in any relationship. With polyamory, since more people are involved, there are more needs and feelings to consider. Having said that, sense of worth and knowing our own boundaries are also very important, because it’s hard to sustain a relationship while consistently deprioritizing your own needs.

Patience. ...

You have to be an engineer. Just kidding. But according to this article there are significantly more engineers among people that self-identified as poly. I’ve also seen “geekiness” and creativity mentioned....

I feel like another common trait that has not come up in articles is the thirst for self-exploration and growth. I find that I can discuss spirituality and mindfulness with my poly friends more deeply than with my friends who prefer monogamy, for example. But maybe that’s a coincidence.

Read her whole article (January 8, 2019).

She ends with, "Have you seen any other personality traits that are especially important to polyamorous relationships that I haven’t covered?" If so, please go to her article and leave your observations there; I'm just giving it a boost.

P.S.: Word origin. Kamaladevi McClure says here (June 2012) that she believes she invented the word polydar in tweets on April 19, 2012. She certainly promoted its widespread use on and after that date, and she got it into the Urban Dictionary later that year. I find no use before then in Google or Google Books (aside from foreign languages, OCR scan errors, and typos for Polydor Records). However, a Twitter search shows two earlier appearances in tweets; the first is this in 2010. It seems like a word that many people could have come up with independently.


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January 8, 2019

Kick the poly shaming out the door

That Psychology Today roundup of 2018's top consensual non-monogamy research results included a finding by Heath Schechinger and colleagues that uneducated therapists often misunderstand and shame their poly clients, wasting their time and money at best and causing harm at worst.

As Schechinger put it, the participants in their study "repeatedly mentioned how harmful their therapists' lack of education about CNM and judgmental attitudes were. Over half of our participants indicated that their therapist held judgmental or pathologizing views of consensual non-monogamy, and one-fifth of our participants reported that their therapist lacked the basic knowledge of consensual non-monogamy issues necessary to be effective."

See more about the new organized professional response to this problem here, including Schechinger's petition to support relationship diversity issues in therapy.

But of course the problem is much wider. It's getting a little better every year, as polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy become more widely discussed and understood. But still....

● It's worse when you internalize it, even if you know better. So it was heartening to see this from Anna Pulley, sex advice columnist for the mainstream Chicago Tribune's arts & entertainment weekly RedEye.

Ask Anna: How do I get over my internalized polyamory shame?

Dear Anna,

I'm a poly, queer woman. Though my partners and I are happy, how do I get over internalized shame about being poly — that I’m “greedy” and “irresponsible”? —Anon.

Dear Anon.,

I’ve always found the idea of greediness in polyamory especially interesting, because it’s so counter-intuitive. For starters, poly people by definition know how to share. This is the opposite of, say, monogamy, which is based on ideas of possession, ownership and, in legal terms, a means to consolidate wealth by creating paternal heirs.

Imagine if we said having more than one friend was greedy? Imagine if we said single folks who date multiple people at a time (an extremely common practice) were greedy, or even serial monogamists....

We’ve internalized the message that anything that deviates from that norm is bad, weird, wrong and even immoral. You’ve got a double dose of “deviance” as a queer person and a poly person.

How do you let go of those harmful messages and beliefs? By telling yourself a better story, over and over, as many times as it takes. The narratives we tell ourselves impact our actions, our behaviors and our quality of life. Instead of saying, “I’m greedy,” you could instead say, “I have an abundance of love in my life.” ... Another strategy is to find a tribe of like-minded, poly individuals (whom you are not currently dating) to share with and vent to....

Read the whole column (December 3, 2018).

● This stuff can have larger societal effects not anticipated by any participant, says Anne Shark on Medium:

How Anti-Poly Advice Feeds Rape Culture

By Anne Shark

I haven’t told too many people I’m polyamorous. I’ve told a few friends ... and through the grapevine, most of our mutual friends and acquaintances have found out. They learned the info in a way that was comfortable for all involved: for them, they didn’t have to provide a polite or supportive reaction to the news that might have challenged their own values, and for me, I didn’t have to offer an explanation or defend myself from their judgement — real or imagined.

Safe because we wouldn’t hear all the ugly questions that might emerge from our unconscious programming, questions like “why can’t you just appreciate what you have?” or “who do you think you are, sleeping around, letting guys take advantage of you?”

After experiencing more than one sexual violation since starting my poly journey, it’s hard to not wonder why the hell I would put myself in that situation… just as, after being mugged, assaulted or raped while walking home late at night, a woman might ask herself why she was out walking alone late at night. ...

These are both examples of rape culture. The question: why would you walk around late at night? being placed on a woman who was assaulted blames the woman. Why would you be polyamorous? is the same thing, when the question comes after a story about sexual assault that happened during a date.

Joe Gardner / Unsplash
I shared such a story at a reading which a friend and I curated on the topic of Power. ... I was disappointed that none of the questions we posed to the audience such as “what is the difference between power and empowerment?” and “What is empowerment to you?” — combined with my reading about sexual consent — didn’t lead to a discussion about sex.

Only one person spoke on this topic. In response to “What is empowerment to you?” she said, “For me, my sexuality is empowering.” I was impressed by her openness. Perhaps not coincidentally, she was the only other poly woman in the room....

If we don’t know how to talk about sex, the abuse of male privilege and power remains hidden behind closed doors, women doubting their experiences or feeling too frightened, uncomfortable or embarrassed to voice them.

...Through sharing these stories more openly, talking about these subtleties, we can 1. Get a better understanding of what is wrong and 2. Empower ourselves to put our finger on what is wrong, band together and find solutions. ...

Dissing polyamory isn’t going to fix the problem, and in fact, my experience with poly people is that they are much more comfortable and open about talking about these issues. We’ve already acknowledged that sexuality is part of our identity. ...

Read the whole article (January 4, 2019).

● A recent discussion thread on reddit/r/polyamory: Poly Shame Shocker (December 2018):

I’ve had an epiphany. I’m more terrified of coming out as poly than I did coming out queer. ... I seem to have a mild sense of shame, or concern something is wrong with me, for believing something the majority does not, which comes as a shock because I believe that I usually make decisions free from caring what others think, yet here I am keeping my mouth shut about partners I love because of fear. ...

● And to close on a happier note — here's comedian No Fun Gaby Dunn, bi & poly writer and YouTuber, on Ash Hardell's channel talking about skittish bis doing the respectability-politics thing regarding those slutty polyfolks. We begin with the show in progress:


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January 5, 2019

All 31 polyamory conventions, campouts, and retreats for 2019. Plan now!

In addition to Polyamory in the News, I maintain Alan's List of Polyamory Events. It lists all the poly conventions, retreats, campouts, and other big gatherings — regional, national, and international — for the next 12 months, with detailed descriptions.  31 of them are set or in the planning stages for 2019.

Here's a cut-and-paste of the list as it stands at the start of 2019, in order by date.


Upcoming Events for the Next 12 Months

Any I missed?  Fixes needed?
Write me at  alan7388 (at) gmail.com
—Alan M.,  Polyamory in the News


Winter Poly Wonderland
January 25–28, 2019
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

Michael Rios, Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, and their friends and partners in Network for a New Culture organize several poly and poly-friendly workshop retreats around the year at the Abrams Creek Conference Center in the mountains of West Virginia. Their goal is to build, over several days, an enduring network of sympathetic people from all over who won't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. “The point is building tribe,” says Michael.

I went to Winter Poly Wonderland 2018 and have attended the (largely poly) Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East for many years. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development, from ZEGG Forum to relationship-skills workshops, are ideal for this ambitious goal. “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.” Winter Poly Wonderland is one of the smaller, more intimate of these events; 29 of us attended in January 2018.

● Poly Living East (Philadelphia)

February 8–10, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

Poly Living is put on each year by the Loving More nonprofit group, in an excellent large hotel near the Philadelphia airport and a rail stop. This will be Poly Living's 14th year (the 12th under Loving More's management). It's been drawing a lively crowd of 200+ for talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Here are the 2019 presenters. Here's my writeup of the first Poly Living I attended (2006). In 2012 I gave the keynote speech. I'll be back again this time. Hope to meet you there!

Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

● Kleines Polytreffen, Winter (Germany)
March 1–5, 2019
near Fulda, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has been organizing transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. According to the organizers, the gatherings serve as "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical know-how. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants. Minimum age 18. Two 'Grand Poly Meetings' take place every spring and fall; these draw 120 to 150 people for up to 70 workshops, talks and other events. The smaller winter meeting gathers about 40." In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

Southwest Love Fest: A Conference on Ethical Non-Monogamy
March 29–31, 2019
Tucson, AZ

The first Southwest Love Fest in 2018 was a great success, selling out with just over 240 people, remarkable for a first-time event. I found the vibe exuberant and excited, the attendees (80% from Arizona) great-hearted and significantly diverse, and the presenters I caught were mostly excellent. The Saturday-night social events included a simultaneous treasure hunt, a psytrance-music dance party with costuming available, and a cuddle puddle in a pop-up gazebo under the stars. There was child care, self-organized discussion sessions on a new alt-sex-communitywide response to abuse and problem people, and brainstorming on poly activism and the Polyamory Leadership Network. The smallish, tropical-style hotel was an excellent fit; it felt like a hotel takeover, a vibe that the management allowed.

Conference organizers Kate Kincaid and Sara Bachmann-Williams had recruited 8 or 10 committed, long-term volunteers from the Tucson and Phoenix poly and kink communities, and the size of the event seems to have been due to word of mouth. Heavy involvement by the local community seems to make the difference for the success of a polycon. Conference organizers in other cities, including Atlanta's Billy Holder and the Relationship Equality Foundation, mentored the organizers and vetted their hotel contract. In turn, says Kate, she and Sara will help advise anyone who wants to start a hotel polycon in their own city (write to southwestlovefest AT gmail.com). They hope to enlarge Southwest Love Fest for 2019.

● RelateCon
March 29–31, 2019
Boise, Idaho

Now in its third year, "RelateCon provides a unique and supportive gathering place for polyamorous people to connect as a community through educational workshops, social spaces, and opportunities for networking. The core value of this conference is to empower healthy relationships across a myriad of configurations." It's organized by the Boise Polyamory Network. The first RelateCon in 2017 drew about 120 people, impressive for a first event, and in 2018 it nearly sold out. Here are the 2019 presenters. Facebook. Twitter. Wrote Ginger Polynirvana in 2017, "We are able to offer a simultaneous Professional track at RelateCon, which will offer CEUs to a wide variety of disciplines such as lawyers, social workers, counselors, and teachers." Here's Kitty Chambliss's enthusiastic writeup of the 2017 event. Here's the local alternative weekly paper's writeup that year.

● Polytopia
March 29–31, 2019
Portland, Oregon (Downtown Convention Center)

Sex-Positive Portland will host the city's fourth annual "polyamory and open relationship symposium and celebration." The 2018 event sold out with a capacity of 150. From the 2019 description: "This three-day weekend exploration of polyamory includes an opening night gala, workshops, panel discussions, a poly house party and a guided poly massage-a-trois. Come learn, play, and explore your edges. Learn from our experienced and inspiring presenters sharing knowledge, tips, and wisdom while we celebrate a passion for loving more. Bring your friends and extended poly family, meet new friends and lovers, find your people!

"Polytopia 2019 offers workshops for those who are relatively new to navigating the joys and pitfalls of loving more and workshops for those who are already well-experienced with polyamory who are looking for ways to better live the life they love. Workshops will be in a variety of formats ranging from lecture and discussion to experiential and embodied activities in dyads, triads and more. We will also offer lunchtime discussion panels and affinity groups to choose from each day to deepen our knowledge and connections with each other."

Poly Big Fun
April 12–14, 2019
near Austin, Texas

In 2018 the usual site for this event in Bastrop State Park was closed for renovations, but now it's open again and Poly Big Fun is back. "PBF is a time for us to come together as a community and celebrate. We hold multiple workshops on various relationship building topics such as effective communication, time management and relationships, multifamily households, community parenting, and more."

● Rocky Mountain Poly Living
April 12–14, 2019
Denver, CO

This will be Rocky Mountain Poly Living's sixth year. It's run by Loving More (based in Colorado), which has put on Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February for 12 years. As in Philly, talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Now offering a CEU track for professional therapists. Here are the Denver event's 2018 workshops and speakers/presenters. (In 2016 I gave the keynote speech.)  Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

● Solo Polyamory Conference 2019
May 4–5, 2019
San Francisco, CA

"Are you new to polyamory and exploring the many possible configurations, or been practicing honest non-monogamy for decades? Regardless of where you are on the experience spectrum, you’ll appreciate the support, community, camaraderie, hospitality, and awesome keynote speakers we’re assembling for your enjoyment, learning, and growth. Building on 2017's inaugural worldwide event in Vancouver BC and last year's event in Seattle, in association with Facebook's largest and most vibrant solo polyamory discussion group, this is your opportunity to meet other solo non-monogamous people and share real life experiences!" The 2018 Seattle conference sold out at capacity 150.

● PolyLove fesztivál
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Budapest, Hungary

Hosted by Poliamoria Magyarország. From the announcement of the 2018 event: "2 és fél nap az alternatív (pár)kapcsolatok, család, a szabad szerelem és a szabad gondolkodás jegyében. Akár csak 2017-ben, most is lesz előadás, workshop, beszélgetőkör, mozgás, tánc, kreatív műhely, és minden, ami csak érdekel. Gyertek el, tegyétek fel kérdéseiteket, osszátok meg gondolataitokat, tudásotokat, tapasztalataitokat egymással! Azokat is várjuk, akik nem, vagy csak keveset tudnak a témáról, de szívesen tudnának többet. ... A PolyLove fesztivál célja, hogy a poliamoriát és etikus többpartnerűséget ismertebbé tegye, baráti hangulatú teret nyújtson, ahol az iránta érdeklődők megoszthatják gondolataikat, kérdéseiket, tapasztalataikat egymással, megélhetik és felvállalhatják identitásukat, és az őket érintő témákban inspirációt kaphatnak." Video. The 2018 schedule.

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Berkeley, CA

From the 2018 event: "This conference will explore issues related to monogamous and nonmonogamous relationships from an interdisciplinary perspective. This event will be devoted to presentations of scientific and academic research related to polyamory, open relationships, swinging, other forms of consensual nonmonogamy and related subjects. The conference does not take a position on whether any particular type or style of relationship is healthy or pathological. The intention of the event is explore the subject in as objective and unbiased a manner as possible. Presentations will cover various topics that offer some possible progress to a deeper and more complete understanding of the phenomenon of consensual nonmonogamy."

May 17–21, 2019 
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; the focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy that can create radically better relationships of any type. The events aim to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios. I've gone to the New Culture Summer Camp for years, and attended the smaller Winter Poly Wonderland retreat in January 2018, and I can't recommend New Culture events highly enough.

"At Spring Camp, we’ll dive into compassionate, loving exploration of our desires and boundaries – spiritual, sensual, emotional, and more. Starting with intensive training in consent and clear communication, we’ll be gently encouraged to step into our power as autonomous, playful, flexible beings."

● International OpenCon Catalonia
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain

2019 will be OpenCon Catalonia's eighth year. It is modeled on the U.K. OpenCon with a self-generated "unconference" program. "An opportunity to get together in a friendly environment and share our experiences, our questions, the lessons we’ve learned, and the joys we’ve experienced in this new territory of polyamory/non-monogamy/open relationships. The basic plan is to combine workshops with plenty of opportunities for relaxing and socialising. Check the what will happen page for details on the programme as it develops." Capacity was increased to 60 people for 2017, but it still sold out well in advance. Here are an account of the 2017 conference and more about past years. The working language is English. Over 18 only. This event sells out far in advance.

● Chicago Non-Monogamy Conference
Spring 2019 (date to be announced)
Chicago, IL

This one-day event happened for the first time in 2017, with big help from the Relationship Equality Foundation. It sold out in advance. From the 2017 description: "Our goal is to help bring the Chicago non-monogamy community together across all the lines that divide us — age, gender, race, class, location, ability, configuration, label, and all of the other categories which house us." For 2018, "CNMC will be all about taking the privilege out of polyamory: addressing race, sex, ability, and class in the non-monogamy community." Facebook page. Presenter application deadline: April 15.

Atlanta Poly Weekend
June 7
–9, 2019
Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, GA

A super-friendly weekend hotel conference of talks and discussions on poly relationships and making them work, and whatever other topics people propose; comedy, dance, and games; community building and socializing. Here was the 2018 schedule and speakers list. Kid-friendly; ask about the kids' program. I've been to most APWs since the first in 2011 (see my writeup from 2012) and gave the closing keynote talk in 2013. Total attendance in 2018 was over 200 (not all present at any one time). On opening night at least half the crowd raised their hands when asked "Who's here for the first time?" If you plan to bring a kid, please register as early as possible for planning purposes.

● Summer Polytreffen (Germany)
June 18–23, 2019

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.deruns transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The organizers say the gatherings are "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical knowhow. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants." Minimum age 18. In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

● Polyamory Unconference
July 20, 2019
Columbus, Ohio

This is a one-day event by the folks who throw the big Beyond The Love convention in the fall. "Polyamory Unconference is an event that is run by you, the participants! Attendees get to propose, vote on, and run sessions themselves. You’ll set the agenda and create an environment of innovation and productive discussion! Request topics and workshops on issues that you want to hear about, or present something — a facilitated discussion, a workshop on a specific skill, or a lecture on a topic you are familiar with. Advantages of the unconference format include: a focus on topics that are relevant to the attendees, an opportunity for teamwork development, flexibility of schedule, and an emphasis on contributions from every participant. The relationships built during an unconference often continue well past the event."

OpenCon València
Spring/Summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
Alboraig, València, Spain

"Un esdeveniment per a compartir experiències sobre les relacions afectives ètiques no normatives: Poliamor, Anarquia Relacional, Xarxes Afectives, etc. Un cap de setmana de debats, tallers i activitats lúdiques que ens brindaran l'oportunitat de conèixer gent amb idees i actituds obertes entorn a les relacions afectives. Un espai on compartir experiències i inquietuds sobre models de vincles entre les persones, des d'una perspectiva feminista, solidària i basada en el respecte. El contingut de l'OpenCon el proporcionen les persones assistents, per la qual cosa cada convocatòria és una sorpresa i una experiència única." Poliamor Valencia Facebook page.

● Polywood Camping 2019
Summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
near Eganville, Ontario

"A kid-friendly poly camping weekend, at Raven’s Knoll Campground. Join us for a weekend of community building as we learn from each other via informal discussions, socializing, and fun. Come meet fellow like-minded poly people around the large communal bonfire; take part in various relationship building and strengthening discussions; share your poly knowledge and experiences over wine and cheese." Swimming, showerhouse, food truck. Camper hookups available, dogs welcome. The program for 2018.

● Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 12–21, 2019
Abrams Creek Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, powerful, ten-day event for eight years. Network for a New Culture explores building intimate sustainable community through practices of curiosity, transparency, self-exploration, and self-responsibility. The days are structured around ZEGG Forum, various self-improvement and human-potential presenters visiting to offer their stuff, and sharing life, work, and play in the West Virginia mountain woods.

“While not exclusively a poly event,” says co-founder Michael Rios, “Summer Camp East is about 70% polyfolk, and 100% poly-friendly.” Here are my impressions from my first year. Here's a bit more from my fourth (last two paragraphs).

About 70 to 90 people attend. Vegetarian group meals with work sharing; cabins and campsites in the woods (no vehicle hookups); bathhouse with sinks and hot showers. Some indoor accommodations are available onsite. Conditions are rustic, but a camp-owned motel is 3 miles away. Kids welcome; inquire early in advance about kids' program. Here's a beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it).

● PolyDallas Millennium

July 11–13, 2019
Dallas, TX

A conference on ethical non-monogamy that centers black voices. Writes co-organizer Ruby Johnson, "PolyDallas Millennium is a sex-positive sexual health symposium that is a platform for marginalized and oppressed groups. We provide education on ethical non-monogamous relationships in an oppressive and stigmatizing society. Educators, activists, and community leaders that are representative of the attendees engage the audience in shared language and experiences. PolyDallas Millennium is a symposium that has space and joy for all communities and all ways of being." CEUs are available for therapists and other professionals.

I was there in 2018 with about 200 other registrants, the largest turnout in the conference's four years. Excellent program, excellent and thought-provoking speakers, and a very welcoming vibe toward all.

Minnesota PolyCon
Summer 2019 (date to be announced)
Minneapolis, MN

In July 2018 this new one-day event drew 86 people to workshops and presentations on sex positivity & consent, anatomy of arousal, solo poly, polyamory & mental health, poly & parenting, poly & religion, deconstructing jealousy, being out & poly, and fundamentals of good communication for your polycule. It ran all day and into the night. The schedule for 2018 was already seeking speakers and volunteers for 2019. Sponsored and run the MNPoly Meetup group.

On the dock at Polycamp Northeast
● Polycamp Northeast
Late summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
Southeastern New Hampshire

This 3½-day event began with a smashing success in August 2016, then grew larger in 2017 and 2018. I attended the first two. About 65 extraordinary people self-organized a variety of informal talks and fun activities: nonviolent communication techniques, general poly discussion, the latest STI information, yoga, campfires, board games, tie-dyeing, a kayak race, cuddle party, dance. The venue is a well-equipped old New England summer camp (all the cabins have private baths) in the New Hampshire lakes region north of Boston. Waterfront with paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, water trampoline. Three meals a day included. It's put on by organizers of New England Polyamory.

Endless Poly Summer
August 16–22, 2019
Abrams Creek Retreat Center and Campground, Mt. Storm, WV

This will be the sixth year for Endless Poly Summer, one of the seasonal poly retreats that Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, Michael Rios and friends produce at Abrams Creek based on Network for a New Culture principles and ideas. These aim to build, over five days, enduring intimate community. I've gone to many of their events and endorse them highly. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are remarkable and effective.

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together.” Conditions are rustic, but indoor accommodations are available. A beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it).

At Burning Man
Aug. 25 – Sept. 2, 2019
Nevada desert

Village of PolyParadise
Poly Paradise has been running at Burning Man for two decades. This is a large theme camp cluster, last year 350 x 440 feet, with 250 to 300 campers, about a third of them new each year. Workshops and events include Heart of Now, Poly High Tea, the famous Human Carcass Wash, the Hiney Hygiene Station, Mind Melt, Revolutionary Honesty, Mindful Hugging Meditation, and a poly mixer. Writes Benevolent Dictator Scotto, "PolyParadise 2018 was absolutely incredible and our best effort yet at creating this amazing On-Playa home. Each year there are many challenges and together we find a way to make things right, together we build an amazing space within the gates of BRC, a place to really call home in the desert." Details.

PolyCamp UK
Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, 2019
West Midlands, UK

New event! "A short camping break away for polyamorous, RA, and non-mono people and their families." The site is a 23-acre scout camp, and all events are kid-friendly. In addition to sessions organized by attendees, available activities will include archery, climbing and abseiling, arts and crafts, board games, bushcraft, woodland walks, campfire activities, storytelling. Saturday evening party with a Rocky Horror Picture Show theme. Accommodations are tentsites and cabins; persons with special needs get cabin priority. Breakfast, dinner, and food to cook over a fire provided; bring your own snacks. Facebook page.

OpenCon Madrid (Spain)
Late summer 2019 (date to be announced)
Avila, Spain

"OpenCon Madrid is an international event open to all those who want to discover that happy and sincere relations are not necessarily monogamous." This is a self-organized unconvention in the style of OpenCon Catalonia and the original OpenCon in the UK. "Debates, workshops and recreational activities that will give you the opportunity to meet people with your same ideas and attitudes, share experiences and concerns, help strengthen our community and enjoy its diversity." The working language is Castilian. 2019 will be OpenCon Madrid's fifth year. The venue has been a large house in the country 100 km from Madrid, maximum capacity 70. The conference has sold out fast when registration opens.

New Culture Fall Camp
October 2019 (date to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July here for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; the focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy to create radically better relationships of any type. The aim to build, over several days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios.

I've gone to the larger New Culture Summer Camp for the last seven years and can't recommend New Culture events highly enough. From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long!”

Explains Michael, "We are exploring the questions: What does it mean to be there for each other? What would it take to be solidly present in each others’ lives, responding flexibly and with love to the needs that emerge? What might we do right now to be there for each other? What role does commitment play? The deep truth is that each person is fundamentally alone. Yet at the same time, there is beauty and skillfulness in interdependence.... And beyond merely meeting needs, we can find delight in co-creation, and in the many ways we can support each other in greater joy. At this community journey, we will open these explorations in a field of love, curiosity, and compassion."

● Fall Polytreffen (Germany)
October 9–13, 2019

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.deruns transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The organizers say the gatherings are "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical knowhow. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants." Minimum age 18. In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.

Polyday 2019 (UK)

Fall 2019 (date and place to be set)

Polyday 2018, held in London, drew a record 254 people and got a very nice writeup in Vice. From the website: "Come and meet hundreds of people that identify as non-monogamous at the largest event in Europe on polyamory, Relationship Anarchy and other forms of non-monogamy. New to polyamory or just curious? Experienced in all forms of non-monogamy? Something in between? Polyday has something for you! In previous years talks have covered designing relationships, sexual health, polyamory and mental health, polyamory and children, and BAME and non-monogamy. There will be opportunities to socialise, meet up after the event, and quiet space if you need a break." Here's the Facebook event page for 2018. The 2018 PolyDay sold out in advance.

Beyond The Love
November 2019 (date to be announced)
Columbus, Ohio

The BTL producers drawn by Tikva
Wolf. (Ginger stayed home.)
This rollicking hotel conference drew a record 300 people in 2018, selling out in advance as usual. The conference organization was again superb, the attendees were amazing and interesting, the energy high, and all of the presenters that I caught did excellent jobs. Many local volunteers helped to put on a rich social schedule in addition to the four tracks of sessions during the day. Here are the 2018 presenters, classes, and schedule.

Also: the triad who organize it say they are eager to help you learn how to put on a poly hotel conference, and they can provide you their project-management software that tracks everything to do starting six months out. Contact them at producers(at)beyondthelove.org.


To add an event (of wide geographic interest, please) email it to me at alan7388 {at} gmail.com.

Kimchi Cuddles characters and stories are based the cartoonist's real life. See her followup strip. And yes, she, "Rajeev" and "Terra" all made it to the Beyond the Love polycon in Ohio.


and their get-togethers!

For socials, potlucks, discussions, support, outings, etc. near you, find and join your local poly group(s). You can:

● Try googling polyamory [your state and/or city]

Check Meetup.com with keyword polyamory and enter your zip code or city.

Search Facebook Groups for polyamory [your state and/or city] and for poly [your state and/or city].

● Check these lists:

   – Directory of Local Poly Groups maintained on Facebook. It's editable! If yours isn't here yet, add it.

   – Tristan Taormino's big list (needs updating), on the website of her book Opening Up. (Send additions, corrections, and changes to raymond (at) puckerup.com )

   – Canadian Polyamory Groups, courtesy of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.

   – Local Poly Group Registry, currently hosted by Michael Rios at polyinfo.org. This once-grand list seriously needs updating. Send additions, corrections, and changes to groups (at) polyinfo.org. If you can help the updating project, please write to that address.


Can't find a local group near you? Maybe that's the universe saying you should start it!

Here is organizer Kitty Chambliss's Polyamory Guide to Community Building. "So perhaps you’d like to start a community from scratch right in your local area. I’m going to give you a roadmap for success to do just that!"

And here are Joreth's many thoughts on the kinds of poly community events that might work in your area. She's been an organizer for a long time and has pretty much done it all.

Prefer audio? From the Polyamory Weekly podcast: Episode #365, Building your poly community with meetups; and Episode #464, Building Your Poly Community as it grows.


[Permalink to the live, continuously updated ALAN'S LIST of POLYAMORY EVENTS]

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