Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

October 3, 2019

New York Times wedding story: "Happily, Ever Open"

Oh my. You know it's Properly Accepted if it's featured in the high-society Weddings section of the Sunday New York Times. This lavish, 1,700-word article went online yesterday in advance, starting with the grand lead photo below:

"Daley South and Logan South, who have been in an open and polyamorous relationship since they met seven years ago, were married in 2016 in Austin, Tex. Mr. South’s girlfriend, Ilona Westenra (third from bride), served as one of Ms. South’s six bridesmaids. (Creatrix Photography)"


Happily, Ever Open

What’s the wedding like when the couple is in an open or polyamorous relationship?

By Maggie Parker

Daley South had six bridesmaids in her 2016 wedding to Logan South; one of them was her husband’s girlfriend.

The Souths are in an open and polyamorous relationship and have been since they started dating seven years ago. “We were actually all dating at first,” Ms. South said of her bridesmaid, Ilona Westenra. “I really enjoyed having her be a part of our big day.”

...All of their guests knew about their relationship status (although their parents weren’t completely on board) and Ms. South was perfectly fine with them spending time together during the event, which was at the TFWC Mansion in Austin, Tex.

...Within their circle, everyone was extremely excited about the Souths’ union.

The groom’s girlfriend, Ms. Westenra, said through an email: “Being in a relationship with the groom obviously offered some awkwardness but the love far outweighed any uncomfortability. Seeing my boyfriend marry the love of his life was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt. The love in that room was so overwhelming I couldn’t feel anything but pure love and happiness for the two of them and in extension, myself, because I get to be a part of this wonderful family.”

People who choose to be in non-monogamous relationships are often perceived as anti-commitment, said Cathy Keen, 39, the community manager of alternative dating app Feeld and who is one-third of her relationship. [Remember them?]

But that’s just wrong, said Ms. Keen, who was also asked “what the point was” when she married her non-monogamous partner. “The thing I think a lot of people presume about a relationship that’s not traditional, monogamous or heteronormative is that commitment is not valued. It’s based upon sex and being able to move quickly, and that’s just wrong,” she said.

...On the big day, it seems common for open couples to invite or include their other partners. Anastasia Stevenson, a wedding planner in Los Angeles and Boothbay Harbor, Me., has planned hundreds of events, including two polyamorous ceremonies. One took place at a spa in Malibu, Calif., where a heterosexual couple was having a legal ceremony, with their additional partners incorporated into various parts of the event. ...

...Ms. Keen believes it takes a certain person to make an open relationship work, and “not a neurotic person or a paranoid person.”

“All three of us are very, very comfortable in our own skin,” [Keen] said of herself, her husband and their girlfriend. “That makes you a much better participant in this kind of relationship. Because you’re not relying on anyone else to give you stability. You’re relying on yourself, you’re making your own rules and you have your own boundaries.” ...

See the whole article (online October 2, 2019; in the Sunday print edition Oct. 6 under the title "Happily Ever After, and Open to Others"). It also goes on to discuss the alt-wedding of Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers.

P.S. later: After reading the NYT story a bemused columnist in the Marietta, Georgia, Daily Journal wrote, The world's gone off and left us.


● Also, two weeks ago in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, How to Propose an Open Relationship (online Sept. 19; in print Sept. 22):

Illustration by Radio
By Malia Wollan

“Don’t bring it up during an argument,” says Terri D. Conley, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who studies sexuality. If you’re in a monogamous relationship and want to explore making it nonmonogamous, raise the topic gradually. ...

[And yet,] To make what sex researchers call consensual “extradyadic involvement” work, you need to be willing to communicate often and with empathy. Monogamous couples move into nonmonogamy for all kinds of reasons — unmet sexual desire, boredom, illness, curiosity. ...

[And, as an actual poly person might add, falling in love! –Ed.]




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