Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

December 27, 2019

Friday Polynews Roundup — New polyamory music, Israeli poly anarchitecture, guess who faces more scrutiny, and more

It's Friday Polynews Roundup time! — for December 27, 2019

● From Israel, Graduate of elite IDF Unit 8200 breaks barriers with her free-love commune (Dec. 20):

Shir Talor (crouching) and companions building a mini-dome.

Just a short drive from the hummus shops and hairdressers in the center of Pardes Hannah, there is a free-love commune where dozens of people happily give the finger to societal norms.

Old-timers in the Israeli town think it’s a myth, and even the many hippies who have migrated to the small city of 42,000 an hour north of Tel Aviv aren’t sure whether to believe the rumors of the love collective established last year.

...[Shir] Talor doesn’t take the predictable path of most alum of the Israeli Intelligence Corps’ Unit 8200, who often head successful tech startups or lecture at international forums on cybersecurity. Instead, after 11 years in the elite unit, her big project is to pioneer polyamory in a home dominated by a “cuddle space” large enough for several people to get intimate.

She is convinced that society must become more “pluralistic” about sex rather than view it as necessarily bound up with marriage, childbearing and exclusivity.

“For us, sexuality is not a goal you get to on the way to something or somewhere. It’s a tool, just like conversation or playing board games, to spend time with another person and build intimacy. Sometimes sexuality leads to other things and sometimes it doesn’t,” she says.

Talor is an architect — or as she puts it, an “anarchitect,” meaning “anarchist architect” — and uses her design skills to map the intricate relationships between more than 30 people in the polyamorous group with crisscrossing lines. She calls the diagram a “polycule” because it resembles the blueprint of a molecule, but the web is actually much bigger, she stresses, with many more relationships between members of both the same and different sex. ...

● In his Savage Love column (in many alternative newspapers), Dan Savage this week lays into more baaad "CNM" that sullies our name. He responds to a question about a girlfriend who says she's monogamous and also says she wants the opposite: Open Ended (Dec. 25, 2019).

...We are interested in opening up our relationship, but I have reservations. She wants the freedom to throw herself into her new world without the constraint of having to shut down non-platonic sparks. [She] has brought up marriage several times. While she admits she doesn't have a good track record with monogamy, she insists marriage will change that.

Another concern: The last time she was in an open relationship, she cheated on her then-boyfriend with me. "No exes" was one of their rules, and I was her ex at the time. (I didn't know she was with someone else.) Another wrinkle: When I confided in her recently that I had developed romantic feelings for another person, she asked me to choose between her and them....

I would be fine with her hooking up with women, but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about her with other men.... She would be willing to put her desire for experiences with other women to the side in order to be with me, she says, once we are married. I would love to hear your thoughts....

Don't open it. End it. It's time to put this dumb, messy, past-its-expiration-date shitshow of a relationship behind you. Would knowing your girlfriend is already fucking other people help you do that? Because when someone with a shitty track record where monogamy and nonmonogamy are concerned asks their partner for an open relationship while at the same time demanding their partner "abort" any potential "non-platonic" friendships... yeah... already fucking other people.

...People who are bad at monogamy don't get better at it once they're married. If anything, people who were good at monogamy tend to get worse at it the longer they're married. ... And if your girlfriend cheats because she gets off on risk, danger, or deception, getting married — which would obviously make cheating riskier and more dangerous — could make cheating more appealing to her, not less.

● Indie-pop singer-songwriter Jyoti Mishra of Derby, UK, under the name White Town, released a new album,  Polyamory, on Christmas Eve. Tracks:

You and Him and Her and Me (3:19)
You're Free (2:15)
Love Isn't Property (2:57)
Troo Love (3:50)
Night of Rain and Monsters (2:30)
You Be Me (3:57)
Christmas Eve 2019 (3:40)

Listen here, with lyrics and videos.

From a review:

The "band" White Town consists of Jyoti Mishra, who writes and records the music almost entirely on his own, with occasional help from other musicians. Although best known for the fluke 1997 hit "Your Woman," White Town's mix of musical, political, and social influences makes Mishra one of the more intriguing, although frustratingly inconsistent, musicians in '90s indie pop. – Stewart Mason, AMG

I wasn't much impressed on first listening, but then these tunes began to haunt.

● A significant article from the Black Youth Project: Black women face greater scrutiny than white women for being polyamorous (Dec. 20, 2019):

The societal impact of straying from what is considered a norm is greater for Black people than it is for our white counterparts.

(A scene from Spike Lee's unfortunate She's Gotta Have It)

by Sarah Thomas

Of the many places to learn about my sexuality, That 70’s Show was as good as any... but one episode in particular stood out to me. Red and Kitty attend a party with their neighbors, Bob and Midge. After a few minutes of conversation and mingling, it becomes clear just what kind of party they’ve been invited to.... Kitt rises to leave and giggles nervously as she says, “My God. You’re swingers!”

Red and Kitty quickly dash away from the party, whose attendees seem to be having the time of their lives. It was the first time I saw an instance of open relationships on TV. Instead of tapping into the implied humor at the expense of these “debaucherous” people, I was entranced with how free they seemed. The only problem was that I didn’t look like them. That 70’s Show was a snowy-white sitcom, and it would be a while before I saw myself reflected in portrayals of polyamory in media.

...While conversations about sex and sexuality have become less taboo, the face of pleasure is still being defined. BDSM gear graces the runways and think pieces about triads are found in major publications. Alternative lifestyles such as polyamory can be brought up at dinner parties and people (mostly) don’t bat an eye. [But] when we picture that dinner party, and that quirky person who is empowered by their sexuality, what do they look like?

...In an interview with yesyesnonmono, Kevin Patterson, author of Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities, comments on the responsibility of white people to hold space for people of color. “It’s so easy to not see yourself represented in a thing and then to assume that thing is not for you. Polyamory is one of those things. We need more visible people of color in these spaces,” says Patterson. “But that also means that white folks with platforms need to use them to prop up people who don’t get the same kind of exposure. That means bloggers, organizers, community leaders, etc.”

Like white feminism, the white sex-positive crowd benefits from white supremacy. White people benefit from the assumption of innocence when exploring their sexuality. Compare this to most Black people’s experiences with kink and polyamory. ... As said in Shirley Yee’s Black Women Abolitionists: A Study in Activism, 1828-1860, “[S]tereotypes of black and white women were mutually reinforcing images, not simply opposites; the assumption that black women were sensual and physically strong served to buttress the notion that white women were delicate and passionless.” The assumption of this fragile innocence and passivity of white women harms us because we are seen as deviant beings.

...There is less of an outcry from a white community that could alienate those that are behaving outside of social norms. The people that they have to answer to are usually parents and a few friends instead of an entire people. For some Black people, adopting respectability politics is a gateway to acceptance across communities. ...

News You Can Use

A reminder: Find your options and plan your trips to hotel polycons, wilderness polycamps, retreat intensives, and other polyamory-community gatherings for the coming year at Alan's List of Polyamory Events.

Back again next Friday if not sooner!


Labels: , ,

December 26, 2019

The 35 polyamory conventions, retreats, gatherings in 2020!

In addition to Polyamory in the News, I maintain Alan's List of Polyamory Events: conferences, retreats, and so forth that are large enough to draw people regionally, nationally, and internationally — with paragraph descriptions and my impressions from the ones I've been to. Right now, 35 such events are on deck for 2020.

Below is a snapshot of the list as it stands at the end of 2019. I maintain it continuously for 12 months ahead. Bookmark it, and keep checking in!

And there's always a link here in the right-hand sidebar.

I hope to meet you at some of these.


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

● Poly Living East (Philadelphia)
February 7–9, 2020
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 15th year (the 13th under Loving More's management). It's been drawing a lively, increasingly diverse crowd of 200 to 250 interesting people for talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Here were 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.

Winter Poly Wonderland
February 14–17, 2020
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, Michael Rios 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.

● Kleines Polytreffen, Winter (Germany)
February 21–25, 2020
near Fulda, Germany

The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, runs 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 40 to 150 people for up to 70 workshops, talks and other events, depending on the format. 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
April 3–5, 2020
Tucson, Arizona

This convention is on the way up. The first Southwest Love Fest in 2018 sold out with over 225 attendees, and the second in 2019 had over 400. (The only polyamory/ ethical nonmonogamy convention with more was the one-time OpenSF in SanFrancisco in 2012 with 500.) I was at SW Love Fest in 2018 and found the vibe exuberant and excited, the attendees (80% from Arizona) great-hearted and significantly diverse, and the presenters I saw were mostly excellent. The Saturday-night social-activity events included a simultaneous treasure hunt, dance party with costuming available, and a cuddle puddle in a pop-up gazebo under the stars. In 2019 a CEU track enabled psychology professionals to earn continuing-education credits. There was child care both years. The 2019 event featured a record 50 workshops, discussions, meetups and a town hall.

Conference organizers Kate Kincaid and Sara Bachmann-Williams recruited many volunteers from the Tucson and Phoenix poly and kink communities, and the success of the event seems to have come largely from word of mouth. Heavy involvement by the local community seems to make the difference for the success of a polycon. They're looking to do a complete hotel takeover in 2020.

Kate says that she and Sara will help advise anyone who wants to start a hotel polycon in their own city; write to southwestlovefest AT gmail.com.

● SoPoCo: Solo Polyamory Conference
April 18–19, 2020
Manhattan, New York, NY

Solo poly symbol 
This roving conference, centering on SoPo's, is entering its fourth year. "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 2018's event in Seattle [and 2019's in San Francisco], 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!" In past years SoPoCo has sold out in advance.

● RelateCon - Boise
April 24–26, 2020
Boise, Idaho

"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." The first RelateCon in 2017 drew about 120 people, impressive for a first event, and in 2018 it nearly sold out. Here were the 2019 presenters. Facebook page. Twitter. Wrote organizer 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.

The organizers are also starting a RelateCon in Atlanta; See August 7–9.

● Polytopia
Early spring 2020 (dates to be announced)
Portland, Oregon

Sex-Positive Portland will host the city's sixth 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.... 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 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." Facebook page.

● Rocky Mountain Poly Living
April 24–26, 2020
Denver, CO

Rocky Mountain Poly Living is run by Loving More (based in Colorado), which has put on Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February for 13 years. As in Philly: Talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, dance party, warmth, and fun. Now offering a CEU track for professional therapists.  The Denver attendance in 2019 was 125. Here were the Denver 2019 talks/workshops and their 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.

May 15–19, 2020
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 an enduring network of 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 West Virginia New Culture Summer Camp for years, 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." The 2019 schedule. Video. Another camper speaks.

● Chicago Non-Monogamy Conference
Spring 2020 (date to be announced)
Chicago, IL

This one-day event began in 2017 with help from the Relationship Equality Foundation and has continued each year since. "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." Facebook page. The 2019 schedule, sessions and presenters. Contact: chinonmonocon (at) gmail.com

Atlanta Poly Weekend
June 2020
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 were the 2019 speakers and sessions. Family-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.

● International OpenCon Catalonia
Spring 2020
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain

2020 will be OpenCon Catalonia's ninth year. Originally modeled on the UK OpenCon, it runs by 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." 
The working language is English. Over 18 only. Capacity 40; sells out far in advance. 
Read about past years.

OpenCon València
Late spring 2020
Alborache, 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.

● Black Poly Pride

June 4–7, 2020
Washington, DC

This will be the second year for this event and its first in DC. "Co-founders @calicoeyez215 and @therealchanee are already hard at work with the help of the leaders of the black polyamorous community on the ground in D.C. and Nation wide! ... The theme for #blackpolypride2020, 'Black Polyamory: A Revolutionary Act,' will honor our past and highlight the many ways black polyamory enriches the ways in which we love, live and shape our futures." Facebook page.

● Summer Polytreffen (Germany)
June 9–14, 2020

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.

● Colorado Poly Weekend Retreat
June 25–29, 2020
Steamboat Springs, CO

"The Colorado Poly Weekend is an annual long weekend retreat for polyamorous people and people in poly-relationships to hang out together in a poly-normative, accepting environment. The weekend goes from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon and is held each summer in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Relax, make new friends, and enjoy the beauty of the Rockies!"

Organizer Tom Satter has written that this event is quite different from the Loving More Campout in Colorado a couple weeks later, which is run by his Loving More friends. "The [Loving More] campout is for families and is a camping event. Our retreat is for adults only, because there does tend to be some drinking and a lot of innuendo and we tend to play games like Cards Against Humanity. Also, our retreat is lodge based — people pay one fee for the weekend and that covers all lodging and food from Friday afternoon to Monday at noon. I donate monthly to Loving More and really like Robin and Chuy when I get to see them."

● PolyDallas Symposium
July 9–10, 2020
Dallas, TX

This large hotel conference centers people of color and the black experience. "This does not exclude anyone else! We love bountifully," writes organizer Ruby Johnson. "Our symposium provides a sex-positive safe space for those seeking knowledge about ethical nonmonogamy, who have questions about ethical nonomogamy, or are experienced with ethical nonmongamy. We bring to the forefront people of color who are queer, trans, and nonbinary.  This is space for all lovestyles. We leave all that stops us from loving fully and freely at the front door." Continuing Education Units (CEUs) available for professionals.

● Polywood Camping 2020
Summer 2020; 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.

Rocky Mountain Polyamory Family Campout
July 9–13, 2020
near Aspen, Colorado

Robyn Trask and Jesus Garcia of Loving More have held this informal family-friendly campout nearly every year for more than 15 years. Of late about 30 people usually attend. Robyn writes, "Join us for a weekend of hiking, playing, and just hanging out with other poly families from the Rocky Mountain Region. This is the one thing each year where the kids get to join in. My kids love the campouts as much if not more than I do. It is wonderful to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Mountains and spend time with wonderful poly people." Registration opens in March 2020.

● Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 17–26, 2020
Abrams Creek Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, powerful, ten-day event for nine 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 60 to 80 people attend. Vegetarian group meals; 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 about kids' program. Here's a beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it). Another camper speaks.

● Polyamory Unconference
July 2020; date to be announced.
Columbus, Ohio

A one-day event. "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."

Minnesota PolyCon
Summer 2020 (date to be announced)
Minneapolis, MN

In 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. It repeated in 2019, and now it's back for a third year. Sponsored and run by the MNPoly Meetup group.

Endless Poly Summer
August 2020 (dates to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center and Campground, Mt. Storm, WV

This will be the seventh 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 lovely, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it). Another camper speaks.

● RelateCon - Atlanta
August 7–9, 2020
Atlanta, GA

"RelateCon-Atlanta is a three-day family-friendly conference that focuses on ethical non-monogamy and alternative relationships, providing education, socializing, and networking opportunities. We are the sister conference to RelateCon-Boise, that's in its fourth year.

In our inaugural year, we will be hosting 5 different tracks for different interests and experiences:
**Ethical Non-monogamy and Polyamory
**BDSM Relationships
**People of Color and ENM
**ENM and Family

We will also have a full-time gaming room that will run its own track, a catered Friday night social, and a formal Saturday Night Speak Easy!" The hotel is a Marriott near near the airport. Facebook page.

● Loving More Oregon Retreat
August 14–17, 2020
Vernonia, OR

After a four-year hiatus, the Loving More summer retreat is back — now in Oregon instead of upstate New York. "This weekend-long retreat is an open-forum, highly interactive and participant-driven weekend of community, connection and opportunities to learn. You, the attendee, will co-create the agenda and schedule with fellow attendees and facilitators. We feel the best way to learn is to share with each other, so we offer a safe space for creative discourse, ideas and spontaneous workshops and playshops. The natural venue and smaller group allow an opportunity for deep connections." The site is about 30 miles north of Portland in view of Mount St. Helens.

On the dock at Polycamp Northeast
● Polycamp Northeast
August 14–17, 2020
Eastern New Hampshire

This 3½-day event began with a smashing success in August 2016 and has been running ever since. I attended three of the first four, and what a collection of loving hearts this has been each time. About 65 extraordinary people self-organize a variety of talks and fun activities: nonviolent communication techniques, general poly discussion, genderqueer topics, yoga, nightly campfire, board games, crafts, a kayak race, cuddle party, dance. The venue is a well-equipped old New England summer camp (all 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.

At Burning Man
August 31 - September 7, 2020
Nevada desert

Village of PolyParadise
PolyParadise has been running at Burning Man for two decades. This is a large theme camp cluster, typically 350 x 440 feet, usually with about 300 campers, more than a third of them new each year now. 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 2019 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
Late summer 2020 (dates to be announced)
West Midlands, UK

This new event was cancelled in 2019 after two key organizers were seriously injured, but it may make a new start in 2020. Stay tuned. Facebook page.

OpenCon Italia
September 2020 (date to be announced)
Perugia, Italy

Now that the nonprofit running this event, Associazione per la promozione delle relazioni etiche non-monogame (RETI), has finally expelled its problem co-founder and banned him from all events after interviews with seven women and a series of other things, I feel okay listing the annual OpenCon Italia here. See RETI's statement, in Italian and English. They've also set up a formal code of conduct.

About OpenCon Italia: "OpenCon Italia è un evento della durata di un week-end, aperto a chiunque ritenga che le relazioni felici ed etiche non debbano essere necessariamente monogame. Nel corso dell’OpenCon potrete partecipare a workshop, gruppi di discussione e attività sociali che vi consentiranno di incontrarvi e confrontarvi con persone che la pensano come voi, di far crescere la nostra comunità e di celebrare le sue diversità."

OpenCon Madrid
September 11–13, 2020
Madrid, Spain

"OpenCon Madrid es un evento abierto a todas aquellas personas que quieran descubrir que las relaciones felices y sinceras no han de ser necesariamente monógamas. ¿En qué consiste? Consiste en una combinación de debates, talleres y actividades lúdicas que te brindarán la oportunidad de conocer gente con tus mismas ideas y actitudes, compartir experiencias e inquietudes, ayudar a fortalecer nuestra comunidad y disfrutar de su diversidad. El contenido de la Opencon lo proporcionan las personas asistentes, por lo que cada convocatoria será diferente. Este año es la quinta vez que se celebra en Madrid." Each year the conference sells out fast when registration opens.

● Fall Polytreffen (Germany)
September 23–27, 2020

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.

New Culture Fall Camp
October 2020 (dates to be set)
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 eight 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." Video. A camper's video.

Outside The Box: Pittsburgh Polyamory Conference
Fall 2020 (date to be announced).
Pittsburgh, PA

Laszlo Productions, a Pittsburgh-based GLBTQIA events producer, put on this new one-day conference in 2019. organizer Lyndsey Sickler posts "We had a great time! Looking forward to planning the 2020 conference!" From the 2019 announcement: "We are excited to be putting together Pittsburgh's First Poly Conference. Outside the Box will take place at Persad Center.... The conference is FREE (donations gladly accepted)." The Persad Center is an LGBTQ human services, activist, and community center. The program ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here were the 2019 sessions.

Polyday 2020 (UK)
Fall 2020 (date to be announced)
London again?

In the last few years Polyday has been drawing 200-plus people. The 2018 Polyday got a nice writeup in Vice UK. 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." Facebook page. In past years PolyDay has sold out in advance.

Beyond The Love

November 13–15, 2020

Columbus, Ohio

Last year this weekend conference, under new management, moved from its hotel to a somewhat smaller venue, the poly/kink/LGBT-friendly Columbus Space for Alternative Expression. It will continue there in 2020. No on-site accommodations, but hotels and restaurants are within about 0.4 mile. Many local volunteers help to put on a rich social-event schedule in addition to the class sessions during the day. Here were the 2019 presenters, classes and schedule. The new diversity and inclusiveness policy. Here's Kitty Chambliss's writeup of her experiences at the 2018 BTL.


Watch this space....

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

Kimchi Cuddles is 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, etc. near you, find and join your local poly group(s). You can:

● Try googling polyamory with your state and/or city

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

Search Facebook Groups for polyamory with your state and/or city, and for poly with your state and/or city.

● If you're on Fetlife (NSFW landing page and content; TW: BDSM), you can search its groups for polyamory with your state and/or city, and for poly with 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 kept alive 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'd like to take over 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's organizer Kitty Chambliss's Polyamory Guide to Community Building. "So perhaps you’d like to start a community from scratch 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.

– Simple, exact details of how to run a good, no-frills poly meetup: How I run poly picnic discussions, by Andrea Green.

– 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.

Labels: , , , ,

December 20, 2019

Friday Polynews Roundup — TV series 'Trigonometry' in prep about a loving triad; a 3-way wedding... and darker sides

It's Friday Polynews Roundup time! — for December 20, 2019.

Trigonometry "is a love story about three people who are made for each other," BBC Two has announced. Sounds promising! The 8-episode TV series has been in the works for two years, it's nearing completion, and it will air in the UK in 2020 (no dates yet). We can hope it will also become available worldwide for the rest of us.

The Trigonometry stars, Gemma, Kieron and Ray

Yesterday, RadioTimes.com ("the UK’s fastest growing TV and entertainment website") published Exclusive: BBC Two polyamory drama Trigonometry reveals first-look pictures (Dec. 14, 2019). Only the stills there are new; the BBC issued a press release about the show's selection two years ago (BBC Two announces new drama series Trigonometry by Duncan Macmillan and Effie Woods, Oct. 4, 2017) and another about the cast choices six months ago (Cast announced for new BBC Two drama Trigonometry, June 14, 2019). This text is from those, the pix below are from RadioTimes:

...In crowded and expensive London, cash-strapped couple Gemma (Teixeira) and Kieran (Carr) open their small apartment to a third person. Somehow, their new addition, Ray (Labed), makes the flat seem bigger, not smaller. Gradually, many things become easier, nicer and better with an extra pair of hands.

Trigonometry has emotional and psychological truthfulness at its heart. Funny and full of sexual tension, Gemma and Kieran have everything to lose. As this unusual relationship becomes unavoidable, the trio approach it with the prudence of people in their 30s. Is it possible to love in a different way? But even when common sense, friends and family are telling them that this complicated relationship is doomed, Gemma, Kieran and Ray simply can’t be apart....

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: "Duncan and Effie’s unique and beautiful scripts demanded three extraordinary, honest and fearless actors to play their leads. And I am delighted that in Gary, Thalissa and Ariane, they have met their sweethearts."

...Thalissa Teixeira says: "I'm totally overwhelmed by all of it, the scripts, the shoot, the people. I’m so happy to be a part of this exceptionally original story."

House Productions joint CEO’s Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell adds: "We are thrilled that Arianne, Gary and Thalissa have brought the characters in Duncan and Effie’s exquisite scripts to life in such a beautiful way. Working with two hugely talented directors, Athina Tsangari and Stella Corradi, they have given us something very special, creating a thrilling and palpable on screen chemistry which makes this feel truly exceptional."

Trigonometry is produced by House Productions for BBC Two. ... The producer is Imogen Cooper (Hatton Garden, The Windsors) and the transmission date will be announced in due course. BBC Studios will handle distribution for the series.

From Wikipedia: BBC Two "tends to broadcast more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One."

● Three Californians held their group-marriage ceremony last Sunday the day after a UK tabloid gushed all about it: Polyamorous throuple wed in three-way ceremony where both brides walk down the aisle (Daily Star, Dec. 14).

On Sunday [Dec. 15] Jimmy Silva, 35, ChaCha VaVoom, 31, and Summer Peltier, 25, are getting hitched in a ceremony in California, US.

The trio, who have been dating for seven years, live together and sleep in the same large bed.

They hope the wedding will take their relationship to the next level – although proceedings won’t be legally binding.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Star Online, the triad spoke about their plans ahead of their big day. ...

If you think you've seen these people before, you have. Remember the 420 Nurses? The trio have worked the tabloids on three occasions now by my count, probably for decent money, while not letting themselves be made into a freak show instead of the fun-loving avant-garde crew that the tabs' readers probably dream of having been if only they had the wits to break out of their pathetic lives.

● Some good basic poly 101 in Pink News, picked up from Business Insider: Non-monogamous people debunk myths about polyamory, and no, sex isn’t always an orgy (Dec. 18)

Hailey Gill and Shay Thomas are both non-monogamous, and they told Business Insider that there are lots of misconceptions about having more than one partner.

For Gill, a social service assistant for the National Guard of Oklahoma, said that although polyamory is often seen as completely sexual, for her it is about connecting with multiple people in a romantic way.

She added: “I am more inclined to look for romantic partners than I am to look for sexual partners. [Polyamory] is a way to bond and share your love with more than one person and to show everyone a caring partner.”

Although people who are not monogamous are often told they are “slutty”, Gill said she is reclaiming that label. She said: “I believe it is slutty, but not in a derogatory way. It allows me the ability to share my heart with many partners, and people I care for.” ...

YouTuber Ari Fitz, who has been polyamorous for two years, previously told PinkNews that she enjoys developing feelings for multiple people at the same time, and said monogamy was too restrictive for her. ...

Includes a vid of Fitz telling what she's learned from her poly life.

Insider ran the original, longer version of the story:  Sex is always an orgy and 7 other myths about polyamory you should stop believing, by Canela López (Dec. 16). The myths they list are,

Every sexual experience is an orgy.
Being polyamorous makes you "slutty" and that is inherently bad.
There is no cheating in polyamorous relationships.
You love your partners less than you would in a monogamous relationship.
You can't really love more than one person.
Jealousy doesn't occur in polyamorous dating.
Polyamorous relationships have more pressure because they juggle multiple people.

● Three days later from Insider: What cheating really looks like in polyamorous relationships, according to people who are in them (Dec. 19). "A polyamorous person can cheat on their partners by ignoring agreed-upon boundaries about dating others."

BTW, that would be breaking a rule, not a boundary. "Rules" are things you agree to with others or require of others. "Boundaries" are things you set around your own self and personal space, not your insecurities. The diff is crucial, and if you don't get it, you need to.

● Meredith Goldstein, the star advice columnist in my hometown Boston Globe, handled a monogamous reader's question well — after an increasingly serious dating partner waited way too long to give necessary information: I didn’t know he was polyamorous (Dec. 16). Meredith answers,

People live polyamorous lives in all sorts of ways. If you read up on what it means to be in an ethically non-monogamous relationship (and I'm sure you've done some googling, at the very least), you'll learn that the word "consent" comes up a lot (as it should). A big part of it is about everyone understanding and accepting the terms. That kind of sharing of information hasn't happened here, but two months in, with bigger feelings on the line, it needs to.

Two months?! That guy gives poly a bad name.

● On the subject of not-so-ethical nonmonogamy, this appeared in Paste: Moses Sumney Shares the Dark Side of Polyamory on Stark New Single, "Polly" (Dec. 17).

“If I split my body into two men, would you then love me better?” he asks, softly, vowing to “octopus myself so you weather this.” The lyric video is no less stark: Sumney looks directly into his webcam, silently weeping.


Yes, spreading yourself too thin for the hearts you claim to love is indeed a known problem thing. "Are you dancing with me/ Or just merely dancin'?/ ...Am I just your Friday Dick?/ Cornucopia of just-in-cases...."

There's a common saying, "In poly you don't have to choose!" But in poly and all life you're always choosing, and anyone who claims to love must take guidance in their choices from goodness.


News You Can Use

For those family holiday visits coming up, here's a collection of useful stuff: Poly during the holidays — tales, warnings, recommendations, assembled by me a few days ago.

Each week, I'll try to close with something that's particularly useful from the poly community itself. Suggestions welcome. Mailto: alan7388@gmail.com.

See you next Friday, or sooner if stuff comes up.


Labels: , , ,