Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

February 28, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Triad storyline on "The Connors," Black Poly Nation gets TV rep, loving polyfamily profiles, community dreams, and evangelical worry that this all hits too close to home

Welcome again to Friday Polynews Roundup, for February 28, 2020.

● We begin with something a bit different. The attractiveness of polyamory for good, decent people has become deeply concerning to Albert Mohler, the very public president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest training institutions for America's largest Protestant denomination. In 2003 Time called him the "reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S." When he talks great numbers listen, and many of them are serious and intelligent people.

This morning he put up a long article expressing concern that polyamory is turning into such a thing that some leading evangelicals seem to be wavering about its wrongness: Polyamory in Evangelical Headlines? A Signal We Can’t Miss and a Challenge We Can’t Avoid (Feb. 28).

The headlines in question arise from that article last October in Christianity Today, America's flagship evangelical magazine, by two pastors coping with the "un-biblical" but sincere polyamorous relationships that some of their parishioners live in and come to them seeking advice about.

Mohler and the two earlier pastors agree that this is against doctrine and wrong. But how to deal with it without driving church members out of the church altogether? Mohler writes:

Christianity Today, often identified as the flagship magazine of American evangelicalism, ran an article a few weeks ago with the title, “Polyamory: Pastors' Next Sexual Frontier.” Now, as we seek in worldview analysis to understand cultural and moral change, we need to recognize that sometimes that change is signaled by how and when and where an argument appears. In this case, we're talking about Christianity Today.

...The article begins by telling us about a couple, Tyler and Amanda. They're married to each other, and yet, there enters into their relationship another man, and Amanda develops a romantic relationship with this second man. They began, "Exploring polyamory."

Then, the article tells us, "Making the situation even more complex, Tyler and Amanda sought counseling from a Christian counselor who advocated polyamory."...

The authors write, "How can pastors and leaders prepare to address questions related to polyamory? Several pastors tell us it's becoming more common for people who identify as poly to ask about their church's view on the matter. Will they be accepted and affirmed?” They go on to write, "The discussion is still young enough that most pastors have some time to construct a robust, compassionate, thoughtful response to the question, 'Is your church inclusive of people who are poly?' " Now, this is a very strange approach for an article to take that will be published in Christianity Today, but it gets stranger when the authors write, "Another important pastoral step is to distinguish elements of polyamory that are in violation of God's will from elements that are simply culturally unfamiliar to us." [All emphases are mine –Ed.]

"When we want to lovingly call people to repentance," they write, "We should be precise about what needs repentance and what relationships or elements can and should be sanctified in Christ. For example," they continue, "The notion of kinship in polyamory is a secular echo of the way Scripture calls the church to function as a new family. In cultures that idolize individualism, but actually isolate individuals, polyamory's focus on relationship, care, and affection could have a powerful pull." They continue, "And in churches that idolize marriage and the nuclear family, polyamory's focus on hospitality and community can be an attractive alternative." This paragraph concludes, "We can acknowledge that many of the elements that draw people to polyamory, deep relationships, care for others, hospitality and community are good things."

...Perhaps the biggest issue at stake in the appearance of this article is the fact that it appeared.... I am perhaps most haunted by the question that is asked early in the article when speaking of those who are involved in polyamory and asking about the church, and whether or not in the church, "Will they be accepted and affirmed?" Buying into that kind of formula is extremely dangerous for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. ...

I do agree with the point made in this article that polyamory or polygamy represents the new front that all pastors and churches are going to have to deal with. We're going to be confronted every single congregation one way or another by this challenge. ... The fact that this article appeared as it did, where it did, in the pages of Christianity Today is a signal to us. ... We are looking here at a signal we can't miss and a challenge we can't avoid.

Meanwhile, a variety of Christians are not a bit hesitant to proudly proclaim that love is love and, within good ethics, the more the better. See my big roundup of such material last October, Poly & Christian — a huge and diverse field.

Meanwhile out in the secular world, events continue apace.

● Today (February 28) is Metamour Day, and I'm kinda proud of what I wrote about it and stuff that you did.

● Remember the therapist Dr. Karen Ruskin, the loud TV and radio denouncer of polyamory and open relationships? As I posted Wednesday, she finally admitted she was wrong:

Consensual non-monogamy is healthy and advantageous for some. Yes, this is a fact, based on client and non-client report. ... I heard other stories. Stories of great love and success opening up one’s heart, mind and body to additional people. Stories of personal and relational growth, discovery and connection. For many couples, Polyamory, Open marriages and Swinging is value add and opens up dialogues with one’s spouse/primary mate that would otherwise never have been discussed. ...

● Ever more triad-family profiles keep appearing in the British tabloids. Here's just one, in the Daily Mail: Childhood sweethearts who invited a single mother to join their marriage insist being a 'throuple' makes them BETTER parents because there's an extra person to give their children attention (Feb. 26).

It comes with lots of pix and this extraordinarily fine, nearly 8-minute video doc of the family, including a visit by the kids' skeptical grandmothers who are won over:

By Jessica Green for Mailonline

...High school sweethearts Leo Barillas, 35, and Mary Barillas, 31, met estimator Kimberlee Slagle, 29, all of Washington State, at their CrossFit gym business in 2015 and became fast friends.

As they spent more time together, their friendship blossomed into a romantic attraction and they formed a thruple in September 2016.

Kimberlee and her two children, Keagen, 11, and Kymper, seven, joined the Barillas' and their two children Carson, nine, and Paige, four, at their home in June 2017, and they've been living under the same roof ever since.

They believe their triad relationship has benefited their youngsters and plan to expand their family, with Kimberlee and Mary hoping to fall pregnant at the same time.

Mother-of-two Kim explained: 'Having an extra body is so useful for parenting, it just means you're splitting the work between three rather than two.'

...'We weren't actively seeking a third,' explained Leo. 'Kim came into the picture as an athlete at the gym, we trained her and got to know her.

'We became friendly and would have her over socially, then that progressed into a sexual thing. It was actually Kim who said "I don't know if I can come and hang out at the weekend because I'm growing feelings for you both of you"'.

Kim added: 'I understood that they were a married couple but I could feel my feelings changing and so I started to pull away. It was incredibly hard for me to tell them how I felt – it was a scary moment for me.'...

...Thankfully, family members have been accepting of their arrangement and even the kids enjoy having another parent around.

Keagan, 11, admitted: 'I like it better having three parents because you have more people to talk to.'

...They share their family life on Instagram under the handle, @pnwtriad16, and want to inspire others to be honest with who they are - even if that differs to what's considered 'normal' by society.

● Oh alright, here's another one, also from the Daily Mail (one day later), also with beautiful pix and video: Mother who is in a polyamorous triad reveals she is raising her baby to be GENDERLESS, as she shares how she is co-parenting the nine-month-old child with both of her live-in lovers (Feb. 27). This group lives in Austin, Texas.

A mother who is in a relationship with both a man and another woman has revealed how she is raising her baby to be genderless - while sharing co-parenting duties with both of her live-in partners.

Brittany Taylor, 32, from Rhode Island, has been in an open relationship with her nine-month-old baby's father Conor McMillen, 36, from California, for more than four years, after meeting him at a health festival in New York.

However, in 2018, she met and became romantically involved with Bridgette Wolleat, 30, who soon after moved in with Brittany and Conor in their home in Austin, Texas, where she continues to enjoy a relationship with Brittany while helping to raise the couple's child Ilya.

Brittany, Conor, and Bridgette with baby Ilya.
Brittany and Conor firmly believe that their fluid, sex-positive relationship - with each other and with their external partners - will have a positive influence on their child, Ilya. In fact, they credit their way of life with providing Ilya with important lessons about love, unconditional support, and the importance of being yourself.

The couple have also decided not to gender Ilya and use non-binary pronouns.

...Despite oftentimes having separate intimate partners, Brittany and Conor attribute their openness and honesty with strengthening the bond they share with each other.

The couple regularly share videos with their 55,000 YouTube subscribers talking about their unique family dynamic. Brittany and Conor have received a positive response to this and hope to continue to promote and normalize fluid, healthy relationships.

'We share co-parenting with Ilya. We split it really evenly,' Brittany said.

...'The relationships we have with each other are so important because they set the vibe that Ilya is in. We're all really intentional about how we show up and the basis of that is so much love and encouragement for everybody to be supportive of each other.

...'It's really common for us to say polyamorous. We've used the word triad before. We've used metamours, but we like the term relationship anarchy. It means there are no words to describe what we're doing.

'We've had such a positive response, which makes sense because of the way we're going about it. So many people reach out to us and say, "I do things totally different, but I love what you're sharing, and I see so much value in it."

'Parents reach out to us and say, "I'd love to have more tribe, more family, more community around me."

'I think that's an innate truth that we used to do this more in tribes. I think it's a lot for people to take on, and it's a lot to do with stress and endurance. So many people can appreciate the vision of being in a community which can help and support them and their children.

'Things like competition and jealousy fall away when you're in this space of thinking we're all doing this together. We really love that undertone of unity and encouragement of the individual in the collective. ...

● On Houston's FOX 26 TV, "The Isiah Factor Uncensored," hosted by Isiah Carey, advertises that it "takes a no-holds-barred look at issues facing Houston's black community." On Thursday Feb. 27 he did a 10-minute interview with a polyfamily of five.

It all began when Shalaun Porter, Alex's wife (at center in the photo below), saw a positive TV show perhaps rather like this one and broached the idea to him. But says Shantell (to the right of Alex) "It was not the best start"; she and Alex cheated outside the marriage. However, Shalaun got past her hurt about it and decided, "I was willing to open up my home and meet her."

It worked, and Shalaun and their two kids (who come on halfway through; they're at left in the picture) consider Shantell an effective other mother. Says Shantell, "They took me in as their own, and I took them in as my own." Although the kids sometimes have trouble getting the situation across to their disbelieving friends.

The parents have faced public hostility but find great community support in the Houston branch of Black Poly Nation (@Black_Poly_Nation), and Alex gets a plug in for its three-day festival coming up in Houston in May. The family's own Facebook page is Portah Family, where we learn that they have represented in the local media before.

● A poly storyline drops into another broadcast comedy series, in the February 25th episode of ABC's "The Connors" (successor to "Roseanne"). From a plot summary: "Jackie hits it off with a fun married couple (guest stars and real-life husband and wife Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey), so much so that they "invite" her into their relationship." (Season 2, Episode 14, "Bad Dad and Grads.") Did anybody watch?

Nor do the show writers seem about to let this drop. The next episode, #15, to air on March 17, is reportedly titled "Beards, Thrupples and Robots."

● At the University of Western Ontario, in the annual Sex Issue of the student Western Gazette, Poly and proud at Western (Feb. 25):

By Emily Tayler, News Editor

...The second-year studio arts major said her fears were common to people first opening themselves to more than one partner.

“One of my fears going into it … was that I’m not going to be the person. That’s something that’s pushed in our culture all the time, ‘the one,’” she says. “The idea that there could be more than one person being ‘the one’ is really scary, because then you think 'I’m not as valuable,' when that’s not true.”

...While monogamous couples find fulfillment in one person, polyamory can bring together any number of people.

While seeing a partner be romantic with another person can spur jealousy for monogamous people, polyamory is rooted in the idea of “compersion” — experiencing joy because somebody else is feeling joy.

“A good example [of compersion] is if your partner is having an intimate moment or a date night or whatever with another partner,” Rayne explains. “I’m really happy because my partner is having a good time and they’re enjoying that, so that makes me feel good.”

...Rayne explains there is still a lot of love between her and Bobby. They’re “metas” to each other: both romantically connected to the same person, but not connected on their own.

The throuple, a three-person couple, lives together with one large bed between them. But each plays a distinct role in the relationship.

...Adam never expected to be poly, but he was already intimately acquainted with the subject through his dad’s polyamorous relationship later in life. His father’s spouse was experiencing medical issues and the couple was having trouble with tasks like keeping the house clean and enjoying each other’s company. A childhood friend of his wife joined their relationship, and Adam says they’ve been incredibly happy ever since. ... “It’s like a relationship that’s a community.” ...

● At first glance I thought this one was satire — of a future when poly is standard and monogamists are the minority weirdos. But no, it's a gay guy telling about his real life in Metro UK, a free paper for bus and train commuters. I’m polyamorous but I’m in a monogamous relationship – and it works (Feb. 24)

By Luis Bracamontes

Deep down I’ve known it for years, but it took me a lot of courage and work on myself to finally admit it....

Luis Bracamontes photo
...But there’s a catch with my current situation: I have a boyfriend – and he’s a hundred per cent monogamous, and so is our relationship.

...After a lot of healthy and not-so-healthy talks where we would listen to each other’s needs and wants, we both agreed to be exclusive. Does it come naturally to me? Maybe not. Was I forced to make this decision? Not at all. Am I just waiting for him to change his mind? Definitely not.

...It’s definitely not fair for me to impose a lifestyle and vision that my partner doesn’t feel comfortable with. Relationships are about consent, mutual understanding and compromise.

...I don’t have to be having sex with other people to express my polyamory. For example, we openly talk about how we feel attracted to other people and we enjoy sharing photos of cute people with each other.

...The truth is: there is no perfect formula for alternatives to monogamy. It’s really a lot of trial and error and mostly having really, really good communication...

● Also in Metro UK, four days later: How to tell your partner that you want to be in a polyamorous relationship (Feb. 28):

By Almara Abgarian

...If you’ve been playing with the idea of a polyamorous relationship, tread with caution when bringing this up to your other half [sic]. To help you start what could become an awkward conversation (but hopefully one with a happy ending), here’s a handy guide on what to say, when to say it and what to do if your partner reacts negatively to the idea.

First, be absolutely sure that you want to do this. Polyamory works for a lot of people, but mentioning your desires about this to your partner could change the dynamic of your relationship, so don’t blurt it out after a few drinks in the pub or use it as an excuse to enjoy threesomes (that’s a completely different conversation).

And take some time to think about why you want a polyamorous relationship – and if you want emotional connections with other people, as well as physical (or purely want to sleep with other people, which isn’t the same thing).

‘Start this conversation at a good time when both you and partner are feeling OK,’ [Dr Martina Paglia] tells us. ‘Don’t start this conversation while having an argument, or when you or your partner are feeling nervous, worried, sad or frustrated over something, otherwise the situation may escalate and get out of control....

But… where to start?

‘Sweetheart (or use a pet name), I have something to tell you,’ is how Duchess Iphie, a relationship, sex and intimacy coach recommends that you start the conversation. ‘I love you very much but I have been exploring the idea of us being in an open relationship. This is not because you are not enough, but I want to explore my desires outside the confines of monogamous relationship. I know this may have come as a shock to you but can you tell me what you think?’

To me that sounds way too fraught and pressury. How about, sitting at the computer, "Hey, lookit this thing on the news. A bunch of people are all having relationships with each other and the couple is happy about it. What do you think about how that would work?" Keep it about something distant you observe together, and you'll get the unforced response that you need to hear. And if it's not to be, you can drop it with no harm done.

● In a similar vein, a morning TV show on Australia's 7News presents Open relationships: The pros and cons, and how to discuss it with your partner (Feb. 20). With 7 minutes of video and a text summary.

That's Friday Polynews Roundup for now! See you next Friday, unless something big happens sooner.


PSA: Upcoming polycons! Four polyamory conventions are scheduled for April: Southwest Love Fest in Tucson, April 3-5; the traveling SoloPoly Conference, this time at a workspace in Manhattan, April 18-19; Rocky Mountain Poly Living in Denver, April 24-26; and RelateCon Boise in Idaho, also April 24-26.

If you've read this far and you're not yet going to any of the big, high-quality polyamory movement events, you should! See Alan's List of Polyamory Events for all 35 happenings on the calendar for the next 12 months.


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Today is Metamour Day. It has deep meanings.

Metamour mug from BashfulBatCreations

Today is Metamour Day,  "Honoring Polyamory's Most Distinctive Relationships."  Why February 28th? Because it's Valentine's Day times two!

This initiative comes from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. NCSF is a well-established nonprofit advancing the rights and legal safety of kinksters, polys, and sex-positive people generally.

Although this is only the second year for Metamour Day, the idea hatched in 2017, posts cartoonist Anna D. Hirsch, a.k.a. PositivelyPolyAnna. She writes,

"In 2017, I dreamed about a holiday to celebrate metamours. I bought the URLs MetamourDay.com and WorldMetamourDay.com. ... I was stoked to learn in 2019 that Keira Harbison, having the same important idea, along with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom launched a Metamour Day initiative, ​declaring February 28 as the day. Later, I shared some of my art with NCSF for their 2020 greeting card contestI am so happy that this idea is growing. I am grateful that NCSF picked a day and has done a ton of work to get the word out, so that we can all celebrate metamours even more.​"


So why is this thing important?

Because look at that small-print explanation: Honoring polyamory's most distinctive relationships.

Which, to repeat, is precisely on target.

Your metamour is your lover's other lover. The defining aspect of polyamory – the thing that distinguishes it from other forms of consensual non-monogamy such as open relationships and swinging – is the understanding that your metas are significant full persons in regard to you, who require, at minimum, your consideration, respect, and basic good will. 

Even if you hardly know them and/or don't much like them, and even if ordinary politeness is as far as you go. A lot like extended family. Because polyamory carries an implicit ethic that for better or worse, "We're all in this together."

And of course, there's no limit to how close you and your metas may become. 

No other model of romantic love 
– that magical thing that has enraptured and tormented and motivated humanity since humanity began generalizes this magical thing beyond private couple-love where most societies have fearfully and rigorously walled it away.

Consider, for instance, that the basic human emotion called compersion did not even have a word, as far as I know, until roughly 1980. (Yes the Buddhists have mudita, but that is not specific to romantic love.) For every emotion word in English, at least, there was always a word for the opposite emotion (happy/sad, anxious/calm, etc.) except for the one emotion of romantic jealousy. Until as late as about 1980. 

Share this on Facebook, from the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.
Share it on Twitter from there too.

● Let's start with some of Elisabeth Sheff's Metamour Day article from last year, Delighting in Your Beloveds’ Other Lovers (Feb. 26, 2019):

For more than 20 years I have been studying polyamorous families with kids, and I have seen them face the usual difficulties that come with life – illness, economic challenges, divorce, disability, and the like. What has stood out to me about these families who remain together in long-term polycules – some of them for 60 or more years – is that the metamour relationships make or break the family over the long term. These emotionally intimate, non-sexual chosen family relationships are so important in polyamorous families that I made up the word polyaffective to describe them.

Positive polyaffective relationships among metamours who become chosen family over time are the backbone of the poly family. Metamours who can’t stand each other and are never able to establish comfort (much less delight) in each others’ presence are not going to happily coexist over the long term. Metamours who add value to each others’ lives, however, can not only support each other when life inevitably throws them a curve ball, but also support the polyamorous relationship with their mutual partner if it falls on hard times.

...By promoting Metamour Day, NCSF hopes “to foster positive relationships between you and your metamours, whatever that might look like. It is not about forced compersion. It’s about communal appreciation within our family structures."

If you are lucky enough to have a metamour with whom you share compersion, celebrate them on February 28!

● That bit about "the metamour relationships make or break the family over the long term"? That's not just Sheff's observation of the families in her own long-term study. Joanna Iwanowska of the University of Warsaw has published a paper titled Metamour Connections as the Underpinning of the Fabric of Polyamory.

"These bonds are significant and constitutive of polyamory," she writes;

...Polyamory stresses not so much the openness to having multiple romantic relationships, but the openness to having metamour relationships with other people. It is this second kind of openness – the openness to metamour contact and communication – that singles out a polyamorous person among other people who might be open to a multiplicity of romantic and/or sexual relationships, e.g. from such a monogamist who leads a double life.

...In a paper that appeared in the Journal of Applied Philosophy, Luke Brunning (2016) writes that “the presence of a third party is a constitutive feature of polyamory” (p. 9), and the third party is typically one’s metamour or a potential metamour. ... In addition to that, I argue that accepting the prospect of one’s partner dating another person entails agreeing to be in a relationship with this person, even if this relationship might remain indirect....  Metamour connections are the underpinning of the fabric of polyamory, and they deserve as much academic attention and research as the polyamorous romantic connections. ...

The paper gets way more academical that I can follow (you need to know your Seneca and your Aristotelian tree model of reality), but those are the basic ideas.

● Cartoonist Tikva Wolf writes, "When things are good, bask in the joy!"

Courtesy KimchiCuddles.com, used by permission. Here are all the Kimchi Cuddles comics involving metamours, 81 of them! That's 9% of Tikva's output of 861 strips since she started drawing them in 2013.

● Kiki Christie's The Benefits of Metamours, a list of six:

1. Backup, with benefits. ...like when (I've actually heard this one) "I don't like anal sex but my partner does, so when he finds a partner who likes it, I cheer and feel compersive!" Can also be applied to more mundane but equally subjective activities like skiing, movie-going, an affinity for jazz or love of dogs. ...

2. The Emergency Contact. ...

3. The Distraction. Someone who you know loves your partner who will go on a date with them while you're on a date with a Very Hot New Person.

4. The FWB for a threesome weekend, etc. Why not? ...

5.The sister/brother/wife/husband you always dreamed of. Share the pain, the joys, the chores and burping the baby. We. Are. Family. (If you can't hear funky music by now, you're younger than I am, but that's okay, sister)!

6. This is the biggest one, and the one I'm not at all inclined to make fun of. It's more than family. It is, in fact, true intimacy -- with someone your intimate partner is intimate with. With someone who loves your partner so much -- as you love them so much -- that the love just carries on over to everyone who is doing the loving.

● Best-case scenario, by Tikva:

Small bumpersticker from Cafepress

  More about today: Here are NCSF's Metamour Day Things To Do suggestions (right-hand side). Another thing you can do is browse PolyAnna's Metamour Day cards and print one out for your meta(s). And there's other swag to browse from NCSFCafePress, Zazzle, and Etsy.

● Shoutout to the folks putting on the Southwest Love Fest in Tucson, the next big hotel polycon on the event calendar, happening April 2–5. For Metamour Day they say "we’re throwing a sale! On Feb 28th, buy two regular tickets and get 1 free. Use the code METAMOUR on checkout."

● Posts the Polyamorous Librarian, on Minx's Polyamory Weekly Facebook page, for Metamour Day "I made an event and invited my partners and a couple metamours I knew I had consent for, and asked everyone to do the same...now the event has fifty people invited. 😳"



February 26, 2020

Dr. Karen Ruskin, former star poly basher, admits she was wrong.

Remember the psychotherapist Karen Ruskin? In the early 2010s she was a go-to media "expert" speaking against the horrors of polyamory and open relationships, which she declared never ever worked, not even one single time. On her website she says she is "known nationally and internationally as a cutting edge tell-it-like-it-is high energy passionate and compassionate on-air mental health guest expert. Appears on various television news networks, talk shows, documentaries, and reality TV. Is also interviewed on the radio and print media." In at least one case she was sought as an expert witness in court to deny poly parents custody of a child. (My past posts involving her: 1, 2, 3.)

She became more subdued about the subject in the last four years or so. And now, in a post on her website, she is retracting her statements and views that consensual non-monogamy is never good. But she does so in a manner that seems to blame others.

What prompted this? She says it was CNN reprinting an article it ran in 2013 that quoted her. The day after the reprint (January 29) she posted,

Psychotherapist’s updated stance: Consensual non-monogamy is healthy and advantageous for some. Yes, this is a fact, based on client and non-client report. Therefore this is my stance of the now, from accumulated success stories I have heard within the client-therapist relationship and outside of that relationship dynamic. I do not judge the information. Of course there are those of whom consensual non-monogamy would not be a good fit. This is not a sales pitch for or against consensual non-monogamy. This is providing an important update, and, I actively receive human reports to date of the successful and enlightening journey many individuals and couples have and are experiencing. This is not my commentary and assertions over 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. For those were not the bulk of the stories articulated back then. To be clear, so there is no misunderstanding, consensual non-monogamy is not advantageous for some, yes, that perspective has not changed. What has changed is the assertion that it does not work out well for ‘all’ couples. One cannot categorize and state it is destructive for all, which was my assertion well over 5 years ago . . .

She goes on to say,

...Alternatively as the years progressed, as mentioned above, in speaking with couples and individuals I heard other stories. Stories of great love and success opening up one’s heart, mind and body to additional people. Stories of personal and relational growth, discovery and connection. For many couples, Polyamory, Open marriages and Swinging is value add and opens up dialogues with one’s spouse/primary mate that would otherwise never have been discussed. In meeting with couples and individuals in the “Lifestyle” (those who either consider themselves in any one of the three categories as listed above, and more), many took the time to share with me their stories that are beautiful, healthy and exciting. Many couples who are poly, have open marriages or are swingers are deeply connected and committed to their spouse. Some couples in the lifestyle have healthier relationships then monogamous couples, and others do not. It works both ways. This is not an either/or debate, which is the different stance then asserted from this professional years ago. This is an important update that has occurred from literal time within our changing cultural climate.

In fact, abundant personal success stories were out there ten years ago just as now, for anyone who had the curiosity and intellectual integrity to pay attention to them rather that ridicule them and swat them away. Some were told to her directly. In 2016, Ruskin is said to have threatened not to appear on a radio show if the teenage daughter of a polyfamily would also be on the show telling of her successful upbringing.

She apparently feels that the real bad actor here is CNN, for re-running what she once told the world through CNN:

When an article is written, the reader assumes the data is up to date. The reader trusts that the quotes are taken from information of the now, not from years ago. For most certainly there are certain topics that psychotherapists such as myself, may share a different message then the message they shared say 5 years ago, 10 years ago. Why may the message shift? Think about it. A Psychotherapist such as myself who specializes in couples, a marriage therapist meeting with approximately 40 couples and/or individuals per week, after year 1-10, year 10-20, year 20-30, with a brief solution focused style, has now experienced the reports and stories of massive varied couples through those many years. Most certainly in the changing cultural climate of literal time, the data such a mental health professional shall accumulate shall be of great significance.

...What prompted me to take action and write this brief article today, is that google sent me an email, yes, that is what happened. Google informed me that my name was used in an article. Thus, I checked it out. What did I discover? CNN.com posted an article from an interview I did in 2013. Reddit.com, RockdaleNewtonCitizen.com to just name a few . . . are re-posting my words from that interview, as though they are my words of the now. ...

Her whole statement.

No acknowledgement of the wreckage her public misinformation may have caused, or people she may have harmed. Did she ever present testimony in court that she now considers mistaken? Oh, and she still has the offending 2013 article linked from her website.

Never mind. As more people come to understand polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy; as the kids of polyfamilies turn out fine; and as people increasingly learn that some respected friend or relative has been poly all along, the opposition is gradually falling apart.


BTW: No one is saying polyamory or open relationships are right for everyone. Many people, perhaps most, will probably always want and need a relationship to be monogamous at least for a long stretch of their life.

Instead, the message of the poly movement has always been relationship choice: that you should examine your own wants, needs, hopes and dreams, decide what relationship structure is right or at least acceptable for you, and only pursue serious partners who have hopes, dreams, and requirements to match. Part of this is that all parties should muster the character to be honest with themselves and each other, and to honor whatever agreements they make — unless the agreements are mutually renegotiated freely from a basis of equality, or until the relationship ends.


Remember, Friday the 28th is Metamour Day! Because it's Valentine's Day times two. Make your plans.


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February 21, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup – The Val's Day polyamory media surge, more upcoming TV, polygroups are "all in this together," and more

Welcome to Friday Polynews Roundup for February 21, 2020!

The big polynews of the week was the remarkable burst of national media attention to the episode of HGTV's House Hunters in which an MFF triad went looking to buy a house. I reported on that flood yesterday, so that's out of the way. Whew.

Next up, we start with a piece of other TV news:

● Premiering March 14 on BET (Black Entertainment Television) is a new series titled "Open." Posts WCLK in Atlanta, First Look Images from ‘Open’ featuring Essence Atkins, Keith Robinson and Matt Cedeño (Feb. 16)

Keith Robinson and Essence Atkins in "Open" (Nina Holiday Entertainment)

'Open' explores the complications of the open marriage of Cameron (Keith Robinson, “Saints & Sinners,” “Dreamgirls”) and Wren (Essence Atkins, “Ambitions,” “Marlon”), who have been married for eight years, although the last two years of their matrimony have been open. They set rules as boundaries to assure a healthy open relationship, however they quickly learn that rules applied to the art of emotion will often be broken.

...“I'm so honored that my directorial feature has been a story about love, forgiveness and communication,” said [writer-director Cas] Sigers-Beedles in a statement. “The gems about honesty within this story are much needed today, as marriage and love expectations climb higher than what we can often achieve."...

No trailer yet. No telling where this one might go.

Valentine's Day, that beloved, oversugared, fraught symbol of very traditional romance, always provokes media attention to nontraditional relationship forms.

For instance Pittsburgh Magazine, a glossy, upscale city monthly, chose Val's Day to post a long, positive feature from its March print issue online: Polyamorous: Changing Stereotypes about a Non-Monogamous Lifestyle.

Pittsburghers pursuing relationships with multiple partners want to change the stereotypes about their lifestyle.

The hands of (from left) Whiskey, Dom, and Pete.

By Justin Vellucci, Photos by David Kelly

This is a Pittsburgh family — three adults of different ages, races and backgrounds, lounging in a Squirrel Hill teahouse, laughing and sharing each other’s drinks and finger-food on a winter night.

Pete Oddi is 37, white, and blue-collared, a welder and a delivery driver who wears his clothes loose, his beard untrimmed and his queer identity like a badge of honor; jokes always are fermenting behind his rictus of a mouth. Oddi is dating and living in the South Hills with Whiskey Hill, a gender non-binary 28-year-old African American who finds levity in even the most knotted life situations. And Whiskey dates Dom Alexander, a Youngstown, Ohio, native transplanted here three years ago who works at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and easily unfurls observations about love and sex. ...

...“People think polyamory is very free-wheeling – you know, ’60s-style free love. It’s really about connection,” says A., 25, of the East End, a bisexual African American woman whose bleached-blonde braids highlight a face framed by a silver ring in her nose. “People on the outside who haven’t done it would be surprised. You have to talk to people. And you have to respect boundaries. It’s a messy and complicated galaxy of emotions – but it is also very fun.”

...About 26 percent of individuals who practice polyamory reported some form of discrimination based on their lifestyle, according to a 2012 study by the nonprofit group Loving More, which supports polyamorous people.

...The group Poly In Pittsburgh had nearly 1,000 members in 2019. Its monthly meet-ups at city hot-spots – social engagements where people not interested in solo-partner ventures connect – draw upwards of 75 or 100 people. And hundreds gathered in Pennsylvania recently for a conference on consensual non-monogamy.

...“It’s a large population that exists but is closeted,” says Dr. Heath Schechinger, Counseling Psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley and private practitioner, who co-founded, but does not speak on behalf of, the American Psychological Association [CNM] task force. “All we know is this population is highly stigmatized. We need to take steps to protect these people, these relationships. [Research] tells us this is common and normal and not a big deal. This is as common as owning a house cat.”

It’s also, to crib from the modern parlance, trending.

“I see relationship structure to be the next wave we’re about to address, following sexual orientation and gender identity,” Schechinger says. “We’re starting to realize that the ‘One size fits all’ model isn’t working for everyone.”


...Hawkins spoke with Pittsburgh Magazine on the condition that editors not accompany her story with the frequently used photo of three anonymous pairs of feet intertwined under a blanket.

“People always envision these non-stop orgies,” Hawkins laughs. “What it is really is a lot of Google Calendaring, figuring out when you can be with your partners, your family. The most important thing I like to stress about polyamory is that I don’t limit myself.”

...Robyn Trask became executive director of the nonprofit Loving More in 2004. (It is based, yes, in Loveland, Colorado.) She says the organization, which promotes awareness and education around consensual non-monogamy, holds an annual conference “to create a safe space for people to explore polyamory, relationships and other points of sexuality.”

The 2020 conference took place Feb. 7-9 in Philadelphia. The first Poly Living Conference was held in 2005 but Loving More has been having conferences since 1986.

“Our goal, our mission, is to educate people about polyamory and to discuss that there are many kinds of love – it comes in many forms,” says Trask, who is married and has been polyamorous for 30 years. “People [used to be] shocked by what we’re teaching, but that doesn’t happen as much anymore.”


...All three have found camaraderie in Pittsburgh’s polyamorous communities.

“There’s a real sense of, ‘We’re all in this together,’” Hill says. “That, more than anything, is what consensual non-monogamy is at its core. It’s about caring for other people. And I think in humanity, and in American society, that’s something we’ve lost.”

Go click through to the whole article. It's a good read and a fine intro for the many who, believe it or not, still haven't heard of this thing we do.

USA Today, one day after enthusing all over the "House Hunters" triad, presented a long Val's Day poly-101 intro for people new to the concept: What you need to know about polyamory — including throuples — but were too afraid to ask (Feb. 14). It comes with a 1-minute slide show:

By Joshua Bote

Romantic relationships aren't always just between two people. Sometimes, these relationships may involve three or four — or even more people. This is known as polyamory.

...It's part of the broader umbrella of consensual non-monogamy, said Crystal Byrd Farmer, a writer based in Gastonia, North Carolina and the online editor of the magazine and forum Black & Poly.

In short, polyamory is when people are "in consenting relationships with multiple people," Farmer told USA TODAY. There are plenty of varying perspectives on how polyamorous relationships work, she said, but ultimately, all polyamorous relationships are different and based on the needs and wants of the people involved.

Polyamory comes with its own set of guidelines and issues. And to be clear, people in the polyamory community say not everyone should pursue it, even if it sounds appealing.

Below are a few questions you may have had about polyamory, but were too afraid to ask.

A throuple is a relationship in which all three people are involved with each other intimately.... There are also quads, which are similar to triads except they involve four people.

Polyamorous relationships can be as simple as a throuple that is only connected to each other, or as complicated as a network of people who can be involved or not involved with each other.

In these relationships, there are metamours, which are people who your partner is seeing but you are not involved in.

Everyone in the network is commonly known as a polycule, no matter how many people are in it. ...

...Polyamory is not just about sex, both Farmer and [Mimi] Schippers point out, whereas open marriages, open relationships and swinging tend to emphasize the sexual parts of a relationship.

"If it's mostly sexual, it may not be considered polyamory," Farmer said. "Polyamorous people try to emphasize that there's a romantic love element to it."

Schippers agrees, but notes that it may not always be a romantic facet to polyamory either.

"Like with monogamous couples, (polyamorous relationships have) a sense of mutual interdependency and responsibility to each other," she said. "That's what distinguishes polyamory from other forms of consensual non-monogamy."

...Polyamory is absolutely not an excuse to cheat, both Farmer and Schippers say. ... "If you're not ethical in a monogamous relationship, how are you going to be ethical in a non-monogamous relationship?" Farmer said. "We don't like cheaters in polyamory."

If anything, Farmer says, a polyamorous relationship can amplify the issues that you may have already in a monogamous relationship. Communication and boundaries are just as vital in monogamous relationships as they are in polyamorous ones.

"If you didn't realize you were bad at relationships, you'll realize it after you start dating more than one person," Farmer said.

The USA Today headline indicates that "throuple" has become a hot search term compared to the community's own "triad." And maybe editors are assuming that, whatever the term, three is the characteristic poly number? Can we disabuse them of that, you guys?

But the fact is, threes are the most common form of group relationships, if only because three is the structurally simplest number beyond two. Therefore threes provide the most interview subjects. As I've pointed out, the more complicated the poly bond, the less often it "occurs in nature." Which is why I think couples will always be the most common relationship structure, even in the far science-fiction future.

Meanwhile, unstructured solopolys, RA's, and loose, extended poly networks look too much like ordinary dating to attract much media interest.

● From Cosmopolitan magazine came How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day When You’re In a Polyamorous Relationship (Feb. 12)

Katie Buckleitner/ Cosmopolitan
By Kat Jercich

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day.... So when I started seriously dating more than one person at once, Valentine’s Day instead became an opportunity to worry about letting my loved ones down. ... What if they each wanted to go out to a fancy dinner on Valentine’s evening? ...What if they compared notes and my girlfriend thought the flowers I’d gotten my boyfriend were nicer than the candy I’d gotten for her? (This is not in character for either of them, but welcome to the carnival haunted house that is my brain.)

...I asked a few friends and acquaintances who are dating multiple people what they were doing for the holiday.

Emily, 27, ... plans to see a Valentine’s Day-themed show on the 14th with her foundational partner, “but that's because Fridays are my date night with him,” she explains. “The following day, I'm going to do some sort of cute date with my new partner — probably ax throwing or going to queer contra dancing. ... I probably will get them a card or candy or something since they recently got me cute socks with my dog's face on them.”

...For Amber, 32, “What I'm really excited about this year is that I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful polycule. B. and I are committed. I'm committed to R. And R. is committed to M. But all of us get along fantastically well and enjoy spending time with one another. I've never felt the level of trust and comfort that I do with these three other humans. To celebrate Valentine's Day, we're getting couples’ massages together, then going to R.'s apartment and cooking a big dinner.” ...

And on it goes with more such stories. To the end:

My takeaway: Just like in any relationship, the best way to address my concerns about Valentine’s Day with multiple partners is to talk about it head-on like an adult.

Well, yeah? But so many people need to hear that. Over and over. And over.

● This long piece, in English, flew in from the Buenos Aries Times in Argentina: Love in the time of polyamory (Feb. 13):

Polyamorous, and other non-traditional relationships, are coming to the fore in Latin America, as subject matter for books, series and articles.

Polyamory, defined as the affective-sexual relations of more than two people; relational anarchy, which refuses to pigeonhole the bonds of love into categories; and open relationships, forms of "free love"; are more honest and consensual, according to those who practise them.

..."It is not a war against monogamy, but against the mono norm, which is the imposition of that mandate," says Deb Barreiro, 29, an activist with Amor Libre Argentina. ...

● The Daily Mail in full-on celebrity mode: Bella Thorne asks followers 'who wants to be our third?' as she shares flirty Valentine's Day photos with beau Benjamin Mascolo (Feb. 14):

She's been open about her experiences with polyamory.

And it seems like Bella Thorne is ready to find another person to join her relationship with beau Benjamin Mascolo. ...

● From Vancouver's venerable alternative weekly The Georgia Straight, more than a half century old: 'Poly Queer Love Ballad' creators to discuss love and art at Valentine's weekend event (Feb. 14):

The play follows a polyamorous bisexual poet and a monogamous lesbian songwriter as they attempt to balance their attraction to each other with their differing views on love, amid a mix of pop-folk tunes and poetry.

● From The Bold Italic, "an online magazine that celebrates the character and free-wheeling spirit of San Francisco and the Bay Area": Why I’m Polyamorous (Feb. 13). Why? "Learning to care for and support the people I love, not control them."

Labels matter. On The Greatest, How a Polyamorous Relationship Taught Me Labels Don't Matter (approx. Feb. 14)

...Lynn was up-front about who she was: pansexual, poly, and married. And as we became friends, I began to like her more and more.

...Before Lynn, I thought poly people were just swingers with big eyes, high sex drives, and commitment issues. But as we dated and my short misadventures in the world of polyamory began, I began to notice misconceptions I had about labels and the way I existed in relationships.

1. People misuse the “poly” label — a lot

In the past, I’d dated people who claimed to be polyamorous, but really, they were just cheating. ...

...Another term that’s used interchangeably is “ethical non-monogamy” or “consensual nonmonogamy.” [No, polyamory is just one type of those. –Ed.]

2. Feeling secure is about attachment styles, not monogamy vs. polyamory

Attachment theory is a [label-filled] psychological model describing how the dynamics between humans work. ... My attachment style is anxious and shaky at best. ... A secure attachment style means the person is confident in their relationships. ... Insecure attachment styles can vary, although they’re mainly separated into anxious (low confidence in self but high trust in others) and avoidant (high confidence in self but low trust in others).

3. Polyamory doesn’t mean you’ll get less attention or affection

...To my surprise, whoever else Lynn was with didn’t matter so much. What mattered was the amount of affection she gave me when we were together. ...

4. Don’t assume dating someone with more experience will solve issues. ...

5. Listen to your discomfort and honor your need for respect. ...

And in other news,

The #open logo
● New developments in Facebook's ban on open-dating apps (another reason to hate Facebook). Remember that well-meaning couple who created the poly dating app #open, then had their ads refused by Facebook because #open is for polyfolks and other open types?

The petition the couple launched two weeks ago (go sign it) is catching wider attention. From Insider: Facebook has blocked a queer and polyamorous-friendly dating app from posting ads, saying there isn't a global appetite for it (Feb. 14):

By Julia Naftulin

Communities of queer, polyamorous, and other marginalized people are making dating apps to cater to their long-underserved communities, but Facebook’s advertising policy could drive a wedge in their efforts to reach others.

[Says #open co-founder Amanda Wilson,] “Facebook has decided that sexuality is only acceptable on their platform if it pleases their ‘global audience’ who, according to them, isn’t quite ready to accept the idea of ‘casual dating.’ ”

The company’s view, Wilson said, seems at odds with the fact [that Facebook has] “hundreds of polyamory, ethical/consensual non-monogamy, kink, and swinger discussion groups with over 350 thousand active users seeking to engage with those online communities.”

Wilson sees Facebook as the most influential platform to reach the marginalized communities their app is made for. ...

Wilson and #open’s director of operations, Maile Manliguis, told Insider that they attempted twice to advertise on Facebook. ... “Within two hours of submitting just the general application, we got kickback from Facebook saying that we were not approved because we offer couple and group options, and that puts an emphasis on sex,” Manliguis said.

Reviewing the advertising policies, they saw that Facebook does not have a ban on couple or group sex apps, so they decided to change the wording.

This time, Manliguis dropped the “sex-positive” tag line, removed the word “kink,” and all imagery of groups or couples. Still, the ad was rejected.

That time, Facebook said their “advertising policies are informed by detailed global user sentiment analysis to reflect the global audience on our platform,” according to a message the company sent to #open. The message continued, saying Facebook couldn’t onboard #open as a dating advertiser because “we do not allow dating services that promote hookups or sites with ‘couple’ or ‘group’ options.” ...

However, The Next Web (TNW) points out that Facebook's moralistic stance is likely just a diversion from the real reason. Its article is titled: Facebook uses its ad policies to block apps that compete with its dating service (Feb. 18).

...Ashley Madison, #Open, and other dating sites are direct competition with Facebook Dating.

If you want to cheat on your spouse, Facebook Dating’s there to make things easy for you. It’ll hide your relationship status so you can pretend to be single, and the algorithm makes sure that nobody in your friend-sphere will see your dating profile, thus lowering the odds that someone will tip off your significant other.

In the past, Facebook let sites such as OKCupid – which has options for couple dating, polyamory, and open relationships – advertise on its platform. Even going so far as to allow for what the social network deems “sexually suggestive” campaigns that gave direct mention to “foreplay” and sex.

But now that it’s launched its own dating service, we weren’t able to find any ads running from the likes of Tinder, OKCupid, or #Open.

It’s beyond disingenuous to build a dating service that takes great pains to make cheating easy while snubbing apps that offer romance options for those in nontraditional and consensual non-monogamous relationships.

If Facebook wants to inflict its morality on billions of users, maybe it shouldn’t develop services directly for them that don’t meet the bar it sets for companies wishing to advertise similar products on its platform.

With this going on I wish I could endorse #open. But despite its creators' best intentions, a reviewer says it's still frustratingly buggy: There's still no good dating app for non-monogamous people (Mashable, Feb. 6).

BTW, Facebook Dating may be turning into a flop. See more.

Remember, Metamour Day is next Friday, February 28! "Honoring Polyamory’s Most Distinctive Relationships." Download cards and browse swag. More on Metamour Day to come.

That's Friday Polynews Roundup for now. See you next Friday unless stuff comes up sooner. (Did I mention that it'll be Metamour Day?)


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February 20, 2020

Yes, the dam is breaking. The exploding reaction to the polyam 'House Hunters' episode

Last week I reported about the Home & Garden Channel (HGTV) — usually the picture of middle-American blandness — featuring a triad with two kids on its "House Hunters" episode February 12. The trio were looking for a house with a "throuple-size kitchen" and a master bath with, ideally, three sinks.

Media outlets have leaped on this as an Event. I assume this means polyamory coverage brings them serious clicks.

The entire 24-minute episode has been popping up on YouTube and elsewhere and keeps getting taken down. Good luck. I don't find it yet on the House Hunters official site.

Here's a short video that People magazine added to its original breathless article that I already posted about, HGTV Features Its First-Ever Throuple on House Hunters: 'Representation Matters' (Feb. 13. Yahoo News has also reprinted that article and several of the others here.)

This morning (Feb. 20) another clip became E! Online's Clip of the Week, and from there it was picked up by MSN:

Many stories about the episode — many of them positive to enthusiastic — started appearing hours after it aired, and now the conservative/religious condemnations have also begun.

● On the website of NBC News, What's a 'throuple'? 'House Hunters' episode puts polyamory on the radar (Feb. 14)

By Tim Fitzsimons

Viewers of HGTV’s popular show “House Hunters” this week watched in shock — with a bit of awe — as a polyamorous “throuple” searched for a new home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Buying a house together as a throuple will signify our next big step as a family of five, rather than all four of them plus me,” said Angelica, referring to her partners Lori and Brian and their two biological children. ...

During Wednesday’s episode, Brian revealed the trio tied the knot, so to speak, a few weeks ago in Aruba.

“In this country, of course, you can only be married to one other individual, so we joined with Angelica in a commitment ceremony,” Brian explained, adding that he always knew his legal wife, Lori, was bisexual. “This has nothing to do with church and state; it’s a commitment between the three of us. We are all equals in this relationship.”

By Thursday, “HGTV House Hunters” and “polyamorous throuple relationship” were trending search terms as viewers reacted to the triad with a mix of amazement, confusion and horror.

...A number of Twitter users questioned the practicality of the polyamorous homebuyers.

“The throuple on hgtv wants a room that fits all three of them and three sinks in the master bathroom,” one woman wrote. “Aint no body have a move in ready house with THREE SINKS.”

...Others said that they saw something of themselves in the throuple. “I think a lot about how in the hell I would ever find a house that would suit the family I envision myself someday having, so this House Hunters throuple thing is pretty dope actually,” tweeted Kat Veldt. “It's cool that people are talking about housing for families that aren't traditional nuclear structures. Love to see it.”

...At least one viewer, however, flagged the precariousness of Angelica’s financial and legal situation, since she, unlike Brian and Lori, has no legal status in the relationship.

“Unfortunately, if something were to happen, only one of those women has a legally recognized relationship, so they might in their heads think they are equal, but that third one is going to be left out in some way,” Ed Stein, a law professor at Cardozo Law School, told NBC News. “She lacks legal protections in the case of death or divorce or other problems, and that's why there's a need to do something to protect her.” [True. –Ed.]

Stein has for decades studied nontraditional relationship structures and how they relate to family law. Decades ago, these beyond-the-legal-pale relationships were gay partnerships, but after same-sex marriage was legalized across the U.S. in 2015, Stein turned his focus to other legally unrecognized relationships, like throuples.

Consensual nonmonogamy, which includes polyamory, is not uncommon, according to a 2016 study out of Indiana University published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, which found that over 20 percent of the several thousand U.S. adults surveyed reported having at some point in their lives experienced this nontraditional romantic arrangement. That finding held steady across age, education level, income, religion, region, political affiliation and race, but not gender and sexual orientation: Men and LGBTQ people were likelier to have experienced consensual nonmonogamy....

Custody disputes have raised the legal implications of multiple-party relationships in states like California, where Stein said judges have ruled that more than two parties — two biological parents and step parents, for instance — were legal guardians for children.

“The law does kind of catch up with reality, and family law is about people living their lives, and when enough people are living their lives that way with men and women in equal relationships, and women in the workforce, the law kind of catches up,” Stein said. ...

● In USA Today: HGTV features first-ever throuple on 'House Hunters'; viewers share praise, express shock (Feb. 13)

From left: Lori, Geli and Brian inspect a kitchen.

By Sara M Moniuszko

...During the episode, titled "Three's Not a Crowd in Colorado Springs," partners Brian, Lori and Angellica ("Geli") were moving to Colorado.... The house hunt had an extra layer of difficulty with only one week to "satisfy three very different personalities."

"Lori and I got married in 2002, and we have two kids..." Brian explained in the episode. "I understood from day one, even when we were dating, that Lori was bisexual... and so we evolved to a point where we were comfortable having another woman in our lives."

Geli said they met at a bar.

"I didn't plan on being in a relationship with a married couple, but it just happened very naturally, organically" Geli explained.

...In a statement provided to USA TODAY by spokesperson Chelsey Riemann, HGTV said, "We feature all homebuyers and living choices."

The episode elicited reactions from viewers on social media, with some praising the representation for polyamory. ... Others expressed their shock. ...

● From Newsweek (admittedly, a pathetic shadow of its former self): HGTV's 'House Hunters' Features First Polyamorous Relationship (Feb. 13):

...Some viewers praised the progressive representation, while others slammed HGTV for promoting the polyamorous relationship.

... House Hunters first aired on HGTV in September 1999. It has since prompted spin-offs like House Hunters International and House Hunters Renovation, among others. In the past, the series has included both gay and straight couples, though none have featured more than two partners.

...A long-standing joke about couples on House Hunters also surfaced in the conversations. Many viewers claim the relationships featured on the HGTV series are often dry or annoying. Brian, Lori and Geli won over the support of some viewers immediately.

...Other viewers were upset by HGTV's progressive inclusion. Many claimed that the idea of a polyamorous relationship is "not normal" and were stunned that the channel included their story. ...

More articles from HuffPost, Agence France-Presse, GlamourYahoo Celebrity, Insider, Good Housekeeping, Country Living....

The LGBTQ press also took note. For instance in Queerty, House Hunters features polyamorous throuple hunting for a new home (Feb. 14):

...The three have since exchanged vows with in a commitment ceremony and are sharing the raising of the two kids, aged 10 and 12.

...At the end of their one-week search, Brian and Lori couldn’t decide on which home they liked best, so they gave Geli the deciding vote. They went with a home that was $15,000 over their $500,000 budget, but which offered spectacular mountain views – something they all loved.

● And in the queer Out Front, Polyamorous relationship featured on HGTV (Feb. 13)

The House Hunters triad with their real estate agent Andrew Goldberg, right.

By Arianna Balderrama

...Andrew Goldberg from Peak Properties Group was the [real-estate agent] to attend to the [three house-seekers]. ... Peak Properties Group was formed by Alex Tooke and his husband around nine years ago, driven by his passion for making buying a home easy and comforting for all comes from personal experience. The group loves to help other queer folks find their homes, but serves everyone. ...

● The entertainment-industry press is full of brief stories, such as this from E! News: HGTV Features First Throuple on House Hunters (Feb. 13)

By Chris Harnick

Just when you think you've seen it all on House Hunters, a show that has produced close to 2,000 episodes....

...House Hunters is an inherently social conversation-driving show, so having a throuple on it really got the commentary going. ... Some viewers embraced watching the trio search for a house.... While other viewers were a bit more snarky. "that awkward moment when you're a throuple but can only afford a $500k house," one user tweeted.

● And from Deadline: "In the words of HGTV’s first throuple, “I don’t want our bedroom to be weird. Unless we make it weird.” (Feb. 13).

Conservatives glower. All the attention prompted Princeton University scholar Robert P. George, a leading Catholic crusader against gay marriage and personal self-determination in general, to tweet

The normalization of polyamory rolls down the track, just as I and others predicted it would. It was, as I said, less a "slippery slope" than a simple unfolding of the logic of social liberalism.

● From Michael Brown in the Christian Post, Mindlessly careening our way down the slippery slope (Feb. 18).

● From Paul Bois in The Daily Wire, HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ Features First Throuple Family (Feb. 14)

History was made on HGTV this week when the show “House Hunters” featured its first-ever throuple in search of a home to settle down.

...The normalization of polyamory has become a topical subject in recent years with the advancement of same-sex marriage and gender fluidity. In 2019, the American Psychological Association even launched a task force designed to remove the “stigma” associated with it, even going so far to give the lifestyle its own politically correct term – “consensual non-monogamy.” ...

P.S.: former California congresswomen Katie Hill (remember?) claims some indirect cred for the episode even happening. In Refinery29Katie Hill Deserves Recognition For The House Hunters Throuple & She Knows It (Feb. 18).

Katie Hill (Presley Ann/ Getty)
By Sarah Midkiff

Former California Rep. Katie Hill continues to make her mark on progressive representation in the media, despite resigning from her position in Congress last year. ... On Saturday, Hill tweeted an article about an episode of HGTV’s show House Hunters featuring its first “throuple” in the show’s history. “You know, I’m gonna take at least partial credit for enough of society knowing this term for it to be on House Hunters. Just sayin,” she tweeted.

Hill pointed out that the article’s headline riffed off her longtime campaign slogan, too. “‘Representation matters’ has been my tagline since the beginning so I will take it,” she added.

...The term "throuple," gained significant recognition prior to Hill's resignation from her position as a U.S. representative in California’s 25th district after her personal life became irreparably public. She was part of an alleged throuple, between her, her ex-husband, and a former campaign aide.

During her first year in office, Hill was also subjected to revenge porn after a conservative site called RedState published personal text messages and photos of the alleged throuple, including nude photos of Hill. The House Ethics Committee announced it would pursue a formal investigation into Hill [regarding a different alleged affair, with a congressional subordinate] before she decided to resign from her post.

[On stepping down she said] “I’m leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching,” Hill said in a speech. “Yes, I’m stepping down, but I refuse to let this experience scare off other women who dare to take risks, who dare to step into this light.”

P.P.S.: Another sign that polyamory draws clicks: Scammers have caught on. Many of my Google Alerts for the word nowadays point to sketchy foreign URLs with off-sounding titles, which, if I click them, cause my malware blocker (Avast) to pop up "Threat Blocked."

P.P.P.S.: About that damn word "throuple," yes I know. See story with graph near the bottom of this.


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