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



May 24, 2020

A Navy officer's gravestone with a poly infinity heart. The story behind it.


On this beautiful Memorial Day weekend, you may be visiting a cemetery. And if you happen to be visiting the Historic Congressional Cemetery by the Anacostia River in Washington DC, two spots of color on a certain headstone may catch your poly eye.




The stone is that of US Navy Commander Alyce Grillet. She died last year at age 47 of colon cancer, at her home in Alexandria, Virginia, after a nearly 20-year military career.

There is a story.

 

 
Her obituary noted the details of record: Her career included a variety of roles in naval aviation support, including 19 months aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the Iraq War. "She was promoted to the rank of Commander in 2016 and reported to the Commander Fleet Readiness Center at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, where she served as Personnel Military Director. Her last assignment was as Officer in Charge and Maintenance Officer at the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Detachment Washington at Joint Base Andrews."

And there was some more: "She leaves behind a jaw-dropping collection of personal artwork, focusing in her later years on the medium of permanent marker on canvas. She was a prolific reader of non-fiction, specifically “geeking out” on relationship psychology as game theory, and spiritually identifying as a Chaos-magic Buddhist. She was a community organizer in Memphis and Norfolk and taught classes in Relationship Dynamics and Non-Violent Communication. She helped lead Naval Air Systems Command’s Patuxent River LGBTQIA+ Advisory Team.

"In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to OutServe-SLDN ['advancing fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community'] and the Semper Fi Fund ['to assist wounded veterans in all branches of the US Armed Forces'], or to your local LGBTQIA charitable organization."

Her grave is located in the Historic Congressional Cemetery's noted "Gay Corner," at the intersection of its Ingles Street and Henderson Street. According to the cemetery's LGBT walking-tour brochure, the Congressional Cemetery "is believed to be the world’s only cemetery with a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender section. Although earlier LGBT burials are located in the Cemetery, the 'Gay Corner' began in 1988 with Leonard Matlovich." Matlovich was the Air Force Technical Sergeant who outed himself in 1975 to challenge the military’s ban on gay service, the first US service member to do so.

Grillet "was an energizing whirl of charisma, intellect and passion for life," wrote a co-worker at the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Another naval air colleague wrote, "Please know that your contributions have been significant and will appreciated well into the future by people who will never have had the pleasure of meeting or even knowing about you. You made a difference."

I know about this because, as it happens, my wife Sparkle Moose is old friends with a friend of Grillet's. He writes:


We met at a spiritual gathering, talked for a bit, exchanged email addresses, and hugged twice. That’s it. I left home the next week, on my way to Afghanistan. Corresponding began before I left the country. Images, thoughts, questions and answers — some trite, others touching on what “queer” meant to her. Communication progressed for the next three to four months. Then things changed. She had just started an important transition career course when she got a diagnosis of advanced stage cancer.

I returned on leave from Afghanistan days after she died but in time to attend her memorial service. When her headstone was installed on Memorial Day weekend 2019, I was still in the hospital recovering from a bicycle crash. I finally got in to see it in September, and knew of the words — but the symbols made it all the more powerful.


------------------------------------

The military is now on board with gay rights. But polyamory, no matter how ethically and honorably carried out, is still grounds for court-martial and dismissal from the services, with loss of all benefits including retirement, if a superior finds out and has it in for you.1

But displaying it on your gravestone? Now, she is beyond reach.

And under the Navy emblem she put, "All should be free to love."

When Brian Crabtree created the first widely used infinity-heart symbol for polyamory back in the 1990s, he could not have known all the places where it might someday land.

The Congressional Cemetery in spring

 
--------------------------------------------------

1. Among the grounds for court-martialing someone for being in a group relationship are adultery, even if one's spouse is consenting, willing, and part of the relationship; or the catch-alls of "undermining good order and discipline" or "bringing discredit on the armed forces."

In practice, I'm told, if they want to keep you they'll ignore it unless you're too public about it. If a superior doesn't like you, or is morally offended by the idea of multiple love, you have no defense and you are toast.

 
--------------------------------------------------

Updates:

–  A reader tells us, "Alyce was the founder of Norfolk Polyamory."

–  From another: "I'm retiring from the Navy after twenty years of service this summer, and I can attest that what you said is true. Poly doctors in the Navy have told me polyamory is more common in the Navy than society as a whole, but it's always kept quiet for fear of having a bible-thumping boss who will kick you out."

–  Does anyone know the exact meaning of the emblem on the stone's top left? I do not find this image anywhere on the web. The rainbow triangle of course is gay pride. I'm guessing that when presented on a white background in a sky-blue circle, it signifies LGBT aviation.


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May 22, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — The changing safe-distancing debate, poly in more TV series, an accidental triad, podcasts, more


It's Friday Polynews Roundup time again — for May 22, 2020.




●  The changing safety and distancing debate.  Currently going around the poly world is a framework for coronavirus group-risk management called the COVID C.A.R.E. model, created by Dr. Evelin Dacker, a physician and former president of Sex Positive Portland. Among other things it uses current knowledge of the virus (which is changing weekly) to define six levels of caution from "Very Strict" to "Very Open" and to help you determine if someone lands on this scale where you do.

But wait a minute, is this a good idea?

The C.A.R.E. approach draws from the older S.T.A.R.S. model for safer-sex conversations and agreements. S.T.A.R.S. acknowledges that in the real world, people have different levels of STI risk tolerance whether they ought to or not, and that you can't count on changing someone else's risk tolerance reliably. But you can gain clarity about the specifics of your own level and have a frank conversation to discover a potential partner's level.

Thing is, Covid-19 is really, seriously, totally different from an STI. You don't typically get it from sharing deep bodily intimacy in bed with a close personal partner, you typically get it from some unknown person in public. Nor can you have a thoughtful, searching conversation with a gas station's bathroom doorknob about its past involvement with someone who picks their nose.

Nor can the strangers who breathe your air in the grocery-store aisle have searching conversations with you about your doorknob history during the last week or two, the time it may take for you to show signs of infection. So where's the agreement and consent in that?

A poly activist in the thick of the pandemic in New York is calling the C.A.R.E.S. approach "wildly irresponsible."  A grad student in Boston who is tracking the polyworld's response to the pandemic says,


More generally, this type of discourse (relying heavily on STI verbage/risk management tools) appears prevalent across all polyam social sites I participate in as well as organizations I manage here in Boston. It has been nearly impossible to shift this conversation away from the toolkit polyamorous folks apply in regards to STIs to a new type of infection.


More on this coming soon. Stay tuned.


In non-Covid news,

Yet more poly in TV series!  The Politician, which was a Netflix hit in Season 1, joins the trend in Season 2, which will launch June 19. From Entertainment Weekly, Judith Light teases The Politician' Season 2: 'You're going to see sparks fly' (May 18):


Judith Light (left) and Bette Midler

 
...The 71-year-old [actress Light] returns to TV on Netflix’s The Politician as New York state senator Dede Standish, and she’s proud to portray a complex woman in office. ... The career politician has crafted a careful political image alongside her chief of staff Hadassah Gold (Bette Midler), keeping her polyamorous marriage a secret. But Season 2 will put the pain in campaign, pitting her against young Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) [the star of Season 1], as she fights to keep her Senate seat. ...

...Light’s character is in a throuple, as revealed in Season 1, and [Light] did a lot of reading on those in polyamorous relationships. “It’s a choice that a lot more people make than we know,” she adds. “A throuple is about the relationship among them, not just the sexuality. It isn’t just about the sexual dynamic with these people.” ...


In The Oprah Magazine, from Season 2 of The Politician Has A Premiere Date (published May 18):


Rich kid with ugly weapon facing a serious moral choice


 
[In Season 1 the show followed] Payton Hobart, a super anxious and super rich high school student [the "politician" of the title] who’s obsessed with becoming student body president at Saint Sebastian High School in order to one day attend Harvard and eventually get elected President of the United States. Wacky, right?

...In the Season 1 finale, we saw Payton and the rest of the gang decide that he would face off against New York's established Senate Majority Leader Dede Standish (Judith Light), vying for [her] seat while continuing on his path to becoming President of the United States. But why does he think he can beat her? She's in a secret thruple, which if exposed, could better his chances. So we'll for sure see that play out in an incredibly dramatic fashion. ...



● Next up, there's Avocado Toast, a new Amazon Prime series from Canada in which two bi-discovering millennial women are, among other things, shocked to learn of mom and dad's swinging and polyamory. ‘Avocado Toast The Series’ creator Heidi Lynch says she outlined the queer show based on her own life (on Meaww, Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide, May 21)


Co-creators and stars Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss


 
...Avocado Toast the collection is a considerate coming-of-age comedy that highlights sexual politics via the tales of a close-knit circle. By way of ten 15-minute-long neat episodes, creators Voss and Lynch inform the story of what occurs when two 30-somethings uncover extra about their dad and mom’s intercourse lives.

Molly (Lynch) and Elle (Voss) are childhood associates each coping with a disaster. After a lifetime of relationship males, Molly comes to find that she is bisexual after she falls for a girl. The character is based on Lynch’s private life.

Whilst Molly’s dad and mom are supportive of her sexuality, [she] finds herself fairly stunned by her dad and mom’s life-style. She refuses to speak to them and even shames them. ...

...There is a coming out story for almost every generation — Molly coming out to her mother Meredith (Mag Ruffman), who in turn comes out to Molly about her and her husband Francis' (Jefferson Mappin) poly lifestyle. Patricia, in a way, comes out too of the ageist closet that she has been confined to for the longest time. ...


And in Her magazine, Ireland edition, Creators of Avocado Toast the series talk sex, sexuality, and swinging (early May, undated)


..."We received an education from the bi community who said they felt invisible and unseen. They said: 'If you're going to make a show about this, could you at least say the word?' "

...As the series unfolds, Molly learns that her mother and father are actually swingers who throw sex parties, while Elle discovers that her own parents are getting a divorce — and are, unfortunately for her, ready to start dating again. ...

"Nobody wants to think about their parents having sex," adds Heidi. ...


The series' Facebook page. And trailer:



---------------------------------


With a title like this it ought to end badly, but no.... I Accidentally Ended Up In a Polyamorous Triad — Here's What I Learned from It (May 20). This sprightly piece appears in Shape, a women's magazine mostly about fitness and eating.


The beauty of non-monogamy is that you can tear down the social and emotional constructs you've been fed and DIY a unique dynamic that ebbs and flows and works for you. Here's how that went for me.

three women in a polyamorous triad on a bicycle built for 3, at a beach
Hello World / Getty

By Charyn Pfeuffer

...As a solo polyamorous woman, I was already involved in a handful of concurrent consensual non-monogamy (CNM) relationships when I met John* on Tinder. We met for brunch, drank a bunch of old fashioneds, then went back to my place and had sex (even though he adamantly prefaced and punctuated the date by saying that he did not have sex on first dates). ... I found his sweetness endearing. We started dating.

...I was a patient partner as he and Lynn worked through the many first-time hurdles of having an open marriage. I prefer to practice kitchen table polyamory (KTP), a dynamic where partners and metamours (a partner's partner — in this case, Lynn) all know each other, and in theory, would feel comfortable sharing space together for coffee or a meal. It entails a certain "we're all in this together" mentality.... KTP isn't a requirement in my relationships, but it sure does make life easier. ... [But Lynn] was standoffish at best.

(Accidentally) Becoming a Triad

Two months later, I had tickets for a local burlesque show and decided to invite John and Lynn. The invitation was an olive branch of sorts. I wanted to get to know her and for us to spend some time together. If we didn't click, I wasn't going to push it any further. I've learned that if I meet my metamours, it makes them less scary, less of a threat, and I can appreciate that we're all dating the same person.

All dressed up, we grabbed dinner at a local Caribbean spot. Everything was copacetic and convivial, and as we left, John grabbed both of our hands as we headed to the show. I was happy; it seemed like progress.

John sat between us during the performance, but there was palpable chemistry between Lynn and I. When he got up to get us drinks, I got my flirt on. Hard. After the performance, Lynn and I kissed in the hallway of the venue. We all ended up going back to my place and had a threesome. And that's how I accidentally ended up in a triad, aka a "throuple" or a three-way relationship.... Essentially, a triad requires managing four individual relationships: those between each partner, and the group dynamic as well.

[Who Created Your Rules of Love — You or Others?]

There was really no discussion amongst us — it just kinda happened. ... In hindsight, I realize that Lynn isn't the type of woman I typically date. But she was sweet and sexy, and I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt bad she was having a hard time dating outside her marriage. She was bi-curious and hadn't been with a woman before, and I've been known to readily assume the role of sex sherpa for other people's "firsts."

Immediately, John started keeping score. He'd report on whether Lynn was pleased with the quantity and quality of communication I was giving her. I'm not a big fan of sleepovers with partners but somehow managed to have peaceful nights with John. Slumbering with Lynn was a hit or miss scenario, but time was divided fairly equally, and although it was never spoken, sleepovers were no exception. I loved snuggling with Lynn. It just didn't need to be an all-night event every time.

Don't get me wrong. I loved John and cared about Lynn immensely. But planning and dividing time between two people, then trying to schedule time with all of us (because remember, a triad requires managing four individual relationships), was overwhelming. Not to mention expensive. They rarely paid for anything, and that's my fault for not setting a firm financial boundary. ...

The good outweighed the bad, though. We had some great adventures, and there was a lot of love and respect between the three of us. And for six months, we had regular, mind-blowingly good threesomes.

Spoiler: It ended. ...

In retrospect, I took on too many "firsts." It's challenging to be a couple's first polyamorous experience, first threesome experience, first kink experience, and someone's first same-sex experience. Any one of those aspects would be a lot to navigate, in and of itself. I took them all on with a couple who'd just opened their marriage and had no experience in CNM.

...Nowadays, I screen dates way more carefully. I steer clear of newly-divorced people and just-opened relationships. I have a lot of sexual and dating experience; I'm not a 101-level partner. I get that everyone needs to start somewhere, but I'm tired of being part of the prerequisite learning curve on non-monogamy (or queerness or kink).

My Tinder profile now reads: "If you're not experienced with consensual non-monogamy, we're probably not a good fit."

Writer's Note: For people curious about learning more about CNM relationship models, Amory is a beautifully raw and frank podcast on exploring polyamory. Also, Opening Up by Tristan Taormino is my go-to guide for beginners.



Some people like audio more than text, and you can't read while driving. Two months ago contributor Bailey on Autostraddle suggested 11 Books for Getting Started with Polyamory and Non-Monogamy. Now they're back with 8 Podcasts to Get Started With Polyamory and Non-Monogamy (May 19). Actually, these are 8 particular podcast episodes:


Adulting #51
“When Does Monogamy Fail?

All My Relations #5
“Decolonizing Sex”

Bi Any Means Podcast #152
“Polyamory Panel”

Black Radical Queer #17
“I Gotta Be A Sister Wife?!”

I Said What I Said #20
“Polyamory vs. Longevity”

Loving Without Boundaries #64
“Psychologist, Professor, LGBTQ+ Researcher”

Multiamory Podcast #181
“Settler Sexuality”

Polyamory Weekly #558
“When to Give Up on Polyamory”


Click to the Autostraddle page for the links and paragraph descriptions.


● Our British tabloid happy-poly story of the week. As usual the polyfam is actually in the USA, this time in Nashville: Polyamorous parents who have been together for a decade invite dance teacher couple to join their relationship and live in their home – and their children even see them as 'godparents' (Daily Mail, May 14). With piles of pix and a well-produced 8-minute video:




Matt and Carmen, from Nashville, Tennessee, who share a six-year-old and a three-year-old, appear to have a conventional-looking family setup, but had often talked about opening up their marriage.

When they started swing dancing lessons they instantly clicked with their teachers, Brooklyn and Keith, and after broaching the subject of an open relationship with the pair, the foursome, who have been dating as a quad for eight months, now live together.

One summer evening, while having some drinks round their pool, conversation came around to open relationships and the fact that Brooklyn and Matt and Keith and Carmen were attracted to each other.

...'We all hung out a couple of times, [and] it happened pretty quickly and very organically, too,' Carmen added.

...Brooklyn and Keith officially moved into Matt and Carmen's family home just a few months after they all started dating.

The foursome split their time between their original relationships, which they dub 'OG', and the new partnerships, now describing themselves as a closed heterosexual quad.

Carmen and Matt's children think of Brooklyn and Keith as 'godparents that lived with them', and the two couples enjoyed hanging out as an extended family of six, as well as double dating.

'Kieran and Ellie know that Brooklyn and Keith are part of the family and that we all love them very much,' Carmen said of her children's reaction to their parents' polyamorous relationship. ...

...They believe polyamory is the way forward in modern living, and hope their relationship is a testament to this. ... 'I've seen a lot of monogamous relationships [where] they just make it work and that's not something that me and Carmen wanted to do,' Matt said. 'We didn't want to just make it work for 20 years, 30 years. 'We wanted to actually live a loving life.'...



● On a different plane, a Science Direct notice this week of a report in the journal Cell Systems is titled Neural Polyamory: One Cell Forms Meaningful Connections with Hundreds of Partners (May 20). "Reconstruction of one thalamic neuron, mapping hundreds of presynaptic inputs and postsynaptic outputs, reveals diverse types of interaction in a neural microcircuit." Postsynaptic readers presumably get it.

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

Oh, and I'll have something you're probably not expecting on Monday the 25th, Memorial Day.

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May 15, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — New poly comics, lockdown logistics, Utah decriminalizes us, Polyamorous People You'll Meet, and more


It's Friday Polynews Roundup — for May 15, 2020.


Continued. . . .

 
Kimchi Cuddles, you have competition. From Barcelona, the Holy Poly Macaroni open triad is turning out cute comics about themselves and poly life situations, in French and English. The artist of the group is Charly, who signs himself Cookie Kalkair.

They got interviewed for the coronavirus quarantine (in hard-hit Spain it's been a really no foolin' quarantine) by Muse by Clio, "the premier news site for coverage of the best in creativity in advertising and beyond. ... We feature long-form Q&As with dynamic makers in the creative arts." This is the outfit that does the ad industry's Clio Awards. The article is titled Tina, Elsa and Charly of Holy Poly Macaroni (May 12).


As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Charly, Tina and Elsa of Holy Poly Macaroni, devoted to educating people about ethical non-monogamy one adorable cartoon at a time.

"Tina, Elsa and Charly, pre-quarantine days"

 
Give us a one-sentence bio of yourselves.

We are Charly, Tina and Elsa, a polyamorous throuple in Barcelona, where we share our daily life as a triad, and exploration of ethical non-monogamy relationships, on our Instagram account, Holy Poly Macaroni.

It's Charly (aka, Cookie Kalkair) answering these questions. I'm a comic book artist, and illustrate short comic strips to explain how polyamory works.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Elsa and I (Charly) live together with our 4-year-old son. Tina has her own apartment nearby, in the same neighborhood. But it's not close enough for us to see each other from our rooftops. Bummer.

Describe your socializing strategy.

We have WhatsApp groups with friends, where we drop daily news and updates. We organize recurring video calls to keep family and friends close. And we started giving ourselves "alone time" to have Skype dates and share a drink with someone we like.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

We homeschool our 4-year-old every morning, a different subject each day: math, French, Spanish, geography, history, etc. ... In the hallway, we've created a long historical chronology, starting from dinosaurs and ending with us today. We add to it every week. It's pretty fun. ...

...What are you watching?

Every week, we watch the latest episode of RuPaul's Drag Race together via video chat. We are also trying to watch a trilogy every weekend, like the first three movies of Mad Max or The Matrix Trilogy.

Since the three of us are playing Apex Legends on PS4, we also watched Battle Royale, to come back to the roots of the genre.

...Any tips for getting necessities?

From our window, we can see when the delivery truck supplies the supermercado. That way we know when there's been a restock. Pretty handy.

...Best work email you got since all this started.

We were selected for a series of interviews about polyamory by Erika Lust. It was pretty cool to take part in it, partly because of their progressive feminist adult content!

An aha! moment since all this started.

Maybe not "aha!" — but cute: Two weeks ago, it was Tina's birthday. Elsa went to her apartment and sang "Happy Birthday" in the street for her. Then she left a bottle of cava, a cake she baked, and gifts in the elevator for Tina to pick up. Quarantine love!

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

We hope some aspects of this strange situation will stay as-is—that we figure out how to maintain good air quality, the low number of planes in the sky, and fewer cars on the road. We've gotten used to this new calm and green city landscape. But I feel we are lying to ourselves…


. . . continued.



More about polyshipping in these hard times: a very long piece in Metro UK, People in polyamorous relationships reveal what it’s like having multiple partners in lockdown (May 11)


By Laura Abernethy

Lockdown is having a huge impact on relationships.

...But for those in polyamorous relationships, the rules are more complicated.

When the lockdown started, Sally had five partners. She has ended up leaving London to go into isolation with one of her partners, meaning she will not see the other four until it is safe to do so.

She has been working from home and living at her partner’s house for nearly two months.

Sally
She explains: ‘The decision was somewhat made for me. I had had a weekend visit with Partner 1 the weekend before lockdown and they had gone to see another partner of theirs, E. The next day (17 March) all non-essential travel was discouraged, so that cut off Partner 1.

‘That evening I started coming down with a mild cold. I was talking to all my partners during this time and I knew that Partner 2 was planing to isolate with their partner K and was making preparations to do that.

‘Partner 3 didn’t want to isolate with me as I was not well when the decision needed to be made and didn’t want to risk anything.

‘When I spoke to Partner 4 about the potential of London locking down they invited me to stay with them. They drove to pick me up the next day, I packed up enough for an extended stay, including plants!

‘Partner 5 is the most casual and wasn’t likely to want to isolate with me in any case, even though we have previously lived together before.’

...Choosing one of her five partners to spend this time with does have an impact on the others. Sally also had to accept that her some of them spending their isolation with another one of their partners.

She adds: ‘In terms of preference, there are definitely partners I feel I’m more domestically compatible with than others, which is natural. ...

‘Partners 1 and 2 were very accepting, having E and K to isolate with themselves. The four of them and me and Partner 4 all know each other and keep in touch in a WhatsApp group called ‘A-Poly-clypse Now!’ It’s a good group dynamic and we are supporting each other.

‘I suspect Partner 3 was a bit jealous and sad to start with. Our relationship is the newest and we were seeing each other the most regularly of all my partners and suddenly stopping that ... has been really difficult.

‘Partner 5 is totally fine, isn’t really involved in anything to do with my other partners and we have occasional phone calls. All is well.’

Although she is very much still in relationships with the other four, Sally says she has enjoyed spending time with one partner. ... ‘We are learning about each other from a new perspective and we are very good at giving each other space for our other relationships and virtual visits with our partners. There is no jealousy at all.’

...Like many people who are in a relationship but living apart, Sally has been keeping in touch with the others through messages and calls. She adds: ‘Partner 1 in as already a long distance partner at the start of the lockdown and this has been largely unaffected. Partner 2 and I are always very supportive of our other relationships and we know that we prioritise other relationships over ours.

‘I chat regularly with 1 and 2 and I miss them but we are managing well so far. I think this is because they are comfortable, established relationships.

‘I am finding it difficult to be separated from Partner 3. I miss them very much. We have set up a regular Sunday night Skype date and have settled into little daily routines of communication that I find so comforting.

‘Partner 5 is doing well and we are pretty much the same as when I was living locally to them.’

--------------------------

Robin
... During the pandemic, Robin has been living with her husband but sees P once a week at a hotel. She explains: ‘Hotels are an "essential business." We found a hotel that we feel does a great job sanitizing and following safe protocols, and now schedule an overnight there, once a week. ‘Booking the hotel room is now included our budgets. ... Dates look like doing essential errands or a safe visit to the park. I worried that we were not strictly following social distancing guidelines. ...’ They say that they are taking precautions, although she was worried about criticism. ... she adds: ‘We follow the hand-washing, masks, and disinfect spray when going out, and we’re being safe in distancing from other people.’ ...

‘The pandemic has actually led my husband and I to become even closer,’ Although Robin and her partners are sticking to what works for them, she agrees that part of the problem is that the definition of what is considered family is ‘too narrow. ... Poly families exist, too.’



In non-covid news,

● This Poly 101 just appeared in a women's magazine in Kenya, a country where male-centered polygamy has deep cultural roots but where modern egalitarian polyamory is getting increased public attention. What is a polyamorous relationship? (EveWoman, May 12):


By Rachel Murugi

Probably you’ve seen them, more than two partners together and expressing their affection for each other publicly without shying off.

While at it, they seem so happy whereas you are possibly wondering how they deal with issues like jealousy.

Surprisingly, this type of relationship exists and can thrive with a few ground rules.

It may involve one party of the relationship being interested elsewhere but still committed to the other or a couple having another couple as a quadruple.

Contrary to popular belief, a polyamorous relationships does not imply cheating.

Cheating is non-consensual while a polyamorous relationship has to involve consent from the involved parties. If anything, a high level of trust is expected between the parties.

Some of the key values that partners in polyamorous relationships have is respect for each other. Owing to the open communication module within the relationship, it is easy for the parties to express their views.

One has to be open to their partner on what they want. It could range from better and experimental sex to having an emotional connection with another person.

Polyamorous relationships also involve setting a number of boundaries. While you may be excused to think that it opens a whole world of sex, this is not they only binding thing.

People seeking such relationships have to agree with their primary partner whether the other party will live with them, whether they will share in financial and any other duties such as child care duties and other family issues.

You'll mostly find out that there is a primary party who caters for the 'normal' family.

Other than duties, you have to communicate on whether involving another person affects you, whether you are okay with your partner being sexually involved with another person or if you want it to be purely for solace and emotional purposes.

...In the case that you are wondering whether you'll get jealous or not, be keen to know that it's not meant to be that way.

However, speaking your feelings openly is the core foundation for a thriving polyamorous relationship.



The Mormons are scared of us. Remember John Murowski's well-reported article last month, Here's 'Polyamory': Multi-Partner Sexual-Rights Crusade on the Horizon? It raised a flurry of grim we-told-you-so's on the religious right. Now comes this from the Mormon Meridian Magazine ("Latter-Day Saints Shaping Their World"): Polyamory and the Domino Effect (May 11). Because, to a cult-style organization (where my mother's side of the family comes from), nothing is so terrifying as personal freedom:


By United Families International

In 2013 Hans van Leeuwen of Leiden University set out to find just how powerful a domino chain reaction could be. Through a mathematical model, Leiden found a domino small enough to hold in your hand could start a chain reaction that would eventually topple a 112-meter tower.

...If the “No-fault divorce” law of 1969 can be compared to the first small domino, what is the 112-meter domino of today? According to John Murawski of Real Clear Investigations, it’s polyamory.

...Murawski believes that polyamory activists, “are laying the groundwork to have their cause become the next domino to fall in a long line of civil rights victories”. University of California’s Heath Schechinger, a counseling psychologist believes, “There is plenty of evidence that consensual non-monogamy is an emerging civil rights movement”. Poly activists are not wasting time in gaining elected official support. Over a dozen local governments are working on anti-discrimination ordinances to include, “relationship structure” definitions. If this is true and the legalization of “relationship structure” or polyamory is the next domino to fall, what domino will be next? Where does society draw the line? Will societies need for the novel ever end?...

Where does this lead?

Lost in the discussion of the right of adults to define and form relationship structures based on their desires is the effect polyamory has on children. Rates of child abuse skyrocket for children living with non-biological guardians and that rate will increase as the number of adult guardians increase. Given the human propensity for breaking down sexual boundaries, it is likely that polyamory is not the final 112-meter domino to fall at the end of this experiment with human sexuality. What will be the next safeguard to fall in this destructive chain reaction?


Speaking of which, my Mom was raised by an upstanding Mormon family on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho as a little girl in the 1920s. She remembered the "aunts" among her relatives far outnumbering the uncles. Sometimes an aunt was left by herself in a rickety wooden house to run a whole farm, fuming while the uncle "lived in a brick house in town" with another aunt, as Mom remembered her Aunt Helen complaining. This was more than a generation after the LDS Church had officially renounced polygamy — during this temporary life on Earth, anyway — so that Utah could enter the union. She helped cook massive meals for the sad, rough ranch hands of all ages who lived their lives on the property in an all-male bunkhouse, unable to marry. Why? Only later, she told me, did she realize it was because most of the "aunts" had been claimed by a few upstanding, property-owning men.

If I remember correctly it was her father who informed her about this. He was a monogamist and proud of it. I have fond childhood memories of Granddad and all that he taught me about the desert on our long walks. But by local lights he would have been called a failure; most of his children broke with the church.


● Meanwhile, just a few days ago Utah decriminalized polygamy after about 85 years — and, therefore, also modern polyamorists cohabiting under one roof. The new law, which just went into effect, does not mean that either Mormon patriarchal polygyny or modern, secular poly households are recognized by the state or even legal; just that they they are punishable with a fine as an "infraction," like jaywalking, rather than being a felony with the theoretical threat of five years in prison.

CNN article: Bigamy is no longer a felony in Utah (May 12)


...For decades, bigamy was a third-degree felony, legally punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The new law makes it an infraction, putting the offense on par with getting a traffic ticket.

...Though the practice has long been illegal under state and federal law, the Utah attorney general's office has declined to prosecute the offense, except when it's committed along with other crimes. The new law makes the attorney general's policy official. Supporters of the law say that reducing the penalty for bigamy removes barriers that previously prevented potential abuse victims from coming forward for fear of prosecution. ...

The bill passed the Legislature in February with overwhelming support, though it faced some opposition from advocacy groups who argued it normalized what they called an inherently oppressive practice and enabled the abuse of women and children. ... Republican state Sen. Deidre Henderson, the bill's lead sponsor, called Utah's previous law unenforceable, saying that it didn't prevent people from engaging in polygamy, but instead isolated polygamous communities and prevented potential victims from reporting abuse.

"Vigorous enforcement of the law during the mid-twentieth century did not deter the practice of plural marriage," she wrote in an email to CNN in February. "Instead, these government actions drove polygamous families underground into a shadow society where the vulnerable make easy prey. Branding all polygamists as felons has facilitated abuse, not eliminated polygamy."...

"The history of raids and family separations, combined with the blanket ban on an entire lifestyle, leads to the fear that an investigation might break up an entire family, removing the children and incarcerating the parents," Henderson wrote. "That's a high hurdle, and so abuse is kept quiet."
Henderson added that she was not looking to legalize polygamy or the issuing of multiple marriage licenses, but was trying to "address the human rights crisis our law has created."...


Modern, egalitarian polyamory was a barely-noticed side issue in all this but is definitely affected. Writes polyamory-rights activist Dave Doleshal,


Under the previous laws, anyone [in Utah] cohabiting with multiple people or living in a "marriage-like" arrangement that included three or more could theoretically be arrested and thrown in prison — which would apply to most openly polyamorous people even if not in something that resembled a formal polygamous marriage. This same basic law was proposed 2-3 years ago, but was vigorously opposed by the vast majority of both houses of the Utah legislature and the governor's office (as well as the Mormon church). This time, it received widespread support in both houses of the legislature and by the governor — and received no more than nominal objection from the Mormon church.

So, still far from an ideal situation. However, it nevertheless represents a tiny bit of progress in the right direction. This suggests that even in some of the most "conservative" environments, there may be at least SOME grounds for optimism that poly activism might ultimately be successful — even though it might still take a lot of doing. Perhaps our efforts in more liberal/progressive areas might yet meet with some success?



● Laura Boyle has posted Part 2 of her humorous Polyamorous People You'll Meet, on her site Ready for Polyamory (May 2).


The Wokest Poly... The Poly Snuggle Bunny (I’m just in it for the friends)... The One Penis Policy... The NRE Chaser... The Person With A Chip on Their Shoulder... The Most Bitter Half of a Couple You’ve Ever Met... The Scene-Famous Person... The Unsettlingly Large LGBTQ Polycule... The TERF That Needs Kicking Out of the Event... The Missing Stair... The Person Who Never Goes To These Things, But Dates Enough That We All Know Them... The Organizer Who is Legitimately the Best....


If you missed it here's Part 1, from the Controlling Helicopter Partner to The Swingers Who Realize They’re at the Wrong Party.

● And speaking of a changing world, "metamour" is Playboy's sex word of the week.

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

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May 8, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — Quarantine keeping and breaking, a research call, poly films, and more.


It's Friday Polynews Roundup time again — for May 8, 2020.

But first, this just in from consensual non-monogamy researcher Amy C. Moors. Pass it on.


Seeking your help recruiting for academic research on polyamory and the pandemic:

Dear Alan,

I am writing to see if I can garner your help in recruiting for a new research study, as part of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force, aimed at understanding the experiences, well-being, and relationship dynamics of people engaged in polyamory/consensual non-monogamy during the pandemic.

Here is an example recruitment message:

Consider taking part in an anonymous survey about your well-being, missing partners (especially for those who don't live with their partner/s), and polyamory during the pandemic. This survey takes most people approximately 15-20 minutes to complete (can take up to 30 minutes). Questions are related to relationship dynamics, missing a partner (for those who do not live with their partners), gratitude, and personal well-being. You can report on your relationships with up to five partners. The goal is to recruit 400 people engaged in polyamory/consensual non-monogamy. The survey link: https://bit.ly/nonmonogamy2020

This research has been approved by the Chapman University IRB (No. 20-197). This project is supervised by Dr. Amy C. Moors (Department of Psychology) and co-chair of the American Psychological Association Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force.



You can also share the announcement to your Facebook contacts via the APA Task Force's Facebook page.


● We get some more mainstream pandemic attention: A writer at the Chicago Tribune, America's largest-circulation city paper outside the East and West Coasts, writes Polyamorous Chicagoans share what it’s been like to balance life and love during the quarantine (May 1)


Yo Yarborough with Brody. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

 
By Christen A. Johnson

For two years, Yo Yarborough, who lives in West Humboldt Park and prefers the gender pronouns they and them, has been dating two women, and started dating a third woman earlier this year, Yarborough said. ...

Managing all three relationships during the stay-at-home order has brought challenges since Yarborough doesn’t live with any of their partners.

“I try to talk to all of them a few times a week if I can,” Yarborough said. “We (video chat) and have Zoom dates and FaceTime dates. ...”

But even with the calls, Yarborough can still feel the loneliness that the quarantine can bring since they live alone. ...

Folks who are solo polyamory, meaning they don’t have a primary partner, can feel lonelier or more separate than usual, especially if they live alone or are partnered with other people who are cohabiting together, explained Sharon Glassburn, a poly-affirming licensed marriage and family therapist.

...“It takes a huge amount of trust to be able to try and practice nonmonogamy in a functional way already,” Glassburn said, “and I think with everyone feeling a little more self-protected, there can be less of that trust extended to new partners. If someone doesn’t have a long-standing relationship with one of their partner’s partners, I think that risk-aversion piece can be heightened.”

...Tiffany, who asked that her first name only be used for personal safety reasons, lives on the West Side with her female partner, who has a male partner that lives in his own home. The male partner is “a part of our house,” Tiffany said, and he is at her and her partner’s home almost every day.

“He spends the night with us and we all have our time together, and they have their own time together privately.” The male partner typically leaves in the morning to maintain his work schedule and to take care of family, Tiffany said. ...

“We have gone through extremes to make sure that this virus does not come in our house, and he’s gone through extremes to make sure it doesn’t come into his house,” she said. “We trust him and he’s demonstrated to us that he has been taking every precaution he can.”

While Tiffany is not in a relationship with the male partner, the two of them have become “amazingly closer” friends since the shelter-in-place. ...

Christen A. Johnson writes about relationships, style, family and African American life.



● It's an eyebrow raiser if you or I violate distancing to see a non- live-in partner. But with a national spotlight on the (polyamorous) chief lockdown honcho of Great Britain, he had to be just plain stupid/ entitled/ insane! How did he think no one would notice?? It's all the outrage across Great Britain right now: British Scientist Who Spearheaded National Lockdown Quits After Meeting With Married Lover (Daily Beast, May 5):


The British scientist known colloquially as “Professor Lockdown,” who pushed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose a nationwide lockdown, resigned on Tuesday [May 5] after he defied social distancing guidelines to have a rendezvous with his married lover in his London home.


Professor Neil Ferguson, who had been praised for his expertise and guidance during the U.K.’s coronavirus outbreak, allowed 38-year-old Antonia Staats... into his home at the same time he was publicly advising everyone else to adhere to strict guidelines banning couples from seeing each other if they didn’t live together.

“I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action,” Ferguson told The Telegraph, which first reported on Ferguson’s ouster. “I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in SAGE [the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies]. I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic.”...

The scientist’s lover reportedly made several trips to his home in March and April even though she admitted to her friends that her husband was experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. ... According to The Telegraph, Staat and her husband are in an open marriage and Staat did not believe their actions to be hypocritical because she considers the households to be one.

Ferguson has for years modeled the spread of major pathogen outbreaks such as swine flu and Ebola. He tested positive for the coronavirus on March 19 after speaking at a Downing Street press conference two days earlier. He recently completed two weeks of self-quarantine, according to The Telegraph. ...



● That study indicating that open marriages are just as happy as closed ones, which was written up in PsyPost three weeks ago? It got a second wave of attention this week after the University of Western Ontario put out a press release about it: International study finds consensual nonmonogamy can be ‘healthy’ relationship option (April 30):


Scott Woods

A new international study has found no evidence that consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) impacts life satisfaction or relationship quality with the primary partners in a romantically involved couple. On the contrary, the study demonstrated only positive outcomes and provides new evidence that CNM can be a healthy, viable relationship option.

The findings, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, were discovered by Samantha Joel, an Assistant Professor in Western’s Department of Psychology, and her collaborators at York University and the University of Utah.

Samantha Joel
Joel examines how people make the decisions that grow or break apart their romantic relationships and how those decision strategies are linked to relationship, well-being, and health outcomes.

For the study, believed to be the first of its kind, Joel and her collaborators recruited people who were interested in CNM — but had not yet engaged in it — and observed them over a two-month period as they ‘opened up’ their relationships.

“We found no differences in relationship quality or well-being before versus after people opened up,” says Joel, who serves as director of Western’s Relationships Decisions Lab. “There were also no differences found when we compared people who did versus those who did not open up their relationship over the course of the study.” ...


The study got a 3-minute report on The Morning Show of Canada's Global News TV network, which reaches around the world; watch here. (Not embeddable; sorry.) Watch the interviewee, Dr. Jessica O'Reilly, illustrate how to get your key talking points across to a skeptical interviewer in a very limited time.

This is the article with the video: Open relationships can be ‘healthy’ for some couples: study (May 2)


Thinking about opening up your relationship? It might have a positive effect on your happiness, according to a new study.

New research found “no evidence” that consensual non-monogamy (CNM) negatively impacts life satisfaction or relationship quality for romantic partners.

Instead, the study, recently published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found evidence that opening up a relationship can be a healthy, viable option for some couples.

“We found no differences in relationship quality or well-being before versus after people opened up,” Samantha Joel, an assistant professor in Western University’s Department of Psychology and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

“There were also no differences found when we compared people who did versus those who did not open up their relationship over the course of the study.”

...For some couples, open relationships are the most practical option. For others, the idea of non-monogamy is unappealing.

But non-monogamy needs to be normalized, “just like monogamy has been,” Ottawa-based matchmaker with Friend of a Friend Matchmaking, Ceilidhe Wynn, previously told Global News. ...


Stories have also appeared in MedicalXpress, Yahoo News, and elsewhere.

A different study, by different researchers, came to similar conclusions two years ago.


● From Broadway World's Off-Off Broadway section, VIDEO: Watch an Excerpt from Xandra Nur Clark's POLYLOGUES (May 7):




Xandra Nur Clark's Polylogues is an interview-based solo show about nonmonogamy — and love in all its forms. It contains the true stories of 20+ people, selected from dozens of interviews about nonmonogamy that Xandra has conducted since July 2017. People were interviewed from all around the world, including Australia, China, Ecuador, India, Jordan, the Philippines, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, and across the United States. The interviewees range widely in age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationship style (whether monogamous, nonmonogamous, polyamorous, relationship anarchist, exploring, undefined, or anything in between). ...

The three excerpts selected [above]... give a small glimpse into the depth and breadth of the show, as well as both the joys and struggles of nonmonogamy.

Xandra and director Molly Clifford developed the show together first in excerpts, and then as a full length show at The Tank in 2018 and at Dixon Place in 2019. They are currently working to develop a full theatrical production of Polylogues.

Colt Coeur is producing the world premiere of Polylogues, which was originally slated to be running in May 2020. The production has been postponed due to the current health crisis.



● And from Cineuropa, news of a short film's first-place award (May 8):


The Go Short International Short Film Festival in Nijmegen, Netherlands, which is taking place online from 15 April-13 May, has announced its award winners.

In the European Competition, the Go Short Award for Best Fiction went to Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Neves Marques for The Bite, a story set in a house in the Atlantic Forest and a genetically modified mosquito factory near São Paulo, where a polyamorous, non-binary relationship struggles to survive an epidemic spreading across Brazil.



● In other movie news: From France, Isabelle Broué writes that her poly film Lutine — Le Film, which she has been presenting in theaters and other venues for several years, is now having weekly online group screenings worldwide during the pandemic, each followed by a Zoom Q&A session with the director — "Everyone at home and all together!" — in English or French in alternating weeks. The movie is in French; you can choose subtitles in English or other languages. The next of these events is this Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC minus 4 hours), a week for an English session afterward.

The cast, including director Isa fourth from left.


Lutin/lutine are French terms, recently invented, for a modern poly person. About the movie:


A director is filming a documentary on polyamory: somewhere between documentary and fiction; she takes risks and she cannot always measure the consequences…
Will her sweetheart be able to stand up to the challenge of polyamory? Will she finish her film?

LUTINE has been entirely made with the help of more than 300 persons who have believed in it, and participated in it either creatively or financially. We made a film which we’re proud of, it makes us laugh and think, and we’d love to share it with you.


Trailer:




P.S. The French term lutinage for polyamory


was coined by poly author Françoise Simpère out of the old French verb «lutiner», meaning «to charm» or «to seduce». Also, she introduced the nouns «lutin» and «lutine», which mean «elf» or «imp», [since these are] the inhabitants of a somewhat parallel world, sometimes facetious or mischievious.




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

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May 1, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup — "Social power and quarantine in polyamorous relationships," Roswell TV series, more.


It's Friday Polynews Roundup time again — for May 1, 2020.

● Lots of pandemic tales this week from polyamorous folks all over. Here's just one. It's a happy one for a change, from the reddit/r/polyamory user YetiYogurt, who started a thread with it: How polyamory looks today (April 29). Reprinted by permission.


Day 47 of my isolation in Chicago, and tonight polyamory looks like me sitting on the living room floor using the coffee table as a dinner table and watching Bosch on Amazon Prime while toking a bowl. The dog is laying on the sofa behind me with her head nestled against my back.

My spouse Boo is in the dining room on a video date with their girlfriend Elin. They both cooked the same recipe for dinner and are playing a connection question game to deepen their understanding of each other. I picked out Boo's earrings and tie for the date (more involved than usual, but I'm really in a Big Mush Mood today.) I love that Boo and Elin made it into a real occasion with intention. I love my spouse so damn much, and Elin is such a wonderful partner for them.

Earlier this afternoon my girlfriend Mila parked outside my apartment building and stood on the sidewalk with a facemask and an umbrella. It's been raining all day. We talked on the phone with my window open. The wind occasionally [blew] the rain in, but we could look at each other and imagine we were giving real eye contact. It lifted my heart to have even ten minutes of her nearby.

My boyfriend Sigma and I used to have weekly dates on Wednesdays, but in isolation that's been falling by the wayside due to mental health. This week we decided we were both too tired [for a virtual meet] and he wanted time to be solo tonight. We will talk on Friday instead.

How does polyamory look in your lives today?



"Social Power and Quarantine in Polyamorous Relationships."  Eli Sheff grapples with this hot topic on her site The Polyamorists Next Door, after seeking the inputs of many polyworld movers and shakers (April 29). This is the second of three poly-and-covid articles coming from her, and it's meatier than her first last week. Here are large excerpts (the emphases are mine), but really, go read the whole thing.


How privilege affects social distancing for people in CNM relationships.

Elisabeth Sheff
Recent [polyam] arguments ... over the appropriateness of continuing to travel (across town or across the country) to see partners during the COVID-19 quarantine prompted a virtual community town hall. Chrissy Holman, polyamory community organizer and Communications Lead for the American Psychological Association Division 44 Task Force on Consensual Non-monogamy, coordinated a panel of health professionals and community activists [on Zoom] to discuss the impact COVID-19 can have on CNM communities, and how to avoid becoming a vector of transmission. To access a wealth of information from 14 experts and community members, you can find a recording of the COVID-19 Polyamory Town Hall here.

Safe to Visit?

[Of course] people want to visit their significant others. ... Confusion from politicians about ... how to end the quarantine only further muddies an already bewildering situation.

One group of people who are not at all confused are the public health officials, who uniformly say it is premature to end the quarantine and return to in-person interactions -- because we have not been able to test enough people to know how widespread the infection is, much less determine if the transmission rate has declined. ...This community of scientists and public health professionals instead encourages people to continue social distancing until it is clearer exactly how the virus is transmitted (current thinking is that it is [sometimes] airborne), testing is more widespread, and infection rates have been tracked long enough to know if they are declining. ... It could make the difference between life and death for the people in your life, and people you don’t know who can be impacted by your choices today.

Social Hierarchy

One of the factors that influences whether people feel safe enough to visit... is their place in the social hierarchy. ... To varying degrees and often reluctantly, polyamorous communities in the United States inevitably recreate the social hierarchies that exist in larger society. For some [young, privileged] poly folks, their conviction in personal well-being and access to material goods ... can also coincide with an individualistic sense of self-determination and refusal to listen to authority. Unfortunately, that impulse towards individualism is counter-productive when it comes to COVID-19 because the choices the individual makes can affect people who get infected from an asymptomatic carrier whose house-mate got it from the visiting poly person three days ago. ...

Relational Hierarchy

...Some CNM relationships have primary partners (who tend to prioritize each other emotionally and materially, probably live together, might be married and/or have kids) and secondary partners. ... Being unable to visit a secondary/non-cohabitational partner can leave the relationship feeling more distant and can feel especially vulnerable for a person who does not have a primary partner and is sheltering alone. ...

Being allowed to visit, or not, comes laden with hierarchical potential. Who is interpreted as important enough to visit? Who has the clout to forbid others to visit? What happens if someone visits impulsively and another partner feels upset over a perceived boundary violation? What if one person thinks it is time to end quarantine and another feels the risk is too high? Or is it using the risk as an excuse to manipulate their partner to go without seeing someone else? ...

Best Practices

Given the possible relationship challenges during this fragile period of quarantine, what are poly people to do? Chrissy Holman summed up with the suggestion that CNM folks “keep visits virtual, or just move in and cohabit until we have a solve for this virus. We're trying very hard to make sure polyams are not visiting houses right now and non-cohabiting partners. All the medical literature says that this is very likely airborne, that many are asymptomatic, and that we'll be experiencing several peaks as pandemics are wont to trend. As Zach Budd and Dirty Lola mentioned in the town hall, there's no real risk assessment, no real consent, because there is no way to do the "informed" part yet, and everyone thinks they're statisticians and risk assessment experts now. Not true. We need to agree that until we understand this virus, in-person visits with non-cohabiting partners are a bad idea.”


--------------------------------


And now we return, for the rest of this post at least, to our regularly scheduled poly in the media.

● There was that 3,000-word RealClear Investigations report that I posted about two days ago, Here Comes 'Polyamory': Multi-Partner Sexual-Rights Crusade on the Horizon. Although it may have come from a conservative intention to flag the next culture war, the piece itself was factual and honest.

● Here's another story in the massive "what monogamous couples can learn from polyamory" category. In fact, that's its title: What Monogamous Couples Can Learn From Polyamory. It appeared on the platisher Bolde.com, "a platform for single women to express themselves about dating & relationships." (Undated; late April 2020)


By Jazz Meyer

Open relationships are practically the new normal, but while this relationship style isn’t for everyone, there's a lot monogamous couples can learn from their free-loving peers.

Accepting that attraction towards other people is natural.

...Classic romance stories would have us believe that when you find “The One,” you’ll never have eyes for anyone else. Unless you’re a hermit, that’s pretty unlikely. The key to dealing with wandering eyes is accepting it as a totally normal part of the human experience....

Adding ‘compersion’ into your vocabulary

...Ever felt jealous of the joy your partner gets from their friends, hobbies, or career? Practicing compersion is a great exercise in celebrating things that might otherwise incite jealousy for the wonderful reason that they bring your partner happiness.

Developing skills to deal with jealousy. ...

The power of direct and honest communication. ...

Being completely honest with yourselves and each other. ...

Negotiating boundaries. ...

There are alternatives, and every relationship is a choice. ...

We are social creatures. ...

One person can’t fulfill all your needs. ...

Your self-worth doesn’t depend on your partner. ...



Poly in TV series, continued. In the April 20th episode of "Roswell, New Mexico" (broadcast on The CW, a CBS-owned channel), Alex, Maria, and Michael — after a chase drama fleeing a bad guy — passionately kiss together, remove each other's clothes and (offscreen) engage in a threesome. Afterward Alex says he felt "loved." Following that, this appeared on Meaww, Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide: 'Roswell, New Mexico': Will the show bring in a major polyamorous relationship to primetime TV? (April 26).


Michael (Michael Vlamis), Maria (Heather Hemmens), and Alex (Tyler Blackburn) in 'Roswell, New Mexico'

 
There is a reality to polyamorous relationships and it's time that the immaturity of unwarranted stigmas around it be dissolved.

By Anoush Gomes

'Roswell'... had recently brought to life the possibility of a 'thruple', an actual one that does not have only sex as a precursor or incentive. ... The show has the potential to fall into a polyamory narrative, and if so, would be part of quite a few shows that have decided to shed light on such relationships. The relationship between these characters seems to be genuine. ...

There are no gender restraints whatsoever in a polyamorous relationship, and the involved individuals can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. ... With 'Roswell' there is a potential for the show to shed a kind light on polyamorous relationships, without exploitative measures that include click-bait narrative pushes. ...


Roswell's next episode, on April 27, did not follow up on this theme according to fansite recaps.


Finally... Let's make a game! Here is a typical, accurate little What-is-polyamory? article of the kind we're seeing everywhere these days. This time it's in a source about as random as you can get. Reead.com is a flashy menswear, men's grooming, and airplane-miles blog by a self-described "influencer." I mean, he says that right on the site! To get into the influencer business you create a cool, hip, cosmopolitan image online (no connection to reality required), aggressively build the image and its clicks, then seek commissions from companies to hype their stuff. It works, sometimes, because this cool, hip person seems to be sharing elite insider tips with his lucky friends, including you.

In this piece he's not trying to sell clothes, men's grooming products, or airline-miles deals; he's building clicks with a Google-trending topic and SEO keywords.

The fact that sites like this are now doing our educational work for us — pretty well, and for free! — tells me that we've passed a tipping point and are unstoppable from here on out. The piece is called A lesson in Polyamory? Here’s what you can learn! (April 24).

So here's the game. This short piece makes 52 statements about poly and related topics. I scored 46 of them correct, 3 of them more right than wrong, 1 more wrong than right, and 2 just wrong. What's your score? I'll offer my wrongs at the end, and let's see if we match!


A lesson in Polyamory? Here’s what you can learn!

© Can Stock Photo / popaukropa

 
Polyamorous people not only have a relationship with one partner but often with several at the same time – and in such a way that all parties involved know about each other. How does that work out?

With the knowledge and consent of all involved, emotional and sexual relationships with several people can be enjoyed at the same time and work out pretty delightfully.

Still, some prejudice and labels against polyamorous relationships are that those who do not commit to a partner struggle with decision issues, are insecure, immature, or just not ready for a deep emotional bond.

Unfortunately, there are many more prejudices about polyamorous relationships. We took a closer look at some of them and clear up some common misconceptions:

1. Lesson: Polyamory is not cheating

Many people believe that polyamorous people have one affair after the other and do not tell their partners about it. That’s far from true. One of the fundamental principles of polyamory is honesty and transparency. In contrast to other forms of non-monogamous concepts, consensus and equality, as well as a long-term orientation, play a fundamental role.

Most people that discovered polyamory were raised to believe that you can only love one person and everything else is cheating. So, many of them discovered poly-love without having heard of it before or knowing it was possible, Datingroo found out in an exclusive interview.

In fact, secrecy is not something to strive for in a polyamorous relationship. Absolute honesty should lead to happier and more stable relationships, according to supporters of polyamory.

2. Lesson: Polyamorous relationships are meant to last

As mentioned above, the basic orientation of a poly-relationship is a long-term one. Both partners are interested in being happy with each other – and with others – in the long term. But, just as every monogamous relationship is different, every polyamorous relationship is also very different.

The concept of polyamory as one of many non-monogamous relationship-concepts is often misunderstood and can be defined differently in many ways, as stated in The Conversation.

There is no such thing as a role-model-relationship. Some have one main partnership and several secondary relationships, others have several equal relationships side by side. What always belongs to it, however, is transparency and a lot of self-reflection.

3. Lesson: Polyamory is not the same as polygamy

In polygamy, only one partner, usually the dominant one, has the right to several other partners. This has nothing to do with the egalitarian concept of polyamory. Equality is fundamental to a polyrelationship, on eye level.

That said, jealousy is not uncommon in polyamory, so how to deal with it? One approach is starting with one’s own attitude and to question negative thoughts. They usually have no plausible foundation. It is important that one doesn’t let jealousy overtake their feelings. In the right measure, it can be a declaration of love to a partner.

Finally, a very important prerequisite for escaping jealousy and leading a polyamorous relationship is also self-confidence.

4. Lesson: Polyamory is not similar to swinging

Swinging is a lifestyle in which couples individually or together enjoy relatively anonymous intercourse with others as a complement to their erotic lives.

It is, so to speak, a kind of “leisure activity”, while polyamory comprises a concept of life that is more integrated into everyday life. Swinging also concentrates primarily on the sexual level, while polyamorous people do indeed form intimate and emotional bonds with other people outside their relationship.

5. Lesson: Polyamory is not the exception


If you look at the figures on divorces and separations, it is clear that the monogamous relationship concept does not work for many. A recent survey by YouGov showed almost half of the men and a third of the women surveyed would like to live a form of non-monogamy.

Of course: Polyamory means constant work on oneself, a lot of communication, and probably some arguments. But on the whole, it might make a relationship more honest and authentic.


Okay. My one  "more wrong than right" was, "Polyamorous people not only have a relationship with one partner...." Some poly people actually have no partner at a given time, but they're still poly — by orientation and/or desired relationship structure. However, the great majority of polyfolks IME do indeed have at least one relationship.

My two "just wrongs" were,

"In the right measure, it [jealousy] can be a declaration of love to a partner." BZZZT! The poly world widely lambastes the notion that jealousy is a "declaration of love" as a pathetic, dangerous spawn of toxic-monogamy culture. It can certainly be a declaration of obsession, or dependence, or ownership, or fear of loss, or personal humiliation, disappointment, hurt and/or entitlement. But none of those things are love.

And,

"Polyamory is not the exception."  Yes it is. Most North Americans, polls consistently find, say they would prefer a monogamous relationship. Even the polling numbers the author cites for wanting "some" form of non-monogamy amount to less than 50%. And those surely include forms of non-monogamy that wouldn't qualify as poly even by his own article's definition.


That's it for now. See you next Friday, unless something comes up sooner!

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