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

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.

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.’


... 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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