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

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.


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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