Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

September 27, 2020

In The Atlantic: "The Rise of the 3-Parent Family"

The Atlantic, one of America's top big-think magazines since 1857, is currently making news as a major force documenting and analyzing the unprecedented threats to the future of American democracy. This week it made headlines far beyond its normal readership with The Election that Could Break America.

Meanwhile, it also published this shorter piece: The Rise of the 3-Parent Family (online Sept. 22). The story focuses on asexuals and the founder of AVEN, then broadens to other types of extended chosen families raising children. There is a small but growing trend for three or more adults to become the full-fledged, and some states legally official, parents of children.

The typical path to parenthood didn’t work for David Jay, a founder of the asexual movement. So he designed his own household—and is trying to show others what is possible.

Preston Gannaway photo

By Angela Chen

David Jay [at right above] is the oldest of 12 cousins on one side of his family and the third-oldest of 24 cousins on the other. As a kid, family to Jay meant having a lot of people around, a feeling of community, and crucially, a sense of permanence.... Jay had always wanted his own family with kids—and had known, for almost as long, that he wouldn’t be able to build one the usual way.

Jay is the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and one of the most prominent people in the asexual movement. (Asexual people, or aces, don’t experience sexual attraction, though many do have sex and form romantic relationships.) ... As he grew older, the questions on his mind moved beyond identity and attraction to issues of parenting and family life.

...The problem was that he wanted kids and also wanted a co-parent to help him raise kids, but wasn’t interested in romantic partnership. Before exploring single parenthood, he was curious whether there might be another way to form the family he wanted.


...Today, Jay is part of a three-parent family in northern California. He lives with a married couple, Avary Kent and Zeke Hausfather, and is not part of their marriage, but is a father to their biological daughter, Octavia, or Tavi, whose full name includes all three of their last names.

Jay is Tavi’s parent just as fully and permanently as Kent and Hausfather—and just as legally too, since three-parent adoption has been recognized by the state of California. (Three-parent adoption has also been recognized by state statute in Maine, Washington State, Rhode Island, and Vermont....)

Three-parent families are not a new phenomenon, and Jay doesn’t consider himself a trailblazer. Many parents, particularly those who are single or have low incomes, have long cobbled together child care by bringing relatives and friends in as informal co-parents, according to Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist of family at the University of Maryland. The idea that the default family unit consists of two straight parents and their children is outdated and doesn’t reflect the U.S. today. One 2014 Pew Research report, for example, found that fewer than half of American kids lived in a so-called traditional family environment, with two married parents on their first marriage. Divorce and remarriage are more common than they once were, as are blended families and stepfamilies—many of which feature a third parental figure. The queer and polyamorous communities, too, have plenty of examples of three-parent families.

But formalizing these families through law, as Jay has done, is a relatively new possibility. Diana Adams, the founder of Chosen Family Law Center, says that interest in this option has been growing over the past 15 years, spurred by the increasing acceptance of queer families and the popularity of assisted-reproduction technologies. (Chosen Family Law Center works with New York and New Jersey residents and does national legislative advocacy.) ...

Just as marriage provides benefits that cohabitation doesn’t, legal tri-parenting creates stability and rights that less formal arrangements lack. ...

For Adams, tri-parenting is a way of reclaiming the “diversity and beauty of the queer community.” When it comes to queer rights, the big fight of past decades has been to legalize gay marriage, which has been significant, but has also played into the narrative that the two-parent family is and should be the default structure. “That has taken away some of the power of being able to live radically queer lives without needing to fit into a capitalist, patriarchal structure of a nuclear family,” Adams told me.

Jay’s family is one step removed from what a “traditional” three-parent structure looks like. It doesn’t have roots in assisted reproduction or even polyamory, but rather in ideas about relationships that Jay has been considering for most of his life, informed by his asexual identity. ...


Jay suspects that his being a platonic co-parent has led people to be much more accepting of his family structure.... While their arrangement goes against the norm of a two-parent family, it doesn’t challenge the norm of two-person romantic relationships. “We sidestep all of the shaming and social scripts that would be [involved] in a poly three-parent family,” he told me....

...“All of our research points to the fact that it’s the quality of the relationships that matters [for child raising], and the handling of communication and conflict, and the number of people in the household is not really the key,” says Pamela Braboy Jackson, an Indiana University sociologist and a co-author of How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work. ...

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September 25, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: Tales of "how poly remade me for the better," and a student's radical broadening of that. The Oneidas, Brides mag, and more.

●  Psychologist and poly relationship therapist Jessica Fern, who specializes in attachment theory, has a significant new book out: Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy. Fern has been an excellent and effective presenter at many poly conventions back when they were happening in person.

Across the Atlantic, her new book just became a jumping-off point for a long feature article in The Irish Times: Building bridges: How polyamory made me a better friend, lover and person (Sept. 19). The article is another in the "how polyamory remade me for the better" category. I posted about some others last week.  

When singer Jess Kavanagh discovered polyamory, she didn’t expect it to improve every facet of her life

Singer Jess Kavanagh: ‘Having multiple romantic partners has forced me to investigate elements of my emotional coping mechanisms that were unsustainable and hidden among the nooks and crannies of monogamous comforts.’ (Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaills) 

By Jess Kavanagh
My relationship with my partner has come a long way from me sobbing into a gin and tonic two years ago, clumsily asking for an open relationship. At that point, I had a very little idea of what I was asking for or what I was getting myself into.

...Although I am still extremely new to these experiences of sharing my partner and dating in a scene which is overwhelmingly catering to monogamy, some lessons I have learned from my dating journey have been very unexpected.

Jessica Fern, psychologist and author of Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy, describes consensual non-monogamy as “the practice of having multiple sexual and/or romantic partners at the same time, where all people involved are aware of this relationship arrangement and consent to it” and polyamory as a “part of consensual monogamy . . . looking for multiple people to be in love with”.

On a Saturday afternoon I sat down for a discussion with Fern about how polyamory is becoming not only a realistic relationship choice, but also a distinct way for us to employ emotional work and express a collective love at a time where there is a global lack.

...Having multiple romantic partners has forced me to investigate elements of my emotional coping mechanisms that were unsustainable and hidden among the nooks and crannies of monogamous comforts. There is a narrative held dear in our society that once we are our loved one’s only sexual and romantic partner, that allows us to feel secure in that relationship.

Fern says: “In such cases, our self-esteem and sense of worth are contingent on our partner being monogamously committed to us instead of anchored in our own internal sense of self-worth, self-love and self-esteem.” In polyamory, when that narrative isn’t available as relationship-scaffolding, it is crucial to find other ways to make our partner(s) feel special and to re-establish a sense of inner-security. The freedom and innovation in these explorations can be transformative.

As I began to date other people, I started to experience my first bumps in the road. I was developing big crushes and chasing those butterflies to my detriment. In polyamory terms, this high is called NRE or “new relationship energy”. I was overextending myself to keep certain people interested.

...It was crucial for me to manage my insecurities and I started to take my emotional health very seriously. I started meditating more, researching attachment theory, trauma, and seeking therapy. Although all rejections and break-ups warrant varying levels of processing, the emotional maintenance I was doing reduced wallowing and self-destructive behaviour across all aspects of my life. A byproduct of polyamory I never expected.

...In the past, I found single, monogamous culture internalising what Fern calls a “hyper-independence”: a lack of accountability to casual partners' emotions, a type of frenzied everyone out for themselves behaviour. This always made me feel uncomfortable, having to extract love from sex if the outcome wasn’t monogamy. ...

Then there is friendship. Polyamory has given me the ability to see the nuance of romance, and moments of platonic intimacy with friends as much as with partners. I have found myself waking up energised and loved-up from a night out with pals in the way I would feel after a good date. I have more friend crushes. The boundaries of connection have not blurred, but shifted, where I can feel varied shades of love along the spectrum of the romantic to the platonic.

...There is something we all can take from an orientation that embraces the imperfect, heralds respectful communication, and acknowledges the many embodiments of love.

Fern says: “Non-monogamy can offer a bigger sense of love that we all need, [it] breaks down the nuclear-ness, the Us vs Them mentality and provides bridges of love to different people.” ...

Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy is published by Thorntree Press in October.

●  And another such testimonial, in MamaMia!  'At 21, I was in a relationship with an older married man – and his wife' (Sept. 18)

By Anonymous

...At 21 I found myself dating an older, married, polyamorous man, and the way I love has never been the same since.

...It began from a simple Bumble date... on which he wore his wedding ring.

At first, I was very sceptical as to how open his relationship with his wife was, but he was incredibly honest about his previous relationships and dating patterns.

We easily clicked, and he was the most interesting person I had ever met. The way he explained his approach to love was fascinating, and I was hooked. 

..In this particular situation, he and his wife were each other’s primary partners, while she also had a long-term boyfriend and continued to date other people as well. However, as their relationship with each other changed, they dropped the hierarchical measure of relationships.

At first, I couldn’t really wrap my head around why you would actively go out and seek other people when you’re in a happy and healthy relationship to start with. ...

...I soon realised polyamory was instead about the joy of love. ...


..So what did I learn?

My whole perception of love and relationships changed within the short span of our relationship. 

I began this experience with a very short-sighted view of what a healthy dynamic is and found that a relationship doesn’t need to conform to the traditional norms that society has defined. 

In my previous relationships, I was quite defensive and often jealous. Through the experience of polyamory, I learnt to understand where my jealousy was stemming from and to critically analyse whether it was derived from my own insecurities or rooted deeper within the relationship itself, such as needing more quality time together. 

I came to terms with facing potential conflict such as possible trust issues and relying on communication to overcome these challenges. It was also striking to me how traditional monogamous relationships are often framed with very possessive language, creating an extremely toxic culture of jealousy and controlling behaviour. 

Polyamory invigorated my sense of self-worth and inner strength which I was unaware that I had. ...

...Polyamory felt like a boot camp for these skills which significantly developed my muscles in these areas. I now feel ready and prepared for the next relationship coming my way, and I’m excited for when it does.

●  The same day, a more radical generalization of those discoveries appeared in The Campus student newspaper of Allegheny College: Could polyamorous relationships mitigate the shortcomings of the nuclear family?  (Sept. 18)

By Peyton Britt, Opinion Editor

...In her book “What Love Is: And What It Could Be,” philosopher Carrie Jenkins notes that changes in society occur against a foundation of the pre-existing conventions. She considers monogamy a principal characteristic of romantic love’s social role, that role being to curtail love between grown adults and force it into the mold of the stable nuclear family.

...I imagine a society in which children whose two parents are fighting can go stay the night with a third parent until the home environment is peaceful again. I imagine women in abusive relationships finding solace, and eventually escape, with the support and assurance of their other husbands. I imagine teenagers with qualms about their rapidly developing identities having more than two parental figures whom they can consult and with whom they can relate. I imagine a man leaving for his third shift job as a partner returns from first shift, both equally comforted to know that their wife will not be alone in the burden of childcare. I see no issue with broadening what constitutes as a family in order to strengthen a sense of community. 

I also imagine that traditionally monogamous, heterosexual relationships will continue to create nuclear family units, a possibility by which I am unbothered. The society for which I yearn is simply one in which love is unfettered by the strains of convention, and people give and receive affection in whatever multifarious fashions they desire. ...

●  Sign of the times: Brides magazine, a juggernaut of the traditional wedding-industrial complex for 85 years, now presents How to Know if an Open Marriage Is Right for You (Sept. 24). The advice is decently good, granted that it's entirely couple-centric.

Navigating non-monogamy with your partner is no small feat but, if you’re both willing to put in the work, can ultimately bring you two closer than ever. It takes two to make a thing go right—right? That math might just have a little wiggle room.

...“When people come into my practice wanting non-monogamy, it’s usually because they had a pivotal moment,” explains [relationship therapist Gwen] Lotery, but need help clarifying and communicating it with their partner. “I realize this is coming from a therapist,” she laughs, “but counseling can really help with that!” 

O'Malley Photographers
For couples that do come to her wondering if an open marriage is the right path, she empowers them to ask each other exciting, sometimes uncomfortable, and very much crucial questions such as, “Is your idea purely sexual, or more of another relationship? Do you play [outside the marriage] together, or do you play separately? Both?” Then, based on those answers, the pair can decide if and how they want to move forward.

...“The biggest mistake a couple can do is jump in,” warns Lotery. She compares opening up a marriage successfully to training for a marathon, saying, “You wouldn’t buy tennis shoes on Friday and then run the marathon Sunday—you won’t make it!” What does work, in her professional opinion, is “a lot of talking, a lot of listening … and most importantly, only going as far and fast as the slowest partner is ready for.” Below, we’ve broken down her advice into three core components....

...Lotery does have one final (and might we add excellent!) piece of advice: “More important than learning how to communicate, hands down, is listening.” In her own practice, she regularly “really [teaches] people how to listen well because, if you understand what your partner is saying or wanting or desiring, there’s bound to be more compassion and a willingness to stay curious and connect.” ...

●  Erin K. Barnes writes us, "I wrote this article about my cute relationship with my metamour for Men's Health and wanted to spread the word!"

That’s right: the love of my life is dating another woman, and she’s awesome.

By Erin K. Barnes | Sept. 24

My husband has a girlfriend...and I love her. That’s right: the love of my life is dating another woman, and she’s awesome.

The topic of my metamour—that’s my partner’s partner, in polyamorous terms—is controversial. It doesn’t matter that it was my idea to open our marriage. It doesn’t matter how my husband Cliff looks at me with heart eyes, or how many sizzling affairs I have. Most people feel sorry for me, or even disgusted, that I actually like the woman who—as they see it—threatens to replace me.

...A number of my girlfriends kept my non-monogamy a secret from their spouses for fear they wouldn’t be allowed around me. I wondered, would their husbands restrict them from associating with a single woman? Why was I so different? Cliff’s best friend pulled me aside tearfully after a night of drinking, telling me, “I don’t want to lose you.”

I didn’t blame them; despite the myriad polyamory explainers on the internet like this one, most people misunderstand our arrangement.

It wasn’t always this way. ...


One night, I lay awake with my pulse pounding, gripped with the sudden courage to tell my husband that I wanted to have sex with other people. I put his hand on my breast to cushion the blow...and woke him from a dead sleep.

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about,” I whispered. ... I said I was grateful we were still in love after 17 years. That I felt like I was going through a change, and rather than rebel alone, I wanted him to be my partner in crime. And that it really turned me on to think of us in an open marriage.

My husband sat up in bed. “Wow,” he said. I had always been the vanilla one. “Yes,” he said, kissing me. “Yes!”

Cliff looked as giddy as I had when he had proposed; only this time, we were choosing us, and setting each other free. ...

With freedom, my pent-up sexual tension deflated. I could be around hot dads without losing my mind. I indulged in pastimes I never thought I’d relive, like lying in bed with a new man, tracing his tattoos with my fingertips and alternating between talking and rendering each other speechless. I also explored profound platonic friendships with men I’d have surely missed out on in monogamy.

Cliff wanted kitchen table polyamory, where both partners have serious secondary relationships. I wanted lust and extramarital fun. In a twist of irony, I fell in love with someone new and had my heart broken, organically extending my own boundaries. While my family didn’t need to know the details, I didn’t hide my feelings. “Children,” I began with puffy eyes, “I’d like to introduce you to the music of the Smiths. They tell people that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.” Being a 37-year-old mom with a broken heart sucked, but knowing it was possible to love two people at once gave me stability for what was to come. ...


When the time came for Cliff to go to Allison’s house for an intimate date night, I texted her, saying, “I hope this isn’t weird, but I wanted to introduce myself so you know that I’m okay with this.”

We followed each other on Instagram and discovered we share the same absurd sense of humor. We gleefully bonded over memes. She entered our lives respectfully, without being pushy, but she also didn’t hide from me, nor I from her.

...Today, we have a happy little polycule. Allison and I hang out together, and when we do, Cliff sends us video chats that start with a grinning, “Hey ladies...” Cliff is notoriously late to everything, so Allison helps him get home on time. ...

Society wants me to hate this gem of a person -- the person who texted me after our dog died to send us “love beams,” only she accidentally wrote “love beans,” so now we often jokingly send each other “love beans.” People want to believe that I’m either a freak or uncommonly evolved to handle this unconventional arrangement. In truth, I’m not very remarkable at all; it’s simply not that hard. Concepts that once seemed terrifying are surprisingly easy when we meet the people involved...and they’re awesome.

●  The BBC just posted a 7-minute mini-documentary on the Oneida Colony, America's 19th-century attempt at a polyamorous religious utopia that seems to be getting ever more attention as the decades pass. If you've wondered what the Oneidas were actually about, it's a good quickie. Oneida: The 'free-love utopia' that chased immortality (video by Maria Badia, posted Sept. 24). It's part of the BBC's  "Hidden History" series, "delving into the mysteries of the past to shed light on the present."

I hadn't known, for one thing, that the Oneidas were preterists: Christians who believe that the Second Coming of Jesus already occurred in 70 AD (in the lifetime of his original followers as he promised), that the Kingdom of Heaven has existed on Earth ever since, and that we only need to understand this and act on it.


     – Loving More online group discussion, Tuesday October 6, 7:00 - 8:30 pm Mountain time; 9 to 10:30 Eastern. "Join Loving More for an online polyamory discussion. This is open to all Loving More meetup members and is hosted from our office in Loveland, Colorado. Topic: TBD. Discussion is always open to current issues people may be dealing with." Hosted by Robyn Trask. 

     – The Poly Dallas Millennium conference, which centers the Black experience (people of all colors welcome) will happen online this year, November 6-8. CEUs available for psychology professionals. Facebook.

     –  Polycon Canada, November 22-23. "24 hr livestream event from sundown Nov 22 to sundown Nov 23 (Pacific time). Honouring Intersectionality and Diversity in our Communities."

     – Have an announcement that ought to be here? Email me at alan7388 (at) gmail.com.

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September 18, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: A spate of "how polyamory shaped me" tales, poly as a spiritual path, 10 recent books, and more

●  Earlier this week I posted Cambridge, Mass., delays action on nation's second domestic multi-partnership law. The delay was likely to allow improvements to the proposed city ordinance, which  would enable domestic-partner rights for polyfamilies of three or more adults.

The ordinance could come to a vote at the next meeting of the City Council this Monday (September 21), but it's likely to be delayed further. When it does come up it is likely to pass.

●  Something different from Chatelaine magazine ("Canada’s leading women’s integrated media brand," which claims to be "the #1 Canadian website for women 18+"):  How Polyamory Helped Me Survive Widowhood (Sept. 11)

My husband and I had an open relationship. When he died unexpectedly, my support system included several partners who had been part of our lives for years.

By Anonymous 

Victor* and I were making out on my couch when he pulled away and asked, “Should we talk about this? Are you sure you’re ready?”

I rushed to respond—yes—but he was not convinced.

“Is there anything specific that would feel good to you tonight? Is anything off limits?”

Again, I stammered. “No different boundaries than usual. You know how to make me feel good.”

I am normally quite confident when navigating sexual scenarios, but nothing felt normal. My husband Alex had died unexpectedly six weeks earlier. Alex and I had always been non-monogamous; he loved Victor and celebrated the relationship Victor and I had, so I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt when I texted Victor to let him know I was craving sexual touch. I knew, unequivocally, that Alex would want me to continue experiencing pleasure, joy, love and connection. Even so, rocked by grief, I had lost my usual bravado.


...What [Alex and I] initially envisioned as mostly sexual adventures with other partners gradually developed into a network of deeply intimate, loving friendships. As a result, when Alex died, my support system included several partners who had been part of our lives for years.

In the months following Alex’s death, I connected with dozens of young widows online. I was relieved to hear my own experiences echoed in theirs, to commiserate about the clueless and hurtful platitudes people utter to the grieving—throwaway lines like “Everything happens for a reason” or “He’s in a better place.” Every widow’s experience is unique, but most young widows grapple with some common challenges, including how to navigate relationships with in-laws and when (or whether) to stop wearing our wedding rings. But when it came to sex and dating, I couldn’t relate. We were a diverse group—gay, straight, religious, atheist—but nearly all were monogamous.

...I read numerous posts from widows who were struggling to navigate sex and relationships. ... It pained me to read over and over that, while most widows were struggling with a lack of physical contact and unmet sexual needs, many wouldn’t seek physical connection because the mere idea felt like a betrayal of their late spouses.

While I had lost the person who felt most like home to me, I was still able to experience connection with trusted partners like Victor, Keith and James. Victor and I met a year and a half before Alex died, and we hadn’t been able to keep our hands off each other since (or to stop jabbering about work, travel and language). Keith and I had been lovers for more years than we could remember, so our connection was soothing and familiar. James was quite simply family—my emergency contact, the witness at our wedding.

Alex and I met Keith shortly after we started dating, and grew close with him and his wife. One evening, Keith helped me write Alex’s obituary and design the program for his memorial. When I explained that I wasn’t ready to be intimate, relying on a clumsy euphemism for sex to mask my insecurity, Keith responded, “I think this is the most intimate we’ve ever been.” ...

At social gatherings, without Alex to anchor me, I felt adrift among a sea of happy people. After years of proximity, James was deeply attuned to my emotional states and how I expressed them through body language, so he provided a safety net at events. ...

The support I received extended beyond my romantic partners and came from our broader polyamorous community, as well. One friend organized a rotating group to bring me meals, be on call for emotional support and stay with me when I didn’t want to be alone. For weeks, a different friend slept in my bed every night and cuddled me when I asked. ...Others opened their homes to care for and feed each other when we were all in shock and reeling.  his type of community care and platonic touch were instrumental in my healing, but I’ve found these practices exceedingly rare in the more mainstream (read: monogamous, heteronormative) circles I occupy. ...


So, there I was on the couch with Victor, clumsily navigating my first sexual encounter as a widow. He coaxed me patiently until I finally managed to utter, “I’m just worried it will become too emotional for me in the moment.”

“What do you want me to do if that happens?” he asked.

“Just hold me,” I replied. ...

...Eventually, I stopped crying and began stroking Victor’s arm. He pinned me beneath him and planted butterfly kisses up and down my torso. I gasped as he entered me, releasing weeks of tension and devastation and evoking a fleeting, visceral escape—without any sense of betrayal or regret.

●  On a lighter note comes The Guardian's "My Life In Sex" department, where "each week, a reader tells us about their sex life." My life in sex: the ethical non-monogamist (Sept. 11).

I’m happily dating four people, who are aware of each other. How can we expect one partner to meet all our desires?

By Anonymous

I’m a woman who’s always been interested in ethical non-monogamy (ENM) – all partners agree to seeing other people – but had only been in monogamous relationships. Then, a year ago, mine ended and I was free to explore.

I began using an ENM dating app, at first fearing people would be aggressively sexual, or show a lack of respect. In fact, 99% of people I interacted with were emotionally intelligent, open-minded and kind. Now, I’m happily dating four people – two men and a male-female couple. They are aware of each other, and adore me in different ways. ...

Since March, I haven’t spent much time with anyone apart from my housemates. But I’ve stayed in contact with everyone, and made plans for picnics soon.

How can we expect one person to meet all our needs? Sexually, I enjoy playing with different power dynamics; seeing multiple people allows me to do that. Yes, it’s harder to stay on top of your calendar, and there is more room to disappoint multiple people when you’re not honest with what you can give, sexually and emotionally. But I could not go back to monogamy. I now prioritise myself more, and am able to evaluate what someone can bring to my life and what I can offer in return. ...

Each week, a reader tells us about their sex life. Want to share yours? Email sex@theguardian.com.

●  Another country heard from:  I am haunted by the Reykjavík Grapevine's long feature on the prizewinning, ethereal cellist and spirit-music composer Gyða Valtýsdóttir in Iceland. Her new-agey soundings in the music links haunt me too. The Evolution of Gyða: On Music, Multiple Dimensions Of Love, And Our Collective Future (Sept. 11).

The story includes,

...The spiritual path of polyamory

At this point in the conversation, we turned to a subject that also reflects the importance Gyða places on dissolving boundaries: polyamory. Her perspective on this subject demonstrates her drive to embrace the dissipation of categorisation. And the journey there began early in her life.

“There were obviously so many different levels of love, physicality and connection and it didn’t have anything to do with gender,” Gyða explains. “I didn’t even identify with bisexuality because that wasn’t it; I felt like there was no closet to come out of. However, when I actually started a relationship with a woman, we both had partners. Polyamory or ethical non-monogamy were new concepts for me and I felt like it was still such a taboo. ...”

The discovery and realisation of polyamory would prove to be an epiphany for her.

Photo: Viðar Logi
It truly exploded my preconception of a relationship and it finally started to make sense,” she says. “There are no rules, it didn’t make sense to just move the rules a little bit further out—they all had to go to find the ultimate trust and honesty.

For me, polyamory is a spiritual path, it goes so far beyond sex. It is about full dedication to trust and honesty, also towards yourself. You can really start to share every aspect of yourself with your partner(s). And allow the person you love to blossom in their utmost way, even if that blossom is sparked by another person. Those who have entered our relationship have enriched it and left us with precious gifts, but to be honest it was sort of a disaster in the beginning. While you’re peeling the layers off, that is painful but very worth it. And don’t get me wrong, ‘conscious monogamy’ is beautiful; it is like a diamond, but we can learn a lot from polyamory to reach that.” 

For Gyða, polyamory is not only in keeping with the evolution of society; it may also heal the way we currently do relationships.

“If we are to build a new world, the fastest way is breaking down the social construct,” she says. “Let’s admit it, we are failing miserably at love and relationships! We can do so much better. It is sort of approaching everything with an open curiosity; to ask ‘who are you and what is this relationship?’ instead of ‘oh, this is a relationship; this is how that should go.’ Get rid of the recipes. We can have so many nurturing relationships and we really need that, I think connection is what we humans are needing the most. 

To watch humanity blossom

...Gyða’s philosophy informs all of her work and even in the midst of these tumultuous times, her optimism shines through.

“I feel like that’s what we’re working on right now, on a global scale,” Gyða says. “We have to open up our minds. You know how you can make a melon grow into a square? It’s like to stop doing that, with everything. If we didn’t have all these forms and criticism, all these beliefs in how things should be; if we just watch humanity blossom, what would it look like? How would it feel to be human?”

●  10 Books About Polyamorous and Open RelationshipsThese are recent novels and memoirs, not how-tos, collected and described by Preety Sidhu at Electric Lit (a nonprofit "to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture by supporting writers, embracing new technologies, and building community to broaden the audience for literature.")

Each book gets a concise, roughly 100-word summary description. More than half the books were new to me. All have been published since 2017.
Next Year, for Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson
Luster by Raven Leilani
This Heart Holds Many: My Life as the Nonbinary Millennial Child of a Polyamorous Family by Koe Creation
Open Earth by Sarah Mirk
Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s) by Sophie Lucido Johnson
The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee
Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman
Necessary to Life: A Memoir of Devotion, Cancer and Abundant Love by Louisa Leontiades
Neotenica by Joon Oluchi Lee
Vanishing Twins: A Marriage by Leah Dieterich

●  Announcements: 

      The producers of the acclaimed black poly webseries 195 Lewis send out, "Hey Fam! 195 Lewis is now available on YouTube with multilingual subtitles (English, Spanish, French and Portuguese) so you can spread the Black queer love far and wide!"

      The Joy of Consent is a new nonprofit for a world of sex positivity, poly acceptance, and communication/ consent mastery in relationships, brainstormed by Nomi Dogan and friends. Join its online Virtual Party and Variety Show next Saturday, Sept. 26, 7-10 pm Eastern time. Spectate, chat, and/or perform; "No Talent Needed – very supportive crowd!" Small donation requested.

      Participate in research on CNM relationship maintenance. Elisabeth Sheff posts, "Are you currently in, or have you been in, a consensually non-monogamous relationship (e.g., swinging, polyamorous or open relationship) and want to contribute to science? My colleagues and I are conducting a study looking at the practices and guidelines that people in CNM relationships follow to help manage relationships with multiple partners. We hope to have a large number of people in diverse relationships participate in order to have a deeper understanding of CNM relationships. This survey will take about 10-15 minutes and is open to anyone 18 or older who has been in or is currently in some form of CNM relationship." Info and survey: Multi-Partner Relationship Maintenance Study. The principal investigator is Dr. Justin Mogilski (University of South Carolina). 

      Got an announcement to spread? Email me at alan7388 (at) gmail.com.

That's it for Friday Polynews Roundup. See you next Friday, or sooner if stuff comes up.

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September 15, 2020

Cambridge delays action on nation's second domestic poly-partnership law

Cambridge City Hall
Polyamory activists nationwide hoped that last night's meeting of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council would expand the city's domestic partnership law to allow for polyamorous families of three or more adults, as neighboring Somerville did on June 29.

It didn't happen. But that may be a good sign, not a bad one. 

At 1:10 in the morning, more than seven hours into a contentious City Council meeting with an overloaded agenda, Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui postponed consideration of the multiple-domestic-partnership ordinance until next week or later. She explained that the city lawyer did not yet have materials ready, and that recommendations for changes to the proposed ordinance may come from the city's LGBTQ+ Commission and other interested parties.

Those changes may include the improvement to the definition of what a qualifying polyamorous partnership can be, making it more realistic for many poly people, that Kimberly Rhoten has proposed and describes below. Rhoten, who holds a law degree, is a local legal activist for poly and LGBTQ+ issues who has been on this since at least June.

The City Council next meets in six days, on September 21. The ordinance may not be finalized and ready for "second reading" and passage by that time (though it's on the meeting's agenda under "unfinished business"). [Update Sept. 22: It was deferred again.] The measure's approval on July 27 to go to second reading, by a Council vote of 6-0 with two abstentions and one absence, suggests that it's very likely to be enacted when it does come up.

But first it needs significant work, says Rhoten, currently a graduate student at Boston University. This is from a post they made to New England Polyamory on September 11:

Polyam/CNM Legislative Update and Information: 

While I hope we can celebrate this step forward for our communities' legal protection, I also hope we can take a moment to be critical of the alarming ways in which the most current draft of Cambridge's legislation [is inadequate]:

– You can only be in ONE domestic partnership with multiple people [as the legislation is currently drafted]. You cannot be in multiple domestic partnerships with multiple individuals. Meaning, if anyone of those individuals dies or is no longer involved with any one other person in that domestic partnership, the whole partnership dissolves and is terminated. There is a "cooling off" period before you can refile, leaving folks without each other's health insurance and/or other benefits during that time. You would then have to refile again for the remaining people. For more information on why this is a legal and bureaucratic nightmare, see analysis by Infinity_8p.

– If you are married, you can only enter into a domestic partnership if your spouse is in that relationship configuration as well.

– If your domestic partnership is in some way legally contested (by insurance companies, your employer, the City itself for example), you must submit evidence of "how you hold your relationship out to the world."...That's right, evidence of how you out your relationship to the world around you.

...Again, heck yes, celebrate the second city caring about polyamorous relationships, but also maybe someday we'll see something better, more representative of the complex relationships our communities have, and more protective of our right to disclose our relationships to the world at our own pace and safety.


– Somerville did an excellent job in wording their ordinance, which allows multiple two-person domestic partnerships as well as all-in ones, depending on what the folks engaging in them actually want.

– Here is the email I sent the LGBTQ+ Commission of Cambridge when they were reviewing the draft:

...2) Issue: The Ordinance's Failure to Provide Appropriate Dyadic Domestic Partnerships

The current ordinance would require that a polyamorous persons be in only one domestic partnership at a time. Though there may be multiple people in that partnership, the ordinance would only permit that one domestic partnership be used to cover all persons involved. This is exceptionally problematic. First, it fails to consider situations in which a polyamorous persons' family does not all consider each other family. For example, consider a polyamorous women, lets call her Miranda, living together for the last 20 years with her two life partners, Bob and Tom. Bob and Tom are not dating nor would they consider each other family yet they both consider Miranda family and Miranda considers each of them family. The current ordinance would not be capable of providing appropriate protection and recognition for Miranda. Note that the ordinance would require that Miranda submit evidence that all three of them operate and consider themselves a three person family, which is not the case. In contrast, a dyadic option (which is exactly what the City of Somerville aptly and correctly provided to the City's polyamorous constituents) would allow Miranda to register her two dyad domestic partnerships: one with Bob and one with Tom.

Why is this a problem (besides of course, not recognizing the structure of Miranda's family)? According to Cambridge's current law (which is unchanged by this new ordinance) Section 2.119.030 Registration and Termination, the death of one person in the domestic partnership would dissolve the entire domestic partnership for all persons in it. For Miranda, Bob and Tom, this would mean that if Tom passes away, Bob and Miranda are now no longer legally partnered. Whereas, by using Somerville's dyadic approach, for the case of Miranda, Bob and Tom, the death of Tom would not destroy the domestic partnership Miranda has with Bob.

This exact issue would also arise if [irreconcilable] differences surface between any person in the domestic partnership and anyone else. If these two individuals decide to terminate the partnership, it would obliterate the rest of the family's legal standing rather than solely the legal standing between these two persons. And, according to Section 2.119.030(E) none of the domestic partners in this former multi-person partnership may file another domestic partnership until six months have elapsed from termination, leaving this family completely unprotected legally for half a year.

The issues with this type of legal recognition for polyamorous persons is well known, documented, and discussed by long time poly activists.

Recommendation: Strike provision 2.119.020(D)(5) from the proposed ordinance.

Rhoten tells me this morning, "The last time the City Council looked at this [July 27] they sought additional comment and guidance from the LGBTQ+ Commission and the city solicitor [city lawyer]. I and a few others commented to the LGBTQ+ Commission, but they haven't really followed up with me. They meet once a month." The commission's next meeting is September 24th. The minutes of its August meeting won't be available until they are approved at the September meeting.

"I hope they have adjusted their language to include a dyadic approach [multiple separate, two-person domestic partnerships] just like Somerville did," says Rhoten. "I think it would be incredibly problematic for municipalities to start passing legislation that doesn't do that."

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September 11, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup – Jealousy and compersion for beginners, Black polyactivists represent on talk show, and cuddly polyfam goes very public

Welcome back to Friday Polynews Roundup, for September 11, 2020. 

It was a thin week for polyamory in the media; the various growing national crises are pushing "non-essential" topics toward the media sidelines. But three items of note: 

●  Remember the Porter polyfamily in Houston? They've been busy doing poly education and awareness work in the Black community, and they appeared last February on The Isiah Factor talk show on Houston's Fox 26 TV.

They've been involved with Black Poly Nation, have spoken at any number of community groups, and they've appeared on shows in both new and old media. Now they have a book out, and Fox 26 host Isiah Carey brought them back for a 4-minute segment, Catching up with the polyamorous Porter family (Sept. 4). Watch here:

The host couldn't be more appreciative, though he's still incredulous. See more about the book at their website, ThePortahFamily.com. Here's their well-stocked YouTube channelFacebook page. Their other media and podcast appearances

●  More in the Department of What Poly Practices Can Offer Everyone, this time in The Greatist: Compersion Is the Opposite of Jealousy, and We All Should Learn It (Sept. 10)

By Melissa Fabello

When people learn that I practice nonmonogamy, one of the first questions that they ask me is “How do you handle jealousy?”

To which, I respond, “How do you?”

...Jealousy shows up in all kinds of relationships, and when it makes us intensely uncomfortable, we find ourselves doing anything to avoid feeling it.

It’s no wonder so many people feel confident saying “I could never do nonmonogamy; it would make me too jealous.” While choosing one relationship structure over another is a valid personal choice, that reasoning is misguided.

By that logic, I would never try anything new, for fear of embarrassment. I would never watch a tearjerker, for fear of sadness. I would never go on a rollercoaster, for fear of, well, fear. How many amazing things would we refuse to do, if we were equally avoidant of other uncomfortable feelings?

So what is it about jealousy that makes us so uniquely uncomfortable?

In talking with thousands of people about their experiences with jealousy, in my work as a sex and relationships educator, it appears that where people get stuck is in feeling like jealousy is an unacceptable emotion. ...

But... what if we let jealousy be like every other emotion that we feel — an indicator that our nervous system is asking us to pay attention to something?

Let’s start here: Jealousy is a perfectly healthy emotion

...Jealousy alerts you that a situation doesn’t feel good to you — and asks you to sort out how to regain a sense of safety and security. So why would you want to get rid of it? That sounds like an adaptive emotional response to me! ...

Like with any emotion, the key is being careful of what you do with it. ...

(Kathy Labriola's Jealousy Workbook
isn't mentioned in the article, but
it's very recommendable here. –Alan)

So how do we start changing our response to jealousy?

...When I was a community educator for a local domestic violence agency, I co-taught workshops on healthy relationships for middle and high school students. And in that work, we would make a distinction between jealousy and extreme jealousy, where the latter indicates a response that sets out to control other people. ...

When does jealousy cross the line into possessiveness? ...

How compersion can help relieve the discomfort of jealousy. ...

Compersion is the positive vicarious feeling of seeing someone you love have their needs met.

...Seeing your partner happy doesn’t always feel like jealousy or disappointment or rage. Most of the time, it feels like compersion.

Compersion is essentially the opposite of jealousy, and it’s an experience we talk about a lot in nonmonogamy. ... Jealousy, at the end of the day, is your nervous system alerting you to a threat to your safety. ... You can change how you approach that feeling. Instead of “How can I remove the threat from my partner’s life, and therefore mine?” ask “What is this telling me? What do I need to feel safe again?” ...

●  And you knew this was coming. This week's polyfamily heart-melter in the British tabloids is about the @PolyamCatfam, the adorkable young MNbF triad you'd dream of going on a picnic with. It's in the Daily Mail September 7: Couple who invited an old school friend to form a throuple claim it's EASIER than a normal relationship because you're not putting pressure on just one person to fulfil your needs.

Excerpts, and a few of the pix:

 Brandon, Eli and Amber

Music teacher Amber Parker, 24, and boyfriend Brandon Meadows, 23, from Muskegon, Michigan, first met on dating app Tinder in January 2017 and their initial attraction soon blossomed into an official relationship. Amber and Brandon were strictly monogamous at first, but discussed the possibility of opening their relationship up to a third person.

It wasn't until New Year's Eve 2018 when they met one of Brandon's old school friends, Eli Schalk, 21, at a party, that they realised that Eli, who is non-binary, could be the perfect person to add to their relationship. 

...'We had a good time playing board games and talking with friends, and the next day or so, we all mentioned to each other that we thought each other were attractive, and that we wanted to talk and see each other more.'

The three continued to hang out together and bonded over interests they had in common, such as art. 

...When they first formed a triad, Amber admits that there was some jealousy, but with honest and open communication all issues were resolved. 

'In the beginning of our relationship, there were frequent moments of possessive and jealous feelings, but we would talk through them every time they arose and got to the root of each issue.

'Since we were open to communication from the beginning, those moments don't happen much anymore, if at all.

'The hardest part to me is dealing with the fear of judgement and assumptions from others, but that fear has almost dissipated as well.

'We have learned many things from each other and the triad experience as a whole. Eli has taught me more about incorporating science and spirituality into my daily life. Brandon has shown me growth and structure, and both have shown me what is possible when humans genuinely care for each other and themselves simultaneously.

...'The assumption that multiple partners must be a result of cheating or manipulation is just as silly as the assumption that monogamy is always a result of possessiveness and jealousy.

'We all just want to love and everyone loves differently. Any support and happiness we can get on this planet should be encouraged and celebrated.'

...'Some people have asked about our sex life as soon as they find out we aren't monogamous.... Then some feel the need to tell us if they would sleep with a man, with a transgender person or with two people, when we really never asked for that information.'

...Amber said: 'Polyamory helps us meet our romantic wants and needs in a way that doesn't put unrealistic expectations on one given person. 

'Instead of wishing one person would be more cuddly, I can have cuddle time with both of them.

'Instead of wishing I was into a certain show or book, they could talk about their shared interests with each other.

'There is a lot more to it, but in essence there is more love, communication and perspective in our relationship than previous monogamous relationships we have been in.'


For the most part, the reaction to their relationship is incredibly positive and those close to them are supportive.

Amber, Eli and Brandon plan to buy a house together one day, adopt children, and would like to see the day when marriage between three people is legal. ... 'We want to grow old together and support each other through life.'

...They document their lives as a throuple on their Instagram account @polyamcatfam, which also features their much-loved pets. 

The cats outnumber them 5 - 3.

That's it for Friday Polynews Roundup till next week, unless something big comes up sooner. Which it may (hint hint), from Cambridge, Mass.

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September 4, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup: New novel "Poly." Open-relationship therapist in the news. "I moved my lover in with my man," and more

Welcome to Friday Polynews Roundup for September 4, 2020.

●  A novel is out this week titled Poly, by Paul Dalgarno in Australia. The publisher's blurb:

Author and book

Chris Flood – a married father of two with plummeting self-esteem and questionable guitar skills – suddenly finds himself in the depths of polyamory after years of a near-sexless marriage. His wife, Sarah – a lover of the arts, avid quoter of Rumi, and always oozing confidence – wants to rediscover her sexuality after years of deadening domesticity.
Their new life of polyamory features late nights, love affairs and rotating childcare duties. While Sarah enjoys flings with handsome men, Chris, much to his astonishment, falls for a polydactylous actor and musician, Biddy.
Then there’s Zac Batista. When Chris and Sarah welcome the Uruguayan child prodigy and successful twenty-two-year-old into their lives they gratefully hand over school pick-up and babysitting duties. But as tensions grow between family and lovers, Chris begins to wonder if it’s just jealousy, or something more sinister brewing…
A searing and utterly engrossing debut, Poly is a raw, hilarious, and moving portrait of contemporary relationships in all their diversity, and an intimate exploration of the fragility of love and identity. 

The Guardian gave Dalgarno space for a first-person article: 'Do you get jealous?' The six questions I always get asked about being polyamorous (Sept. 2). Excerpts:

Paul Dalgarno has had a wife for 15 years, and another partner for four. He gets asked the same questions a lot

‘Polyamorous relationships are as varied as any other straight, gay, lesbian, asexual or wholly platonic relationship.’ (nadia_bormotova/Getty/iStockphoto)

Tell people you’re polyamorous and a few common questions will almost certainly be coming your way. I know this because I’m polyamorous – by default, if I’m honest, rather than by some deeply held philosophy. My wife of 15 years, in addition to being my wife, has other partners. I also have another partner, of four years, who (to date) seems to have no interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with anyone other than me. Go me!

Which segues nicely into the first thing non-polyamorous people are likely to ask you:

What are the rules?

Easy. There are none, except for those set by the people involved. “How-to” books such as More Than Two and The Ethical Slut offer some valuable frameworks and considerations for polyamorous and non-monogamous relationships, but that’s about as far as it goes. And even if there were pre-existing rules, who wants to be the person trying to enforce them?

... I’ve read as widely as I can on the subject and the advice I’ve found most useful comes not from the literature on polyamory but from the motto for the annual Meredith music festival: Don’t be a dickhead.

Do you get jealous?

No, never. OK, I’m lying. But the fact we have the word “compersion” – for the joyful sensation associated with seeing your partner enjoying a happy romantic or sexual connection with someone else – suggests that, in fact, some people can operate with only minimal or passing feelings of jealousy. In my case, jealousy has triggered everything from spontaneously smashing the tiles on my bathroom wall with my fist to panic attacks that haven’t just given the impression I’m dying – I’ve been convinced I really am dying, my lungs collapsing under the heavy existential fear that I’m going to be left alone....

Multiple partners … so you think you’re really hot, then?

Um, see above.

Polyamory, unlike consecutive monogamous relationships and their hidden affairs, gives a unique opportunity for real-time, in-your-face A/B testing. While your new partner or partners, high on new relationship energy, may be primed to respond to your carefully crafted selfies enthusiastically, your longer-term partner or partners may not. They’ve seen you, they know you and, miraculously, they still want to be with you.

What about STIs?

Yes, they exist – with problems ranging from all sorts of undesirable genital conditions to Aids to infertility. But condoms can definitely assist, in much the same way as wearing a face mask and washing your hands for 20 seconds can help amid a deadly pandemic. Are any of those precautions foolproof? No. But they help.

Do you split your time equally between partners?

More accurately, in my experience, you split your time completely between partners. Forget about those quiet moments to yourself and the good old days of feeling bored to tears by your own company. ...

Do you feel in control?

OK, nobody’s ever actually asked me this, but I’ve asked myself on numerous occasions. And the answer every time is no. Because the hard-to-swallow truth is that none of us, in any meaningful way, has any control over anything. You might disagree but you’d be wrong – you really don’t.

And that’s maybe the toughest and most beautiful lesson polyamory has to offer. If you truly love somebody and choose to set them free, they may not come back to you, but the reality of it is liberating: they were never yours in the first place.

The gay paper Out in Perth (Australia) prints a synposis: Paul Dalgarno delivers polyamorous romantic drama in ‘Poly’ (by Lezly Herbert, Sept. 2). The story starts out as a romp, but then mister dark horse enters the picture: 

It is a wild ride for the reader as they are thrown into observing the chaos generated when multiple partners are mixed with multiple drugs and copious amounts of alcohol. Dalgarno also includes mental health issues that impact on contemporary relationships as several of the male characters are suffering anxiety and/or depression along with questioning their masculinity.

Just when Chris and Sarah decide to rent a larger house so Zac can live with them, their lives are further thrown into turmoil when they discover that Zac may have been lying to them about a whole lot of things. Well, actually, all the characters are doing a certain amount of lying, but Zac’s motivations might be more sinister than the rest.

●  Elsewhere, open-relationship therapist and book author Susan Wentzel got a nice profile in the Winnipeg Free Press where's she's a local: Kissing monogamy goodbye (online Sept. 3).

By Jen Zoratti 

Before she literally wrote a book on open relationships, Winnipeg sex and relationship therapist Susan Wenzel was in a monogamous marriage with her husband Denys.

That is, until, he came to her wanting to discuss opening their marriage.

"It was a very scary time for me, because I had that idea of monogamy," she recalls. "I remember feeling very dizzy, very confused, very hurt. All that anxiety kicks in." She even kicked him out.

That was eight years ago. Now, Wenzel, 41, and her husband, also 41, are in a consensual non-monogamous open marriage, which means they are free to pursue relationships with other people — and she’s never been happier.

Susan Wenzel and her husband, Denys Volkov

"I wanted something for people who are considering opening their relationship, so they could have a guide," says Wenzel, who has worked with many couples who are either curious about open relationships or are currently in one through her therapy practice. Their struggles and challenges were familiar to her, and she shares her own story in the book.

"(The book) doesn’t advocate, it doesn’t say, ‘non-monogamy is the way to go’ — it just says, ‘if you are in a non-monogamous relationship or you’re considering opening up your relationship, this is a book that will help you maintain and navigate that relationship well.’"

..."Hearing a different story can really throw people off. People get very triggered when they hear about open relationships because of their own fears. ... It’s like, ‘How come you guys are so happy and you’re living this lifestyle that is not the norm to many people?’ But then they see we haven’t changed, we’re still relatable.

...At first, Wenzel’s newly opened relationship was fraught, governed by control, fear and jealousy. Wenzel began to look inward in order to answer a question that both scared and excited her: "What would happen if I embraced this?" Through her own personal growth, she was able to pinpoint that a large source of her anxiety related to a childhood-rooted fear of abandonment.

"But that’s a story I tell myself because my partner is there for me in so many ways," she says. "I know he’s reliable and dependable — that doesn’t change because he’s seeing someone else."

...Wenzel and her husband have two kids, a 14-year-old son and a 13-year-old-daughter. The idea of a different family unit wasn’t completely unfamiliar to them: their Kenyan grandfather, Wenzel’s father, has two wives. "My son says, ‘No, that’s not for me’ and my daughter says, "It makes sense, sometimes I like different people,’" Wenzel says.

The couple maintains boundaries with their children: general questions only; their sex lives are not up for discussion.

..."One belief system I changed is, ‘My husband is not the source of my happiness. I am the source of my happiness.’ ... And also to know that he came into this life to do his life, and for me to do my life — and maybe we can walk alongside each other and do that life together."

Wenzel views her open relationship as a gift that has allowed her to grow in all areas of her life.

"It’s not the open relationship that brought me happiness," she says. "It’s the work around it."

A couple other articles about Wenzel, from last March when her book came out: Yes, you can have a healthy, happy open relationship. Here’s how, in Canada's gay paper Xtra (March 2).

And the mistitled Why this sex therapist says you should be in an open marriage, in, of all places, the ugly and creepy New York Post (March 9).

●  Department of Happy Polyfams in the Tabs. This latest one comes from tabloid content supplier Hotspot Media, so expect it to show up in the British tabloids and around the world. The first version to cross my screen is from That's Life! in Australia: I moved my lover in with my man! (Sept. 1)

With two boyfriends, Sunny Saap admits that her relationships are far from conventional.

Now, with the three adults living under one roof together, she's adamant that they've become one big, happy family!

As told to Candice Fernandez, Hotspot Media

My eldest daughter shrieked with laughter as she jumped onto the swings.

Then, her dad, Matt, 34, pushed her up into the air.

‘Higher, Daddy!’ London, three, squealed.

Beside me, my boyfriend Kody, 27, held our daughter Thea, two months.

I’d been in a polyamorous relationship with Matt and Kody for two years, which meant we all consented to non-monogamy.

I loved them both, while they loved me, but to each other they were just friends.

I’d met Matt first, four years earlier, when we lived in the same apartment building. ...

Eventually, I plucked up the courage to [ask] Matt.

‘What if we opened up our relationship?’ I asked. ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t love you,’ I added.

We chatted for hours and Matt understood.

‘We can try it,’ he smiled.


...He was tall and handsome with muscular arms.

As we chatted, I pointed to Matt in the distance.

‘That’s my partner,’ I said.

Kody’s face dropped.

‘You’re not single,’ he muttered.

‘We’re open,’ I explained.

Kody looked confused, even more so when Matt appeared and shook his hand!

...They need to become friends, I thought, texting Kody to come over.

When Kody arrived, Matt made us coffee and soon we were all laughing.

From then on, Kody came around for dinner once a week and he and Matt bonded further.

...One day, Matt and I were cleaning the spare room.

‘Why doesn’t Kody come and live with us?’ he asked. ‘He could stay in this room with you, then we can swap around,’ he offered.

...It felt so normal to live with them both. And from then on, I swapped between bedrooms each night.

It was perfect.

We even broke the news to our parents, and after the initial shock, they gave us their blessing.

Soon after that, Kody and I sat down with Matt.

‘Kody and I want to have a child,’ I said.

‘I’d love to be a dad too,’ Kody added.

‘That’s amazing,’ Matt said.


...In March 2019, Matt and Kody were both by my side when I gave birth to a little girl named Thea.

With our new addition, our family has gone from strength to strength.

Matt and Kody have since become like brothers.

‘Mummy, Daddy, Kody!’ London squeals when she runs into a room.

Whenever we go out together, I swap between holding Matt and Kody’s hands.

Sometimes strangers give us funny looks, but we don’t care.

Both Matt and Kody love me very much. And I love them.

Now, I can’t imagine being in a conventional couple.

I’m so lucky and grateful to have two wonderful men in my life.

Dismiss the tabs as junk media if you like, but they are powerful opinion shapers for the bottom third. For instance, in the UK they had a lot to do with Brexit passing in 2016, and in the US they helped to wildly demonize Hillary Clinton that year. We're a lot better off with them gushing for us rather than otherwise; just ask your Trumpie co-worker or your dotty great-aunt.

But no illusions here — they run these stories only because they sell.


●  PolyDallas conference to be held online November 6-8. Most everything on the 2020 calendar of polycons got canceled due to covid after March, but some moved online. Next online will be PolyDallas Millennium, organized by Ruby Johnson, centering polys of color. She writes, "PDM is a symposium that brings queer, trans, and nonbinary POC who are nonmonogamous together to educate one another, celebrate our love, and liberate our voices in a space that is affirming, safe, and accessible. We are bringing that same mission, vision, and passion to a virtual space. Our theme celebrates the abundance, liberation, and unlimited possibilities of love."  Conference page.  Facebook page.

●  Then comes PolyCon Canada, November 22-23.  "Honouring Diversity in our Communities. Live-streamed hosting, interactive chat and video segments, exploring diversity in the polyamory communities across Canada (and globally) and where polyamory intersects with other aspects of individual and community experiences. Wanted -- video clips 5 to 15 min long. Presentations, workshop in a nutshell, music performances, author readings, etc. These are meant to be fodder for discussion."  Facebook event page.

Are you hosting an online event that oughta be mentioned here? Write me! alan7388(AT)gmail.com

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