Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

October 30, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup – Covid solidarity, the many ethical non-monogamy types, good how-tos, and a Vermont legal ruling

I'm hurrying to get this out before it's time to join the all-else-aside task for today and the next four days: phone-banking, friend-organizing, and safe-distance canvassing for Biden and the Dems.

These few days are, quite frankly, our last, best chance to save the United States as a free and open society — a functioning, non-authoritarian republic, one based on respect for people, facts and truth, where we can live free from fear of cruel and ruinous out-of-control leaders.

The America we were taught we could believe in.

Someday your grandchildren will ask you what you did in 2020. If you want to hold your head up when that question comes, join the phone banks and other campaigns to get out the vote for Democrats in these next five days. There are a zillion opportunities, such as here or here or here.


●  We've seen many poly-in-the-time-of-covid articles in the mainstream media. But this new one, by Madeline Wells on SFGate, a website of the San Francisco Chronicle, is one of the best of the type: Multi-love: What it's like to have more than one partner in the pandemic (Oct. 26). Extended excerpts:

Andy Andersen
By Madeline Wells

...The Bay Area has a reputation for being particularly poly-friendly, where regular meetups for the community aren't hard to find. ... Before the pandemic, Krista Varela Posell, a 30-year-old who lives in Rodeo, was in a polycule of 10 people (that’s a connected network of people in nonmonogamous relationships). When COVID-19 hit, she hunkered down with just her husband, and found herself unable to see most of her partners for months.

“It’s been such a challenge to have people we care about and not be able to do the same things we used to do on a regular basis,” explains Posell. “We were going out and seeing partners two to three times a week, and now to be stuck at home is a very drastic change in our routine.”

Stephie Winter and Bex Coffey, both 35, are two friends who both identify as poly and live together in a house of nine people in Brentwood. Winter lives with her husband, but was unable to see her other partner for months due to the inherent risk of having a large social bubble.

“My boyfriend and I met a month and a half before COVID started, and his older son is asthmatic, so in the beginning we didn’t see each other for eight weeks,” says Winter. “We eventually made the decision for his mental health that he needed human connection, and we needed to expand to include him in our bubble.”

...Some are choosing to suspend dating altogether. One source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that “nesting” with one partner has led them to bond more closely than before, but that not being able to act on the poly facet to her identity has been a little uncomfortable.

“Basically ... we have the appearance of monogamy and that has brought some discomfort for me, but we are overall very happy and secure in our relationship itself,” she said via Facebook messenger. “… Like it's so normal to just be assumed mono. But if that's not ‘who you are’ it can just kind of grate on you. It's like being bisexual in a relationship (I'm bisexual btw) where everyone assumes you're either straight or gay based on who you are with. It just makes a key part of who I feel I am kind of invisible.”

Others, however, go bravely forth with dating. Miles-Kaleb Raymond, a 19-year-old living in Oakland with one partner, occasionally goes on dates with others — but only those who get tested often and wear masks outside the house. But so far, he says, dating during the pandemic has been all “dead ends.”

“It’s affected my partner and I mentally a bit,” says Raymond. “We love each other but it feels lonely at times. The world feels more quiet.”

On the other hand, some have found love in the chaos. ...


There are some advantages, too, to navigating relationships in the pandemic as a poly person. For one: communication skills.

“When you’re in the poly community, there’s a certain level of skill you have to already develop in terms of being in touch with what's important for you when it comes to relationships, and knowing how to negotiate needs and working through disappointments,” says licensed marriage and family therapist Gal Szekely of the Couples Center. “I think those skills are really needed right now.”

Broaching the subject of risk with partners in regards to the coronavirus also feels familiar, says Posell.

“The transition to talking about those kinds of things has felt somewhat easy being poly, because when you see a lot of people, you have to talk about STI safety,” she says. “This has added another layer on to that … we all have to be more up front about levels of risk we take as individuals in order to consider spending time with other people.”

And, there’s also the element that unlike with some monogamous couples, there isn’t the same pressure for one person to be your everything in a time of crisis. ...

The Bay Area poly community has also gotten creative to stay connected during the pandemic. Lauren Vegter, who lives in Oakland, started a pandemic-era dating app for both ethically non-monogamous and monogamous people called Bloom. The app sets people up on socially-distanced group dates in parks with 6 to 8 people. It’s still in its pilot stage, but Vegter says she’s already seen overwhelming interest.

“We created it because I was interested in bringing together ethically non-monogamous communities in a time when we can’t gather in our traditional, often indoor spaces,” says Vegter.

For those who aren’t comfortable meeting in person, one Facebook group for Bay Area-based poly people offers a monthly virtual happy hour on Zoom. And it’s not all about dating — the community is also there to help each other through the trials and tribulations of coronavirus. ...


●  Some new Poly 101s popped up this week. This one in Shape magazine (lifestyle & fitness for women) is deeper than usual: What Is Ethical Non-Monogamy, and Could It Work for You? by Gabrielle Smith (Oct. 28). It offers a taxonomy of nine forms of ethical non-monogamy, and it gets them mostly right IMO. Its section "How to Know If Ethical Non-Monogamy Is Right for You" has these subsection headings:  

– Are you pursuing ethical non-monogamy for the right reasons?

– How do you handle jealousy and insecurity?

– Remember that overhauling your entire relationship structure is difficult.

– Communication is key.

– Give yourself some structure.

– Think boundaries, not rules.

– Veto power is unethical.

Other main sections are,
"How to Introduce Ethical Non-Monogamy to an Existing Relationship," 
"How to Pursue Ethical Non-Monogamy While Single,"
"Having Safe Sex with Multiple People," 
"Research, Research, Research."

●  Similarly, this one appeared in the healthy-living site MindBodyGreen ("connecting soul and science"):  What Ethical Non-Monogamy Really Means & Why People Practice It (Oct. 27). Excerpts:

..."When explaining ethical or consensual non-monogamy to my clients, my go-to is the three C's: communication, consideration, and of course, consent," psychotherapist Cheyenne Taylor, LMSW, explains to mbg. "Ethical non-monogamy is based on the concept of using socially acceptable guidelines and ethically motivated tools to cultivate a relationship built on the foundation of non-monogamy. At its core, though, ENM means not cheating or acting without the consent of your partner."

What it means to practice ethical non-monogamy:

1. You and your partner(s) agree on what you want and don't want. ...

2. Honesty is vital. ...

3. You need to care about your partners' feelings. ...

4. You can still have a primary partner. ...

5. You can also choose to have non-hierarchal relationships. ...

6. There will be ups and downs. ...

7. Yes, you'll likely be jealous sometimes. ...


Ethical non-monogamy vs. polyamory.

Polyamory is one form of ethical non-monogamy, which is an umbrella term that encompasses many other types of relationships. Swinging, casual sex, open relationships, and polyamory are all forms of ethical non-monogamy, and there are many others. Polyamory refers to having multiple romantic partners at once, which not all ethically non-monogamous people do. ...

Ethical non-monogamy vs. open relationship.

Open relationships are another form of ethical non-monogamy, with ethical non-monogamy being the umbrella term. ...

The article continues with a classification of many more ENM types.

●  In the online magazine MamaMia! ("To make the world a better place for women and girls. ... Australia's largest women's media brand") comes Jealousy is normal. My honest experience of what polyamorous relationships are really like (Oct. 25)

No matter how ‘woke’ we think we are, feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, or simply being overwhelmed happen. What’s really the magic wand, so to speak, in any relationship, mono or poly, is fervent communication.

My first foray into the poly world is not the Poly 101 course I would want for anyone else, but it did teach me a lot. ...

●  If you're into the tabs, here's yet another new happy-polyfamily feature: Mother who went on a date with a married man who claimed to be separated reveals she now lives with him, his WIFE and their five children - and says 'it's not perfect but we're soulmates' (Daily Mail, Oct. 29). They're in Connecticut. A powerful bonding experience for the two women was getting one of their infants through cancer five years ago.

"When you say 'hey I'm in a poly relationship,' that is overwhelming for some people. Now we are all one big happy family. We all cook together and have family time. We sit around the table and talk about our day and just cherish each other."

As always, with lotsa pix.

●  And lastly, we get down in the legal weeds of the poly parental-rights decision just issued in Vermont's Lanfear v. Ruggerio.

Parental-rights disputes in a failed polyfamily are likely to be complicated and messy by the time they reach the courts, and the issue of polyamory rights will usually be obscured by an overlay of circumstances. That fact should never be used to mask prejudice, however, which occurs regarding many issues throughout the justice system (such as race, just in case you hadn't heard).

Vermont Supreme Court Justice Karen Carroll

But apparently it didn't happen here. In this case, Vermont Supreme Court Justice Karen R. Carroll wrestled in depth with a triad partner's claim to non-bio co-parent status after the triad collapsed. The judge applied what seems to be a steep but fair set of specific standards that is developing for such determinations, and the non-bio partner lost. 

The standards employed in this case are a useful example of what poly people may encounter as the basis for a reasoned decision, depending of course on your state and your judge. Bottom line: the non-bio third parent has an opening but has a lot to prove.

Libertarian law professor Eugene Volokh posts Justice Carroll's opinion in Lanfear v. Ruggerio on his much-read Volokh Conspiracy blog: The "De Facto Parent" Doctrine and Polyamorous Relationships. He writes that the case 

offers an interesting illustration. The relationship seems to have been dysfunctional in many ways (as relationships that go to court usually are); and I have no reason to think that it's any more representative of all polyamorous relationships than the "traditional" child custody case is representative of more common heterosexual relationships. Still, it struck me as an interesting story that helps point to issues that will sometimes especially arise when courts deal with polyamorous relationships, as opposed to (say) "de facto parent" claims brought by stepparents or even by grandparents.

You can read the bulk of the judge's opinion there, or read her original here. (Update: story in the Vermont Digger with more perspective, Nov. 6.)

Warning: Your state and especially your judge will vary. Vermont (I used to edit a newspaper there) is one of the poorest and most rural states in the nation, but by several measures it is one of the most civilized, perhaps the most civilized state. This is enabled and sustained by a high degree of social trust among its residents. For instance most of its politicians, including Republican Governor Phil Scott, never politicized the coronavirus or mask-wearing but led by example and have kept the public mostly united in vigilance — the main reason why Vermont continues to have the lowest Covid rate in the nation (scroll down to the table of the 50 states). The virus is exploding in other rural states, but not one Vermonter has died of it in more than two months. More about this anomaly from the New York Times (scroll to last item at the link).

Shows what could have been done everywhere else, in an environment of national decency.


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October 23, 2020

Friday Polynews Roundup: More poly TV coming. Why so many triads? New space for platonic romantic friendship, and more

●  A trend continues in TV land:  From the Los Angeles Times comes Open relationships are 'common' in Hollywood. ’Soulmates’ is helping TV catch up (Oct. 19). Soulmates is a new series on AMC that uses a science-fiction gimmick to explore "whether love is destiny or a choice." The show's creators tell how they were dazzled by the concept of poly.

By Sonaiya Kelley

AMC's new anthology series "Soulmates" imagines a world in which knowing one's fated love is only a test away. ...

...The show's third episode, "Little Adventures," which aired Monday [Oct. 19], follows Libby and Adam, a happily married couple.... After Libby's test results pair her with Miranda, she has to figure out which partner to choose — or if there's a possibility of making it work with both.

"It felt like a very relevant story to tell now about how relationships are changing," said [series co-creator Will] Bridges. "We wanted... an honest look on how (polyamory) affects the characters within that relationship."

...The writers drew on the experiences of people they know to inform their characters.

"I had a lot of friends, particularly in L.A., who [were a part of] throuples and dealt with all the different politics of open relationships," said [the show's other co-creator,  Brett] Goldstein. ... "I think there's something weird about how we always say 'It takes a village to raise a child,' but when it comes to our relationships, we believe in only one person to do everything," he added. "When you put it like that, that's mad."

"Remember like 20 years ago yoga was really weird? Now everyone does yoga and there's nothing weird about it," said Bridges. "And I feel like there's a world maybe where open relationships, or at least untraditional non-monogamous relationships, are much more acceptable and an option rather than, 'Oh, that's a weird thing you're up to.' "...

[Lead actor Shamier Anderson says,] "I did a bit of research but not too much, because my character was unfamiliar with it." ... 

"I think [open relationships] work when people are being open to the possibilities of it," said Bridges. ... "With the research that we did and all the people we spoke to, it becomes clear that it's not about sex," he added. "It's not about the tantalizing idea of what it's like to have another person to have a sexual relationship with. It becomes about what each person brings to the relationship and how that affects what you give to each person."

It's been 14 years since the very first polyamory-themed series was pitched to a TV studio, to the best of my knowledge. HBO "almost bought" Reid Mihalko's "Polly and Marie" series in 2006 after he and others filmed a pilot, he told the 2009 Poly Living conference, but HBO thought advertisers would be too scared of the topic. Now everyone in TV land seems to be trying to hitch a pull from this moving train, advertisers included.

●  However, a lot of the entertainment world's poly and CNM representation remains naive or superficial and fails to grasp the lived life. So of course there is a Facebook group: This IS the polyamory exposure I wanted. With 9,900 members. Have fun. 

Relationship Anarchy logo

●  The profoundly deep platonic romantic friendship flourished as a relationship style from the 1700s to the early 1900s, especially between women but also sometimes between men. It surely provided respectable cover for many closeted lesbians and gays. But at least as often, by all evidence, it was exactly what it seemed to be: a passionate romance entirely of soul to soul.

The passing of the romantic friendship as an understood thing has been a tragic loss for the modern world. Today "romantic" and "intimate" are so synonymous with "sexual" that many people can't imagine a working alternative. Unless they know about asexuals (aces) in their various varieties, who have self-identified and found each other only recently, or the very modern philosophy of relationship anarchy — the younger, wilder, overlapping sibling of polyamory.

And polyamory itself, with its freedom from rigid sexual assumptions and requirements, is giving old-fashioned romantic friendships new space to grow and thrive, as many have discovered and remarked. 

The Atlantic just published a long essay on the forgotten power of the platonic romantic friendship and its history in the western world: What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life? by Rhaina Cohen (online Oct. 20). “Our boyfriends, our significant others, and our husbands are supposed to be No. 1. Our worlds are backward.”

Go read it. It ends on a hopeful note of rediscovery:

Polyamory and asexuality, both of which push back against the notion that a monogamous sexual relationship is the key to a fulfilling adult life, are rapidly gaining visibility. Expanding the possible roles that friends can play in one another’s lives could be the next frontier.

●  New book on the history of monogamy and its alternatives. Luke Brunning, a UK philosopher, published a shortish book this week Does Monogamy Work? A Primer for the 21st CenturyHe is interviewed in Mashable: Does monogamy work? This new book explores the controversial question (Oct 20). The interview ends with this:

...You discuss the concept of jealousy and compersion.... Is jealousy an inevitable part of non-monogamy, or if it's possible to get to a place of full compersion?

I've written about this recently [Imagine There's No JealousyAeon, Feb. 27, 2019] and tried to think about it in more detail. What I've put in the book [is] based on this academic article I published [Compersion: An Alternative to Jealousy?Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Summer 2020] where I'm thinking through those questions. 

...[Some] people think jealousy is inevitable and you can never get rid of it. Other people take a completely different view and think it's easy. The emotion is linked to two things. One is our sense of personal vulnerability. The other is our beliefs about what we're entitled to, what we expect from other people, what we deserve....

Luke Brunning

It's relatively easy... to change your beliefs about relationships. You might think, 'Well, I've had all these dodgy beliefs about what I can expect from a partner or what I'm entitled to or how they should behave.' And so, change your kind of attitudes in that way. 

At the same time, the fact that you've changed those beliefs — you feel less entitled, you don't think that you possess your partner, you don't think can claim their attention — doesn't necessarily mean that you can alter — or alter quickly — your personal vulnerability ... [or] the way you get attached to people. ...

I know lots of people who've thought about this a lot, and they've got a clear sense of what they think is justified or not justified, and they think jealousy is not justified ... but nonetheless they feel horrifically insecure and vulnerable. 

●  Speaking of books, remember Paul Dalgarno, author of the novel Poly that came out last summer?  He writes about his own poly life, and the competing plusses and minuses of both polyamory and monogamy, in Archer magazine in his native Australia: Polyamory and the mirror on the wall (Oct. 15)

Mirror on wall, by Suhyeon Choi

...For monogamy, some of the bad press comes from the assumption it’s the natural way of things, as opposed to a practice that’s long been promulgated and bolstered by patriarchy and land (read ownership over other people) rights.

But monogamy also has plenty going for it.

Even though the “one-and-only” approach to love is prone to abuse through hush-hush affairs and their fallout, even though it’s vulnerable, as we all are, to the monotony of life and the law of entropy, having an “other half” provides a reliable data point – a mirror, as it were....

In my case... polyamory has providing me with, at best, a glorious infinity mirror, at worst a nightmarish funhouse of reflections in which my sense of who I really am becomes as stretched and distorted as the bedsheets in a cheap motel.

...Of all the benefits of polyamory, the one I’ve found most invaluable is the growing awareness that my relationships and the self-esteem I derive from them are chiefly my responsibility. There actually is no house of mirrors, no magic mirror on the wall – it’s you and what you bring to those around you that matters.

●  The Independent, one of the UK's major papers, just republished online a basic, longish Poly 101 from 2017:  7 things people with multiple partners want you to know about what it's really like (Oct 19). Its main source is Elisabeth Sheff. The 7 things it lists are,

1. They don't really get jealous [some don't, anyway, or at least not so much]
2. It's not all about sex
3. Sometimes people just fall into the lifestyle
4. It involves a lot of communication
5. It's not always easy
6. Kids don't complicate things as much as you might think
7. It doesn't always work

●  People complain: Among those happy polyfamilies so relentlessly featured in the British tabloids, why always so many triads?? A fresh example: Woman in polyamorous 'throuple' explains how they organise bedtime (Daily Mirror, Oct. 12, among others. With video.)

Janie, Cody, Maggie (TriAdventures / Instagram)

...Maggie and Cody first met on Tinder in February 2016, but became a throuple after meeting Janie in November that year.

In a video on TikTok, Janie says that while they weren't planning to end up in a relationship "it just sort of happened."

Cody and Maggie married in January 2018 at a courthouse and held a ceremony in May, where Janie was the maid of honour....

Now they share their life on social media on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, from their home in Chattanooga, southeastern Tennessee.

In a video, Janie says that meeting their pair was the "best thing that ever happened to me."

In one video, which has been seen three million times, she explains how they manage the bedroom dynamic.

Janie shows off their king-size bed and says that sometimes the couple do all sleep there together sometimes.

She adds: "I sleep in the middle and Maggie and Cody sleep on either end.

"But its not actually normal for all three of us to sleep together."

"And we don't have a sleep schedule. Usually we just decide whoever sleeps in the King by whoever hasn't been sleeping the best recently goes to sleep by themself."...

So why do the tabs seem crazy for "throuples" over other poly family structures?  

Surely it's just because triads are the most abundant. There are more triads than quads, more quads than quints, and polyfamilies of six haven't even earned a special name yet. The pattern is clear: The more complex the structure, the less often it "occurs in nature." 1  

So when the tabloids' content agencies go beating the bushes for polyfamilies to hire and exhibit, triads are mostly what they find.

And maybe another factor: The bigger the family, the more people have to agree to tabloid exposure. And, the paycheck will be divided more ways.


1.  The exception to this rule is the extended poly network. Network poly seems to be the commonest form today, at least in densely populated areas. A large network can absorb and damp out perturbations among its links, to continue through internal breakups, re-formations, new additions, and dropouts. A poly network is an intimate form of community. But within a network you almost always see, again, tighter sub-units forming: primary-ish couples, triads and quads, in that same decreasing order of abundance.

This is why I predict that even in a future society that's totally poly-friendly and -accepting, couples of two will be the relationship that most people are in for most of the time. Couples are just the simplest structure.

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October 9, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: Good Morning America, successful polyfams, Covid coping, and more.

●  ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" today aired a 3½-minute segment about three-parent families, continuing the recent spate of news stories on the topic.

The segment draws on The Atlantic's article last month The Rise of the 3-Parent Family and features the same set of three parents. It also gives a few seconds of air time to lawyer Diana Adams, who specializes in legal arrangements for poly and other non-traditional families and runs the Chosen Family Law Center. That was too brief for her to deliver the kind of pithy quotes you may remember from the Atlantic story.

Watch here (aired Oct 9): 

●  Poly in the time of Covid stories continue to appear in the media, though less often now than last spring. Today, for instance, What it's like to be polyamorous and non-monogamous during a pandemic is in the "Executive Life" section of Business Insider Australia (Oct. 9) and other international editions of Insider. It's by Canela López, making this at least her fifth polyam story for Insider in the last year. 

...Poly and non-monogamous people are having to find alternative ways to keep themselves safe.

Ronaldo Schemidt / Getty

By Canela López

...“This is really not a time to have multiple partners, especially if you’re going to be doing anything that involves taking off the mask,” Dr. Sandra Kesh, an infectious disease specialist... told Insider.

...“I think it’s about harm reduction in the terms of it being sustainable to social distance,” Ken, a polyamorous person in Spokane, Washington told Insider. “It’s a lot to ask non-monogamous people to not be with all of their partners, and for mental health, it just is not sustainable.”

Insider spoke to several polyamorous and non-monogamous people about how they are keeping themselves safe during the pandemic.

Frequent testing is key

A Tulane University senior [said] when the pandemic was declared in mid-March they stopped seeing people, relocated to California for the summer, and did coronavirus research for a highly ranked university. But when they returned to New Orleans in August, they gave it two weeks and decided to contact their old Tinder hookups and friends with benefits.

This is in large part because Tulane requires its students to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week. ...

...Ken started seeing his partner Angie in early August when restrictions on social distancing began to loosen up. Because Angie has four partners and Angie’s spouse additionally has multiple partners, everyone in the polycule — “people involved in the polyamorous dynamic” — has to get tested for COVID-19 once a week.

Limiting high-risk activities like kissing has made some people feel safer

New York City put out guidelines in June on how people could reduce their risk of infection during sex, like wearing masks, doing positions like doggie style or rider positions, and avoiding swapping [the virus] by performing anilingus or kissing.

While they don’t wear a mask during sex, the Tulane student said they try to follow the advisory to limit the exchange of fluids with their partners to reduce their risk.

...Because they live on-campus and aren’t allowed to have guests in their rooms, they meet elsewhere.... They once even got caught having sex in Audubon Park, a public park located across the street from Tulane.

Open and honest communication about social distancing and boundaries

Like discussions within polyamorous and non-monogamous dynamics prior to the pandemic, boundaries and expectations are incredibly important to set before adding a partner to a polycule or rotation of people.

“Ken was definitely very intentional and being like, making sure I knew that they would wear masks during dates, they would be socially distanced, telling me whenever they planned on actually going over to Angie’s house,” Ri said. “We’re super talkative with each other about those things.”

The 21-year-old Tulane senior told Insider they are fully transparent with each of their sexual partners about the number of people they’re having sex with and how many people they generally interact with. “I let them know that they’re not going to be like the only person in my life that I’m involved with sexually because I feel gross if I keep people in the dark,” they said. As of early August, no one in their rotation has tested positive for COVID-19. ...

●  Actor and bi-poly relationship educator Nico Tortorella is on the the cover of Attitude, the UK's "best-selling gay magazine": Nico Tortorella lifts the lid on their queer polyamorous relationship (short version online Oct. 7, also in OutPinkNews, and elsewhere; full interview paywalled in the November Attitude print issue).

...The star of The Walking Dead: World Beyond is more than happy to help educate family, friends and fans about the vast spectrum of sexual identity if it opens hearts and minds.

...Nico met his now-wife Bethany C. Meyers during college, and the pair have maintained a relationship for almost 15 years while often exploring their sexualities independently of one another.

...While society's understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ people has moved on leaps and bounds over the last two decades, the concept of polyamorous relationships remains taboo to many people, straight and queer alike.

..."I think both of those words, queer and polyamorous, are heavily weighted, and they mean different things to different people. And what they mean to us works for us. And sometimes it doesn’t. We still struggle. We’re not experts in any of these fields. But what’s different about it is we’re having these conversations publicly. Every single day is a learning process for us. The next step is us bringing children into the conversation and into the mix."

●  Polyfamily researcher Eli Sheff, author of The Polyamorists Next Door and a long-running Psychology Today blog of the same name, is out with a pair of advisory pieces on the most common things that newly opening couples seem to want. Unicorn Hunting for Heteroflexible Threesomes ("Why it is so difficult for heteroflexible couples to find women to date?", Sept. 21),  and How Can Nonmonogamous Couples Improve Their Dating Lives?  ("Tips on expanding your dating pool and treating partners right," Oct  9.)

A woman in a polyamorous relationship who accidentally got pregnant has revealed she now wants her boyfriend to have a baby with his other girlfriend, too.

Trainee public accountant Hayley Hale, 22, from Cincinnati, Ohio, and psychology student Ciara DeJesus, 20, both spent their high school years casually dating receptionist Devin Hale, 24.

Hayley and Devin decided to make their relationship more serious in 2015 and have been together ever since, but in 2018, Ciara got in touch and asked if they wanted to form a three-way relationship. 

Although Hayley had reservations about the idea, Devin was excited and she decided to give it a go.

The initial 12 months were difficult, with both girls' previous relationships with Devin making it hard for them to connect on the same level.

Hayley says that jealousy in a polyamorous relationship can turn small disagreements into massive flare ups, but by working on their individual relationships, the trio now get on well.

After Hayley and Ciara focused on developing their own relationship, the romance between the throuple also blossomed.

Hayley said: 'Polyamory to us is just like a regular relationship but more complex because it involves three people.

'It's more like having four relationships - we all have individual relationships with each other and then one as a whole.'
The trio already live together and share a bed and all of their finances, and they hope that with three incomes supporting their household, they will be able to have greater financial freedom

The trio plan to have a wedding ceremony, which will not be legally binding, to show to their families how committed they are to their polyamorous relationship.

'Being a triad means we get more out of life because we will be able to have an even bigger family with more love, support and financial freedom.'  

...'Everyone is so different and so is everyone's version of love.

'Live the life you want, be happy, love is love'.

Till next time! Take care, and check your voter registration status in any of the 50 states. So that if you've been purged from your local voter list without your knowledge, as happens, you can demand it be fixed.

And if you have not registered to vote where you currently reside, you can also check that link to see whether you still can. Deadlines are passing; do it right now.
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October 6, 2020

Canada Polyam Action Call Right Now: Allow our partners under the new cross-border travel rules

Canada is about to allow relationship partners to visit from the US, but only if the relationship is "exclusive." We have two days to change "exclusive" to "committed."

A still from a CTV News report on Canada's travel restrictions being eased to accommodate partners from the US.

The following action notice is going around Canadian poly groups and was posted to the Polyamory Leadership Network list this morning:

This is an action alert to folks in Canada. Please share in your groups.

Over the weekend, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that starting this Thursday, October 8, they will begin allowing long-term partners of Canadian residents to visit the country, provided they complete the standard 14-day quarantine.

This is great news, except for one word: "exclusive." Eligible relationships will be any "exclusive dating relationship of at least one year." Applicants will be required to sign a notarized declaration of their relationship status. This wording excludes all polyamorous people, regardless of the length or seriousness of our relationships.

The formal rules and application forms are set to be released on Thursday, so we have a very narrow window to exert influence on this decision. We can call our MPs and educate them about the ways this one word will impact us, and ask them to lobby the ministry to change it. The single change we are suggesting is for "exclusive" to become "committed." 

You can find and contact your MP here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en

This isn't a situation where we need to flood the lines with indiscriminate calls and emails. This is a situation where we need people to have personal, targeted calls with their MPs and their MPs' staff about the validity of our relationships, the way this rule will affect us and those we care about, and the importance of making this change. We need to talk to members of all the parties (or at least, the three major left-leaning ones—Liberal, NDP and Green). Their staff are usually very receptive to constituent concerns. Ask for them to follow up with you in writing.

Here is a public (shareable) Facebook post from a married polyamorous woman with a long-term partner in the USA who she hasn't seen since February: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.speed.18/posts/10164101869375459

Here's Carrie Jenkins' tweet about the situation: https://twitter.com/carriejenkins/status/1312474710001684480

Thanks for your help!

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October 2, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: Kids with multi-parent polyfamilies, a new poly comic, and more

Welcome to Friday Polynews Roundup for October 2, 2020.

This site feels to me like a nook of normalcy in a national hurricane that's likely to get worse in the next five weeks, or, God forbid, six. Moose and I are pledged to Do Our Bit1 to try to help drag America back from the cliff-edge of thuggish authoritarianism. At minimum, we will have something we can say to our someday-grandchildren when they ask us, "What did you do when the Republic was ending?"

So, I may skip a week or two here.

Among other things, I've been handwriting stacks of letters for VoteForward telling registered but spotty voters who are likely to lean Democratic "why I am a voter." I write that it's because
this is our one actual, for-real pull on the levers of power — for whether we will live under decent, humane leaders of good character who will respect us, respect facts and truth, and respect what America is supposed to stand for.  

All those years of saying the Pledge of Allegiance since childhood? It feels like acting now is what we were pledging to do then; we just didn't know it at the time. Please join us.

And now back to the show in progress.


●  Earlier this week I posted about an article in The Atlantic, The Rise of the 3-Parent Family. Several states now fully allow a child to have three legal parents, and this arrangement is attracting increasing notice. A long-term, committed polyfamily is only one of the situations that the option can apply to. 

●  Coincidentally this week, the Paging Dr. Nerdlove advice column addresses, in depth, a multi-parent polyfamily's dilemma: How Do We Tell Our Families We’re Polyamorous? (Sept. 28)

My wife and I have been together for 11 years and have 3 great kids. About three years ago my wife’s friend moved in during a tough spot and never left – we have been a ‘throuple’ ever since and she gave birth about a year ago. After our daughter was born we even had a ceremony and signed a living will to make us all ‘married’.

Here is the issue: She won’t tell her family. They all think we took her in during a rough patch and let her stay after she got knocked up by a dude they have all made up in their minds she was dating. They think it’s cute that she and my wife call me ‘daddy’ when they hand me the baby (‘go to daddy’ etc). My mother and sister know and are, broadly speaking, supportive. My wife’s family adores [her]....

I get that her family is very conservative but I am not comfortable hiding our deal. I am in love with two beautiful women and have great kids. Let’s shout it from the mountaintops or, at least, speak it in conversational tones from a well sized hill.

How do we come out to her family? I’m not comfortable hiding.

...While I can completely understand your wanting to be out, open and proud about your relationships, the truth is that while people are increasingly more aware and accepting of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy, there’re still a lot of legal and social hurdles that can end up causing problems. For example: there’re very few legal protections for someone in a polyamorous relationship. ... Similarly, being poly can — and has — been used against parents in child custody cases in court.

...I bring this up because you mention that your co-wife’s family is very conservative. Right now, they’re cool with their daughter and granddaughter living with you while they think that you and your legal wife are helping their daughter out. If they found out that their daughter was actively sleeping with you and that you are the imaginary dirtbag who knocked up their precious baby….well, that could have any number of repercussions for her… and for the rest of your family. This could range anywhere from kicking your co-wife out of their family to actually challenging the three of you for custody of their granddaughter. While this is, admittedly, one hell of a worst-case scenario, there have been cases where in-laws or grandparents have sued for custody because they discovered that their child was in a poly relationship. And if you live in a state that doesn’t have third-parent adoption laws — which is most of them — the biggest thing keeping your family together would be the judge’s opinion on the matter.

I get that you aren’t comfortable hiding… but this isn’t strictly about your comfort. Your co-wife knows her family best, and if she isn’t comfortable being out to her family, then I think it’s best to respect her wishes. ...

I reached out to my friend and poly relationship expert Dr. Liz Powell, author of Building Open Relationships: Your Hands-On Guide to Swinging, Polyamory, and Beyond! and they recommended that you check out It’s Called “Polyamory”: Coming Out About Your Non-Monogamous Relationships by Tamara Pincus and Rebecca Hiles. This can help give you some tips and talking points to help navigate the process of coming out as poly to your co-wife’s family, and give you some perspective on if, when and how she wants to come out. Dr. Powell also had this to say: “The three of you will need to figure out what she needs to have set in case her family shuns her. Is she financially stable? Does she have a therapist or coach for support? And figure out if her work would fire her if they found out. Some folks can be vindictive.”

My suggestion is that you do your due diligence, TSM, and discuss this as a family. ... However, at the end of the day, I believe the ultimate decision resides with your co-wife.

●  Speaking of multi-parenting and coming out, news also surfaced about Dr. Ian Jenkins's forthcoming autobiography Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting. He's part of a very out gay triad in San Diego who set California's legal precedent for tri-parent polyfamilies. This story just appeared in San Diego's Patch newspaper: "Three Dads and a Baby" tells journey of a polyamorous family (Sept. 29). They are the "first polyamorous family to secure 3 names on birth certificate" (at least in the US).

Dr. Ian Jenkins

Meet Ian Jenkins – he's a doctor, living in San Diego, a specialist in hospital medicine and a professor at a major university. He's been with his partner, Alan, for seventeen years. And they've been with their partner, Jeremy, for eight. And they have two biological children – Piper, who is three, and Parker, who is 14 months. ...

...Piper and Parker were conceived with eggs donated by a longtime friend and carried by surrogates. Thereby lies a tale of patience, love, and persistence that broke new legal ground and changed the way California law defines family: Piper was the first child ever to have a poly family listed on a birth certificate, paving the way for her younger brother two years later, and the future children of other polyamorous parents.


The story of how three poly dads, three amazing and giving women, and an intrepid and compassionate team of medical and legal experts built this uniquely wonderful American family, is at the center of Dr. Jenkins' upcoming book. ...

While Ian admits that of course his family is unique, he questions the perspective of people who think that it isn't "normal." "I'm pretty sure it's lifelong monogamy that's weird," he says. "Our culture is filled with all of these stories about longing and infidelity. It's natural for us to feel affections for more than one person. What's exotic is that we actually did it – we made a life many people think of as an unattainable dream, but we're ordinary people otherwise."...

Navigating the endlessly complex and often heartbreaking process of creating life through a series of expensive medical procedures, Three Dads and a Baby shares a whirlwind of a surrogacy journey. ...

...He admits he has been somewhat relieved by the normalcy of their life in the time since his book was completed. The conception and birth of their second child, Parker, was, comparatively, "a breeze." Everything that was so challenging and unique in bringing Piper into the world – getting that third name on the birth certificate, winning over skeptical lawyers and reproductive specialists, creating a parenting agreement – was all effectively in place....

You can preorder it on Amazon. 

●  And attorney Diana Adams posts (Oct. 1), "Thrilled to do an interview for Good Morning America today! Via video from Germany with unicorn slippers on! I spoke as Executive Director of Chosen Family Law Center, Inc. about 3-person co-parenting and the movement for tri-parent adoption! When the airdate is confirmed, I will post about it and certainly post video. Hooray for a major tv platform for family advocacy!" 

●  Australia has a snappy youth-culture online magazine called Pedestrian. Just appearing it, What My Polyamorous, Inner West, Out-Of-Work Actor Housemates Taught Me About Love (Sept. 30). "Inner West" refers to certain suburbs of Sydney. They sound cool.

By Michael Di Iorio

...It wasn’t until I moved into the Inner West that I learnt of its ways, especially after moving in with a polyamorous couple. Specifically, a polyamorous couple who occasionally did medieval roleplay, sung sea shanties and were, for the most part, actors out of work.

...Let me introduce the pair that taught me all about love. My first housemate, who has decided to operate under the pseudonym Wally Weegee, is a bi badass who loves the colour purple, has two cats named Usidore and Dorkus, and identifies as she/her and polyamorous.

My second housemate, who would like to be known as Bo Jangles, used to work on pirate ships, has an affinity for medieval weaponry, and is really damn tall. He identifies as he/him, and polyamorous.

Together the two operated as a dedicated four-person polycule at the time, with each individual sometimes branching off with others here and there.

... So obviously I confided in the people who open up to more than just one partner on a regular basis.

...Here is my first housemate, Wally Weegee.

“When I opened up to polyamory, it was kind of like a light had turned on,” she said.

“I hadn’t changed, but the world around me became so much more open. I was suddenly allowed to be myself, as cliche as it sounds.” ...

“I remember telling you that things can’t happen unless you say them,” Wally told me. “You can’t skirt around the edge of things. You need to find what you want and talk about it. It might be safer to think something, but you have to actually say it if you want it to happen.”

...Next, I spoke to my second housemate, Bo Jangles.

“...My partner has always been my reassurance, my best friend, even my psychologist, and through polyamory, I’ve had to re-learn some of that. When you open up to more than one person, you learn to identify what you need from each individual, and what you, in turn, can give to them as well. ...

“There are little conversations that can feel impossible, but you need to have them.”...

●  From Finland comes a new polycomic artist — new to most of us, anyway. Sara Valta has been cartooning for some time. In the US her "My First Year of Polyamory" is hosted on Erika Moen's "Oh Joy Sex Toy" Pinterest page and got noticed this week by several sites with wider audiences.

She is a serious introvert. Several panels later the story takes a turn. (And notice the Finnish architecture.)

That's it for Friday Polynews Roundup. Till next time.


1.  BTW, here's the original Pledge of Allegiance, as patriotically recited by Porky Pig in 1939 on the brink of World War II. Notice what he doesn't say.

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