Friday Polyamory News Roundup: Breaking the unicorn stereotype, facing down reality TV, Western polyam in Asia, happy polydays, and more
● The wedding-industrial complex, that 600-pound money-sucking gorilla that too many about-to-be-weds and their families fail to chase away, seems to be picking up on our ideas. But boy can it fumble them. Brides magazine ran a reasonably decent article in September, How To Know if an Open Marriage Is Right for You. That must have done well for them, because now they're back with What Is Polyamory and Why Is it Having a Moment? by a different author (Dec. 7). Nearly every paragraph in this one is either wrong or just eye-rollingly misguided.
StocksyBy Anka Radakovich
Polyamorous marriage is having a moment. The spike in this alternative marriage arrangement is happening with young, married couples who have been married for a few years, yet long for “something more.” ...“Consensual Polyamory and open relationships are booming as the Covid pandemic has put a strain on many traditional relationships,” says Sexologist Dr. Ava Cadell.
“Divorce has spiked and even newlyweds are calling it quits, but an alternative to separation and divorce is adding new relationship energy,” she says. “The benefits of adding one or more partners for a couple include avoiding cheating, getting additional attention, satisfying a natural curiosity, exploring bisexuality, and learning to love in new ways.”...[The Ashley Madison cheating site] recently published a study called “Love Beyond Lockdown: A Report on Navigating Marriage and Infidelity Through A Pandemic And A New Normal.”... “Lack of sexual initiation is the primary complaint of married people during lockdown,” the study found. Seventy five percent of cheaters don’t look to their partner in times of uncertainty and stress, so they go outside the marriage. The pandemic has not decreased the desire or ability to cheat, in fact it has fueled it....The downside of all of this is jealousy. ... But the hippies [in the 1970s Kerista commune] figured this poly dilemma out by using the concept of “Compersion,” which is a “feeling of pleasure or deep emotion arising from your partner being with another partner. Often referred to as the opposite of jealousy.
...“When the pandemic is lifted we may see that some marriages didn’t make it,” says Dr. [Tammy] Nelson. “...One thing that the pandemic has taught couples was to be more honest with each other about their needs and desires. ... Couples may occasionally need to find an outside relationship to fill in the gaps,” says Dr. Nelson.
● Speaking of toxic couple-centrism, Elisabeth Sheff, longtime researcher on the sociology of polyamory, has posted a research-based series of items about unicorn relationships and their problems — and sometimes their surprising successes for everyone involved — on her Psychology Today blog The Polyamorists Next Door. The latest in this series is Unicorns in Their Own Words (Nov. 29). She finds that, as usual, stereotypes capture only some of the people being stereotyped.
My findings indicate that [unicorns'] experiences in consensual non-monogamy (CNM) are incredibly diverse and range from hideously exploitative to joyously liberating.
The previous two blog posts in this unicorn series covered the reasons why it is so hard for couples to date and provided some tips on how couples can improve their dating lives — both of which got a big reaction from some readers.
Both folks who say that polyamory is evil and those who say that unicorn hunting is evil are basing their responses on their individual experiences. This is not to say that those experiences are wrong, invalid, or false. Those experiences are real and legitimate — and they are not the only experiences. ... Research with humans involves sampling as broad a range of people as possible, including non-monogamists who identify as something else than polyamorous or manage their polyamorous relationships differently than the group that opposes unicorn hunting on principle.
– Kimchi Cuddles offers a free print-it-yourself holiday card. Open the jpg file there for the card. For best results print it on card stock, cut and fold.
This past August, I started making resources on Instagram for folks interested in practicing ethical non-monogamy (ENM). The face of polyamory and ENM is overwhelmingly White and typically displays structures that replicate monogamy or coupledom. In this, I wasn’t really represented as a queer Black person who practices solo polyamory (meaning I am essentially my own primary partner). So I began working on ways to expand that. I’ve cultivated a humble following, but with that, naturally, comes the trolls....
Last week, the person I’ve been dating for the past four months and I had The Talk™ (you know the one: “So what are we?”) and arrived at "partners." Official romantic partners! This may not seem like that big of a deal because I'm polyamorous, but it was still a huge moment for me. It signaled to the person I was dating that I'm in this for the long-haul. This isn't just a COVID cuff or whatnot.I was excited, so I told my friends and family. They were happy for me but also slightly confused. In fact, I had a friend ask me, “Is there really any difference between what you were doing and what you’re doing now, since you’re polyamorous? You can still date and sleep with other people.”...In a poly relationship, as with a monogamous relationship, commitment means you will be there for that person. You'll support them. You'll take care of them. You’ll love them.We also have rules, and agreeing and abiding to these rules is the poly form of commitment. ...
Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/metrolife/metrolife-your-bond-with-bengaluru/in-bengaluru-many-couples-are-exploring-polyamory-920842.html
– Rice in Singapore bills itself as "Asia, Unfiltered. Rice is Asia’s alternative voice. From sex workers
to politicians, contemporary art to street food, we
bring fresh perspectives and bold commentary on
everyday life in Asia." It just posted a long profile
of a free-spirited Singaporean polyam
lady, Janice Leong, and her tale of how she got
where she is today: On Honesty and Uncertainty: What A Polyamorist
Has To Teach Us About Relationships (Dec. 4)
– VOI in Indonesia is running many stories, each in Indonesian, English, Chinese, and Japanese, about US and British polyfamilies picked up from the British tabloids. For instance, A Polyamorous Husband And Wife Fall In Love With The Same Woman On Tinder (Dec. 3). See the bottom of that for links to a half dozen more. Say what you will about the tabs, they have reach.
– Also in Indonesia: In defense of open relationships, Sebastian Partogi, The Jakarta Post, Dec. 12. "Having observed some close friends who practice the open-relationship model, however, I begin to question whether the configuration is as negative as people have thought, compared with the much more privileged exclusive heterosexual monogamy."
– Articles from Vietnam are showing up in my feeds, but Google Translate leaves me confused about the kind of media they're from. This one is from a child-care-services company that also presents magazine-style articles on its site: Just Exactly What Polyamory Dating, per Google Translate (Nov 27). Another seems to be in an overseas-employment magazine that also runs general-interest articles.
● Looking for your tabloid happy-polyfamily fix of the week? Look no further: Couple who BOTH fell in love with their best friend reveal they asked her to move in with them just MONTHS after meeting her and now the polyamorous throuple is planning to start a family (Daily Mail, Dec. 10)
Tayla Means, 25, and Philip Barr, 27, met Tia Burt, 21, online when they had been dating for a year, and were trying to make new friends as a couple.
They met in person at the couple's home just a few days later and quickly bonded.
After just three months of friendship, Tia confessed that she had feelings for both Tayla and Philip, and they revealed that they had fallen for her too.
Tia had only been in monogamous relationships before, but happily moved into their home just five months after meeting them.They invested in a king size bed so they can all sleep together every night.Despite facing confused stares from strangers, the trio, from Florida, says they are happier than ever - and insist that jealousy is never an issue.