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



December 26, 2020

Friday Polyamory News Roundup: "Everything You Need to Know About Polyamory," and how the public education machine is running by itself



Dainis Graveris / Unsplash

The pandemic flies further out of control. Millions face eviction. US deaths to pass 400,000 around MLK Day. Administration flings chaos and sabotage. Pentagon brass meet to discuss how to deal with an autogolpe attempt, a possibility brand new in all of American history.

So there's a bit less news-media attention these days to light topics like new relationship models and stuff.

Here are just two items plucked from the stream this week, from outside the news parts of the media. Both are fine Polyamory 101s, especially the first. They're reminders of how media of all kinds are now churning out, on their own, abundant basic intros and profiles of the kind that just a decade ago poly education and awareness activists used to struggle mightily to drag into existence, one by obscure one.

I'm talking about some of you, dear readers. You've done such tireless work — dealing with journalists, submitting to interviews, helping them get it right, correcting their misconceptions — that now the media can just copy each other in abundance and usually get it right. Your early efforts built this positive-feedback cycle that's running fast today.

Which is not to say we shouldn't get on their cases when they bumble it.


●  Everything You Need to Know About Polyamorous Relationships is from InStyle, a leading international fashion magazine, circulation 1.7 million, where a one-page ad in the print edition costs $234,000. So if this piece appears in 1 or 2 pages of print in addition to online, the market says that'll be worth maybe a quarter million to a half million dollars in publicity value.

I think that alone would be more than the actual money that polyamory education and awareness efforts have raised and spent in the movement's 30-plus year history.

And it's darn good, even with over-claiming headline.

Excerpts:



Everything You Need to Know About Polyamorous Relationships

Including the most common myths about polyamory and best practices for entering into a polyamorous agreement

Stocksy
By Maressa Brown | Dec 25, 2020

If you’ve spent even a few minutes on a dating app these days, chances are you’ve encountered profiles that disclose some form of consensual non-monogamy. ...

“Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy that emphasizes emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy to whatever desired degree in an ongoing way among multiple partners,” explains Elisabeth A. Sheff Ph.D., CSE, author of The Polyamorists Next Door, who explains that often the goal for polyamorous people is to have long-term, emotionally intimate relationships with multiple people.

People in polyamorous relationships are open to bonding intimately — be that sexually and/or romantically — with multiple people.... [Says] Casey Tanner, certified sex therapist and expert for LELO who works with many polyamorous couples, “Successful polyamory is guided by explicit consent to what kind of romantic and/or sexual relationships are explored outside of the relationship at hand. These agreements exist to keep each member of the relationship physically, emotionally, and sexually safe such that partners can truly lean into experiences within those boundaries.”

Unlike an open relationship — in which committed partners might agree to green light dating, sex, or other types of bonding outside of their relationship — a polyamorous relationship is marked by more relational commitment, says Shannon Chavez, Psy.D., a psychologist and sex therapist in Los Angeles. “There can be different levels of commitments and different levels of intimacy,” she notes. For instance, some relationships might be based strictly on sex while others are based on an emotional connection or both physical and emotional intimacy.

It also bears noting that many polyamorous people find support from building a sense of community with other polyam people, either online or locally. “It is much more than who you are having sex with or having another relationship,” says Chavez. “The lifestyle is an important part of polyamory.” ...


Next  follow descriptions of common polyam relationship structures, from open couples to network polycules to unofficial group marriages to solo polys. Then,


Although awareness about polyamorous relationships is growing, plenty of misconceptions abound. A few of the most common myths, busted:

...There’s always one primary couple. ...

Polyamorous people have wild sex lives. ...

Practicing polyamory will save a monogamous relationship. ...

Polyamorous people are “greedy” and “boundaryless.” ...

There is only one way to be polyamorous. ..

Just like other marginalized groups, people misunderstand the polyamorous community to be homogenous, or one-size-fits-all, says Tanner. “When people picture a polyam person, they might think of a youthful, queer artist type with no kids and no mortgage,” she says. “In reality, polyamory occurs throughout the lifespan and includes people of all professions, family constellations, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

...Some people come to polyamory after having been in monogamous relationships in the past and finding that they were not getting their needs met, says Chavez.

But that’s far from the only path to practicing what Chavez calls a relationship orientation. People are realizing that they knew from the beginning of their relationships that they could — and would prefer to — be in love with more than one partner at a time....

Either way, polyamorous people realize that they are someone who could love multiple people and enjoy multiple relationships...

---------------------------

If you’re just beginning to practice polyamory, Tanner recommends making the following moves:

Address transparency.  Answer questions like what do you want to know about the other’s outside relationships, and how much detail do you want to provide/be provided with?

Discuss frequency. Talk about the frequency with which you’d like to engage in other relationships and the ways in which you’ll continue to be intentional with bringing energy to the relationship at hand.

Talk about “coming out.” Decide which people in your life you feel comfortable “coming out” to about polyamory, and make sure you’re on the same page. ...


BTW, two years ago InStyle ran 6 Habits to Steal from Couples in Open Relationships (Aug. 15, 2018). These were,


1) Practice total honesty. ...

2) Conduct regular relationship evaluations. ...

3) Set clear rules and boundaries. ...

4) Talk through jealousy. ...

5) Don't rely on one another for everything. ...

6) Be vigilant about safe sex. ...



●  In a less heavyweight corner of the media, The Benefits Of Polyamory appeared a couple days ago on Vocal, a large and successful platisher site.1 Despite the optimistic headline, this one takes a dimmer view of what fraction of people are right for the poly life.  


Dainis Graveris / Unsplash

By Ossiana M. Tepfenhart

...Things started to change around the time I was in high school.

I, along with many others, started to hear about relationships with more than one person. ... I quickly learned about polyamory and realized that I'm not entirely monogamous by nature.

Dainis Graveris / Unsplash
Poly relationships can take a wide range of different appearances...

When Does Polyamory Work?

From what I've seen, poly relationships only work for a very select few people. They work for people who are not monogamous by nature, have the ability to be radically honest with their partners, and have a high level of emotional maturity.

Most people cannot be good poly partners, simply because the tendency towards being jealous or envious can make insecurity too much of an issue. With that said, if you're confident and open, it's possible to make things work out well.

Why Do People Choose To Be In Poly Relationships?

...The Extra Love ...

The Variety-Filled Sex ...

More Resources ...

Why Polyamory Is Not For Everyone, But Should Still Be Accepted....


ANNOUNCEMENT:   Love Is Polytical, a two-day online conference January 2-3, is planned by Karada House, "a queer collaborative art space that explores the boundaries of art, the body and creativity" in Berlin, Germany. The working language is English. Workshops include Relationship Tools: Needs, Wants and the Relationship Anarchist; Kinky, Poly and Asexual; Psyche of Polyamory, Intersectional Non-Monogamy, Queering Polyamorous Parenthood, We Do Not Live Single-Issue Lives, and more. (I don't know anything about this group; just posting their announcement.) 

Have an announcement that belongs here? Write me at alan7388 (at) gmail.com.

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1.  A platisher (publishing platform) is a for-profit, magazine-like site where writers send in content about anything, staff screen for quality, their pick of the best gets publicly featured by category, and the creator gets some pay based on reads. Much of the rest also goes online but, without being featured, stays mostly unseen as if on private blogs.

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