I don’t believe that polyamory is the gateway to happiness, but that same caution would also apply to many conventional marriages.
I’d love to hear from people who grew up in polyamorous households.
...Email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or by mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.
If that's you, please tell her how your family worked out for you; she seems to be still forming her opinions. She will surely hear from many children of ordinary cheaters and secret affair-havers who are not us. If you grew up in an openly polyamorous family with good values, she needs to hear your voice.
A couple of sentences will get your message across, but I'm sure any length will be welcome. The address is above.
Forward this to anyone you know for whom it is relevant.
We are seeking polyamorous people to speak to news and media publications about their personal experiences to fight for change.
Particularly, we are looking for people who can share stories about:
· Health insurance coverage & health care access- inability to cover more than one partner
· Housing discrimination
· Hospital visitation issues with more than one partner
· Employment discrimination
· Child custody challenges
· Any other challenges with lack of recognition of more than one partnership
Join us for a free workshop Friday February 26th from 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST, where you can learn more about our work and have help thinking through how and if you want to share your story. It's most helpful to hear stories from people who would be comfortable sharing their names and faces if possible, but we are also open to hearing from those who wish to remain anonymous. Here's a helpful article by Executive Director of Chosen Family Law Center Diana Adams on how to decide whether it's safe for you to come out publicly as poly.
The QAnon Member of Congress and the "polyamorous tantric sex guru"
Newly elected Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) and
her husband Perry Greene
See new updates at end.
Hot on the web today are headlines about the newly elected Republican QAnon
congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, she of the Jewish space lasers setting California wildfires, hitting us in the eye with this: "Greene 'openly cheated' on her husband of
25 years with a polyamorous tantric sex guru".
Once again not the representation for poly we might have wanted, but there it is. The story
broke in the scandal-sheet Daily Mail and is now delighting much
of the internet.
The stuff happened about a decade ago after the family-values militant had
become a baptized evangelical, but before QAnon, Trump, and maybe the rest
of her current politics. The gym hunks in the story declined to comment but
did not deny it.
Gotta like the attitude of the self-identified poly guy, though! This
picture of Craig Ivey is making the rounds:
Maybe second thoughts about the representation after all?
...Then after ending her affair with him, the mom-of-three moved on to a
gym manager behind her husband's back.
...Craig Ivey, the tantric sex practitioner, said: 'I will not respond
to anything about this,' while the other man, Justin Tway, said: 'I have
no interest in talking about anything to do with that woman. Everything
with her comes to no good.'
...On Instagram, Ivey calls himself The Tantric Warrior, describing
himself as 'Living a warrior lifestyle while finding tantric love'. He
also participates in reenactments of medieval battles and teaches sword
Since his affair with Taylor Greene, Ivey, 42, has moved to Washington
State. ... He has now set up a gladiator bootcamp called The
...Ivey is currently living in a trailer in Renton, Washington, but
along with a girlfriend and another couple, he has bought a house in
Buckley, an hour south of Seattle, which he says he wants to turn into
a polyamorous commune.
Due to his newfound notoriety, [Ivey] has started
an OnlyFans page, and he’s actually calling himself “The Polyamorous Tantric Sex Guru”
while claiming to live a life filled with “adventure, magic, nature,
dance, armored combat, creativity, sensuality, experiences, seeking
knowledge, movement, gleaning wisdom, teaching, stoicism, fun,
playfulness, and most importantly love for all creatures and human
..The Daily Mail reveals from Ivey’s various social media posts that he
remembers Greene as “a kind spirit that wanted to help people through
building community and reaching health goals.” The two
never discussed politics, though, and he’s now sad at what he’s
seeing from her.
sadden me to see the type of person she has chosen to become,”
Ivey relayed. “I feel like I knew her at her best and unfortunately she
has drifted far from that life. I still wish her the best.”
From Meaww, Feb. 17:
shared, “Am I a Tantric Sex guru? Fuck no. I found Tantra about 4 years ago.
My beautiful and Amazing friend invited me to do a 4 day Tantra Festival
in Oregon.” He continues, “Tantra is one of those things that forces you
to face a level of intimacy that is hard to imagine, especially with
yourself, Tantra is mostly known for its sexual sie but that is just a
small piece. It teaches you to be truthful with yourself and not be
afraid of being your best human.”
He also identifies himself as “poly”. Ivey noted, “After years of
serial monogamy, I realized that it wasn’t working for me and I
started looking at other ways to being in relationships. Poly fit.”
about his discovery of polyamory, learning how to do it well for all
concerned, his regret of where Taylor Greene's head has gone, and where he's at today. Two panels from
This is a 1½ hour documentary about an engaged couple who temporarily opened
their relationship, apparently for a poor reason, and then found themselves in
too deep. From what I've read their emotional intelligence seems cringingly
Note: The guy in the couple is a film director and his fiancée is an actress.
They self-documented their entire "monogam-ish" project from the start and
sold it to HBO. Not the best motivation for opening one's relationship, IMO,
and not exactly respectful of whatever other parties might get involved with
Except that the main other party who showed up was also a director by
trade, so maybe they were all in on it from the start.
A director and his fiancée chronicle their yearlong open relationship in
this documentary that offers a clever examination of perspective.
By Natalia Winkelman
...The director Jan Oliver Lucks, who goes by Ollie, and his fiancée Zoe
are taking the plunge into an open relationship. Living on opposite sides
of New Zealand, the long-distance duo are free to date and sleep with
other people for a year leading up to their wedding. Using iPhones, they
will each record the experience: Ollie hopes the documentary will make
them poster children for an enriching alternative to monogamy.
Ollie and Zoe prove a sweet match, but as they coo and cuddle, they can be
difficult to root for. Both are attention-seeking and excessively admiring of their project, and the home video of their hangouts tends toward indulgence. They
may aim to present polyamory as tenable and fulfilling, but it comes off
more as a risky experiment — particularly once Zoe’s fling with a theater
director named Tom develops into a serious romance that strains her bond
But as our central couple’s connection falters, the documentary evolves
into an astute examination of perspective. ... As the film’s director and
narrator, Ollie controls the story, and he uses this role to showcase his
jealousy and his hurt. His cleverness culminates in the documentary’s
startling final act, where Ollie shows how
the artifice of filmmaking can mirror the lies we tell ourselves about
...Through intimate home movie footage of their life together and
apart, all of it shot on iPhones for maximum confessional intimacy, it
details the ups and downs of their attempt to remain true to one another
while also allowing space in their bed for others. ... Yet by its
conclusion, what it ultimately turns out to be is something knottier, and
more intriguing: a warts-and-all portrait of personal and creative arrogance and narcissism, and the damage invariably wrought by such qualities.
[It] begins with Ollie and Zoe at the top of a towering indoor high dive,
where they disrobe, strap on GoPros, and prepare to leap. As
this sight suggests, their film is a venture of total exposure, just as
their impending jump to the pool below is meant to speak to their joint
leap into a polyamorous unknown. That Zoe doesn’t join Ollie in taking
that plunge, then, proves an immediate tip-off to the trouble ahead. ...
...The likeably awkward Ollie feels that he missed out sexually during his
20s, and he sees the next 12 months as
his last chance to explore before committing to one person
forever. Zoe, a beguiling extrovert, is game. So they establish a
"monogam-ish manifesto" and set out to "make the most of our bodies while
they're still stretchy."
[However,] Ollie and Zoe eventually discover what his mother could have
told them from the start: The path they've planned is more complex than
"Being polyamorous means choosing to reject monotony," Ollie explains to
the audience. "That means we have to negotiate jealousy instead. Which is
just an emotion you can train yourself to overcome. Right?"
Actually, he's not entirely wrong. There is jealousy, and it is overcome.
... But much to both Ollie and Zoe's surprise, love proves more cumbersome
than envy. Even as Ollie works hard to keep boundaries around his
relationship with Siobhan, Zoe finds herself drawn more and more deeply to
Tom, another director.
And it is here that we have to note... the couple we're so invested in is,
indeed, keeping secrets. And not from each other, but from us, the audience. ... When it turns out that we're being misled in a very significant
way, some viewers may feel genuinely betrayed.
SPOILER: (Last chance to cover your eyes.) That ending that may leave viewers feeling "genuinely betrayed" is an admission that this "documentary" is fake. The woman is not Zoe but an actress hired later to play her. The real Zoe broke up with him along the way and took her half of the footage with her. Story in The Guardian.
Also premiering at Sundance was a not-cringy-sounding film that might be a
better watch: Ma Belle, My Beauty. "A surprise reunion in the South of France reignites passions and
jealousies between two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers."
First-time writer-director Marion Hill's sun-dappled feature Ma Belle, My Beauty is a fun and engaging study of queer relationships, polyamory,
and how fucking SICK slurping wine in the French countryside can look.
The film opens with Fred and Bertie (Lucien Guignard and Idella
Johnson), two recently married musicians who live in Fred's parents'
beautiful farmhouse in the south of France. A depressed Bertie feels
like a stranger in a strange land, hardly finding the will to sing
despite her upcoming tour. In an attempt to raise her spirits, Fred
invites their ex-lover from their life in New Orleans, Lane (Hannah
Pepper-Cunningham), to the property as a surprise. Sensuous parties,
heartbreak revisited, strained silences, soaring music, and really hot
[Director] Hill does well because Ma Belle, My Beauty does not attempt to be the tentpole film for queer, polyamorous
storylines. While fundamental to the plot, the film treats their
threeway relationship as means to explore the threads that bind the
characters together rather than a starter guide for the poly-curious
monogamous crowd. It deftly explores jealousy, but never between Bertie,
Lane, and Fred, who all have an easiness and respect for each other that
feels refreshing. ...
...Stories about three-way relationships... often lure viewers into
their web with the promise of liberating or kinky goings-on before
things fall apart and a much more conventional sense of morality rears
its ugly head.
It is thus refreshing to see a film... which tries to grapple
with the realities of a polyamorous relationship without selling the
threesome’s arrangement as something beguilingly unconventional that’s
only fun to watch when other people do it. It’s a shame then, that
easy access to the material’s profound emotional authenticity is
sometimes hampered by writer-director-editor Marion Hill’s
storytelling inexperience. ...
[Bertie is] an increasingly isolated African-American woman adrift
amid gorgeous foreign surroundings. Then fellow New Orleans gal Lane
(Hannah Pepper) suddenly shows up out of nowhere with her rucksack and
a smile. It takes a while to work out that Fred has asked the woman
Bertie had a relationship with at the same time as Fred did when they
all lived in the States to come and visit them to ... help chase away
Bertie’s blues. ...Hill, credited not only as the sole screenwriter
but also as her own editor, often seems too close to the material to
facilitate audience understanding. ...
...The actors have an easy energy with one another that honors their
character’s complicated past and the details of their relationships
are revealed with a nice subtlety. The movie works best when the
film’s central women are playing power games with one another — each
trying to win the desire of the other while pretending they couldn’t
care less. All the while Fred is just sort of floating around totally
confused with what his wife wants or how they can proceed with their
life. Again, this is not about him. Even if they are in his parents’
...Noa’s arrival does shake up Lane and Bertie’s relationship adding a
fourth to the already complicated three. It’s here the film shows the
endless possibilities of a cinema truly open to polyamory. Love
triangles — love quadrangles — are so much more delicious when
multiple people can be involved. Yes, we need more bisexual and
polyamorous representation for political reasons, but we also need it
for better stories!
This is very clearly a movie made by a queer person. That’s evident in
the relationship dynamics and the costuming, the casting and the gaze.
Look, when a character takes a strap-on out of her backpack in the
middle of a sex scene you know you’re in good hands. It’s that
authenticity that elevates the film.
Authentic stories about polyamorous relationships are still all too
rare, especially ones that prioritize the experiences of queer women
and non-binary people, especially ones with a queer Black woman
protagonist. So while the film is not without its flaws and missteps,
it’s hard not to be grateful to enter its world of sex and feelings
and food and nature. ... And it looks way more fun in the south of
Good Deed Entertainment has nabbed North American rights to “Ma Belle, My Beauty,” a queer polyamorous love story....
The film ... won the Audience Award in the NEXT category at the festival. It will next screen at the South by Southwest Film Festival in the “Festival Favorites” section.
...“Our entire team has fallen for this film, its characters, and its grounded, refreshing portrait of relationships and romance,” Good Deed Entertainment CEO Scott Donley said. “We are honored to help bring Marion’s film to audiences this year.”
UPDATE LATER: And here's a third film in this new genre
also reviewed briefly in today's New York Times:
The film follows three wayward souls who meet and enter a polyamorous
relationship in Los Angeles.
By Lovia Gyarkye
“Show Me What You Got” revels in the erotic: fiery kisses, entangled
limbs, endless caressing. But the film, which follows three wayward
souls in Los Angeles who meet and enter a polyamorous relationship,
struggles when it comes to making viewers care about more than just sex.
After attending a string of terrible business meetings on behalf of his
father, an Italian soap opera star, Marcello (Mattia Minasi) meets
Nassim (Neyssan Falahi), a struggling actor and semiprofessional
fighter, on the beach. ... Two become three when the pair meet Christine
(Cristina Rambaldi), an artist grieving her grandfather, at the coffee
shop where she works. The three eventually fall in love, and Svetlana
Cvetko, the director and cinematographer, renders their courtship
beautifully. They meditate on their fears at Christine’s art show, laugh
at the beach and talk dreams over eggs and toast.
Billed as an ode to Francois Truffaut’s “Jules and Jim,” “Show Me What
You Got” embraces the experimentalism of the French New Wave, but leaves
much to be desired when it comes to exploring the inner lives of
Marcello, Nassim and Christine. The three millennials remain sketches,
as if the fact that they are in a throuple relieves the screenplay of
character development. Attempts to weave their stories together, either
explicitly through the narrator’s exposition or more subtly through the
cinematography, don’t always work. As a result, while aspects of the
characters’ relationship are gorgeously captured, the moments that test
their bond feel forced.
...But the film’s higher aims never take hold. The breeziness feels at odds with implied gravitas. An omniscient narrator tells us what each character is feeling, negating any subtext. What’s presented as a pure form of love too often feels like handsome strangers taking an erotic tumble in a fragrance ad. Cvetko’s black-and-white photography, though gorgeous, reinforces that sense through a boilerplate view of L.A. — Hollywood, beach, downtown, desert. ...
It's a romantic drama about a bisexual polyamorous woman falling in love with a monogamous man, set in 2010s NY polyamory scene. It skillfully explains a lot of polyamory concepts (like compersion, and what negotiating agreements looks like), while giving one of the best portrayals of the joys and pains of polyamory I've ever seen. It doesn't try to advocate that its painless or that its ill-fated -- it just shares a realistic depiction of a challenging romance.
It was also totally surreal for me to watch this and be surprised to see a scene at the party I co-hosted and co-founded in 2007, the original Poly Cocktails at Madame X; 14 years ago to the day of our first Poly Cocktails on Vday 2007 in NYC. I watched this alone in a pandemic in Germany and it felt like I was watching a history of a magical time in history that I was part of and is now passed. Sigh. I miss you all so much. Made me so nostalgic.
In newspapers all over, Ask Amy advises aghast mom to accept the family polycule
I haven't posted much lately because I've been deep in a huge
book-editing job that's past deadline. But two recent items:
● Be heard on DC's poly rights initiative. Last
week I posted about Chris Smith and Ben Schenker's legislation proposed to the
Washington, DC, City Council to expand domestic partnership and
anti-discrimination laws to include multi-partnered relationships. Their
proposal is called the Right to Family Amendment Act of 2021.
Chris posts the positive reply he received from an office of the DC city government — inviting
anyone with something to say about this to submit testimony, in person or in writing, at a committee hearing to take place on March 5:
Today I received this from the DC Government:
“Thanks to you and Benjamin for this thoughtful proposal. I am a new
staffer for the Committee on Government Operations and Facilities, which
Councilmember White chairs and which assumed responsibility for
overseeing the Office of Human Rights earlier this year. ... We will
review the issues you raised below with the Councilmember as we consider
ways to strengthen the DCHRA.
“In the meantime, the Council’s annual Performance Oversight cycle is
underway, and the Committee will hold a hearing with representatives of
agencies including OHR on Friday, March 5. If you are
interested in raising awareness of these issues at that hearing, please
find participation instructions for the Committee on page 10 of the
Read Chris's whole post, including how to submit written material, testify live, and view the
hearing. He says, "If you are a clinician, lawyer, or academic that specializes in relationship structure and/or a DC resident, please submit a testimony, sign up to testify live and/or post on social
media, and encourage others to watch, submit and testify.
"Spread the word, flood social and regular media and let’s change the
Also, Heath Schechinger comments,
DC is not alone. Organizers in other cities across the US are preparing to do this same. Somerville [Mass.] already passed a
multi-partner domestic partnership ordinance, Cambridge is next. CNM
anti-discrimination is gaining momentum.
● "Ask Amy" is treating us better. Amy
Dickinson, one of America's most-read newspaper advice columnists, had a
burr under her saddle against polyamory and open relationships for many
years. She has tangled with many of you who've written asking her to
take polyamorous relationships seriously, and she once
my "little newsletter," meaning this blog (yay recognition!). In more recent
times, though, she's finally been getting the message that poly people are
In newspapers today across the country, Amy fields a letter
from an elderly parent who's aghast at her son and daughter-in-law coming
out to her about being poly and asking that their other partners be accepted
by the family: Ask Amy: Polyamory creates an extra family challenge
Amy turns over almost her whole reply to the capable hands of Elisabeth
Dear Amy: My son and his wife have been married for almost 10 years. Recently, his wife explained to me that they are polyamorous. I did not really know what this was. She explained it and said that she
wants to be honest with everyone.
I was in total shock. ... I love them both. I want them to be happy. They were married in her
church, and I do not understand this.
I want to be a part of their lives, but I do not know that I can cope
with them bringing other intimate partners to our family gatherings,
which is one of the things she says she would like to do.
I don't know anyone who has experienced this. How can I keep my
relationship with my son? My daughter-in-law wants open and honest
acceptance. She says they have the right to live their lives the way
they want to. But do I have any rights to what I am feeling about all of
I am in shock and trying to process this. ...
— Confused Mom
Confused Mom: A polyamorous relationship is one that has more than two
partners, where, for instance, a couple will bring another adult into
their intimate life as a partner.
I shared your question with sociologist Elisabeth Sheff, author of “When
Someone You Love is Polyamorous” (2016, Thorntree Press). Sheff and I
agree that you deserve lots of credit for your kindness to your son and
willingness to accept his family.
Her response: “This is a great first reaction if you want to maintain
positive relationships with sex and gender minority family members.
Acceptance doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and I suggest that you all
take smaller steps of getting to know each other at first. For instance,
instead of meeting for the first time at Grandma’s 90th birthday or
Passover dinner, meet the son, daughter-in-law and their partners on Zoom
for a chat, in the park for a walk, on the porch for cup of coffee, or
eventually a restaurant for a regular dinner a couple of times. This
allows you to establish a connection, chat with less pressure and talk
about boundaries before plunging into a big family gathering, which is
already kind of stressful, even if it is fun.
“At the same time, educate yourself on consensual nonmonogamy by reading
and asking your son and his wife questions about their lives. There are
hundreds of websites and social media pages devoted to polyamory and even
more for other forms of CNM (consensual nonmonogamy).
“Finally, give yourself some credit for trying to understand, as well as
some patience if it takes you, and them, a little while to adjust to this
new family style.”
BTW, about that book When Someone You Love Is Polyamorous. Sheff wrote it for parents and other birth family members of newly out polyfolks, just like PFLAG has literature for the families of people who've come out as L, G, B, or T. It's small (41 pages), cheap ($6.99), and highly recommended.
Psychologists upgrade national consensual non-monogamy task force. And a push starts for polyfamily rights in DC.
Two events are in the news today for the growing recognition of polyamory and
other forms of consensual non-monogamy.
● After two years, the American Psychological Association, the
heavyweight professional organization of the nation's clinical and research
psychologists, has upgraded its preliminary Task Force on Consensual
Non-Monogamy (CNM) to become a permanent committee within its Division
44, Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. The committee's
co-chairs Heath Schechinger and Amy Moors write,
With this historic vote, CNM now has perpetual representation and voting rights
within Division 44, which is part of the largest national association
for psychological research and practice. This puts in place an infrastructure within the American Psychological Association (APA) to
provide research, education, and resources about CNM to psychologists
and the public.
Becoming a Committee reflects the steps previously made by Division 44
to be inclusive of the lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities
and signals the direction CNM is heading. Moreover, Committee status
highlights the broader societal acceptance and integration of CNM into
LGBTQ spaces both academic and community that we are witnessing across
the globe. The reverberations of this decision will echo for years to
come as it is the first time a national scientific association has committed to
formally recognize and support consensual multi-partner families and
In case you don't think this is a big deal, take a look at what they're
Over the past three years our team has been busy working on our
12 Strategic Initiatives. A few of our highlights include writing
that led Psychology Today
APA Psychologist Locator
to add search terms for CNM and kink on their therapist directories.
We also drafted a new guideline addressing CNM within the
APA's guidelines for psychological practice with LGB clients. Our team partnered with
Archives for Sexual Behavior
to create a Special Issues dedicated exclusively to CNM scholarship that
generated nearly 70 proposals. Our team also created an open-access
to summarize and index CNM research. We have four resources that are in the final stages of approval
including brochures for mental and medical health professionals, a fact sheet on CNM, and
suggestions inclusively assessing relationship diversity on demographic forms. Stay tuned for more on
● Meanwhile, longtime Black polyam activist Chris Smith
puts out this
and I have submitted legislation to the council of the District of
Columbia petitioning for the expansion of domestic partnership and
anti-discrimination laws to include multi-partnered relationships.
The legislation is called the Right to Family Amendment Act of
(1) If you live in the District of Columbia please write emails to
your councilmember supporting this initiative; write emails,
editorials and articles to the Washington Post and other media
outlets, and of course, blow the internet and social media up.
(2) If you live outside the District and want to support, shout
this out in the media, social media, and everywhere.
(3) If you are an academic, clinical, and/or legal professional who
has experience with consensual non-monogamy/multi-partner research,
law, and/or clinical work, please send affidavits of support to the
The justice we seek is the justice deserved. Thank you for the
support. Let us change the world one day at a time.
This act would be much more comprehensive and complete than the
famous domestic-partnership expansion in Somerville, Massachusetts, last
summer and the similar ordinance that's still pending in adjoining
Update next day: Chris posts the positive reply
he quickly got from an office of the DC city government. It invites anyone
with something to say about this to
submit testimony, in person or in writing, at a committee hearing
on March 5:
Today I received this from the DC Government:
“Thanks to you and Benjamin for this thoughtful proposal. I am a
new staffer for the Committee on Government Operations and
Facilities, which Councilmember White chairs and which assumed
responsibility for overseeing the Office of Human Rights earlier
this year. ... We will review the issues you raised below with the
Councilmember as we consider ways to strengthen the
“In the meantime, the Council’s annual Performance Oversight cycle
is underway, and the Committee will hold a hearing with
representatives of agencies including OHR on
Friday, March 5. If you are interested in raising
awareness of these issues at that hearing, please find
participation instructions for the Committee on page 10 of the
Read Chris's whole post, including how to submit written testimony, testify live, and view
the hearing. He says, "If you are a clinician, lawyer, or academic that specializes
in relationship structure and/or DC resident, please submit a testimony,
sign up to testify live and/or post on social media, and encourage
others to watch, submit and testify.
"Spread the word, flood social and regular media and let’s change the
And Heath Schechinger comments,
DC is not alone. Organizers
in other cities across the US are preparing to do this same.
Somerville already passed a multi-partner domestic partnership
ordinance, Cambridge is next. CNM anti-discrimination is gaining