Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

November 24, 2021

An alignment of polyamory and queer in recent media

A bunch of the polyamory in the media this week involved parallels between the poly world and LGBTQIA+ queerdom.

Polyfolks as such don't qualify as queer in my own opinion (others disagree), first because so many are sexually and romantically straight. And secondly, while most LGBT+ people feel born this way, quite a few polyfolks feel the relationship style was their choice after they realized it was possible (see big discussion happening on reddit). So if you want to get word-ish, call our relationships "weird," not "queer." 

But there sure is a lot of overlap! And not just because self-identified bisexuals are many times more abundant in the poly world than in the general population. We face similar sex-negative stigma and discrimination as queer folx; we are always weighing and discussing whether to be closeted, out-and-proud, or sort of out here and there; and in similar ways we seek to find each other, create community, and declare and defend ourselves to the world.   

So it's only natural that the weekly magazine OutFront ("The queer stories you want. The media you trust.") would publish this manifesto: The Polyamorous Community and the Fight for Acceptance (Nov. 16).

It's only four paragraphs long and dwells on legalizing group marriage (something that, according to surveys, much of the poly world supports in principle but not very many want for themselves).

Here's much of it:

By Vienna Austin

...When the historical and current oppression of the LGBTQ community is discussed, one specific group’s oppression, one that exists very prevalently in the broader queer community today, is often left out. This group is the polyamorous community.

Despite significant progress for the queer community, the marriage of polyamorous relationships, polygamy, is criminalized in much of the world, including the United States. Polyamorous people, a community defined by their compatibility with a mode of romantic and sexual relationship organization that includes more than two individuals, can face anywhere from a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge for marriage, depending on the state.

...Though acceptance is growing of this community, it is still extremely low. According to Gallup polls, the percentage of Americans who see polygamy as morally acceptable went from 7 percent in 2003 to 20 percent in 2020. This is drastically lower than the 72 percent who believe that homosexuality should be socially accepted, according to the Pew Research Center. ...

...With queer issues being increasingly prevalent in the public consciousness, it is time for our societies to acknowledge and to fight the oppression of the polyamorous community.

● If you're going to be out and proud on social media you may get some shit, but social is full of the out and proud anyway. This FFM triad posts videos about their life as @3. Mountains. They have 240,000 followers on TikTok alone. Daily Motion just published a 6-minute vid of theirs: We Got Hate Mail for Being Poly / Love Don't Judge (Nov. 15). The video comes from last year when they got themselves featured in the British tabloids.

From the Daily Motion story that goes with it:


A POLYAMOROUS THROUPLE have spoken of the backlash they've received for their relationship -- including anonymous hate letters sent to their places of work.

Maggie, 27, and Cody, 31, first met on Tinder in 2016 and got together almost immediately. Realising they were both interested in polyamory, they downloaded a dating app for non-monogamous people, hoping to find someone to have a fling with. Meanwhile, Janie, 26, had recently discovered she was bisexual and downloaded the same app in search of some fun. She soon matched with Cody and Maggie -- and the rest is history. She joked: "We were supposed to just have a casual threesome -- but then I never left."

So who sent hate mail to their employers? An offended Christian? Nope. It was a fellow queer person apparently; they denounced one of the women as not being truly queer. We've seen the three laughing about this before (see bottom of the link). So, do we really live in a world now where being insufficiently queer is supposed to get you in trouble with your boss?

●  Are asexuals queer? Whatever your answer to that, aces, like mainstream queers, often find a safe, comfortable home in polyland. In the polyamory subculture, where sex is at least theoretically an abundant rather than a scarce resource, there's less pressure on an ace person to make an intimate relationship sexual. In this way the deep platonic romance is finding, in polyland, a niche of cultural space that it hasn't had for a century. As a friend of mine in a long-term triad says, "Some people get into polyamory to have more sex. Some people get into polyamory to have less sex." Including less pressure for sex in a serious soul- and life-connection.

Canada's gay magazine Xtra just featured a horny young letter writer who hadn't thought to ask their ace love interest about the poly possibility: Should I start dating someone who is asexual even though I want to lose my virginity? (Nov. 16). Columnist Kai Cheng Thom points out,

You mention in your letter, Frustrated, that you’re not all that comfortable with the idea of an open relationship [with the ace person who could be fine with one]. You might want to consider: Why not? ...You definitely don’t have to be in an open or polyamorous relationship if it’s not right for you. But it may be helpful to consider all the options fully before dismissing them off hand. ...

●  Are Monogamous Relationships Dying Out in Favor of a New Way to Date?  So asks a headline writer at AskMen magazine ("become a better man"). The answer is no, BTW — but the headline introduces a long, pretty good Poly/CNM 101 in which we get this:

...At the same time, non-monogamy works sort of like queerness — that flexibility means it’s possible to feel at home engaging in one version of the practice that works best for you rather than trying to be in lockstep with everyone else. Also like queerness, ethical non-monogamy has spawned a host of terms describing these specific forms. ...

Again: I predict that 20 years from now when polyamory is thoroughly known, largely unstigmatized, and available in people's social circles nearly everywhere, monogamy will still be the commonest relationship style at the 80%-plus level. Just because it is the structurally simplest.1 I'll bet you a beer on that, payable in 2041.2 

●  In the polyamory world as in queerdom, it's common to remain on friendly terms with your exes, though sometimes, of course, that's impossible or just wrong; an abuser should be cut out of your life. But the poly ethic that exes can be genuine lifelong friends has been gaining more foothold in mainstream society, as in this Atlantic interview: What It’s Like to Truly Be Friends With Your Ex (online Nov. 12). It's from an Atlantic series called "The Friendship Files," in which close friends are interviewed together.

In this case it's three friends: Julie, Matt, and Read. The story proceeds far along through normalcy, then takes a turn. 

Wenjia Tang

“We can’t always neatly break things into ‘friends’ or ‘more than friends.’ There’s different kinds of love.”

...Julie: When we moved to Charlotte we got into contra dancing. Matt introduced me to it. The Charlotte contra-dance community was the best. I define community around them. Everyone takes care of each other, when you’re not asked to. Even after moving back to Denver again later, they still feel like family.

Our first polyamorous relationship came from contra dancing, but ultimately she got accepted to a college out of state, and she moved away. We were grateful, because we could feel that it needed to end, but we were able to all stay friends.

Matt: In 2013, we moved from Charlotte back to Denver [again]. We ended up buying a house, which is where Julie is interviewing from right now. Then things got really hard.

Julie: We tried to get into contra dancing in Denver, met another woman through that, and tried a second polyamorous relationship. That lasted through our breakup, and she was really great in supporting both of us.

Read: Multiple lovers, without jealousy.

Julie: [The second woman] was okay with getting into the more romantic side of the relationship. That was the first time I really was able to explore my feelings about women. That, and the need to explore spirituality in a way that Matt didn’t, were probably the two biggest reasons that I needed to leave the relationship. It took me six months to figure my thoughts out, and Matt was the most patient, wonderful partner throughout that.

He was asking a lot, “What can I do better? What have I done?” It sounds so cliché, but, really, it’s not you. It’s me. I need to figure myself out.

Matt: Which is fair. We had been together for 12 years and married for nine. Initially, it was really hard. I remember very distinctly that when Julie felt comfortable enough to open up and to ask for what she wanted, she sat down in the backyard and was sobbing.

[Interviewer]: Was the divorce process contentious or fairly amicable?

Julie: It was very amicable. It was kind of funny. When I went to the court to do the divorce, they expected me to have a lawyer and go through other people to send Matt the document. I was like “No, he’ll sign it, it’s not going to be a problem.”

[Interviewer]: So you didn’t use lawyers?

Julie: No.

Read: The DIY divorce.

Julie: In polyamory, there’s a term, compersion, that pretty much means unconditional love. If you want to be with somebody else and that makes you happy, then that makes me happy. "Allowing" is a funny word, but him allowing me to leave because he wanted me to be happy, and that would make him happy, even though being together would be better in his mind, is compersion. It’s a perfect example.

...[Interviewer]: It sounds like your post-marriage friendship has just recently started to blossom. How has it felt getting back into a deeper friendship recently?

Julie: I am extremely grateful for my wife, who is absolutely not the jealous type. Each of us has experience in polyamory and open relationships, so we don’t have to explain ourselves to each other. She is so okay with me being friends with Matt.

Julie and Matt at their wedding

Matt: I invited Julie and Mythica to come to my birthday party this year. One of my friends afterward was talking to me, and I was like, “You got to meet my ex-wife, Julie, right?” They were like, “Oh, yeah, Julie was so proud that she knew all these things about you.” We were together for 12 years—of course we know each other so deeply.

Julie: I didn’t even realize the extent of our spiritual connection until he moved back to Denver and I could feel his distress. I was texting with him every morning as we were both getting ready for work.

Matt: We still text each other “three things that you’re grateful for today.”

...There are a lot of different flavors of friendship. We can’t always neatly break things into “friends” or “more than friends.” There’s different kinds of love, and there’s different kinds of relationships that you can have with people.

If Julie needed anything, I would do everything I could to make that happen. Even when we were going through the divorce, it was like, What can I do to make this easier? I would say that Julie and I are more than friends. At this point, I categorize Julie as my sister. It’s deeper than friendship, but it’s not romantic, and it’s certainly not sexual.

Julie: My wife and I have this phrase: “Earth words suck.” There just sometimes aren’t the right words to describe the many different kinds of friendship out there.

Those are excerpts. Read the whole thing.


Elsewhere in the last few days:

● In up to 200 newspapers, advice columnist Amy Dickinson — once a dismissive poly skeptic, in recent years more receptive to what we've been telling her — fields a direct poly-mono question and gives a direct answer. Sadly, I have to agree with her. Relationship’s in trouble if values don’t align (week of Nov. 17)

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, and for the most part it has been amazing!

This is the best relationship I’ve ever had.

We’re very much in love. We have talked about marriage and one day starting our own family (he has three children, I have none).

The problem is that recently, my perspective regarding things I’ve believed all of my life has shifted. ... I no longer feel that monogamy is right for me.

...I revealed my feelings to my boyfriend during the summer and suggested an open relationship. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.... I told him I didn’t see any other way our relationship could work. It all seemed fine until he learned that I had actually slept with someone else (actually, multiple people).

It is obvious that he is hurt, even though I’ve tried to explain to him how my sexual desires for other people don’t reflect my love for him.

He says he’s fine with my choice, but he is visibly upset.

It hurts me to see him hurt, which is not fun.

I’ve started counseling and I’m trying to be patient to see if he can really do this, but is it right to keep this going, knowing that I have no intention on being monogamous, and knowing how much that hurts him?

– Open and Lost in the South

Dear Open: Let’s assume that your take on this is correct, in that your polyamorous lifestyle is devastating to your boyfriend.

Loving relationships are supposed to exist along a basically balanced axis. Partners don’t always get what they want when they want it, but ideally, they will share core values. A core value is a behavior or belief that you place at the center of your life.

Monogamy is a core value.

Polyamory is, too.

These two values are in direct conflict.

Is it fair for you to continue in a relationship where your choices hurt and diminish someone who loves you? Are you being loving and kind toward your partner?

The answer is: no.

But I point out that as always with humans, exceptions happen. Occasionally the mono person in a poly-mono couple becomes fine with it. You do meet contented poly-mono couples like this from time to time. And sometimes the poly person simply makes a choice to forego other people, for life. Possibly they even stick to that, though it sounds like the letter writer tried and failed.

●  Finally, a snippet in the Guardian that indicates how widely we are now assumed to be known: Why we should resist the urge to reinvent ourselves after so long in lockdown (Nov. 12)

We want to slip the net and open a cheese shop, or join a polyamorous collective, or throw all our money at bitcoin – but should we?

Making big decisions in the wake of trauma is not always a mistake … but in many cases it is. ...


1.   Even in poly-rich areas, you find more vees than full triads, 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." Extrapolate this trend the other way, and the couple of two will remain the most common structure of all even in a totally poly-friendly world.

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 like mine. A large network can absorb and damp out perturbations among its links, to continue on through internal breakups, re-formations, new additions, and dropouts. A poly network is an intimate 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.

2.  Unless by 2041 we're climate refugees in a homeless camp, or fascism refugees in Norway — where, BTW, they've already asked for fleeing Americans to please come settle, especially if you've got a thing for the shipping and fishing industries. Apparently native Norwegians know enough about those to avoid them. Norway and its neighbors did recently make news as the best countries in the world in which to raise a child.

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November 23, 2021

Today is Polyamory Day! Share it out with this year's graphic

It's that time of year again! Tuesday November 23 is Polyamory Day, for reasons explained below.

But first, please share out the pic below across your social and let's get this going, even bigger than last year. For the sake of polyamory visibility and recognition.


The backstory:

For years people floated ideas for an appropriate Polyamory Day, but nothing happened. Then in 2017 the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) took the initiative by declaring, with a press release, that November 23 would be National Polyamory Day in Canada, and the idea spread. In 2018 they repeated the announcement for not just Canada but worldwide. It spread further in the next several years, with other activists picking it up and running with it. By 2019, it was going around in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and Italian. 

Why November 23?
This is the day when, in 2011, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled that Canada's anti-polygamy law does not apply to modern polyamorists, if they do not try to make a group relationship a formally sanctioned group marriage (polygamy). Previously, according to the law, three or more people merely living together in one dwelling "conjugally" could be sentenced to five years in prison, although no prosecution had been brought for many decades. The CPAA worked to make that favorable court decision happen.

But ten years later that origin is fading into history, while the day is becoming a thing worldwide. Let's make this happen!


Here's the press release they put out:

For Immediate Release

November 23 is Polyamory Day!

Tuesday, November 23, is Polyamory Day a day celebrated every year around the world by people who consider themselves to be polyamorous, who are in a polyamorous relationship, or who support polyamory as a valid relationship orientation or choice.

On November 23, we ask: If you agree that polyamorous people are entitled to the same rights, privileges, and governmental accommodation as others, please share a Polyamory Day image or meme on your blogs, email lists, and on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can use an existing image or create a new one. Find Polyamory Day images by searching #‎polyamoryday‬ on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. New Polyamory Day images will be released on social media on or before November 23.

Organizations that have promoted Polyamory Day include the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), Loving More, members of the Polyamory Leadership Network, PolyDallas Millennium, Black Poly Pride, the Poly Cultural Diversity Alliance, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA), Poliamor en México, Polyamory South Africa, ZAPoly Polyamory In South Africa, and many others. Last year, people produced new images in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and Italian.

Polyamory Day was first celebrated in Canada on November 23, 2017, but the celebration quickly spread on social media to other countries and languages.

There are other days in the year where polyamory is acknowledged, including Polyamory Pride Day (a day in Pride Month), International Solo Polyamory Day (September 24), and Metamour Day (February 28).

Polyamory – or “poly”, “polya”, or “polyam” for short – is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate loving relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Concepts critical to the practice of consent and other ethical behaviours within polyamory are gender equality, self-determination, free choice for all involved, mutual trust, and equal respect among partners.



For more information, visit http://polyadvocacy.ca/polyamory-day-faq


And while we're at it, here's a list of other more-or-less settled recognition days that are poly related. 

Image link for sharing

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November 12, 2021

The Poly 101s in the media are getting better

Many, many intro-to-poly articles in mainstream media have been crossing my screen (thank you Google News Alerts), and I'm impressed that their average quality improves year by year.

●  For instance, this one just appeared on Health.com, the website of the big, respected, reliable Health magazine aimed at women: Polyamory, Polygamy, and More: What to Know About Non-Monogamy (Nov 9). It stresses the need for clarity in language and communication when you're a single or couple thinking of setting out on a consensually non-monogamous life.

By Eve Ettinger

...But increased visibility of non-monogamy and its variants doesn't mean we all know what these things mean in practice. So what exactly is polyamory, and how does it differ from ethical non-monogamy, open relationships? Is it different from polygamy or polyandry, concepts that existed long before the sexual revolution?

A still from a Health magazine video

Though polyamory and non-monogamy are now fairly ubiquitous terms, their exact meaning can shift from person to person or couple to couple. ... 

..."One common misconception that shows up in my office frequently when working with people who are exploring non-monogamy is that there is a specific or correct way to be poly or open, or to do any kind of ethical/consensual non-monogamy," says [New York therapist Dulcinea Alex] Pitagora. "The fact is, these categories and labels can be a helpful starting point for conversations with partners, but they need to be defined and agreed upon by the parties involved, and nobody else. One person's poly relationship can look a lot like someone else's open relationship, whereas another person's poly can look a lot like someone else's relationship anarchy."...

It goes on to clarify how various terms and categories are used in practice, toward helping you and your partner(s), if any, figure out what's right for you. And it gets them right IMO.

It ends,

[Sex therapy director Jesse] Kahn encourages a curiosity-based approach to these questions, rather than one that seeks a set end goal or pre-conceived answer. "Start by educating yourself on polyamory, various polyamorous structures," they say. "Explore and think about what about your past/current relationship structures worked and didn't work, and in your fantasies what they might've looked like instead."...

●  A more basic Poly 101 is just up from another, less reputable mass-circulation health magazine. Prevention is an old-time outfit trying to keep up. Its lucrative business model, starting in 1950, was to fill its pages with articles shamelessly touting questionable/ worthless dietary supplements and selling the ad space around the articles to the supplements' makers. Today Prevention, like Reader's Digest, is a survival from our grandparents' era. (My grandmother was as firmly addicted to Prevention's hokum as today's Trumpies are to Fox News.)

Nowadays the magazine is trying for broader appeal and modern relevance. For this Poly 101 articles — this is not its first  are apparently what the doctor ordered.

Prevention's writers have handled these stories well. Including this latest one: What Is Polyamory? Polyamorous Relationships, Explained (Oct. 28).

Nope, it’s not cheating—and it might work really well for you.

By Jake Smith 

...Polyamory, a form of consensual non-monogamy, allows people to pursue multiple romantic partners at once, and unlike cheating, everyone involved is aware of the arrangement.

Despite what romcoms and the marriage-industrial complex may suggest, polyamorous relationships are very much normal—and they’re on the rise. ...

Volanthevist / Getty
What is polyamory?

...“The crucial thing is that it must be practiced with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved,” [Leanne] Yau says. This distinguishes polyamory from cheating, which occurs when one or more parties in a relationship are unaware of non-monogamous actions by another.

Polyamory falls under the umbrella of ethical non-monogamy, a term that encompasses all the various relationship styles that are consensually non-exclusive, whether sexually, romantically, or both, explains Tamara Pincus, L.I.C.S.W., C.S.T., author of the book It’s Called “Polyamory and founder of the practice Tamara Pincus and Associates. (Others include open relationships, swinging, and “monogamish” arrangements.) All relationships exist on a spectrum of total romantic and sexual exclusivity to complete non-exclusivity, Yau says; polyamory can fall anywhere beyond traditional monogamy.

...These kinds of relationships are more common than you might think, and they’re becoming even more so: One-third of Americans say their ideal relationship isn’t completely monogamous, per that 2020 YouGov poll. In 2016, YouGov found that 61% of Americans wanted completely monogamous relationships; in 2020, the number fell to 56%. Young people say they’re more likely to pursue non-monogamy, too, meaning these arrangements will likely become more popular.

“Polyamory very much focuses on emotional and romantic connection, whereas other types of non-monogamy are more like casual and sexual endeavors,” Yau explains. “That’s a crucial difference between them.” That’s not to say that sex isn’t a factor in poly relationships—it’s a crucial part of expressing love between many kinds of people—but it’s not the end-all-be-all for many polyamorous people.

“Quite a lot of members of the asexual community really value polyamory for this reason,” Yau says. “It allows for them to have a purely romantic relationship with someone who has sexual needs that can be met outside of the relationship.”

The subheads from here on:

What are some myths about polyamory?
Hierarchical Polyamory
Non-Hierarchical Polyamory
Solo Polyamory
What should you know before starting a polyamorous relationship?

...In the end, polyamory is growing in popularity for a reason. “Having multiple close, intimate relationships really provides an opportunity for a kind of support that we don’t tend to find in the rest of the world these days,” Pincus says. “Polyamory can help people build closeness with a lot of people. … It’s a lot of emotional work, and it’s worth it.”

● Also just out is this good long intro to the "Relationship broken? Add more people!" fallacyCould Opening Up Your Relationship Fix It? in the feminist online women's mag Refinery29 (Nov. 7). It spotlights the multi-relationship counselor/author Dr. Liz Powell, known to many of us for her smarts as a speaker and workshop leader at polycons.

J. Houston
By Quinn Rhodes

What does an open relationship have in common with getting married, having a baby and moving in with your partner? That’s right: none of them is a way to fix problems in a relationship. With an increased awareness of non-monogamous relationship structures, the myth that polyamory is a ‘fix’ for a broken relationship is also gaining momentum. 

That’s not to say that people don’t try. Dr Liz Powell, a licensed psychologist specialising in non-monogamous relationships, explains that they see this a lot. ... In Dr Powell’s view, too often people try to apply polyamory like a plaster when they’re struggling with differences in sexual desires or how they want to split their time and priorities. 

An open relationship could, theoretically, help with those issues. In reality, problems often begin when someone is feeling hurt, unheard or unseen by their partner. Without resolving that conflict in the first instance, and instead just opening up the relationship, you allow that pain to fester and resentment to build on top of the struggles you’re already experiencing and, crucially, communication that perhaps isn’t working.
Dr Powell says: "If you’re already struggling to talk about what you want and need, if you’re already struggling to advocate for your needs or have those needs met, non-monogamy is unlikely to fix those problems – aside from the fact that it’s likely to end your relationship."

For Sam, who is 30 years old and non-binary, opening up their relationship did bring it to a very necessary end. ...

...For Ellen, opening up her relationship gave her a lens to explore her own vulnerabilities and look at what’s important to her in a relationship. She’s learned how to handle rejection – something you don’t expect to feel the sting of when you’re in a long-term partnership – and the difference between privacy and secrecy. ...

...Dr Powell suggests that it’s unhelpful to think of opening up your relationship as adding more people to it. Instead, you should think about it as breaking down everything you know about your relationship and building it up from scratch. ...

But, people being people, there are always exceptions. Adding more people sometimes does save an otherwise healthy, companionate relationship or marriage when the problem is sexual incompatibility. A friend of mine in a decades-long nesting triad that raised kids together from conception to adulthood often says, "Some people get into polyamory to have more sex. Some get into polyamory to have less sex." It worked for them.

● This next piece is emotionally deeper than the three above — a Poly 102. It appeared in the large online women's magazine Bustle: How To Know If Ethical Non-Monogamy Could Work For You (Nov. 9)

By Kristine Fellizar

“It confronts you, inevitably, with your deepest fears.”

...You may have noticed an uptick of people looking for ethically non-monogamous (ENM) relationships while you were swiping through profiles on Tinder or Bumble. But what exactly is an ENM relationship, and is it right for you? According to experts, there are a few key things you should know. ...

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for ethical non-monogamy,” Sydney Chin, a polyamorous sex educator based in Philadelphia, tells Bustle. As long as there is clear consent and open communication within the relationship structure you’ve agreed on, an ENM relationship can work.

If you’re curious about ENM, start by doing your research. Chin suggests following non-monogamy educators online, joining communities like Remodeled Love, and reading books like Jessica Fern’s Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy.

...“More than anything, embarking on a journey of discovery means you get to [find] your truth,” says [relationship therapist Anlacan] Tran. “...You get to write your own story. And it can be whatever you (and your partner(s)) want it to be.”

...People are often surprised to discover that the ability to be so completely open and truthful towards each other creates a whole new level of intimacy. For many, ENM actually ends up deepening their love and dedication towards each other. ... Tran says, “It's refreshing and incredibly valuable to have a place between you to express your full truth.”

On the other hand, being ENM also means you may have to wade through a lot of uncomfortable feelings like jealousy, insecurity, and fear. “It confronts you, inevitably, with your deepest fears,” Tran says. “It means facing inner demons, it means breathing through discomfort, it means finding new ways to relate to each other with many people at the ready to judge you.” ...

●  ANNOUNCEMENT: If you're new to poly and you'd like to talk about your experience so far, the Polycurious podcast wants to hear from you. The podcasters got written up in the Bushwick Daily, the online newspaper for the Bushwick section of Brooklyn: ‘Polycurious,’ a Bushwick-Based Podcast, Explores Relationship Structures and Delves Into Ethical Non-Monogamy (Oct. 28)

By Allie Iliana Herrera

The second season is set to be released in February of 2022, and the podcast is currently looking for people who are just dipping their toes into their non-monogamy journeys. 

Fernanda and Mariah

...Polycurious, a Bushwick-based podcast hosted by Fernanda and Mariah, delves into these topics to try to bring clarity on how we can pursue our desires ethically, whether we are in a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship.

“If we actually think about it in technical terms, the podcast should have maybe been called ‘non-monogamous curious’ or something like that, because it really explores all types of non-monogamy. So poly, by itself, it just means many,” Fernanda told Bushwick Daily. 

The first season, which ended this past June, interviews non-monogamous couples as an introduction to non-monogamy and to show what non-monogamy looks like for many different people, whether it be through a swinger community, a friends with benefits situation, casual sex, polyamory or some other dynamic.

The podcast logo

...The podcast also follows Mariah’s own journey in non-monogamy, the stigma around it and her transition from one type of relationship into another. In one of the season’s episodes, Fernanda interviews her partner who chooses not to pursue non-monogamy despite having a partner who does.

“After having so many people opening up to me and to the audience, I felt like I needed to do the same,” said Fernanda. “I think that people would really benefit from learning about different types of relationships and relationship structures, not because I’m an advocate for following that — a lot of people are more comfortable with monogamy and that’s okay— but I think that there’s a lot of stigma and a lot of misinformation about these types of relationships.” ...

You can contact the podcasters through their Facebook page.

●  Aaand just to prove that the British tabloids, in their obsession with happy polyfamilies, are not all about white MFF triads, here's All-female throuple vow to marry each other and raise kids as trio despite online trolls (Mirror, Oct. 24)

Reese, Kelz and Dez

...Back in 2015, Destiney 'Dez' Cruz, 30 met Kelsha 'Kelz' Sellars, 26, on a dating app and they soon fell in love.

Early on, they discovered they were both open to the idea of having other partners while continuing their relationship.

...In 2020, Kelz met another woman called Sherice 'Reese' Allen, 33, on a dating app and they found they had an “easygoing and natural connection”.

When Reese and Dez were introduced to each other shortly after, they began a separate relationship, and then became a committed throuple.

Now they share their life on TikTok and Instagram, giving followers an insight into their closed dynamic.

The trio are in committed relationships with each of the other partners, as well as in the triad together.

In a video that has been viewed over 800,000 times, they answer some of the questions they’re asked frequently, including whether they get jealous, to which they reply, “sometimes… it’s healthy and normal”.

...Dez said: “When it comes to feelings of jealousy we try to resolve those issues by having a conversation about where exactly that feeling stems from.

...No matter where they are, all three of them always share a bed.

...The three of them now co-parent two kids, aged 15 [years] and 18 months, together, and hope to have a commitment ceremony as a wedding one day. ...

Kelz said: “Our 15 year old loves the three of us parenting together, because we’re all different in the way that we parent and so she is able to get different types of support… not only from us but from the rest of our support systems as well.

“She’s aware of what polyamory is and is able to communicate her family dynamics to those who she wishes to share it with.”

...Reese said: “There is so much more love to go around, a village when it comes to helping with raising children, our finances are split between all partners three ways, and there are more avenues to making sure all needs are being met.” ...

The article includes their musical video explanation of themselves, with warnings of poly-dating red flags to watch out for. (Sorry, I can't get it to embed here.)  


You wonder where the tabloids find so many super-out polyfamilies? Who will expose their lives, real names, and pictures so proudly in these rags? The tabs have featured about 100 such poly groups in the last several years by my count and estimate. 

Part of it is they cruise social media looking for out influencers like the folks above. But especially, they pay for your story. What they pay is guarded by frightening nondisclosure clauses, but for polyfamilies, I've heard it's typically at least a few thousand dollars.

They're called the red tops.

These story packages — text, abundant photos, sometimes videos — are created and sold to the tabs by independent tabloid-content companies, including MDW Features, Barcroft Media, HotSpot Media, and Triangle News. These companies are based in the UK, but most of their featured polyfamilies have been in the US.

Want to write them and ask if they're interested in you? Well....

Don't accept their first offer; it may be a lowball. And I'm told this is not the easy money you might imagine; you'll end up putting in a fair amount of time, energy, and perhaps stress. They may give you good editorial control over how you're portrayed if you ask for it, so put that in the contract: require the right to review and remove anything in the final product. Even so, as with any media, say or show nothing that you don't want used. During the interview and photo shoots, be prepared to refuse any requests that you feel are off (trick questions, sketchy photo setups), and to resist any amount of cajoling, which they are experts at. If you're ready to walk away from the deal, especially after they've committed resources to show up, you hold the upper hand.

They actually want you to be happy with the result, as best I hear — for their own reputation among future story subjects that you might refer to them, and perhaps because your happiness and enthusiasm will show in the product. Remember, this is not journalism. It's mutually agreed exploitation made level by an exchange of cash.

Real journalists, and the institutions they work for, never pay sources or subjects.

Till next time! Take good care of yourselves, dear ones, and stay safe.

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November 4, 2021

Major donor endows a new academic fund for polyamory and alt-relationship research

Thanks to a $138,000 donation from longtime polyamory activist Ken Haslam, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University announced this morning a new endowed annual award that will recognize and support researchers on consensual non-monogamy and other nontraditional relationships. The award, to be given annually, will include a $5,000 one-year fellowship.

The Kinsey Institute, founded in 1947, is the premier research institute on human sexuality and relationships. Ken tells us that he sized his donation to finance a $5,000 grant every year forever. To my knowledge, this is the largest donation to support the understanding of polyamory and consensual non-monogamy in the modern poly movement's 40-year history.     

The first award, the Kinsey Institute announced today, will go to Dr. Amy Moors of Chapman University. You may recognize her name from the many research reports she has authored or co-authored that I've cited here in the last several years. The Kinsey press release, with more about her and her work, is below.

Posts Amy,

The desire to engage in multiple sexual, emotional, or romantic relationships is valid. It’s also quite common. We, as people and researchers, can learn so much from people engaged in consensual non-monogamy—from new ways to think about navigating sexual health to managing jealousy. I look forward to seeing this area of relationship diversity grow over the next few decades!

Ken Haslam is 87 years old now and still a character — jovial and lively as ever by the sound of him over the phone. He was a polyamory education and awareness activist starting more than two decades ago, a key figure when the movement was small and most of its movers-and-shakers could fit in one large room. As an MD he helped introduce the subject to academic, medical, and therapeutic professionals at a time when they had never heard of it. He wrote and spoke widely, co-founded the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness in 1999, and was a prominent presence in the 64-person meeting that began the Polyamory Leadership Network email list in 2009.

Nowadays Ken may be best known as the originator, around 2006, of the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory Collection at the Kinsey Institute Library. This archive of early publications, letters, meeting notes, memoirs, and other materials is where scholars will continue to turn in coming decades and centuries to research the early history and growth of the modern poly movement. (If you have papers or other materials from the movement's pre-internet era — or from before today's movement entirely, or from other cultures and communities apart from it — they want them!) At that time Ken donated $5,000 to endow the maintenance and indexing of the Polyamory Collection forever.

Ken tells us that the idea for an endowed academic fellowship "occurred to me about 15 years ago. I had a list of criteria then for the movement's future growth, called 'tipping points for polyamory.' The last of these was the entrance of polyamory into academia" as a serious research topic — something that's now well under way.

For the new fellowship, "It's taken about three years to get it all put together. When covid came along everything stopped. Now it's just come to fruition."

Ken also says he is leaving a larger amount to Kinsey in his will toward endowing an academic conference on consensual non-monogamy, probably to be held every two or three years, probably on the Indiana University campus. Again, endowment means funding forever.


Kinsey's press release today:



Amy C. Moors, PhD has been named the recipient of the inaugural Kenneth R. Haslam, MD Relationship Diversity Research Award, which supports the work of Kinsey Institute and affiliated researchers conducting research on non-monogamy, alternative sexualities, and intersections of diverse relationships and sexuality.

Amy Moors

Moors is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chapman University, a Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and the co-chair of the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy. Her research examines diverse expressions of sexuality, including how stigma affects well-being among sexual minorities and people engaged in consensually non-monogamous relationships. Moors has earned an international reputation for her work on understanding the sociodemographic and psychological factors that shape experiences of people engaged in consensual non-monogamy.

In announcing the award, Dr. Justin Garcia, Executive Director of the Kinsey Institute said, “We recognize Dr. Moors’ outstanding research in the area of relationship diversity, especially her innovative contributions to a better understanding of psychological and social factors associated with attitudes toward and experiences with consensual non-monogamy. She is an extraordinary scientists and colleague, and I’m delighted that she is the inaugural recipient of the Kinsey Institute’s Kenneth R. Haslam MD Relationship Diversity Research Award.”

Moors has been recognized by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality as for her theoretical work on sexuality as well as her mentorship to the next generation of sexuality focused researchers and clinicians. She also received the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award for her research and educational outreach on consensual non-monogamy from the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity within the American Psychological Association. Her research has also been featured in TIMEScientific American, and The Atlantic

This award is made possible through a new endowed fund at the Kinsey Institute established through the generosity of Dr. Kenneth Haslam, an academic anesthesiologist, and long-time friend and supporter of the Kinsey Institute. Dr. Haslam continues to work with Liana Zhou, Director of the Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections, to develop the Kenneth R. Haslam, MD Polyamory Collection, an important polyamory collection and archive at the Kinsey Institute which includes the work of Dr. Haslam and many other poly-activists, with materials dating back to the 1970s.

"The leaders and staff at the Kinsey Institute have provided wonderful encouragement and help in organizing, preserving, and facilitating digitization of my collection, and in establishing this fellowship for the study of consensual non-monogamy. I cannot thank them enough for their generous efforts.” ~Kenneth R. Haslam, MD

The award will be presented to Dr. Moors during the Kinsey Institute 75th anniversary celebrations in Bloomington, Indiana, in April 2022.


About the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University: For 75 years, the Kinsey Institute (https://kinseyinstitute.org/) has been the premier research institute on human sexuality and relationships and a trusted source for evidence-based information on critical issues in sexuality, relationships, gender, and reproduction. Our research program integrates scholarly fields from neuroscience and anthropology to psychology and gender studies. The Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections encompass over 500,000 items spanning 2,000 years of human sexual behavior and are a destination research collection for scholars and students. Kinsey Institute outreach includes travelling art exhibits, public lectures, and a human sexuality education program.

For more information or to discuss a donation, please visit kinseyinstitute.org or contact kinsey@indiana.edu.


1. The Kinsey Institute Library especially wants your original papers and materials relating to the history of polyamory and CNM, especially pre-2000. Don't leave them in your attic to be thrown out after you're gone by people who don't know their value! To donate materials contact the Kinsey Institute's librarian, Liana Zhou: libknsy@indiana.edu.

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