Five new polyamory books, normalization rushes on, and other poly in the news.
I came to non-monogamy by way of sex-positive communities when I was trying to reconnect with my body and sexuality after finally really coming to terms with the sexual abuse I'd been through as a child. A lot of what sex-positive communities did was encourage questioning things society had taught me....The first couple of times the [standard poly] advice I gathered didn't work, I thought it was my fault. So much of what I learned was encouraging distrust of my own judgment, a reinforcement of the same denial I had of my emotions my entire life....It's no surprise then that my first experiences with polyamory were extremely sketchy, and I only managed to escape them by reading literature about abusive relationships and abusive patterns. I wouldn't until much later learn that my negative emotions weren't inherently a sign of my own insecurity. I grew frustrated with problems I and others had that I saw constantly crop up that weren't really talked about. I felt that so much of the polyamory advice offered me either didn't address mental health or just didn't work for someone who had the anxiety or the experiences I had growing up. So I did what I usually do when I have thoughts: I wrote them down....I found out I wasn't the only one....
Years ago, as I began my journey into polyamory and working with polyamorous clients, I found most of the 'starter' books available inadequate. [The missing perspective] was an understanding of trauma, queer identities, and disability. Developmental trauma — being abused as a child — was my first professional specialty....Now, after years of working with polyamorous clients, I've noticed that jumping into a non-monogamous relationship style can bring old pain and anxiety screaming to the surface. Often my clients worry that they're not 'cut out' for polyamory because their emotional reactions are so intense. And when I looked at the available resources for support, I understood where this fear came from. ...
Successfully navigate nonmonogamous relationships with this practical workbook filled with activities, journal prompts, interviews, and more activities.... Helps you determine what you really want when it comes to your life, your relationships, and the community you build — and how to get it....The Polyamory Workbook draws key information from real polyamorous people and relationship experts to help you expand your emotional and relational toolbox, better preparing you for the dive into nonmonogamy. This workbook focuses on the foundational knowledge everyone interested in or already practicing polyamory should know, including:– Types of nonmonogamy– Communication styles– Boundary setting– Consent– Metamours and jealousy– Pitfalls and red flags– Breakups– And more!
The Polysecure Workbook encourages examination of any attachment challenges you may have experienced in your opening up process and offers insights into how to build secure relationships. Through practical exercises, you will explore your own attachment history, examine your reasons for practicing nonmonogamy and the different styles of nonmonogamy that you relate to, and consider whether you rely on relationship structure for your attachment security. The Polysecure Workbook provides the tools needed to navigate the complexities of multiple loving relationships and to build personal security.
In 2014, after 25 years of marriage, my husband told me he was polyamorous and needed to be able to explore and live this part of himself, as a man free to have multiple intimate relationships. ... This new chapter in our relationship was a sometimes traumatic, sometimes exciting time for us. ...
We had a whole life together — three young-adult kids, a home, our long history. While we had our share of struggles and rough spots. for the most part we were friends and lovers who got along well. Could we stay together and make this work?The last five-plus years were our grand experiment in seeing if we could make our mono-poly relationship work for both of us. Our path was a winding one, with lots of talking, therapy, trying different things, wrong turns, feelings, learning and discerning. It hasn't been easy....We monogamous folks with poly partners have our own perspectives, challenges, and issues to deal with, This book is for us. ...
This book explores the unique group of elders, age 55 and older, who practice some form of consensual non-monogamy. It covers both the joys and challenges of multiple relationships for elders. Poly elders have the complexities of juggling multiple relationships, as well as managing all the issues of aging: managing medical conditions and disabilities (their own and/or their partners’), caregiving responsibilities for aging relatives, grieving the deaths of parents, siblings, and partners, retiring from careers and starting new lives, and/or moving into some form of senior living.
In other news, a roundup of stuff:
...A key tenet of polyamory is compersion—the ability to find joy in your partners’ happiness, even if they’re finding happiness with other people. This can be tough for rookie polyamorists, who learn that when romantic partners lash out about other activities, it’s often because they’re not getting enough attention of one kind or another. The same dynamic happens in the workplace: Bosses who are anxious about underperforming employees will inevitably start blaming [their] other jobs. ...
Jacob Lund / ShutterstockBy Niko Vercelletto...One form of consensual non-monogamy is a polyamorous relationship. This type of relationship can be defined as a person, or people, who are in committed relationships with multiple people at the same time, with the consent of all parties.... Polyamory has seemingly gained interest in the last few years, and you may be wondering if opening up a future or current relationship is right for you.In some ways, polyamorous relationships may seem a lot like monogamous ones in that they require strong conflict resolution skills and good communication. And every relationship is built on a good foundation, including polyamorous relationships, according to Psychology Today. But what are some key differences between the two?For starters, polyamorous relationships involve defining your own relationship rules and understanding the boundaries and limits of you and your partner. Asking yourself and your partner some important questions from the get-go could help define relationship terms. ......A 2018 study published in the journal Psychology showed that there was no difference in satisfaction, both relational or sexual, between monogamous and polyamorous relationships. However, the level of satisfaction does depend on how well all parties communicate about boundaries and needs before and during the relationships.Polyamorous relationships are most successful when people can satisfy and fulfill each of their relationship partners equally, both emotionally and sexually, according to Psychology Today. Additionally, there are certain personality traits that may be better suited for polyamorous relationships, like extroversion, agreeableness, and low levels of jealousy and neuroticism.If that all sounds far out of your comfort zone, don't be afraid to stick with monogamy, particularly if you become easily jealous, anxious, or need clear and consistent boundaries from a single partner....Lastly, you don't want to start a polyamorous relationship for the wrong reasons. ...
...Justin Rupple's 'throuple' marriageAside from his steadily growing career in showbiz, Rupple's "throuple" relationship is also making headlines. Rupple and his wife, Katy Rupple, are in a polyamorous relationship with Claire Thornhill. Rupple met his wife, Katy, in 2006 while performing at one of his comedy shows. The couple started dating and got married in 2013. A few years after their marriage, Katie expressed an interest in exploring her bisexual side. After a lot of discussions, the couple approached Rupple's college friend Claire. In an interview with The Mirror, Claire shared, "At first, it was a surprise as I had never been approached like this before." Despite this, the surprise was welcomed "as I had always had feelings for both men and women."...The 'throuple' claims that they are happy together. They credited teamwork and communication, as well as sharing goals, personality traits, and hobbies.... Claire explained, "As humans, we're capable of loving multiple people completely without diminishing the love we have for any one individual, and we're extremely lucky to have found each other. We are proud of our partnership and want others to know that you don't have to feel shame for simply loving people."You can catch more of the trio's adventures and relationship milestones on their Instagram page The Thrupples.
In the timeless book The Road Less Traveled , the psychiatrist M Scott Peck states in a footnote that all his years of couples-work led him to the “stark conclusion that open marriage is the only kind of mature marriage that is healthy”.
Dr. Peck goes on to imply that a monogamous marriage often leads to destroyed mental health and lack of growth. Does that mean that a polyamorous relationship is automatically ethical?On the contrary, it means that due to their nature, these types of relationships contribute to growth. This involves effort from all parties.
- Failing to communicate
- Being inconsiderate of your partner's feelings
- Expecting too much
- Not setting boundaries
- Failing to keep jealousy in check
- Choosing the wrong people.
As Jessica Fern, psychotherapist and author of Polysecure, has pointed out, it’s often women who initiate nonmonogamy.If you’re a woman, transfeminine, or nonbinary person in a nonmonogamous relationship, BuzzFeed News wants to hear from you. We may reach out to you for an upcoming story.
Looking wider, the struggle deepens.
I find [this] particularly salient given American conservative hostility toward women serving in our military. People like Ted Cruz praising the supposed manliness of the Russian army, while claiming ours is weak because of “woke culture.” Ukraine puts that bullshit to bed, not just with the women serving in its ranks, but with gay soldiers very publicly sewing unicorn patches on their uniforms to denote their pride.
To hell with any conservatives who impugn anyone’s service as somehow less effective or honorable than white straight men.