The new polyamory flag spawns a variant. Raising the children of poly. Gen Z normalizes. And more.
● 'I'm a Polyamorous Parent', a first-person "My Turn" essay, appeared in Newsweek: (Sept. 20). It's by Jessica Levity, "a polyamorous content creator on TikTok (@remodeledlove)" and co-author of the recent ebook Polyamory and Parenthood: Navigating Non-Monogamy as Parents of Young Children.
By Jessica LevityMy fiancé and I were having lunch with our friends where we live in Reno, Nevada, when one of them asked if we had ever considered polyamory. I had been with my partner for four years, and in a few months' time we were getting married. But in that moment, every cell in my body felt like it had been electrified. I instantly knew who I was—that I was polyamorous.Being queer, I knew there was never going to be one type of person that was going to meet the whole of what I desire. I think monogamous people would say, "Well, you give up the other things when you meet somebody." I'm autistic, so my brain is naturally like, "That doesn't make sense to me, so I'll just do it the way that works for me."...My husband consented reluctantly. He wouldn't say I forced him into it, but he described it as being dragged down a dark hallway. Although, now he would tell you he felt like he needed to be dragged down a dark hallway because he had so much fear and was raised pretty Catholic so he had a lot more to unpack than I did.My husband and I are "kitchen table polyamorous," which is a form of polyamory in which we enjoy knowing each other's partners. It's very laid-back. My husband is often around my partner in the house, and I am very good friends with my husband's partner.
I think my husband and I would lead a very different lifestyle if we didn't have two small kids, who are one-and-a-half and four-and-a-half years old. Our young kids are the center of our lives right now; we orbit around them. We have a dream for the future, of what our life could look like, but right now, parenting two kids as young as ours is really hard.
The cover features the author and hub....I love my children's personalities, and how loving they are. My children love so deeply and so easily, and effortlessly, and there is a sweetness to both of them that is just so pure.But raising children is not easy, especially as we don't have grandparents living nearby. My husband's partner loves our kids, but they live eight hours away in L.A.. In a world in which we had another partner who was very involved in our life and loved helping us with domestic caretaking, we would have a lot more freedom. But the nuclear family is brutal.My husband and I try to allow each other to be as much of their own person as they can be, while maintaining the health of our family. We do that by giving each other "autonomous time," which is time away from the label of "parent" or "partner," where you can go and do whatever you want. For us, because we're polyamorous, we don't care what you're doing in that time: you could be at Bible study or you could be at an orgy. It's your autonomous time. ...Our kids don't understand relationships yet. They just know that there are people that we love, that love them. They don't understand that the label of "partner" is different from "friend."...I am a polyamorous content creator and educator. One of my TikToks went mega viral recently, but I couldn't read the comments because they were so awful. People have been very critical of my husband and I being polyamorous parents.But I believe representation matters. People might be triggered by it, they might disagree with it, but at least they're seeing it, and somewhere out there, there's probably a person going, "Oh my god, this feels like me. I didn't even know this was a possibility."
...One of the meatiest parts of our book is our traffic lights.... Our book is very oriented to parents of young children... we're hoping to write Volume 2 someday. Most of our red lights, yellow lights, green lights are very specific to parents of young children, even specific to those who practice kitchen table polyamory, which is our style.A green light is something about the intersection of polyamory and parenthood that is just good, good, good, good, good all around. For example, I had a girlfriend who enjoyed trading childcare with me. A couple times throughout the week, she would drop off her daughter and I would watch our kids together, and then she would take them for equal amount of hours on the other part of the week, and then we would spend time together as well as one big polycule with kids.It was a dream come true on so many levels. It lifted the burden of being a stay-at-home mom, it made her life easier, my life easier. The dads appreciated the break that came with that as well. ...Yellow lights are examples of things that can be tough. There's usually a lesson involved in that, something that can make you dig in a little harder and recognize like, "This was hard, but it was okay." An example of that is, maybe I'm on solo parenting duty because my husband is on a date, and maybe that night, the kids were kind of rough. Maybe I got broken up with as well, and now I have to parent, and I don't really have time to process the breakup — and not have to simultaneously be like, "Have fun, babe."It's not going to kill me, it might make me a little bitter, and I might have to process those feelings later. It also might lead me to looking within and communicating some boundaries. ... That's yellow light. It's kind of shitty, but it leads to growth.A red light moment is something that there's no explanation, there's no "This happened for a reason," there's no reframe that's going to make it okay. It is just crappy. We say a red light moment is going to be where you're like, if you end up quitting polyamory, for lack of a better phrase, it's going to be on a red light moment.I just had one on the way here, actually. My lover asked me to go on a road trip with him this weekend and I couldn't because of the kids. I said no, and on the way here to drop me off, he was like, "Oh, so this new girl—" that he's dating, she's going to go with him.It's just like, "Ah." Evolved-poly me is like, "Yay. I'm so happy that you have somebody who can randomly go on a road trip with you and you won't be alone. Super happy." But human me is like, "I'm grieving. I'm grieving [to have a] world in which I have more help at home, that maybe we have two more wives or two more husbands or aunties or grandmas who can help my husband at home so that I can go on a random road trip...." There's no justification, it's just red light moment. ...
...What if you’re interested in opening up, but taking steps in that direction is causing unmanageable turmoil? While it may not be easy, it is possible to alchemize polyamorous pain points into secure intimacy, boundless pleasure, and deeper healing.That’s what happened for coach and sexual health counselor Irene Morning, who found healing for her own complex-PTSD through the practice of non-monogamy.
● Up pops another little ENM/ open relationships 101, quick and plain but the kind of thing the public needs to have put in front of it as large numbers start considering ethical non-monogamy: I want to try polyamory but don’t know where to start – how to open up your relationship. It appeared on the site of the UK's iNews newspaper (Nov. 21).
“Deviating from the social script of monogamy isn't about not owing anyone anything. It's really an exercise in responsibility, accountability and trust towards both your romantic or sexual partners and yourself.”By Megan WallaceIt’s 2022: monogamy is out, non-monogamy and polyamory is in. How could you miss it?......So in a relationship where you can sleep with or date multiple people, what does cheating look like?According to Marianne Johnson, a couples therapist and director of The Thought House Partnership, there is a unified definition of cheating that we can employ across all relationship styles. "Cheating can be thought of as a digression from the contract and the rules of the relationship, whether those rules are tacitly or explicitly defined," she explains....While the rules in non-monogamy are different and vary hugely from relationship to relationship, they do still exist. Whether it’s respecting boundaries set by a partner or promising to tell everyone involved about your sexual and romantic activities, breaking relationship rules set out by your partners can be a form of betrayal and even infidelity....Ana Kirova is the CEO of Feeld, a progressive dating app with over 20 sexuality and gender options. "Cheating to me is not solely defined by physical boundaries but transcends into a more nuanced realm," she says. "Any breach of trust or dishonest act can be considered cheating."You will see common themes of lying and a disregard for a partner’s feelings across all forms of cheating. This was true for 26-year-old Jackie*, who was formerly in an open relationship with a man she met on Hinge. ......Johnson says: "Non-monogamous relationships require more communication and an openness to renegotiate the terms of the 'contract,' as members of the polycule may evolve their needs and desires."...Amina sums it up: "People who are not necessarily the most considerate find themselves in all kinds of relationship dynamics."
Bumble's Dating Redefined Report is based on a nationally representative online survey of over 1000 Australians aged 18 to 59, conducted by Lonergan Research. ......As for the generation breakdown, Gen Z is the most supportive of ENM (42 per cent agreed), followed by millennials (36 per cent), and Gen X (24 per cent).
And again, because it really matters for our future:
The Russian family-cartoon series Masyanya
turned dissident. Watch. The cartoonist has fled.
Update: a brilliant sequel of turnabout, and a
message of empathy in wartime.
Here was a country with a tragic history that had at last begun to build, with great effort, a better society. What made Ukraine different from any other country I had ever seen—certainly from my own—was its spirit of constant self-improvement, which included frank self-criticism. For example, there’s no cult of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine—a number of Ukrainians told me that he had made mistakes, that they’d vote against him after the war was won. Maxim Prykupenko, a hospital director in Lviv, called Ukraine “a free country aspiring to be better all the time.” The Russians, he added, “are destroying a beautiful country for no logical reason to do it. Maybe they are destroying us just because we have a better life.”