Celebrating our community (IllustratedJai/ Deviant Art)
Two main reasons
A bunch of stuff:
The kids sound alright. For instance,
"Honestly I think it's waaaay more boring than most people would
think. Most of the time, my mom wouldn't introduce a partner to me
unless it was a long-term relationship, so most of the time I got the
single mom experience. For the most part, it was so completely average
other than knowing my mom had two girlfriends and eventually I also
got a stepdad. The worst part was around 6–8th grade when kids found
out and started bullying me for it. They asked all kinds of disgusting
sexual questions about my parents.
"Eventually, I learned to just not tell anyone unless we were close
and I knew they were cool. I only ever had one person I trusted enough
to actually come to a family picnic where my mom's partners would all
be there. My mom's partners aren't my parents but they are part of my
life and my family. They're wonderful and supportive and have helped
me through some horrible dark times in my life. I'm grateful to have
such a wonderful, loving family."
● Poly and neurodiversity: How come? Hang with a
self-identified poly herd for any length of time, and you may notice that
more than a few of us are geeky or techy, into board games, fandoms and
hobbies, and maybe a bit neuroatypical — with perhaps at least a
glimmer of what used to be called Asperger's syndrome, now called "on the
spectrum," meaning the autism spectrum. Everybody is subclinical something,
and this is often our something. We certainly have an abundance of IT
professionals, sciencey types, and makers of collections, and in the
movement's early years we were known for neo-pagans, science fiction fans,
folk music people, Ren Faire larpers, librarians, and knitters.
for the poly/neurodiverse overlap usually get
cited. Leanne Yau, a.k.a. Poly Philia
— an indefatigable poly educator and influencer on social
media — succinctly sums them up in her reel "In many ways, I'm polyamorous because I'm
There are so many social norms and rules that neurotypical people
take for granted, and
just don’t make sense to neurodivergent
people. ... Polyamory is all about throwing the existing rules out the
window and writing your own, so you can customize and tailor them
to your own needs.
...Another thing that polyamory really champions is direct communication. There’s no kind of assumptions of what the other person is
feeling or thinking, you just say it out loud and state your
boundaries and make everything extremely clear. And this really
works well for me, again as an autistic person. So overall, I
think that polyamory really benefits neurodivergent people.
Do I fit into this picture? Well... I look around and not one other
human out of 8 billion has taken it on to track, collect, excerpt, and
comment on more than 4,000 polyamory newspaper, magazine, and
new-media articles, radio shows and TV broadcasts for the last 18
years — with an archival copy for future scholars kept at the
Kinsey Institute no less. Talk about collections and hobbies. For the
first 8 or 10 years of this project, when the movement was still
small, I think my coverage of English-language news media worldwide
was nearly complete (thank you readers, and thank you Google News
Alerts). So... yes.
● NRE 101s. If you think sex education in this
country is pathetic, don't get me going about love and romance education.
For instance, how many of us were told in high school about the actual biochemical division between the dazzling transcendence of
falling in love ("limerence"; what polyfolks call NRE, new-relationship
energy) and its later replacement, if all goes well, with more ordinary,
back-to-Earth, comfortable steadiness? That shift is not "falling
out of love." It's not failure. It's a normal, well-defined
biochemical transition that can be actually tracked by sampling
your blood for the shift from one specific batch of hormones to their
You are merely coming down from a psychedelic drug. That
doesn't mean your insights during the trip were necessarily invalid.
How many people go through needless shame and assumption of failure,
needless breakups and broken engagements/marriages, because
no one ever told them?
Nowadays there's more public
education about this topic
(John Gottman and Helen Fisher get a lot of credit). Quite a bit of this education comes by way of the poly community — where a
good grasp on how romantic love works is kinda critical.
For instance Well+Good,
a health and
wellness magazine, just ran an article about this transition, and all the
experts it quotes are poly-education figures: Emily Matlack, Leanne Yau,
Gigi Engle, and Zachary Zane: Are You Falling Out of Love, or Has New Relationship Energy Just
(originally titled "Am I Falling Out of Love or Just Comfortable?") We
polyfolks often find ourselves in live-fire training about this kind of stuff.
YuriA / Shutterstock
By Amanda Chatel
When we first start dating a person with whom we truly connect, it can
feel like someone set off a bunch of fireworks in a dark tunnel.
You're not just smitten; you're infatuated. You feel like you're
floating on a cloud and the only thing that matters is spending time
with that person. ... You are in the midst of what's called new
relationship energy (NRE) and you're loving it.
...[It's] kind of like being high all the time and feeling all the
But while this honeymoon phase is amazing, if you get ahead of
yourself, your unrealistic expectations can sabotage your
relationship. At some point you have to take off the rose-colored
glasses and protect what you have. That means embracing your NRE but
doing so in a realistic way.
Take it slow
When it comes to new love, taking it slow can feel impossible. You
want to be inseparable, and during this first stage of falling in love
you don't care about being realistic. You feel this way because your
hormones are going nuts.
According to a 2016 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism,
love is "an emergent property of an ancient cocktail of neuropeptides and
" This cocktail is comprised of testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, and
norepinephrine cortisol all doing their thing to kick lust and
attraction into high gear
[they forgot phenylethylamine –ed.]
, while leaving any rational thoughts behind. As much as this feeling
can make anyone feel intoxicated, it's important to take time and
enjoy the present as opposed to rushing into things. It may feel good
and even right to think about a future together, but you're really
putting the cart before the horse when you do. Instead, try your best
to revel in the present, as opposed to picturing your dream wedding
Boundaries exist so we can both respect and protect ourselves. But
when we're feeling the hot heaviness of NRE, it can be hard to stand
our ground and sometimes that means letting people get away with
things we normally wouldn't.
"When we're nervous about holding onto someone else's approval we can
compromise on boundaries," relationship expert at eHarmony Rachael
Lloyd told Mashable. "But once you start doing that, your own sense of
self can erode and you can soon lose yourself in the relationship.
You'll know when a boundary is overstepped because you're likely to
suddenly feel triggered emotionally, within your body." When you're in
the midst of NRE, the last thing you want to feel is a trigger that
shakes you to your core. You can prevent it from getting to this point
by slowing things down, being true to yourself, and expressing your
Don't ignore the other people in your life
One of the worst things someone can do when experiencing NRE is to
ignore the relationships they already have. In the moment it can feel
like everyone is secondary to this new person. But putting friends,
family, and other lovers on hold is never a good idea. It's also
unfair to everyone involved.
Although 2010 research by Oxford University found that everyone loses
two friends on average every time they enter into a new relationship,
you still want to do your best to maintain what you have. ...
As a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Psychology found, no
matter one's culture, friendships are paramount to having healthy
lives, both mentally and emotionally. People feel less alone, more
supported, and have higher levels of self-esteem thanks to
friendships. Also, the people we've known for years are the ones who
ground us — something we all need when feeling the intensity of the
Spend time solo
It's so easy to get caught up in new love that we can forget who we
are. Suddenly "me" becomes "we," and then you're a shadow of yourself.
While it's normal to give parts of yourself to a partner, it should
never be at the expense of who you are and what you believe. You can
help minimize this by making sure you're championing your independence
by spending time alone and doing things you enjoy so as to not lose
yourself in the NRE.
...It may feel like torture to be away from the person you're seeing
when you're in the throes of NRE, but let yourself feel that and
Learn to recognize your NRE behavior
..."Part of the connotation with NRE is that there can be a sort of
You are absolutely allowed to immerse yourself in NRE as long as
you're able to come up for air from time to time. ...
Any relationship exposes different sides of people. A wonderful
manager could be a horrible husband. A great friend could be a horrible
skydiving partner. Every person contains multitudes....
But holy shit -- romantic and sexual relationships, especially
polyamory, really show a lot of someone. Polyamory gives a unique
demonstrate people's attitudes and priorities in ways that almost no
other setting allows.
I've seen sides of my friends that I would never had guessed existed....
N.B.: Every person contains multitudes.|
So much of my exploration has been outrageously positive. I had no idea
how much love could be contained in a single body, extended to several
people at once, until I really started getting involved in polyamory. So
many of my friends who I already respected then commanded adoration and
personal growth after they showed me just how beautiful kindness and
compassion could be.
I've also seen selfishness and insecurity lash out from the same people.
Feelings almost contradictory to their benevolence, integrated with
their core, stare at me with a ferocity that scares me. ...
I’ve been openly polyamorous since mid-2020 (though I could sense I
was poly since high school).
Usually, I have 3–4 ethically non-monogamous partners at a time. But
none of my previous partners really “vibed” with each other — they
all had very different personalities. ...
...Then my partner of three years, D— , started going out with J— .
...J and I [had] met at a cafe by chance, and we decided to have a
date that night. But J and D met beforehand, and since they were
together by the time I met them, we all decided to have a beer at a
We talked all night, vibing, transferring to D’s apartment to talk
more and drink less, and the rest is throuple history.
...How does the dynamic work? Freedom with structures of ambiguity.
And honesty. That’s how it works.
...A lot of folks assume we use some kind of complex rubric that
handles our attention/ time/ compersion
as a throuple. But nope. Aside from having three people
involved, we function pretty much like every other normal,
non-toxic, not-super-PDA couple. We only have one constant: Be honest with everything.
– You had sex with someone outside of the
throuple? Say so. And be honest about your level of protection so
everyone knows what to do.
– You didn’t actually come? Don’t fake it. Let
your partner learn your buttons. Tell me what you actually like.
– You feel underappreciated or need assurance?
Say it. This is a safe space. There is no need for
passive-aggressiveness or double meanings (unless we’re exchanging
snarky, sarcastic jokes).
The beauty of being in an ethically non-monogamous setup is that
there are no real incentives to being dishonest. What would you be dishonest for? ... One can honestly say
things like, “I have a date on that weekend so I’m not available.
How about another day?” Or “That person looks really hot! I want to
The “forbidden fruit” concept likely factors in, too. Since many
“taboo” things in monogamous setups are not “banned” in our
relationship — we find ourselves rarely doing them. And the result
is that we focus on each other more. ...
Whenever we experience conflict or negative emotions, we always try
to go back to the idea that whatever the other person says
only comes from two places: A place of genuineness, or a place of
...This assures us that no one is doing or saying anything out of
malice. We care about each other and we know that. So if there are
misunderstandings — that’s what they are. Misunderstandings.
Which can be corrected with honesty. And being self-aware enough to
recognize that certain negative emotions often come from one’s
I [was] in a 5-year monogamous relationship. And various mono
relationships that didn’t last a year. I’ve also been single. ... So
far, the healthiest relationship I’ve had is the dynamic I’m
Perhaps that’s the beauty of truly healthy relationships. When there
are no templates or expectations, we can put our focus more on
ourselves: Our dreams, our goals, our preferences in food,
experiences, sex. Us.
By focusing growth on ourselves as individuals, instead of trying to
grow the relationship itself, we make the relationship healthier.
And it grows organically as a result.
● New Book department:
Jessica and Joe Daylover, poly
since 2015, launched their popular Remodeled Love podcast
in 2020. They sought in particular "to normalize healthy and ordinary
expressions of polyamory and the fruits it can bring when children enter the
Part personal narrative, part guidebook, this book shares the Daylovers’
polyamorous journey, pregnancy, and the difficulties and triumphs of
raising small children while non-monogamous. They also tackle current
topics within the world of polyamory such as hierarchy, couple's
privilege, mononormativity, and more.
This book speaks to the newly polyamorous, the poly-curious, as well as
the experienced, and also contains a workbook section with journaling
prompts for boundary-setting for those embarking upon the amazing path
of polyamorous parenting. ... 15+ chapters of navigational tools for
those who are curious about this journey so many folks deem impossible.
The Presidency of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation [will
hear] an appeal regarding a ruling by a federal judge for limiting
marriage and cohabitation between more than two people. This opens the
door to the possible recognition of multiple unions in Mexico....
● Lastly, you knew it would happen. All the Sloths found the poly
Why have I been ending posts to this polyamory news site with Ukraine?
Because I've seen many progressive movements die out because they
failed to scan the wider world accurately and understand their
position in it strategically.
We polyamorous people are a small, weird minority of social-rule breakers. Increasingly powerful people
call us a threat to society — because by living successfully
outside of their worldview, we expose its incompleteness.
One couple, many hands. "A new mural painting in Kyiv
to Ukrainian volunteers. If you have
helped Ukrainians during this
year and a half, you
may consider yourself to be one of them."
Our freedom to choose our relationship structures, and to speak up
for ourselves about the truth of ourselves, is just one way we depend on a free and pluralistic society
that respects people's dignity to create their own lives,
to access facts,
and to speak of what they know.
Such a society is possible only where people have power to govern themselves, combined with legal structures that are at least
supposed to guarantee the rights of all.
Innovative people, communities, and societies who create their own
lives, and who insist on the democratic structures and legal
rights that enable them to do so safely, infuriate and terrify the
authoritarians who are growing in power around the world and in our own United States
. Now with direct mutual support
Such rulers and would-be rulers seek to stamp out other people's
freedom to choose their lives — by intimidation, repressive laws,
inflammatory disinformation and public incitement, abusive police power, or eventually, artillery.
For what it's worth, Polyamory in the News received more pagereads
from pre-invasion Ukraine over the years (56,400) than from any
other country in eastern Europe.
But that is only the start.
For those of us born since
World War II, we are seeing the most consequential war of our lifetime
. Because we have entered another time when calculating fascism,
at home and abroad, is rising and sees freedom and liberalism and
social tolerance as weak, degenerate, delusional —
inviting easy pushovers. As Russia thought it saw in
Ukraine. Now the whole world is watching what we will do about it.
The coming times may require hard things of us. We don't get to
choose the time and place in history we are born into; we do get
to choose how we respond to it. Buck up and be ready.
Need a little help bucking up? Take perspective
. Play this
. Another version
. More? Some people on the eastern front
helping to hold onto an open society, a shrinking thing in the
world. Maybe your granddad did this across a trench from Hitler's
troops — for you, and us, because a world fascist movement was
successfully defeated that time, opening the way for the rest of the
2oth century. Although the outcome didn't look good for a couple of
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.”
Social attitudes in Ukraine tend traditional, rooted in a thousand
years of the Orthodox Church, but not bitterly so like often in the
US; the ideal of modern European civil society is widely treasured,
and social progressivism has room to thrive. The status of women is
fast advancing, especially since the 2022 invasion
). And a reported 57,000 women
volunteer in the armed forces, flooding traditionally male
bastions, including as combat officers, artillery gunners, tankers, battlefield medics, and snipers
. (Intimidating video: "Thus the Witch has Spoken"
And in December 2022, Russia made it a crime not just to speak for
LGBT recognition, but to speak for "non-traditional sexual relations."
Until last year Russia had a polyamory education and awareness
Polyfolks are like one ten-thousandth of what's at stake globally
. Ukraine must have our continued material aid for however long as it
takes to win. Speak out for it.
Women fighters in a trench in the Donetsk region
US authoritarians (such as Sen. Ted Cruz) are
saying that allowing women in front-line roles is a woke plot to
weaken America's armed forces. Ukraine puts that shit to bed. Do you
have a relative who talks like that? Send them this video link
to Vidma, who commands a mortar platoon, recounting the tale of one of their battles in Bakhmut – the Verdun
of this war.
Don't miss Polyamory in the News!
Labels: #ChildrenOfPolyamory, #NRE, #PolyamoryBooks, #PolyNeurodiversity, kids, NRE