Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 16, 2017

Ad campaign for Yoplait uses a polyamory theme

Her three lovers soon roll their eyes; they know her yogurt comes first. 

Remember that poly-themed TV ad in Australia for Tim Tam cookies, "Love More Than One"?

Now, newly posted in Advertising Age:

Yoplait's First Campaign for Oui Is Not Your Mama's Yogurt Marketing

By Jessica Wohl

Oui by Yoplait is General Mills' big bet responding to the explosive growth of brands including Chobani, Noosa and Siggi's in recent years....

The campaign stresses [Oui's] French roots. The woman playing the French girl is indeed French, and so are two of her three lover characters, all of whom have names that begin with Jean.

The tagline seen at the end of the spots is "Say Oui to Pleasure." There are also playful shots at some cliches, including her choice of pet: a French bulldog. "People appreciate the French female's iconic style — her confidence, her control and her celebration of small pleasures every day," says Yoplait Marketing Director Doug Martin. ...

The campaign comes from 72andSunny and was directed by Gia Coppola.

...The campaign includes TV, social, digital and print. The bid for a playful feel carries over to the packaging, with lines such as "Keep Smiling" and "Dance in the Mirror" appearing on the peel-away foil that tops the jars. ...

The whole article, with more (non-poly) videos. (August 14, 2017).

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal:

Meet Melanie, Yoplait's new polyamorous pitchwoman

By Mark Reilly

...Yoplait has been hammered in recent years by an influx of Greek-style challengers like Chobani and Fage. General Mills has tried its own Greek-style offerings, but it's obviously tripling down on the French theme for the new brand, which is based on Yoplait’s Saveur d’Autrefois, sold for years in France.

...Mélanie strolls through Paris on her way to be late for yogurt and coffee with her three French boyfriends, one of whom is actually dressed like a mime (I think it's Jean-Jacques). The campaign also includes print and digital spots with the tagline "Say Oui to Pleasure," a nod to the sort of carefree indulgence that goes along with a rich yogurt and social life. ...

Whole article (August 15).

For a good 10 years, according to people in know, the entertainment and ad industries (so tightly linked) have been salivating over the attention-getting potential of polyamory, but have been scared of going too far before the public is quite ready.

Now, predicts the ad agency Sparks & Honey, we're going to see a lot more breaching of that dam.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for us? Discuss.




August 10, 2017

Prevention mag now does poly

Prevention magazine, with a print circulation that declined to a mere 1.5 million last year, was pushing dietary supplements, organic foods, and "natural cures" in my great-grandmother's day. Founded by J. I. Rodale in 1950 and run by him and his son until 1990, it has since gone through nine editors and is grasping to ride new waves, including. . . .

Sex / Relationship Advice

My Husband Has A Boyfriend. Here’s What Our Life Is Like.

Stock photo: Getty Images

As told to Ronnie Koenig

When I met my husband, Paul*, we were both waiting tables in LA. ... I knew from the start that he identified as bisexual — in fact, the first night we hooked up he was in a relationship with a man.

...My friends told me I was crazy ... but the way Paul kissed me and handled my body that night in my apartment, I knew for sure that even if he liked guys, he was very much into women too — and really into me.

Prevention Recommends:
Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure Meds

...After six months, we agreed to an open relationship with certain rules. ... There was a lot of freedom but no secrets — and our devotion was to each other first and foremost.

With that kind of trust and transparency to ground our relationship, we both had a lot of adventures — together and with other people. ... The first time Paul and I had sex together with another guy, it was strange to see him going down on a man. But ultimately, I found it really sexy that he was so confident and open about what he liked.

After three years of fun and exploration, Paul surprised me with a ring. We decided we were done being with other people and wanted to give a traditional monogamous relationship a go.

...Then I met Oscar.

...We had a threesome, and it was both enjoyable and extremely weird for me. When Paul and Oscar kissed I could immediately tell that it was intense, and that it might be more than just a hookup.

...We saw movies, had picnics in the park, and started to develop our own rhythm of being together. After a few months, we started introducing Oscar to friends as "our boyfriend."

...A lot of people wonder what our life is like, and for the most part it's normal. Paul and I go to work, come home, and eat dinner together when we can. We do a lot of things with Oscar, like go drinking or to parties on the weekend, but sometimes it's just Paul and me, and sometimes Paul and Oscar go out together. Oscar and I are usually intimate only when Paul is there.

I don't feel like I'm sharing my husband — in fact, I feel like I have two times the love and friendship. ...

It's not a traditional marriage by any means, but it works for us. As long as we are all happy, Paul and I have no plans to stop seeing Oscar. We're not sure if we want to have kids yet, but if we ever do, Oscar would be an amazing uncle!

*All names have been changed

The whole online article (July 11, 2017).

● In Prevention a year ago: I'm In A Polyamorous Relationship (July 1, 2016).

As told to Julissa Catalan

I met Sean, my husband of 12 years, when I was 23 years old. He was working at a coffee shop and we instantly hit it off. And then, after a few months of dating, I fell in love with someone else.

I met Chris while I was away for the weekend, and came home to Sean and immediately broke down. ... And was completely shocked when Sean suggested I date both of them. I knew what polyamory was, but I never thought it was an option. I was blown away by the suggestion, and found it heartwarming that he cared enough about me to give me that.

...I instantly took to the flexibility the polyamorous lifestyle affords. For me, wading into those waters came easily; my body is just not meant to be monogamous. ... My biggest concern was making sure everyone involved was practicing safe sex.

...Chris went on to be the best man at our wedding (he brought a date) but after a few years together, Chris and I ended our relationship amicably. But the experience made Sean and me realize that we wanted to continue being polyamorous. The lifestyle let us support one another and allowed us to be ourselves. It let us to make connections with other people, without any hard limits or boundaries. We also found that dating other people didn't devalue our marriage in any way, because we felt just as connected as ever.

...Morgan has been living with Sean and me for 2 years now. We selected our home specifically because it's comfortable for all of us, and conducive to our lifestyle: It has two suites with private bathrooms and we also have a spare bedroom for guests — like Sean's current girlfriend — who want to spend the night. In a way, I have two bedrooms.

...Different poly people have different ideas about how to honor NRE while practicing safe sex. I'm well educated about keeping safe, and a bit paranoid about it. When we meet new people, I require testing — I have a list of diseases I want my partners to be tested for, and I also provide my results. It is a little awkward at first, but it's important.

Living honestly

My coworkers know about my lifestyle; same with Sean's and Morgan's. Our families all know now, too. Sean and Morgan's families are very understanding, and mine has come to embrace and accept everything. This past holiday season, Sean, Morgan and I took the same flight to see our families since they all happen to live in Northern California – I of course had the middle seat on the plane.

Having to explain polyamory to people who are unfamiliar with the idea, or have a knee-jerk reaction to things that are different, is really the only downside to our choice, but the pros heavily outweigh that con. ...

...We're even talking about having another ceremony to include Morgan next spring.

● And three months ago Prevention picked this up from Your Tango: 12 Principles Of Polyamory That Can Totally Benefit Monogamous Marriages (May 17, 2017). It's definitely a cut above those tabloidy first two.

By Jenna Jorgensen

I believe that understanding how relationships work is key to being happy in them....

A friend recently shared "The 12 Pillars of Polyamory" (by Kenneth R. Haslam, MD) with me, and I thought, gosh, these ideas are just too good to keep to myself. No matter what kind of relationship(s) you’re in, you will benefit from pondering these principles and figuring out how they apply to your life. ...

1. Authenticity
This is the first step in even determining what you want from a relationship: knowing who you are and what your needs and desires are. ... If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you be honest with anyone else?

2. Choice
... If you approach your relationships with choice in mind ("I choose to be here" rather than "I have to be here"), how might that change your outlook?

3. Transparency
This takes on a slightly different meaning in non-monogamous relationships, where individuals might have arrangements about how much detail they want to know about their partner's adventures with others. But in general, it's important to have high levels of transparency in relationships. Don't keep secrets from your spouse, your friends, your family members, your bridge partners.

Yes, there are topics that require delicate handling, and there are times when keeping information confidential on someone else's behalf might be the most ethical thing to do. Still, check in with your relationships every so often and ask yourself if you're being as transparent as you might aspire to be.

4. Trust

Duh. ... If you find yourself hesitating to trust someone who's a major player in your life with something important, maybe try to figure out what's going on there.

5. Gender equality
Again, in non-monogamous relationships this might take on a particular significance: participants should closely scrutinize whether they're putting gendered restrictions on their partners and if so, what purpose it serves. ...

6. Honesty
...You must be honest with yourself. You must be honest with others. Deceit, lying by omission, and fabrications have no place in healthy relationships.

7. Open communication
Everyone in a relationship needs to be kept in the loop about the happenings with its members. ...

8. Non-possessiveness
This one doesn't just apply to non-monogamous folks. Even married couples don't have the right to be possessive of each other's time, emotional energy, bodies, or other resources. You know that saying "If you love something, set it free"? Yeah, that. ...

9. Consent
...You should know the expectations and parameters of the relationship you’re entering so that you're able to consent to them consciously and knowledgeably. In non-monogamous relationships, this may require more explicit discussion of your boundaries (Is it okay to kiss other people? ...Which acts require previous discussion, and which can happen anytime?), but it’s also good to have these check-ins in monogamous relationships and friendships.

In the original poster's words: "Everyone knows what is going on in all the partners' lives and everyone AGREES to what's going on. If there's no agreement it's cheating. And if it is cheating then it is NOT Polyamory. It is cheating." Informed consent and agreement thus constitute the ethical foundation of non-monogamous relationships… and quite likely monogamous ones, too!

10. Accepting of self-determination
You cannot control your partner's, friend's, or family member's desires and life directions. Accept this fact. ...

11. Sex positivity
...At heart, it's about setting healthy boundaries for yourself based on consent, pleasure, and safety. It includes saying "no" to things as well as saying "yes" and "maybe later."
It involves not judging others so long as they're being honest and healthy....

12. Compersion
Compersion is the idea that you can experience joy when someone you care about is happy, even if you're not the source of that happiness. In non-mono circles, it tends to mean feeling happy when your partner has a good time with another lover. However, I think it could apply just as well to other areas of life....



August 2, 2017

Amanda Palmer on her open marriage with Neil Gaiman, now.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

I've fantasized about Amanda Palmer showing up at one of the national poly conventions, such as Poly Living or Atlanta Poly Weekend or Beyond the Love. Widely known as Amanda Fucking Palmer, she's an outspoken performer and singer (The Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn) who's been upfront about her open marriage with her husband: science-fantasy author/screenwriter Neil Gaiman. They are geek royalty and, whether they like it or not, a poster couple for successful open marriages.

Five years ago Palmer told Out.com,

I've never been comfortable in a monogamous relationship in my life. I feel like I was built for open relationships just because of the way I function. It's not a reactive decision like, 'Hey I'm on the road, you're on the road, let's just find other people.' It was a fundamental building block of our relationship. We both like things this way.

...The open-ness is grounded in total honesty with one another. We're very communicative with each other and we share everything. I think that's the way you gotta do it. I can't speak for anyone but myself, and there are a million ways to love and be in a relationship. But fundamentally, I think if you're going to have a really, truly loving partnership, you have to be completely transparent, communicating and sharing everything. Neil and I fall more and more in love with each other every day, and I think part of that is because we encourage each other to say more, share more, to peel ourselves open to each other in the middle of the night when the day is done and the real talking happens. It's not always easy, the peeling sometimes hurts, but the deep love it fosters is clear to see.

In 2013 during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (now on her website), she wrote,

"i actually know quite a few people (artists and otherwise) who are in open relationships, but don’t go around broadcasting it. neither do we. i don’t really hang with the poly community or go on “open marriage” pride marches. that being said, there aren’t a lot of people trying to oppress our way of doing things, not actively, at least. if people showed up with pitchforks on my lawn (and my friends’ lawns) regularly, doing some parades might start to look more tasty.

Last year she recommended The Ethical Slut and More Than Two to a questioner on Twitter, but if she's talked much more about the subject, it doesn't immediately pop up on the web. So, naturally, the poly world has been curious.

A few days ago she did talk more about it, on the celebrity-chat podcast Talk The Line. And my fantasy balloon kind of went pssshshhhh. Listen here:

The original site (July 28, 2017).

Palmer talks about their very primary open marriage from 31:30 to 36:45. No sign of anyone else being considered, like, an actual person, with, you know, feelings.

Maybe she's just been about getting it on with casuals with no hearts on the line, and that would be fine, but is that really all there is here?

My transcript:

...It was a condition of our relationship. ...The relationship that I came out of before Neil, [former guy] was a strict monogamist. And I was enough in love that I thought ya know, I'm in my early 30s, I have done a lot of slutting around. I'm really in love, I can do this. I can be done with sleeping with everyone I want to, that's fine. But the conversation came up pretty fast, 'cause when Neil and I met and started dating we talked about everything. And he was like, "I'm totally game to let you sleep with whoever you want," and I was like "Great! I'm game for that too. Let's definitely do that."

And to be fair, or to be totally honest, we agreed to shut down the openness of our relationship until further notice at least when I got pregnant, because it was too complicated. And it's been complicated. Being in an open marriage, or a polygamous relationship [sic], you might think it would make the relationship easier, simpler. It actually means you need to maintain a stronger relationship, a more communicative relationship. It needs to be so grounded, to weather the energy of other sexual partners, that if you're not really ready to do that work, I wouldn't recommend it.

And do you talk about it? Like "Hey darling, what did you do last night?" "I just went and fucked some guy."--?

Yeah, except that doesn't happen very often. Especially as we've gotten older and we've experimented with what works and doesn't work and what drives the other one into a jealous rage, we've had to impose sort of more boundaries and rules and understandings, because, fundamentally, we love each other and we are a primary relationship. And so anything that is going to threaten our marriage has to go. And, plenty of those things have happened. And any time something comes in to threaten our marriage, whether it's a breaking of trust, or a person who's slightly too crazy, or this that or the other thing. It's difficult but we have to sit there and talk about it, sort it and deal with it. And we deal with that — the same way people in "more normal" monogamous marriages, deal with all the shit they have to deal with. ... So a lot of it is the same set of issues, you just stick a different frame around it.

... A lot of it now is now like, Neil's in his fifties, I'm in my forties, neither of us are all that into super-casual sex. And neither of us are into sleeping with random crazy people. So, a lot of this happens in a more boring adult way.... Things like that do come up in conversation, and since it's been a number of years now since I've slept with anyone but Neil, I can't even remember. I'm so focused on my child right now instead....


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July 31, 2017

New, third edition of The Ethical Slut coming out in two weeks

A classic of the polyamory literature is being reissued in a new, modern edition for 2017.

The Ethical Slut, first published in 1997, introduced poly relationships to audiences far beyond the movement's New Age and Pagan wellsprings — although the word "polyamory" barely appeared in it. Authors Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (as "Catherine A. Liszt") gathered up much poly and sex-positive wisdom, won by many people's hard experience, and the book helped to establish much of this as standard poly doctrine. But it spoke mostly to people of the "independent agent" variety, who might now call themselves solopoly.

The first edition read like a romp and became a runaway word-of-mouth hit. Enough so that in 2009, Random House took it on and reissued it through Ten Speed Press in a second edition, revised and expanded 35% by the authors, with the new subtitle "A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures." To me, the second edition seemed to have a toned-down style for a wider audience. It also, for the first time, spoke directly to established couples seeking to open up. By that time these had become the most abundant form of poly newbies.

Now comes The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love, with authors Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton now listed in reverse order. It will be available August 15th (I haven't seen it yet). The publisher's description on Amazon says it has been redone to align with today's hot concerns:

For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two": couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.

Franklin Veaux, co-author of the competing guidebook More Than Two, praises the new edition to the skies in a blurb:

“The Ethical Slut is a classic, a book that helped launch the modern non-monogamy movement. Updating a book of such historical significance is no easy task, but The Ethical Slut, Third Edition succeeds beautifully. Where the original broke radical new ground, this edition is more nuanced, a book for a more complex age. In the third edition, we see the wide variety of forms ethical non-monogamy, and indeed human sexual relationships, can take. This new version brings a new focus on consent, talks about the many wonderful and varied ways ethical non-monogamy happens, and shows an appreciation for the vast range of human sexuality. This is The Ethical Slut for a new era, and cements the book’s place as one of the cornerstones of modern non-monogamous thought.”

—Franklin Veaux, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory

Here's a 7-minute audio excerpt from Janet Hardy's "The Ethical Slut Then and Now," a workshop she presented in June at the Festival of Really Good Sex in Melbourne, Australia.

You can pre-order.

Update August 15: The Multiamory podcast, by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack, interviews Hardy (Episode 132, August 15, 2017).


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July 28, 2017

Peter Singer on the future of polyamory

Here's one not likely to cross your radar elsewhere. In a Polish journal called Liberal Culture, Peter Singer, famous Princeton ethicist, is asked about polyamory and he declares for it, though with biological-determinist reservations that I think are overstated. He guesses that someday it may be adopted by up to 25% of the population.

Peter Singer is best known to the world for pointing out that despite appearances, humanity continues to become increasingly kind, moral, and civilized decade after decade. For instance, the average person on Earth is less likely to die by war or personal violence now than at any time in human history.

On polyamory, the migration crisis and right-wing populism

We meet Peter Singer in a Warsaw bookstore. The biography of Singer’s grandfather, “Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna”, has just been translated into Polish. Although the story’s main focus is on the changing fortunes of Singer’s family, it is often only a springboard to broader questions about ethical challenges we face now.

Emilia Kaczmarek: ...You revealed some very intimate facts about your family’s past. Your grandparent’s relationship started in a very unusual way. They were engaged in a relationship one would now call polyamorous. When I was reading your book, I had an impression that you were astonished by the lack of jealousy between them. Do you think it would be morally better if people could live in open relationships?

Peter Singer: I think it would. Certainly, people living in such relationships talk more openly about it than they used to, there is also more discussion about that in the media. It seems to work for some people, and I welcome that, but I’m not sure if it could work for everyone. I think that this feeling of jealousy might still sit pretty deep in a lot of people for reasons, which are rooted in our evolution.

So monogamy is rooted in nature rather than culture?

I am not sure if it’s more nature than culture, but there is definitely an element of nature in the idea that a man wants to know if the children he takes care of are actually his children, and in the fact that many women want to know if they can rely on their partner to help them provide for a child. In open relationships, the men can never be sure whose children they are raising.

Can you really explain people’s attitudes by this primal need to pass on their genes in times when so many of us decide not to have children at all, which leads to a serious demographic crisis in many developed countries?

What evolution has given us, is a strong drive for sex, not for having children. For 99.9 percent of human history, sex has led to reproduction. The desire for sex hasn’t gone away, but now we can have sex without reproducing. This is why it is completely understandable, from an evolutionary point of view, that nowadays people often choose not to have children. On the other hand, if men are going to care and support children, many of them do want the children to be theirs, in a biological sense.

So you don’t think that polyamory might provide a future model of love relationship in western culture?

I suppose it will become much more popular than it is nowadays, especially in advanced countries where societies aren’t very religious, but I would be surprised if it is adopted by more than, say, 25 percent of the population.

On the other hand, I don’t want to say that the current, typical model of a relationship will not evolve. The problem I mentioned before, the need to know who is the father, could be solved through genetic testing. So maybe in the future people will start to think: “Well, I don’t need to worry that she is having sex with other men because I can still find out whether her child is mine or not.” ...

Read the whole wide-ranging interview (July 27, 2017).



July 23, 2017

The Guardian/Observer: "A new way to love: in praise of polyamory"

And now the third in the trifecta of UK big-media attention to poly in the last couple days (see last two posts). Elf Lyons, an up-and-coming comedian and performer (photo below), declares bold and proud for poly as an ideal feminist way of life. She writes the cover story of today's Observer Magazine in the Observer, the Sunday sister paper of The Guardian.

A new way to love: in praise of polyamory

"It opens the boundaries between friend and lover in a safe way"

(Those awkward people with her are models, not partners.)

By Elf Lyons

I have never enjoyed typical monogamy. It makes me think of dowries and possessive prairie voles who mate for life, and historically all monogamous relationship models have owned women in some way, with marriage there for financial purposes and the ownership of property.

For the last few years I’ve defined myself as a polyamorist. ... It’s a philosophy. Rather than the active pursuing of multiple partners in a lascivious way, it’s the embracing and understanding that it’s possible to fall in love, and have relationships, with more than one person at the same time.

Alongside developing CEO-worthy skills in multitasking, polyamory is the most empowering way of loving that I have encountered. It gives women more autonomy than other relationship models ever have. Although monogamous relationship models work for many, they’re not the only way to have relationships in society. In non-monogamous relationships, success relies on everything being on the table from the start. I believe that it could be the huge relationship revolution that the feminist movement needs. ... It opens up the boundaries between friend and lover in a safe and transparent way.

"The giraffe-limbed clown and raconteur"
in costume for her performance "Swan"
...If I had known as a teenager it was possible to love more than one person, it would have saved so much anxiety, guilt and time spent writing awful poetry. ...

I discovered polyamory when I was 23. I met a parliament of poly performers at the Adelaide Festival who were hippyish, liberal and kind. These performers spoke about their partners, children, poly-families. There were ex-couples who were working together on shows while their other poly families toured elsewhere, married couples who had live-in partners, triumvirates where they all balanced an equal partnership. I was entranced by their openness. It seemed symbolic of our changing global world, and most peoples developing nomadic lifestyles where we travel for work and find love with others on the way.

...And the reality? Non-monogamy is rather ordinary and occasionally dull. Stereotypes of weird Eyes Wide Shut sex parties and Sartre/de Beauvoir/Olga ménages à trois aside, it’s like any normal relationship, except with more time-management, more conversations about “feelings” and more awkward encounters with acquaintances at parties who try to use you as their “Sexual Awakening Friend Bicycle”, i.e. that shy girl from book club will get drunk and put her hand on your leg, before leaning in to kiss you, hiccuping: “I really loved Orange Is the New Black.”

There are misconceptions – a date once grabbed me for a kiss unexpectedly despite the fact I had made it clear I was in no way interested (my words were exactly: “This is not going to work. We have entirely different opinions on the EU and you have just told me I am ‘very funny for a woman’.”) When I pushed him away he was shocked. He believed because I was “sexually awakened” he could do what he liked. Luckily my experiences have meant that I am more vocal and confident, and able to stand up for myself. ...

People often ask: “How can you truly love someone if you want to be with someone else?” and “Don’t you get jealous?” I think these statements enforce unhealthy relationship ideals. ...When you take a step back, drop your ego and realise you’re one unique component of someone’s life, it’s liberating and freeing. Jealousy ebbs away and you realise that, of course, they may find another person attractive, because we’re all different pieces of a puzzle. This has made me more comfortable about myself — I am not holding myself up to standards about traditional female beauty, because I can experience it in a hundred different ways.

...When I started getting to know people in the poly community it was as liberating as taking off an underwired bra. I have had partners of both genders. I didn’t have to “choose”: the people I met understood that it was possible to give infinite, equal love to both sexes. My confidence soared. I wasn’t hiding. Men and women had equal place in my life. I no longer felt like a pendulum, swinging from one to another. This refreshing awakening did result in many awkward conversations with my mum and dad though....

...Although I love sex, because of past unpleasant experiences I’m also mildly afraid of it. So when I started experimenting with non-monogamy the idea of being intimate emotionally as well as physically with more than one person was a challenge. But, the choice gave me a power and ownership over my wants which I felt I had lost and been made to feel ashamed about. I’m not saying I jumped in the sack with everyone I met. God no. I’m too busy. But through being less judgemental on myself, I relaxed, opened up to the people I trusted and started loving myself again. It forces you to be really honest, to live life with an undefended heart.

...In a time of censorship on women, increases in assault and constant critiques on how we should behave, polyamory and its manifesto of embracing our evolving feelings, sharing responsibility and communicating and working effectively with people from all around the world could help revolutionise the way we tackle privilege, inequality and control of women’s rights.

I have an authority and a voice that I didn’t feel I had before. My friendships are better, my health is better. Through being polyamorous and being a part of the community I have been made aware of issues, both personal and political, that need to be uncovered and addressed.

The world would be a better place if everybody was more open to polyamory. As well as that traditional idea, that it takes a village to raise a child, it would mean we’d all love more, and love better. Loving different people at the same time is like learning a different language. There are different rules every time and it’s always open for discussion. ... Every time you say “I love you” to someone it takes on a new meaning. It’s retranslated, and it’s wonderful.

Read the whole article (print issue July 23, 2017; online July 22).

Advertising experts say that to make the most impression on the public, hit them with your message in different ways all at once, rather than with scattered messages spread out in time.


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July 22, 2017

"Polyamory, non-monogamy and swinging – what are they and are they right for you?"

From the BBC World News yesterday to the lowbrow mass-transit Metro today, UK media are on a tear about polyamory. Tomorrow comes a big piece in The Guardian. But first, currently on UK Metro's website (excerpts):

Polyamory, non-monogamy and swinging — what are they and are they right for you?

Sometimes, three isn’t a crowd (Picture: Irene Palacio for Metro.co.uk)

By Miranda Kane

...While I’m sure my poly friends have happy moments in their relationships, I always see a lot of posts on Facebook and other social media sites where I just think the whole thing looks exhausting.

But then I watch married friends and think the same.

Basically, I think I’ve already talked myself into keeping the very happy relationship I currently have with my cat, my sofa and Netflix.

But if you’re interested in the sea of possibilities when it comes to this brave new world, then here is a quick guide to what’s what....


...If someone describes themselves as non-monogamous, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re a player.

But it could.

...It’s OK to be non-monogamous, but it’s not OK to lead someone on. ...

Polyamoury [sic]

Polyamorous relationships are a lot more committed, and the poly community was recently celebrating the news that three gay men were allowed to marry legally [sic].

It’s not always heteronormative or heterosexual. You might have a boyfriend who has a boyfriend, while you also have a girlfriend who has a boyfriend and a husband, who is going out with a non-gender conforming individual.

Sometimes all parties communicate with each other, sometimes not.

...It takes full support and trust from everyone involved, which is kind of why it’s nice. Wouldn’t we want that from any relationship?

But also, like any relationship, it takes a lot of hard work and communication....

Speaking as someone who can barely open my Google calendar without breaking into a cold sweat, I think the logistics alone put me off.

Open relationships

I cannot tell you how many times I have had this conversation with one side of a long-term couple.

‘I just think we need something else. I thought about an open relationship.’

‘So you want to see other people?’

‘I think so, but I love my partner so I’d always come back to them.’

‘And what about if they started to see other people?’

‘…we’d have to talk.’

Open relationship seems to have become the umbrella term for ‘I’m bored and need something else, but I don’t want to let go of this lovely comfy blanket I have.’

...Who knows, by actually talking to them you might stumble upon why you’re unhappy in the first place.


The red-headed stepchild of the ‘non-monogamy’ family.

I’ve found a lot of serious polyamorous families like to steer their ship far away from the ‘swingers’ title.

I can’t blame them, as the two are very different.

And yet… it’s just fun!


When I’ve asked my friends if they’ve ever gotten a visit from the Green Eyed Monster, It’s always been fascinating to hear how they’ve overcome it, and that’s only if they’ve identified with being jealous at all.

Sometimes, when they’ve taken the plunge, they’ve realised they’re a stronger person for it. Sometimes they’ve realised it’s cemented a relationship. Sometimes they’ve realised it’s just not for them.

Everyone is different, and maybe that why we should be more open to having relationship with even more people.

The whole article (July 22, 2017).



July 21, 2017

BBC World: "Polyamorous marriage: Is there a future for three-way weddings?"

The gay triad who registered as a family in Colombia last month continue to be very out, proud, and photogenic — prompting BBC World News to publish a long article today, with video, not just about them but other polyfamilies who have come out.

The BBC has treated poly well and reported on its significance before; for instance, Polyamorous Relationships May Be the Future of Love (June 23, 2016).

Polyamorous marriage: Is there a future for three-way weddings?

By Jasmine Taylor-Coleman

A so-called "throuple" in Colombia have been hailed as having the first legal union between three men in the world. So will we see three-way marriages in the future?

"Victor tells the bad jokes," says Manuel.

"Very bad," agrees his partner Alejandro.

"I tell the smart ones," says Manuel.

Manuel José Bermúdez Andrade, Víctor Hugo Prada and Alejandro Rodríguez are all in a relationship together. They used to be four but their boyfriend Alex Esnéider Zabala died in 2014.

"The decision to marry was there before Alex died, the four of us wanted to get married," says Víctor.

"Alex's cancer changed our plans. But I never gave up."

When Alex died, the remaining three, who live in the Colombian city of Medellín, say they had to fight to be seen as his partners and get access to his pension.

Alex Esnéider Zabala was in the relationship for eight years before he died in 2014.

It made them all the more determined to get legal recognition of their relationship.

They are now planning their long-awaited wedding ceremony after a supportive lawyer signed a special legal document last month. ...


The paperwork formalises their union, but it is not a full marriage certificate. Like in most countries — except those that accept polygamy — it is illegal to marry more than one person in Colombia.

But Alejandro, Manuel and Víctor's legal success is a big step forward in a world where group marriage has been firmly off the agenda.

Could cases like theirs signal the start of a concerted effort by campaigners to allow it?

"The movement is absolutely going to develop if the activists so choose," says Hadar Aviram, a professor of law at University of California in the US.
How does a polyamorous relationship between four people work?

Prof Aviram said she found little appetite for marriage among polyamorous groups when she first started her research in 2004 but she began to see a change around 2012.

A study by the US-based organisation Loving More the same year found that 65.9% of more than 4,000 polyamorous people said would want to marry multiple people if such marriages were legal.

...Prof Aviram believes changing attitudes may be due to wider acceptance of same-sex marriage around the world, making way for new taboos to be broken.


...Legal marriage may still seem a distant prospect but cases like that in Colombia are giving hope to others in three-way relationships.

"It's really encouraging," says DeAnna Rivas, a married mother of two from Florida.

The 28-year-old suggested to her husband, Manny, that they start experimenting with another woman in 2014. "I grew up having crushes on both men and women," she says. ... "When we met Melissa it just felt right."

DeAnna, an art teacher, now lives with both Manny and 20-year-old Melissa James; they share incomes, childcare and household duties, and a bed.

The family find it helpful to have three incomes but the best thing is the "amount of love in our home", Manny says.

Melissa, Danny, and DeAnna. Their kids Vaneza and Gabriel "love having two moms", according to DeAnna.

Manny, 30, says some people are upset by the relationship   a previous employer even threatened to sack him as a result   but others are intrigued. ... "When I say it was more my wife's idea than mine, then people get more understanding."

The trio admit they have all struggled with jealousy but they have learned to be more open with each other.

They are now planning a wedding ceremony for June 2020. ... Manny and DeAnna are giving Melissa guardianship of their two children, who already call her "Mamma MJ". Melissa is also planning to change her name to Rivas.

Without marriage rights, though, people even in the most committed polyamorous relationships do not have access to the same legal and tax benefits as married couples. ...

'There's nothing wrong with it'

The idea has provoked backlash, including in deeply Catholic Colombia where there are calls for the Medellin lawyer to be investigated.

...Many people in polyamorous relationships are also sceptical themselves; they may have no desire to go public or embrace traditional family models, says Prof Aviram. "People don't necessarily want to resemble the mainstream," she says. ...

The whole article, with video (July 21, 2017).

Update next day: Big, positive feature story on the NBC News website: Meet Colombia’s First Legally Recognized ‘Throuple’.


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