Mercedes Allen's picture

Polygamy as Prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada

Xtra published an excellent article in October of last year on

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  • alan7388's picture

    "Sex at Dawn" and the future of the polyamory movement

    "Sex At Dawn is the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948."

    Clarisse Thorn's picture

    Love Bites: An S&M Coming-Out Story (mirror)

    Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism

    My coming-out story was first published in February by "Time Out Chicago". I am grateful to them for the publication, but the license with them is not exclusive, and so I've decided to mirror the story here on my blog. Because this version is under my direct control, it will have the most up-to-date links and other followup information. If you would like to mirror my story on your own site or blog, please let me know -- I'm always available at [ clarisse.thorn at gmail dot com ].

    I was very drunk. My perceptions had a frame-by-frame quality, and the evening didn't seem immediate: pieces of it were foreign, disconnected as a dream. I was being bitten very hard on the arm. It would leave marks the next day.

    I was so muddled by assorted things that even now I can't sort out how I felt at that moment. When Richard's nails scored my skin I gasped, but I didn't ask him to stop. I flinched away, but he kept a firm grip on me. "Beg for mercy," he said softly.

    Frame. Skip. I discovered that a mutual friend of ours had seen us, stopped, and was sitting on the grass across from Richard. "Hey," he said. "You shouldn't do that."

    "It's okay," Richard said, "she likes it," and pulled my hair hard enough to force me to bow my head. I do? I managed to think, before thought vanished back into the blur of alcohol and pain. Our friend's face loomed over me, concern sketched vividly on his features.

    I closed my eyes.

    "Mercy," I whispered.

    Clarisse Thorn's picture

    Am I evolving away from monogamy?

    I’m just getting back from vacation, and during my trip a friend turned to me and asked, “So what’s up with you and polyamory?” So it seems like as good a time as any to post this rambling ….

    Many alternative subcultures — including my main squeezes: science fiction and fantasy, gaming, and goth — overlap considerably with radical sex subcultures. That is, if you’re in one subculture, you’re likely to be familiar with the others. There’s an especial lot of overlap with consensual non-monogamy, particularly polyamory. (The other “main” sex subculture for consensual non-monogamy, swing, is better-represented among the mainstream.) The famous science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein was a fierce proponent of polyamory; indeed, when I first read his book Stranger in a Strange Land in middle school, I felt super frustrated by how negatively he portrayed monogamy.

    As I got older and started integrating into alternative subcultures, I got more and more exposure to polyamory. I also got more and more exposure to “polyvangelists”: people who, like Heinlein, scornfully dismiss monogamy as “less evolved” or “less intelligent” or “more selfish” than polyamory. It enraged me. “Honestly,” I always said, “I really don’t care if you want to have multiple boyfriends and/or girlfriends, but quit telling me I’m wrong because I don’t!”

    Annabelle River's picture

    The Privilege of Not Defending Oneself

    I've lately felt an unfortunate pressure to defend polyamory again (with apologies to etymologists).  I usually ignore the judgments of the uninformed, but then there's the friend of a friend who may or may not have been joking when she scoffed that she'd never let me near her boyfriend.  And the polyamory-focused indie film that's actually all about how it's kooky and doomed.  And the absolutist, all-caps-laced rant on the usually sex-positive The Stranger blog with profound metaphors like "such idiotic bullshit" and questions like, "Ever wonder why they all will fuck any damn thing that will hold still long enough?"  So I could use my blog to paraphrase all the same points of The Ethical Slut, Opening Up, and Polyamory Weekly.  But they're already making the crafted argument/explanation pretty well.  My personal version is mostly sentimental: I love two people.

    And I remember one poly-book-club meeting where someone suggested we all go around the table and tell everyone "why" we're poly.  It irritated me, because it had nothing to do with the book we'd read, and do monogamous people ever go around a table explaining why they're monogamous?  I politely listened to the chain of people paraphrasing The Ethical Slut, and I didn't disagree with any of it, except that I had to wonder about the poly community's talking-about-our-feelings fetish.  When it got to me, I simply stated, "I'm in love with two people.  I don't want to lie to either of them.  ...That's it, really."

    EvilSlutClique's picture

    The Ethical Slut

    We recently got a copy of the new revised and updated edition of The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy to review, because...well, we're us. Although we were familiar with the book, none of us had ever actually read the first edition, which obviously was a huge oversight being that we're Evil Sluts and all. So, a big thank you to the awesome people at Eden Fantasys for hooking us up so that we could remedy the situation.

    Let's start with the obvious. Of course we're all on board with the idea of reclaiming the word slut and refueling it with new, positive intentions, so there was plenty for us to like right away in the book.

    In most of the world, “slut” is a highly offensive term, used to describe a woman whose sexuality is voracious, indiscriminate, and shameful. It’s interesting to note that the analogous word “stud,” used to describe a highly sexual man, is often a term of approval and envy. If you ask about a man’s morals, you will probably hear about his honesty, loyalty, integrity, and high principles. When you ask about a woman’s morals, you are more likely to hear about whom she shares sex with, and under what conditions. We have a problem with this. 

    So we are proud to reclaim the word “slut” as a term of approval, even endearment. To us, a slut is a person of any gender who celebrates sexuality according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you. Sluts may choose to have solo sex or to get cozy with the Fifth Fleet. They may be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, radical activists or peaceful suburbanites.

    Our approach to a sex-positive language is to reclaim the original English words and, by using them as positive descriptors, wash them clean. Hence our adoption of the word “slut.”

    alan7388's picture

    Polys: Winning the Race to Define Ourselves... So Far

    Poly infinity heartI'm just back from Loving More's 2010 Poly Living Conference near Philadelphia, and the thi

    Annabelle River's picture

    An Open Letter to Marie Claire

    Dear Marie Claire Magazine,

    Thank you for publishing Pamela Druckerman's, "How I Planned a Menage à Trois."  For all the shock-value usually attributed to sexual exploration, Druckerman's focus on negotiating with potential partners over coffee is greatly refreshing.  She resists the sensationalist cliché that threesomes are invariably traumatizing and the opposite sensationalist cliché that threesomes are as glamorous as they look in porn, and instead reports her honest experience.  More of this, please.

    However, I'm frustrated how Druckerman glosses over, "In practice, I was shaken up," in the last couple sentences.  Up until that point, planning and having her threesome feels either fun or banal, and then she's "struck by how emphatically [she] want[s] [her] husband."  Why then suddenly shaken up?  Is she feeling jealous?  Or does she feel that N or her husband have violated any of her boundaries?  Or is she shaken up by others' judgments that she's "supposed" to feel shaken up?  Druckerman shows so much introspection up until that point, but as soon as she decides that actually her desires are "conservative" (and therefore "normal"?), she quits analyzing.  That strikes me as lazy journalism.

    And since Druckerman has decided against having any more threesomes in her life, why doesn't Marie Claire feature any of the many women who have more - and more positive - experiences to share about their threesomes?  Or any of the many women who have initiated them, as opposed to acquiescing to a man's fantasy?  I respect Druckerman's choices, but there's also a huge community of polyamorists and swingers who could provide better insight into why some women really, really like group sex.

    Yours sincerely,
    Annabelle River 

    PS If you too would like to write the editor of Marie Claire, the email address on their website is joannacoles at hearst dot com.

    (Posted at Annabelle's Manifesto)

    book of blue's picture

    The One and the Many

    View from the railroad bridge in Rosendale, New York, 2007. Photo by Eric Francis.

    Planet Waves by Eric Francis
    The other day, an email came floating into my inbox from a website called Care2, a green-styled corporate site purportedly dedicated to saving the world, claiming 12.5 million subscribers. The subject header of the email read, "Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Do Open Relationships Work?"


    Naturally, I thought: this ought to be interesting.
    The writer titled her analysis like a boxing match or a legal case. Mono versus Poly is now in session! All Rise! The article commenced as such (literally, its first words): "Non-monogamy is about one thing -- sex. And sex is good."
    (You can tell she learned her writing style from The Bible.)
    It went downhill from there, fast. Faster than I thought possible without jet propulsion and a lot of lube. "And sex with different people -- either concurrently or over the course of a lifetime -- is good too. Sex is so good that some people are addicted to it. Sex makes people do crazy things and it makes people feel amazing things. I love it just as much as anyone else, but there is more to life than sex."

    Serena Anderlini's picture

    What's a Poly Planet? - An Open Space for Out-of-the-Box Thinking about Sexual Freedom, Science, Health, Ecology, and How They Relate

    "So, what's a Poly Planet?" asked Anton Diaz when he interviewed me at Daka/Dakini back in October, 2009.  This blog is about the multiple answers to that question.

    My life's work is about the social and cultural forces that can create the paradigm shift toward a poly future where humanity is at peace with our gracious hostess, planet Gaia.  These forces include the sexual freedom movement; the global peace, health and ecology movement; the poly movement, the bi movement, the holistic health movement, the dissident science movement, the pagan movement, and many other forces that seek to co-create an integrated sense of love and life on the third planet.

    This blog will host all kinds of contributions to that discourse, including news, reflections, debates, reviews, dialogs, interviews, videos, comments, and more.  Why am I doing this?  The task is challenging, to say the least!  The reality is that many years of research across disciplines, cultures, languages, and discourses have persuaded me that, for our species, there is either what I call a 'Gaian future,' or no future at all.  So allowing all those interested access to this knowledge isn't just an option among many--it's a sheer necessity.
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