polyamory

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Not Half the Parent You Used to Be

By Millie Jackson

A common argument against polyamory is that it is not a healthy life-style for the children involved. I have never found this argument to hold up. Although I do not have children, I have been involved with people who do. What I have witnessed are very content children getting a lot of positive attention. They are being raised in a diverse and accepting environment while witnessing communication, negotiation, and a team mentality. Often times, they are completely unaware that their “extended family” includes partners of their mommy and/or daddy.

The same guidelines of what is appropriate in regards to what children see and hear about sex are basically the same whether parents are monogamous or polyamorous. How parents portray sex and relationships to their children and how they approach conversations about sex varies greatly from one parenting style to the next. A room full of parents who are proclaimed monogamists will disagree, perhaps passionately, on when and how to approach these topics with children. There will, similarly, be a variety of approaches among polyamorous parents too. Keep in mind that there are not wild orgies happening in front of the children. Nobody should be having sex in front of children regardless of the family dynamics.

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Poly--Unsaturated

By Millie Jackson

Knowing your limits is an important component of any healthy relationship but is especially true for living a successful polyamorous life-style.  Compared to the built-in rules associated with monogamy, the individual freedoms afforded in polyamory could lead some people to behave like “kids in a candy store” (which certainly is their prerogative).  For me, polyamory is about the quality of relationships more so than the quantity.

Polyamory espouses the idea that love is abundant; but for most of us time, energy and money are not. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and we do have to sleep.  Polyamory also espouses the idea that having additional partners enhances existing relationships rather than detracts from them.  That can take some prudent time management and often takes dialoging, negotiating and compromising. A team mentality is helpful if not essential.   Polyamory doesn’t function well when approached as “every person for themselves”.

Annabelle River's picture

Havelock Ellis and Olive Schreiner: A History Mini-Lesson

For all the increasing mainstream news coverage of polyamory, most articles still take the perspective of "exposing" something very new and innovative.  Which I understand, because most people haven't heard of us.  I've had a lot of positive coming-out experiences to a lot of open-minded people, but I've never come to out to anyone outside the BDSM Scene without having to explain what "polyamory" actually means.  Certainly the campaign for visibility is a relatively recent phenomenon.  The word was only coined in 1990, and The Ethical Slut only published in 1997.  Before that, the terms "polygamy" oddly classified us with authoritative patriarchies (like Mormons), or phrases like "open relationship" inappropriately trivialized our "secondary" partners. Even "open relationships" get sensationalized as a modern phenomenon; a recent CNN article claims, "The 1970s introduced the concept of 'open marriage.'" (Emphasis mine.)

alan7388's picture

Will gay marriage leave relationship radicals in the dust?

Poly infinity heartA question: How much of the appeal of polyamory actually comes from its stated purpose -- b

Annabelle River's picture

Adventures of a "Bad Girl" with Sinus Congestion

In the cultural binary between "good girls" and "bad girls," I definitely spent my formative years as a "good girl":  I got straight A's, mostly didn't drink or smoke pot until college, and I was too insecure to act on my slutty fantasies.  But then I became a sadomasochistic polyamorous adulteress who writes about sex on the internet, which I'm told now qualifies me as a "bad girl."  So today I was waiting in line at Walgreens to buy Kleenex for my runny nose (you know, the way that "bad girls" do) and I was highly amused to see that this month's issue of Cosmopolitan proclaims on its cover: "Bad Girl Issue: For Sexy Bitches Only."

The magnificent Evil Slut Clique has already intelligently skewered the November 2009 issue of Cosmo (as they've done to previous issues), and I should confess that I didn't actually spend $4.29 to bring the magazine home to quote it more accurately.  But considering my own "bad girl" credentials - and the long line to buy Kleenex - I caved to my curiosity and flipped to find out which "bad girls" made the honor list.  And there in the top left corner of the page was Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, First Lady of France, and a reference to her infamous quote, “I‘m monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.”

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Breaking Up is Hard to View

By Millie Jackson

Why is it that we refer to relationships as long-term or short-term?  I don’t hear the expression medium-term used even though that probably characterizes most relationships better than saying long or short.  Granted, these are relative terms.  Someone who doesn’t tend to stay in relationships very long might consider one year to be long-term.  Others might be more likely to characterize a one year relationship by saying “we weren’t together for very long” or “we were only together for a year”.

This isn’t meant to be a debate about what constitutes short, medium or long-term. It is a pondering of why we are not taught how to break-up.  Given the reality that most people have several relationships throughout their life-time, it seems that breaking-up is a basic skill that we all need to learn.

alan7388's picture

The Poly-Awareness Movement: Taking the Long View

Poly infinity heartAt the Poly Pride Picnic and Rally in New York last Saturday, I gave a speech on what I

alan7388's picture

Polyamory Pride Picnic & Rally: My Report

Poly infinity heartLast weekend I went to Polyamorous NYC's ninth annual

Annabelle River's picture

Pro-Polyamory-Rights, Pro-Disability-Rights Lesbian appointed to EEOC

Is there any way that I can sufficiently thank Chai Feldblum?

Last week Barack Obama appointed Chai Feldblum as the first open lesbian to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her Georgetown Law professor biography page lists some of her outstanding and diverse credentials in the realm of fighting discrimination:

"J.D. Harvard... A former law clerk for First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Coffin, and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Professor Feldblum has been a leading advocate and scholar in the areas of disability rights, health and welfare rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and workplace issues.  She played a leading role in the drafting and negotiating of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She has also helped draft and negotiate the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and various medical privacy bills and regulations."

Annabelle River's picture

Sometimes Any Publicity Is Good Publicity

Thank you to Pendard at the Geeky Sex blog for alerting me: Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council just gave a speech to his right-wing base all about polyamory. Of course, very predictably, Christian Evangelical Pat Fagan does not like polyamory; one of his claims is: "In a polemical vein, one could say they 'snatch' children away from their parents and from the culture of monogamy in ways analogous to the Ottoman Turks of the 14th century who raided boys from Christian nations to train them as their own elite warriors, the Janissaries."

I think the youngest person to whom I'm even out as poly is twenty-one, and I don't remember having kidnapped any children lately, but whatever. What thrills me about this speech is: The Family Research Council is helping us with visibility. Because most people have never even imagined the concept that anyone could carry on multiple sexual relationships at the same time honestly.

As I've written here before, more people can wrap their heads around the phrase "open relationship" - but then they make false assumptions about how seriously committed we can be in "open relationships." A massive, massive quantity of Western literature and film has been devoted to the "tragedy" of falling in love with two people and having to decide between them. A massive, massive quantity of Western literature and film depicts people cheating dishonestly, and the "confession" is always a moment of great trauma.

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