relationship

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Love Interrupted

By Millie Jackson

It gets tiresome hearing songs and watching movies that feature someone making a heart-wrenching choice between two people they love because the rules of monogamy prohibit having more than one lover (though it commonly occurs). This classic Hollywood storyline could get a much needed rest if polyamory were put into play, and plots would be anything but boring. Writers would have unlimited possibilities to create refreshing alternatives to the lose/lose scenario of heartbreak and abandonment--someone left out in the cold while others are often haunted by their own choices.

Why are so many people offended by a win/win mentality—as if there is something wrong with having it both ways (or three or four or more ways)? Isn’t that actually ideal--all parties getting to be more satisfied and being happy for and with one another? Instead, we short-change ourselves in the romantic realm when in reality we could honestly and lovingly negotiate win/win/win relationships—thriving on abundance with all involved benefiting.

The Ultimates's picture

Sex Party Poopers

After experiencing the success of the Pleasure Salon, we asked the question, “Can we replicate this multi-dimensional sexual experience in a sex party setting?”  We’ve been enjoying swinger sex clubs for years, but were getting jaded with the “swinger only” scene.  And, even though we’re swingers, we’re considered “fringe” because we dabble in other sexual sub-cultures (including the BDSM scene).  We discussed the potential results of adding different types of sex-positive people to our sexual circle and concluded that the mix would certainly spice things up for us.  So, in the interest of science, we planned “Our Party Experiment.” 

We felt we had enough research to begin our experiment since we had visited swing clubs and dungeons multiple times, and had a variety of friends in these sub-communities.  Based on our experiences and discussion with our roommate, an experienced Dom in the BDSM community, we constructed a set of variables that we felt would help us conduct Our Party Experiment (and contribute to a fun evening of sexual play). 

We began with the assumption that all sex-positive people like sex and parties and that, if introduced, they would intermingle and have wild sex.  Our hypothesis was: 

“If we put a group of diverse, sex-positive people together in a liquor-lubricated environment and give them a safe, comfortable place to have sex, we can expect a wild sex party with interesting orgies."

book of blue's picture

Fluid Dynamics

Painted mirror. Photo by Eric Francis.

Emotional life is often equated with water, but I think that the element air provides some suitable metaphors for relationship. Though our feelings are obviously involved (take it from a Pisces with Cancer rising), we do a lot of thinking and theorizing about our relationships, and this can, actually, be helpful at times (this, from my Aquarius Moon). It’s possible to get lost in one’s feelings; sometimes a good theory can bubble up and if we follow the bubbles we get to the surface. Some ideas about how we feel can invoke the Buddhist concept of inner witness, as long as we don’t analyze things to death.

Consciousness is a mix of feeling, thought and creativity mixed with the presence of the body. That covers most of the elements; let’s consider air more closely.

One of my favorite moments in all of literature that describes compersion comes from the 1944 book Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche. This is a book about how to fly airplanes. Wolfgang begins the book by explaining to his readers that they need to, “Get rid at the outset of the idea that the airplane is only an air-going sort of automobile. It isn’t. It may sound like one, and smell like one, and it may have been interior decorated to look like one; but the difference is – it goes on wings.”

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Independence Daze

 

By Millie Jackson

Around the 4th of July, I always find myself thinking a lot about freedom.  Freedom, as in having full license and liberty to be our true selves, trusting the power of our individuality and having the strength and courage to stand apart instead of being controlled by outside influences.  Self-acceptance is at the heart of emotional wellness and healthy self-expression.

Every year, I use this holiday to assess how freely I am expressing my genuine self.  Having never been comfortable in the closet, I am continually expanding the ways that I am visible and vocal as a polyamory activist and member of the LGBTQ community. 

How free are you in expressing who you authentically are (not necessarily in regard to your sexuality but in all aspects of your being)?  How influenced are you by what someone else has determined to be right, wrong, moral, normal, etc?  Are you trying to define yourself within the context of someone else’s antiquated and fear-filled ideologies?  Trying to be someone else’s definition of “normal” deprives this world of the gift of our unique and beautiful expressions.

Just because “normal” is “the usual or expected state corresponding with a pattern” does not mean it is necessarily healthy or productive.  Having rarely fallen into the category, I am suspicious of that which is considered “normal”.  I see how adeptly fear and misunderstanding have been used to manipulate people on behalf of narrow and corrupt agendas for the sake of preserving “tradition”. 

arvan's picture

Fat Sex: Personal Relationships

This video is posted by a group called the Fatastic 5, in particular a woman identified as Natasha.  I looked at their youtube channel for topics and content quality.  I think they bring a great deal of positive, honesty and directness to the conversation of sex, gender, body. 

This particular video is a good opening example of the forethought and real life experiences that many of us have in relating to and accepting our own bodies.  Check them out and subscribe to their youtube channel.

-arvan

Serena Anderlini's picture

The G Tales: Episode 2 - Three: Or, Why Is Mono Poly Too? (Part 2 of 2)

(Sculpture by Regina Reinhardt)

“Sounds like poly to me,” I confirm.

“Well, Dante knew about it back in the fourteenth century.”

“Oh,” I wonder, “what evidence do you have?”

“This sentence, ‘love, that releases no beloved from loving,’ nobody knows what he intended because it really means both.”

“What do you mean both?”

“It’s ambivalent, it means both the reciprocity of love, as in A loves B and viceversa, and the circulatory nature of erotic energies, as in A loves B loves C loves D loves E and so on. And all translators, readers, critics, theorists, have been baffled by it for centuries. Yet they all refer to it.”

“Oh, I get it, a literary trope.”

“You may say that. It’s more that the number three was in Dante’s mind, I think. He knew that perfect reciprocity is virtually impossible, that there is always some triangulation, even in the most perfect, most reciprocated type of love.”

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: A Book Worth Opening Up

My local polyamory support and networking group hosts a bi-monthly book discussion.   This has been a great incentive for me to read a variety of books related to polyamory.  Having historically not dedicated much of my life to reading (sadly, not even some of the books assigned in high school and college), a large percentage of the books I have now read are about aspects of consensual nonmonogamy. 

Though there is an ever-growing number of books on the topic written with varying degrees of expertise, one I am definitely recommending was our group’s most recent selection, Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino (2008).   A variety of relationship styles are addressed including partnered nonmonogamy, swinging, polyamory and monogamy/nonmonogamy combinations.  I particularly appreciate Taormino’s distinction of polyamory from other forms of nonmonogamy.  I am often frustrated by the confusion that is perpetuated by the over-use of the term “polyamory” when there are other descriptive terms that better capture a specific relationship type that truly is fundamentally distinct from poly (such as swinging).  Taormino does a wonderful job of fleshing this out.

Polyamory gets a lot of coverage in Taormino’s book and she also delineates as separate relationship styles solo polyamory (choosing not to have a primary partner while none-the-less being dedicated to polyamory), polyfidelity (a committed primary partnership with more than two people) and mono/poly combinations (an agreement where one partner is monogamous while the other is nonmonogamous).  I do not consider these relationship dynamics to be separate from polyamory; but by treating them as distinct and addressing them in their own chapter, Taormino is able to highlight the nuances of each.

Serena Anderlini's picture

The G Tales: Episode 2 - Three: Or, Why Is Mono Poly Too? (Part 1 of 2)

(Sculpture by Regina Reinhardt)

 

“The dichotomy between selfless and selfish love is deluded because affectional types of love are necessary for our survival as a species, and are therefore not as selfless as they are believed to be. It is self-defeating because all forms of love have an erotic component, the denial of which causes unhappiness and produces substantial amounts of hatred, often enough to defeat the forces of love.”  From Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet

“one must learn to love one before one can love many,” from Intimate Dialogs

“amor ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,” from La Divina Commedia

“love, that releases no beloved from loving” (Allen Mandelbaum tr)

The latest about G is that she’s not dead. She’s actually doing well, she tells me. Enjoying the summer, and thinking about numbers.

“Is mono part of poly?” she asks on the phone.

“How can it be,” I say, “if you’re mono you’re not poly. It’s either poly or mono. Don’t you know about those famous mono partners and the havoc they can cause, how they always manage to spoil the game?”

arvan's picture

Upcoming film shatters gender roles, makes men irrelevant

The Baby Forumla, a new film from Canada explores the concept of reproduction between two women using only their DNA.  The science is not that far off, really (via stemcells). 

I have not seen the film, but the premise already has me committed to viewing it.  There is a nice commentary on the premise, science and ethics of the film however, by Sheryl Ubelacker at the Globe and Mail

arvan's picture

Stroke survivors report loss of sexual desire, blurred gender roles, anger and fatigue

(Image courtesy of Partners in Recovery)

From Physorg.com:

Suffering a stroke can have a profound effect on relationships and lead to significant changes in how couples relate to each other on a physical, psychological, social and emotional level, according a study in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Researchers from Northern Ireland have come up with four key recommendations for clinical practice after speaking to 16 married stroke survivors, nine males and seven females, aged between 33 and 78.

They found that sexual relationships were significantly affected after a stroke, gender roles became blurred and feelings like anger and frustration were confounded by a lack of independence and ongoing fatigue. 

“All the participants perceived stroke as a life-changing event” says Hilary Thompson, who is based at Mullinure Hospital, Armagh, and carried out the research with Dr Assumpta Ryan from the School of Nursing and Institute of Nursing Research at the University of Ulster.

“They faced a continuous daily struggle to achieve some sense of normality and that required huge amounts of physical and mental effort” adds Hilary, a nurse specialist, who earlier this month won the Patient’s Choice Award at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2009 for the support she provided to the family of a stroke survivor.

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