Sep 302011

You can't go wrong when it comes to Sadie Smythe, author and blogger at Sadie's Open Marriage. So, this recent interview with her is definitely worth reading. Her response to the inevitable question about jealousy is especially great. Smythe says:

. . . I've been called a proponent for open relationships, but I’m really a proponent of designing the relationship of your choice -- making the relationship look the way you want it to look, not the way others expect it to.

What about jealousy? In terms of being confronted with who you are, one of the biggest components you have to deal with is the jealously factor. In the traditional monogamous marriage jealousy occurs -- he's looking at the waitress, flirting with a friend — and you feel these feelings, and it's almost expected. But when you are in an open relationship, and there's actually a person to be jealous of, it forces you to go inward in a way you wouldn't otherwise. What is jealousy? It is fear turned in on itself. What do I fear? I fear losing him? But the reality is that I could lose him anyway.

. . . What have you learned? When you start talking to your husband or wife about sex and about what you really want -- providing both you are being accepting of that information and not judging it -- it can be really powerful . . . I think everyone should make their relationship what they want it to be. Design it to their own specifications.

Read the rest here.

Sep 262011

Jordan R.W. Robinson, a senior film student at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), is hoping to find poly couples to participate in his senior project: a documentary about poly relationships. The call for participants reads:

Are you currently in a relationship with more than one partner? If so I would love for you to be a part of my upcoming student documentary!

. . . The purpose of the film is not to criticize or affirm polyamorous (multiple partner) relationships, but rather explore your everyday lives together and the story of how your relationship came to be. I'm also interested in investigating why poly relationships lack the general stigma that is often seen in heterosexual society.

So, what's in it for you? As a student and especially as a student filmmaker I can not offer to pay participants for their involvement in the documentary (should the film receive some sort of award or grant I would be happy to share though after expenses), but what I can offer is a chance for you to tell your stories and for you to play a part in the validation and acceptance of LGBT lifestyles. Very little exposure of poly relationships have been made to both mainstream academia and society at large so you would be a significant contributor to that being changed.

Robinson is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so he is looking for poly couples in/around the midwest. He may be able to travel up to 300 miles from his home depending on university grant approval. Robinson hopes to begin filming near the end of October, and wrap up the project by early December in order to submit the film to the Lightworks student film festival at the University of Michigan.

If you are interested in participating in Robinson's documentary, email him at dieselSPE [at] gmail [dot] com to set up an initial iChat or Skype call.

You can read/see more of Robinson at his production blog.

Sep 192011

From Friday, October 7th through Sunday, October 9th, Polyamorous NYC is hosting the eleventh annual Poly Pride Weekend. So far, the list of festivities includes a rally in Central Park, a Super Massive Cuddle Party, and an Infinity Party.

In an email blast sent out a few days ago, Justen M. Bennett-Maccubbin wrote about the first ever Poly Pride rally, held on September 15th, 2001.

The city was in chaos. The entire country came to a halt. What purpose did an event about self-respect in a sexual identity with flamboyant drag queens and various forms of light-hearted entertainment have in a city just days after almost 3,000 of its citizens were killed?

. . . The original purpose of the event for that year shifted completely from one of cheerful celebration to somber communion. Vince, one of the planners brought little American flags to put in the ground around the stage, and many of the acts changed their tone.

. . . In times of great sorrow association can be a powerful defense against pain. At that moment we needed to be surrounded by friends, families and lovers. The turn out of the event demonstrated that Polyamory is about alot more than simply the freedom to have multiple partners. It's about compassion and companionship. Empathy and understanding. Courage to live differently and strength to live honestly.

. . . Today we look back and realize if this event survived through 9/11 and is still around 10 years later, then there is probably not much that we can't get through.

Polyamorous NYC is still on the look-out for volunteers, speakers, and entertainers for this year's Poly Pride Weekend. They can also be followed on Twitter.

Sep 142011

Have you ever listened to others discuss polyamory disparagingly and wanted to speak up? On Good Vibrations Magazine, Jezebelle Jay has written a personal account of what she did when this happened to her. At a potluck with some coworkers, she hears her boss and one of her coworkers talking about one of their clients, who is polyamorous.

My coworker stated, "My understanding is that it's much more prevalent in the Bay Area than ever before." My boss chuckled and stated, “I just don’t get why a person who cannot handle one relationship well thinks they can handle more than one relationship at all!” She went on to name fear of commitment and lack of communication skills as this client's issues . . .

I was so torn. Because it was MY lifestyle they were talking about, I felt constrained, the tension building, I wanted to give them the input from a direct source that might help them understand me and others better. I wanted to share the abundance of the life I have chosen and how these choices could actually be healthier than relationships that end up in divorce or affairs. However, I was not ready to out my personal life to my boss. I was just too worried that she would judge me.

So I kept my mouth shut. Until my boss stated, "I just don’t understand what their children must think." Oh my goodness. I could not restrain myself any longer.

By calmly explaining her opinion, Jay is able to articulate to her boss why children in polyamorous homes do just fine. Thankfully, her boss begins to understand.

Jay's experience is a reminder of how powerful it can be to voice your opinion. Read the rest on Good Vibrations Magazine.

Sep 102011

As polyamory becomes an increasingly more mainstream topic, I thought this article in The Atlantic was interesting: Two Views of Monogamy From Kanye West and Jay-Z on 'Watch the Throne'. The article is mostly a close examination of lyrical content; the writer eventually concludes that Jay-Z is more concerned with monogamy, while Kanye West is in favor of non-monogamy.

Some of the most interesting tidbits about Kanye West are excerpted below.

The only vision of domestic bliss we get is decidedly non-traditional: "I'm a freak, huh, rock star life / The second girl with us, that's our wife."

. . . To an ever-increasing extent, [Kanye West’s] rap fixates on the idea of sanctioned polyamory, in which sleeping around jibes with having a committed relationship . . . He's trying to establish a new order, to evangelize for Dan Savage-ordained good-giving-gameness between lovers -- an acceptance of kink that the outside world condemns. For Kanye, as for a lot of guys, that kink is having multiple partners. "Hell of a Life," off 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was about this; on it, he fantasized about being married to a permissive porn star who'd let him get with whomever he'd like.

. . . In Watch the Throne’s opening number "No Church in the Wild" -- a song about having the ability to write one's own rules -- he rhapsodizes about a new religion: "No sins as long as there's permission' / And deception is the only felony / So never fuck nobody without tellin' me." A few lines later, his mind drifts to a dream girl marked by two tattoos: "One read 'No Apologies' / The other said 'Love is Cursed by Monogamy.'"

Read the rest on The Atlantic.

Sep 082011

Alan, the writer behind the awesome blog Polyamory in the News, has launched a new website which rounds up poly events. The site, Alan's List of Polyamory Events, lists all major poly events (gatherings, festivals, cons, and more) coming up within the next 12 months. The site will be continually updated.

Additionally, at the bottom of the page, one can find resource lists for finding local poly groups and get-togethers.

If you have an event (of wide geographic interest only) you'd like Alan to add to the listing, post about it in the comments section of the site, or email it to alan7388 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Sep 062011

There have been a few articles recently about same-sex couples and how they express non-monogamy. The first, entitled Domestic Bliss?, was published in the New York Press. It focuses on the bucking of gender roles, but also on the ways that same-sex couples negotiate non-monogamy.

. . . the ways in which young, opposite-sex couples view marriage have changed substantially over the past several decades. And if the experts are right, then, as ironic as it may seem, it could turn out that these "conventional" couples may just happen to find their best role models for the sorts of marriages they want to construct for themselves by looking at those of pioneering same-sex marriages.

. . . negotiating outside of society's dictates and standards, something same-sex couples have been forced to do, allows each person to more clearly express and receive what they want and need in a relationship -- so the resulting relationship allows each person to be more truly themselves and satisfied about the things that matter most.

This piece includes a magnificent quote from Barbara Carrellas.

An open marriage might not be for you, but perhaps there is some other area in your marriage where you could use, to your benefit, the same tools that some other couple is using to negotiate their sexuality.

Another article published in The Advocate focuses on Dan Savage's term "monogamish," and how couples today are utilizing it. This piece asks, "Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing?" and highlights several different relationships that have prospered under non-monogamy.

Sep 022011

Sadie Smythe (blogger at Sadie's Open Marriage) is writing a book on parenting within non-traditional relationships, and she wants to hear from you!

As a parent living in an Open Marriage, the most-asked question I receive is, "What about your daughter?" So, I have decided to write a book that answers this question and all the others that go along with it. Questions such as "What do you tell her about your relationship?" and "How do you think it will affect her worldview?" and ohsomany more.

. . . So I am looking for others like me (and unlike me,) who have designed their relationship in a way that suits them, but which might be considered to fall outside of that traditional relationship paradigm -- married and living and parenting separately, unmarried and living next door to each other, polyamorous parenting, swinging parents, queer parents, transgendered parents, kinky moms and dads, etc. -- who would be interested in being interviewed and quoted in the book.

Interviews can be either anonymous or credited. Email Smythe at sadiessmythe [at] gmail [dot] com.