Poly community emerging in South Africa

In South Africa, a country of 49 million, the poly community is growing. There is a comprehensive website for South Africans, and the community recently received some attention in the form of an article in City Press, a South African newspaper.

The article snags a few quotes from Capetonian polyamorists Arno and Christel Breedt, as well as Raam Naicker, moderator of South African online polyamory group Zapoly.

Naicker and Christel explain that there are no statistics on the poly community in South Africa, which is still somewhat hidden -- but the numbers are definitely on the rise.

Stories like this are important because, as Alan at Poly in the Media explains,

Modern, egalitarian, gender-neutral polyamory is a noteworthy introduction to Africa for its contrasts to traditional patriarchal polygamy, an ancient fact of life in many regions. South African President Jacob Zuma, for instance, has four wives. This is legal and is generally considered acceptable or only mildly embarrassing . . . South Africa is the only country on the continent with a visible polyamory movement as far as I can tell.

Read the whole thing at City Press.

Advice columnist supports and commends polyamory

It's clear the tides are turning when an advice columnist openly discusses the concept of polyamory in response to a reader's question. In her column for the Canadian Huffington Post, columnist Colette Kenney fields a question from a woman who has been married for 22 years but has become interested in exploring non-monogamy. Kenney first responds:

Thanks for your question. I will admit that because my readership is not necessarily the polyamorous type I was torn about whether or not I should answer your question. But when I reflected on how I would answer it, I realized there are actually some really great points that are good for all kinds of relationships -- poly or otherwise.

She goes on to explain how vital communication, honesty, and forgiveness are -- in both poly and monogamous relationships. In equating the two, she is effectively normalizing polyamory, which is very refreshing. Plus, she finishes her column with some very kind words.

I will openly and happily admit that I am not polyamorous myself, nor do I ever think I could handle the head-and-heart ache of entering into such a relationship. But I will say this: I commend anyone who successfully navigates these kinds of relationships. For to do so, I believe, requires saint-like patience, forgiveness, acceptance, trust, and non-attachment.

Read the whole column at the Huffington Post.

Loving More’s polyamory retreat one month away

Just a reminder that Loving More's 26th annual polyamory retreat is taking place September 7-9!

The three day, two night retreat will be held at the Easton Mountain Retreat Center in Greenwich, New York, which is located on 175 acres and provides a calming atmosphere in which to unwind, explore, disconnect from technology, and engage with and learn from other polyamorous folks. Feel free to swim, hike, hot tub, and more --  past retreats have included live music, dance parties, snuggling parties, drum circles, and movie nights.

Additionally, there will be over a dozen workshops and playshops from experienced presenters from all around the country. The entire schedule is now available for you to peruse online!

The basic retreat fee includes all meals, use of Easton Mountain facilities, camping, and workshops. A limited number of bunkhouse rooms/beds are available at an extra cost.

Registration is currently $330 for Loving More members. Register online today!

Bloggers weigh in on poly reality show

Ever since Showtime's Polyamory: Married & Dating premiered three weeks ago, the internet has been abuzz with opinions about it.

The blog Modern Poly has reviewed episodes one and two, and has documented the positive and negative reactions to the show on Twitter and beyond. Blogger Kiki lamented the lack of diversity on the show, while Brian Ballard discussed the editing style and Jane Doe asked whether the show plays on stereotypes of poly folks as sex-obsessed and drama-mongering.

Psychologist Deborah Anapol, who has written several books on polyamory and was instrumental in the formulation of the modern poly movement, wrote about the show on Psychology Today, calling the reality format "certainly more enjoyable than parading a poly family or two out to be interviewed by a talk show host and then letting a hostile audience have at them as was the style back in the day."

Polyamory: Married & Dating is also the subject of Polyamory Weekly's latest podcast, in which Minx and LustyGuy discuss the accessibility of the characters and their communication skills.

Also notable are the responses from mainstream, non-poly sources, like this review at A.V. Club, and this article on Gawker, calling the show "the best reality show on TV." The writer asserts that the communication-heavy poly lifestyle is perfect for the interview-based, reality show format. Although some of his attraction to the show is based on its "trashiness," he acknowledges that his fascination has depth:

The emotional articulation of the four described people makes for riveting viewing -- not since the early days of The Real World have I been so obsessed with watching people sit around and babble about themselves and their lives, nor have I so deeply lamented that they only do it for 30 minutes once a week . . . While the show illustrates the emotional complications and possible turmoil that result from loving more than one person, it humanizes those involved to a degree that we've never seen. It is at once a cautionary tale and an argument for the freedom to participate in these kinds of living/loving situations. As such, it is as complicated, strange, hilarious and involving as these situations clearly are themselves.

Polyamory: Married & Dating can be found on Showtime on Thursday nights at 11 p.m.