A journalist for an international, reputable publication wants to write an intimate, thoughtful longform piece that follows a married couple as they start the process of opening up their marriage to ethical nonmonogamy. Ideally, this couple is in engaging in couples therapy as they navigate this new phase of their marriage; those conversations, recounted or recalled, would provide structure for the story and a way of clearly translating the complexity of the thought process of the couple. The couple could remain unidentifiable; ideally, the therapist would use his or her name, although that could possibly be discussed as well. This article would seek not to sensationalize this phase of the marriage, but explore it as an increasingly logical, even possibly conventional option, in a world in which the traditional family has already been reconceived and marriage itself has expanded its definitions. The piece, which could be part of a larger cultural reframing, has potential for high impact. If you're interested, please email asktristan [at] gmail.com and I'll connect you with the journalist.
Announcing the Explore More Summit! A 10-day virtual summit January 28-February 6, 2016 hosted by Dawn Serra. Explore More Summit features intimate interviews with 30 experts from around the world on all things sex, relationships, and self-love including Allison Moon, Amy Jo Goddard, Ashley Manta, Barbara Carrellas, Bianca Laureano, Charlie Glickman, Conner Habib, Cyndi Darnell, Dan Savage, Devi Ward, Elena Lipson, Feminista Jones, Erin Lee Kaufmann, Gina Senarighi, JoEllen Notte, Karen B.K. Chan, Lauren Marie Fleming, Dirty Lola, Meg John Barker, Nadine Thornhill, Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson, Marlene Wasserman, Reid Mihalko, Sophie Delancey, Stacey Herrera, Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg, Toby Hill-Meyer, Victoria Rosa, Virgie Tovar, and me, Tristan Taormino! Trust me...these talks are PHENOMENAL.
All of the talks air for free on their designated day. If you register for the summit before January 28, you'll also get a free workbook emailed to you each morning during the summit with all kinds of prompts and questions that build on the talks. Get all the details about the free interviews, bonuses, and upgrades!
Participants needed for Qualitative Study
Vanilla and Kink: Married Couples in Which One Partner Identifies as a Part of the BDSM Culture and the Other Partner Does Not.
Looking for a legally married couple:
- At least 18 years of age
- Married for at least 1 year (including open-marriage and other variations)
- Male and female partnered marriage
- Speak and write English language fluently
- One partner self-identifying as a part of the BDSM culture/community for at least 1 year and the other partner self-identifying as not specifically BDSM (including vanilla, kinky but not identifying as BDSM, etc. )
- Not currently pregnant or experiencing psychosis or suicidal ideation
Due to the limited time and resources, this particular study focuses the above specific population. Future research will include a variety of types of committed relationships, sexual orientations, etc.
For questions or interest in participation, contact:
Catherine Meyer, MA, LMFT #88224, Cmeyer2 [at] alliant.edu
Supervised by Hao-Min Chen, Ph.D., Hmchen [at] alliant.edu
Goal of this study is to understand how married couples communicate and negotiate the rules, roles, and expectations about their sexual relationship when one partner identifies with the BDSM culture and the other does not.
All identifying information will be kept confidential.
I’m currently seeking 20 female and male individuals who are interested in speaking about their experiences of being in a marriage in which one partner identifies being in the BDSM culture and the other does not. The interviews are part of a doctoral dissertation study (entitled Vanilla and Kink: Married Couples in Which One Partner Identifies as a Part of the BDSM Culture and the Other Partner Does Not?) which is required to fulfill the requirements for the doctoral degree of the Couple Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University, Irvine campus. The project supervisor for this study is Hao-Min Chen, Ph.D. The study is interested in learning about and understanding how married couples communicate and negotiate the rules, roles, and expectations about their sexual relationship when one partner identifies with the BDSM culture and the other does not. Criteria for participation includes the following: at least 18 years of age, male and female partnered marriage, ability to speak and write the English language fluently, self-report being a part of the BDSM community for at least 1 year, be in a marriage for at least 1 year (inclusive of open-marriage), and not currently pregnant or experiencing psychosis or suicidal ideation. Interested individuals will be asked to fill out a short demographic questionnaire (about 5 minutes to complete) and participate in an interview, which will last approximately 60-90 minutes. Please note that participation in the study is voluntary. If you choose to participant in the study, I will be removing your name and any other identifying information from the final document to conceal your identity. If you are interested in being interviewed for the study and/or would like more information, then please contact me by email or phone so we can discuss, in more detail, the purpose and the process of the study. —Catherine Meyer, MA, LMFT
Come see Tristan at SHE Sexual Health Expo in Los Angeles January 16-17, 2016. Featuring today’s leaders in sex, intimacy and romance, SHE will deliver a crash course in understanding modern sexual relationships with must-attend workshops and captivating intimacy product showcases — all with the chic backdrop of its stylish venues. Sex experts include Amy Jo Goddard, Elle Chase, Charlie Glickman, Mollena Williams, Allison Moon, Reid Mihalko, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Chris Donaghue, and many more.
Tristan’s appearances will all be on Saturday, January 16. Her schedule is:
4:30-5:20 pm Designing Your Open Relationship Workshop
Are you considering an open relationship? Does your current open relationship need some tweaking? There are few established scripts or visible role models for open relationships, so people in them can struggle without support and guidance. In this interactive workshop, relationship expert and author of Opening Up, Tristan Taormino gives practical advice on how to craft responsible, fulfilling nonmonogamous relationships. Tristan will explore common myths, real-life benefits and challenges, and how to decide if an open relationship is right for you. She will share some of the most common styles of open relationships-from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory-and discuss how to customize them to meet your individual needs and wants. Through creative exercises, you’ll learn to articulate what you want, identify and negotiate limits and boundaries, communicate with your partner(s) in productive ways, and create relationships that work for you.
5:30-6:00 pm Booksigning
Tristan will be signing her books Opening Up, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, The Ultimate Guide to Kink, 50 Shades of Kink, Anal Sex Position Guide, and Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation. The books will be for sale from The Pleasure Chest booth.
6:00 pm Mix & Meet
Tristan will be on hand to meet with attendees, plus she'll have her books and other products for sale.
Hilton Universal City Hotel, Los Angeles, CA
Admission: Tickets are $25 each, buy them at Eventbrite. Get 2-for-1 tickets when you use promotional code TRISTANT.
How do people create nontraditional partnerships that are loving and fulfilling? There are few established scripts or visible role models for open relationships, so people in them can often struggle without support and guidance. In this four hour intensive program, sex and relationship educator Tristan Taormino shares some of the key principles that can help your open relationships succeed. She will review some of the most common styles of open relationships, from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory, and discuss how to customize them to meet your individual needs and wants. She will share wisdom from the over 100 people she interviewed and profiled in her bestselling book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships.
The workshop will address common issues and problems including:
- New relationship energy
- Time management
- Sexual and emotional safety
- Boundary setting
- Agreement violations
- Coping with change
Through creative exercises, you’ll discover how to unpack all the different elements of jealousy and identify what triggers your jealousy and how it manifests for you; learn to develop coping strategies and find access points to the practice of compersion.
Learn how to tackle challenges including:
- Communicating about highly-charged topics
- Conflict resolution skills
- The art of re-negotiation
- Roadblocks to fulfillment
- Confronting fear
Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to the world beyond monogamy, come discover strategies to help you nurture and grow your open relationships. Open to people in all kinds of relationship configurations as well as solos and singles of all genders and sexual orientations. Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
Date and Time: Sunday, November 15, 2015, 1:00-5:00 pm
Location: The Stockroom, 2809 1/2 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90026.
Admission: Register at Eventbrite. Open to people in all kinds of relationship configurations as well as solos and singles of all genders and sexual orientations. Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
Early Bird (through October 15) $75
VIP $125: priority seating, personalized signed copy of Opening Up, gift bag
VIP + Dinner $200: priority seating, personalized signed copy of Opening Up, autographed DVD, luxury gift bag, dinner with Tristan after the workshop
Cultural Humility and Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationships
Organized and facilitated by Shawn Chrisman and Ruby B Johnson
July 26, 2015
Vantage Point Counseling
3300 Oaklawn Ave, Suite 415
Dallas, Texas 75219
for more details, go to polydallas2015.com.
In Dallas, Texas on July 24 2015, PolyDallas2015 is hosting the Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationship Symposium. It is being held at the office of Vantage Point Counseling Services. This is the first symposium, with a primary focus on polyamorous relationship and family structure, to be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth [DFW] area. Co-Presenters Ruby B Johnson and Shawn Chrisman hope to contribute to the knowledge base of mental health practitioners and other community providers. For those attendees who are not in the DFW area, this symposium is offered as a live webinar stream.
Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous relationships have become more visible over the last decade. The way individuals, in their 20s to early 30s (Millennials), are relating, connecting, attracting, and permitting themselves to have non-traditional relationships is creating a more sex positive and dynamic relationship structure. However, Generation X proves to have a different experience and expectation of relationships and their structure.
Hence the exposure, experience, and knowledge base of these different relationships is mysterious to many mental health and substance abuse providers within the community. Demystifying and educating providers is key to providing a conducive non-shaming therapeutic environment. Providing knowledge is a practice of cultural competence; infusing cultural humility into practice creates authenticity and positive regard within the clinician.
To support these principles of the helping relationship, the content richly addresses definitions of polyamory and non-monogamy, coupled with a graph which offers a visual aid for attendees. Heteronormative and monogamous privilege is exposed as well as how those forms of privilege create challenges to provider’s beliefs, values, and norms of relationships. To assist with unpacking privilege, myths and misconceptions of these relationships are debunked. Next, the focus shifts to the therapist and other helping professionals.
With each one of the tenets of cultural humility, solutions, techniques, and suggestions for change are offered that include (not limited to) unconscious bias, racial bias, counter transference, professional boundaries, dual relationships, microaggressions,, social, political, economic bias, sex positivity versus sex addiction, and intellectual privilege (Dunning-Kruger Effect).
Certain theories have been shown to assist with effective practice such as systems, constructivism, Bowenian, feminist, and gender queer. Techniques such as the genogram, gender/relationship inclusive assessments, narrative versus structured assessment, collaborative (with client) treatment planning and interventions, including considerations for cultural, social, community, and services barriers. Additionally, one must be aware of community resources and support.
Please follow us on Twitter @polydallas2015.
Ruby B Johnson (LMSW, LCDC, SAP, CSAT Candidate) received her Bachelors of Social Work in 2003 from Texas Women's University and her Masters of Social Work in 2005 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Since 2003, Ruby’s roles have included clinical practitioner, community and professional development educator, and graduate and under graduate adjunct professor. In private practice, her areas of expertise are substance use disorders, sex addiction, intimacy and love addiction, multi-cultural families and couples, SOGIE, polyamorous/non monogamous partnerships/families, and Kink/BDSM. Ruby Johnson provides therapeutic support, care, and intervention with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant/non-binary, queer, and same gender loving communities. Currently, Ruby is in private practice at Vantage Point Counseling Services and Inamorata LLC.
She has presented at several national, state, and local conferences including Society of Social Work Research Conference, Council of Social Work Education Conference, DFW Behavioral Health Symposium, and, most recently, her proposals were accepted at The State Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Conference and Black Families, Black Relationships, and Black Sexuality Conference in Philadelphia. Ruby is a member of various professional organizations including Texas Association of Addiction Professionals [TAAP], Association of Addiction Professionals [NAADAC], International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals [IITAP], American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists [AASECT], Society for Advancement of Sexual Health [SASH] and most recently, Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians [ABSC].
Shawn Chrisman (MS, LPC, PhD Candidate) is currently a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. He received his clinical training with a Master’s in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, and is currently working towards his doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from Widener University.
Shawn works with individuals and couples on sexuality-related issues, including addressing intimacy, sexual identity, gender dysphoria, sexual dysfunctions and other concerns. Shawn also identifies as a kink-aware therapist and works with couples enjoying diverse relationship structures, such as open or polyamorous relationships. Shawn is an active member of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). He has also presented workshops for professionals and community members at local universities and organizations. Shawn has been published in Qualitative Health Research.
This Friday on November 21st at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT, I will be live on Sex Out Loud radio with Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, the co-authors of the new book, More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, a hands-on toolkit for having happy, successful polyamorous relationships. They discuss their new book as well as their latest project, Thorntree Press, a new, independent publishing company with a focus on rational, evidence-based approaches to sex and relationships, as well as sharing real-life stories. They'll also answer listener questions about navigating non-traditional relationships.
This week's show is LIVE so call in with questions and comments at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I'll read them live on the air. Tune in to Sex Out Loud every Friday, you can listen along on your computer, tablet, or phone, find all the ways at SexOutLoudRadio.com!
Franklin Veaux is the co-author of the groundbreaking new book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, and the author of the top-ranked polyamory site on the Web, morethantwo.com. He is also the creator of Onyx: The Game of Sexual Exploration, maintains the sites xeromag.com and symtoys.com, which include extensive writings about BDSM, publishes erotic fiction under the pen name William Vitelli, and is the co-founder of the publishing company Thorntree Press and the sex toy R&D company Tacit Pleasures. Franklin started practicing non-monogamy from the moment he started becoming aware that boys and girls are different. He started writing about it in 1998. Over the decades, he's made just about every mistake it’s possible to make in polyamorous relationships. Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment. Today, he has five partners, lives in Portland, Oregon, and spends a great deal of time writing about everything from relationship ethics to transhumanism to computer security.
Eve Rickert is a professional writer, editor and mastermind, and the co-author of the the new book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory. Until taking time off from life to write the book and go on a book tour, she co-organized a group for poly women in Vancouver, Canada, and she blogs at the More Than Two website. She owns a science communications firm in Vancouver, Canada, called Talk Science to Me, and she is the co-founder of the publishing company Thorntree Press and the smart sex toy R&D company Tacit Pleasures. Eve has been living poly since 2008, though her poly roots go back much deeper. Her approach to poly has changed radically over the years: from early experiences in high school, to first hearing the word “polyamory” in 1998, to first swingers’ party in 2006, to her current three long-term relationships. And being poly has radically changed her. She's made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of hard lessons. She co-wrote More Than Two to share those experiences with anyone who is struggling to maintain ethical multiple relationships with integrity, compassion and courage.
Two new poly social networks have been launched recently!
The first is Beyond Two, a poly dating and friendship site. Launched in September 2013, it uses a dating/Facebook format and is family-friendly. There are configurations on the site for every possible scenario. Membership growth has been steady and strong, with members all over the world, but predominantly in the U.S.
The second is Polyamory Network, a social network for anyone with an interest in polyamory. It is very new, having launched mid-April, but the owner has contacted large interest groups in hopes of spreading the word. All content can only be accessed by members.
Both sites are completely free.
Are you a member of a poly family and willing to share your story (anonymously) with the world? Consider writing a brief entry for an upcoming edited book. Submissions can range anywhere from a few sentences to 10 pages long, depending on the age of the submitters, the format they select, and how much they have to say. You are free to submit essays, short stories, poetry, drawings, and photographs, or whatever else you can think of. All submissions will be anonymized, so no one will know who you are when they read the book.
Find all kinds of topic ideas and prompts for children, teens, adults, and elders, on Sheff's blog here. If you wish to submit something or have any questions, contact Eli Sheff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To those already in the poly community, it is not news that the mainstream media has been talking about polyamory. But it matters because there is a snowball effect taking place. More and more mainstream media outlets have turned an eye toward polyamory, and Bitch published a whole run-down on their blog.
Erica Thomas purports that the rise in attention to polyamory began with the publication of "landmark books" such as Opening Up and The Ethical Slut, and is continuing in the literary world with new books such as The Polyamorists Next Door, as well as on TV with shows such as Polyamory: Married & Dating.
Thomas notes that when it comes to reporting on non-monogamy, stories tend to fall into one of three types: the Comfortable Distance Story, the Personal Profile, and the Slippery Slope. Most egregious is the Slippery Slope, in which writers and news outlets argue that, of course, polyamory will lead to all manner of immoral things.
The most amenable type of story is usually the Personal Profile, because, as Thomas explains,
These personal profiles tend to be the least sensationalized treatment poly families get. After all, they’re stories from the mouths of the people living them, so they can actually answer to a lot of the criticism and speculation in a way that’s practical and understandable. Often in these first-person pieces or profiles, the author spends much of the piece simply explaining how their style of non-monogamy works, and describing what their day-to-day looks like in the interest of combating misconceptions about their lives. The descriptions can sometimes read like celebrity lifestyle profiles, “Hey! They’re just like us!”
Slate has recently been publishing a series of first-hand-account blog posts, penned under pseudonym Michael Carey, about the author’s own exploration into polyamory . . . The series has been getting some less-than-stellar reviews via the comments section. The main complaint? The posts are “boring.” It’s a good sign that we’ve reached the cultural acceptance point where it’s possible for writing about open relationships to be banal.
It's an interesting -- and pretty spot on -- analysis of the way non-monogamy is treated in the media, with tons of links to various articles spanning a whole range of perspectives.
Read the rest on Bitch.