Jun 052014
 

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.

May 282014
 

Dr. Eli Sheff, author of the recent The Polyamorists Next Door, is working on a new project: Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families. Her call for submissions reads, in part,

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 drelisheff@gmail.com.

May 202014
 

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 Dooras 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.

Apr 192014
 

Guest speaker Kathy Labriola, the author of The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships, is teaching a free workshop on Monday evening at Feelmore510 in downtown Oakland! Here’s more info about it.

MANAGING JEALOUSY IN OPEN RELATIONSHIPS
Monday, April 21st 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Feelmore510 Adult Gallery
1703 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland (near 19th Street BART)

In this workshop, you will learn tools and techniques to help you deal with one of the main obstacles to happy and healthy open relationships: jealousy . You will learn how to accept your own jealousy and jealousy in your partner(s), and to manage it effectively, in ways that help you grow as a person and strengthen your romantic bonds, instead of creating anxiety and insecurity in your relationship(s).

Jealousy is a natural and normal reaction to a potentially threatening situation. If you have some tools and can work cooperatively with your partner, it can bring you closer together and make you stronger, in yourself , as well as in your relationships.

This workshop deconstructs jealousy to help you understand what and why certain situations and people prompt such distress, and will give you some practical tools to help you understand your jealousy and reduce it significantly.

A few of the topics covered are:

  • “Know your Jealousy Pie Chart: Managing the Fear, Anger, and Sadness of Jealousy”
  • “Understanding the Difference between Jealousy, Coveting, and Envy”
  • “Are you in Poly Hell?”
  • “What to do When your Partner is Jealous”
  • “What is Compersion and can it be cultivated?”

Kathy Labriola is a nurse, counselor, and hypnotherapist in private practice in Berkeley, California. Her mission is providing affordable mental health services to alternative communities. She has been a card-carrying bisexual and polyamorist for 40 years. She is the author of two books published by Greenery Press: Love in Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships and The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships.

To RSVP or for questions, contact events@feelmore510.com

Dec 152013
 

The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and FamiliesDr. Eli Sheff’s new book, The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families, has been released — and I encourage you to buy it today. Doing so can help it become a top seller in its category, which can lead to a less expensive paperback version and hopefully more mainstream recognition.

Eli Sheff is an important voice in the poly world. She was a guest on my radio show, Sex Out Loud, and has been on panels about polyamory, an expert on TV shows discussing polyamory, and a frequent source of quotes for mainstream articles exploring non-monogamy.

Sheff is one of the premiere experts on children in polyamorous families, and so The Polyamorists Next Door is a fascinating and important look at families:

In colorful and moving details, this book explores how polyamorous relationships come to be, grow and change, manage the ins and outs of daily family life, and cope with the challenges they face both within their families and from society at large. Using polyamorists own words, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff examines polyamorous households and reveals their advantages, disadvantages, and the daily lives of those living in them.

. . . This book provides information that will be useful for professionals with polyamorous clients, educators who wish to understand or teach about polyamory, and especially people who wish to better understand polyamory themselves or explain it to their potential partners, adult children, or in-laws.

Go buy The Polyamorists Next Door today to help push it to the top of its category — where it belongs!

Sep 072013
 

A lot has happened so far in 2013! Although I try to keep abreast of the latest news, sometimes articles fall through the cracks. So here’s a list of interesting stuff that wasn’t covered on this blog — but is totally worth a read!

Aug 232013
 

Our Open Agreement

Cat Maness is Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Berkeley, California, and a proud member of my Open List, so I was thrilled when she emailed me to tell me about a new online tool she has launched entitled Our Open Agreement.

Maness writes:

As a psychotherapy intern with over 15 years of personal experience with open relationships, I’ve considered how I might further contribute to our growing community.

I know that many of the clients that come to work with me often feel like they’re lost in a sea of choices when it comes to what they want their open relationship to look like. So I began thinking about how I could create a tool that would be accessible by anyone online at a reasonable price, which could be used either in conjunction with therapy or as a stand-alone guide.

That’s where OurOpenAgreement.com comes in. It’s an easy to follow guide for couples (currently dyads) who are considering opening their relationships or who are seeking more structure to their existing agreements. In fact, Our Open Agreement asks many of the same questions that I pose as a therapist in my work with couples. It takes them through several decision points and then compiles their responses into a pre-formatted PDF and emailed to them automatically.

This is a great resource that could bring deeper conversations and clarity to your open relationship — with a tangible end result to boot. Currently one week of access costs $20. All of Maness’ clients can access the tool for free.

May 272013
 

Casting company Lion TV recently reached out to let me know they’re looking for poly and sex-positive families for an upcoming reality TV show about families.

Emmy Award-winning production company, Lion TV is looking for unique families, including poly and sex-positive families for an upcoming docu-series.  The show aims to give a voice to families leading lives that counter traditional American stereotypes.  The casting is open to families blood related, and not blood related (which can include couples, roommates, and any other communal household). Each family will be paid for their time. Candidates must reside in the New York Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT, PA)

If interested please email casting [at] liontv . us with your full name, phone number, email address, photograph, and short description of your family.

More about Lion Television: the creators of Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, the hit PBS series History Detectives, and SWAT USA on Court TV (now Tru TV), Lion TV is one of the most successful independent production companies in the United Kingdom and United States. They create hundreds of hours of programming every year that air on major broadcasters in the UK and US.

Apr 182013
 

Vague but potentially important news from HBO: a pilot for a show called “Open” has been ordered to be shot this fall.

Described as a “multi-character exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy, and intimacy in relationships,” the project was written and co-created by Ryan Murphy (creator of Nip/TuckGlee, and American Horror Story) and Dexter producer Lauren Gussis. Murphy and Gussis will also serve as executive producers, along with Ryan Murphy Productions president Dante Di Loreto.

Not much else is known about the project so far, but it should be interesting to follow.

Apr 152013
 

wife-swapOn a recent episode of Wife Swap, a political talk show host and Tea Party activist named Gina Loudon traded lives with Angela Envy, a woman in a polyamorous relationship. As you might imagine, the fur flew.

Alan of Poly in the Media braved the treacherous waters of the episode in order to write about it for the rest of us:

 Usually “Wife Swap” ends with the two families sitting at a roundtable to discuss the experience. But ABC made a big thing in its publicity that this was the first time in the show’s history (it’s now in Season 7) when one family refused to met and discuss.

Which chickened out? The Loudons. A narrator says that John and Gina’s attorney informed the show that they would no longer participate in any way. So, we are left with the triad and their kids at the roundtable alone, discussing how awfully things went, how disrespectful and judgmental the politico-religious couple were, and how utterly overjoyed they all are to be back together safe again in their own happy home.

 . . . My assessment:  The show displayed Religious Right evangelicals being their worst. No viewer can have missed this. The poly family came off as trashy at first, but became much more sympathetic during the ordeal as they pulled together and stuck up for each other at every turn. The happy ending was lopsidedly pro-poly.

Read the entirety of Alan’s review. And if you’d like, watch the full Wife Swap episode on ABC’s site.

The episode was also a topic of discussion on a recent episode of the Poly Weekly podcast.