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.

Apr 132013
 

destination-america“Swingers and Free Love” is the name of the one-hour episode on this Tuesday’s “Hidden in America” series on the Destination America channel. It will feature the family of Sierra Black, whom we’ve written about a bit here on Opening Up.

Black has been involved with several different media pieces over the years (notably an episode of 20/20), and she’s written about the experience on Huffington Post, detailing specifically the ways in which mainstream media tends to erase some aspects of her identity and relationships:

TV makes it look like I have A Husband and A Boyfriend and A Girlfriend (in that order), not a spectrum of relationships with different friends and lovers and partners. There’s no sex in my TV relationships. On TV, I never worry about money. My husband’s Latin American background is erased, as is his complex queer identity.

. . . When 20/20 filmed us, they were here for three days to get seven minutes of final footage. They spent many hours talking to us all as a group and to each of us individually. All the brilliant, witty, insightful things my unmarried lovers and friends said wound up on the cutting room floor; they used only interview material from the two married couples in the group. That sure made those pairings look like primary relationships in a way that the original interviews did not.

They took hours of footage of me with the two women I was romantically linked to, and used only a few seconds of it, while focusing lots of screen time on my lunch date with the charming young man I hang out with. That editing choice sure made me look straight in a way the original filming did not.

. . . . the media is cleverly misrepresenting my life to fit a certain model.

Black spoke to Alan of Poly in the Media about the upcoming “Hidden in America” episode, where she explained:

We filmed it last summer, and it’s been delayed considerably. We liked the producers a lot; they seemed generally respectful and like they “got us”. They asked thoughtful questions, backed off when we corrected them about mistaken assumptions, and took a lot of guidance from us in shaping what they filmed. They spent a long time interviewing us individually, which gave people a chance to say really interesting things, but who knows how that will play on TV or how much of it they’ll use.

. . . I think in some ways it will be very similar to the 20/20 piece; they asked a lot of the same kinds of questions and used some of the same settings. Which was a little disappointing, but maybe unavoidable — there’s a clear story to tell here. My hope is that it will be more reflective of our actual lives and less supporting the kinds of mainstream stereotypes the 20/20 piece played into, but I have no idea how they will have edited the footage they took.

Catch the episode this Tuesday, April 16th on the Destination America Channel. Find the schedule and locate the channel here.

Mar 082013
 

dr eli sheffToday’s episode of my radio show, Sex Out Loud, will feature two guests talking about their important work giving voices to those often marginalized. First I talk to Nan Kinney, who founded Fatale Media in 1985 when there was no porn made by and for women.

Then, Dr. Eli Sheff will talk about her new book based on her groundbreaking work with Polyamorous Family Study, a 16 year project whose mission is to provide high-quality, research-based information about poly families with kids using sound research methods based in years of sociological study.

Read more about both guests here, and tune in at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST.

Today’s show is live, so you can call in with questions at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or even e-mail tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air!

Listen LIVE every Friday at 8:00 pm EST, 5:00 pm PST
Stream or download mp3s of past episodes
Subscribe to the RSS Feed
Download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes [read how here]
Follow Sex Out Loud on Twitter

 

Download the VoiceAmerica App for your iPhoneAndroid, or Blackberry!

Mar 042013
 

Our America with Lisa LingTomorrow, March 5th, on Oprah’s OWN network, a new episode of “Our America with Lisa Ling” will center on polyamory and various poly families. The one-hour show is called “I Love You & You… & You.”

The show has been in the works since last August, when Robyn Trask, director of Loving More, was contacted by producers of the show. After some sniffing around to make sure the show would be respectful, Trask put the producers in contact with several poly families.

Ultimately, the show will feature Trask and her long-term partner Jesus V. Garcia and their partners, plus a triad from Vancouver and a quint from the Philadelphia area. The Philadelphia quint run the blog Polyskeptic. Shaun wrote a short post about the upcoming show, and Gina wrote about the process of coming out at work in preparation for its airing. Trask found the filming process to be pleasant:

Working with the producers, crew and Lisa Ling, who is an award winning journalist, was a delight. We spent three full days filming at our home in Loveland, CO. Overall it was a fun experience and very different from other TV crews I have worked with.

Two teaser videos have been released, entitled “Plenty of Love to Go Around” and “Monogamy’s Not For Everyone.”

“I Love You & You… & You” will air Tuesday, March 5th at 10 p.m. Eastern on OWN (use the channel finder to determine the channel number). It will re-air three hours later, and again on subsequent dates. The schedule can be found here.

Mar 022013
 

Atlanta Poly WeekendIt’s the third year for Atlanta Poly Weekend! Taking place March 15 through 17th at the Holiday Inn Perimeter in Atlanta, this conference brings in the foremost speakers to educate the poly-friendly community on matters regarding the family, the law, and social interactions and justice for those in the poly community.

The schedule is jam-packed with exciting sessions, plus other fun events such as trivia, poly family feud, an auction, and a St. Patrick’s Day themed dance. The closing keynote will be led by Alan M. of Poly in the Media.

Register for Atlanta Poly Weekend here, and follow the conference on Twitter.