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.

Mar 012013
 

To The Best of Our Knowledge

I will be on “To The Best of Our Knowledge” as part of a show called ‘After the Romance,’ which airs this weekend on NPR stations. I’ll talk with host Steve Paulson about my book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, open relationships, swinging, polyamory, and more.

You can hear it during the following times on local NPR stations:

Atlanta, GA: Monday and Tuesday 11:00 am on 91.7 WUGA-FM
Columbus, OH: Sunday 3:00 pm on 89.7 WOSU-FM
Eugene, OR: Sunday 8:00 am on 1280 KRVM-AM
Los Angeles, CA: Sunday 9:00 pm on 88.3 KCLU-FM
Milwaukee, WI: Sunday 12:00 pm on 90.7 WHAD-FM
San Francisco, CA: Sunday, 8:00 am on 91.7 KALW-FM and Sunday, 7:00 pm on 88.5 KQED-FM
Seattle, WA: Friday (3/8) 8:00 pm on 94.9 KUOW-FM
Springfield, MA: Sunday, 8:00 am on 640 WNNZ-AM

For other local areas, click here to search by state.

You can also stream or download the mp3 of the entire show featuring me, Esther Perel, Kate Bolick, Brian Kaufman and Martin Swinger, and more or listen to and download my segment here.

Jan 302013
 

Sam Fuller, an Oakland high school student writing for Youth Radio, has penned a quite insightful piece on polyamory, jealousy, and evolution. Fuller’s interested in the subject stems from a female friend of his who, at one point, was in a polyamorous relationship. Wanting to know more about the role of jealousy, he interviews Dossie Easton (author of The Ethical Slut) and evolutionary psychologist David Buss. Both have different views of jealousy and its role: Easton wonders why jealousy is the sole deal-breaking emotion in relationships, while Buss sees jealousy as a biological defense mechanism that protects relationships.

Deciding to do his own bout of research, Fuller distributes a questionnaire to 21 peers, measuring their jealousy scores. While the average score is a 56, his friend Kina’s score is 23 — making her much less jealous than the others.

Kina’s survey results made me wonder: had being poly and working on her insecure feelings actually made her a less jealous person? When I asked her about it, Kina said she thought it had, and she was glad for it. “Jealousy is just a counterproductive emotion,” she said. “It doesn’t make me happy.”

Of course, evolutionarily speaking, jealousy doesn’t work by making you happy. It works instead by creating an unhappy feeling, a feeling that your partner is threatening to reproduce and raise offspring with someone else. And once you have that feeling, you need to do something about it, whether it’s something immature, like attacking the person flirting with your partner, or mature, like talking to your partner about it.

In Kina’s case, she found ways to get rid of her jealous feelings, and that’s made her feel happy. In the end, evolution aside, that’s the question that mattered most to me.

Read the rest at Youth Radio.

Jan 282013
 

A recent study by relationship researcher Terri D. Conley and four colleagues at the University of Michigan concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that monogamous folks are any more satisfied than non-monogamous ones.

The study is a review of other research on consensual non-monogamy, and appeared in Personality and Social Psychology Review with the title A Critical Examination of Popular Assumptions About the Benefits and Outcomes of Monogamous Relationships.

After reviewing the research, the study concluded a few things: that “sexually unfaithful” individuals were less likely to use barrier methods than consensually non-monogamous (CNM) individuals; that gay men in CNM relationships felt a comparable level of satisfaction to gay men in monogamous relationships; and that jealousy was lower, more manageable, and less problematic for people in CNM relationships. The study elaborates:

Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Moreover, the men in these partnerships often felt more intimate with their partner when they agreed to be non-monogamous. Just as monogamy can provide a sense of support and protection, consensual non-monogamy can provide the emotional support of a primary partnership while also allowing exploration of other sexual relationships.

Over at Psychology Today, Bella DePaulo summarizes the study’s findings in a series of three posts: Are Monogamous Relationships Really Better?Satisfied? Jealous? On Deciding Not to Be Monogamous, and Is Polyamory Bad For Children?.

Jan 242013
 

It’s official: Polyamory: Married & Dating has been renewed for a second season!

The popular Showtime reality docu-series, which followed one triad and one quad, concluded its first season last August. After that, the stars of the show made the media rounds, appearing on Dr. Drew, The Ricki Lake Show, and as experts in various online articles.

In October, show producer and director Natalia Garcia put out a call for new applications, although the second season was yet to be confirmed. Now it has been!

It’s still unknown whether the new season will include any of the previous participants. It should be interesting to see how it goes.

Jan 102013
 

PQ MonthlyThe December/January issue of PQ Monthly, a print and online publication for the LGBTQ communities of Oregon and SW Washington, featured an article called “Ethical sluttery: Poly relationships expand the reach of love and sex.”

The writer interviews two couples: Kyra Fey, a dominant-leaning switch, and her partner Earthquake; and Rachael Palmer and Devon Chase; plus a single guy named Jake who is dating around.

While Jake doesn’t think his parents could wrap their minds around polyamory, Rachael decided it was important to share that part of her life with her family, for the sake of her partners and simply to clear the air.

“I think for people who don’t know much about polyamory it is easy to assume that my primary and I are having problems and that’s why we are sleeping with other people, when in actuality it’s the opposite,” Rachael says. “We fuck other people because we want to be together for a long time and indulging our fantasies and desires keeps us happy and healthy.”

Read the rest of the article at PQ Monthly. The full interview with Rachael and Devon can be found here.

Jan 072013
 

Fast Forward WeeklyFast Forward Weekly is a progressive newspaper distributed to 1,300 coffee shops, restaurants, stores, and other locations around Calgary, Alberta. A couple weeks ago, a story on polyamory made it to the cover, along with the words “POLYAMORY IS NORMAL.”

The article, entitled “It takes more than two,” profiles several poly folks from Calgary and includes a few quotes from a Calgary sexologist.

Grant Shiels, a man in a triad, shares an analogy about the abundance of love within open relationships:

Making room on his calendar for three people is a challenge, Shiels acknowledges, but he disputes the common argument that, love being a finite commodity, polyamorous people will inevitably get less of it from their partners. Finding the time for his partners may be difficult, but finding the love isn’t.

“Sometimes I use the analogy of, if I were to have only one child, that would be great, I would love that child unconditionally and unreservedly — but if I had three or four children, would that change anything? In fact, I would say I’m blessed even more for having that much love and dynamic in my life.”

Read the rest at Fast Forward Weekly.