[SSEXBBOX] seeks family photos of all kinds

Queer publication [SSEXBBOX] Magazine is working on a unique photo series called the "Family Portrait Project." Their call for submissions made me think of all the various poly configurations out there:

Based on the idea of classical family portraits the [SSEXBBOX] team is looking to put together an international photo series that highlights the new evolutionary paradigm of relationship dynamics. We would like you and your "family" to take a photograph and briefly explain to us how y'all relate to one another.

Need more inspiration? Think American Gothic, traditional wedding photographs, family reunion photographs, quinceanera photographs, Paris is Burning: House of Xtravaganza and House of Ninja, Flintstones meet the Jetsons, and the Cosbys in a blender with a splash of queer fairy energy, ice, and a dash of creativity.

Submitted photographs must be 300dpi and should be accompanied by a brief description of 30 words or less. Submissions and questions can be sent to magazine [at] ssexbbox [dot] com. The deadline is August 15, 2011.

[SSEXBBOX] can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

What makes polyamory so satisfying?

Kendra Holliday, the sex blogger behind The Beautiful Kind, recently wrote a piece entitled Love Like an Ocean: Diving Deep into Polyamory. Holliday first writes about her current open relationship. Simply knowing that she has the freedom to sleep with other people, she says, is very gratifying.

The article is not merely a personal one, though. Holliday also dissects the poly experience, concluding that the thrill of polyamory lies in new experiences and living passionately.

Why is it acceptable in our society to love more than one sport with a passion? Read different books? Why is it acceptable to love more than one child? Yet it’s not okay to love more than one person romantically at a time . . . Just as some people express their passions through salsa dancing, running marathons, or climbing mountains, polys follow their passion through loving. Since sex is so taboo in our society, polys are more often misunderstood and feared than people with mainstream passions.

In the article's final section, Holliday writes about accidental vs. intentional polyamory, stressing that no matter which path brought you to polyamory, it's important to be emotionally stable and communicate honestly with your partners.

Give it a read over at BlogHer.

“You’re in a self-made prison of unexamined monogamy”

In The Daily's advice column, a reader writes in with a conundrum: his girlfriend is away overseas for three months, and she has confided that she is yearning for sex. Strikingly, the columnist does not give the expected advice column answer. Instead, the columnist picks up on the building resentment within the relationship, and prescribes a serious conversation about monogamy and fidelity.

This isn't about you being right or her being wrong, and this certainly isn't about doing the normal thing. This is about coming to terms with your petty jealousy, addressing her potential lack of integrity and recognizing that you're in a self-made prison of unexamined monogamy.

. . . So many people are in a constant struggle — to cheat or not to cheat — and it never occurs to them that in order to cheat, they have to accept a set of rules before they can break them.

Why accept the rules? Why not make your own? . . . Being true and faithful in a relationship has no inherent connection to how many sexual partners you have. The connection is self-imposed.

Salon series features conversations about monogamy

Salon has begun an ongoing interview series about monogamy and alternatives to it. The series kicked off with an interview with historian Stephanie Coontz about cultural definitions of love and the ideal of sexual fidelity.

And now, there's an interview with Judith Stacey, a sociologist who has literally traveled the globe studying relationship arrangements of every flavor. She's found a range of configurations, from near-monogamy in California to polygamy in South Africa and matriarchal non-monogamy in southwest China.

Stacey believes that sexual exclusivity should be viewed as a preference, not a universal ideal. Like Dan Savage, she stresses truthfulness in relationships.

The idea is to make the vows that you really want to keep, and to know that over the life course you might have to renegotiate them. The idea of cheating is when you break the promise and there's only one promise you're supposed to make -- so we're going to get a lot of promise breakers. But if you allow people to promise what they really mean to promise and are able to do, you'll have fewer cheaters because you would have different definitions of what cheating means. Cheating would mean breaking the terms of whatever agreement is made.