Different folks, different needs

Amy Shiner is a researcher, presenter, organizer for the Transcending Boundaries Conference, and community member in alternative sexual lifestyle choices. She writes about poly relationships, communication within relationships, spirituality, and kink. One of her latest pieces for the Huffington Post is called "Juggling Poly Needs: Different Folks, Strokes, and Needs." It's about recognizing and honoring the differing needs that people have.

I have relationships with people who have different needs and different wants. That will happen. Unless you're attracted to people born under a specific zodiac sign or have a strict rule that every partner needs a certain level of kink, there will always be a few bumps in the road. I still have a partner who, after almost three years, swears up and down that I don't like being "bossed" around all the time. I attempt to explain to him that when I'm with partners like him who aren't into control, I get some time to relax and take a short break. One thing I keep in mind is that everyone has his or her own perspective. I could try to sell someone on my perspective, but if someone really isn't open to it, then I'm wasting my breath and my time.

. . . What I am going to suggest are some concepts (some of which might be foreign) to remember when trying to understand different folks with different strokes and different needs.

Read the whole article on the Huffington Post.

Shiner has previously written many poly-focused articles for the Huffington Post that are also worth a read: "Taking 'Fair Breaks' from Non-Monogamy," "Not Getting Lost in the Poly Shuffle," "Enlightening Polyamory," "Communication: Struggles Between Poly Star-Crossed Lovers," "Are There Benefits to Being Poly?," and "But If Eric Is with... Then Why Can't I...."

Researchers looking for poly Americans and Australians

The blog Polyamory Practically has posted a call for participants in a research project on polyamorous lives. The study is being conducted by researchers in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University in Australia. They are looking for poly folks ages 18-65 of any sexual orientation or gender identity, both in the U.S. and Australia. It appears their aim is to discern differences between non-monogamous experiences in the two countries.

The call reads:

We are looking for participants for a study on polyamorous lives, what makes them possible and how they are lived. The research is part of our work at the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University. In this study we aim to find out what relationship agreements and structures poly people have in their lives and what life stories each individual brings to non-monogamy.

A 1-2 hour interview will be conducted, which will involve a short survey. There is no deadline listed.

If you are interested and live in the U.S., please contact Beth Hill at beth.emily.hill [at] gmail [dot] com. If you live in Australia or have general inquiries, please contact Dr. Nikó Antalffy of the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University at Niko.Antalffy [at] mq.edu.au.

Reid Mihalko on Sex Out Loud this Friday!

Have you been tuning in to my new radio show, Sex Out Loud? This Friday, September 14th, I'll be welcoming sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko to the show. Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid Mihalko travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission to create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom.

I'll be chatting with Reid about polyamory and his work as a sex and relationships expert, including his favorite tips and stories from his workshops on a range of topics, including jealousy, self-confidence, and bedroom techniques. Reid will also talk about the Sex Geek Chic Challenge College Tour and how he's taking sexual health, consent and relationship education to a new interactive level.

Read Reid's full bio here, and use the links below to tune in this Friday at 5 p.m. PST, 8 p.m. EST!

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An open relationship, three years strong

Three years ago, Em & Lo intern Kristine deGuzman wrote a column called My Boyf and I Are Going on a Break, which explained her and her boyfriend's decision to have an open relationship while she studied abroad in Spain (despite reluctant reactions from friends). Now she has written a follow-up column called How I (Still) Make My Open Relationship Work.

There have been ups and downs in the relationship since deGuzman's return from Spain, but the couple are currently in a long-distance open relationship that is working out well.

We're so honest with each other that we rarely even fight anymore . . . We still talk to each other about our crushes, including one in particular that was so deep and overwhelming that I thought for sure it would tear us apart.

But even with the most destructive of crushes, honest communication was and is the key to making it work -- in this particular scenario, my boyfriend ended up giving me permission to date this person despite his misgivings about the situation. The crush fizzled out anyway, but I had even more respect for my boyfriend afterwards for being so rational and levelheaded about it all.

Read the rest at Em & Lo.