A journalist for an international, reputable publication wants to write an intimate, thoughtful longform piece that follows a married couple as they start the process of opening up their marriage to ethical nonmonogamy. Ideally, this couple is in engaging in couples therapy as they navigate this new phase of their marriage; those conversations, recounted or recalled, would provide structure for the story and a way of clearly translating the complexity of the thought process of the couple. The couple could remain unidentifiable; ideally, the therapist would use his or her name, although that could possibly be discussed as well. This article would seek not to sensationalize this phase of the marriage, but explore it as an increasingly logical, even possibly conventional option, in a world in which the traditional family has already been reconceived and marriage itself has expanded its definitions. The piece, which could be part of a larger cultural reframing, has potential for high impact. If you're interested, please email asktristan [at] gmail.com and I'll connect you with the journalist.
Nov 21: Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert on Ethical Polyamory, Non-Traditional Relationships & Hand-Crafted Books
This Friday on November 21st at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT, I will be live on Sex Out Loud radio with Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, the co-authors of the new book, More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, a hands-on toolkit for having happy, successful polyamorous relationships. They discuss their new book as well as their latest project, Thorntree Press, a new, independent publishing company with a focus on rational, evidence-based approaches to sex and relationships, as well as sharing real-life stories. They'll also answer listener questions about navigating non-traditional relationships.
This week's show is LIVE so call in with questions and comments at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I'll read them live on the air. Tune in to Sex Out Loud every Friday, you can listen along on your computer, tablet, or phone, find all the ways at SexOutLoudRadio.com!
Franklin Veaux is the co-author of the groundbreaking new book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, and the author of the top-ranked polyamory site on the Web, morethantwo.com. He is also the creator of Onyx: The Game of Sexual Exploration, maintains the sites xeromag.com and symtoys.com, which include extensive writings about BDSM, publishes erotic fiction under the pen name William Vitelli, and is the co-founder of the publishing company Thorntree Press and the sex toy R&D company Tacit Pleasures. Franklin started practicing non-monogamy from the moment he started becoming aware that boys and girls are different. He started writing about it in 1998. Over the decades, he's made just about every mistake it’s possible to make in polyamorous relationships. Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment. Today, he has five partners, lives in Portland, Oregon, and spends a great deal of time writing about everything from relationship ethics to transhumanism to computer security.
Eve Rickert is a professional writer, editor and mastermind, and the co-author of the the new book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory. Until taking time off from life to write the book and go on a book tour, she co-organized a group for poly women in Vancouver, Canada, and she blogs at the More Than Two website. She owns a science communications firm in Vancouver, Canada, called Talk Science to Me, and she is the co-founder of the publishing company Thorntree Press and the smart sex toy R&D company Tacit Pleasures. Eve has been living poly since 2008, though her poly roots go back much deeper. Her approach to poly has changed radically over the years: from early experiences in high school, to first hearing the word “polyamory” in 1998, to first swingers’ party in 2006, to her current three long-term relationships. And being poly has radically changed her. She's made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of hard lessons. She co-wrote More Than Two to share those experiences with anyone who is struggling to maintain ethical multiple relationships with integrity, compassion and courage.
The 3 types of mainstream poly story
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 Door, as 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.
Poly family do cringe-worthy Wife Swap
On 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.