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.
In March, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom filed an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in a case involving a marine who engaged in a consensual threesome and was later convicted of adultery, attempted consensual sodomy, and indecent conduct. The brief argued that prosecutors on the case were ignoring the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision in which it was decided that moral judgment is not a basis for criminalizing consensual sexual conduct.
In April, the Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals accepted NCSF's amicus brief.
Dick Cunningham, NCSF's Legal Counsel, said, "This is an important brief in support of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision -- Lawrence v. Texas. Prosecutors and courts have no right to impose a narrow view of sexual morality on consenting adults."
To see the full legal documents on this case, click here.
Guest speaker Kathy Labriola, the author of The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships, is teaching a free workshop on Monday evening at Feelmore510 in downtown Oakland! Here's more info about it.
MANAGING JEALOUSY IN OPEN RELATIONSHIPS
Monday, April 21st 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM Feelmore510 Adult Gallery
1703 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland (near 19th Street BART)
In this workshop, you will learn tools and techniques to help you deal with one of the main obstacles to happy and healthy open relationships: jealousy . You will learn how to accept your own jealousy and jealousy in your partner(s), and to manage it effectively, in ways that help you grow as a person and strengthen your romantic bonds, instead of creating anxiety and insecurity in your relationship(s).
Jealousy is a natural and normal reaction to a potentially threatening situation. If you have some tools and can work cooperatively with your partner, it can bring you closer together and make you stronger, in yourself , as well as in your relationships.
This workshop deconstructs jealousy to help you understand what and why certain situations and people prompt such distress, and will give you some practical tools to help you understand your jealousy and reduce it significantly.
A few of the topics covered are:
"Know your Jealousy Pie Chart: Managing the Fear, Anger, and Sadness of Jealousy"
"Understanding the Difference between Jealousy, Coveting, and Envy"
“Are you in Poly Hell?”
“What to do When your Partner is Jealous”
"What is Compersion and can it be cultivated?"
Kathy Labriola is a nurse, counselor, and hypnotherapist in private practice in Berkeley, California. Her mission is providing affordable mental health services to alternative communities. She has been a card-carrying bisexual and polyamorist for 40 years. She is the author of two books published by Greenery Press: Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Advice on Open Relationships and The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships.
To RSVP or for questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Barker was asked to speak at TEDxBrighton, a local, self-organized event featuring live speakers. Barker's talk at TEDxBrighton was based off their book, Rewriting the Rules, so it is focused on ways we can re-examine our ideas about modern relationships. Check it out!