Amanda Palmer reveals open relationship

Amanda Palmer, photo by Kambriel

Musician Amanda Palmer, most well known for being the singer, pianist, and writer in The Dresden Dolls, recently sat down with Out Magazine. The plan was to discuss her fan base, but the conversation -- and subsequent article -- went a slightly different direction when the interviewer asked Palmer about her relationship and her sexuality.

Palmer, who is legally married to author Neil Gaiman, took the opportunity to share that their relationship is non-monogamous. Considering Palmer's boisterous personality, she was probably never trying to hide this facet of her relationship, but some recent controversy has prodded her to talk more in-depth about her relationship with both Gaiman and her fans.

I've never been comfortable in a monogamous relationship in my life. I feel like I was built for open relationships just because of the way I function. It's not a reactive decision like, 'Hey I'm on the road, you're on the road, let's just find other people.' It was a fundamental building block of our relationship. We both like things this way . . . We're very communicative with each other and we share everything. I think that's the way you gotta do it . . . Neil and I fall more and more in love with each other every day, and I think part of that is because we encourage each other to say more, share more, to peel ourselves open to each other in the middle of the night when the day is done and the real talking happens. It's not always easy, the peeling sometimes hurts, but the deep love it fosters is clear to see.

Bringing things back to the original topic of the interview, Palmer explained how her open relationship is informed by her close relationship with her fans:

A strong and intimate relationship with your fanbase really does kind of function like a committed partner relationship. It is the 'other' to whom you're communicating and sharing your life, time and energy, and the thing that can suck your attention -- and even your sexual energy -- away from your real-life partner. A real relationship with your fanbase is a longterm, committed relationship; I've been in a relationship with my fans for 13 years.

Read the whole thing on Out Magazine.

OpenSF keynote prompts coming out

There has been some awesome coverage of the OpenSF conference. Stories about the conference were published in the San Francisco Bay GuardianOakland Local, and Bay Area Reporter, and there are some great personal accounts from attendees scattered around the internet as well.

But my favorite post was from Nice Girl of the blog Nice Girls Like Sex Too. Called "I Am Coming Out," it's a direct response to the call to action in my OpenSF keynote -- asking folks to live their lives as openly as they can, especially if they don't outwardly appear to be members of marginalized groups. And it's wonderful.

I have been the direct beneficiary of the bravery of so many other people in the marginalized communities I identify with, and yet I have refused to speak publicly about my membership in these communities. So, as I take a deep breath, I am going to come out to you all. Right now.

I am kinky. I enjoy BDSM style sex, with spanking, restraints, blindfolds, collars, whips, paddles, corsets, and addressing my partner as "Sir" when we are engaging in this sort of play . . . I am a happier and healthier person for it.

. . . My boyfriend and I are considering non-monogamy. At the time of writing this post, we are still unsure what that non-monogamy will look like, but the OpenSF conference has given us the tools, the language, and the support of a community as we explore this space. Our relationship and interpersonal communication has already improved dramatically.

. . . I have answered Tristan's call to action, and I am now issuing one of my own. It is so incredibly important that those of us who have the privilege of appearing mainstream to publicly proclaim our membership to the marginalized, demonized, and ostracized communities who have given us so much . . . Come out. Our world will be brighter when you do.

Read the whole thing at Nice Girls Like Sex Too.