Polyamory Weekly podcast added to The Kinsey Institute

In the fall 2012 issue of their newsletter, The Kinsey Institute announced that the archival episodes of Cunning Minx's Polyamory Weekly podcast has now been added to their Kenneth R. Haslam Collection on Polyamory.

Founded in 1947, The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction. The Kenneth R. Haslam Collection, developed by Dr. Haslam in order to further public and academic understanding of polyamory, contains a wealth of materials, including books, conference materials, research articles, newsletters, archives of web-based discussion groups, and more.

With over 340 episodes to date, Cunning Minx has been hosting and producing the Polyamory Weekly podcast since 2005. It is, indeed, becoming a historic bit of polyamory-focused media.

I talk kink and poly on Poly Weekly podcast

I was recently a guest on two parts of the Polyamory Weekly podcast!

In the first part, episode #334, I chat with podcast host Cunning Minx about my book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink. I talk about why I decided to write it, why I chose an anthology format, who should read the book, and what I'm hoping they'll get out of it. We also talk about the different sections of the book -- skills/techniques and fantasies/fetishes -- and what each one offers to the reader.

The second part, episode #335, is an advice segment in which I answer listener questions about poly and kink. Here's what was asked:

  • Ian asks: please explain the multi-partner dynamic as it exists in the kink world, and how it is different (or similar) to the poly. (There are many polys who are not kinky, many kinky who are not poly, and many many monogamous people who are kinky and have issues participating in the kink community.)
  • Emma asks: I’ve been asked to do scenes with people who are "sexually monogamous" with their partners. Lots of conversation about what activities count as sex ensues, but I'm still nervous to play with monogamous people. What if something is improvised in the moment and crosses that line? What if something feels sexual to me but not to them?
  • Herb asks: Have you actually seen or heard of a fetish that surprised you?
  • James asks: What if someone wants to try something scary (breath play) but is worried about past sexual abuse issues it could bring up?

Listen to both episodes here and here, browse the past archives here, and follow Polyamory Weekly on their site and Facebook!

Advice for healthcare professionals

With doctors opening up more about polyamory lately, this post from Cunning Minx is both timely and important: "What healthcare professionals need to know about poly and kink." The post was written after Minx participated in an event at Bastyr Center for Natural Health called the "human library," which allowed naturopathic practicioners to ask questions of human "books" from various communities.

The practitioners were most concerned about how to determine whether a patient is poly or kinky, and what those terms actually mean. In order to create a safe, non-judgmental space, Minx suggests practitioners refrain from assumptions and use open-ended language when asking questions -- e.g., "what is your relationship structure?" Another example from her personal experience:

My favorite personal experience with this was a fantastic gynecologist who, when I was in the stirrups, asked, "Do you sleep with men, women, or both?" I'd never heard "or both" before, and I was delighted she'd asked! I answered, "both," to which she replied with a cheery, "Good for you!" And just like that, she established trust. I knew I could tell her about my partners, probably even my kinky proclivities, and she wouldn't flinch, blink or judge.

Minx also recommends practitioners get their hands on Opening Up, The Ultimate Guide to Kink, and a paper entitlted "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory."

Add your own thoughts to the comment section at Polyamoy Weekly.

Being “open” on Facebook

As a non-monogamous person, what's the best way to handle your relationship status on Facebook? Cunning Minx wrote a post on this issue. It's important to remember, she says, that Facebook's privacy settings are tricky and employers may be able to access sensitive information that you list on your profile. And those aren't the only people who might be able to see it. As she explains,

. . . the internet and social sites such as Facebook have indeed changed things. Your boyfriend’s public open status does affect you in many ways, not the least of which is that now anyone with mutual Facebook friends can discover you are poly. For most people, this might be a public embarrassment or cause some eyebrow raises at the office or at Thanksgiving, nothing more. If that’s the case, no worries. But keep in mind that in addition to your your mom and grandma being able to discover your open status, that bitter ex-husband might also see that Facebook status. And unfortunately, that documentation has been used in child custody cases to argue against a person being a fit parent.

I don't mean to be too gloom and doom here. The point is that since data lives forever online and Facebook has shameful privacy policies, it is perfectly acceptable -- nay, it’s your responsibility -- to discuss public online disclosures of your relationship status in order to protect your own privacy.

Read the rest, and leave a comment about how you navigate social media, on Cunning Minx's post.