Explore More Online Summit

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Announcing the Explore More Summit! A 10-day virtual summit January 28-February 6, 2016 hosted by Dawn Serra. Explore More Summit features intimate interviews with 30 experts from around the world on all things sex, relationships, and self-love including Allison Moon, Amy Jo Goddard, Ashley Manta, Barbara Carrellas, Bianca Laureano, Charlie Glickman, Conner Habib, Cyndi Darnell, Dan Savage, Devi Ward, Elena Lipson, Feminista Jones, Erin Lee Kaufmann, Gina Senarighi, JoEllen Notte, Karen B.K. Chan, Lauren Marie Fleming, Dirty Lola, Meg John Barker, Nadine Thornhill, Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson, Marlene Wasserman, Reid Mihalko, Sophie Delancey, Stacey Herrera, Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg, Toby Hill-Meyer, Victoria Rosa, Virgie Tovar, and me, Tristan Taormino! Trust me...these talks are PHENOMENAL.

All of the talks air for free on their designated day. If you register for the summit before January 28, you'll also get a free workbook emailed to you each morning during the summit with all kinds of prompts and questions that build on the talks. Get all the details about the free interviews, bonuses, and upgrades!

“Monogamish” couples speak in Savage Love

In Dan Savage's recent Savage Love column, entitled "Meet the Monogamish," he hopes to squash the stereotype that non-monogamy is a recipe for disaster -- by simply sharing the stories of non-monogamous folks. Savage writes,

Why do most people assume that all nonmonogamous relationships are destined to fail? Because we only hear about the ones that do. If a three-way or an affair was a factor in a divorce or breakup, we hear all about it. But we rarely hear from happy couples who aren't monogamous, because they don't want to be perceived as dangerous sex maniacs who are destined to divorce.

. . . "You know lots of couples who have had three-ways and flings who aren't divorced," I told the skeptics a few weeks ago, "you just don't know you know them." In an effort to introduce the skeptics to some happily monogamish couples, I invited coupled people who'd had successful flings, affairs, three-ways, and swinging experiences to write in and share their stories.

Seven different letters are printed, ranging from threesomes to semi-open relationships. One reader writes in succinctly:

I agree with you that we rarely hear about successful marriages that are open. How do I know? I just discovered that my parents are swingers -- and they have been married for 26 years!

Read the rest of the stories in Savage Love.

Polyamory and sexual subculture in the East Bay

Polyamory was the cover story topic for a recent edition of the alternative Oakland, California newspaper, theĀ East Bay Express. The 3,800-word piece calls polyamory a "veritable subculture" that has grown over time, but questions whether the general public will ever be able to accept it.

The Bay Area in particular, with its long history of free love, its vast network of Burning Man enthusiasts, and its overall progressive ethos, is a natural hotbed for the alternative sex scene. It's a place where avid polyamorists can bring just about anyone into their fold.

Sort of. It turns out that, no matter how successful they've been at negotiating relationships, many polyamorists still have one foot in the closet. And in a world where monogamy is not only well-entrenched but vital to the workings of a property-based society, their scene may always remain marginal.

The article profiles one specific poly relationship and interviews several other people: Christopher Ryan (author of Sex at Dawn), Polly Whittaker (founder of Mission Control), Ned Mayhem, and even Dan Savage. The author does an interesting job of weaving together the threads shared by the poly community and the alternative "sexual underground."

Certainly, not all polyamorists attend sex parties or engage in kink -- many who subscribe to the "open relationship" philosophy still consider themselves fairly vanilla. But the fact that San Francisco has such a vast and well-networked sexual underground benefits them, too, since it makes for a more tolerant environment. It also shows that the alt-sex scene, and by extension, the polyamory scene, isn't just a countercultural fluke.

Read the rest on the East Bay Express.

Non-monogamy on the cover of NYT Magazine

The magazine section of the New York Times recently featured a lengthy cover story called "Infidelity Keeps Us Together." The story -- which has sparked much discussion online, due to its subject matter and front-and-center placement in the magazine -- focuses on gay advice columnist Dan Savage and his views on non-monogamy within relationships.

There is some discussion of Savage's marriage, which he describes as "monogamish." As long as each partner is honest and forthright, the couple may have flings with others. Savage explains that opening up his marriage has helped stabilize it.

Savage believes that truthfulness is the key to a happy partnership; if one partner is desiring someone or something else, they should be honest about it.

Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes. We can't help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy . . . Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners.

Besides delving into Savage's ideas and upbringing, the story also highlights quotes from others regarding Savage's viewpoint.