My name is Sherry Mason and I am a psychology student at the University of Central Oklahoma. I, along with a counselling student, Adam Everson, and professor of psychology, Dr. Alicia Limke, Ph.D., are executing research in an attempt to understand the relationship needs of polyamorous people and how those needs are met through multiple partners. As it stands, there is very little research about this community. This greatly disadvantages therapists as well as individuals/couples seeking treatment.
The survey link is as follows:
The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and consists of questions about relationships, feelings toward being a sexual minority (i.e., polyamorous), and some general questions on personality. This study is open to individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The applicant will also be entered into a random drawing for a $5.00 gift card to Amazon.com. The safety and privacy of all participants is highly important, we ask that anyone be allowed to share the link to this survey, but to refrain from disclosing any information about their involvement to keep their participation completely anonymous. This project has been approved by the University of Central Oklahoma Institutional Review Board #16107.
If you have any question or would like more information please feel free to contact me at: smason5 (at) uco.edu. Or my associate: Adam Everson, aeverson (at) uco.edu. Or my advisor: Dr. Alicia Limke, Ph.D., alike (at) uco.edu.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Sherry Mason, AA Psychology
University of Central Oklahoma
Department of Psychology
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.
Showtime's reality show Polyamory: Married & Dating may have wrapped, but its cast members are continuing to make waves in the community. In the first media frenzy, they were on Dr. Drew and several radio shows. Then, on September 17th, Michael and Kamala (from the show's quad) appeared on an episode of The Ricki Lake Show.
Additionally, Kamala wrote a post on her website entitled "How a Reality Show Altered My Reality: Top Ten Ways the Polyamory Series Changed my Life!" This part was particularly interesting:
The hardest part of the project was playing myself. My director’s constant guidance was for me to be more real, she encouraged me to stop preaching about authenticity, emotional sensitivity, and honesty and actually start showing it. After being a leader in the polyamory community for so many years, it was hard to step off my soap box and work through my own jealousy, judgements and possessiveness on camera. This work has evolved me from a teacher -- to a role model who has to walk her talk.
Plus, Jessica from Modern Poly sat down with Anthony (from the show's triad) for an excellent and lengthy interview. Jessica asked Anthony about the selection and production process of the show, the show's impact on mainstream acceptance of polyamory, the reactions from family and the community, and what advice he would give to poly folks considering being filmed for a TV show.
When asked what poly activists and leaders in the poly movement should focus on, he explained:
. . . I too often see polyamory activists -- like most activists in most fields I've worked in -- waste too much time and energy nitpicking each other over what each other's beliefs or lifestyle does for the movement.
I've witnessed this with our show, reading countless comments about how we hurt the community because we have rules that would chafe many poly people, or our having sex on television and not being polyfidelitous gives the unfortunate impression that poly is for the sexually insatiable or is glorified swinging. I've heard it all, and I think it's unhelpful. For one thing, it's unrealistic to look for the poly family that perfectly represents poly. We're all as eccentric and different as monogamous people. You undercut the liberating potential of poly[amory] if you make people feel guilty for not subscribing to the politically correct poly profile. When people do a show like ours, celebrate first and foremost the victory of us getting on mainstream tv like that, and that intelligent loving people were chosen, not drama queens.
Read Kamala's full post and Anthony's full interview. And stay tuned for more information on a potential second season of Polyamory: Married & Dating!
The blog Modern Poly recently wrapped up a truly interesting and insightful series they called "Poly And." It is a really wonderful, in-depth look at the ways in which a person's poly identity intersects with their other identities -- gender, race, religion, and political views.
In their Call for Submissions post, the folks at Modern Poly explained why they launched the series. Amidst all the media coverage about Showtime's Polyamory: Married and Dating reality series and the three-person relationship in the blockbuster movie Savages, the poly community was critical of the lack of diversity in the high-profile representations.
One of the biggest complaints so far from the polyamorous audience, tho, isn't that the portrayals are negative or false (which is a great first!)... it's that the relationships aren't really representative of us, because they're not diverse. They're white. They're pretty decently well-off financially. They're mostly straight. They're cisgendered, and for the most part, present in traditional gender roles. While what we're hearing form our fans is definite excitement that we have some positive portrayals in pretty high visibility right now, we're also hearing a lot of growing concern that people who have never been exposed to non-monogamy before will see it as something only the rich or privileged can have or do, and that's something we *are.*
But that's simply not true. And in the month of August, we will be incredibly busy proving it.
And that they did! Here are all the posts from the "Poly And" series!
Poly and Gender
Poly and Race
Poly and Religion
Poly and Politics