Friday, December 31, 2010

Polyamory and Sex Addiction

I have recently developed an interest in learning more about the subject of sex addiction/compulsion in the context of a poly, sex-positive existence. If you have experience with this and would be interested in sharing your experience with me, please contact me at anita.wagner@practicalpolyamory.com Your story will be kept confidential. Hopefully together we can develop resources to serve those who find themselves in this difficult situation.


For the record, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding sex addiction - some call it sexual compulsion instead and believe that it should not be pathologized as its own DSM diagnosis when it is really likely a form of obsessive/compulsive disorder. They also worry that SA having its own diagnosis will lead to its being misapplied, especially by therapists trying to make a buck off the health insurance industry, which often requires a specific DSM diagnosis before it will pay claims for SAs in treatment.


It has come to my attention that there are those amongst us who suffer mightily from this affliction, be they the addict or the addict's partner(s), and usually in secrecy due to shame. There is a lot of shame and secrecy around it for all SAs and their partners. And traditional means of treating sex addiction require a sexual diet that consists only on sex with one's primary partner in private, no porn watching, and no masturbation. Certainly no sex parties or sex-positive events.


Even sex-positive, poly-friendly therapists are known to give this status quo edict, though SA's are also in some 12 step programs encouraged to create the sexual and relationship scenario that works for them and is stable and manageable, rather than shame-laden and unmanageable. And the poly partners of SAs are sometimes not well received in support groups for partners of SAs, most of whom have/had an expectation of monogamy and are even traumatized in some cases by their discovery that their SA partner acts out by viewing porn and masturbating. It's not common for mono partners of SAs to approve of this and perceive it to be about some failure on their part. This cultural dichotomy leaves the poly SA and their partners feeling further isolated and alone and in need of support, as well as misunderstood.


So if you have experience in this area or know someone who does and can refer me to them or them to me, would love to hear from you and/or them - thanks!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rebuilding Blog Links - Should Yours Be Listed?

Unfortunately the blog service Blogrolling has gone dark for good, and that's where my blogroll came from, so I lost all my links. I'm working on creating a new blogroll using blogger's gadget. If you have a polyamory blog you update reasonably regularly, please post a comment here with a link and I'll check it out. Thanks!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I ♥ (Polyamorous) Nina Hartley - Let's Send Her Some Love!

I have been a big fan of former porn star and sex educator Nina Hartley for a long time. I'm pretty sure it was her girl/girl work in the 1980s that raised my awareness of my own bisexuality. Fast forward 25 years, and today I can call Nina friend, having met and gotten to know her as a sex/relationship ed colleague at Dark Odyssey Summer Camp.

Nina lives in Los Angeles, is in a polyamorous relationship with her husband, Ernest, and she is just as beautiful and lively and passionate in person as na educator as she is on film. She has the tremendous knack of putting people at ease about their qualms about their own sexuality.  I've attended several of her workshops and always leave with information I use to enhance my sex life in some way. 

As a testament to her sex education work, I recently hosted in my home a group of bisexual women for a monthly gathering, and we watched "Nina Hartley's Guide to Sex for the Bi-Curious Woman" on the big screen. Everyone loved it and left feeling much more confident about how to please the woman of their dreams.

So, when I learned that Nina is having surgery soon and that she is going to lose a lot of the income she needs to survive during her recovery, I knew I had to step up and make a donation to the fundraiser currently being conducted in her honor and for her benefit. Won't you make one, too? No amount is too small, and you can make it anonymously if you are shy. You will be supporting sex-positive sex education and sending some love and gratitude to Nina for all she does to help others have satisfying sex lives.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Etymology of Compersion

Yes, I took a break from blogging, but I'm back.  Today a college student working on a paper on polyamory wrote and asked me if I know what the etymology of the word Compersion is.  I knew its meaning, of course, and where it originated, but try as I might, I couldn't find anything more than that.  I even developed a workshop with handout on the subject which includes an article on the subject published by MyTango online, yet this particular question hadn't come up. 

We know that the word originated at the Kerista commune in Berkley, CA, which practiced polyfidelity and disbanded in the early 1990s. Franklin Veaux, a/k/a Tacit, gives the following definition in his Polyamory Glossary:

"COMPERSION: A feeling of joy when a partner invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship. Commentary: Compersion can be thought of as the opposite of 'jealousy;' it is a positive emotional reaction to a lover's other relationship. The term was coined by the Kerista Commune."

About Kerista, he comments:  "The Kerista Commune was an early advocate of polyamory, coining terms now common in the polyamorous community such as compersion and polyfidelity. The group eventually failed for a number of reasons, among them personality conflicts within the group, problems with financial management, an emphasis on fixed and inflexible sleeping schedules, and hostile attitudes toward bisexuality and homosexuality on the part of some members."

So we know what and where, but not the how of it.  Not being a language expert myself, the best I could come up with to answer this question is this.  I suspect that the "comp" part refers to compassion. "Per," according to the online etymology dictionary, means "through, across, beyond," and the suffix "sion" means "the condition or state of being" according to Wiki.Answers.com.  

So that gives us compersion - compassion beyond, across or through what is normally a block to positive emotion about such circumstances as a condition or state of being.  In this case the compassion is felt for our love and their love, i.e. the ability to feel a partner's joy across or through our relationship with that partner and be happy for it.  Wordsmiths are welcome to refine or correct as desired. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Personal Journey: Long Term Effects of Sex Negative Teen Sex Education

When I was recently asked to write a blog post for the Scarleteen blogathon, I had no hesitation about agreeing.  I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with Scarleteen founder and comprehensive teen sex ed resource Heather Corinna during a trip to the northwest in summer 2009.  Let there be no doubt, Heather is one of my all time heroes for the work she does to make sure teens get comprehensive sex education information.  I care about this subject very deeply, as the following story will illustrate.   

I grew up in an area that is pretty much to this day an exceedingly conservative part of the United States.  When I came of age, good parents zealously guarded their daughters' virtue by attempting to control the what, where, when, and most importantly, who, of their daughters' social lives.  Sex ed, after a fashion, was taught in health and hygiene class in about the 7th grade, but this was largely limited to "the birds and the bees," i.e. reproductive system ed geared toward gender, with boys and girls taking separate classes.  Certainly there was no mention of sexual anatomy or sexually transmitted infections, and information about birth control would be unthinkable, including how to use a condom. 

But this was also the 1960s, and though I was too young and too well guarded to find my wait to the Haight, I knew what was going on around me on college campuses and that free love was very much in vogue.  When I was about 15, I got the only information about sex that I would get from either of my parents, and that was when my dad said, "Anita Karen, some day some boy is going to try to put his hand in your pants, and you'd better not let him." 

My parents and my strict religious upbringing were effective, at least to a point, as my virtue remained intact until the summer of my 17th year, when my older leading man in a community playhouse Neil Simon play swept me off my feet and into his bed. 

A very few years later, my boyfriend and I quit college and got married to get out from under my mother's micromanaging my life.  That's not a good reason to get married, as our divorce seven years later demonstrated, though one of the significant problems in that marriage had to do with my tendency to push my husband away when he wanted sex.  Though I liked sex, I was always suspicious that all men were predators out to use me without any thought to love and real intimacy.  Because of the early messaging from my dad, who was a wonderful dad otherwise and was surely doing what he thought was best, even in marriage my subconscious mind was still minding my virtue.  It also effectively bifurcated love and sex so that I had no idea what it was like to truly make love.  In my mind love and sex had nothing to do with each other. 

A couple of years after the divorce, I met a wonderful guy, and we got married.  At first we couldn't keep our hands off each other, but sure enough, after some time I started resenting his advances and pushing him away.  The poor guy had to be totally confused, especially since he was raised in more liberal turf by open-minded nudist parents who were academics.  Eventually that marriage bit the dust as well. 

By this point I knew that I simply had to figure out what was happening in my head that caused me to react to my husbands' desire in such an unhealthy way, so I went into therapy and figured it all out.  It took some time, and some work on body image issues, too.  I am proud to say that I managed to cast off and heal all that old sex negative conditioning.  Today I am able to enjoy healthy relationships where I both love and make love in ways that enhance intimacy and the bonds of partnership.  I also enjoy my sexuality at certain adult events, something I never, ever imagined I'd be doing.  And most importantly, instead of seeing men as predators, I see them as healthy adults expressing themselves as nature intends and am enthusiastically in support of both male and female sexual expression in all its wonderful forms. 

Today my male primary partner and I are both Unitarian Universalists, and he is proud to have raised two children who got their sex education via the Unitarian Universalist Association's highly successful Our Whole Lives ("OWL") sex ed program.  They are well-adjusted, well-informed young adults who are amazingly comfortable talking with their parents about sex. 

As far as I know, Scarleteen is the only comprehensive sex education resource for teens other than the UU OWL program.  Heather Corrina does an amazing job and has no doubt saved countless teens from the pain and turmoil and failed relationship scenarios I experienced.  She deserves all our support.  Please give as you can and help sustain Heather's work and Scarleteen, and let's all hope to see sex negativity eradicated and replaced with more healthy attitudes toward sex and sexuality, no matter what our age or cultural perspective.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Poly Living Seattle Full Program Schedule - What a Lineup!

Hope you are already making plans to join us in Seattle October 22-24 for Poly Living.  This is an especially strong program with an awesome lineup of speakers and presenters (if I do say so myself.)  Kudos to Robyn Trask for assembling what promises to be a true immersion in poly living joy. 

Keynote speaker is Ethical Slut co-author Dossie Easton, and our special guest speaker is Sex at Dawn co-author Christopher Ryan.  And that's just for starters. 

 
Check out the complete info and register now. 

Note that the hotel block is filling up fast and that the deadline for reserving your room is this coming Sunday, October 8. 

Hope I'll see you there. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fascinating! Poly Living Con in Seattle October 22-24

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From Theoretical Ideas to Practical Living:
Poly Living and Relationship Choice in the 21st Century
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In its Seattle debut, Loving More's Poly Living West Coast Conference offers:

TWO DAYS OF AMAZING RELATIONSHIP WORKSHOPS

Special Guest Speaker CHRISTOPHER RYAN, PH.D., Co-author of the sensational new book Sex at Dawn: the Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

A Keynote Speech by DOSSIE EASTON, M.A. of The Ethical Slut

A Concert by



About Special Guest Speaker Christopher Ryan, Ph.D.

Dan Savage calls Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality "the most important book on human sexuality since since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948." This new bestseller is overturning common wisdom on the anthropology of monogamy and human nature and remaking the future of the polyamory movement.

Join Christopher as he speaks about his book, the waves it is making, and how it applies to poly living today.

About Dossie Easton, M.A.

The Ethical Slut has been a cornerstone of the polyamory movement since its first edition in 1997. Join us for our opening address Friday night by Dossie Easton, longtime poly and sexual-freedom activist and a treasure of community wisdom.

There will be a presentation and book signing with Mim Chapman, Ph.D., author the book of What Does Polyamory Look Like? This lively and informative new book, by Loving More's own board member, Mim Chapman, categorizes the vast diversity of polyamorous relationships. It's a lighthearted tour through the poly world, good for educating friends, family, therapists, and professionals (and yourself) about our community.


There will also be a presentation and book signing by Curt Bergstrand, Ph.D., author of Swinging in America; Love, Sex and Marriage in the 21st Century, which is based on years of research into the swing world and other forms of nonmonogamy in American culture. This seminal book examines monogamy's functionality,failures, and whether it is healthy for our culture at large.






Opening Concert Friday Night
Bone Poets Orchestra (formerly Gaia Consort) plays psychedelic steampunk in the tradition of Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and other hallucinogenic masters. The band is well known in the West Coast poly world for its soulful, funny, original music with many appropriately themed songs.
Opening for Bone Poets is the renowned Ben Silver. A singer and instrumentalist from New York, Ben has led poly workshops and performed at Loving More conferences since the mid-1990s. Whether in singer/songwriter mode or doing McFerrinesque vocal improvisations, Ben slides through folk, R&B, funk, jazz and back again.







Loving More wishes to thank for their support:


HOTEL INFORMATION


For more information, see the Poly Living Website or call
970-667-5683.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cheating and Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

I've witnessed or experienced cheating from just about every perspective over the years, and those experiences are the main reason I'm a polyamorist. I saw how much pain was caused by cheating, whether when my dad cheated on my mom, my friend on her husband, my second husband on me or me on my first husband. The betrayal of trust is devastating and very difficult to repair. I learned this lesson the hard way, as do so many of us.

This is why in my workshops when this issue comes up I like to take what I call a loving "come to Jesus" approach to people who are in cheating situations, i.e. convince them of the importance of being ethical, which demands honesty, even if there is a lot to lose, i.e. the marriage, money, and child custody. I tell them that it will surely be even worse if they get caught cheating.

So many people think they can cheat and get away with it, but they are rationalizing in order to achieve an end result. In reality chances are good that the longer the secret behavior goes on, the greater the chances they will get caught. And when they do, trust, that essential ingredient for healthy relationships, is so destroyed that it takes long, hard work to repair it, if it's even feasible. Sometimes the hurt the cuckolded spouse/partner feels makes it just too tough to summon up the good will, love, and forgiveness necessary to make the needed repairs.

I think it's also worth examining the culture we live in and the role cultural influences play as to the huge percentage of people who have affairs. We are told that finding our one true love and living happily ever after is a reasonable expectation.  Little do we realize that this is not a likely end result - over the long term it's pretty much a crap shoot. And "till death do us part" is a LOT longer than it used to be. 100 years or so ago the average life expectancy was 49 years.  Today it's 78 years - that's a LONG time for one partner and one relationship to meet all our important needs, especially considering how fast needs and the world change these days. I'm not saying it can't be done or even that it isn't a valid choice - it is - but instead I'm recognizing the extent of the challenge.

There is lots of scientific evidence to support that humans evolved biologically to pair bond in order to conceive and protect children, but non-exclusively.  For prehistoric humans the desire to spread around reproductive resources meant a better chance of survival of the species, not that any of this was by conscious choice.

In the beginning of new love, brain chemistry creates limerence, that electric attraction a/k/a falling in love or NRE - new relationship energy, as we poly people call it. Early on we humans have sex like bunny rabbits, can't keep our hands off each other, and until the advent of reliable birth control, that sort of reproductive behavior was indeed successful.  But it's also known that after a few years of this, brain chemistry changes, and that hot attraction cools. Almost all of us have been there. Yet instead of being attracted to no one by that time, we find we are still attracted, but more to others who are shiny and new.

The new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. and Cacilda Jethá, M.D., who are married to each other, is getting tons of attention for revealing the truth about why it is that we stray. Others have written about this as well (Anthropologists David Barash and Eve Lipton, as well as Helen Fisher) but have tended to say that none of it should be used to support behavior that is not monogamous, since we have free will.  I think that's a big cop out designed to dodge taking heat for being the messenger.  Ryan and Jethá resist the urge to spin the information in favor of monogamy, which is a huge step forward for we polyamorists, having had little if anything to point to to illustrate the validity of open and honest responsible non-monogamy as an alternative to traditional monogamy.

There's an old saying: "Mommy's baby, Daddy's maybe." And again, the statistics bear it out. DNA testing proves that the father of a baby isn't the one listed on the birth certificate something like an average of 30% of the time across cultures. 

I'm not excusing cheating, not at all, but I think we do have to realize that our culture puts us in a hell of a tight spot, one that demands that we resist some very real human urges.  A person who is feeling the need for variety or to get their kink on or whatever it is that is missing is told, natural urges notwithstanding, that their only ethical choice is to give up what may well be otherwise a perfectly good relationship in order to fulfill those needs.  They are told they must throw it all away and start over, with all the pain and suffering and expense that entails, or they have to make do with what they have.  Never can they have it all, both the companionship of a life partnership and pair bond plus the variety they also desire.  It's the perfect setup for cheating.  Being the natural rationalizers we are, we tell ourselves that if we're careful we won't get caught and proceed to try to have it all but on the down low.  It's a rotten deal, and organized religion has a lot of responsibility for it.

I will never again live monogamously, at least not without maintaining polyamory as a legitimate option should I desire it.  It took some grappling with fear of loss for a while, but today I see that embracing my partners' desire to have the freedom to love and/or experience intimacy with others is a gift of love that they return with love and appreciation. This secures my place in their hearts in a way that no amount of cultural imperative via monogamy ever shall.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oprah Seeks a Triad!

We've known for a long time that the Oprah Winfrey Show was going to feature true polyamory at some point, and it looks like they've finally decided to give it a go. Below is their call for interview subjects. If you decide to respond, please, please go to the Polyamory Media Association website for valuable resources in preparing for the interview. PMA is run by knowledgeable volunteers who will not tell you what to say but instead help you maximize the benefit of what you do say so it is more likely to be a pleasant, positive experience.

This is a very exciting development considering the size of Oprah's audience, and, therefore, the number of people who we have a chance to influence in a positive way.  So from a polyamory activism point, this could be huge! 

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Are You in a 3 Person Relationship?

Are you CURRENTLY in a successful romantic relationship with two other people? Are you living in the same home, have children, go to work, but you come home to two partners?

Your triad (sometimes called a "thruple") could be:

1 man, 2 women

1 woman, 2 men

3 men or 3 women

The Oprah Show is looking for three people living under the same roof, in a romantic relationship, to come on national television and talk about how they work as a threesome.

We want to know: How did you all three meet? How long have you been together? How does it work? Like? Dislike? Is there jealousy? Do you sleep in the same bed? Does sex always have to include the three partners?

Please fill out the form on this web page  and an Oprah producer may be calling you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Videos on Poly/Mono Relationships and Resolving Jealousy on KinkAcademy.com

Earlier this year I had the pleasure and privilege of making educational videos based on two of the workshops I give for the webside KinkAcademy.com which is the brainchild of the lovely Princess Kali.  As of today all three segments of the poly/mono relationships program are now available for viewing, as well as the first segment of the jealousy program.  You can browse them from a link on my faculty page.  It costs about $10 per month to join the website and get access, but don't be shy about visiting, there's some great free content, too.  Still, considering how much even better information that joining up gives you access to, it's a real bargain. 

There are other teachers who speak about non-monogamous relationships as well, like Sarah Sloane, Dan and Dawn Williams, and M. Makael Newby.  And, of course, there is a huge, amazing amount of content from some of the best educators in kinky practices anywhere.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cheating: It's Not the Sex, It's the Lying - Jenny Block on FOXNews.com

The last two years for Jenny Block must have surely been an exhiliarating ride. Jenny is the author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage, published summer 2008, her courageous memoir of being a mainstream wife, mom and writer who, with the full knowledge and cooperation of her husband and with his and their daughter's best interests at heart, opened her marriage. Ultimately she added a long-term relationship with her girlfriend who is considered a part of their family.

Since that time Jenny has been busy.  She's made the rounds doing readings from her book and being interviewed on the topic of open relationships and polyamory. She won a Lambda Literary Award in the bisexual category.  She's appeared on national TV talk shows (for example, Fox's Mornings with Mike and Juliet) and TV news magazines (ABC's 20/20, defending responsible non-monogamy in a seventh Commandment debate on adultery with evangelical Christian ministers in the presence of a very large evangelical Christian audience), syndicated radio programs, in print newspapers and in online venues. Along the way she's blogged on sex and relationships for Huffington Post and - what a pleasant surprise - now writes FoxNews.com's weekly sexual health column, Fox on Sex. Her latest column is Cheating: It's Not the Sex, It's the Lying, and it is fantastic. Jenny offers excellent advice on why, whether monogamous or otherwise, it's necessary to communicate clearly with our partner(s) and come to an understanding as to what specific behaviors with others are permitted and which ones are to be off limits.

Those who attend my workshops know how often I emphasize the importance of trust as key to building healthy, happy, functional polyamorous relationships, and as Jenny points out, this is important in ALL intimate relationships. Our monogamy-focused society creates expectations in us that few really think about, much less discuss with the people they love and are committed to.

Some people may not be phased by their love engaging in a bit of flirtation at a cocktail party, while another may be livid about it - who is to know for sure where the line is that shouldn't be crossed if this isn't thought about and discussed? I'm not talking about angry accusations and blaming, that's not effective communication. But I am saying that discussing it before it happens is going to be a lot less difficult than doing so after it does.  For one thing, even if it's an uncomfortable discussion, the trust you share is intact and more likely to stay intact if boundaries and expectations are clearly acknowledged between you. 

Obviously it's less likely that people in stable polyamorous relationships are going to object to a partner's flirtation with others, but I've known plenty to end up in conflict for having failed to establish a clear understanding of each other's expectations.

For example, conflicts have been known to arise between poly partners due to differing views over what constitutes "sex."   If:

  • Poly partner A agrees to tell poly partner B if they have sex with someone new,
  • Poly partner A's definition of "sex" requires penitration to qualify, while
  • Poly partner B's definition also includes making out and manual stimulation/foreplay,
  • It is easy to predict that it's merely a matter of time before the drama begins.
So whether you are in a monogamous relationship or an open or polyamorous one, talk to your partner(s) and be gently direct about your feelings and point of view. The more you are honest with each other, the better your agreements will hold up and serve your purposes, especially when it really counts, and the more solid the trust you share will be. Jenny rightly says that it's not the sex, it's the lying. But it's also about the omissions. Either way, honesty and transparency will go a long way toward preventing damage to the trust that is vital to keep any relationship sound and happy.

To put it more bluntly, don't be stupid. Never, ever secretly rationalize breaking an agreement and crossing an established boundary as a means to have who you desire while expecting to avoid a potential confrontation with a partner. You are playing with a fire that in the blink of an eye will destroy the trust required for your relationship to be happy. Before you know it you are in deep relationship trouble, a kind of trouble that will require hard work for a long time to repair the damage done. Erase from your memory forever that old saw about it being easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. It's a lie, especially in this case. For the vast majority of people it will not be worth it. Trust me, I've been there.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MTV Returns for Follow Up with Gay Quad in Charlotte

What an interesting development!  Last year MTV's True Life episode on polyamory profiled an MFF poly vee relationship in NYC and a poly quad in Charlotte, NC.  You can read about it in more detail here.  Now there is news that True Life has returned to Charlotte a year later to see what's up these days with Jeremy Eudy, Thomas Freyre, Jim Messaros and Chris Morgan.

Last time around this was a triad - looks like Thomas, Jim and Christ added their fourth partner, Jeremy, in the interim.  The triad was struggling to find their way in dealing with conflicts that commonly arise in new poly relationships, what I call riding the poly rollercoaster (with attendant highs and lows).  I'm crossing my fingers for them and hoping that they were able to sort things out and make it work.  Time (and apparently MTV) will tell, and I very much look forward to watching this follow-up episode of True Life.  No word yet on when it will be broadcast.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hooray! Another Lambda Literary Award for Polyamory

Congratulations to Australian researcher and author Dr. Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli for winning the Lambda Literary Award in a tie for her bisexual and polyamory themed fictional book, Love You Two.   I've read this book and enjoyed it immensely.  It is about a teenage girl who accidentally discovers that her mother is polyamorous - she has a boyfriend in addition to her husband, and all three partners are open and honest about the situation . . . . This book deals with issues such as teenage sex, date rape, bisexuality, homosexuality, polyamory, and rainbow families in a sensitive and subtle way. Despite its themes, it is suitable for reading by teenagers and possibly younger children if their parents feel they are mature enough.

The book tied for the award in Bisexual Fiction with Holy Communion by Mykola Dementiuk. 

For those in the NYC area the celebration of the arts in the bisexual community continues with 'Bi Lines III: a Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Music & Culture tonight at 7:30PM at NYC's LGBT Community Services Center, 208 West 13th Street in NYC's West Village

This is the second Lambda Literary win for books with polyamory themes, the first being Jenny Block's win in the bisexual non-fiction category for her book Open:  Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage in 2008.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Polyamory on Starz Series Party Down

So lately I've been getting into a new ensemble comedy series on the Starz premium cable network called Party Down, about a group of people who work for a catering company by that name. It stars, amongst others, the awesome Megan Mullally (sans that awful nasally voice she did on Will & Grace) and rising star Lizzy Caplan who played Jason Stackhouse's hippie girlfriend, Amy Burley, in Season 1 of True Blood.   Each episode of Party Down is the story of what happens at an event they are catering.  In this week's episode #204, they are catering a wake given by the family of a prominent, newly-deceased African American businessman. 

SPOILER ALERT - If you think you may see this show and don't want to know ahead of time what happens in episode 204, read no further. If you want to know more or just don't care either way, scroll down a bit....


Down....


Down....


Down....


Down....

SO! Present at the wake is, of course, the deceased's widow and his daughter.  The daughter hired and is the liaison to the Party Down staff.  We learn fairly early on that these ladies have an expectation that representatives from "the Phoenix office" of the deceased's employer would attend to pay their respects, and there's resentment when it seems no one has been sent to honor their dead executive who over the years spent a lot of time away from home working in that office.

A pretty blonde woman with a mixed race teenaged son arrives, and someone assumes she is the rep of a homeless shelter who is expected to pick up extra food being donated to the shelter.  But she is distraught, and it is soon obvious that she is not from the homeless shelter and knew the deceased VERY well.  The hostess/daughter figures this out and orders the caterers to do something to keep the deceased's paramour from encountering the widow and tipping her off that her dead husband had had another family stashed away. 

Daughter and staff cook up a scheme where the mistress is introduced to the widow as a representative from the Phoenix office.  The mistress manages to play it cool until she walks up to the casket and starts bawling.  She recovers somewhat and just as she is introduced to the widow as being from the Phoenix office, someone who is REALLY from the Phoenix office shows up and says to the widow something like, "We wanted to convey our condolences.  Though we only saw him a few times a year, your husband was well respected ...."  Yadee yadee yadee.... 

At this point a look of realization comes over the widow's face, and naturally everyone thinks the sh*t is about to hit the fan.  But instead of the widow freaking out, imagine my surprise and delight when she says very pleasantly something along the lines of "Oh, you must be her!  Well, I'm so glad you could come by.  This must be your son.  What a fine looking boy.  You know I always thought you'd be Asian, he always liked the Asian girls.  Anyway, we so appreciate your being here."  At this point she turns to her daughter and the catering staffers and says with a smile:

"Thank goodness he and I had an open marriage.  We never would have lasted if we hadn't!"

Of course, everyone is left standing with their mouths agape, not believing what they've just heard (while I'm sitting at home clapping and cheering), as the widow strolls away chatting with another guest.  As awesome as that all is, there's still more - the episode closes with the arrival of a pretty Asian woman and HER racially mixed teenaged son. 

You can see a couple of clips from episode 204 here, though none of them references this part of the story line.  Otherwise, all I can say to this is THANK YOU MO' NIQUE!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Pinky Song by Alicyn Packard

Healthy sexuality comes in many forms, and everything I post here happens with an underlying sex-positive pansexual context. Once in a while I will post something here purely for its entertainment value.

I sometimes present workshops to kinky people, many, many of whom are polyamorous, and there are many who read this blog. Role play afficionados will especially like this. Thanks to my friend Lisa Vandever, awesome director of the Cinekink Film Festival, for the tip on this hilarious video - enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Polygarol!

Just came across this and love it! Fourth wife indeed. Love the imagery of the football through the THREE tires.

Personal Stories on Polyamory and Compersion on Radio Netherlands Worldwide

This just in.  Executive Director Robyn Trask and her partner, Managing IT Director Jesus Garcia, both of Loving More, give a great polyamory interview in this radio piece in which they are interviewed by Radio Netherlands Worldwide (in English, never fear) in partnership with WAMU public radio here in Washington, DC.  The radio show is The State We're In, and this episode is titled Flirtation, Love, Romance and Polyamory

Robyn and Jesus talk about their poly relationship and their relationships with other lovers, both their own and each other's.  Robyn's sweetie, guitarist and singer Ben Silver, is also interviewed about his relationships with both Robyn as his sweetie and Jesus as Robyn's primary partner.  Ben also sings some of his lovely polyamory- focused music.  Though she doesn't use the word, Robyn speaks at length about how compersion works for her in her relationships.  (For more info on compersion, see also the handout from my compersion workshop.)

You will listen through or skip over a brief news interlude, and the poly segment is first up and concludes at 22 minutes in.  Be sure to listen to that point - Ben's lovely vocals and harmonies on the song "More Love" are not to be missed! 

The group picture I've used above was taken at last fall's Loving More Retreat, and a happier bunch of people you'll never see.  We were all feeling our bliss by the time pictures were taken on Sunday.  Please consider joining us for this year's retreat September 10-12 on 175 acres in the beautiful, rural, clothing-optional setting of Easton Mountain Retreat in upstate New York.  The beds are comfortable, the food organic and fresh out of the garden, the company fabulous and the opportunities for learning, growing and connecting truly awesome.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Woody Allen Does Polyamory Again in Whatever Works


After Woody Allen's 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona created a sensation in the poly community due to the poly elements in its story line, I am surprised that I didn't hear anything about his 2009 movie, Whatever Works.  I just happened upon it on Netflix.  Though polyamory isn't the main story line, there is definitely a lovely example of functional polyamory present.  Of course, it's portrayed in the context of bohemian life in Greenwich Village and not as taking place in some mainstream middle class suburban setting, but still, we'll take a healthy portral of polyamory whereever we can get it. 

Apparently Allen is enthralled with polyamory, or so it would seem if two movies in a row with poly elements form a pattern.  But unlike VCB, this one never had a wide release in theaters.  It was first shown as the premiere film at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009 and stars Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Evan Rachel Wood (Sophie-Ann Leclerq, the vampire queen of Louisiana, on True Blood), as well as Michael McKean, Ed Begley, Jr., and the awesome Patricia Clarkson (also in VCB), who plays a blissed-out newby poly person.

In addition to it's polyamory aspect, this film also appeals to me because it juxtaposes in romantic relationships God-fearing NRA-member traditional southerners with denizens of Greenwich Village and demonstrates how bohemian culture can open eyes and minds. 

So this is definitely a film worth seeing so long as you don't mind Larry David's character Boris's ascerbic, angst-ridden, narcissistic, hypochondriacal, anti-social, suicidal carrying on.  Of course, it wouldn't be a Woody Allen film without some of that.  And it's definitely interesting to see what happens when Allen introduces Boris's new love interest , Melody, played by Wood, who is a sweet, smart, inquisitive, enthusiastic and independent young southern woman.  Only Allen could make that scenario seem plausible, which he does and masterfully, master that he is.
Some favorite quotes:

Boris: Can you believe this cracker, this red state Neanderthal, this mindless zombie of the National Rifle Association?

John (Ed Begley, Jr.): My shrink says that the guns were all a manifestation of my sexual inadequacy.

Boris:  Yeah, if it wasn't for sexual inadequacy the National Rifle Association would go broke!

and

Boris: ... I can't say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works. 

(That last one's not such a bad point of view when it comes to arranging one's love life as one will instead of doing what others expect of us.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Poly Living and Loving More Coming to Seattle this Fall!

Loving More is thrilled to announce that for the first time it will be holding a major polyamory relationship conference in Seattle and is excited to bring this wonderful conference to an equally wonderful part of the country.  The Poly Living Conference, being held October 22-24, 2010,  features a range of informative workshops from basic to advanced and intellectual to experiential, covering topics both fun and serious.  Poly Living, orginally founded by the late George Marvil, is a place to learn relationship skills that support healthy polyamorous realationships.

• Friday night Keynote,Concert and Reception

• Saturday to Sunday- 18 Amazing workshops by nationally known polyamory facilitators and presenters

• Saturday Luncheon

Click here for pricing and details

Featuring in Concert Friday Night - Bone Poets Orchestra

Bone Poets Orchestra (formally known as Gaia Consort) will be performing in concert Friday following the keynote address.  Bone Poets Orchestra describes itself as psychedelic Steampunk in the tradition of Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and other hallucinogenic masters.  Listen to Bone Poets Music here.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deborah Anapol and Polyamory Get Their Own Blog on PsychologyToday.com

Dr. Deborah Anapol, co-founder with Ryam Nearing in the early 1990s of  Loving More and author of Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits (now out of print) has just announced the following:

"...in case you’re still wondering whether polyamory has gone mainstream, I’ve just been asked to blog about polyamory for Psychology Today. My new blog, Love Without Limits: Reports from the Relationship Frontier will be up soon. Please visit me there, offer your own views in the 'comments' section, and share this link with your friends."

No wondering on my part, other poly leaders and I have been discussing and writing about the mainstreaming of polyamory for more than three years now.  It's gratifying to see that the polyamory movement has now reached a place where mainstream psychology is taking note and recognizes that this trend is important and substantial enough to warrant regular, high visibility commentary. 

Anapol must have a good publicist to land such a plum writing opportunity.  Her re-entry into the world of polyamory is also being fueled by publication next month of her new book, Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners, about which I've heard good things and will post a review here once I've purchased and read it.  She asked me to write a piece for it on recent polyamory leadership initiatives, which I did.  It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the current state of the practice of polyamory, especially since she dropped out of polyamory circles and remained pretty much silent on the subject for the last several years, seemingly focusing on other things. Younger poly leaders, used to the fast pace of the flow of information via the internet and social networking sites, seem to barely know who she is, if at all.  Still, for ten years or so Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits and The Ethical Slut (1st ed) by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt/Janet Hardy, were the only books available by which to navigate the waters of polyamory.  For their existence I will always be grateful, especially Anapol's section on jealousy.  We'll see whether this new book has the chops to rate up there with Tristan Taormino's Opening Up and the vastly expanded and improved 2nd edition of The Ethical Slut as a staple reference resource on polyamorists' book shelves.  If you are one of those polyamorists who knows little or nothing about Anapol and would like to know more, visit her website.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Open Marriage on the Fox Medical Drama, House

The concept of open marriage is gaining mainstream traction largely via Mo'Nique's recent admission about her open marriage to Barbara Walters. It seems that the default assumption is that an open marriage is designed to allow sexual flings without romance or commitment, so I'm just as glad the word polyamory wasn't used in last night's episode of the Fox medical drama, House. Here's the preview FYI.



You can also watch the episode here.  In the opening scene a woman is having sex with her lover when a knock comes at the hotel room door and it is her husband.  She had forgotten to sign a paper needed for one of their children that day.  But instead of all hell breaking loose, the husband is invited in, obviously feels awkward and says he's not sure how to behave under those circumstances. Nevertheless, he introduced himself to the lover and they shook hands very politely.  As soon as the husband leaves, the wife develops severe abdominal pain and sends her lover after her husband.  So far so good as to the open marriage story line.

Lots of conversation happened throughout the episode, so much that it seemed that the woman's mysterious illness was a subplot line.  It was strange that the medical staff kept asking their patient questions that were pretty rude and not necessary to make a diagnosis, but they did facilitate discussion about the problems with monogamy, even going so far as to one character saying it's unreasonable to expect our partner to meet all our needs forever.

Certainly the medical staff was curious, and one doctor named Taub who had apparently had repeated affairs (I don't watch this show normally) was inspired to bring the subject up with his wife, though in the ill-advised setting of a restaurant in public.  This resulted in his wife reluctantly granting him Thursday nights with the woman he works with whom he fancies, only later to withdraw her permission out of fear.  Instead of asking her to work on the reason for the fear, the husband immediate caves in and says he only wants her, only the next day to head off to his new love interest's apartment.

When the subject of open marriage first came up between Taub and his colleagues, he was the first one to condemn it, saying "A functional open marriage is like a unicorn. It's a mythical creature that doesn't exist."  Fail!  I'll have to hand it to the writers on that part of the story, apparently they know there are many hypocrits out there who are a lot more comfortable with cheating than with toughing out the transition to conducting their multiple relationships openly, honestly and ethically.

I felt very sorry for the patient's lover when he showed up at the hospital, flowers in hand, out of concern for his lover only to be greeted with hostility and orders by the husband to leave because he was intruding on their family.  Even his lover/the patient told him he should leave.  It said loudly and clearly that his relationship with her was to remain superficial and a low priority for her.  Add in that the lover was referred to at one point by one of the medical staff as the patient's "boy toy," and it became clear that it was OK to treat the extracurricular sexual liasson as cheap, tawdry, and not worthy of respect. 

I liked that the subject matter sparked a lot of conversation between a lot of different characters and that we heard a lot of the same discussions that poly people have, especially when starting to explore.  On the other hand, it seems that the writers decided to take the safe course and ultimately demonize open relationships, especially anyone who would have a sexual relationship with someone who is married, even if the married partner has permission. 

I think we can ultimately consider this a win due to it's power to reach millions and the likelihood that it will spark discussion amongst the viewers. Still, I look forward to the day when everyone gets to live happily ever after in the relationship structure that is best for them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Polyamory Leaders Meet for Third Summit Meeting

At long last I've written up a report on the Polyamory Leadership Network's summit held in February.  The Network (hereafter referred to as “PLN”) held its third summit February 21-22, 2010 in the Philadelphia area. Thirty-five leaders from across the U.S. attended, and the summit was facilitated by workshop facilitator and sex educator Reid Mihalko.

PLN is a loosely-formed group of community leaders formed in October, 2008 at the 2008 Poly Pride Celebration in New York City. Its purpose is to educate the general public about polyamory as a legal, natural, ethical, practical, and joyous way of life; to provide education and support for members of the polyamory community and others interested in or touched by this relationship choice; and to foster a public climate in which all forms of consensual adult relationship choices are respected and honored. This is achieved through publications, media outreach, creative and scholarly projects, support for local/regional allies, and by providing opportunities and venues for collaboration and information-sharing.

After general introductions, Sarah Taub and I presented a recap of the prior summit held a year earlier. Projects that originated at the 2009 summit were reviewed and include providing more volunteer support and funding for the Loving More Non-Profit; a national coming out project; outreach projects to legal professionals, poly/mono partners, Principle Voices (a pro-religious polygamy organization), therapists, and polyamorists under 35; the formation of the Polyamory Media Association to better manage and leverage opportunities arising from media coverage of polyamory; a poly history timeline; and, of course, research collaboration with CARAS, on which Sarah Taub reported on the CARAS Polyamory Community Study currently in development.

Then we discussed and determined what skills and resources we offer each other. Each person spoke to what they are passionate about, love doing, and are great at, which was recorded and distributed for finding project collaborators that share our passion for a specific project. We all agreed to commit only to what we know how to do, are good at, and love doing.

Next we were asked to report what projects we are doing as individuals, and/or are fired up about doing. These included creating more events to build connections and communities; improving poly community diversity; helping with the CARAS poly community survey; developing and presenting more relationship skills workshops; creating a website that teaches good relationship skills; organizing a poly convention; creating poly leadership resources; organizing events for disseminating information on STIs; researching and writing scholarly articles; expanding offerings of presentations to relevant professional audiences; creating a virtual intentional poly community; co-producing a sex and relationships expo marketed to the general public; creating a "Faces of Polyamory" video; and presenting on polyamory to LGBT youth and at LGBT conferences.

The focus of the wrap-up part of the summit was the next PLN summit, and it was determined that the next PLN summit will be held October 24-25, 2010 in the Seattle area hotel where Loving More’s Poly Living west coast conference will take place the same weekend.

As the meeting closed, everyone reported feeling inspired, excited and having renewed energy for their work on behalf of polyamory and the polyamory community.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dear Margo Makes a Prediction About Mainstream Polyamory Acceptance

Today's "Dear Margo" addresses polyamory once again.  Somewhere in the Heartland's intelligently-written letter questioning monogamy ostensibly from the point of view of a monogamous partner with a poly partner lobbies for the poly partner's right to be who they are.  Though there is no real question, Margo offers her very brief opinion without condemnation .   

(One of my principle focuses in providing polyamory educational resources is poly/mono relationships.  I give a workshop on the subject and make the handout available on my website). 

I must say, SITH's letter sounds for all the world like it was written by the poly partner instead of the mono partner, but if that is not the case, then this mono man's poly wife is a lucky person indeed. It's a challenge for many mono partners to take such a fair-minded stance, and understandably so.

SITH makes the point that it is bad for closeted gay people to deny who they are and uses that as an analogy to justify the importance of permitting a poly partner to live a poly life. Interestingly, this time Margo's response is to basically say that when it comes to monogamy, some feel one way and some another, but regardless .....

I believe the gay community will clear all the cultural and societal hurdles and prejudices long before the open marriage or polyamory crowds.

After which she signs off "Margo, psychically." Time will tell whether Margo has it right. The truth in that statement will largely depend on how much polyamorists are willing to support advocacy organizations like Loving More.

Margo Howard (daughter of Ann Landers) writes a syndicated advice column in which in the past she has (a) made erroneous statements about polyamory, (b) retracted them after the community wrote to correct her misstatements, and (c) more than a year later responded to someone in an MFM triad looking for a fourth a bit ascerbically but generally much better than the first time she addressed the subject.   Today's letter is the fourth time she's addressed the subject of polyamory, and she certainly seems to be applying what she's learned, for which we can all be grateful.  If you're willing, it would be good to write to her and say as much, as I am going to do.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Loving More is Officially a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization

Loving More Executive Director Robyn Trask writes:

I am overjoyed to announce that Loving More's pending 501(c)3 non-profit status has been approved and the status is retroactive to May 2006. This means we are officially a tax deductible charitable organization dating back to May 2006. The non-profit status allows us to apply for both public and private grants, receive tax deductible donations and exempts us from most sales tax requirements. Loving More now has to apply for Colorado State Tax Exemption which will simply be submitting the 501(c)3.

Tax deductible donations can only be taken for the year in which the donations were made. For those who may have contributed over $1,000 and who itemize your tax return, it may be worth filing an amended return for previous years donations. Contact your accountant or the IRS directly to find out what your options are.

In addition to this great news, Loving More has moved into its new office. The office is a shared space with room to teach classes and workshops. The space serves as both an office and a center for workshops on polyamorous relationships. We will hold our first discussion group in the new class space for the Colorado poly community on Tuesday, March 30, at 7:00pm. We will also have a Grand Opening on April 10 at 1:30pm.

This is a really big step forward for Loving More and for the poly community. Now more than ever we need your help in meeting our financial goal of raising $30,000 in donations. We have raised thus far this year $8,075 but we have a long way to go.

We are also seeking help from people who have experience in applying for grants. Please contact us at 970-667-5683 if you have knowledge of grant writing or finding suitable grants.
Help Us Out by Donating!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Afternoon with the Washington Area Secular Humanists

On this past Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of presenting a program on polyamory to the Washington Area Secular Humanists.  One of their organizers reached out to me a couple of months ago, said that a fair number of members were interested in hearing more about polyamory, and invited me to speak at an upcoming monthly gathering.  

Though I knew that some attendees probably weren't going to be entirely comfortable with this idea, I felt it important to take advantage of this opportunity to raise awareness of polyamory, especially with a group that rejects the oppressiveness of organized religion and dogma.   Their values make them potential allies. 

About 40 people turned out.   They were polite, respectful, and asked good questions.   My basic poly 101 presentation was enhanced so as to include some detail on the ethics of polyamory. Secular Humanists highly value ethical behavior, so it was important to demonstrate how it is that polyamory is an ethical manner in which to conduct one's intimate relationships. 

The WASH representatives very kindly permitted me to briefly introduce Michael Rios and Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture and Ricci Levi of The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, very different organizations that nevertheless both welcome and support polyamorous people.   They also announced the event on the Chesapeake Polyamory Network yahoogroup and invited people to attend, which I especially appreciated.  It was nice to see some local poly community members and CPN representatives there, some of whom very kindly volunteered to help me field questions during the break and after the program ended.

Thanks to Don, Shelley, and everyone with WASH for their kindness and support!. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Moving Letter from a Woman Polyamorist in Bulgaria

One of the most exciting things happening in the world of polyamory today is it's rapid growth in new locations around the world.  Though the growth of interest in and the practice of polyamory in the United States has increased so there are many fewer polyamorists isolated with no real local community, such people still exist.  So, too, do they exist in other countries.  (See my post about my delightful connection with Leonie Linssen in the Netherlands who is pretty much single-handedly organizing poly community in that country.) 

I received this week two compelling messages from a very isolated polyamorist in Bulgaria named Violeta Stoykova-Jakobson, and she has given me her permission to share them with all of you.  She is an excellent example of how it is that no matter what our race, our nationality, or our religious background, some of us just know that we were never meant to live a life of monogamy.  And it is messages like these that inspire me to continue my advocacy work for polyamorists everywhere, especially those who can't advocate for themselves in their own home town.  While I appreciate her kind words, they truly apply to all the wonderful polyamory advocates I know who are working to make things better for all of us who consider ourselves polyamorous. 

Vili, as she signs her messages, writes:

Dear Anita,

Thank you for the work that you are doing.  Depending on the perspective, in 21st century the world might look smaller or greater, crowded with loving, amicable people or with alienated ones.

To be born and to grow up in your little corner of that world (Bulgaria in my case) is not easy.  In my life I never saw working, mutually rewarding monogamous relationship between straight individuals.  I didn't have positive role models.  So,when I identified myself as bisexual and polyamorous I felt both open to the experience and shocked by it!

"Why me?  Why it has to happen exactly to me?", was my initial reaction.  Because of Internet (providing me the necessary information I can learn from) and due to the important job people like you do, I have hope for my future, the future I am not willing to spend as an outcasted victim - weak, silent, invisible.

I intend to relocate to California pretty soon, to live with my husband and see what America can offer me...and what I can give to myself and my beloved ones.

I certainly intend to help her connect with local poly community when she has relocated.  Vili continues in her second message: 

I have always felt like an old soul, like someone who, in the past, was imprisoned in the vulnerable body of a child but bore in it the insights of timeless wisdom.

You might (reasonably) want to ask me do I believe my heart is unbreakable now.  No, I came to the realization that a heart can be "broken" only in the context of someone else"owning" it.  You know the patern- "I'll come and hurt you by creating a chaos inside you or by telling you what you should feel in your heart because I've been hurt in the past and that's the only way of  'living' I know!"

Well, my person grew up enough for a shift of the paradigm, I opened myself up to the new ways in which I perceive life at present.  Why am I so dauntless?  I am full of surprises.  I am a member of the LDS church, usually called the mormons.  I joined it at the age of 19, completely oblivious about my sexual, spiritual,and relationship orientation, so to say.

When I came to terms with the truth about myself more than three years ago, I wanted to resign from it because I couldn't reconcile the church's policy about its GLBT members (and alternative lifestyles in general) with the unconditional love of Christ, with the same love I felt to be the core of my being. 

.... after eight years in the church I met two young men, serving their mission in my hometown, who turned my world upside down.  One of them became my husband (though not in law yet - for political/practical reasons), the other one I call "my smallest bit of paradise".  They "introduced" me to the reality of polyamory and I'll never regret that!

...My husband's ex-girlfriend turned [out] to be someone with serious mental issues.  Being unable to accept the fact that he no longer wishes to be with her, she drove us crazy.  She wrote nasty,malicious handwritten letters and e-mails to both of us.  She bothered me on Facebook - I had to delete my profile because even though I blocked her she continued the harassment by sending her aquaintances to abuse me.  They pretended to be potemtial friends of mine, but after I opened the door to my universe all I heard was how I am sinful/will burn in hell or abandon my beloved one for another woman(since I am openly bisexual).  She even googled my name!

I resisted all attacks.  I know what love is.  I am sure how it feels for me - not limited by gender or number.  My husband (he's much more than the institutionalized word for me; he's my sweet accomplice in life's adventures) loves my strength, courage and openness.  In a kind of society where everyone is masking everything he loves my nature, my real face.  He still has a lot of work to do to catch up with me. 

My letter already became long,so I want to say only one more thing.  Honesty is my policy.  Being bisexual and polyamorous doesn't necessary mean that I will be engaged in multiple, parallel relationships with both men and women.  They might happen to me, they might not.  I may crave for them, I may not.  Love comes to us when we are ready to decide whether to follow it or to stay the miserable grey mice in the corner.  Who I am is the fastest way to freedom.

Best regards,

Vili

P.S.  Please stay in touch with me.  The desert of loneliness is unbearable.

So much of what Vili writes resonates for me, especially her comment in the last paragraph about when love comes to us and about being who we really are being the fastest way to freedom.  And the religious harrassment she endured via her husband's ex is an all-too common story for those who identify as polyamorous and/or bisexual.  But the most compelling of all is what she says in her postscript.  It can indeed be lonely to be the only poly-identified person you know.  But she is surely not alone.  If you would be willing to be Vili's polyamorous pen pal, please send me your name and email address and a little about yourself and I'll send it to her.