Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan



December 31, 2013

The bright poly future... and some dark sides: Part 1


Six months ago I put up a post that got spread around: Poly as "the relationship status of a totally fabulous future"... And from long-timers, warning signs.

Buttons from ModernPoly.
Since then we've seen lots more declarations that poly is growing (true), that widespread knowledge of it will improve relationship culture generally (possible, I think), and that it will advance the centuries-long trend toward freedom, humanism, and personal agency to the betterment of the world (something I dearly hope, but...).

Here are some more items the public has been seeing about our movement's rapid development — to be followed by some serious pieces about shadow sides.

First the nice stuff to close out 2013. Then in a few days I'll post Part 2.

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• I won't even try to quote all the conservatives' warnings that the poly wave of the future is suddenly crashing in, now that the war against acceptance of gays is all but lost. Go see Conservatives Shifting their Aim to Polyamory (another post here that took off).

• Sociologist Elisabeth Sheff, author of the new book The Polyamorists Next Door, sums up in an essay,


If current trends continue, the number of poly relationships will rise dramatically as members of the general public discover what I call the polyamorous possibility, or the option of adding openly conducted non-monogamy to the relational menu that used to only include being single, being monogamous, or cheating (and now also includes hooking up for certain age groups). As the poly population rises and becomes more visible, recognizing them as diverse families will become increasingly important.



• Maria Padhila of Planet Waves, in her lookback at 2013, writes,


Polyamory, of course, had a big year. It was like it was just invented or something.... Polyamory is also being “positioned,” as they say, for the next big social and political battle, now that there have been so many victories in LGBT marriage. If right wingers have started to notice it and fight it, you know it’s going to be a thing.



• In the Trends section of a Missouri TV station's "Ozarks First" news site:


The concept of “friends with benefits” is taking on a whole new meaning with the rise in polyamory. There’s such an increase in multi-partnered relationships, communities are starting to see overflow attendance in support and social groups for people in open relationships.

Shows on TLC and Showtime profile the sometimes complicated sex lives of participants and illustrate how lines are blurring in terms of social norms.

There’s a lot of discussion around the concept of “the new normal” and what that statement means in a post-Recession world. Some say the new normal is the modern evolution of the traditional family and household — others claim that it’s simply a way to survive both physically and emotionally through tough times. Regardless of what side of the debate you may be on, family is an evolving concept....


Whole article (Oct. 13, 2013).


• On mytinysecrets.com ("natural intimate beauty & health"), a woman in a Texas triad who are raising kids writes,


5 Reasons Why Polyamory Can Be Healthy for You

“An apple a day helps keep the doctor away”, but so can ethical polyamory. Polyamory... can have health benefits that you might not realize....

#1 Sex benefits our health....

#2 Polyamory can offer stress relief... because there are more people to help with your daily life....

#3 Increase general life satisfaction.... Since there are more people in a polyamorous relationship, we support and help one another to reach life goals.... For example, when Jadez went to college, Antony and I worked. After she received her degree, her and I continued working, while Antony attended college. A few years later, I also attended college and finished my degree with Antony and Jadez’s full support. Now, we all work and support the family....

#4 More love has psychological benefits....

#5 Polyamory helps [people] to become emotionally stronger & stable....


Article (Aug. 17, 2013).


• At MNartists.blog,


I ask a friend in her twenties what’s trending in young sex. “Polyamory,” she says — not so much the practice but the public identity. People are polies now the way people are vegetarians, or redheads. We discuss the polies. Are they for real? The irony (or is it an irony at all?) is that the most sincere and solid polies my friend has run across seek not multiple lovers, but multiple loving relationships: more caresses, less sex.


Article (Nov. 1, 2013).


• Interesting claims by Keith Pullman/ Full Marriage Equality, who advocates for legal recognition of multiple marriage:


Why Polyamory Will Gain Acceptance Faster

It’s not going to take as long for polyamorists to get our freedoms, including the freedom to marry, as it is taking (monogamist) gays and lesbians....

...Here why:

1) Momentum. Note that gay civil rights have made progress much faster than feminist and racial civil rights. Likewise, rights for nonmonogamists and people who don’t want to marry at all will not take as long as gay rights....

2) Smaller opposition. Opposition to polyamory and the polygamous freedom to marry comes almost entirely from specific segments of religious conservatives, more and more of whom are warming up to the fact that civil marriages are not a threat to their churches and that it is destructive and wasteful to concentrate on trying to control adult relationships....

3) Less motivated opposition. Most of the above considered the “line in the sand” to be the same-gender freedom to marry and are already resigned to polygamous freedom to marry upon national establishment of the same-gender freedom to marry....

4) More existing understanding....

5) Strict monogamy is rare.... Extending rights to polyamorous people... deals with a reality that everyone has experienced....

6) Political compatibility.... Progressives, libertarians, and conservatives can all find much to like in polyamory, which is why you can find polyamorists in just about all areas of the political map....



Article (July 8, 2013).


• By Canadian hip-hop journalist Addi Stewart:


10 Ideas Polyamory Could Teach Monogamy

1. Communicate fearlessly
If there’s ONE thing that permeates monogamy, it’s truth masquerading as jokes...

2. Fantasies aren’t fatal
How many monogamous relationships are allowed to have those super truthful conversations [sharing] their darkest, most naughty fantasies? Not enough, apparently....

3. NRE is a renewable resource
Routine is the death of relationships....

4. Limits are boundaries to honesty....

5. Needs change over time....

6. Freedom is the most beautiful gift you can give someone you love....

7. Commitment can come in many shapes and sizes....

8. Steel sharpens steel....

9. Society’s judgment need not disturb the dreams we have in our bedroom....

10. Recognizing when what’s on paper isn’t working in practice....


Article (Dec. 23, 2013).


• To close, here are Franklin Veaux's observations on the changing poly scene as 2013 comes to its end — and as he and Eve Rickert near completion of their forthcoming book More Than Two:


I'm seeing more people aware of solo poly and loosely defined relationships, but I'm ALSO seeing more hierarchy, couple privilege, and enforced primary/secondary thinking.

The poly community is swelling, so it's perhaps not surprising that we can see more of both attitudes. It's also polarizing.

I'm seeing the hierarchy and couple privilege from large numbers of previously monogamous couples who are hearing about polyamory from the media or from other poly people and saying "wow, we can have sex with other people? Rock on! But only if we set the rules."

And I'm seeing the loose definitions and solo poly attitudes from younger people, like millennials, who are growing up without rigid expectations of how relationships "should" look.

– I have started to think of the poly movement from 1992 to about 2010 as "first wave" poly. These are the people who invented the language and created the poly movement.

– People in their 30s and above who are coming into polyamory because they've seen it on TV or heard about it from talk radio, but whose experience is only with monogamy, are "second wave" poly. They're largely all about hierarchy and rules; a lot of these folks I see come to poly from a place of deep fear and suspicion; they like the idea of having multiple partners, but only if it's not uncomfortable or threatening.

– The millennials will be "third wave" poly. These are people who grew up with homosexuality and gender fluidity being no big deal, and I think they're going to create poly communities that are very diverse over the next few decades.


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P.S. from me: I'm going to Loving More's Poly Living East in Philadelphia February 7–9. It happens every year in a nice hotel near the airport, and last year about 200 people attended. The new Poly Living West is in Denver April 25–27.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Keith Pullman said...

Thank you for keeping up all of the good work on this blog. I know it has to be getting more difficult with more and more polyamory in the news and in the media in general.

January 01, 2014 11:20 AM  

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