Category Archives: Conferences

Reasons 1&2 of the Five Reasons Agreements Fail

Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This entry in my Agreements Workbook Series (aka “KISSable Agreements) series, comprises Reasons 1 & 2 of the Five Reasons (Most) Agreements Fail.  Do you sometimes forget your Agreements?  Or miss something that, in hindsight, seems like it should have been obvious?  If so, you’re not alone. Read more below, including some suggestions for what to do when these things happen to you.

Questions or comments?  As always, feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my Facebook Page, Love Outside The Box!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Don’t forget to meet me at the  Academic Poly Conference in Berkeley, CA, this weekend (February 15-17)! I’ll be presenting on Agreements on Saturday afternoon.

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The Five Reasons (Most) Agreements Fail

So here you are.  You’ve worked through all of that stuff above, you’ve identified everyone’s needs, you’ve checked the caveats and assumptions, and you’ve made an Agreement. That’s great! Having an agreement is a good thing. Unfortunately, the sad truth is:  Nobody’s perfect! At some point your Agreement will likely fail. This in and of itself is not necessarily a bad or tragic thing.  It just is. Agreements are iterative, which means that it is normal to engage in “trial and refinement” a few times before you get it right. Often, all that needs to happen is a slight adjustment, a little re-negotiation, and you’re back in business. The good news is that — so long as everyone is being an adult, and negotiating in good faith — there are only five main reasons that things don’t go right.  Here’s what they are, and some ideas of what to do in each case.

1) Simply Forgetting

Especially when we’re learning new behaviors, we human beings have a tendency to forget things. For some folks this is more true than others, but even for people who have good memories, it can take a while to get used to something new.  In general, if someone forgets an Agreement once or twice, it’s no big deal.  If, however, this “forgetting” turns into a pattern, then it’s more likely to be a symptom of something deeper, perhaps one of the other Five Reasons.

monkey scratching head

Even enlightened bonobos sometimes forget their Agreements!

What to do?

Practice compassion and forgiveness. Remember that no one is perfect (including yourself.)  If this is not the first time that this particular Agreement has been forgotten, then consider looking deeper into the other Five Reasons, or the Caveats and Assumptions. Is there something else going on?  Consider re-writing or clarifying the Agreement, or brainstorm ways to support memory (e.g., do you need a reminder card? A shareable website? To write your Agreements in Limerick form?) Check the Learning and Memory section of the References/Resources for a few suggestions on where to start learning more about memory and learning (e.g.,

2) Missed Contingency

A “missed contingency” means that something came up that should have been covered by the agreement, but wasn’t. Maybe you didn’t foresee this particular set of circumstances, or didn’t anticipate the particular outcome.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making
other plans.”

John Lennon, in “Beautiful Boy
(Darling Boy),” released 1980

What to do?

Revisit the Agreement.  Decide whether you need to add something specific to it, or change the wording. Remember, though, that you still need KISSable Agreements, so don’t make things more complex than necessary!

[Continues with Reason 3…]

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection.

[Next Entry: Reasons 3, 4, & 5 of the 5 Reasons Agreements Fail]

[Previous Entry: Cultural Clashes and Other Caveats to Agreements (3 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Return to the Table of Contents for the Agreements Workbook Series]

[Return to the first text entry in the Agreements Workbook series]


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Click here to get personalized help with your own Agreements!

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Cultural Clashes and Other Caveats to Making Agreements

Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This entry in my Agreements Workbook Series (aka “KISSable Agreements) series, is the third of three discussing some Caveats and Assumptions in making Agreements. Read more below about cultural mismatches and agency in making mutual Agreements.

And remember, I’ll be giving a short presentation on the topic of Agreements at the upcoming Academic Poly Conference in Berkeley, CA, this weekend (February 15-17). My presentation is currently scheduled for mid-afternoon on Saturday in the parallel non-academic track.

Questions or comments?  As always, feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box!

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Happy Valentines Day Card with intertwined hearts

Remember, no matter what makes your love special, no matter how long or short that love is, no matter who and how many you love…

Love is always OK.  And so are YOU.

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Remember to check out my Valentine’s coaching specials before they’ve flown away like Cupid!

PPS: See you at the  Academic Poly Conference in Berkeley, CA, this weekend (February 15-17)? I’ll be there!

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Caveats and Assumptions (Part 3 of 3)

General alignment in cultural norms

Occasionally you’ll encounter a situation in which it appears that everyone is attempting to create functional Agreements, but things still aren’t working. Sometimes this can be traced back to a mismatch in cultural norms. There are some cultures (e.g, the Southern United States, or some situations in Japan, among others) where direct requests are often considered rude or gauche. This can make it extremely difficult to create functional Agreements using the patterns outlined in this book.  Especially if you’re dealing with people from two or more different cultures, you may want to get some help from someone who understands both/all cultures, to make sure that some fundamental misunderstanding isn’t occurring, or some unintentional slight being offered.  Other styles of negotiating or making Agreements may need to be employed.

All parties are able to negotiate freely

It’s also important that each person be able to make the Agreements in the first place. This is closely related to “Competency” above, but not quite the same thing. In particular, you’ll want to make sure that there are no pre-existing Agreements that interfere with the ability of each party to make and keep these Agreements, e.g., Agreements with a spouse or Primary partner, M/s Agreements that assign this ability to one party, and the like.  Even Agreements with bosses or other non-romantic relationships might interfere with some Relationship Agreements. You might also want to review the list in “With Whom Might You Make Agreements” at the beginning of the book [p. ___] to make sure you’re negotiating with someone who can negotiate with you.


And if you’re the one in a pre-existing relationship, you’ll want to make sure that you’re clear what you can and cannot negotiate around.  Is there someone else that needs to be brought into the discussion? Is there another relationship that needs to change first? Or if permission or gatekeeping are chafing, and/or your power exchange isn’t completely by choice, then maybe you want to re-examine the structure of all your relationships. Remember that it is always about the Win-Win-Win, and the relationship needs your needs in order to succeed.

[Next up: starting The Five Reasons Agreements Fail (and what to do when they do!)]

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection.

[Next Entry: Reasons 1 & 2 of the Five Reasons Agreements Fail ]

[Previous Entry: Agreements: Good Faith Efforts (2 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Return to the Table of Contents for the Agreements Workbook Series]

[Return to the first text entry in the Agreements Workbook series]


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Click here to get personalized help with your own Agreements!

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Agreements: Good Faith Efforts

Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This entry in my Agreements Workbook Series (aka “KISSable Agreements) series, is the second of three discussing some Caveats and Assumptions in making Agreements. Read more below about Good Faith Efforts and why they’re so important in making mutual Agreements.

And remember, I’ll be giving a short presentation on the topic of Agreements at the upcoming Academic Poly Conference in Berkeley, CA, this weekend (February 15-17). My presentation is currently scheduled for mid-afternoon on Saturday in the parallel non-academic track. (You can still register here!)

Questions or comments?  As always, feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box!

~♥ Dawn

LoveOTB_DkPurp_72px_ClipPS:  It’s not too late to take advantage of my Valentine’s coaching specials! Want to know more? You can find out what other people have to say about my work here. 🙂

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Caveats and Assumptions (Part 2 of 3)

Good Faith Efforts Are Necessary

Back in Tip #2 (Clear Standards and Consequences), we talked about respect, and a little about negotiating in “good faith.”  What does that mean?  It means that for Agreements to work, all parties must be respecting themselves and each other, and being honest with themselves and each other (and by extension, the world.)  Yes, “stuff happens,” and Agreements aren’t always able to be kept. However, if one or more parties enter into the Agreement in “bad faith,” i.e., never intending that it be kept, or knowingly choosing a path that will hurt the other/s, then the Agreement was untenable from the first. No amount of writing and re-writing Agreements will ever produce one that will work for everyone.

“In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract.

Wikipedia article on “Good Faith (law),” Feb. 11, 2013 (emphasis added)


Conversely, it’s generally important to assume good faith, in absence of evidence to the contrary. Suspicion breeds mistrust, and that generally leads to a downward spiral. This is because mistrust is usually met with defensiveness, which most people interpret (rightly or wrongly) as slightly hostile, which leads to more defensiveness and hostility, ad nauseum. Starting from a place of neutrality, or if possible, assuming good faith, will lead to the most positive benefits to be gained from the situation.

How can you tell if someone is negotiating in good faith?  One way that serves me well, is neatly encapsulated here by my friend (and curator of the Polyamory Archive Collection at the Kinsey Institute):

 “Listen Carefully to What People Do”  —Ken Haslam

In other words, in single dealings, it can be hard to tell, but in multiple encounters, a pattern of behavior will probably emerge.  Ultimately the most important thing, in my opinion, is that all parties are honest with themselves and each other. With that in place, the rest can be dealt with over time.

[Up next in the Agreements Workbook series: The 3rd of 3 entries on Caveats and Assumptions.]

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection.


[Next Entry: Culture Clash and Other Caveats to Agreements (3 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Related Entry: Is It Over? (Agreements Appendix C) ]

[Previous Entry: When Agreements Fail: Competency (1 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Return to the Table of Contents for the Agreements Workbook Series]

[Return to the first text entry in the Agreements Workbook series]


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Click here to get personalized help with your own Agreements!

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polyamory pride march banner

Poly Proliferation: Books, Conferences, and More!

polyamory pride march bannerPolyamory is certainly gaining in awareness!  Mentions in the media are off the charts, compared with 6-8 years ago. Showtime’s series about Polyamory has been renewed for a second season. Books about polyamory are proliferating. And conferences, formerly limited to just a few US-national conferences, are springing up all over.

If you’re interested in meeting other like-minded folks, perhaps taking some workshops, or hearing some speakers, and having fun at events during or alongside the conference, you may want to consider attending one of the upcoming conferences.  At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a little more information on just a few of the many that are coming up in the next half-year (in order on the calendar). Check ’em out!

(By the way, I’ll be presenting at the Academic conference on Feb 16th. I won’t be in the Academic track (since I don’t have Academic research to present), but instead I’ll be in the parallel Session B: Educational/Experiential Presentations. I’ll be presenting a very short segment — conference coordinator Dave Doleshal has asked for 30 minutes max! — about making Agreements, drawn from the material you can find serialized here in my Agreements Workbook entries.  I’m planning to have some form of the book ready for sale at that conference, so if you want it hot off the presses, you might want to consider attending!)

Want something smaller than a national conference?  Maybe you’d like to find a local group meeting? Check out the section on Groups and Events in my Resources page, or go directly to this awesome group-finder gadget on, and see what options there are for finding a group near you!

And remember: No matter where you are, and no matter whom and how many you love:  Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Did you miss Reid Mihalko’s awesome Relationship10x Webinar in December?  Good news!  You can still watch it!  Register here, and you’ll get access to all of his Relationship10x free informational videos, AND the free webinar! You can start the series at any time. Why not now? 🙂

PPS:  I’m an affiliate of Reid’s, so if you choose to purchase anything from that link, I’ll get a cut.  But I trust that you are capable of doing your own due diligence, and making sure that whatever you invest in is going to be of benefit to YOU. I think Reid’s awesome, and I think you will too. 🙂

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]


Poly Living 2013 banner

Poly Living in Philadelphia, Feb. 8-10, 2013

Since 2005 when George Marvil hosted the first Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia, it has been the best place to warm up your winter with fun, learning and polyamory community. Whether you are new to polyamory and wanting to find out more, a professional interested in helping clients or an experienced poly person looking to have fun with old friends, Poly Living is a great place to learn, explore and connect with real people.

Photo of Poly Living Attendees
Poly Living Attendees
 [Dawn sez:  I’ve been to Poly Living when it was in Seattle. It was a great conference there, and I’ve heard that the Philadelphia location is even better!]

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International Academic Polyamory Conference

Feb 15-17, 2013, in Berkeley, California, USA.

This conference will explore issues related to monogamous and nonmonogamous relationships from an interdisciplinary perspective. This event will be devoted to presentations of scientific and academic research related to polyamory, open relationships, “swinging,” other forms of consensual nonmonogamy and related subjects.  The conference does not take a position on whether consensual nonmonogamy is “good” or “bad,” or whether any particular type of nonmonogamous relationship is healthy or pathological. The intention of the event is explore the subject in as objective and unbiased a manner as possible. Presentations will cover various topics that offer some possible progress to a deeper and more complete understanding of the phenomenon of consensual non-monogamy.

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Atlanta Poly, Inc Logo

March 15-17, 2013
[This is the] third year of Atlanta Poly Weekend.  This conference is designed to further the education and advancement of poly friendly lifestyle choices in our community.  We aim to bring in the foremost speakers in our lifestyle to educate poly friendly community on matters regarding the family, the law, and social interactions and justice for those in our poly communities.

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CPAA logo

Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association logo

The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association is pleased to present
PolyCon – Claiming Our Right to Love

May 31 to June 2, 2013
in Vancouver, BC

Friday night reception.
Saturday all day workshop sessions and evening events hosted by local poly groups.
Sunday AGM for CPAA membership and poly community leadership networking event.

Fallen Lake cover art

Poly-themed novel “Fallen Lake”; Journey to Wholeheartedness Workshop

Hey folks!  Sorry for the delay in posting.  I’ve come down with a nasty cold. :^( I’ve been mostly on my back for a couple of days now, with a super-sore throat and other symptoms. Fortunately for you, THAT kind of virus isn’t transmissible via the Internet!

Fallen Lake cover art

In the meantime, I thought I’d let local folks know about two upcoming events that I’m involved in.  First is the local East Bay Poly Potluck and Discussion on Tuesday 11/27, at which we’ll be hosting local SF Bay Area author Laird Harrison.  Laird will be doing a reading from his poly-themed novel, Fallen Lake, followed by some discussion (facilitated by yours truly.)   You can read more about the book at the publisher’s website.  Want to attend the discussion group, but you’re not yet on the EBPP/DG announcement list?  Write to me privately with your address and I’ll send you the announcement with the RSVP Google-spreadsheet link in it.

Interested in the novel, but can’t make it to the discussion? You can get a DISCOUNTED copy of the book for only $9 ($6.95 off the cover price).  Again, write to me in email with your email address, and I’ll be happy to send you the discount code. Want a signed copy of the book? Write directly to Laird:

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Journey to Wholeheartednewss Logo

And in other news, I’m part of a team working to bring a new workshop to the Bay Area for the first time in January of 2013 (1/25 through 1/27). This experiential workshop, called the Journey to Wholeheartedness,  is based on Brene Brown‘s important work on shame and vulnerability.  Longtime HAI Intern and presenter David Spinney will be presenting. If you’re on Facebook, you can find out more on the Journey to Wholeheartedness Event Page.  If you’re not on FB, you can read more at the Journey to Wholeheartedness website, or download a pdf flyer.

In the meantime, I highly recommend that you watch the TED talks of Dr. Brown’s work.  Here are several YouTube links, for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s hoping you’re enjoying good health, and lots of love!

~♥ Dawn


PS:  Like my Love Outside the Box logo? Now you can get it on T-shirts, mugs, and ornaments! Check it out!


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[© 2012 Dawn M. Davidson]


12 Tips on How to Care for Introverts

Poly for Introverts

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Emily Dickenson

One of only two poems I managed to memorize during Middle School, this paean to anonymity has lent me strength over the years, in those moments when I was feeling particularly unwanted or overlooked… or occasionally when I wanted to feel overlooked. *wry smile*

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed in the last month or more, after a particularly active and social period involving hosting multiple parties and attending the groundbreaking Open-SF conference. Another friend (in a locked personal journal post) recently gave me a new term to describe what I think has happened to me, and that’s “Introvert Shock” — The state of doing too many extraverted/social activities in a short time, and then wanting to hole up for days or weeks at a time, to recover one’s energy, with the result that activities on the calendar get dropped or rescheduled by the droves, no matter how attractive they originally seemed… or indeed still are.

Of course, some of this is “just” the definition of Introversion, aka being the sort of person who recharges best alone, and for whom social activities are draining. But Introvert Shock is more than this, I think. More like a panicky, overwhelmed feeling (at least for me), in which the idea of any kind of exposure to other people is abhorrent and tends to bring up a desire to order in for pizza and watch Netflix movies (or better yet, read a nice quiet book) A.L.O.N.E. in one’s room … FOREVER.

My friend’s post contained this wonderful graphic on How to Care for Introverts that I’m sharing here, because I think it’s got a lot of good stuff to say on this topic in general:

12 Tips on How to Care for Introverts

In another thread of conversation about this, I hypothesized that this list of behaviors is not necessarily limited to introverts, but represents a pretty good set of suggestions for respecting other human beings in general (especially children, as mentioned by yet another Friend of mine.) It’s not 100% applicable to everyone all the time, of course (few things are), but I think it’s a reasonable place to start for many if not most people.

I also noticed — and I think that this is important for geeks especially (… of which we have many in the poly community, in my experience…) — that I’ll go into Introvert Shock over “excessive” activity ONLINE. If I’ve been writing and posting and putting up invites for events and engaging in lots of dialog on lists, that will register for me emotionally as the same as being out in the world surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people, even if my body has indeed been holed up in my room alone. The result is a sudden cessation of output, even though, and possibly because that’s exactly what I need to be doing to generate (online) income. The very process of exposing my thoughts and feelings to a crowd of faceless strangers (Dickenson’s “admiring bog”) causes me to be (at least temporarily) unable to continue to expose those thoughts and feelings, no matter how nice each individual out there undoubtedly is, nor how much what I have to say might be helpful on their path (or how helpful it would be in continuing to support my dependence on pesky things like food, or the Internet.) I long to return to the state of being “nobody,” even while attempting to keep some sort of contact going, because I know that a silent blog is a dead blog. It’s an exhausting and painful cycle.

Another of the things that strikes me as I go through this process (and am obviously starting to come out of it, as witnessed by me making this post!) is to observe once again that polyamorous introverts have a particular challenge here. As it happens, “Poly for Introverts” was the very first discussion group that my almost-ex and I convened, in the early 2000’s. The process of the discussion group, and then writing a workshop with that information and presenting it at the next Loving More conference, was a watershed moment in my life, and I gained a lot of insights in how to work with introverted polys. In particular in this situation, I’m struck by how there is a way in which polyamorous introverts — especially but not limited to ones in group households — are almost never alone. Lovers (especially extraverted ones) can start to get upset when their lover indicates that they want to stay home rather than spend time with them, or doesn’t want to go out with them tonight when they did just go out with another partner last night.

“Are you losing interest?”

“Do you love them/value them more than you do me?”

“When am I going to get my needs met?”

are all anxious questions that can start to crop up when a polyamorous person needs to step back and spend a bunch of time alone. It’s like we somehow give up our right to alone time when we get involved with a 2nd (or 3rd, or…) person. There simply isn’t enough time to go around already, so what often gets sacrificed is that “blank” spot on the calendar where I’m “not doing anything anyway.” It’s hard enough for introverts to guard their alone time as it is, but add being poly to the mix and sometimes it feels like one almost has to set up steel walls and guard dogs to keep a “free” night on the calendar!

So how do we, as people who are often driven toward and sustained by multiple connections, manage these connections in a time of overwhelm, or when we need to DISconnect? How do we do this without insulting our partner/s, or sacrificing future connections? What are some strategies to use … or NOT to use? What are some strategies that might have worked for YOU in the past? I’d love to hear from YOU about this. Feel free to comment here, or in Facebook. You can contact me directly, or use the handy web form. It’s all good!

In the meantime… I’ll be in my office… alone. ;^)

~♥ Dawn

Polyamory: Married and Dating

It’s Showtime for Polyamory!

The poly lists are all a-twitter (and a-facebook and a-google…) with the news about the upcoming Showtime series “Polyamory: Married and Dating,” which features the awesome Kamala Devi and her husband Michael McClure from San Diego, along with their extended “pod.” Seven half-hour segments will air Thursdays from July 12 through August 23.

You can check out the  promo clips here (the first one is 15 seconds, and the second one is 65 seconds):

Alan over at Poly in the News has covered in his usual complete fashion, if you’d like lots more information. 🙂.

Kamala is the Keynote Speaker for the upcoming World Polyamory Association conference as well, July 13-15, at Harbin Hotsprings. (I’ve been considering presenting as well, though health issues have so far kept me from committing.)

I had the opportunity to meet and interact with Kamala about two years back, and I can attest that she’s a wonderful, down-to-earth, and very sincere woman. I’m very excited that she’s involved with this project, and I think there’s a strong possibility that the show will be a very positive contribution to the media coverage of polyamory in the mainstream today. Given the recent, highly successful OPEN-SF Conference, and now this about-to-be-blockbuster series, I feel we’re living in extremely exciting times here in the polyamory/open/non-monogamous world.

What do you think? Is the increasing visibility of the poly community a good thing? Do you see challenges? Is Kamala’s association with tantra a good thing, or “too much sex”? How does this show sync up with the themes of diversity and visibility brought out at the recent OPEN-SF conference? What resonates for you?

As always, feel free to comment here, or on my Facebook, Love Outside The Box. I welcome your discussion and input!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Sorry for the lack of posts, recently. Since the OPEN-SF conference, I’ve been experiencing some health challenges that have whacked my energy. I’m starting to feel better, and getting back to doing more regular work now, though! Thanks for your patience. 🙂


©2012, Dawn M. Davidson

Communication Tools Roundup for OPEN-SF Conference

Hey folks!  I’m off to the OPEN-SF Conference tomorrow, so this week has seen me busy with information formatting and technology wrestling (new Olympic events for presenters ;^).  As supporting information for the discussion I’m leading on Sunday at 1:15pm, I decided to create a new version of my handout that covers three of my favorite communication tools:  Non-Violent Communication (NVC); Appreciations; and Chapman’s Five Love Languages. Limitations of WordPress mean that the formatting on the NVC section isn’t as good here as it is in the actual handout… which I suppose means y’all should come to the conference to get a hardcopy! 😉

If you’re a Bay Area (or possibly Northern CA) local, it’s not too late to join us at the conference.  At only $100 for the whole weekend, it’s one of the best conference deals I’ve seen.

I hope that you find the Communication Tools valuable, and I look forward to seeing some of you in SF starting tomorrow!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  As always, feel free to comment here, or in my Facebook, LoveOTB. 🙂

Continue reading


From Triads to Triadic Relationships (a response)

I had this whole post ready to go, and then my computer ate it.  Murphy and Mercury are laughing at my expense this week!  So rather than wait for perfection (I’m “getting a C!” as one of my mentors, Samantha Bennett would say!), I’m posting something shorter now. Please understand it’s not because I think this doesn’t deserve a longer post.  It does!

The other day, I had my mind blown. Here’s a quote to start with, although I’m not certain that it’s fully understandable without the full article that goes with it:

“Intimacy is, itself, the relationship between influence and risk.”

The article was first presented as the Opening Keynote at the recent Atlanta Poly Weekend, and is by a friend and* colleague of mine, maymay.  His thought is nuanced, complex, uncomfortable, and highly provoking.  I also think it’s brilliant and possibly one of the most important things I’ve read in quite a while.  It’s long, so take your time. But I think it will be worth it.

I think this bears directly on some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, e.g., my last post on Primary Privilege, and an earlier one, Appendix A: A model of polyamorous relationships. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on any of this.

As always, I welcome your input.  I think this deserves a lot of thought, and equal discussion.  Feel free to comment here or on my Facebook Page, LoveOTB.

Enjoy… or not…  ;^)

~♥ Dawn


*4/26/12, Edited to Add:

Wow. Maymay seems to think it’s perfectly ok to savage those who don’t agree with him 100%, call them names, and accuse them of derailing. That’s not really a communication style that I’m in favor of, and it leaves me feeling pretty uncomfortable to link to his speech.  I still think that his main thesis around triadic relationships is bold, interesting, and perhaps brilliant. I remain unconvinced of his assertions about “the BDSM community” being “unrepentantly evil.”  At this point, I’m not sure I’d advise attempting to engage him in conversation, in any online medium. The person I was previously pleased to call my friend seems to have left the building, to be replaced by maymay’s personal Mr. Hyde. Your mileage may certainly vary, so feel free to put on your asbestos undies, as they say, and read and/or comment as you see fit.  I certainly wouldn’t want to Dominate you without your permission, after all. (*wry smile*)

On the other hand, in the process of looking to see if a copy of his speech (sans comments) happened to be curated somewhere else, I did find this extremely interesting entry by thirdxlucky, On Dyad Fetishism: A Parallel Between Metamour Relationships and Body-Policing.  If you still have room for more thinking after reading maymay’s speech (or not reading it, as you decide…), I highly recommend reading this one, too.


©2012, Dawn M. Davidson

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OPEN-SF Conference June 8-10 — Join me!

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Yes, I will be presenting at the upcoming OPEN-SF Conference! Join me for what promises to be an AWESOME conference with some very unusual presentations and offerings. Not limited to “polyamory,” this conference invites and embraces all sorts of “open” and ethically non-monogamous relationships: Open marriages; open relationships; polyamory; swinging; sex-positive/sluts; friends-with-benefits; non-exclusive D/s relationships, and more! If you’re not exclusively monogamous (in some way or another), and you are open about that (with your partner/s, and possibly with others in your life), then this conference will have something to offer you.

If you register now, it’s only $60 for the whole weekend. And confidentially (and partly to help move you to register ASAP), the conference organizers are finding this all enough work that this conference may never happen again, or possibly only every few years.  So if you like what you see, vote with your feet and your wallets!  Make it a success, in numbers, in connections, and financially… and let them know that you love them for doing it!

I’ve included a slightly edited version of what I just got in email, so you can see all the awesome perks that registering now will get you. You know you want to!

Hope to see you in June!

~♥ Dawn


We have just announced our session lineup!  With this conference, we really wanted to do something different from previous poly/nonmonogamy conferences, and we have accomplished that.  In addition to the usual nonmonogamy skills workshops, and some new and advanced skill sessions, we have included a number of workshops, lectures, and panels that focus on the intersections between nonmonogamy and other groups or movements.  In addition, there are a number of sessions on sexuality (threesomes!  D/S in the bedroom!  fisting!) and various sessions that incorporate movement or the creative arts.

Check out the sessions and presenters here:

There’s no time like the present to register!  Not only should YOU register if you haven’t yet, but now is the time to get that recalcitrant friend on board!   Let them know that registering (currently $60) gets them the following things:

*  Access to over 35 excellent conference sessions on a variety of topics!
*  Two amazing keynote presentations!
*  Free entry to a Poly Speed Dating event and the Love Triangle dance club during the weekend.
*  Reduced entry to a special edition of the Friday Pink play party, and possibly another play party.
*  Reduced entry to a Cuddle Party on Sunday.
*  Access to various other social events at the hotel, yet to be announced!

Also, if you want a room at the hotel, now’s the time to book.  The Holiday Inn is close to full and we’ve lined up a backup hotel for the overflow.  Check out hotel information here:

The OpenSF Staff



©2012, Dawn M. Davidson