Tag Archives: EBPP/DG

A selection of Venetian carnival masks

Abuse in (poly) relationships: A link roundup

[Photo above is of Venetian masks — what sort of masks might we be wearing in relationship? Is it possible to safely unmask abusers in our communities?]

Sometimes in polyamory (and other forms of “ethical non-monogamy”), there are things we need to talk about that aren’t much fun. Over the past few months, there’s been a conversation going on about one such topic, that of abuse and predators within the poly community. It’s a challenging conversation in part because people have a desire to separate themselves from it (e.g., “oh that’s not [polyamory/ethical non-monogamy/whatever]; that’s just [cheating/abuse/creepy behavior]”.) All sorts of relationships can be done healthily, or unhealthily. There are abusive monogamous relationships, as well as healthy ones, and there are abusive polyamorous relationships, as well as healthy ones. No relationship style has a lock on either “healthy” or “unhealthy.”

However, in trying to distinguish that not all polyamorous relationships are abusive — which is a normal and natural desire! — we can sometimes, unwittingly, create a situation in which people who are doing these “bad behaviors” can hide out, flourish, and have a perfect place in which to prey on their victims.  There are things about polyamory that make it sometimes more likely that abuse can happen, and there are other ways in which polyamory can complicate an already existing situation.  So how do we talk about this sort of thing, and what sort of response should the community have, when such situations arise?

This is the topic of an upcoming discussion in our local East Bay Poly Potluck community, As background for this discussion, I’m providing some links to discussions that have been ongoing all around the US on this topic in the past few months. There’s a lot I could say about a lot of them, but I’m mostly just presenting them as a list of links.  In a couple of cases there’s a tiny bit of commentary, drawn from the Poly Leadership Network list, where several lively discussions have been ongoing.  Mostly, though, I’m just presenting the links for you to read, digest, and make up your own mind about.

Please be gentle with yourself as you read these. Some accounts can be triggery. Please be mindful of the trigger warnings on some pages, if that applies to you. Take time, take breaks, go for walks; whatever you need to do to keep yourself grounded and safe.  It’s important reading, but equally important that you remain internally safe, as well as externally.

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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: lairdh-fallenlake@yahoo.com.

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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]


East Bay Poly Potluck Logo

Where to Meet Potential Poly Partners (SF East Bay focus)

At the East Bay Poly Potluck and Discussion Meeting on Sept. 20, 2011, we had an intense and extremely productive discussion of where to find poly people to date in the SF Bay Area. We had over 30 people in attendance, and a LOT of great ideas were generated. If you’re interested in seeing what people said, check out the edited “minutes” of the meeting:

Google Docs page on places–IRL and Online–to meet potential poly partners

Thanks to AG for hosting, and FF for taking notes! And thanks to everyone from the myriad SF Bay Area poly, open, and non-monogamy communities for attending and sharing your wisdom!

East Bay Poly Potluck Logo