Tag Archives: LovingMore

Polyamory and Polygamy: Compare and Contrast

letter-writing1

Occasionally I get some interesting letters.  Recently, I was contacted by a High School Honors student seeking information for a paper. Here’s what the student wrote:

Hello, […] I am currently working on a research paper on polygamy. I found your information on the lovemore.com website and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer the following questions.

  1. How does dating work in a polygamist relationship?

  2. Did you choose to be a polygamist? If so what made you choose to be a polygamist?

  3. Did you grow up in a polygamist family? If not how does being a polygamist affect your non-polygamist family?

  4. How do the children interact with multiple mothers?

  5. How does being a polygamist child affect childhood?

  6. Do you have to be a certain religion to be a polygamist?

  7. What are your feelings on Warren Jeffs?

  8. Do you believe that Warren Jeffs is the reason polygamy is illegal in some states?

  9. How does being a polygamist affect your day to day life?

  10. Why do you believe polygamy is illegal in multiple states?

  11. Does polygamy being illegal affect your day to day life?

  12. Is there anything that you think that I should know about polygamy in order to write my paper?

Thank you for taking time to read my email and answering my questions

This email, while clearly interested in the topic and asking some worthwhile questions, shows the vast gulf in understanding in the general public of what polyamory and polygamy actually are.

Oops! Road sign

Here’s my response:

Dear [    ]:

I’ve been debating how to answer your questions since your first message.  The issue, you see, is that you have contacted the wrong person to answer the questions you’ve asked.  I’m not a polygamist.  I practice *polyamory*. Here’s a quick definition:

Polyamory =
poly (derived from the Greek for ‘many’)
+
amory (derived from the Latin for ‘love’)

In other words,

Polyamory is the belief in and/or practice of multiple loving relationships, with the full knowledge and consent of those involved.

Polyamory and polygamy are not the same thing, though they share the same Greek root meaning “many.”  Polygamy, however, shares the root “gamy” with the word “monogamy,” which refers to human marriage customs.  (See more here: http://www.affixes.org/g/-gamy.html)

You can read more about my definition of polyamory at this blog entry:
http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/?p=1147

If you’d like to know more about polyamory, you might want to look up some of the resources (websites, books, etc.) on this list:

http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/?page_id=114

For more on the distinction between polyamory and polygamy, see the informative web page “Polygamy and Polyamory” a brochure by the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness: http://www.uupa.org/Literature/PolygamyComparison.htm
Best wishes on your paper,

Dawn

LoveOTB_DkPurp_72px_Clip

In addition to that letter, I’ve also compiled a DRAFT of a table highlighting some of the similarities and differences between polyamory and polygamy.  I’ve been hesitant to publish it, in part because I haven’t yet run it by any representatives from the groups discussed (other than polyamorists, where I’ve run the paper by some researchers into polyamory, a few months ago.) So if you, dear reader, identify with any of these groups, and you find areas that you feel need improvement, please do bring the matter/s to my attention (gently, if you can!) I wish to provide this list as a starting point for thought and discussion, not as a prescription for division.  I myself am not a social scientist and do not claim to be an “academic.”  The references and suggested readings listed are also not meant to be an exhaustive list, but instead a starting place for further research.

 

Polyamory

Polygamy
(as popularly understood in US;
aka religious polygyny) (1)

Some similarities

Multiple adult partners Multiple adult partners
Deserving of human rights Deserving of human rights
Stigmatized and misunderstood Stigmatized and misunderstood
Lack of governmental or social recognition of family status Lack of governmental or social recognition of family status

 

Some differences

Egalitarian (shared power in relationship) Patriarchal (decisions and responsibility reserved to male head of family)
Structure not based in organized religion (though practitioners may be religious and/or spiritual) Structure originates in religious doctrine or belief
Any combination and number of genders in relationship structure Relationship structure limited to 1 man, multiple women
Mostly not prohibited in the US (2) Mostly prohibited in the US (3)
About love/romantic relationships About marriage relationships
Long-term commitment optional Long-term commitment a requirement
May be sexually open (individuals in the relationship may or may not have additional sexual relationships outside of the polyamorous relationship under discussion) Always sexually closed (individuals within the relationship may only have sex within the relationship)
Same gender sexual relationships may be allowed Heterosexual relationships only
Allows for gender fluidity and other non-normative gender expressions Binary gender expression only
Relationship focused (May or may not consider themselves part of a family) Family-focused

© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson

(1) Other forms of polygamy exist worldwide that are not based in religious doctrine or belief. This table does not address those and is not meant to imply that they either don’t exist, nor that they are the same as the religious form of polygamy discussed here. This table exists primarily to clarify the most common misperception of polyamory being “the same as polygamy,” as represented by, for instance the TV shows “Big Love” or “Sister Wives.”

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_polygamy and http://jezebel.com/5981095/polyandry-is-actually-way-more-popular-than-anthropologists-have-thought

(2) Cohabiting polyamorous groups may be prohibited by bigamy laws in some states, e.g., Utah.  See also http://non-monodiscourse.blogspot.com/

(3) Some Christian polygamy groups advocate marrying and then getting a legal divorce in order to create a “spiritual marriage” only. This form of polygamy (in essence, a form of serial marriage) would be legal in the US. (Source: http://www.christianpolygamy.com/)

For more information, see also:

“Polygamy and Polyamory” a brochure by the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness: http://www.uupa.org/Literature/PolygamyComparison.htm

 

Do you have anything to add to this table?  Any great references, important line items, or any comments or questions? As always, feel free to contact me on my Love Outside the Box webpage, to comment below, or to visit my Facebook page, LoveOTB. I welcome your discussion and feedback.

May you always love boldly, safely, and well,

~♥ Dawn

love_is_ok_rainbow_heart_tshirt

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Changes for Polys in Colorado

samesexmarriage

Things are really hopping for polyamorous people in Colorado right now. In addition to the big news with the excellent poly episode on Our America With Lisa Ling (which profiled some of the Loving More folks in CO), the Colorado legislature has apparently also just passed legislation regarding same sex partnerships in the state. According to Robyn Trask, head of Loving More:

[Recently] the Colorado Legislature passed a bill for Civil Unions for same sex couple. The bill allows many of the same rights for Civil Unions as marriage but falls short in areas of taxation and some financial benefits.

Loving More has been contacted by reporters asking if the polyamory community wants marriage or civil unions and do we plan to “push” for this now or in the future. …

I am wondering how the leaders here [on the Poly Leadership Network list] feel about this issue. Loving More is not a political organization and we can’t push for any legislation. Our role is awareness, social advocacy and support.

Discussion is ongoing on the PLN list, and several people have weighed in. Jessica Burde of Polyamory on Purpose expressed a couple of very good points:

1) We have bigger issues. When polyfolk can’t lose their children and
their jobs for being poly, when there aren’t laws on the books which
can fine us or send us to jail for our lifestyles, then I’ll worry
about whether or not we should fight for marriage.

2) LGBT doesn’t need us rocking their boat. A lot of us have been
disappointed with the response of the LGBT community to the poly
movement. Many of them see our desire for recognition as a threat to
the progress they have made over the last few decades. By providing
ammunition for the slippery slope argument, we hurt the people we want
for allies, and help the people who want to hurt us.

three wedding rings with the caption "Love Multiplied"

Are we ready for poly marriages?

Here’s what I added to the discussion:

“Pushing” for poly marriage would probably be a mistake, I think. Jessica [Burde] has said some good reasons why. I actually think that the way to create a more just, fair, and safe society (here in the US anyway) for everyone, is to fix the damn health care situation. Ridiculous “health” “care” costs ruin so many people’s lives, and drive decisions about marriage and relationships. I’m still married to my “almost ex” (or my “significant ex” as my sister calls him!) in large part because of health care access. […] Get health care OUT of the marriage question, and make it a RIGHT for ALL citizens (at the very least; possibly all HUMANS residing in these borders), and then we can start talking about what choices people might want to make around marriage/relationship.

And yes, the dangers of losing children in custody battles is a huge problem as well. The more we can educate the public on the safety and indeed positive benefits of poly to children raised in poly households, the better for everyone. Again, that doesn’t require “pushing” for marriage benefits — just educating about poly families (e.g., the excellent work of Elisabeth Sheff in the US and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (sp?) in Australia.) Getting it through the thick skulls of the lawmakers that the stigma and fear is more dangerous than the “lifestyle” is definitely going to help.

As to polys riding on the coattails of the GLBT movement… yes, same sex marriage is necessary before we can even consider poly marriage, since any poly marriage would defacto contain at least one same sex couple. But same sex marriage is not the SAME as poly marriage, and it isn’t necessarily the next logical step, since it is pretty radically not the same as hetero couple marriage. Same sex marriage is required — but not sufficient — for poly marriages to exist.

Where I come down, in general, is that I believe that everyone should have a right to free association (gee, where did that idea come from?? *eyes the documents of our founding forebears…*) and to be related to whomever and however many they love. As such, I support the rights of same sex couples to marry. I also think that, if we remove the notion of heterosexual couples only, that eventually it will become nonsensical to think that we should limit loving relationships to only two adults, in the same way that eventually it became nonsensical to imagine that people of different religions or races should not marry. But I think that will come about without us having to “push” for it… just educate, educate, educate.

What do YOU think? Is now the time to be discussing poly marriage? What kind of marriage laws might YOU like to see? How do you think we should be approaching this issue?

As always, feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my Facebook Page, Love Outside The Box. I welcome your input on these issues of importance to all of us who “love outside the box.”

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Are you interested in creating a poly relationship ceremony?  Or creating a more standard wedding for two people, and want someone who understands that you are proceeding from some different assumptions? I’m an ordained minister, with experience creating and officiating at weddings and other life milestone ceremonies.  You can find out more about this aspect of my work on my Ministerial Services page. And as always, I’m happy to set up a 30 minute free consultation to help you determine if I’m the right person for the ceremony you want to create.  No matter who and how many you love… Love is ALWAYS OK!

 

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Poly Media Successes!

LMonOurAmerica

Chuy, Robyn, and John on “Our America”

Reports are coming in from all over that the poly segment of Our America that aired last night is a smashing success.  Alan M. of Poly In The News calls it “incredible,” and in one email to the Poly Leadership Network, said it would be “great publicity material for explaining the poly movement like forever.” :^D  You can see available video segments, and get a link to the re-broadcast schedule on Alan’s blog:

For those who missed the Oprah Winfrey Network’s incredibly good, hour-long poly documentary on “Our America” last night, you can watch the available video segments from it here:
http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2013/03/our-america-poly-documentary-incredible.html

Yes it was that good.

The show will be rebroadcast next Tuesday night and maybe again later. Schedule:
http://www.oprah.com/own/tv-schedule/index.html?q=Our+America+with+Lisa+Ling+%28Season+2C%29&page=1#browse_top

 

There’s also a great segment on the Loving More organization itself:

 

(Deleted Scenes: National Organization for Polyamory Awareness)

And another about a poly family raising an 11-year-old child:

(Deleted Scenes: Polyamorous Family Raising 11 Year-Old Girl)

Wow!

Remember also that we in the East Bay Poly Potluck community will be hosting TWO viewing parties in the next week.  I think the Berkeley viewing is full up, but there is still room at the one in Antioch, which is this coming Sunday, March 10th.  Doors open at 2pm.

In the process of getting ready for the show, the Loving More folks (who were profiled on the Our America segment) have also been working extremely hard at an upgrade to the Loving More website. They rolled it out last night, and it looks awesome!

LMBanner

One of the things ON that new Loving More site is a link to a new article by yours truly. 🙂  It’s called Five Reasons Agreements Fail, and it’s a combo of the two entries I made here last month in my KISSable Agreements Workbook series.

If you’re interested in another preview from the book, you can also download the section on Getting to Win-Win-Win, which I gave out at the recent International Academic Polyamory conference in Berkeley. The pdf is free, though to get it you’ll need to give me a valid email address. By the way, that will also sign you up for my list, where you’ll get periodic tools and tips, and notification when my workbook actually appears in print (soon, now!) If you don’t want to stay on my list after you get the pdf, you can always unsubscribe, of course (though I hope you’ll stay.)

Hooray for fabulous progress in the understanding of polyamory in our culture!  Hooray for personal and business success for Loving More, and all the other poly families and groups who appeared on this show! And hooray for getting the word out about tips and tools for successful polyamorous relationships — both my own (via this blog and Loving More), those of others on the Loving More site and at other locations all over the ‘net, and the world.  Bit by bit, we really are creating that reality in which I want to live, where whoever you love, whatever forms that might take, or however many people you might love …

love_is_ok_rainbow_heart_tshirt

Love is always OK.

~♥ Dawn


∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Poly is Part of Our America

infinityheart

It’s official:  Poly IS part of America!
… or at least part of “Our America.” 😉

Tomorrow, Tuesday March 5th, [with a rebroadcast on March 12th, and perhaps more; check listings here] a whole episode devoted to polyamory will appear on the show Our America with Lisa Ling (10pm Eastern on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.)

[Check here for an update on this post], with links to videos on poly parenting, and Loving More Non-profit.

Preview: Monogamy’s Not for Everyone (“I Love You & You…&You”)
(http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/Preview-Monogamys-Not-for-Everyone-Video)

 

First Look: Plenty of Love to Go Around (“I Love You & You…&You”)
(http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/First-Look-Plenty-of-Love-to-Go-Around-Video)

And Lisa Ling herself is clear that poly is not exactly the same thing as either swinging or polygamy… because she’s already done episodes on both of those. 🙂 [Hey, check it out! Reid Mihalko is front and center in his Sex Geek t-shirt in the promo pic for the Swingers Next Door episode!  Way to go, Reid. :)]

Robyn Trask of Loving More Nonprofit writes:

Loving More is very excited to announce an upcoming documentary on Polyamory. In August, 2012, we were contacted by producers from the show Our America with Lisa Ling. They were thinking of doing an episode on polyamory. We keep a list of people willing to talk to the press and TV media and set about helping them find families willing to be on camera. The more I spoke with the producers, the more interested they became in the Polyamory Movement and Loving More Nonprofit. We checked them out, as we always do, before forwarding the request. I spoke with Reid Mihalko who had worked with them on an episode about swinging. We watched the show on swinging along with several other documentary episodes of Our America and we were very impressed. We put them together with a family on the East Coast, a family of five adults all living together (Wes, Gina, Jessie, Shaun, Ginny). See their blog Polyskeptic.com

I had talked to one member of the family and to my delight they agreed to work with the Lisa Ling Show. They also filmed my family, Jesus (Chuy) my long term partner, John, whom I was in new relationship with (essentially filming a V-triad), and me as well as several people from our community here in Colorado. During the weekend Lisa did an interview with my sixteen year old daughter Marina, who has been raised in a polyamorous family. The show also found a triad in Vancouver, who I beleive all live together, to film as well. Essentially they have covered a nice cross section of polyamory in different configurations.

Working with the producers, crew and Lisa Ling, who is an award winning journalist, was a delight. We spent three full days filming at our home in Loveland, CO. Overall it was a fun experience and very different from other TV crews I have worked with. We were not able to announce it until now because we agreed to sign a nondisclosure.

We have no idea what the final film/documentary will show or how it will be edited. From experience both, in working with other television and media as well as the shows we have since watched on BDSM and a show on seniors in America, I am confident the show will be done well.

We are having a viewing party here in Colorado in north Denver. Email Robyn@lovemore.com if you are interested in the potluck/viewing party or to join Loving More Nonprofit on meetup groups Colorado. I know a few people elsewhere who are hosting a party or recording for people to see later [e.g., we’re hosting two viewings through the East Bay Poly Potluck and Discussion Group on 3/10 and 3/14; contact Dawn on her website (or by email at LoveOTB@gmail.com) for details!)]

Best wishes to all the families and poly groupings who appeared on this show.  It’s never easy to be this far outside the box (as I well know: e.g., [Nat Geo (cameo)] [Montel 2005 pt 1]). But with the risks, comes the possibility of creating a better world for all poly folks (and other relationship explorers.) Thanks to everyone involved for their part in helping it “get better” for polyamorous folks.

~♥ Dawn

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

What About the Children? Cover of Loving More Magazine #37

Poly Parenting Resources

There’s been some discussion on various poly lists recently about polyamorous children’s books, and therefore some discussion of poly parenting.  I thought I’d put up a quick post about a few resources, for those who are interested.

Enjoy!

Facebook group discussing the creation of children’s books that touch on polyamory, run by Michael Fleming:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/388265544599196/

Jessica Burde is in the process of publishing an e-book called Guide to Pregnancy and Polyamory, which will be the first of her “Poly on Purpose Guides”:
http://polyamoryonpurpose.com/the-poly-on-purpose-guides/

Some resources about polyamory and parenting recently gathered and posted by the esteemed Alan M of Poly In the News:
http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-polyamory-bad-for-children.html

There are also a number of poly parenting lists here and there.  One is run by the folks at Loving More (who will be sponsoring Poly Living in early February, remember!):
LovingMorePolyparent@yahoogroups.com

[ADDED in 2014, for Custody Battles and the like: – Poly-Parenting Nightmares: Links & Advice]

Not specifically poly, but aimed at any “sex-positive parent”:
Airial Clark, the Sex-Positive Parent, has two tweenage sons and her master’s in Human Sexuality from SF State, and she is committed that we parents have the information and support that we need for this task.  She’s giving away her Quick Start Guide to Sex-Positive Parenting (normally $15) for a limited time when you sign up for her mailing list:
http://thesexpositiveparent.com/free-ebook-get-the-quick-start-guide-free-when-you-join-the-sex-positive-parent/

Back on the topic of books of interest to the life of a polyamorous child, a couple of books that we enjoyed as our daughter was growing up are:
Love Is a Family by Roma Downey

(note, NOT the more well known “Love MAKES a Family,” which is also good)
This one is aimed at single parents with children, but covers a lot of ground familiar to any children with “weird” families.

and
Six-Dinner Sid by Inga Moore.

Sid the cat gets his needs met with six different families.  Is Sid a poly cat?? 🙂

And a bonus comment I posted in one of the threads on poly children’s books, about the idea of introducing a new partner to the kids… or to other new partners, for that matter:

I completely agree with the idea of gradually introducing a new partner to kids.  In fact, that’s what I’d recommend to adults, too! Attempting to suddenly add new partners to the mix to create the poly “Brady Bunch” [with or without kids!] has brought more heartache in my personal life, and more drama to those I’ve coached, than just about any other single practice. I find that gradually nurturing relationships, and moving *organically* into closer connection works much better.  This goes double with kids.  “This is your new Mommy” is unlikely to work well.  However, “hey, ‘Auntie’ Susie [who has been in the kid’s life for a year or more] is going to come live with us. That means she’ll get to be around for you when Mommy’s off at her new job. Isn’t that cool?” is likely to work much better.

There have been a few stellar examples of partnership in my poly-parenting life.  One was a woman (probably not coincidentally on the path to becoming a therapist at the time!) who actually only stayed a sexual partner of my husband for about 6 months.  However, she realized going in that she was forming a bond with our kid (then only about 2 or 3, IIRC), and therefore she stayed deliberately connected to her over time, showing up for birthday parties and household events regularly for years afterward. It was incredibly insightful, and a real gift in my daughter’s life, to get to see that these friendships and relationships did not HAVE to end even if the relationships between the adults changed in some way (that wasn’t really all that understandable or relevant to our daughter anyway, beyond the fact that she’d get less time with her friend.) This sort of interaction is only possible, of course, in a cooperative “split,” and is incredibly uncommon (IME) in the all-or-nothing “divorce” world.

May you always love boldly, safely, and well… and may your children grow up happy and well-adjusted, too!

~♥ Dawn

(parent of a 28-year old step-daughter, and almost-16-year old daughter)

PS: Want to talk about poly and parenting issues, or pick my brain for more resources?  Contact me to set up an initial 60-minute consultation for 50% off my usual hourly rate.  🙂

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 ModernPoly.com, 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. 🙂

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 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.

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Poly As ID; Poly Living 2013; Harvard OKs Kink Club on Campus

Following on the discussions about polyamory as identity (or not): Dan Savage posted a few good comments from poly folk who believe that it’s possible to identify as poly and/or have poly as an orientation. Dan’s ability to take a step back and say “hey, I might be wrong here” is a big part of why many folks I know (me included) don’t just write him off altogether (despite some serious concerns about potential bigotry). Not sure he’s exactly saying that here, but at least he’s admitting that there might be another perspective, so that’s progress.

Poly Living 2013 banner

8th Annual Poly Living Conference, Feb 8-10, 2013

While I”m here, I’ll share the link to information about the upcoming Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia, February 8-10, 2013. They’ve got a great line-up of speakers, including a Keynote from Kamala Devi, lately one of the stars of the Showtime series “Polyamory: Married and Dating.”  Other presenters include Bay Area local Charles August, as well as a stellar line-up of presenters from around the country. Especially if you’re on the East Coast, you’ll want to consider attending this great conference.

And did you see the recent news from Harvard?  They’ve allowed an official Kink club on campus! I think this is great news for the wider world of alternative sexuality, and sex-positivity. For me, it begs the question, however, of whether polyamory is a “kink” at least for the purposes of this club?  What do you think?  Feel free to comment here, in private mail, or in my Facebook!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Got Jealousy? Schedule a 1/2 hour free consultation with me, and get my Jealousy Judo pdf of tools to use to manage jealousy in yourself.  Because jealousy is no fun!

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[© 2012 Dawn M. Davidson]

Polyamory Media Association

Poly Media Opportunities

Polyamory Media Association

Poly Media Association

Wanna be on TV (talking about polyamory)?

I recently got this invitation from Robyn Trask of Loving More Non-profit. Robyn herself has quite a lot of media appearances, and she’s got a lot of experience in negotiating and brokering appearances of poly people on a variety of shows. Volunteering to be part of Robyn’s pool of potential interviewees does not guarantee you an appearance on any particular — or any — show. You’re just providing information on your availability and interest. As Robyn gets requests from the media, she’ll consult that database, and see if you match the criteria. If you do, she’ll give you a call, and then put you in touch with the producer. The major advantage of doing it this way is that the producers are pre-screened, so it’s not AS likely that you’ll end up with someone who will screw you over. That said, even Robyn has been misrepresented, so this is not a guarantee! Your mileage may certainly vary!

If you’re interested, give Robyn’s invitation a good read below, and make sure to talk it over with all of your partners. 🙂

Poly Leadership Network Logo

As always, please be careful when and if you respond to casting calls of any sort. It’s easy for poly people to get railroaded on some shows, so make sure that you’ve done your homework! Another good way to get information about producers, shows, etc., to network with other people interested in presenting polyamory in a positive light (or at least fairly), and to get some media training, is to get in touch with the Polyamory Media Association, which is a volunteer project of the Polyamory Leadership Network (a loose coalition of leaders and organizers mostly in the US, but also worldwide.) They’re certainly not the only place to get such training, of course. NCSF (National
Coalition for Sexual Freedom
) also has some resources on the topic, and of course there are many other places to get media training as well.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

Love boldly, safely, and well!

~♥ Dawn

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Invitation from Robyn Trask of Loving More:

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Michael Zwerling, owner of KSCO radio

Dawn & other poly activists on radio 1/21 @10pm Pacific

Michael Zwerling, owner of KSCO radio

Michael Zwerling, owner of KSCO radio

Hey folks: I was unexpectedly on the Radio this morning, along with Sarah Taub, Michael Rios, and a host of other great poly activists! See below for details on how you can listen to the show!  There’s a replay TONIGHT at 10pm, and later there’ll be a podcast to download.

Enjoy!

~♥ Dawn

[UPDATE!!  The podcast is up!  Listen to it here: http://www.ksco.com/saturday-special/28300-saturday-special-january-21th-2012-mz-explosive-discussion-on-newt-gingrich-open-relationships-a-adultery-right-wrong-or-something-in-between]

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Continue reading

R

Transparency and Trepidation

Relationship wisdom sometimes comes from unexpected places. I got this in my inbox today. Can you guess who wrote it?

We’ve always looked at trying to create a more authentic and transparent relationship with our community, and involving them in our lives to some degree. I talk about my personal life and the important people in it, and that’s because I want people to know me.

I don’t hold back my opinions for fear of being judged or alienating people, because when you hold back who you really are, it’s impossible to create any kind of authentic connection.

You might think words such as these were (electronically) penned on a relationship site, or by a coach or a therapist. Or maybe by someone on the Poly Leadership Network, in support of poly advocacy and education. But no, these words, though I think they are extremely applicable to both relationships in general, and to my own work in particular, were actually written by a fellow named Greg Habstritt, of “Simple Wealth,” a mainstream entrepreneurial coaching site/business. (No, I don’t (yet) have an affiliate relationship with Greg, though I may develop one.  I just think he’s had some smart things to say.)

In the aftermath of last week’s the National Geographic spot* (profiling my friends Dany, Lon, and Troy, collectively known as the MFM triad “The Rabbit Warren”), I’ve gone a little quiet. You see, this kind of exposure is difficult for me (even when I only have a cameo!). Many folks seem to think that it’s easy, or something I long to do, appearing on television or in large broadcast media.  I assure you, it’s the opposite. I was raised in an environment with a huge fear of being bad/wrong (which could bring physical and emotional punishment… with threats of hellfire and damnation!), and a large helping of “what would the neighbors think.”  Past media experience has told me that the neighbors think a lot of things… and most of them are wrong.  When that happens, I have a desire to hide, to go underground, and disappear from the online world. Which, of course, is the exact wrong thing for me to do, in terms of getting my message out, and sharing my experience with other poly and non-monogamous folks. As well as being the wrong thing to do in correcting those false impressions left by the sound-bite laden media. :^/

So today I’m here telling you, transparently, that transparency is a good thing. Not everyone needs to be transparent on the level that Greg Habstritt, The Rabbits, and I are currently practicing, of course.  You don’t have to confess your biggest fears to a public audience. But in polyamory, transparency amongst your partners is nearly essential, in my experience.  After all, if you can’t share the truth about yourself with your closest friends and lovers, then who can you share it with? And if you’re not sharing it with them, then I’d venture a guess that there is no one who truly knows you.  And isn’t that one of the points of living?  To know and be known, and to connect with other humans on a deep level?  I know it is for me.

Last week, my piece on Polyamory: What’s IN and What’s OUT was re-printed over at the Loving More Magazine. In it, I talk about what I consider to be the truly foundational components of polyamory: Multiple, Open, Honest, Consenting, (adult human) Relationships. Transparency–being fully open and honest about who and what you are–is right there in the foundational definition of polyamory, in my opinion. And I think it’s one of the main differences in world-view with how most of our culture practices relationships. Monogamy itself can be a beautiful thing, of course, and I’m not knocking those who have found beautiful, long-lasting and fulfilling one-on-one relationships. But the dishonesty that goes along with the unhealthy version of the “private” view of the world (which is what happens in monogamy’s shadow side, of cheating and “unspoken arrangements”), that’s what concerns me here. It’s what allows us to think that we are separate from one another, and that what one individual does doesn’t matter to another, even in close relationship.  It’s ultimately what allows corporations to fence off public parks in the name of “private property ownership,” in direct conflict with the whole idea of public parks, in my opinion.

One of my friends posted last week that she feels that polyamory (and all forms of open and honest multiple relationship) is one way that some of us in the 99% can help to address the selfishness and greed of the 1% corporate model.  As I have contemplated it since, I have found that to ring true. Polyamory isn’t “the answer” to Wall Street greed of course–there can’t possibly be a single answer to a multifaceted problem. And certainly not everyone in the Occupy movements is polyamorous! But by simply BEING polyamorous ourselves, and by transparently sharing who we are with one another, and with the world (to the degree that it’s safe for each person to do so), we help to shape a new/re-newed way of thinking that places relationship above exploitation, helps to educate others about a different way of being, and fosters transparency and honesty as a foundation of relationship.

I have found it to be true in my life that, to the greater degree that I can be open and honest about who I am and what I’m about, that I find myself happier, less stressed, and with more energy to continue my work. My work here is about sharing what I know about polyamory and other relationships, with those who are interested in trying it out. Being open and honest about myself here, as well as in my individual relationships, is a key component of that. I’ll also share that I’m concerned that in telling you that this IS my work–and that therefore part of what I’m doing here is generating income for myself–will bring judgement on my head. Telling you that is nearly as difficult for me as telling the world about my personal polyamory–and, I think, just about as important.  I’m here to share my wisdom with you, and I do hope that some of you will be inspired to hire me as a coach, and/or to buy products (when I have them!) and services from me. (You can find out more about my work in my Services tab, to the right –>.) But if you never do–if you only utilize what I place here for free–that’s OK too! It’s free for a reason.

For me, sharing the truth about my relationships and life, and sharing my hard-earned experience, is something that drives me strongly enough to write about it here, in a public blog. It’s part of my whole way of being, as a polyamorous person, to be transparent and open, and to connect with a variety of people in a variety of ways. I encourage you to be transparent as well, and to share the truth of yourself with others in your life. If you’re just starting out, please be gentle at first.  Don’t “out” others without their permission, and speak from as centered a place as you are able. Feel free to start out small, and even to stay that way.  Share the truth about how you feel with a partner, or tell someone who’s curious about what polyamory means to you. Big or small, it’s all good.

I’d love to hear from you, as well. How are you going to be transparent today? What community or relationship are you going to foster with your honesty? What’s important to you, so that others can know who you are? If telling the world would be good for you, feel free to comment here, or on my Facebook Page, Love Outside The Box.  And if you’d like to work with me one-on-one (or multiple-on-one!), drop me a line.

I’d honestly love that. 😉

~♥ Dawn

*According to Alan, “The show will re-air January 24 at 10 p.m. Eastern time, according to the National Geographic Channel’s schedule. The schedule shows no further airings through February 12.”

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©2012, Dawn M. Davidson