Tag Archives: References

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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The Toilets Burst! and other New Year Thoughts

Dear Friends:

Recently we who observe the Gregorian calendar celebrated the turning of the calendar year, that artificial time when we divide one block of time from another, to enable our finite human brains to cope with being part of a slice of the infinite.  In other words, Happy New Year!

Today I’m sharing an excellent essay below, by my dear friend Francesca Gentille, on keeping things in perspective, and learning to choose interpretations around certain events. I can sure relate to her plight, having been through something similar just a couple months ago, with drains blocked and hot water shut down so we’d at least have toilets during a private event. (And as one of the priestesses for her ceremony on New Year’s Eve, I was also glad of the heads-up, so I could make sure to pee in advance! LOL)

I also share her perspective in that essay, that life can be made a bit easier by actively choosing interpretations that lead toward happiness. Believing that the world isn’t “out to get me” is generally a stronger, more empowered position to take, in many cases leading to my being able to see more options and possibilities than I could from the “poor me” position.

I also feel it’s important, though, to honor that for some folks — e.g., clinically depressed, or recently bereaved — the ability to make the most empowered interpretation just isn’t there. Continue reading

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

Poly and Child Custody Nightmares: Links and Advice

A month or two ago, I was contacted by some folks who are actually going through a common poly nightmare, at least for parents: A contentious custody battle in which one parent is accused of being a bad parent “because they are polyamorous.” It’s a nightmare in part because there have been some notorious cases in which a family has lost custody of their kids due at least in part to their being polyamorous. This sort of thing varies a LOT by location, and at least as much by the particular judge/s hearing the case. Even when polyamory is brought up as an issue, it does not always (or even often) lead to a loss of custody. But when it’s you and your family undergoing the scrutiny, the situation can be frankly terrifying.

I know this from personal experience, because about a decade ago my own daughter was taken by Child Protective Services (aka CPS) — for a situation that was ultimately unrelated to polyamory, but we didn’t know that at the time. She was eventually returned to us after a harrowing week, once they’d determined that their abuse fears were groundless. It was, however, an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and it has had lasting impacts on our daughter and our family. 🙁

Thus, I was very motivated to provide as much help as possible. I started by sending a couple of links, and then went on to write a detailed letter of some possible issues that might come up, and some possible responses to each one.  I asked for and received permission to post the letter (devoid of identifying information of course.)

It is with great sincerity that I hope that no one reading these words ever has need of the advice and links I’ve included below. And it is for those few of you who might ever need these links that I share this information now. If you are going through something like this, please remember:

No matter who or how many you love, Love is ALWAYS ok.

~♥ Dawn

telephone_bluePS: Would you like to talk to me privately about issues around polyamory and/or child custody? I’m happy to schedule a time to talk to you. I do 30 minutes for free, or 60 minutes for 1/2 price. Contact me, and we’ll find a good time to chat by phone or Skype!

 

Letter to Polyamorous Parents Facing a Child Custody Battle

Dear [poly parents]:

Let me start by saying that I am so sorry that you all are facing this sort of prejudice.  It’s terrible, and I know how very challenging it can be.  (((hugs)))

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Myths of Monog. & Nuclear Family: Thurs 10/16/14, 7pm Mtn

Exploring the Myths of Monogamy & the Nuclear Family
(a Teleseminar 10/14/16)

Loving More Non-profit, the longest-running organization supporting polyamory and relationship choice, is running a series of teleseminars. Their next one is this Thursday 10/16/14, at 7pm Mountain time /6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern. Robyn Trask — host and head of Loving More — is thoughtful and experienced.  I recommend her highly!

Read the whole announcement on the Loving More Website

October 16, 2014. 7:00PM (Mountain Time)
Exploring the Myths of Monogamy & the Nuclear Family
Cost is $5, Free for Loving More Members
(see below for details)

 Register Now


Are monogamy and the nuclear family really based on inherent human nature? Is the common narrative of male paternity certainty and female security real? This presentation draws strongly from the works of Merlin Stone (When God Was A Woman), Riane Eisler (Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body) and the NY Times Bestselling book by Ryan and Jethá, Sex at Dawn. We will look at the flaws inherent in the study of ancient cultures and sexuality, as well as the possibility of mistakes in the common narrative of sexuality derived from mid-nineteenth century scientists and anthropologists. Sex, power, culture; how are these things linked? Patriarchal culture, religion and morality have greatly influenced the common narrative of sexuality and human relations, but are these narratives accurate? We will explore how these narratives have contributed to a disconnect for many with human sexual nature and contributed to many of the challenges inherent in modern relationships and “battle of the sexes,” as well as ways to see our species in a different light.

Presented by: Robyn Trask

Cost:  Live or recorded webinar is $5, Free for Loving More Donor/Members*

It is best to register ahead of time for the webinar. A recording will be available after the webinar (usually by the next day). We recommend people use the call-in by phone option, instead of using your computer, when joining the live meeting as you will get considerably better sound quality.  Space is limited – Click here to register now.

* All webinars are free to Loving More Donor/Members, contact Loving More directly for access code for the webinar.

Email Robyn@LoveMore.com, please include type of membership, annual or monthly, and specific webinar you wish to participate in or view. 

Miss the webinar? Listen later!

Webinars can be attended live and are also recorded to be viewed at your convenience. Live attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.

Check out past webinars available on the Loving More website!

Past Titles include:

Polyamorous Families and Children
Loving More Survey Highlights
Jealousy: A Journey of Personal Growth
Polyamory Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of Polyamory Dating and Relating
Negotiating Boundaries and Polyamorous Relationship Agreements
Beyond Monogamy? Introduction to Polyamory and other Open Relationship Choices
8 Keys to Successful Polyamorous Relating

Loving More Members contact Robyn@lovemore.com for access codes to past webinars with a fee. Please include webinar title and type of membership (monthly or annual).

Hope you can listen in, because…

No matter who or how many you love, Love is ALWAYS ok!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Like Teleseminars?  Check out the Jealousy First Aid series that I did last fall with Kathy Labriola!  TIP: Don’t forget to sign up to get the Free Handouts. 🙂

Green First Aid KitJealousy First Aid (JFA #1)
MORE Jealousy First Aid (JFA #2)
More Options for More Jealousy (JFA #3)

 

 

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People

Ever wonder how to meet other polyamorous, open, or ethically non-monogamous people?  Feel like you must be the only “weirdo” in the country?  Wish there were a way to connect with people in person… or conversely do you wish there were a way to find out more about this “new” lifestyle without leaving your living room?  Well, congratulations, you’re in luck!

As a person with access to the Internet (which you must be if you’re reading these words), you have access to some of the most powerful tools there are to connect with other people, and learn about this collection of lifestyles that can loosely be grouped under the heading of “ethical non-monogamy,” “open-relationships,” and/or “polyamory.” (Not sure what these words mean? Check out this past article on my blog, where I discuss some of the differences, and what it means — in MY opinion, anyway! — to be “polyamorous.“) The Internet has had a truly profound effect on our culture, as it has allowed a way for people to fairly easily locate other people of like-mind.

5 Ways to Meet Polyamorous/Open People

In this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about these sorts of relationships, and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things … and might even want to date you!

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings
[BONUS! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for info on the upcoming Atlanta Poly Weekend Conference] Continue reading

Updated Polyamory Resources

Hi folks!  In preparation for the recent workshops I gave in San Jose and in Berkeley, I updated my Polyamory Resources Handout.  Below I’ve copied the new version for your pleasure and information.  This was designed to fit on 2 sides of a single sheet of paper, so it doesn’t have anywhere near all of the resources I have listed elsewhere, … let alone all there are these days!  However, this list should provide a good place to start or continue your explorations into “outside the box relationships.”

I’ve pasted the content below my signature, for ease of access.

I’ve also got a pdf version available.  Drop me a line at loveotb@gmail.com if you’d like to get a copy!

Because no matter who or how many you love… Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Are you local to the San Francisco East Bay area?  If so, you may want to check out this new class that I’m co-creating with Francesca Gentille!

 Sat. April 26th, 12:3A Race With Mermaids and Tritons -- Smithers-Collier0 – 6pm: Afternoon Delights on the WILDER SHORES OF LOVE:  Relationships Outside the Box

Class ~ Take-home Information ~ Participatory Experience ~ Connection Salon & Tea ~

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

SOME RESOURCES FOR POLYAMORY
(and Other Relationships)

© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson of Love Outside the Box

Websites

http://lovemore.com/ – Loving More® Non-profit home page, including newly updated FAQ and local resource links, discussion list, and NEW interactive personals.

http://www.morethantwo.com/– Polyamory: What? Why? How?: An EXCELLENT “primer” on polyamory.

http://www.polyamory.org – home page for the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory, this page also has a lot of information about other internet resources, including FAQs, mailing lists, books, movies, etc.

http://www.modernpoly.com/ – Lively presentation, social networking tools, and open-source approach.

http://solopoly.net/ – “Life, relationships, and dating as a free agent” Information, posts, and support for “poly singles” and others interested in or practicing polyamory, open relationships, etc. in a “non-dyadic,” “solo,” egalitarian, or not-couple-centric way.

http://www.blog.loveoutsidethebox.com – “Guidance and Tools For Open-Hearted People — Because Love is always OK!” Resources, links, free downloads and more from Dawn Davidson, counselor, coach & presenter on polyamory and other alternative relationship styles.

A Few of the Many Books

(alphabetically by author; see Amazon Recommendations list below to purchase!)

Anapol, Deborah M. – Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, IntiNet Resource Center 1997

Block, Jenny – Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, Seal Press, 2008

Chapman, Gary – The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Northfield Publishing, 1992

Chapman, Mim – What Does Polyamory Look Like? Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships, iUniverse.com, 2010

Davidson, Dawn – KISSable Agreements (and Other Secrets to Negotiating in Polyamorous Partnerships), 2013 Available as a pdf download

Easton, Dossie and Liszt, Catherine – The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships& Other Adventures, 2nd Edition, Celestial Arts Press, 2009

Gottman, John M. and Silver, Nan – The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, Three Rivers Press, 2000

Kramer, Matt – Conversations before a Marriage, InfoBooks, 1999

Labriola, Kathy – Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice On Open Relationships, Greenery Press, 2010

Labriola, Kathy –  The Jealousy Workbook, Greenery Press, 2013

McGarey, Robert – Poly Communication Survival Kit: The Essential Tools for Building and Enhancing Relationships, The Human Potential Center, 2001

Rosenberg, Marshall – Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, PuddleDancer Press, 1999

Taormino, Tristan – Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, Cleis Press, 2008

Taylor, Patricia Huntington – The Enchantment of Opposites: How to Create Great Relationships, Traveling Artists, 1997

West, Celeste – Lesbian Polyfidelity, Booklegger Publishing, 1996

Groups and Lists

http://www.polyamory.org/SF/mail-lists.html – SF Bay Area Local discussion and event lists.

http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Poly-Collective/ – Bay Area Polyamory Collective: A collection of Meetup Groups and other listings for Bay Area people interested in polyamory, open relationships, and more. Includes meetups for “Newcomers” in East Bay and SF.

Loving More’s “Love List” email discussion group (moderated) — https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LovingMore_lovelist/info

groups.yahoo.com/group/ExpansiveLoving/– “Expansive Loving,” a discussion list and online meeting place for spiritual and “new thought” polyamorists.

Where to meet potential poly partners (in the SF East Bay) — a brainstormed list of places to meet “likeminded” people. Not necessarily poly-specific, and focused on the SF East Bay, but you may find some good ideas even if you’re from elsewhere in the world. 🙂
http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/where-to-meet-potential-poly-partners-sf-east-bay-focus/

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/eastbaypolypotluck/info  – SF East Bay Area Local discussion/potluck, once/month or so at rotating East Bay homes.

SF Bay Area Calendars of interest to polyamorous/non-monogamous people. http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/maps-charts-resources-for-relationships/sf-bay-polynon-monogamy-event-calendars/

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy: https://sites.google.com/site/ipachome/ — with Academic & non-academic tracks – February 21-23 2014

Agreements and Safer Sex

http://www.sfsi.org/ – San Francisco Sex Information. Clearing house for safer sex information and training. Check here for other good links, too.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org – Click on Find a Center under Health Services to find a location for testing.

More Relationship and Safer Sex Agreements Examples and Info: http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/resources-more-relationship-safer-agreements-info/

Our Open Agreement – an online open-agreement-making tool by Cat Maness, MFTi http://www.ouropenagreement.com/

Aggregation sites related to polyamory

Poly-Friendly Professionals: http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/main.php
Poly Conferences: http://polyevents.blogspot.com/
Polyamory In The News: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/
Poly Movies: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymovies.html
Poly Music: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymusic.html
Poly Books: http://www.theinbetween.net/polybooks.html
Poly clothing & jewelry: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2010/04/poly-jewelry-clothing-and-other.html

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

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

Solo Poly

One of the concepts that crossed my desk a while back was that of “Solo Polyamory.” As I sat unexpectedly alone on Christmas eve, and was reading some discussion on one of the polyamory lists I’m on, I realized that this is the style of polyamory that I’m apparently now practicing.

Many people feel that “solo poly” is an oxymoron.  After all, how can you be single and “love more than one”?  Seems incompatible, at least from the monogamous/couple paradigm. So what the heck IS it?

On one of the lists, one person had this to say about solo poly, in response to another writer in the forum:

First, solo poly is not about single people only. It is a way of approaching poly that claims to be valid for singles, as equally for each individual in a couple, triple, quadruple, or any tuple you care to think of.

Solo poly, which is not my own take on poly, and which I only know from a single presentation followed by a group discussion, shares with yourself a strong critique of couple privilege and of couple-oriented thinking.

[…]

Solo poly is saying remember you are at the centre of your life, not some other person who you label a primary partner.

It is reminding you that when partners ALL let you down, your truly primary resource is yourself (whether it is expenses, housework, or any of the other rhythms you list).

It is reminding you that all your relationships (no doubt to varying extents) only augment the care that ultimately is your care is your self.

For more information on solo poly, you might want to check out this article by researcher Elisabeth Sheff:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-polyamorists-next-door/201310/solo-polyamory-singleish-single-poly

Another great resource for ideas and posts about solo poly is the blog at http://solopoly.net.

As my own relationship map changes and shifts in this new year (the only constant is change!), I find myself resonating even more with this concept of solo poly. Four years ago I wrote a list of Agreements/affirmations for myself. And I’ve been thinking it might be time to revisit them.

What do you think about this concept?  Does “solo poly” make sense to you? Resonate? Seem ok, but only for someone else?  Seem like a contradiction, or nonsensical?

As always, feel free to comment here, or in Facebook, or to write me privately. I’m always happy to discuss these things more!

Wishing you happiness and all the love you could want in this new-ish year!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  I’m still running my “winter specials” — reduced prices on coaching packages.  Get ’em while they’re hot!

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

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

Polyamory: Married and Dating TV Show

Is Polyamory All About the Sex? (Or, Reality TV vs Reality)

Polyamory: Married and Dating TV Show

Opening screen from Showtime series

Those of you with cable will probably know that Showtime’s second season of Polyamory: Married and Dating started in August. Based on early reports of “more diversity,” and the producer talking to “families from the heartland,” I had had higher hopes for this season than last.  I haven’t seen the show myself yet (viewing parties are being scheduled!), but I have heard from some of my friends, and frankly, they weren’t impressed.  “You’d think all we poly folk ever do is have sex, or talk about having sex,” was more or less the comment from one of my friends who’s actually seen all of this season’s shows so far.  Since that was pretty much my complaint last year, I have to say I’m not shocked by my friend’s assessment. The show isn’t a particularly representative sample of differing poly relationship styles, unfortunately. Of course, this is a “reality” TV show, not a documentary, so we do have to take that into account. Sex sells, and sales drive ratings, after all.

As usual, Alan M. of Poly In The News is covering the show in detail, including some clips and a lot of analysis.  Alan’s opinion seems fairly favorable (again), though that’s not without reason.  The San Diego group, and Kamala in particular (in my opinion), have pretty good communication skills, and really are interested in showing the world that polyamory can work — and how their version of it works, in particular. Kamala often says things that I agree with wholeheartedly, such as this quote that Alan M. reports:

“You need a tribe. You need a community. It’s so much better than trying to do this alone.”
Kamala Devi, as quoted in Poly in the News

It’s not that polyamory is never  about sex of course — I myself have said that polyamory is just as much about sex (or not) as any monogamous relationship. Sex is part of the vast majority of adult human romantic relationships. It just so happens that their version of polyamory involves a lot more sex than the versions of most of the people *I* know! This clip from episode 3 encapsulates some of my sense of Michael’s heavy focus on sex:

He seems to have a hard time separating sex and closeness. His new partner Rachel seems to have a hard time understanding his difficulty:

Rachel, bemused: “I’m trying to understand the way this conversation is going.” Getting into bed with her lover’s wife is not how she usually thinks of “going deeper” with a lover, she explains.
— as quoted by Alan M. in Poly in the News

So what’s the harm in portraying polyamory as primarily about the sex? Hard to say. After all, it’s actually true for some percentage of poly people. On the other hand, as my friend expressed to me, if this were your only exposure to polyamory, you might get the wrong idea, or at least a very skewed one, and think that polyamory is always primarily about sex. [Hint: It’s not.] I myself have a suspicion that my having suggested that an old friend watch the show (before I saw it, last year) might indeed have contributed to said friend’s sudden cessation of contact shortly thereafter. Certainly he seemed to think I wanted something much different than I actually did.

In my opinion, the real concern, though, is that all this focus on sex contributes to the cultural ideas that lead to “Michael Carey” on Slate writing this excellent article “Why I’m Still in the Polyamory Closet.” As “Michael” writes:

I have never, ever been out as poly in a workplace. Start trying to explain consensual non-monogamy, and some people—a lot of people—are going to think you’re obsessed with sex. (Never mind that I’ve been with my wife, Rose, for 10 years, have been married for three, and in all that time the two of us have dated fewer people than plenty of serially monogamous singles I know.) Some co-workers may avoid polyamorous colleagues because they’re paranoid that they may be on the prowl. Others will become distrustful because they think that poly is an attempt to re-label behavior that they consider cheating, and cheaters aren’t trustworthy.

Exactly. The assumption is that polyamory is all about sex, whether or not that’s actually the case.  It’s stereotyping. So again, what’s problematic with portraying polyamory as being “about sex”? Here’s what:

“…you don’t know if your neighbors are poly (or whatever other term they may use), because they’re still afraid that if they don’t hide that aspect of their lives from you, something bad might happen. Those potential consequences range from having all future interactions feel awkward to having authorities take away their children.”  — Michael Carey, in Slate

(Note that that link he gives above is to the relatively old April Divilbiss case, but many more recent instances of polyamorous people losing their children in custody battles have occurred, enough to cause there to be several polyamory legal defense funds and organizations created. It is definitely still an active concern for many polyamorous families.)

So this, then, is why I remain somewhat skeptical of the show and its impact on real polyamorous people. Polyamory is big enough to command a TV show all of its own now, and that’s definitely progress.  But the heavy sex emphasis contributes to some negative stereotypes with some very serious potential consequences indeed. It’s progress with a price, at the very least.

I’ll watch the show, and I won’t tell others not to watch it… but I WILL recommend that you keep firmly in mind the fact that “reality TV” is a whole lot more about “TV,” than about “reality.”

~♥ Dawn

PS:  The teleseminar I did with Kathy Labriola on Wednesday was a rousing success!  So much so that we’ve scheduled a second one for Thursday afternoon September 19th at 2:15pm Pacific time. We’ll cover several more tools for dealing with jealousy in yourself, and in your partner/s!

Did you miss the first one, or do you want to listen again? Fill out this form!  You’ll be able to listen to the recording for FREE, and you’ll get notified of the second teleseminar, as soon as we have details available.  We’d love to have you join us!

 

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

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

 

 

Polyamory and Pregnancy: Author Interview

JessicaBurdePhoto

Author Jessica Burde

Hi folks!  I have something new for you today.  My friend and colleague Jessica Burde of Polyamory On Purpose has written a book called Polyamory and Pregnancy:

She’s doing a Blog Tour, and today is her stop at my blog. You can read more about the book and the blog tour over at Alan M.’s Polyamory in the News. She and I did a fun, quick interview a couple of weeks back, and I’ve placed it here for your listening pleasure.  You should be able to listen to it by double-clicking on the mp3 link, or opening it with iTunes or something similar:

Interview.jessica.burde.03.11.13

[3.3 MB; 13 min 42 sec]

I’ve transcribed the interview and included it below the cut, in case there are issues with the recording for anyone.

One note for any who might not have run into the term before, “metamour” means another partner of your own partner.  So in this case Jessica refers to the [female] partner of Jessica’s husband Michael as her metamour.

Hope you enjoy listening to the recording.

~♥ Dawn

PS:  A request on behalf of the author:  If you’re ever planning to buy this book from Amazon, could you please do so this week (March 17-23)?  This will help her get a good one-time Amazon ranking in the book’s specialty category.

PPS: Check out the other books on poly, relationships, and communication I have listed in the Amazon widget below and to the right
=====>>
There’s some awesome information to support your poly relationships in there… and if you buy through that link, you’ll also be supporting me (in a very tiny amount).  Win-win-win!

 

Continue reading

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.  🙂