Tag Archives: relationships

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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LOVE

Who’s in YOUR family?

Who gets to decide who is in your family?  In the US at least, the answer to that in many cases is… NOT you!  The definition of family is determined at a legal level for a variety of purposes, such as healthcare benefits and hospital visitation. Many of these issues, of course, have been at the heart of the fight over same sex marriage rights.

Now, a family in Connecticut find themselves on the forefront of another aspect of this fight over the definition of “family,” that of zoning laws and housing rights.

Got Jealousy? Join Me at Conferences & Workshops!

Happy Valentine’s Day (almost)!  I’ll be presenting 4 times in the SF Bay Area this coming week. Perhaps you can join me at one or more events? It’s not too late!  List up front; longer descriptions below:

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Meeting Open-Hearted People via Local Groups

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People — Part 2: Local Groups

This is part 2 of the series “5 Ways to Meet Poly/Open People.” In this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about “outside the box” relationships (e.g., polyamory, open-relationships, or other forms of ethical non-monogamy), and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things.  With some luck, you might even meet someone/s who want to date you! To recap, the 5 ways I’ll discuss are:

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings
2) Ongoing Local Meetings — discussion groups, potlucks, dinners, game nights and more
3) Primarily on-line discussion groups — e.g., Facebook groups, Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups, Meetup, e-mail lists
4) Dating and Social Sites — e.g., Polymatchmaker, OK Cupid, Ko-Tango
5) Crossover Interests — e.g., tantra, swinging, naturists, kink/BDSM

Meeting Open-Hearted People at Ongoing Local Groups

Since the invention of the Internet and before, ongoing local meetings have been a staple way to meet polyamorous, open, or otherwise open-hearted people.  Whether it’s a potluck dinner, a discussion group, a hike, a board-game night, or a gathering at a local watering hole, these ongoing meetings provide a variety of locations, price-points, shared interests, and emotional support levels. These days, there’s something for everyone!

Local Meetings offer a number of positive benefits for meeting others,  including:

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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

Millenial Gaia, a statue depicting Gaia/Mother Earth as a seated, pregnant woman, with the earth as her belly.

Out In the World… (a poem)

Most of the time, in this blog, I focus on polyamory and other forms of “ethical non-monogamy.”  Today, I’m offering something involving another facet of my own “outside the box” nature: Paganism. In a somewhat uncharacteristic way for me, I’m going to offer the poetry first, and the explanations after.  So scroll down if you’re interested in more background on how this poem came to be, and why I’m posting it here.  Enjoy!  ~♥ Dawn

Out In The World, the Goddess Speaks

(A poem by Dawn Davidson, © 2014)

Out in the wind
the Goddess speaks:
Branches whispering to one another, swaying in the wind.
“Bend;” she says, “flexibility is the key,
lest in bearing your natural pressures, you would otherwise break.”
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Wilder Shores of Love — FREE call 4/10, 5:15p Pacific

What’s relationship success? Is your relationship a success or not, and how do you tell? How can you use “creative relationship design” to create a successful relationship tailored to your needs, and those of your partner/s?

Please join Francesca Gentille and me (Dawn Davidson of Love Outside the Box) this Thursday, 4/10 at 5:15pmPacific for the FREE INFORMATIONAL CALL about the Wilder Shores of Love!

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the recording!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zoIaBrfBMQ

On the Web join online here:http://apps.calliflower.com/conf/show?guid=75e9680b5da6fdf796f36cd276d54d25a73a6951

Dial in number: 415 376 1329
Your Conference Code: 1282710

While this is a call where people can ask questions about our upcoming in-person class (see below), it’s not just a sales call — we are committed to providing value to everyone who joins us on the call! We plan to discuss some issues important to relationship success… starting with the question of what IS relationship “success”, and how do YOU measure it?

So join us on this FREE call, find out more about the Wilder Shore of Love, and share your ideas about creative relationship design!

Hope you can join us… because Love is always ok!

~♥ Dawn

PS: For more information about the in-person event that’s happening on April 26th:
http://www.wildershores.com/events.html

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

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

I

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.

http://maybemaimed.com/2012/03/10/from-triads-to-triadic-relationships-polyamorys-superpower-is-not-what-you-think-atlanta-poly-weekend-2012-opening-keynote

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.

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©2012, Dawn M. Davidson