Thursday, December 30, 2010

Guest post: The Other Side of the Coin

(Reposted from forum.)

Last night a new friend to our ever growing community asked if we could
get together to talk. She is very mono it seems but working at building
a relationship with her recently declared poly boyfriend. I agreed
without hesitation and then thought about the impact of any comments I
may have for her.

I spoke to my partner about my concerns and she pointed out that I should
get our friend to thnk and answer questions for herself as opposed to
actually injecting my opinions.

Anyone on here who knows me is aware that I am not a big fan of
mono/poly relationships. I am even a bigger non-fan of two people
starting thier relationship lives with this type of hurdle (and it is a
hurdle). But I do know they work. My biggest concern is always that each
partner has not got to experience a meaningful relationship with some
one who feels the same way about how love is shared and expressed.

She is young and as far as I know has never been in a long term
committed monogamous relationship. Immediately I have to swallow my snap
assessment and understand what I say to her could not only affect her
actions but also the heart and happiness of her boyfriend. I don't know
either person very well but still care about them as human beings and
have a responsibility not to sabotage anyone's natural relationship

So I thought I would put together some questions that I will ask her to
make her think and then hopefullly be a little more prepared and willing
to choose the best path as she sees it.

Does she truly feel monogamous?
Has she ever felt a romantic connection with more than one person? Can
she see a benefit to being open for the development and expansion of her
own relationships? Is she more traditionally conditioned mono;
influenced by the expectations of society and family? Is she internally
mono, wired to only have one romantic connection as I like to personally
put it.

What has she experienced?
Has she felt what it is liked to be someone's "one and only"? To have
some one give themselves to her willingly the same way she gives
herself? Not controlled but a willing gift of exclusivity as is the core
principle of true monogamy - a gift, not a shackle. This is important
because more than likely she will get the "grass is greener" feeling in
her relationship. I personally feel it is very important to experience
the grass on your own side of relationship nature before venturing into

What are her relationship goals short term and long term?
Short term mono/poly is arguably much easier to enjoy than the
expectation of long term commitment depending on what the individual
Is she a person with traditional relationship aspirations? Will she want
a standard wedding with traditional vows. If there is no long term
commitment ideals such as kids, house, marriage, and retirement planning
then I am much less reserved about exploring different relationship
types to in fact have "experiences".

How important is societal blending to her?
Is she prepared to stand her ground and push for at least acceptance of
how she loves with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors or will she
ok with keeping secrets about the reality of her life?

Who are her close friends and how will they react?
I lost most of my old friends but don't fault them. I am just too far
off their scale of comfort. I have made some very good friends though.
Is she willing to accept the potential loss of her regular crowd to be
replaced a crowd of people who largely have different views than she
does? I still struggle with this at times and have become almost like a
half-member of both, fading in and out of tangibility.

What will her parents think? For some of us, parental acceptance is not
that important in many ways. For others it would be crushing to be cut
off from our parents pride and endorsement of those we love. It's hard
to have a family bbq when your partner is not welcomed by your parents
or siblings because they "cheat" on you. I would be very concerned if my
daughter committed to a relationship with a polyamorous guy and I live
this life quite happily. Imagine if I didn't have a clue about poly? I'd
be waiting for the cheating bastard on the doorstep. You get my point.

What is her boyfriends idea of poly?
Is he looking to add a specific person or persons or is he wanting to be
open to all and any relationships that may present themselves?
Is she prepared to share him? To have him come to her bed after sharing
another woman's? Can she imagine them together and still embrace him
fully? He deserves her untainted love if she goes down this path. He
can't expect to have a partner who is holding back for the duration of
their relationship. If she can't face the reality of his other
relationships how can that be healthy for her or him long term? Is she
prepared for an ongoing cycle of his interest in others? Flirting,
discussing boundaries, the first night they have sex, the meeting of
people he is NREing over? Will she always be worried about every social
thing he attends for fear he is "hunting" or being hunted?

So I plan on meeting her and asking questions more than giving my own
perspective. She will probably ask why I am so happy with my
relationship and my short answer is always, my mono needs were met and
the planets basically had to align for me to be happy in this...truly
happy. Yes I have my worries and areas of concern but every night I go
to sleep and morning I wake up I am happy in knowing I love my partner
and we are family.

Those moments before sleep and just after waking are very telling times
for me. They are the gauge of my health and happiness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Images from "What is Polyamory?" a panel discussion

I thought it was time to post a few pics from the highly successful and educational poly panel discussion that took place at UVic in November, 2010.

Cherish, Zoe and Quintus (speakers) and Cora (panel moderator)

Brad, Kiki and Captain (speakers)

Monday Magazine's article on the panel (Q & A)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guest post: A Poly Book in the Human Library

A friend of mine recently participated in a local event called the Human Library. Apparently this idea has been catching on for some time, and you can read more about the concept of people as "living books"

Here's what she had to say about her experience as a book about polyamory:

I was part of a human library event that was two days long a couple of weeks ago. The event required me to take a vacation day from work, but it was a vacation to remember, so I am glad to of used the time. First of all some back ground on how it worked. The entrance way to the university library had comfy chairs and side tables where we could all take our readers to talk. We sat in chairs to one side behind a desk where there was a binder of all our book titles and an intro. People would come by and look at the binder and decide who they wanted to know more about.

Topics ranged from California same sex marriage laws to someones experience moving from Ontario to Florida during a tornado... and someones experience of ageism on campus to another who was experiencing what it was like to be a Chinese person come to school in Western Canada ...very diverse. I was by far the most taken out book it turned out. Exhausting! My friend was there for a time also talking about poly but from the intro kind of angle and she left early so I was it for the afternoon.

It was so much fun and so interesting what people wanted to talk about. I was willing to share about my experiences as a mistress/domme, my journey of discovery of my sexuality and my journey to get to where I am today in my poly relationships... most people were into hearing about the latter although there were definite over laps. I talked a lot about my experiences as a younger woman and how I created my goals for family and how I began making my dreams come true... true to me, no one else and how we can all do whatever our creative minds decide... there is room for all of what we want to do, regardless of what it is...

What I found most interesting were the students from abroad that were interested in and thought poly made sense, but didn't know how to normalize it for themselves. Why students from abroad I have no idea. I talked a lot about jealousy too and how to handle it. There were some people that just plain looked confused and defensive and that brought up odd feelings for me as I felt myself feeling less assured that I am "okay" and noticed I started closing down. Instead of doing so I asked them questions and brought out their relationship style and marketed the concept of we are all different. That seemed to work.

It was fascinating to be taken out by people who didn't know me and who were brave enough to engage in a process like that. When they flipped through the book they had no idea who they were going to get when they looked a the assembly of people sitting there. It was a bizarre feeling... we all wore shirts that made us all look the same... they said, "don't judge a book by it's cover" on them. They were all "man" shirts. Very unflattering... heh, seriously though, why can't they make a shirt that is unisex. Could they not of had womens t-shirts made? That was my only complaint.

There is a plan to do this event next year and I will be really excited to do it again... look out for it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rumour has it...

I've heard rumblings of a Victoria poly men's group in the works.  Apparently they call themselves the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG for short) and will be starting up regular discussion nights soon.

Knowing how extraordinary the men in our poly community are, I'm excited to hear about this much-anticipated gathering!  Good luck, gentlemen..  please let us know how you progress!