Friday, February 29, 2008 Article on Technology and Polyamory

Author and sex tech blogger Regina Lynn writes a bi-weekly column, Sex Drive, which focuses on the intersection between technology and sex. Regina has put up a column today called Internet Pushes Polyamory to Its "Tipping Point."

No one to my recollection has addressed this specific subject before now. I very much appreciate the great job Regina did on this important aspect of the polyamory community's story. She interviewed several visible polyamory advocates who make many salient points.

Kudos to Regina and to!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Polyamorist Wins an Oscar!

Last evening 47 y.o. actress Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for her work in Michael Clayton. Tilda recently revealed that she has a 29 y.o. German artist lover, Sandro Kopp, who often accompanies her on the road when she is working. When she's home in Scotland, Sandro spends time with Tilda, her 68 y.o. partner of 18 years, playwrite John Byrne, and Tilda and John's 10 y.o. twin boys.

Here are Tilda's guys:

Kopp painted Tilda - see it here. He's also painted yonis and other genitalia - they are so breathtakingly beautiful (as is the man himself) that Betty Dodson features them on her website.

What a perfect scenario for a poly relationship - actors spend a lot of time away from home, and the combination of time away, loneliness, and working with beautiful people has resulted in affairs that have broken up many a Hollywood marriage and relationship. How courageous of these three to be honest - not to mention their creative problem solving skills! Then again, it seems like the rich and famous tend to get a pass on such controversial practices while we regular folks often face greater challenges being public with our polyness.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Polyamory in Today's Washington Post

To anyone reading this who didn't know I'm a polyamorist and found that out by reading Pairs with Spares, Monica Hesse's long Washington Post Style Section feature article on polyamory published today, now you know why I have pictures of more than one partner on my desk.

Robyn Trask of LovingMore and I worked with Monica beginning the week before the Poly Living polyamory conference and during the conference, at which she was a constant, respectful presence, to supply her with answers and other interview subjects. By devoting an entire weekend plus some to fact gathering she has managed to distill a huge amount of information and capture the philosophy and spirit of polyamory, as well as some of the practicalities associated with poly relationships. The one glaring omission is any mention about STIs and how we manage those risks. I've left a comment on the website addressing that point in response to another person's comment.

As will happen, a minor point or two in my story wasn't quite accurate. I'm a co-founder of Chesapeake Polyamory Network, not the sole founder. There were six of us altogether, including my partner, Jim. (CPN celebrates it's tenth anniversary this summer.) I lived with Jim for about six years, and though the primary aspect of our relationship eventually changed, the love and high esteem in which we hold each other hasn't. Through our work together as co-founders of the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, Jim taught me a lot about activism and community organizing - much of it based on his experience long ago with the NRA.

A word of caution, there are some snarky comments already being posted on the Post's website. I encourage you to respond and help further understanding, but if you choose to do so, please use a respectful tone, no matter how unfair the comments may be. Taking the high road here is very important - we have an exceedingly rare public relations opportunity to educate the local public Let's make the most of it.

Many thanks to Monice Hesse and The Washington Post for writing a fair, objective article and capturing we polyamorists as who we truly are.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Polyamory's Terms: Choosing the Difficult Right Over the Easy Wrong

Kudos to my friend, Alan, of Polyamory in the News, who recently posted the following to a discussion group with regard to public advocacy for polyamory. It applies equally well for those seeking guidelines to determine whether polyamory may be right for them and any existing relationship.

Alan says:

If we have a PR message to put out -- and I believe that we do -- here's my take on what it should be:

Polyamory can work wonderfully for some minority of people. But to
work, it requires:

** High ethical standards: honesty, communication, and a readiness to choose the difficult right over the easy wrong.

** A commitment to learning ways to make relationships and communication work well. This often entails time and attention for personal-growth work.

** Reading up on the hard-won wisdom that the poly community has accumulated.

** A kind and generous heart.

Even then it's not for everyone, not for most, and this is okay; don't let anyone buffalo you into it. If you do go for it, don't expect it to be easy, certainly not at first. But for some small minority of people, it can open up dazzling new worlds of joy and wonder that most never imagine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Report from PolyLiving 2008

PolyLiving 2008 is now a memory, and what a fond one it is. Attendees declared it by far the best polyamory conference they'd ever attended primarily due to the high quality of the presentations.

A huge thank-you to Robyn Trask and Jesus Garcia of LovingMore for their tireless work to put this conference together. Likewise, many thanks to registration assistant Lyndell, whose friendly smiles and hugs added to the warmth of the weekend.

I liked all of the workshops I attended. Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale's "Love and Marriage in Bible Times: Lessons in Polyamory" was excellent, as was attorney Diana Adams's "Love Wars: Polyamory and Law, Politics, and Culture". So was Polyamorous NYC's Birgitte Philippides's "Group Sex and Emotional Safety: How to Successfully Navigate Threesomes, Foursomes and Beyond!" This is not to take anything away from the other presentations - I'd have attended all of them if that were possible.

Monica Hesse of the Washington Post was present all weekend attending workshops and interviewing participants, especially those from the Washington, DC area. (Yours truly has reason to believe she will be quoted and her picture will be included.) The article is to be published some time yet this week. Monica was the essence of professionalism, going to great lengths to help people be comfortable with her presence.

The most wonderfully unique aspect of attending a polyamory conference is the warmth and good-will vibe that builds throughout the weekend. This was especially true at this conference. By the time the festivities were winding up on Sunday, the positive, loving energy was palpable. Hugs were flying about the crowd gathered in the hotel lobby for a good 30 minutes following the closing sessions, and it was clear that no one really wanted to leave and return to the real world. But as my partner, Jim Fleckenstein, is fond of saying, Brigadoon does indeed vanish into the mist, to return after the requisite time has passed. At least in this case it's more likely only one year instead of one hundred.

Florida Poly Retreat Coming Up Soon

This just released from the fine polyfolk who bring us the Florida Poly Retreat. I have the honor of being their keynote speaker this year - here's what I'll be talking about:

Polyamory in Media’s Spotlight

Over the last couple of years much has happened on the public stage that has the power to affect poly lives in ways both good and bad.

The good news: Polyamory is no longer socially obscure.

The bad news: Visibility attracts attention from people who actively oppose the way we live our lives.

The image of polyamory is being driven today by local, regional and national television and print media. As we all know, Florida poly community members and leaders have had moments in the spotlight, some welcome and some not so much.

National and international media interest in polyamory is at an all time high with no real end in sight. Increasingly the media is the grass roots playing field that offers the most effective means of influencing public opinion – and hopefully public policy – in our favor.

Come hear more and ask questions about this exciting but challenging trend.

FPR release sez.....

Don't forget, the Florida Poly Retreat is coming up March 27-30! We have a great retreat planned. Anita Wagner is our keynote speaker (check her out here) and we have some awesome presentations scheduled on things like:

~Polyamory & Paganism
~Polyamory & Christianity
~Polyamory & GLBT
~Practical STD Management
~Communications Strategies

along with some repeats and expansions of previous favorites like workshops on:

~Meyers-Briggs Type Indicators
~The Hero's Journey
~Tantric Harmony

Plus much more!

We also have a bunch of social events for everyone to enjoy, such as our bonfire (tended by our resident Firemen) and drumming every night, nature paths, and a clothing-optional pool (the only clothing-optional area on site). Florida weather in March is really quite moderate, and is an especially nice break from the slush and the cold from up North. A long weekend break in Central Florida is just the thing for people busy with work and tired of winter!

Also, the library and media room (with poly-themed movies available to watch), and the main hall will have coffee, juice and water all day for easy socializing and just taking a break.

We also just opened a Cafe Press store where you can get some great FPR merchandise! All the proceeds go back into FPR to make your retreat experience even better! Check us out here for all sorts of stuff!

There are still campsites and cabins available, so register soon before they're all filled up! And if anyone is interested in giving a presentation, workshop, or being part of a panel discussion, there is still room alongside of our already-fabulous lineup of presenters! Contact for more info and ask about the Presenter Price Break!

Can't wait to see ya'll there!

FPR 2008 Staff