Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dr. Helen Fisher: "We are capable of loving more than one person at a time."

I am amazed that I just came across this video of a speech lecturer, author and cultural anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher gave three years ago. I often reference her in my poly educational programs and her writings about how we love, and why. She has a real talent for explaining human sexuality and pair bonding with clarity, especially as to what chemicals are at work when we fall in love, pair bond, etc., their effects, and how that fits/has fit - or not - into social mores.

In this video Fisher talks about three brain systems, lust, romantic love, and attachment, and how it is that these don't always go together. At 17 minutes into the lecture, she says what I've longed to hear her say but have never heard her say so clearly and unequivocally, and that is that because these three brain systems aren't always connected to each other,

" can feel deep attachment to a long term partner WHILE you feel intense romantic love for somebody else WHILE you feel the sex drive for people unrelated to these other partners. In short, we are capable of loving more than one person at a time." (At which time the skies opened and angels sang!) "In fact you can lie in bed at night and swing from deep feelings of attachment for one person to deep feelings of romantic love for somebody else. It's as if there's a committee meeting going on in your head as you are trying to decide what to do, so I don't think honestly we are an animal that was built to be happy, I think we are an animal that was built to reproduce, and I think that any happiness we find we make, and I think however we can make good relationships with each other."

Which is what we polyamorists are doing and doing better and better as time passes.

Fisher spends a fair amount of time speaking generally about romantic love and relationships and also about the role for women in the future, all of which is very important and quite fascinating all by itself. If you can't wait to get to the poly part, you can jump forward to the 17 minute point. Enjoy!

By the way, the remarkable website where I found this is called "TED: Ideas Worth Spreading" and features the "18 minute talks of their lives" given by invited speakers to TED, which the website says, "... stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers ..."

I am definitely looking forward to exploring more thoroughly what else it has to offer.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Ethical Slut Redux

Great news! When I saw therapist and author Dossie Easton last year at an event, she announced that she and Janet Hardy (who previously wrote as Catherine Liszt) were in the process of writing a second edition of The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities. The original was published in 1997, and a lot has changed culturally since then.

I had a chance to talk with Dossie at Dark Odyssey this past weekend, and she told me that The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures will be out on March 3. Amazon is offering it for pre-order for $11.53. Mine is now on order.

Slut (as Dossie refers to it) was the best available handbook on polyamory for a very long time, and I have no doubt that with this update it will continue to be a valuable and trusted resource for everyone who wants to know more about options for responsible and ethical alternative non-monogamous relationships. No polyamory library will be complete without it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Poly/Mono Relating at Poly Living Feb. 27 through March 1 Philadelphia

Note to my readers: I will be presenting a new program at this year's Poly Living. We continue to see a steady influx of poly/mono couples who are trying to make their relationships work - I hope this will provide them some assistance.

Making Lemonade: The Poly/Mono Journey

Probably the greatest challenge in finding what works to resolve conflict in polyamorous relationships is working out the challenge that arises when one partner is polyamorous and the other is monogamous. How do people manage? Is it even possible to find mutual happiness under such circumstances?

The good news is that yes, it is. This workshop will explore the ways in which poly/mono relationships wither for some and thrive for others. It is based on the responses to a recent call for survey responses from both poly and mono partners in ongoing contemporary poly/mono relationshiips. Come hear their stories - you will find great benefit in hearing their insights and lessons learned.

Every effort will be made to present this workshop and conduct the discussion sensitively to the experiences of the monogamous partners as well as the polyamorous partners. A useful handout and time for discussion will be included.

So please stop by for this program and discussion - it promises to include lively discussion and debate. (Respectfully done, of course.)

Here are the Poly Living details:

Save Money, Use Coupon Code: PL2009G by Feb. 20th 2009
Save 10% per person when three or more sign up together.

YES Poly Living is Back for yet another fantastic year and it will be here before you know it!!!

This February join polyamorists from all over the country for the fourth Poly Living conference in honor of Poly Living's Creator George Marvil*. Over a hundred open, intelligent and fun loving people will descend on the Fort Washington Hotel outside Philadelphia for three days. Our fun filled weekend will feature nationally and regionally known presenters, including a keynote presentation from Cunning Minx of Polyamory Weekly

Poly Living's workshops range from basic to advanced and from intellectual to experiential, covering topics both fun and serious like:

Creating Intimacy
Polyamory 101 & 201
Being single & poly
Rebuilding broken trust
Secondary's survival skills
Legal issues for Polys
Exploring other Relationship
Creative Flirting and more

Conference Info

Loving More Presents "Poly Living 2009"
February 27th - March 1st 2009, Philadelphia Metro Area, PA
Fort Washington Hotel Conference

Registration and more information available at here.

Saturday Evening Events

Join us for the Cuddle Party® AND an Literary Erotic Salon.

About Us:

Loving More® is a non-profit organization and magazine dedicated to information, education and support of polyamory and polyamorous relationships. We are working currently to get our 501c(3) status which is an IRS designation that will make donations tax deductible. We are a national organization and resource for people who wish to live outside traditional monogamy responsibly and with integrity. We call it polyamory or Loving More. Our goal is to support relationships based on love, commitment, growth, respect for diversity, honesty, and personal responsibility, to help distribute books relevant to polyamory, to host conferences and workshops, and to act as a national clearinghouse and public forum for the polyamorous movement.

Loving More® Magazine — since 1991 we have been the only magazine dedicated exclusively to topics involving Polyamory-multi-partner relating. We have issues both past and present that cover all different styles and logistics of polyamorous relating for the person new to or exploring polyamory for the first time to long term polyamorous person. There is information on families, parenting, sexuality, dealing with jealousy, finding compersion and much more.

The Washington Post Article "Pairs with Spares" says...

"When you watch people interact at Poly Living, it can seem that we humans have no idea what makes people happy inside relationships, or what arrangements people need to navigate the world."

Attendees have said:

" It was amazing, I fell in love with a new partner."

"I was very happy with the wonderful workshops."

"I liked that there was a lot more focus on RELATIONSHIPS and relating and less focus on sex..."

" Your conference changed my life!"

“It was a stupendous gathering and I got more then I expected”

Contact us to sign up for our workshops, retreats, magazine, information or to donate:

Loving More Non-Profit Organization.
PO BOX 4358
Boulder, CO 80306

© 2009 Loving More Non-Profit Organization. All Rights Reserved.

Dark Odyssey Winter Fire This Weekend

This Friday through Sunday the phenominal conference Dark Odyssey Winter Fire happens in Washington, DC. It's producers describe it as follows:

DARK ODYSSEY : A journey of sexual adventure, where open minded people gather to explore Tantra, Polyamory, Intimate Communications, BDSM, Alternative Lifestyles and more. With nationally known presenters, hands on workshops, intriguing lectures and exciting social events, experience a vacation you are sure to not forget.

DO is indeed a wonderful event with a top notch staff and programs (she says modestly.) For more information about Dark Odyssey, visit the DO website.

I will be presenting a new program on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. entitled The Pain and Pleasure of Poly/Mono Relationships, which I describe as follows:

Probably the greatest challenge in finding what works to resolve conflict in polyamorous relationships is working out the challenge that arises when one partner is polyamorous and the other is monogamous. How do people manage? Is it even possible to find mutual happiness under such circumstances? This workshop will explore the ways in which poly/mono relationships wither for some and thrive for others. Every effort will be made to present this workshop and conduct the discussion sensitively to the experiences of the monogamous partners as well as the polyamorous partners. Poly/mono couples and groups who have a story to tell are especially welcome. A useful handout and ample time for discussion will be included.

If you're attending DO, please come on by and check it out! And keep an eye out for the handout - it will be posted next week under "Downloadable Documents" on

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

URGENT - Call InterContinental Hotel Group and Help Preserve Venues

Hey poly people, please help support this effort. Whether you're a kinky person or not, we're all in this together in terms of the people who oppose us and our choice to walk a different relationship path and/or choose an alternative, consensual means of sexual expression.

If you already heeded this call, please read on - your help is needed one more time. My understanding is that because InterContinental did not log all the calls received in support of the event in question, the number of recorded calls against it is much greater, and InterContinental is using this data to decide whether to continue to host adult-oriented events throughout its vast chain of hotels.

Thanks for taking action or continuing to do so! - Anita

Action Alert
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

Call InterContinental Hotel Group to Preserve our Venues

As more BDSM events come under attack by the religious political extremists, we need to be vigilant in maintaining good relations with our host hotels and their corporate headquarters. Please call InterContinental Hotel Group and tell them you're very glad they supported Winter Wickedness held at the Holiday Inn Worthington in Ohio this past weekend.

Winter Wickedness was a huge success with over 400 people holding firm in the face of adversity. This BDSM conference was affirmed legal and safe by both the local police department and the county health department. Though religious extremists tried to shut down the event, attendees reported a feeling of solidarity and community when faced with this outside threat, and as it became clear that we were winning, there was an extra relish in participating in an exciting and educational vent in spite of these attacks.

If you called InterContinental Hotel Group and the operator did not take your name and number, or if they didn't give you a confirmation code, then they did *not* log your call. Please call again! You don't have to give your name or contact info if you'd like to remain anonymous, but be sure to get a confirmation code.

Intercontinental Hotels Group Corporate Customer service line: 800-621-0555, then press option 1, then option 5.

Or send an email to: Thank them for not discriminating against groups, and for being willing to face minor adversity for the sake of our freedom. It's very important to stand up for ourselves now! Thank you to everyone who called InterContinental Hotel Group - without you we wouldn't be able to hold our events.

February 10, 2009


The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Family" Poly Web Series Actor Fired

This news just in. Terisa Greenan is the Seattle-based creator of the polyamory-themed hit comic web series "Family" that has gotten a lot of attention around the poly community in recent months. Terisa has just posted a disappointing piece of news to her Facebook Notes.

Terisa writes:

This is a disheartening story that I feel the need to share for many reasons. Ernie Joseph, who plays Ben on our Web series “Family,” recently shot a commercial for the Australian olive oil company OliVaylle. The commercial was created by Mulberry Street advertising firm and produced by Black Squirrel Productions in Seattle. Ernie was excited about this new opportunity because he was told by the producers that he was likely going to be the new face of the brand, and that there could be a series of commercials featuring him to be produced in the future. Then, suddenly, the plug was pulled on his new advertising gig and the commercial Ernie shot was actually re-shot with a different actor. Producers told Ernie that the owners of OliVaylle had received links to “Family” and because of the nature of the show, no longer wanted Ernie to represent them.

In my opinion this is a terribly bigoted move by this Australian company. I know that there is a large polyamory community in Australia and that many of them are fans of our web series, “Family.” I wonder how they will feel about this. If I could wave a magic wand and make everyone aware of this injustice and the company behind it, I would.

Thank you all for your support of the web series, and thanks especially to those of you who aren’t poly yourselves, but are tolerant and open-minded enough not to discriminate against those of us who are, or those of us who are involved in this apparently controversial web series.

Terisa Greenan
Producer, 3 Dog Pictures LLC

I recommended that Terisa refer Ernie to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which routinely offers advice and assistance to polyamorous people who are subjected to job discrimination. The most outrageous part of all this is that Ernie was dismissed for playing a polyamorous character, not for actually BEING polyamorous. Apparently OliVaylle believes Ernie portraying such a "character" while simultaneously being the face of their product would be harmful to their sales. Sheesh.

If you've never see "Family", take a look. Here's the first episode.

Episodes 1 through 6 are available on YouTube with episode 7 being posted there this coming Monday, February 9, 2009. Episodes are posted every two weeks.

Obama's Faith Based Policy Signals Intent to Restore Separation of Church and State

For at least eight years sexual minority groups have been the victims of religious extremists' attacks on their freedom such as the one against which the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is currently defending. If you can spare two minutes to make a call to urge InterContinental Hotels Group and the Holiday Inn of Worthington, Ohio not to bow to public pressure from chief instigator Peter LaBarbara of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality to cancel its contract with Adventures in Sexuality to host Winter Wickedness, one of more than 200 such BDSM events routinely held across the country each year, please do so now. LaBarbara calls the event "a freakish sadomasochistic perversion-fest" and urges people to call the hotel's corporate headquarters to pressure them into canceling "for the sake of decency and public health." For more of the extremist language being used, visit the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality website.

I am encouraged by Barak Obama's efforts thus far to correct some of the disastrous unconstitutional policies of the Bush administration, and I hope that the following signals an end to the blind eye taken by President Bush that encouraged attacks on lawfully-held private events. In this morning's Washington Post I read the following:

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Hilton Washington yesterday, Obama said the goal of the [new administration's version of the faith-based] initiative "will not be to favor one religious group over another -- or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line our Founders wisely drew between church and state."

Can it be that the heyday of favortism for religious groups, including those who squander precious revenue teaching failed abstinence-only sex education programs at an annual taxpayer cost of $176 million is finally coming to an end? Can everybody say "HALLELUJAH!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Call for Poly/Mono Relationship Stories

I am deep in development of an educational program on relationships where one partner is polyamorous and one prefers monogamy. To that end, I'm seeking personal stories and lists of both what to do and why, and what NOT to do and why.

This program will be presented for the first time at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire on Sunday, February 15 at 2:00 p.m. It will be presented at the Poly Living Conference the weekend of ebruary 27 to March 1, and I expect I'll be presenting it at other conferences as well later in the year. By participating you have an opportunity to help others by sharing the lessons you have learned along your poly/mono journey.

I will be happy to give you credit in the program handout upon request. If you must remain anonymous I will use a pseudonym for you, but do let me know about that up front at the top of your response.

By the way, I especially welcome the stories of the monogamous partners and promise to treat them respectfully. I intend to present a fair and balanced perspective on the challenges and rewards of this kind of relationship.

If you are willing, please cut and paste the questions below into an e-mail message and send them to me with your responses at anita.wagner@

Thanks so much!


Please profide the following info:


Relationship configuration at present: (i.e. married and mono, not married but in a mono relationship, married and having a secret affair - I promise not to judge you! - living with my mono partner in a primary relationship and have a secondary relationship, etc.):

Sexual orientation of yourself and your partner(s):

How long you have been in your poly/mono relationship:

Whether polyamory has always been "on the table" or whether a partner raised the issue after making a monogamous commitment:

How long has it been since the subject of polyamory was first raised?

What is the status of your poly/mono relationship? (Thriving, broken up, closed again and mono/mono, etc.)

Are there children in the household? If so, are you out to them, and if so, how have they reacted?

What advice would you give to other poly/mono couples?

If the poly partner:

How did you first raise the issue of polyamory with your mono partner?

In hindsight, are you happy with the way the subject was raised or would you do it differently today? If so, how?

What are your recommendations to other polyamorists who are thinking of proposing polyamory to their mono partner? (An itemized list as opposed to a narrative would be helpful here.)

What is it about polyamory that made it important enough to you to go on this journey?

What have been the benefits of seeking to open your mono relationship?

What are the drawbacks?

Is there anything else you'd like to say, and if so, what?

If the mono partner:

What was your initial reaction to the idea of polyamory?

How would you have liked your poly partner to handle the discussion about polyamory differently, if any?

What are your recommendations to other polyamorists who are thinking of proposing polyamory to their mono partner? (An itemized list as opposed to a narrative would be helpful here.)

What advice would you give other monogamous people with poly partners?

What benefits have you experienced from the opening of the mono relationship, if any?

What are the drawbacks?

Is there anything else you'd like to say, and if so, what?