Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Practical Polyamory is one of The Daily Reviewer's Top 100 Sex Blogs

I am pleased today to learn that this blog has been recognized by The Daily Reviewer as one of it's Top 100 Sex Blogs based on reader votes.  I don't consider this blog a sex blog, but it's certainly sex-positive, and I'm happy for the award regardless.  I am also honored to be included in the fine company of Cunning Minx's Polyamory Weekly, Heather Corinna's Scarleteen (sex ed info for teens), Ask Dan and Jennifer, Susie Bright's Journal, and the Savage Love Podcast. (Click the award above to see all of the winners.) Interestingly, there only seem to be 40 blogs listed in this category - maybe they're still soliciting suggestions.

The Daily Reviewer reviews and rates blogs on a huge variety of subjects, not just sex, and since the award can only be had via reader votes, I'm now going to impersonate an American Idol contestant and thank all my fans for the honor of this award.  (A trip or a cash prize some day maybe??? - Naah, forget it, such a suggestion might seem ungrateful...) 

Joking aside, I really do appreciate the readers who went to the trouble of making the recommendation and pledge to continue to bring you the best social commentary and polyamory information available.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Primetime Polyamory on NBC's Parks and Recreation

And so the mainstreaming of polyamory continues.   According to a review in today's LA Times, last night's season premiere of Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler's NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation includes the revelation of a character in a poly family.  The reviewer says:

Intern April (Aubrey Plaza) ... introduces Leslie (Amy Poehler) to her boyfriend, who also has a boyfriend, perhaps the first functioning polyamory on network prime time.

The only issue I have so far is that when April introduces Leslie to Derek and Ben and explains their relationship, Leslie says she hates Ben.  It's probably the script writers' attempt to be funny but certainly no joke to those who know what works for poly relationships and what doesn't, and in this case the latter would be outright hatred for a partner's partner.

Here's the clip with the oh-so-fitting name "It's not that complicated!"  Keep watching to see this threesome at the gay bar Bulge where they honor Poehler's character, Leslie, for something that's made her the gay community's reluctant hero. 

So stay tuned, boys and girls!  And the full episode will probably become available on the show's website at some point.

Woodhull Explains Position on Controversial Abercrombie T-shirts

A few days ago I posted a blog entry about a "buycott" call from the Woodhull Freedom Foundation to buy a certain group of rather silly sex-focused Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirts, or at least let the company know it has the support of the sex-positive community, as a result of conservative/religious extremist attacks on the product. After doing so I received comments both here and on my facebook entry where the blog entry also appeared that expressed strong opinions that the shirts were tacky, sexist, and generally objectionable, this time from within the sex-positive community instead of religious conservatives.

Woodhull has posted an explanation on carnalnation.com, which says in part:

Like our past BuyCott efforts, our A&F BuyCott stirred a lot of emotion. Some of our constituents were quick to write (thank you!) and call to my attention the history of A&F, including successful lawsuits against them pressing charges of racism and sexism. This will remind me to keep a closer eye on A&F and other companies to detect such unacceptable behavior.

At the same time the issue on this occasion wasn’t the t-shirts or the retailer. The issue is that, popular or not, offensive or not, appropriate or not, the t-shirts are about sex and sexuality. Are they tasteless? Probably! Certainly a lot of people including many sexual freedom advocates think so. But does A&F have the right to market them? Woodhull says YES!

And that’s what the alert was about.

The attack on sex that fueled the assault on A&F was not stupid. It came from a well-oiled, well-researched, thoroughly entrenched message machine. It knew where to strike. It knew that there’s not much point in waving the hysteria flag around a shirt with pictures of flowers on it ...

You can read the entire commentary on carnalnation here.

MTV's True Life: I'm Polyamorous

The poly world is all abuzz about the latest episode of MTV's True Life reality show, which features New York poly activist and attorney Diana Adams, her partners Ed and Kerry, and Jim, Chris and Thomas, a gay male triad living in Charlotte, NC.  To hear from Diana about the experience of opening her love life to the world, see her recent blog entries.

MTV, as well as the polyamorists featured, has done a good job of representing not only what polyamory is, but also some of the common issues that arise and must be resolved, like jealousy, time management, fear of loss, untruthfulness, etc.

What makes this particular broadcast media event so special is it's reach - literally millions of young adults watch this series, with women age 18-25 being its primary audience.

As for Jim, Chris and Thomas, these guys live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a local news station did a feature on their poly relationship recently.  And woo hoo!  It even includes a reference to Loving More.

It's particularly noteworthy that instead of condemnation from local Christian conservatives, the condemnation they experience comes from the gay community itself for what apparently some see as a misrepresentation of gay relationships.  More and more we are seeing media events that tell the stories of gay polyfolk, and I have to wonder just how much longer the same-sex marriage movement leaders will be able to get away with continually dismissing (and dissing) polyamory as irrelevant.  Slippery slope or not, we are here, we are everywhere, (sound familiar?) and our numbers are increasing. 

For more commentary on this program, see Alan's indepth analysis on the Polyamory-in-the-News blog. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In Dallas? Support Jenny Block This Thursday in Nightline Face-Off!

The following is a plea for support from author Jenny Block as she prepares for a live taping of a high profile debate with those who oppose polyamory and open marriages.  Please pass it along to anyone you know who may be able to show up and cheer her on. 


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I've been invited to participate in a debate about adultery and the Ten Commandments for an episode of Nightline, airing on September 24.

The best news is that you're invited to be a part of the studio audience.

The taping is being held this Thursday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. at:

Fellowship Church
2450 N Highway 121
Grapevine, TX 76051-2002
(972) 471-5700

Also on the panel are Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church, Noel Biderman of ashleymadison.com, and Jonathan Daugherty of Be Broken Ministries.

I sure would love to have your support and to see your smiling faces in the audience. Plus, you can ask questions and appear on the show too!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

All the best,


Love and Light at Loving More Annual Retreat

Once again we had a delightful weekend celebrating and learning and loving at the Loving More National Conference Retreat at Easton Mountain Resort in Greenwich, NY.  It was wonderful to spend time with old friends and meet many new ones, including many people from countries outside the US.  This was our fourth year at this beautiful location, and it now feels like a home away from home.  As always, the food was healthy and delicious and the freshest of fresh, since much of the produce is grown in the garden out back. 

I especially enjoyed meeting the beautiful Leonie Linssen, a poly educator and community organizer from Holland, who attended her first polyamory conference there.  It is delightful to know that interest in polyamory isn't only growing in the US but also in many countries around the world.  Leonie and I have much in common, and I look forward to continuing the friendship we established at the conference.

The programming was terrific and covered many common subjects important to happy and healthy polyamorous relationships.  I had the pleasure of presenting a program called Polyamory in Media's Spotlight with Alan M of the Polyamory-in-the-News blog.  Alan backed me up with additional commentary and many live displays of internet pages featuring articles and videos under discussion.

As always, Robyn Trask and Jesus Garcia, along with the excellent assistance of Robyn's sister, Ginni Trask, and Robyn's son, David, did a fabulous job.  It was a well-run event.  These folks put their hearts and souls into their conferences, and the participants are the lucky beneficiaries of the professionalism that keeps Loving More conferences running smoothly.  If you'd like to see Robyn's own comments as well as a picture of some of the attendees, check out her latest Loving More blog entry.  (That's me in the picture wearing a black t-shirt and a big smile just a bit right of center.) 

The next Loving More polyamory conference is Poly Living February 19-21, 2010 in Philadelphia.  Plan now to join us and help me celebrate my birthday.  It's rumoured there may be chances to administer a good birthday spanking in exchange for a modest donation to Loving More.  Wow, is there anything I won't do for my cause!?!?

Monday, September 14, 2009

WilmerHale Earns HRC Foundation Corporate Equality Index Perfect Score

Many of my friends have heard me rave about WilmerHale, the law firm where I am employed. In addition to it's preeminent pro bono program, one of the reasons I love it is it's commitment to workplace equality.  It also manages to combine both those focuses by devoting the time and energy of some of the best legal talent in the country to helping advance marriage equality and repeal the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that discriminates against LGBTs who are serving our country in the military.
Today it was announced that for the second year in a row the firm has received a perfect score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) survey for 2010 and labeled it amongst it's "Best Places to work."  "Legal work in this country is deeply rooted in our nation's core values of equality and justice for all, and law firms continue to set the gold standard for treating their LGBT employees fairly" said HRC Foundation President Joe Solmonese in a  recent press release.

It seems that law firms in general are strong leaders in creating environments that are welcoming to LGBT employees. As an out bisexual woman, in the ten years I've been employed at WilmerHale I have never had the slightest concern about my job security due to my sexual orientation.  I'm also out at work as polyamorous, and likewise, I've come under no pressure or scrutiny for being so.   

So if you're LGBT and seeking work in a law firm where you'll feel welcome, check us out, and if you apply, please let them know that I proudly referred you.  For even a lifelong employer you can't go wrong.  Openly gay WilmerHale paralegal Brian Boyer, who passed away a week ago from cancer, worked for the firm for 36 years.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch Pitches New Silly T-Shirts To America's Youth Angering Religious Right

UPDATE:  After a variety of comments on this post both here and over on my facebook profile where it was cross-posted,  I'm now convinced that this is a far from ideal set of circumstances to choose for a buycott on behalf of sex positivity.  Many thanks to all those who have offered sound and important observations. 

Woodhull's work is generally very good and worth supporting.  On rare occasions we activists can and do miss the mark, usually, or at least in my own case, due to haste to get a story out and move on to other pressing matters.   - Anita


Thanks to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation for the heads-up on this one.

Join the BuyCott! Call Abercrombie & Fitch at 614-283-6500 (press "0" for a live person) and let them know you support their right to sell and their customers' right to buy their "sex can be fun" tee shirts.

Abercrombie & Fitch  is being attacked by the religious right for selling these three tee shirts as part of its "New College" line of T-shirts.

Abercrombie & Fitch does not merely sell a popular line of clothing - they sell a lifestyle. And because A&F clothing is popular among teens and college kids, the influence of their sex-as-recreation lifestyle is widespread. If you feel like encouraging this lighter side of sex and showing the religious right that this is a free country help the BuyCott--buy one or more of these shirts.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reports that Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year- almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age.

In the past decade more than one billion dollars in federal funding has been doled out for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In contrast, there has been no federal funding at all for comprehensive sex education. Thus the raging STDs?

Whether you buy a tee shirt or not drop a note to your local school board, state legislators, and your Congress member and Senators, encourage them to fund comprehensive sex education!