From Poly Living 2009: Poly Weddings and Gay Marriage Rights

Diana Adams’ talk on Poly Weddings: the legal impact of same sex marriage decision on your poly family with Diana Adams. (I did record audio of this session with permission; check the Poly Weekly feed soon)

  • There is a legal bias against those who are sex-positive
  • Discussing “emotional pre-nups”–discussing what your relationship will look like and the terms of your breakup beforehand
  • She uses a forensic psychologist to help refocus on the issue of which of the parents is doing more negative parenting–the one who never puts the kid to bed or the one who does and who happens to have a locked cabinet of sex toys
  • The vibrator laws aren’t about vibrators but what it would mean if we allowed that: “You have the right to sell Tupperware, but not if there is a dildo in it.” Now focusing on how and whether these rules are actually to prevent harm.
  • Definition of “prostitution” in New York: sexual conduct for a fee. That is, whatever a judge decides is “sexual,” creating a culture of fear and shame for all workers, sexual and even sexual healers as well.

Prop 8 in California
The debate is whether this should be an actual amendment to the California constitution, which is surprisingly easy to amend. Diana argues this should be a court decision, not one put to the voting populace. There are now questions as to whether gay couples married during the legal period will still be legally married. She showed an Amicus brief from an organization associated with the religious right stating that because bisexual and polyamorous people can’t get legally married, we don’t need to give marriage rights to gays, either.

Same-Sex Marriage Debate and How It Affects Us
Diana explains how arguing that marriage is a fundamental human right actually harms the poly marriage issue. Lawrence v Texas overturned older sodomy laws, with an apology, maintaining it was undignified to afford homosexual citizens the same right to have private sex in their homes. (Does everybody know what “santorum” is?)

Two arguments being made:

  1. Sexual orientation should be a legal right as a “suspect class”, or group that has traditionally faced discrimination and thus needs protection. Saying that sexual orientation is a “suspect class” is a major step and very powerful. In states with civil unions, the argument is that allowing civil unions but not marriage for suspect classes is inherently as unfair as “separate but equal.”
  2. We ask: why aren’t we making the argument that the state shouldn’t be making marriages at all? The issue with making marriage a fundamental right is valorizing it and thus further entrenching it into our law, and we’ll no longer be able to separate church and state. This is dangerous because it’s appealing to morality and accepting the institution of marriage without examining it. We went from criminalizing to heterosexualizing our relationships.

Tidbits

  • We have passed the time where we link sexual relationships with economic dependency.
  • Participants recommend readings by Stephanie Koontz on the history of marriage and marriage as a tool of governmental control.

From Poly Living 2009: Compersion Immersion

Sitting at Eric Francis’ Compersion Immersion seminar here at Poly Living, my first seminar of the day (had some health issues this morning).

First memorable quote of the day: “Without embracing a journey of compersion, we are lying sacks of shit.”

Definition of “compersion” (per Eric): A transient emotion that we are capable of experiencing in a specific erotic experience.

  • It’s about embracing change and authenticity.
  • “If you don’t experience attachment or jealousy–you’re like one of those yogis that lives in a cave and breathes once in 150 years–you’re just not that common”
  • “Jealousy is the ego’s reaction to the fact that it’s being held by the short hairs over the abyss.” And its existence doesn’t really make a difference. Read more about jealousy and the abyss here.
  • “There is something profoundly erotic going on every time there is a jealous episode.” Reminds me of Damn6InchHeels, who confesses she loves to be jealous; it’s an erotic experience for her.
  • “Love and attachment are basically incompatible” Hmm. Not sure I agree with that. It’s human to form attachments and to bond. Possessiveness isn’t, but I think possessiveness and attachment aren’t the same thing.
  • Comparing avoiding jealousy to avoiding the stall when flying a plane–when flying a stalled plane, the best fix is to point the plane towards the ground, which is the least intuitive thing. When facing jealousy, fly into the stall.
  • I disagree with his definition of “attachment;” looking up the dictionary definition, which has nothing to do with not being able to live without someone or anything unnatural, unhealthy or possessive. It is simply “affectionate regard.” Trace leans over and comments that he might be using the Buddhist definition of attachment, which does in fact have a negative connotation in the sense that attachment is the source of suffering.
  • Defining compersion as letting go.
  • “In order to overcome jealousy, masturbate with your partner over and over again, like 5,000 times” to confirm one’s erotic definition is to oneself, not the other person. Once again I disagree (not that I’d mind masturbating 5,000 times, although my hand might get tired). I’m all about generously sharing sexual energy and self, and “maintaining one’s egoic shell” to me isn’t what love and vulnerability are about. And I also don’t believe that attachment is unhealthy; I believe it’s brave and significant to human experience.
  • New classification: “I’m monogamous, but… ” (I’m cheating/unhappy/not having sex, etc.)

Poly Weekly #193: How to Have a Happy Relationship

This week Poly Weekly #193: How to Have a Happy Relationship.

Download the mp3 directly!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums at http://forum.polyweekly.com.

Poly Living conference

Topic: How to Have a Happy Relationship
Tacit, host of the Polyamory FAQ site, gives his observations on what it takes to have a happy relationship, mono or poly

2:03 Minx Interviews Tacit
Minx and tacit talk about the weather. Minx starts talking about Tacit’s article and how it has impacted people. They go through the list of points from the article.

  • You can’t get what you don’t ask for
  • If all your relationships in the same bad way, maybe it is you
  • If sex is becoming boring after a while, maybe you are letting it
  • Don’t expect to change your partner
  • A partner who is nice to you but not the waitress is not a nice person
  • (I googled monkeysphere too! -fs)

  • it’s possible to love somebody but have them not be a good partner for you
  • What you get out depends on what you put in
  • a person has cheated on somebody with you cannot be trusted to not cheat on you
  • Be wary of a person who trashes their exes

Stay tuned next week for more!

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions”

Poly Weekly #192: Sex Positive

This week Poly Weekly #192: Sex Positive.

Download the mp3 directly!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums at http://forum.polyweekly.com.

Poly Living conference
Sex Positive film series

4:30 Minx talks about the documentary she watched “Sex Positive” and her impressions of the documentary.

13:05 Minx Interviews Clarise Thorn, the person putting the documentary series, Sex+++, together
Minx and Clarise talk about how the series was started; how each of the kink or sex positive movements don’t always talk together; Minx brings up the various different kinds of documentaries in the series; Minx asks about the attendance at the events;

22:20 Happy Poly Moment of the Week
Joreth wrote in and talked about how she showed her metamour how she cared about her; Robotic mailed in and talked about how his grandmother gave him a gift that exactly matched one that Minx talked about.

25:40 Feedback
Josh clarified his question about poly and teenagers.

Imzadi wrote in with a great limerick:

There once was a beautiful couple
Who decided to get into trouble
They flirted with me
And we wound up as three
And now everyone’s feelin’ the frubble

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions”

How to Have a Happy Relationship

Courtesy of Tacit:

It seems to me that a lot of basic ideas behind happy, healthy relationships are often considered “advanced,” and seem to take rather a lot more time to learn than perhaps they really ought to.

At least, they sometimes did for your humble scribe. Ahem.

So, in the interests of spreading the wealth (because experience is the best teacher, but sometimes the tuition is very high), I present Relationship Ideas That Should Be Obvious But Aren’t.

You can’t expect to have what you want if you don’t ask for what you want.
This is arguably one of the most basic rules for all of life, yet it’s surprising how often we forget. There’s almost no greater recipe for emotional turmoil then wanting something or harboring some expectation, not telling anyone about it, and then not getting it.

Next time you get really, really upset about some desire or expectation not being met, stop and ask yourself: “Did I actually let the people around me know about it?” (Here’s a tip: Dropping hints about what you want doesn’t count. Neither does wishing really hard. Nor waiting for the folks around you to become telepathic.)

If all of your relationships go pear-shaped in the same exact way and end badly in the same exact way, then maybe it’s because of something you’re doing.
Seriously. The one common element in all your relationship failures is you. Someone cheat on you? Well, that sucks, but it happens. Every single person you ever date in your life cheat on you? You’re attracted to folks who cheat.

If all of your relationships end the same way, maybe it’s time to step back and take a good, hard look at the kinds of folks you’re attracted to.

If you find that sex always becomes boring after a while in all your relationships, maybe it’s because you’re choosing to let it.
There’s a lot of fun you can have in (and out) of the bedroom. The total range of the human sexual experience is breathtaking–so much so that if you lived to be a thousand years old and did something different in bed every night for that entire thousand years, you’d still never have time to do it all. Seriously.

If you find that your sex life keeps getting stuck in a rut, maybe it’s time to explore something new. (A sure way to make yourself crazy and have a boring sex life is to keep worrying about whether trying something new would be “too weird.” The expression “That’s too weird” has done more to advance the cause of boring sex than all the world’s religions combined.)

Going into a relationship with the expectation that you can get your partner to change is quite likely to end in tears.
Now, don’t get me wrong–people can and do change. In fact, change is the one constant in life. I’m not the person I was five years ago, and if you’re doing this properly, you aren’t either.

But expecting that a person will change in the ways that you want him to, because you want him to, is setting yourself up for suck and fail. Fixer-upper relationships usually don’t work. And if you go into things thinking “Oh, I can fix him!” you just might find your ship of enthusiasm foundering on the shoals of the fact that maybe he likes being the way he is.

A relationship in which you say “This relationship is absolutely wonderful except for…” is not absolutely wonderful. Especially when the part that comes after the “except for…” is something so horrifying it’d make most folks run for the hills.
This relationship is wonderful except for the fact that we’re completely incompatible in bed. This relationship is wonderful except for the fact that she keeps forgetting to take her meds. This relationship is wonderful except for the fact that he can’t talk honestly about his feelings. Look out!

For maximum effect, try combining “this relationship is wonderful except for…” with “…but I know I can change him” and double your suck!

A partner who is kind to you but not kind to the waitress isn’t a kind person.
Seriously. The fact that he’s kind to you might just mean that he wants something from you. (Or that you’re not his property…yet. Marry that person who’s nice to you but not nice to the waitress and you might just find that once the ring is on your finger, he may start treating you like the waitress. Or worse.)

The way a person treats the folks around him reveals a lot about his true self. Pay attention.

It is possible to deeply, profoundly, genuinely, truly love someone, and yet that person might still not be a good partner for you.
It takes more than love to make a relationship work. A person you love, but who is incompatible with you, or who lacks good relationship skills, or who can’t communicate with you, is not going to make for a functional, healthy relationship. Love and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee. Or, to put it more scientifically, love is necessary but not sufficient, no matter how many Disney movies and romantic comedies say otherwise.

Though really, if you’re taking your cues on relationship from Disney movies and romantic comedies, there’s probably little that I or anyone else can do.

Find a way to build a friendship with that person that honors and respects that love without trying to turn it into something unsustainable and you’ll do okay. And as a corollary:

Being in love with someone doesn’t mean you HAVE to be in a relationship with that person.
Seriously. You have a choice. You can love someone, and acknowledge that love, and still choose not to be romantically involved with that person.

That’s one of the cool things about being a human being You get to choose.

You can’t have intimacy without sharing. If you spend your time hiding things from your partner, or worrying about whether or not you can share something with your partner, you’re not going to have an intimate relationship.
Everything you conceal from your partner undermines the foundation of intimacy upon which relationships are built.

No, that doesn’t mean telling your partner every time you take a dump (and why is it that folks who don’t cotton to sharing and openness always reach for that example?). But it does mean sharing everything that’s important, significant, or meaningful. Even if it’s uncomfortable.

Especially if it’s uncomfortable, because the fact that it’s uncomfortable probably means there’s something important lurking in there. Communication ain’t for sissies.

What you get out depends on what you put in. Approach every new partner with fear and suspicion, and you’ll have fearful, suspicious partners.
Te best way to have a friend is to be a friend. The best way to have people around you who have compassion and integrity is to be a person with compassion and integrity. The best way to fill your life with suck and fail is to fill other people’s lives with suck and fail.

You know that saying “opposites attract”? It’s rubbish. Honest people look for, and attract, other honest people.

A person who has cheated on someone else to be with you cannot be trusted not to cheat on you to be with someone else.

No, you’re not different. You’re not a rare and unique flower, so totally set apart from that shrill, obnoxious harpy that he’s with right now. You know how he tells you that you’re so much better than that monster he’s hooked up with? I bet he says the same thing about you to the other person he’s shagging. You know, the one that neither you nor his other partner knows about.

Be wary of a person who trashes all their exes in front of you, for someday you’ll likely be on that list yourself.
You know that person with the long list of former partners, all of whom were shrill, obnoxious harpies? Does something seem odd about that list to you?

Best case scenario, it means he keeps getting involved with the same sorts of people again and again, and doesn’t learn anything from any of those experiences. What do you reckon that says about you?

Worst case scenario, it’s a clear sign of someone who doesn’t take responsibility for his own part in all those past train wrecks. Which means he ain’t learning from any of them. Which means…you’re the next train wreck. What do you suppose he’ll say about you to the train wreck that follows after you?

Tell the truth from the start, and you won’t have to worry about any nasty revelations down the road.
Especially about things you worry might scare her off. Seriously, if the truth about you makes you incompatible as a romantic partner, you want to scare her off. You’re bisexual but your new love interest hates gays? You fancy country music and your partner would rather die than listen to it? Hiding those things doesn’t help your cause; it merely makes the blowup that much more dramatic when the truth comes out.

Which it will, eventually.

Be honest, be true to who you are, and you won’t have to worry about what happens if you slip up. On the other hand, make yourself seem like something you’re not, even if it’s to make yourself seem more attractive to the other person (hell, especially if it’s to make yourself seem more attractive to the other person!) is going to end badly, sooner or later. I promise.

Poly Weekly book club meets WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4th

Ready to discuss relationships this time? Let’s take some advice from a monogamist!

Gottman's Seven Principles for Making  a Marriage Work

When: Wednesday, March 4th, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Lidos Caffe, 122 N. Marion Street, Oak Park, IL
What: hearty discussion of relationships among poly and poly-friendly folks

Please RSVP so we know to look for you–we usually meet in the back room. See y’all there!

Review: Vibrating nipple clamps

Yes, you saw that right–vibrating nipple clamps!

These were a bit intimidating at first. Electricity near my nipples? Er… not sure I want to go there. But hey, I’m an intrepid reviewer, and my nipples can take it.

First off, I noticed that the clamps are rather heavy–each one weighs about as much as the average computer mouse. And they’re a bit long and dangly–would they even stay on the nipple? Well, yes. The tips are nicely covered in rubber tool dip, so there isn’t much of a pinching sensation at all. In fact, I had to tighten them pretty closely (using the thumb screw provided) just to get them to stay on the nipple.

The clamps come with the appropriate batteries (three LR44′s per clamp) plus six spares, which I found to be a nice touch. And the vibration is easy to control with the twist dial at the bottom of each.

In truth, I found these more soothing than kinky. Turned up all the way, they can pack a pretty powerful vibration–and it’s just that, vibration. Soothing. Kinda comfortable and tingly, no personal torment involved at all.

If you’re timid, get a pair and try them out on the skin of your forearm first–feel the mild to robust vibrating sensation there. Pretty comfy, right? Soothing, isn’t it?

For 50% off just about any one item, visit www.adameve.com and use coupon code MINX

Poly Weekly #190: Poly Families

This week Poly Weekly #190: Poly Families.

Download the mp3 directly!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums at http://forum.polyweekly.com.

Announcements

(this was released on my birthday! -fs)

10:55 Alan from Poly in the News
Alan talks about the panel he was on “Raising Children in Poly Environment”; ALan talks to one of the panelists, Valerie White; Alan asks Valerie the changes she has had to make as her kids are getting older; Alan asks Valerie about her work defending poly people dealing with custody battles.

19:00 Happy Poly Moment of the Week
Christian called in to talk about a happy poly moment with his wife giving him the go ahead with starting a new relationship.

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions”

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