Started the day reviewing yesterday’s accomplishments and explorations. One of the best ideas was a butcher-paper timeline that everyone wrote on, from “before 1900” to “where we’re going” in the areas of Self, Group, Movement and Culture. A cool group project that encouraged us to think and see where we are in relation to everyone else in the room. And yes, there are plans to refine the facts and publish a polyamory timeline.
Quote from Reid Mihalko: “Stop being angry that people don’t get you. It only shuts them down.”
Good message from Airica Love: Speak in the language of people you are trying to influence. Speak as to what will benefit them, not what will benefit us.
Questions discussed this morning:
What do you come out of this presentation wanting to talk about?
What do we now see about how we might grow this movement?
Where are we falling short?
Sadly, that’s all I got before hopping into the snowstorm and out into the breach.
One of the first challenges faced at the Poly Leadership Summit was one of privacy. Many of us activists need a level of privacy because of our jobs or family lives, and there is a reason these summits to date are going on behind closed doors–because these discussions are creative, explorative and most likely, quite messy. Some of us use pseudonyms and must hide our names, voices or faces. Others are out publicly and have no objection to photos, videos or audio recordings.
My favorite of the answers to what do you want to come out of this meeting with? Tacit’s “to have the AFF foaming at the mouth at the polyamorous agenda”!
Great get to know you activities and quick answers to what each of us thinks is important for the future of the movement. Everyone is coming at this from a slightly different angle, and I think there is a lot of power in that.
The slides from my keynote at Poly Living 2009. They’re intended to support a live presentation, so they don’t make much sense without it, but audio will hopefully follow soon.
The audio will be edited and up soon; then, these slides will make more sense. For now:
[Edit: this is the Slideshare plus audio version:]
Anita Wagner and a group of couples in the round, speaking on poly-mono folks getting together:
What led you to be poly?
- It’s a commitment to growth and opportunities for intimacy
- What makes you poly? To Anita Wagner, if you feel you have the desire and ability to love more than one person at a time, whether you actually are at the time or not. It’s less about behavior than about identity and beliefs.
- If I haven’t practiced but am curious by poly and fascinated by hearing about how others practice it, am I poly?
- I am my own primary partner first. Wanting to explore intimacy to the depth of my being, not just physical but emotional intimacy as well (or instead).
What are the challenges you face in poly-mono relationships?
- Reframing what commitment means
- Resisting the urge to blame each other
- Reestablishing trust
- Figuring what to tell friends, family and children
- Dealing with guilt from societal expectations
- Dealing with “you deserve better than that” from others
- For the mono partner, dealing with loneliness, shame, inferiority, confusion, feeling that the metamour is an intrusion to the relationship
- Don’t pigeonhole monos or polys–we all do this for different reasons
- Be aware that the metamour can get even more quality time than the existing partner because it’s set aside specifically–make sure the existing couple gets special, carved-out time, too
- Don’t have an affair instead of talking to your partner about poly–your partner WILL find out, and trust will be destroyed
- Don’t bring it up early and then drop the idea of poly for an extended period of time (say, 10 years) and expect your partner to be up to speed
- Bring the subject up at least once a month for general discussion, even if you’re not actively pursuing another relationship at the time. Remember that people, their needs and their relationship dynamic changes subtly (or dramatically) over time. “I told you five years ago what I wanted” doesn’t cut it!
- Be sure to get a good education in poly itself and in good communication skills–try Marshall Rosenburg’s Non Violent Communication