PW 472: Minx coming out udpate

Two years after coming out to her family of blood, what happened when Minx tried to go back home with LustyGuy? 44239090_s

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1:00 Poly in the News

9:00 Topic: Minx coming out udpate

Nearly two years after coming out to her biological family, Minx shares an update about an upcoming visit to her biological family. The blog post on how things went down. Long story short: I’ll never see my mom again.

25:30 Feedback

M loved our non-sexual relationship episode 469 and wants to know

28:15 Happy Poly Moment

Bill and Jen share a first threesome happy poly moment

31:30 Thank you!

Thanks to Coby for a $69 donation!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Minx coming out update

44239090_sA family chat, two years after coming out

Warning: this post is far more personal than most on this blog. In fact, it’s a bit closer to a diary post than anything I’ve ever published. However, I’m sharing this with you because many folks out there have it much, much worse than me. When they come out, they may lose their homes, their loved ones, their income, their marriage or their kids. My story is puny in comparison, but as LustyGuy says, “Everyone’s shovel is always full.” I still believe it’s worth sharing, this real story of how I coped when a family member out-and-out rejected my orientation. So here goes.

As many of you know, a little under two years ago I came out to my family. It seemed almost a non-issue at first, with my sister-in-law quickly saying, “As long as you’re happy, that’s OK.” My mom wrote me a disapproving letter a month later, but things seemed to stop there.

Then, last spring, heeding Dan Savage’s coming out advice for adult children to their parents, I spent a weekend with my mom and gave her the ultimatum: now that you’ve had a year to process and judge, your seeing me is contingent upon seeing my partner as well. I told her that I will only travel to Texas for visits in the company of my sweetie LustyGuy, and if she wasn’t comfortable with our staying at her house, we could get a hotel. Alternatively, I would pay for her to fly to visit me in Seattle and treat her to a fun weekend, and I would even give her my own bed instead of having her sleep in the guest bedroom (she complains the bed is too low).

I told her she didn’t have to make a decision right then. Since I only visit once a year for her birthday, anyway, she had a whole year to decide what she wanted to do. It was totally up to her; I would respect whatever decision she made.

Now, two years after coming out, her birthday is coming up again. And it’s her 80th, so I was planning to do something special: fly to Texas, sponsor a barbecue after the Sunday church service, get my brothers to come in that same weekend and take her out as well.

I’d left her a message about some birthday plans, and she called me last night. She told me that I was welcome to come, but LustyGuy and L were not, period. When I reminded her that if she wanted to see me, she’d have to see LustyGuy as well, she refused because what we were doing was “illegal.” When I asked for clarification as to what law we were breaking, she said that you can’t marry two people. Of course I clarified again that we weren’t legally married and were therefore breaking no laws, but she continued with her “illegal” objection (which is not unusual for her–once she decides she has an objection, she carries it to the grave, despite all facts and evidence to the contrary). She said, “I’m old, and I’m not going to change my mind.”

Being the bigger person

Now, I may seem all cool and calm now, but keep in mind that I HATE confrontation, even over the phone. My heart was beating out of my chest; my mouth was so dry that when I tried to swallow, there was nothing to swallow. And I was shaking to boot! I listened carefully, put myself in her position first rather than reacting with my own emotions, and I took a breath.

Here is where all that sex-positive and communication training kicked in, and I got the opportunity to be the bigger person, even though I was shaking:

This is 100% your decision, and if that’s what you want, I will respect it. I wish you would respect my choice like I’m respecting yours, but I understand this is hard for you and will miss you. I still love you, and I still respect you. I will still call you, and you are still welcome to visit me on my dime.

She did not reflect any of that language back on me, but that’s not unusual. (My parents have never told me they loved me or were proud of me, and I long ago gave up trying to get their approval.)

Some helpful self-talk

Frankly, I should have expected this reaction from the start, but I suppose I optimistically believed that pragmatism would win out over narrow-minded moral judgments. LustyGuy, who is far more cynical than I am, was not surprised in the least. Silly me!

But for those playing the home version of this game, here is some of the positive self-talk that I found helpful:

  • I am loved I am surrounded by my family of choice who loves me just exactly as I am, which is far more valuable to me than my family of blood. They chose to love me.
  • I chose my path and live my values I am smart, successful, compassionate and tolerant, which is something that any parent not my own would be proud of. More importantly, they are traits that I am proud of. I chose my path and live a life of integrity.
  • I’m no longer a rebellious teen (well, maybe a little bit) While I gave up being a rebellious teenager many years ago in favor of showing my mom compassion and patience, it’s curious that she can still bring that out in me! I had a devious little thought that LustyGuy, L and I could form our own legal corporation that would give us similar rights to those of marriage and then gleefully call my mom and tell her that I took her advice and made my relationship legal. (But then I remind myself that I’m in my 40s and far too mature to do things exclusively to piss off my parents!)
  • Mom’s disapproval = the right thing for me My mom has never approved of my choices, and her disapproval is typically a sign that I’m doing something right and good with my life. She thought I should go to college in order to meet a man and get married; she thought my French degree was useless, even when it landed me my first two jobs; she thought I was being seduced by “glamorous” big-city life when I moved to Chicago for a job opportunity; she even thought that I should abandon my pets when I moved cross-country because you could always get another dog or cat. So her ardent disapproval is usually a sign that I’m doing the right thing for my values.

Another thought I’ve been musing over is that perhaps my mom doesn’t enjoy my yearly visits as much as I thought she did. Perhaps she is faking it, too, and doesn’t enjoy spending time with me any more that I do spending time with her. I began making the trips as an alternative to visiting for the holidays, so I could spend Christmas with friends and family of choice. And I always go to lengths to make sure her birthday weekend is about her: the places she wants to go, the food she wants to eat, the topics of conversation she prefers, the activities she doesn’t get to do otherwise. It might very well be that she is doing both of us a favor by putting a stop to these visits, in the end!

Where I am now

All that being said, it will be very odd never to see my mom again. It’s quite likely that the next time I see her will be at her funeral. For those who may think I’m being a bit dramatic, here’s a story: my mom carried her judgment of her sister (over a small financial dispute in the 90s) literally to her sister’s grave. My mother refused not only to speak at her sister’s funeral but even to say a kind word about her at all ever again. She did attend her sister’s funeral, but she stubbornly refused to say one positive word about her. So believe me when I say that the next time I see her will be in the urn holding her ashes in Texas. And if an urn could look disapproving, I’m sure she could manage it.

That being said, all the above self-talk is still true, and I encourage you to use it if you’re having similar judgments placed on you. I’m so fortunate to be in every way independent of my narrow-minded family: financially, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and geographically. I have my wonderful life, my wonderful friends, my awesome kitty and the best listenership a podcaster could ever hope for. In the end, this judgment is unfortunate, but it will not change me nor my path.

If you are going through a tough time, here’s hoping that these words and this situation will help you to know you are not alone.

PW 463: The Game Changer

Franklin Veaux talk about his new autobiography, The Game ChangerGameChanger final front cover - full 

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1:00 Host chat

4:00 Poly in the News

9:00 Interview: Franklin Veaux on The Game ChangerFranklin Veaux author photo

Poly author and ethicist Franklin Veaux talks about his just-release autobiography, The Game Changer, including why he wrote it and what you can learn from his poly journey.

32:45 Happy Poly Moment

F writes in with a sweet happy poly moment about being accepted by his girlfriend’s mother over the holidays.

34:05 Thank you!

Charles and Sarah both donated this month. Thank you!

37:25 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Poly families: poly parents and kids sound off

Wondering if polyamory is good for families? A poly mom, son, father and daughter share their experiences #cconpoly

PW 444: When to stop lying

lolcat-liesWe all lie a little to be in the closet. But how much is too much?

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1:00 Announcements

12:30 Poly in the News

Polyamory: taboo for religious Americans but not for the rest

16:00 Kicking Poly Drama Testimonial

Kicking Poly Drama on Its Ass online course student Joseph shares his experience with taking Minx’s first online course—what it was like, and was it worth the time, effort and money to take an online poly course.

20:10 Topic: When to stop lying

Frustrated in Kentucky writes in to ask about a tricky situation. In an open marriage and playing with K, who is squicked at dating a married woman and wants to be in the closet about it. However, their mutual close friends have noticed their interactions and are asking about Frustrated dating K, so she is forced to lie directly to them in order to keep K in the closet. To make matters worse, K is about to move in with said mutual friends! What to do?

  • LustyGuy suggests not actually lying while still respecting K’s closet. Have you tried “I can’t answer that” or “I can neither confirm nor deny”?
  • While you do need to respect K’s closet, it’s also worth asking yourself what you need in order to be happy. Is being in the closet hot and sexy, or is it making your relationship worse and less healthy?

27:25 Thank you!

Thanks BJ for joining the PW Playmates!

28:40 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 439: When to come out to your social circle

IMG_3618When and how do you come out to your social circles as poly?

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1:00 Announcements

3:30  Topic: When do I come out to my social circles?

Listener Sarah asks when she should come out to the folks in her monogamous social circle—especially one cute guy she likes. Minx and LustyGuy recommend:

  • Whenever you want—it’s your decision
  • Be comfortable with yourself first
  • Be prepared for negative reactions and don’t take them personally
  • It’s OK to come out to individuals rather than a group

13:00 Feedback

  • Rambina shares a steamy audio poem Let It Be
  • Jim gives us follow up on his poly implosion

18:45 Happy Poly Moment

Missy shares a sweet, sisterly Happy Poly Moment.

22:00 Thank you!

Thanks to Luanne, anonymous, Steve and Teresa for joining the Poly Weekly Playmates!

29:15 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 434: Five things that suck about polyamory

Let’s talk about the things that really suck about being polyamorous!this-sucks-lolcat

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1:00 Announcements

Podcasty stuff

Buzzfeed win So proud to be on Buzzfeed’s list of Top 40 Places to Hear Everything You Never Learned in Sex Ed Class!

Kicking Poly Drama class update Want to take Kicking Poly Drama on Its Ass but have three people in your polycule? We’re now offering the 3-Person-Polycule option for the class for just $169! Lets you share your login with up to two partners.

Trans follow up After my Bastyr chat with a male previously identified as FTM trans, a great book on JUST ONE OF THE GUYS? How Transmen Make Gender Visible at Work by Kristen Schilt, UCLA

10:45 Poly in the News

15:15 Topic: Five things that suck about polyamory

We all love our orientations, whether they be monogamy, swinging, non-monogamy or polyamory. But let’s face it: there are a lot of things that suck about self-identifying as polyamorous. So let’s just acknowledge that!

5. When it’s great, it’s great. When it explodes, it blows up HARD.

4. Communication drain

3. Finding like-minded people

2. Not having enough time to spend with partners

1. Living in a monogamous culture

23:10 Happy Poly Moment

PolyDoc wrote in to share how she had an opportunity to let an 81-year-old patient in a sexless marriage know about polyamory and consensual non-monogamy.

25:45 Feedback

Vlad figures the math of polyamory. Poly Weekly Dork Stamp Award!

29:15 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 395: Unbalanced triads

How do you cope when your new partner is more into your husband?cat_load_balancer_2

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

5:30 Topic: Triads

A listener wrote in to ask how to deal with being in a triad with a good friend when the friend seems to be more into her husband than into her. How do you keep yourself from feeling left out and excluded when she’s just not as into you?

Deal with this issue as if it were jealousy. Drill down to the root cause and figure out what the deep fear is. Try completing this:

When she is more into him, it means that I am _______________, and I’m afraid that that means that I am ____________ and that eventually, __________ will happen.

13:00 Feedback

Quath shares coming out stories.

15:00 Follow up to Minx coming out

Minx gets the inevitable family backlash to her coming out and shares her thoughts on the process and reactions.

20:00 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 394: Minx comes out!

4-lolcats-of-the-apocalypseMinx came out to her family in Texas. How did THAT go?

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

6:15 Topic: Minx comes out to her family It turns out that other people’s interest in my dating life was greatly exaggerated. Quite anticlimactic! Funniest part was when my mom asked, “Why isn’t it too boys and one girl?”

15:00 Feedback

  • Christina writes in to ask if she can self-identify as polyamorous.
  • FiscalDom wrote in to criticize episode 387 Is Monogamy Natural?

23:00 Thank you! Thanks to John and welcome Erich to the PW Playmates! You make for a very happy Minx! Wrap upQuestions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 359: Being poly, out and pregnant

How do you handle coming out when your pregnancy forces the poly issue?

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1:00 Announcements

13:20 Topic: Pregnant, poly and being judged

A pregnant listener with two boyfriends asks how to avoid being judged when coming out about the nature of her relationship. Advice:

  • When people judge, it’s a commentary on their own experiences, not yours. Surprisingly, it’s rarely about you; it’s about them! Listen and express sympathy and compassion for any unpleasant incidents they reveal to you.
  • Use humor whenever possible.
  • Be careful legally and explore the ramifications.

23:15 Feedback

  • Kei gave feedback on episode 357 regarding dealing with differing levels of sexual drive in relationships.
  • Olaf wrote in to comment that any new web series on polyamory would help with exposure.
  • It’s the first of May! Outdoor fucking starts today!

29:00 Thank you

Thanks to Keith and Kristin for their generous donations this week!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY (our new number!). And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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