PW 494: Labeling your loves

What do you call your poly partners?partner-label

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1:30 Poly in the news

9:30 Topic: Labeling your loves

Polyamory can lack really great terms for your partners. What do you use instead of “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” or “partner.” Got anything better that you use? Partner, lover, sweetie, paramour, sidekick, topkick, anchor?

14:00 Feedback: episode 489 The other woman in poly

Doug writes in to say that for him, adding a new woman to the relationship ALWAYS makes sex better with the existing partner

16:00 Thanks!

Thanks to Sandra for her donation this week!

17:00 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!

Want to book us to speak or teach? Email lustyguy@polyweekly.com!

PW 470: Do I have to date my species?

How bad is it if I like someone who is monogamous?Dogs-Love-Cats

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1:00 Host Chat & Announcements

3:00 Poly in the News

You Me Her, a polyromantic comedy, debuts March 22

4:15 Topic: Do I have to date my species?

A listener calls in to say he’s married and poly but is interested in dating his ostensibly single, monogamous friend. How bad will it be? Well, no one can say for sure, but our Facebook poll indicated that 5 people say hell, no; 12 say “I tried it and it didn’t work;” 5 indicated success and 2 were in the process.

It definitely poses a risk of drama and heartbreak, but if you and your wife are up for it, go in eyes open.

12:00 Happy poly moment

A listener writes in to tell a tale of bravely dealing with a difficult situation by welcoming her metamour to make her husband happy.

16:30 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’s guide to surviving Valentine’s Day

35380558_sIf you’re like me, Valentine’s Day can fill you with insecurity and dread. It can turn the most confident, competent, self-assured person into a blithering ball of sopping insecurities.

Having spent many, many years either solo or far away from partners for Valentine’s Day, I developed several techniques to help me cope with what some of us affectionately call “Single’s Awareness Day.” The kicker is, of course, that many coupled folks don’t even bother to celebrate Valentine’s Day, so in essence, its primarily function seems to be to make everyone NOT in a “primary” couple feel bad about their love lives.

But we are sex-positive, so we don’t need no crappy holiday to tell us when and how to love, right? Right. So here are my tips:

For solos

For those who are either without partners, solo, or in partnered relationships but unable to spend time with their partners for whatever reason, here are my tried-and-true tips:

  • Self care Above all, do something that makes YOU feel special, sexy and loved. This may be a bubble bath, a pedicure with friends or a Netflix marathon. But go through your list of your favorite self-care techniques, and take some time to indulge in those for yourself on this day. I love how I feel when I go dancing, so I make sure to find a swing or a salsa dance event to attend that day.
  • Socialize If you’re extroverted or simply feel the need for company, organize an outing. Go to the closest steam bath with a group of girlfriends; organize a mani-pedi party at the spa; go do one of those touristy things that you usually only do when family is in town: a wine tour, boat tour or go to the top of a local landmark. You could even just organize dinner and a movie with a group of friends, either out or at your own place. Instead of pouting, bring your support network to you! I’m fond of throwing a Valentine’s Day brunch and sharing stories over mimosas.
  • Give Whenever I’m bummed about my life (usually around the holidays), my foolproof trick has been to reach out and give to those less fortunate. I make a donation on Kiva, put together a goodie bag for the homeless or volunteer at a local charity. Helping others is a sure-fire way to stop obsessing about how much love you are or aren’t getting.

For partnered people

Even if you have a partner or partners, there can be pressure to create some perfect romantic evening and/or gift that is worthy of a Hollywood movie, complete with swelling music and tearful gasps as the gift is opened. But many of us are not gifted with a flair for the dramatic, or we simply don’t have time to spend weeks prepping a perfect evening, especially with multiple partners. So my advice:

  • Breathe Your partner(s) will love any thoughtful gesture you make. It really is the thought that counts. Worry less about perfection and more on what you and your partner(s) actually care about: being together. Sometimes, a lovely card and a phone call is enough. And here’s a tip: if your partner(s) have an Amazon Wish List and you can afford it, for goodness’ sake, take advantage of that and purchase them something you know they’ll like off the list!
  • Focus on who you are Most people I know aren’t romantic like in the movies. We aren’t perfectly dressed; we don’t say those pithy romantic lines that melt the heart; we are generally pretty dorky. So, if you’re planning a romantic evening, plan something that is reflective of you as a couple/triad/group. A group cuddle party watching your favorite movie? A whisky tasting at your local distillery? Indoor sky diving? Whatever is reflective of and special for YOU is best. I actually do enjoy an opportunity to dress up, so my partner(s) know that whatever we plan needs to have a dressy or costumy element to it for me to be happy.
  • Share If you are in a couple and don’t generally celebrate Valentine’s Day, consider loaning your partner out to a friend or other partner who does want to celebrate it. I’ll never forget the one year during my dating-but-solo-poly phase when one of my on-again, off-again’s partners’ wife said, “Take Minx out for Valentine’s Day; we don’t celebrate it, and she does.” What a wonderful gift!
  • Determine privacy If you have several partners and date separately, a group date might not be the thing. Talk with each partner about what he/she wants for Valentine’s Day, and do your best to accommodate them. Again, many people have very different ideas of what makes for a great romantic holiday, so don’t assume; ask! You may be assuming you need to make four separate dates for four separate partners, but that may not be the case at all. Ask everyone how much private time they need in order to feel special. And, of course, don’t forget to add what YOU want into the mix.

I hope this is helpful for you–let me know your ideas in the comments!

PW 401: Fuzzy landmines

The fuzzy landmines and invisible fences that new partners run across

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funny-pictures-cats-jumping-fenceIntroduction Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

4:15 Topic: Fuzzy landmines and invisible fences

This topic is based on a blog post on the Solo Poly blog by Aggie Sez: Invisible fences and fuzzy landmines. Something that the solo polyamorist or the poly person entering a poly relationship has to deal with, the ramifications of which couples often are unaware: fuzzy landmines and invisible fences. A few highlights:

  • There is no alternative to being self-aware and owning your own shit. No emotional outsourcing.
  • Invisible fences: unstated boundaries or rules in relationships that a new partner only discovers when tripping over them.
  • Fuzzy landmines: rules and boundaries that are only stated in deliberately vague terms that serve as an excuse to end the relationship when someone in the original couple freaks out.

And one more question: how can you tell the difference between a couple making a genuine effort to be open and own their own shit and a couple that is not devoted to working on their own issues and relationship mechanics?

  • Does everyone involved self-identify as poly? How secure is each person in that identity?
  • Do the people in the couple talk to each other honestly?
    • Do they own their own shit?
    • Does their behavior match the walk they talk about each other?
  • Are their dialogue and behavior towards you aligned? Do they do what they say they will do?
  • How willing is the couple to hear your concerns as valid (rather than as a threat or unreasonable request)?

20:15 Feedback

23:30 Happy Poly Moment

S wrote in with a HPM of the week!

8 things cover fingers27:15 8 Things ebook

The Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory ebook is available here! And print copies here!

28:30 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 Dating 101

Thanks to everyone who attended and asked questions at yesterday’s Debauchery session on poly dating! The slides are here for your enjoyment:

PW 386: Telling the emperor he has no clothes

types-of-dishonesty-lolcat

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

  • OKCupid has added Relationship Type (mono/non-mono and mostly/strictly) under your details! Plus, you can specify “in an open relationship” (versus “seeing someone”)
  • I’ll be teaching at Debauchery April 25-27 in North Carolina

Topic: How do you tell the people you’re dating that their relationship is fucked up

G writes in to ask how to broach the topic of seeing some issues in the relationship of the couple she’s dating. If you see something unhealthy or concerning going on, is it your business? Should you just butt out? How can you tell if it’s a harmless quirk of the dynamic or a relationship-ending issue? And if you do decide to bring it up, how do you do that diplomatically?

This is a tough one! No one likes being told that their relationship appears unhealthy. But the general rules of relationship communication apply: if you see something you’re afraid to bring up, you absolutely should bring it up. But how?

I don’t have any magic plan for this one; it’s really tricky. So I applied the basic guidelines for bringing up any difficult topic:

  1. Set a time to talk
  2. Use “I” statements based on your own experience
  3. Acknowledge your limitations
  4. Refer to specific behaviors first
  5. Refer to your own experience
  6. Ask for insights

Happy Poly Moment

Harper shared a happy poly moment in which her mother chose to publicly acknowledge Harper’s poly relationship rather than avoiding it!

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!

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