PW 493: Asking for reassurances

Is it OK to ask for positive reinforcement about my relationship, or do I need to work on my insecurities?

Asking for positive reinforcement

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1:00 Election fallout

It’s impossible to ignore the horrifying result of the U.S. presidential election. If you want to make a difference, consider supporting the National Popular Vote movement so the candidate who wins the popular vote will actually win the election.

20:00 Topic: Is it OK to need positive reinforcement?

A listener writes in to ask how to get more positive affirmations from her partners about how important she is to them. Is it a sign of insecurity that she needs to hear how loved she is on a regular basis? Does she need professional help? It is reasonable to ask for a partner to tell her how he feels about her on a regular basis?

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 476: How do I know where I stand?

How do you know where you stand with a new poly partner?where do i stand

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

  • We’re on Google Play Music
  • New class! Poly Pitfalls: Fixing Things When They Break is Tuesday, May 24 at the Center for Sex Positive Culture in Seattle. Come join us! Tix here.

3:15 Poly in the News

13:10 Topic: How do I know where I stand?

Confused in California writes in to ask how to figure out where she stands with a new poly partner who began by lying to her about being single and who won’t give advance notice for infrequent dates. How does she know how much of a partner she actually is to him?

Minx recommends reading the Relationship Bill of Rights, which is a standard for EVERY relationship, not just poly ones. In particular, you have the right to be told the truth, to choose the level of involvement that YOU want (not what he/they are willing to offer), to feel and communicate your needs and to seek balance in what you give to the relationship and to what the relationship gives back to you.

22:45 Feedback

  • Viro from the furry relationship advice podcast Feral Attraction writes in to comment on episode 47, saying it is sometimes OK to talk to one partner about another
  • Heather writes in to share how poly has improved her sex dreams
  • Dee calls in with a new poly relationship term: “comet.” This is someone who passes through your life repeatedly who is intense and awesome and when gone you were still in contact with that person in some way, but they’re not a continuous partner. Love the idea!

29:45 Thank you!

Thanks to Elizabeth for her donation, and welcome Amy and Dylan to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

31:00 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@gmail.com!

PW 473: The myth of poly perfection

Is poly ever perfect? Is anyone or anything?8809875_s

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

2:15 Poly in the News

You, Me, Her: a new polyromantic comedy as reviewed by Kit O’Connell

4:30 Topic: Myth of poly perfection

Join Koe and Minx as they talk about the idea of perfection or a perfect type of polyamory.

25:00 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 462: Are hierarchies getting a bad rap?

Minx and Koe Creation ponder whether hierarchies can be helpful
11122934_s

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

2:10 Poly in the News

6:40 Topic: are hierarchies getting a bad rap?

Self-identified secondary and youth correspondent cohost Koe Creation shares her thoughts on hierarchies, wondering whether many folks’ disdain for them is unfounded. What’s the difference between a hierarchy and simply acknowledging that a person with whom you share children and finances is different from someone you date twice a month, after all?

34:10 Happy Poly Moment

L shares a delightful happy poly moment about her experiences with self-identifying as asexual in the poly space and finding a partner and a metamour that work well with her.

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!

PW 461: Designer relationships

Designer relationships with Mark A. Michaels and Patricia JohnsonMarkandPatricia high res

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

7:45 Poly in the News

Remember that Brooklyn poly housing project Leon Feingold put together? Here’s a video showing how it turned out!

Designer Relationships8:15 Interview: Designer relationships with Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson

Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, co-authors of Designer Relationships, are a devoted married couple. They have been creative collaborators since 1999, and their critically acclaimed titles have garnered numerous awards. Michaels and Johnson are the authors of Partners in Passion, Great Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. They are also the creators of the meditation CD set Ananda Nidra: Blissful Sleep.

In this chat, we discuss the relationship between poly and tantra, the different types of relationship structures, why people fear discussing open relationships and answering Time’s question, “is monogamy over?”

35:15 Feedback

Mexican George writes in response to episode 437 on starting over at 37, and he recommends Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson.

36:20 Happy Poly Moments

  • M wrote in to share how her lovers and former lovers supported her beautifully through two difficult ER visits
  • Heather shares a wonderful happy poly moment of her partner working to get communication back on track after a stupid fight with the two folks in the couple she and her partner were dating

39:45 Thank you!

Alan and Dillon both helped us out with generous online donations!

40:15 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 459: How to avoid polysaturation

lolcatsdotcomwbmf1xra4ftvyg8tHow to avoid polysaturation–saying no 

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

We’ll be at InfinityCon in Atlanta in February!

1:45 Poly in the News

3:45 How to avoid polysaturation

Minx and Koe Creation talk about how to take care of yourself, how to say no and other tips for avoiding polysaturation.

30:00 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!

Q & A with Designer Relationships authors Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson

Mark Michaels Patricia JohnsonMark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson are a devoted married couple of 16 years who are active in the pleasure-positive community. Their new book, Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory and Optimistic Open Relationships is a cutting-edge, accessible, and comprehensive guide to the emerging landscape of relationship options––from asexual to single by choice to polyfidelity to swinging. If you want to challenge the belief that there’s a single ideal relationship style and instead want to craft your relationships in a way that works, read on!

Who do you want to read this book?

Anyone who is interested in creating fulfilling, dynamic, and authentic relationships, those who are seeking to reinvent or recharge an existing relationship, and those who are disillusioned with the cultural hetero-mono-mandate. It’s written as a very accessible introduction to the spectrum of options that exist, while emphasizing to some of the relationship skills we think are important. People who choose to be in monogamous relationships have something to learn from poly people, so open-minded monogamists should find something valuable in it; we also hope that people who have more experience with poly will find something new and different in our perspective. 

Why would the Poly Weekly audience want to read your book?

Poly folks are avid readers, and we hope that we’ve added some new perspectives to the existing body of literature. We’re long-term nonmonogamous couple, together for nearly 17 years, so the perspective is informed by our lived experience as well as by years of exposure to poly thinking. But the book also relies on very recent research, some of which is likely to be new to listeners. The material on relationship skills, which is informed by our background in Tantra, should be of value to many. Some of our perspectives on communication might seem novel to some in the community. We like to say that “while communication is important, talking is overrated.” 

Designer Relationships monogamy polyamory openWhat did you learn from writing this book?

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the culture is shifting more rapidly than we could have imagined. At the same time, this shift is creating certain kinds of backlash and defensiveness that are surprising. The AlterNet piece attracted the attention of some from the man-o-sphere who suggested that acceptance of polyamory will lead to all the alpha males getting all of the women. That way of thinking was entirely alien to us. It’s still hard to fathom, but it’s important to know it’s out there. 

Having to write a book that was limited to 40,000 words was a departure, especially after Partners in Passion which was so encyclopedic at 450 pages. It was a great discipline because it forced us to be specific, concrete, and distill our message. It’s only 150 pages, including endnotes, so as Ken Haslam said, it’s a book that can be read on a plane. While it’s short, it’s deep.

How do you describe your relationship and why?

We were inspired by Ken Haslam’s concepts of “swolly” (straddling the border between swinger and poly) and the concept of designing one’s own relationship rather than accepting a one-size-fits-all label. Currently, we’ve landed on calling ourselves “pair-bonded and non-exclusive.” We are expecting that this will continue to change over the duration of our partnership. We have been involved with polyamory since the late 1990s, and also have explored swinging. Like Ken Haslam, we feel affinities for both.

Time Magazine recently ran a cover story asking “Is Monogamy Over?” How would you have answered that question?

Monogamy isn’t over; it’s evolving to become one option among many, and people are becoming more actively engaged in choosing what works for them. We expect that the majority will still prefer to be in pair-bonded relationships, whether they are monogamous or not. At the same time, the stigma attached to other forms of relatedness will likely continue to subside. There is still a very, very long way to go because the culture remains deeply mononormative. We don’t think American courts will recognize plural marriage or expand legal protections for poly families any time soon, and unfortunately, it seems likely that things like zoning laws will continue to be used against multiple partner households. That’s probably going to be a very long-term struggle. On the bright side, the proliferation of options and the growing acceptance of alternative approaches will ultimately benefit those who opt for monogamy too, since their monogamy will be chosen instead of being a default, as it is for so many people today.

Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, co-authors of Designer Relationships, are a devoted married couple. They have been creative collaborators since 1999, and their critically acclaimed titles have garnered numerous awards. Michaels and Johnson are the authors of Partners in PassionGreat Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. They are also the creators of the meditation CD set Ananda Nidra: Blissful Sleepwww.MichaelsandJohnson.com

PW 443: So you wanna be Poly Wan Kenobi

Poly Wan KenobiOur tips if you want to be someone’s guide into first-time polyamory

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements

  • Minx will be in New York September 24-27–ping me if you know of poly/kinky events going on!

1:30 Poly in the News

6:00 Topic: So you wanna be Poly Wan Kenobi

LustyGuy and Minx talk about their decision not to date poly virgins. But what if you WANT to? What about those who like being the guide on someone’s first voyage into polyamory?

Our favorite millennial Koe Creation joins us with her tips on choosing to be someone’s Poly Wan Kenobi and taking on the challenge of guiding a newbie into the poly fold.

  • Set your boundaries
  • Be open to being a guide to help your mentee to find the kind of poly that is best for him/her/them, even if it’s not your brand of poly—be willing to let go
  • Be the poly you want to see in the world
  • Stay flexible
  • Stop guiding/teaching when it stops being fun/rewarding for you

20:15 Feedback

Raven shares feedback on episode 440 about the power of honesty being the best argument for polyamory.

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 440: Q&A with Janet Hardy

IMG_3584Getting intimate with The Ethical Slut co-author, Janet Hardy!

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

4:45 Interview: Janet Hardy Q&A

Join us as we chat with Janet Hardy and take questions from the audience about the future of poly. My favorite quotes: “poly is very close to normative for college kids” and “it’s gonna be weird and cool.”

  • What was the first surprise about poly?
  • What bugs you about the poly community today?
  • What wisdom would you give the you right before you published ES? that a poly book would engender more hostility than BDSM books
  • How would I deal with a lover who takes my proposal of poly as a blow to their ego/why they are not enough?
  • How do I bring it up to my partner?
  • What are the next two decades of the future of poly?

33:30 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!

Three ways this relationship bill of rights will save your poly relationship

funny-cat-pictures-lolcats-classic-lolcatThe top three takeaways from the Relationship Bill of Rights

In episode 430 of Polyamory Weekly, Koe Creation and I talk about the simple brilliance that is Franklin Veaux’s and Eve Rickert’s Relationship Bill of Rights. This document began as a Secondary’s Bill of Rights to avoid secondary mistreatment, but Franklin and Eve quickly realized that these rights should apply to every relationship, whether monogamous, non-monogamous, polyamorous or anything in between.

And I’m so glad they did; it was sorely needed!

It’s a bit embarrassing to have to acknowledge that many folks, when trying polyamory, often throw common decency out the window. In trying so hard to define these newfangled relationships and their boundaries, we often throw agency, respect and inclusion away in order to attempt to gain control over unfamiliar situations. And we often end up shooting ourselves in the foot or treating others badly in the process.

I recommend that everyone read and print out a copy of this Relationship Bill of Rights. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Live it!

As you know, I’ve been on a campaign to end avoidable relationship drama. The Kicking Poly Drama in Its Ass course is still the most popular one I teach; so much so that I’m working to expand it into an online course that anyone can take. The challenge of drama is that when things get rough, we often can have a tendency to clamp down and forget our principles–and that fear-based response is what leads to heartache, heartbreak and drama.

OK, enough on why we need to internalize the RBoR. Here are the three key takeaways to ponder:

  • Agency In the Relationship Bill of Rights, 90% of the content is acknowledging that every person in a relationship has agency. Regardless of position, every person has the right to decide what level of intimacy she wants and needs, to voice how he feels about the things that happen to him,  to set her own limits and boundaries and to be included in decisions that affect him. This is true for husbands, wives, lovers, paramours, fuck buddies, friends with benefits, submissives, dominants, tops, bottoms and everything in between. As LustyGuy often says, “the point of any relationship is to make the people in it better versions of themselves.” Each person has the responsibility to voice what he wants and needs free of coercion, and each person deserves full information to make informed decisions about her own actions. Depriving another person of  his or her agency isn’t cool–including when that person is you.
  • Respect for organic change Are you the same person you were when you first met your current partner(s)? Probably not. You’ve grown and developed over time, and so have your relationships. They might deepen, intensify, fade away or become untenable. Whatever happens, it’s important to acknowledge that people and relationships change over time. We all change, and we all make mistakes. Hopefully, we learn from those mistakes. While it’s important to communicate needs and boundaries, it’s equally important to recognize that it’s no one’s job to control anyone else. You will change. Your partners will change. Your relationships will change. The Relationship Bill of Rights does a good job of promoting communication rather than control.
  • seek-patience-main_fullBalance Every relationship is a balancing act of trying to accommodate everyone’s needs while respecting everyone’s voice. All partners, from brand-new ones down to a spouse of 30 years, have the right to have a say in decisions that affect them. Everyone deserves to have plans respected, to choose whom they want to date and when and to expect a balance in what they get from a relationship in relation to what they put in to it. It’s not far or balanced in any relationship to frequently have plans canceled or to be told when and whom you can date. Likewise, it’s not fair to expect one person to bear the brunt of initiating, forgiving or planning. Things happen, and that’s OK. But a pattern of one partner frequently bearing the brunt of initiations, cancellations or forgiveness does not make for a healthy relationship. In fact, the worst thing a poly couple can do is to end a new relationship in order to “focus on their marriage.” Making unilateral decisions isn’t healthy for any relationship, and it doesn’t play well in polyamory, either. Ditto for coercion and lying to “protect” someone.

The Relationship Bill of Rights is something that we have needed in print for a long time, and I’m incredibly thankful to Franklin and Eve for publishing it. What are your takeaways from it? Was there anything you disagreed with?

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