Navigating your first poly relationship [SLIDESHARE]

Please enjoy these slides from our popular new class, Navigating Your First Poly Relationship.

Pondering your first foray into the wild and wooly world of non-monogamy? Dazzled by the buffet of terms, or confused about how one person’s polyamory rubs up against another’s open relationship while yet another’s relationship anarchy is looking interesting across the room? Join Cunning Minx and LustyGuy as they take you on a guided tour of your first poly relationship. Learn how to identify, communicate and negotiate your needs and expectations, how to deal with changes in yourself and your relationships and what kinds of questions you should be asking yourself and your prospective partners.

Who should attend:

  • Solo polyamorists
  • Couples considering polyamory
  • Couples or tribes involved in their first or second poly relationship
  • Experienced polyamorists with partners who are new to poly
  • Monogamists or the poly-curious

The shame virus: how we can avoid it

Marcia Baczyski’s and Mary Jo Goddard’s session on sex positive educators avoiding shaming at CatalystCon West, 2015

PW 440: Q&A with Janet Hardy

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

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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 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

What do you NOT know about sex with girls?

An interview with Allison Moon about her new book, Girl Sex 101

allison-moon-d7ffe235What is your background?

I’m a sex educator and the author of four books, most recently Girl Sex 101, which is my most sex-ed book to date. Prior to that, I released a series of sexy memoirs called Bad Dyke, which came out last year. And prior to that, two lesbian werewolf novels.

Girl Sex 101 giveaway: Tweet your favorite quote from the podcast interview before May 10, tag @polyweekly and @thallisonmoon, and we’ll give away a copy of Allison’s beautiful new illustrated book, Girl Sex 101 for our favorite Tweet!

What was the motivation for writing this book?

There was a real dearth of quality queer sex-ed out there right now. Most young people are learning about sex from the internet–for better or for worse–and I really wanted to create a book that was fun to read and spoke to a slightly more queer sensibility than a classic old-school lesbian sensibility. There is a lot of great content out there for people of all sexualities and gender identities, but I wanted something that could be both inclusive and at the same time speaking to the experience of girls with girls. So I wanted to write a book that was fun and easy to read and colloquial, not a textbook, but something a little more fun that you could flip through, read the stories, see the pictures and have a good time reading.

Is this a how-to manual or a narrative?

It’s both! It’s a genre-bending kind of a book. Each chapter starts with an actual fiction story that usually includes an erotic interlude with the two main characters, who are ex-girlfriends on a road trip, and sometimes with characters they meet along route 101. So it starts with a sex story that introduces a new technique or idea that the rest of the chapter illustrates in non-fiction. So, for example, in the hand sex chapter, there is a story between one of my main characters and a girl she’s been wanting to get with for many years, and whom she has hot hand sex with outside of a club. And the rest of the chapter is non-fiction explaining how to do the things you saw them do in the story.

I know a lot of people look to erotica for how-tos, and sometimes those sexy stories are a little too ambiguous about what actually happens, so it’s kind of like edu-porn. I wanted to show people how hot it could be to, for example, negotiate consent, while at the same time giving you actual information you could take to the bedroom.

Are you the solo author of this book?

I’m the primary author, but I did solicit pieces from 15 other sex educators. Nina Hartley, Giz Lee, Sophia St. James, a lot of people that have different specialities. I’m only one person, and I only do certain things in my personal life, and I only teach certain things. But I wanted to have more diverse voices represented in the book so people feel like they can find themselves.

Were you trying to clear up misconceptions about queer sex?

I taught Girl Sex 101 as a workshop and taught it all over the country. I started teaching the class aimed specifically to lesbian and bisexual women, but found over time that men–more and more straight men started coming to the workshop because they wanted to learn how to get their wives and girlfriends off without using their penises necessarily. I was so surprised when that started happening! So I started emphasizing things like hand sex and how everybody can use their hands in bedroom; it’s a hot thing that many people overlook once they start having genital sex. Sex isn’t just one thing, and I wanted to give credence to the various ways we can generate pleasure for each other.

To hear more about girl sex with Allison Moon, listen to the entire interview here.

PW 429: OMG Girl Sex with Allison Moon


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1:00 Announcements

  • I’ll be speaking at Rocky Mountain Poly Living May 7-10
  • Working to offer Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass as an online course—stay tuned!

3:00 Poly in the news

8:00 Interview: Girl Sex 101 with Allison Moon

Girl Sex 101 is an innovative and unique project created and spearheaded by Allison Moon and illustrated by kd diamond. Described as “a road trip in a book,” Girl Sex 101 seeks to combine fiction, comics and sex education as a resource for queer women in a way that no other sex education tool has done before.

Want to win a copy of Girl Sex 101? Tweet your favorite quote from this interview before May 15 and tag @theallisonmoon and @polyweekly to be entered to win!

33:45 Feedback on 426

Tre writes in to ask for more happy poly moments!

35:55 Thank you!

Thanks to Sidney for joining the Poly Weekly playmates!

36:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 396: Minx gets bawdy!

LustyGuy and Minx review a poly play, discuss a sexy article, and Minx gets bawdy!minx bawdy

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

7:45 Topic: When women pursue sex, even men don’t get it

This interesting article citing a number of studies about both rat and human behavior has been making the rounds. What do you think? When women pursue sex, even men don’t get it

19:45 Special: Minx gets bawdy

This time, Minx remembered to hit record! This bawdy story by Minx was performed live at the Bawdy Slam in Seattle on June 12, 2014.

29:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Everyone is doing poly wrong and needs to die in a fire

Why we all need to do a self-check for tolerance and acceptance

There is a phenomenon I’ve noticed in many of the poly communities I’ve visited, and it’s time I brought it into the light so we can all take a good, hard look at how we’re treating each other.

cat_weidLet’s start from the basic premise: those of us participating in online forums, posting opinions on blogs or Facebook and attending conferences with poly tracks are all either practicing or interested in practicing polyamory. Or non-monogamy. Or swinging. Or open marriage. Some of us are into BDSM; some of us are into science fiction; some of us are pagan. Some of us have unusual fetishes. Some of us are disabled. Some of us are white; some are African American; some are mixed race. Some of us are wildly creative and spend our lives making beautiful art, music or film and living in humble abodes. Some of us have well-paying, 9-to-5 jobs and enjoy a traditional-looking, middle- or upper-class lifestyle.

We all have opinions, some of them quite strong. And those opinions are not all the same.

But every one of us has something in common: an interest in polyamory. And because of that, we’re weird. We are not 100% mainstream. Even those of us who have traditional jobs, traditional homes and traditional hairstyles are alternative by virtue of the fact that we are interested in, are enjoying or are openly practicing some type of ethical non-monogamy.

So why are so many of us so vehement in our desire to demean, judge and exclude others?

You’re not really poly

It’s alarmingly common during any given poly discussion group or meeting for someone to come out with a definition of polyamory that condemns, criticizes or excludes some other type of practicing polyamorist. We hear, “you’re not really poly if you don’t all live together” or “you’re not really poly if you practice don’t ask/don’t tell” or “you’re not really poly if your husband isn’t also dating as many people as you are.”

To be fair, I understand why we do this. Since polyamory is an alternative relationship structure, most of us have worked very hard at defining what polyamory is for us. We try poly once and make a mess of it. We try again, and it works better, so we decide that what we did the first time was wrong. We try again, and it works better for us, so we decide that we need to advise everyone coming after us that the way we are doing it now is the right way to do polyamory, and every other way is wrong.

But please, I beg of you, let’s stop judging others so harshly, even after we’ve discovered a brand of polyamory that works for us. Before critiquing others based on your personal definitions of what poly is or isn’t, first perform a quick self-check: would you like it if someone told you you weren’t really poly? Would you want someone telling you that your marriage wasn’t real? Would you like for someone else to define what love or commitment means for you? So let’s not impose our definitions and experiences on others.

Everyone gets to choose her own label

Having the right to self-identify is empowering to the individual. It is neither appropriate nor helpful to try to take that right away from others. We let people choose their own labels for their gender identity and for their kink identity. We don’t argue if a man who has never had sex with another man chooses to identify himself as bisexual. We don’t argue if a person who appears female asks us to use the gendered pronoun “he” for address. We offer people the freedom of gender and relationship identity; let’s please extend that same courtesy to relationship orientation as well. whhha

As individuals, it is our job to find the right relationship structure that works for us. I often say that there are as many types of polyamory (and monogamy) as there are people involved in those relationships. Everyone practices monogamy a bit differently; no two relationships look exactly the same when you delve under the surface.

The same is true for polyamory, for non-monogamy, swinging and open relationships. While there are some commonalities to those definitions, every person or group defines his own polyamory in a slightly different way. We each find a brand of non-monogamy that works for us, and we customize it to our specific situation.

So let’s please stop spending our time looking at other people’s relationships and telling them that they aren’t “really” polyamorous. Let’s give people the courtesy of self-exploration and let’s empower each individual to self-label however she sees fit.

In the BDSM world, there is a philosophy that folks are encouraged to embrace. Since BDSM involves exposure to a plethora of fetishes and kinks that we may only not share but may actively dislike, folks are encouraged to be accepting. Even when exposed to a kink that incites disgust, we are encouraged to embrace the notion of “your kink isn’t my kink, but your kink is OK.” Let’s please do that with polyamory as well. Let’s stop spending our time judging others and telling them they are doing poly wrong and simply agree to say:

Your polyamory is not my polyamory, but your polyamory is OK.

Two powerful tools

When someone is kind enough to share with you his poly situation, it is our job to listen, to ask questions and to offer support if asked for it. Labels are the beginning of a discussion and an invitation to ask more questions, not the be-all and end-all. So when someone says, “I’m polyamorous,” my favorite tool to whip out is:

Tool #1: “Cool! So what does that mean to you?”

I believe it’s not anyone’s job (including mine!) to judge and tell someone she is doing poly wrong. Criticism like that only serves to puff up the speaker with a sense of power and to disempower the person sharing his story. If you truly believe that someone you’re speaking with is doing something horribly wrong, a good way to offer an option without judging is, “My experience has been… ” and share your story. See? No judgment necessary.

Tool #2: “My experience has been… “

One caveat, since I know someone will ask: yes, I do have a personal belief about a “wrong” way to do polyamory based on the dictionary definition involving the “full knowledge and consent of all parties involved.” So if, for example, a person self-identifies as poly and has an additional partner that his wife is unaware of, I personally am more inclined to label that “cheating” rather than polyamory due to the fact that his wife doesn’t have knowledge and therefore can’t consent. However, my response is not “you’re not really poly” but rather, “In my experience, poly tends to work best when everyone involved is honest, open and consenting. Have you tried talking with your wife about that?” to open up a conversation rather than impose a judgment.

Share stories, not judgments

story-lolcatI’m a big believer that sharing stories makes us all stronger. Sharing experiences of love, hope and failure in both the poly and monogamous world help all of us to understand what we are going through better and to feel, if nothing else, that we are not alone in our struggles to understand ourselves and the lifestyles we have chosen. So I believe in the power of sharing stories and asking questions rather than offering judgments.

I’ve read a few assertions from intelligent poly folk of late that claim that anyone who defines poly or poly family as [fill in the blank] is wrong and needs to “die in a fire” because that doesn’t match the writer’s or speaker’s own experience.

I don’t know about you, but I dislike it when someone who isn’t in my shoes and who hasn’t lived my life tries to tell me what my poly experience should be. It brings to mind right-wing extremists who claim that they have the right to define what marriage is for everyone else. Or what “family” or “family values” are for everyone else.

If we don’t want others to define marriage or family for us, let’s not do that to each other. The person who gets to define your brand of polyamory is YOU. No one else. And the ONLY person for whom you get to define polyamory is you. Share your definition with your loves, your partners and anyone who asks for it, but please don’t impose it on others or judge others who have chosen to do poly a different way from you. Offer to listen; offer support; offer discussion,;offer your own anecdotes. But please do not offer judgments or critiques. We have the aforementioned right-wing extremists for that.

If you don’t like it when others judge your lifestyle, maybe you should stop judging theirs.

What is right for you?

If you are lucky enough to have found a brand of non-monogamy, polyamory, swinging or open relationships that works for you, GREAT! Many of us take months or years to figure out what we need in order to be happy and healthy in our relationships. And please do share that with others when asked: many of us are looking for models, ideas and roadmaps that might work for us.

So please, share rather than critique. Listen rather than judge. And communicate your definition as an option rather than imposing it as a rule.

And as a final word, absolutely no person or concept should “die in a fire” or “burn in hell.” Let’s just say “My experience has been… “

8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory

I’m here at Winter Wickedness for the first time and having a great time! Thanks to everyone who came out to this session today.

And this was also my first time presenting a shiny, brand-new class: Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory (Before I Tried It and Fucked It Up). The full presentation is below:

And if you’re interested in having me present at your event, contact Minx at Poly Weekly

PW 381: Poly-rope-a-palooza with Lee Harrington

LeeHarringtonbyDarrelVictorLynn11-150x150How exactly do polyamory and rope play intersect?

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1:00 Announcements and HostChat

  • Kinkfest UK will be in Birmingham July 26-27 with workshops, demos, discussions, performances and more! IndieGoGo campaign here
  • Want to help out a friend of Poly Weekly who is collecting survey responses on computer mediated communication? If you’re 18 or older and have 30 minutes, you can help out by taking this survey. Thanks!

4:45 Interview: Lee Harrington on the intersection of poly and rope

s-020-Cover2What do polyamory and rope play have in common? Whether you’re kinky or not, Lee Harrington brings some excellent insights as to how rope play can influence sensuality and communication and help us to be our authentic selves.

Lee’s Links:

32:15 Minx at Winter Wickedness

Minx will be teaching two sessions at Winter Wickedness February 7-8 in Columbus, Ohio! Classes will include Kicking Poly Drama on Its Ass and Eight Things I Wish I’d Known about Poly (Before I Tried and Fucked It Up). Both are new classes and hopefully will fit into the kink venue!

37:00 Happy Poly Moment

Angel shares a fabulous poly moment. Angel’s metamour organized a skate night with the extended poly family for a wonderful evening of Family of Choice fun!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 373: Sex positive blowout at CatalystCon West

Cunning Minx, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Lynn Comella at #ccon

Cunning Minx, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Lynn Comella at #ccon

What is going on in the sex positive world?

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1:00 Host chat

Welcome to our new affiliate sponsor, Use code “polyweekly” at checkout for a discount! Or just click on the banner in the right sidebar. 🙂

5:00 Topic: Sex positive mojo at CatalystCon West

 28:15 Feedback

  • Jason in Wisconsin shares how he and his wife came to get over the poly hump
  • Herbalwise comments on the legalities of marriage from episode 354
  • Vir asks about how to cope when a partner passes away

 36:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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