PW 495: A poly glossary

poly glossaryLet’s talk about key poly terms

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Under 18? Stop listening now and visit Scarleteen

1:30 Poly in the news

11:15 Topic: A poly glossary

Not sure what a metamour or a comet is? Curious about the difference between a triad and a vee? Wondering what a Boston marriage refers to? We pick out our favorite key terms from More Than Two’s excellent poly glossary page.

23:20 Feedback

A asks what “romantic” means

26:00 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!

Poly for the holidays primer

Poly for the holidaysIt’s that time of year again: when folks in mainstream relationships go home to spend time with their families, and poly partners suddenly become the awkward, “um… friend” to blood relations.

The holidays are stressful enough. Adding poly partners into the mix can add even more stress, especially if certain partners are forced back into the closet for events involving blood relations.

To make life a little easier, here are the best episodes we’ve done on poly for the holidays:

  • Episode 411 at 10:15, which includes advice learned from FBI hostage negotiators
  • Episode 345 at 3:00, in which LustyGuy and Minx share their tips for negotiating family time around the holidays while accommodating as many needs as possible
  • Episode 297 at 1:30, in which Joreth and Puck share their holiday advice about how to introduce partners and deal with being closeted
  • Episode 184 at 11:20, in which Minx gives gift and self-care advice
  • Episode 86 at 4:50, in which Minx advises NOT to come out during the holidays

Here’s hoping these can help make your holidays a little easier!

 

PW summer hiatus 2016

Hi! It’s Polyamory Weekly, and this is a special announcement.

Yup, after 11 years of continuous publication, I’m taking a brief hiatus. We’ll be taking two months off and come back to you with brand new content in July.

What should you do in that time? I’d recommend, if you have the PW app, going back and listening to older episodes that came out before you started listening–that’s what I do with This American Life. Or you can go to www.polyweekly.com and do a keyword search for your topic du jour: jealousy, metamours, living situations, money–and get a list of all the episodes that have touched on it.

What will I be doing with the time? Well, I’ll be looking for my next dream marketing job–so if you know a B2B or B2C organization looking for a fabulous content marketing strategist, drop me an email at cunningminx at gmail.
In the meantime, remember to be true to yourself, own your shit, ask for what you want and, of course, that it’s not all about the sex.

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PW 471: Emotional intelligence

What is emotional intelligence, and how can we train ourselves to have it?lolcat-hugz

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

1:00 Host Chat & Announcements

  • Kicking Poly Drama on Its Ass is now $69 for a single student and $129 for a polycule! Register here
  • Michele writes in to say how useful her user manual turned out to be!

5:12 Poly in the News

9:30 Topic: Emotional intelligence

Laurie Ellington talks about emotional intelligence: what it is and how to get it.

40:00 Happy poly moment

L shares a West Coast Swing happy poly moment!

43:40 Happy Poly Moment

Thanks to Chris for the donation!

44:00 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 447: Poly people of color

poly people of color imageWhat is the experience of poly people of color, and how can we encourage diversity and inclusion?

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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—any suggestions for things to do?
  •  CatalystCon West report will be in next week’s show

1:45 Topic: Poly people of color

The poly community is generally portrayed as white and middle class. But that’s not entirely accurate. Our panel answers the questions that Minx awkwardly poses:

  • What is your experience in the poly community?
  • Can you speak to the experience of being a person of color in a poly community?
  • What can we do to be more inclusive and welcoming of people of color?

34:45 Feedback

  • Poly Friend writes in to argue that with poly, a limited number of kreplits are distributed among a growing number of partners. Minx argues that love isn’t a zero sum game, or people with more than one kid would be exceedingly cruel.
  • Lee writes in to argue that for the listener asking for advice on episode 444 when to stop lying about when to stop lying, Minx should have told her just to dump the guy who insists she lie to her friends. I disagree: I see my job as enabling my very smart listeners to make their own decisions, so my style is to give you questions you can ask yourself that will help you to decide what will be best for you.
  • Squirrel writes in about herpes, so we do an HSV review. Past episodes covering HSV are here, here and here.

46:30 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!

PW 446: Kissing and… how much telling?

How much sexual detail about one partner do you share with another?8311963_s

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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—any suggestions for things to do?
  • I’ll be at CatalystCon West next weekend!

1:45 Poly in the News

Ashley Madison hack fallout: a wave of problem open marriage newbies coming our way?

7:50 Topic: Kissing and… how much telling?

How much of your sexy activities with one partner should you disclosure to another partner or metamour? Who gets a say in how much is disclosed?

Koe Creation and I discuss the issue, peppered with our own experiences and faux pas.

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 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!

Painless Poly Dating 101

Thanks to the Center for Sex Positive Culture for hosting LustyGuy and me for this standing-room-only class!

Polyamory and BDSM FAQ

FullSizeRender (1)Last night, I was a human “book” on polyamory and BDSM for Bastyr‘s Human Library event. It’s always fun to see what questions naturopath health care providers have about alternative lifestyles, and last night was no exception.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions from the four groups of students I had the pleasure of chatting with last night.

What is polyamory?

The practice of having more than one long-term, loving, committed relationship with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved.

I don’t know anything about polyamory. What do I need to know?

  • Nomenclature You may hear terms like non-monogamy, polyamory, swinging, progressive swinging or open. In general, “non-monogamy” is the more encompassing term;  “polyamory” is general used to describe long-term, loving relationships; “swingers” are generally couples that enjoy recreational sex. However, many people find that those definitions and categories don’t exactly fit their self-identifications. Since these words mean different things to different people, you should ask for more information. “Tell me more about what that means” or “Give me the quick tour of your relationships” work great.
  • Relationship formations Relationships take many forms, so don’t assume anything. Ask, “what does that look like?” or “give me a quick tour of your relationships.” You might hear the terms triad (three people in intimate relationships with each other), vee (a relationship formation in which A and B are together and B and C are together, but A and C are just friends), W (an extension of a vee), quad (four people in an intimate relationship with varying configurations), polycule, network or tribe. Feel free to ask for more information, since no two people use these words the same way.
  • Sexual orientation Polys might be heterosexual, heteroflexible, homosexual, bisexual, bicurious or anything else in between. Don’t assume that all non-monogamists are bisexual. Rather than asking “are you bisexual” (assumes a stereotype), ask “what is your sexual orientation?” I once had a gyny who casually asked, “Do you sleep with men, women or both?” I said, “both,” to which she replied, “good for you!” It was refreshing to have a health care professional that wasn’t making the assumption that everyone was straight, monogamous and vanilla.
  • Sleeping arrangements People pair off or have three-or-moresomes according to preferences and lifestyle arrangements. Each relationship falls to its own level, so don’t assume that everyone in a network is sleeping with everyone else (although that may be the case), and don’t assume that all sex is group sex.
  • STIs The rate of STI occurrence is actually lower in non-monogamous communities than in the general public, primarily because the issue is addressed openly and honestly. So please don’t assume that the people involved are at a higher risk for STIs (although some are).

How can I get patients to give me this information?

Design a question on your intake form that asks about the relationship structure and offers the options of monogamous, non-monogamous and polyamorous.

Orally, keep in mind that most polys won’t bring this up with a doctor because (a) unless you’re a gynecologist, it’s not really relevant or (b) there is a stigma that can lead to uncomfortable questions. So try asking, “What is your relationship configuration?” or “What is your relationship structure?” Polyamorists are used to everyone (including health care providers) assuming everyone is monogamous and are therefore more likely to see the question as a chance to open up about their non-monogamy.

What is BDSM?

Four initials represent three word pairings: bondage and discipline; dominance and submission; sadism and masochism. Participants in BDSM enjoy activities ranging from impact play such as spanking, slapping or flogging to bondage to fetishes such as medical play or age play. Power exchange dynamics in which one person consensually asserts power over another (dominance and submission) is quite common. I prefer the encompassing term “kink” to refer to everything that mainstream society sees as weird or fringe.

How do I get patients to confide their BDSM proclivities to me?

In most cases, they won’t. And I’ve never discovered a good way to ask about kink affiliations without it sounding like a come-on.

What if they have bruises? How do I distinguish between consensual play and abuse?

Most of us are taught to either make sure bruises don’t show or to make jokes about them. I usually just tell people the truth–that getting them was a lot of fun on date night!

But you can use the opener, “Were those bruises consensual?” which signifies to a patient that you’re aware of the idea of consent in BDSM activities. As you’re aware, most survivors of abuse will make excuses, whereas a kinkster will most likely smile nostalgically at the memory of the kinky play.

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