PW 453: Loving your body

lolcat mirror amazingMany of us struggle with body image

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1:30 Poly in the news

5:00 Topic: Loving your body

Gym owner and sex positive educator Alyssa Royse returns to share how she deals with people who come to her gym who are fighting body image issues.

28:45 Feedback

39:25 Happy Poly Moment

Penelope Connor of the OKPolyNetwork shared her happy poly moment about great communication and reassurances with partners and metamours.

42:05 Thank you!

Thanks to Donovan and Doug for their donations this week. And welcome, Laura, to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

43:00 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 452: Poly on a budget

walletPolyamory can be expensive! Koe and Minx share some budgeting tips

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1:00 Host Chat

2:50 Topic: Poly on a budget

Koe Creation and Minx give tips on being poly with a limited income, including:

  • How to talk about money and what to ask
  • Buying stuff
  • Transportation cost savers
  • Under $20 dates
  • 100% free dates (excluding transportation)

16:20 Feedback

  • How can you tell when you’re polysaturated?
  • Michael writes in to share the difficulty of a poly death

29:45 Feedback

40:30 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 451: Being party to a lie

Is it OK to be party to someone else’s lie?31627422_s

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1:00 Host Chat

  • Welcome Spotify listeners! Poly Weekly is being rolled out to select users in US, UK, Germany and Sweden.
  • Sign up for email list to get episode notifications, special offers at www.polyweekly.com or via our Facebook page
  • When would be the best time for us to offer a low-cost webinar? Take the poll and tell us!

4:10 Poly in the News

10:20 Topic: Should I be party to a lie?

A listener writes in to ask if it’s OK to help a partner keep past infidelity a secret. How does one decide when to be party to a lie?

16:20 Feedback

  • How can you tell when you’re polysaturated?
  • Michael writes in to share the difficulty of a poly death

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!

PW 450: My metamour is a $&!@? to me

What to do when your metamour seems rude to youRude snub metamour

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1:00 Host Chat

1:20 Poly in the News

8:15 Topic: Help! My metamour is a bitch to me!

Listener A writes in to ask what to do: her metamour avoids eye contact and seeks out their mutual partner alone. How does A tell her partner that he chose the wrong gal to date?

LustyGuy and Minx both think this might be a misunderstanding and have more to do with social awkwardness than sabotage.

  • Don’t make assumptions about her behavior—she might just be intimidated or introverted
  • Take it upon yourself to open lines of communication and extend the welcome
  • You can only control what YOU do, not what anyone else does
  • You’re the expert on you

16:00 Feedback on episode 446

  • NOLady wrote in to take Minx to task on episode 446, in which we referenced the Ashley Madison hack, both with the numbers presented and with the original tone of the report
  • H wrote in to recommend mentioning Dan Savage’s take on the Ashley Madison hack, which we already did in episode 446
  • Mint wrote in about being demisexual and asked for more representation for those on the asexual spectrum

26:00 Happy Poly Moment

Jason wrote in to share a happy poly moment about finally being able to date his species!

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!

PW 449: Teaching consent at any age

Teaching consent to kidsWhen and how to teach consent to children

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1:00 Host Chat

2:15 Poly in the News

Alyssa Royse7:15 Topic: When and how to teach consent to kids

Alyssa Royse joins us to share when and how to teach consent to kids of any age; babies, toddlers, school age, teens and college age.

31:15 Thanks

Thanks to Nancy for the donation!

32:15 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 448: What to do when you see gaslighting

gaslighting with quotesWhat do you do when you see a friend being gaslit?

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1:00 Announcements

7:45 Topic: What to do when you see gaslighting

A listener called in to ask a tricky question: what do we do when we see a friend or community member being gaslit? I put the question to the panel of Eve Rickert, Tamara Pincus and William Winters III on emotional abuse, and this was their advice:

  • Listen and validate
  • Offer support
  • Tell the friend that their partner might tell them not to speak to you anymore, which is a sign of abuse

Every community leader should read 10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Gaslighting and be aware of the phenomenon.

14:55 Feedback

  • Karen wrote in with feedback on episode 418 on emotional abuse, arguing that supporting the survivor can be tricky. Minx agrees but argues that it does no harm to support both the survivor and the perpetrator and do restorative justice for both.
  • T writes in to thank us for the education. It was helpful to him to self-identify as poly, even though he has decided to stay in his loving monogamous relationship with his wife—by choice.

23:45 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!

How to share your sex life on the page and the stage

From CatalystCon West: Anain Bjorkquist, Dixie De La Tour, Gaby Dunn, Rachel Kramer Bussel talk about what it’s like to blog, vlog, storytell and podcast about your sex life to help others #cconpage

How to recognize and respond to emotional abuse

Cunning Minx, Eve Rickert, Tamara Pincus, MSW, LICSW, William Winters discuss the issue of emotional abuse in alternative communities and how we can create awareness and maintain community for both survivors of and perpetrators of abuse at CatalystCon West #cconabuse

CCon session handout

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