Giving poly a go: Top tips for poly newbies

Rose Crompton of Vibrations Direct asked about poly, podcasting and my favorite sex toys. It was a fun interview and ended with my best advice for those approaching nonmonogamy for the first time.

Read the full interview here

Giving poly a go? My top tips for poly newbies:

Be prepared to meet parts of yourself you didn’t know about. You will find insecurities you didn’t know were there, and you’ll experience joy in ways you never knew you could.

Be patient with yourself and your partner(s). Remember your first attempts at monogamy weren’t perfect, either.

Worry less about rules and more about what you have to offer. As with monogamous dating, people with lots of rules and criteria rarely find what they seek, and those who are open-minded and easygoing find unexpected pleasures.

Own your shit – by this I mean baggage. If you’re not strong enough to say, “I was wrong,” “I need to bring something up” or “my last STI test came up positive,” you aren’t ready for poly. Being confident enough to own your own baggage and brave enough to start tough conversations is essential.

Start from a healthy place. Get your existing relationships healthy first. The ‘relationship broken; add more people’ model almost never works. You will have to trust your partner to tell you when you’re love-goggling, when he’s feeling jealous and when you aren’t pulling your weight.

Get a support network. Seek out local communities of real people who have real-life experience with polyamory and its ups and downs; having trusted contacts who’ve been there and can provide advice and a sympathetic ear is invaluable.

Read the full interview here.

PW 285: Advice for poly newbies

What does a poly newbie need to know?

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2:00 Announcements

The forums will be shut down for a few weeks while we figure out a better way to give our moderators a rest from dealing with daily spam. Like the forums? Let us know! Don’t care? Um… still let us know!

4:30 Topic: Advice for Poly Newbies

Minx and Anita Wagner give advice for those new to polyamory. Recorded at Polycamp Northwest, a fantastic event near Seattle with 20% poly content and the rest is community-driven.

  • Meet poly people in the community and ask for advice
  • Read The Ethical Slut and Opening Up
  • Create a safe space to discuss and process reactions and emotions
  • Have a strong desire for self-knowledge
  • Avoid the “kid in the candy store” mentality when you first try poly
  • No major life decisions during NRE
  • More focus on communication, less on hard and fast rules

31:30 Comments on inviting Minx or Anita to speak

34:45 Feedback

Feedback on episode 281 on the Dan Savage article “Infidelity will keep us together.”


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. Friend us on Twitter or Facebook, leave a comment here or discuss your own topics at the forums. Check out PolyWeekly podcasts at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review! Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

Lessons learned at ShibariCon

This year, ShibariCon was a fantastically exhausting experience! I almost didn’t go–too much work to do, and too many mundane tasks relating to some real estate I still own in the area. Grudgingly, I admitted that OK, I’ve committed to volunteer; of course I’ll go. But I won’t have fun.

And when I arrived, something changed. All the alienation I’d been feeling due to Seattle’s famous chilly reception melted away. It melted in the warm hugs of friends I was genuinely happy to see and who were genuinely happy to see me. For the first time in over a year, I felt like I belonged in the scene. Doubts, fears and insecurities melted away in the face of catching up with old friends and making new ones. I became the classic Minx, happy, bouncy and ready to have some fun.

I don’t want to be all cheesy and tell you not to be afraid of going to a conference alone. It still sucks to do that, and it’s still hard to try to connect with people in a weekend setting when you’re flying solo. You’ll still get turned down or blown off for scenes; I know I did and was. But my experience ended up being so deliciously positive that I want to share that joy, just in case it might inspire bravery the next time you fly solo at an event.

Stuff I Learned at ShibariCon 2010

  • I do belong here. The only one thinking otherwise was me.
  • When I am my own best self, wonderful things happen. And when I feel at home and welcomed, I am my own best self. Self-doubt is what kills the confidence, and without confidence, nothing is fun.
  • Scheduling at a con is hard/tricky. Cut yourself and your play partners some slack.
  • Don’t take it personally. Instead, find a way to take care of yourself that involves sharing your pain (and joy) with others.
  • Hide your crazy. But let little bits show in fits of controlled vulnerability. A controlled burn, if you will. 🙂
  • Never compare yourself to others in any way. Instead, focus on what is making today awesome for you. If you close your eyes and feel a lack of awesome, put your finger on why, and then go ask for that.
  • Geek negotiation tip: if you’re unsure of where to start but you know you want to play, instead of asking a person for a scene or play, ask trusted friends whom they would recommend for play who might be free tonight.
  • Give your cell phone # to hot guys/girls so they can text you. (Outside the con space, of course)
  • Love yourself. Love your kink. Be fascinated by others’ kink.

All of this has me thinking about teaching a ShibariCon for Newbies/Solos class next year, with specific activities designed to help people check their emotional baggage at the door and have the confidence to have fun. Wouldn’t that be a GREAT way to start a con?

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