What y’all have taught me about polyamory, community and myself
It’s hard to believe that Polyamory Weekly has been going strong for 10 years! When I started, it was to try out this new technology called RSS and to test this new content delivery system. But what topic should I cover for that test? In 2005, I’d been polyamorous for all of two years, and my partner, metamour and I had hit every relationship land mine in the book. As a result, the first year or two of our poly adventure was fraught with drama, tears and intense relationship discussions. So why not podcast about the drama we’d experienced and the lessons we’d learned? And so Poly Weekly was born. Over the years, both my own relationships and my awareness of poly’s place in society matured. When I first started the podcast, the only media mentions were thrilling tales of swing clubs being infiltrated and busted by undercover cops and juicy exposés of the crazy sexual libertines who might be living next door to you. Nowadays, coverage of polyamory in the media typically takes the form of a personal essay describing the lifestyle with a representative configuration, almost more like a how-to article, presented more as a life coaching piece than sensational journalism.
What I’ve learned from 10 years of poly podcasting
So for our anniversary episode, I thought it would be fun to both find out what others wish they’d known before diving into polyamory as well as what I’ve learned from engaging with podcast listeners and seminar attendees over the last 10 years. Listeners called in with a variety of lessons learned, from the hilarious “always buy twin sheets for the king bed so the person in the middle can get out in the middle of the night” to the heartbreaking “I wish I’d known that treating everyone equally is impossible and unfair before it destroyed our relationship.” As far as what I’ve learned from being your podcast host for the last 10 years:
- Many voices are more powerful than one While my experiences are common and relatable, not everyone is like me, so the more voices we share describing both poly joy and poly issues, the better.
- Respect and tolerance win the game While it’s not uncommon to run across intolerance and politics in poly forums and discussion groups, that is not representative of the community. When you treat others with respect and a tolerant mind, you get respect and tolerance in return. In 10 years of podcasting and blogging, I have never once received hate mail. Never!
- Joy should be celebrated Despite the fact that much online coverage relates to relationships in the midst of implosion, happy poly moments flourish and should receive as much attention as the relationships in need of advice.
- There is a lot I don’t know My fans have made me aware of a plethora of trends, communities and phenomena ranging from slash fic to transgenderism to asexuality. I hope to learn exponentially more over the next 10 years.
- There is a lot I DO know Like many people, I suffer from the self-worth syndrome of “if I know it, it must not be that valuable or difficult.” Developing podcast and seminar content over the last 10 years has taught me that there is a lot that I do know that is worth sharing. For example, the key to happy relationships lies in four key skills: the ability to know yourself and explain your reactions to others, emotional intelligence, the ability to own your own shit and the ability to ask for what you want.
So, after 10 years, I have to thank all the listeners who kept it real. You have taught me far more than I ever taught you.