Rachel Lark: “I’m a relationship anarchist”

rachel larkHow did Dixie de la Tour lure you into writing ridiculously bawdy songs?

It was an accident. I’ve only written bawdy songs for the past two and a half years. I wrote tortured, angsty songs for years, and that was my thing. I’ve always been a kinky weirdo sort of person in the sex-positive world, but I never expected to be writing this kind of music.

The accident was that Dixie had a cancellation for Bawdy storytelling (a tremendous storytelling shows with live storytellers telling stories related to poly and kink, a powerful and loving experience). Minx: it’s like the Moth Radio Hour with sex. She always likes to have a music guest, and she was supposed to have Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was the night of the show, and someone I’d met at Harbin Hot Springs had a hunch and told Dixie, who asked if I had any dirty songs about fucking. At the time, I had one dirty song that I wrote as a joke called “Fuck My Toe.”

I played this funny little song that I’d never played before, and everyone freaked out. And I proposed to Dixie I write custom songs for her themes. And two years later, it’s most of what I do.

How do you self-identify?

The only reason I hesitate to self-identify as poly is that I don’t know if I have enough experience to say I’m poly. I’m good friends with people who are so well-versed. And also, to me, polyamory is about having multiple relationships, not just having an open relationship, and that’s not an experience I’ve had. I’ve identified as a “relationship anarchist,” and someone told once me, “I think that’s just single.”

What appeals to me about polyamory is that it’s about recognizing that things change and we figure out how we continue in this world relating to one another. And with relationship anarchy, promises are virtually impossible to keep. Intentions, yes, but “I will love you this way forever” is hard to fully commit to. So with relationship anarchy, you can accept that this could change, but you’re not attaching your identity to this outcome.

It’s not that I don’t believe in commitment; I do. But when we say “forever,” does that mean sharing a bed or a bank account for the rest of our lives? When we attach lifestyle stipulations to what that means… there’s some level of love that might be there forever, but we might want something different in the future.

The relationship I’m in now is unique. I’m dating my best friend of the past nine years. We have such a solid basis in friendship, and we both feel so confident in the friendship being the priority.

I think what stops a lot of people from dating their best friend is fucking up the friendship. But with lots of things, you kinda have to go with the momentum and can’t get too intellectual with your pros and cons list and just go with what’s happening.

Are all your songs bawdy now?

rachel lark hungIt gets the most attention. Dan Savage took an interest in my music and commissioned a song, which prompted a Christmas album called Hung for the Holidays. It’s also pay-what-you-want on my BandCamp page–you can download for free. I do have another set that is electronic live looping that is dancey and experimental. I also have a song that I wrote for Bawdy called Flowers Fuck that is all about flower sex.

What is your favorite song from your sexy sets?

I just wrote a new song called “Shut Up and Hit Me,” which was a custom song about spanking that was a reward for one of my Kickstarter campaigns.

To hear the full interview with Rachel Lark and a special performance of her song Born This Way, listen to Poly Weekly episode 428.

PW 427: Poly geezers with Ken Haslam

kenhaslamWhat you need to know about poly in your 60s, 70s and beyond from poly geezer Ken Haslam

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1:00 Poly in the news

3:45 Interview: Ken Haslam on poly geezers

Ken Haslam, founder of the Poly Geezers email list and of the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory collection at the Kinsey Institute, talks about how polyamory works after the age of 60.

28:50 Feedback on 423

  • Raven writes in response to episode 423 to ask how to feel special when being an introvert with chronic depression?
  • George writes in response to 423 about her disability and her need to stop punishing herself for being “wussy sometimes” due to it
  • D calls in about 423 on the real loss of being someone’s “one and only”

39:05 Happy Poly Moment

Ariane shares a happy poly moment about her metamour, when marrying Ariane’s partner, insisted that Ariane spend the night with her partner

40:15 Thank you!

Thanks to Alan of the Poly in the News blog for his donation!

41:00 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 426: What YOU wish you’d known about poly

For our special 10-year anniversary, what you wish you’d known–and what I’ve learned from youLol-Cat-picture-Party-On

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1:00 Topic: What do YOU wish you’d known about polyamory?

To celebrate 10 years of Poly Weekly, what do YOU wish you’d known about polyamory?

  • David shares that if you sleep three to a king bed, put twin sheets on it so the middle person can get out in the middle of the night! J Also that your fears are usually worse than reality, so just talk about them.
  • Amber Love shares that PW inspired her to get off her butt and write more and publish her first book!
  • CageyCate shares that you fall in love with real people, not theories or convenient ideals
  • Eve Rickert learned that every experience is new and never to make assumptions and a lot about boundaries and consent
  • Franklin Veaux learned that OK to be poly and you don’t need to conform to every rule as a concession for this terrible lifestyle
  • SpiderGirl learned that you don’t have to do poly and kink and everything all at once
  • Poly is real—congratulations!
  • Thanks for 30 years of monogamy
  • Jackie wishes she’d known that poly doesn’t’ mean everyone needs equal time and shares a happy poly moment
  • Guillaume learned that trying to convert people to polyamory is not the way to go and that he’s better off going to the poly community instead of converting from the general population

14:00 What I have learned from YOU

  • While my experiences are common, not everyone is like me, and I need to be more thoughtful about language and inclusion
  • With respect to community, the intolerance and politics you see in the poly forums is not the only way–when you treat others with respect, you get respect in return. Never once have I received hate mail. Never!
  • Happy poly moments abide, despite the fact we read the opposite online all the time
  • There is a lot I don’t know
  • There is a lot I DO know
    • knowing yourself, emotional intelligence of owning shit and asking for what you want
    • 90% can be solved with “did you tell/ask him/her that?” be honest about your feelings
    • typically it’s a concern about someone else acting a certain way, when all you need to do is ask yourself what you want and need and then ask that person for that

22:00 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 424: My suggestion backfired! Now what?

lolcat_no_waiWhat to do when your well-intended relationship suggestion backfires

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1:00 Host chat and announcements

1:45 Poly in the News

4:00 Topic: My well-intended suggestion backfired. Now what?

A listener calls in to share what happened when he suggested Google Calendar as a solution to a relationship challenge. His partner, however, didn’t take the suggestion so well. So what does one do when a well-intended suggestion backfires or isn’t received in the spirit in which it was intended?

  • Focus less on finding better tools and more on improving communication.
  • Try listening rather than fixing.
  • Ask what she needs to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Tell her what you need to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Negotiate together—whoever turns down one suggestion has to offer the next one.
  • Slowly and sensitively explore her past baggage and yours.
  • Write your own user manual and encourage your partner to write hers.
  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

12:05 Feedback on 420: Poly and identity

  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

18:10 Happy Poly Moment

S writes in to share how episode 360 on crowdsourcing jealousy helped spawn a happy poly moment!

22:30 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 421: Poly didn’t work, but I still want it!

360_degrees_suckHow to recover from an epic poly fail

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1:00 Host chat and announcements

1:45 Poly in the News

4:45 Topic: Poly didn’t work, but I still want it!

Diva and the Don called in to talk about moving from being swingers to poly that just didn’t work out due to issues with faithfulness (on his part) and micromanaging (on her part). They ask how to move forward with polyamory and get past this lack of trust and drama. LustyGuy and Minx agree:

  • Fix your relationship first. Work out your trust issues on your own. Work on your own happiness first.
  • Own your own shit and let him own his.
  • Be the expert on yourself and let Don be the expert on himself.
  • Address your history of cheating and don’t try polyamory until you both have 100% trust in this area.

25:45 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 420: Self-identity with poly and disabilities

Hannah Pittman offers insights on self-identity on poly and disabilities fixedlolcat


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1:00 Host chat and announcements

5:00 Poly in the News

7:00 Topic: A new voice on poly and disabilities

New poly and disabilities activist Hannah Pittman shares her thoughts on the convergence and mutual benefits of being a person with disabilities and of being polyamorous. We can learn from self-identity and support models for both.

30:00 Happy Poly Moment R shares a beautiful happy poly moment of meeting and opening up to another couple and being involved with their wedding planning

32:30 Thank you! Thanks to Erin for the donation and to David for joining the Friends With Benefits level of the Poly Weekly Playmates!

33:30 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 419: Long distance relationships

Tips and tricks for long-distance relationshipsuh43048,1289761004,ca07c62e-004f-4c18-addd-2ec839763a6a


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1:00 Host chat and announcements

LustyGuy and I’ll be teaching Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass at Kinkfest!

2:00 Poly in the News

5:35 Topic: Long-distance relationships

Koe Creation cohosts this fun segment on how to define and sustain long distance relationships. Thanks to our Facebook fans who offered advice here, and we had a few thoughts, too:

  • How to define “long distance”
  • What are your needs and expectations?
    • pause and play
    • do you need ongoing?
    • how do you get quality time? how do you feel valued?
  • Use technology: Skype, order delivery and have dinner together, Google calendar, texts, emails, letters
    • random, ongoing contact as it is beneficial (is travel too costly?)
    • setting date nights
    • working on joint projects

30:25 Feedback

A fan shares her appreciation of Joan Price’s episode on senior sex!

32:00 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 418: Emotional abuse

How to recognize emotional abuse and support both survivors and perpetrators within the community survivelolcat

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Update 2-20-15: Full transcript now available!  PW 418 Emotional abuse transcript

1:00 Host chat and announcements

I’ll be teaching Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass at Kinkfest 

1:45 Poly in the News

Suit filed to decriminalize unofficial gay marriages in Michigan

3:30 Interview: Emotional abuse

Shannon Perez-Darby, Youth Services Program Manager for The Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse, shares her advice on how to recognize abuse of all kinds and how to respond when you or someone you love might be surviving emotional abuse.

Emfett blog

34:30 Happy Poly Moment

Michael shares a lustful happy poly moment of seeing his spouse and his crush walking together

35:15 Thank you

Welcome GJ to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

36:00 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 417: Senior sex with Joan Price

Senior sex kitten Joan Price shares the secrets of sex over 50Joan Price

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1:00 Announcements

InfinityCon dates have changed to November.

1:45 Poly in the News

A ton of articles this week on how poly culture affects everyone. Poly in the News has a great roundup post, including an article on navigating poly relationships from the new dating site MeetMindfulness; 6 Reasons Why Sharing Your Boyfriend Will Boost Your Self-Esteem from a BlogHer blogger; This is the Explanation for Polyamory That Everyone Needs to Hear; and a TEDx talk on Polyamory and Emotional Literacy.

4:15 Interview: Joan Price on Senior Sex

Author and speaker Joan Price calls herself an “advocate for ageless sexuality.” She has been called other things by the media: “senior sexpert,” “the beautiful face of senior sex,” and—her favorite—”wrinkly sex kitten.” Visit Joan’s zesty, award-winning blog about sex and aging at www.NakedAtOurAge.com.

She talks to Poly Weekly about reviewing sex toys for people over 50 as well as considerations and solutions for sex in your fabulous golden years!

38:15 Feedback

M in Oregon writes in to say how great it was to hear from L on episode 414!

39:45 Happy Poly Moment

A listener calls in to claim she and her partner have found a unicorn (bisexual woman equally attracted to both partners simultaneously)

42:15 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 416: Growing up poly, the bad


Parentes_ama_familiam_cura
Three adults who grew up in polyamorous households speak out on their negative experiences of growing up poly

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This is part two of a two-part series on the real experiences of growing up in a poly household. To hear the panel speak on their positive experiences of growing up in a polyamorous household, visit Episode 415: Growing up poly, the good

1:15 Announcements

infinitycon logo

I’ll be teaching 8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory and MORE at InfinityCon in Atlanta over Valentine’s Day weekend! And LustyGuy will be with me, moderating the poly/swinging panel and teaching rough body play techniques. Fun!

For ticket, hotel and scheduling info, visit www.infinitycon.net

2:30 Poly in the News

Alan has listed the top 22 national poly events in 2015. PLUS instructions on how to search for and find your local meetup group. No excuses for not finding your community!

3:35 Topic: Growing up poly, the bad

After last week’s panel on the positive effects of growing up in a poly household, Join Koe, Susie and Tiana as they share some of the negative effects it had on their upbringing, including being too trusting and open in the world.

24:40 Feedback

Haddyr insists that yes, teens and 20-somethings do in fact use “heteronormative” all the time!

25:55 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!

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