PW 474: Recapturing your innocence

How do you recapture your innocence after being hurt or abused?4820153_m

Download the mp3 directly

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

1:00 Host chat

3:30 Poly in the News

Polyamory made my marriage better—and it might make my divorce better, too

8:20 Topic: Recapturing your innocence

A listener writes in to ask how to go back to being that carefree, open person after you’ve been hurt or abused? How do you recapture that openness and stop fearing and mistrusting everyone?

23:25 Feedback

A listener calls in to ask where to find a poly glossary. More Than Two has one, and Opening Up is always a great resource.

25:15 Happy Poly Moment

Heather shares a happy poly moment involving metamour appreciation and good dental hygiene!

30:00 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@gmail.com!

Minx coming out update

44239090_sA family chat, two years after coming out

Warning: this post is far more personal than most on this blog. In fact, it’s a bit closer to a diary post than anything I’ve ever published. However, I’m sharing this with you because many folks out there have it much, much worse than me. When they come out, they may lose their homes, their loved ones, their income, their marriage or their kids. My story is puny in comparison, but as LustyGuy says, “Everyone’s shovel is always full.” I still believe it’s worth sharing, this real story of how I coped when a family member out-and-out rejected my orientation. So here goes.

As many of you know, a little under two years ago I came out to my family. It seemed almost a non-issue at first, with my sister-in-law quickly saying, “As long as you’re happy, that’s OK.” My mom wrote me a disapproving letter a month later, but things seemed to stop there.

Then, last spring, heeding Dan Savage’s coming out advice for adult children to their parents, I spent a weekend with my mom and gave her the ultimatum: now that you’ve had a year to process and judge, your seeing me is contingent upon seeing my partner as well. I told her that I will only travel to Texas for visits in the company of my sweetie LustyGuy, and if she wasn’t comfortable with our staying at her house, we could get a hotel. Alternatively, I would pay for her to fly to visit me in Seattle and treat her to a fun weekend, and I would even give her my own bed instead of having her sleep in the guest bedroom (she complains the bed is too low).

I told her she didn’t have to make a decision right then. Since I only visit once a year for her birthday, anyway, she had a whole year to decide what she wanted to do. It was totally up to her; I would respect whatever decision she made.

Now, two years after coming out, her birthday is coming up again. And it’s her 80th, so I was planning to do something special: fly to Texas, sponsor a barbecue after the Sunday church service, get my brothers to come in that same weekend and take her out as well.

I’d left her a message about some birthday plans, and she called me last night. She told me that I was welcome to come, but LustyGuy and L were not, period. When I reminded her that if she wanted to see me, she’d have to see LustyGuy as well, she refused because what we were doing was “illegal.” When I asked for clarification as to what law we were breaking, she said that you can’t marry two people. Of course I clarified again that we weren’t legally married and were therefore breaking no laws, but she continued with her “illegal” objection (which is not unusual for her–once she decides she has an objection, she carries it to the grave, despite all facts and evidence to the contrary). She said, “I’m old, and I’m not going to change my mind.”

Being the bigger person

Now, I may seem all cool and calm now, but keep in mind that I HATE confrontation, even over the phone. My heart was beating out of my chest; my mouth was so dry that when I tried to swallow, there was nothing to swallow. And I was shaking to boot! I listened carefully, put myself in her position first rather than reacting with my own emotions, and I took a breath.

Here is where all that sex-positive and communication training kicked in, and I got the opportunity to be the bigger person, even though I was shaking:

This is 100% your decision, and if that’s what you want, I will respect it. I wish you would respect my choice like I’m respecting yours, but I understand this is hard for you and will miss you. I still love you, and I still respect you. I will still call you, and you are still welcome to visit me on my dime.

She did not reflect any of that language back on me, but that’s not unusual. (My parents have never told me they loved me or were proud of me, and I long ago gave up trying to get their approval.)

Some helpful self-talk

Frankly, I should have expected this reaction from the start, but I suppose I optimistically believed that pragmatism would win out over narrow-minded moral judgments. LustyGuy, who is far more cynical than I am, was not surprised in the least. Silly me!

But for those playing the home version of this game, here is some of the positive self-talk that I found helpful:

  • I am loved I am surrounded by my family of choice who loves me just exactly as I am, which is far more valuable to me than my family of blood. They chose to love me.
  • I chose my path and live my values I am smart, successful, compassionate and tolerant, which is something that any parent not my own would be proud of. More importantly, they are traits that I am proud of. I chose my path and live a life of integrity.
  • I’m no longer a rebellious teen (well, maybe a little bit) While I gave up being a rebellious teenager many years ago in favor of showing my mom compassion and patience, it’s curious that she can still bring that out in me! I had a devious little thought that LustyGuy, L and I could form our own legal corporation that would give us similar rights to those of marriage and then gleefully call my mom and tell her that I took her advice and made my relationship legal. (But then I remind myself that I’m in my 40s and far too mature to do things exclusively to piss off my parents!)
  • Mom’s disapproval = the right thing for me My mom has never approved of my choices, and her disapproval is typically a sign that I’m doing something right and good with my life. She thought I should go to college in order to meet a man and get married; she thought my French degree was useless, even when it landed me my first two jobs; she thought I was being seduced by “glamorous” big-city life when I moved to Chicago for a job opportunity; she even thought that I should abandon my pets when I moved cross-country because you could always get another dog or cat. So her ardent disapproval is usually a sign that I’m doing the right thing for my values.

Another thought I’ve been musing over is that perhaps my mom doesn’t enjoy my yearly visits as much as I thought she did. Perhaps she is faking it, too, and doesn’t enjoy spending time with me any more that I do spending time with her. I began making the trips as an alternative to visiting for the holidays, so I could spend Christmas with friends and family of choice. And I always go to lengths to make sure her birthday weekend is about her: the places she wants to go, the food she wants to eat, the topics of conversation she prefers, the activities she doesn’t get to do otherwise. It might very well be that she is doing both of us a favor by putting a stop to these visits, in the end!

Where I am now

All that being said, it will be very odd never to see my mom again. It’s quite likely that the next time I see her will be at her funeral. For those who may think I’m being a bit dramatic, here’s a story: my mom carried her judgment of her sister (over a small financial dispute in the 90s) literally to her sister’s grave. My mother refused not only to speak at her sister’s funeral but even to say a kind word about her at all ever again. She did attend her sister’s funeral, but she stubbornly refused to say one positive word about her. So believe me when I say that the next time I see her will be in the urn holding her ashes in Texas. And if an urn could look disapproving, I’m sure she could manage it.

That being said, all the above self-talk is still true, and I encourage you to use it if you’re having similar judgments placed on you. I’m so fortunate to be in every way independent of my narrow-minded family: financially, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and geographically. I have my wonderful life, my wonderful friends, my awesome kitty and the best listenership a podcaster could ever hope for. In the end, this judgment is unfortunate, but it will not change me nor my path.

If you are going through a tough time, here’s hoping that these words and this situation will help you to know you are not alone.

PW 470: Do I have to date my species?

How bad is it if I like someone who is monogamous?Dogs-Love-Cats

Download the mp3 directly

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

1:00 Host Chat & Announcements

3:00 Poly in the News

You Me Her, a polyromantic comedy, debuts March 22

4:15 Topic: Do I have to date my species?

A listener calls in to say he’s married and poly but is interested in dating his ostensibly single, monogamous friend. How bad will it be? Well, no one can say for sure, but our Facebook poll indicated that 5 people say hell, no; 12 say “I tried it and it didn’t work;” 5 indicated success and 2 were in the process.

It definitely poses a risk of drama and heartbreak, but if you and your wife are up for it, go in eyes open.

12:00 Happy poly moment

A listener writes in to tell a tale of bravely dealing with a difficult situation by welcoming her metamour to make her husband happy.

16:30 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 469: Non-sexual relationships

11870375_sHere’s a thing we don’t talk about enough: non-sexual relationships

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Host Chat & Announcements

  • For the latest news, discounts, book and class announcements and poly in the news, join our email list 
  • Why become a Poly Weekly Playmate? Apart from being my best friend forever, you get weekly Positively Poly Pointer emails, like the one Minx shared today: Still think the three magic words for relationships are “I love you”? Try “you were right”! 

5:40 Poly in the News

7:50 Topic: Non-sexual relationships

Your sex positive educator for the 21st century, Koe Creation, shares her thoughts on non-sexual relationships in polyamory and in life.

29:00 Thanks!

Thanks to Craig and Steve and welcome Marcus to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

30:00 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 468: Talking to one partner about another

Is it OK to vent to one partner about another partner? angry woman vintage on phone

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Poly in the News

8:00 Topic: Talking about one partner to another partner

Babbling B writes in to ask if it’s OK to vent to one partner about another, as long as it’s not gossiping. LustyGuy, L and Minx all sound in.

24:30 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 467: Metamour awesomeness with L

LustyGuy’s wife L joins us for a repeat performance sharing her advice on being a great metamourcomic hands heart

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Host chat

  • We had a great time at InfinityCon!
  • If you want to book us to speak at your event, contact lustyguy@polyweekly.com

5:30 Poly in the News

7:00 Topic: How to be an awesome metamour with L

LustyGuy’s wife L joins us behind the microphone again to share her tips to being an awesome metamour.

Why bother getting to know your metmamour?

  • You get a happier partner
  • New friends
  • Keep your partner busy/happy doing things you don’t like
  • You have a co-conspirator
  • It’s the right thing to do

Advice:

  • Don’t get in the middle
  • Feel free to support your partner but say “not my problem; not my girlfriend”
  • Your partner is not someone to make rules for. Trust and communicate instead. The closest they get is “don’t be a dick.”
  • Take care of yourself
  • Recognize envy and ask for what you want
  • Assume good intent

38:20 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 466: A Life Less Monogamous, a new fiction novel

Finally, a novel about non-monogamy!life less monogamous cover

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Host chat

  • Join our email list by going to polyweekly.com
  • We’re working on a dating profile ebook
  • Also a how-to ebook on writing your own user manual for the fall
  • Kitty Chambliss has a podcast: Loving Without Boundaries

3:30 Poly in the News

More poly news coverage based on the recent OKCupid change allowing couples to link their profiles whilst searching to date others

7:15 Interview: Cooper Beckett about his new fiction novel, A Life Less Monogamous

Cooper Beckett joins us to discuss his new fiction novel about new non-monogamists, A Life Less Monogamous. Use code MINX for a 10% discount! Our text interview with Cooper is here.

30:00 Happy Poly Moment

An asexual lesbian writes in to share her happy poly moment.

32:45 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 465: Rules about beds

What are the sticking points of sex in your bed24446326_s? And why?

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Host chat

  • We’ll be at InfinityCon! Use code POLYWEEKLY at registration for a 10% discount!

Poly in the News

More poly stories out of Brazil

Topic: Rules about beds

A listener writes in to ask what kind of rules people make about beds. Is your bed just for sleeping? Is sex with your partners OK? What about with their partners? What if you’re not there? Who cleans the sheets and when? The results of our poly bed poll are here.

And if you’re not protective of your bed, is there some other area you are protective of—like your car or your kitchen? It’s always good to be aware of where your boundaries are.

Today, LustyGuy and Minx talk through what you need to consider about bed etiquette and, if you are going to make any rules, to prepare for them to be broken at some point.

Happy Poly Moments

  • M wrote in to share a wonderful mono-poly happy moment. As the monogamous partner who got pregnant, she was bowled over by her metamour’s consistent support of her throughout the pregnancy and after the birth!
  • Speaking of beds, A wrote in to say that once they got a king bed, everything was a million times better!

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 464: Building your poly community

Neil Wehneman and Karen Hill of Poly Columbus share their tips for building your communityKarenHill

Download the mp3 directly

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

1:00 Host chat

3:15 Poly in the News

8:30 Interview: Neil Wehneman and Karen Hill of Poly Columbus on how to build your poly community

PolyColumbus started with under a dozen people and have built a community of nearly 80 participants. Organizers Neil Weheneman and Karen Hill share their tips on how to build and grow your poly community. Their tips:

  • Use Meetup rather than Yahoo groups for better discoverability
  • Partner with the kink community to leverage crossover
  • How and why to create a board of directors
  • How to deal with feedback as your community grows
  • They post all their policies on their website under Creative Commons Attribution Only license, so please feel free to use them with attribution.
  • Ask for help!
  • Avoid burnout by saying “no” and remembering that you still need time to actually BE poly!

38:00 Thank you!

Thomas both donated this month. Thank you!

39:00 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!

Ask Minx: How do I own my shit when I’m depressed?

Minx podcasting headshot 2013Hi Minx,

My partner and I have been together for nine years and poly for almost two years. Because of my depression, I don’t always feel very sexual. While this wasn’t the reason we decided to become poly, my partner feels like he should have other partners during these times to sleep with to “fill in the gaps”, so to speak. However, during these moments in my depression, I’m usually feeling incredibly volatile, and it’s at these times I feel my worst and most replaceable (not just in our relationship but in all aspects of my life), and I physically can’t go through the constant panic and anxiety attacks that means for me. I know one of the biggest aspects in the community is “owning your own emotions”, but how do you see one’s troubled mental health playing into that for continued success in polyamory? 

Depressed and distressed

Dear D&D:

While it’s true that we talk a lot about owning your own shit, there is another issue at play here. In the case of health issues, I’d recommend a slightly different tack. And I’m using the word “health” instead of “mental health” because in truth, there isn’t much difference between a physical and a mental ailment. It’s all biology, right?

It’s rarely a good idea to use polyamory to fix a problem in a relationship. (We call this the “relationship broken; add more people” model.) It’s unwise and unkind to try to use other people to “fill in the gaps” in your current relationship–and it almost never works out the way you think it will! Instead, I’d recommend working on two things: first, on managing your own health and second, on developing coping techniques for your partner.

First, the issue of your health condition. We typically recommend addressing any relationship and any chronic health issues before opening up a relationship to polyamory. As with dating monogamously, the goal is to present your best self as well as a happy, stable couple to prospective partners. So take the time to address and stabilize your health issues before trying polyamory. Work with your doctor to better manage your depression. As LustyGuy always says, “Biology comes first.” Your depression isn’t currently well managed, and that will only make dating and polyamory unnecessarily difficult, for you, your partner and your new dating prospects. As you say, you currently have no control over your emotions, and that’s not a good position to be in when dating (or when your partner is dating). It’s OK—nay, essential—for you to take care of yourself first.

Once you’ve figured out how to manage your condition and have developed tried-and-true coping mechanisms for any depressive episodes, you’ll be able to consider dating and having your partner date. But for now, please take care of yourself.

Second, there is the issue of your partner feeling something lacking in your relationship. Even when your depression is well managed, the fact that your partner feels your relationship is lacking from time to time is a separate issue. Please work with your therapist and your partner to figure out a good coping strategy for your partner when you have a depressive episode. LustyGuy, L and I each have chronic conditions that arise on occasional (and often inconvenient) times, and we each have strategies for coping with them when they arise. We each are able to express support and love to our partners while revising our own plans accordingly and relatively painlessly. You and your partner should strive to do the same. And before you know it, you’ll be handling your condition like a pro, and your partner will be supporting you merrily all the way!

Make a Donation

Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wanna play?
CatalystCon West '15

Poly Weekly on Facebook

Poly Weekly on Twitter