PW 330: Adding a third without making a third wheel

Adding a third without making a third wheel

How do you open up a couple? Advice on how to welcome a third from a HBB

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1:00 News and host chat

  • Congratulations to our Burning Man ticket winner!
  • Thanks to M, Christopher, Eynstein, Wayne, Elijah, Marshall, Ioana, Devon, Jessica, Karl, Scott, Jason, Lee, Greg, Cornelius, Damita for their donation during the Burning Man fundraiser

5:00 Topic: From two to three

Advice to couples on opening up their relationship from a HBB: what to do and what not to do. Full blog post here.

  • Instead of considering only protective measures, consider what you have to offer and how you can welcome a third and make him/her feel as loved as you are
  • Try this exercise: how would you feel if you were welcoming a child into your relationship? Approach a new lover with that same sense of joy, sharing and hope.
  • A few don’t’s: don’t allow veto power, ignore metamour communication, say there is no hierarchy if there is. Don’t have the point of the vee moderate communication.

27:15 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 329: “Reality” polyamory on Showtime

Showtime’s new reality show Polyamory: Married and Dating. Is it as good as we want or as bad as we fear?

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:30 News and host chat

  • Wanna go to Burning Man? We are raffling off a ticket in July as a fundraiser to send Minx to CatalystCon! For every $10 donation here, you’ll get one raffle entry. On July 31 (tomorrow!) we’ll draw and announce the winner of the ticket to Burning Man 2012! Void where prohibited.
  • LustyGuy will be giving a talk on Punching, Slapping and Kicking, Oh My! at Paradise, August 11.

5:00 Topic: Showtime’s new reality show on polyamory

Showtime has a new reality show called Polyamory: Married and Dating. It follows a triad and a quad and the conversations, conflicts and undercover action they experience. But is it any good?

What do we think? LustyGuy admires the craft and believes it fits the genre and audience expectations for Showtime After Dark perfectly. Minx (not a fan of reality TV in general) finds the characters accessible, far more so than anyone portrayed in Big Love or Sister Wives. While many of the characters annoy her personally and don’t impress her with their low level of emotional intelligence, the show is a far more accurate portrayal of polyamory than anything we’ve seen in the mainstream so far, and many of the characters do model good communication skills and emotionally intelligent behavior.

And special thanks to Scott Campbell for making it possible for us to view the episodes!

42:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 328: My three dads

A proposed California law that would allow a child to have three legal parents. Also, movie review of Savages.

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:30 News and host chat

Wanna go to Burning Man? We are raffling off a ticket in July as a fundraiser to send Minx to CatalystCon! For every $10 donation here, you’ll get one raffle entry. On July 30, we’ll draw and announce the winner of the ticket to Burning Man 2012! Void where prohibited.

3:00 Topic: My Three Dads

California considers a law that would allow more than two parents for a child.

10:30 Movie review: Savages

Joreth provides a review of this poly movie. Alan at Poly in the Media’s report on the aggregated reviews: Savages, the Movie and Its Star Triad

Feedback

Vicky writes in to let us know that “vagina” is the proper medical term, but “vulva” is often used to refer to the external female genitalia, including the labia.

24:45 Thanks

Thanks to Marshall and Ioana for the donations this week. Woo hoo!

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 324: Poly parenting with Sierra Black

How does one wrangle being polyamorous and parenting at the same time? Sierra Black tells us!

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

12:00 Topic: Poly families with Sierra Black

Sierra Black’s Salon article on her open marriage and the getting back together

a.blogspot.com/2012/04/on-abcs-2020-polyfamily-network-shows.html”>20/20 episode on polyamory and parenting.

Parenting questions she is asked:

  • How do you find the time to be poly with a 4-year-old, a 7-year-old and an 18-year-old? Answer: this isn’t a one-way street; everyone pitches in so others can have date time.
  • What do you tell the kids? Answer: Be open about who everyone is with age-appropriate information.
  • What do you do when relationships end? Answer: deal with them just as you would with step-parents and keep them in the kids’ lives whenever possible.
  • What advice do you have about coming out to older kids? Answer: we’re lucky because everyone in the community is open and poly and the kids have a support network.
  • How are you out to the other adults in your kids’ life? School administrators, grandparents, doctors? Answer: anything you radiate normal, healthy vibes about, people will take in stride. Be comfortable, confident and open, and it’s easy to be out.

Conclusion: kids are very What’s In It for Me? They want to know that they are loved and that mommy, daddy and everyone else loves and cares about them, too.

Sierra blogs at ChildWild.com and writes for Babble.

38:00 Thanks

Thanks to Mike for the $69 donation!

39:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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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PW 321: Avoiding meetup drama

PW Playmate asks: how to you run a growing poly meetup without conflict and drama in the community?

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

7:00 Interview: Avoiding meetup drama with Allena Gabosch

A PW Playmate (woo hoo!) writes in to ask:

I’ve been pretty involved in my local poly community for a couple of years. It’s about doubled in size since we started doing more outreach, and with that has come much more drama and conflict within the community. We’re not quite sure how to handle it without alienating people.

Allena Gabosch, Director of the Center for Sex Positive Culture, gives advice:

  • Be open to everyone
  • Leaders, remember to come from service and put your ego aside
  • Give naysayers responsibilities for improving the group
  • Acknowledge and address naysayer issues publicly

If you’re in or near Seattle, come to SEAF, June 16-24, 2012!

33:00 Movie Review

Joreth gives a review of the 1993 film Café au lait.

38:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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!

What healthcare professionals need to know about poly and kink

As a health care practitioner, how do you identify polyamorous and kinky clients?

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in an event at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. (Thanks to Allena Gabosch for recommending me for the event when she was booked!) The event was called the “human library,” and about a dozen of us activists acted as “books” to the participants, who were all in the program. Since health care professional deal with people of all orientations, genders and abilities, we were there to act as open books into our respective communities and to lend advice to future naturopathic practitioners.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, and I had no idea of the questions I might be asked. Most of the students I met with were unsure what to ask and wanted a basic primer on polyamory and kink. “What do I need to know about polyamory/kink?” was the most common question. For this, I recommended two books, a paper and a local resource:

However, some did have specific concerns, including:

  • When I take a history, what would I ask to discover if a person is polyamorous?
  • When I take a history, what would I ask to discover if a person is kinky?
  • What does “polyamorous” actually mean, and what do I need to know about these people?

Creating a safe space

The first question was fairly easy to answer. Just as we poly folks create a safe space for emotional and relationship discussions, health care practitioners should do everything possible to set their patients at ease. The best way to do this is not to make assumptions: don’t assume the person is straight, of one particular gender, monogamous or vanilla. Even if it’s too personal to ask, it’s best not to be heteronormative. Or relationship-normative.

Also, do your best to create a safe, judgment-free zone to encourage your patients to be comfortable enough to reveal their orientations. My favorite personal experience with this was a fantastic gynecologist who, when I was in the stirrups, asked, “Do you sleep with men, women, or both?” I’d never heard “or both” before, and I was delighted she’d asked! I answered, “both,” to which she replied with a cheery, “Good for you!” And just like that, she established trust. I knew I could tell her about my partners, probably even my kinky proclivities, and she wouldn’t flinch, blink or judge.

Compare this to my previous gynecologist, who, when I told her I was now in a polyamorous relationship, left an awkward pause, sat back with considerable discomfort and mumbled, “it’s best if you try to limit the number of partners.” Ugh! At the time, I had TWO long-term, committed partners. She just assumed that “polyamorous” meant I’d installed a revolving door to my bedroom. I knew I couldn’t trust her to be considerate and informed, so I switched to someone I could.

So how does a practitioner establish a safe space to discuss orientations and lifestyles? “Male, female or both?” is a good start. A good follow-up question is, “What is your relationship structure?” Monogamous folks will probably reply “single,” “married” or the like, but this question opens up the opportunity for non-monogamous folks to share both their orientation and partner information if they are comfortable doing so.

What about kink?

Asking about BDSM proclivities and activities is far, far more difficult, and I’ve personally never found a good, non-offensive lead-in to asking if someone is kinky unless he or she had already dropped a significant hint. Most kinksters I know frankly will not share this information with a health care practitioner because they believe it to be private and irrelevant. One could argue against the “irrelevant” factor, depending upon the type of visit and health care practitioner, but it is definitely private and personal information. There is no good way to broach this topic in a casual way. The best you can do is to create a safe space in which your patient will be willing to share relevant details with you and ask you health-related questions as needed.

How do we tell the difference between kink and abuse?

There is of course a big difference between kink and abuse: consent. And health care practitioners are mandatory reporters, so they must by law report abuse. This is why many kinksters don’t come out to their doctors: they could mistakenly be reported as abuse victims and inadvertently make their partner suspect of being an abuser. Health care practitioners are trained to question bruises with a conversational, “Hey, how did that come about?” or “Wow, big bruise. What happened there?”

Here, I’ll give a little advice to the kinksters: be honest. When you try to hide the information, it only makes you look more like an abuse victim! A few suggestions:

  • [big smile] Oh, that? That was FUN!
  • [big smile + eyebrow raise] Do you really want to know?
  • [big smile + happy sigh] That was the cause of my last orgasm.
  • Or, if you must lie: [big smile] Carpet burn.

For the practitioners, do you notice the common theme? While most of the time kinksters will simply lie to avoid sharing private details, you can often discern them from abuse victims by a sincere but fleeting smile when you ask about bruises or marks. It’s similar to the reaction when you ask someone about a hickey: it’s not a litmus test by any means, but it might give a clue that the situation was consensual.

Back to safe

After all that, the creation of a safe space is really what’s most important for health care practitioners if they really want all the information. Doctors know that patients lie all the time: about whether they took their medication or not, about how many drinks they have, about how often they exercise. The best health care folks can do is to let their patients know that they won’t be judged and that the conversation will be easy to have. And the best the patients can do is to be honest about their lifestyle choices and be informed enough to ask your doctor or therapist all your questions, even if some of them are a little embarrassing.

PW 320: I hate my metamour!

Listener M writes in with a dilemma: what do you do when you love your girlfriend but hate your metamour?

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • Welcome to our cohost, LustyGuy. Can you tell which Scotch he is sipping?

1:50 Topic: I hate my metamour!

M writes in to say that he finds his girlfriend’s new partner so repulsive that he hates the guy, which is not helped by the fact that the girlfriend revealed that the partner is trapped in a sexless marriage and believes that M and girlfriend are moving too quickly.

  • A drama queen? Much of the negative information on the partner (“Scary Clown”) came to M secondhand from the girlfriend. Always question why your girlfriend chooses to reveal unflattering information about a metamour secondhand. Is there a need for drama on her part? Relationship management skills are needed here.
  • Open lines of communication there is no line of communication open between Scary Clown and M. Of course he feels uncomfortable.
  • Responsibilities of the point The person at the point of the vee (here, the girlfriend) has additional responsibilities in terms of nurturing healthy relationships and conveying only the most relevant and supportive information to partners. However, this person should NEVER agree to act as mediator between the other two parties.
  • Setting boundaries the people at the edges of the vee need to set boundaries and be careful to express what they need rather than a simple “I don’t like so-and-so.” For that matter, the person at the point of the vee also needs to set boundaries such as “No saying that M and I aren’t good as a couple. That’s not supportive, and I won’t tolerate it.”

19:45 Feedback

Wayne writes in about an NPR piece on breasts. Audio and transcripts are here.

24:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 319: Marriage as a choice

Thoughts on marriage as a conscious relationship and lifestyle choice rather than the default or the result of peer pressure

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:20 News and host chat

3:10 Topic: Marriage as a conscious choice

A recent Huffington Post personal essay questioning marriage as peer pressure in the 20-30 age range as well as:

  • The possibility that even with a lot of love and communication, it might not be enough and the marriage might need to end
  • The groupthink that marriage is hard but always worth it
  • The lack of alternative relationship choices
  • Marriage as the default rather than a custom option

20:20 Feedback on episode 316 Queer as a verb

  • Alyssa writes in to say “Sometimes the radical, panties-in-a-bunch, queers need to chill the fuck out, and what better way to chill out than to realize that something you revolve your life around isn’t a big deal to EVERYONE!”
  • Vir writes in to say that I’ve queered my relationship and my sex life (through kink/fetishes)

24:10 Thanks

Thanks to Meg for the donation this week!

Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 317: Rules redux

Franklin Veaux and Minx discuss listener feedback, advice and anecdotes around creating rules and boundaries to apply to polyamorous relatiomships

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

CatalystCon is September 14-16 in Long Beach. Respond to the call for speakers.

2:40 Topic: Rules Redux

Franklin Veaux and Minx respond to listener feedback about the rules episode.

  • Sean wrote in with the rules his partner imposed on him after an incident
  • J wrote in to clarify the difference between rules that promote discussion versus rules that are designed to bind behavior
  • Isaac asked about D/s rules
  • Jonathan asked for rules when he began dating and got these: “We will trust you if you are trustworthy. We will believe you if you are honest. We will listen if you speak openly. We will communicate if you listen. You’ll have to write any other rules you need yourself because when all is said and done you are the only one that is going to limit your actions. Oh by the way we’ll have a surprise ready here; bring your date home if you want.”
  • Vir shared a quote on boundaries

36:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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 312: The power of introverts and orgasms at the gym

The power of introverts; female orgasms from exercise at the gym

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen.

1:00 News and host chat

  • OpenCon Catalonia will be in Spain May 25-27
  • OpenSF is June 6-8 at Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco
  • I’ll be at Kinkfest in Portland, OR March 23-25
  • And speaking at MomentumCon in D.C. March 29-April 1

10:00 Topic: The Power of Introverts

Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts and how to maximize individual creative thinking. The loudest person isn’t always the wisest, but work environments cater to extroverts.

15:00 Topic: Orgasms at the Gym

A new study shows that women can orgasm without sexual stimulation just from certain types of exercise.

20:45 Feedback: Episode 309 on the myth of sex addiction

  • Stabbity thanks Ley for making the connection with nymphomania about pathologizing certain behavior
  • Vir comments on the pathologization of sex addiction promoting both a double standard and keeping men from taking responsibility for their sexual bad choices

24:55 Thanks

To BobBe for the kinky $69 donation. And welcome Maura to the Playmates!

25:30 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-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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