PW 304: The intimacy-autonomy scale

What you need to know about the intimacy-autonomy scale and how it might be affecting your current relationship

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1:00 Announcements

3:55 Interview: Kathy Labriola describes the intimacy-autonomy scale

Kathy Labriola, a poly counselor, nurse and hypnotherapist and author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships, shares her insights based on the intimacy-autonomy scale and how mismatches can cause misunderstandings in relationships. Need more autonomy and independence but matched with a partner with a higher need for attention and intimacy? Good advice all around. Find the book at Greenery Press or at the Stockroom (better than Amazon for authors!)

17:30 Happy Poly Moments

  • A listener writes in to share a Happy Poly Moment—discovering an old friend is actively poly: “It was so NICE to find someone “real”, someone I have known for years, to whom I had a relation out of the web or a meetup thing, who at least new what polyamory was… for the first time in years, we could talk with other people, face to face, about our opinions and experiences. Priceless.”
  • MG tells of running home to his lovely fiancée to tell her his girlfriend just said she loved him: “When I think back three years ago to the beginning of our poly adventure I couldn’t have imagined this. It makes all of the work that my fiancée and I put into working on or communication and jealousy issues (mostly me) worth it.”

20:45 Feedback

  • Scott, a listener in Australia, found us through Google+! And gives props to the HSV blues episode: “After contracting HSV from my first serious primary partner, I struggled a bit personally with it, and with what that meant about me and my lifestyle choice, and felt my ex’s condemning voice in the back of my mind. So it was refreshing to hear it put into an appropriate perspective.”
  • Gryphon writes in that Poly Weekly has taught him to be unafraid of asking for help and support and suggests the antithesis to NRE—Break Up Brain?

28:15 Thanks

Welcome Robin, Ryan and Nomputers to the Poly Weekly Playmates! And thanks to Jim and Bill for their donations to keep us running!

29:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email 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 Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

From Tristan Taormino’s “Opening Up”

She speaks of universal qualities to look for in a poly partner:

You want someone who is self-aware, with strong communication skills, good boundaries, and a clear sense of who they are and what they want… Trust your instincts and avoid people who will bring negative energy, a destructive agenda, unresolved baggage or lots of drama to your life.

Excellent advice. I’ve always tended to have a penchant for those with lots of life experience, anyway; I figure that if they’ve lived through a lot, then my shit isn’t going to faze them at all. This is why I don’t tend to be attracted to the 20-year-olds. Not that they don’t have their own wisdom and positive energy, but I’ve never understood wanting to date younger than me. Unless the person has lived an extraordinary 20 years, I’d like to let him simmer for another 10 years or so and then see who he is.

Get your shit together
And her second bit of advice rings true for me as well. We had an interesting discussion at the Poly Weekly Book Club a few months ago spurred by a statement in Anapol’s book about resolving psychological and drug issues before entering a relationship. Personally, I think that’s a good idea anyway; it goes under the category of “get your shit together before you try to be attractive to someone else” in my book. However, some folks with ongoing pscyh issues took exception to the caveat, and understandably so. I believe we settled on any psych issues being under control–for example, if you suffer from depression, it’s probably not a good idea to go out and date until you get your meds at a level that keeps you feeling you most of the time. If you have a drug or alcohol abuse problem, um, yeah, I’m going to go with the assumption that you’re not going to be a very supportive or drama-free partner for anyone else until you can take care of yourself.

I suppose this is all a way of saying that you should be kind to yourself first. If you’re wounded or confused, take the time to explore that and feel good about yourself. If you need a vacation, take one. Meditation helps some people. If you need to adjust your meds, spend time with family or see a therapist, do it. Nothing wrong with taking care of yourself first.

I was once told that the sexiest thing I ever wore was confidence. The confidence was hard-won at that time, and I only had it because I’d taken nine months to work on myself. But when I was ready? DA-AMN, girl, but I was on FIRE!

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