Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Positive Article on Polyamory in The Gaurdian

A, Arianne Cohen had a pleasantly lengthy article with the title, "Open Relationships: The People Making It Work." Cohen has been in an open relationship for three years herself. She profiles many poly people in various forms of relationships. Once again, I want to note that not all polyamorous relationships are open relationships. Some are. In some others, all people in the polycule only date or have sex with the other people in the polycule. In still others, one or more of the individuals may be searching for people outside of the polycule for dating, casual sex, or something with more consistency.

Open relationships
Lori Smith (right) with Jon, her partner of 13 years, and his girlfriend Amanda: ‘We’re best friends,’ she says. Photograph: Ellen Nolan for the Guardian
Non-monogamous relationships are surprisingly common and the numbers are increasing, according to Darren Langdridge, a clinical therapist, professor at the Open University and co-author with Meg Barker of Understanding Non-Monogamies.

But statistics are hard to come by, Barker says. "No national surveys cover anything like open relationships – and many people are not upfront about being in one."
Polyamorous people are everywhere; many are closeted.

"What I see in the [UK] movement is it's the radical fringe – people with pink hair and tattoos," says Deborah Taj Anapol, a clinical psychologist and author of Polyamory In The 21st Century. "These are people who don't mind being judged or excluded from mainstream society – in fact, that's their intent. That's all fine, but I'd like to see a quicker normalisation." Which is why many non-monogamous Britons won't use the word. "It seems to be a loaded term," Lori says. "For a while we said non-monogamous, but now we just say 'poly'."
Once Jon and Lori decided to be polyamorous, Jon joined the free dating site OkCupid, known for its large, non-monogamous contingent, and began enjoying weekend dates with a woman who lived just outside London. Lori dated a photography classmate, but struggled more than Jon with the situation. "Once a month Jon's girlfriend came around, or we'd all go out for dinner. And we got on fine, but I just felt really uneasy when they were spending time without me. I couldn't wrap my head around it, so I saw a therapist." Lori realised she suspected that the woman would hurt Jon. "I realised that I needed to let go, let him explore this for himself."

The paper printed some letters in response...

I grew up in a Roman Catholic family. Nobody got divorced, so I had to put up with the fallout from my mother's affairs and my father's distress with them. Then you had my grandparents who had not shared a bedroom since my uncle was born and still loved each other dearly. Both of them had other partners. I met two of my grandad's girlfriends, and one of my nana's partners lived with them for many years. When my nana was dying, my grandad tended her every need, held her hand and wept with her as they told each other how they still and would always love each other, and was at her bedside until the end.

Trish Obermayer of Brighton...
Polyamorous relationships suggested by the male partner. Funny that.
Actually, in mixed gender relationships, it is often the woman who suggests or introduces the male to polyamory, and many of those relationships end up being polyandrous. But if Trish thinks it is OK to neglect the needs of males because a male expressed the need, then I feel sorry for any male who tries to have a relationship with her.

If all the parties are comfortable with it and it makes them happy, what's the problem? If they're not, just like if they're not in a monogamous relationship, it's bad. It's not rocket science.
Jay90 got in a good line...
Wish I could just get one girlfriend…
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