Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yes, We Can

Over at Loving More Than One, we see that yes, we can get along.

I think it's a natural course in most instances for one person to love more than the other person (whether monogamous or polyamorous). Or at least it easier for one person to show and express that love more easily. One seems to always give a bit more than the other (sometimes quite more than a bit). One is usually more secure than the other.

This is along the lines of what I think about when someone is against intergenerational relationships between adults, whether consanguineous or not. The excuse used to object to someone else finding love is that there is a difference in power and life experiences. But there are very few, if any, relationships where that isn't a reality. One person usually has seen more of the world than the other, or has better emotional coping skills, or more money, or more friends, or more family, or more status, or any number of other traits or resources.

Polyamory requires some sense of self worth. It requires not having the mentality of win-lose situation. It requires the ability to see a win-win situation. It means not seeing other relationships your loved one may have as competition.

Ding ding ding!

If you realize that you are not fine with what you stated, there is nothing wrong with explaining this to your partner and dealing with it from there. You have to own that you have a part in the pain or issues you are experiencing. That you can’t do blame if your partner was told this was ok.

Feelings may change over time, and it is okay to talk about that.

In all relationships in your life you need to treat each other with the respect and dignity that we are all due. Most specifically from those we trust with our feelings. With those we love and who profess to love us.

Good words to keep in mind.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

RobinD asks if polyamory perpetuates relationship competition.

All of the trainers talked about the nature of self-comparison and repeatedly encouraged us to compare ourselves to that other person until we could pinpoint something we are better at (i.e. looks, smarts, personality, etc.). Their coping suggestions all involved competition and self esteem through cutting down someone else.

Society teaches women this competition as the way that we are supposed relate to
each other, it prevents us from creating real community, and helps perpetuate

Marriage equality should be about lifting each other up, not putting anybody down. Competition can be a good thing, but destruction of others doesn't have to be a part of good competition, nor does there need to be competition in relationships. If someone can't handle that a partner will be with someone else without getting destructive about it, than that someone wants monogamy, not polyamory. That's fine. Polyamory isn't for everyone.
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Another Superfluous Incest Charge

By his own admission, Madisonville's Mark Anthony Watson is a horrible person. But I find this to be another example of a superfluous criminal charge for incest.

An investigation into Mark Anthony Watson was started in April 2009 by the Alcoa Police Department when he was accused of embezzling nearly $190,000 from Metal Roofing Wholesalers in Louisville.

During the investigation, evidence found on his work computer indicated Watson possessed child pornography and a video showing him engaged in sexual intercourse with a female relative. The charge of incest and sexual exploitation of a minor were not connected, as the female relative was not a juvenile at the time of the sexual activity, according to authorities.

So why not just nail him to the wall for the theft and the sexual exploitation of a minor thing? Why charge him for the apparently consensual sex with another adult? It certainly wasn't to add time to his sentence:

The sentences will run concurrently and Watson was credited more than a year of jail time that he has spent in the Blount County Jail.

A change in the law is way overdue. Laws against consensual sex aren't just used against bad guys like this. They are used against people who don't steal, don't victimize others and certainly not children, and are good citizens.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Thank You, Claire Shotwell

Looks like "Sister Wives" has made Claire Shotwell more of an ally. She is an associate editor of the The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia.
I have since realized that the Brown family confronts the negative stereotypes and stigmas associated with plural marriages and also present the positive side to a debate that society has long ignored. State governments, in examining the equality and justness of marriage, should not only debate same-sex marriage, but plural marriage as well.

Consanguineous marriage, too. We need full marriage equality.
Of course, the biggest concern to opponents of polygamy is that the such relationships may force underage girls to embark on marriages and sexual relationships with older men. But this happens in monogamous relationships, as well. Additionally, there are age of consent laws to address such issues associated with polygamy: If these young girls are too young to consent, then the government must interfere.

Exactly. Deal with the problem behavior by dealing with the person doing it, rather than denying a freedom to everyone else, too.
It could even be argued that if the state recognized polygamy, such marriages would become more transparent and consequently be more open to the enforcement of consent laws.

That's a good thing to note.
Another reasonable concern with polygamy, many argue, is that it is inherently a patriarchal institution that promotes the subordination of women. As true as this may be, heterosexual marriage is argued by many to be a patriarchal institution, as well.

Right again! Besides, polyandry and group polygamy should be included in the right to polygamy.

She also notes that some women find polygyny to improve their lives.
Furthermore, the government should not be able to legislate who its citizens may love and marry. Just because the majority of America's love is of the heterosexual, monogamous kind does not make this love suitable for all people and lifestyles. As long as all parties are of the age of consent and do, in fact, consent to plural marriage, government should not be able to interfere.

Thank you, thank you Ms. Shotwell.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Muslims in Britain Think About Polygyny

A British Muslim matchmaking website polled users to find out their attitudes towards polygyny. I would think that more that support it, the more business for the website! Director, Adeem Younis said: "We chose to run this survey in light of recent media stories referencing polygamy, marriage and Islamic law, both here in the UK and internationally.

"The survey results suggest that there are varying views within the Muslim community as to the extent to which polygamy is permissible. I'm not an Islamic scholar, but when I read the Qur'an, I interpret that polygamy is permissible only in exceptional circumstances. The poll results show that the majority of Muslims share my view.

"Yet the survey does highlight a perception that many Muslims interpret the Qur'an to mean that a man may take several wives, without exception."

Polygamy is discussed in two sections of the Qur'an (Sura Al-Nesaa' 4:3 and 4:127). The passages explain how polygamy may be allowed to protect widows and orphaned children.

The Qur'an permits polygamy on condition that the husband treats all his wives with equal respect, emotionally as well as financially. However, the Qur'an later describes the impossibility of treating several wives equally. Therefore monogamy is the norm for most Muslims.

Treating more that one wife equally does not mean treating them the same. One wife may want more time alone than another. One wife might want sex more often than the other. As long as the wives are having their needs met and he is having his needs met, it is a good thing, right? Legalize it.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

He's Considering His Mother

There's no way to know for sure if someone is being sincere or not when they submit a question to Yahoo Answers, but either way, we can learn something by the questions being asked and the responses given. The responses to questions like this one usually include a bunch expressing the standard prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry. It is always good to have the reasonable and helpful answers pop up, too. In this instance, the asker claims to be contemplating approaching his mother for a consanguineous sexual relationship.

my roommate from college has been my friend for the last 3-4 years and I found out hes been sleeping with his mom since he was 17. though i admit his mom is beautiful i was disgusted at 1st but i got over it cause hes probably my best friend and the coolest guy i know.

This is the best way allies are made: through personal relationships. It helps people get over an initial prejudice.

but hes been talking to me about it and though i didnt want to hear any of it at 1st the more he talks to me about it the more im liking it and last night while i was at my girls place the whole time i was picturing my mom and it disgusted me and excited me at the same time and now i think i wanna be with my mom cause ive begun to look at her as a women and i realized shes very attractive.

There are many factors to consider when comptemplating approaching anybody in addition to physical attractiveness.

please no trolls or a--holes do u think i should go for it or no i love her but im afraid that id ruin our relationship.

Well that’s the big consideration, isn’t it? Approaching some unrelated acquaintance who attends the same college might result in that person avoiding you in the future should they rebuff your advances, or should you stop seeing each other after a while. Or you might not want to have to sit in the same class. In that case, it is not a big risk. But it is a different matter when it is someone who is closer to you, or with whom you already have some existing relationship, whether familial, emotional, business, or otherwise.

This person appears to have a girlfriend, and I do not recommend having sex with anybody else when you have an existing vow to someone that precludes that. So even if the asker decides to approach his mother, he should only do so if he has broken it off with the girlfriend or has agreement from the girlfriend to sleep with others. And now that I think about it more, the asker does not mention if his mother has a husband, boyfriend, or dates, or other children, and those things matter. I'm assuming she doesn't.

All the research ive done so far has said that those that go into incest as consensual adults usually have happier lives if u can believe.

Generalizations can be problematic, but yes, there are people who are happier than they were before once they have a consensual consanguineous sexual relationship.

i just turned 22 and shes 37 and in truth i have been with older women and also she cant have kids she got her tubes tied long ago

Prior experience with older women can be helpful.

So what kind of responses were left? From the “Best Answer” came this:

You will have some hefty obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is the fact that your mom has not been having these sexual fantasies.

It is possible she has, however slim the chances.

But if you actually love your mother and don't want to just "do" her a couple of times to see what it's like, then you need to take a deep breath, step back and consider what will happen afterward. How will having sex with her change you, and change her? How will you act to each other?

Good advice.

What kind of people will you be once you lose the "mother/son" roles?

It can be more complicated than that. Do they have to lose those roles, or will they add to them?

And it is possible for consensual adult incest relationships to succeed. But it takes an incredible commitment, depth of understanding, partnership, and strength of character that most people simply are not capable of. Do you want to expose your mom to the risks you could be letting her in for, making her go through all the emotional pain and upheaval that you may or may not be willing to face yourself?

These are important considerations that apply somewhat to all relationships, but are more pronounced in an example like this.

On to another answer…

The best thing to do in this case is ask your friend if he is willing to share his mom. Your friend and his mom might like the idea of a 3 way and then you can decide if it is gross or not.

This makes no sense. First of all, just because the three of them all want consanguineous sex does not mean that any of the three of them (and it would take all three) want a threesome or ongoing triad. Having sex with one or two other people will not indicate if his feelings for his mother are a passing infatuation or something more.

Who knows if she and he are willing she might just let you call her mom.

Role playing is different from actual experience.

Women are beautiful, but complex creatures. The specifics of what one woman wants and what works in romancing or seducing one women might be very different from another woman. My advice in this case (if he has considered everything, both of them are free, and he does want to go ahead) is much as it would be in general:

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Film Includes Depiction of Iranian Polygyny

From what I know about present-day Iran, I do not think there is enough gender equality there. As such, relationships between men and women may have a de facto inequality. In addition, the Iranian President’s claim that there are no gays or lesbians in Iran is laughable and disturbing at the same time; disturbing because it is an indication of the ongoing persecution of LGBT people there.

Tomorrow, there will be a screening of a film, “Leila,” that centers on a monogamous man-woman marriage in Iran that appears to be headed towards polygyny.

Leila’s problems start shortly after she is married. She learns she is probably infertile. Her husband swears that he does not care, that she is important to him, not a future child. But Leila is worried that she has failed her husband. And his mother does everything in her power to make her believe that she has done just that. She does not let up in harassing and manipulating Leila, and slowly Leila becomes paranoid and continually tests the devotion of her husband. She finally persuades him herself that he has to look for a second wife to produce the child so important to carry on the family line.

I do not doubt that situations like this exist. What I don’t want is people to think that polygyny, or polygamy or polyamory in general is a bad thing. Where there is gender equality and LGBT rights, they can be good things, especially if people have marriage equality. Polygyny is more likely to be a bad thing where women don’t have true freedom.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Promoting Marriage Equality in the Media

Originally published in Loving More Magazine issue #30, John Ullman gives tips to poly people on how to be media savvy, but much of this advice can be applied to the broad rights of consenting adults to love, sex, and marriage. Being media savvy can do wonders to advance these rights.

Polys are a marginalized minority. We are, on occasion, subject to prejudice, misunderstanding, ridicule, and, albeit rarely, legal abuse. Our multi-partner unions do not receive the benefits and respect of the law or society that monogamous unions have. Our best defense is to tell our truth. We need to get our story to the public as often, as loud, and, especially, as clear as possible. To do this, we need to understand how the media works and put considerable effort into presenting poly to the media.

This article is not designed to tell you what to say about poly. That is your first job when you are contemplating giving a media interview or going on a show. You will have a limited amount of time or ink. Even if you are interviewed for twenty minutes, it is likely that only 20 seconds or a few sentences will make it into the final show or article. It is important to sort through all the things you might say and settle on two or three most important points. Much of this article is concerned with the art of crafting your message and practicing how to deliver it.

I strongly recommend reading the whole thing.
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It Is Normal

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Muslim Polygyny Contrasted With Multiple Sexual Relationships

From the Filipino version of Yahoo Answers comes this question

Muslims can you explain the difference between polygamy?
And ordinary multiple sexual relationships? I am unable to understand a distinction, the only difference to me seems that one is designated as a doctrine (In Islam) but in form they are completely homologous

I’m not Muslim, but the difference between polygamy and “ordinary multiple sexual relationships” is that polygamy specifically refers to marriage. As such, polygamy can be a subset of ordinary multiple sexial relationships, but there are other such relations that aren’t polygamy. Muslim polygyny is a subset of polygamy, and is often limited to a man having no more than four wives as a time. Most Muslims who recognize the validity of polygyny do not recognize the validity of polyandry or group marriages, which are the other basic forms of polygamy.

One person responding wrote…

marriage multiple or single marriages involve comitment and trust etc.

sex does not.

Another wrote…

Ordinary multiple sexual relationship without marriage in the name Allah which is called adultery/fornication or freesex is not allowed or haram in Islam.Mut'ah marriage for just as certain period is allowed in Islam.It is for legalising of adultery. Poliandry for woman in Islam is stricly prohibited Approaching adultery or zinah in Islam is prohibited too such as kissing,hugging and embracing with not mahram between a girl and guy

Another wrote…

Well when a man marries more than one WIFE...the women are treated equally and given the noble status of a WIFE not a mistress or someone they can sleep with one day and throw out the next........the women are given a share in property and the husband is mandated to provide all necessities for them including clothing/food/shelter/love/respect and honor...the husband is also responsible to provide for their children.....

As you know if you read this blog, I believe that gender equality is essential to marriage equality, so women should not be restricted from taking on multiple husbands. However, if someone chooses to be a Muslim and chooses the restrictions of Muslim monogamy or polygyny, they should be free to do that.

I also believe that, in contrast to the laws in some Muslim contries, consenting adults should be free to engage in sex and cohabitation without marriage, regardless of sexual orientation.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

FLDS Statements in Canadian Polygamy Case

Here's an article about some affidavits submitted by FLDS members in Canada's trial over polygamy.

What is surprising is that the affidavits are steeped in the myth of persecution. Filed in advance of the constitutional reference case, which is scheduled to be heard starting Nov. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court, they reveal that almost all of the fundamentalist Mormons say they live in fear of being jailed or having their children taken away from them.

Yet, the first time fundamentalist Mormon men were charged in Canada with polygamy was two years ago.

So then it shouldn't come as a surprise. It is fresh in their minds that they could be prosecuted for practicing polygyny.

There are other surprises. The affidavits clearly indicate that fundamentalist Mormons believe that if the anti-polygamy section of the Criminal Code is struck down in B.C. Supreme Court, they will get all of the benefits of Canadian society and more.

They believe it would mean an unfettered guarantee of religious freedom. And, unlike polyamorists who also want the section struck down, fundamentalist Mormons want as little as possible to do with secular Canadian society.

It's called freedom of association. It is a freedom that should protect the right to a poly home, too.

In fundamentalist Mormon doctrine -- unlike in the Qur'an -- there is no requirement that men must be financially able to support all of their wives and children.

I'm not an expert in Canadian law, but I'm guessing there is no requirement that one spouse must be financially able to support the other spouse and any children in a monogamous marriage.

But what is clear is that fundamentalist Mormons believe that a win in court would clear the way for them to set up a distinct society -- a theocracy within our secular, liberal democracy.

Again, this is freedom of association. It is important to make sure nobody is being kept somewhere against their will, or being forced to do anything against their will.  (And no child rape.) Other than that, let people live as they choose if they aren't harming others.

Canada can take another huge step towards full marriage equality by legalizing this freedom to marry, as it did with the freedom to marry one same-sex spouse.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sister Wives: What Do You Think?

I may gather some comments from the media on the TLC show "Sister Wives" recapping the first season, but first I wanted yo get YOUR take, whether you watched it or whether you have heard people talking about it. Do you think it is helping people to understand and accept polyamory? Or is it having the opposite effect? Or is it only applying to the public's perception of FLDS-style polygyny?
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Friday, October 22, 2010

How About Some Solidarity, Perez Hilton?

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton apparently has a problem with the Sister Wives of TV fame.

Just when you thought Sister Wives couldn't get any more disturbing, here comes the INCEST!

Star Magazine reports that polygamist and reality show stars, The Brown Family, are more about keeping things within the family than we all thought. In a shocking twist, it was revealed that Kody Brown's second wife, Janelle, was brought in as his wife shortly after she divorced her first husband - Kody's first wife's brother!

So what is the problem with that?

We'll say! This adds a whole new level of gross to the equation! Seriously, this is like incest!

"Gross?" "Disturbing"? What exactly is the problem, here? First of all, there is no consanguineous sex going on in this polygynous marriage. But even if there was, so what? Surely, Perez Hilton is aware that many people consider sex between two or more unrelated men to be gross and disturbing, and yet he apparently endorses that kind of sex and love. How does he feel when people take to the media to call his sexuality disturbing and gross?

Please, Perez Hilton, show some solidarity, and don't bully.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Iowa Bigots Parody Eharmony

You may have already seeing this video, which has appeared in several place, including Incest News. It is interesting to see bigots parody the bigoted business Eharmony, but that's not the main point.

The video is put out by a group upset that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in Iowa. Apprently, the bigots are attempting to use the “ick factor” that some people have towards consanguineous sex to gain political advantage, if not actually take away the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in Iowa. Taking away that right would be very difficult at this point, but bigots want to use the prejudice of voters and potential donors to manipulate. It also tries to reinforce the denial of the freedom to marry to consanguineous couples.

But notice something very important about the video. It doesn’t offer a single reason why anyone should oppose either freedom to marry. It merely appeals to animus. So typical of bigots.

This is a parody commercial showing a hypothetical dating site that matches you with your relatives. The point they are trying to make is that the court system is very lopsided and unfair when it comes to marriage and sexuality, picking and choosing preferred classes rather than applying the same rules to everyone.

Yes. The bigots want to exclude everyone from marriage except for supposedly monogamous, nonconsanguineous, heterosexual couples, preferably of the same race. And then there are those who neglect solidarity, who want marriage rights extended to just their group. But the best solution is full marriage equality, allowing consenting adults to form the marriages they want without anyone else telling them they can’t.

Hey, look at this.

Tim Hicks, who created and posted the video on YouTube, is a member of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City. In fact, nearly half of the videos he’s posted on YouTube are of the church’s pastor, Cary Gordon. The church is facing a possible IRS investigation over its campaign to convince other pastors around the state to encourage their congregations to vote against retaining three state Supreme Court justices on the ballot this fall.


This is another chance to stand up for solidarity. Will more people do so?
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Proposition H8 Update

Potentionally good news for the freedom of marriage for same-sex couples and perhaps full marriage equality for all. Opponents of California’s Proposition 8 (“H8”) submitted arguments to the federal appeals court in the case, asking the court to uphold the decision of the previous court that found Prop H8 to be unconstitutional on due process and equal treatment grounds.

See this story

Lawyers Theodore Olson and David Boies, representing the couples, cited U.S. Supreme Court cases that called marriage a fundamental right and "the most important relation in life."

"Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals," the attorneys wrote.

From this story

Proposition 8 is antithetical to the “principles of equality” on which this “Nation . . . prides itself.” It creates a permanent “underclass” of hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Californians (id.)—who are denied the fundamental right to marry available to all other Californians simply because a majority of voters deems gay and lesbian relationships inferior, morally reprehensible, or religiously unacceptable.

The same surely applies to polygamous and consanguineous marriages, which have a rich historical tradition.

From this story

Just as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Virginia ban on interracial marriage without creating a new right to interracial marriage, the court could overturn California's gay marriage ban on the grounds that all persons are free to decide whether or whom to marry, Olson wrote.

We certainly agree: All persons should be free to decide whether or whom to marry. We’re glad Olson agrees with us, and we home the panel will, too.
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Somewhat Friendly Discussion on Consanguineous Relationships

A1lion835 started a discussion about consanguineous relationships.

What's wrong with incestuous relationships? In my book, nothing.

I agree, as long as the participants are consenting adults (or both consenting minors who are close in age to each other) and they are not violating existing vows to others.

Usually, people's objections are that it's wrong/immoral/sick/against God's wishes/makes mutant babies.

It’s the same kind of prejudice that people have against other relationships, such as same-sex or poly or interracial or intergenerational adults.

junkimchi responded…

If you love a family member in a manner to engage in sexual relations, your relationship is obviously going to have to be limited unless you want to risk an offspring that will suffer many hardships.

The biggest problems seem to be… the prejudice of others. Prejudice is giving people an excuse to be prejudiced. Take away the prejudice, and those problems go away.

Ballistics wrote…

How is one so bored that they have to rely totally on their sister or brother for affection.

This doesn’t make sense. This is like saying, “The only reason you want to marry another guy is that you have trouble with women.” Most consangs have had relationships with others. The prefer to have a relationship with a close relative because that is who they love.

From there, the discussion goes heavily into genetics. The good thing to note is that it looks like we have some allies.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Congratulations to Haideri, Aslam, and Qasim

In Pakistan, a man is marring the woman his family picked for him, and another woman with whom he has already fallen in love. Polygyny is not uncommon in Pakistan, but having the weddings so close together is: two weddings in two days.

Azhar Haideri, a 23-year-old herbal medicine practitioner, wanted to marry his maternal cousin Romana Aslam and their engagement was organised a year ago. However, the final rituals were not conducted at that time because his parents wanted his paternal cousin, Humera Qasim, to become their daughter-in-law.

After almost a year of persuasion, it was decided by the elders of the family that “he will have to marry both”, local media reports said.

Haideri, a resident of Multan city in Punjab province, had no option but to go for it to be able to unite with his first love, Romana.

And what do the brides say about this?

Both the women say they think the compromise is a good one and they plan to live as sisters and friends, it was reported.

Congratulations to all!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

How You Can Help

I've added a "How You Can Help" page. We can move marriage equality forward.
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It's Good Enough For Your Brother, Mister President

US President Barack Obama’s brother has three spouses. Many Americans want to have that same freedom, or to just have one spouse that is of their choosing.

Obama can help by switching to publicly supporting full marriage equality. I suggest:

“Discrimination is wrong. Consenting adults should be able to get married, regardless of gender, number, or relation.”

Please, Mr. President. Stand up for full marriage equality.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Polygamy Doesn't Cause Gender Discrimination

Here’s another example of how predictable arguments against polygamy are.

What's your opinion of polygamy?

Looks great to me. Seriously, my opinion about polygamy is the same as my opinion about monogamy: It is good as long as everyone involved consents to relationship, wants to be in the relationship, and isn’t being abused.

Many consider the practice immoral and it's illegal in this country and most of the developed world. It's probably not just coincidence that few, if any, polygamous countries are liberal democratic societies in which women enjoy equal rights.

Yes? Well, it is high time we stop letting the oppressive countries have more freedom to marry than we do. How about letting women (and men) make their own choices about the person or persons she will marry?

Anthropologists have noted that in a polygamous society many men end up as "bare branches"--sexually frustrated and prone to enlist in violent enterprises, especially those that bring status and glory; a jihad, for example.

The freedom to marry includes the freedom to leave. And let’s not pretend that polygamous marriages have a monopoly on relationship problems. Should we ban all relationships? Gender discrimination can lead to forced polygyny. But polygyny is a right that is for the benefit of all where there is gender equality.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kirsty Paterson Has Sentence Reduced

To update a case we've been following, Kirsty Paterson has had her prison sentence removed by judges. She was convicted of the "crime" of having consensual sex with her father.

Both she and Stephen Paterson, 44, admitted committing incest after their sexual relationship was discovered and a sheriff jailed them for 16 months each.

Outrageous. This is the 21st century, and people are still getting assigned prison time for consensual sex.

But judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh quashed the daughter's prison sentence and placed her on probation for two years with a condition that she get counselling as required.

Why does someone need "therapy" for this?

The judge said it should be "immediately recognised" that incest was a serious offence and where committed by an adult on a child the adult offender could expect a prison sentence. But he added: "The situation of consensual intercourse between consanguineous adults is a different one."

Lord Carloway said the court required to mark its disapproval of Paterson's criminal conduct but ultimately had to consider whether sending her to jail was the appropriate method of dealing with her.

Of course loving sex is different than child molestation or rape. Carloway should have taken a stand against the absurdity of the law that punishes the former.

Paterson's father separately attempted to appeal against his sentence late, but it was refused.

Future generations are going to look back and wonder how these authorities could have been so hateful. Consenting adults have a right to sex, love and marriage.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poly Women Sought For Master’s Thesis

Poly women can be in high demand for other reasons, but in this case, it is for academia.

Looking for Interviews with Polyamorous Women

Have you been or are you currently in a consensual relationship with more than one partner, where all partners know about each other? Would you describe yourself or your relationship as polyamorous?

I am looking to interview women between the ages of 18-35 about their experiences in polyamorous relationships. I am especially interested in women from diverse race/ethnicities, social class backgrounds, and sexual identities. Participants must be currently living in the U.S. Interviews can be conducted in-person (if local to San Diego, California) or via e-mail.

All in-person interviewees will receive a $15 gift certificate to either or Barnes and Noble. E-mail participants will be entered into a lottery to win one of five $15 gift certificates to either or Barnes and Noble.

This is a research study being conducted as part of a Master’s thesis through San Diego State University. Your participation would be voluntary. You will be asked questions about your experiences with polyamory and its role in your life.

If interested, please contact Sarah Wheeler at with a short description about yourself (age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.) and your current or most recent polyamorous relationship. Please also indicate whether you would like to participate via e-mail or in-person interview. Thank you for your interest!

The more research, the better as far as I’m concerned, because more people will learn the benefits of polyamory, and the more people who will support polyamory and polygamy as right.
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Forbidden Author Interviewed by Jess Hearts Books

Jess Hearts Books scored an interview with Forbidden author Tabitha Suzuma. There was a review of the book previously on that blog, and here is my most recent mention of the book.

1.) How did you come up with the idea for Forbidden?

Consensual incest was a subject I had wanted to write about for a number of years. I kept rejecting the idea because I thought there was a good chance the subject matter would never get past the gatekeepers. I was only able to take the plunge once I had built up confidence in my writing ability through my previous four books. I was inspired by the desire to write a tragic love story. It came down to incest by a process of elimination. I wanted the book to be set in contemporary London and I needed the two teens in question to be old enough for their love for each other to be taken seriously. But I quickly realised that (fortunately) in modern-day Britain there are very few - if any - obstacles that could keep a couple in love apart. Cultural and religious difference maybe, but if the couple were determined enough to go against their families' wishes, they could always run away together. I needed something that would be condemned by everyone wherever they went - a relationship that could never be and moreover, was against the law.

Yes, in most places in the West, the criminalization of LGBT people, and to some extent, poly people, has been lifted, but there are still laws being enforced against people for having sex with a close relative.

Her fourth answer starts out good.

I think I actually became even more open minded about consensual incest during the writing of the book. I don't think it should be an imprisonable offence.

But then goes negative.

However, I do think that it should be discouraged and that couples who find themselves drawn into an incestuous relationship should seek counselling and should not be allowed to have their own biological children as the risk of genetic defects is so high.

Oh well. At least her book is doing some good.

Towards the end, a better answer…

10.) What do you hope readers take away with them after reading Forbidden? That things are not always as black and white as they seem. That everyone is different and it is often too easy to dismiss something as disgusting or wrong. That in some cases, in some situations, something universally perceived as 'wrong' can actually be harmless. And that you don't choose your emotions, you don't choose who you fall in love with. I also hope the book makes people more open-minded and less judgemental and encourages readers to have empathy for others, particularly for those who are different, isolated or troubled and lead difficult lives.

And maybe Suzuma herself will become more open-minded still.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Personal Freedom

Sruthi ponders polyamory

Now the question arises, to what extent should polyamory or open relationships be permitted in a society? After all, morality thickly veils every single decision of the heart. But the right question is, shouldn’t the individual be given a choice? Of loving one or more than one? If his/her partner is comfortable with that choice, shouldn’t it be left to the individual to see how the choice unfolds?

Yes, it should. Consenting adults should have the right to sex, love, and marriage, whether that is with one person or more.
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Tazanian Polygyny

This blog entry references a news article about Ancentus Akuku, a Kenyan who recently died in his nineties, leaving behind 100 wives before going on to talk about polygyny in Tanzania.

Although polygamy was the norm in Kenya during Akuku's time, the article cites that this practice has died out over the years. To whatever extent that claim is true in Kenya, this practice decidedly persists in Tanzania. We have seen many, many examples of polygamous marriages during our time here. Not only does polygamy continue to happen on an informal basis, it is actually sanctioned by Tanzanian law. Upon registration, a marriage license must be filed according to one of three classifications: polygamous, potentially polygamous, or monogamous. Incidentally any declared status can be "converted" to polygamous or monogamous by joint declaration at any time. As it exists, polygamous relationships are permitted only with the consent of the first wife, in fact maintenance of the other wives becomes the first wife's duty in cases where the husband is incapacitated or otherwise unable to earn a living.

Ideally, a legal marriage should have the consent of all involved. A marriage between two people should require the consent of both for a third person to be added, and all three of them would need to consent before a fourth person could be added, and so on. Also, while the blog entry was discussing polygyny, gender should not be taken into account from a legal perspective. The freedom to marry should be extended regardless of gender. If one woman wants to marry two men (polyandry), that should be no different, legally speaking, than one man marrying two women, or a marriage formed by two women and two men.

Let people make their own choices, instead of having a narrow construct forced on them from by others.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sentencing Delayed in Grant County Case

The authorities in Grant County, Wisconsin still have time to start to do the right thing.

Sentencing of the brother in the criminal case against a brother and sister for having consensual sex was expected today but has been pushed back to November 16.

My most recent previous update on this case is here.

Grant County, Wisconsin: Stop prosecuting adults for consensual sex.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Second Person Found Guilty in Consensual Relationship

More shame on Grant County, Wisconsin, where a case to two adults having consensual sex continues to he prosecuted. See my prior update on this.

A 20-year-old Platteville woman has been found guilty of incest.

Elizabeth Marie Roen was found guilty Wednesday in Grant County Circuit Court of having sexual intercourse with her 25-year-old brother, David Bisbach, at least 10 times in 2009 in the village of Blue River.

Again, why is this a crime?

Roen was sentenced to five years of probation, three months in jail with work release, and she must hold a full-time job or attend school, or make three job applications a week. She was placed on the sex offender registry and is not to have unsupervised visits with her brothers Chris or David.

Outrageous. Everyone involved in the prosecution and conviction should be ashamed of themselves. What consenting adults do in private should be nobody else's business.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010


Bullying has been a hot topic lately, as teens and younger children have been bullied to death, often because of their possible sexual orientation.

It is hard enough for adults to deal with the rejection and persecution of being out of the narrow, close-minded view of sexuality and identity. For children it can be so horrible that they literally can't take it any more, especially when people in their own family reject them because of who they are and the person or persons they love.

To any youth reading this, it does get better and it will get even better than adults have it now. The rights to sex, love, and marriage will be had by all. It is just a matter of time.

Suicide is not the answer. Gaining independence and distance from the bullies will bring a world of change.

Meanwhile, we should all stand up against bullying.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Unjust Antibigamy Law and "Sister Wives"

The TLC show "Sister Wives" continues to make news, in no small part due to a wasteful investigation by law enforcement authorities.

Only two weeks into the network's hit reality series "Sister Wives," the results of a felony bigamy investigation of the show's stars have been presented to the Utah County Attorney, who now must decide whether to file charges against Kody Brown and wives Mari, Janelle, Christine and Robyn.

Why file charges?

Bigamy is a felony in Utah, where the Brown family lives and the show is set, carrying a possible three- to five-year sentence upon conviction.

The law should be changed to that it only applies to nonconsensual bigamy.

To fight back, the Brown family has hired constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley, a noted critic of anti-polygamy laws. Turley said in an interview Wednesday that he's prepared with a legal defense if charges are filed.

Thank you,  Jonathan Turley, for standing up for the freedom to marry. These laws need to be changed. Until that happens, those persecuted under these unjust laws need to be defended. Nobody should be punished for consensual relationships.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monday is National Coming Out Day

Monday is National Coming Out Day in the US.

This has traditionally been a day on which LGBT people can feel the most support for coming out to family, friends, classmates, and coworkers. Are you ready to come out?

I also think that if you are polyamorous or consanguineous, there is no better day to come out, if that is what you are prepared to do. In some places, coming out as poly will subject you to the risk of prosecution under antibigamy laws, although in cases like that, it is usually obvious already that you are poly. The law doesn't seem to frown as much on being poly as long as you don't all actually live together, apparently. For consangs, however, there is much more risk in coming out, both socially and legally, as most states still have laws on the books that make it illegal for consenting adults to have with each other simply because they are closely related, or close enough. It is a ridiculous situation, but that's where we are for now.

However, if you are prepared to come out, I don't think there is a better time to find solidarity. And if someone comes out to you, won't you support them and show them solidarity?

Do you have a coming out story you want to share? Leave a comment sharing it.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lack of Equality Hurts

Polyamory Paradigm wrote about mistakes

Probably the biggest mistake I've made on my path with polyamory was trying to be monogamously married. I think I did a fair job at it but a lot of the time I felt something in my life was missing. I felt like I was being caged even though I knew I was trying to live up to a commitment I had made. Of course I wouldn't trade my kids for the world so not everything about it was bad. And I also learned that to make myself happy I can't deny who I am. At least at this point in my life I can't imagine being monogamously married again.

Trying to deny your nature, whether it is poly, LGBT, or consanguineous, leads to problems. It is better to discover who you are and be honest with yourself thank to try to confirm to something that is not for you, and dragging other people into a situation that isn’t for you. If it isn't for you, it won't be for them, either, because nobody wants to live with someone who is living a lie. Full marriage equality will discourage that destructive kind of self-denial.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is Poly the New Gay?

Polymory Paradigm looked at recent events and discussed whether or not poly is the new gay.

Being someone who wasn't (and isn't) strongly involved in the gay rights movement I have a hard time knowing if Polyamory is following the same path or not. What I do know is that most of the poly folk I talk to don't seem to be activists. Some have strong political opinions and will even stand up for their rights when it comes to sexuality, preserving nature, abortion and such but that is no different than monogamous folks.

Right. Poly people are very much like monogamous people, just like gay people are very much like straight people.

But most feel their right to practice polyamory isn't being directly impeded nor do they have any interest in converting other folks.

We should never pressure others into something that’s not for them; we should assist people who are struggling to have the freedom to live in a way that is for them. But make no mistake: polyamorists who are denied the right to marry the persons they love if they so choose are being impeded, just like gay people are in most of the US.

PP also looked at the legal situation in Canada

Why should you care? Because the case will likely put Canada further down the unexplored road of defining marriage than the U.S. Often Canadian and U.S. law are tied closely, or are even used as precedents.

Not to mention as Section 293 is currently written. . .
-it is possible any conjugal relationship could be punishable under the law.
-the law could be applied to someone dating, and having sex with, multiple partners but not in any formal relationship with any of them. Conjugal is typically understood to mean "sex".
-anyone attending a ritual, ceremony, or handfasting, regardless of legal recognition of the event could be prosecuted under the law.
-anyone who knows of a couple or group existing in a committed, but not legally sanctioned, relationship who doesn't report the relationship to authorities could be charged under the law.
-swinging could be illegal.
-threesomes could be illegal.
-Cheat on your girlfriend, she finds out, she calls the cops. 5 yrs in prison.

By the way, lack of sexual intercourse or abuse don't excuse guilt under the law. Furthermore, how you got into the relationship doesn't matter either.

Let’s hope Canadians gain another freedom to marry and move closer to full marriage equality.
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Self-Reporting of Consanguineous Sex

Here is a collection of claimed true accounts (might not be considered safe for work) gathered a while ago of consanguineous sex and relationships, as reported by those involved. It is entitled "The Thoroughly Disreputable Incest Digest." Since they were collected through e-mail, take the claims/confessions with as much salt as you need.

Some of the accounts are disturbing and describe what is clearly child abuse for which someone should rot. I wanted to call attention to the positive, consensual encounters that are in the mix, so I am quoting most of those below.

Considering how the consensual activities described are still illegal in many places, it is understandably difficult for anyone to make a collection in which the participants are identified and the accounts are verified.

I have edited the quotes to clean up typing errors and language.

I was seduced at an early age by an aunt and never regretted it whatsoever. It made me into a great lover of women.


I had sex with my cousin when I was 16 and she was 17. Before that we had kissed but that was it. I am now 23, we continue to have sex whenever it is possible. We both feel it has helped our sex lives extremely. We can share with each other fantasies that we are afraid to share with others. I would say that it was and has been the greatest sexual experience of my life. I love my cousin dearly for sharing all our times together.


My cousin and I have had sex on and off for the last ten years or so. It is very casual and we both enjoy it. It is very consensual since we were in our early twenty's when it started.

We both see other people and have been married before. She lives in the midwest and I live on the west coast so we don't see each other often enough to get bored with it.


Have had such experiences. Cousins, nieces, aunt, half-brother. All enjoyable. I agree this is an under-recognized part of our lives. Would like telling you about these, but do not totally trust this distribution system.


Hi, I read your note inquiring about those who have had incest. I am a 22 yr old college student and I have been sexually active with my twin sister since 14, we enjoy our relationship very much and are planning to live together after we both graduate from college this summer. Our dad died from cancer just a few weeks before we graduated from high school and a little over a year later mom joined us kids in our lovemaking and it has been wonderful making her happy. I am going to college close to home and I am home on most weekends. Mom and I spend a lot of time together in bed.


My guess is that a lot of siblings experiment sexually. My brother and I did. He was my first, and pretty much my only (at least my only steady sexual partner) in high school. It wasn't until we got back together again as adults, and reacquainted ourselves, sexually I mean, that we began to fall in LOVE. And that, I'm sure you know, is an entirely different thing all together.


I saw you post and thought that I would reply. I grew up with only one parent, my mother. After I grew up, I started college and rented a room from her. When I was 23, we started to have sex. It was a mutual thing and we continue to do it even today.


A few years ago I was divorced, my parents divorced shortly after and my mother moved in with me. This lasted for over 5 years. Yes I did think about what it would be like for more than a few years before anything happened. I was 35, she was 57 and still very good looking! She did almost everything else, walking around scantily clad, towel from the shower, had me zip up dresses etc. Then it just sort of happened.

Finally she got feeling pretty good at a friends wedding reception that we attended, she was my "date". That night we just fell into bed together, she had begun to undress in front of me. She was very horny and turned out to be a wild woman in bed! I never had any regrets about this!


Yes. I f---ed my mother and a female first cousin several times. It was the most thrilling form of sex i ever experienced due to the forbidden nature of it.

I also tried to get my younger sister to try incest with me but she never did, although once she almost did after a few beers. she let me fondle her t--- and a-- through her clothes but when it came down to actually getting naked and f---ing she chickened out.

My experiences with my mother and first cousin though were both consensual and thrilling. I f---ed my mother at the age of 35, she 59 and my cousin when I was 23 and she was 21. So there you have it.

Some of these accounts might be made-up fantasies, of course, but even that shows that some people desire these things. Consider my friends, consider some of my links I have on this blog. People are engaging in this activity or want to. Shouldn't they have their rights as consenting adults like anybody else?
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Marsha Marsha Marsha

As you may know, Canada has been considering the poly freedoms. The Toronto Star printed a letter from a Marsha Vandergaast of Newcastle, inspired by recent coverage, including the paper’s coverage of “Sister Wives.”

It is disturbing to see the media's growing acceptance of polygamous marriages.

Polygamous marriages exist. The media has been reflecting that. What is wrong with that?

Although often denied by those within a bigamous marriage, women in these situations are not treated the same as men.

This is a broad brush. There are women who freely choose a polygynous situation.

Our Western culture's emphasis on freedom has made us hesitant to judge any other culture or lifestyle.

Where is the harm is letting people have the freedom to marry?

Yet, by doing so we have allowed groups of people to believe that women are inferior to men.

I support gender equality and marriage equality. They go hand in hand.

It is equally appalling that the police have stated that they avoid prosecuting these types of relationships.

Why should the police get involved when consenting adults choose a life together? We know the letter writer doesn’t want people to have that freedom, but she hasn’t given as a reason why.

Yes, there are dangers out there that may keep police busy, but allowing these lifestyles is teaching our society to accept the subservient role of women.

It seems to me that if you have two or more women and one man, then the women are collectively going to have more power than the man. They may choose not to exercise that power. But I suspect Marsha would still oppose polygamy even if it was two men and two women.

How often do the media show relationships of one woman with three men?

Not often enough. (I think we may have found Marsha's true desire.) But how many of those relationships exist? Marsha may see the women in the news as subservient, but what she sees is a function of cultural elements other than being able to marry more than one person. She has not made a good case for denying this freedom to marry.
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Good Ponderings

One of the poly blogs I like to check is Pondering Polyamory. Recently, Felicty wrote about some of the wrong reasons to be poly.

#1 – You are bored with your current partner, or the relationship has passed its expiration date… but you don’t have the balls to break up with (or divorce) him/her.

This is a good point. There is a reason you picked the partner you did. If you made a mistake, or one or both of you has changed, or the relationship has run its course, or you have learned more about yourself or your partner that makes a future impossible, why drag someone else into that situation? You might need to take some time away from having any partner to get yourself into a place where you can be a better partner or find a partner (or partners) more compatible with you.

Go read about the other two wrong reasons Felicity lists. These are in addition to all of the bad reasons to get into any relationship at all.

In another entry, Felicity has advice for anyone who has one partner but wants to go poly:

Word of advice: Be real about who you are and how you want your life to be. Let Existing Partner decide if that version of “you” fits in with their way of being… And let the cards fall where they may.

Polyamory should never, never, ever become an exercise in emotional manipulation and arm-twisting. I’ve seen that implementation of polyamory up close and personal, and it is a terrible thing that brings joy to absolutely no one.

Good advice.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Polyamory Lacking Representation at LGBT Events

Polly, one of our favorite poly bloggers, wrote a few weeks back about her thoughts at an LGBT event.

We did not, however, see any openly polyamorous folks. At least, we didn't see anyone holding hands with more than one person at a time. Gabe wasn't with us, so we were not able to represent, even if we felt like being open in public. There might have been some poly people lurking somewhere being stealthy. We poly people can blend, when we want to. I suspect that our ability to blend is part of what makes people uncomfortable with polyamory. Look out! We're everywhere!! We might be looking at your butt! (For those who actually worry about this sort of thing - being polyamorous does not mean we actually do look at your butt, and it certainly doesn't mean we would care about your butt even if we do look at it.)

We also didn't see any booths promoting or supporting polyamory. That sucked.

It would be nice to see some solidarity. I suspect it was more of a matter of poly people not stepping up. I'm hoping it was that, and not the even organizers keeping them out.

I had to suppress the urge to say, "You know, Stuart snuggles with another guy. He can totally be here. And I've snuggled with women, before, too..." I imagined having a t-shirt with a picture of both of my husbands that says, "I'm with both of them." There are a lot of LGBTQ folks that actually resent or disapprove of polyamory, though - so perhaps the latter wouldn't be so effective.

I really had hoped there would be some support for poly at the pride event. I am not quite up to hosting a booth myself - especially with the ramifications that being an open poly representative could have for my kids. I just wish there were some childless poly people there to lend poly folks a voice, so I could stop by to say thank you and good job.

That's the rub, isn't it? We need more people to come out, but who wants to take the risk? My friends and I can be more open in some places than others with the poly stuff (and Linda and Melissa with the same-sex affection), but not about the consanguineous nature of the relationship.

One theme I've heard from some lesbian and gay folks is, "Hey, we've done the work for gay rights - now you have to do the work for poly rights." Yes, this is true. But honestly, I've helped to do the work for gay rights, too, by being a vocal supporter of LGBTQ folks from the very beginning. Why can't they lend me a hand, now, too?

Very good point. Equality just for some is not equality. Everyone should have the right to sex, love, and marriage regardless of birth or the number of persons.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Be Clear About Polyamory

I’m not sure what to make of this sex column edition on polyamory, written by Chance Petek. It seems cautiously supportive, but it carries a title “There’s No ‘I’ in Threesome.” While some polycules involve strictly, primarily, or occasionally sexual threesomes, not all polycules involve threesomes in the sense most people use the word. Two of the people involved may never have sex with each other, but they both have sex with the third person. Or, they do have sex with each other but not while they are having sex with the third person, with whom they both have sex at different times. And yes, some involve all three having sex together. And this doesn’t even cover situations where there are four our more people involved (like mine), and neither does the term “threesome.”

So then the idea of polyamory to me is impacting as many lives as I can with my own in a positive light. Between a girl and me, energy can turn sexual or it may not. Polyamory is not a sexual idea. It's an overall relationship idea. The more opportunities you give yourself to be happy with someone, the better your success rate will be.

As for multiple partners at the same time, that is a dangerous walk. In our society, someone practicing polyamory is doing it in secret. We call them "cheaters" and there is a sweet show about them and how low-lifey they are.

Cheating is not polyamory. Polyamory is open and consensual.

However, jealousy can easily rear its ugly head.

Polyamory isn’t for everyone. We do not want to deny anyone their right to monogamy, or celibacy for that matter.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Lesbian Compares Her Past Monogamy to Current Poly

Sometimes, you can find some good perspectives at the Experience Project. PeggyO, who is in her late 40s, shared why she is glad she discovered polyamory and why she enjoys it. She’s a lesbian who had experienced long-term monogamy in a marriage relationship before discovering she is poly. I have not removed her typing errors.

Single now for a little over two years - I am suprised and rather shocked at my own desires to seek polyamorous relationships. I have read some books - agree with certain points made. A strong argument is the could you only love one child if you had more than one? no! you would love each one and accept them for who they are. I have always been one - who has had a wide variety of friends - good friends, I value my freindships and actually each one of those is a sort of relationship of thier own. This is especially true in the lesbian world where our friendships bonding can be quite close. So - I make connections and let them unfold as they do at a natural pace, and should it become sexual and the feelings are mutual - I invite that into my life.

She found seeking monogamy to be confining and something that brought her loneliness.

I just seems - when I was living the "monogomous" life - unless for me to cross "that" line and become intimate with another - I had to have all my ducts lined up perfect with THIS person - they must show that they are THE one - the perfect one to allow to bring myself into a "relationship" the thing is - with this thinking - you end up doing a whole lot of eleminating and much more time being lonely- but that "perfect" one could be around the corner.......

As you’ll find with many poly people and anyone else, she points out that it isn’t just about sex.

At the same time - it is not all about just sex with me - it is about knowing that woman and feeling good about expressing some mutual attractions, careing and sharing - even if our "time" together does not last until all enternity.

It is a good relationship for that time. It may not always be. She is selective…

I still look for women of character - when deciding to become intimate - so as to give myself some feeling of grounding and trust building. I am actually rather selective on who I choose to become intimate with. I do however feel very strongly - I would not wish to be required to "drop" one of my other intimate connections - so as to make any new one I make feel "safe and secure"

She gives a good explanation of why polyamory is what she needs…

Mono and Poly, it it like comparing apples to oranges. I loved my apples for a long time - I just now am enjoying oranges. This is even a better comparison. I have this unique opportunity do my having flight benefits - I live in two different areas / states - have for nine years - I live in the beautiful Cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest for part of the week and then in a beautiful metropolis city during the other part of the week. So - everyone love to ask me - which is better to live? The mountains or the city? they almost insist it has to be either / or. I say Both! each area as their good side to it and also their bad side. I am just lucky that I get an opportunity to experience BOTH - experience and live it - in THIS I find true happiness :)

She should have equal rights, so that she can pursue happiness.
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