Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hate Hurts

Prejudice and bigotry, the kind that opposes things like full marriage equality, hurts. It is destructive.

Here’s a reminder from comments made by someone who is in a consanguinamorous relationship initiated through Genetic Sexual Attraction…

I looked at sites like this months ago, too, and stopped for the very reason you stated.. society reacts with horror and I was getting pretty depressed and scared. I hated reading comments ranging from outrage to extreme disgust from others who have never gone through anything remotely similar and don't even stop to consider the specifics surrounding why this is happening. I already feel like a ... well, an outsider with "wrong" emotions and others reactions which are filled with closed minded negativity rooted in ignorance and mean spirited senses of humor, which typically got worse and more crude and offensive once they banded together, disgusted me right back. It's like High School and we're all picking on the _____ kid and making him completely miserable for our own entertainment. Sad and disappointing.

It is bullying that needs to stop, not loving relationships.

I was a normal person with a normal life before this. I still am. I'm not a deviant and I'm not confused, undereducated, or brainwashed. As a woman, a daughter in this GSA web, I constantly feel the need to fight for my right to be recognized as a stand alone person in charge of her own identity, future, and choices. I'm not a feeble minded little girl (I'm almost 30) who doesn't understand what's going on as her dad, who apparently knows better, takes advantage of her. Gross! That tastes like abuse to me and is so far from the truth it's not even funny.

Those who deny the consanguineous freedom to marry, especially those who support laws criminalizing consanguineous sex, often try to justify their prejudice by citing abuse. But these are loving, mutual relationships and have nothing to do with predatory abuse. The person I quoted has long been an adult and is obviously intelligent and capable of making decisions. Why shouldn’t she be free to have a relationship with any other consenting adult, even if that adult is her biological father?
— — —

Prejudice Against Consanguinamory Even Impacts Stepsiblings

Someone calling Ashamed Stepbrother wrote in to a column called Straight Talk about his first sexual experience, which was with his stepsister (it is implied they don’t live together.)

She's 17 and I'm 16. She seduced me and was well prepared, supplying me with a condom.

Sounds like the dream of just about every heterosexual 16-year-old boy who isn’t tightly wound up against sex... having a girl seduce him... a slighter older girl, no less.

It's the first time I had sex, but instead of feeling good about it, I feel guilty and ashamed. Even though she seduced me, it's no excuse. Though it's technically not incest since we're not related, it sure feels like it.

So the problem for him wasn’t the sex, it was that some would see this as incest, and he’s been taught that even consensual incest is wrong.

To make matters worse, she loved it and wants to make it a regular thing when we're here alone. She came across as experienced, so I'm sure this wasn't her first time. I don't know how to deal with her, or my own guilt and shame.

Nobody should have sex if they don’t want to. If he, or anyone else, does not want to have sex (again), that person should make that clear.

However, if Stepbrother’s concerns are about this being incestuous, he shouldn’t let that stop him. He should consider this situation on its own merits. Is she right for him, right now? Is this the kind of relationship he wants?

Some people would consider this sociological incest. It may even be illegal in some states, even if the age of consent is 16. But it shouldn’t be. They are close in age. Why would it be preferable they have sex with strangers or classmates who don’t really care about them instead of each other? Just because their parents married each other? So what?

Lauren responded…

We get a fair amount of mail involving attraction between stepsiblings who are still together in the home.

I am not surprised.

From these letters, I can safely warn everyone away from moving forward in these relationships.


For those who consummate their attraction, even though they know it's not incest, it often feels that way.

That’s not a reason not to have sex. It is a reason not to listen to people who say consensual sex is wrong.

If there are attractions between stepsiblings, it's best to ignore them and look elsewhere.


If attraction persists after you are out of the nest, make sure it's worth the risk. Stepsiblings do get married - it's perfectly legal - but if you divorce, the effect on the rest of the family can be devastating.

Divorce usually causes problems regardless. Often marriage itself brings problems that weren’t there before (which makes divorce the right thing in some cases). Should everybody simply avoid personal relationships entirely, for the sake of avoiding problems?
— — —

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Considerations When it Comes to Polyamory

At Not an Odalisque, the blogger was inspired by a question from a “married vanilla friend” to write slighly tongue-in-cheek The Perils of Polyamory. The blogger's lover, who visits, is married.

If you’re in a socially acceptable relationship, with someone of the requisite age, race and gender, it is easy to get inadvertently caught up in a romantic narrative leading to cohabitation, marriage and Labradors. Even when I’ve been explicit about not wanting that, previous partners have convinced themselves that we’re heading that way. I like being free of all those expectations, and one way to achieve that is dating someone who’s your father’s age, whose parents call you rude names in a language you don’t understand, you or who is already married. It’s rather liberating. No one’s granny has ever said, “So, I hear you’ve seduced Deirdre’s husband, do I hear wedding bells?”

This is someone who doesn’t want to be married, and that’s fine. Everyone should be free to not marry just as they should have the freedom to marry.

Among the “Perils of Poly,” according to the author, are…
— — —

New York Brother and Sister Deny the Rumors

It shouldn’t be an insult or slander to say that two people have multidimensional love for each other. What am I talking about? This story from New York about septuagenarian siblings who say their landlord is telling others they are consanguinamorous.

Clara Sharma, 75, and her roommate-brother, Charles Steene, 71, claim their landlord is trying to roust them from their rent-stabilized Manhattan digs by spreading vicious rumors that they share more than just an apartment.

Sharma told The Post that management of the Morningside Heights building waged a whisper campaign against them, prompting tenants to believe she sleeps with her brother.

It is too bad that such rumors would have any power. It would be nice if we were to the point, as a culture, in which most people would say, “So what?”

“It’s character assassination,” Sharma said. “I’m not that kind of person. I was never that hard up that I would tap on family.”

It’s not a matter of being hard-up, unless she is saying her brother is not an attractive person.

A neighbor, Alan Messmann, called her “wacky” last year, and then referred to her as “an incestuous little witch,” Sharma alleged in a $50 million Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed last week against Messmann for slander.

Robert Cohen, who heads the management company, said the charges “are completely without merit.”

This kind of thing used to happen more with rumors that someone was gay or lesbian. It doesn’t matter. So what if they are? The problem is the prejudiced reactions and fears some have over the sexuality of others. It doesn’t matter if your neighbors are gay, or polyamorous, or consanguinamorous, or anything else that has no negative impact on you whatsoever. The only time it is ever relevant is when someone is trying to keep someone else from being who they are or sharing their love, while secretly doing the same thing themselves. But these siblings are not running a political campaign to deny marriage equality, so what would it matter if they like to get it on after watching "Matlock" reruns or "The Price is Right"? I'm sure a lot of people their age wish they were so lucky.

When we have full marriage equality, it will take away a lot of power from such rumors.
— — —

Prejudice Leads to Ridiculous Statements

Here’s a sickening story of alleged abuse out of Anderson County, Texas. Stick with me on this. This is relevant to this blog’s topic.

A fourth person has been arrested in connection to a child sexual assault case involving an East Texas preacher.

Karen Sapp, 25, is charged with injury to a child.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says Sapp knew the girl was being assaulted and did not report the abuse.

Someone who knows a child is being abused and does nothing about it is a horrible person. Someone who is supposed to have your back and stands by as you are abused or assaulted is a horrible, horrible person.

A case that began with a young girl's preacher, 68-year-old, Larry Gene Martin, who's accused of molesting her at the family's home.

At the time, Martin, who pastored at Faith Bible Church in Palestine, was living at the child's home with her parents and two brothers.

As the investigation continued, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says her parents became suspects.

Why? This is why…

Sheriff Taylor believes [her parents] encouraged the relationship.

If that is true, they are evil people. And that's not a relationship. That's a crime.

Authorities say the child was yet again failed by a close, family friend.

According to court documents, authorities collected photographs and computer chats that implies Sapp knew of the abuse, but did not report it.

That would also be evil.

Here comes the part of the article that baffles me.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this case, says Taylor, are allegations of incest.

"There is some allegations that some sexual assault occurred between--or sexual contact between her and her next to the oldest brother, which is a little younger than her.”

So if she and her brother, who is younger than her and thus a minor, had sex, that is supposed to be the worst of it? Even if it was assault, how could be worse than her own parents, who are supposed to protect her, encouraging some creepy old minister to rape her? If she had loving sex with her younger brother, and that’s what I hope it was, it would be some much-needed comfort, given that the adults around her were allegedly such monsters. Yet, it is presented by law enforcement and journalists as somehow the worst part about the whole thing. That is what bigotry towards consanguineous sex does.

It would have been nice if the journalists had gotten Taylor to clarify whether the situation with her brother was a matter of sex or if it was assault. There’s an enormous difference between those things, even if bigots like to pretend consanguineous sex is abuse.

If these four adults are guilty, they should do some hard time. If she and her brother end up together, they shouldn't even have so much as a funny look from the authorities.
— — —

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alabama Prosecutes For Consensual Sex

It is possible that this is a case in which a young man raped or sexually assaulted his mother and she is now covering for him. If so, he should have been tried for rape. Or, it could be a case in which this was consensual sex, in which case it is ridiculous to apply laws against incest.

Gary Helms Jr. and his family were spared further embarrassment and pain as he entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning on charges of incest.

Helms, 24, of Albertville was facing first-degree rape charges in a case dating back to 2006. At that time, Helms was accused of raping his mother as she allegedly lay drunk and passed out on the family's couch. The act was a way to get back at Helms' brother in an argument over a woman, according to police reports at that time.

The article doesn’t say how this was brought to the attention of authorities. It is possible that the brother was jealous of the consensual sex and played the rat.

From the beginning, Helms' mother, Vickie Helms, had argued the event was not rape and she never swore out a warrant against her son or pressed charges, said Gary Helms' attorney Mike Mastin.

"Gary Helms was charged initially with the rape of his mother. It has been our position from the beginning that it was consensual sex, as weird as it may sound," Mastin said.

It only sounds weird that consensual sex would still be prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Helms agreed to a blind plea in front of Judge Tim Jolley and now faces sentencing on Nov. 7. A blind plea means court officials have not guaranteed any type of sentencing agreement at the time of the plea.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. If this was consensual, it is unjust that it was prosecuted at all. Fines, imprisonment, or being placed on a sex offender registry for consensual sex? With any luck, the court will be lenient.

Testimony began in the case Tuesday afternoon and Abel said Helms' mother was slated to give testimony Wednesday.

"This event happened in 2006 and Mr. Helms was indicted in 2007," said Jolley.

"Since that time, there has been considerable trouble getting his mother to court. At this time, we had to put her in jail to ensure she would be available to testify."

Mastin confirmed Vickie Helms had left Marshall County after the incident.

"Her intent was not to be found," Mastin said. "Her testimony would have been difficult for her to give and for the court to hear."

Rape and sex are two very different things.

Mastin said witnesses testifying on Tuesday helped his client more than it helped the prosecutors.

"The witnesses the state put on (Tuesday) helped us and gave some background into the family and its relationships," Mastin said.

"We were prepared to put on additional testimony to show there was no force involved.

"I think the District Attorney's Office came to the same conclusion and dismissed the rape charge. We agreed all along that incest is what happened. If (Gary Nelms) would have been charged with that, we would have pleaded to that. Incest is sexual intercourse between the mother and son, and he never denied that."

An adult should be free to have sex with any consenting adults. The deciding factor should be consent.
— — —

Looking to Keep Uncle, Niece Apart

rdmiller70 started a discussion looking for legal advice about how to stop a consanguinamorous couple.

I am a friend to a woman and her children.

So am I. Aren’t many of us? I mean, not the same woman.

I have known them for some time. One of her children, a 16 year old girl has had many things go on in her life, including her real father molesting her for most of her life.

That’s a biological father, but not a real father.

He was eventually arrested and died in prison.

Painfully, I hope.

The girl (I shall call her Amanda), has had many sexual encounters since moving to live with her mother beginning at the age of 13.

Where was she before?

Some of these encounters involved older men.

In most places, that’s called rape.

Recently, the woman's brother helped her to find a house not far from him and his family so that they could take care of each other. It seemed to be a good thing to happen as both families were happy and seemed to enjoy each other's company. However, the brother was having some marital problems at home. He and his wife had not been getting along well and at some point they separated.

During the separation, the woman, my friend, made sure she included her brother in every function they had. He took an interest in her kids, his neices, and helped her with them. However, when Amanda turned 16, he and her entered into a sexual relationship.

I must admit, I found this to be very disturbing and disgusting when I was told about it. Apparently, both Amanda and her uncle claim it is a consensual relationship. Here in West Virginia, 16 is legal age of consent. Neither one has said who started it, but history would suggest that it very well may have been Amanda.

My friend has turned to me. She is no longer speaking to her brother and she has barred her daughters from having any contact with him. It is tearing up her own family as Amanda has said that she wants to be with him.

So… it is okay for Amanda to have sex with older men who are essentially strangers but not someone who more likely loves her?

My question is this: What, if anything, can Amanda's mother due legally against this man? He had a sexual relationship (he is in his early 40s) with her daughter at 16. He is the girl's uncle. What can she do? Is there any legal recourse? She doesn't want her daughter to get into trouble, but she feels he should have been able to turn her away.

Last I checked, the laws in West Virginia are so anti-consanguinamory that the state doesn’t even allow first cousins to marry, so she can turn them in under “incest” laws. I would consider that an abuse of law. The mother needs to understand that Amanda is going to have sex. She’s reached the age of consent. I would ask the mother to make these considerations. The uncle may or may not be the right man for her right now, but should the force of law be used to pry them apart? Yes, she was abused by someone who should have protected her, but does that mean she should never be free to choose to have sex? If she has found enjoyment and comfort, why not let her be? There is also the risk that authorities would prosecute her as well. Keep the law out of it. Don't be a rat.
— — —

Considering Consanguinamory

aidencorbett writes in this blog posting about looking for sex, and the hypothetical of finding it with a close relative.

But that’s not an issue when you have the one person you truly love. A person that’s around for the better or worse.. better yet, there for you whenever you even think about “making love”.

That may be all good and true.. but what if the relationship was that of an incest one? Would the love and conditions be approachable for that matter? Would the rules apply?

Which rules? If someone wants to know if they should have sex with someone, here are my suggestions for deciding. One should treat others with respect, sex or not.

While it’s a complicated relationship, it still has its pro and cons.

There are definitely benefits to consanguinamory.

People often find the idea of an incest relationship as being repulsive, but what if we put ourselves in their shoes? Would it feel different?

You don’t have to want to do something yourself to grasp the idea that different people like different things and can have relationships you wouldn’t want.

Would the sex be better?

Many people report that nothing else compares.

Incest relationships have been doomed to fail, as to why most religions look down on such relationships.

Not sure what is meant by that. Consanguinamorous relationships are not doomed to fail. Some last exactly as long as they should, including until death. Some religions condemn such relationships, along with many other relationships and things like dancing or women not covering their ankles.

When it comes to getting laid.. does it matter if that it’s with a person of relation to ones self or for a bigger issue, being in an incest relationship? Do we put too much strain on ourselves just to get laid? Is sex the new religion to which an incest relationship is of no big deal?

Sounds like AC is dealing with some heavy personal contemplations.

For some, it is just about “getting laid.” For some others, it is about a lifelong romance that leads naturally to making love. And many others fall somewhere between. To each his own. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults without fear of prosecution, persecution, or discrimination.
— — —

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dargers Come Out

I’ve been busy lately, and hadn’t yet gotten to the flurry of media coverage of the Dargers. Along with the coverage of the Browns as the new season of “Sister Wives” arrives, the Dargers, who inspired the fictional “Big Love” series, have come out of the shadows to promote a book, Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage.

To Joe Darger, his three wives, Alina, twins Vicki and Valerie, and their 24 children, they are just like any American family -- except for a different family structure.

There are many other families like that.

"It's very much part of our culture. It goes back six generations for me. I had a very positive experience growing up," Joe Darger said today on "Good Morning America."


More than 20 years ago, Joe married wives Alina and Vicki on the same day. Joe and Alina had seven children and at the same time, Joe and Vicki had another eight. A third wife joined the family when in 2000 Joe married Vicki's twin sister, Valerie, and they had another four children – not to mention the five kids Valerie already had from a previous marriage. Between them, this blended family of one husband and three wives shares responsibility for 11 boys and 13 girls.

Sounds like quite a family.

Independent Fundamentalist Mormons, the four parents detail their lives with three spouses, three master bedrooms, two dozen children, how they keep it all together, and the relationship challenges that ensue.

The women admit that jealousy is part of human nature and they can't help but feel pangs at times, but they lean on one another for support and dig deeper into their faith.

Each of their individual relationships with Joe is a private one.

In other words, the women are not married to each other. Each one is married to Joe. Shouldn’t they be able to legally marry and live like this without the threat of prosecution?

There were come comments on the article.

From one…

Wait... he married two sisters? So their kids are siblings AND cousins.

What’s the problem with that? This has happened with monogamists, too, when one siblings dies and the other sibling marries the widow or widower. Or it happens through affairs. I don't think this is illegal anywhere.

From another…

This family is clearly more happy and stable than many monogamous relationships with 24 children it still works. Who are we to judge them? Last I checked this country was about freedom, including freedom to disagree. Not to impose our personal beliefs on others. The question is, is anyone being harmed. No.

Thank you!

And finally…

I am in a plural relationship that I never intended to be in. My wife and I were very happy and were not looking to change. We became friends with our partner and it just grew into love and now we can not see our lives any other way. We prefer the word Polyamory, because it focuses on the love. The relationship is not about sex (as my fantasies may have hoped) it is about love and a commitment to suporting those that you love. There are struggles and things we constantly work on, but when we work on them together, we usually can't figure out why they were a struggle in the first place.

There have been many more articles on the Dargers, and maybe I’ll be going through some of them here. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. Perhaps the Browns and the Dargers will help bring about full marriage equality sooner rather than later. It would be great to see a polyandrous family make the same impact, and a married same-sex couple wanting to legally add a third person.
— — —

If You're Around NYC Tuesday Night...

Damon L. Jacobs, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, had this announcement on his blog...

I am so thrilled to be a guest speaker at the monthly Open Love NYC Discussion Group this Tuesday, September 27, from 7:30-9:30. The topic is "Rational Polyamory" and reflects my growing interest in helping people create wonderfully joyful, fulfilling, and rationally based relationships with others.

Individuals who share love and affection with more than one person are uniquely positioned to experience deeper levels of pleasure and satisfaction in all relationships. But without certain principles they may often flounder and become frustrated. I will be offering an easy roadmap for participants to implement in order to gain more satisfaction and fulfillment in their daily interactions. Attendees will learn how to:

• Improve rational communication that promotes respect, integrity, and efficacy in interpersonal relationships with multiple partners.
• Learn the value of staying present and ways to maintain here-and-now focus.
• Explore impact of "drama" in increasing frustrations and resentments.
• Gain tools for managing and inevitable insecurities that arise in poly relationships.
• Maintain responsibility for one's own emotional wellness and state of serenity in relationships.

Tuesday, September 27 – 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Manhattan Theater Club
311 West 43rd Street at Eighth Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Subway to Times Square or Port Authority

Admission: $10 at the door (includes membership bracelet)
$8 for Open Love NY members with 2011 member bracelet
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Let Dad Have His Fantasies

The recent letter Dan Savage answered about finding incest porn on a family member's computer prompted a couple of letters that he printed.

Everyperv wrote...

The letter from DAD in this week's column made me really sad. I'm a woman who sometimes reads incest porn—which is difficult for me to type—and I'm not disturbed, I was never molested, and while I love my own dad, I definitely don't ever, ever, EVER want to f--- him. Nor do I think about him or anyone else in my family while I'm reading incest stories. (And if I happen to, it ruins the fantasy.)

That's the way it is for some people.

You're absolutely right: it's power relationships and taboo-breaking that's erotic.

For some, it has nothing to do with power nor breaking of taboos, though. There are different reasons, and that's fine.

And it's just fantasy! And I understand how it must look to someone who doesn't have this particular kink but—oh my god—it's terrifying to imagine someone finding incest porn on my computer's search history, mistaking it for a real desire, and then destroying my family over it.

Even if it is a real desire, so what? For some people, that is real, and for some people there are lasting relationships as a result.

No Mommy Issues wrote...

It's possible that the incest porn is only a coincidence. For example, I like to look at porn involving women who appear to be my wife's age. I'm not interested in the particular scenario, just the visuals. If you searched my internet history you might find mother-son porn simply because the women involved look a certain way.

That's a good point. There was this comment...

Just chiming in here with a vote for the Dad on this one...

I'm 45 and have had intense incest fantasies since high school... and these fantasies actually do include my father, but I would never never act on them, even if he offered it (and trust me, he wouldn't.)

Let's assume for a moment that her father DOES find her sexually attractive. Why is that a problem? I've been hit on by some men, and I'm almost exclusively, completely heterosexual. I found it flattering, even though I was turned off by the thought of so much as kissing those men. It isn't a problem if someone finds you sexually attractive. It is a problem if they make passes you after you make it clear you're not interested, or if they do worse. That's not the case here.
— — —

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Casting Call

Check out this casting call.

Casting Call Information
City: New York Area
State: CT, NJ, NY, PA

Seeking married or committed couples in their 20's-30's whose pairing may seem "taboo", "unorthodox", or "unusual" to people who don't know you. We are out to prove that true love can take many different forms, and we'd like you to share your story to prove it.

This is a pilot for a major cable network. The episode will feature two couples who are living in total bliss and in love with each other BUT whose relationship might be considered unusual by others. It could be the way you met, an odd living situations, polyamorous relationships, a seemingly mis-matched couple, an perfectly arranged marriage, AS LONG AS YOU ARE DEEPLY IN LOVE.

Ideally we would find married couples, but a deeply committed relationship will be considered.

New Jersey does not prosecute consanguinamorous relationships, at least that was so the last I checked. However, there is always a risk in coming out, especially on television. The write-up seems supportive, but you never know, especially with "reality" television. Things get edited the way THEY want.

This could help reach full marriage equality, it could hurt. Be very cautious if you contact them. I do think we need to get more polyamory and consanguinamory (and LGBT) representation on TV, but I also support the decision to stay in the closet out of caution.
— — —

Dan Savage Calms a Woman Upset by Father's Fantasies

Superstar columnist Dan Savage got a question from a 22-year-old college grad who moved back home...

My parents are divorced, so I've gone back and forth from one place to the other. The other day, I was using my father's computer, and the history came up on the search engine. It turns out that while I am in the house, my father views pornography that involves incest fantasies.

This is not uncommon. Porn or erotica depicting or describing consanguineous sex is very popular.

I felt quite disturbed by what I saw — it made me physically sick — and I'm wondering if I should continue to have a relationship with my father.

What if she had a sister who was into lesbian erotica, and it grossed her out? The sexuality of our parents, or another person's fantasies, may not be our thing, or may gross us out. It is no reason to let it hurt the relationship.

Should I tell him that I know about it and I'm not interested in having a relationship with him anymore?

No. Let him be.

Do I tell my friends or family?

No. It is none of their business.

Her father may or may not actually be into consanguinamory, or may not find her sexually attractive. Not everyone who likes horror movies wants to kills people, or be chased by a killer, but porn or erotica choices may reveal some hidden desires. If her father has not made any unwanted advances, there isn't a problem.

Savage agrees, writing...

Unless your father has given you reason to suspect that he actually wants to f--- you — unless finding your dad's porn helped you to identify a pattern of inappropriate behaviors on your father's part with but one possible interpretation (he actually wants to fu--- you) — let's give your father the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

We might find the attractions and fantasies of others to be strange, even disgusting, but as long as they aren't forcing themselves on anyone, let them be.
— — —

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Leave the Lohans Alone

Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina were photographed kissing. So what? People kiss sometimes, whether or not they have sex with each other.

But what if Lindsay and Dina were having sex with each other? I still say, so what? Aren't they both adults?
— — —

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Polyamory vs. Polygamy?

Jacob Woods is a gay man who "eats, breathes, and sleeps lgbtqia issues" and is a college student. He was supposedly writing about polyamory and the slippery slope argument, but it turned into a "polyamory vs. polygamy" thing.

For me, polyamory includes any intimate, sexual, or dating relationship in which there are three or more people with the informed consent of all involved. The simplest form of this is one person who is seeing two people, but at different times and those two people don't date each other. Polygamy, in my views, is marital polyamory. I know some equate polygamy with Muslim or Mormon polygyny (the LDS church itself long ago gave that up,) and polyamory with group marriage or anything other than patriarchal religious polygny.

Incestuous relationships cause birth deformities unless of course it is same sex incest.

He's using Discredited Argument #18 to throw consanguinamorous relationships under the bus.

What is the difference identifying as a polyamory who is sexually active and having an "open" relationship?

Open means open to new lovers or dates, under mutual agreement. This can be considered a form of polymory, but not polyfidelity.

What is the difference between identifying as a polyamory who is sexually active and having friends with benefits?

Again, FWB can be a form of polyamory.

What is the difference between identifying as a polyamory who is sexually active and someone who just straight up likes to get laid?

Most people like to "get laid," right? Someone who is sleeping around without relationships isn't practicing polyamory; just nonmonogamy.
— — —

Monday, September 19, 2011

Update on Consanguinamorous Indonesian Siblings

Here's and update on a sibling couple I wrote of in this previous entry. They haven't been stoned, but they have been banished. What is this, "Monsters, Inc?"

A brother and sister who had a child together have been banished from their Aceh village, despite officials struggling to find an offense to charge them with under the province’s Shariah legal code.

The couple — 34-year-old M.N. and his sister, Y.W., a 30-year-old divorcee with two children — were told they were no longer welcome in their village in Susoh subdistrict in Southwest Aceh.

Someone ratted them out, remember.

But Muddasir, the head of Southwest Aceh’s Shariah Police, said there was no bylaw explicitly prohibiting incest.

“After consulting with local community and religious leaders, we decided that the brother and sister must be banished from their village, because what they did brought shame to the community,” Muddasir said.

I'd be ashamed of archaic attitudes towards sex, not that siblings actually loved each other.

“This is a customary sanction and is a lifetime banishment. They are forbidden from returning to the village, except if their parents or family members die, and then only for 10 days of mourning; afterward, they have to leave.”

Might be the best thing to happen to them besides each other, because it doesn't sound like a great place to live.

The pair were also ordered to separate.

Good luck enforcing that, geniuses, since they won't be in your jurisdiction any more.

Best wishes to the siblings. May they ignore the village-full-of-idiots and follow their bliss.
— — —

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Unicorn Reports In

Erzulie writes about her journey to polyamory and being a unicorn.

My long-term married friends; the only people I knew in this new locale. And in those friends I found not only support, but love and acceptance. And from there it became more. The three of us began a totally new exploration into true polyamory. A loving, emotional, and physical relationship between three consenting adults. Therefore making me - gasp! - "the unicorn".

What is a "unicorn", you might ask? A unicorn is a bisexual female who agrees to become involved with an already existing paired couple. This could be a married couple or an existing long-term established relationship. Most commonly a male/female pair who then add the unicorn to create a FMF situation. This could be a short-term arrangement or a long-term situation. For us it is a long-term proposition.

They should be free to make this a legal marriage situation.

Another way we go against the norm is that we do not utilize a primary/secondary hierarchy within our relationship. Many polyamorous relationships are set up with the original relationship's same gender partner as the primary and the added person as the secondary. Another option with an unmarried pair is whichever of the same gender partners spend more time with the other gendered partner, that person is then primary and the one that spends less time is secondary. For example, some might consider me to be a secondary partner because my partners were already married when we began our relationship.

Some triads are that way, not having a primary/secondary distinction, such as my friends who inspired this blog.

For us, primary/secondary terminology is demeaning. It implies one partner is more important or deserves more time and affection than the other.

In some situations, it would be demeaning. In others, it is appropriate. It isn't what "deserve," it is about what is, and what is practical. I have not minded the secondary label, for example. I could never be as close to the ladies as they are to each other and as Matthew is to them and they each are to Matthew. They are the primary triad. I am a secondary to that triad, or at least part of it. And I like it this way.

Choosing to be polyamorous in a monogamous society is a brave undertaking. People don't understand polyamory. They understand cheating, swinging, and one-night FMF explorations. They even are beginning to accept homosexual men, lesbians, and bi-sexual women. Yet they fail to comprehend that adults could choose a relationship model that involves open, honest, multiple partner sexuality. I'm proof that it can be done and it can work. It won't be easy, but sometimes you have to work for the best things in life.

Some people choose to be poly, but it isn't a choice for everyone who is poly. For many poly people, it is who they are. They are still polyamorous even when they aren't seeing anyone.Many monogamists, likewise, will tell you they are monogamous, even when they aren't seeing anyone.
— — —

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So Much to Write, So Little Time

This is a bit frustrating. There is so much I want to cover and share here, but it looks like I'm going to be too busy to blog much over the next week or two. I'll try.

Please check out everything in the column on the right, from the links to other blogs to this blog's archives. And if you haven't checked the pages by clicking on the tabs at the top of the blog, be sure to do that.

— — —

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Once Banned, Interracial Marriages Now Widely Approved in US

Very few Americans still cling to bigotry when it comes to (heterosexual, monogamous) interracial marriages, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. The poll is about “black-white” marriages, which have historically been the most prohibited of interracial relationships.

Americans' acceptance of marriage between people of different races continues to grow and is approaching unanimity, with 86% now approving of marriages between blacks and whites. Widespread approval of interracial marriage is a dramatic shift from roughly 50 years ago when 4% approved, and even 20 years ago, when about half as many approved as do so today.

The trend mimics the growing support for gay marriage -- though Americans are still less likely to accept that practice than interracial marriage.

As the with the same-sex freedom to marry, most of the opposition to the interracial freedom to marry comes from older people, so in a few years there will be virtually nobody alive who still clings to the bigotry of the past. The same thing is going to happen with the polygamous freedom to marry and the consanguineous freedom to marry until we have full marriage equality.

So, to all of you out there who still don’t support full marriage equality: As long as you’re still alive, there’s time to join us on the right side of history. Full marriage equality is inevitable, but we can make it happen sooner rather than later. Nobody should have to live as second-class citizens any longer!

— — —

Haters in Indonesia Looking For Excuse to Stone Lovers

I like my headline better than the (I’m assuming) unintentionally funny headline of Incestuous Siblings Expose Holes in Aceh's Shariah Law.” (Yes, inside every grown man there is a little boy who will sometimes enjoy that kind of humor.)

An incestuous relationship between a brother and sister in sternly religious Aceh is the newest unconventional relationship to test the limits of the province’s Shariah law, which fails to consider the possibility, authorities there said.

The incestuous relationship was discovered when it was revealed that a child born to 30-year-old Y.W. was fathered by her 34-year-old brother, M.N.

They are both adults. What is the problem?

Muddasir, the head of Southwest Aceh’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), said that the siblings are residents of a remote village in Susoh subdistrict. He said that M.N. was single, while Y.W. was a divorcee with two children.

Since the birth of the child, the siblings have been under protection of their local village head to protect them from reprisals from angry neighbors.

What are the neighbors angry about?

But the case has left local Shariah authorities in a quandary.

“We are really confused because there are no rules in qanun Shariah [Shariah bylaw] that discuss incest,” Muddasir said.


“We can’t marry them because they’re blood related and according to Islamic Shariah, they have to be stoned to death, but there are no legal grounds in Aceh to condone that,” he said.

Stoned to death? What century is this again?

The incestuous siblings were outed to village officials by a man who said he loaned the pair funds to have the baby delivered.


The brother and sister were originally taken to the police, but were released due to a lack of laws regarding incest.

How about a law saying it is none of anyone else’s business?

“They told us that the incestuous sex took place in 2010 when M.N. came into his sister’s bedroom, asking her to give him a massage,” Muddasir said.

“Y.W. said they only did it once but I think it had to be more than once, because they live in the same house,” he added.

The baby, born two months ago, was adopted by a military officer in Meulaboh, Muddasir said. The child’s sex was unknown.

No mention of any problems with the child. I wonder why the child was adopted? Protection from the angry thugs? But then, if they didn’t have the money for the delivery, they likely wouldn’t have the money to provide for the child.

“I hope they would ask God’s forgiveness for their sins,” Muddasir said.

What about all of the people who waste their precious time in this life worrying about the love lives of other people? Should they ask for forgiveness, too?

This is not the first time that Mudassir has had to acknowledge the limits of Aceh’s Islamic bylaws. In August, he admitted he was clueless about how to handle a case involving the marriage of two lesbians.

How about with a wedding gift?

The two women were eventually forced to separate with the promise that they would never see each other again.

What a pile of manure. We need more love in this world, not less! Let people be themselves and be with the people they love. I promise it won’t cause more natural disasters.

marko got it right…

"Since the birth of the child, the siblings have been under protection of their local village head to protect them from reprisals from angry neighbors" - is this now a passtime sport in Indonesia??? lets freak out over nothing that concerns us?

Make a new law in Indonesia called "mind your own Fuc**** affairs"

Good idea.

If you want your religion, you should be free to practice it as long as you don’t hurt anyone else. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults.
— — —

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harassing Newspaper Notes Effect of Harassment

The Sun continues to exploit and perpetuate the persecution a woman prosecuted for having consensual sex. She has now been forced from her home by bigoted, ignorant thugs.

Kirsty Finlayson fled after locals smashed windows and threw bottles at her flat in a five-day campaign of terror.

Residents in Rigside, Lanarkshire, turned on the 18-year-old after her sordid romp with brother Richard, 21, was revealed last weekend.

The Sun could have made a positive difference by covering the original matter in a different manner. They could have encouraged sympathy for someone who was prosecuted for having consensual sex. Instead, they pile on to a mob that includes people making death threats, continuing to call the consensual sex “sordid.”

Last night one neighbour raged: "It is disgusting.

"Folk around here are sickened and will not stand for it.

"Some people started smashing her windows last Saturday night and she has left the house."

Another resident added: "People are disgusted. It is against nature."

How convenient that we don’t have their names and the details of their sex lives. And ‘against nature”? That resident no doubt has ancestry that includes incestuous relationships. I see Discredited Arguments #1 and 5 were both invoked.

Police said they were investigating allegations of vandalism.

The vandals are actually causing harm. Consensual sex doesn’t, in and of itself. The vandals should be in jail, not anyone who did nothing more than have consensual sex.

This is why we need full marriage equality and laws that protect the rights of adults to love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. That includes protection from bullies. There are certainly people at The Sun who have engaged in consanguineous sex, and perhaps are in consanguinamorous relationships right now. Same goes for the mob of vandals. Stop the hate already.

Kirsty Finlayson and Richard Finlayson, we support you and denounce the unjust prosecution and mob attacks against you.
— — —

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day of Reflection

Today is a solemn day for those of us in the US as we remember the terrible things that happened ten years ago. We also remember how people joined together to help each other and meet the challenges we faced.

We remember the kindness and support of our friends in other countries, especially Canadians, who did things like welcome diverted flights and tend to the shocked passengers.

We're still moving towards the promise of liberty and justice for all, but we're not going to let anything stop us. Not from the inside, and sure as hell not from the outside.
— — —

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Seeing Lovers in Public

Even when I felt lonely, I enjoyed seeing people who were happy together walking by, holding hands, leaning into each other, hugging, smiling, laughing, sharing a kiss, having a romantic dinner, holding each other while enjoying a nice view. It warmed my heart to see other people happy together and enjoying the company. The world needs more love, and a lot less hate.

But in too many places, the only people who can be together like this in public are monoracial, heterosexual, couples close in age. It can be dangerous not to fit into this mold. And if you're known as close relatives, such as siblings, watch out!

How does it hurt anyone to see other people being happy together? Don't be jealous of someone else's happiness.

Adults, no matter who they are, should be able to be affectionate to a certain point in public. It shouldn't matter if one is noticeably older than the other, or if they are interracial, or there are three of them, or they are the same-sex, or they are known to be closely related. The law shouldn't stop them. Bullies shouldn't be able to stop them.

Love and affection are good things. We need more of those things, and we need to see it more. People should not be bullied for being affectionate in public. Instead, they should feel embarrassed to be mean or disrespectful to others in public.
— — —

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bigots Make Death Threats Over Consensual Sex

The Sun continued its bigoted coverage of the Finlaysons, trying to make it seem as though there is something wrong with love and sex between consenting adults. This time, they bother the mother of the lovers and they get a professor to wag his finger, too.

THE shattered mum of a brother and sister caught having sex in a train station lift told last night how her world collapsed after discovering their shocking crime.

Sounds like she should have read this. It not too late.
"My first thoughts were, 'What have they done?'. My second thought was that we were all going to be attacked."

Then stand up for them!

Richard and Kirsty were both released on bail and are due to return to court next month for sentencing. And Jacqueline revealed her family had been left living in terror after being targeted with death threats — forcing Richard to flee the country.

Death threats... for having sex as consenting adults! The bigotry and hatred is astounding. The police should be going after people who make death threats, not people who have consensual sex.

Vince Egan, a Forensic Psychologist, should be commenting about the bigots who care so much about stopping other people from having sex. Instead, he says...

Biologically it is an absolute no-no. It can lead to a series of mental handicaps and genetic defects.

Ah, Discredited Argument #18.

Relationships between brother and sister where both parties are willing participants are extremely rare.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Not true. It is very common when it comes to youthful experimentation, and a somewhat less common if it starts later in adulthood, but just about everyone knows someone who has had consanguineous sex; the lovers often stay quiet about it. And do it in private, not public places with cameras watching.

Most brothers and sisters would be revolted by the prospect of sleeping with one another, even if they recognise the attractiveness of each other.

And most men are revolted at the prospect of sleeping with another man, but so what? If you don't want to do it, don't. But don't try to stop other people from sharing love, sex, and marriage.

In incidents like this the family set-up should be examined very closely.

Quite possibly one party is more vulnerable.

That's pretty much Discredited Argument #20.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults, and should be protected from death threats and other hate crimes.
— — —

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sun Needs to be Eclipsed

The Sun took advantage of the Finlyason case to kick around lovers Nick Cameron and Danielle Healey again, while also calling the Finlayson’s “sick” and “twisted” again. Hey Sun, you bigotry is showing.

TWISTED Richard and Kirsty Finlayson are not the first Scots siblings to be prosecuted for incest.

And there are many, many more consanguinamorous relationships that aren’t prosecuted, and even more that aren’t known to authorities at all. No consensual adult relationships should be prosecuted, regardless of consanguity.

Half-brother and sister Nick Cameron and Danielle Healey started a sordid affair after meeting for the first time in 2006.

Sordid? Love is not sordid.

They were found in a naked clinch by their horrified mum and admitted the fling at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

I'm not a fan of lying, but ridiculous investigations are much worse than lying. So, consider lying if you are asked a stupid question about consensual adult relationships, when it may protect against unjust prosecution or conviction. Witnesses should lie to thwart unjust prosecutions, detectives and prosecutors should stop bothering with consensual sex cases, judges should toss out such cases, juries should go for "not guilty" nullification of such cases, and legislators should remove laws criminalizing consensual sex.

Despite being banned from having sex, the couple set up home together in Glenrothes, Fife.

Can you imagine? Someone telling grown adults they can't have sex? The law enforcement people doing that have to feel rather silly. They should be embarrassed to say such things. News editors should also get over the fact that other people are having better sex and love lives than they are, and stop playing to the bigots.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. That includes relationships that are incestuous, or rather, consanguinamorous.
— — —

Bigots and Allies React to Finlayson Case

There’s much reaction to the case of the adult brother and sister who were recorded on video having consensual sex, and subsequently prosecuted in Scotland. In this football forum there were some hateful responses. Then Mark7 wrote…

I don't see what the problem is.

At the time I checked, nobody offered an actual disagreement.

From The Sun’s discussion area comes these comments.

testing_testing asked…

If a brother and sister are caught having consensual (but incestuous) sex...
…shouldn't BOTH be put on the Sex Offenders Register?

Neither should. But the commenter has a good question…

— — —

Scotland Still Prosecuting Consenting Adults For Sex

What century is this again? Somehow I missed this story until now. The Sun took a bigot’s approach to reporting about a consanguinamorous brother and sister.

A twisted brother and sister are facing jail after they were spotted having sex in a train station lift.

Twisted? Love is not twisted.

Richard Finlayson, 21, and sibling Kirsty, 18, romped in the elevator as they were filmed by CCTV cameras.

Just like so many other consenting adults. So what?

The shocking 15-minute clip showed them exiting the lift — only to return a short time later to have sex AGAIN.

Good for them, as long as they didn’t leave a mess. Jealous?

And as they left for a second time Richard gave Kirsty a £20 note.

What does that have to do with anything? Siblings loan money to each other all of the time, or they make bets.

The depraved pair were later arrested by police after a railway worker at Motherwell Station raised the alarm.

So, did they leave a mess or was the employee just jealous?

Last night a family friend said the revelations had left the pair's family "destroyed".

It didn’t have to. The family should be pointing out that it is ridiculous to call this a crime.

It came after Richard, of Carluke, Lanarkshire, and Kirsty of Lesmahagow, admitted having unlawful sexual intercourse in June last year.

Unlawful sexual intercourse. How is that possible between consenting adults? It shouldn’t be unlawful.

Sheriff Ray Small ordered Richard to be placed on the sex offenders' register. The brother and sister will be sentenced next month.

This doesn’t make sense. If one of them is being placed on the register, why not both? If mean, if Kristy is a victim, why was she prosecuted? The reality is, neither of them should have been prosecuted for consensual sex. Neither of them should be on the registry. They're not a threat to anyone. They are consenting adults. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults.

Yes, we can say they should have been more careful, given the law. But that is the entire point of this blog. There should not be laws that criminalize or discriminate against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation or the adults with whom they have sex.
— — —

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Ally For Consanguinamory

Pete Darwin asked, “Is Incest Immoral?”

When incest is brought up in conversation it is normally met with utter revulsion. What are the main reasons for this and are they connected with morality at all? Is incest immoral?

That’s a lot of serious questions to start.

— — —

Monitoring the Situation

In a recent episode of the show "The Jersey Shore," Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino tried to bed identical twin sisters, as David Jacoby noted

Unpopular opinion alert: Having a threesome with identical twin sisters would be terrible. How could you participate in such a thing without constantly analyzing the incest dynamic and wondering what kind of person wants be intimate with their mirror-image sister?

Consanguineous sex, especially if it is consanguinamorous rather than just play, can be especially exciting and erotic, as it turns out. Granted, if you don’t like seeing other people having an even better time than you are, it may not be so fun to be the unrelated person in the trio. But others have compersion.

More importantly, if the sisters are into identical-sibling coitus, that's probably just the tip of the insanity iceberg, and they're probably also into things like stabbing you to death with deer antlers.

Uh, no. But plenty of people who’ve never had consanguineous sex have done things like that.

Aubrey Sitterson wrote about the next episode

While there were no potential incestual – excuse me, consanguinamorous relationships brewing this episode, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some fascinating debauchery and ridiculousness going down, just like weeks two and three.

It’s nice to know we’re having an impact on vocabulary. I do think "consanguinamorous" is useful in distinguishing consensual incest from rape.

While I am aware of the show and have seen clips, I don’t watch the show. Do you, dear reader?
— — —

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Conan the Barbarian

Has anyone seen the new “Conan the Barbarian?” It’s not doing well at the box office. But once again, consensual incest is cast in a negative light, which is completely unnecessary. The implication is that the father-daughter villains enjoy each other in that manner…

CRAVE Online: Once in a while there’s a moment in this movie where it feels like [the filmmakers] are trying to make Conan pretty likable. There’s that scene where [Anozie] talks about what a big heart you have, how loyal you are, and then there’s a scene where it’s like, “Is Rose McGowan @#$%ing her dad?!” It’s an interesting contrast. Did you want that contrast or were you focused on making your story really serious?

Jason Momoa: You know, when I saw it, it was creepy as @#$%. It’s creepy as %$#@, and that’s what you want, is creeped out…

Hey, Hollywood! There are people who are enjoying or have enjoyed consanguinamory who are also people you admire. They don’t tell many people because of attitudes like this, but they are everywhere. In some cases, there are fathers and their adult daughters who have experimented with each other without turning into villains, and others who have formed lasting, non-creepy marital relationships. There are lasting consanguinamorous relationships that are loving and beautiful, and if you were to depict one the right way, it might be a movie that brings in much more money than this one. Think of the word of mouth.

Come on, Hollywood, I dare you! Let us see a love story about adults who are happy together who face bullying and prosecution simply because of their love for one another.
— — —

Another Feminist Sees Sister Wives as a Feminist Lifestyle

At the Female Gaze Blog, she starts out by saying what originally drew her interested to the television show about the polygynous family

Like most people, I first started watching the show Sister Wives because I wanted to spy on the funny little polygamist family and probably mock them. Being a highly opinionated feminist and gay rights activist, there is little that riles me up more than religious fundamentalism and all its oppressive ways (need I mention who provides the main opposition to marriage equality, abortion, condom distribution?). Polygamy as it is practiced in Mormon communities seemed to me, at its core, extremely anti-women.

However, this open-minded person now says…

But I am here to make the argument that the show actually opened my eyes to what I might consider a feminist lifestyle. Or at least revealed the ways in which polygamist lifestyles offer some opportunities for female empowerment that traditional male/female pairings often cannot.

So again, we see that “Sister Wives” helps open minds towards more freedom to marry. I should point out that the Browns are not “Mormon” in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sense. The LDS church long ago renounced "plural marriage," though some other groups that claim LDS founder Joseph Smith was a prophet have not.

She goes on to write about her concerns, before getting to her discovery…

First of all, Kody is a bit of a doofus. He mainly plays the role of family jester, running around making jokes and seeming bewildered by everyday life. The women, on the other hand, come off as competent, articulate, and in control. Although their frequent statements that “we outnumber Kody!” come off as a bit preachy and forced—as if they are already sensitive to this critique—there is rarely a moment when Kody seems to wield an iron fist. Rather, it really seems as though the women get their way and have a loud voice in the goings-on of the household. When Kody tries to cajole Meri into trying for another baby, she clearly stands her ground and he is forced to back off. They also continually emphasize the fact that it is Meri who initiates the process of searching for a new wife, not Kody. This is a bit debatable, given how hurt they all are by the process of courting fourth wife Robyn, but it still seems important to the family that decision-making appear equitable. Sisterhood is indeed a powerful force in the Brown family, with the women clearly supporting and caring for one another in profound (if not sexual) ways.

There is much more to her look at the Browns, and she concludes by expressing her support for the general freedom to polyamory, not just polygyny. Some women choose polygynous marriages, and they should have that right. A woman should be free to choose polygyny, polyandry, some other form of polygamy or polyamory, monogamy, or to not marry at all.
— — —

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monogamy, Nonmonogamy, and Commitment

From an independent University of Georgia student newspaper comes Tess Johnson’s “Great Sexpectations: Fighting the Terrors of Monogamy.”

She notes her lack of commitments.

Like most people around me, I have trouble committing. It probably comes as no surprise that I find the concept of monogamy scary. And I’m not alone.

Just for the record, some nonmonogamous people do not find monogamy scary at all. It just isn’t for them.

It’s mixed messages about fulfillment that have us on edge. We live in a bizarre society where monogamous relationships are expected, yet instant gratification reigns supreme. In nearly every aspect of our lives, we are invited to shop around, test-drive and send it back if we change our minds. Just look at the rate of divorce. “Settle down with one person,” we’re told, “but if you don’t like your burger, you can just get another one next door.”

Human beings are not inanimate objects or food to be consumed. Well, in most places anyway. We don’t buy and own other human beings. Again, in most places anyway.

She goes on to liken casual sex to a night club, and love to breakfast (and eating the same cereal every morning).

And, in love as in breakfast, choices equal refreshment. But even options can become tiring. Perhaps when all is said and done, it’s all about finding the perfect food — one to eat for breakfast every day; one that never gets boring.

Something can be stable or routine without being boring most of the time. Excitement can be good, new and different can be good, but they can also be bad. There’s a lot of excitement around a heart attack, for example.

As for our sexual satisfaction, the key to contentment is movement. We’re going to visit some dumb dance clubs for a while. But we’ll find classier clubs when we’re ready. And maybe each of us will find a partner we prefer above all the others – one who shares our perfect tempo. We just have to keep on dancing.

The needs some people have will change as they mature, but some people will always need monogamy, and others will always need independence, and others will always need polyamory.

Johnson’s column got a responding letter from Jennifer Leyting

Tess Johnson, if you have issues with commitment then there is nothing that any relationship style is going to be able to do to help that whether it be monogamy, polyamory, polyfidelity, polygamy, open relationships or living as a hermit.

Very good point. Polyamory, for example, is not a lack of commitment. It is often MORE commitment.

If what you were trying to communicate through your article (“Fighting terrors of monogamy,” Aug. 26) was that the full and total commitment of you and one other person forever-and-ever-amen type monogamy is what you have an issue with, then there are alternative options — many options actually.

Yes there are.

As long as the one night stands, the hook-ups, and extra-marital action are kept secret, excused by drunkenness, and basically swept under the rug never to be spoken of again, then we’re all still being faithful to our monogamous commitments, right?

Ladies and gentlemen there are better options that are open and honest. If you are just looking for your prince/princess charming and monogamy is what you like, then that’s fabulous. Go for it.

For those that are looking for something else, you would be surprised how many people right now are living happy, healthy, open nonmonogamous lifestyles. If I’ve peaked your curiosity, there are resources out there. Some books for further reading: “The Polyamory Handbook”, “The Ethical Slut” and “The Mythic of Monogamy.”

Thank you, Ms. Leyting, for getting the word out.
— — —

Friday, September 2, 2011

Another Feminist Perspective on Religion-Based Polygyny

A. Lynn, self-described Nerdy Feminist, writes “Polygamy: I Just Don't Get It.” She was prompted by listening to a recent interview on NPR.

She's saying that she turned to polygamy because all the household responsibilities fell on her. But what I would say is that this situation could have been easily remedied with a less strict view of gender roles and a more equal balance of power in the existing marriage. In other words, all she really needed was a dose of feminism.

To be fair, for most female polygynists, it is about more than just having someone to help around the house.

This is so strange to me, because throughout the segment she seems to see polygamy as the only logical solution to sharing responsibilities.

Yes, there are other options, but polygyny should be one of them.

That's the problem I really have with polygamy: it's all too often rooted in misogyny. In my good liberal mind, I can agree that it's fine to let consenting adults do what consenting adults want, but this set up is nevertheless problematic.

I wouldn’t want to restrict freedom by singling out polygyny to be banned. We should have the polygamous freedom to marry, whether that is three or more men, three or more women, polygyny, polyandry, an even number of men and women, or some other combination.

(And it would be remiss to not note that the most radical of these situations don't even involve adults.)

The most radical of monogamous situations don’t even involve adults. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about consenting adults.

Reading the who blog entry, A. Lynn’s issue really has to do with gender roles under a specific religious tradition. It is possible to have polygyny without the things with which A. Lynn is concerned, and of course other forms of polygamy are less likely have the same issues.

If a woman truly wants to enter into a polygynous situation, she should have that freedom just like she should be able to marry two men, or two women, or a man and a woman. Let people have the relationships they want, as far as the law goes. Socially, on the personal level, discourage people from making self-destructive relationships choices. You may be able to see that someone you know is headed that way. The law can't, and it shouldn't try.
— — —

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is Polygyny in Our DNA?

Michael Price, Ph.D., in his Psychology Today blog From Darwin to Eternity, which covers evolutionary moral psychology, asks “Are People ‘Naturally’ Polygamous?” His short answer appears to be that people are naturally polygynous. I think we get into problems when we rely on what we think is natural too much. What is natural can be helpful in explaining why a man would want more than one wife, or why another man is gay, but we start to run into problems when we use what we think is natural to do “one size fits all”. For example, some people say men are naturally assertive and aggressive and prone to use physical force to protect their lovers and family, while women are naturally nurturing nesters and cooperative rather than assertive. However, there are many individuals who are born different than such stereotypes. Likewise, I think it would be a mistake to say that all people, or all men, are naturally polygynous, or that everyone should be. Even if our species is generally that way, there are men and women who need heterosexual monogamy, or need polyandry, or need one partner of the same gender, or multiple partners of the same gender, or a mix of partners. And they should be free to have those relationships.

Price opens the blog entry referencing "Big Love" and "Sister Wives" and the Warren Jeffs trial, then writes…

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Another Example of the Right to Marry Denied

Melinda, using the handle Melindagrace2011 in the age range 22-25, wrote at the Experience Project about being in a polyandrous relationship.

I am a happily married woman with one long term boyfriend. My dream is one day I will be able to legally marry my boyfriend and have both loves of my life as husbands. My husband fully supports me and my desires. My boyfriend also wishes to join our family.

So what’s the problem?

Unfortunately a legal polyandry marriage isn't possible at this time since they won't issue a marriage license for more than one spouse at a time. So I must wait until laws change and all consenting adults have right to marry who we want to marry. Until that day I am a hotwife.

There is no good reason to deny them their freedom to marry, either as Melinda marrying both men, or as all three of them marrying each other. Some women and some men want polyandrous marriages, and they should not be denied their rights.
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