Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan

January 22, 2015

"To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This"

New York Times

I post this because, even though it's not about polyamory as such, it fits right into our community's ideas about the wide applicability of romantic love, its multi-possibilities, and our ability to shape and direct it.

Someone could make a powerful workshop exercise out of this.

Eye-gazing.  (Brian Rea / NY Times)
To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This

By Mandy Len Catron

More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four minutes.

...I explained the study to my university acquaintance. A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. Then they stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.

“Let’s try it,” he said....

I Googled Dr. Aron’s questions; there are 36. We spent the next two hours passing my iPhone across the table, alternately posing each question.

They began innocuously: “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” And “When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?”

But they quickly became probing.

In response to the prompt, “Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common,” he looked at me and said, “I think we’re both interested in each other.”

I grinned and gulped my beer as he listed two more commonalities I then promptly forgot. We exchanged stories about the last time we each cried, and confessed the one thing we’d like to ask a fortuneteller. We explained our relationships with our mothers.

The questions reminded me of the infamous boiling frog experiment in which the frog doesn’t feel the water getting hotter until it’s too late. With us, because the level of vulnerability increased gradually, I didn’t notice we had entered intimate territory until we were already there, a process that can typically take weeks or months.

...We all have a narrative of ourselves that we offer up to strangers and acquaintances, but Dr. Aron’s questions make it impossible to rely on that narrative. Ours was the kind of accelerated intimacy I remembered from summer camp, staying up all night with a new friend, exchanging the details of our short lives.... But rarely does adult life present us with such circumstances.

The moments I found most uncomfortable were not when I had to make confessions about myself, but had to venture opinions about my partner. For example: “Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner, a total of five items” (Question 22), and “Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things you might not say to someone you’ve just met” (Question 28).

...Much of Dr. Aron’s research focuses on creating interpersonal closeness. In particular, several studies investigate the ways we incorporate others into our sense of self. It’s easy to see how the questions encourage what they call “self-expansion.” Saying things like, “I like your voice, your taste in beer, the way all your friends seem to admire you,” makes certain positive qualities belonging to one person explicitly valuable to the other.

It’s astounding, really, to hear what someone admires in you. I don’t know why we don’t go around thoughtfully complimenting one another all the time.

...I’ve skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope, but staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the more thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life. I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to breathe properly. There was a lot of nervous smiling until, eventually, we settled in.

I felt brave, and in a state of wonder....

...I’ve begun to think love is a more pliable thing than we make it out to be. Arthur Aron’s study taught me that it’s possible — simple, even — to generate trust and intimacy, the feelings love needs to thrive. Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be.

Read the whole article (Jan. 9, 2015). Thanks to Terry of Vermont Poly Woodchucks for the tip.

Here is Arthur Aron's study: The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings (15-page PDF). The procedure and the list of questions are near the end.

I've been a believer in eye-gazing ever since Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture introduced me to it. Ditto with sharing appreciations as a deliberate exercise.


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January 15, 2015

Suit filed to decriminalize unofficial marriage ceremonies in Michigan

Rev. Neal Patrick Carrick
Neil Patrick Carrick — a poly-friendly family mediator and liberal evangelical minister who believes gay and poly families should have the right to marry — sued the state of Michigan on Monday, seeking to decriminalize ceremonies for unions that do not qualify for a marriage license.

From the Detroit News:

A Detroit minister has sued Michigan in federal court, alleging state law violates his right to religious freedom by barring him from conducting same-sex and polygamous marriages.

..."Churches should have the right to marry who they want to marry," Carrick, 49, said Tuesday. "I've been told by others that 'we would love to marry (gays and lesbians) but we can't because we would be breaking the law.'"

Carrick added: "The state of Michigan does not have the right to tell us what to do in our church."

In his lawsuit, Carrick says the state engages in "the disparate treatment" of gays, lesbians and "plural relationships."

Carrick, a former pastor with the United Church of Christ, says he has declined requests from same-sex couples to marry them because he would have been breaking the law. Under Michigan law, it is a crime punishable by up to a $500 fine for someone who "knowingly" performs a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples.

The whole article (Jan. 13, 2015).

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, on his blog at the Washington Post, had this commentary:

Crime to conduct same-sex or polygamous marriage ceremony?

...I think the Free Speech Clause protects people’s right to conduct same-sex or polygamous marriage ceremonies. A state might well be able to say that such a ceremony has no legal effect.... But if people want to engage in such a verbal ceremony, whether for religious reasons or other personal reasons, that ceremony is generally as constitutionally protected as other verbal ceremonies.

...Now if courts read the statutory phrase “joins any persons in marriage ceremony” as limited to situations in which the officiant purports to create a legal union, for instance by signing a marriage certificate that he understands will be submitted to a government official with the hope that the official will be deceived into accepting it, such a narrowly read statute might be constitutional. But the statute seems broader than that, and a similar Utah statute was read as covering even purely conducting a ceremony, absent any attempt to dupe the government or anyone else....

So I think Rev. Carrick should indeed prevail. Ministers — and others — should be free to conduct verbal ceremonies, even ones that the state may deprive of any legal effect.

The whole article (Jan. 14, 2015).

Carrick has been seeking religious Michigan polyfamilies to join the suit. Facebook page. Here's his press release:

Pastor files Lawsuit against Michigan Governor and Attorney General over the right to perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples and others that do not meet the qualifications for marriages licenses in the state of Michigan.

Detroit Michigan, January 12, 2015: Lawsuit filed in support of Religious Freedom, and Marriage Equality in Michigan during the week that marks the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. The lawsuit is primary being initiated as a result of the criminalization of wedding ceremonies, and the religious lives of individuals who the state forbids to marry.

Rev. Neil Carrick is the plaintiff in a lawsuit that accuses the state of Michigan of discrimination, criminalizing and stigmatizing families that do not meet the states requirements for marriage including a ban on same sex marriage and plural religious marriages.

The Lawsuit filing in the Michigan Federal Eastern District Court in Detroit and names Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette as Defendants.

Rev. Carrick seeks by this lawsuit to end the state sanctioned criminalization of families who wish to participate in a religious ceremony, live in a religious covenant and be known as a family. Believing that no family should be stigmatized as a result of laws that invade the sacred rites, sacraments, and traditions of their respective Houses of Worship.

Current Michigan law prohibits a minister from performing a Marriage Ceremony unless the individuals meet the statutory requirements. A clergyman can be fined or jailed up to a year for performing a marriage ceremony for individuals not meeting the requirements for a Michigan Marriage License.

Michigan law forbids same sex marriage, plural marriage and other relationships as a result of its marriage laws. This includes a religious ceremonies related to marriage that do not meet the Marriage statues.

Here's his filing.

By a fluke of fate, the judge assigned to hear the case has been open about the fact she is a lesbian with three children. Ironically, this could make the case harder.



January 12, 2015

More articles on what poly culture offers everyone

A couple months ago I posted about a slew of articles that portray poly as leading the way to a better future for relationships generally. More keep showing up.

● MeetMindfulness claims to be "the first online dating site to serve the mindful lifestyle." In its articles section, a poly love coach writes:

Navigating Open Relationships, Polyamory & Non-Monogamy

Elisabeth D’Orcy
By Laurie Ellington

Have you ever considered what would it be like to live in a world where everyone could be in love with everyone else (including yourself) without jealousy, fear and insecurity?

Imagine a world where every relationship you have, whether it be sexual, non-sexual, short/long term, whatever…. where every relationship you have feels just right, at home, full-on in alignment with your deepest desires and your longing for intimacy, connection, playfulness and love.

What would it take to cultivate relationships such as these?

...I believe whether you practice monogamy or polyamory (or anything else), the practice is more about... how we stay true and honoring of ourselves while staying in connection with those around us. The following is brief summary of some of the key things I have found to be essential in sustaining healthy, poly/open/non-traditional relationships.

1) Those involved with poly/open/non-traditional relationships have a genuine sense of love, care and support for one another.... without necessarily attaching sex to the outcome.

2) Agreements/boundaries are clear, respected, and honored.

...Communication is incredibly important here in order for everyone to know where they stand, what the agreements are, what they are saying “yes” to and what are their bottom lines....

3) It is imperative that everyone supports each other in being the best at who they are... and strives to create positive and healthy experiences for everyone involved.

This is where connection and responsibility come into play. I’m finding that the more present I am with my experiences and the more I share with others, the more awake and alive I feel in my connection to what is really true for me.

...As I see it, open relationships allow for all participants to make choices in open and transparent ways — with consent of all involved, which for me seems like a pretty sweet guarantee for personal empowerment; we can experience expression, self-care and connection with others.

...I have a friend who said he wanted the kind of communication and relating that comes with polyamory without having to be poly/open. The bottom line? Anything is possible.

The whole article (Dec. 1, 2014).


● More enthusiasm at BlogHer:

6 Reasons Why Sharing Your Boyfriend Will Boost Your Self-Esteem​

By Te-Erika Patterson

...You are with someone who is honest.

...This level of honesty definitely strengthens the bond between you both and allows you to look yourself in the mirror with love, knowing all of the cards on the table and you are making a decision to be with him with your blinders off.

You are with someone who knows how to treat women well....

You are part of an unconventional team.

...Being a part of an unconventional relationship will cause you to have to stand together against personal attacks from those who lash out in fear of the unknown. Being in a team like this one will bring you closer, knowing that you all are brave enough to create the type of relationship that sincerely satisfies you....

You know you are loved by choice....

You can focus on your goals without having to meet every need expressed by your partner.

Growth happens as a result of loss, desire and exposure to new ideas. When you share your boyfriend you allow him to be exposed to someone who could inspire him to grow in ways that you cannot. You also have the relief of letting go of the responsibility of being his ‘everything’. This frees you to focus on your own growth and you will love yourself more when you do.

You learn what true love is.

True love isn’t about sacrifice, really. True love is being genuinely happy that the person you love is happy, even if you aren’t the source. This type of love is the opposite of jealousy and it is called compersion....

If only it were all like that more often. Read the whole article (Dec. 23, 2014).


● At Mic.com:

This Is the Explanation for Polyamory That Everyone Needs to Hear

By Amanda Chatel


Polyamory has existed for centuries, but it's only recently — as society warms to formerly unconventional romantic setups — that polyamory has landed on the mainstream radar.

That doesn't mean the majority of Americans understand it. Even as more polyamorous partners come to the fore (one study found 4% to 5% of the U.S. population identifies as poly), most people still have one big question about polyamory:

"How do you not get jealous?"

...The answer, it turns out, is the key to having a healthy polyamory relationship — and it's something people in monogamous relationships could probably learn to do better.

It's all about being happy for each other. "It's called 'compersion,'" Becky Koski told Mic. The 30-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, has been in polyamorous relationships for over a decade. "It's kind of the opposite of schadenfreude, meaning you derive happiness from your partner's happiness. Instead of getting upset or jealous, when you see your partner getting involved with someone new, you are excited for them and excited vicariously through them."

Steve Dean, founder of online dating consultancy Dateworking, has been in non-monogamous relationships for three years. "Compersion is basically happiness at someone else's happiness," he told Mic, comparing it to a parent's genuine happiness at seeing his or her child happy. It's an unselfish attitude that comes from viewing an experience through another person's eyes.

Koski admits this doesn't mean poly relationships are all jealousy-free; after all, envy and grudges are components of even healthy monogamous partnerships. But for many poly partners, said Koski, jealousy is "just another emotion or issue to work through, as opposed to this end-all, be-all problem that can't be surmounted."...

Converting jealousy into happiness comes from talking. Lots of talking. "Instead of just caving to [jealousy] when it appears," Koski said, "you talk to your partner or partners about ways to deal with it."

...Poly partners provide a model for anyone dealing with jealousy....

"I think the No. 1 biggest misconception is that polyamorous people just have sex all the time," Dean said. "But I'd say the best way to describe polyamorous people is that they communicate all the time....

It's exactly the way any healthy relationship should operate.

Read the whole article (Jan. 6, 2015).


● From The Unlaced Librarian/ Leandra Vane:

Ten Ways an Open Relationship Improves My Marriage

...A lot of people have asked me how being sexual with people besides my husband could possibly help my marriage. I attest that having an open relationship has done nothing but improve our marriage.

1. I know we want to be together because we love, like, and respect each other, not because we swore an oath of “no matter what”....

2. He respects all women.... I like that I know he will be respectful to those he dates and those he doesn’t.

3. I don’t feel ashamed about aspects of my sexuality that include having crushes on others, writing erotica, or fantasizing because I now know they are normal and unlike the societal stereotype, they do not crumble a relationship from the inside.

4. I deal with jealousy in all aspects of my life. After you’ve dealt with jealously in such an intense form as with your lifemate, the other situations don’t seem as urgent....

5. ...We have respect for each other’s desires instead of being offended, hurt, or irritated by them.

6. We are constantly growing and being challenged. Sometimes those changes and growth spurts are painful, but the strength we gain is worth it and combats the dangers of becoming bored or complacent with each other.

7. I won’t find a woman’s phone number hidden in his pocket because we put the numbers we get on the refrigerator.

8. I now first see another woman as being a potential friend rather than a potential enemy....

9. Each time we engage in a new experience, the trust in our relationship builds. That valuable investment makes it even more important that we stay together.

10. When we first started discussing an open relationship I was terrified: of what people would think, of infidelity, of insecurity, and a million other things. But I filled that fear with knowledge and have learned more than I could have ever imagined....

The whole article (July 14, 2014).


● A TEDx talk at the University of Texas at Arlington: "Polyamory and emotional literacy," by student Kel Walters (5:36)

Polyamory, emotional literacy and the benefits they can bring to society. Having multiple romantic and sexual relationships at the same time with all partners' full knowledge and consent. Build your emotional literacy and your ability to deal with it.

Kel Walters is a junior at UT Arlington studying political science and psychology with a minor in Arabic.... She also writes the column Real Talk for a student-run webzine called BackRow Mag. She has been involved in the polyamorous community for several years, helping others build and maintain their relationships. (Oct. 21, 2014)

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.


P. S.: Poly movie campaign seeks backers: "as the Freak takes you". Pepper Mint, San Francisco community organizer and a longtime member of the Polyamory Leadership Network, knows folks in this ambitious independent film project and urges you to chip in to their IndieGoGo campaign.


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January 1, 2015

Calendar of poly events for 2015

For New Year's, here's my list (freshly updated) of all 22 polyamory conferences, retreats, campouts and other sizable gatherings scheduled for 2015 — in North America and, when I know about them, elsewhere.

I maintain this list continuously at Alan's List of Polyamory Events. If I've missed any, or if you have corrections, please post to the comments or email me directly: alan7388 (at) gmail.com.

Here's to good things!

Winter Poly Wonderland
January 16–20, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” write Michael Rios and Sarah Taub, of Network for a New Culture, on their Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page. Endless Poly Summer 2014 had about 60 people, Fall Into Poly somewhat fewer; these events are scalable to work well building intimacy and community at any size. Michael, Sarah, and friends have set a big goal for each event: to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. “The point is building tribe,” says Michael.

I've gone to their (mostly poly) Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this ambitious project. Michael and Sarah have a vision of “turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created” around any number of interests and commonalities. “If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.”

From the Winter Poly Wonderland Facebook page: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, spend 5 days immersed in an all-poly environment, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.” Sounds like a good place to get your hygge on.

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy
February 13–15, 2015
Berkeley, CA

Now in its third year (the fourth counting an earlier conference in Europe), this conference is organized by Dr. Dave Doleshal, longtime West Coast poly and sex-positive organizer. This year it will have seven sessions, described as follows:
The Friday night session (Feb. 13) is geared towards Psychology/Social workers/Therapist types and medical professionals, but anyone is welcome to attend.

The main academic sessions are on Saturday, Feb. 14. This is the core of the event. Most of these presentations will be standard types of psychological and sociological studies, but we are trying to attract presentations from as a wide variety of disciplines as possible. Student presentations are also very welcome!

This year we are also having a session for presentations related to Folklore/Mythology/Media studies, and another session devoted to historical/humanities studies as well.

There will also be an Art Exhibition on Friday afternoon, Feb. 13, consisting of art objects related to the theme of consensual nonmonogamy. If you have created such a work of work and wish to display it, please contact us. If you know other artists who create art with such themes, please pass this information along.

The political conclave and sessions related to poly-activism are all happening on Sunday (Feb. 15). The Political session is being run as a distinct event through a separate website and has a separate registration fee, but it happens nearby on the same weekend. We are still recruiting presenters for this section.

In previous years, a variety of impromptu poly-related meetings, parties, and other events were instigated at places nearby the conference site to take advantage of the presence of the influx of a couple hundred people interested in consensual nonmonogamy who happen to be in town for the few days before, during and after the formal conference. The trend seems to be accelerating.
The call for papers.

February 12–15, 2015
Atlanta, GA

A new hotel poly conference in Atlanta that I hadn't heard of is appearing this year, "to discuss and celebrate romantic love in all its configurations. Learn skills for navigating through the challenges unique to non-monogamy. Connect with your loves and other like minded people. Enjoy our 'Fun' track for dancing, social time, and good old fashioned relaxation. InfinityCon! Because love is infinite." This event is adults only, unlike Atlanta Poly Weekend in June, which is family-friendly and has a kids' track.

The organizers, LoveInfinity LLC (Sunshine Davidson, director), are planning both poly and kink tracks. They have lined up some big-name presenters. Less than two months out their website says they expect to host 500 to 2000 people, which seems wildly unrealistic unless maybe this is a branch-out from an established swing thing? (Not to be confused with Infinity Con, a comic and pop-culture con in Florida.) The Facebook page.

Poly Living East (Philadelphia)
February 20–22, 2015
Philadelphia, PA

Poly Living is put on each year by the Loving More nonprofit group, in an excellent large hotel near the Philadelphia airport and a rail stop. This will be Poly Living's 10th year (the 8th under Loving More's management). The keynote speaker is Franklin Veaux of More Than Two. For the last two years (2013, 2014) Poly Living East has drawn about 200 people. Here was the 2014 workshop list, to give you a sense of what goes on. Here's an outside reporter's long article at Nerve.com about her impressions of the 2014 conference.

my writeup of the first Poly Living I attended (2006). In 2012 I gave the keynote speech. I'll be back again this time. Hope to meet you there!

Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

Rocky Mountain Poly Living (Denver)
May 8–10, 2015
Ramada Plaza Denver North, Northglenn, CO

This will be Rocky Mountain Poly Living's second year, after drawing about 150 people for a very successful first time in 2014. It's run by Loving More, which also does Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February.

Poly Big Fun
Spring 2015, date to be decided
Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, TX

Glimmer Blazeflower writes, "Poly Big Fun is hosted every year by the Austin Poly group. It is the absolute cheapest weekend retreat you kind find anywhere. The weekend includes all meals and a place to sleep for $75 or less [as of 2014] depending on when you register. It is an amazing event that usually has between 80 and 120 people attend every year."

From the website: "Poly Big Fun, or PBF, is a time for us to come together as a community and celebrate. We hold multiple workshops on various relationship-building topics such as effective communication, time management and relationships, multifamily households, community parenting, and more."

Poly Spring Fever
May 15–19, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” write Michael Rios and Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture. Check the Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page for updates.

Endless Poly Summer 2014 was the first of this series of four seasonal events. About it I wrote: “Endless Poly Summer aims to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. ‘The point is building tribe,’ says Michael. I've gone to their (mostly poly) Summer Camp for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this. Michael and Sarah have a vision of ‘turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created’ around any number of interests and commonalities. ‘If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.’ ”

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together for up to 5 days or more.”

OpenCon Catalonia
May 29
–31, 2015
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain.

2015 will be OpenCon Catalonia's fourth year. It's modeled on the U.K. OpenCon with a self-generated "unconference" program. "A weekend-long international event in the Catalan countryside, open to anyone who knows that happy and honest relationships don’t have to be monogamous. Discussions, workshops and socialising to give you a chance to meet like-minded people, to build our community, and to celebrate its diversity." In 2012, 2013, and 2014 there were about 40 people, a full house; here's more on what happened. The working language is English.

Atlanta Poly Weekend 2015
June 5–7, 2015
Northern perimeter of Atlanta, GA

This high-energy hotel conference began in 2011. It's a three-day weekend of talks and discussions on poly relationships and making them work plus whatever other topics people propose; comedy, dance, and games; community building and socializing. Here was the schedule for 2014. Kid-friendly; families encouraged: a "Kids Con" track runs all weekend (parents are asked to volunteer two hours per day per kid they bring). I came to the first APW in 2011, was back again for 2012 (see my big writeup) and gave the closing keynote talk in 2013. Total attendance was 113 people the first year, 151 the second, and about 200 in 2013 and 2014.

Großen Polytreffen, Early Summer (Germany)
June 4–7, 2015
Truckenthal, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has organized local meetings and, in the spring and fall, "Grand Poly Meetings" that draw 50 to 120 people — "for contacts, networking, and planning the organization of activities. At the large meetings, up to 40 workshops, talks and other events are self-organized by participants." Previous ones have sold out.

Poly All Ages Camp BC
Date to be announced
Goldstream Provincial Park Campgrounds, north of Victoria, BC

Formerly named PolyFamilyCampBC. This is a kid-friendly polycamp with programs for grownups too. "A weekend of camping and activities with people who share a common philosophy of abundant love, honest and open communications on beautiful Vancouver Island.... Children from [poly] homes gain a sense of community from attending events like this one where other children from similar homes are in attendance," Zoe Duff writes. "Activities and workshops for all ages are simultaneously held, and the facilities are comfortably supportive of a community atmosphere." Here's the website.

Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 10–19, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, rich, ten-day event for five years now. Network for a New Culture explores building intimate sustainable community through practices of curiosity, transparency, self-exploration, and self-responsibility. The days are structured around ZEGG Forum, various self-improvement and human-potential presenters offering their stuff (to a sometimes skeptical audience), and sharing life, work, and fun in the West Virginia mountain woods.

New Culture East is largely the work of the much-respected poly activists Sarah Taub and Michael Rios. “While not exclusively a poly event,” says Michael, “Summer Camp East is about 70% polyfolk, and 100% poly-friendly.”

Summer Camp East is one of the few New Agey type things that I find to have real intellectual integrity. Here are my impressions from my first year. Here's a bit more from my fourth (last two paragraphs).

About 80 people attend. Vegetarian group meals; campsites in the woods (no vehicle hookups); bathhouse with sinks and hot showers. Some indoor accommodations are available onsite. Conditions are rustic, but a camp-owned motel is 3 miles away. Kids welcome; inquire about kids' program.

West Coast Polyamory Gathering
July 2015; dates to be announced
Los Gatos, CA

Organizer Dave Doleshal of Saturnia Regna wrote for 2014: "This summer’s California polyamory gathering happens in a lovely clothing-optional resort in Northern California called Lupin Lodge. The event is intended to be primarily educational, social, and experiential. It will focus on the exploration and deepening of skills such as clarification and expression of desires, jealousy management, expansion and deepening of intimacy and multi-partner relating. It will also address other practical concerns related to polyamory, such as vital communication skills and negotiation tools." Workshops are experiential rather than lecture-style. Lupin Lodge is a private naturist resort in rural surroundings. 2015 will be the third year for this event at this location.

Rocky Mountain Polyamory Family Campout
Dates to be announced
Aspen, CO

Robyn Trask of Loving More and her family hold this informal campout nearly every year. About last year's event (2014): "This will be the 14th year. Join us for a weekend of hiking, playing, and just hanging out with other poly families from the Rocky Mountain Region. This is the one thing each year where the kids get to join in. My kids love the campouts as much if not more than I do. It is wonderful to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Mountains and spend time with wonderful poly people." 

Endless Poly Summer II
August 1418, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

“[The first] Endless Poly Summer [in August 2014] went so well, we're planning a whole year of poly retreats!” wrote Michael Rios and Sarah Taub of Network for a New Culture. The dates and name for this one are tentative as of late August 2014; check the Polyamory for All Seasons Facebook page for updates.

Endless Poly Summer 2014, the first of these seasonal events, had about 60 people. About these events I wrote: “Michael Rios, Sarah Taub, and friends, who organize the Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East each July, are starting an ambitious new project. Endless Poly Summer aims to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't fall out of touch as happens after most events. (That's the ‘endless’ part.) ‘The point is building tribe,’ says Michael. I've gone to their (mostly poly) Summer Camp for the last five years, and can attest that New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are ideal for this. Michael and Sarah have a vision of ‘turning Abrams Creek into a place where tribe is created’ around any number of interests and commonalities. ‘If you can start creating overlapping tribes all over the place, you can have a very strong social impact.’ ”

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together for up to 5 days or more.”

At Burning Man
Aug. 31 – Sept. 7, 2015
Nevada desert
(Note: You cannot get into Burning Man without a ticket that's legitimate by Burning Man's anti-scalper rules. Beware of ticket scams.

Poly Paradise theme camp.
Poly Paradise will be in its 17th year in 2015. Since 2012 it has been awarded prime central locations on the A or B rings. This is a large theme camp; in 2012 it was 200 x 600 feet and had 170 campers. In 2013 it had 183, almost half of them new. Workshops and events include Heart of Now, Poly High Tea, the famous Human Carcass Wash, the Hiney Hygiene Station, Mind Melt, Revolutionary Honesty, and a poly mixer. Two years ago Benevolent Dictator Scotto wrote, "PolyParadise 2013 was the truly the best Theme Camp iteration we have ever created. Each year there are many challenges and together we overcome, together we build an amazing space within the gates of BRC, a place to really call home in the desert."

Polycamp Northwest
Late summer, 2015
Olympia, WA area

This big, multi-day, kid- and family-friendly campout, now in its 14th year, is held in a reserved area of cabins and common buildings in a state park. Workshops, hikes, canoeing, singing, dance, games from Calvinball to frisbee golf. It has been getting 150 to 200 people. Adults-only workshops take place in their own separate area. Facebook page (which is more active than the website). See newspaper article about Polycamp by Dan Savage from 2010.

Organizer Quintus writes, "We also do three other events each year:
— Post Polycamp Party
— Room Party at Norwescon (sci-fi convention)
— Polystrip (fundraiser for Polycamp; burlesque by members of the poly community)

Loving More Retreat
September 2015 (weekend to be decided)
Easton Mountain Retreat Center, north of Albany, NY

A smallish rural gathering for fellowship and workshops. Navigating poly life both for beginners and long-timers; building intimate community. Beautiful rural setting, hot tubbing, pool, fun, stars. Clothing optional (though not many go bare except around the hot tub, sauna, and pool). Intimate crowd, newbie-friendly, typical attendance 30 or so. Here's a FAQ. I've come to this many times since 2005. Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the oldest poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.

OpenCon 2015
Fall 2015; date to be decided.
Dorset, U.K.

OpenCon in the U.K. is a participant-created convention on the
unconference model, which means the people who show up organize the content. This will be its sixth year. "A 3-day event in the English countryside for everyone who knows that happy and honest relationships don't have to be monogamous. OpenCon combines discussions, workshops and socialising to give you a chance to meet like-minded people, to build our community and to celebrate its diversity." These events have been selling out; attendance in recent years has typically been about 80ish.

The team putting it together in 2013 told us, "This year we're not running a gender balancing policy as they did last year, but our explicitly feminist ethos, and actions to increase accessibility of the event, (which you can read more about on dedicated Ethos and Access pages on the website) have resulted in our current attendees' gender profile being very well balanced."

Here are the self-generated schedule boards from 2011:
1, 2, 3, 4. This is how an unconference works. "We had 33 workshops run, only 5 of which had been arranged in advance."

Großen Polytreffen, Fall (Germany)
October 7–11, 2015
Gut Frohnberg, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has organized local meetings and, in the spring and fall, "Grand Poly Meetings" that draw 50 to 120 people — "for contacts, networking, and planning the organization of activities. At the large meetings, up to 40 workshops, talks and other events are self-organized by participants." Previous ones have sold out.

Fall Into Poly
October 16–20, 2015
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV

Another in the quarterly Polyamory for All Seasons series of intensive retreats in the mountains west of Washington DC. "The point is building tribe," says co-organizer Michael Rios of Network for a New Culture. From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together for up to 5 days or more.”

Beyond the Love
Fall 2015; date to be decided
Columbus, Ohio.

This hotel conference had a very successful first two years, with about 200 people attending in 2013 and 2014. I was there in 2014. I was impressed by how imaginatively the organizing triad and the volunteer staff had planned everything to make it lively and fun. They write, "Beyond The Love’s mission is to provide an opportunity for the polyamorous community to come together in an educational and social forum. At Beyond the Love you will find a wealth of classes, workshops and mini events to learn tools, techniques and communication skills to enhance our poly relationships. We provide a safe environment for meeting with other like-minded people in a supportive and inclusive community. We are passionate about recognizing poly as a relationship choice and sharing common experiences on our many different paths."

Here were the 2014 schedule and workshop presenters, a fine selection. There were also attendee-generated unconference sessions, poly speed dating, yoga, and a masquerade ball. Over 18 only. Facebook page.

Playground 2015
Fall 2015; date to be decided
Toronto, Canada.

In 2014 this event drew some 250 people despite happening on the same weekend as Beyond the Love in Ohio. As it enters its fifth year, poly and nonmonogamy author Samantha Fraser's Playground conference "will bring together the brightest minds in sexuality education, activism and media to examine the ways in which the sexual and erotic play a part in our everyday lives. Everyone is invited to attend from those looking to educate to those looking to get educated. And most importantly, for everyone looking to have FUN! Over the 3 days, workshops and presentations will touch on kink, non-monogamy, dating, sexual/relationship fulfillment and more. Playground is an all-inclusive event for every community to take part in and celebrate diversity."

To add an event (of wide geographic interest, please) email it to me at alan7388 {at} gmail.com.

Find LOCAL poly groups
and their get-togethers!

For socials, potlucks, discussions, etc. near you, find and join your local poly group(s). You can:

● Try googling polyamory [your state or city].
Check Meetup.com with keyword polyamory; enter your zip code or city.
Search Facebook for polyamory [your state or city].
● Look up your location in
Modern Poly's Local Group Registry, with state-by-state list and interactive map. Zoom in on the map to resolve separate pins in a single city. This list is currently the most informative and possibly the best maintained. If you're in a functioning local group that's not listed, please add it!

Here are other poly group lists, but they may not be well maintained:

Tristan Taormino's big list, on the website of her book Opening Up. (Send additions, corrections, and changes to raymond (at) puckerup.com )

Expansive Loving list. (Requires Yahoo Groups sign-in. Send additions, corrections, and changes to tara.shaktima (at) gmail.com )

Can't find a local group near you? Maybe that's the universe saying you should start it! Here's an article suggesting how, by Serolynne (written before Meetup.com became big).

And here is Bhramari Devi Dasi's story of how she started a thriving local poly group in the middle of nowhere, now with about 25 regulars. (Among other things she put this notice in the free events listing of the regional newspaper; okay to copy and re-use.)

And here are Joreth's many thoughts on the kinds of poly community events that might work in your area. She's been an organizer for a long time and has pretty much done it all.

Prefer audio? From the Polyamory Weekly podcast: Episode #181, How to attend or organize your first poly munch, and the more recent Episode #365, Building your poly community with meetups.


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December 29, 2014

Ambassadors to Brazil, and other poly news in Portuguese

If you only follow the internet in English, you're missing a lot of what's happening in the modern polyamory movement throughout the Western world. I used to post more foreign-language stories here but have fallen far, far behind.

For instance, a backlog has piled up of stories in Portuguese. Get ready for a data dump, prompted by this first item.

O americano Leon, entre as namoradas Fukumi e Kischa: elas se conhecem e aceitam o fato de que Leon gosta de ambas. (Foto: Jayme de Carvalho, Jr.)

Leon Feingold of Open Love NY had his poly life featured in Brazil (by way of a New York writer), in a high-status men's magazine that's actually named Status. The article, Quando Dois é Pouco, draws upon other Americans too, including Billy, Melissa, and Jeremy in Atlanta. The story conveys poly values well, judging by Google Translate (online July 14, 2014):

When Two Is Too Few

By Edu Graça, New York

...This dynamic has not only gained a name, it's gaining more and more fans in countries like the USA, Canada and Australia. This is polyamory, a way of love advocated by people opposed to monogamy [sic], with the acceptance of several people in the same relationship. The concept is reminiscent of "open marriage", in which each partner can relate to who they want, or "swinging", which allows the exchange of couples for sex, but the fact is that polyamory has its own rules. And how.

...Billy... met Jeremy Mullins, an information technology professional, in 2008. Jeremy and Melissa dated, and the relationship became serious enough that Melissa suggested they "officially" become a relationship of three. Billy tells that he had a crisis of jealousy, but that, in a way, he was also was attracted by Jeremy. Today the three share the same home, tasks, bills and even the raising of Billy and Melissa's daughter, age 9... [Billy] says the relationship is so natural and transparent that the daughter likes that the men are "both parents".

The loving arrangement of the group does not stop there. Besides being, for all practical purposes, married to two people at once, Billy is dating Lindsey, who in turn lives with Brian, also her boyfriend. "Time, or rather the lack of time, is a major obstacle in a polyamorous relationship. The logistics to deal with so many partners can be very complicated," admits Billy. He says jealousy attacks are rare, but still arise from time to time. "No one is immune to jealousy. The difference, I think, is that we polys are open to deal with this feeling productively, not destructively. In other words, if someone is not satisfied, talk about it, try to modify the rules, etc."

Theoretically, polyamory embodies all the ingredients needed for a relationship to work: mutual trust, space to discuss grievances, gender equality, freedom (albeit limited) to take on more relationships with the right to love two, three, and so on. "In real life, however, the human being is complex, whether monogamous or polyamorous," says the American sociologist Elisabeth Sheff.... "Polyamory can be extremely liberating, but it is not for everyone."...


Eve Rickert just forwarded a nice piece that, this time, draws on Brazilian sources: Muito Amor in the magazine Tab, with happy art and animation.

Excerpts from Google Translate:

Lots of Love

By Lilian Ferreira

..."What is good [in monogamous relationships] is very good [in polyamorous relationships]. But what is bad is also bad," summarizes a poliamorista. He and his wife have a girlfriend. TAB talked with several fans [of poly] and everyone said that, jealousy aside, the problems that occur are common to any relationship: physical distance, and daily fights over lack of time, for example.

Andreza Hack de Abreu, 38, of Porto Alegre, has had an open relationship for two years. For three months, she and her husband lived with a friend of hers. "We lived three always together, bathing, brushing teeth, cooking. But when he was not with her, he did not help in the housekeeping activities such as shopping, washing, cooking. That was a major cause of fights."

...But not all polyamorous relationships require that the lovers engage 100% of the time. According to Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, authors of the morethantwo.com site and luminaries in the subject, usually the [partners'] activities are separated.

That's because polyamory is primarily poly relationships. It is the ability to have two or more concurrent partnerships, which include affection and sex.

The first polyaffective union [união poliafetiva] officially notarized in Brazil was recorded in 2012 [see stories at the time]. Five of them have been notarized to date, and, say experts, it is increasingly common for relations to be in this format. According to the anthropologist Antonio Cerdeira Pilão, expert on the subject at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), the most common format is a man with two women. Regina Navarro Lins, psychoanalyst and author of The Book of Love, says in 30 years many more people will adhere to polyamory.

...In August this year, Brazil had its largest poly meetup [poliencontro] in Rio, with 180 people. On Facebook, Brazilian groups about polyamory number 10,000 members.

Rio Quartet

Sharlenn is dating Rafael, Will and Adamo. Rafael is the longest-term boyfriend, of just over three years. He, a polyamory activist, presented the idea to the other two. Sharlenn lives with Will, Rafael with Adamo, and all get along very well, thank you!

Trio in Ponte Aeréa

A is married to B. They live in Guarulhos and started dating C, a Rio de Janeiro university professor. The three are interconnected. And no lack of love and a little negotiation. Because of prejudice, they do not want to reveal their identities.

The End of Monogamy?

...In research by anthropologist Mirian Goldenberg, 60% of men and 47% of Brazilian women admitted they had already been unfaithful. According to Gilberto Freyre, from the beginning of its colonization Brazil was not monogamous but polygynous, meaning only the patriarch could keep more than one; it was unthinkable for women.

...55% of women poliamoristas say they are bisexual. Among men, 25% are bisexual.

...São Paulo, Rio de Janiero and Rio Grande do Sul have the greatest concentrations of poliamoeristas in Brazil.

...But not everything is perfect. Romantic love is good. Navarro says we love being in love, but this state can also bring some problems. You idealize the person, it creates addiction, a possession, a belief that one can only be happy by your side and vice versa.

The love of poliamoristas is more like what's preached in Buddhism. It's a love similar to what friends share. No exclusivity without possession. The search for individuality, very fashionable, is giving a boost to that kind of love. You can be "just" you, not everything that the other expects.

...Marriage as it is today — and based on monogamous romantic love — is losing steam and brings suffering to anyone who does not fit. More and more people have sought models that answer to what they feel and how they want to live. But against them there is still prejudice.


In other Portuguese-language news,

• Leonie Linssen's book Love Unlimited has been published in Portuguese: Amor Sem Barreiras.

• In Portugal itself, Poliamor.pt.to has a page listing lots of coverage in print. Click the Imprensa tab.

PolyPortugal has an active blogsite, with Poliamor nos media listings in the sidebar. You can also search the site for posts tagged actualidad.

• The leading poly activist in Portugal is surely Daniel Cardoso, a sociologist at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, who co-runs the PolyPortugal site. He also maintains a webpage in English. In 2012 he sent me a roundup of poly in Portuguese media that I never got around to posting! Here it is at last (slightly edited):


June brought the LGBT Pride Parade in Lisbon, and each organizing member has a few minutes to speak at the end of it. I spoke in representation of PolyPortugal, and it was recorded here (with English subtitles).

July 15th: a conservative LGBT sexologist (and somewhat shady activist), who has a weekly program about sexuality on a regional TV channel, spent almost an hour talking about polyamory and, specifically, me (in rather insulting terms). Here's the promo video, where it's clearly stated that polyamory doesn't exist and is also wrong. In the show, he made a point of mentioning that polyamory isn't something that's scientifically researchable, and is wrong because "some things aren't up for discussion".

Also in July, a group of Brazilian journalism students did a digital magazine on polyamory: Amor aos PedaÇos Poliamor.

August 29th: A Portuguese friend and former colleague of mine interviewed me for an article that came out in Macau, a former Portuguese colony on the coast of China [and now semi-independent like Hong Kong]. The magazine is called Ponto Final, meaning "Period." The article was named Ele tem dois amores (He has two loves). The intro reads: "In a land filled with stories of concubines, polyamory has no known supporters.... This relationship model, which allows one to date several people at the same time, is more frequent in the Western world. And it's been much discussed in Portugal." The article spends some time distinguishing polyamory from male-centered non-monogamies, as with concubines, due to Macau's historical connection to China.

September: Portugal imported the reality show "Secret Story", and one of the participants claimed to "suffer from polyamory" (as if it were a disease). So the word got around a lot due to that, but it quickly died down.

October 14th: Pepper Mint and I published on his blog Dialogue on Power and Ethics: the Polyamory and Queer Movements.

December: Polyamory was brought up in the Portuguese female magazine Happy Woman (its name is in English). They interviewed a Brazilian psychoanalyst, Regina Lins, in an article titled "Is Monogamy Over?"

So do you think women will be happier in their marriage if they accept that there is no such a thing as monogamy?

Of course! The issue of fidelity is a major source of suffering. From very early we're lead to believe that those who are in love don't feel any need to relate sexually to other people. And that's a lie, but if a person believes that, then they end up suffering when they discover that their partner is having sex outside the marriage — if makes them doubt about whether they're being loved or not.

...In that case, it's natural to want two people at the same time?

There's no doubt that we can love several people at the same time. And we can love them with the same intensity, in the same manner, or differently. It happens all the time, but no one likes to admit it. The demand to choose always pops up; the notion that one person has to be discarded in favor of the other.

Does that mean that we're going in the direction of polyamory relationships?

I believe so. There is an organized movement that broadcasts the idea of polyamory. That movement has grown, in the USA, in the last 20 years, and has been closely followed by movements in other countries. In polyamory, one person can love their steady partner and also love the persons with whom that person has extra-marital affairs, or even have multiple loving relationships where there is reciprocal love between all involved. One can do what one wants, with whom one wants, without exclusivity. Polyamorists say that they don't love with a possessive feeling, so they don't feel jealous. To them, jealousy is connected to the fear of loss. We have no way, yet, to weigh the pros and cons. But yes, we can surely say that the way we live love is deeply unsatisfactory.[...]"

The whole thing's here: A Monogamia Acabou? (Dec. 2011 issue).

December 19th: Following a public debate/ awareness-raising session in Oporto (Portugal's 2nd biggest city, famous for its wine) with me and one of my partners, Inês, the national Jornal de Notícias covered the event with an article called "Polyamory, the challenge to monogamy. Multiple consensual relationships up for debate in Oporto". It opens with this (actually a description of part of my poly constellation):

Inês is a lesbian and has a relationship with Daniel, who lives with Sofia, with whom he's been for 7 years now. They all know about each other and they're open to integrate others into their relationship constellation. A portrait of a polyamorous relationship, made yesterday in Oporto.

And it ends with this:

"What Daniel Cardoso doesn't like is the capitalist notion of love as a scarce resource that must be jealously guarded. 'If I have three kids, no one will criticize me for not having just one; if I have 10 friends, no one will think it's wrong. So why is it wrong to have more than one partner?'.
Inês Rôlo agrees that love is about multiplication, not division. That doesn't mean that feelings don't sometimes end up hierarchized or that polyamorous people never feel jealous. It's a 'deconstruction' of myths and preconcieved notions, she says. A way to fight mononormativity."

Here are the article and a recording of part of the debate.


January 27th: Again in Oporto, two other PolyPortugal members (Juliana Azevedo and João Paulo) and I participated in a round-table debate on a regional TV channel. It lasted for an hour and a half, and the psychologist invited to comment was, in a way, "on our side". On the other side were a Catholic school teacher and a conservative manager and marketeer. Perhaps the best part was when the (married) conservative manager and marketeer said that it was better to cheat and not tell the spouse (to prevent suffering) than to be polyamorous, since polyamory seems "very confusing". At that moment, the conservative Catholic teacher jumped ship and sided with us... *grin*. The whole thing is available on YouTube and organized here: Em Foco no YouTube — Poliamor.

February 28th: One of my partners, Sofia, and I were invited to talk to psychology undergraduates at Évora University and lecture on "Polyamory and Psychology". It was recorded; all the info and the video are accessible here. It was an attendance record for talking about poly in Portugal, with about 70 people present.

...And that's it for now! There will be more stuff in the upcoming months! :D


A particularly noteworthy flurry of events happened just last April. Daniel writes,

A really important newspiece came out on national TV, and had about 1.2 million people watching it (more than 10% of Portugal's population): Um caso de poliamor que assume a liberdade de escolha [April 25]. The piece focuses on the 40th anniversary of the last Portuguese revolution, and deals with non-common notions of "liberty" — a few of the other people interviewed included a Suicide Girl and a gender-bender. The piece focuses a lot on the 101 of what polyamory is, on equality for everyone involved. Besides myself, two women also speak about their experiences.

This piece was a joint venture between a TV channel and a weekly newspaper, and so this piece was accompanied in print: Revista do Expresso de 5 Abr. 2014, com a peça "Mural da Liberdade" onde se fala de poliamor.

Just before this one came out, a morning talk show also interviewed a polyamorous woman (accompanied by a very supportive anthropologist). The video: Queridas Manhãs
Afinal, o Que é o Poliamor?
[4 April].

Five days later, a partner of mine, myself and another person from PolyPortugal gave a public talk on polyamory in the context of the Braga Pride Parade preparations, and it also made the regional press: Tertúlia "Poliamor e o questionamento da mononormatividade" - gravação e notícias [10 April].

All the material is available on www.polyportugal.org — on the right column there's a section called "Poliamor nos media" with a list of links to every media appearance.


• Finally, here are all of my own posts on Portuguese-language poly in the media (including this post; scroll down).


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December 27, 2014

Margaret Cho to be alt-sex and poly rep for TLC

NY Daily News / Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images
Remember Margaret Cho? After 11 years of open marriage, the comedian and her husband Al Ridenour are divorcing, as you may have noticed at the supermarket checkout. In today's New York Daily News she says it wasn't the openness that ended the marriage, and she describes her upcoming new role on TLC's All About Sex:

...The comedian, always happy to make her private business everybody’s business, will star on TLC’s new chat show “All About Sex” along with comic Heather McDonald, actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and sex and relationship counselor Tiffanie Davis Henry.

“It’s really an advice show about sexuality, and women’s sexuality in particular,” Cho told Confidenti@l. “I’m the representative for alternative sexuality, polyamory, sex toys. I’ve been part of the alternative sex community for my entire adult life. That’s my arena.”

Doesn’t she find it slightly incongruous to be chatting about sex on a network that features the Duggars in all their virginal glory? “Maybe those people really need to learn about vibrators so you can hold your boyfriend’s hand but still have a good time,” Cho theorizes....

It’s a difficult time in Cho’s life right now. She recently announced she was separating from artist Al Ridenour, her husband of 11 years. They were in an open relationship, but Cho says that’s not the reason for the marriage’s demise: “The totally sad truth is that sometimes people grow apart … it’s sad for me, I’m learning to live without him, and it’s really painful.”

She’s still an advocate of polyamory and plans to talk about it on the show.

“Opening up your relationship is very risky and a very mature decision, and it needs to be really negotiated,” she said. “I think it’s one of the hardest ways to have a relationship, and the most rewarding.”

The whole article (Dec. 27, 2014).

All About Sex will air Saturdays at 11 p.m. (10 Central) on TLC starting January 10.

Update: And here she talks about poly on HuffPost Live: