Friday, October 29, 2010

Party On in support of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association

November 22nd is the beginning of the BC Supreme court case referencing secition 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada (the polygamy law).

Let's make November Party On for Poly month!!!
Have a meet & greet, polyamory awareness event, house party whatever suits your community!!
Talk about the case!  Be informed and inform others! View our presentation at
Encourage donations to help us finance the legal costs and potential transportation of witnesses.
Participate in our policy statement forums.

Forward details of when and where your November events are being held and we will list them on the CPAA  website, in this blog and I'll tweet about it too.

Poly Living 2010 wrap up and Poly Leaders Network Summit

Sunday was the closing day of the Poly Living 2010 conference.
1st session for me was Who is the Poly Community? which was a very interesting look at a survey done in 2000 by Loving More with respondents submitting survey forms at a conference and by mail in responses.  The Kinsey Institute has the survey archived as an SPSS file but the raw data appears to have been lost.  That's unfortunate because the context of the survey forms filled out would be an excellent addition to the process of analysis.  The presenters noted that the data entry to the SPSS file would have some inaccuracies as there were fill in the blanks answers which would be hard to code.  Also one third of the respondents did not answer the questions which identified their gender and sexual orientation.  There was discussion about the phrasing of questions being as issue with a desire for anonymity being more sought ten years ago when the survey was done.  Demographics drawn from the survey showed a broad range of ages with many in their early thirties, having a higher level of income, moderate personal income but higher household income.  Forty per cent were divorced at least once and seventy per cent were childless.  Comments from the audience suggested that the sample was perhaps biased if these survey forms were obtained at a conference as perhaps the parenting poly people were home with the kids.  Survey questions regarding when the respondents told various people in their lives about being poly were interesting and possibly indicative of the time frame of the sample group.  There was strong indication that female respondents had more positive feedback when coming out to most of their contacts but this seemed to diminish with advancing age and higher education.  It was suggested that this might indicate a bias against senior sexuality and higher education require work places being less responsive to poly.  It was noted that the group CARAS is working on a survey project.

2nd session - Creating Tribe was a discussion of Intentional family building presented by Erosong House of Seattle.  This is a six bedroom house of six adults who are all very active in the greater Seattle poly community.  They have shared ideas and values such as being a sex positive, pagan friendly, polyamorous, clothing optional group of loving adults with crystal will (free and responsible in their choices).  They began as a triad with wonderful communication processes developed and now include a large interconnected web of lovers, metamours and family (the cloud beyond the web of lovers).  There is a mailing list, a google calendar, a weekly potluck and several other events through out the year that welcome community members and new folks.  Erosong house members are busy building and contributing in pagan, kink and poly communities in the Seattle area and very well connected to communities in San Francisco, Hawaii, Victoria BC and so on.  Anyone of a like mind is welcome to visit Erosong and attend any of their events but moving into the home requires an interview.  The meshing of personalities and values is key to the success of this tribe.

The final closing circle of the conference made it possible for us to applaud the hard work of the well organized  group of volunteers & presenters responsible for an excellent experience and share our support for their continued efforts.

Following the conference there was a summit of the Poly Leaders Network  with the leaders of poly groups and projects from across the US and Canada.  We had a brief meeting of introductions on Sunday night and spent most of Monday discussing, conferring and networking about our projects and programs.  The support and encouragement for us in our upcoming court case with reference to the Criminal Code's polygamy law was overflowing, empowering and very moving.   The cheer of "CAN - NA- DA!  CAN - NA- DA! CAN - NA- DA!" will long be remembered.  The interest and offers of advice, assistance and collaboration were invaluable.

This inconsequential woman simply practicing polyamory in my corner of Canada left Seattle on Monday evening bursting at the seams with inspiration, ideas and a sense of being part of something pretty damn terrific.   Thanks, folks.   I will hold fast to that and walk my path with boosted pride.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poly Living 2010 - day two

Saturday's sessions - There were  three streams of sessions and these are the ones I attended.
1st session: Wandering Hearts - This session was presented by Dawn Davidson and Gary Jacobson who have maintained a long distance polyamorous relationship for 29 years. (Holy smokes!)  Poly people communicate like all married couples should.  They have to because Poly communication pitfalls have spikes.  It is easy to forget to communicate and communication styles can be part of the problem.  Some resources suggested to help learn how to communicate more effectively were:
*Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, Rosenberg, Marshall,
*The Enchantment of Opposites: How to Create Great Relationships, Taylor, Patricia Huntington
*The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Committment to Your Mate, Chapman, Gary

Four things impact long distance relationships more than local relationships:
1. Communication and communication styles
2. Resources - financial, time and personal energy levels
3. other relationships - honesty & respect 
4. love
An excellent tip was to put your long distance lover in your emergency contacts on your cell phone so that in the event of something happening to you, they will be contacted.  Something that is often not done and the long distance lover is not informed by surviving local family and friends until months or years later if at all.
Suggested resource was "The Complete Idiots Guide to Long Distance Relationships" by Seetha Nanarayan.

2nd session - Emotional Edge Play with Anita Wagner and her wonderful handouts.  This was a discussion of how poly relationship dynamics and Kink relationship dynamics can work in collaboration effectively.  Many of the same issues of jealousy and negotiations are at play in both relationship forms.  A very interesting discussion with reference to an article in Loving More Magazine this month entitled "Navigating Polyamorous BDSM Relationships by Kathy Labriola.  Kathy says that people in kink relationships are able to sustain poly relationships more often because BDSM clearly defines relationships and communication is essential. Discussion points of interest were that an ended relationship is often seen as failure when it should be seen as graduation.  There is a difference between "Me Poly" where individual needs are paramount and "We poly" where the group's needs are the priority.  Anita said that 75% of people in the US kink scene (public) identify as polyamorous.  Jealousy tweaks are different and there is a need for "symbolic specialness" in poly relationships where we have a certain words or activities etc that we only do with that partner.

3rd session - Canadian Charter Rights Case - Zoe Duff and Carol Chaunteuse (representatives of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.  This was a historic background and current legal activities around section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada also known as the polygamy law. A snappy power point slide show and excellent talk by the two presenters was well received.  This blog will be monitoring the case as it progresses.  For details and background see
Update: Presentation uploaded for your perusal

4th session - Negotiations and Boundaries  - Angela Smith.  A very interesting presentation including role play and discussion around the processes involved in communicating changes and needs in any relationship but specifically a broader polyamorous configuration.  There were some very dramatic moments in the discussion some of which were real interactions on real issues.  Well done and thought provoking.

Evening plenary address - Christopher Ryan (author of Sex at Dawn)
Interesting talk with regards to his research on social, anthropological and economical origins of human relationship forms.  His conclusions are that human love is not necessarily sexually exclusive and that while one can choose to practice monogamy that doesn't mean the attractiveness  of others is not still there.   Excellent graphics in his presentation including a video clip from South Park where the kids blame global warming for a man's desire to have sex with more than one woman.

Excellent day.  More tomorrow.

Poly Living 2010

To schmooze or not to schmooze
If there's one thing poly people know how to do, its network and we do it very well.  One should always find community whenever it is possible.  Poly Living 2010 is a conference weekend for poly people from around the world to attend.  This year it is being held in Seattle or Renton, WA more accurately.

The conference began last night with a key note address by Dossie Easton (co-author of "The Ethical Slut") and she gave a wonderful spirited talk about her life and epiphanies.  Very open, honest and revealing monologue peppered with very funny anecdotes. Dossie said that she sees us moving to a time of pluralism in relationships and that we've come a long way in our  culture since the discovery of the 1960's and 70's.  The world has opened up to understanding of diversity in relationship forms.  We've handed down a tradition of consentuality to our kids. They come to see their parents's other partners as a resource for themselves.  Kids are meant to grow up in a village.  Babies are designed to recognize a large number of people as family. She says that we need to get away from dualism where there is either the gold standard or the very bad and celebrate the whole broad spectrum of choices in all aspects of life including relationships.  We need an egalitarian approach rather than a ranking system.  We don't need to be the best, biggest or most impressive we need to just be ourselves.  She asked the audience to ponder the question:  "If you were totally free what kind of life would you have?"  In questions following her talk, Dossie (who throws amazing pajama parties) for tips on throwing a great pajama party.  She said very thin pajamas with night gowns preferred; a fold out futon or sofa bed in the area; blankets, pillows and effortless munchies handy.  Most importantly one had to be willing to be foolish or appear foolish and try something new or different.  She said that this philosophy had really gotten her far in life.  Dossie is a very delightful speaker.

Following this session was a wonderful evening with Ben Silver opening for the Bone Poets Orchestra.  Ben has a lovely voice and sings folk, R&B, funk, and jazz with lyrics that address freedom, the environment, LBGT issues, parently and poly love.   Very funny at times and always toe tapping.  BPO (formerly Gaia Consort) plays psychedelic steampunk.  Also very funny and shake your booty tunes.

Tomorrow's sessions should be good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Meta- (from Greek: μετά = "after", "beyond", "with", "adjacent", "self"), is a prefix used in English (and other Greek-owing languages) to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.

Amour is the French word for love, an intense feeling of affection. It may also refer to: Amour (musical), a stage musical written by Michel Legrand ...

So...."metamour" is "after the musical"? applause?  woohoo!!!   I"m the applause???  oh yeah bbbbaby    (chuckle)

Well....maybe but no... a metamour is

In a polyamorous relationship, where your lover has more than one lover, a metamour is the name given to your partner's other lover(s).

Interesting discussion at the Victoria Poly 201 group meeting last night.  This is a smaller group than the Victoria Poly 101 and more devoted to the fine tuning of practical poly than basic information and concepts.

Discussion revolved around the necessity of some relationship between ourselves and the other partners in our lovers' lives.  The relationship between same sex persons in any poly configuration being a key factor in the success of said configuration according to Deborah Anapole in her various books on the subject.  Key factors in the development of  relationships between members of the poly family around you were identified as:

1. Time to develop any kind of a relationship
2. Accessibility of the metamours to each other (less likely in a long distance scenario etc)
2. Inclination or compatibility considerations of the individuals and their relationship styles.
3. Responsibility of the linch pin (the lover who is shared) to introduce, facilitate and perhaps referree the relationship developing
4. Investment required of the metamours - (ie if the girl friend is going to be a long term hanging around the house situation then the live in partner would have greater investment in developing a friendship with her and vice versa)
5. The impact of the level of honesty in the lovers' other relationships on you as metamour and the comfort level of being everything from possibly intrusive, kind of involved to completely detached from the particulars of other relationships. (ie knowing that your partner's partner doesn't know about your relationship with her)  ( ie poking at him to call her etc and vicariously participating in the courtship)
6. The poly configuration involved.  A big poly inter-loving household requires much more relationship development than a network of lovers who might not ever come into social contact with each other.
7. Whether you are a primary partner or trying to relate to the primary partner or another non-living in the house partner.

Very interesting discussion.