Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Finding other people with whom to be poly

I had someone recently contact me on OKCupid to ask how to be poly without going the monogamous couple who eventually maybe might kinda sorta try poly after 10 years angle.  I told him to go where poly people go and add himself to a poly relationship configuration or build his own.  My own relationship configuration began with two of us forming an open relationship from the get go.  We found the idea of poly first, then each other and finally added people to our Circle of Love.  Well not so much a circle as a wacky chemistry diagram, but whatever works.

Local poly group events are a start.
Conventions, conferences, workshop weekends and any other twist of the concept of learning, sharing and finding community are excellent opportunities to network and just plain meet people.  Seeking out these opportunities is a good way to expand your Circle of Love exponentially.  Or add yourself to one.

 How is this different from hitting the bar with the local poly group?  Meeting NEW people for one but frequently, with the wide connections that the internet provides, amongst the new people will be someone you talked to in a forum or their partner.  Being away from the usual scenarios provides a bit of adventure and playfulness to things when the business of the day is done.  You might connect and remain long term friends or lovers for years hence or you might just be ships that pass in the night.  You might meet someone who eventually falls in love with your partner's other partner.  Poly is cool like that.

It is an opportunity to observe and possibly meet/have conversation with the leaders in a particular community and get all nervous fan silly.  This past weekend I attended a convention for Sci Fi and Fantasy fans in Vancouver called VCon.  It was their 38th year and while they have the planning down to a science - science is not perfect and one can't anticipate everything.

 Unless they built a time machine and went forward a year noted the problems and returned to prevent them!!!! 

ah hem....anyway.  Having survived riding herd on the planning of PolyCon last May in Vancouver, I paid a bit more attention to how this convention was organized and what happened when issues arose.  It was very interesting and made me feel that we did pretty well for a first time convention.  Mostly good luck rather than wisdom on our part.  PolyCon was attended by just under 100 people and had several streams of workshops delving into the practical, political and possible of polyamory.  We had some community superstars present and a bit of a fan base building for them with great media attention.  I didn't get to schmooze as much as I'd have liked to as I needed to keep on those issues that arise, but I did make some connections and foster some friendships.

I look forward to attending Playground Conference 2013 in Toronto from November 8 to 10 where I will represent the West Coast poly community on a panel. This is a sex positive community conference and a great place to facilitate awareness of the philosophy and practice of polyamory.  I hope to connect with the Toronto poly community and do a book reading/signing of my new book "Love Alternatively Expressed".   Details on that conference at   http://playgroundconf.com/schedule2013/

A week later (November 15 to 17) I will be presenting workshops and hanging out at Beyond The Love 2013 which is a first time conference for the poly community of Columbus, Ohio.  I'm a bit nervous of this event because I've only been through Ohio on the way to Florida when dinosaurs walked and I was a teenager.  I find the folks organizing the event to be very warm and suspect this will be much like going to visit relatives I haven't seen in years.  I look forward to sharing with them in the sessions and social side of the conference.  Details about that conference at www.beyondthelove.org

Locate community even within a bigger event.  There is often a poly contingent at conventions that concern themselves with Sci Fi, Fantasy, Cosplay, Steampunk and so on.  There are poly folks at BDSM conventions.  We are every where.   Find the poly conferences, retreat weekends, and conferences. Many of them are listed on Facebook somewhere - just search "poly".

The Polyamory in the News blog or http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.ca/ written by my amazing friend, Alan, is great for poly news and information but he also keeps a list of events to attend. http://polyevents.blogspot.ca/
 Another great source for events around the world is this calendar http://polyamoryevents.com/

An excellent idea for networking in preparation for a move to a new city is to check out the local poly group online or attend a camp, conference, retreat or convention in that area ahead of the move or shortly thereafter.

Step outside yourself and risk getting to know someone new.  In that encounter you will learn something about yourself and open the door to the most amazing experiences.

1 comment:

  1. I have always approached my polyness as being an option I can follow if a friendship has the potential to become intimate. However, this mostly ends up in disaster because the girl I'm interested in is either monogamous (so it's a no-go) or says she is open to poly, but when we try it, she reverts to monogamous expectations and disaster quickly follows.

    I do have poly partners, but they are in other cities which are either 1.5 to 2 hours away, so I can't see them as often as I would like. I live with my primary partner, but her partners are all in the city, so she sees them every week.

    I heard that the local poly community can be tricky to navigate due to politics and the incestuous nature of a small community, so I'm leery of interacting with the local polys. Rock? Meet hard place.