With last week’s Supreme Court decision to make same-sex marriage legal across all 50 US states (or, as I’ve heard it said, “Fifty States of Gay!” 😉 ), we of the Poly Leadership Network have been deluged with questions, most asking some variant of “Is plural marriage next?” Continue reading
It can be challenging to be authentic, especially when your own way of thinking goes against the grain of societal norms. Restricting a person, their choices, and their lifestyle through shame is one way people seek control and safety in relationships. In honor of Pride week, and all of the progress our LGBTQ* cousins have made in proclaiming their authentic identities, here is a past article [originally posted in August of 2012.] I wrote about claiming my own authenticity as a bisexual, polyamorous person. Enjoy!
Love is nothing to be ashamed of.
NMCI Conference, Portugal, 9/25-27/15
Hey poly/open/non-mono researchers, activists, artists, and presenters! Are you in or near Europe — or would like to at least BE in Europe in September? This great conference is happening September 25-27 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Call for Contributions deadline has been EXTENDED to May 31!
Get your submissions in now to be part of the FIRST EVER Conference on Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies! https://
Just want to attend the conference, without being a presenter? That’s possible too. Find out more about fees and registration here: https://nmciconference.
More Poly/Open/Non-Mono Conferences
Want to know about other upcoming conferences? Check out Alan M’s great list of Poly Events, worldwide: http://polyevents.blogspot.
Contact me and we’ll set up a time to do a FREE consultation! I’m excited to help you create your own best life and love/s!
PS: Get ready for the conference with fun T-shirts and other products from my LoveOTB Zazzle store!
©2015, Dawn M. Davidson
I’m so excited to invite you to join me next weekend, May 8 – 10, in Colorado at Rocky Mountain Poly Living. We’ll convene at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in North Denver for a fabulous weekend of fun, networking, education, and socializing!
Polyamory Weekly Podcast legend Cunning Minx will be giving the keynote speech on Friday, followed by a fun Bohemian Nights Dance (both are included with your full weekend registration.) Continue reading
[Photo above is of Venetian masks — what sort of masks might we be wearing in relationship? Is it possible to safely unmask abusers in our communities?]
Sometimes in polyamory (and other forms of “ethical non-monogamy”), there are things we need to talk about that aren’t much fun. Over the past few months, there’s been a conversation going on about one such topic, that of abuse and predators within the poly community. It’s a challenging conversation in part because people have a desire to separate themselves from it (e.g., “oh that’s not [polyamory/ethical non-monogamy/whatever]; that’s just [cheating/abuse/creepy behavior]”.) All sorts of relationships can be done healthily, or unhealthily. There are abusive monogamous relationships, as well as healthy ones, and there are abusive polyamorous relationships, as well as healthy ones. No relationship style has a lock on either “healthy” or “unhealthy.”
However, in trying to distinguish that not all polyamorous relationships are abusive — which is a normal and natural desire! — we can sometimes, unwittingly, create a situation in which people who are doing these “bad behaviors” can hide out, flourish, and have a perfect place in which to prey on their victims. There are things about polyamory that make it sometimes more likely that abuse can happen, and there are other ways in which polyamory can complicate an already existing situation. So how do we talk about this sort of thing, and what sort of response should the community have, when such situations arise?
This is the topic of an upcoming discussion in our local East Bay Poly Potluck community, As background for this discussion, I’m providing some links to discussions that have been ongoing all around the US on this topic in the past few months. There’s a lot I could say about a lot of them, but I’m mostly just presenting them as a list of links. In a couple of cases there’s a tiny bit of commentary, drawn from the Poly Leadership Network list, where several lively discussions have been ongoing. Mostly, though, I’m just presenting the links for you to read, digest, and make up your own mind about.
Please be gentle with yourself as you read these. Some accounts can be triggery. Please be mindful of the trigger warnings on some pages, if that applies to you. Take time, take breaks, go for walks; whatever you need to do to keep yourself grounded and safe. It’s important reading, but equally important that you remain internally safe, as well as externally.
Who gets to decide who is in your family? In the US at least, the answer to that in many cases is… NOT you! The definition of family is determined at a legal level for a variety of purposes, such as healthcare benefits and hospital visitation. Many of these issues, of course, have been at the heart of the fight over same sex marriage rights.
Now, a family in Connecticut find themselves on the forefront of another aspect of this fight over the definition of “family,” that of zoning laws and housing rights.
Happy Valentine’s Day (almost)! I’ll be presenting 4 times in the SF Bay Area this coming week. Perhaps you can join me at one or more events? It’s not too late! List up front; longer descriptions below:
- Thurs evening 2/12, Oakland: East Bay Poly Potluck and Discussion Group
Leading Discussion: What’s Love Got to Do With It? Love, Sex, & Friendship in Poly & Open Relationships
- Sat morning 2/14, Berkeley: 4th Academic Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Non-monogamy [Super–short Jealousy Workshop]
- Sun afternoon 2/15, San Jose: Pantheacon [Short Jealousy Workshop]
- Mon evening 2/16, Oakland: Your Jealousy Toolkit [full length Jealousy Workshop]
Recently we who observe the Gregorian calendar celebrated the turning of the calendar year, that artificial time when we divide one block of time from another, to enable our finite human brains to cope with being part of a slice of the infinite. In other words, Happy New Year!
Today I’m sharing an excellent essay below, by my dear friend Francesca Gentille, on keeping things in perspective, and learning to choose interpretations around certain events. I can sure relate to her plight, having been through something similar just a couple months ago, with drains blocked and hot water shut down so we’d at least have toilets during a private event. (And as one of the priestesses for her ceremony on New Year’s Eve, I was also glad of the heads-up, so I could make sure to pee in advance! LOL)
I also share her perspective in that essay, that life can be made a bit easier by actively choosing interpretations that lead toward happiness. Believing that the world isn’t “out to get me” is generally a stronger, more empowered position to take, in many cases leading to my being able to see more options and possibilities than I could from the “poor me” position.
I also feel it’s important, though, to honor that for some folks — e.g., clinically depressed, or recently bereaved — the ability to make the most empowered interpretation just isn’t there. Continue reading
A month or two ago, I was contacted by some folks who are actually going through a common poly nightmare, at least for parents: A contentious custody battle in which one parent is accused of being a bad parent “because they are polyamorous.” It’s a nightmare in part because there have been some notorious cases in which a family has lost custody of their kids due at least in part to their being polyamorous. This sort of thing varies a LOT by location, and at least as much by the particular judge/s hearing the case. Even when polyamory is brought up as an issue, it does not always (or even often) lead to a loss of custody. But when it’s you and your family undergoing the scrutiny, the situation can be frankly terrifying.
I know this from personal experience, because about a decade ago my own daughter was taken by Child Protective Services (aka CPS) — for a situation that was ultimately unrelated to polyamory, but we didn’t know that at the time. She was eventually returned to us after a harrowing week, once they’d determined that their abuse fears were groundless. It was, however, an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and it has had lasting impacts on our daughter and our family.
Thus, I was very motivated to provide as much help as possible. I started by sending a couple of links, and then went on to write a detailed letter of some possible issues that might come up, and some possible responses to each one. I asked for and received permission to post the letter (devoid of identifying information of course.)
It is with great sincerity that I hope that no one reading these words ever has need of the advice and links I’ve included below. And it is for those few of you who might ever need these links that I share this information now. If you are going through something like this, please remember:
PS: Would you like to talk to me privately about issues around polyamory and/or child custody? I’m happy to schedule a time to talk to you. I do 30 minutes for free, or 60 minutes for 1/2 price. Contact me, and we’ll find a good time to chat by phone or Skype!
Letter to Polyamorous Parents Facing a Child Custody Battle
Dear [poly parents]:
Let me start by saying that I am so sorry that you all are facing this sort of prejudice. It’s terrible, and I know how very challenging it can be. (((hugs)))
I have really exciting news! The UK’s Victoria Rosa, of Umbrella Coaching, will be interviewing me this week! We’ll be sharing that interview with everyone twice on Saturday 11/22:
17.00 GMT, 9 am PST
and again at
20.00 GMT, 12 noon PST
Sign up here to find out how to tune in! (NOTE: This will sign you up for Victoria’s email list. You can always unsub later if you don’t want to stay for some reason. But she’s really cool, and I recommend her!)
Get the replay here: :
Victoria will be interviewing me about KISSable Agreements and other subjects related to polyamory. Hear more about the 5 Reasons even good agreements can Fail, getting to Win-Win (-Win-Win…) and other great topics! Continue reading