Tonight’s panel at the New York Open Center

I’m looking forward to joining my friends Barbara, Mark, and Patricia at the New York Open Center for a panel and breakout discussions on how we live in our open relationships.

More info here:

Time issues, or are they missing a shared vision?

From livejournal:

How do you resolve the issues of the single OSO wanting more time with your primary partner?

On the one hand, I don’t want to limit his visits with her but on the other hand, I start to feel as if our family is suffering because he’s not around, and I wonder if she respects our marriage or is just putting up with the “poly thing” to get to date a married man. I don’t want to have to TELL him when he can and cannot go visit his OSO because well, I’m not his mother, but I also feel a duty to say “too much”.

Full thread: “Time Issues”

I think this is more of a “shared vision” issue than a time issue. There will always be time issues, but I think we really need to have a shared vision in place first, and then the priorities become clear.  Once these are agreed upon, you will both have the same “measuring stick”.

You both want to be good parents, and you both want to be able to enjoy your outside relationships. If you talk about how much you think you should *both* be home with the kids to have good family time, then how much time you should each have to be able to create and maintain your outside relationships, you should both realize (for example) that maybe 3 nights a week are family nights, plus a full day including dinner every weekend, that leaves 3 nights a week open, which you can share, maybe you each get two nights off, trading child care, and one night a week where you get a babysitter and both get to go out.

Of course, if you don’t agree on family time and shared responsibilities and equal outside dating, that’s another conversation which I’ll write soon, called “What’s your commitment?”

The Universal Question: Is this ok?

Here is another person asking the universal question: “Is this ok?” “Is it ok for me to want this?” “Is it normal/common/acceptable/allowable/etc/etc/etc?”

In a word, YES.

This is the thread that caught my eye today: “my husband is very receptive to the idea of me wanting a female partner”

It’s just so common that people doubt themselves, their wants and desires. We’ve been socialized so heavily it’s almost funny.

At the risk of repeating the poly party line, talk, talk, and talk some more. Tell your love what you want. Tell them that you’re nervous to talk about it, if you are. Tell them what you’re afraid to tell them. If you’re afraid they’ll judge you, tell them. Ask for patience and talk talk talk.

If you’re clear what you want, just ask for it.

And then try it! (my response: If you’re clear what you want, just ask for it.)

Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage


“To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.”

I love this statement! “Constitutional principles” indeed.

Full article: Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage (opens in new window)


“Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection,”

Full article: Gay Marriage Is Ruled Legal in Connecticut

Vote no on Proposition 8


A prior writer pointed out that his marriage and family will not be threatened by gays and lesbians obtaining the same civil and legal rights as heterosexual couples. Fifty percent or more of traditional couples get divorced or commit adultery. Which is worse? Loving and committed homosexual partners or philandering heterosexual couples who hide behind a veil of Christian values?

I agree. Marriage is a stabilizing influence on individuals and society. Noone stands to lose if same-sex couples can marry and many people benefit.

Full article: Proposition 8 advocates blur the line

Tristan Taormino’s Poly Pride Keynote Address

Tristan’s Keynote Speech at the Poly Pride event in New York City is brief but powerful, and so clearly addresses some of the most important current issues. Thank you Tristan!

Tristan Taormino’s Poly Pride Keynote Address

First year student embarks on long-distance open relationship

Synapse (Synapse: Current Issue) is the student newspaper of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) probably one of the best places in the world to start exploring open relationships. Madalene Mandap, a first year phamacy student, is a contributing writer and offers a sweet commentary on starting the conversation with her sweetie.

While she doesn’t expand on their discussion or agreements, I’m still happy to see that students and universities have an open mind about sharing this with the world.

Anyone but him?

I just read a posting about an all-too-common situation. To summarize, a married couple (M/F) has been having an open relationship and dating only women for some years. The wife then meets a man she wants to date, but her husband doesn’t want that unless and until he has a woman to date. When the husband eventually meets a woman he’s interested in and the wife wants to start a romance with her male friend, husband says he doesn’t like him.
Read the LiveJournal post here (opens in new window).

There is an obvious issue here with the inequality of dating women versus men. Although the poster does not bring it up, it clearly underlies the situation and is a common misunderstanding and/or inequity that arises between heterosexual MF couples. Since she doesn’t ask about it, I am going to write about it another time and link to it here: Ok to date women but not men? (new window)

First I think I should state that I have more than one point of view on this. In general, I believe that polyamory works best when everyone involved is happy with all involved. That if any party is not happy and comfortable that the situation (and the relationships) cannot last. However, short to medium term uncomfortableness is often useful and bearable if all involved are working toward a shared vision in good faith, and any people that need help and attention in keeping sane through the adjustment process get the help they need.
It all comes down to my third basic rule of open relationships: “What is your commitment?” (new window)

My original comment (with some editing) was:
What is your commitment? Yours to him, and his to you?
Is it to be comfortable with each others’ partners, and if not, to veto them? Or are you committed to getting comfortable with each others’ partners if needed, so that you both get to see whomever you want?
Some relationships agree on veto power. Others agree that everyone has a right to do what they wish in life, and that everyone will make every effort in good faith to get comfortable with the people each brings into your “family”.

If you don’t know, then discuss it until you do know. Waiting until you hit the real world situation where someone is uncomfortable or unhappy is a sure way to screw it up.

The important thing is that you have an agreement that makes you both happy, because if one or both of you agree to something that doesn’t truly work for you, eventually it will fall apart with resentments and drama.

I kissed a dog (and I liked it!)

Ok, don’t ask me how I found this (or what I was searching for…) but now that it’s here I just had to share this with you!

OK to date women but not men

This is an article stub. I will write it soon, and add to it as needed. If you have questions about this subject that you’d like answered, or would like to discuss it with me, please add a comment below and I will get in touch.

The common situation, and its most common problem, goes like this:
A couple (M/F) date and/or have sex with other women, but dating other men, either together or separately is never discussed, or the subject gets put off when it arises. Eventually the woman wants to date another man, or has sex with another man, and the male partner isn’t willing to accept the situation. This is upsetting to both parties, as the woman may feel that she isn’t getting equal rights, or she may have felt that the agreement between them was that they were both free to have sex with others, but she just hadn’t acted on it yet. The man may feel that the agreement was that they would only have sex with other women, because they both can enjoy other women, but he can’t enjoy other men.

There are lots of facets to this one, and I’ll try to add more soon. Meanwhile please add comments if you have questions and I’ll respond.