Ozy: "The Rise of Polyamory"
Ozy magazine, which calls itself "the go-to daily news and culture site for the Change Generation" (164,000 daily subscribers), presents a Poly 101 article and 6-minute video.
The article seems kinda thrown together, but it gets the concept out. I'm amazed at how many people still haven't heard of it.
The Rise of Polyamory
By Melissa Pandika
Why you should care: Because polyamory’s growth in popularity could shake up the dating world.
Jen Day and her boyfriend of 11 years, Pepper Mint (yes, that’s his real name), live together with their cat in a whitewashed house on a narrow, leafy street in Berkeley, Calif. They kiss and nuzzle and have date nights, like any other couple.
Just not always with each other.
...Large-scale studies tracking the number of polyamorous (aka “poly”) individuals don’t exist, but evidence from polyamory groups, relationship therapists and dating websites suggests that figure is rising fast. University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley estimates that 5 percent of Americans are involved in consensual non-monogamous relationships....
“There’s a shaken belief [in monogamy]” leading to “more openness to seeing what works rather than believing in some tradition,” says San Francisco clinical psychologist Deborah Anapol. And, in general, people have grown more open to alternative lifestyles.
Of course, it’s also possible that interest in polyamory has remained stable — but people just have more opportunity to take part. Thanks, Internet!
Still, the poly-curious should think hard before making the leap. Polyamory might sound like free love, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Maintaining multiple healthy relationships takes McKinseyian time-management skills and grace dealing with jealousy. Skeptics worry about the welfare of children in polyamorous families. The stigma hasn’t quite worn off, either.
“A lot of people get into this relationship style and don’t really have the tools to do it ethically, so people get hurt,” says Michael (last name not given), who organizes polyamory events in the San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay Area, Calif. “People are like, ‘I dated this guy who was poly and was a sleazebag.’ It gives the lifestyle a bad name.”
...“If you ask one person what their definition of polyamory is, it will be totally different from somebody else’s,” says Maryland-based sex and kink educator Cassie Fuller.
To wit: Fuller and her husband practice polyfidelity, in which all members are considered equal partners who remain faithful to one another. Mint and Day form intimate networks, labeling their lovers as “primary,” “secondary” and “tertiary” depending on the level of commitment. Michael and Yi-Ling (last name not given) practice relationship anarchy, participating in open relationships without ranking partners....
...Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests an upswing. Local poly organizations have experienced a surge in membership, while sex and relationship therapists have noticed a rise in poly clients.
“All signs point to an upward trend,” says Niko Antallfy, a sociology lecturer at Macquarie University.
The real trend is toward more tolerance and acceptance of diversity....
Oh but the critics! There are many. Some, predictably, consider polyamory amoral. Others blame a shift toward a “me-me” culture....
Read the whole article (July 17, 2014).