Polyamory: Facing Down Misconceptions on #Fetchat

A note: This week’s post and #Fetchat is about polyamory: for the record, I’m swerving out of my lane.  I’ve been in one poly relationship. To say my experience is limited is an understatement. However, normalizing poly relationships is essential to acceptance and positive representation for everyone.  

Don’t just take my word for it, at the end of this post is a list of some fantastic people who are writing, speaking, advocating for, and educating about polyamory.


Hello, My Beauties,

Happy Tuesday. The weather is trying to kill me. No lie, every wave of rain that sweeps through the Midwest is like a hammer in my coffin. 

I’m kidding. A little.

Chronic pain is a drag. So, here is where I advocate for masturbation. Oxytocin and endorphins are fantastic for pain relief. Getting off is one of my go-to’s. It’s healthy, natural, and doesn’t involve opioids. I’ve also heard great things about CBD oil. However, my current rheumatologist isn’t hip to its benefits. Using it would jeopardize my access to the pain meds I can use. Look at me, being a responsible adult and practicing self-care.

Speaking of responsible adults, let’s move on to this week’s #Fetchat.

If you’re unfamliar, #Fetchat is a weekly Twitter Chat I co-host with Nikki from loveisafetish.com(@loveisafetishon Twitter). We, along with our guests and the kinksters and fetishists of Twitter, explore the kink/fetish landscape. Join us every Wednesday at 5PM, EST by either searching “fetchat” on Twitter or hanging out on the @Fet_chatfeed. 

At this point you may be asking Anne, polyamory is a relational way of loving, not a kink or a fetish. Stay in your lane! Also, what does responsibility have to do with poly relationships? 

Where I’m coming from.

Yes. Polyamory is outside of my lane. I’ve been in one poly relationship. I had a romantic and sexual relationship with a couple (a bisexual cis-man and a bisexual cis-woman).

We were together for three months. During that time, we were only out to close friends who were also poly. The poly dynamic isn’t why that relationship didn’t work. I was 19, a horrible communicator, and a self-destructive disaster. They broke up with me because they were good stewards of their mental health and their relationship. 

My honey and I are monogamous. It’s what works for us. But it doesn’t mean monogamous relationships are the right or only way to love.

What does polyamory mean?

Polyamory (poly) describes romantic and/or sexual relationships between more than two consenting folks. Those people can be of any gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, or sexual expression. 

According to the wise (and future #Fetchat guest), Tara Jazdzewski (on Twitter @JazdzewskiTara & @AskaPolyamorist)  being in a poly relationship shouldn’t be confused with polygamy (a husband with multiple wives) or polyandry (a woman with multiple husbands).

Why positive representation matters.

Unfortunately, the media often conflates polyamory with religious sects that practice polygamy or polyandry. The reality show Sisterwives is about a Mormon family that practices polygamy and HBO’s Big Love was a dramatic series about a polygamous man from a splinter sect of Mormonism that practiced child marriage. 

Are you looking for some erotic fantasy with queer, poly representation? Check out my Mound of Gaia series on Bellesa. You’ll get to know (and hopefully love) Vera, Sam, and Evander. They’re a poly thruple charged with protecting the passage that connects our dimension with a world brimming with magic, cranky deities, and living myths.

Up until recently, these types of shows were some of the few examples of relationships involving more than two people. The image was that of white folks in hierarchal, male-dominated, religiously grounded relationships. 

Folks in a poly relationship determine their boundaries, and a vast majority of the time religious doctrine doesn’t dictate the parameters. There is also a focus on consent, combined with a commitment on everyone’s part to act with trust, honesty.

However, there is a glut of misinformation, and as a result, folks in poly relationships face significant prejudice. Friends and family may pull away from them or reject them entirely. Depending on their employment situation, they may have to keep their relationship secret or only acknowledge one partner for fear of losing their livelihood. And they’re subject to allegations framed as well-meaning questions, like “What about the children?” 

Isn’t it funny how some people can be so worried about kids in polyfamilies? Yet, they show no concern for kids forced into carrying a rape baby or murdered by police for the color of their skin. 

Raising Awareness.

That’s why this week’s #Fetchat guest is C Pells (she/her/Mistress).  Mistress is the brilliant, kinky author of the Making a Mistress series. She’s willing to share her insights about the ins and outs of polyamory in the BDSM and vanilla communities.

Want to learn more about C Pells? Visit her on Twitter at @CPells2 . Check out her website and blog cpells.worpress.com for delectable samples of her writing. After that, hop over to her catalog of books on Smashwords.

Things are changing. Slowly. A brief perusal of Google Scholar yielded an increasing number of studies and books that normalize poly relationships. Consequently, there is an increasing number of articles educating mental health professionals on how to treat poly folks with respect and dignity.  

Normalizing is the key.

It’s not like poly relationships are new. Folks in poly relationships are becoming more visible and less stigmatized. However, there’s still a long way to go, though. Therefore, Nikki and I decided it was essential to include polyamory in not one, but two segments in the upcoming months.

Knowledge is power, my beauties.

Be well, be wonderful, and above all, be You.

Anne

If you want to learn more about polyamory, I suggest you check out these folks:

Orpheus Black: Sex Educator, Coach & Public Speaker, Founder of Tejakasiṇa Meditation, Sexual intellectual, Author.

Mrs. Dirty:Poly person, Sex Educator, Storyteller, and host/creator of SexEdAGoGo. 

Zelaika S. Hepworth Clarke MSW, LSW, LMSW, MEd, PhD:Sexosopher, Sexual Epistemologist, Cultural and Clinical Sexologist, Sexecologist, African-centered Social Worker, and Decolonizing Autoethnographer.

Tara Jazdzewski: Writer, Mom, Advocate, #Fetchat guest 7/17/2019

Loving More:A 501(c)(3) Dedicated to Polyamory, Ethical Non-Monogamy, & New Models for Relationships.

C Pells:Author of the Making a Mistress Series, #Fetchat guest 6/19/2019, Mistress

Marla Renee Stewart, MA:Professional Sex, Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Sexologist, and Sex Educator.

Robin Wilson-Beattie:Sex & Disability Educator, Writer, Advocate-Founder of sexAbled- sex 4 all abilities!

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