Categories
Polyamory

How is the Covid-19 Pandemic Impacting Polyamorous Relationships?

The Covid-19 pandemic has its quarantine fingers in every pie, it seems. Social distancing and mask wearing are a part of most of our daily lives now. For monogamous folx, household units haven’t had to change their interactions with each other much. For polyamorous folx on the other hand…

Suddenly a whole new layer of safety protocols need to be considered. A community that already has (mostly) mastered communication about tricky topics, Covid-19 has provided new areas for us to explore and tackle.

Specific Covid-19 Things to Ask

  • Who do we isolate with?
  • Can we see other partners, if we aren’t isolating with them?
  • How often can we see them?
  • What if you are living alone?
  • What if you have kids?
  • What if they have kids?
  • What if someone tests positive?

Lovey and I had the easy part of already living together with our children. But our partners? Bats lives alone but doesn’t drive. So Lovey, of course, committed himself to help them out getting to and from work and appointments and what not. Being in the restaurant biz, they were essential and continued to work through it all. And since Bats was isolating and distancing from everyone else in their life (as much as possible), we all collectively decided the risk of hanging out and including them in our own isolation bubble was low.

Boyfriend is in the caretaker biz, so also essential. However the risk posed was a little higher. He has his own kids and roommates to take into consideration too. More people means more exposure. So we refrained from seeing each other in person for the first month, during the worst of the outbreak (to date). It sucked. (Boy, did it suck.) But it passed and we were all safer for it.

Now, post-first surge and initial quarantine, we are trying to return to some sort of new normal. Which means limited activities and lots of mask wearing, hand washing, and sanitizing. But it also means showing grace when we just need to get out and do something fun, like a trip to a museum for a special exhibit. Or to see the new baby animals at the zoo. Or to have a night out and go on a date.

Dating

I know many others out there are thinking about dating again. Whether that means dates out with current partners or new dates with new people. And what about group meetings? We can only decide for ourselves, knowing our own risks.

For us: we see each other and our partners whenever possible. We social distance when out on dates. We are not meeting new people for dates. We wear our masks and wash our hands. We are not starting new relationships. We talk and meet people online but no new in person stuff. Because we want to be safe. And stop the spread of this virus so life can look closer to what it once was, sooner rather than later.

We hope you guys are doing the same. For the latest guidelines, I encourage you to check out the CDC’s website. And for closer to home recommendations, please look to your local Health Department.

Tell me how you are dealing with dating during Covid-19? Are you pursuing new relationships? How are you maintaining your existing relationships, and caring for your partners? How are you caring for yourself?

Categories
LGBTQ+ Polyamory

A Roundtable Discussion on the Summer’s LGBT Equal Employment Ruling

On June 15, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court issued their ruling on R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A big case for something that many feel was common sense. The case sought to answer the question: Are members of the LGBT community covered under the Equal Employment Opportunity? The answer was yes!

I recently sat down (well, lounged in the bed is more accurate) with Lovey and Bats to talk about the big ruling this summer from the U.S. Supreme Court on LGBT Equal Employment status. We talked about what it meant to us to hear that ruling come in; what we hoped it would mean for future rulings; and of course, how it could impact the polyamorous community.

So grab your popcorn, get cuddled up, and read on for our insights on this historic ruling.

Lucie

So, thoughts in general on the ruling? Basically, it just said that LGBT employees are protected from being discriminated against based on their sex. They (the Supreme Court Justices) extended the civil rights act, specifically the “based on sex” to include gay, lesbian, and trans people. The vote was 6-3, with Justices Kavanaugh, Alito, and Thomas voting against. In their ruling, they talked about it being an interpretation based on cultural norms as opposed to an actual literal meaning of the words.

Bats

I don’t feel like that’s a great excuse.

Lovey

No, that’s a cop-out.

Lucie

That was also suggested by the representative for the funeral home that fired Aimee Stephens after she came out as trans. The representative said that the reason the 6 Justices ruled the way they did is based on cultural norms.

Bats

Yeah, that’s fair. There’s definitely some cultural hangups that still need to be worked through. I feel like this is a step in the right direction, but there’s gonna have to be other cases that come up for them to actually solidify this, and have it actually start being normalized.

Lovey

I think the idea that someone else’s sexual identity should not and does not threaten my own sexual identity needs to become kind of a normal thing too, because that’s where a lot of that is. You expose kids to a different sexual orientation and/or gender or whatever and you’re corrupting them and all of a sudden they’re just going to become… That’s not the way sexual orientation works.

Bats

And I agree with something you said we’ve been talking about like your gender and your sexual orientation and any way you identify shouldn’t even be a question on your work application. Because that’s not what actually matters.

Lucie

Yeah, they have no effect on my ability to perform the job duties.

Lovey

Now if you have a job that’s more physically demanding, like a roofing job, and you say hey can you lift 75lbs repetitively all day long, every day…

And then we kind of rabbit trailed into the Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Employment Opportunity laws. We can save those for another day. Because there were some definite opinions on what should and shouldn’t be allowed on job applications and interviews. But it’s not really relevant to the LGBT equal employment discussion, so we shall just fast forward a bit and get back to the real reason we are here!

Bats

But anyway, I think this is a good starting point. And I hope it doesn’t stop here

Lucie

So, do you think, as it was suggested by the three dissenting Justices and the representative, that this is a ruling that’s based on the actual words? An interpretation of those words? Or if it’s based on a culture shift that now that society is seeing that this is a normal thing and is being more open and accepting?

Bats

I think it’s really funny that they’re ignoring a ton of other cultures when they say that, including some that used to live here. It’s just very um… The amount of hubris… But I think yeah, more people are aware now more than ever that people of multiple genders have been around since the beginning and so now it’s not really… well it’s just a cultural shift. No, we’re just accepting what is reality.

Lucie

We’ve finally caught up with the rest of the world!

Lovey

It’s um… I think it’s a little bit of both because it is a shift in our culture in America. Our culture has finally shifted into being open to this and understanding, so yeah it is a culture shift but that doesn’t make it any less relevant.

Bats

That doesn’t invalidate it. Because if you’re not growing and changing…

Lovey

…then you’re stagnant and you die. So yes, it’s a cultural shift but that cultural shift helped us redefine and understand what that meant to actually protect people with sexual genders and the rest of that.

Bats

Yeah, that’s a good point. Just because some of it is a cultural shift doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

Lucie

What impact, if any, do you think this could potentially have on the poly community because that is actually what the blog is about (shameless self promotion!)

Lovey

I think it will allow us to be a little more open about being poly in work areas. But honestly I have not experienced any negative affects from being open and poly.

Lucie

Yeah, but also you’re in an industry I feel is like a lot more open. Like you guys don’t really care.

Lovey

They’re just like okay cool that works for you

Lucie

Yeah, there’s no question. I was working with kids. And it was always a thought. Well I really wanna talk about oh I’m gonna go out to see a movie with my boyfriend.

Bats

Cause you never know though. Some of those kids could be growing up in a polyamorous family, they could be polyamorous themselves, and not know that that’s a thing

Lucie

Exactly. And then like that getting back to HR who potentially could be like oh my god your like having all of this weird swinging sex! And why is it always about the sex?

Bats

Massive eyeroll. (Yes, they actually said the words.)

Lucie

Like oh my God you can’t be trusted around children because you have too much sex –

Bats

With adults!

Lucie

Like what does my sex life have to do with children?

Bats

Right? I’m not gonna talk to them about that.

Lucie

No, I’m going to see a movie. With a person I am not married to.

Bats

Still in the military if they find out your polyamorous… So any type of government job, any type of military job, a lot of higher up office jobs, it’s not a good idea still.

Lovey

So I mean this might be able to like start a shift toward being more. But I mean I think just the idea of being able to be openly trans, queer, bi, lesbian, whatever.

Bats

Just to even have it not matter.

Lovey

Yeah just to have it not matter. I think that will go a long way toward acceptance for toward poly because it’s just a lifestyle it’s not a definition of who we are, it doesn’t label us like you know weird and sex addicts and culty crap.

Lucie

Always sex addicts. (insert eyeroll)

Bats

Which is really funny because polyamorous people joke about how much not sex there is.

And off we went on another rabbit trail. It happened quite a bit. Focus people! We are here for the equal employment of LGBT members!

Lovey

I think this ruling will be good for just acceptance in general for the poly community. It might still be a little slow but…

Bats

Yeah, I don’t think it will hurt.

Lovey

I do think it will go a long way toward helping our acceptance because then even if we can’t be openly poly we can still be openly queer or nonbinary or openly whatever we are. And I think that will go a long way toward just helping us be better as a society.

Lucie

So the last question I had was what would you like to see next? If something, another case like this was brought up, what would you like to see them tackle?

Lovey

I mean right now they need to tackle some police reform.

A resounding yes from Bats and myself. (We are unapologetically for Black Lives Matter.) Followed by yet another rabbit trail about police reform and what their actual jobs as law enforcement entities entail. Which then rabbit trailed itself into congressional reform and term limits for everybody! Keeping us in line is a full time job!

Bats

I would love to see just a nationwide ban on the gay and trans public defense. I hope this new ruling helps get that ball rolling.

Lucie

I could see this having an impact on that.

Lovey

They need to stop the war on drugs.

Bats

Prison reform.

And once more down the rabbit hole. Until we landed on this gem:

Bats

As we get older we all become Giles…

Lucie

I know! Later years Giles where he just rubs his glasses and drinks his scotch!

So, there you have it! Our humble thoughts on the Supreme Court’s LGBT Equal Employment ruling. Leave your own thoughts about the ruling in the comments below! Are you excited for it? Do you agree that it is based on our changing culture around LGBTQIA+ issues? What are you hoping to see next? (I realize this is a hot button topic, so please be respectful!)

Categories
Polyamory

History, Art, and Polyamorous Domestic Partnerships in a New England Town

The Powder House. Prospect Hill. City squares and art exhibits galore. Somerville, Massachusetts is far from a quaint New England town. Because they just added polyamorous domestic partnerships to their list of recognized relationships!

Massachusetts has always held a special place in my heart. It is the home of my childhood obsession (Salem witches, anyone?), my favorite boy band of all time (NKOTB!), and the place I lived for 3 glorious years of elementary and middle school. I made some of the best friends I’d ever had there. And for the first time that I can remember, it was the place I considered my home.

New England Seasons. Clockwise, from top left: fall road, spring tulips, winter bridge, summer lavender.

I loved everything about it. The leaves in the fall, the flowers in the spring, the green green summers, and the white white winters. It is a place I yearn to go back to as an adult. Just to make sure it really is what I remember.

Change is on its way!

So imagine my joy when, at the beginning of July 2020, I read the best article. A small city in Eastern MA, near my beloved Boston, had just decided to recognize polyamorous domestic partnerships. YAY! A small step, sure, but an important one. And I hope, the first of many.

Thanks to a local ordinance passed by the City Council, poly families of Somerville can now be out and recognized. They can visit loved ones in the hospital. Which, in this strange new Covid-19 world, is such a huge blessing. Health benefits can also – potentially – be expanded to multiple partners for those under City employ.

Somerville, MA City Hall

The far reaching impacts of this will be seen as surrounding communities and municipalities react. Larger law enforcement entities will need to adjust as well. And the insurance companies will also have to chime in. But for now, let us just bask in the glow of this small but significant step.

As a ruling that comes soon after SCOTUS’ ruling on LGBT employment protections, I can only hope that this sets off a chain reaction, and an avalanche of similar ordinances and laws that sweeps our country.

To the naysayers…

Before you all say “But Lucie, it’s only a city ordinance.” or “Lucie, it only recognizes polyamorous domestic partnerships of people living together.” I say: “Baby steps!” Is this a perfect, cover-all-the-different-poly-styles decision? No, of course not. But it is a step in the right direction. This can open the door to recognizing many relationship configurations and the families that those create.

The ability to openly love my family – ALL members of my family – is something I cannot wait for. And I am so excited for that day to come. But, in the meantime, I guess I’m going on vacation to Massachusetts! (Once it is safe, of course!)

UPDATE 8/2020:

More great news! On Monday, July 27, 2020, Cambridge followed suit! They are advancing a similar proposal to have a second reading at their next council meeting in September. Six members voted in favor of this next step. Only two members declined to vote at all, citing their lack of knowledge on polyamory.

So everyone, fingers crossed this moves forward and Cambridge, MA becomes the next city to recognize multi-partner relationships!

Sound off!

What do you think of the new change? What are you hoping to see next?

Categories
Polyamory

Why I’m Choosing Polyamory And Leaving Monogamy For Good

Before I get into choosing polyamory, I want to say that for many in the Polyamorous community, it is not a choice. It is simply who they are. Much like being gay or straight, tall or short, introverted or extroverted is who they are. There was no choice for them. They simply are polyamorous.

Polyamory Is A Choice For Me

I will say “I am polyamorous” but I do not think of it in the same context as “I am bisexual.” It is simply easier to say it that way when describing my preferred relationship style. It also implies more of the little behind the scenes details that go into practicing polyamory. I choose, everyday, to live my life and love my relationships in this context.

Alright, onto the meat of it: Why am I choosing polyamory?

The Short Answer?

It just makes sense. Why should I have to choose between person A and person B when they both have the potential to make my life happier?

The Long Answer is messier.

What Monogamy Has Shown Me

Monogamy was built, and is focused, on keeping ahold of your person. In my monogamous life, I remember there were all these things telling me how many temptations were out there just lying in wait to “steal” my person. And how I could change who I was and what I did in order to keep my man. Open any women’s magazine and you will see them. So many stories exist about how the man cheated because the woman didn’t do XYZ. Or because she “allowed” him to have female friends or go out on the town without her at his side.All of this breeds distrust and possessiveness. And how is that healthy in any relationship?

“One True Love”

Monogamy touts the idea of “one true love.” And that there is only one person in the whole world for you. One person to meet all of your needs 100% of the time. How exhausting! And if that one magical person turns out to be human and imperfect, and just not able to be all of the things you need them to be? Well then, monogamy says they weren’t your “one true love” to begin with. Back to the dating pool for you!

It Takes a Village…

What’s more, there is no village. Unless you build your own. This is especially true in American culture. We like to say “It takes a village to raise a child.” So where is it? And why do we look down on those that have that village in place? Why is it more acceptable to hire nannies and daycares than build a small village to help bring up our tiny humans?

I have had three children. And not once did a village show up to help me raise them. I have family and close friends. But we are spread out and not in each other’s day to day life as much. Not to mention, some of them have their own kids and partners and lives to juggle. But wouldn’t it be nice to have that small group of people in your daily life, always there, ready to help and support you when you just need to pee in peace?

So, Why Am I Choosing Polyamory?

Polyamory has shown me that, for people to love and accept me, I don’t have to be anyone I’m not. Nor do I have to do anything other than what I am already doing.

Obviously, people are not for trapping or keeping. They are individuals; fully autonomous, and capable of deciding who they wish to share their life with. For example, my partners are not mine. They choose to be with me. And I them. And that choice is freeing. Temptations are there for everyone, all of the time. And, of course, they look different for everyone. It is up to each individual how they are handled. Despite my best efforts, I cannot create a temptation free space for my partners. No matter how hard I try. So I must trust my partners and our relationships.

“My partners are not mine. They choose to be with me. And I them. And that choice is freeing.”

Soulmates. Love triangles. Cheating. Divorce rate.

In practice, monogamy doesn’t exactly work the way everyone seems to think it does. It places too much pressure to be everything, and meet every need, for your partner. So what happens if they don’t or can’t meet every one of your needs? Do you settle? Move on? What if you never find your “one”? Do you give up? Resign yourself to being single for the rest of your life? Absolutely none of those options sound appealing to me.

Lastly, let’s go back to that village. There are a lot of cultures that have multi-generational families living under one roof. Helping to raise children and supporting each other. “Mom tribes” are sought out for those same reasons nowadays. Likewise, community groups are sought out for various hobbies and lifestyles and shared experiences. We are social animals! Polyamory – kitchen table poly maybe especially – allows for all of that; with the extra bonus of loving relationships. Plus, you get metamours to help support and love you. And who understand deeply the feelings you have for your shared partner. Even when you occasionally want to wring their necks. There is nothing in the monogamous world quite like a close metamour bond.

One More Thing…

I keep saying that I am choosing polyamory, implying that it happens a lot. The reason is: it does! I choose everyday to be polyamorous in my relationships. Just like I choose everyday to love my family, be a good mom, have a good day doing whatever it is that needs doing.

I am intentional in those things. And I am owning those choices.

Your Turn!

Why are you polyamorous? Did you choose it, or is it a part of who you are?

If you are monogamous, what are your thoughts on this? Share this with your partner and let me know what they think too.

Categories
General Info Polyamory

Glossary

Welcome to our Polyamorous Dictionary! Here you will find some words unique to the world of Ethical Non-Monogamy, the umbrella Polyamory falls under. This glossary is by no means exhaustive. And it will be updated as often as needed. These definitions are how I understand and use the terms, based on my many years in the Polyamorous Community. If you come across a word that isn’t here, and you feel it should be included, please send me a message here.

Ethical Non-Monogamy

A large umbrella of relationship styles that includes (but is not limited to) swinging, open relationships, monogam-ish, and polyamory.

Polyamory

Many loves. A relationship style that falls under the umbrella of Ethical Non-Monogamy, where one has many romantic, loving, & consensual relationships.

Metamour

My partner’s partner.

Nesting Partner

The partner I am living with.

Pet-amour

Your metamour’s pets. While it is not a widely used phrase in the poly world, I find it absolutely adorable and worth mentioning. Because who doesn’t love more animals to cuddle?

Polycule

A way to describe a group of polyamorous relationship that includes partners and metamours. This can manifest in many shapes from a simple V or T, all the way to a complex full page map with many lines and circles and intersections!

Compersion

Polyamorous folx sometimes refer to it as the opposite of jealousy. It is a feeling of happiness and joy in your partner’s relationship with another. For example, instead of being jealous that my partner is having a night out with their other partner, I am happy that they get to have some alone time together to focus on their relationship.

Kitchen Table Poly

A style of polyamory where all partners & metamours hang out together often and build close friendships with each other.

Folx

Alternate spelling of folks, meant to be more inclusive and non-gendered.

Domestic Partnerships

Legally (but not always) relationships between two people who live together but are not married. It typically allows the couple to share the same or similar benefits as married couples. Polyamorous Domestic Partnerships would open the definition to include more than 2 people in the relationship.

Cishet

Cis refers to cisgender, identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth. Het refers to heteroromantic, being romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex/gender.

Cis-heteronormativity

the belief that heterosexuality, predicated on the gender binary, is the default, preferred, or normal mode of sexual orientation. (for more, check this link.)

Have a Suggestion?

Think we should add a word to our polyamorous dictionary? Fill out our suggestions form to let us know!