Categories
Polyamory

Polya and Polyam Are The New Poly Terms

Every once in a while, topics will circle back around in Polyamorous groups. Usually when there’s an influx of new people, either to the area or to ethical non-monogamy (ENM). Recently, one of these topics was about the terms we use. For those of us identifying as polyamorous, should we use poly, polya, or polyam when we want to shorten it? On this blog, I try to stick with polyamorous, just to avoid any confusion. But I’m not perfect and some shortened versions slip through.

It can be surprising to see the debate that crops up over a few letters. But debate they do. And sometimes it gets heated.

Poly vs. Polya or Polyam

So what is the debate exactly? Well, it seems to have started with a post on tumblr from someone in the community suggesting that the use of “poly” was muddying the waters for those identifying as of Polynesian descent. Someone else, after hearing about this, wrote their own thoughts on it and shared a suggestion they had come across: out of respect for the Polynesian community, polyamorous folx should try to update our language to say polya or polyam instead.

Simple enough, right? Lines were quickly drawn though. On one side were those of us who think we should listen when BIPOC speak up and tell us how to be better allies. On other side are multiple reasons for not adjusting the language used. They range from cries of white saviorism to shouts of how “Polynesian” itself was no longer accurate.

Where I stand

If you weren’t sure, I fall into camp #1. BIPOC voices should be heard on all things that affect them and their cultures. And the world should respect what they have to say. Doesn’t matter if it’s one person or a whole community. If they ask us to stop using certain language because it hurts them in any way, then we all need to adjust.

I truly strive to see the good in humanity all around. I enjoy my rose-colored glasses, thank you. So it’s a little disheartening when I see polyamorous circles debate something like this. We are a marginalized community. We face many unflattering stereotypes. Many of us often have to hide that part of our lives from family and coworkers. We should be willing to embrace the words of other marginalized groups, and be better at changing our language when we learn it hurts others.

But we are all human and have vastly different life experiences that lead us to form the beliefs we do. In any community, there will be many different viewpoints. That is what makes it beautiful.

Sound off!

What do you think of changing language to reflect the wishes of marginalized communities? Will you be adjusting yours to reflect what BIPOC voices are saying?

Categories
Polyamory

13 Fun New Date Night Ideas for Twosomes and Moresomes

It’s February! And that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Whether you choose to mark the annual lover’s holiday or not, it is a good reminder to check in our relationships and maybe plan a date night. I don’t know about you guys, but date nights for us are rare things. So seeing all the store displays of chocolates and hearts and teddy bears gives us a good excuse to really try to make the time for us.

February also makes it easier to try new places or activities because everyone seems to have date night specials going on. The only drawback for those of us living the polyamorous life is that they are couple-centric. A little creativity can sometimes net you that discount though. Such as doubling up on date nights with multiple partners and/or metamours. Or using the group discounts, if your polycule is large enough to meet the minimum number of people.

Even with all these specials, it can still be hard to think of fun and new date night ideas. Falling into a rut is fairly common. Lovey and I, and Boyfriend and I, are definitely guilty of that. So this year, we are resolving to try new things. If you need some ideas, like I did, keep on reading. There is something for everyone. On a budget? I found several free options! Have to take the kiddos with you? I get it, which is why there are also several that are kid friendly. Looking for something that is good for a couple or moresome? I’ve got some ideas there too.

Twosomes

Shopping – I’m not talking about your everyday shopping trip for household stuff. Nor am I referring to those fun trips to the adults only shop. I’m talking about a special trip to a place near and dear to your relationship. For example, I love bookstores. Lovey is not a huge reader, but he enjoys when we read together. So occasionally it is nice to wander the stacks and find a new book for us share. Plus, our local bookstore has an amazing coffee shop attached. And this girl loves her coffee.

Take a free class – Youtube has free lessons available for lots of different interests. Language, dance, cooking, etc. Skillshare is a great site that also offers a lot of free lessons you can try together, all from the convenience of your home. For local events to get you out of the house, you can check out Eventbrite.

Museum or gallery showing – Some of these have discounted or free days a few times a year. They usually fill up fast though, so be sure to plan ahead by securing tickets early or arriving when they open.

Moresomes

Get creative – Places like Color Me Mine and Painting with a Twist are great options. You get to do something fun and creative, regardless of skill level, with your whole polycule.

Shoot some pool – Lovey likes playing pool. And I like watching him. The nice part is going on weeknights, when the crowds are much smaller. And there is plenty of opportunity for some flirting and conversation.

Geocaching – It’s kind of like a giant treasure hunt. It gets you all out and exploring your local area. For more info on how it works, or how to get started, check them out here.

Hiking – Great for all skill levels. And there is nothing like finding a quiet spot for a little romantic spontaneous photo shoot while your surrounded by nature.

Game night – Go for a classic like Monopoly or try a cooperative game like 5 Minute Dungeon. Not big on board games? Try cards, some poker or rummy. Or, fire up the console and try some multi-player video games.

Family

Mini golf – Giant animals? Trick shots? What’s not to love about mini golf? Plus, most have concessions on site so you can even grab a quick bite to eat.

Bowling – There is something about bowling alleys that just bring back memories of high school, at least for me. Gooey nachos and rented shoes shouldn’t be as much of a good time as it is.

Arcade – I’m not talking about Chuck E. Cheese. Nothing against the mouse, but I prefer my arcades with a few more adult options. And there are plenty out there that offer a little something for everyone.

Scavenger hunt – Make up your own or print out a list from the interwebs. There are so many out there! These are especially fun if your out at your local nature center or on a hike. But they can be just as fun indoors, at home on those not so nice weather days, so don’t let that stop you.

Craft night – No fancy supplies needed! You can use up things you have around the house to create something unique. And it can be a group effort, or everyone can make their own little something.

So there you have it! My short list of fun new date night ideas. A lot of these can be adjusted depending on your what your family looks like. Try them out, explore your town, and support some local businesses. I promise fun all around.

Let me know which ones you guys are going to try out!

Categories
Family Polyamory

Navigating Family Gatherings When You’re Not Out

Family gatherings can be difficult to navigate no matter the season. The holidays don’t make them any more or less tricky, despite what we may think. The trickiness comes from the sheer number of gatherings that happen during that time. For 2 months, we get pulled in all directions to spend time with family and friends. Add in a partner, and you have doubled those numbers. Add in multiple partners and… Well, thank goodness for Google Calendar and planners.

If you’re polyamorous, and open about it with everyone, then these family gatherings are easier to deal with. Everyone will assume you’ll either bring multiple partners or trade off, depending on schedules and personalities. If you’re polyamorous and not open about it, you have got your hands full!

Who knows about which partner? Who has met which partner? Are you open with some, and not others? Did Aunt Betty spill the beans to Grandma about your “unique” relationship? Will Grandpa Joe spill the beans to everyone over Christmas dinner because someone poured him one too many cups of the eggnog?

And let’s not forget the effect this can all have on your partners. If, like me, you started your polyamorous journey from an  already established relationship, where family members know your main or primary partner, then your other partners can feel left out. Or like the dirty little secret that you are keeping from your family. And nobody wants that.

Family Gathering Negotiations

So how do we navigate all of the trickiness that comes with multiple partners and family gatherings? Carefully, and with a lot of communication.

The best place to start is to sit down with your partners. If you can do this all together, at one sit down, even better! If schedules don’t allow for it, don’t sweat it. But make sure no big decisions are made until everyone is on the same page and on board.

Then, it’s time to go through the calendar, event by event. Include their family gatherings too. This is a group project, after all. But not the dumb kind from school where only one person did the work. Everyone is pulling their fair share of figuring out how to maneuver through the holidays together.

Important things to ask each other

  1. Who is out about being polyamorous? And are they out with everyone, or just a select few?
  2. Assuming most are not out, which partner has the family already met? And is that partner available to attend those events? And do they want to? Sometimes the answer is no, and that is okay. No one said we have to get along with everyone all the time.
  3. Are the partners that will be staying home for those events okay with how the evening will go? Are they invited to attend as a friend? Or would they rather just sit this one out? This is going to depend on that individual. Some are not okay just being introduced as a friend when the relationship is so much deeper and more intimate than that. And others are okay with it, so long as they get to spend time with their people.

Family Gatherings: Out or Not Out?

A big thing to remember during all of the negotiating is to not pressure anyone to come out to their family. Don’t push that door open for someone who is just not ready. No matter their reason for keeping that part of themselves private. It is up to them to decide if, when, and how to share that information with other people. If you are already out, I’m sure this can be frustrating at times. As one who is still in the closet to some, I can tell you it is frustrating on this side too sometimes. So please be patient with us.

Holiday gatherings can add another layer of stress to an already stressful season for some. Just remember, it’s also supposed to be one of the happiest seasons. If you find yourself stressed about navigating gatherings, then it’s perfectly okay to just stay in. And this year has given everyone the absolute perfect excuse to skip the big family gatherings, so feel free to take advantage of it! But if you want to go out and (safely!) spend time during the holidays with family, remember to communicate with everyone in your polycule beforehand. Ask questions. Be ready to hear their answers.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays, no matter which ones you celebrate. And enjoy the people you get to spend them with.

Categories
Family Polyamory

We’re Dating Again and the Kids are Alright

“Girls, your dad and I are dating again.”

“Yay!”

“And we are also going to be dating other people.”

“Ummm…”

That’s about how it went when we told our girls (Sass and Crumbs) that we were going to be Polyamorous.

Questions popped up of course. Some just logistics (Will we get to meet them? Where will we be if you’re both on dates?) Some plain old curiosity. And some – the big ones – were all about reassurance. Do you still love each other? Will you still stay together?

Pretty sure the divorce played more into those questions than our new dating arrangements.

All we could do was show them that this was going to be a positive experience for all of us. We were open and honest about everything. No surprises. Everything was right there on the table before anything happened.

We kept our normal routines. And made new ones when (finally) we were all under the same roof once more. We talked about dating, about new people we were talking to. We answered more questions. Kids seem to always have an endless supply of them, no matter the topic.

Dating Again

The biggest test was when I started going on actual dates. Lovey had dated a few times already. He was living in another city (we were long distance for a little bit there) so it wasn’t as in their face. Not to mention, they were (and still are) Momma’s Girls. And now there was, potentially, a new man coming into their lives taking up more of my time and attention. And was Dad really okay with this? Yes, of course he was. We had talked about it for so long by then that it was no longer a question for us. But, understandably, it was for them.

Even with all of the talking Lovey and I had done, it was still a little weird to start. I had maintained for a while that I wasn’t really interested in dating anyone. Which slowly evolved to not interested in dating men, to maybe just the right man. Enter Boyfriend. Lovey met him after our first date. And they hit it off, as I knew they would. (And let me tell you, nothing will point out your “type” faster than polyamory!)

Boyfriend & Bats

The girls insisted on meeting him right away. So, with Lovey’s blessing, Boyfriend came to pick me up for our first date, and we all walked around the block to the sitter’s. They were mostly quiet, as is their nature around new people. They asked a few questions, made a few comments. But mostly just observed. Boyfriend, to his credit, let them lead.

Lovey had had a few dates with different women over all this time. And then he met Bats. And they fit right into our life as if they had always been. They stepped in with Munchkin, helping to wrangle or cuddle depending on the mood. They reached out to Sass and Crumbs, offering friendship and a safe space.

The Kids are Alright

The girls’, for the most part, have simply accepted it all with grace and minimal complaining. Any mention of dates or any displays of affection has been met with the obligatory eye rolls and resounding sighs of “ugh, grown ups dating.” And for that, we are so grateful.

We were open from the get go with them. There were no dumb or off limits questions. They could meet our partners when they were ready. If they were uncomfortable, they said so. We listened. To concerns, to questions, to whatever they were thinking and feeling about it all.

And now… It is their normal. Munchkin has never known any different. We are a polyamorous family. And that’s just the way we like it.

Did you have to “come out” to your kids? How did they handle it? How did you? Share below! And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on new posts!