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"Having Multiple Devoted Boyfriends Is Wonderful, Polyandrous Women Confirm"

on Tuesday, 12 July 2016. Hits 255

Broadly

by Sophie Saint Thomas

In polyandry—the gender-swapped version of polygamy—women have multiple male partners. We spoke to several women in polyandrous relationships to find out what it's like.

Many women may casually date multiple guys, but some modern-day women are practicing polyandry: having multiple husbands (or, in a contemporary, repurposed definition, several serious or life-long partners).

Polyandry, the reverse version of polygamy, is technically illegal in the United States; thus, those who practice it do so without literally getting married. "I would say [polyandry] is when a woman has many male partners," says Dr. Denise Renye, a San Francisco-based psychologist who specializes in sex and intimacy.

But that doesn't mean a woman can't dream of putting a ring on those many male partners. "Having multiple husbands was something I had thought about since early adolescence. I even asked my mother about it, and she laughed said it would be way too much work," a 44-year-old woman from Boulder, Colorado, who goes by Jislaaik tells Broadly. Very active in her local kink community as a mistress, Jislaaik is currently seeking three husbands in a scenario she likens to Big Love, only with "a higher level of control and authority on my part, and way better sex."

While some women like Jislaaik relish the chance to celebrate polyandry, other women in polyamorous communities view having multiple male partners as simply an inherent facet of the general polyamorous lifestyle. "Polyandry is polygamy for women. In either case, marriage is the key component that differs it from polyamory. It's not something that is widely discussed in the polyamorous community, unless someone is correcting a misunderstanding," says Effy Blue, a New York City-based life coach who specializes in unconventional relationships.

Blue has multiple male partners herself and says more men offer more emotional support—not to mention the sexual benefits. "My partners have different strengths, styles, points of views, all coming together to be an amazing support network for me. It also provides me different sexual experiences, somewhat eliminating monotony that inevitably happens in all long-term relationships. The variety ultimately keeps all of our sex lives exciting."

Those who are specifically seeking a modern American version of polyandry view the distinction between polyandry and polyamory as one that stems from differing power dynamics. These women want to have multiple male partners, but their men must be completely devoted to them, a different relationship structure than what Blue practices.

"I tried polyamory first but found that to not work for me at all. The poly world wants you to be completely open. The mono[gamous] world, well, we already know what they want," says a 38-year-old Colorado woman who asked to be called Goddess Andromeda.

"My ex tried really hard to give his power to me. One day he came to me and declared, 'I've lost that subbie feeling,'" says Andromeda, referring to a dominant/submissive relationship. "We tried to work on it until one day he called me late at night and told me that he wanted to be full-on polyamorous for a while. I told him, 'Fine, but it would be without me.' He did not appreciate that and decided that it was too late at night to communicate about it. The next day I gave him his wings to explore." ...

"The Softer Side of S&M"

on Sunday, 10 July 2016. Hits 345

Advocate

BY MARTIN MORAN

I knew I’d been invited to a convention for sex therapists but my God! I could not believe my eyes. Stalls meant to educate, elucidate, and lubricate human intercourse were set up everywhere. “Contraception,” “Viagra,” “Gender Bend.” I watched a middle-aged mom demonstrate a seesaw contraption with dildos attached. It was called, she said, “The Monkey Rocker.” She explained that, yes, you can certainly sit in either direction for anal or vaginal penetration. I ambled about timid and titillated. That all these folks were chatting with the greatest of ease about sex was a rather fabulous surprise. And all so early in the morning.

 

I found coffee, a bagel and a table. A man sat down across from me. His floppy paper plate was stacked with chunks of honeydew. We nodded at each other.

 

“Good morning.”

 

“Morning.”

 

“Where are you from?” he asked.

 

“New York”

 

“Milwaukee.”

 

“Ahh.”

 

We exchanged some basics. He was a therapist and I explained that that I was an actor there to present a one-man play I’d written.

 

“Oh, that’s the sex abuse play, right?” he asked.

 

I cringed and stopped myself from launching into an explanation of how my solo play, The Tricky Part, was oh so much more than that “Yes. That play,” I replied.

 

“You going to go to the dungeon?” he asked.

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“There’s a field trip Saturday night. The local BDSM community has invited any therapists who would like to, to come and observe an evening session at their dungeon.”

 

“Seriously?”

 

“Yes. Everyone’s talking about it. You should sign up.”

 

Before heading back to my room to shower, with a curious quickening of the blood, I made my way to the appropriate desk and promptly added my name to the list.

 

******

 

A tall man in blue jeans and cowboy boots greeted us at the door  His nametag read, “Master John” It occurred to me that Master might be a misspelling of Mister but upon entering the premises I spotted many more nametags affixed on the shirts of friendly fellows (and women)—Master Greg, Master Steve. Most of the tags included a one- or two-word designation printed below the name.

 

Bondage.

 

Discipline.

 

Submission.

 

Military.

 

Dominatrix.

 

Folding chairs had been set up on the perimeter of the main room which had loft levels and very high ceilings. We quietly took our seats. A man with long black hair came forward. He looked to be, perhaps, Native American. His voice was lovely, his words laced with an intoxicating cadence that I could not pinpoint. Spanish? Mexican?

 

“We all want to welcome you and thank you for coming.  We want you to feel safe and taken care of. That’s how it is here. It’s a safe place and we take care of one another.”

 

He spoke of his work in education, his part-time job at a local ranch. I was struck by his eloquence and humor.. He talked about the reason, the importance, for this evening’s event. As best as I can recall, he said something like this:

 

“We are here to show you, to share with you in the mental health industry, who we are. We are teachers and lawyers and ranchers, just plain folk from all walks of life and we comprise what we lovingly call our Kink Community. It is our aim to help you understand what might be your prejudice about our community and communities like ours. Some of your own clients back home may well be part of their own kink community and we hope that you don’t automatically think of us, of them, as someone with a disorder. For many of us, our exploration of power dynamics and BDSM is our path to a deeper connection. It is simply a part of who we are and we feel open and healthy about it. Perhaps tonight we can dispel some fears or biases. You’ll notice that we’ve all worn nametags so that you can identify us by name and ask any questions related to what we are into. We are here to answer your questions openly and honestly. Once the demonstration is over, please feel free to stay and we can all talk. We’ve put together a nice potluck. Remember: if at any time you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, just know that you are free to step out. There’s coffee and tea in the lobby.” ...

"What Google searches reveal about the rise of ‘open relationships’"

on Saturday, 09 July 2016. Hits 286

Fusion

By Taryn Hillin

From an early age we’re taught that “happily ever after” means falling in love, getting married, and staying with that one person forever and ever. But thanks to modern medicine, ‘til death do us part can mean shacking up with the same man or woman for five to seven decades. Sure, that might sound like heaven to some—but for others, this modern-day monogamy fairytale just isn’t realistic.

 

And so, this second group has increasingly begun to seek out other arrangements. In fact, according to new research, more and more Americans are actively Googling information about alternatives to monogamy—and 1 in 5 Americans say they’ve engaged in consensual non-monogamous relationships IRL.

 

These revelations come courtesy of Amy Moors, a researcher at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Moors recently conducted a study published in the Journal of Sex Research that looked into the prevalence of Google searches involving non-monogamous relationships. Her goal was to see if searches for terms like “polyamory” and “open relationships” were increasing over time, which, of course, might indicate a growing interest in consensual non-monogamous relationships.

 

For the study, Moors analyzed 10 years of Google trends data from January 2006 to December 2015 using sets of the keywords related to polyamory, open relationships, open marriages, and swingers. In order to make sure she was looking at searches in which users had genuine interest in the topic, she also created “negative” search words to exclude certain results. For example, Moors found that a term like “open marriage” yielded a lot of results about Newt Gingrich, who famously had an affair outside his marriage. Searching celebrity gossip doesn’t really count as being interested in exploring the lifestyle, so she excluded all things Newt related (LOLz). Likewise, “open relationship” keywords also produced a plethora of Will and Jada-Pinkett Smith results—go figure!—so they were also used as exclusionary items.

 

After analyzing the data, Moors found that Google searches for terms related to polyamory and open relationships indeed rose steadily from 2006 to 2015. Interestingly, however, searches for “swingers”-related keywords fell over time. Moors hypothesizes that this is likely due to the fact that the term itself has become outdated, eliciting images of 1970s swingers parties and dropping keys in bowls. Likewise, the terms “polyamory” and “open relationship” or “open marriage” are being used more and more by media and in general discussion of the lifestyle, making them more popular contemporary terms.

Of course, Google doesn’t tell us everything. As Moors points out in her study, the search data was merely a starting point to gauge broad trends.

 

“Although the present study cannot shed light on why people are searching for more information related to polyamory and open relationships, these results do show that there is increased visibility of these types of consensual non-monogamy and likewise an interest to learn more about them,” explains Moors in the paper.

 

 

What can help us gauge interest is asking people if they’ve ever participated in a consensual non-monogamous relationship—which is exactly what Moors, along with researchers from Indiana University, did in another paper, recently published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

 

Moors and her colleagues analyzed data collected in 2013 and 2014 by the Singles In America study, sponsored by Match.com. (Participants in the SIA study are not culled from Match.com—they are drawn from a nationally representative sample established by the firm Research Now.) In total, researchers looked at data on 8,718 participants in two different studies. The first consisted of 4,813 participants who were over the age of 21 and legally single, which means they could have been single, dating, or cohabiting but were not legally married to anyone. The second looked at an additional 3,905 participants who were over 18 and were functionally single at the time of the survey, meaning they were not seeing or dating anyone.

 

As part of the survey, all participants were asked if they “had ever had an open sexual relationship.” In the questionnaire, this was defined as “an agreed upon, sexually non-exclusive relationship.”

 

In the first study, 21.9% of participants answered yes. In the second, 21.2% of participants answered yes. Put simply? One in 5 Americans now says they have participated in a consensually non-monogamous relationship. Bazinga! ...

"Transgender nominee for Congress: 'It's about damn time' politics got inclusive"

on Friday, 08 July 2016. Hits 212

Misty Plowright is the first transgender nominee of a major party for the US House of Representatives – win or lose, she’s changing perceptions

The Guardian

by Maria L La Ganga

isty Plowright believes she will live long enough to see people like herself run for public office and only be asked about real election issues: immigration and gun control, taxing the rich and nuclear energy, universal healthcare, abortion.

 

Someday the other questions won’t come up, because voters just won’t care anymore.

 

“When did you realize you were born in the wrong body? How long did it take you to become a woman? What’s it like to be the first transgender candidate for congress/senate/governor/president? Do you really think voters are ready for someone like you?”

 

Plowright has reason to be hopeful. Even as the battle over access to public bathrooms rages on across the country, transgender rights took a few big steps forward in recent days.

 

On Tuesday last week, Plowright, a 33-year-old Colorado resident, became the first transgender candidate to win a major party primary for the US House of Representatives. At the same time, Misty K Snow, a 30-year-old Utah native, became the first transgender candidate to do the same for the US Senate.

 

And on Thursday, the secretary of defense, Ash Carter, announced that transgender men and women will be able to serve openly in the US military within a year. Members of the armed forces, he said, also will be able to transition gender while serving in the military.

 

Plowright, an army veteran who transitioned after leaving active duty, said in an interview with the Guardian that “it’s about damn time” the military – and politics, for that matter – became more inclusive. “Anyone who wants to serve”, she said, “who is capable of doing the job, should be able to.”

 

To some, this marks a seminal moment in the push for civil rights in America, an upswing for the estimated 1.4 million adults who identify themselves as transgender, according to a study released Thursday that pegs the transgender population in the US as double what was previously thought.

 

“The attitudes toward sexual identity have changed much faster and more radically than anyone could have anticipated a dozen years ago”, said John J Pitney Jr, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College. “As late as 2004, Republicans were using same-sex marriage to rally their ranks.

 

“This is one of the fastest and deepest changes in public opinion in the history of polling,” Pitney said. “It’s much faster than change in race relations.” ...

"What It's Really Like to Live In a Polyamorous Household"

on Wednesday, 06 July 2016. Hits 279

Connections.Mic

By Suzannah Weiss

Ben*, 39, is no longer involved with his child's mother. Yet he has more than enough help raising his daughter — not only from his former partner, but also from the 16 other members of the wellness-focused group home that he runs.

 

Ben is polyamorous. At one point, he said, two partners were raising his daughter alongside him.

 

"I feel like she got more love and attention because she was getting it from three people instead of just me," he said in a phone interview.

In recent years, Americans have become more accepting of parental units consisting of two men or two women. But the operative word there is "two," as the concept of parenting as a partnership is still deeply ingrained in our consciousness. For this reason, parents with multiple partners have yet to receive such acceptance.

 

Polyamory might seem like a new and cutting-edge parenting method, but some poly parents feel their families actually represent a return to the past. As Ben pointed out, it's common in other cultures for people other than parents — such as members of extended families — to help raise children, and multi-generational households have made a resurgence in the United States.

 

"We're returning back to our roots," he said. "It's great for the child because they get so much exposure to so many different gifts people have that they can share with them."

 

While research on polyamory is limited, the population of "poly" people is growing, as is the number of children with more than two parents. That shift is altering what parenting means, both to poly people and the rest of us — and it can also serve something of a practical function.

 

"We wanted to have additional people included in raising the kids," explained Ifah, 38, in a phone interview. Ifah and her husband have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old and use the site OpenMinded to meet additional partners, who sometimes end up helping with the children.

 

"It's especially hard when everybody's working, so that way, instead of coming home, making dinner, doing homework, doing the bedtime routine, and everything, it gets divided," she said.

 

While some people have expressed concern that a polyamorous lifestyle can be detrimental to children, Ifah said that's far from the case. In fact, having partners and cohabitants with kids of their own has given her children built-in friends and helped them see polyamorous households as normal.

 

"They know we have other relationships," Ifah explained. "Just like if you grow up with two moms or two dads. It's like, 'Yeah, my dad and my other dad.' We don't try to say it like 'This is what's right, this is what's wrong.'"

 

Tyler, a 30-year-old polyamorous father of three children, agreed.

 

"[My oldest son] doesn't understand the concept of 'normal' because all of his friends have families that are different in some way," he said in a phone interview. "They might be single parents or they might be gay or lesbian couples or they might be poly or they might be raised by their grandparents. ... All they've ever known is that a family is a group of people who love each other." ...

"Why So Few Lesbians and Gays in Mainstream Poly Community?"

on Saturday, 02 July 2016. Hits 298

Psychology Today

by Elizabeth Sheff

In most polyamorous communities in the United States, the majority of the community members are either bisexual (especially the women) or heterosexual (especially the men). Both in person and online, mainstream polyamorous communities have a marked lack of people in exclusively same-sex relationships. I do not mean that people in same-sex relationships are not having consensually non-monogamous relationships, but that they are just not doing it in the mainstream poly community. This blog explores five reasons why lesbians and gay men might not appear in the mainstream US poly scene as much as their bisexual and heterosexual counterparts.

 

1. Homophobia

 

Although my research indicates that poly communities tend to have lower levels of homophobia than conventional society, it does not mean that they are without homophobia. Parallel to mainstream society, poly communities value female bisexuality and same-sex contact among women far more than same-sex interaction among men. Gay men usually do not enjoy dealing with homophobia in their social environments, so it is no surprise that they are rare in mainstream poly circles.

 

2. Objectification

The flip side of homophobia is objectifying sex among women for male consumption. Given the tremendous popularity of “girl on girl” porn in the US, many heterosexual American men are obsessed with watching women have sex with each other. Even better, in many of their minds, they hope to “get in on it” with the women in a threesome where the man comes in and “finishes off” at least one of the women (I know this because they have expressed it to me in vivid detail far, far too many times). Many lesbians are tired of fending off straight guys who want a threesome with two women. Because of the comparative rarity of single women in many poly communities, lesbians would be competing with hetero men for a limited pool of bisexual women while simultaneously avoiding the enthusiastic men – too much work for too little fun. Rather, many lesbians who want polyamorous relationships socialize in lesbian groups and skip the mainstream poly scene.[i]

 

3. Gay men invented Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)

 

When I asked a dear friend – who had been partnered with the same man for more than 10 years and both had regular flings with friends and strangers – why he and his partner did not identify as polyamorous, he responded: “Honey, we invented open relationships and certainly don’t need another label for them.” OK, so maybe they didn’t actually invent it, but research indicates that CNM is a regular feature of gay male society in the US.[ii] With community norms already in place and a social pool of potential dates already open to CNM, gay men don’t have to approach a different community to find partners or seek advice.  Remaining in gay settings also means they don’t have to deal with homophobia (or at least not as much). ...

"Dominatrix Explains How ‘BDSM Can Be A Form Of Meditation’"

on Friday, 01 July 2016. Hits 364

Huffington Post

by Sandra LaMorgese Ph.D.

Meditation makes most Americans think of a Middle Eastern Indian or Tibetan Monk sitting in a lotus position at a monastery in the middle of nowhere, remaining still for many long, agonizing hours in their silent search for enlightenment. Most of us, however, have neither the patience nor the hip flexibility for such activities, and because we weren’t raised practicing meditation, we have only this skewed image of the practice that has been given to us by the media.

 

Guess what though? Driving a race car, coloring, watching a movie, or practicing BDSM can all be forms of meditation too. It’s not about the yoga poses — it’s about letting go of the relentless mind chatter and focusing solely on the present moment.

 

According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences,

 

“The most popular, widely adapted, and widely researched meditation technique in the West is known as mindfulness meditation, which is a combination of concentration and open awareness. Mindfulness is found in many contemplative traditions, but is most often identified with the Theravadan Buddhist practice of vipassana, or “insight meditation.” The practitioner focuses on an object, such as the breath, bodily sensations, thoughts, feelings, or sounds. The focus is not as narrow as in concentrative meditation, for there is a simultaneous awareness of other phenomena. This mindfulness practice is often extended to daily actions, such as eating, walking, driving, or housework.”

In my free time, I like to go rock scrambling and ride a motorcycle, both of which can be dangerous and potentially fatal if I let my attention wander. When I participate, I have to be completely focused on what I’m doing and fully mindful of my surroundings. I can’t be thinking about work, the electric bill, a boyfriend, or getting my car to the garage for a tune-up. The activity is intense and demanding, and therefore my mind is — must be — clear. When this happens, I lower my blood pressure, strengthen my immune system, and decrease my emotional anxiety just as much as if I were sitting quietly, meditating on a yoga mat.

 

The meditative form of BDSM is called “subspace.” My submissive clients describe it as an altered state of consciousness in which they feel completely liberated from stress. It’s a practice that allows you to completely let go of internal and external stress so that you can fully immerse yourself in the present moment. As the Dominatrix, I also experience a corresponding mental state of relaxation from my deep focus and concentration. ...

"A Disabled Bean’s Guide to Domming"

on Friday, 01 July 2016. Hits 186

Wear Your Voice

by Mickey Valentine

I’m disabled. I’m also kinky.

I have a pretty cane that I use during the colder seasons. It is my best friend. I walk everywhere with it and it has helped me from falling on my ass.

I also wield a flogger, handcuffs and a Hitachi magic wand. I am into orgasm denial (both giving and receiving). I also am into power play. I could go on and on about the shit I’m into, but I’ll leave it at: I am a filthy femme witchy Domme that switches between top or bottom.

Yes, I am disabled. But I am also kinky.

A lot of folks don’t realize that the two go hand in hand. Often, the articles that are out there talking about how to explore BDSM or kink don’t touch on the fact that there are disabled folks that indulge. And even more so, there are disabled folks that prefer to top and/or Dom(me). And here comes the question of: where the fuck do I go? Where are the spots I can go? How the fuck do I find play partners?

We are constantly desexualized — and we’re tired of it.

So, here are some tips for folks who are into some type of kink and want to explore, but have constantly shied away because guides like this didn’t exist for them.

While this is centered a bit towards Dom(me)s or tops, it can also apply to subs or bottoms.

Know your limits.

This is not just limited to the sub or bottom. It is important to know your limits and when you need breaks. Consent is important. Fetishization is never cute. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you are NOT obliged to continue the session. If they’re invalidating your accessibility needs, even after a discussion, leave. You don’t need to stay and tolerate someone who doesn’t accept you and treats you like a fuck toy or a burden.

Fetlife can be your friend.

Yes, Fetlife has a lot of creeps. I have the unsolicited dick pics to prove it. But Fetlife can also link you to events — like munches, where you can meet kinksters in street clothes, and play parties, where you can have a bit of fun. Often, events will mention if they’re accessible and if it is possible for you, you can meet other folks to help guide you in kink or join the journey with you. ...

Latest Reader Comments

  • I can say definitely yes it can still effect you. As a survivor of sexual abuse and molestation when I was 5 to 12 years of age, and now...

    Misty

    22. July, 2016 |

  • This has been I can see a long time in coming and I say welcome to it and to these wonderful people who took the step to give this honest...

    M. Wryter

    20. July, 2016 |

  • I was allegedly sexually molested when I was around 13 yrs old. I'm sure years later it still affects me as it is in my sub conscious...

    James Graves

    20. July, 2016 |

  • Well what Lady says does make perfect sense. In experiencing " subspace " both partners can have a shared emotion and being coupled...

    M. Wryter

    07. July, 2016 |

  • We need a tested slave contract that is NOT rejected as a defense from over zealous third party prosecution. I attempted to draft such a...

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  • It's not time for the marriage laws to recognize anything. It is time for us to get rid of all the marriage laws.

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