Accepting this assignment for NCSF has been a difficult time, but not for reasons you may assume. One of the members of our poly family has been ill and in and out of the hospitals locally, and time has been precious more so than normally.
I’ve known that I was poly before the word existed while I was going through puberty. During my dating years, I was at one point going “steady” with four different girls at four different high schools. So what does it mean to be poly in a vanilla world? If I were to bring it down to the most concise phrase I could, it would be “emotional juggling,” and if you think you desire it, you’d better be ready for it. Only those to whom it comes naturally seem to be able to do it consistently.
Our poly family right now is four and growing, with one under consideration and a number of others who may be asked if they want to be under consideration. The problem is whether they are ready for it and are poly by nature or have another agenda.
But let me go back to the topic of living in a vanilla world. At best, it is difficult. The national culture is not ready to accept polyamorous or polygamous relationships in the open. The result is that most alternate lifestylers are forced to lie in order to live the life they feel they need. Psychologically, that is not healthy. It also means that only the best liars are the ones that can survive without being outed.
I was a very good liar for many years, something I am not proud of. I was able to maintain vanilla relationships, while letting the needs I have play out. But it hurt others in the process. I have good relationships with my kids for the most part, but they were raised in such a manner that they knew who I was and why I had to live as I did. I have a close group of lifelong friends and most of them know about me, but some live very conservative lives and this is not something to wear on your sleeve and throw it in the faces of others.
A few years ago, I made the decision not to lie any more. For the most part, I’ve been able to hold true, but there are still times that cannot be helped. For instance, one of the members of our poly family was in the hospital and in order to get information about her condition and make good with the nursing staff and doctors, we needed to say we were part of her family, so she instantly became a sister-in-law to me. Sigh. As a result, we have now put an Advance Directive (Living Will) together and are working on more legal documents that long–term will allow us some legal rights. Again, it is difficult at best.
For me, there has been lots of conflict throughout my life for having to use personal skills and talents to be in the closet about swinging early on and polyamory in the later years when swinging was no longer providing satisfaction. I yearn to have multiple relationships and the variety it brings and I make a good partner, one who enables my partners and friends to be the best people they can be without being intimidating physically or emotionally. But for now, I am living a reasonable relaxed life, something I was never sure would happen.
Residents of a three-story Brooklyn building don’t worry about catching their lovers in bed with someone else — they expect it.
A Bushwick brownstone is being gutted and repurposed as a haven for the “sex-positive community,” according to Open Love NY, a group dedicated to the polyamory community, which encourages consensual romantic relationships with multiple partners.
The “Hacienda Villa” is a 15-bedroom apartment building only open to those that defy the “one-true-love philosophy.”
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all relationship style like monogamy, where you get one partner,” said Mischa Lin, who co-founded Open Love NY in 2009. “With polyamory, it’s all about how much you can handle.”
Each floor of the sex haven boasts multiple bedrooms ranging from $750 to $1,500, depending on size and if there is a private bathroom attached.
“It’s very important to us that anyone that considers living there is accepting of other people’s lifestyles,” said Leon Feingold, the realty agent of the Troutman Street building and co-founder of Open Love NY.
Feingold has already secured six tenants for the building, and they moved in this week.
As of now, all the renters are just friends — but that could change with the “anything goes” mentality of the community.
“It’s not like a reality show where everyone is hooking up,” Feingold said. “It’s just going to be home for most of the people.”
There are no rules in the polyamory community besides being respectful of others’ boundaries, no matter how crazy their fantasies are.
“The key to polyamory is compersion,” Feingold said. “It’s when you derive happiness from the happiness of those you love, even if they get that happiness from someone else.”
Kink.com is fighting back against proposed legislation that would require condoms in all adult film productions in California. The local BDSM company partnered with the Free Speech Coalition, and porn industry trade association, to launch a campaign against California Assembly Bill 1576.
The campaign, dubbed "Stop AB1576," calls on adult performers to speak up against the bill by contacting members of the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee, which is slated to vote on the bill in an as-yet unscheduled meeting.
"Stop AB1576" also asks performers and other opponents of the bill to sign a Change.org petition.
The effort to block the bill comes after an increased crackdown on Kink and other adult film companies in the Bay Area for their refusal to use condoms in all their productions. Kink was fined $78,710 by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration in February and is currently appealing the fines. Two other local companies, Treasure Island Media and Factory Videos, were respectively fined $8,670 and $44,940 by Cal-OSHA. The current industry standard is to allow adult performers the option to use condoms, but to not require their use.
Kink CEO Peter Acworth has stated that he will move his business from S.F. if the fines against his company are upheld and has filed paperwork with the city's planning department to convert Kink's studios at the Armory into office space.
In an open letter to AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein, who has funded AB 1576, Acworth writes, "I am reaching out to you and AHF in the hopes of a day where we may sit across the table from one another and agree on common goals and strategy on protecting performers, as opposed to continuing this battle."
Acworth also recently hosted a fundraiser for CA Assembly candidate David Campos, although Campos told SF Weekly he was unaware of the condom bill and would support condom use.
"This is a producer-opposed bill, a performer-opposed bill, a fan-opposed bill," Kink spokesperson Mike Stabile says. "This is the third time [AHF] has tried to push this bill. I think it's a political winner for them, but I think it does actually make things less safe. If AHF is interested in protecting performers, they need to work with performers."
We have reached out to AHF for comment and will update when we hear back.
Pagan leader Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart reportedly died on May 13 surrounded by friends and family, according to updates on her Facebook page and other social media sites.
A priestess of the pagan Church of All Worlds, Morning Glory is considered by many to be a backbone of the pagan and Wiccan communities in the U.S.
Born Diana Moore in Long Beach, California on May 27, 1948, Morning Glory found her way to witchcraft and paganism as a late teen and initiated herself in a three-week vigil in Big Sur. It wasn't until 1974, after meeting her husband and life parter Oberon Zell, that she received formal priestess training and became a leader in Zell's Church of All Worlds (incorporated as a church in 1968.)
In Feburary Morning Glory and Oberon published a book on their lives with co-author John C. Sulak entitled The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism.
In addition to speaking and writing on religion, witchcraft and mythology, Morning Glory is often attributed with popularizing the term "polyamory" in a 1990 article entitled, "A Bouquet of Lovers: Strategies for Responsible Open Relationships." She and Oberon had an open marriage throughout the years and in her article, Zell stated:
I feel that this whole polyamorous lifestyle is the avante garde of the 21st Century. Expanded families will become a pattern with wider acceptance as the monogamous nuclear family system breaks apart under the impact of serial divorces. In many ways, polyamorous extended relationships mimic the old multi-generational families before the Industrial Revolution, but they are better because the ties are voluntary and are, by necessity, rooted in honesty, fairness, friendship and mutual interests. Eros is, after all, the primary force that binds the universe together; so we must be creative in the ways we use that force to evolve new and appropriate ways to solve our problems and to make each other and ourselves happy.
The magic words are still, after all: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. ...
Decked out with a hot tub and wet bar gazebo, a residential building in Bushwick is looking for polyamorous tenants hoping to live in a judgment-free space.
"Sometimes it’s hard for poly people to find housing where’s there’s no judgments," said Leon Feingold, the realtor showing the property.
"Where people aren’t always asking them to keep the noise down, or 'who are these people that are visiting you?' and 'why don’t you have a normal boyfriend like everyone else?'”
Polyamory is the practice of having meaningful romantic connections with multiple partners, with the knowledge of all partners involved.
Living with non-polyamorous people can get sticky for "polys," one open house attendee said.
“I found it to be very hard to find people who are willing to take you in when you’re polyamorous,” said Kate, who declined to give her last name.
As a 28-year-old graduate student at Columbia University working towards her masters degree in social work, Kate currently lives with her parents outside of the city. She has three partners — one is married, one is engaged and the other she has been seeing for eight months.
“I just want a place where I can take my partners to and it would be like a sanctuary,” said Kate. “It’s not exactly what I was originally looking for, but I feel safe here.”
Alysha Jones, another potential tenant, is a personal assistant and a self-identified “burner” — an attendee of the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert.
“I’m friends with a lot of people in the community and I really enjoy the overlap [between burners and the polyamorous],” Jones said. “There is at least one person on each floor that I know that’s moving in.”
The Bushwick building, located one block from the Myrtle Avenue M stop and known by the group as “Hacienda Villa,” is owned by a member of the polyamory community who will occupy an apartment with his girlfriend on the first floor.
The three-story building has 15 bedrooms. Each floor is an individual apartment, where a member from the community living on that floor vets potential roommates who apply to live there. Rent ranges from $750 to $1,500 per month, depending on room size and whether it has a personal bathroom.
Renovations on the building started in January. Some apartments on the upper floors have already been rented, with the first floor expected to be ready for occupancy by July.
“We’re not advertising. We’re not looking for other people. This is just friends, and friends of friends,” said Feingold. He has done five showings in the past month, and half of the rooms have been rented out, mostly by people who already knew Feingold.
Feingold is the co-founder and co-president of polyamorist group Open Love New York, and has appeared as a polyamory expert in the media. ...
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) - Earlier this month, ABC 8News first brought you the story of Adam Glatt, a Midlothian mental health counselor who was stripped of his license in Virginia after allegations of sexual misconduct with a patient.
Before he moved to Virginia, the 53-year-old therapist was accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual activities—including bondage, domination and whipping—with a former patient in Florida, where he voluntarily relinquished his license on April 28.
Despite these allegations dating back to 2012, Glatt had been practicing in Virginia for the past two years before his license was finally suspended by the Virginia Department of Health Professions on May 1, 2014.
The big question is how did Glatt ever get a license here in the Commonwealth after what allegedly happened in Florida?
Feeling lost and alone after the death of her son, the woman who we are calling "Mary Jane" to protect her identity, says she began seeking counseling from Adam Glatt in Florida. But soon those counseling sessions turned sexual.
"I was feeling depressed and overwhelmed," she says. "I trusted him."
According to a complaint filed by Mary Jane, Glatt began discussing his "role in bondage domination and sado masochism, a BDSM lifestyle. Mary Jane claims she and the counselor began a sexual relationship, attended BDSM events and on one occasion, Mary Jane alleges Glatt "flogged" or whipped her.
Eventually realizing this counselor patient relationship was wrong, she filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health back in 2012 and Glatt took off to Chesterfield.
It wasn't until April 25, 2014 that Florida did anything about it. The Florida Board of Mental Health Counseling accepted his decision to voluntarily give up his license in lieu of disciplinary action.
Working on a joint investigation with our sister station WFLA in Tampa, we saw what happens when Florida board members are pressed for answers as to why they sat on the complaint for so long?
Mary Bridgman, Florida Board of Mental Health Counseling: "I don't have any further comment on the matter. We've handled it today and we've done our very best to protect the public's matter in the case."
Reporter: "But how is it Virginia is being protected by you when you had this case open since 2012 and he has been practicing in Virginia since 2012?"
Bridgman: "It's concluded now and I have no further comment."
And while that complaint had already been filed when Glatt got a license to counsel in Virginia, it wasn't until 12 days ago that the Virginia Board of Health Professions suspended Glatt's license.
"That happens almost all the time," says Dr. David Stein, a member of the International Board of Ethics in Psychology and Psychiatry.
He says there is a verification process when counselors from another state seek a license in Virginia, but often no one is doing a thorough background check and checking for complaints in other states.
"It's called linkage blindness and we don't share information," Stein says. "Laws have to change and it has to be a more centralized database." ...
Former Portland State University student Whitney Orlando has filed a $1 million lawsuit against her former professor Marcia Klotz, who Orlando claims forced her to drop out over pressure for sexual photos and information on sensitive topics.
The Daily News
BY Nina Golgowski
A former bondage model claims her academic career was derailed by a university professor's twisted fixation on her past.
Former Portland State University student Whitney Orlando has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the university and former professor Marcia Klotz, who Orlando claims forced her to drop out over pressure for sexual photos and information on sensitive topics.
The former student is seeking damages from the loss of her education and stress that left her hospitalized, the suit obtained by OregonLive.com reads.
Orlando, who allegedly met Klotz during a seminar in 2009, claims the former PSU professor developed an unhealthy obsession with her past modeling and the sexual abuse she sustained as a child.
The two allegedly first exchanged emails harmlessly, discussing material associated with Klotz' seminar and Orlando revealing her former work as a bondage pornography model.
Because of Klotz's interest in the subject, Orlando admits that she sent her several "non-explicit photographs of her head and face taken during (her) most recent modeling shoot."
Klotz allegedly complimented her on the photos and expressed interest in attending any future modeling sessions she may have.
Between October 2009 and December 2012 they exchanged more than 200 electronic messages discussing everything from course material, sexual topics and their increasing relationship.
"Klotz's interest and participation in plaintiff's sexual life during this time blurred professional and personal boundaries between herself and plaintiff," the lawsuit claims.
Eventually the photos Orlando sent to Klotz showed her nude or in sexually explicit poses. But Klotz allegedly wanted more.
That's around when Orlando revealed that she had been sexually abused by a school instructor at age 13.
Rather than put an end to their relationship — which already went beyond the school's limits — Klotz allegedly wanted more.
"Klotz admitted to finding plaintiff's earlier sexual abuse erotic, and expressed an interest in replicating aspects of that abuse with plaintiff in a (bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism) context."
Klotz also allegedly revealed her "submissive" husband's own sexual abuse by his father and how they reenact it.
January 2010 is when things allegedly began to snap.
According to her lawsuit, Klotz recommended Orlando for the university's McNair Scholars Program while encouraging her to select a topic for her paper related to sexual abuse of children that would incorporate her own abuse.
Orlando obliged. She dug into the trial court's case file against her former middle school teacher, and reviewed details of the trial she had never seen before.
The stress of the experience left her physically ill and hospitalized her for an irregular heartbeat.
She wrote Orlando informing her of her plans to change the subject of her paper, which Klotz allegedly rejected.
"Instead, Klotz recommended that plaintiff complete research on resources available to women in the Portland area who are leaving sex work or on her original topic," according to her suit.
Orlando instead chose an entirely different topic and once her paper was finished, Klotz accused it of not meeting the program's requirements and also of being plagiarized. ...
A Chesterfield County mental health counselor has been ordered to give up his medical license after allegations of sexual misconduct with a patient.
Sexual bondage, domination and whipping are just some of the allegations against Midlothian mental health counselor Adam Glatt. Up until Friday, 53-year-old Glatt had been providing relationship and family counseling to couples and individuals in Midlothian. But before coming to Virginia, he was a therapist in Florida, where a former patient sys he engaged in inappropriate sexual activities with her.
Glatt’s license to practice mental health counseling here in Virginia has been mandatorily suspended by the Virginia Department of Health Professions. The move comes after the Commonwealth learned just last week that Glatt voluntarily relinquished his license in lieu of disciplinary action stemming from a Florida Department of Health complaint filed against Glatt back in 2012.
Working with sister station WFLA in Tampa, Fla., ABC 8News was able to obtain a copy of that complaint. According to the document, Glatt began counseling a woman who had just lost her son. During counseling sessions, she claims he “began discussing his role in bondage, domination and sadomasochism.”
The complaint goes on to say that Glatt began a sexual relationship with the patient, and the two began attending bondage and domination events as part of a “BDSM lifestyle.” During at least one of those events, the former patient claims Glatt flogged or lashed her.
ABC 8News Anchor/Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien tried to reach Glatt for comment, but his Midlothian office at Market Square appeared to be closed on Friday, and there was no answer at his home.
O’Brien spoke with Glatt’s attorney, Richard Samet. He says Glatt denies ever conducting himself inappropriately during therapy. Samet added that Glatt gave up his license in Florida because he’s no longer practicing there, and it wasn’t worth his time trying to fight the complaint there.
Glatt plans to appeal Virginia’s decision to suspend his license.