They used to call them “swingers.” Not anymore. These days, like most “alternative lifestyle” groups, they’ve adopted a new, more clinical-sounding description – polyamorist – and incorporated it into the names of a small but growing number of advocacy and social networking organizations.
As the battle over the true definition of marriage heats up nationwide, they want a place on the front line.
“Polyamorist” means “lover of many,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Polyamorists maintain more than one sexual relationship at a time, with the full consent and knowledge of all partners. Some are married to one partner but maintain a rotating stable of lovers. Others join together in more lasting unions between multiple partners – for example, a threesome or foursome (which they call ‘triads’ and ‘quads,’) wherein all parties enjoy sexual relations in various combinations – heterosexual, homosexual or both.
In the midst of Minnesota’s raging debate over gay ‘marriage,’ the Minneapolis-area City Pages recently featured twoarticles highlighting the polyamorist “lifestyle,” in which they interviewed some of its practitioners.
One such interview was with a mother of two young children, Julia Janousek. Julia, who has been married for 12 years to her husband, Jim, told the City Pages they decided to “open [their] marriage up” three years ago. She quickly met another man, Justin, and became sexually involved with him, a relationship that continues to this day.
Justin often spends nights at the couple’s house. At first, says Julia, they tried to hide the nature of the relationship from the children, claiming that Justin was just a “friend” who came for “breakfast,” but they soon gave up the charade.
“My kids get up way too early,” she said, “so I just couldn’t keep that up.”
“Jami,” a 31-year-old practitioner of ‘polyamory’ who asked the City Pages not to use her real name, blamed reality television for her interest in the lifestyle. “Back in college, I saw an MTV True Life special that was all about polyamory,” she said, “and I was like, ‘This is interesting,’” Later, fictional television would continue to shape her views. “Then I watched the show Big Love that was all about polygamy,” she explained, “and that got me thinking a lot more about my own life, even though it’s a little different.”
The Twin Cities, according to the City Pages, has an active polyamory scene. The paper described it in the intro to its coverage as “the metro community that believes love is too big for just two.”
Same-sex “marriage” advocates have been adamant in their denial that a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples could lead to a “slippery slope” of legalized polygamy or even bestiality. Polyamorists, however, appear to disagree. Those interviewed by the City Pages drew direct parallels between themselves and homosexuals, believing that their relationships are no less valid. ...
ALBANY — Senators on both sides of the aisle raised concerns on Friday about a state Senate employee who runs erotic swingers parties with her husband.
“I think we would rather have this not happen, that's clear — especially a week before the election,” said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens), who called the situation “disconcerting.”
“I think that this definitely sends a bad message,” added Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn).
The Daily News reported Friday that Janis Gonzalez, a $45,000-a-year office manager for the Senate Democrats, runs an erotic dance event business that caters to swingers with husband Carlos Gonzalez, who is the son of convicted ex-Sen. Efrain Gonzalez.
The pair is planning a “Gods and Goddesses” Halloween party in Albany on Nov. 3, just steps from the Capitol building.
While the party could prove an embarrassment, lawmakers from both parties said it’s difficult to fire or discipline Gonzalez because the business has not affected her government job.
Hotel Albany General Manager Art Thompson said he was surprised to read The News’ account of the party planned for his hotel. He said the group booked only a block of rooms and no party space. “There is no function planned,” Thompson said.
Carlos Gonzalez refuted, saying, “There is an event.”
ALBANY — An office manager for the state Senate Democrats is moonlighting with her husband to run an erotic dance events business for swingers.
The couple, Janis and Carlos Gonzalez, are the son and daughter-in-law of convicted ex-Bronx state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez.
The two started a company called Capital District Couples Network several years ago to offer couples tired of strip and sex clubs another alternative, Carlos Gonzalez said.
“Why is it different? Because of the fact that there may or may not be people who are into some kind of swinging lifestyle who are coming to it,” he said. “Most people who come to our dance events like to see the girls get close to each other. It’s a little risqué. It’s a little hot. It’s erotic.”
The pair are advertising a red-hot Halloween party at a local Albany hotel a block from the state Capitol on Nov. 3 — just days before Election Day.
According to a website touting the event, it is geared for couples who are “fit, in shape.”
The online invite announces that “The ‘Gods and Goddesses’ of CDCN’s staff (wearing Greek and Roman costumes) invite private members to attend this venue with your sexiest and most naughty costume.”
It urges guests to: “Keep in mind, we’re not putting on a horror show, baby! We’re the sexy crowd, the HOT crowd, the erotic.”
The function is geared toward couples. Single women are allowed — but not single men. ...
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of E. L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey (it’s sold over 40 million copies). What I’ve noticed is that the voices of a few “shades” of people have been missing from mainstream discourse about the books: namely, Black folks.
The book contains explicit scenes of acts associated with the BDSM lifestyle (bondage, discipline, Dominance/submission and sadomasochism). I’ve often heard brothers and sisters dismiss this…let’s say “alternative” way of life as “something White folks do,” but the fact is African-Americans participate too. Some people of color simply like to push the boundaries of standard or “vanilla” sexual behavior (as it is called in the lifestyle).
In fact, there is a growing community of those of us actively engaging in BDSM. We, too, have proudly chosen to incorporate certain sexually alternative behaviors into our lives that allow us to freely express ourselves and indulge in kinkier pleasurable acts. Black BDSMers see ourselves as different, yes, but different ain’t bad.
WHAT IS BDSM, REALLY?
To go deeper (pardon the pun), BDSM is the broad term for a sexual lifestyle wherein informed adults discuss, negotiate and consent to their roles and participation in activities generally based on hierarchical relationships. Generally, two people come together and establish a dynamic where one person is the dominant partner (or the “top”) and the other is the submissive partner (the “bottom”) in anything from a one-time-only enactment of kinky “scenes” to lifelong partnerships. ...
Police raided home of man who revealed Mountie's naked bondage photos
The RCMP are using extraordinary measures to silence a critic who outed an officer posting naked bondage photos of himself online, according to the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
Grant Wakefield says he and his wife were terrorized by police during a raid on their home this past August. The raid was executed after Wakefield provided police with evidence RCMP Cpl. Jim Brown had posted several bondage-type photos of himself on social media websites for people with sexual fetishes.
In some of the photos Brown was wearing RCMP riding boots while posed in sex acts with women in submissive positions. That eventually triggered a code of conduct investigation of Brown.
Using the warrant they raided Wakefield's home and seized his computers and cellphones.
Extraordinary powers misused
Now the B.C. Civil Liberties Association is accusing the RCMP of misusing their powers to silence critics.
BCCLA executive director David Eby points out any private citizen who has been defamed must sue in civil court, but only police can use the rare criminal charge of defamatory libel.
"They're using this very rare provision, they're using such extraordinary measures that we don't see in other situations and he's a critic of the RCMP, and we say it's a fair question to ask," said Eby.
Last month the RCMP did release a version of the information filed to obtain the search warrant, but significant parts of the information were blacked out on 55 of the 71 pages released.
Now Eby is asking the court to release an uncensored version of the document.
"The RCMP should be extra transparent in a situation like that and instead they're being extra secretive," said Eby.
Both the CBC and the Vancouver Sun newspaper were also in court this week seeking the release of the full document, arguing the case begs for public scrutiny as to whether the RCMP acted appropriately.
Censored warrant reveals some details
What the censored version of the information used to obtain the search warrant does reveal is that Wakefield was working with the RCMP to provide photos and information to police about Brown's online activities and photos posted on sexual fetish websites.
But then after Brown's activities were revealed in the media, the investigators turned their attention to Wakefield, accusing him of defamatory libel after he posted comments and tweets critical of Brown and the RCMP on a Twitter account that had only 13 followers.
The document says many of the online comments and tweets alleging criminal and other inappropriate behaviour by Brown are false....
A man who claims he was an RCMP agent says he collected information and sexually explicit photographs that Coquitlam Mountie Cpl. Jim Brown posted of himself on the Internet.
In an affidavit filed in court describing himself as “not a mere informant” but “an agent” directed by the force, Grant Wakefield says he provided the RCMP with that material and accused Cpl. Brown of engaging in sex while on duty and being involved in bondage- and domination-themed websites.
The RCMP found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but concluded “allegations of professional misconduct appear to be supported.”
The RCMP said Cpl. Brown has been suspended since July.
On Aug. 18, the Mounties raided Wakefield’s home and seized his computers.
Along with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and media outlets, the New Westminster man is asking the court to unseal the information police used to obtain the controversial warrant to invade his apartment.
He portrays himself in his affidavit as a police agent whose message the RCMP has gone to great lengths to suppress.
A vetted version of a 71-page document sworn by Surrey RCMP Const. Phia Huffman to obtain the search warrant was released Sept. 21.
The vetting was done in part to conceal the identity of a confidential informant labelled in the document as “Informant A.”
But Wakefield wants to see an unedited version because, among other things, he believes he is the person referred to as “Informant A” in that material who is used to buttress the request for the search warrant.
Wakefield’s affidavit and the full day of arguments before Judge Peder Gulbransen laid out an extraordinary sequence of events focused on Cpl. Brown and the response of the national police agency.
Wakefield said in his affidavit that he believes he was “erroneously characterized” as a confidential informant though “I was acting at the direction of the RCMP at all times relevant to this proceeding and was not a mere informer.”
Liliane Bantourakis, a lawyer representing the RCMP, maintained that the RCMP does not consider Wakefield an agent.
In January or February, Wakefield said, “a distant family friend” contacted him after meeting a man who called himself the “Kilted Knight” on a dating site, Plenty of Fish.
She asked Wakefield to make inquiries.
Trolling Internet sites such as Twitvid, Twitpic and Fetlife.com, Wakefield said he found a number of disturbing images depicting a man called the Kilted Knight wearing the high brown boots of the traditional RCMP uniform and little else. ...
Emily and Griff, as they are known within the swinging community, tell us that swingers are the everyday folk you see around town. From teachers to Home Depot clerks, you never know who's got a "secret sex life." Plus, what do Emily and Griff think constitutes cheating?
Adventures in Sexuality raised over $4,000 for NCSF at their COPE conference in Columbus, Ohio (Sept 14-16). Along with a Special Drawing and table donations, the "COPE Grand Prize Auction" received 2 separate donations of $1,800 each from the auction winners! All of the funds went to NCSF, with AIS donating over $2,300 in prizes: 3 Winter Wickedness tickets, 2 nights hotel rooms, 6 meals and 1 piece of AIS Kink Labs furniture to each of the 2 winners.
NCSF gives a big thanks Barak, Sheba and everyone at AIS for putting together a fabulous event. WE also thank them for hosting NCSF Board Members Mercury and Julian Wolf so they could spread the word about NCSF projects and programs that help kinky people. It really shows that size doesn’t matter when it comes to passionate support for NCSF! You can find out more about AIS at: http://www.adventuresinsexuality.org/