Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.



June 24, 2016

BBC: "Polyamorous Relationships May Be the Future of Love"


The BBC publishes a solid, sure-to-be-influential, 2,500-word article in its "Future" section:


Polyamorous relationships may be the future of love

Love doesn’t just come in pairs. Is it time that marriage laws come to recognise the fact?


By Melissa Hogenboom / Pictures by Olivia Howitt

As a child Franklin Vieux [sic] recalls hearing his school teacher read a story about a princess who had a tantalising dilemma. Two male suitors had been wooing her and she had to choose between them. Franklin wondered why she could not choose both.

This early insight was revealing. Franklin has to this day never stuck to one relationship at a time. “I have never been in a monogamous relationship in my life. When I was in high school I took two dates to my senior prom. I lost my virginity as a threesome.”

Today he lives with his long-term girlfriend in a home he shares with her other boyfriend. Occasionally his partner’s teenage daughter also stays over. He is also in four other long-distance relationships, people he sees with varying degrees of frequency.

Franklin and his girlfriends are what’s called polyamorous or “poly” as the community tends to call it. Being poly simply means you can be in more than one relationship, with the full support and trust of however many partners they choose to have.

Polyamory does not feature in any census tick box but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is on the rise. Some are even calling for it to be recognised by law following the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK and the US. All this raises of the question of whether the future of love may be very different from our current conceptions of romance.... In the last two decades, sociologists, legal scholars and the public have shown great interest towards polyamory and it’s making them reassess the very nature of romance.

The word polyamory was first coined in the 1960s [no; in 1988 over a kitchen table and first published in 1990. –Ed.] and literally means “many loves” in Latin. That’s exactly what it is, but talking to poly individuals makes it quickly apparent that there is no one way to be poly. There are no immediate rules. Some people, like Franklin have live-in partners with additional liaisons outside the home. Others have a mixture of short and long-term relationships.

Some live in a big group with their partners and their partner’s other partner(s), so called “family style polyamory”. You get the idea. The one thing they all have in common is openness, understanding, trust and acceptance from all involved.


As you might imagine these kinds of relationships take a lot of work to maintain, so being poly is far from an easy option. For starters, to keep more than one relationship going, small logistical matters require a lot of communication. “Our relationships are a lot more challenging,” says Eve Rickert, one of Franklin’s long distance partners and co-author of their polyamory book More than Two.

It took several decades for published research to appear into this way of life. “It called into question people’s core values,” says Terri Conley from the University of Michigan, who initially struggled to get her research published due what she felt was a pervasive bias in favour of monogamy. Her research is revealing – there are some clear benefits to polyamory.

To start with, in a 2014 review paper Conley found that polyamorous people tend to maintain more friendships as they keep a wider social network. They are also less likely to cut off contact after a break-up.

...Nor do they seem more likely to spread sexually transmitted diseases. Indeed, an anonymous online study revealed that openly non-monogamous people are more likely to practice safe sex than cheating individuals in seemingly monogamous relationships.

Taking all her findings into consideration, Conley says that married monogamous couples could learn from a poly way of life. They could use using similar ways to communicate and resolve conflict for example. “The idea is that we put too much stress on marriage and need to give it more oxygen by giving people more resources,” she says. “A lot of the strategies used in poly relationships can map onto suggestions of how we improve marriage.”...

Unfortunately, these positive experiences portrayed by the research do not always translate to positive perceptions of polyamorous people. In fact, poly individuals face many stigmas and one of the biggest misconceptions is that it's all about sex....

“I have been in committed long-term relationships that span decades,” Franklin explains. “There are easier ways to find sex if sex is what you’re interested in.”

Eve agrees. “Poly is a lot of work. Having a lifestyle where you enjoy casual sex and hook-ups is a lot less work than maintaining five current long-term relationships.”...


It goes on to discuss the healthy outcomes among children of polyfamilies, and considerations around legalizing multiple marriage. It closes,


Relationships are eclectic and diverse, and while legal recognition for polyamory may be a long way off, with greater awareness of our differences, love in all its many forms is surely set to change.


Read the whole article (June 23, 2016). It's part of a series called "Sexual Revolutions".

The BBC's last big poly article, on August 18, 2013, received wide comment in other media and was republished around the world. I wonder if this one will be lost in the noise of Brexit.

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June 23, 2016

In Ireland, "Meet the couples in love with polyamory"

Irish Independent

Polyamory Ireland just got a stellar full-page-plus article, including a link to its Meetup site, in Ireland's best-selling daily newspaper. Thanks to Randy Ralston (Polyamory Ireland's founder eight years ago) for the tip. He says the group actually did not initiate this story; "the journalist simply contacted me with questions and I answered them. She did her own research (and, as you will see, got the definition of poly a bit off…it is not about sex…)"



The truth about life in an open relationship

For growing numbers of people, monogamy just doesn't work. So what happens when you throw out the rule book? Tanya Sweeney meets the couples [sic] in love with polyamory

By Tanya Sweeney

...And now a growing number of people are seeking emotional fulfilment with an alternative relationship model: polyamory. The results, it must be said, are often effective.

Much as its name suggests, polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of everyone involved. It's a different entity to 'swinging' (which is simply sex with different partners), or having a bit on the side (most polyamorous people see their partners as equal in terms of love).

Catalina Vieru, a 29-year-old European Voluntary Service worker from Dundalk, first heard the word 'polyamory' six years ago. As it happens, she was already in an open relationship with another man.

"I never felt like I could be monogamous," she explains. "With my ex-partner, we decided that the safest for us would be to have a sexually open relationship, meaning that it was okay for both of us to date or have sex with others, as long as we didn't get involved emotionally.

"During that time, I started wondering about what would happen if I'd allow myself to develop feelings also.... "At the moment, I am also involved with three more people and a couple, and I have a different type of connection, all very special, with each of them."

...Part of the power of polyamory, say its practitioners, is that honesty, respect and communication are paramount to keeping the wheels of the relationships greased. Polyamorous people aren't oversexed or promiscuous, and no one is cheating or coercing a partner into a relationship they don't want. There is no need for clandestine encounters or affairs, because everyone in a poly relationship is on the same page.

Monogamous relationships aren't without their complications, certainly, but the fact that three or more people are involved in a poly relationship means that the interpersonal combinations are plentiful....

...IT engineer Balazs Balogh, 31, originally from Hungary but living in Galway, became aware of the concept through a web-comic, and found his mind sufficiently 'blown'.

"Up until that point I believed I came up with the whole thing, then I discovered there's a worldwide community with more or less the same idea," he explains....

..."One thing that particularly stuck with me was when they were cooking together while having a chat, it was so heartwarming I could've watched them for hours. There's this saying that gets thrown around a lot by poly people that by loving more, love doesn't run out, but multiplies. I felt exactly that."

That's not to say that complications don't arise: "Some poly people say they just don't feel jealous and never did — God, I wish I was like that, because feeling envious or jealous is really not fun," Catalina reflects.

"I think most of my current partners feel the same way....

...Polyamory Ireland — a 300-strong faction of people — hold regular meetings in Dublin. Its members range in age from teenagers to grandparents, and are highly multicultural and well-travelled....

...Among the other commonly held misconceptions is that polyamory is bad for children in the relationships.

"All the evidence and research to date says that children who come from polyamorous families are, at worst, no more dysfunctional than those who come from traditional monogamous ones. And, at best, are much happier and more well-adjusted," reveals Randy....

...Visibility for the poly community will be at an all-time high as Polyamory Ireland are set to march in the Dublin Pride Festival for the first time this month.

"Our community has the right mix of people to provide a beautiful and supportive presence," says Randy. "The struggles Pride represents are all of our struggles. We will be there in solidarity, essentially, for freedom of relationship choice. But also for equality, diversity, tolerance, and justice for all.

"Personally, I think it is entirely natural for us to love multiple people," he adds....

For more details on Polyamory Ireland, see meetup.com/Polyamory-Ireland/


Read the whole article (online June 24, 2016; print issue June 23).

This is the kind of positive image-making, and free advertising for your group, that you can get when people are out. Just be careful about the agenda of the writer and the publication, and ask that your quotes be sent to you for checking before they are published.

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June 16, 2016

The poly movement's growing atheist/skeptic wing


I didn't make it to Atlanta Poly Weekend earlier this month because I was at the Reason Rally in Washington, DC, with Sparkle Moose. She's becoming Kind of a Big Thing in her niche of the secular-atheist-rationalist movement, and she was there partly to hand out cards and seek speaking gigs with exhibitors: the American Humanist Association, Secular Students Alliance, the Freethought Society, Ex-Muslims of North America, American Atheists, the Sunday Assemblies, and many more.

And we were both there because we missed the first Reason Rally in 2012.

PBS
Thousands of people lined the west end of the Reflecting Pool facing a sound stage at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial — America's most moving national monument, enclosing the stern, kind, sad marble image of our greatest unsung freethinker. Booming into the microphone for nine hours were Bill Nye, Lawrence Krauss, Kelly Carlin (George's daughter), Penn Jillette, James Randi, Annabelle Gurwitch, brave refugees from theocracy in Iran and Bangladesh; music by a John Lennon tribute band, rap by Wu Tang Clan, and many, many others.

I roamed the edges of the crowd — often the most interesting terrain at any big political event, for the same reason that edge ecologies are rich and interesting (Sparkle Moose is a biologist).

I wore my purple Poly Living shirt, from Loving More's Poly Living conferences. The Reason Rally certainly turned out to be the place to show it. All day, people came up to me thrilled to see polyfolks represented. Many shared their stories. I assured one woman that the way to avoid another bad experience as a unicorn is to find the poly community and learn its wisdom in this regard; she had never thought to do that. I referred an older gentlemen, who was worried about his grandkids being raised by a poly household, to Elisabeth's Sheff's work on the subject. I met the organizers of the new Polycamp Northeast coming up in New Hampshire this August. And on and on. By the end of the day I was hoarse.

So I think it's time to unload the Poly and Secularism/Atheism intersectional things that I've been collecting.

--------------------------------

When I started Polyamory in the News 11 years ago, our movement was much smaller, and its Pagan, Tantric, and New Age pioneers were a larger part of the whole. (Some of this was surely a founder effect due to Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart and to Deborah Anapol with her seminal Love Without Limits). Since then, a rather opposite, rationalist/ pro-science wing of the poly movement has grown much faster.

Which isn't surprising. Freethinkers, evidence-examiners, and iconoclasts in one area of societal assumptions — like religion and woo — are likely to be that way in other areas too.

And thus, according to a survey last year by YouGov, non-religious people are about six times as likely to respect your poly relationship as people who say that religion is very important to them:


Most non-religious Americans condone polyamory, new survey finds

...In the new YouGov poll, 58 percent of adults who consider religion to be “not at all important” say polyamory is morally acceptable. Only 9 percent of people who consider religion very important say the same.



Here's an article about the survey at Religion News Service (Aug. 14, 2015). Here are the full survey results at YouGov.com (Aug. 12, 2015).

So if you're reading this website, the difference is stark. Rationalists and skeptics are likely to respect your freedom and dignity. Believers are likely to be your enemies, who even if they feel kindly toward you, may feel obligated to use whatever power they can get over you to suppress you and make your life miserable.

--------------------------------

● The prominent atheist blogger JT Eberhart, an organizer and speaker at the 2016 Reason Rally, suggested in 2013 (in a Poly 101 for a concerned newbie) that to find poly advice, "You may also consider turning to the atheist community. It seems half of us are poly nowadays."

Earlier Eberhard wrote about how and why he's poly, in Polyamory and Insecurity. One bit:


Poly allows me to take away their motivation to lie. If they don’t love me, they know they can say so. If they love me AND someone else, they can say so. Insecurity comes from not knowing or distrusting, and poly allows me to get past both those things.


In 2011 he posted Adventures in Polyamory on first discovering the poly possibility after befriending a woman and her husband.


As two fairly open-minded people, our conversations eventually turned to what we liked in bed. We both were meticulous in our avoidance of diseases, but there were some stark differences between us. I liked giving back rubs. Christina liked having meat hooks pierced through her back and being suspended by wires. I wanted to be in a threesome one day. Christina had lost count of how many she’d been in. She began to call me naive, a charge to which I almost immediately pled guilty....



● Another rockstar of the movement is Greta Christina. Her latest book, just out two weeks ago, is The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life, with a section on "sex, love, pleasure, and joy." She's made no secret of being poly and invited Franklin Veaux to guest-post on her blog (Sept. 27, 2013).

Here's her On Monogamy and Non-Monogamy As a Continuum (Feb. 15, 2013). And a movie review, Polyamory, Pop Culture, and Propaganda: "Yes, We're Open" (Jan. 31, 2013):


So when people making movies/ TV shows etc. depict the lives of some misunderstood/ marginalized group that doesn’t get depicted in pop culture very much… what responsibilities do they have? If any?

I saw this movie last night, “Yes, We’re Open”: an indie small-budget comedy (available on DVD and download) about a San Francisco couple beginning to consider non-monogamy when they meet an open-relationship couple who expresses an interest in them....

A lot of why it was frustrating can be summed up in the question I asked the filmmakers in their post-film Q&A: “Given that the template of San Francisco poly culture is that it’s hyper-ethical, hyper-processing, talking everything to death… why did you choose to make the poly couple in this movie so skanky, and not particularly ethical?”

They clearly understood the question, and the context for it.... We don’t [yet] have our “Philadelphia,” our “Brokeback Mountain,” our “Ellen,” our “The Kids Are All Right,” our “Will and Grace,” our “Glee.” And so when a movie like “Yes, We’re Open” comes along... it’s that much more disappointing when the poly people are so skanky, and not particularly ethical.

I don’t want every poly character in every TV show or movie to be a perfect paragon of sensitivity and high-minded ethics. I’m okay with them being flawed and human....

...But given that there are so few poly characters in pop culture, and even fewer who don’t fall into the stereotype of unethical seducers and skanks with no self-control, I think producers of pop culture do have an obligation to not actively perpetuate that stereotype.



● Much more recently, on The Bayesian Conspiracy podcast: What’s Polyamory got to do with Rationalism anyway? Part 1, Part 2 (June 1 and 8, 2016).


● After the second FtB Con (Freethought Blogs Con) in 2014, Miri Mogilevski posted a two-hour collection of streamed video from it, Skeptics Open Up: Polyamory in the Skeptical Community:



The blurb:


People who practice polyamory and other styles of open relationships comprise a group that is rapidly growing in numbers and visibility. What IS polyamory, anyway? Don't we get jealous? How do we manage our schedules? Why is such a large proportion of skeptics and atheists practicing polyamory, and what issues does the community face as it moves forward?



● Kelley Clark (Kelleytastic) wrote a piece titled "Poly and Skepticism" on the now-defunct Modern Poly site that stated key points of the poly-skeptic intersection:


...I look at the world through the lenses of logic and critical thinking and I use scientifically-rigorous methodology to evaluate the world around me. What is the evidence? What are the biases? Does the data necessitate the outcome, or does it simply correlate with the outcome?

...For example, if I’m thinking about vaccinating my children, there’s a lot of information available. What is noise, what is fear-mongering, and what is accurate? Is the literature peer-reviewed? Is the study considered to be scientifically rigorous, meaning it cleanly tested the variables that it set out to test and was transparent about its limitations?

Another area I have given much consideration to is human sexuality. How many of our traditions are that way simply because that is how they have always been? What does that actually mean? How long is “always”? How many are dictated by religious beliefs, cultural norms, or other social mores?

...Where I tend to differ from some people are morals that are derived from religious dogma. I don’t choose to do so simply to be obtuse; it is my responsibility in these cases, as a Skeptic, to investigate the origins of the norm and whether or not it is a helpful or harmful tradition.

Some cultural norms end up being neither helpful nor harmful. Monogamy, for me, is one of these traditions.

In many ways, I credit my success in polyamory to my identity as a Skeptic. It allows me to step back and evaluate situations objectively. Emotion itself is a beautiful thing to experience, but I like the fact that it does not have to define me. I define myself.



● From a Washington Post column, An Atheist Guide to Love (Feb. 14, 2013):


By Libby Anne

...Without instructions flowing from religious dogma, atheists are free to simply focus on finding ways to build healthy relationships and on setting a healthy balance between self and others. Given the lack of atheist dogma, this is a very individual thing. Many atheists marry and raise children together, others get divorced, and still others choose not to marry, or form alternative families or engage in polyamory. As an atheist, there’s no set rule for what a family or a relationship is supposed to look like. Instead, it’s up to you.



● Franklin Veaux's brilliant, trenchant-as-usual, skepti-thought-based Poly Prisoner's Dilemma: or, how to quit worrying and love your partner's other partners. A precis:


“Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.”

–Linus Pauling


One of my favorite books about human cognitive biases is How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life, by Thomas Gilovich. As the title suggests, it’s essentially a catalog of the various cognitive traps, reasoning errors, and other fallibilities that lead to people to “knowing” things that aren’t true.

The book talks about a lot of reasoning problems that you might expect: confirmation bias, for example, and intuitive problems with randomness (the human brain is so highly optimized for seeking patterns that it’ll find patterns even in random data, and on top of that, random data do not necessarily “look” the way we expect them to, and in particular aren’t fractal in nature; it’s perfectly reasonable to flip a coin a bunch of times and see heads come up five or six times in a row…but I digress).

...And it discusses self-fulfilling prophesies, in the context of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

...The connection between a hostile Prisoner’s Dilemma strategy and self-fulfilling prophesies was new to me, and naturally, it instantly created a new connection between Prisoner’s Dilemma problems and polyamory in my head.

Meeting [your] lover’s other lover presents a host of opportunity for cooperation or defection. You can reach out to the other person and try to make that person feel welcome; you can be closed up and defensive to that person; you can even be actively hostile to that person. And, of course, your lover’s lover has similar choices....

...So are we left, then, with the grim conclusion that the only rational way to meet a lover’s new lover is to be defensive, even knowing that this defensiveness is likely to trigger the very thing we believe we’re defending against?

Thankfully, no....

...When it comes to human interactions, where information is not perfect, the rule of withholding cooperation only to the extent that the other person does quickly falls by the wayside. In situations where two [game-theory] programs are given occasional flawed information, a better strategy than Tit for Tat emerges: Tit for Two Tats. Tit for Two Tats will let the first perceived defection slide, and begin withholding cooperation only if it sees the other side defect twice in a row. Hence the Linus Pauling quote “Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.”...



● Joreth Innkeeper, an outspoken atheist and long-term poly activist (and now a director of Atlanta Poly Weekend/ Relationship Equality Foundation), hosts large sections on atheism and polyamory on her website and sells T-shirts: Atheist Tees and Poly Tees. She does a conference presentation on the intersection between polyamory and skepticism (including running your love life by the scientific method — it's more intuitive that you think) and says she will get it up on the web this summer.

She recently appeared on the Secular Sexuality Podcast of author and speaker Dr. Darrel Ray. The episode is Poly Activist & Paradigm Shift (June 5, 2016). Her interview starts at 26:25.


● This is getting long enough. I'll close with a plug for Christopher Bingham and the Bone Poets Orchestra (formerly Gaia Consort), creator of beloved poly songs — Yes!,  Perils of Poly,  Family, Goodnight — and atheist anthems: Evolve,  Cry Freedom,  No Shadows.

Do you know of other things that belong here? Put them in the comments.

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June 10, 2016

*You Me Her* writer/director on "polyamorism"

IndieWire

Audience Network's polyamory dramedy series You Me Her was just renewed for two more seasons; see yesterday's post. John Scott Shepherd, the writer and producer, says he's listening to input from the poly community. So we should get to know him and his thoughts, if we want to help the show represent us in our true interesting-ness.

From an interview that just appeared on IndieWire:


‘You Me Her’ Creator On Making A ‘Premium’ Dramedy That’s Not ‘Duplass-y’

Greg Poehler and Rachel Blanchard in "You Me Her."

By Liz Shannon Miller

Writer John Scott Shepherd’s “You Me Her,” which was renewed Thursday for two more seasons by Audience Network, is unique among TV shows. Despite being what he calls a “premium half hour” [episodes are one hour. –Ed.], a label that could be applied to many other indie-style series like Mark and Jay Duplass’s “Togetherness,” the Portland-set relationship dramedy has tried to make sure it stands out.

Step one: Tackle one of modern society’s most unconventional relationship types — a triad that develops when Jack (Greg Poehler) hires call girl Izzy (Priscilla Faia), who becomes entangled in his marriage with Emma (Rachel Blanchard).

When Shepherd took on the concept of polyamory for the Audience Network/DirecTV original series “You Me Her,” he was surprised to discover that he was tapping into a whole community that was thrilled to see their stories told in an authentic way.

“These real people… it’s so weird, like when you buy a car and you never notice other people driving that car until you bought it,” he told IndieWire. “As soon as you get into this area, you start talking to people who are like, ‘Oh yeah, I know someone,’ or even, ‘I’m in a relationship right now and people constantly tell me it can’t work, but it is working.’ It just opens the door.”

By telling the story of Jack, Emma and Izzy honestly, Shepherd found a whole new way into depicting the subject matter. “I kept thinking of the tone of Working Title movies or ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ or good romantic comedies, the ones that I’ve loved,” he said. “Not only were there stakes, as far as the real world and what it means to do something that different in a community or a society that’s not easily accepted — but could I also create real emotional stakes? Where we actually care about these people and their feelings? If you could accomplish that, if you could take the big idea of polyamorism and then bring it down to the real world and make it relatable, it could be something special.”

The result is a TV series with a real indie film feel....

------------------------------

"Besides not wanting to set it in LA or New York, we didn’t want to have that exact same mumblecore feel. We felt that [the romantic comedy] was being done over and over and over to the point that you couldn’t separate them. I have this problem because I love the form, but which ones are good and which ones aren’t? Do I have to watch them all to find out? Because they do all sort of take on that very, very, very low-concept “Happy Christmas” kind of vibe.

"Another thing that I was interested in experimenting with was, what if it was okay to have a bit of rhythmic, aspirational dialogue in a romantic comedy vibe, and not be afraid of “spiking,” as I call it, whether it’s dramatic or comedic? I do believe that that world of the prestige half hour is going to have to expand its boundaries beyond very, very contained relationship dramedies. Having three people [in one relationship] is an example of that, but there are many other ways to do it. I do think that it’s going to have to happen."

...In terms of working with DirecTV, how has that experience been?

"Really cool. They just are extremely supportive of not just what we’re doing, but also the process. That’s a big part of working outside of broadcast networks. Not everybody thinks TV should be written in a room full of people talking, I come from a background of being a novelist; I think writing happens when you’re alone — that’s where the magic happens, in my pajamas in my cave. I said that that’s how I’d like to do it. I’d like to write the whole series on my own with just the help of the writer’s assistant. I’d like to think of it like a book with 10 chapters. That allowed us all to do it that way. It’s just a whole different way of looking at things."


The whole interview (June 9, 2016).

So, if you were to send him a letter*, what is the one thing you would suggest?

My one thing — to fill a crying gap so far — would be for our entangled trio to meet the wider poly community.

There'd be plenty room for comedy or even snark — like in the newbie-goes-to-a-discussion-group Episode 2 of Terisa Greenan's 2010 poly webseries Family. This could add fascinating background characters. But mostly it could display the essential concept that if you want to master this poly thing, you want to seek out the 30+ years of accumulated, hard-won community wisdom.

A few years ago at a Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East, KamalaDevi (who later went on to a starring role in Showtime's Polyamory: Married & Dating) was asked in a discussion circle, "What's the most important thing for succeeding at polyamory?" She instantly replied, "Community. You need a community."

P.S. June 15: Joreth has begun a series of reviews of the show, on her Poly-ish Movie Reviews site.

------------------------------------------------

* Mailing address:
John Scott Shepherd
c/o Paradigm Talent Agency
360 North Crescent Dr., North Bldg.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2500.

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June 9, 2016

*You Me Her* booked for two new seasons

The "polyromantic comedy" You Me Her has been renewed for two more seasons following the success this spring of its 10-episode first season, according to a press release today from Audience Network owner AT&T:


...Created and written by Executive Producer and showrunner John Scott Shepherd... the series was picked up for 10 new episodes each for seasons 2 and 3. It remains exclusive to AUDIENCE Network for DIRECTV and U-verse customers.

..."I appreciate AT&T's commitment to 'You Me Her,' ordering not just 1 but 2 more seasons," said Shepherd. "It benefits us creatively, in our storytelling, and allows us to maintain this spectacular family of cast and crew. Every day is a blast because we get to make something daring, funny and truthful, which bonds us with our viewers in a very cool conversation."

"Our viewers have opened their hearts and minds to embrace the unique relationship between Jack, Emma and Izzy," said Chris Long, senior vice president, Original Content and Production, AT&T. "AUDIENCE strives for compelling story lines and intriguing characters. And we believe in the potential for this show to grow even more as we continue our journey with eOne."

"'You Me Her' is a bold, provocative show that grabs your attention immediately," said John Morayniss, CEO, Entertainment One Television. "We're delighted AT&T has signed on for another 2 more seasons which speaks to the strength of these dynamic characters and storytelling. We're looking forward to seeing how this complicated, polyamorous relationship that John Scott Shepherd has brilliantly created will continue to unfold."...

About the show

"You Me Her," television's first "polyamorous romantic comedy," infuses the grounded and relatable sensibilities of an indie romantic comedy with a distinctive twist.

What begins as an impulsive "date" between suburban husband Jack (Poehler) and neophyte escort Izzy (Faia) spins into a whirlwind 3-way affair including Jack's wife Emma (Blanchard), who's been keeping secrets of her own.

Their arrangement soon breaks free of its financial bonds to evolve into a meaningful romance with real consequences, posing the question to viewers: What if your best, truest life looked nothing like you imagined? Would you be brave enough to live it?


The full press release (June 9, 2016). No word on the timetable.

Here's more about the series, with lots of links. Here are all my posts about it (including this one; scroll down). The show's Facebook page.

Writer/director Shepherd has talked about trying to get things right to the poly community's satisfaction. I take that as an invitation for you to send him your comments and suggestions. The address I found was his official postal one: John Scott Shepherd, c/o Paradigm Talent Agency, 360 North Crescent Dr. North Bldg., Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2500.

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June 8, 2016

"Why 1 Man Decided to Take His Boyfriend's Wife on a Date"

Cosmopolitan

Cosmo has always imagined that it's in the sexual avant-garde, and so have its readers, so it's nice to see it paying more attention of poly relationships. This story, just up, is your everyday happy tale of MMF bi triad formation:


Why 1 Man Decided to Take His Boyfriend's Wife on a Date

My polyamorous relationship only started feeling real the moment I asked her out.

The Getty stock image used by Cosmo. Although the story is about a different gender setup, of course the stock photo looks (to me at least) like one satisfied guy with two pairs of ladies' feet. Hey photographers — please send the stock agencies some less stereotyped poly-theme pix!

By Zachary Zane

Before I agreed to a first date with my current boyfriend, I knew he had a wife.... I also knew that he was polyamorous. As a bisexual man, I'd been open to different types of partners in the past, but this was new territory. Just six weeks before I met this guy, I had broken up with my girlfriend of a year. In this time, I had been playing the field, primarily with men. My ex and I were monogamous, so I was excited to have some casual flings.

But a fling is not what I got. One date led to two, and two to three more. Nearly six months later, we're somehow still going strong. Despite the fact that we both have other people in our lives who we're emotionally and physically involved with, we see each other about five days a week. When you love someone, you figure out how to make the time.

Still, time or not, navigating the dynamic with my boyfriend's wife was more complicated than I thought....

------------------------------

...So it was then, five months into our relationship, after dozens of "I love you"s, when I knew it was finally time to go on a date with my boyfriend's wife.

This man has two loves in his life. One, his wife whom he met in college and has been married to for eight, long years. The other, myself, a 24-year-old man who he met in the basement of a gay, leather bar and has been dating for five short months....

We both kissed our man good-bye and headed out alone to our dinner date....

..."You're the best thing that's happened to him since our marriage. I've never seen him this happy."

I took a deep breath and smiled. A big fat, stupid smile.

"I really like him," I replied.

"And he really likes you. I can't tell you how happy I am that you two met each other."

My fat smile was now morbidly obese....


Read on. (June 8, 2016). The author is an accomplished young writer on LGBT topics, especially B.

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June 6, 2016

Open Love NY in the news at 4,000 members

Open Love NY keeps getting good press, this time in Ripple, a recent $4 million startup that delivers local news in selected cities.

The piece interviews Open Love NY co-founder and past president Mischa Lin. She is one of the many heroes of the poly movement to whom we all, through ways that few know, owe a debt.


Open Love NY Serves Polyamorous Community


By Susan Xu

...Through a wide variety of educational and social events, OLNY seeks to provide its members with an open and safe place to discuss consensual adult relationships, regardless of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation/preference.... It also happens to be one of the largest polyamory organizations on the East Coast....

How and why did Open Love NY first come to fruition?

The polyamorous community has been a part of New York City for many decades. One of the first poly organizations was called Polyamorous NYC, which was founded in the late 1990s. The founders of Open Love NY were all leaders of PolyNYC before OLNY was formed.

In late 2008, PolyNYC sought to prioritize its efforts toward the LGBT community, which created an opportunity for a new group to be formed to serve the poly community in general. So Open Love NY was formed in 2009 by these ex-PolyNYC leaders to serve the poly community regardless of orientation, race, gender identity, etc. [That's a diplomatic summary of months of high drama. Also emerging from the tumult was the Polyamory Leadership Network. –Ed.]

Mischa and Leon Feingold, another past
president of OLNY, run the Polly
Wanna Answer? advice column.
I was asked to serve as a mediator between PolyNYC and OLNY to work out a separation agreement and subsequently was appointed as the first president of the new organization in July 2010. I served as president until October 2012, growing the membership from zero to over 1,000 people in three years. Currently, OLNY has more than 4,000 members worldwide.

2. Some people argue that humans are "programmed" to be monogamous. What do you think about this proposition?

In America and many other societies in the world, the process of socialization usually includes not only monogamy, but also whiteness, masculinity, dominant religiousness, heterosexuality and cisgenderism, to be held up as the ideal above all other characteristics.

In fact, if you look up synonyms for monogamy, you will find words like "decency," "morality," "honor" and "virtue." While "polyamory" does not yet appear in this particular online thesaurus, it's not hard to see why people might associate poly with negative things when monogamy (its supposed antonym) is associated with honor and virtue. It's also why many people describe poly as "ethical non-monogamy" in order to counter the inherent bias in our language....

3. Why do you think polyamory isn't talked about openly?

While some form of polyamory has been around since the start of civilization, the idea that it could be an ethical and workable alternative to monogamy for a large portion of the population is still fairly new. So part of it comes from the lack of awareness but that is changing rapidly, as things do in the Internet age....

4. Open Love NY hosts a variety of educational and social events. What can be expected from them?

...We have a two-leader rule that ensures at least two leaders are present at all events to enforce these standards. We require respectful behavior and verbal consent for any physical contact more than handshakes. We also practice safer space for all sexual orientations, gender and kink identities, as well as those who identify as monogamous.

...Our events are geared toward building community, not specifically for dating or trolling for partners. We don't allow gendered pricing (e.g. "ladies free") or exclusionary (e.g. men/women only) events to be posted in our group. Any event that we co-sponsor must treat all our members respectfully and equitably to the best of our ability.

...5. Can a person “hack love” by going against the grain of traditional relationships?

I don't look at it as a hack. The easiest way I can describe poly is that it's about changing the relationship to fit the people in it, rather than making the people fit the relationship....

For more information about Open Love NY, visit www.facebook.com/OpenLoveNY: www.facebook.com/OpenLoveNY/.



Read the whole article (June 3, 2016).

Two days earlier, OLNY got this not entirely clear mention in Time Out New York:


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May 24, 2016

"How the You Me Her Cast and Crew Learned From the Polyamory Community"


You Me Her, Audience Network's self-described "polyromantic comedy," ends its first season tonight with Episode 10. You can watch it from 9 to 10 ET/PT on DirecTV, or later online if you're a DirecTV subscriber. Here are titles and brief summaries of all 10 episodes. Some video clips.

I don't get DirecTV but Billy Holder (of Atlanta Poly Weekend) does, and he's reviewed some episodes in detail. He promises more soon.

The show's producer, Scott Shepherd, is paying attention. He talks about Billy as a poly-expert reviewer, though not name, according to this short piece just out at Vulture.com ("devouring culture"):


How the You Me Her Cast and Crew Learned From the Polyamory Community

Craig Barritt / 2016 Getty Images

By Summer Rej

During this weekend’s third annual Vulture Festival, the AT&T Audience Network presented their original series You Me Her, touted as “television’s first polyromantic comedy.” The Saturday afternoon screening, sponsored by DirecTV, was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Vulture’s Jackson McHenry, with creator John Scott Shepherd [above right] and series stars Greg Poehler and Priscilla Faia on hand for a Q&A. The series, which originally premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, centers around Portland suburban married couple Jack (Poehler) and Emma Travarsky (Rachel Blanchard), who, in an attempt to enliven their marriage, develop a polyamorous relationship with Izzy Silva (Faia), an inconspicuous grad student by day and escort by night.

In real life, the poly community has come forth to keep tabs on how they are represented, starting with the premiere at SXSW. Recounts Faia: “In Austin, when we premiered at SXSW, it was the first time someone came out in the audience and was like, ‘Thank you, I’m in a polyamorous relationship.’ We’re like Yeah, man. It was great.” Poehler agreed, noting, “It’s great that community has embraced the show.”

“The last time we were in New York, we had a whole community of people come, and they had some questions,” Faia continued, with an audience member correcting Shepherd about the definition of polyamory. “I said, 'It's a committed, romantic relationship between three people.' She said, ‘No! Three or more.’ I said, 'Oh my god, you’re calling me out in front of 500 people, thank you so much.' Three or more, I’ll never get it wrong again.”

Shepherd has little room for error — with some poly members so intent on making sure they are accurately portrayed, he choose to approach the series from an authoritative, critical perspective. “There’s a guy from [a polyamorous] group who writes a synopsis of every episode after he watches, and he grades us,” Shepherd says. “It’s kind of cool, because he’s grading us pretty well. It would suck if he was like, 'F, F, F, F, F'!” While the real life trio doesn’t share the same chemistry — with Poehler joking, “We’re in a relationship, the three of us,” and Faia quickly negating, “Don’t, that’s not funny” — keep an eye to see how the on-screen dynamic develops.



The original (May 22, 2016).

● A longer, deeper than usual interview with the show's two main actresses appeared May 4th at Paste magazine: Rachel Blanchard and Priscilla Faia Talk Polyamory and You Me Her.

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