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Responsible non-monogamy from a kink-friendly, pansexual point of view
Updated: 31 min 53 sec ago

PW 319: Marriage as a choice

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 19:50

Thoughts on marriage as a conscious relationship and lifestyle choice rather than the default or the result of peer pressure

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:20 News and host chat

3:10 Topic: Marriage as a conscious choice

A recent Huffington Post personal essay questioning marriage as peer pressure in the 20-30 age range as well as:

  • The possibility that even with a lot of love and communication, it might not be enough and the marriage might need to end
  • The groupthink that marriage is hard but always worth it
  • The lack of alternative relationship choices
  • Marriage as the default rather than a custom option

20:20 Feedback on episode 316 Queer as a verb

  • Alyssa writes in to say “Sometimes the radical, panties-in-a-bunch, queers need to chill the fuck out, and what better way to chill out than to realize that something you revolve your life around isn’t a big deal to EVERYONE!”
  • Vir writes in to say that I’ve queered my relationship and my sex life (through kink/fetishes)

24:10 Thanks

Thanks to Meg for the donation this week!

Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 318: The New Monogamy

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 10:42

Dr. Tammy Nelson shares how the world of online dating, social media and texting has changed marriage and monogamy

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

2:00 The New Monogamy with Dr. Tammy Nelson

Dr. Tammy Nelson, therapist and author of a soon-to-be-released book on The New Monogamy, answers questions on the new state of monogamy:

  • Has marriage gone out of fashion?
  • How has online dating affected marriage?
  • Do those who identify as monogamous need to expect infidelity?
  • Are Facebook and texting to blame for affairs?
  • Are affairs actually good for a marriage?
  • What is the new monogamy?

31:40 Feedback

Jess writes in to thank PW for helping her poly family through the introduction of HPV and the tools to help the group be level-headed and talk openly and honestly.

Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 317: Rules redux

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 16:01

Franklin Veaux and Minx discuss listener feedback, advice and anecdotes around creating rules and boundaries to apply to polyamorous relatiomships

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

CatalystCon is September 14-16 in Long Beach. Respond to the call for speakers.

2:40 Topic: Rules Redux

Franklin Veaux and Minx respond to listener feedback about the rules episode.

  • Sean wrote in with the rules his partner imposed on him after an incident
  • J wrote in to clarify the difference between rules that promote discussion versus rules that are designed to bind behavior
  • Isaac asked about D/s rules
  • Jonathan asked for rules when he began dating and got these: “We will trust you if you are trustworthy. We will believe you if you are honest. We will listen if you speak openly. We will communicate if you listen. You’ll have to write any other rules you need yourself because when all is said and done you are the only one that is going to limit your actions. Oh by the way we’ll have a surprise ready here; bring your date home if you want.”
  • Vir shared a quote on boundaries

36:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 316: Queer is a verb

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 12:34

Dr. Charlie Glickman on using “queer” as a verb rather than an adjective or noun; the origins of Good Vibrations

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • OpenSF is June 8-10 in San Francisco

3:20 Interview: Dr. Charlie Glickman

Dr. Glickman teaches how to teach sexuality topics to adults and runs the workshops and outreach at Good Vibrations as well as the social media and web presence; he’s speaking on “Queer as a Verb” and approaching “queering” as a practice as opposed to who you have sex with. What do the mainstream-identified need to know about the queer identity in order to understand, tolerate and help; how to play with the edges; how Good Vibes came about (when women started buying toys and wouldn’t tolerate shoddy craftsmanship!).

17:45 Thanks

Thanks to Joseph for the one-time donation and welcome Clinton to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 315: What would monogamists do?

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 14:49

Freshly returned from MomentumCon, a recap of the sessions on feminism, sexuality and sex-positivism today. Plus, using “what would monogamists do?” as a guiding question.

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

20:45 Topic: What would monogamists do?

A listener writes in to ask how to act around her partner’s OSO (metamour) and challenges the What Would Monogamists Do guiding question. How much flirting is OK around your SO and OSO, and how should you act towards your metamour in social situations?

29:30 Happy Poly Moment

  • Summersnake shares a moment of compersion when sending his wife off to spend time with her sweetie
  • Don writes in to share compersion and joy at his partner’s meeting the metamours

33:25 Feedback

Taylor on controlled male orgasms through controlling the flow of chi

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 314: Rituals and labels – what carries meaning?

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 09:48

An interview with Lee Harrington, spiritual and erotic educator and author, on where rituals and labels come from and what we need to know about their meaning

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 Announcements and Host chat

8:15 Interview: Lee Harrington on rituals and labels

Lee Harrington is a spiritual and erotic educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist and published author and editor on human sexuality and spiritual experience. He is a nice guy with a disarmingly down to earth approach to the fact that we are each beautifully complex ecosystems, and we deserve to examine the human experience from that lens.

Harrington on the importance of recognizing that the label we use is rooted in our own experience and might not carry the same meaning for others in the community. Also, what is a ritual, what meaning does it carry and why are rituals important (or not)?

Latest book: Sacred Kink, the Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond

Listen to Lee at Erotic Awakening podcast

36:40 Host chat

A quick story on LustyGuy’s and Minx’s KinkFest experience.

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

How not to be a douche on FetLife

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:31

It is always my divine pleasure to present on just about any topic at MomentumCon, one of my favorite sex-positive events. It’s always chock-full of luminaries and sexy thought leaders with forward-looking ideas and insights. Great stuff!

My talk this year was a little more down and dirty. Based on the research you guys helped me conduct, I created a deck of guidelines based on the biggest complaints users made regarding sex-positive community sites such as FetLife. Without further ado, here it is: How Not to Be a Douche on FetLife.

How not to be a douche on FetLife

View more presentations from Minx M

PW 313: Everyday ecstasy and thinking off

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 12:02

Why Ecstasy is Necessary

An interview with Barbara Carrellas, author of Ecstasy is Necessary, on making tantric sex available to everyone on an everyday basis

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 Announcements and Host chat

3:50 Interview: Why ecstasy is necessary

Barbara Carrellas is a certified sexologist, sex educator, sex/life coach, and sensual
revolutionary. She is the author of a new book on tantra for the everyday user, Ecstasy is Necessary She answers Minx’s and LustyGuy’s questions, such as:

  • Why another book on tantra? How is this book more accessible and less woo-woo?
  • Isn’t tantra just breathing together for two hours and not coming?
  • What is “thinking off” and can you really breathe your way to an orgasm?
  • How can tantra be achieved with our distracted monkey minds?
  • 16:00 LustyGuy switchover!
  • What about the science and medical information in the book, which is remarkably detailed and accurate?
  • Why is it important that there isn’t one true path to ecstasy?
  • Was it intentional that the book is directed at everyone, not just the kink and woo-woo communities?
  • Angergasms, screamgasms and feargasms

24:35 Thanks

Thanks and welcome to new PW Playmates James and Haddayr as well as to Tara for the generous donations!

26:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 312: The power of introverts and orgasms at the gym

Thu, 03/22/2012 - 13:06

The power of introverts; female orgasms from exercise at the gym

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen.

1:00 News and host chat

  • OpenCon Catalonia will be in Spain May 25-27
  • OpenSF is June 6-8 at Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco
  • I’ll be at Kinkfest in Portland, OR March 23-25
  • And speaking at MomentumCon in D.C. March 29-April 1

10:00 Topic: The Power of Introverts

Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts and how to maximize individual creative thinking. The loudest person isn’t always the wisest, but work environments cater to extroverts.

15:00 Topic: Orgasms at the Gym

A new study shows that women can orgasm without sexual stimulation just from certain types of exercise.

20:45 Feedback: Episode 309 on the myth of sex addiction

  • Stabbity thanks Ley for making the connection with nymphomania about pathologizing certain behavior
  • Vir comments on the pathologization of sex addiction promoting both a double standard and keeping men from taking responsibility for their sexual bad choices

24:55 Thanks

To BobBe for the kinky $69 donation. And welcome Maura to the Playmates!

25:30 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 311: Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 13:52

Franklin and Minx tackle the rule dilemma: do rules work in poly relationships?

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Introduction

Under 18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen.

1:00 News and host chat

7:00 Topic: Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

Guest cohost Franklin Veaux has written extensively on why rules don’t work in poly relationships. And I agree; rules tend to be a substitute for actual communication and a fairly powerless shield against insecurity. Why most poly rules don’t work and advice on what to do instead of creating hard and fast rules.

38:10 Thanks

To Charlie for the $69 donation. We love that amount!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 310: Poly by orienation vs poly by situation

Wed, 03/07/2012 - 12:18

Does one have to self-identify as poly in advance of a situation in order for polyamory to work?

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Introduction

1:00 News and host chat

2:00 Topic: Poly by Orientation vs Poly by Situation

Should I be poly? This question is often asked, and a recent BlogHer essay questioning whether monogamy is the ultimate form of love or a restraint on one’s sexual freedom is better brought up the question: is polyamory a solution to a relationship with no intimacy?

  • Is poly of zero benefit to a monogamous-identified partner of someone who would like to be poly?
  • Does “Poly by Situation” ever work?
  • 11:20 What is required for a Poly by Situation effort to work out: every partner is fully committed, everyone voices their fears and doubts at every turn, no veto power

13:15 Feedback

26:30 Wrap up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 309: the Myth of Sex Addiction

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 18:49

Sex addiction as a celebrity diagnosis is all the rage. But is it real?

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Introduction

1:00 News and host chat

5:00 Interview: the Myth of Sex Addiction

Dr. David Ley is a clinical psychologist and the author of a new book on sex addiction to be released next week!

  • First book was Insatiable Wives about permissive female infidelity and the hotwife lifestyle
  • Why the book was necessary
  • Is “sex addiction” just a label for celebrities who have more sex than me?
  • If sex is a biological imperative, how can it be an addiction?
  • Why has this arisen in our culture now, this idea that people can be addicted to sex? What brought this about?
  • TigressBooks asks: but is this behavior typical of alpha male? Not pathological, but personality type?
  • Nissyen asks: there are lots of compulsive behaviors. Does sex gets the addiction label because it’s so culturally taboo to be promiscuous?
  • Irish8m asks: isnt any action/behavior done to a degree that pushes other aspects of life out of balance an “addiction,” including sex?

References: the History of Nymphomania

39:00 Happy Poly Moment

  • Kit shares a happy poly moment about his wife getting a date she wanted
  • Funny poly moment from Clint and Kat in New Zealand

44:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Giving poly a go: Top tips for poly newbies

Tue, 02/21/2012 - 09:20

Rose Crompton of Vibrations Direct asked about poly, podcasting and my favorite sex toys. It was a fun interview and ended with my best advice for those approaching nonmonogamy for the first time.

Read the full interview here

Giving poly a go? My top tips for poly newbies:

Be prepared to meet parts of yourself you didn’t know about. You will find insecurities you didn’t know were there, and you’ll experience joy in ways you never knew you could.

Be patient with yourself and your partner(s). Remember your first attempts at monogamy weren’t perfect, either.

Worry less about rules and more about what you have to offer. As with monogamous dating, people with lots of rules and criteria rarely find what they seek, and those who are open-minded and easygoing find unexpected pleasures.

Own your shit – by this I mean baggage. If you’re not strong enough to say, “I was wrong,” “I need to bring something up” or “my last STI test came up positive,” you aren’t ready for poly. Being confident enough to own your own baggage and brave enough to start tough conversations is essential.

Start from a healthy place. Get your existing relationships healthy first. The ‘relationship broken; add more people’ model almost never works. You will have to trust your partner to tell you when you’re love-goggling, when he’s feeling jealous and when you aren’t pulling your weight.

Get a support network. Seek out local communities of real people who have real-life experience with polyamory and its ups and downs; having trusted contacts who’ve been there and can provide advice and a sympathetic ear is invaluable.

Read the full interview here.

PW 308: Poly in the Month of Love

Mon, 02/20/2012 - 16:47

Being poly in America February 2012–how did the world treat nonmonogamy this Valentine’s Day?

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 News and host chat

  • Thanks for your patience with the audio—think we’ve fixed it

4:20 Topic: Being poly in February 2012 for Valentine’s Day

Poly in the media and how love and relationships are being viewed for this year’s Valentine’s Day.

22:10 Feedback

  • Musqurat calls in to correct my assertion that the word “polyamory” was coined by Morning Glory Zell. In fact, she used the word “polyamorous;” the word “polyamory” was first used by Jennifer Wesp in the Usenet group in 1992.
  • Fred writes in to share that he found his identity as a monoamorist who likes occasional play with others.

25:10 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 307: A Year of Sex

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 03:33

Mia Martina

A Year of Sex with the sultry Mia Martina

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 News and host chat

5:00 Mia Martina’s A Year of Sex

A yummy interview with the hot and sultry Mia Martina, host of the I Want Your Sex podcast and author of the memoir A Year of Sex, her foray into the world of New York sex clubs. The lovely and talented Mia shares:

  • Why podcast first and then the book
  • What chapters she got the most feedback on
  • If she would recommend the sex club path for someone getting over a bad breakup
  • Advice for those going to sex parties for the first time who don’t want to look like they’re going for the first time
  • 24:30 Sharing a sexy story

If you’re local to Austin, Texas, find her performance erotica troupe at Bedpost Confessions. Or follow Mia on Twitter.

30:50 Happy Poly Moment

  • Lisa from Boston shares a happy poly moment of her boyfriend using her girlfriend to make sure she stayed healthy
  • Shaun shares the story of his poly-unsure girlfriend starting to date

33:25 Feedback

Jane shares a happy poly story of being able to share the same bed with her partner.

35:00 Thanks

Thanks to Sean for his donation this week!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 306: Polyamory vs polygamy

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 19:06

What are the differences between polyamory and polygamy?

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements and Host chat

10:10 Topic: Polyamory vs Polygamy

First, there is a great rundown of polyamory, including an interview with several poly enclaves, in the Winnipeg Free Press. That article on polyamory vs polygamy: “Polyamoury, for the record, is quite distinct from polygamy, which, thanks to TV shows such as the fictional drama Big Love and the reality series Sister Wives, people tend to associate with fundamentalist Mormons who practise plural marriage… Polyamorous relationships are post-modern, secular, egalitarian and consensual.”

Next, check out this Slate article asking whether polygamy as it is traditionally practiced is good for society and does acknowledge “traditional polygamy is a pre-modern institution with religious and patriarchal roots.”

Minx’s take on the five primary differences between traditional polygamy and modern polyamory:

  1. Motive: Polyamory has no organized religion or government sanctioning it. Polyamory represents an alternative subculture, so it tends to be characterized by a thoughtful process of self-structuring rather than adopting a model prescribed by religion or the state.
  2. Power structure: Polyamory has less tendency toward patriarchy. The pioneers of the poly movement have primarily been women, and there is a generally-accepted undercurrent of egalitarianism (apart from D/s relationships). It’s not unusual for a woman to be the head of the household and the point of the romantic/sexual vee.
  3. Acceptance of diversity: More sexual orientations are welcome. Those practicing polyamory are more likely to welcome gay, bi, lesbian, queer and transgendered folks rather than condemn them. There is an acceptance of the value of diversity of sexual preferences and sexual needs.
  4. Full consent of all parties involved. Some may disagree, but I would argue that both religion and state sponsorship hinder full consent.
  5. Lots of communication and negotiation. Since polyamory is not a given and has no prescribed models, everything can and must be negotiated.

25:10 Feedback

  • John called in to encourage folks to do the work and take the time to become proficient at being poly, just as one would practice for hours to become a virtuoso in any field.
  • Andy from Michigan shared a gradual coming out story that has lead to his family slowly accepting his and his wife’s OSO.

31:45 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 305: You might be poly if…

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 09:23

Signs that you might be poly

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 News

  • Our polyamory disaster – tale of swinging, casual sex, non-monogamy, insecurity, lack of communication and lots of drugs – wonder why it didn’t work out
  • Introverts Guide to Networking – Written for business, but great for introverts who are into poly and easily overwhelmed in social situations
  • Polyamory and the slippery slope – arguing against the slippery slope argument against legalizing gay marriage because it could lead to legalization of poly marriage

8:45 Topic: You might be poly if…

Thanks to all our listeners who responded on Twitter and Facebook to complete this sentence! My favorite responses:

  • You have to check three different calendars before you can say yes to a “do you wanna go get a cup of coffee?”
  • For the holidays you have an easier time thinking of presents for your boyfriend’s partner than for your boyfriend
  • You have run out of colors for your sweethearts on your Google calendar
  • You keep a spreadsheet of boundaries
  • You and your husband’s boyfriend both remind the waiter not to put parmesan on his spaghetti
  • You get genuine pleasure from someone else’s happiness

13:25 Feedback

  • J and A ask about the hotwife lifestyle with two questions: did other poly folks find poly through hotwife? And men with a hot wife kink often get off learning intimate details or watching their partner play. From listening to past episodes, we can’t determine if this is uncommon or just rarely discussed in poly circles? (Answer: it’s always discussed whether you want to watch and how much you want to know about sexual activities)
  • Olaf asks about pre-poly signals—has anyone noticed poly tendencies in retrospect?

20:10 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 304: The intimacy-autonomy scale

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 20:57

What you need to know about the intimacy-autonomy scale and how it might be affecting your current relationship

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements

3:55 Interview: Kathy Labriola describes the intimacy-autonomy scale

Kathy Labriola, a poly counselor, nurse and hypnotherapist and author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships, shares her insights based on the intimacy-autonomy scale and how mismatches can cause misunderstandings in relationships. Need more autonomy and independence but matched with a partner with a higher need for attention and intimacy? Good advice all around. Find the book at Greenery Press or at the Stockroom (better than Amazon for authors!)

17:30 Happy Poly Moments

  • A listener writes in to share a Happy Poly Moment—discovering an old friend is actively poly: “It was so NICE to find someone “real”, someone I have known for years, to whom I had a relation out of the web or a meetup thing, who at least new what polyamory was… for the first time in years, we could talk with other people, face to face, about our opinions and experiences. Priceless.”
  • MG tells of running home to his lovely fiancée to tell her his girlfriend just said she loved him: “When I think back three years ago to the beginning of our poly adventure I couldn’t have imagined this. It makes all of the work that my fiancée and I put into working on or communication and jealousy issues (mostly me) worth it.”

20:45 Feedback

  • Scott, a listener in Australia, found us through Google+! And gives props to the HSV blues episode: “After contracting HSV from my first serious primary partner, I struggled a bit personally with it, and with what that meant about me and my lifestyle choice, and felt my ex’s condemning voice in the back of my mind. So it was refreshing to hear it put into an appropriate perspective.”
  • Gryphon writes in that Poly Weekly has taught him to be unafraid of asking for help and support and suggests the antithesis to NRE—Break Up Brain?

28:15 Thanks

Welcome Robin, Ryan and Nomputers to the Poly Weekly Playmates! And thanks to Jim and Bill for their donations to keep us running!

29:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email [email protected] or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Gingrich: Don’t destroy non-monogamous family values

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 17:21

Today, the news broke that one of Newt Gingrich’s ex-wives is going public with the information that he had once asked her for an open marriage.

I really can’t speak as to the repercussions of this publicity on his political career, such as it is. I suspect that the folks who like Gingrich will continue to like and defend him, and those who don’t (I count myself among those) will use this as fodder to denounce his suitability as a Republican presidential candidate.

What is worth commenting on is Gingrich’s reported approach to open marriage. According to the story in the Washington Post, Marianne Gingrich, Newt’s second wife, reports that after conducting a six-year affair with Callista Bisek, Newt proposed an open marriage in which he would be partners with both Marianne and Callista.

Marianne turned down the offer, and Bisek became Gingrich’s third wife.

This case is high-profile because of Gingrich’s potential presidential candidacy and perhaps also because of his steadfast promotion of family values, which presumably do not include having a long-term affair. Additionally, as the Post points out:

The House speaker who pilloried President Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky was himself having an affair at the time.

So there is a strong element of hypocrisy to the situation as well.

Newt, yer doin’ it WRONG

But even that isn’t what bothers me most here, on this blog devoted to polyamory. What I’d like to tell Gingrich is that open marriage and other forms of non-monogamy are not your back door for when you get caught. Non-monogamy in its many forms takes a tremendous amount of communication and work to ensure the happiness of all parties involved, and it is most decidedly not an escape hatch for a guy caught with his trousers down.

What Gingrich offered his wife Marianne wasn’t an option; it was an ultimatum: share me or get lost. And I can assure you that almost every instance of the “relationship broken; add more people” approach has failed. This was not a conscious decision made with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved; this was a cheater backed into a corner seeking to extract himself from an unhappy marriage.

And in that, he succeeded. It just annoys me that he used a proposal of open marriage as a blunt object to rid himself of his second wife. Just cheat, divorce, remarry your mistress and be done with it. Don’t drag our hardworking model of non-monogamy into it. Some of us actually work at this, and you’re sullying the institution of non-monogamous marriage.