Register Now for Poly Living, Philadelphia, February 8-10, 2013 or click here for more details. Click Here for Workshop Presenters
We’re Out of the “Poly” Closet–Now What?
By Kamala Devi
Speaking up about multiple loving relationships can be a huge risk. Why is coming out considered such a civil responsibility? You could lose your family, work, friends and potential lovers! And for what? What are the real rewards to coming out? And what happens when it is not an option? Can coming out actually be a detriment to society? In this vulnerable personal narrative, Kamala Devi shares how she first came out to her family, on Tyra, Showtime and in her work. She also offers expert tips on what the best circumstances are to come out as polyamorous.
Authenticity does not stop at announcing, “I am Poly.” Perpetual openness and honesty in other areas of your life can save you from unnecessary suffering. In polyamory it is key to develop tools for handling difficult conversations, clearing up miscommunications and optimizing check-Ins with your partner(s.) Remember, if we’re not experiencing more love, it’s not polyamory! www.KamalaDevi.com
This is a partial list and is subject to change!
Nuts and Bolts of Polyamorous Relationships
Jesus Garcia and Robyn Trask
Navigating the ins and outs of polyamory can be a roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs. The workshop will cover the basic skills needed to help polyamorous relationships grow and thrive. We will look at pitfalls, joys and common issues people deal with in multi-partnered relating. We will cover everything from negotiating boundaries and discussing safe sex to treating all relationships with respect and building lasting love. Bring your questions and your personal experiences.
Understanding Jealousy: Mastering the Green-eyed Monster
Charles “Chas” August
Almost all human beings experience jealousy, as do most mammals (if you’ve ever owned a pet you’ve seen it get jealous when you paid attention to someone else’s pet). Living in a poly relationship can sometimes engender feelings and lots of drama around jealousy. Join Chas August as we explore the underlying causes of jealousy, discover how and when jealousy serves our relationship, and learn a set of tools for dealing with jealousy.
Writing Dynamic Contracts for Poly Families
Lots of the advice out there for polyamory suggests writing a contract to memorialize agreements between multiple partners, particularly those who co-habitate. But how do you make it effective? In this workshop, we’ll understand more about what makes a good contract and how to adapt contract language so that it is both responsive to the needs of each partner and clear in its expectations for existing and potential partnerships. Working from a sample contract, we will use mediation principles to role-play the “negotiations” so we know how to communicate our expectations both verbally and in writing.
Charles “Chas” August
A workshop to learn and practice asking for what you want, empathetic listening and communication tools to reduce the drama and processing in your relationships. I have studied communication with Marshall Rosenberg (Founder of NVC), Dr. Thomas Gordon (Founder of PET – Parent Effectiveness Training) and Stan Dale (Founder of the Human Awareness Institute). I have studied NLP with Sonika Tinker and Transactional Analysis with Jerry White. For more than twenty years I have taught communication tools and techniques to parents, workshop support teams, individuals and couples.
Creating A Line Family: What Bob Heinlein didn’t tell you
Richard Gilmore and Elon de Arcana
Even if you have never read a page of Robert Heinlein’s work, you have probably heard of line families. Monastic orders are line families that have, in some cases, lasted for centuries. Military organizations and many of the richest families on Earth use line family concepts to maintain stability, increase power and grow wealth. But what does the line family concept hold for polyamorous families?
We think that a line family will provide its members with financial security, emotional health and love and sharing. None of the individual things we talk about are new or exotic; however, the framework of the line family as a semi-conjugal unit is a new form of an extremely old, pre agricultural social arrangement. People gather together for many reasons. A group of 4 or 5 pilots might pool resources to purchase, maintain and fly an airplane. People form investment clubs to gain the financial leverage of a larger sum of money for investment. Friends gather together to help someone in their community move to a new apartment or house.
A similar situation occurs when polyamorous people fall in love. Sometimes they choose to live in multi-adult households. We know of poly families that have been together for over 30 years. During that time three or four working adults can accumulate a strong portfolio, paid off real estate and other assets. Then what? That is what we have been researching and want to share with you.
Why would you expand a polyamorous family over multiple generations? How does a large group of intelligent and opinionated adults make decisions for the group? Who owns the real estate? Where would a really large line family live? This and many other questions are discussed in our presentation. We look forward to sharing this with you at the Poly Living Conference.
Solo Polyamory and the Trouble with Couple Privilege
Is polyamory really about couples, or about people? Much of the discourse about non-monogamy focuses on couples who have “opened their relationship” — and especially on how they can keep their existing relationship strong despite having sex or relationships with others. Trouble is, this tends to frame additional partners mainly as a luxury, or as a potential complication or threat, rather than as a potential benefit — or even simply as people deserving full respect and consideration.
In her blog SoloPoly.net, Aggie Sez explores non-monogamous relationships from the perspective of solo people who don’t have — and who often aren’t seeking or don’t want — a primary-style life partner. That is: the people who often end up having relationships with people in established couples.
Over half of U.S. adults are single — many of them not just unmarried but unpartnered. Solos are also a large part of the poly/open community. This session will cover their unique concerns, perspectives, and experiences:
- How are solos perceived and treated in the poly community? – What is “couple privilege,” and how does it affect poly/open solos as well as couples? – Negotiating a balance between fairness and equality in poly/open relationships. – Poly solos dating non-poly/open people. – What can poly couples learn from poly solos? – Advantages of solo polyamory.
Polyamory in a Power Dynamic Relationship
Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny
Power dynamic relationships – consenting, mutually negotiated inegalitarian relationships such as dominant/submissive or master/slave – are growing in numbers at a significant rate, and the cutting edge of these folks are working out how to create these relationships with ethics, mindfulness, spirituality, and personal growth. Many of them are also venturing into polyamory – or, more often, trying to leap in with no concept of how to make it work beyond unhelpful porn models … and we’ve all seen their failures littering the Internet forums. On the other hand, much of the more “traditional” polyamory demographic is often allied with political stances that don’t believe such relationships can be ethical, much less mindful and spiritual, and tends to drive seekers in power dynamics away, as well as discouraging such experimentation amongst its own ranks. It is also true that poly in a power dynamic takes some extra relationship skills that aren’t generally taught in either community. How can we combine these relationship styles in ways that are functional and sustainable for both our desires and our higher selves, and not become just another statistic? What can both communities learn from each other? How do we create resources for the growing cross-section between, in order to keep them from stumbling into poly pitfalls?
Which room in the Poly-Swingy Hotel will you be checking into?
Lee Hencen and Murray Schechter
Come and explore the rooms of the hotel together in a discussion led by Lee Hencen and Murray Schechter as we learn more about polyamory, swinging and lots in between as well as ourselves and each other.
FAMILY MATTERS: MOVING OUR MESSAGE
Anita Wagner Illig and Ricci Levy
Ideas, and how they’re expressed, are at the center of all movements for change. Success in accessing polyamorists’ right to their form of family requires a clear and compelling approach to messaging and communications.
The United States has recognized our fundamental human right to family since they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Subsequent human rights treaties have further established that right. But the essential human rights framework is missing from our movement dialog.
Family Matters – both the workshop and the project – explore the ways we can advance, respect and protect the fundamental human right to family by eliminating discrimination based on family structure and relationship choices. In order to achieve this goal, we will have to be able to speak to the world outside of our communities. One highly effective way to raise public awareness of family diversity is through the sharing of stories and research using social media. How these stories are framed, how we respond to the media when the issue of diverse families is raised will be critical to the success of our drive for equality.
What DO Polyamorists Want? The Results of the 2012 Loving More Survey
The recent controversy over same-sex marriage and the increasing visibility of non-exclusive relationships make essential a clearer understanding of the views and practices of persons in such relationships. Under the auspices of the Loving More non-profit and with the endorsement of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), Jim Fleckenstein and Dr. Curtis Bergstrand undertook an Internet survey of those in non-exclusive relationships, designed to facilitate comparing respondents’ answers to those of the adult US population in the biennial General Social Survey (GSS).
We were interested in learning about respondents’ views on marriage, family life, friendships, sexual practices, the importance of politics, and experiences of discrimination as compared to equivalent subsets of the general US population.
A survey of 36 questions was developed, using the GSS question language in all but four cases. Data were collected between February 10 and April 2, 2012. We received a staggering 4,065 responses, including many from non-US locations. This is by far the largest sample ever garnered within this community.
We uncovered some surprises, and re-confirmed some long-held beliefs. In this session, we’re going to share some of our most significant findings and invite discussion of the findings from session participants. We hope to gain some insights to facilitate the next round of survey questions.
Got something in your life you’d like to improve? Internationally known anxiety expert Mark Shepard has assisted over a quarter of a million anxiety sufferers around the world to stop worry, anxiety and panic attacks. As a master practitioner and trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian Hypnosis, Shepard is uniquely qualified to assist people who desire to transform their lives so that their inner and outer experiences align congruently. Shepard will share some key tools and techniques to “master your Mind for a change.” Participants will learn how to crush anxiety, identify and release limiting beliefs, install and strengthen empowering ones as well as how to anchor powerful, ecstatic and resourceful states so they can be instantly accessed at any time and a lot more….
Sexuality and Aging
Jens Wennberg, and Nancy Miller
Sexuality and Aging: Nobody ever believed that “Old People” had sex! Now as we age, we find that our sex lives continue. What are the issues of positive sexuality as we grow older? We will share our own experience of continuing sexuality into our 7th and 8th decades and invite other participants to share their stories too. This is another topic our parents never told us about!! Hot sex, loving sex does not have to end as we age!! But there are changes. Part of this workshop will be devoted to the men listening to the women discuss their issues and then reversing so that the women will listen while the men discuss their issues.
From Fantasy to Fulfillment, Roleplay to Reality
Living out fantasies can be sexy and exhilarating! But how often do we stop ourselves from achieving them with the idea that its just not possible? Examining our fantasies and processing thru them can be fulfilling and empowering. This interactive workshop goes on a fun adventure to discover how to consciously take our desires into our own hands and achieve success and awareness by turning our fantasy lives into a reality!
When Relationships Change
Robert McGarey, M.A
The last time your relationships changed, was it easy or did it hurt like hell? Breaking up, renegotiating agreements, falling in love, adding a partner to an existing relationship — relationship transitions can result in a new, healthy way of interacting for everyone, or they can end in catastrophic meltdowns. Learn and practice concrete, practical ways to sidestep emotional land mines and make changes with caring and love.
Building Powerful Partnerships
Temperament and Personality are different ways of understanding the human spirit. It is easier to change personality than temperament, which is more ingrained. We can adapt our personality traits to work as a team in multiple relationships by recognizing how they change in comparison to the other. Learn how others perceive you, and how to take personal responsibility for your personality and temperament preferences. Knowing this will contribute to greater enjoyment of various relationships.
Polyamory as a Spiritual Path
Michael Rios and Sarah Taub
What would relationships with others be like if we really were “our own best friend”? The more we do our own spiritual work, which is really about learning to fall in love with ourselves, the more available and loving we become. We no longer approach our partners from a place of need, but from a place of appreciation. Painful emotions become opportunities instead of threats, and positive feelings can come without fear of loss. We are able to take delight in our connections whatever form they might take.
Healthy Negotiation: Communication, compassion & resolution of being open
Chris F. Fariello PhD, MA, LMFT
In order for an open relationship to be a healthy and successful one, there must be an agreed upon negotiation process that takes place as a relationship organically evolves. There is an inevitable potential for conflict as thoughts and feelings of each partner are eternally morphing with new energies and insights. Creating basic structure to identifying and managing this conflict before it damages the relationship is critical. Healthy negotiating offers opportunity for win-win living. This workshop will address some of the fundamental keys for negotiation in [open] relationships. Participants will ponder such concepts as love, trust, honesty and commitment and establish a belief system that will guide their understanding of negotiation.
Raising Children in a Polyamorous and Sex Positive Family
Raising children can be challenging and wonderful all at the same time. Raising kids in a polyamorous family while the in a wider mono-centric world can bring a unique set of issues. Issues can be further complicated in trying to overcome sex negativity and pass positive messages to our kids on sexuality, love and relationships. Building trust and a strong foundation with our children is important in their development into well-adjusted adults. This open discussion we will talk about the challenges faced by polyamorous parents. How can we be true to ourselves and support our children in the broader world? We will include how to talk to kids about sex, polyamory, bisexuality and other sticky subject as well as dealing with children in unforeseen crisis.
It Takes a Tribe to Be Poly!
Kamala Devi & Michael McClure
You can’t be Poly in a vacuum. We all need community. Whether it’s virtual, event based or an immersive intentional living arrangement, it takes a tribe to create an alternative community. Kamala Devi and her beloved, Michael, will share practical tribal technologies (such as the Zegg Forum) which they learned while traveling and studying diverse poly communities. Come learn experiential practices that have helped Kamala Devi and Michael work and play well with others for over ten years (with over a dozen lovers all at once!) We will share power tools to build community wherever you are, in order to expand your experience of truth, freedom and Love. These teachings are transformative for personal growth as well as planetary evolution. www.KamalaDevi.com
Saturday Evening Extras!
Saturday Evenings at Poly Living are always a mix of fun possibilities. Choose to experience one of the evening workshop offerings, catch a poly movie, or just hang out and relax with friends and lovers. (Evening workshops may have an extra charge, are for Poly Living attendees only.)
The HAI Sex Workshop
Charles “Chas” August
Come express your outrageous desire for a full and awesome shared physical/emotional/spiritual experience. Together we’ll create a safe container for you and your beloved(s) to explore sensuality, sexuality, and feelings of yummy connection. Break through inhibitions, expand traditional boundaries, and deepen intimate connection. Try on some new ways of expressing your sexuality and be able to share your experiences with other’s on this erotic journey. This workshop is hands on dynamic workshop done with partner or partners. Sign-up with partner/partners, no individual sign up (so find a trusted friend/lover/partner or partners you are comfortable doing intimate work with). You will be doing all of the exercises with your partner(s). This is a three hour Saturday evening workshop. Space is limited.
Therapeutic Essential Oils and Awakening our Sensuality
This workshop is two parts. In the first half you will learn the healing and medicinal properties of therapeutic essential oils. You will learn the amazing health benefits of using oils daily for optimal health. Part two will be experiencing the sensual side using therapeutic essential oils, and touch to awaken our senses and our sensual nature. In this fun hands-on workshop we will be working in groups of three to four, anointing one another with oils, sensual massage and connecting energetically. Bring towel, blanket or sheet to lie on and dress comfortably. Space is Limited, cost for oils is $15/pp
Poly Movie – Title TBA
**This workshop list is tentative and subject to change.**