Past Speakers – 2015
Franklin has been ideologically polyamorous his entire life, functionally polyamorous since 1984, and writing about polyamory since 1998, first at www.xeromag.com and later at www.morethantwo.com. In 2014, with his partner Eve Rickert and he expanded on the themes explored on the site and published the book, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory.
He has been ideologically polyamorous his entire life in the sense that monogamy has never made much sense to him. (When he heard a fairy tale about a princess forced to choose between two handsome princes, he thought “everyone knows princesses live in castles And castles are big enough for both princes. So why does she have to choose?”)
He started practicing non-monogamy from the moment he started becoming aware that boys and girls are different. Along the way, he’s made just about every mistake it’s possible to make in polyamorous relationships. Franklin struggled with feeling like he was the only person in the world who felt this way about love and romance, and was forced to confront a great deal of social convention that ran counter to what he wanted his life to look like. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. As he says “good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment.”
Today, he has five partners, lives in Portland, Oregon, and spends a great deal of time writing about everything from relationship ethics to transhumanism to computer security.
Julio Cortés is a trainer and consultant who specializes in building long-term mutually beneficial relationships using a blend of modalities from eastern and western philosophies and spiritual practices. A graduate in East Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese and Japanese Philosophy from UCLA, Julio has dedicated his life to finding simple yet powerful ways to assist people in becoming more effective and fulfilled, as they find the bigger picture in their lives. Julio teaches workshops and seminars on effective communication, relationship skills building and sacred sexuality. He has studied with such teachers and masters as Dan Millman, Mantak Chia, Wang Fu-lai, Jibiki Hidemine, and Jim Tamm and has been teaching and in practice since 1991 in the United States and Japan. In addition Julio is also a licensed Tai Chi instructor with additional extensive martial arts training in other systems (Jeet Kune Do, Zong Nan/Cheng-Ming Internal Kung Fu, Systema). Finally, Julio has had in-depth intensive training in energy work and is a master healer and teacher in several modalities (Reiki, Johrei, Sekhem, Qigong, Light Body).
Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale
Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale, an ordained Christian clergy in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, has spent most of her thirty years of ministry helping people reconnect their spirits and their bodies and confronting sex-negativity in the church and culture. “Rev Bev” was an ecumenical campus minister at the University of Pennsylvania for over two decades where she became conversant with the issues and struggles for young adults both in the ‘hook up culture’ and in the sexual minority communities. While there she was called “the conscience of the University” and she co-founded the PA Clergy for Choice and Pennsylvania Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice. She subsequently was awarded the Community Service Award by the Diabolique Foundation as a “Kink Positive Missionary of Pleasure.” An artist and writer, she wrote, produced and performed in a one-woman show and is now completing her sexual & spiritual memoir, Sex Without Apology, Becoming a Sex-Positive Person of Faith in a Sex-Negative Culture. An activist and public theologian she is currently the founder of the Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith, a non-profit that teaches an inclusive, science-friendly, sex-positive Christianity training a next generation of sex-positive faith leaders.
Wes Fenza is an attorney practicing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He lives there with his partners Gina, Jessie, and Amber. He blogs about polyamory, skepticism, rationality, and whatever else pops into his head at livingwithinreason.com, and he dances in a sci-fi themed burlesque show from time to time. You can follow him on twitter (@wfenza) or Facebook (/wfenza) for updates on all the banalities of life in South Jersey. He’ll be around the con all weekend, so feel free to say hi.
Jim Fleckenstein (email@example.com) is a relationships educator, coach, researcher and activist. His currently heads The Earth Moved, LLC (www.affirmativeintimacy.com), an educational and coaching practice helping individuals and groups. He is the creator of the Affirmative Intimacy™ approach to building healthy and sustainable relationships. A polyamory and open lifestyles activist since 1998, in 2000 he co-founded the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, now the Foundation of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). He has spoken at many community events like PolyLiving, NYC Poly Pride, CatalystCon East, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. He’s been interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, the Guardian (UK), and on TV and radio. Jim is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). In recognition of his expertise, Jim has been chosen to present at multiple AASECT and SSSS conferences and to the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. He is a member of the NCSF Board. He is presently co-investigator on the largest survey of self-identified polyamorous persons ever conducted, with the first publication from that research currently under review by the peer-reviewed journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
Jesus Viramontes Garcia (Chuy)
Jesus is the Board President of Loving More Nonprofit, polyamory activist and leader in the community. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay area who began exploring alternatives to monogamy in 2004. In 2005 he attended his first Loving More Retreat. In September 2006 he was invited to join Loving More’s Board of Directors. He has worked at raising money for many worthy causes and continues to work tirelessly as Loving More Nonprofit’s volunteer Director of IT. Jesus has been presenting on polyamory at conferences, Universities and special events. He is a key coordinator for Loving More conferences and volunteers. In addition Jesus has worked in the computer information technology field since 1995.
Jana Williams-Harris has been poly for almost three years, and during that time she has developed a variety of connections and relationships. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College, and has spent many years in various capacities working one-on-one with people from all walks of life. She has also been an educator and a mentor, all of which have led her to seek out and learn new ways of communicating and relating. As the Founder of The Rising Phnx, Jana has been developing motivational workshops for mature women who find themselves at a crossroads, and for young people learning to traverse difficulties. Herself an eclectic, Jana comes from a multicultural and very diverse family, is the mother of three accomplished young people (one of whom is transgendered), is a proud grandmother, and has a wide variety of interests that includes archery and skydiving.
Ken Haslem is a retired anesthesiologist and Polyamory Activist. He recently established the Kenneth R. Haslem Polyamory Collection at the Kinsey Institute of Indiana University. He has presented lectures, sermons, and workshops on polyamory, aging and sexuality at various conferences.
Tanya has always been open to exploring new ways of being in relationships with any number of partners. Her love of Science and particularly Biology led her to major in Natural Science at UN-L. Tanya has been part of the swing community for many years and in 2011 began exploring polyamory. She became a volunteer for Loving More in 2012 helping in the office and administrative assistance. In 2014 Tanya become a Loving More Board Member and Board Secretary. Tanya is bisexual, polyamorous and part of the swing community in Colorado, Her experience as a bi woman and support of close transgendered family has opened her eyes to the unique problems of the LGBTQ community. She is thrilled to be co-presenting for the first time at Poly Living.
Lee Hencen & Murray Schechter
Lee Hencen has been poly for a long time and still has a lover that dates back to high school. She currently specializes in a family style of polyamory with an element of long distance. She has presented at Poly Living, Loving More East Coast Retreat, Deepening Connections for B-More Poly and Building Bridges.
Murray Schechter is a party animal who has identified as polyamorous since 2004. He is on the Organizing Committee of Open Love NY and is known for his wild and wacky parties. He has presented at naturist gatherings, Deepening Connections for B-More Poly and Open Love NY discussion groups.
Billy Holder is a Polyamory activist, educator, and community organizer who helped found and Atlanta Polyamory, as well as Atlanta Poly Weekend more information can be found at www.atlantapolyweekend.com . Currently he is serving as the Vice President of the Relationship Equality Foundation a 501c3 non Profit.
Billy has been Poly identified since 2004, but believes he has always been poly, since dating began. Monogamy never worked out right. His first experience with labeling relationship was asking someone to the prom as a 2nd date. They didn’t react kindly at the notion they were back up in case the plans with the first fell through. But he never got to explain that’s not what he meant.
Now, with almost 20 years of marriage under his belt and a brother Husband of 5+ years, Billy finds Poly to be a refreshing love style that allows him to grow as individual. Billy and girlfriend over a year are navigating the waters of New Relationships and learning things about each other and their partners. All part of the growth of any relationship, however, and feel that it will be worth all the bumps in the road once they get it paved.
Anita Wagner Illig
Anita Wagner Illig is a long time polyamory activist and leader who has worked tirelessly toward polyamory awareness and acceptance. Anita is a nationally recognized thought leader and media spokesperson on the subject of alternative relationships and families. Anita has assisted others in exploring an array of family and relationship options. Her website, practicalpolyamory.com, offers educational materials and handouts from programs she presents all over the U.S. on these subjects. Anita has co-founded non-profit educational and social groups that support relationship choice and sexual freedom. She speaks regularly and occasionally keynotes before audiences at such events and venues as Fet Fest, Atlanta Poly Weekend, Good Vibrations, Momentum Con, Dark Odyssey, Transcending Boundaries, Poly Living, The Floating World, and Black Rose. She has also served as polyamory community advisor to CARAS. Anita is a faculty member at passionateU.com, kinkacademy.com, a founding member of the Polyamory Leadership Network, and an elite member of SPECTRA, a professional mentorship program for feminist Sex Positive Educators, Counselors, Coaches, Therapists, Researchers, Activists and Advocates in the sexuality field. She has also served on the boards of a variety of organizations that advocate for sexual freedom and relationship choice, including the Advisory Council of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance.
An implant from the SF Bay Area, LeeAnn Mallorie recently moved to Philadelphia to pursue her first love: building authentic communities through the power of dance. For the past ten years, she has trained with Bay Area conscious dancers, martial artists, sound healers, shamans, coaches, somatic therapists, body workers and musicians, while boldly disseminating their cutting edge work to the rest of the world. LeeAnn believes that intimate relationships are a path to personal transformation. Walking her talk, she followed the thread of her parents failed marriage and her own series of tumultuous monogamous relationships, through the barriers of social convention, to the joy of loving openly. She has been in a creative and open relationship with her partner, Jorge Cortez since February of 2013, when her sexuality cracked open while studying the practice of Orgasmic Meditation.
Rose has a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Ohio University. In her spare time she enjoys reading all kinds of things, watching television shows, drinking craft beer, and conversing about a myriad of discussion topics with friends old and new.
Carol Morotti-Meeker, MS, MLSP
Carol Morotti-Meeker, MS, MLSP is a researcher, activist, speaker and therapist. She works in a community mental health clinic in Philadelphia, Pa. and also has a private practice with adults and families who engage in alternative sexuality and consensual non-monogamous lifestyles. Carol also works with The Earth Moved, LLC (www.affirmativeintimacy.com), presenting the Affirmative Intimacy™ approach to relationships. She has provided professional education at the 2007 and 2012 American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) annual conferences. She was an Advisory Board Member 2000-2007 for the Institute for 21st Century Relationships and on the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Board in 2005-7. She has made presentations at the 2008 and 2010 to 2013 Poly Living Conferences in Philadelphia. Carol led a professional round table discussion for the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS) in 2011 in Washington, D.C. and co-presented about communication and sex in non-monogamous relationships at the 2013 CARAS event for students and professionals.
Nancy Miller is a nurse midwife with years of professional and personal experience with women’s changing sexuality as they mature. Her own experience is that overall sex has gotten better over the years. We can “use it and not lose it” even as our bodies change.
Tamara Pincus, MSW, LICSW
Tamara Pincus, MSW, LICSW is a kink, poly and lifestyle friendly psychotherapist and sex therapist in DC. She has been practicing social work for over 10 years and has been in private practice since 2011. She has worked on publications such as “What Professionals Need to Know about BDSM”, and “What is Polyamory and Why do Social Workers Need to Know About it?”. She is currently working on a book about coming out as polyamorous. She also runs a poly discussion group at the DC Center and is an active member of both the kink and poly communities. Tamara is a mother of two and has been actively involved in a poly household.
Marina was raised in polyamorous family from birth. As a young teen Marina identified as polyamory and bisexual. At age 15 she began assisting in organizing Loving More events from Poly Living Conferences to Pride Fest Booth and Parade in Colorado. In2013 she co-facilitated a presentation on children and raising sex positive kids at Poly Living Philadelphia and at Woodhull in August 2014. Recently Marina started a Teens in Polyamory Facebook page, a place for teens exploring polyamory or those raised in poly families to be able to connect and learn from each other. An aspiring actress Marina performed in the play “Journey to the West” by OpenStage Theatre in Fort Collins in the fall 2014, her first performance with a professional company. Marina is an honors student from GOAL Academy, a statewide online high school currently participating in concurrent enrollment at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO and will graduate this spring. She plans to attend college at the University of Northern Colorado and major in theatre, and hopes to expand from stage acting and modeling to film in the near future.
Eve is the co-author of More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory, which she and her partner Franklin Veaux wrote to address the growing need for a comprehensive guide to the polyamorous lifestyle. Eve has been been living poly since 2008, though her poly roots go back much deeper. What she now calls her first poly experience happened when she was 16. Since then, she’s had about 15 years of monogamous relationships, a 13-year (so far) marriage that has been poly for about half its duration (the latter half), and a number of other poly relationships. Eve is a professional writer, editor and mastermind. She owns a science communications firm in Vancouver, Canada, called Talk Science to Me. In the past, she co-organized a group for poly women in Vancouver, and she blogs, though (mostly) privately.
Michael Rios lives part time at CHRYSALIS, an intentional community in Arlington, VA, and part-time at Allegheny Crest Intentional Village in Mount Storm, WV. He is part of a team that regularly organizes events aimed at creating a culture based on awareness, compassion, and freedom rather than on fear and judgment, including New Culture events (www.cfnc.us) and the POLYAMORY FOR ALL SEASONS (www.act-events.us). Michael is an entrepreneur and practical visionary with a creative genius for freedom and empowerment; as some have said, “Michael doesn’t have a box to think outside of.” In 1964, he founded a commune based on service, spirituality, and sensuality that lasted 25 years and provided emergency shelter and support services for homeless people and young adults. In addition, he started one of the first domestic violence hotlines in the USA in 1971, and one of the first computer business in the DC area in 1976. Michael co-founded and lives at Chrysalis, a small intentional community in Arlington, VA. Since 2004, he has been a major organizer of the New Culture East Coast Summer Camp and other events. In 2011, Michael became the director of Abrams Creek Center (www.abramscreekcenter.com), a retreat center in the mountains of West Virginia. (http://aciv.cfnc.us).
Robin Renée is a recording artist, writer, and longtime LGBT and polyamory community advocate. Her written work has appeared in Curve Magazine, The Songwriter’s Market, Biff Bam Pop!, Black & Poly, That Takes Ovaries – Bold Females and their Brazen Acts (Random House), Blessed Bi Spirit – Bisexual People of Faith (Continuum Press), and many other publications. Her recordings include In Progress, All Six Senses, Live Devotion, spirit.rocks.sexy, This., and All I Am. Her work and life flow in the current between black and white, gay and straight, masculine and feminine, monastic and mundane. www.robinrenee.com
Ben is a singer, musician and poly and bi activist who has been in an open primary relationship for 26 years. He and his partner started a support group for committed non-monogamous relationships in the ‘80s which met monthly for over 15 years. As a performer, Ben’s music slides through folk, R&B, funk, jazz and back again; he sings about freedom, the environment, LBGT issues, parenting and love. His writing has been published in “Carry it On,” ”Sing Out” magazine and the book “Hearing Everyone’s Voice.”
Robyn is the Executive Director of Loving More Non-Profit and a national organizer and leader for polyamory awareness. She is a polyamory counselor, workshop facilitator and writer. Since 2004 Robyn has worked to expand media awareness of polyamory appearing in numerous articles, radio shows and TV as well as helping to connect the media with other polyamory activists and individuals. Robyn and Loving More were instrumental in the formation of Polyamory Leadership Network. A national speaker and advocate for polyamory she has been a speaker at conferences, taught at universities and been a featured keynote speaker. Robyn has been openly polyamorous for 25 years, raising three children in a polyamorous family. Robyn has been running polyamory support groups, teaching and facilitating relationship and sexuality workshop since 1999. In addition she counsels polyamorous individuals and families. Currently Robyn is working on two polyamory related books.
Jens Wennberg is a retired Physician Assistant. He and Nancy have had a responsible non-monogamous relationship for over 35 years, and each have long-term relationships lasting over a decade. He is willing to share the joys and sorrows of his aging process.