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  1. 2011 SASH National Conference San Diego, CA September 22, 2011

  2. Loving the One You’re With: Discussion on Polyamory as Sexual-Relational Expression ________________ Debra L. Kaplan, MA Omar Minwalla, PsyD Jess Montgomery, MD

  3. Polyamory Through the Ages:

  4. Ramesses II The third king of the 19th dynasty Egypt, was an early practitioner of polygyny—the state of having more than one female mate at a time—Ramesses II is believed to have had 200 wives and concubines, 96 sons and 60 daughters. 

  5. Mythical Polyandry "The Mahabharata," Queen Draupadi provides a striking example of polyandry—women with multiple husbands. Pictured here at the Dasavatar Temple in eastern India, Draupadi (far right) was the wife of the five Pandava brothers, and supposedly proved her chastity by walking on fire. Polyandry can still be found in some regions of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Tibet. -Newsweek /The Daily Beast

  6. Some historians have speculated that swinging began first in the 1940s, among U.S. Air Force pilots and their wives during World War II. (The idea was that if a pilot died in combat, his friends would care for the wife he left behind.) – The Daily Beast

  7. “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1969)

  8. Loving More A national non-profit organization concerned with support, advocacy and polyamory awareness for the Polyamorous community came into being in the 1990s.

  9. 2007- New York City Pride Parade "Polyamorous NYC," a New York City poly coalition, marched alongside gay activists.

  10. Poly in Seattle

  11. VIDEO

  12. Polyamory Defined

  13. Polyamory: • Romantic and sexual love with more than one person, honestly, ethically, and with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned. • Sex may or may not be a primary focus in the relationship. • Relationships are intended to be committed and long- term.

  14. Polyamory: • Romantic and sexual love with more than one person, honestly, ethically, and with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned. • Sex may or may not be a primary focus in the relationship. • Relationships are intended to be committed and long- term.

  15. Polyamory: • Having simultaneous close emotional and or sexual relationships with two or more other individuals is viewed as an alternative to monogamy, esp. in regard to matters of sexual fidelity. • The custom or practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the full knowledge and consent of all partners concerned.

  16. Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart –born, Diana Moore), wrote “A Bouquet of Lovers” in the spring 1990 issue of the Neo-Pagan magazine Green Egg.

  17. September 14, 2006, the Oxford English Dictionary added the word “polyamory” _________________ Forms: 19- polyamory, 19- polyamoury. [< POLY- comb. form+ classical Latin amor (see AMOUR n.1) + -Y suffix3, after POLYAMOROUS adj.In form polyamoury prob. after French amour AMOUR n.1] “The fact of having simultaneous close emotional relationships with two or more other individuals, viewed as an alternative to monogamy, esp. in regard to matters of sexual fidelity; the custom or practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned.”

  18. Symbols for Poly Pride Purple Mobius symbol placed in the public domain for an abstract symbol for polyamory ­- Orlando Poly

  19. Symbols for Poly Pride Infinite Love in Infinite Combinations

  20. Symbols for Poly Pride Parrot graphic by Ray Dillinger, placed in the public domain for use as a poly mascot. –Wikipedia

  21. Symbols for Poly Pride Variation on heart and infinity

  22. Symbols for Poly Pride Blue - The openness and honesty among all partners. Red - Love and passion. Black - Solidarity with those who must hide their relationships due to social pressures. Π - Value that people who are polyamorous place on the emotional attachment to others

  23. Poly Glossary • Primary-plus Acouple in a primary relationship (marriage or marriage-like) agrees to pursue additional relationships individually.  Their new lovers may become “secondary partners,” i.e., influential, deep relationships invested with serious time and energy commitments, or “tertiary partners”, i.e. occasional lovers.  -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  24. Poly Glossary • Triad Three people develop a committed intimate relationship. The primary commitment among each to the other two is relatively equal. Triads are most often formed when an existing twosome expands to include a 3rd person.  -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  25. Poly Glossary • Individual with Multiple Primaries May look like a “V” configuration—One person resides at the base of the V as the pivot point. She/he relates strongly to both partners—they do not relate as strongly to one another.  -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  26. Poly Glossary • Group Marriage or Poly Family Three or more people form a closely knit, intimate relationship system.  They may be sexually exclusive within the group (this is called polyfidelity) or they may agree to conditions by which they have partners outside the group. -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  27. Poly Glossary • Intimate Networks Intertwining connections between “erotic friends” who have relationships of varying degrees of intimacy, intensity and commitment.  -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  28. Poly Glossary • Swing-Poly or Social Polyamory A hybrid between swinging and polyamory. A committed couple agree to steer clear of deep infatuations that are viewed as threatening to the twosome, although ongoing erotic friendships may be explored together and/or separately. ­ -Joy Davidson, Ph.D.

  29. Poly Glossary • Polygamy:The practice of having more than one wife or husband at a time. • Polygyny:The state or practice of having two or more wives at the same time. www.polymatchmaker.com

  30. Poly Glossary: • Compersion: The opposite of jealousy; the feelings of happiness that your lover(s) are also loving and being loved by other lovers. Coined by the Keristan Commune of San Francisco, which practiced polyfidelity and was disbanded in the early 1990s. www.polymatchmaker.com

  31. “Polyamory might sound like heaven to some: a variety of partners, adding spice and a respite from the familiarity and boredom that's doomed many a traditional couple. But humans are hard-wired to be jealous, and though it may be possible to overcome it, polyamorous couples are "fighting Mother Nature" when they try.” Helen Fisher

  32. “Polys say they aren't so much denying their biological instincts as insisting they can work around them—through open communication, patience, and honesty. Polys call this process "compersion"—or learning to find personal fulfillment in the emotional and sexual satisfaction of your partner, even if you're not the one doing the satisfying. "It's about making sure that everybody's needs are met, including your own," says Terisa. "And that's not always easy, but it's part of the fun.” “Only You. And You. And You”. Polyamory—relationships with multiple, mutually consenting partners—has a Coming-out party, Jessica Bennett | Newsweek Web Exclusive Jul 29, 2009

  33. Is It Poly or Is it Just Swinging?

  34. “In all my talks with swingers it seems that the traditional (and most widespread) way of swinging is not polyamory as it is primarily sexual and specifically not relationship oriented. Some swingers and some locals allow for/choose more emotional connection, but they are the exception rather than the rule.” Ryan Nearing, Founder of Loving More

  35. Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities Case Presentation – Sexual Addiction in the Context of Polyamorous Relationships Presenters - Anita Wagner, Gary Wynn, MD

  36. “The numbers of people seeking counseling for problems with sexual compulsion/addiction are steadily increasing in both sexpositive and mainstream culture. What is sex addiction? Does it really exist? What does it look like and what are the challenges for sufferers and their partners, especially those who live within sex-positive culture? The case presentation involves a polyamorous community leader who is partnered with a sexually compulsive person. The case reflection and discussion will be facilitated and explore the clinical issues and questions that arise in working with sexual issues in the context of polyamorous relationships.” After completion of this activity, participants will be able to: Identify the unique challenges for sexual addicts/compulsives who wish to establish and maintain sexual sobriety in a sexpositive, polyamorous context. Determine effective strategies for counseling sexual addicts/compulsives and their partners that do not rely upon commonly prescribed remedies meant to preserve and maintain monogamous relationships. Learn to distinguish between healthy polyamorous relationship behaviors and monogamous relationship behaviors that feed sexual addiction/compulsion.

  37. Clinical Challenges

  38. For the Clinician: • Bias and/or judgment about the lifestyle choice. • Feelings of inadequacy. • Ignorance about the lifestyle. • Inability of therapist to recognize potential harm to client due to subtle negative biases. • Due to hesitancy on the part of therapist, client may be guarded thereby compromising therapy. • Examine personal triggers based upon therapist’s own relationship history.

  39. For the Clinician: • Therapist's willingness to see beyond client’s “choice” to underlying and undisclosed issues. • Therapist’s inability to distinguish between sexually compulsive behavior and healthy, consensual polyamorous practices. • Ascertaining genuinely consensual polyamorous behavior from subtly coercive practices. • Therapist’s unwillingness to admit need for supervision around this issue (I’m a good therapist and I can do this!)

  40. For the Poly Client: • Discrimination by mainstream society, employers, etc.  • Necessity for secrecy or for leading a double life. • Family Disapproval. • Issues related to disclosure of polyamory to children. • Lack of legal protection in property law, inheritance law, parenting and child custody. - JOY DAVIDSON, Ph.D., Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality; Western Regional Conference, April 2002

  41. Questions for Consideration

  42. What Is My Personal Bias Toward Poly?

  43. Is There a Place for Polyamory While In Recovery for Sex Addiction?

  44. www.polyamory.org- Home page for the Usenet news group. www.polyamory.org/SF/mail-lists.html - Poly-oriented email discussion lists.  www.polychromatic.com/pfp- Listing of poly-friendly professionals, including therapists. www.polyamory.com – Resources and links. www.uupa.org- Unitarian Universalist's for Polyamory Awareness. www.sexuality.org - Various sex-positive subjects, including polyamory, swinging Links to Poly Sites:

  45. Loving the One You’re With: Discussion on Polyamory as Sexual-Relational Expression Debra L. Kaplan, MA Omar Minwalla, PsyD Jess Montgomery, MD