Hello, gentlereaders, and happy Friday. This week marks the half-year blogiversary since I began posting here at Ready for Polyamory. At the time, I thought it was going to be a strange time for me because I was chronically ill, on disability, and recently moved, but like everyone else in the USA at the very start of the year, I didn’t realize in February that by mid-March I’d be in lockdown, that instead of seeing many of you at a couple different conventions that cancelled because of the virus I’d be no further from home than I could get on a bike with a very small bubble of in person contacts, and if you’d asked me in January if I was going to have multiple brain surgeries this year I’d probably have said no, and definitely wouldn’t have predicted that my snarky answer to the nurses’ orientation in time question would be “2020, the year that has at least one new way to kill humans a month.” That is, I suppose, a long-winded way of saying no one has had 2020 go quite the way they planned, so I’m extra proud that I’ve managed to keep this little blog moving forward and get the podcast launched and season 1 up and available at all the major places podcasts are found, as well as at its homepage, http://readyforpolyamory.fireside.fm/
Six months and one week ago, I made a strategy outline for myself of how to get my thoughts out into the world:
Buy a couple memorable and similar to each other domains and site hosting, and link them and put up a basic blog template.
Turn the outlines of my two most popular classes into the first couple blog posts.
Pick a schedule, and stick to it for three months, using the outlines from the rest of my classes and my two half-written books as a guide when I felt like I had nothing to write about.
If I made it three months, buy a longer term for hosting, figure out the best way to monetize, and try to break even within six months.
By three months in, of course, not only had I met my goal, but COVID19 had started happening here, and giving myself a project to focus on while my schedule with my kids was in the air and we were doing remote learning, I wasn’t seeing my partner or my friends except on zoom, my health issues were getting more urgent, not less, and the conventions I’d been looking forward to cancelled, felt really important all of a sudden. I did exactly what the memes told me not to do and launched a podcast. This, of course, threw a bit of a wrench in “break even within six months,” but gave me a good method to and excuse for monetizing, and an even better one for socializing with people I missed. Deadlines got a little tight when my surgical team turned around with dates for me in August, but I surprised myself and got it done, mostly - and have great friends who filled in the gaps while I was out of commission and an amazing partner who went “Just make me a list of logins and what they’re for, I’ll do whatever needs doing” without question.
Somehow, the time snuck up on me. I looked at the calendar and went “SHIT IT’S BEEN SIX MONTHS” when I went to see what I needed to get in order for September’s Patreon Patrons (Thank you Daniel, Ken B [No relation to my Ken], and Rachel, you’re all amazing) and realized that… against all my expectations… I more than broke even. So, Patrons, you’re going to find a bonus something in your inboxes later today, and everyone else, I have a giveaway opportunity for you. Leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a topic you’d like to see discussed more about ethical non-monogamy, and if you’d like to see it in the future season 2 of the podcast or in a post on the blog, and I’ll enter you for a drawing to get early access content like the patrons for September and October. The winner will be drawn Sept 4.
And now, Onward to what I promised for today… Some Polyamory Mythbusting, Part 1:
So, you’re just cheating. No. Cheating requires, by definition, breaking rules. Polyamory has different rules than monogamy, and any given polyamorous network or relationship within a network might have different rules than another, so cheating is defined by the adults within that relationship. You and your partner Adam’s cheating might be me and my partner Andrea’s perfectly fine, or you and your partner Bill’s perfectly fine, and if the difference between definitions in your own dyads is too hard for you to keep straight, you might have to have some discussions and change some expectations and rules somewhere.
It’s all about sex. Again, nope. There are even plenty of people on the asexual spectrum who are polyamorous, and not in a throw-a-dog-a-bone, “okay, allosexual-partner, you can go do this thing elsewhere because I don’t want to” way, but in a “we both have infinite romantic and other emotional wants and needs that we meet with multiple partners and this removes societal pressure to pretend to be allosexual from me and our relationship” way.
Oh, you had problems and this new partner solved them. “Relationship broken, add people,” almost never solves anything, and in reality usually just drives a wedge into the cracks of the breaking relationship. Folks who tell you otherwise are usually deep in an NRE high or trying very hard to deny that their relationship ever had problems and offended that you noticed in the first place. Polyamory usually forces people to learn communication skills they might not have had, acknowledge boundaries they might not have otherwise had reason to notice in a society built on monogamy and codependence, and work through jealousy, but that’s not any individual partner’s virtue or vice, just a structural issue of polyamory vs generally unexamined “how monogamy works” relationship escalator world.
So wait, it’s polygamy? Isn’t that illegal? Is this a religious thing? Modern polyamory is engaged in by people raised in a variety of religious backgrounds and who currently practice many or none at all. In the interest of full disclosure on this personal blog, I was raised Catholic and am largely agnostic, although I know what saint to rattle off as the one to apply to a particular situation, and sometimes do out of kneejerk habit. Depending what state you live in, how many of your partners you live with, and what terms you use to refer to them, it might be illegal, but you’re unlikely to be prosecuted- and we’re making progress in the opposite direction with test cases like the Massachusetts towns making domestic partnerships open to more than two adults.
Next time… more things people say at you that show the world believes kind of silly myths about polyamory vs how things really work.