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  • Pagan and Poly – A Single Mom – Last in an Interview Series

    Michelle is a busy single mom. She has a ten-year old daughter, and two adult sons, one of whom lives with her.

    How long have you known you are poly?
    I ended a marriage about five years ago. After that I just knew marriage wasn’t going to work for me. I didn’t know what to call it until someone told my what poyamorous was. When I was dating  after my divorce, it just seemed silly to have to make a decision about who I wanted to have a romantic relationship with. Why did I have to do a choosing? If everyone was agreeable why couldn’t we have more than one relationship?

    What was the discussion like when you talked about polyamory?
    I had tried dating a few times but  the first time I clicked with anyone he lived about 70 minutes away. We decided to try an ‘open’  relationship, because of the distance. He was presuming we each might have a ‘casual’ encounter now and then, but not an additional ongoing romantic relationship. I didn’t know what polyamory was, or have any definitions. It was a little more difficult to adjust to when I found an additional romantic relationship, because of our casual definitions.  I had to find my own way, negotiating into polyamory. He got over it. In the other relationship, he was polyamorous, and knew how it worked. For him it was , “Yup, that’s great!” He is a lot closer, he only lives a few miles away.

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    Pagan and Poly – Beyond a Marriage – An Interview Series

    photo: frugivoremag.com

    Jimmy and Michelle have known they were poly since their marriage, they have been in a blended family with a child together, and each having a child from a past relationship. Until recently, they have lived with their poly partners together as a family of seven. They have just decided to get a divorce.

    How long have you known you are poly?

    Michelle (M) : We started talking about it seven years ago when we got married, but we didn’t go into it right away. We decided to open up our marriage around October of 2006, five and a half years ago, when Jimmy was deployed to Iraq.

    Jimmy (J) : From the beginning we thought of ourselves as poly. We went to one “swingers party” and looked at each other and said, “This is not for us.”

    M :     The reason we did open up our marriage, when Jimmy went to Baghdad, was we believed that we could love other people, and still love each other. Neither one of us believed that love needed to be limited, right off, from the beginning. I wanted Jimmy to have any comfort and solace in Baghdad any way he could get it. If there was someone he found over there,  I told him to please take it. He told me he wanted me to have the same thing, solace and comfort, while he was gone. We knew that being with other people didn’t change how we felt about each other. Love is infinite and not limited by how many people you love.

    We have had poly partners in the past  who have been single, had kids, and also who had other relationships. At one time we were in an extended long distance relationship where they also saw each other,  so essentially a quad.

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    Pagan and Poly – A Poly Couple, and Friends – an Interview Series

    I talked with Iacchus and Delta about their long-term polyamorous experience and relationship. They are former members of the Church of  All Worlds, and Iacchus is an ordained Priest in that tradition. Delta is an ordained Priestess of SweetWood Temenos.

    How long have you been poly?

    Delta (D) :    That is complicated. About 1990, we realized before our marriage, that we were poly. Both of us had considered polyamory before we even had met each other.
    Iacchus (I):      I was into the Horned God at that point.
    D:     We were both into open relationships, so we did it consciously.

    Are you legally married?
    D:    We are married.
    I :    We celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on new years eve.

    What has your poly experience been like?
    D:    I wouldn’t say we have had a large number of relationships. We now have a circle of five, three others besides us two, as active lovers.
    I:    We have a ‘condom compact’ with those three as active lovers.
    D:    We have had everything from short-term relationships to a few flings once in a while. We have ground rules within our relationship, so we ask each other first. We  make sure we let each other know what is going on all the time.
    I:    Early on we spent a lot of time  ‘cocooning’  with each other. We are really into our relationship, and still are. We talk about what we are comfortable with. In most of the cases, when we bring someone in, we have spent a lot of time talking.
    D:    We were functionally monogamous for about three years, not that it was a conscious choice, that is just how it was.

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    Pagan and Poly – A Poly Family – an Interview Series

    I talked to Johnny about his polyamorous family. His long term relationship was impacted early on by the birth of triplets. They are a family of six, with Ivy and Divi, and the triplets.

    How long have you been involved in polyamory?
    About 14 years, we had been looking for a third person for probably 3 or 4 years before we met Divi. We have been together almost ten years. It was something we felt might finish balancing our relationship.

    Is your relationship legally formed?
    With us it has been a matter of mutual respect  and honor. Treating the relationship as if it was a legal and binding marriage situation. You can’t do that in this society. Three people can own a home, it is hard for three people to own a car, it is even harder for three people to have a checking account with a money card for each. We have simply honored ourselves as a family, especially when it comes to the children. We have just always acted as though we have the same say, the same rights, same decision making authority. I am recorded as the father of the children.

    Do you live together as a family?
    We are a nuclear family. We went through the pregnancy together and are raising the kids together. We share the bills together.  Everything that the traditional nuclear family does, we do together, except there are three of us.

    Photo: Jezebel.com

    Were having the kids part of the motivation for polyamory?
    Part of our search of finding a third was to open the possibility of having kids. It was something we had been talking about at the time the triplets came along. The triplets were spontaneously conceived, we weren’t using any fertility treatments. It is just the way things went.

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    Pagan and Poly – an Interview Series

    This series of interviews with Pagan folks who have experience with polyamory (poly), will inform you of the diversity within poly and the challenges and benefits to this life style orientation.

    Poly discussion and experience came early to the Neo-Pagan movement in part because of the article entitled “A Bouquet of Lovers,” written by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart and first published in Green Egg Magazine (Spring 1990) . Poly relationships are as different as people and as difficult to define as polyamory.

    The term “polyamory” commonly means open to, or engaging in, multiple loving relationships (of whatever form or configuration) wherein all parties are informed and consenting to the arrangement . Polyamory has many interpretations and no firm definition. The two essential ingredients of the concept of “polyamory” are “more than one” and “loving.”

    Broadly interpreted,  relationships that are called; Non-monogamous, ‘swinging’,  polyfidelic (exclusive within multiples) and even casual ‘sex buddy’ arrangements can all be included, or alternatively, definitely not be included as a polyamorous relationship. Poly practice has developed its own language and terms to be more specific. Compersion, “the opposite of jealousy” ,  is a state of empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual’s current or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest.

    Tegan is in a poly triad with her best friend and their shared partner.

    How long have you been involved with polyamory?
    I have been in my current poly relationship for about three years . I have been poly on and off since I was nineteen.

    How is your relationship structured?
    We have no legal commitments for the three of us. I started seeing my partner about ten days before his other partner, who was not quite a partner yet had moved up from another city. We were pretty much a triad from the start. Originally we all lived in separate apartments and about two years ago we all moved into an apartment together, and have been since then. We all knew that a poly relationship was a  requirement from the start. He had known her for a number of years, and knew he wanted to be poly. We had met through friends but I didn’t really get to know him until we talked on OK Cupid, an on-line dating site. We were pretty clear that poly was one of our agreements, even though we were both single when we started dating. Continue reading

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