#045: Polyamory is a Movement with Alan M.

October 29, 2018

Alan M. has been a poly activist for 13 years and is best known for his website Polyamory in the News. He tells us what Polyamory in the News is, how it got started, and his insights of how the world of Poly has changed over the years in terms of community, acceptance, and its portrayal in the media. Alan also shares predictors of the most successful poly relationships, tips for being a powerful Poly spokesperson, and we discuss the possibility of poly marriage as it relations to ceremony and legal acceptance.

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Show Notes:

[0:58] Polyamory in the News has tracked about 3,000 articles, broadcasts, and other items in the media since 2005. As a science editor in his day job, Alan has edited several poly books, was a co-founder of the Polyamory Leadership Network in 2008 and is currently helping organize the upcoming Polyamory Coalition Group to do bigger things than the community has been able to accomplish thus far.

[1:46] Some folks may recognize Polyamory in the News as Poly in the media, which is the blog.

[3:47] Alan looked for a unique niche he could fill for the movement and the community, and hence Polyamory in the News was born.

[4:22] Polyamory in the News has a Google Alert out for various keywords, folks send him things, and he scours the internet for relevant information. It has grown significantly and expanded to news from all over the world.

[5:43] In the days Alan discovered polyamory, he found the idea to be more utopian, where people were looking for something that would revolutionize society and remake the world.

[9:17] The ratio of successful poly relationships is higher now, due to more resources and support within the community that we didn’t have before. The chance of success also increases when people are already friends, and there is already a level of respect and trust before they bring in intimacy.

[13:43] Relationship choice means people get to thoughtfully and mindfully choose the structure of the relationship that works for them. Intentional monogamy is one choice, but not the only choice.

[17:34] It’s been interesting to us over the recent years how many people are now familiar with the term “polyamory”.

[22:04] In our opinion, the privileges of marriage should be broadened to cover everyone, including single people, independent of the number of partners. The ceremony is for the emotional aspect, but the legal aspects should be available to anyone by contract.

[30:09] The word “polyamory” got into the dictionary in 2006. This gave people a word to refer to and largely raised public recognition and understanding of the movement.

[31:22] The image of polyamory went from aging hippies to the mainstream ideal of relationship choice that the younger generation has accepted with more ease than ever before.

[36:40] Alan remembers a time when there were just 2 or 3 books on polyamory, and now there are at least 50, and that number is growing quickly.

[36:57] The poly movement has yet to have its version of the impact that “Fifty Shades of Grey” has had in the kink community.

[42:16] Alan’s advice to those looking to work with the media: have your talking points ready and rehearsed, listen intently, be sure to point out when you misspeak or speak out of context, and prepare for subtle changes in editing that determine how you are perceived in particular media platforms. Polyamory needs more thoughtful and engaging spokespeople, that are educated and well trained.

[46:59] Be prepared to walk away if the interviewer or discussion is too hostile, harmful or makes you uncomfortable.

[54:54] Alan sees a wider understanding of the poly movement and acceptance of alternative relationships in general.

[61:20] We take a listener question regarding Dan Savage’s remark that polyamory is something you do, rather than something you are. Alan says it’s different things for different people and describes himself as a poly/mono switch, so for him, poly is a choice rather than an orientation.

[65:02] It’s up to you to choose the relationship you like and that works best for you, as long as it is discussed and done in an open and ethical manner.

[67:05] When we talk about polyamory being just a choice or preference, we lose the battle of some of the rights and freedoms with ourselves and our partners.