Category Archives: General News

What is the “right” way to practice polyamory?

Today’s guest post is by CunningMinx of the Poly Weekly Podcast. This month, Minx will be sharing her insights about how to avoid relationship pitfalls in polyamory. Join us for 8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory (before I tried it and frakked it up) on August 21st at 7pm in the CSPC Annex. There are discounts for individual, couple, and triad tickets when you buy in advance online or at the Library.

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The only right way to do polyamory is the way that works for you

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When I made my first essay into polyamory, I did not have a wealth of resources at my fingertips. In fact, I had exactly two: Susie Bright’s audio Non-Monogamy Blowout for 2001, during which she recommended The Ethical Slut.

What was frustrating about the Non-Monogamy Blowout was Bright’s steadfast refusal to tell others what rules they should apply or how to structure their poly relationships. And, of course, she was absolutely correct in doing so: no one can tell you what is going to work for your relationship. However, it surely would have been nice to have some model structures or perhaps a few examples to evaluate! Likewise, I found The Ethical Slut a fascinating approach to the philosophy of loving more but devoid of any type of practical roadmap or formatting suggestions for relationship structures and guidelines.

My first mistake [spacer height=”15″]

So, in the absence of any poly friends or connection to a poly community, I dove into my first poly relationship headfirst, convinced that it would flame and burn within a month, anyway. When I met Gary, he was three months away from marrying June. Things actually went surprisingly well at first, considering that they were 200 miles away and this was the first long-term poly relationship for all of us.

However, as time wore on and it became more and more apparent that Gary and I were falling in love, the tenor shifted. June, always fairly introverted, became less overtly supportive and increasingly silent. We repeatedly bumped into issues ostensibly stemming from a lack of open communication between June and me. And I made the mistake of trying too hard, which only made June less inclined to accommodate my requests for communication.

So what did I do? I set out to convince June that open communication with one’s metamour was the right way to do polyamory. I constructed an online poll about the ideal state of metamour communications and sent it out to my circle of several hundred friends, hoping to gather data points to prove that I was right.

What was wrong with this approach? Everything! The point was not whether I was right or wrong about polyamory in general; the point was that in order to be happy and healthy in a polyamorous relationship, I personally need to have good, open communications with my metamours. Me. Minx. Not everyone. Just me. In THIS relationship.

The takeaway [spacer height=”15″]

Plenty of folks have poly relationships that don’t involve ongoing metamour communications. What I learned from this extremely painful situation was that it doesn’t matter one bit what the “right” way to do poly might be. No one can tell you that. What matters is that everyone involved needs to know what they want, ask for it and openly and compassionately negotiate a way to get it.

Over time, I have learned that for me, the ability to have ongoing metamour communications is essential, and the lack of those communications is a deal-breaker, no matter how much I like the guy. But your mileage may vary. What should not vary is your ability to know what you need for a healthy relationship, to ask for it directly and to have the communications skills to negotiate a way to get it.

In short, you and your partners are the only ones who decide how your relationship should look and what it requires to be healthy. Only you know what is right for you.

August Events

August is a busy month, though with more unusual fare. Paradise Unbound, the week long sexy camp out in Redmond, WA, is August 5th through 10th. Our sister organization, the CSPC, puts on this summer camp for adults with a week packed with educational opportunities in addition to the socializing, entertainment, great food, and the ability to be nude through it all. There are only day passes available at the gate. Make sure to pre-register online if you want to purchase a day pass.

Wednesday, August 6

Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM by Lee Harrington

Exploring the eight major routes to altered states of consciousness we will examine how we use the Path of Ritual for earning our leathers, Path of Rhythm for cathartic flogging, Path of Flesh for sensual bondage scenes and so much more. Come learn how to be conscious of your own sacred kink workings, how these tools have been used for thousands of years, and how to incorporate new approaches to deepen your energetic connections in the future.

Saturday, August 16

Artistic Indulgences: An Epicurean Taste

Enjoy a sensuous evening of titillating performances, gourmet food and libations in the lush atmosphere of the Woodinville Winery District. Give yourself permission to sink into the hedonistic pleasures that come from good wine and perfectly paired bites. Allow yourself to be moved by the immersive performances with erotic edges.

Special discount for Seattle Erotic art Festival Art Activist Society members on couple tickets. Email [email protected] for discount code.

Thursday, August 21

8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory (before I tried it and frakked it up) with Cunning Minx

Join Cunning Minx, longtime poly and kinky podcaster, as she shares some hard-learned poly lessons gleaned from both her own experiences and from those shared by thousands of podcast listeners. Attendees will walk away from this session knowing how to identify key poly communication and relationship pitfalls and with specific techniques to apply to avoid them.

Sunday, August 24

Conscious Self-Pleasuring with Will

“Conscious Self-pleasuring” is a mindful exploration that focuses on pleasure. In this workshop, Will teaches you foundational ideas and basic elements of erotic practice. Erotic practice sessions weave together the heart and genitals. This alone is a profound reason to commit to a practice.

Sunday, August 31

Finding Your Fantasy by Jim Duvall

The fantasies that bring us to kink and the fantasies that we can actually realize are often very divergent. This class is an exploration of what drives your fantasies, and how to get to the essence of it. Finding the pith of what you want in kink and asking for it in your negotiations can be a challenging process of trial and error. Too often, people try to act out their kinky fantasies and decide that it’s not for them when reality falls short of their dreams.

In this class, we ask the questions and practice the skills that will help you realize your fantasies in the most healthy and exciting way for you.

The votes are in!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their wishes for which workshops Stefanos and Shay will present in October! We had 101 responses and 10 lucky discount winners have been drawn! As soon as we get the ticket links set up, we will send you your discount code that can be used for any of the tickets for Stefanos and Shay’s classes. Yes, that includes the bundled tickets, too!

And the winners are:

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It’s a Trap: Playful scenes & non-bondage predicaments

In Your Place: Headspace for Power Exchange

Precipice: Extreme edge play

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Interestingly enough, all of these workshops have a strong underlying theme of creating connection between partners. This is sure to be a powerful set of workshops.

We are excited to host these two amazing presenters! Yes, we might just be counting down there days over here.