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boston, ready

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Nov. 27th, 2002 | 11:09 pm

I'm ready for my trip to boston.

I hope I have everything I need packed. I wonder if I should take a few fewer clothes so I have some spare space for a return trip. That would commit me to doing some laundry when I'm out there. But hand washing a couple of things really isn't all that tough.

On the downside Arden's current girlfriend is getting rather skittish about me. *sigh* If I'm going to get involved with non-monogamous people why can't it be ones who've already worked their issues out. Is it too much to ask for low-drama dating?

Although I should go to bed 3:45 is coming up really soon.

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Comments {8}

Clare T. Rampling

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from: rampling
date: Nov. 28th, 2002 12:46 am (UTC)
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The most important thing is whether you can trust Arden, and whether she has adequate skills to deal with her local girlfriend. If the girlfriend is a problem, she should really be Arden's problem, not yours. And I'd say it's Arden's responsibility to kinda shield you from any drama to do with her local girlfriend. I strongly feel that any drama in poly situations should be kept between the parties that it's directly about (Arden and her gf), not propagated to other people (you). That's the only way networks of polyfolk can remain relatively stable (all this is IMHO, of course). You really don't want a bunch of complicatedly interconnected people taking sides and multiple relationships getting stressed in some ugly chain reaction. Keeping drama isolated is important -- I've been calling it "poly hygeine" lately.

I wish you bunches of luck and fun and warmth and drama-freeness!

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Nov. 28th, 2002 04:16 am (UTC)
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Yes, I really don't need to get caught up in the peacemaker role that my childhood prepared me for. On the other hand, part of me keeps thinking that since I've been exposed to so many more poly people out here that I should have many more useful suggestions about how to manage poly relationships than Arden. The way she describes her immediate peers opinions of her behavior sounds unsupportive.

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Clare T. Rampling

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from: rampling
date: Nov. 28th, 2002 12:43 pm (UTC)
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OK, a few more IMHO suggestions:

I'd suggest being very gentle and careful about "giving advice" to Arden. The problem is really hers, and she might resent it or even get uncomfortably suspicious if you push too hard about your advice. Be supportive to her, but be sure that any sorts of "advice" you might want to give are using "I statements" or "my friend did this" or whatever. You don't want Arden to feel that you're pushing her one way or the other. Of course, if she asks and genuinely wants advice, feel free to give gentle advice (that she must feel free to turn down [as, of course, you can turn down my advice too!]).

Did you give her a copy of "The Ethical Slut"?

This one might not pertain to you, but here it is anyway:

One of the tricky things about poly is that it can sometimes be very hard to get perspective about things that happen. When more than one person is involved, each single person can perceive themselves as a minority of one (contrasted to one of two alleged equals in a pairwise relationship). Thus it might be a little tougher to disagree with stuff that more than one person agree to already. It's necessary to either find much inner strength to stand up for your beliefs, and/or you can try to get some help by trying to "get perspective". You can get some perspective by asking other friends (preferably friends with poly experience) what they think. You don't have to take their advice, of course, but it can be helpful to hear outside opinions.

And now for some worst-case suggestions:

If the situation with Arden and her gf gets too uncomfortable for you, it's very reasonable for you to set limits about what sorts of behavior or disruptions you'll accept. You'd need to tell her that you'll have to stay away if too many disturbing things happen. That can motivate her to deal with things more assertively, or it can help you decide that the mess is too bad and you need to extricate yourself. If she is unable to keep this mess from negatively affecting you, you'll need to stay away [this has happened to me, ick].

Finally...

I wish you much luck! I personally find it frustrating when I'm not the person in the middle, and can only watch in horror if that middle person isn't a good poly manager. The people on the edges can't really do a lot if the middle person can't develop the talent for poly management [oooh, very painful experiences for me here]. I hope Arden turns out to be (or learns to be, with your gentle help) a good poly manager! There *are* good poly managers out there (joedecker is my usual example), so do know that it's rather possible to have a happy solution.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 2nd, 2002 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Good advice, though an interesting question, most of the long term poly relationships I'm aware of are bi couples in a heterosexual pairing. Have you heard of any that are lesbian or gay?

I'm wondering if the extra challenge of being in an obviously queer relationship (as opposed to the stealth queerness of the bi people) makes things too difficult for most people.

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Clare T. Rampling

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from: rampling
date: Dec. 3rd, 2002 02:37 am (UTC)
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Well, lesbian polyamory seems to be so popular that they have their own book: "The Lesbian Polyamory Reader". Of course most of what I know tends to be bi and straight poly relationships (plus a few poly gay relationships), because I hang in bi circles and know many bi and straight folk (and a few gay boys). As you know, I don't go much to lesbian events.

I don't understand why you would think there is an "extra challenge" beyond the "stealth queerness" of the bi people. Certainly bi relationships contain queerness! And sometimes that queerness is rather loudly OUT! Admittedly one can be more or less out about the queer or the poly parts of one's relationships, but both the queerness and the polyness tends to freak (different) people out by different amounts. Just as any queer couple can be more "in" or "out", so can poly people. It's just another choice that people have. I don't see any inherent difference in "difficulty" of "queer" poly relationships vs. "non-queer" poly relationships. My experience is that polyness is usually viewed as more unusual than queerness, so it's the polyness that tends to be more important, and the queerness is just no big deal -- admittedly, that's been my experience because I've dealt with folx who've usually been out for quite a long time so it's a relative nonissue.

Certainly as the secondary female to a primary apparently-gay couple (yeah, B&R), I didn't feel that our out queerness was at all part of the problem. Nor was queerness the problem with that particular couple and a guy they used to date (MikeSzy) -- they treated him similarly to me, just less so since he didn't move in.

I think that bi people have a somewhat more obvious reason to consider polyamory, so that's why you *see* more bi folk considering it than straight or queer people. And I think the route to calling oneself "bisexual" requires an individual who's especially willing to question the usual societal conventions -- i.e. a person willing to go past "are you straight or gay" to find their bisexuality may also be more willing to question the "monogamy is the only way" assumption. But all sorts of people out there are being polyamorous, throughout the Kinsey spectrum.

For example, the Poly Is Queer FAQ says:

Q. I don't think we should bother specifying polyamorous stuff, because aren't all/most polyamorous people bi?

A. As the alt.polyamory FAQ explains, "There are many polyamorous people who are also bisexual, and many who are monosexual (i.e. relating only to one gender as potential or actual sexual/romantic partners; straight or gay/lesbian). There are also lots of folks who don't do sexual preference/orientation labels at all. One doesn't always know until one asks, as with so many other things. Avoiding assumptions is usually worth the exercise."




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Clare T. Rampling

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from: rampling
date: Dec. 3rd, 2002 02:53 am (UTC)
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Oh yeah, a couple more bits:

I found a (small) YahooGroup: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lesbian-Polyamory-Triads

And The Lesbian Sex Book, 2nd Edition (due to be released 2/2003) has the following blurb:
A best-seller for years, The Lesbian Sex Book is ready for a revamp to reflect the changing times. Still as thorough and comprehensive as ever--and just as entertaining, The Lesbian Sex Book, 2nd Edition covers everything you ever wanted to know about lesbian sex, plus a whole lot of things you never even imagined but are definitely going to want to know about. Whether the topic is sex practices, gender politics, relationship building, polyamory, edible body oils, or strap-on toys, The Lesbian Sex Book is the one source for both the sexually adventurous and the erotic novice.


See, an updated book about lesbian sex practices *had* to include polyamory!

And this article mentions a lesbian polyamorist....

OK, 'nuff for now....

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Nov. 28th, 2002 07:59 am (UTC)
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have fun.
and if you see me on the street, say hi.
:)

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Nov. 28th, 2002 10:07 am (UTC)
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Hope your trip is fun and low on the (bad) drama!

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