31. What do you get out of being non-monogamous – it’s a lot of extra work so why do it?
Love. And community.
I did not know such amounts of love before I identified as non-monogamous. There is one thing I am completely sure of this last year – I am well loved. I have absolutely no doubt of this.
The poly community in my area has been unprecedently awesome at being a social resource. They have their own problems, as any group does, but I have met so many amazing people because I got involved with it. On a smaller scale, my polycule is also my community – having them reminds me why I do this, each and every day.
30. They’re about to get on a plane – what do you say?
Take care! Let me know when you get there, so I know you’re safe (I don’t care what time it is, just let me know).
29. What is one thing about your partner(s) that drives you nuts? What’s one thing that makes you smile?
Nuts: The insistence that all my problems are because I don’t have perspective or that I need to accept that everything is a choice.
Smile: All the random things that I learn from or about him each day – still, after 5 years.
Nuts: The difference in blanket weight needed at night.
Smile: That smile…
Nuts: The massive differences that her extroversion and my introversion can cause in social situations or between us.
Smile: The way she treats the people arpund her – including her kids, roommate, me, metamours, etc.
28. What’s an in-joke between you and your partner(s)?
Lola – not so much a joke, but she asks “Can I keep you?” or says that she’ll keep me. Heck, at our polycule holiday event, she said she’ll keep Trydaen around.
Trydaen – That the stuffed penguins (bed penguins or penguin bugs) that I sleep with will bite in our sleep.
Diplomat – A particular ASL sign with a throat clearing.
27. A favorite picture, song and/or video you associate with non-monogamy.
Cute and generally representative of the people and community I have found through non-monogamy.
I know this is the same one that I used the last time, but I would not have inked it on my body permanently if it didn’t mean a lot for me. We are all different, but linked together we form a circle that never ends.
26. A resource you’ve found especially helpful.
Just see the books and site from the post from the 25th. There is also a forum site called Polyamorous Percolations that I found very useful in my early wanderings into non-monogamy, but I do not know if it is still used, as I haven’t been on in years.
I also have linked a few other useful resources to read in my links in the sidebar.
Another important resource has been the people in the community around me. Seriously, as problematic/dramatic as they can be, I highly recommend finding at least one online community to talk to – local is a bonus, but not really necessary. Heck, I recommend more than one, just in case you need to vent about someone who is in one group, but not in the other. I found mine through friends and kept up through Facebook. Having an online community helped me realize that the problems and joys I had were not just mine alone – that there were a lot of other people, even in my area, who dealt with the same sorts of things, and may be willing to help me wrap my brain around an idea that I am having some issues understanding.
25. Your favorite Non-monogamous blog/tumblr/site/book?
Online: The Polyamorous Misanthrope (linked in my sidebar – I’m too lazy to find the link now).
The author does not take any bullshit from anyone – she owns up to her failings and is honest about how poly can be, especially for those of us who have been doing it for awhile. Sometimes challenges pop up for fogies too, and she is good about handling them and calling letter writers out on their bullshit.
I chose not to do the More Than Two website, as awesome as it is (it is actually tied for my favorite, for very different reasons), because they have it all in hand-dandy book form – see below.
On paper: More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
Close second: The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy
I never thought that a book could bump The Ethical Slut off the top spot, but a couple of the authors from the More Than Two website managed to write the book that did it. Heck, if anyone could have, it would be them.
So, I know that Opening Up by Tristan Taromino is supposed to be the Bible of non-monogamy books, but I never much liked it. Her style never really hooks me, so I found it a drag to get through (and I’m not sure I ever actually finished, despite having started it more than half a dozen times already). I didn’t find it very applicable – I was not opening up a relationship (I never have) – and a lot of the stuff seemed really couple-centric to me.
More Than Two is a good combination of The Ethical Slut, Opening Up, with a little bit of Sex at Dawn (by Cacilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan) thrown in. I have heard that The Ethical Slut can be a bit intimdating to newcomers or people who aren’t overly sexual or aren’t into non-monogamy just for the sex, and More Than Two turns down the volume on that. It does deal with many different styles of non-monogamy and presents different structures in an equal light. They are honest about the upsides and downsides of each style and not judgmental.