In the following email about polygamy/polygyny/polyfidelity, a reader, sharing her thoughts after an individual study on the subject, wonders if a modified or resurrected, egalitarian version of the practice might be an immediate solution to and defense against persistent forms of politico-economic oppression such as greed
She specifically mentioned an example where perhaps a father has children with different women yet those women choose to get along and foster and cultivate their relationships with each other for the purpose of making sure the children feel at home even when they are with their "step" mothers. In fact, I'm sure this type of thing happens pretty regularly already.
I would assume the reverse of this would also be something to consider, although the majority of these type of multi-parent situations that I know of involve woman sharing a common link to one man. But given the incarceration rates (or unjust incarceration laws) affecting black men, this is no surprise.
Like she suggests, the practice must be shielded by a sub-culture bubble from the mainstream norms. As a matter of fact, Africana diaspora nations may offer more fertile soil. But the fundamental concept is sound--multiple parents who share a common father or mother spouse making those ties of accountability stronger to each other. Classicists of all cultural stripes point out that bisexual polygyny was an ancient norm to foster and reify permanent inter-generational collaboration, interdependence, and harmony among familial codependents. The internet is full of loving examples of poly triads, throuples, threesome relationships, &c. As long as there is some sort of serious classic cultural understanding and appreciation taking place, alongside relentless communication and emotional therapy, these relationships should thrive.
And maybe the women wouldn't all want to get married to a brother, but perhaps they might define for themselves a higher definition or title for their mutual relationship than "baby mamas/daddys" as to hold each other accountable for each other's and the collective responsibilities; belonging to the shared family unit collectively. What's needed isn't matriarchy or patriarchy; every child knows it doesn't want to be patronized or matronized, just balanced in tune with the cradle.
Here's what she had to say:
"I stumbled upon a blog last week about Polygamy, it's African and biblical origins and as a possible alternative for single parent homes so prevalent today and breakdown of the black family in western culture. Reading what everyone had to say was really interesting and got me thinking a lot deeper on the subject. Perhaps a modified version could be the cure for the destruction. At first when I read it I was like, 'hell nah that's some crazy cult mess,' then I thought about my current situation.
"Neither of us are "married" to him but the three of us are bonded as a parental unit and have the common goal of love, nurturing, and growing. Which in theory loosely resembles a polygamist or closed polyamorist union.
"The basic idea of it can't be ignored as we all strive to regain and redefine the 'village' culture in western society. I think it would be interesting for The Liberator readers."
(Above: Outstanding Personal Relationships YOUTUBE)
(Above: "TriTalk | Is the Love Equal?" YOUTUBE)
(Above: "TriadSoLit: Q&A" YOUTUBE)
(Above: "The Portah Family Elaborates On Living Poly Life As A Throuple, How The Women Worked It Out, & More" YOUTUBE)
(Above: CBS "A Closer Look at the American Psychological Association non-monogamy task force" YOUTUBE)
(Above: The Co-Wives YOUTUBE)
(Above: 3, The New Normal 2016 YOUTUBE | IMDB)
(Above: Amunet, Polight, & Raet on Sex, Race, Trump, & Black Women YOUTUBE)
(Above: Aayanna & Polygyny YOUTUBE)
(Above: She Hate Me 2004 YOUTUBE | IMDB | AMAZON)
(Above: Threesome 2018 YOUTUBE | IMDB | AMAZON)
(Above: You Me Her 2016 YOUTUBE | IMDB | AMAZON)
(Above: Professor Marston & the Wonder Women YOUTUBE | IMDB | AMAZON)
(Above: Big Love 2006 YOUTUBE | IMDB | AMAZON)
(Looks Like Love To Me YOUTUBE)
Notable Polygyny on Social Media:
@thetrifectalove: @the_kassandra_lee, @carlyashira, & @paoulocq
@ashleycoco_, @karytasantos, & @deraydavis
@brother_polight, @raet777, & @amunetatumre
@2wives1husband, @kristylelove, & @kenyealove
"Personal Growth Through Consensual NonMonogamies: Considering boundaries, facing shadows, and embracing spirit" by Elisabeth A. Sheff Ph.D., CSE (psychologytoday.com)
For some people, the emotional rigors associated with consensual non-monogamies (CNM) offer a pathway to self-growth. Because the popular media tend to focus on sexuality when discussing polyamory and other forms of CNM, it might be surprising to hear that multiple-partner relationships can foster anything beyond orgasms, much less the lofty goals of personal growth. This is not to say that all or even most polyamorous folks are spiritually evolved, or that monogamous folks are any less spiritually evolved than those in CNM relationships. Discussion among some poly people or groups can have an obnoxious holier-than-thou tone, exalting CNM as superior and more evolved than monogamy. That is not this blog. Rather, the point is that polyamorous people can seek personal growth through their relationships - and some of them even find it.
Selecting a CNM relationship means going outside of the conventional social boundaries that have been very clearly identified in the mass culture. In addition to the personal relationships of the people around them, people see monogamy and cheating demonstrated repeatedly in movies, television shows, songs, and pretty much every other form of media. If people want to have CNM relationships, they need to consider what they want, what they will not tolerate, and what they might be willing to compromise on. Pondering one’s boundaries can encourage self growth through reflection and testing limits. Many forms of CNM, and especially polyamory, emphasize self-possession, rather than partners possessing each other. This orientation towards self-possession means that people in CNM relationships are required to focus on and manage their own reactions, boundaries, and emotions.
Carl Jung famously defined the dark, unconscious, or repressed parts of a person's psyche as their shadow. Jealousy and other challenging emotions commonly relegated to the shadow can occur frequently in polyamorous and other CNM relationships. While some people can watch their lover making out with someone else and feel joy that their beloved has found a cutie to snog (in poly lingo, that special kind of joy is called compersion), for most people that it an incredibly challenging situation. Feeling the jealousy, learning how to manage it, living through it, and coming out the other side can be a harrowing journey that creates strength and resilience in the long run. Facing the jealous, angry, grasping, competitive, territorial, or insecure parts of their personalities and refusing to allow them to be in charge can help people grow beyond these shadow elements. Cultivating unconditional love, tolerance, and kindness through learning to tolerate and move beyond jealousy and insecurity can bring tremendous personal growth and peace.
Some people find spiritual enlightenment through CNM relationships. Tantra, a sacred sexuality tradition based in tenets of Buddhism and Hinduism, offers some practitioners of CNM a way to integrate meditative and yogic elements into their multiple partner relationships. Polygamous relationships, a traditional form of multiple partner marriage often practiced as polygyny in which one husband can have multiple wives, are often embedded in religious communities such as the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (Fundamentalist Mormons) or Islam.
In some cases, Afrocentric cultures in the United States also embrace polygyny as a way to reconnect with traditional practices of many African cultures. Racist laws, law enforcement, and sentencing mean that a disproportionately enormous number of African American men are incarcerated, leaving fewer possible partners for African American women who wish to marry an African American man. Such a gender imbalance among the heterosexual population can encourage polygamy. In other cases, the draw of connection in a hostile and divided world sparks people’s interest in intentional communities that blend spirituality, marriage, and mutual reliance. [via]
The One Where Katie Spills Her Guts Out by Katie Simbala (thetriadfam.com)
My name is Katie Simbala and I’m a NYC Bronx native living in Baltimore city. When I was a kid play time looked like this: I would put all of my stuffed animals in audience style seating, grab my favorite bible storybook, read and speak sternly to them with a lot of hand gestures. I always felt called to speaking and sharing stories, and the Pentecostal church gave me that outlet.
Fast forward to adulthood, and I’m a worship pastor in a conservative church. I was a church professional living a dualistic life. I presented as a straight monogamous woman, but really I was a queer, bi, polyamorous one.
Luis was my first real boyfriend and the only boy I had ever really ever been attracted to. Before him I was only attracted to girls. In fact, I thought I was a lesbian before I met him. In my mind he had “cured” me. We got married and we didn’t look back. We loved each other deeply that even through all the waves, we decided over and over again to stay committed to each other.
Then I meet this girl at a baby shower and lure her in with my wit and comedic awkwardness. I stick my finger in a hole in my pocket and say “hi, I’m Katie, I have a hole in my pocket”. Somehow I hooked her. In all honesty I wasn’t seeking anything more than just a friendship. I realized I was attracted to her the way a protagonist in a rom-com finds out she’s in love with the best friend: a drunken kiss. She kissed me innocently, platonically, but that kiss made me realize those feelings never left. I wasn’t cured.
So now that I realize I’m attracted to Raquel, I’m afraid of what this means. I did what I always did when presented with hard emotional processing. I went to my best friend and life partner. I went to Luis. I told him what happened and he gently proposed the idea of exploring this side of my sexuality that was repressed to be accepted by the church.
I started on a voyage with no clear destination. All I knew is that I was in love with these two beautiful humans and we were all deciding to do life together. Life together started to get complicated since I was navigating two different identities. I felt captive to the perceived identity I presented with for so long. I had a reputation. Among my peers I was respected, but not for my whole self.
In late 2016 I was having a lot of inner conflict on my identity and on how my decision of staying closeted was affecting Raquel. I wasn’t honoring her place in my life. People viewed her as the friend that helped us with Lukas, but in reality, she was the mother of our child. By early 2017 I decided to come out to the congregation I was serving. It took us a while to muster up the courage, but I was certain that this was what I needed to do.
I was fired the next week on a Tuesday, and felt defeated. I didn’t know what the next steps were. All I knew is that whatever steps were going to be taken would be in complete honesty and transparency. I googled “gay-friendly church”, and I realized that the Lutheran church on the corner of my block was LGBTQ affirming. I met with the pastor that Wednesday. He connected me with another Lutheran pastor, who just so happens to be from the Bronx and also grew up Pentecostal just like me.
By Friday of that same week I met up with her at a Thai restaurant with this new decision to live authentically, and so I poured my heart out to her. I was 100% honest and held nothing back. She listened without judgment and by the end of my confession, she offered me a job.
Coming out was scary. I was literally killing this other identity that I had operated under for so long. We told our parents, and then made a public announcement of who we are on social media, where the majority of my network were conservative Christians. I’ve lost a lot of friends, networks, and resources since then, but this year was also the year that we’ve had the most momentum in sharing our story. Transparency has led me to new freedom where no one else dictates who and what I am. I was told for so long that being gay would separate me from God. I’m amazed to see that God still calls me worthy, beloved and that nothing will ever separate me from that love. A few years ago I could have never stood in front of a crowd like this and feel as free as I do. If only little Katie could see me now”.
The journey to freedom looks different for everyone as we learned that night through the different stories. This is our story of freedom. Getting to that place is hard, painful and will leave you wondering at times if you made the right decision in being transparent and vulnerable, but then you’re reminded of how good it is to truly be free. No hiding, no shame, no fear- just freedom. [via]
Polyamory Part 2 by Summer Rain (420nurses.com)
"Two are better than one, and three are even better, for a cord of three strands is not easily broken."
My Name is Summer and Ive been in a fun loving triad for almost 7 years now. A triad is generally made up of three adults who are all sexually involved, commonly understood as a ménage à trois [literally, "house of three"]. Most triads form when a single person joins an open couple. When I first met my couple, Chacha and Jimmy, I remember researching for these blogs or some sort of advice, like I’m writing now and I had very little luck. If I did find anything, it was very negative. Even today, Im about 10 pages into a polyamory book and Ive already read about 3 mini stories that end in disaster.
I had a great deal of positivity from my last blog linked below and that encouraged me to continue with more. Since then, my triad has expanded our 5 year plan, got engaged, and also was filmed for a media series and interviewed for a couple hours on our relationship. The 5 year plan includes marriage, babies and more, jimmy went above and beyond for our engagement which made the news, and the interview we did for Barcroft Media really gave us an opportunity to reflect on our life together.
I mentioned in my last post that “Our relationship was closed for many years due to me being uncomfortable with the idea of opening our triad.” “When I met my girlfriend and boyfriend it was at a concert that I attended with a group of girls for promotional modeling” “Being the “third” I never wanted to step on her toes, or make her feel uncomfortable with me.” These are some key topics I want to touch base on in this part two.
Respect is important
I was fortunate to join a couple with great problem solving skills, and a very strong foundation which relied on communication. In order to be in a stable poly triad, you have to have an equal respect for all members and find an open way to communicate. This is especially important if you are entering a couples relationship. I remember coming into the relationship I never wanted to step on her toes or make her feel uncomfortable with me. I was sleeping in her bed, eating her food, even down to the point where when things first got intimate, I just let her tell me what to do. And not to always say that primary and secondary roles have to exist, but you do have to be somewhat understanding of boundaries, and you need to be submissive to the person, or people you are joining. This doesn’t have to be a spoken thing really, when I met Chacha and Jimmy, they never really put any rules for me. Our way of life, and way to respect each other sort of just came about naturally. I’ve learned Chacha doesn’t like hickies and jimmy doesn’t like when you wander off without telling where you’ll be going. I’ve learned they both needs lots of hugs and kisses, even when they seem busy or standoff-ish. Ive learned so much about these two and I cant wait to learn more. It is ok to make mistakes but it’s important to never forget your intent. If you have questions, talk about it, If you, or he or she needs space, ask for it, or give it. Joining a couples relationship Is not the time to put up walls, it’s the time to break them all down.
With our triad being closed for many years, or polyfidelitous, the relationship structure where all members are considered equal partners and agree to restrict sexual activity to only other members of the group, I witnessed both my girlfriend, and boyfriends urge or explore and meet more people. I really didn’t think I could handle it. Any topic of bringing another girl into the picture stressed me out, and if Im being honest, it also turned me on. Confusing right? Why would I be assuming all this negativity but still internally excited? How could I possibly share my thoughts and feelings about this with not one person, but in front of two possibly three? Was I not enough to fulfill my couple? If I went through with being openly poly, would we stay doing everything together or would things separate? All questions I had to ask myself. I remember sitting my couple down and suggesting they went and dated without me, and they could either share their experiences when they got home or maybe I wouldn’t even wanna know. I was really confused on how I could possibly make it work. At that point is when they made it clear they wanted me involved if expanding our hearts further was going to work. This was comforting, but took a lot of prying and being extremely uncomfortable in my skin. Without struggle there is really no growth, and Im thankful for the struggles I come across because it really does bring growth...
My triad owns a business together and we were hosting an event the night before their 10 year anniversary. Chacha and Jimmy had been together 3-4 years before meeting me, so this was their big 10 years. Our boyfriend Jimmy walked on stage with our girlfriend Chacha and myself telling the whole crowd at an event he was going to freestyle a rap, so everything naturally started filming. He started confessing his love for us both, and I truly had no idea what was happening at that point, even being so close to their anniversary. As he kept talking we both started to notice his nervousness and we all started to feel it, something big was about to happen. With lights flashing all around, he got on one knee and two rings appeared when he asked us if WE would marry him. I naturally looked to Chacha for approval, as she said YES, I did too. I started shaking uncontrollably I was in complete shock and once again honored to be unified even further with them. We later found out that our rings were made from a single diamond split into two, from the same solid stone. He did great. We started to discuss our wedding plans a year from that same date, but with the baby fever kicking in, and mother natures clock ticking away, we planned to speed up our date to December 15 of this year 2019, Giving us about 6 months to plan a unique, one of a kind polyamorous wedding ceremony for three people rather than two. Im really excited to see where life takes us, as I continue growing up, I’m finding that loving more than one person is really rewarding, and I know we all have more love to share.
A unicorn is a poly cliche of a bisexual woman who will fit into the couples life at their convenience, bringing no additional partners of her own, disappear or pass as a friend when being openly poly might embarrass or inconvenience the couple, and hopefully wants to do the laundry and take care of the kids.
I feel the term unicorn and unicorn hunting is portrayed as such a negative term in poly communities, and as someone who was a unicorn, and or now, “hunts unicorns.” This isn’t really a bad thing, as for me, it was an honor. The third person, or unicorn has to be universally submissive or the formation of the triad will not work. I was willing and ready to find our way to making it work, even if that meant passing off as the friend for awhile, or skipping a few conjoined holidays. It is ok to be unsure, it is ok to be bisexual and sexually open. Even though not always the case, unicorn Hunters are generally, just like my couple, a heterosexual man and bisexual or heteroflexible woman looking for a bisexual woman. Again, to me, not a derogatory term. Bisexual women are fetishized for the very reason couples seek them out. It is culturally desirable to have threesomes with two women. One of the opinions I’ve read “It is not as desirable to have threesomes with two men because of our deeply ingrained cultural homophobia. It perpetuates erasure of bisexual men by embedding a preference for girl-on-girl sex into our perception of sexuality.” I’ve had many people ask why not another man, or why not a non-binary or transexual. Im a female polyamorous bisexual so to me, a manly man, and a girly girl is my preference. Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females, or to more than one sex or gender. It's different from Pansexuality, which is a romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity. I think people will judge anything they don’t understand and this is no different. I'm not homophobic because I would prefer to see girl on girl action, over boy on boy. It is simply my sexual preference... "Happiness - only real when shared" (Christopher McCandless). [via]
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