Are people still talking about Spike Lee’s remake of She’s Gotta Have It which recently aired on Netflix? Cool! I didn’t want to rush to an assessment, so I was sure to watch the full first season. Now I’mma throw in my … Continue reading
The idea of having the freedom to openly love more than one person, without all the hiding, lying, and risky behavior attached to “cheating”, appeals to more people than you know. Yet, regardless of our assumption that we are a free and evolving society, having “many loves”—openly and honestly—is still very much a taboo.
Well, maybe that’s changing. With popular TV shows playing around with the topic of polyamory and mainstream media outlets releasing article after article about swinging this, and open marriage that, it seems the lovestyle has gained some general acceptance.
But do people really know what it is? There still seems to be an awful lot of people out there who confuse polyamory with cheating, open relationships with swinging, polygamy with polyandry, and who assume polyamory is always only (or primarily) about sex.
Since the topic is piquing curiosity, and since it is one which elicits visceral reactions, from disgust to shock and awe- in other words, since the discussion is getting really good- I figured I’d jump in with my two cents. First, I got some definitions that might help the uninitiated establish a fundamental understanding. The first one is “Taboo”
Taboo: (adj) proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable; prohibited; forbidden; banned; can also describe something that is separated/set apart as sacred; forbidden for general use; sacrosanct. (from dictionary.com)
(Notice how the seemingly opposite “unacceptable” and “sacrosanct” are included in the definition of the same word? That’s not a mistake or an oxymoron.)
This is the information age, folks, where knowledge is more accessible than it has ever been. So, if you’re curious, enjoy, ask questions, do your own research, and jump into the discussion yourself. But please, make yourself look good and try to know what you’re talking about first. I’m learning everyday, and it’s fascinating!
RELATIONSHIP GOALS? #Compersion
I am so excited to be a part of Enchant TV’s fundraising campaign for Compersion, Season 2! Join in with your support.
“The Enchant TV Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign is raising funds to complete another dynamic season of the provocative drama, Compersion. Compersion follows one couple’s journey from monogamy to polyamory, and takes an intimate look on how we see and value romantic partnerships. With an already successful Season 1, this inclusive-diverse production helmed by writer, director, and producer Jackie Stone is seeking funds to make another dynamic Season. Check out the first season of Compersion for free on YouTube at the link below.” -The Enchant TV
If you haven’t seen it, you just need to get with it. Like, comment, share, support the arts and evolving thought and all that jazz and throw a little dough their way so they can get Season 2 poppin! (There is a quite voracious and ever-expanding group of folks who are chomping at the bit for the next season, btw. Don’t let us down—some of us bite.)
Check out the series here: (YouTube) bit.ly/TheEnchantTV
Contribute here: (Indiegogo) bit.ly/Compersion2
Engage and have fun here:
…”It means you’re my husband… but … I can have a boyfriend”…
WHAT THE $%*!?
As sophisticated a presentation of open marriage as Enchant TV has provided so far, I still found myself squirming when Keena made that statement in the first episode of Compersion.
It was perfect– an elegant packaging of a very complicated idea. Yet it felt sooooo uncomfortable. Why? Because, for all the thoughtfulness and maturity which typically saturates any serious discussion of open relating, that statement seemed dangerously oversimplified too. It seemed to play directly to the very fears and negative ideas that non-poly people tend to have about the idea. It made Keena seem like a simple, selfish, ungrateful, greedy bitch having a midlife crisis who wanted to “have her cake and eat it too”–at least, that’s what I was afraid others would think.
I was hoping that people (even those still on the fence about poly… or those balking from twenty yards behind the other side of said fence) would delay their criticisms just long enough to recognize the depth of conflict that Keena was experiencing. I don’t think such a conflict would exist if Keena and Joshua did not share a truly genuine love already. Yet she still needed more.
This is how I try to explain the concept to people who don’t get it: As a human being, you need food and you need water. Someone could feed you the highest quality, most delectable steak as often as you wanted or needed protein, iron, or vitamin B12, but you would still die without water. Your body needs a variety of substances to survive.
For people who benefit from open relationships, non-exclusivity meets a genuine need for variety and community–not just a desire to “have their cake and eat it too”.
But then again, what the hell is the point of having a cake if you can’t eat it too?!
You may have heard some rumors about which celebrity couples are/were supposedly in open relationships- Will and Jada, Brad and Angelina, Mo’nique and Sidney, Ossie and Ruby. Well, Mo’nique and Sidney have set the story on them straight.
If you’re late (like I was) and you still haven’t heard, to answer your question, yes they are. Huuuuuney, they talked all kinds of real shit in that January 11th episode of their podcast on Play.it. This was the first show in what is becoming a collection of (in my opinion) very intriguing topics.
Here are a just of the few points addressed in their explanation of how their open marriage works:
- The public’s rumors and concerns about Mo’nique’s “self-esteem”: Mo’nique says that it was easy for some to accept that certain celebrity couples might have open marriages because, the public thinks they’re “beautiful people”. But when it came to her and Sidney, they were thinking there’s no way this “fat, black woman” could be with a man like that without something else going on. The public assumed that she was willing to do any old thing to keep her man. Little did they know that the open marriage was her idea…
- E.G.O. = Expectations Gone Overboard: Mo’nique candidly admits that, in the beginning, she was selfish. Her attitude was, “I’m the one making the money. I can do whatever I want.” If she entertained other men, they would politely say “Hello” to Sidney in passing his room on the way to the hers. She could do her thing, but wasn’t so interested in letting him do his thing. Then Sidney was like, “Hol’ up now. An open relationship means we can BOTH see other people”. Mo’nique became more fully aware of the principle of *reciprocity* and realized that she needed to allow her partner the same freedom that she desired and enjoyed.
- “When you love a person, the last thing you wanna do is control them” says Sidney Hicks. He says he believes in allowing a woman to be who she is.
- Addressing the Relationship Police: “What happens when someone catches feelings?” a listener asks. Sidney says that the dynamics of the relationship are such that another party would be well aware of the fact that their home base is the first priority. [And I’ll add my humble opinion here: I would imagine that in some cases, catching feelings would be exactly the point. If you believe that love is infinite, you seek to enjoy the fullness that life has to offer, you’re letting go of the expectation of *ownership* in love, and you are truly committed to the community that you have constructed, your partners would overcome any fear of being left behind. The extra love would enhance the overall dynamic–as in that strip club example that Mo’nique so humorously speaks of.]
- “But Gaaaawd Said!”: Sidney politely agrees to disagree with those who have a particular view of marriage based on religious ideals. He asserts that, yes, they consider marriage to be sacred. They consider it so sacred that they believe marriage should compel people to be open and fully honest with one another about their desires.
Okay, okay. I won’t give away everything. I hope you’ll make your way over to their podcast, scroll on down to the January 11th episode entitled “Our Open Relationship” and see all that they have to say…even if you’re doing it in secret like I KNOW some of you will. As you open yourself to the possibility of expanding your honesty and perspective, maybe you won’t have to hide anymore…
As their tagline says, “A mind is like a parachute. It’s no good unless it’s open.”
Do you agree?
What is compersion? My understanding is that it is the opposite of jealousy. It is gaining a sense of happiness through witnessing another person’s happiness, particularly a lover’s…even if that happiness doesn’t directly involve you.
Advocates of open relating often cite compersion as one of the fundamental elements necessary to make such relationships work. In open relationships, sure there is jealousy. Yes, there are fears. But those who choose to enhance their relationships in this manner don’t see jealousy and fear as the end of the road. They seek to grow beyond them.
Those who have been truly successful at open relating understand something that many of us still have not fully grasped: that love is not limited, and that true love intends to set the beloved free to live a full, limitless life.
Have you heard about compersion? According to one HuffPost article, it is a principle that can be aptly applied in monogamous as well as polyamorous relationships. So even if open relating is not your thing, opening up to an idea that will allow you to more effectively align your thinking with your partner’s needs could be a big help. Don’t ya think?
I hope I haven’t completely scared you off with talk of open relating and the idea that you may want to at least consider releasing the death grip on that fear of being alone. Why not check out the first couple of episodes of “Compersion”, a new web series from Enchant TV on YouTube. I’ve been glued to the first two episodes so far, and I think they’re doing a great job of exploring this topic with a great deal of maturity and taste. I love how it juxtaposes the ordinariness of a typical couple’s life with the events surrounding their very extraordinary decision to open their marriage.
Stay tuned to Evolutions, and we can chop it up over the topic of compersion and this thoughtful new series. What do you think? Is compersion for you? In what areas of your life do you think it would be best applied?