If you would like more realistic fiction, science fiction, and fantasy genre stories or novels with more or less realistic poly relationship dynamics, what themes and character types would interest you?
A few thoughts generally on this topic:
I want to see more books that feature nonmonogamy, but I don’t want to feel pandered to.
I don’t want to feel like the whole point is the nonmonogamy. I don’t want to feel like the book is supposed to prove that nonmonomgamy can be healthy or good. I don’t want obvious cliches.
Whenever you’re writing about a minority or marginalized community, I think it’s important that you develop your characters and story enough that it’s clear you’re writing about particular people, not symbolic people that are supposed to accurately represent an entire community.
I won’t read a book just because it has nonmonogamy. I have to like the writing and story on it’s own.
So, here are few books I like that feature positive nonmonogamous relationships:
- Dhalgren by Samuel Delany - literary science fiction
- Heavenly Breakfast and The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel Delany - experimental memoir
- The Leather Daddy & The Femme by Carol Queen - shorts stories as novel, erotica
- Lockpick Pornography by Joey Comeau - contemporary fiction
When we condemn people who don’t disclose their STI status more harshly than people who don’t know their STI status, we give people a reason not to get tested.
We need to change how we talk about these things, with our partners and as a a culture. And we need to get more informed and realistic about the actual risks.
For example, having sex with someone who is HIV-positive, on treatment, and virally suppressed is less risky than having sex with someone who doesn’t know their HIV status.
Just because you’re talking more, it doesn’t mean you’re communicating better.
Yes, communication is important in relationships. Yes, sometimes people in relationships aren’t communicating enough.
But spending a lot of time talking doesn’t mean a relationship is good, talking more won’t improve every relationship, and people can have good relationships without spending a lot of time talking.
The quality of your communication matters too, not just the quantity. Taking longer to say something doesn’t mean you’ve said it more clearly. Listening skills are important. Tact is good. And you need to know that there are times and places it is not appropriate to start some conversations.
The implication that people who don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to communication are failing is offensive.
I have a new blog where I’ll be posting comic-style graphic work about sex and relationships. The first piece is about non-monogamy and polyamory, but the new blog will be a little broader than this one. If you haven’t already, you should follow it.
(And if there’s something you’d like to see me cover there, you should let me know!)
I’m a big fan of Jeph Jaques’ comic Questionable Content. I don’t think it’s perfect, but I think he’s done a pretty good including a character who was a polyamorous and a character who does sex work, and I’m excited about a current romance featuring a trans character.
In a comic just about a year and a half ago, one of the characters (Dora) was looking at porn on her computer, until her cat entered and she slammed her laptop shut. In the comic, you can see that the site she’s visiting is sexydudepartytimes.com.
I saw this comic minutes after it went up and immediately bought the domain. I haven’t done much with it since. Now it’s the home to my new blog. I am really excited by the idea that a fictional character reads my blog.
I've known I'm poly for a few years now, and also bisexual for longer. I'm in a wonderful relationship with a man that I met and have been for over a year. As happy as I am in this relationship though, I haven't told him about being poly, and I'm unsure if I ever should. On one hand I feel that if I did tell him it would make him very mistrustful of me (to quote him he "gives 100% of himself in a relationship) due to stereotypes, but on the other I feel like I'm lying by omission. Any advice?
You’re not obligated to tell your partner about this if you have good reason to think he would not take it well.
You’re also not obligated to keep it secret if it’s weighing on you. It’s his responsibility to recognize that your feelings aren’t your fault, to accept that this isn’t about him, and to get over being mistrustful.
That you don’t feel like you can say this, though, that might indicate a bigger issue in your relationship. You should feel comfortable talking about your emotional experiences and perspective on relationships!
Most people ride in cars even though there is an inherent risk of physical danger involved. Most people wear seat belts when they ride in cars because it lowers their risk of bodily harm. Most people ride cars in some circumstances that raise the risk involved, like when the weather is bad or the driver is tired. Most people avoid riding in cars when the risk reaches a certain level, like there is a blizzard or the driver is wasted.
I am using this as an extended metaphor for safer sex. There are inherent risks involved in having sex. Like riding in cars, we decide it’s worth it for a variety of reasons. But we also make decisions about what risks are worth it, and what measures we should take to make the activities safer. Maybe we don’t have sex with someone who hasn’t been tested recently. Maybe we use a dental dam. Maybe we use different toys with different partners.
There’s a couple ideas used in the kink community, SSC and RACK. SSC stands for safe, sane, and consensual. RACK, in contrast, emphasizes Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. The idea here is that nothing is perfectly safe, that different people should be able to make their own decisions about safety, and that what’s important is that everyone is aware of the risks involved.
Safer sex seems to simultaneously acknowledge that people accept risk when they have sex, while also perpetuating a hierarchy that the safer your activities are the better they are. I’m not sure our goal should be trying to get people to take the safest actions possible. (Or we might just need to admit it already isn’t.) I think our goal should be for people to make informed decisions about their sexual health. I’m not against safer sex, but I think it might be better to focus on risk aware sex.