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What's Monogamy Got to Do With Marriage?

Study Notes and Anecdotes From LGBT People in Committed, Non-Monogamous Partnerships

June 25, 2013


Sigrid Ellis

Sigrid Ellis, Writer, Air Traffic Controller and Homeschooling Parent; Saint Paul, Minn.

How do you talk about polyamory to your kids?

Jennifer and I have been together about 17 years. Our daughter is 10 years old, and our son is 9. Jennifer and I met when my partner at the time wanted to date her partner at the time. Nothing about that situation worked out the way anyone planned, but I like where I've ended up.

I am always utterly baffled by this question. You talk to kids about polyamory the way you do any other part of your life!

But then I realize that many people perhaps don't bother to explain their lives to kids. My partner and I, we're geeks. We're raising geeky kids. We explain everything, all the time. "Mother and I are partners, and we are a family, and you two are our kids. I am dating Other Person" usually does the trick.

People seem to get squeamish about saying "dating." But here's the thing: My kids, when they were young, didn't care about anything that would make an adult squeamish. Kissing is kissing.

I think most kids take their cue from how weird adults are being about a thing. If poly is normal, it's normal. We had a harder time explaining book-burning to them when it was in the news. People dating more than one person at a time is perfectly normal; censorship and destruction of literature is weird and disturbing.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: craig larue (arkansas) Tue., Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm UTC
It is typical of publications that generate a large percentage of their income from pharmaceutical companies that sell HIV drugs that Olivia Ford is ambivilant about avoiding HIV. The concept of homosexuals avoiding HIV means less advertizing dollars for theBody and less money for articles normalizing HIV as a part of Gay life that should not be avoided or prevented unless one feels an unfashionable need to avoid HIV because of internalized homphobia.
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Comment by: ryan h. (dearborn mi 48124) Wed., Jun. 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm UTC
do not agree. all but a few on these type relationship i know have not worked. for awhile maybe but not long term. adult form committed partnerships. young boys feel the need for multiple guys. i dont know straight couples that this has worked for either.i certainly don't claim to be an expert just saying what i know to be true. i was lucky to has a committed 15 year relationship with a man who unfortunately passed away. ten years later i happily found another
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