I was at OpenCon last year, but didn’t really engage much due to my circumstances at the time. Still, I did meet some wonderful people, including Victoria Rosa, who through Umbrella Coaching (now also with Open and Awesome teleseminars) played a critical role in my introspection and remodeling of my life to be more healthy and fulfilling. I can’t thank her enough for her help through the most difficult part of my life.
This year, I was not only able to engage fully, but at the last minute I decided to host a workshop myself on solo poly that I really identify with as well as a concept that I had very recently discovered: Relationship Anarchy.
I was completely overwhelmed by the interest and feedback as well as the stories, opinions and general sharing that all the participants contributed. One major thing that I took away from the workshop is that there are a lot of people who style their relationships in a solo or anarchic way without knowing that terms have been invented for it and often didn’t understand why a separate term would be needed for it.
This leads me to believe that polynormativity, as portrayed in the media is actually far worse than I thought it was. Far worse because it’s not even representative! Now I have the impression that media has cherry-picked models of polyamory that are easy to show and understand, typically also with demographic groups that fit neatly with pop culture stardom.
I think this is far worse because it is the equivalent of the only image of university students being Beverly Hills 90210. It’s a completely skewed perspective of what is “normal” (in this case median) and glamorizes the stress, drama and difficulty of having multiple partners and the need to enforce rules and veto rights to keep the primary partners together.
Anyway, I know my sample set was really small. The best information I could find about this was simply an estimate given by Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist at Champlain College in Vermont to LiveScience magazine that only about 30% of polyamorous practitioners have a primary relationship. If anyone knows of any studies or surveys done counting the practitioners of different relationship styles, please let me know. I’d appreciate it very much.