I got into a discussion on a poly list about how online dating services develop specific rituals, and if you deviate from these, it often means no dates. I wrote up the following advice list for poly men who are looking for poly women on OkCupid, which is the situation I am most familiar with.
Your mileage may vary, and probably does. I would love to hear about what works differently for you, especially if you are in a different gender search arrangement.
This summer, I had to break a date with one person I’m seeing in order to accommodate another. Here’s the email I sent her:
So, now that we’ve figured out a July date and everything … it would be cool if we could reschedule. Sorry. Renee’s gone for a month, in town for only a couple days in the middle there. Would you be up for the evening of July 11th, either at the Citadel or Edges? Or we could figure out my place if neither of those work out. That’s the best, but alternatives are the 12th, the 19th, or a weeknight around then. Any of that sound doable?
She responded, and used my email as an example of all the proper things to say when breaking a poly date.
A few nights ago, I attended Poly Speed Dating, an event put on by a few hot local organizing types, some of whom also post on this blog.
The event format was, I expect, typical for speed dating events. After registration, and a discussion of how the process was going to work, schedules were distributed to everyone. Tables were numbered; for each date, you would run over to the assigned table, sit down, and start going. At approximately four minutes, a warning was shouted; at five minutes, the date was over, and it was time to sprint over to the next table. At the end of the night you turned in a sheet indicating which people you would be willing to exchange contact info with; if they also indicated you positively, you were matched up and email was sent to both parties.
CBS has a new television series out, Swingtown. It is billed as a show about swingers set in 1976, but it is really more about relationships and marriage in the 70’s, with a strong emphasis on open relationships. It started in June, and is running the first thirteen episodes this summer, ten so far. In a very cool move, CBS has been posting the full episodes online (here), which is probably the only reason I am seeing them, since I don’t watch TV. They insert commercials into the online versions to recoup their cost, and unfortunately they are only posting the most recent three or four episodes, so you’ll have to go elsewhere (reruns? torrent?) if you want to find episodes one through six.
In May, a polyamorous woman named Jenny Block released a new hardcover book, Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage. I bought it and gave it a read in June, and this is my take on it.
Jenny has done something new and interesting with this book: instead of being the usual how-to guide to nonmonogamy, it is primarily a memoir of her personal journey to polyamory. And, it is an incredibly frank and revealing take on her life, starting in childhood, detailing how she was cheated on and then how she cheated on her husband, and her subsequent journeys through various types of open relationship styles to her current husband-and-girlfriend V relationship. She lays out all her feelings and motivations, and puts the bad on the table with the good, which makes the book that much more real and powerful. It was an incredible act of bravery to publish this book – even as open as I am about my life, I don’t think I could pen something that bares my inner self to this extent.