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February 28th is Metamour Day

on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

By Modern Tribe Counseling

Our friends at National Coalition for Sexual Freedom have declared that February 28th is Metamour Day. This is a day where we have an opportunity to recognize, honor and celebrate our metamour(s). In poly-amorous relationships, a metamour is the partner of one’s partner where there is no shared romantic experience. Metamours play an important role within the relationship structure. Often this person serves as an extension of the relationship and may fill the role of friend, confidant, co-parent, or another significantly role. This role can also be complicated by feelings surrounding the relationship itself. In most cases your partner chooses their partner, your metamour. This choice can result in a wide range of feelings from pleasure and joy to jealousy and confusion.

Delighting in Your Beloveds’ Other Lovers

on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Share the love on Metamour Day, February 28.

Psychology Today: The Polyamorists Next Door

By Elisabeth A. Sheff

Another home-made polyamorous word, metamour is the term for a partner’s partner. Your girlfriend’s sweetie or husband’s boyfriend is a metamour. As friends or chosen family members, metamours are linked through a polyamorous relationship but are not in a romantic relationship with each other. Rather, they are members of the same polycule (a family/small network of people united around a shared polyamorous relationship, not all of whom are lovers but share lovers in common) and hang out together to various degrees.

Psychology Today adds Non-monogamy and Kink to their Therapist Directory!

on Tuesday, 26 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

CNM Task Force
 
Some positive news to pass along from the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Taskforce. Dr. Heath Schechinger led an initiative to reach out to Psychology Today on behalf of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force about adding a CNM-inclusive category to their therapist locator directory since February 2018. Recently, he was informed that Psychology Today added "Open Relationships Non-Monogamy" as a searchable category on their find a therapist directory, making it easier to find a therapist who specializes in this area.
 
While the Taskforce does not know the specific influence Dr. Schechinger's correspondence had as there may have also been other allies requesting this change as well, they were informed that the Psychology Today leadership was made aware of their arguments and had been taking their request into consideration for some time. Psychology Today also made a number of other inclusive changes to their therapist directory, such as adding "Sex Positive, Kink Allied" as a searchable category as well.  
 
Dr. Schechinger remarked that, "This change feels like a historic moment and another poignant shift in our cultural acceptance of diverse forms of sexuality and relationships." He went on to state that, "The CNM Taskforce now has a team of seven on our Healthcare Provider Locator Campaign and having the largest therapist locator directory on board will make our requests to other provider directories much easier to make."
 
Therapists with a Psychology Today profile are encouraged to update the categories they hold training/expertise in order to help clients holding or exploring these identities to find you.
 
You can read more about the arguments that the Taskforce provided to Psychology Today on Dr. Heath Schechinger's blog: https://www.drheathschechinger.com/blog/cnm-on-healthcare-provider-directories  
 
If you happen to have contacts at any other healthcare provider directory, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as they are currently compiling directories and contacts.  
 
You can also access the Taskforce's resources, including brochures for your therapist and medical providers, as well as an inclusive practices tool for therapists on their website: https://www.div44cnm.org/resources  
 
A very sincere thanks is due to Dr. Amy Moors for providing feedback on drafts and strategy discussions along the way, as well as to Dr. Eli Sheff for putting the Taskforce in touch with a contact at Psychology Today.
 
NCSF is proud to support the efforts of the APA's Division 44 Non-Monogamy Taskforce!
 

It’s Not That Men Don’t Know What Consent Is

on Monday, 25 February 2019. Posted in Consent Counts, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The NY Times

In 2016, for instance, researchers at Confi, an online resource dedicated to women’s health issues, asked 1,200 college students and recent graduates nationwide what they would “expect to happen next” if they went home with someone whom they’d met and danced with at a party. Forty-five percent of the men considered vaginal intercourse “likely”; only 30 percent of the women did. The figures were similarly skewed for oral sex. Additionally, one in four men believed women “usually have to be convinced” in order for sex to happen (only about a tenth of the women agreed).

There's a dark side of polyamory that nobody talks about

on Saturday, 23 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Insider

"There's definitely an ongoing debate around whether or not hierarchy in relationships is ethical," she told INSIDER. "Can one person dictate what I am and what I'm allowed to do in another relationship? Is it possible to put caps on how close a person is allowed to get to another person? It starts to bring up a lot of these questions."

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Metamour Day is February 28th!

on Thursday, 21 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Metamour Day is meant to foster positive relationships between you and your metamours, whatever that might look like. It is not about forced compersion. It’s about communal appreciation within our family structures. Metamour Day is a celebration of the unique and special relationships between metamours.

Metamour Day

As society evolves and non-monogamy becomes more common, the traditional nuclear family structure is constantly being challenged. Metamours are often taking on important family roles such as cohabitators and parental figures.

Metamour Day 4

It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the special role a metamour has in your partners’ lives and tangentially (or directly) your own life. As a non-monogamous person, it is worthwhile to celebrate that relationship in order to continue to demonstrate the supportive and beneficial impact of non-monogamy on our lives.

Metamour Day 5

Please join the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom in celebrating this day on February 28!

Guest Blog: The Scottish Government is Gaslighting Us

on Tuesday, 19 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Tiro

Recently the Scottish government brought in a new domestic abuse law, along with the promise to provide training and support for everyone who might be faced with identifying victims of every form abuse can take. This law, which was passed by a near-total majority, is being heralded as a gold standard that should be a model for other countries legislatures to take from as they recognize the paucity of their existing definitions of domestic abuse.

The law expands the definition of domestic abuse. It includes:

“Behavior that is violent, threatening or intimidating

Behavior whose purpose is one of the following:

Making a partner dependent or subordinate
Isolating a partner from friends, relatives or other sources of support
Controlling, regulating or monitoring a partner’s day-to-day activities
Depriving a partner of, or restricting, freedom of action
Frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing a partner. (From the BBC)”


The text of the current law essentially makes my relationship illegal by omitting one key word: consent. Consent is not mentioned even once throughout all the law or any of the supporting documents. Without the provision that even some of these behaviors—as well as the fear and distress they can cause—listed above can be consensual, the law makes criminals out of even the most considered, mindful, carefully negotiated, and loving of power exchange dynamics.

There are now two criteria for determining whether the above behaviors are abusive. The first is whether the person doing them intended to cause physical or psychological harm or was reckless about whether they would cause such harm. Psychological harm is defined in the text of the law as, “fear, alarm, or distress”—again, no mention of consent or desire. The second is whether a reasonable person would consider the actions to be likely to cause physical or psychological harm.

This is a huge step forward in creating a safer climate for victims of abuse, but without any reference to consent in the text of the law or any of the surrounding guidelines, it opens the D/s community up to real dangers. Would a “reasonable person”—almost certainly a vanilla, monogamous person—think your relationship is abusive? Do you enjoy playing with fear and distress?

It only takes one malicious individual to call the police for a “wellness check” on a D/s relationship, and lives of everyone involved in it could be ruined. There would be nothing anyone could say that could help their case, not “we love each other,” “we’re happy,” “we deliberately created this relationship and negotiated every part of it,” “we’re sadists and masochists and we enjoy fear, alarm, and distress within the context of our relationship”—none of this would matter.

So why can’t I want someone to treat me like a slave? Why is it abusive even though I’m an educated, clear-minded man? Fear, alarm, and distress can all exist within the context of my D/s dynamic, as can coercion and control. I don’t feel like I’m being harmed or abused, but I’m sure many vanilla, monogamous people would disagree. It feels a lot like gaslighting: My consent to being treated this way isn’t important because nobody should want to be treated this way. And if I do, I’m not rational enough for my consent to count, and therefore, I really am being abused.

Let me be totally clear: Domestic abuse is a truly awful thing for anyone to experience or witness. Abuse of all kinds is possible in every kind of relationship, including power exchange, and the law should absolutely extend full protection to the victims of every kind of domestic abuse. Whether a particular behavior is abusive in BDSM, however, is sensitive to context. Thriving, happy D/s relationships can involve all of the behaviors on the list of psychological abuse, just as thriving SM relationships can involve behaviors that are legally classified as assault.

Sexual minorities, like people who live in power exchange relationships, need explicit consideration whenever new laws are developed. A healthy, secure relationship for us doesn’t look like it does for most people, so any test of abuse that focuses on what a “reasonable person” might think is automatically going to put us at an unjust disadvantage. The BDSM community in the UK shouldn’t allow itself to be labeled as a group of abusers and victims. We have to do more, as a community, to make our voices heard in the vanilla world. We need to be involved in the consultation process for laws that could harm us, as individual reasonable people and through activist groups. We can’t just assume that we’ll be fine so long as we stay behind closed doors; domestic abuse legislation is designed to open those doors.

Why Polyamory May Be The Future of Love

on Friday, 15 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Men's Health UK

The problem is that most of us are frightened of what we want – we attach shame to it, or we worry it might imperil the social structure. “It’s worth interrogating these questions: what do I desire? What do I want from my partner? You might find your relationship works well enough as it is – but a tiny thing might open it up into something unexpected. It might be even better than you could have imagined.”

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