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Love All: The Art Of Polyamory

on Sunday, 15 April 2018. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Vogue UK

Proper polyamory involves a lot of fiercely honest negotiations and tenderness for all concerned. I recently attended a conference where I fell into conversation with a married African-American arts practitioner from New York who professed himself polyamorous. We discussed the fact that a strong, long-lived partnership can often accommodate a lover better than lies, scorn or unkindness – provided a couple’s soul-bond is not threatened. I said I wasn’t sure about the term polyamory, which smacks too much of a formal movement to me – something you sign up to, like Scientology or the Lib Dems. My own sense of the matter was that quite a few couples in my circle had quietly evolved to a place where they could accommodate the occasional negotiated exception. “Say that again,” said my new artist friend, turning the phrase over. “Negotiated exceptions. Yeah, I like that.” I told him about two friends who got hitched in their forties, after previous marriages. They agreed early on that the chances of them being faithful “till death do us part” were negligible, so made a pact that if either ever felt tempted to stray they’d announce it at once. A decade later the wife started a side relationship with one of her spouse’s closest friends, which ran for several years. Meanwhile, neighbours and family had no clue. As the wife said to me, “You don’t open up about this sort of thing when you live in a village and do the flowers at your parish church. Devon isn’t Soho.”

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