Stanford Daily is #Polyglamorous

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“The Stanford Daily has been a fixture on the Stanford campus since the University was founded in 1892. The paper began as a small publication known to locals as The Daily Palo Alto and has grown to its current status as one of the finest college newspapers in the country.”

Here is a great article by Lily Zheng about her experience with polyamory and the importance of communication in all relationships.

Lily Zheng ’17 is the president of Kardinal Kink, an advocacy and support group for the kink community at Stanford. Kink is a broad term for non-traditional sexual activity.

When asked about her role and forgoing anonymity, she said, “A really good thing about being out is that by defying perceptions, I get to change those perceptions… If I don’t treat it as something different or scary or exotic, then people are more willing to talk about it.”

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Stanford Student, member of Kardinal Kink

According to an interview with Zheng, she acknowledged that being open about her kinkiness could impede her from running for office or even hurt her in some job applications. But she framed those limited drawbacks as a worthy sacrifice: “Do I want to get into a position to change society—which means not being out—or do I want to do a more grassroots [style] of organizing?”

Personally, I’m not worried about Zheng’s future ability to get a job. In this day and age, there will always be leaders who recognize her character. Her communication skills and openness are a rare trait that will make her a valuable teammate to any organization.

What’s funny (in her own words) is that communicating about things in a polyamorous relationship is “not a choice but a necessity.” This is great experience for anyone who wants to learn how to cooperate well with others. :)

If elite colleges are a nexus for future culture, I’m glad to know things are becoming more #polyglamorous.

Haircare – What To Use & Avoid

Bad hair day?

I spend more free time trying to maintain my hair than I would like to admit. As a model you come to terms with the fact you will never have really healthy hair, at least not without a lot of work. I cherish every moment someone is not pulling my follicles, gluing extensions into my scalp, or teasing the hell out of my hair.

You don’t have to be a fashion model in order for your hair to suffer–in fact, I know many people who style their hair (in their everyday life) way more than I do. Many of us benefit from some love of our hair, but what products are good for us? It’s difficult to orient oneself in the jungle of today’s haircare market, with throngs of products and unpronounceable ingredients on almost every bottle.

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I have used many luxurious hair care products, such as Kerastase and Redken, with extra nourishing and moisturizing hair treatments to repair the damage from my former bleached hair style. I would switch from brand to brand, looking for “the ultimate” hair saver.

I started paying more attention to the ingredient lists in my hair care products, because I don’t want to tox myself only to have to detox later. I did some research on what is good/bad for your hair, and I learned to avoid the following ingredients that are most detrimental:

  • SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (and other synthetic sulfates) - Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents , Irritants , Thickeners/Emulsifiers - function primarily as a surfactant (detergent) but can also be used as a skin–conditioning agent, emulsifier, and solvent. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is one of the most irritating cleansing agents used in skin (and hair) care products, as described by Paula’s Choice. SLS’s are the harshest ingredients in commercial shampoos, and should be the main ingredient to avoid.
  • Non-Water Soluble Silicones - if you see “methicone” “methiconol” in the ingredient list, you should either (1) avoid the product–those are non-water soluble and therefore build up, or (2) you need to use a cleansing shampoo in between uses. Silicones are not necessarily bad, but you have to account for them in your routine.

Picture-2386-1I recently tried WEN Cleansing Conditioner after a friend hair stylist recommended it to me. Wen is not really a shampoo- it cleanses your hair without harsh chemicals. it contains natural ingredients that gently dissolve excess oils, remove products and other buildup, without unnecessarily striping hair which makes your hair healthier, shinier, and less frizzy. I LOVE using Wen. It smells delicious like the fruitiest nectar; I even began to wonder if it tasted good (I used the fig version–DO NOT TASTE).

It’s worth noting I had to massage my scalp with it for quite some time, which is peaceful and relaxing (but not so good when you are pressed for time). I had a really good time tending my scalp with Wen, thinking of all the goodness happening to my hair, and enjoying a heavenly aromatherapy and a self-love massage. Wen made my hair super manageable, and combatted frizziness. The only problem I have with Wen is it contains amodimethicone, which is a non-water soluble silicone, and causes buildup over time if not properly treated.

Nowadays I like use Wen once or twice in a row, and then use non-SLS shampoo and conditioner such as Renpure Organics, which is a gentle haircare line containing the amazing argan oil, which is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree.  Sometimes I use only Renpure conditioner without shampoo (for example, after a gym session when I don’t really need to wash my hair yet, but want to refresh it). Surprisingly, if you do this your hair won’t end up greasy and limp.

Myths and Realities – Chapter Excerpt from The Ethical Slut

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THOSE WHO SET OFF down the path of exploring new kinds of relationships and new lifestyles often find themselves blocked by beliefs–about the way society should be, the way relationships should be, the way people should be–that are both deeply rooted and unexamined.

We have all been taught that one way of relating–lifelong monogamous heterosexual marriage–is the only right way. We are told that monogamy is “normal” and “natural”; if our desires do not fit into that constraint, we are morally deficient, psychologically disturbed, and going against nature.

Many of us feel instinctively that something is wrong with this picture. But how can you dig up and examine a belief that you don’t even know you hold? The ideal of lifelong monogamy as the only proper goal for relationships is so deeply buried in our culture that it’s almost invisible: we operate on these beliefs without even knowing we believe them. They’re under our feet all the time, the foundation for our assumptions, our values, our desires, our myths, our expectations. We don’t notice them until we trip over them.

Where did these beliefs get started? Often, they evolved to meet conditions that no longer exist. Our beliefs about traditional marriage date from agrarian cultures, where you made everything you ate or wore or used, where large extended families helped get this huge amount of work done so nobody starved, and where marriage was a working proposition. When we talk about “traditional family values,” this is the family we are talking about: an extended family of grandparents and aunts and cousins, an organization to accomplish the work of staying alive. We see large families functioning in traditional ways in America today, often in cultures recently transplanted form other countries, or as a basic support system among economically vulnerable urban or rural populations.

Curiously, controlling sexual behavior didn’t seem to be that important outside the propertied classes until the Industrial Revolution, which launched a whole new era of sex-negativity, perhaps because pf the rising middle class and the limited space for children in urban cultures. Doctors and ministers in the late eighteenth century began to claim that masturbation was unhealthy and sinful, that this most innocent of sexual outlets was dangerous to society–nineteenth-century childrearing manuals show devices to prevent babies from touching their genitals in their sleep. So any desire for sex, even with yourself, became a shameful secret.

But human nature will win out. We are horny creatures, and the more sexually repressive a culture becomes, the more outrageous its covert sexual thoughts and behaviors will become, as any fan of Victorian porn can attest.

In his lectures to young communists in Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, psychologist Wilhelm Reich theorized that the suppression of sexuality was essential to an authoritarian government. Without the imposition of antisexual morality, he believed, people would be free from shame and would trust their own sense of right and wrong. They would be unlikely to march to war against their wishes, or to operate death camps. Perhaps if we were raised without shame and guilt about our desires, we might be freer people in more ways than simply the sexual.

The nuclear family, which consists of parents and children relatively isolated from the extended family, is a relic of the twentieth-century middle class. Children no longer work on the farm or in the family business; they are raised almost like pets. Modern marriage is no longer essential for survival. Now we marry in pursuit of comfort, security, sex, intimacy, and emotional connection. The increase in divorce, so deplored by today’s religious right, may simply reflect the economic reality that today most of us can afford to leave relationships in which we are not happy; nobody will starve.

And still modern puritans, perhaps not yet ready to deal with the frightening prospect of truly free sexual and romantic choice, attempt to enforce the nuclear family and monogamous marriage by teaching sexual shame.

We believe that the current set of “oughta-be’s” and any other set, are cultural artifacts. We believe that Nature is wondrously diverse, offering us infinite possibilities. We would like to live in a culture that respects the choices made by sluts as highly as we respect the couple celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. (And, come to think of it, what makes us assume that such a couple is monogamous anyway?)

We are paving new roads across new territory. We have no culturally approved scripts for open sexual lifestyles; we need to write our own. To write your own script requires a lot of effort, and a lot of honesty, and is the kind of hard work that brings many rewards. You may find the right way for you, and three years from now decide you want to live a different way-and that’s fine. You write the script, you get to make the choices, and you get to change your mind, too.


EXERCISE Sluts We Know and Love - Make a list of all the people you can think of who are not monoga­mous, including characters from TV, movies, books, and so on. How do you feel a bout each of them? What can you learn (positive or negative) from him or her?


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 Judgements about Sluts

As you try to figure out your own path, you may encounter a lot of harsh judgments about the ways different people live. We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you that the world does not, for the most part, honor sluthood, or think well of those of us who are sexually explorative.

You will probably find some of these judgments in your own brain, burrowed in deeper than you ever realized. We believe that they say a lot more about the culture that promotes them than they do about any actual person, including you.

“PROMISCUOUS”

This means we enjoy too many sexual partners. We’ve also been called “indiscriminate” in our sexuality, which we resent: we can always tell our lovers apart.

We do not believe that there is such a thing as too much sex, except perhaps on certain happy occasions when our options exceed our abili­ties. Nor do we believe that the ethics we are talking about here have anything to do with moderation or abstinence. Kinsey once defined a “nymphomaniac” as “someone who has more sex than you” and, scientist that he was, demonstrated his point with statistics.

Is having less sex somehow more virtuous than having more? We think not. We measure the ethics of good sluts not by the number of their partners, but by the respect and care with which they treat them.

“AMORAL”

Our culture also tells us that sluts are evil, uncaring, amoral, and destructive: Jezebel, Casanova, Don Juan. The mythological evil slut is grasping and manipulative, seeking to steal something-virtue, money, self-esteem-from his partners. In some ways, this archetype is based on the idea that sex is a commodity, a coin you trade for something else-stability, children, a wedding ring-and that any other transac­tion constitutes being cheated and betrayed.

We have rarely observed any Jezebels or Casanovas in our com­munity, but perhaps it is not very satisfying for a thief to steal what is freely given. We do not worry about being robbed of our sexual value by the people we share pleasure with.

“SINFUL”

Some people base their sense of ethics on what they’ve been told that God, or their church, or their parents, or their culture, believes to be okay or not okay. They believe that being good consists of obedience to laws set down by a power greater than themselves.

Religion, we think, has a great deal to offer to many people­ the comfort of faith and the security of community among them. But believing that God doesn’t like sex, as many religions seem to, is like believing that God doesn’t like you. Because of this belief, a tre­mendous number of people carry great shame for their own perfectly natural sexual desires and activities.

We prefer the beliefs of a woman we met, a devoted churchgoer in a fundamentalist faith. She told us that when she was about five years old, she discovered the joys of masturbation in the back seat of the family car, tucked under a warm blanket on a long trip. It felt so won­derful that she concluded that the existence of her clitoris was proof positive that God loved her.

“PATHOLOGICAL”

When psychological studies of human behavior came into vogue in the late nineteenth century, Krafft-Ebing and Freud attempted to create more tolerance by theorizing that sluts are not bad but sick, suffering from psychopathology that is not their fault, since their neurosis derives from having their sexuality warped by their parents during their toilet training. So, they said, we should no longer burn sluts at the stake but instead send them to mental hospitals to be cured, in an environment that permits no sexual expression at all, healthy or otherwise.

During your authors’ childhood and adolescence in the early 1 960s, it was common practice to certify and incarcerate adolescents for “treat­ment” of the “illness” of being sexual, especially if they were gay or lesbian, or female and in danger of damaging their market value as virgins. This sort of thing still takes place more often than you might think. More recently we hear about sex addicts, avoidance of intimacy, commitment-phobia, and attachment disorders. These terms were cre­ated to describe genuine problems, but they are far too often used as weapons in a moral war against all sexual freedom.

The whole idea of sex addiction is a controversial one: many people feel that the word “addiction” is not well suited to discussing behavioral issues like sex. However, everybody seems to agree that substituting sex for fulfillment of other needs-to allay anxiety, for instance, or bolster sagging self-esteem-represents a problem.

Only you can decide whether your sexual behaviors have become compulsive and whether you wish to change them. Some people try to validate their sexual attractiveness over and over, using sex as constant reassurance because they do not see themselves as inherently attractive or lovable. Sex can be used as a substitute for connection. Sex can be the only coin valuable enough to attract attention and approval.

Some twelve-step groups and therapists who subscribe to the addic­tion model may try to tell you that anything but the most conservative of sexual behaviors is wrong, or unhealthy, or “into your addiction”; we encourage you to trust your own beliefs and find yourself a sup­portive environment. Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous encourage you to define the healthy sex life you want for yourself. If your goal is monogamy, that’s fine, and if your goal is to stop seeking sex in the place of friendship, or any other behavior pat­tern that you wish to resculpt, that’s fine too. We do not believe that successfully recovering sex addicts have to be monogamous unless they want to be.

“EASY”

Is there, we wonder, some virtue in being difficult?

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Artist: Tim Mietty

Myths about Sluts

One of the challenges facing the ethical slut is our culture’s insistence that, simply because “everybody knows” something, it must obviously be true. We urge you to regard with great skepticism any sentence that begins “Everybody knows that … ” or “Common sense tells us that … ” or “It’s common knowledge that … ” Often, these phrases are sign­posts for cultural belief systems that may be antisexual, monogamy­ centrist, and/or codependent. Questioning “what everybody does” can be difficult and disorienting, but we have found it to be rewarding: questioning is the first step toward generating a new paradigm, your own paradigm of how you ought to be.

Cultural belief systems can be very deeply rooted in literature, law, and archetypes, which means that shaking them from your own per­sonal ethos can be difficult. But the first step in exploring them is, of course, recognizing them. Here, then, are some of the pervasive myths that we have heard all our lives and have come to understand are most often untrue and destructive to our relationships and our lives.

MYTH #1: LONG-TERM MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE ONLY REAL RELATIONSHIPS

Lifetime monogamy as an ideal is a relatively new concept in human history and makes us unique among primates. There is nothing that can be achieved within a long-term monogamous relationship that can not be achieved without one. Business partnership, deep attachment, stable parenting, personal growth, care and companionship in old age are all well within the abilities of the slut.

People who believe this myth may feel that something is wrong with them if they aren’t in a committed twosome-if they prefer to remain free agents, if they discover themselves loving more than one person at a time, if they have tried one or more traditional relationships that didn’t work out. Instead of questioning the myth, they question them­selves: Am I incomplete? Where is my other half? The myth teaches them that they are not good enough in and of themselves. Often people develop a very unrealistic view of couplehood–Mr. or Ms. Right will automatically solve all their problems, fill all the gaps, make their lives complete.

A subset of this myth is the belief that if you’re really in love, you will automatically lose all interest in others; thus, if you’re having sexual or romantic feelings toward anyone but your partner, you’re not really in love. This belief has cost many people a great deal of happiness through the centuries yet is untrue to the point of absurdity: a ring around the finger does not cause a nerve block to the genitals.

And, we must ask, if monogamy is the only acceptable option, the only true form of love, than are these agreements genuinely consensual? We have many friends who have chosen to be monogamous, and we applaud them. But how many people in our society consciously make that choice?

MYTH #2: ROMANTIC LOVE IS THE ONLY REAL LOVE

Look at the lyrics of popular songs, or read some classical poetry: the phrases we choose to describe romantic love don’t really sound all that pleasant. Crazy in love, love hurts, obsession, heartbreak … these are all descriptions of mental or physical illness.The thing that gets called romantic love in this culture seems to be a heady cocktail of lust and adrenaline, sparked by uncertainty, insecurity, perhaps even anger or danger. The chills up the spine that we recognize as passion are, in fact, the same physical phenomenon as hair rising up on a cat’s back and are caused by the fight-or-flight response.This kind of love can be thrilling and overwhelming and sometimes a hell of a lot of fun, but it is not the only “real” kind of love, nor is it always a good basis for an ongoing relationship. Yet as George Bernard Shaw famously remarked, “When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.”

MYTH #3: SEXUAL DESIRE IS A DESTRUCTIVE FORCE

This one goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and leads to a lot of crazy-making double standards. Some religions appear to believe that women’s sexuality is evil and dangerous, and exists only to lure men to their doom. From the Victorian era, we get the idea that men are hopelessly voracious and predatory when it comes to sex, and women are supposed to control and civilize them by being pure, asexual, and withholding-men are the gas pedal and women the brakes, which is, we think, pretty hard on the engine. Neither of these works for us. Many people also believe that unashamed sexual desire, particularly desire for more than one person, inevitably destroys the family–yet we suspect that far more families have been destroyed by bitter divorces over adultery than have ever been disturbed by ethical consensual non monogamy.

MYTH #4: LOVING SOMEONE MAKES IT OKAY TO CONTROL HIS OR HER BEHAVIOR

This kind of territorial reasoning is designed, we guess, to make people feel secure, but we don’t believe that anybody has the right, much less the obligation. to control the behavior of another functioning adult.

Being treated according to this myth doesn’t make us feel secure, it makes us feel furious. The old “awww, she’s jealous-she must really care about me” reasoning, or the scene in which the girl falls in love with the boy when he punches out a rival suitor, are symptomatic of a very disturbed set of personal boundaries that can lead to a great deal of unhappiness.

This myth also leads to the belief, so often promulgated in Holly­wood films and popular literature, that sleeping with someone else is something you do to your partner, not for yourself, and is, moreover, the very worst thing you can do to someone. For many years, in New York State, adultery was the only legally acceptable grounds for divorce, leaving those who had unfortunately married batterers or drunks in a very difficult position. And the legal punishment for “cheating” could be to lose one’s job, home, money, and kids, because of the wounding to the “betrayed” partner-that is, if you got caught. So one was sup­posed to cheat in secrecy to protect one’s partner’s dignity and keep the family together.

MYTH #5: JEALOUSY IS INEVITABLE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME

Jealousy is, without a doubt, a very common experience, so much so that a person who doesn’t experience jealousy is looked at as a bit odd, or in denial. But often a situation that would cause intense jealousy for one person can be no big deal for another. Some people get jealous when their honey takes a sip out of someone else’s Coke, others happily watch their beloved wave bye-bye for a month of amorous sporting with a friend at the far end of the country.

Some people also believe that jealousy is such a shattering emotion that they have no choice but to succumb to it. People who believe this often believe that any form of non monogamy should be nonconsensual and completely secret, in order to protect the “betrayed” partner from having to feel such an impossibly difficult emotion.

On the contrary, we have found that jealousy is an emotion like any other: it feels bad (sometimes very bad), but it is not intolerable. We have also found that many of the “oughta-be’s” that lead to jealousy can be unlearned and that unlearning them is often a useful process. Later in this book, we will spend a lot more time talking about jealousy and the strategies many people have successfully employed to cope with it.

MYTH #6: OUTSIDE INVOLVEMENTS REDUCE INTIMACY IN THE PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP

Most marriage counselors, and certain popular TV psychologists, believe when a member of an otherwise happy couple has an “affair,” this must be a symptom of unresolved conflict or unfulfilled needs that should be dealt with in the primary relationship. Of course, this is occasionally true, but not nearly as often as many “relationship gurus” would like us to believe. Moreover, this myth leaves no room for the possibility of growthful and constructive open sexual lifestyles.

It is cruel and insensitive to interpret an affair as a symptom of sickness in the relationship, as it leaves “cheated-on” partners-who may already be feeling insecure-to wonder what is wrong with them. Meanwhile, “cheating” partners get told that they are only trying to get back at their primary partners and don’t really want, need, or even like their lovers.

Many people have sex outside their primary relationships for reasons that have nothing to do with any inadequacy in their partner or in the relationship. The new relationship may simply be a natural extension of an emotional and/or physical attraction to someone besides the primary partner. Or perhaps this outside relationship allows a particular kind of intimacy that the primary partner doesn’t even want (such as kinky sex or going to football games) and thus constitutes a solution for an otherwise insoluble conflict. Or perhaps it meets other needs-like a need for uncomplicated physical sex without the trappings of relation­ship, or for sex with someone of a gender other than one’s partner’s, or for sex at a time when it is otherwise not available (during travel or a partner’s illness, for example).

An outside involvement does not have to subtract in any way from the intimacy you share with your partner unless you let it. And we sincerely hope you won’t.

MYTH #7: LOVE CONQUERS ALL

Hollywood tells us that “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” and we, fools that we are, believe it. This myth has it that if you’re really in love with someone, you never have to argue, disagree, communicate, negotiate, or do any other kind of work. It also tells us that love means we automatically get turned on by our beloved and that we never have to lift a finger or make any effort to deliberately kindle passion. Those who believe this myth may find themselves feeling that their love has failed every time they need to schedule a discussion or to have a courteous (or not-so-courteous) disagreement. They may also believe that any sexual behavior that doesn’t fit their criteria for “normal” sex–from fantasies to vibrators–is “artificial” and indicates that something is lacking in the quality of love.


EXERCISE Why Sluthood? Why Not? – Write a list of every reason you can think of that any person anywhere might want to be a slut. You can do this on your own, or with a friend or a lover. Which of these tell you what kind of slut you don’t want to be? Which of these are your very good and valid reasons?


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Jana Knauerova S91 - 492

Evolution of a (Fashion) Model

When you start your career as a fashion model, you usually know what the industry likes about you most. It is either your agent who tells you right away, or you will learn on jobs.

Maybe you have a perfectly symmetrical face…

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Kate Moss

…long legs…

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Hana Soukupova

… sort of have it all…

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Gisele Bundchen

… or as for me: eyebrows. Besides having it all. ;D

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Jana Kaye by Gustavo Papaleo

I started modeling in 2006, when I was 17. I was born in a little city, Lovosice, Czech Republic. I was never really exposed to the big world of fashion before I started modeling. I submitted an online application to an agency in Prague, with which I signed a contract. (more…)

An Affront to Love, French-Style – NYTimes.com

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image source huffingtonpost

Here is an old link to an amazing New York Times article on love and marriage.

The Locks on Paris’s Bridges Represent a Misunderstanding – NYTimes.com.

Who knew, the New York Times is also a little #polyglamorous?!

Modern Love Songs

If art is a creative expression of the human experience, what are some of the things pop culture is trying to tell us?

It Should Be Easy - Britney Spears

Love feels good. It should be easy, right? Why isn’t it?

You bring me zen
Yes, you bring me zen
You make me feel like a million, billion
I’ll let you in
But don’t you break my heart
Don’t you rip me apart, no, don’t you rip me apart

[Hook]
Baby, love, it should be easy
It shouldn’t be complicated
It should be easy
I don’t know how else to say it, say it, say it, say it

Black Widdow - Iggy Azalea

Is this a familiar story?

This twisted cat and mouse game always starts the same
First we’re both down to play then somehow you go astray
We went from nothing to something, liking to loving
It was us against the world and now we just fucking
It’s like I loved you so much and now I just hate you
Feeling stupid for all the time that I gave you
I wanted all or nothing for us ain’t no place in between
By-by me believing what you say that you never mean
Like it’ll last forever but now forever ain’t as long
If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be stuck singing this song
You were different from my last but now you got it mirrored
And as it all plays out I see it couldn’t be clearer
Now sing (more…)

How We Became Polyamorous

Well first, we met.

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#Polyglamorous bloggers Jules Hamilton and Jana Kaye

We became friends after a job together March 8th, 2011 modeling for Vman, April 1st we first kissed.

Which happened after I saw these photos:

As I write this blog post, seeing these images together reminds me of a high fashion femme American Psycho. I guess that is because they seem erratic. However, Jana and I are anything but that.

Jana had just left a four-year relationship. I had had five, year or more longterm relationships. I had recently become single, and was a serial monogamist trying to live up to the ideal of my parents (who have been happily together for over 30 years).

We started dating, and things moved quickly. A couple of weeks later, we lived together– next door to my parents.

I heard some jokes at NYU that Jana and I looked like the same person. My father concurred and said we looked like a frightening android couple from Blade Runner. Sometimes when we walked into a room together, he would jump as if startled.

After Jana and I had been together for a year, I couldn’t find any problems with her or the relationship. I couldn’t figure out why the idea of spending the rest of my life with her terrified me. Wasn’t this what I was supposed to want? I thought I was supposed to find the ideal partner, marry and lock-up, and then I’d be all set.

My eyes wandered, and my mind started to invent problems; for a moment I tried to convince myself Jana moved too slowly– but quickly recognized that wasn’t actually a problem– and that the problem was with me. I started asking myself: am I a bad person? Am I fucked up? Is there something wrong with me? Then I realized– there is nothing wrong with me, there is something wrong with the cultural storyline I’ve been fed.

Then I started paying attention to more information I had previously encountered.

A couple of friends of mine, referencing The Moral Animaltold me they didn’t believe in monogamy. This was something I had heard times before, but previously ignored. An ex-gf of mine, someone I dated for a year, told me at the end of our relationship that she didn’t believe in monogamy anymore (at the time, this really upset me). A couple of weeks later, her parents (married around 20 years) announced they were getting divorced. I also remember reading in a high school text book that monogamy was a cultural construct (stemming from religious tradition) to be endured for child rearing and to safeguard against jealousy.

This was the limit of what I roughly knew before I started seriously reading about the brain, human nature, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, and society.

This was a touchy subject, and I was unsure how to voice myself. I started talking with Jana about my friends who didn’t believe in monogamy. Her reaction was negative and jokingly told me to stop hanging out with them, but I defended my friends without agreeing with them. I told her quite honestly, I didn’t know what I thought. I told her they recommended me a book called The Moral Animal and that I might read it.

The Moral Animal

Keep in mind, Jana and I were already avid readers. We both read the following titles before ever reading The Moral Animal:

- How We Know What Isn’t So

- Why People Believe Weird Things

- The Believing Brain

These books provide credible information, focusing on skepticism as a mental safeguard to erroneous patternicity (“the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise”).

Equally equipped with common books about how to sift through information, we weighed and considered the questions at hand. We could speak in sync together about hard topics without speaking passed each other, anchored with common language helpful for communication.

When Jana first saw The Moral Animal in the house, she looked at the book as if it were a criminal intruder trying to take her boyfriend away. She eyed me like a hawk as a I read it. The moment I put it down, she picked it up, needing to know what was just put into my head.

After she read it, she said thoughtfully: “You know, this book raises some very good points.”

That was still just the beginning. We had started a dialogue about monogamy and non-monogamy and possible options. We didn’t rush into anything, because we didn’t want to negatively disrupt our emotional bond. When we opened the relationship, we eased into things and never stopped communicating.

It was difficult at first, because we were slowly becoming used to emotional stressors that we had never encountered. Many things are hard at first, but become very rewarding and much easier as time passes with practice.

I remember giving Jana a lot of extra attention when I saw someone else for the first time. Of course, she needed to know I was emotionally available for her– and I wanted her to feel safe and loved. At first, I wanted our open relationship to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but Jana disagreed and wanted the ability to receive and share all details. So we agreed to that.

I remember the first time Jana told me she had slept with someone else. It was with someone she had known for a while, and seemed to really like. She was a little graphically specific (I think to test me). I felt a wave of adrenaline and endorphins surge through my entire body. The only comparable time I felt such a rush was right before I jumped out of a plane for the first time. I interpreted it as my body saying “Danger! You are about to jump out of a plane!” or “Danger! You might lose your girl!” I realized my reaction would determine our ability to continue, but it wasn’t hard to control myself. In actuality, I didn’t feel betrayed. She hadn’t done anything wrong– and I was just able to examine the emotion I was experiencing and immediately self-reflect what it was telling me to do. Which was to hold on to her! So that’s what I moved to do as I embraced her.

In truth, opening our relationship has made us both very happy and eager to continue. We are not each other’s property, and genuinely want each other to be happy. We believe in nurturing the opposite of jealousy (“compersion,” happiness for someone else’s happiness).

We also read Sex at Dawn, The Ethical Slut, and Opening Up for our relationship development.  Of course we continue to communicate.

If you love someone set them free, and if they love you they will come back to you.

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We were there: Jeff Koons for H&M, pre-opening event!

Polyglamorous was at the pre-opening H&M event at the company’s Fifth avenue Flagship store with select art of Jeff Koons exhibited. It was an eagerly awaited event by all fashion insiders: the very first time the global brand has collaborated with an artist, rather than a high-fashion designer.

Jeff Koons is best known for his “public sculptures, such as the monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992), shown at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao. Another floral sculpture, Split-Rocker (2000), previously installed at the Papal Palace in Avignon, Château de Versailles, and Fondation Beyeler Basel, is currently on view at Rockefeller Center (through September 12, 2014).”

“His Celebration sculptures were the subject of exhibitions on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.” (Read more)

Between June 27 – October 19, 2014, Whitney Museum will host “JEFF KOONS: A RETROSPECTIVE,” the largest exhibit of Koons’ work in New York yet. Polyglamorous will report!

For those from Europe, the exhibition will afterwards move to Paris (Musée national d’art moderne, November 26, 2014–April 27, 2015), and finally to the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 5–September 27, 2015).

Yesterday at the exclusive opening party, I was not only able to get some cool new clothes and jewelry, but I got my very own Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog Handbag.

jkbagFortnuately it is much more affordable than one of his Balloon Dogs. ;)

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons’ big orange dog was purchased for $58.4 million.

If you have a chance, you should visit the largest H&M Flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street and check out the exhibition and the newest clothes!

xo Jana

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