Atlanta Poly Weekend 2016 by the Numbers

Atlanta Poly Weekend was held a few weeks ago. A great time was had by all. Many new faces, lots of returning friends.
I was grateful to be included not only as a staff member this year but additionally as a presenter. 2 gave solo classes, 1 joint class and was on a panel discussion.
I gave a class on the struggles that we can face in hierarchy set relationships and how to navigate around them as well as strategies for avoiding them all together. My second class was abut coming out. Who, why, what, and when.
Both classes were well attended and I had a very fun and open group of people that shared a lot of experiences.

The joint class I gave was with co creator Rose Hagalaz. She and I had an idea for a discussion about the generational gap in the greater non-monogamy movement and what the driving force behind it is. We came away with a great deal of input, knowledge and some reassuring of our own thoughts. But the biggest point that we made and others agreed with was that we should be working to unite the different relationship styles, discuss our commonalities and where we can work together. Not pushing each other away because we have different philosophies.

My panel discussion on the Poly in the Media with Co-panelists, Tikva Wolf and Joreth, was really big. It had a great turn out (about 20 folks) and we had a wonderful time discussing and chatting different media coverage. How to protect ones self in the media, and from the media. We all shared experiences and watched a few videos to compare how the media can spin your story.

My Coming out class was the best one yet.  I say that every time but really, it gets better each and every time I give it.  This particular time after the class I had a person come up and discuss with me the desire to come out to her children as she no longer wants to hide her true self from them.  This was a great moment in my teaching times… I inspired a person to take a leap and act on something I had taught. And thats all it takes for me, is if one person walks away with one thing that I said and it inspires them to do one thing in their life that helps them my class was a success.  I will soon be making a list of techniques for coming out to folks but in the mean time should anyone need help talking to a loved one,  there is a book out now called “When Someone you love is Polyamorous.”  Its a fairly basic info book to give to them or read with them so they can have a better understanding and develop questions.

My other class was “There is no Winning in Polyamory” I may tweak the title of this one as it evolves.  It was an early morning class and was only attended by a handful of folks.  We did get to discuss the topic in a free form manner and bounce ideas around about what hierarchy is, how it is sometimes done in an unethical manner and how to avoid that. We concluded that relationships are more positive and healthy when they are  prescriptive rather than descriptive.  Descriptive relationships take away the agency of the individuals and allow for social scripting and expectations to drive the relationships.  Prescriptive relationships give the individuals the power and information they need to build the relationship together, making it more fulfilling for them.  Just a thought.

Other happenings at APW 2016:  The hotel was new.  A last minuet sale by the previous property management group forced the directors to find a new venue with only 45 days remaining in their  prep time.  KUDOS to the Sheraton Atlanta Downtown for working with the directors and assisting with hosting their wonderful event on such short notice.  If you haven’t been this hotel is beautiful. Its all been recently renovated and it really is a nice hotel.
By the numbers APW 2016 looked like this:
Total Attendees- 226 (thats up in attendance from last year by 34 people I think. )
Presenters: 30, Staff: 15,Merchants: 7,Volunteers: 2,Sponsors: 2,Community Organizations: 10, Hotel Room Nights 101, Hospitality suites 2.

Atlanta Poly Weekend again supported Lost N Found Youth of Atlanta with a charity auction.   Relationship Equality Foundation, APW host organization,  Matched the first $1000.00 and a total donation of over $2400.00 was made to the organization.

Next years dates have been announced along with a brand new website design for Atlanta Poly Weekend June 2-4, 2017 Again will be hosted at the Sheraton Atlanta Downtown.  Current registration is $50.00 for adults.  Pricing will increase to $75.00 as the event gets closer. Make sure you get your tickets soon!  I hope to see you there in 2017!

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You Me Her- Wrap Up Post

Ok so we had 10 episodes of this amazing show that brought to light Polyamory in one of its many forms.
Overall I give the show 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I think the show did what it had to in order to make the concept entertaining, but also it kept an element of realism to the show.

My biggest problem came in the final episode.   I am not sure if I have ever known anyone to actually chase someone to the airport.  It seemed to clash a bit with the way the show handled the realism of polyamory earlier in the season.   Most polyamorists, would have respected Izzy’s choice to go home and sort out life.  Maybe they would have called to say, they did have feelings for the person etc….  Reason being polyamory is all about personal autonomy and respecting others choices.  Freely accepting what is freely given.

What I foresee happening in a relationship such as this is, that the 3 will continue to have problems as they do not have a strong communication style between the 3 of them.  They are operating on assumptions and experiences that apply to monogamous relationships .  not those of multiple person intimate relationships.   They seriously need to be honest and open about all the emotions they are having,  not just with each other, but also with everyone else.  (Including their therapist)  Lying to their therapist only undermines their own progress.

Now the good.    The show did take a lot of time showing interactions with the 3 of them that were natural, loving, kind and caring.  They really do seem like 3 people in love. They did show some very basic communication stuff in poly situations.   They addressed jealousy, envy, fear, acceptance, hesitation,   The show tackled and brought to light a lot of issues in the poly community. Couple privilege, unicorn hunting, acceptance and rejection by friends and family, social stigma and fears…. all things that almost all poly people deal with on a daily basis.

So Kudos to Creator: John Scott Shepherd Stars:  Greg Poehler, Rachel Blanchard, Priscilla Faia  and all the rest of the cast and crew for putting together a fairly accurate representation of ONE style of Polyamory. 

Season 2?

Catching up- You Me Her.

Hiya folks,

First, let me apologize for my absence.  Life has been pretty busy the last few weeks.  I am preparing to take and pass the CAPM exam this Friday.  Additionally,  Atlanta Poly Weekend is right around the corner and its all hands on deck planning team for that.  Also I have a family that wants to see  me and I need some me time every now and then.

Speaking of ME time looks like that’s what Izzy is going to be doing ….

So recapping quickly if you aren’t current,  Izzy went to Jack and Emma’s to try and patch things up from the whole bit where she scared the crap out of them emotionally.   ANd ends up doing it again.

Izzy,  who is truly head over heals in NRE with Jack and Emma,  is exhibiting classic NRE behavior or reading a lot into what’s happening, moving with emotions and not thinking through her actions.  And Jack and Emma,  being more seasoned in the long term relationship application of principles, seem to be moving with a fun and logical approach (in their eyes) to the decisions,  EVEN though those decisions do not take Izzy’s feelings into account. They don’t see that.  Until it’s too late and Izzy is hurt. They are confused.  And everything is upside down again.   This is where/how it becomes problematic in Poly relationships.  I think the show gets this right.

Izzy has been hurt a few times in quick succession and is scared that she is making huge mistakes that will end up ruining her life.  What’s a person to do?  Go Home.  Yep back to the safety of Mom and look for the guidance that was there as a child.   I understand this response.  There were many times in early poly days I wished I could run away from it all and find wisdom…..  But I didn’t have anywhere to run.  Izzy at least has a safe harbor to return to, clear her head, and then decide if this really is something she wants to pursue.

This show really highlights a phenomenon that happens a lot in the Poly community.  Where a couple has one set of expectations and a 3rd person comes in and has a different set of expectations. ANd the couple is looking out for the couple’s best interest (jobs, community standing, peer acceptance, etc)  and the 3rd individual just wants to be a part of something that they feel is really satisfying. In real life it isn’t always as fast a 7 days like it is in the show, although I have seen it move that quickly.

There is a lot of growth from this in the poly community as of late .  The focus is moving from couple centric thinking and practice to  an individuals right to choose what is best for themself.  In doing so it is really helping to circumvent some of the problems that come into poly relationships with regard to hierarchy and power exchange.

I kinda wish they had more time to put into the show to highlight the resolutions styles that the people are using.  But hey its a first season sitcom,  what can I expect.  A LOT more communication takes place than what they are able to show in the time they have allowed.  And sometimes, its not as pretty as TV would depict it.  Don’t get me wrong, this show isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs, however,  conversations go more like “The Morning After” a lot more frequently than one would think.  ESPECIALLY early in the relationship building period.

I want to bring to light one thing that I haven’t touched on yet… Jack and Emma,  they still have the same problem they had before Izzy came into the picture.   Granted they are having sex,  but they didn’t do anything to FIX that problem… All they did was introduce a distraction from that problem.  ANd that is how they are treating Izzy as well, as a distracting, treatment for an underlying issue that they both are contributing to.  Polyamory, is NOT a cure for a hurting relationship.  I think Jack and Emma have some personal issues that they need to work on before they can be individually healthy enough to move into a full Poly relationship.  Jack is insecure and unsure of himself,  Emma feels alone and without support from her partner of many years.
IN MY OPINION.  Relationship problems = People Problems.  I don’t care what kind of relationship one is in….. If it has issues, problems or isn’t working the way it was when you started,  and nothing has changed,  may want to take a deeper look into ones self,  chances are you will find where that change occurred inside.

Only one episode is left in this season and we haven’t heard if there will be a second season or not.  I’m really looking forward to seeing it.  its going to really sum up my whole thought process on this show.  Up to this point I really think the show has done a fairly accurate representation of how ONE style of Polyamory is initiated.  Something to remember is that there is no one true way for polyamory.  There isnt a cookie cutter design.  Polyamory is best practiced as individuals making connections with other individuals.  Even if those individuals are in other coupled or non coupled relationships.

Thanks to John Scott Shepherd  for putting together a great show. And also for mentioning my reviews in an interview.  I am happy to provide feedback and glad you like what you are hearing.  Also thank to the YOU ME Her Social media team for engaging with us on twitter and facebook.  I look forward to getting my umbrella soon!   I wish there was more time to get you all to come to Atlanta Poly Weekend this year.

Atlanta Poly Weekend 2016 ( Preview)

Well, its that time of year again.  In just 2 weeks Atlanta Poly Weekend 2016 will be taking over its new hotel home.  Yep , if you hadn’t heard they are moving to a new venue this year.  The new home for #APW2016 is the Sheraton Downtown Atlanta ! APW is excited for this move as it indicates growth, change, and expansion.

Along with the new hotel,  lots of other new things are happening this year, the most presenters they have ever had, 30 as well as, the most new presenters they have ever had, 18!  That’s over 50% NEW FACES teaching classes.  But of course they brought back your favorites from previous years. Some of the presenters listed include, Tikva Wolf (Kimchi Cuddles) Dr. Eli Sheff, Joreth, Bettie Bullet, Amanda Anatra, Ricci Levy, and  myself.
Classes this year have been extended to 1 hour 30 minuets, so plan accordingly. They will have a 15 minuet break between classes that should help with restroom times and stretching the legs.

New events happening this year include a Pool Party (pack your swim suit) in place of a dance.  Organizers have said the dance has been poorly attended in years past so they wanted to try something new.  The Pool party will be on Friday Night from 7-10Pm.  Make sure you are there for all the fun! Also this year brings back the loved game of Match Game against Humanity.   This  is a mash-up of the traditional Match Game, and CAH, where the staff choose the Black cards out of a deck of CAH for the questions,  and the panelists answer with their own made up white card answers. It is a lot of fun.  Not one for the kiddos though.

Classes look really interesting this year, as usual.  APW really prides itself on not only the amount of classes they offer, but the quality as well.  With classes ranging on topic feom Asexuality, to Yoga, to communication and coming out,  you name it I think they have it covered.  With this year a night time Adult track of topics restricted to 18+ years old.  See the full line up and descriptions here .

In addition to all the new programming that APW has this year, never before have this many community organizations been represented at APW.  over 12 different organizations have come out already to support this wonderful event.  They include, Relationship Equality Foundation, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, NCSF, Atlanta Poly, AID Atlanta, Lost n Found Youth, Relate Con, and several more.  Its amazing to see this much support for the event that started so humbly 6 years ago in the basement of  a hotel.

With all this awesome going on, I ask you will I see you there?  If you have not already bought your tickets,  go now and get them HERE Badges are only $60.00 per adult. Meet some of the best presenters, activist and advocates in the Poly Community,  learn skills and expand your minds view on different topics, make new friends,  but most importantly, have a good time.
Ill see you June 3-5 2016 at Atlanta Poly Weekend!

Leadership, Education, and how we are seen.

Had a few thoughts today on Polyamory leadership, teaching, and the way educators are viewed by those who they teach. As well as a nugget of thought I have been mulling around. And this probably applies to many areas of instruction, however, since I am a poly educator, I will stick to my own yard.

1> Poly educators have it all figured out and don’t make mistakes.They have perfect poly lives.  And all the answers. 
In reality, We make as many mistakes as others or already have made the mistakes we are teaching about. We teach the lessons we learned to hopefully give others the foresight to avoid it or at least see it coming and how to navigate through it. We aren’t Preventative Maintenance technicians.

2> Poly leaders / educators are sometimes seen as “Great wise people on the mountain”.
In reality, we are normal folks, we have not been gifted this great knowledge from on high. Most, if not all, of what we know we lived. We screwed up, and we learned from it. Knowledge is knowing what you did, Wisdom is not repeating the mistake. Some of us have a greater desire to learn new and challenging concepts.  Others just wing it.  Some of us read all the books as they come out, others of us just try to live our live as authentically as we can.  There are many guides to poly/ non-monogamy,  but there is no one true way to get it right.  But there are lots of really easy ways to screw it up.

3 Poly problems = (typically) People Problems. Many times I hear people say… ” Poly didnt work out for me because I/they was/were too jealous”
Here’s the deal, If a person has people problems, (Here is the really important part) AND THEY DONT ACKNOWLEDGE AND WORK ON BEING A BETTER PERSON> they will have a much harder time in not only Poly relationships, but also mono and non romantic relationships in general.
My poly life got better when I addressed the issues I was facing internally.

Finally I want to close with a word of advice for those who may be looking at going to classes….  If you haven’t ever heard of the person presenting , do your homework on them.  Look them up on the web, ask other poly people if they have heard of them.  There are more and more people getting into teaching classes as ” experts”  Im not an Expert on polyamory.  Dont claim to be.  People have called me one, but I am not.   An expert is someone who knows everything about a particular topic/subject.  I dont believe such a thing can exist in polyamory.  There are too many styles of relationships.

YouMeHer Ep. 4 Check a Box

Episode 4 of YouMeHer, Check a Box was another good one.  Really insightful into what happens to Poly people when their mono friends find out that they are having relationships beyond the “approved societal standards” .  All 3 characters end up in conversations with their friends and neighbors about how “this” is going to ruin the marriage, or in the case of Izzy, end up with”someone getting hurt, most likely you (Izzy)”.

The episode opens with Jack and Emma having some pretty incredible sex.  They actually talk about what is and isn’t working, what positions feel the best and not so good.  Really good sex positive example.  Then Emma asks,  “What got into you? We were damn Sexy!”  Then asks, “What if it is all Izzy?”  Jack replies,  “It’s not all Izzy, its us.”
Jack’s neighbor Dave, (Ennis Esmer) who has NEVER once asked Jack to  do anything on a personal level, asks Jack to meet him for coffee.They have an exchange of … awkward hints at the subject while walking down a path.
Jack breaks it with, “You do know, I know you know , right?”  The tension eases as he relaxes .  Jack asks “What are we doing? We don’t do coffee.  What is this?? You have never once asked me to coffee…. not once ever…. ”   Dave,  ” I think you are a fucking moron!” , Jack “What do you mean?  We are all consenting adults what so wrong with it?” Dave, ” You just back from burning man? WHat is this how you talk now?  You are all enlightened now and so much better than us monogamous people. Like we are stumbling around Mono-Zombies searching for brainz ‘One Brain'”  Jack says,  “Are you jealous?  You sound a little jealous there.”  To which Dave’s reply, “not at all?  WHy would I be jealous of you… I’ve slept with 2 women before big fucking deal.  Yes ok I am a little Jealous of you. How does it work? ….” Dave starts asking a lot of questions that in all honesty, aren’t his business, but he wants to know things like “2 in one day? Do you wash your balls in between? ”  .  (NOTE:  This is usually where I will stop a person and say,  ” Only ask questions you really want the answers to. I will be completely honest with you, but you may not like the answer you get.” )
Jack goes on to explain he hasn’t really gotten a good grasp on what exactly they are doing and they don’t really have a firm understanding of the ground rules.  “We have, like, a no penetration rule”. And Dave asks, “No Penis or no Penetration.. cause if it’s no penis, they can still have sex.”  The conversation turns   Dave says,  “Look I’m not supposed to say this,but Carmen (Dave’s wife/Emma’s bff)  thinks Emma is smitten by your new friend. What about you Jack, Are you smitten?”
Calling Jack out and asking him to evaluate his true feelings .  Also, this calls out the double standard that is in a lot of poly relationships where on side of a couple gets to have a particular type of activity but it is off-limits for the other.  Typically you will hear this referred to as a One Pens Policy, or OPP>, mostly when the woman of the couple wants to date/sex with other men.

Nina and Izzy on a bench.  Snacking Izzy is obviously buzzing with energy.  The conversation starts about raisins but quickly changes, when Izzy blows off a regular in favor of waiting for a call from Jack or Emma.  Whom Nina (Izzy’s roommate) affectionately nicknames “The Griswold’s”  .  Izzy tells Nina about having a date with Emma last night, they went to the rooftop… etc.  Nina’ Wait what?  That’s not a session, that’s a fucking lesbian romance novel. ”  Izzy’s response is perfect….  “So letting a guy lick my dirty sticky hands is ok but, having a toss and tumble is just inexplicable…  ”   “You are falling for a married woman..” Nina replies with tone of judgement. They go back and forth about the situation and then Nina drops this bombshell…. ” WHat do you think is going to happen here?  Give me 2 seconds of lucidity here and tell me how this ends without someone getting seriously hurt… Most likely you”.  Izzy says, “Well, you ruined my morning so , thank you” and walks away.
HERE again we have a mono person applying mono standards to a non mono relationship.

Next Jack lies to one of his students about who Izzy is.  There is a phone call with Emma explaining what happened.

Next Izzy surprises Andy outside his classroom building and asks him to lunch.  Andy is cold in response..  Not flat-out denying but , not accepting either.  Izzy tells him “I like you I don’t know how else to say it” Andy says, “Maybe you could give Nina a note with boxes to check. .. ” His tone is condescending and he is obviously not happy at all with how she left the situation last time.   Izzy asks him for 1 hour, just a slice of pizza… Andy replies,  “I guess you will see”  and walks away.

Nina and Emma are walking and Nina asks, “Can I talk real with you for a second?”  Emma says,  “It’s so sweet that you act as if I have a choice.”  Nina continues, “If you continue with this stupid shit,  you are going to wake up years from now alone and ask, ‘Where did my awesome Life go?’ .” a few more exchanges about “being married” and questioning Emma as to who she really is and Emma caves, ” Nina,  I don’t know what to do tell me ” Nina proceeds to instruct Emma to call Izzy and end the relationship” and warns Emma,  “Don’t try to run I will catch you” .  Emma starts to dial the number, then Bolts away past Nina.

Izzy is laying on her couch, watching T.v. Talking to the episode when there is a knock on the door. In her bra and sweatpants she goes to see who it is.  Through the peephole she sees a nervous looking Jack and shrieks,  “Ack”  Jack,  “Were you seriously just watching me through the peephole?”  Izzy, “You can’t just drop by!”  Jack, “Well, you ‘Just dropped by” my place like 36 hours ago so.. I think…  Can you just open the door please? ” She freaks out and starts grabbing clothes and moving things around. “Just a min… I’m …. um… not dressed”  Jack, Its like 1230 how can you not be dressed? ”  Izzy opens door , ” I was dressed, now I’m not, soon I will be again.. Do you have a problem with that? ”  A pleasant exchange of Jack judging Izzy’s apartment.  gently but still.. She offers him some espresso.. he accepts,  she laughs , ” Really you think Id have an espresso machine? ”  Kind of throwing back at him the fact that they are in very different socioeconomic classes and he should remember that.  She asks he reason for coming by .. Jack says it’s all be cause he and Emma had a discussion that morning and they wont be needing her “services” any longer.  That they have “achieved he desired effect” … Izzy sees right through it…  calls him on his “Bullshit”  . “How so ?” Jack asks…”Well,  part of it is you are acting really weird.  and the other is part of it is total bull shit.”
“WHich part?” Jack asks confused….  “The Emma part” Izzy responds.  Jack, trying to play it off that he is a horrible liar,  ” What’s that? ..The Emma part, I don’t even know what that means?”  Izzy grabs her phone and starts scrolling through contacts… Jack,  ” WHat are you doing?”  Izzy” Oh I’m just gonna give Emma a call and confirm this.”  After a few seconds Jack comes clean.
“Ok ok fine its me. I’m the one . It’s over, I am terminating the relationship. Please do not call my wife again. And do not answer any messages from her. ” Jack. (OK NOTE TIME.. This is very common when a person in a long-term relationship is feeling threatened by the bond the new person is having with one of their partners.  It is completely and totally accurate.  this really happens. This is couple privilege, executed by one member of a couple without the knowledge or agreeance of the other…  It happens ALL the time…   WHat doesn’t happen as often and really should, is this next part.   )
Izzy sports a salute and says, “Oh says the misogynistic dick face.   I am going to consider this evenings appointment cancelled and what ever the rest of us consenting adults decide to do is up to us.” (YAY IZZY STANDING UP FOR HERSELF And her Relationship with EMMA!  I really hope that people see this for what it is… Izzy being true to self and standing up for what she cares about.)
Jack responds by saying…. ” I’m the only one being an adult here… ”  ” Oh really you are being an adult? Let me ask you a question.” Izzy steps in closer, ” How long after we terminate the agreement before you call me on your own? Hmmm? ”  Jack,  “Not going to”.  Izzy,confident and sure of herself, “Wanna make a bet? I guess 2 weeks.” Jack shakes on it and agrees,  as he looks at Izzy, he smiles and says, ” Don’t .. don’t do that.”  Izzy, ” Do what? “…. ” Think you’re irresistible.”, Jack says..    Izzy coyly responds “Don’t you?” and It’s on!
Jack and Izzy fall into each other, and the furniture making out madly as if 2 teenagers in the midst of puberty were just told it was ok to have sex.  Wildly they kiss and strip clothes off of each other,  a lamp falls and breaks… they land on a bean bag chair,Jack asks, “does this count as a date?  ”  “No no god no.”  Izzy on top…  Passionately kissing groping…..  the door opens, (remember kids ALWAYS LOCK THE DOOR ) Nina walks in “WHAT THE FUCK! are you fucking kidding me?  My grandma’s antique lamp?  Izzy what the fuck”  Izzy,  ” I’m sorry Nina, I’ll have that fixed.”  “Damn right you will,  WHo the fuck is that? Is he a client?  He better not be a client because you know that is rule number 1 never bring a client home.  OH holy shit,  That’s Clark Griswold isn’t it!”  Jack tries to explain who Clark Griswold is and is shut down.  Izzy, “Yes it is him”   Nina ” Ok so now I’m going to ask,  Is he a client, or is he something else? ”  Awkward silence, Izzy looks at Jack…  Jack Shrugs…

Roll Credits!

What a fun sexy episode with more real life stuff!  There are  a lot of real situations in this.  I wish I knew,  Did the creator follow poly people, or are the creators poly themselves, perhaps at one time were?   It is all very close to home and real.

Nonetheless,  great job.
Now I know my words alone aren’t enough to fully explain what happened.  and a LOT is lost not having the visual cues.
GREAT NEWS!   You me Her is now streaming on Direct Tv website.  GO HERE to watch full episodes!

See you Tuesdays at 9PM channel 239 on Direct tv.

Have questions about how to manage any of these situations, leave me a comment or drop me aline via my contact page.

 

 

You Me Her Ep 3 – No Penetration

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Picking up where we left off ….
Well atleast now we know how Izzy got their address.   She ran away from her date With Andy and “cyberstalked their address”  Very nice lead in to an increasingly awkward conversation.
A quick note about Andy,  It is possible I was to harsh on him.  After reading and learning more about Izzy’s character, as well as a commentator’s notes on their take away,  that situation could have all been just Izzy being to scared to commit to something at this time.  she is enjoying life and having fun.  Not ready to settle down. But she doesn’t know how to tell Andy that, and doesn’t want to hurt him, because he is a nice guy.

There are several minuets of stumbling conversation obviously all people in this are very nervous.  Id like to point out something about the way the show framed the people involved.  Jack and Emma are shown during this time almost joined at the hip. Standing as one, a couple, yet a unit….  While Izzy is shown, alone, moving around a lot, much like a free spirit, single.
Emma mentions she hasn’t done anything like this since college… then say, “omg I just used that line”  To which Jack responds, ” You said that to me” .  Hmmmm
In noticing how nervous she sounds in her own head, Izzy asks, ” Is my voice as shaky out loud?”
Emma and Jack decide its time for a relaxation and offer some wine..  Izzy goes to the wine rack and grabs the first 2 bottles she sees…  Jack and Emma stop her.  ” No NO NO Not that wine, thats for show.” They have a few glasses of wine but the nerves and tension are still there.  So Izzy decides to break out the weed as a relaxation helper.  And boy did that work… too well if you ask me.

As they are smoking and getting high,  they begin to talk about their actions in regards to each other. Emma and Jack talking about there masturbation sessions at work.  Then realizing how they may sound creepy, Emma stops and asks if Izzy is freaked out. (Awww checking on the emotional reaction) Izzy, “I’m way to self conscious to be upset, I am flattered that anyone would jack off to me. ” Laughs all around….  Then the look of  terror strikes Emma as she is faced with the reality that feelings are growing as she sees something in the way Jack looked at Izzy. (and maybe something about her own feelings?)
“So, we are all in agreeance that this is just a Business deal right?” Emma
Jack and Izzy agree.  Then Jack and Emma’s exchange is well  ……….businessy.
Emma and Jack begin to discuss how, what and when things will happen with Izzy.  However, they never once ask Izzy what she wants.  Izzy even calls them out for it at one point saying ” Thanks for remembering I’m in the room AND A HUMAN BEING”
A few more exchanges between Jack and Emma, as Izzy is gathering her things.  You can tell her feelings are hurt.  SHe is obviously emotionally impacted .  Then Emma says,  “we all agree this agreement is non Penetrative right?” Izzy, “Sure, what ever you want. But,  I will need to drop some regulars, so I have to charge you all a premium.  ANd I will need the month up front paid in full. Also, they sessions will be Monday through Thursday as Weekends are for NON PAYING relationships Only.  Clear? ”  Emma, confused, “yea” Izzy takes her weed and leaves.  Jack and Emma look very confused as to what just happened. Maybe its the weed…. but it doesn’t seem to click.  * I wish I had the video clips to add in here because it really makes the point better than I can with text*

So, I want to stop here for a moment and call this scene for what it is and applaud the show writers for making this happen.   Have you ever heard the term “Couple Privilege”?  Well, if not couple privilege exists when a couple places their terms, conditions, and expectations on a third person and doesn’t consult that person as to what they want, need, expect.  This scene was a FANTASTIC example of how couples exercise privilege.  Jack and Emma are using Izzy to better their marriage. They are discussing what they want as a unit to achieve through the use of Izzy.  They don’t check with her to see what she wants, they never ask about her feelings. Its almost as if they are in it for themselves. And the fact that when she gets up makes a huge scene about the situation they don’t react….  They aren’t connection the emotional side yet.  This happens VERY FREQUENTLY in early poly relationships involving couples, especially those that have been married or partnered for long periods of time.    I am REALLY happy they chose to put this in. (granted being stoned may have had something to do with their lack of response. but that’s another issue) /end rant/

The following day Jack and Emma are at a coffee shop and Emma mentions she thinks they were too businessy with Izzy and that they should be more careful.  Jack rebuts, “it is a business thing and we should keep it that way. That’s what it is.”  Emma asks,  “Why, to make sure ‘feelings’ don’t develop or something? I saw your googly eyes at Izzy last night.”
Jack gets very defensive and starts explaining his eye state was because he was high not making googly eyes.  Emma doesn’t buy it and pushes the issue until Jack is clearly done.  Then she asks, So who goes first? A few things back and forth then Emma declares, ” I will go first”.  Jack, WHY do you get to go first?’  Emma, ” Ladies first thats why”.  Jack,  WAIT WHAt,  that means Ill never go first (well once out of 3 but…) there are 2 ladies. How is that fair!???”   And then just like that, Emma slips off her shoe and reaches her foot across under the table and begins to give Jack a foot job.  Jack is clearly uncomfortable with this and he doth protest a little.  ” What?  Is this how we are going to decide things? ”  Emma Smiles biting her lip, “yep.  So I get to go first?  ”  Jack,  “Why am I so short sided about this? Yes sure.  Stupid Penis!”

Jack walks into work and the Dean is in his chair.  They talk for a few, Dean tells Jack about the vetting process for the job, there may be a drug test, and the Alumni Board will meet with him for a few hours on monday. In the mean time they will be reviewing his record at the school.  Jack is now worried, “We have drug testing?  I didnt know.” Dean, ” I think so cant remember the last time”  Jack, “WHat about will they really check my browser history?  That seems un, un, unAmerican,  or un something”  Dean, “They check everything, but you use incognito mode right?”  Jack “Whats Incognito mode?”

Emma and BFF are shopping for Emma some date clothes. They joke about “lezing her up” (personally I dont like this term or exchange . It comes off insensitive to the lesbian community as if looking a certain way makes one more lesbian.and more desirable.) They find an outfit that they think will be good.

Emma and Jack are back at home, Emma is getting ready for her date with Izzy. Jack has to go to a neighborhood party . Emma is supposed to be going with him but says “You’ll be fine, Ill only be an hour late.”
Izzy at her house getting ready for the date, conversing with her room mate RM “So they get some freaky marriage sex therapy what are you getting out of it?” Izzy, somewhat enthusiastically ” 16 sessions paid up front. SHould I wear these ?” holding up a pair of hideous (imo) pants .  RM without even looking “Nope”

Izzy and Emma meet at a restaurant. There seems to be a wait. Both mention how nervous they are and how neither of them would be able to eat. Izzy has an idea. SHe runs across the street to a store.  Next we see them walking side by side sharing a bottle. As Izzy passesit she says “Hot Damn, thats what it is called”.  Emma takes a swig, “Oh god I just exfoliated my mouth”. A few more steps and they stop stare at each other and kiss Emma pushing Izzy gently into the wall behind her in an embracing long kiss.  It is passionate, more than a fling or a passing kiss in the night …  there are fireworks in this kiss.  They break,  EMma says, “Come on I know a place”  Izzy, “A hotel?”  Emma “Better”

Meanwhile, Jack is stuck in suburban hell party with all his neighbors playing stupid games he doesn’t even want to play Frustrated with his neighbor who cant guess Marilyn Monroe, he throws in the towel…  His neighbor ask, “What is it with you tonight, You have been checking your watch like every two seconds”…. “It’s Emma, she is out with a colleague and should have been here by now.”   UH OH somebody broke their word and Jack is now freaking out with a million things in his head about what could be happening (how do I know, cause I’ve been there done that got the scars, and the t-shirt to cover them up with.  Also this show how culturally we are conditioned to NOT be truthful about our ethical nonmonogamous relationships with our friends and neighbors.  )  A toast is called congratulating one of Jack’s neighbors (the nosey one from last week’s episode) as ta new Alumni Board member of the local private school that…. you guessed it, Jack is going to be interviewed for DEAN!  She come over to the punch bowl and asks Jack “So how much ass kissing can you do in 3 days?”  More wine ma’dam? …..

Izzy and Emma are meanwhile making out whispering sweet nothings to each other and getting pretty hot and heavy on a roof top over looking a part of town.  I have to say, I’ve never done rooftop sex,  but it is on my list.   As they are gently kissing exploring , striping down their clothes, its apparent that this is going to be more than snuggles and comfort.  Then one of the sweetest things I have ever heard was said.  Izzy” That freckle on your cheek is one of my favorite things about you. ”  Emma,  “I hated it. As a kid I would try to scratch it off.”  Izzy,  “Thats stupid, dont scratch it off.”  Emma “Ok, I won’t”  These words were with such a tenderness and kindness, that you could tell there were genuine feelings behind them.  I’m a little teary eyed now thinking about it. It was really sweet.  Then this… “Opps, I think we just broke the no penetration rule”.   UM…… Ok so now we are late, and broke the rule…..

Jack lying in bed, awake,hours after the party,  snuggling the dog hears the door knob, pretends to be asleep even starts to fake snore.  Emma comes in noticings him faking it and calls him on it.  He starts to initiate sex, but Emma says, ” Oh baby I can’t. If I cum one more time, I think Ill shrivel up”
Jack is WIDE AWAKE now and you can see the hurt and the pain in his face.    “What? WHat do you mean?  how many orgasams?  I thought we agreed?”  ALl the fears he had earlier were coming true….   Emma ” I took her to the roof. ”  Jack “What roof? OUR ROOF?!  How could you that’s our spot we… ” He rolls over and is obviously mad, hurt, envious and jealousy.  Emma trying hard to console him says, ” Are you going to sleep like this?  ANgry?”  Jack responds “Yes angry” She then says, “MAybe a little jealousy is good for both of us?”  Jack says, almost like a kid who didnt get to play with his toy, ” When its my turn Im going to cum like a million times.” Emma laughs “a million huh? Oh really ? WHere?” Jack, ” On every rooftop in the city.” He cant hold back the laughter and they rool together and hug.

Izzy at home, alone, in her bed, staring at a picture of Emma that she took on her phone, smiles softly.  Then, reaches into her waistband and starts to masturbate to the photograph, and the memory.  Her room mate barges in without knocking to ask something then stops ” What are you doing?!”  Izzy “uh… Sleeping”  RM  “Like HELL” Walks over sees the phone and takes it from Izzy…. “Oh my”…….

Roll credits.

So a couple things I want to point out that this episode highlighted.

1 Couple Privilege (Already discussed)
1a Unicorn Hunting.   Ok…  So, part of what is happening is that Izzy has been unicorned.  She is the Perfect fit for this couple and the perfect HBB (Hot bi babe) that can fill the void in this married couple.  Unicorn hunting is highly frowned upon in many poly communities because it promotes couple privilege and objectifies the third person in the relationship.
2 The conversation about Izzy’s wants, needs, and expectations still was not had on camera.  Emma’s remorse was not fully detailed to Izzy.  I hope a bigger conversation about this is coming.
3 Emma and Jack at the end having laughter is good,  but they need to have the conversation about where that jealousy is coming from. Jealousy can be a good thing, if managed properly, discussed and dealt with accordingly.  But it can also be destructive and unpredictable.  I have the feeling that they will have this conversation,  WHat, why, and how to prevent it in the future….
Personally I think the jealousy isnt jealousy at all but rather Envy….  He isnt mad that Emma got something,  He feels that he was left out and didnt get something.  He went to the party, did all the things he said he would, but didnt have the fun and exciting time that Emma had.   That is Eny
4 Emma and Izzy are in heavy NRE.  and they are making very common mistakes of NRE.   Check out my write up on NRE .
5 Emma, fessed up and told the truth about what happened.  Im here to tell you that is never easy.  But it is a requirement in relationships.  Especially in polyamorous ones where you agree to things, and then break that agreement.  Honesty is one of the cornerstones of healthy relationships.  Honesty is where trust is built.

Again I think the show is doing a really good job of telling the story in a very realistic way. Given the characters.
Is this the ONE AND True way to Polyamory?  No because such a way doesn’t exist…
Is this ONE way to polyamory?  Yes, and it is a common way for married people .  (Minus the escort part I think that is less common.)
Keep watching Tuesdays at 9pm. See you there!
Check out the behind the scenes Script to Screen video and background ideas here!

If you are looking for more information on Polyamory, Nonmonogamy or looking to find a community near you, Please send me a message.  I’d be happy to answer any questions.