The Multiamory crew is in Tokyo! In this very special live episode recorded at Good Heavens British Pub in Setagaya, we discuss how increasing your cultural intelligence can boost your understanding and communication, particularly when dating someone from a very different culture. マルチアモリーの仲間が、東京にやってきました！ポリアモリー、セクシュアリティ、キンク、リレーションシップについての示唆に富んだ議論を楽しみ、参加者と交流し、ポッドキャストのライブ収録の機会にご参加ください。
Multiamory.com は、Emily Matlack、Jase Lindgren、そして「The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory」の著者であるDedeker Winstonによる、情報リソース、ブログ、ポッドキャストです。意識的な一夫一婦制から、倫理的ポリアモニー、そして急進的なリレーションシップアナーキーまで、愛の多様な形式について、新しいアイデアやアドバイスを提供します。私たちの長年にわたる個人的な経験と、現在利用可能な最高の情報を組み合わせ、それを楽しく示唆に富んだ、そしてあなたのリレーションシップに簡単に適用できる方法で提案します。
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Multiamory was created by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack.
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Dedeker: This is the first time doing a show in another country and in another language so yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Emily: We tend to do an opening question for the audience at each of these live shows. This one pertains to what we're about to talk about with everyone. Who here in the room has been in a relationship with someone of a very different culture than the one that they're in? Exactly so-
Dedeker: So many people.
Emily: Should we go around with them?
Dedeker: Yes. We can. Does anybody want to share just briefly, you can just tell us what your culture is and what was the culture of the other person.
Jase: Someone over here.
Audience Member: From America, Hawaii then Japanese.
Jase: How about someone from this table?
Audience Member: America, New York and Japanese and Korean.
Jase: Japanese and Korean too.
Dedeker: I know you in the front-
Jase: I see one here too. Oh yes, please.
Audience Member: For me, it's Canadian.
Jase, Dedeker, Emily: Canadian [chuckles]
Emily: You want to share?
Audience Member: I'm French and dated an American and a Sri Lankan.
Audience Member: With my wife as well, she's Japanese, I'm Canadian but German and American.
Emily: Yes, Definitely.
Dedeker: This can obviously apply not just between dating someone from another country but also someone from a different sub-culture particularly, which I think you have some experience with.
Emily: Yes, I am American but I also grew up not religious at all but I dated someone for many years who was Jewish and it ended because he said, "You're not Jewish so I can't marry you so we have to end the relationship." [chuckles]
Dedeker: I feel like I've dated so many people around the world. I don't really want to list off my dating resume right now.
Tonight, we want to talk about, specifically, the concept of cultural intelligence also sometimes known as cultural mindfulness and how that affects our relationships? How it affects the way we communicate? How it affects the way that our values interplay in relationships and also how it affects people who are trying to have non-traditional relationships such as polyamorous relationships or non-monogamous relationships.
If we first establish what cultural intelligence is and basically it's having knowledge and having control over your thinking and your actions. That may change specifically depending on what culture you are in. I think, for me, the most important part of cultural intelligence is actually having a willingness to drop the attitude of, "My culture does it the best" or to drop the attitude of, "Oh, this other weird culture over here needs to shape up and start doing things the way that I do things".
Jase: Also, we want to look at how this affects our relationships. Normally, when we talk about cultural intelligence it's for business people. It's for doing international business and understanding how negotiations might work but we want to talk about it when it comes to things like love and honesty and sex.
Emily: Intercultural relationships are apparently on the rise which is fantastic and it's primarily due to online dating. There was a study conducted at the University of Essex and the University of Vienna and it found that online dating has created social links between potential partners that didn't previously exist at all. In the past, a lot of people often met through friends of friends or through work and that resulted in an often dating people from the same culture over and over again. But online dating has allowed for these connections outside of one's social group, one's culture, one's country of their origin.
Dedeker: I just want to ask. Is there anyone here who has not done any online dating? Okay, a few, a few. Wow, it's really surprising.
Emily: I know.
Jase: Very rare people.
Dedeker: Yes, definitely.
Dedeker: Specifically we want to talk about the effect of interculturalism on non-traditional relationships. The quote-unquote non-traditional relationships. It's also funny to even be referring to them as non-traditional relationships because it's like, "Well, based on whose tradition?" Right? We call it non-traditional because the traditional Christian model of long-term monogamy and marriage is something that has already spread to many cultures through globalization.
The funny thing is also that people who do actively choose non-traditional relationships or polyamorous relationships often are within their own little micro sub-culture within a larger culture. Which may involve them having to change or abandon some of the things that their mother culture has taught them in order to be a part of the sub-culture. There's many, many layers to this.
Emily: An example of this is the United States which tends to be a very competitive culture. Often if you're going to be practicing polyamory in a really healthy way, an American person may need to abandon that idea that they should be number one or the best in their partner's eyes and that they're going to win their affection and love. To be polyamorous, you may have to switch to a more cooperative mindset. You have to be more empathetic of your metamoris or your partner's partner is in order to have a more harmonious relationship, polyamorous, specifically.
Jase: One other thing we did want to say is that in learning to understand what the norms are for other cultures. We do want to be sure that we avoid stereotyping other people. As Dedeker said, to be polyamorous you already might be going against some of the things that are common in your culture and that everyone does this in some way or another. That all of us have little things that are different. This is to help us understand the context not to be able to understand what somebody's going to do all the time.
Dedeker: Tonight we're going to be talking about different cultural spectrums that different cultures lie on. Unfortunately, we can't cover every single possible spectrum of culture because I mean, in cultural spectrum there's 30 of them [chuckles] and we will be here all night and into the rest of the day since it also will be translated into Japanese.
We're just going to cover a few tonight as a starting point to start thinking about these things. We're going to start out by talking about communication styles that differ between cultures. Usually, this is the one that is the most apparent to anybody who has lived outside of their mother culture about how different communications styles can be between people. The first spectrum of communication is low context versus high context cultures.
Emily: In a low context culture, good communication is precise, simple, and very clear. Messages are expressed and then understood at face value. Low context cultures, they don't rely on contextual elements like the speaker's tone of voice or their body language to communicate information.
Dedeker: I just want to clarify that we do put quotation marks around good because it's good based on what that culture thinks is good. I've done this to my Japanese friends many times and it doesn't always lands. [laughs] But I just want to clarify that as in we don't think that it's good but this particular low context culture thing-
Jase: On the other side of the spectrum, high context cultures. In those cultures, good communication is sophisticated and nuanced and layered. Messages are both spoken but also read between the lines. High context cultures are those in which the rules of communication are primarily transmitted through contextual elements like body language or a person's status or their tone of voice or trailing off at the end of a sentence. [Japanese language]
Dedeker: Now, it's time for a quiz. What do people think is Japan high context or low context culture?
Jase: Yes. I saw someone pointing up.
Dedeker: This is so funny, huh.
Dedeker: How about the US our fellow Americans high context? Low context? Very low?
Emily: The lowest.
Audience Member: Not completely low.
Dedeker: No, not completely low. There's very few cultures that are at the extremes usually there's a mix but it's sometimes way more-
Audience Member: Yes, it's German.
Dedeker: Do we have any Australians here?
Dedeker: Yes? No? Then no. We can say whatever we want about them.
Dedeker: [laughs] Go ahead.
Jase: No. Australia is another example of low context cultures.
Dedeker: And apparently Canada.
Jase: Also Canada. What are some other high context cultures besides Japan?
Dedeker: Yes. It should.
Jase: British is actually a little bit more middle of the road on that one.
Dedeker: According to these people. They're doing this science.
Audience Member: Does anyone have a direct experience in India?
Jase: We personally don't know.
Emily: That's interesting
Jace: As far as I understand, in terms of the scientists who come up with these things that they are depending where you are in India, it varies, but they tend to be a little bit higher on the context spectrum.
Dedeker: I think the other interesting thing to think about is countries like the US or Australia that are low context cultures are both countries that have a lot of immigrant influx and have had a lot of culture mixing. As a result, they can't necessarily rely on everyone knowing what all the social norms are, what all the communication rules are.
Jase: Now, how this applies to our relationships, you can probably guess a little bit already. But if you imagine two people in a relationship, one who is used to a high context way of communicating and another with a low contact way of communicating. The high context a person might read too much into a little pause or little change in body language or tone of voice. Whereas on the other hand, the low context person like us Americans might completely miss a very important thing that was communicated through a little umm, or pause or something.
Dedeker: For my work, I work as a Counselor, mostly working with people who are in non-monogamous relationships polyamorous relationships things like that. For many years, in my practice, with my mostly American clients, I push everybody towards very direct communication. I would have clients who would come to me saying, "Well, I want to have sex with someone other than my partner." I'd be like, "Well, go tell your partner." Or "I want my partner to cover me with peanut butter." "Well, go tell your partner."
Once I started working with clients who were in intercultural relationships, this wasn't working anymore. I couldn't just tell people, "Oh, just go tell your partner." I definitely switch my approach to being more like just make sure that the message is received. How you get there? If you take an indirect approach or a direct approach, whatever is best for you but just to make sure that the message is received. You have to change what was the most important point and the advice that I was giving.
Emily: Even though a culture may be very high context in most situations, in some ways, they may be very low contacts. For example, Japan tends to be high context in almost all situations but they're explicit about certain things such as about people's weights. Jase has a nice story about this.
Jase: I have a Japanese friend who is living in the US, right now. I hadn't seen her for maybe six months. When we got together within 10 or 15 minutes, she poked me in the belly and said “futotta ne”.
You've gotten a little fat.
It surprised me for a second because to an American that would be very rude to say. But then luckily, I knew that okay in Japan that's not a rude thing to say. That's normal conversation. But if I hadn't known that that could have been a problem. I might have been offended by what she said.
Emily: In the US, we tend to be very low context about just about everything, but we have romanticized this idea that we have to, that our partners need to know everything about us and what we're thinking even before we know it ourselves. That's a little weird because you're probably not going to always have a partner who knows everything that you want at all times. It's odd that we would want that in American relationships.
Jase: I do want to say, this is what we were talking about, where just because a culture might be one way, in general, it doesn't mean it's going to be this way in every single instance. It's not to say that by learning these things, you will just know everything about someone just because you know that they're Japanese or they're Korean or they're Canadian.
Dedeker: Let's move on to talking about other things that affect our communication. On another cultural spectrum, is the spectrum of confrontation. How people react to confrontation, whether they avoid confrontation entirely or if they feel more comfortable with confrontation? I think this is also a funny one to analyze because I mean, does anyone love confrontation? Does anyone like confrontations?
Audience Member: No.
Dedeker: You look like you're struggling there, a little bit. Right? I think it's a human thing to feel that we have this instinctual need to avoid confrontation. But apparently, it can widely vary depending on culture. And so in cultures that are more confrontational, there's this view that disagreement or debate can be positive, for my work team for instance or for my debate team, I guess. That open confrontation, confrontation in front of other people can be appropriate and that will not necessarily negatively impact the relationship. The really interesting thing is that this also affects how comfortable people are with direct negative feedback or criticism. I think that's the more interesting part of the confrontation thing too to examine here.
Jase: Right. Are you finished with that?
Dedeker: I was finished. Yes.
Are we having a confrontation right now? [laughter]
Emily: Are you done?
Jase: Examples of cultures that avoid confrontation is where the opposite of that, the disagreement or debate is going to destroy how your team works together. Or it's going to negatively affect your relationship with somebody. Especially, confrontation with someone, in front of somebody else. Public confrontation is inappropriate and would be very disrespectful to do.
We're going to ask the question again, like we did last time. When you think of a high confrontational culture, a culture that's more comfortable with confrontation, with negative feedback. Anyone want to guess what some of the top?
Audience Member: Italy
Jase: Italy yes. Definitely
Audience Member: Mexico
Jase: Their not in the very top but I do-- I would think that they are up there. Yes.
Audience Member: Korea.
Jase: Korea? Actually, ironically, no.
Emily: Social scientists say that it's a relatively a lower confrontation culture.
Audience Member: Israel.
Jase: Yes. High.
Audience Member: Russia.
Dedeker: Yes. Russia, very high.
Dedeker: Everyone is calling it.
Jase: You guys nailed that one.
Dedeker: They've read it before.
Jase: How about the other side? How about Will?
Audience Member: Yes.
Jase: What else?
Audience Member: [foreign language]
Jase: We said Korea already. It's actually on the low side.
Audience Member: [foreign language]
Jase: Said there-
Dedeker: I would definitely say that.
Jace: -with us? US? We're in the middle.
Dedeker: Middle. Jamaica?
Audience Member: Jamaica.
Jase: I actually, don't know about that one. I don't think that was on the list that I was-
Emily: I would you think?
Dedeker: A little higher.
Audience Member: Philippines
Dedeker: It's a no.
Emily: I think the Philippines on the lower end?
Jase: The Philippines.
Audience Member: Chuugoku
Dedeker: China? On the low.
Emily: Yes. Definitely.
Jase: Oh, yes.
Audience Member: I don't want to hijack the question. For people in your romantic relationships, would you prefer to either be confronted or not to be confronted if you made a mistake in your romantic relationship?
Dedeker: We are about to get that eventually.
Emily: No. Just how it applies to relationships. Because yes, a person who's really comfortable with confrontation may automatically assume that their partner would just bring up a problem, if they had one. But then if you were low confrontation, you may just not bring up any disagreement for fear that it may harm the relationship.
Dedeker: I think that-- It's interesting that American culture, in particular, tends to fall in the middle of the spectrum because I do think that what I see is that Americans are much more comfortable with a confrontation with strangers, confrontation with friends or within the workplace. It's like if you've got a problem like-
Emily: You're going to say something.
Dedeker: -you're going to get up in someone's face. [chuckles] But then, I think on the other side, Americans are terrified of confrontation in romantic relationships.
We're going to shift gears a little bit and start shifting away from talking about different communication styles and talking more about differing cultural values. The things that are driving us as people about the why behind the things that we do.
Jase: The first of these is being versus doing cultures. To give an example of doing means that your status is earned through the work that you do. That if you stop achieving if you stop moving up, that your status can be lost. That tasks and work and productivity take precedence over your personal relationships. That your self is defined by your achievements.
Emily: If you're in a being culture, your status is built into what kind of person you are. Harmony and relationships take precedence. Also, your self is defined by your relationships and your quality of life. Does anyone have an example of what they think a doing culture is? Shame.
Audience Member: In what time period?
Dedeker: Oh, interesting.
Emily: They were speaking about the present.
Dedeker: Let's say, right now.
Audience Member: Amerika.
Audience Member: US.
Audience Member: High.
Dedeker: US is top of the list. Yes, definitely.
Emily: How about being cultures?
Audience Member: I think Japan. They tend to value the process over the results.
Dedeker: Japan is actually an interesting one because it falls a little bit in the middle of the doing-being spectrum.
Jase: But definitely compared to the US is less.
Dedeker: To talk I mean this-
Jase: Do we want to give examples of the most being cultures?
Emily: What is the most being culture? It’s a weird sentence.
Jase: Some examples are Spain, Cuba and-
Emily: Nepal. Apparently, yes.
Jase: Nepal, Egypt.
Emily: Australia and Canada are doing cultures and the US and Norway.
Dedeker: Most western countries, all doing. To talk about the application of this to relationships, a couple years ago, I was living in Greece. Greece is closer to the being side of the spectrum. I went on some first dates when I was in Greece with some Greek people. The first date questions, the first question out of their mouths would be, “What kind of a person are you?” As opposed to, “What do you do for work?” And I could not answer.
Because I was an American, being is doing culture, my doing is my being. My doing is myself. That's my first answer is, “Well, I do X, Y, and Z.” I really felt like a dork on all these first dates because I would just stumble through like, “Well, I don't, I don't know what kind of person I am.”
Jase: This also affects not only who we find attractive or what we find attractive in other people, but also what we think other people will be attracted to about us. In a doing culture, like the US, if I want to impress you, I might say, “Well, I run a podcast for two years."
Jase: “Also, I'm starting another podcast.”
Dedeker: That's successful. Yes.
Jase: I do. I would list my jobs to try to make you attracted to me. Whereas on the other hand, if I were from a more being culture and someone did that, like, “I do this, I do this, I do this,” I would think, “Jeez, chill.”
You seem so stressed that that’s not healthy. I don’t know how to say chill in Japanese.
Emily: How do you say chill in Japanese.
Audience Member: [Japanese language]
Dedeker: To start to bring it home, the last one that we're going to talk about is the spectrum of cultures that fall on between uncertainty, avoidance. I guess, on the other end, it's like more comfort with uncertainty. This one's phrased a little bit weird.
Emily: High uncertainty avoidance versus low uncertainty avoidance.
Dedeker: Yes. High uncertainty avoidance versus low uncertainty avoidance. This is another interesting one because like the confrontation spectrum, I don't think we think of ourselves as, “Oh, I love uncertainty and I love change.” Very few human beings feel that way. Right?
Cultures that have high uncertainty avoidance, obviously, don't like uncertainty. Maybe feel more nervous when unexpected things happen or when there's new experiences or novel experiences. Maybe have a harder time adjusting versus low uncertainty avoidance countries that maybe have an easier time embracing new ideas or new things. Embracing when rules are changed or when rules are not enforced, possibly. That's where those two extremes lie.
Again, I think this one's a little bit tricky but if you were going to guess what a high uncertainty avoidance, as in most uncomfortable with uncertainty culture is, what would be your guesses?
Audience Member: The States. The States people don't like uncertainty.
Dedeker: They're actually at the opposite end of this spectrum.
Emily: Yes, they cool with it.
Jase: Not the most. If I can clarify a little bit. It's part of that being comfortable with uncertainty is-- Things like being comfortable bending rules sometimes. It might be a way to put that.
Emily: I guess with texting like many Americans. You left me unread.
Emily: I can understand Americans don't like to have authority pushed on us or any external rules but we like to know what's happening in our relationship.
Audience Member: Japanese people we [difficult to hear]
Jase: Yes, Japan is very high uncertainty avoidance. I was going to say just that about relationships, being a different standard from how we are with other things, is a good example of what we were talking about with high context and low context, where we might be low context as Americans but in our relationships, we often have an expectation that they're just going to know what it is that we're trying to say.
Dedeker: To talk about some examples of countries with low uncertainty avoidance. Apparently, Singapore is on the list, which I would not at all expect because Singapore has a rule for everything in the book. They have a rule for what breed of dog you can own. Rules for how-- If you want to chew gum then it needs to be from a pharmacy. Did you know? [chuckles] Crazy stuff like that.
But where this often shows up actually, sometimes can be more in the business world, in the way that these different cultures create their contracts. In that, if you look at contracts in high uncertainty avoidance cultures, will generally, be very long, very very long, and very very detailed planning for every possible contingency in that contract.
Then in cultures that are low uncertainty avoidance, the thinking is like, “Well, we can't possibly plan for every possible contingency. We can't put everything into this contract. We're going to leave it a little bit more ambiguous because things are uncertain and that's okay.”
Jase: Just to give a little more context. Other examples of high uncertainty avoidance cultures besides Japan would also be places like France, Portugal, and Greece. I've noticed in Japan that everything has instructions on it. Appliances in your home will have-
Dedeker: How to use this.
Jase: How to use. Then on the other extreme, besides Singapore, would also be places like Hong Kong, and the UK, and Sweden tend to be low uncertainty avoidant. Would have more of those.
Emily: Very quickly, Jessica is it okay if I pick your brains really quick? You're there in the front. You're the front row A class student. [chuckles] Because Jessica you are French, which is a high uncertainty avoidance culture but living in Hong Kong which is a low uncertainty avoidance culture. Do you feel-
Dedeker: Do you wanted to-?
Emily: Do you torture yourself? At any given-
Jessica: Now, the problem is you’ve mentioned contracts and I’m a lawyer.
Jessica: This is totally true because French law needs to plan everything and Honk Kong law is based on English law and doesn’t need to plan for everything. Now, you can’t take this out of my mind.
Other than this, I don’t know. But Hong Kong is so much in some way similar to both Chinese and Britain that I think, yes maybe. As for avoidance of uncertainty as French, it was just me but apparently so could be-
Emily: In relationships, particularly, polyamorous or non-traditional relationships, there's always going to be a bit of uncertainty built into that because if you go on a date with someone, I don't know, anything could happen potentially. It just you don't always know how a new relationship is going to play out. In polyamory, it pays to be able to roll with the punches, to not necessarily plan for every contingency because honestly, you're not going to probably always know what's going to happen in polyamorous relationships.
Dedeker: I think it's interesting that you pointed out Americans wanting to be very clear about what's going on in a relationship because I think that is another example of where it's a little bit mismatched within the culture. I think this is also connected to the doing culture thing as well. I think in American relationships there's always the point where you sit down to have a talk of like-
Emily: What are we?
Dedeker: “Okay, what are we doing?”
What are we doing? What is this?
Jase: Yes. I think something that's worth pointing out here is that it's not just about not knowing what's going to happen because all of us we don't know necessarily what's going to happen. It's about knowing what do I do when those things happen? Like how do I respond to it? I think that is an important difference to think about.
In polyamory, for example, no matter what culture you are from, we don't have much of a script. Right? That when we get into a relationship and we get engaged, and we get married, we know at least a little bit what steps come next. When you're doing something nontraditional, you do not always have that script and that can create anxiety and nervousness and especially, more so, if you personally are more uncertainty avoidant.
Dedeker: I think that because in so many cultures regardless of what is the culture is, uncertainty avoidant or not, that so many people want certainty in their relationships. I think sometimes that's why we see people in all cultures taking part in secret, non-consensual, non-monogamy, which is cheating. There is something about having a relationship that at least to everyone who is looking at it seems to be following the same script. That other people and feel certainty when they look at your relationship and they know, "Oh. Okay, this is a marriage” or "Oh. Okay, this is boyfriends and girlfriends.” There is not the uncertainty of like, "Wait. What multiple partners? Wait. What? Who lives with who? Wait. How. Like, how does that work?"
Jase: This is something that we've already seen happening in same-sex relationships. For example, we have a friend who was telling us about a relationship between two men where all their friends knew and everybody was fine. They were both on different work functions and saw each other while they were at work. One of the partners just completely ignored the other one because he needed to feel certain. He wanted to feel normal at work. Did not want to make anyone else feel uncomfortable at work. But to the other partner this was really hurtful and actually ended up leading to the end of their relationship because of that.
Emily: I mean, I feel bad bringing us home on something on such a depressing story.
Jase: Well, we have got the Q and A at the end.
Emily: Okay, great.
Jase: That should help bring us back up.
Emily: That's right.
Dedeker: Obviously, there is a lot to learn here. The stuff we have been talking about tonight is really just the surface. If you really want to be A plus students, go home tonight and Google spectrums of culture and your mind will be blown.
Dedeker: I promise you.
Emily: All three of us have been doing this podcast for about three years. It's really changed the way we give advice about relationships.
Dedeker: As we continue to learn about this and talk about this, it's really helped us to open up the spectrum of how we relate to our listeners and how we are able-- What advice is actually going to be useful for people because as I learned in my own job that just telling people the advice that fits for my culture isn't always appropriate.
Jase: My favorite thing about all of this is that it also helps us to learn about ourselves. I do not know. I imagine everyone here, in this room at least, has probably studied another language, at least a little bit, that's not their own. I found that for myself, the first time I really started learning another language, I learned so much about English because I suddenly got see things that I took for granted. Now, I could see "Oh, this isn't always how adjectives work."
Jase: "This isn't always how nouns work." With learning about cultures, it's the same thing. Is that by really getting to understand the different culture, I suddenly see, "Oh, shit".
Jase: Like this kind of direct communication or this type of confrontation isn't good. It's just how we do it.
Dedeker: We are about coming to the end of our time here, we wanted to open it up to all of you. If you have any questions or anything that you wanted to talk about.
Jase: This could be anything.
Jase: Could be just about polyamory or it doesn't have to be just about this topic tonight.
Emily: We are also going to be hanging out after the show if you’re high on certainty-avoidance and- [chuckles]
Emily: -and just want to come talk to us personally.
Audience Member: I'm curious as a poly person, who's American, who moved to Japan. It's really difficult to find community here, given in the states, but especially in Japan. I always end up being the person who is like the token of the party, "Let me tell you about this." It's nice, of course, to be around people who you can share some common ground, right? Do you have, I mean, you've been doing this for a few years, right? Do you have some-- You've reached out to people, you may even build some sort of community. Do you have some advice seeking resources for poly communities?
Dedeker: My number one advice for finding a poly community is start a podcast.
I know that wasn't helpful. I mean because in starting the podcast-- Actually, there might be something to that in talking about it openly. We have been really surprised by how many people have just come to the topic as it were outside of-- There the obvious things like searching for a polyamory Meetup group on Facebook or in Meetup. Usually, most poly people exhausted those options already. Searching slightly outside of that bubble to things like LGBTQ friendly communities, sex positive communities. Even going further outside that bubble into like really geeky communities or into like especially in the states, like burner communities. There's definitely communities where there's overlap, where they're not directly based on what kind of relationship we're doing, but there are spaces that like really maybe more comfortable or more friendly with-
Dedeker: -nontraditional lifestyles as they were. I am really glad we have a translator who understands what burner's.
Emily: Yes, I was like that's really American.
Interpreter: Burner? They have a community here too.
Emily: Really? Really? Okay?
Interpreter: It is down in Wajima.
Dedeker: I think the last piece of advice that I would give. There is something to if you build it they would come. There has been many people who as we've run this podcast have reached out to us with the same question of, "I live in the middle of nowhere or live in a small community or live in a conservative community, how do I find other people?" Often, we've encouraged these people to be the first people to create the Meetup group.
Emily: Make your own community.
Dedeker: People come. It’s the same thing of like talking about it openly. It does attract people who also want to talk about it openly.
Jase: I also would say stick around afterward, and we can talk more about it. I also got a lot of people here who would also know. Would have suggestions of that as well.
Emily: The whole shadowy corner over there.
Audience Member: Where is the Meetup group?
Jase: They're spread all throughout.
Audience Member:[foreign language]
Dedeker: Excellent. Great, any other questions? Concerns?
Jase: I see one over there. I have had a lot of time to-
Audience Member: How do you think about love? What is love?
Dedeker: I mean we could be here for another hour.
Emily: What is love?
Emily: You wrote a whole book about it.
Dedeker: Yes, I think that if I am going to bring it to the way that different cultures look at love particularly that is also a whole spectrum. God, I do not know, I am so stumped by this one. I wasn't expecting that.
Jase: I think that an important thing to realize is that the definition of love has changed a lot over the past few hundred years and its changed in different-
Emily: Different cultures
Jase: -cultures. As an example, since the 1800's, there are accounts of women who would write in their diaries stuff that to us today sounds like love. That she was in love with another woman.
Emily: Lesbian love.
Jase: That lesbian love. But they never used the word love because in their culture, at that time, two women could not love each other. That was not possible, so even though we might think of it as love, they wouldn't. Obviously, that's changed a little bit, as one example.
Dedeker: This question actually reminds me of a very fantastic book that I would recommend to everybody. On the podcast, a few months ago, we interviewed Carrie Jenkins, who is a Philosopher and she wrote this book called What Love Is and What It Could Be. She wrote the book in response because she identifies as polyamorous, bisexual polyamorous, and someone had told her, "That’s not real love, what you're doing." So being a Philosopher she went to "Well, what is real love?"
Dedeker: Then there's a book. If anyone is interested that's a really fantastic book that examines the ways used to define love and how that definition has changed now. It is a really beautiful book. That is me, that is me putting the answer off on somebody else. [laughter]
Jase: Thank you for that question. That's such a big question.
Dedeker: Does anyone want to follow-up that huge question?
Audience Member: I just want to-- I haven't looked at all the podcast but wasn't them all but you guys have or have you done one that has to do with being someone who is monogamous, who is in a relationship with someone who is polyamorous?
Emily: We've done a monopoly one. It was a while ago.
Jase: As Emily was saying, that we did do one quite a while ago, but that actually is on our list of ones to revisit now. Do something specifically on. Thank you for bringing that up.
Dedeker: Emily, you just found the Monocorn thing?
Emily: There is a Facebook group that if you are monogamous but have a partner who is polyamorous, then it's a-- I think a processing group on Facebook for that. It's called Monocorn I believe.
Dedeker: They call themselves Monocorn.
Emily: Yes. Like unicorn but Monocorn. Look that up because you have to be monogamous but with someone who is polyamorous to be in the group at all.
Dedeker: I know you-- Yes, just say it.
Audience Member: We have a lot of polyamorous is here. I bet a lot of us have had different culture relationships over the years. Love is not culture. For you, when it comes to the role of the non-monogamy with your new partner, but when I started, it was too quick. "Hi, I'm Jessie and I'm a non-monogamous."
Audience Member: For you, has your experience with one culture or the other culture being very different in introducing non-monogamy to your relationships, or has it been universal?
Jase: Great question.
Dedeker: That was a great question.
Emily: Like the way you do it, is it the same-?
Audience Member: -the same effect. Was it very different reaction from equal depending on their culture?
Dedeker: I think, I just speak from my own experience. I definitely found-- I have the very American thing of like, "Hi, I'm Dede. I'm polyamorous. I wrote a book on polyamory. I have a podcast on polyamory."
It's unavoidable, a little bit. For people, like one of my partners is British, is from the UK, who is also relatively-
Emily: Low context.
Dedeker: Yes. Relatively low context on that way. For him, it was like, "Oh, great, awesome." When I was going on dates in Turkey, for instance. Turkey is a little bit in the middle of the road with context. It's a little bit of a, in between, not such a great reaction. Then, with people that I've dated in Japan, it's definitely been interesting where yes, it can bring it up like I usually bring it up maybe on the first date. Then, we'll spend three dates not talking about it. [laughter]
And then, maybe we'll talk about it a little bit on the first date and another three dates not talking about it. That's how it's been. That's a long one.
Jase: I think this question is interesting because even within one culture, people really cover a range on this. There are some people who feel that by mentioning it up front, like on a dating profile for example. Write first line "I'm polyamorous." That eliminates so many options and doesn't allow people to get to know them first. Whereas, other people would say, "By waiting, I might be wasting their time." If for them that's something that's a deal breaker. That's no-deal. That's dominant. [laughs] Even within one culture, people really have a range on this.
What I will say though, that I have found both in the US and also in dating in other countries is that the reaction might be different depending on their culture. For example, if I'm dating in Russia, I might get "That's fucked up. You're doing it wrong." Because they're a confrontational culture. Or if I'm in Japan, it's like, ”sou desu ka..."
Jase: It was like, "Interesting." But that overtime especially, if I have kind of a friend relationship with them, that overtime it can, in either case, not feel so threatening to them because they see, "Oh, you're not a total alien." This is just one part of you that's a little different from the rest of the culture. Just like I might have parts of me that are different from the rest of my culture.
We are coming up on the end of our talk time right now, but we are going to hang out afterward with all of you. We hope you can all stay, have some drinks, meet other people, have conversations with us. You can find out more about us at our website which is multiamory.com or on Twitter @multiamory.
Dedeker: For people who want more information, for English speakers, my first book is published this year, The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory. You can find that on Amazon or I guess there's no Barnes & Noble here, so on Amazon.
Dedeker: For the Japanese speakers, Fukami Kikue, who is here tonight wrote a book on polyamory. ”Poriamorī fukusū no ai o ikiru” that Japanese speakers can find to get more information on polyamory and non-monogamous relationships. We're also, we're doing a workshop this coming Monday evening on communication and consent. You can find out more information about that on Facebook if you look for Multiamory workshop then it should come up.
Jase: Also in FetLife and Meetup.
Emily: We wanted to thank the Tokyo poly group, especially lovely Jessie and our wonderful interpreter Kimberly. Thank you, Kimberly.
Emily: Also, thank you to this amazing venue, Good Heavens and Paul, thank you so much for having us.
Emily: Please feel free to stay here. Relax. Drink. Hang-out.
Jase: Order some food.
Emily: Order some food.
Jase: Scottish pie? Shepherd's pie.
Emily: All right, thank you Tokyo.
Jase: Arigatou gozaimasu.