This week we're coming at ya live from our first ever patreon retreat in Lake Tahoe, CA! We answer questions from our Patreon supporters, discussing how to avoid scarcity mindset, preventing burnout, fostering inclusivity, Emily's goddess voice, and more!
If you want to support our show, the best way is to become one of our patrons at www.patreon.com/multiamory. In addition to helping us continue to create new content and new projects, you also get extra rewards and exclusive content and discussions.
You can order Dedeker's book, The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love by going to http://amzn.to/2cGBDoC.
Multiamory was created by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack.
Our theme music is Forms I Know I Did by Josh and Anand.
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This document may contain small transcription errors. If you find one please let us know at email@example.com and we will fix it ASAP.
Jase: On this episode of the Multiamory Podcast, we're recording live at our first-ever Patreon-only retreat in beautiful Lake Tahoe, California.
Emily: Hashtag-sorry, neighbors.
Jase: That's right. We've been spending the weekend with some of our amazing Patreon supporters and we've asked them to submit questions, come up with questions for us, to answer live on this episode. We do have a quick disclaimer for all of you sitting here in front of us. We're not recording video of this episode but we are recording audio. If you don't want to be recorded, sit there silently and pantomime cheering or whatever it is.
Dedeker: Or don't use your most identifiable cheer that you have-
Emily: Yes, or voice.
Dedeker: - if you don't want people to recognize your voice.
Jase: Yes, if you have a signature cheer that everyone knows, "Oh yea, that's Jase's cheer, I know that one." You use a different one. [laughs] We got some questions that y'all sent in in advance. Depending on how we're doing on time, we might also have more time if anyone thinks of stuff during this, so you can kind of keep that in the back of your head. We'll let you know. As we're there, we'll kind of look at the time and see how cold it is, because it does get cold here very quickly once the sun goes down and we're recording outside. Is this our second ever episode recording outside?
Dedeker: The immersion, dogs-
Emily: There's going to be dogs.
Dedeker: - woodland creatures.
Jase: Yes. We recorded one other episode outside, just because we wanted to, once, like a year ago. Now we're doing it again.
Dedeker: It's the way podcasting was supposed to be, in nature.
Emily: I don't think I agree with that.
Jase: Back when we were all tribal people and we'd gather around the podcasters and they would--
Emily: That's true.
Dedeker: They would tell their stories.
Emily: That's perfect.
Jase: Should we just jump right into a question?
Dedeker: Yes, we can just jump right into it. We had people submit their questions and people could decide whether or not they wanted themselves to read it on the recording or whether they wanted someone else to read it or whether they wanted to be totally anonymous.
Emily: Pretty much everyone said that-
Dedeker: Shut up, dog.
Emily: - they wanted to read it. "Shut up, dog." Anyone know that? What is it?
Dedeker: The Natalie Dee video?
Dedeker: "Shut up, dog. Where you come from, dog?"
Jase: Yes, "I'm making some wiener wings." "Shut up, dog."
Dedeker: Anyway, it's not important. What's important is, the first person that's going to come up and ask a question, which is Kenzie.
Dedeker: We got it, we got what you said.
Emily: Yes, because you actually have two, this is your first one.
Dedeker: Come right there at that corner. Don't come all the way up on the stage, please.
Emily: Cancel Clear, Oh my god.
Kenzie: We invited you out here.
Emily: You're absolutely right, you did.
Dedeker: You did.
Emily: Thank you for reminding us of that.
Kenzie: This is on my credit card.
Emily: You're absolutely right.
Dedeker: As I will explain, it's most important that our zoom recorder hears you, so that's why. If you're up here, then you're talking into my wine, and that's not good. Anyway, there you go.
Kenzie: All right. This is something I've been struggling a little bit with in my current relationship, combating this sort of scarcity mentality in relationships. Sort of two-fold, both the anxiety with partners you don't necessarily get much time with, to really make the best of the time that you have, and maybe having more trouble when things go wrong, or the expectations that relationships don't stick around. Thing's not working out in the moment, it's the only chance for it to work out.
Just the idea that the anxiety around relationships, needing things to work out right when it's happening because you're not going to get much more.
Emily: Are you also talking about scarcity in terms of your time? With everyone-
Emily: - as well? Okay, just having a limited amount of it?
Kenzie: Yes. Being on the receiving end of that-
Emily: I see.
Kenzie: - and the way it affects the importance of the time you spend together, sometimes negatively.
Emily: Totally, yes.
Dedeker: It seems like the stakes are also higher because it feels like there's a scarcity of time and--
Emily: If it doesn't go as perfectly as you want it to in the moment, then that can be challenging.
Jase: Thanks for your question. We'll ask you if we have more clarifying questions.
Emily: More clarifying questions, yes.
Dedeker: You can sit down, yes.
Jase: I mean, it's up to you, I suppose. I just thought you'd be more comfortable sitting down. Gosh, we really should have figured this out beforehand.
Emily: We thought we thought of everything but unfortunately we did not.
Dedeker: I feel like, at least, recently, I feel like with my clients that I work with, I tend to go through phases of where, for some reason, kind of organically, the same piece of advice keeps coming up. Recently, like the past couple of months or so, I found myself telling people a lot like, "It's okay, you probably have more time than you think that you have." At least as far as in the sense of the stakes, I suppose.
It's okay, this relationship doesn't need to get escalated right now, maybe even this fight doesn't need to get resolved right now in this moment. You don't need to make these plans right now. I know I feel like we're so conditioned, at least, particularly in the west, we're so conditioned that it's always-- Time is money, right? It's like there's no sense in dragging your feet and wasting time and taking your time, really.
I think there's something there in that, at least, I find for me, when I feel myself feeling that time anxiety is letting myself slow down and breathe and really examine, okay, what are the things here in this relationship that really are truly time-sensitive and I need to figure it out now, or I need to tell this person this now, and what can actually have some time and some space and some air around it. Like, what's not all going to fall apart if there's some time there?
I think these two will attest that I'm really terrible at that and the rest of my life. I'm definitely, in the rest of my life, thinking everything needs to be figured out right now or else it's all going to fall apart, which is not true. Anyway, that's my part of that.
Jase: I also wanted to just add that I definitely relate to having that feeling that that's something that, especially earlier on in my relationship with Dedeker, that was something that we experienced a lot and that I experienced a lot because our time that we got to spend together was more limited then, and so there was this sort of every time we get to see each other, whether that was only once a week or whether it's because she's out of the country for four months and I don't get to see her till after that, whatever it was and it changed over time.
There is that temptation to be like, "everything has to be meaningful. These are the last memories we get, they all have to matter." The irony of it, of course, was that that led to a lot more stress and a lot less enjoying that actual time that we had together, and it's funny because I think that just being in a relationship a little bit longer helps to just give a little more perspective.
Even then, just the other day, I was packing because I was coming back to the states before Dedeker, like a week before, and we started getting a little bit stressed about everything we need to fit in and everything we want to do together before we're apart for a week and then we're going to be together again for a month. That still kicked in. I don't know if it's an instinct, but that sort of reflex to want to make everything precious and meaningful, which actually just made us really stressed out.
Luckily, because we'd been there and had acknowledged it in the past, we were able to say to each other, "Wait a minute. We're doing that thing, huh? We're going to see each other in a bit." Even if that were a longer amount of time, "We're going to see each other, let's just enjoy the time that we have even if that means we're not going to do all ten of these things that were on our to-do list that we haven't gotten to yet, that our time together is more important than being able to say we did a specific thing," you know?
Emily: What resonated for me about this question was that I really hear what you're saying, and all of these things about time being this scarce thing that we all have. I know for myself, I often try to put so much, so many things into like a week, or a day even. I feel as though I really need to get shit done, and be there for everyone who needs me in that week, which includes them, which includes my nesting partner wants a certain amount of time with me, which includes my friends, which includes time for myself to be able to go to yoga and do things that matter to me, that help me reset.
I know that it's incredibly important to let yourself off the hook sometimes if you don't get that time or if you don't give the time that everyone is requesting of you. That's a thing that I tend to need to remind myself a lot, is let myself off the hook. Because it is really impossible sometimes and you can't, you just simply cannot always do everything that everyone expects or wants from you, and that is okay. It really is.
I guess I just urge you to know that if people are there for you and care about you, then they'll understand that maybe at times you need to just be like, "You know what? I'm going to drop this ball right now and be there for myself." That, to me, is the most important thing at this moment and please respect that.
Dedeker: They don't have to be making coffee for everybody [chuckles] all the time.
Emily: We appreciate it and they, I'm sure they do to, yes.
Dedeker: You just make it for yourself and be selfish. I just wanted to clarify a little bit. Are you finding that it's the case where it's like myself in this certain partner, we only get so much time together and that means that it all has to be special and meaningful and positive and we can't dig into any negative things or is it something different more along lines of just feeling anxious about it?
Kenzie: It’s a little bit of both not necessarily that it all has to be positive, but it all has to be connective. Yes, so we can like processing stuff with us, doing work in the relationship. It still feels like a good use of my time.
Dedeker: Right, yes. My question would be like just as a thought experiment as like what amount of time would I have to spend with a partner where it would feel okay to not have 100% of time be connective?
Kenzie: Are you asking me?
Dedeker: Yes. You know I'm asking theoretically, but you don't have to have an answer for that. Because I think that's funny because especially the word of your question you said specifically like, "I don't want to squander the little time that we have. I think that's a wonderful sentiment that of course, I think I don't think any of us want to squander the time that we have with our partners, but to a certain extent on like a day-to-day basis, we do because of like adulting or whatever and so that's my question.
Jase: I just want to play video games tonight like let's do that.
Dedeker: Can I please just squander our time for once? [laughs] My question is like where's the tipping point where it like for some reason it feels more comfortable having not 100% of time being super connective or meaningful. I don't know maybe thinking about that will bring some insight possibly?
Emily: I think there can be beauty in the little things in those times where you're just hanging out together and I don't know playing video games together or being in a room together with one another.
Dedeker: Wondering your time together.
Emily: Yes. I think it doesn't need to be a negative thing. It can be like a beautiful thing to just enjoy the minutia, yes.
Jase: I think it is one of those funny things to that especially when we first start dating someone and maybe we only see them once a week or once every other week or once a month, there's something like that that we're always like, "Gosh, I just wish I had more time." Then on the other side of it, we'll have that partner that we end up moving in with.
We're basically all of our time is squandered because you're having to live a life, right. You're having to maintain a household. You're having to just do your normal stuff and it is this weird thing where on the one hand we're like, "God if only we had more time," and then when we have all the time then we waste all of it because it's like we're nothing special anymore, so it’s--
Emily: What is waste of time? yes.
Jase: Well, that's my point is that none of it's wasted in either way that is.
Dedeker: Here on multi-Philisophery
Emily: What is time? Multi-existentialism.
Jase: What is time?
Emily: Yes. Awesome.
Dedeker: Do you feel full now, because I feel feeling okay.
Emily: Awesome. Thank you. All right. Okay, yes. Do we want to move on to our next question?
Jase: Yes, let's do it.
Emily: I think so, yes. auryn, you are the next one.
auryn: You three have run Multiamory for over three years now.
Jase: Almost four.
auryn: Almost four.
Emily: It'll be four next month.
auryn: That's awesome, congratulations. That also goes with the development of this thriving community, like we're all here and you all have you're busy like polyamorous lives as well. In that same time, I've seen a number of community leaders get burnt out from all the work that they do and all the work that you'd like get things going and keep things running. What tips can you give us on preventing that burnout? How have you kept things going strong all this time? We all know that you three are Poly superheroes, but damn--
Dedeker: Stop [chuckles]
Emily: Only when Anthony- it makes us into them.
Dedeker: You're the only one we're drawing us, Superheroes.
Emily: Yes, exactly. If I can start off that one, I really would attribute the lack of burnout to the two people sitting next to me and I think just the fact that it's three of us makes a huge difference, and that we also have finally been able to delegate tasks to others and have an amazing social media wizard and he's also our assistant and then the lovely Emaricio who edits everything, and then all of you lovely people who helped us plan this retreat.
Dedeker: All our moderators for the Patreon community.
Emily: Exactly, yes. That is a huge help like it does take a village to raise a child and this is our baby podcast child.
Emily: I think that makes a world of difference, and just to win any one of us is like, "Oh my god, this is so tough. I don't know if I can keep doing this," and the other two will build them back up.
Jase: It has happened. These two are actually just reminiscing the other day about a time
Emily: That was yet like yesterday.
Jase: Yes, like yesterday on the drive up, yes. That they were reminiscing about a time a few months into us doing this podcast when I broke down being like, "What are we even doing? No one is going to listen to this. This is terrible," like what are we doing?
Dedeker: Why are we doing this? We shouldn't be doing this.
Emily: Yes, like, "Who are we to say anything?"
Jase: Yes, having the two of them for those moments for me for them to be like, "No, but stop it. Come on we've gotten some people already who have said this has been helpful for them. Let's keep going with it." I think that yes, having three people as much as that also adds layers of complication to it, really has helped a lot to get through those times when you have that crisis of like, "Who am I to run anything."
Dedeker: Well, those are all better answers than I was going to give.
Emily: I doubt that.
Dedeker: Well, because--
Jase: Dedeker's like caffeine and booze.
Dedeker: No, I was like we made a little podcast where we drink the entire time. That became our outlet.
Emily: #white shrug Bible study.
Dedeker: Yes. I don't know. The thing like burn out, it happens. I think that when we first started this- first of all a couple things, when we first started this it was just let's make a podcast and that was about the extent of what our dream was, was we're just going to make a podcast together.
Emily: It was a pipe dream?
Dedeker: Yes, and then the community sprang up. I don't feel comfortable taking credit for starting the community. The community showed up and started itself and cobbled itself together. I think yes, I was talking about this earlier today that then retroactively, we had to be like, "Oh gosh. What are our intentions for this? Who is this going to serve? How are people best going to be saves?
What kind of space do we want to create that it wasn't like we started out with this vision of we're going to create a community, but that's become such an integral part? Honestly the podcast and everything that goes into making a podcast, the editing and the writing and the producing and the marketing and reaching out to guests and helping to run the community and making all these decisions.
It's so much work, but the community itself also I find to be very life-giving as well. That's the ironic thing and honest I've never had a child and I know some of you do have children and I don't want to offend anyone by comparing our podcast to having a baby because I know it's probably just a fraction of the work, but this is probably the closest thing I'm going to have to having a baby honestly, or these projects like writing the book or like having the podcast.
I think similarly, it's like this is so much work, but then seeing it grow and seeing good things happen or even seeing disagreements get worked out or seeing a community evolve and thrive, that in itself is really validating and affirming and helps to keep us going even when there's burnout and because we know that like-- I don't know if someone's listening.
Emily: Hopefully, yes. Yes, so thank you all for being there for us when we most need it because we definitely read your reviews and go on to the Multiamory Patreon only Facebook group and see what you have to say on there and that makes a huge, huge difference to us.
Dedeker: We wouldn't be here in Tahoe by ourselves recording this four years later without any of you sitting out there. That would really be weird and--
Emily: Every single one of you here, yes.
Jase: I don't know, it sounds fun.
auryn: And super random.
Dedeker: Can you talk about the podcast video game you and your brother wanted to make?
Jase: Yes. My brother also has a podcast and he is also an agent for podcasts who do live tours and things like that. Someday will be big enough that he'll represent us I hope.
Dedeker: He's been a wonderful, wonderful very generous source of knowledge, yes.
Jase: He and I were talking about making a video game about making a podcast and the way the video game goes is, you buy the video game-- It's a pretty expensive one because it comes with a lot of extra peripherals like microphones and things like that which you plug into your computer-
auryn: Oh my god.
Jase: - and you press the record button and you record a podcast, and then you see a ratings thing or a downloads thing that just behaves randomly, but generally it's just very low. That's it and nothing happens, and you just keep talking into like a black screen forever and that's all that ever happens.
Dedeker: Maybe if you played the game for six months straight, maybe something happens.
Emily: It sounds like a riveting game.
Jase: Which is how much it is, it can feel like talking into this black box, and so at first, it was like getting any of those little things, like getting a review or getting an email or getting a tweet from somebody or something like that and then it was, "Oh my gosh, people are actually joining the Patreon and joining the Facebook group," and like, "Oh my gosh, people actually want us to do another thing," or people say, "Hey, we want to contribute to you doing a tour." It just then grew without us even knowing what we were expecting or what the goal was.
It's not like this, like this community we were talking about, that I felt like we made that, as sort of, maybe people would like a space where they could talk to us, and then it's turned into a place where all of you talk with each other.
Dedeker: Don't talk to us, don't want to talk to us [laughter]--
Emily: Again, you don't even need us--
Jase: Yes, right, you are the community. All of you are the reason why that community is something special and why that's something that people talk about how meaningful it's been in their lives. It's not, because I can just text this to Dedeker and Emily, it's because I found all of you, I guess, that's the part of the-- I know we are getting little philosophical and not just answering your question, but thank you for that. I think also just being willing to adapt and having people help us and having people tell us when we could be doing stuff better.
Emily: Asking for help, yes.
Dedeker: Yes, I think that is a big part, is like having multiple people on a team who are pro-active contributors. I think, it is possible like one person steps forward, has this vision for creating something and they can enroll other people, and get people excited about that, but--
Emily: They probably even would need other people to help.
Dedeker: Yes, that's the thing, I think being able to find a way to balance the load to a certain extent, where there's enough people excited to bring that drive and that passion to, so it's just not one person's passion feeling the whole thing. I was like, noble and romantic as that sounds.
Jase: Yes, and I think, we didn't do this one, it probably helped to be independently wealthy, that probably makes it easier.
Emily: I am pretty sure that helps most things.
Jase: Didn't also have to have a job for likes, you know, do other things, that would be good, so that's my tip, a pro tip.
Dedeker: Or, yes, make a podcast, either that's directly about sex or about true crime, that's the other tip that we found to make it a lot easier to launch apparently these days.
Jase: Yes, that's not really about community building, but if you want a successful podcast, if you could have a true crime sex podcast, I mean that is the content of a lot--
Dedeker: But, it's true, a lot of true crimes podcast are awful to listen to at the same time.
Jase: Not because they are bad people, we love you guys who do all those podcasts, we just mean the stories are awful. Yes, we should move on, or we just--
Emily: Let's continue, let's keep this ball rolling.
Dedeker: Our next person is Mandy,
Mandy: Okay, I am an English teacher, so I wrote this like an English teacher. I've recently been reading Kevin Patterson's book Love's Not Color Blind, and I am finding it very interesting and enlightening as a white polyamorous, and also as a committee member of an ENM group, Ethical Non-monogamy group in the LA area.
In the section, fostering inclusivity for white folks, Patterson says that, "If we are going to foster diversity in our polyamorous communities and in our social circles, we have to go straight to the source of what causes the divisions in the first place. This process, first and foremost, requires introspection."
I believe that introspection is a continual process and I am quite introspective about these issues myself, but I am wondering what that process has been like for you three so far. In question format, as white polyamorous people, what has your process of introspection regarding race been like? Have there been any challenging incidences within the polyamorous community that have made you reconsider your internal biases? What do you think are the most important steps you have taken or can take to make the polyamorous community more inclusive for POC, people of color?
Emily: That's great, thank you for that.
Dedeker: There's a couple of different moving parts to this question. Is it okay if I have comment on the introspection thing?
Dedeker: Yes, first of all, has anyone here read Kevin Patterson's book? I know we interviewed him.
Jase: Got a few hands up there.
Dedeker: Definitely, if you haven't, definitely go get it, it's phenomenal, it's fantastic and very accessible also at the same time. The introspective process has been really interesting and I think, what I have seen with a lot of white peers of mine, but definitely within the past couple of years, for a lot of people has been the first time that people have been confronted with having to think about issues behind race and racial inclusivity.
I think that, for a long time, for a lot of white people, even liberal white people, there is a lot of complacency around kind of this sense like if I am not actively being racist, if I am not using racial slurs, or if I am not discriminating against somebody, then it's really not my problem. I can say that those people are bad, but like that's kind of where the buck stops. I think that that was a really common sentiment for quite a while. I know, I think that's definitely what I embodied for several years up until just a few years ago until that introspective process actually started.
I found, for me, since then, at least I have personally started broadening the types of voices that I consume. For instance, following twitter accounts of people of color or people who are not like me, people who are non-cis, people who are queer, things like that, that I found something that's been true. For me, that's been true in my relationships in general that coming from a mindfulness background that, if I feel discomfort or if I feel a need to get defensive about something, that's actually a great signal to keep looking within.
I think that what we see online right now is a lot of like, if people feel defensive about being called out on something, it's a signal to I need to defend myself, I need to talk about why this isn't true, I need to invalidate this person's experience, or I need to make sure that people know that I am a good white person, for instance. I think, for me, it's been changing that process of realizing like, no, if those feelings come up, or if I feel like, "Well, I am not like that or I shouldn't be called out for this." That's a key to go inward, introspect. Is that a verb? Introspect is--
Emily: To be introspective?
Dedeker: I'll use it as a verb--
Emily: Go ahead, you can do whatever you want. To introspect, yes.
Dedeker: To introspect even further into what is it that makes me feel defensive right now. Could my actions be looked at very differently from someone from a very different background of mine, and then also realizing that it's kind of like my discomfort or sense of defensiveness. As a person who lives in relative privilege, those feelings don't really matter. They don't really matter.
I don't get to unload them onto somebody because they don't really matter, they don't really change things unless I internalize them, look at them, and then actually use that to fuel changing my behavior, doing something different or something more pro-active.
That's my little monologue on introspection. Sorry for wandering a little bit there. As far as things happening in the polyamorous community or things like we have tried to focus on as a podcast, of trying to make things more accessible and more inclusive, obviously, as we built our platform, trying to continually to highlight voices of people who are not like us, continually trying to bring on guests who are people of color.
When researching guests, specifically like, I know for me, if there is a particular topic, I want to bring a guest on for, taking that extra step, instead of going to the most famous person or maybe the person who shows up first on the Google search result. Is there anyone who is basically not a straight white men talking about this, or not a white person who is talking about this topic, who we could bring on to the podcast and help center their voice for a while as well.
As far as like steps in the future, definitely our staff on the podcast is still relatively small, I definitely see a future where, again, as we are able to outsource like production a little bit more, something that I loved about Kevin Patterson's book was just the great importance of bringing in people of color into positions of leadership or administration, on your project.
Even if you don't think your project has anything to do with race or anything to do with inclusivity, still doing it anyway to bring that perspective in. I also envision, if we got more of a production team, bringing in people who are not like us to be line producers, or who are on more of our marketing team, thing's like that. Something that I would also like to implement, and I think we're actually pretty close to being able to implement this would be creating a model wherein we could pay our guests, which is not a standard podcast model at all.
Not only paying guests for their time and for being able to share their experience but also setting that at a sliding scale, where people who come from multiple marginalized identities, could receive more potentially. That’s just some of many, many, many, many, things that can be done but I think as far as practical things, one of my biggest takeaways from Kevin Patterson's book was. I think this kind of ties in a little bit to Orrin's question on community building is just having the foresight to bring in people not like you at leadership, at a foundational, creative level on a project. Even if your first instinct is to think like that that's not necessarily needed. Sorry, I talked to a long time.
Emily: It’s okay. When Ruby Johnson was on the podcast and I asked her the question is there something that we as white or white-passing can do like what from your perspective is something that we can do to be more inclusive. The thing that she said which was so wonderful is it's not up to us, it's not up to people of color or anyone in a marginalized community to tell you the privileged people what to do.
It's up to you to figure that out and that was a moment for me where I was like fuck, okay, your abso-fucking-lutely right and I really need to check myself. I am Mexican and Native American and a bunch of different things but I am very white passing and I have lived in that privilege my entire life. I definitely know I have to check myself all the time with ever thinking like okay, I don't know what I should be doing.
I'm trying to look to someone else to tell me what I should be doing but instead, the question that I should be asking is what more reading can I do? What can I do more to be an ally? What can I do more to educate myself about all of these things that I need to be better about. I guess yes with the podcast as well that's something I think that we have continued to hopefully step up and become better about.
Again, like the community has told us all of you have told us when we have fallen by the wayside in that way or in any way like hey, you said something that I didn't appreciate or you said something that was triggering and for all of you to be able to tell us that is incredibly important as well regardless of what it is. Yes, I think just the continued education that keeps happening is something to hopefully move us all forward as a community and for the three of us to continue I guess making the community at large more inclusive.
Jase: Yes, I mean I feel like you both already said so much [laughs] after we read this question. Something that-- This was definitely something I guess to go back to the question of what has that process been for us that it was something that came up for us somewhat early on. I'd say within the first year or so is when we started realizing shit, we really offer a somewhat narrow perspective on what this is and pretty much all the other voices about polyamory out there are coming from basically the same perspective of mostly straight-ish or at least can pass for that white people right.
I mean that was a process that we started early but it is like the thing that's still going on and that even something as little as like getting this question like we go back into it of that are we doing enough. What else could we be doing, right like it is-- To echo what Emily said I do really appreciate that we have listeners who are willing to ask us those things.
Well, right and especially to offer us their ideas or ways that we can do that better because while yes that's not anyone's job to tell us how to do that. We appreciate that because I know that it is a risk like if you listen to someone who makes content that you like and there's something you notice it's just I like what you're doing but you say these things that are belittling of something that I am maybe you don't realize that I don't know because of what Dedeker was saying what we see online is people get defensive.
We don't need to listen to you, like fuck off or I’ll defend myself instead and talk about why you're a jerk or why you're too sensitive or whatever it is. I get like that's the experience that even if we were to write in to someone who says something that we feel like is marginalizing to community that we're in, a lot of times that's the reaction you get. I understand that that barrier of like is it worth my time of possibly getting shit on to express this feeling that I have.
I really do appreciate the people who have done that with us because as hard as that is for us sometimes to hear it, I know it's hard for them to write it sometimes. That's been a big part of our fostering that introspection and letting us know even what things to introspect [laughs] because that's-- part of the problem right is that with any kind of privilege is that you don't see it, right?
Until there is some way for you to learn that, you just can’t, right. Like Dedeker said about finding ways to be more proactive about learning that rather than waiting for someone to tell us that they're trying to read people's things. Then the other part too is when people tell you about their experience of something of just believing them instead of trying to tell them how it would be different if it was happening to you.
Just hearing people and actually believing them when they tell you that their experience is a certain thing or that something is a certain way for them or has been a certain way for them. I think that is very powerful. I would say embarrassingly is surprisingly hard to learn sometimes just like believe people because that's not always the most comfortable thing to do.
Dedeker: I think and I guess to give a little bit of a call to action that I feel like is a very easy step in this direction at least for people who are white or white-passing privileged is the thing is as shitty as it is to be on the internet sometimes.
Jase: It is a terrible place.
Dedeker: It is such an amazing time in history where as far as opportunities to listen to people who are not like you. Opportunities to get to listen to other people's experiences especially people of color or who are queer or who are trans, it's so easy to go out and find those things. Like just go through hashtags, you can find Twitter accounts to follow, you can find people's blogs, you can find books to read.
It's compared to 50, 60 years ago. It's so easy to be able to actually choose like hey I'm going to listen to other people's experiences and see what that's like. We have those resources and all it takes is literally just like that little bit of effort on your part to hunt down some social media like accounts or some spaces online where people are talking about these things just to even be able to listen and see. That's like it's a very tiny first step but it is a step in the right direction and--
Emily: Educate yourself.
Dedeker: Yes, that's like probably the easiest way.
Emily: Thank you. That was great. Very necessary great question.
Dedeker: We did mention at the top of the show that we lost a question not as in we misplaced it but like if we had to end up taking it out. That means that Kinsey gets another question. It's kind of feeling like the karaoke lineup
Emily: I know I was like it’s okay.
Every other person is Kinsey but that's also great and wonderful
Speaker 1: I like attention. This is just a fun one, a little less philosophical. I would really love to hear about personal experience early in your polyamory journey that really validated that you were on the right path. Like a specific memory that you have in that moment looking around your life thinking like this is where, this is what I'm supposed to be doing, this is where I'm supposed to be?
Emily: I go first. This was very early in my polyamorous life but this was when I was in a quad with the two people next to me and Brad. Basically, yes I think that I had gone on a date with Brad and Jase and Dedeker had gone on a date and I think Dedeker went home for the evening. Brad and I were at karaoke, of course, my favorite place and Jase came by and Jase was like singing a song and I was like laughing with Brad and he seemed really happy and we had had a great day.
I looked up and saw Jase, he was super happy and it was just like fuck. I have my two partners here with me and everyone is okay and we're all very happy. I'm also doing a thing that I love to do and there is what is better at this. If this isn't great, I don't know what it is. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, I think so yes, I believe he said that at one point. I don't know but yes, anyways that was--
Dedeker: It was too slow to fact check you. [laughter]
Emily: Some patron’s going to be like no, you’re super wrong. He’s like actually no. Mauricio’ll chime in. Anyways, that was a very simple moment but I remember my heart being so full.
Dedeker: You got one?
Jase: No, you want to go next.
Emily: Jase is like, "I don't got one. I'm sorry."
Jase (through mouthfull of berry): I’m eating strawberries.
Dedeker: Jase is like, "I still haven't validated in my polyamory.
Emily: Jeez. Oh my God.
Dedeker: I don't know. A couple of moments turned out to me, the earliest one is a little bit fuzzy but I think the earliest one was even just the first time that I think that I used the P word in describing myself to someone that I was dating.
Jase: Wait, which?
Dedeker. Polyamory, polyamorous.
Jase: I'm sorry. That was a little slow. I'm thinking I don't know.
Emily: What other P word?
Jase: I thought you were going to say partner or something. I said what, where are we going with this? Sorry.
Emily: It's going to be okay.
Female voice: I'm blown away.
Emily: It's going to be okay.
Dedeker: I was going to say with the altitude or something. The first time that I used the term polyamory to describe myself and then also went on to kind of describe what that meant to me to someone that I'd gone on a couple dates with, I think at this point. The fact that they for the first time, instead of this person being like, "That's weird. I don't know if I could do that."
Asking a lot of questions with that tone of not curiosity, but, "You better defend yourself to me." Or the tone of like, "I'm really scared of this and I need to figure out what it means for me and how it affects me." The first time that the person that I was on a date with was curious and also really positive and also really related to it. He hadn't had an experience but for him, he was like, "Oh my goodness. Wow. I've totally felt that way and that makes so much sense.
I think the first time that I had this really positive reaction to my self-description, my identity, that was kind of the first step I was like, "This isn't just an instant turnoff to everyone else on the planet." Which at that point it had started to feel like it was. For me, it's like a number of different tiny little milestones. The first time that I could come home from a date and then go visit another partner and talk about the date to my partner and it was all fine and good and felt very normal.
My first time ever feeling compersion was a huge moment of validation. I'm not like a huge compersion junkie or anything, and sometimes I worried that compersion is too much like polyamory PR. Sometimes sets such unrealistic ideals for people but that aside, the first time I ever actually felt that way was actually in our quad experience.
Was back when I saw my partner Brad give Emily a kiss, up until that point even though identified as polyamorous, I still struggled from my first experience when someone else was also in love with someone else at the same time and really struggled with what that meant and how I felt about that. It hadn't been easy up to that point but then I saw that and it was like these fireworks went off inside of me and I didn't understand.
I was like my body shouldn't be feeling this way to seeing this. It's never felt this way before. I think for me that experience was also this incredible like, this does actually feel really good to me. It's not just in the moments that are more selfish where I feel like I have all the partners and no one else has any partners or anything like that. It is actually also feeling good to me even when I'm not directly benefiting from this arrangement.
I think that was it for me. What you got?
Emily: Come on Jase. You got one.
Jase: It's hard because I feel like it's this constant process but I will say that one experience that I had that I really appreciated. This was even earlier than Emily's.
Emily: It's not a competition for God's sakes, seriously.
Jase: Right around the time that Emily and I opened up our relationship, Emily felt like this is important that we tell our families about this because they had known us together monogamously for a while and she's like, "We should tell them about this."
Emily: You were kind of like, “Huh?"
Jase: I had phone calls with my dad and my mom and my brother. Specifically, my brother and my mom were the ones that really surprised me. My brother, his response was sort of like, "That's interesting. Your girlfriend learned about that in one of her courses in college, you should check out Sex at Dawn." That's actually a book that talks about some of that stuff, whatever.
Just that his response didn't need to be like, "Gosh, that's not something I want to do. You better not be trying to convince me to do it." Still being like, "Yes, I've heard that's a thing that people do and that there's potentially some scientific backing for why that might be a thing we'd want to do." That was his response and then my mom too in her response at one point she was a little bit like, "What? How does that work?"
I kind of explained it and she's like, "I know. I kind of wish I could do that. That sounds nice."
Emily: Mom, you can.
Jase: That's not something that she's decided to do.
Emily: That's all right too.
Jase: For me actually, I feel very lucky that I got to have those positive experiences. I've had other negative ones but that those two were specifically that positive was just like, "Oh, okay. I haven't come up with something that's so outlandish and terrible and immoral that no one could ever love me for wanting this." For me, I was lucky that I got to have that experience in that way.
After that had lots of experiences with people saying it's terrible and immoral and you're an awful person and you're a cult leader and all that sort of stuff.
Dedeker: True story.
Jase: Not yet.
Dedeker: What was that?
Emily: What was that?
Female voice: Please don't fight it.
Dedeker: She is right.
Emily: That's why we should be timing out.
Jase: Don't fight it, boy.
Dedeker: It is where the money is at.
Jase: That's what they tell me. Yes.
Female voice: Goodness me.
Jase: We get to have cool uniforms and stuff. Now that sounds good.
Emily: No. No. No.
Female voice: Everybody call the police.
Jase: I guess there have been many things along the way, though, because then there's also been periods of that being really hard and then having those little unique situations of being at karaoke with another karaoke member.
Dedeker: All these karaoke members.
Emily: Karaoke is awesome.
Jase: Being at karaoke with Dedeker and another guy that both of us were dating and being able to sing songs at both of them while they're being sweet with each other and then I get up and hug them and doing that and just that we were all that comfortable with it was like that was another one of those experiences or even in other ways even after the three of us were not all dating each other.
Being able to have the experience of talking to people about us and they're like, "You guys are trying out in your podcast." Especially other polyamorous people.
Jase: We're not a throuple or a triad. We're actually this other thing and for them to go, "Whoa."
Emily: That is crazy.
Jase: Maybe on the other side of them saying, "Yes, that. I can't even believe it. That's amazing." Me remembering other relationships from the past and being like, there's no way that could have happened. Not that that can't happen with former partners and friends and stuff in monogamous relationships, but for me, it could not have happened. I think that was another one of those really cool, validating moments.
Dedeker: Seems like the key is karaoke really. I think you're on wrong track.
Emily: All of you, you sang beautifully today.
Jase: The karaoke really that was great.
Emily: It was so good.
Jase: We do have one question, that's not a question.
Dedeker: Yes, that was anonymously submitted.
Jase: Do we want to have someone read it?
Dedeker: Yes. This was anonymously submitted and they said, "I want somebody else to read on the show." It's short.
Jase: Do we have a volunteer to read?
Speaker 2: I'll read it if I can read it in a funny voice.
Jase: Sure, yes. Love it.
Dedeker: Sorry, Trevor.
Speaker 2: No, wait--
Dedeker: Trevor can you whine up the funny voice bit.
Trevor: Is it a funny question?
Jase: We’re not going to give it away. It's short. It's very short.
Speaker 2: Is it anonymous voice?
Trevor: Go for it.
Jase: It's two sentences.
Emily: Just do an anonymous voice, whatever that is.
Speaker 2: I don't know.
Dedeker: Whatever you do, you got to commit to it though.
Speaker 2: "It’s very bright and we're trying to make-"
Dedeker: Not that one.
Emily: It's the one that says, "Anonymous."
Jase: In green there.
Speaker 2: Okay, I'll read it like this. "Emily your voice is like liquid gold in my ears. You are an amazing goddess."
Emily: Thank you.
Jase: Thank you so much.
Dedeker: Not a question.
Emily: Oh man.
Female Voice: Not me, by the way.
Dedeker: Okay. Are you sure?
Jase: You are though, Emily. You are.
Emily: Jeez. Goodness.
Trevor: Can we do a couple of takes?
Jase: Does someone want to try with the voice?
Dedeker: No, no. My goodness.
Emily: Dedeker goes like, no.
Dedeker: I will allow one more take. One more take because now it feels like it’s just indulging on Emily’s part.
Jase: Don't mind that first step.
Dedeker: Only that first step, yes.
Male Speaker 1: I'll raise it.
Jase: The green anonymous.
Male Speaker 1: "Emily your voice is like liquid gold in my ear. You are an amazing goddess."
Emily: Thank you.
Jase: That’s nice.
Emily: Wow. That was beautiful, both of you.
Jase: Now like Mauricio if you could edit those two on top of each other like the creepy like the sci-fi voice cinema that’s the yes.
Jase: Then Emily can set that as her alarm clock in the morning.
Emily: I mean I appreciate the affirmation like I need that-
Dedeker: It will go public before you audition or something.
Emily: No, totally because I definitely mostly what people said about my voice is like it's so unusual and I’m like yes. I know.
Dedeker: No, I’m really uncomfortable with this.
Emily: It’s okay. I've had enough affirmation for one. Thank you all. That was my limit.
Dedeker: We have a little bit of time?
Jase: Maybe like one more.
Emily: Yes, there was someone in the back who had a question.
Dedeker: Come on down.
Jase: You in the multiamory shirt.
Emily: I see that multiamory shirt.
Jase: Uniforms, I was talking about those a second ago.
Dedeker: It’s true.
Emily: You're right and there’ve been a couple around today.
Male Speaker 2: I live with a partner that I've lived for about six years and she's moving to another country to go to grad school for an intermittent amount of time but at least year. I was wondering if you guys had advice and thoughts on how you transition a relationship into that long-distance style relationship.
Jase: Oh boy, do we ever?
Emily: I mean considering these two sitting next to me are like half the year long distance.
Dedeker: Yes, it’s true.
Jase: Yes, I mean I went through a very similar thing where a couple years ago, Dedeker said-
Jase: I’m getting rid of all my things and traveling the world and I'd want to do that on my own.
Dedeker: And I don't know when I'm coming back.
Jase: And I don’t know when I’m coming back maybe never. Like FF in there and it sucked. That wasn't a fun experience. I'm not going to say oh, just to listen it’s all fine. As far as transitioning that, honestly a lot of the tools that we talked about on the show like things like radar help a lot with that because I found that in the past for me in trying to do long-distance relationships even if it was like, “Oh, we're going to be temporarily long-distance for this reason.” There is a couple of things.
One is that especially since sometimes it can be hard to coordinate when you're going to talk to each other, when you're going to video chat with each other especially with time zones. Even if it's not that, that can be challenging to figure out how to schedule and so that time gets limited. It's kind of go back to Kinsey’s question from the beginning. The time can get limited so I find like that there's two sides. On the one hand, you like never want to talk about anything hard or heavy because we get such precious little time, let's just try to enjoy it.
Having something like radar gives you that like well, I know we're going to talk about this once a month or once every two weeks or however often we decide that's going to work for us. You know you have that so if something comes up, you could think like, “Okay. Well our radar’s only two weeks away, maybe I'll write it down and I'll wait to bring it up then,” so you don't have that pressure of like do I bring this up and ruin like this one time we get to talk this week or whatever it is.
Then on the other side, a very armchair psychologist theory that I came up with years ago was that when we're long-distance with someone there's a certain like just emotional intensity that we don't get to have with them because we don't have like physical touch or we don't have those sorts of physical intimacy that have those kind of hormonal reactions and like cause feelings of any kind in us. I think that that sometimes we can actually on the other hand have more serious conversations while we're long-distance because then we get to feel something.
Then like even if it's because I'm crying and I'm upset or I'm whatever it is that you're feeling at least and that's the thing that it's hard to feel like you're not getting. Again very armchair psychologists, I have no backing for this whatsoever.
Emily: Well, except for a bunch of years of being long-distance with your partner.
Jase: With my own personal experience sure that maybe that's what was going on. I think also having something like radar, having a regular check-in also gives you the opportunity to then try different stuff. With Dedeker and myself, it was okay during the radar, I talked about like let's try a different video chat service or I have an idea about how we could play this particular video game together remotely that's not a two-player game but I think I figured out a way we can do a screen sharing thing so that'll work.
Or we've spent a lot of our time getting really stressed out over these video games we've been playing like what if instead this month, we tried watching movies together and talking about those or what-
Dedeker: Talk about more serious things than just like video games and movies--
Jase: The point I'm trying to make though is not about just you should play video games and watch movies all the time. The point I'm trying to make is that it gives you the chance to try different things and then it's like we’ll try this for a month and see how it goes. It's like okay like I still wish we had more of this and it's like okay let's try another thing rather than that kind of like do I bring it up now, do I—I don’t want to mess up the plans we already have it, it kind of gives you a way to do that.
Once we started doing that, helped a ton with all sorts of different things like finding designated texting time with each other or just all sorts of different things that we've tried that we then will adapt now depending on what time zones we’re in relative to each other or what our internet access is like or things like that.
Dedeker: Yes, I've definitely found since now I am in a weird version of life where it's like half the year I'm long distance with one partner and then the other chunk of the year I'm long distance with a different partner that like having a regular check-in is seriously paramount. Not just for negotiating things or trying things but also because the fact that like when you are long distance, you lose a little bit of that being in each other's day-to-day lives and it gives you a chance to just like catch up.
Like the part of the radar where you're sitting and looking at your Google Calendar where you can't be like oh, I didn't tell you about this like silly dinner party I went to two weeks ago but let me tell you about that now. It's not like it's necessarily relevant to you but it's me filling you in on my life and bringing you into that space intimately that you would have gotten when we're living together but now it's a little bit interrupted. Just the other thing I was going to say I guess this is kind of like post-transition when you actually are long-distance.
Send a lot more selfies than you think is appropriate.
Jase: Yes, that’s a good one.
Dedeker: There is a reason for that like this is something that comes up in therapy the thing is that like there is a part of your brain that can't tell the difference between a real person's face and like a picture of a person's face. There's like your pre-frontal cortex that knows the difference but there's like a deeper part of your brain that doesn't know the difference. Where it often comes up in therapy is like if you have a bunch of unresolved stuff with your father for instance but your father's dead then you can like put a picture up and like talk out your stuff and it feels silly but it actually kind of unlocks some stuff in your brain and in your emotions that wouldn't otherwise just thinking about it.
The same thing with relationships that like do a lot more FaceTime or Skyping than you think is appropriate even if it's short calls even it's just like I'm on my lunch break let's just talk for 20 minutes but let's do it FaceTime and same thing with just like send way more selfies than you think are appropriate. Because of triggering that like kind of packing that part of your brain to get those kind of pheromones released at least in part that would be if you actually were together because that part of your brain doesn't know the difference.
Emily: The last thing I was going to say and I'm sure that you do a great job of this but just try to be happy for your partner as well that they get to do that. I think so often like we will internalize it and be like, “Oh my God, you're leaving me?” This is all going to become about how hard this is for me in this moment instead of being genuinely happy for them that they get this opportunity. I'm sure you're amazing at it already but just to put it out there.
Dedeker: I’m sure amazing at being happy.
Emily: I’m sure you’re amazing at like being there for your partner but yes, just something to remember.
Dedeker: If you want to get in touch with us, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send us a message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also leave us a voicemail at, everyone together;
Dedeker: Or you could also leave us a voice message on Facebook. To support our show and join our private Facebook community and come to awesome private Patreon only events like this, go to patreon.com/multiamory. Multiamory is created and produced by Jase Lindgren, Emily Matlack and me, Dedeker Winston. Our episodes are edited by Mauricio, our social media wizard is Will Macmillan.
Our theme song is Forms I know I did by Josh and Anand from the Fractal Cave EP. Full transcript is available on this episode's page on multiamory.com.