Clare Wiley (@Clare_Wiley) interviewed Mel Mariposa (@PolySingleish), Meg-John Barker (@megjohnbarker) and myself (@RAisTweeting), to talk about the rise of relationship anarchy, what it means for us, and why we put the work in.
An article on Psychology Today (@PsychToday), written by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff (@drelisheff1), who is a global expert on polyamory and also the author of The Polyamorists Next Door. In this article, she explore the spectrum of non-monogamy, from cheating (unethical, non-consensual non-monogamy) through polygamy, swinging and RA.
The author writes about his experience redefining romantic relationships & friends vs. lovers. He spent time touring with his band, and notice the close bonds that were formed. His friendships were allowed to evolve in an unlimited number of ways, and they also had very few demands placed on the people in the relationship. This article explores how he decided to take these same characteristics and apply them to the romantic relationships in his life.
Ane Vegane’s article on DIY Conspiracy (@DIYconspiracy) writes about having ‘deep and uncompromising’ relationships with her friends. She has a great way of explaining how If we don’t use hierarchies, we won’t have ‘primary’ partners or ‘best’ friends. Relationships can unfold naturally, without expectations or strict boundaries.
Written by Sadie Ryanne (@thedistantpanic) for The Scavenger (@thescavengermag). While she doesn’t use the term RA, this is an excellent article on non-normative relationships, and how infinite configurations are both possible and valid.
Stephanie Pappas in Scientific American (@sciam) discusses how research on the poly community is growing. Scientist are finding that compared to monogamous folks, poly people are better at communicating and self reflection, and practice safer sex. Best quote from the article: "People in these relationships really communicate. They communicate to death.”
A great article by Josefin Hedlund (@josefinhedlund) about love as ‘a revolutionary force to challenge norms, promote feminist practice, and to reject capitalism’. If you like reading about intersectionality, feminism, and queering society's traditional view of love, read this article.
Although this piece by Briallen Hopper (@briallenhopper) on @TheCut doesn’t mention relationship anarchy at all, it is a really well written and thoughtful piece about the way society values couples over friendships. As someone who has always put a ton of energy into my friendships, this article really spoke to me.
Janani Balasubramanian writes for Black Girl Dangerous (@BGDblog) about power dynamics in poly relationships. All of these are good to keep in mind, #8 especially applies to RA: Recognize that your non-romantic and non-sexual relationships are also real and valid! Keep your understanding of love broad and political accordingly.
Ghia Vitale (@GhiaWasHere) writes about her struggles using the word ‘friend’ to describe all of her relationships. Trying to live without hierarchies can result in erasure of important people in your life, as people still struggle to grasp new styles of relationships.
In this article by Miri (@sondosia), she only briefly mentions relationship anarchy, but she does make the case for not having relationship rules. She discusses how broken rules can place blame on someone else, where if you don’t have rules you must take responsibility for yourself and your own feelings.
Emma Goldman is considered one of the most important figures in the history of anarchism. She was a well known lecturer, and traveled all over America and Europe speaking about anarchism and women's rights. in 1906 started her own publication Mother Earth, in which she wrote about anarchism, politics, labor issues, atheism, sexuality, and feminism. She believed in free love and access to birth control, not the most popular opinions in the early 1900s. She also served several stints in jail, and was disparaged by the press who once called her the ‘high priestess of anarchy’, which actually sounds pretty badass.
Consent has been talked about more in recent years, which is great. However most of the talk focuses on sexual consent. There are many other situations in which we can apply the rule of enthusiastic consent, and in this article Suzannah Weiss (@suzannahweiss) highlights some of those ways. I think this is very relevant to relationship anarchy, which is founded on principles of consent.