I'm about to embark upon another adventure in polyamory—I'm going down to Georgia for a family visit, and instead of my partner Max, whom my family knows and loves, I am taking with me my other partner, Monk. This should be interesting.

My parents and brother have known that I am poly for some years now. But it's been a theoretical thing, something we've discussed in the abstract. I didn't feel a need to introduce my previous partners to them, but now that time has come, and I suspect that having me show up with Monk instead of Max is going to be challenging to my kin.

My biofamily is quite clear about the fact that they don't wish to know about the kinky side of my sexuality. But my observations of other people's coming-out experiences make me think that some families actually have an easier time accepting kink than they do polyamory. For one thing, it's easy enough f or a determinedly vanilla person to mentally blur over the details of what their kinky relative is doing. But no matter what my family thinks—or tries not to think—about what I'm doing in bed with Max, they're not going to be able to ignore the fact that he's actually not here and I have a different guy with me.

I suspect the real difference is that kink doesn't seem to reliably make vanilla people question their own relationship choices. At least, not to a point of discomfort. But rare is the person in a long-term monogamous relationship who hasn't been attracted to another. Sometimes it's at a level that's easy to handle. But sometimes it's a mighty struggle. Seeing others apparently having their cake and eating it too—although it's not really quite that simple—can arouse sleeping resentment. Too often what I've seen is someone more or less saying, "If I have to suffer, you should have to, too!"

There are other fears as well. My mother, I think, fears that I'll be abandoned. She often asks, with studied casualness, if Max and I have thought of getting married. Words like security and commitment drift into her conversation. I have gently pointed out to her that married, monogamous people—for example, you and Dad—break up, too. I am committed to Max, and to Monk, and they to me. But love is not like getting a civil-service job.

My father snorts at the idea of relationships-as-security. "Security is what's in your head," he states. "And in your feet." My mother says I'm like him in many ways, and she's probably right. But he says openly that he'd be far too jealous to be poly, and sometimes he looks at me and shakes his head gently, as if wondering where this strange, wild girl-child came from.

They'll like Monk, because he's a likable guy. And they'll get used to being around my poly family. It's a good thing, because when it's their turn to visit me this Christmas, there will definitely be more than two stockings hanging by the fireplace.


Kink Calendar



Little Red Studio is an intimate space for erotic performance art. Music, desserts, beverages, and a variety of sexy audience-participation performances. Little Red Studio, 750 Harrison St, 328-4758, www.littleredstudioseattle.com, 9 pm, $30, reservations recommended



This week's show features Lydia McLane, the Raunchy Juggling Boys of Flying Battumen, the Von Foxies burlesque dancers, Miss Chica Boom, and Tamara the Trapeze Lady. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 605-9920, www.trapezelady.com, 8 and 10:30 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 21+.


Socialize, flirt, and do BDSM with the boys. All orientations welcome. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E, 270-9746, men-only@wetspot.org, 10 pm—3 am, $15, members only, male ID required.



Get on all fours and rut like a beast at this festival in which the Roosevelt neighborhood honors its namesake, Mr. Moustache Ride himself, Teddy Roosevelt. Come for the pancake breakfast but stay for the pinewood derby! The Roosevelt neighborhood around Roosevelt Way NE and NE 65th St, www.bullmoosefestival.org, 8 am—1 am, free.



A full day of tantra classes with Tanja Diamond. First: a class for women only, "Become a Tantric Lover." Then, a men-only class, "Become a Master Lover." You will learn ancient tantric techniques that will amaze your lover and yourself. The Annex at the Wet Spot, 1608 15th Ave W, 728-4533, www.sexualtransformations.com, women's class 12:30—4:30 pm, men's class 6—10 pm, $35 adv/$45 at the door, membership not required.



Miss Tanya and Indigo Blue begin a six-week Bump & Grind dance class series. Everybody Health and Fitness, 2609 S Jackson St, www.academyofburlesque.com, 7:15 pm, $85 series/$15 drop-in, advance registration strongly recommended.