Polyamory on Susie Bright’s Blog

Susie Bright is known as a sex-positive feminist. I like a lot of the stuff she says and does. Not all of it, mind you, but a lot.

I know polyamory/non-monogamy/having more than one partner (there are varying opinions as to if these are different things and to what extent) is a point of contention in some Unitarian Universalist circles, and I don’t want to reignite some sort of dramatic blogosphere discussion (as happened in July). But I did want to point out a recent posting on Susie Bright’s (possibly not work safe*) blog, “Peppermint, On The Strange Credibility of Polyamory,”* which LINKS TO THIS BLOG. Susie Bright is sort of famous. And her blog links to a posting on polyamory right here on this very blog. This is almost as exciting as being mentioned in UU World!

So, if this is a topic that interests you, I suggest you read the post. And just look around her blog. Remember, I don’t agree with everything she says (please don’t post comments pointing out what you believe to be the problematic things she says and does) and you don’t have to either. But she does say a lot of important, good stuff that we need to hear in a world where sex-negative, embarrassed, sad, and shameful feelings are way too common when it comes to sexuality and our bodies.

Afterthought: While Rev. Debra Haffner (sexologist, minister, and the Director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing) and Susie Bright have quite different approaches to promoting healthy attitudes about sexuality, and likely many points of disagreement, I thought that I would point out Rev. Debra Haffner’s blog Sexuality and Religion: What’s the Connection? because Rev. Haffner also strikes me as a very sex-positive person that we are lucky to have as part of Unitarian Universalism. Take a look. Her blog is excellent.

*It really depends on how sensitive your work is about what is “work safe”. Breasts are on the page. But as Susie Bright herself points out in the comments, it isn’t anything more than you would see in Vanity Fair or Vogue.

*Correction: In my excitement about being linked to on Susie Bright’s blog, I failed to read carefully and originally thought Susie Bright wrote the post On the Strange Credibility of Polyamory, but it is in fact a reposting from another blog by another author, PepperMint. Still, it is on her blog and still worth the read.

9 Responses to Polyamory on Susie Bright’s Blog

  1. UUpdater says:

    Congrats on the mention.

    I, among others, would appreciate links being mark as “not work safe” if they go to a site containing nudity, etc.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks UUpdater. Will do.

  3. Another sexuality-positive feminist voice with UU connections is Joani Blank (the writer and founder of the Good Vibrations chain of sex toy and vibrator stores). Here are two web sites with more info:

    Joani’s Web Site

    Wikipedia Article on Joani Blank

    Joani is involved with cohousing and polyamory among other things — she also sings in the choir at First UU in Oakland CA. I got a chance to meet her at the 2005 Ft. Worth GA during the Our Whole Lives 5th anniversary celebration workshop.

    FYI — the Wikipedia article is safe for work. Most of Joani’s personal web site is safe for work.

    I can’t verify if the “sexuality” section is safe because the URL is blocked for me at work (“http://www.joaniblank.com/sexuality.htm”) due to the word “sexuality” within it.

  4. Susie Bright says:

    Hi, thanks for the alert. There is no “nudity” on my site other than what you find in an issue of Vogue or Vanity Fair magazine, by the way. And I’m glad you gave Peppermint his due, as the author! I thought it was so provoking.

    Joani Blank was my boss and mentor at Good VIbrations in the early 80s; I was one of her first staff. You’re right, she is a VERY involved church member!


  5. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for all the comments everyone, especially Susie Bright (Hi there Ms. Bright! So excited that a person who has influenced me so much would post here. I’ve read all the Herotica books! And given many as gifts!). (Ahem. Regains composure.)

    Anyway, just a note to say that this is a semi-evolving post, as I’ve changed a few things. The wonder of the internet! What you say can be changed. So Susie Brights blog is now marked as possibly not work safe, since, of course, it depends on where you work.

    This points out some of the dynamics of a blog read by a range of people from a range of backgrounds and how we all have different selves depending on who we are around. There is my ministerial self – not wanting to seem too gung ho about polyamory or Susie Bright for fear of alienating those not in a part of that world, and partly grounded in a desire not to want to defend or construct coherent and careful arguments and defenses for something where my own thoughts are still developing and changing. And then there is the sex-positive, at-least-open-to-the-idea-of-polyamory-as-good-and-workable-for-some-people world that certainly needs no explanation of Susie Bright and who would be less likely to think that her blog was not-work safe. It is interesting how we must balance our various worlds on our blogs, but also in our lives. This is perhaps for another post. But it does remind me of the frequent discussions between my partner and I about how there is no one self, and no consistent, non-contradictory self. We are many in our oneness. And the challenge of negotiating those selves inside our one body.

  6. Thanks for YOUR mention and recommendation ,Elizabeth. I hope some of your readers will visit my blog and the web site of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing (www.religiousinstitute.org) And although we may indeed differ on the particulars, I think we would all agree on affirming sexuality as a gift, the importance of every person having the information, services, and support they need to make responsible sexual choice, and that faith communities need to support the integration of sexuality and spirituality. Happy New Year!

    Debra Haffner

  7. anna says:

    This was great to read. Thanks for the links. Being sex positive has been for me linked closely with having a more positive self-esteem, which I also link to spirituality and being more involved with our surroundings. I am also always glad to see people talking frankly about sex. I understand the difficulty of trying to balance different selves, the artistic, self-affirming, and the reality-based, career self are for me still fairly disjointed. At least I’m working with and caring for both sides, as I move forward. I hope others are able to do the same.

  8. PolyCouple says:

    My partner and I have been married for 5 years and poly for life. While we have been polyamorous together things have been a bit difficult, running into issues here and there. After we changed our ‘rules’ to be simply just open communication and honesty things got a lot easier. Thanks for your posting, we love reading about other people in similar relationships and how to navigate the emotions behind everything.

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