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Becoming the msnbc. The questions from readers covered a huge range of sexual activities, some of which were rather eye-opening.

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Brittany and Scott live in a cookie-cutter development on a hill above a small city north of Seattle. But I feel out of place here. This suburban neighborhood feels as though I ought to conform. Brittany and Scott appear to fit right in. On the surface at least. Both their front door and back, if not open, are often unlocked, and kids from up and down the block come and go.

They introduce me to two of their three children, all under ten. Brittany and Scott have been married for sixteen years. She was barely twenty and he was twenty-four and, like most Mormons, were virgins when they wed. They grew up in strict Mormon families and rarely questioned the traditions of the church. But out in the wider world, as they worked to build their careers—she as a nurse and he as a business owner—they became disillusioned with the teachings of the Mormon church.

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They were particularly disturbed by the historical celebration of polygamy, which condones men taking multiple wives but forbids the same for women. Two years later they chose to leave the Mormon church. Life was good. Furthermore, around 5 percent of the population identify primarily as non-monogamous, cited in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapyand is quite possibly an underestimation.

CNM is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of relationships styles: including polyamory, swinging, and other non-exclusive intimacy depending upon the degree to which those involved are seeking a sexual encounter or an emotional connection. How do Real people having sex in Seattle who practice it find a community of others with whom to connect? Where do people go for help with navigating the tough issues that arise while attempting to be good partners and intimate friends with more than one person?

The most comprehensive list of CNM groups can be found on Facebook, where local chapters are listed by state and province, as well as countries outside the United States US and Canada. Meetup is also a good resource, listing CNM groups worldwide. California far exceeds every other state in the of groups organized around CNM. Charyn Pfeufferwho writes extensively on all matters related to sex, dating, and relationships, is a self-proclaimed drum-beater for owning your own pleasure.

She grew up in Philadelphia and lived for a time in California. On a whim, she moved to Seattle after becoming smitten with a West Coast native she met on a California beach. Thought their relationship was brief, she fell in love with the relaxed feel of the Emerald City and its easy access to the outdoors. She moved away a few times but has come back with no plans to leave again. In Seattle, Pfeuffer socializes with a wide variety of people who are consensually non-monogamous. She notes, however, that Seattle still has a small pool of non-monogamous people, so you tend to run into them again and again.

Pfeuffer is active on the PNW Polyamory Facebook group where she participates in a wide variety of discussions. Like many Facebook groups, a person must have a verified Facebook and answer a few questions in order to gain membership. Administrators approve participation and oversee strict codes of conduct regarding posts and comments. Conversations that are pretty much mainstream, now. We met to take a walk through Seward Park, at the southeast end of Seattle. She told me a story that illustrates her comfort in this city. When they docked to return the boat, giggly and huggy, a conventional-looking attendant greeted them with curiosity.

Pfeuffer loves seeing this kind of response. Introducing partners this way has allowed her to normalize the ificance of having more than one. Another woman I corresponded with, who chose to remain anonymous, because she runs a business in a small town between Seattle and Tacoma, is active in a Seattle group that has grown to over a thousand members through connections made on OKCupid.

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This ensures everyone has at least a little skin in the game, and because our focus is on actual real-life events [rather than just online discussions] we hope that this will discourage contentious online interactions. The intent is to welcome people who are practicing non-monogamy and not simply poly-curious. One of the more interesting conversations I had was in The Re-bar during a performance of Bawdy Storytelling.

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Bawdy is like The Moth for kinky people. Storytellers get up on stage and tell their tales of eye-opening, sometimes transformative, experiences of unconventional adventure. During the break, I began chatting with the hand-holding couple sitting in front of me. They both identified as polyamorous though neither had an outside lover. Vancouver BC, though smaller than Seattle by nearlypeople, has a bit of a different story.

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Chelsey Blairwho grew up in Vancouver, paints a less thriving picture for those seeking CNM connections. Blair, who writes on issues of queer feminism, relationship anarchyand CNMsaw holes in the discussions around polyamory in Vancouver. People were talking about how awesome their lives were. I wanted to talk about how it can get really fucking sticky.

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She lives with her husband, who dates other women, and her boyfriend lives close by. Their friends and academic community know about their lifestyle. In her book Jenkins, challenges us to question the way we conduct our relationships. Jenkins likes to break down the standard model of traditional marriage without devaluing marriage itself.

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She feels Vancouver is a good place to live as non-monogamous compared to the rest of the world. Once you start having those conversations you see the value in how other people are doing things. Any relationship is customized to the individuals having it. Non-monogamy forces you to do a lot of the work that is important to do anyway.

Jenkins agrees ing Meetup and Facebook groups that discuss open relationships is a great way to seek answers from those who have made their own mistakes. And for people seeking to date others open to CNM, OkCupid allows users to filter for matches who are open to non-monogamy.

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After divorcing five years ago, Sickler says he felt adrift in the dating world, reluctant to go out on a limb so soon in a relationship. He wanted to connect deeply with women, which led to finding himself in ificant relationships before he was ready.

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He ed SexPositive Portland to improve his communication around issues of love and intimacy. We thought it was going to stay casual but that changed quickly. She was involved in a long-term relationship in Los Angeles. Eventually, all our other relationships got smaller and we got bigger.

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They married in and live together with his teenagers. They are both now involved in supporting a sex-positive culture through their work, he as a psychotherapist and she as an organizer of multiple national and international CNM events. It runs events based on Levels which start out as strictly social and educational. Level 2 and 3 events, Sensual and Sexy, are conducted under clear rules of conduct: consent and nurturing, sensual and sexual energy but stop short of penetrative sex or orgasm.

Even if a person would never identify with or practice polyamory, simply attending these types of events, says Sickler, is an avenue for learning about all facets of intimacy. He moved to the Portland area in AsVeaux heard a fairy tale about a princess forced to choose between two handsome princes, and he thought, Everyone knows princesses live in castles and castles are big enough for both princes.

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So why does she have to choose? Oh my god, there are other people like me? Soon, the burgeoning Poly Tampa invited him to their group. Humans are all born of frailty and error. What Veaux sees in Oregon is an enormous diversity in the practice of polyamory. For instance, there are poly groups devoted to rhythm and dance, to families with children, and to asexual hugging. There are many options to choose from.

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Experience is the best teacher, but sometimes the tuition can be very high. Those are the biggest assholes of all. Still, many parts of the US are more socially conservative than the Pacific Northwest. In Kansas City, MO polyamory is still counterculture enough that there are a few poly groups, one for families and one for slightly younger folks. A woman I met with in Bellingham agrees. It just describes how I live my life, anyway.

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