Tag Archives: Queer life

What is a Polyamorous Family?

Polyamory comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people treat polyamory like an open relationship with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, while other people give their partners a run-down of the people they’re sleeping with.

Then there are families. Families are for people who like their partners to all know each other and, in some cases, all be sexually involved.

If you’ve read Is Polyamory Right for You and Your Girlfriend? or 15 Signs You Might Be Polyamorous, then you’re probably familiar with the first two scenarios, but what on earth is a family? (And how do you maybe get into one?)

Every poly family is a little bit different.

According to a recent study, 9.8 million Americans have experimented with an open relationship, and 5 percent of Americans (15.9 million people) participate in ethical non-monogamy.

There are as many different ways to do polyamory as there are polyamorous people. Some throuples are comprised of three equal partners, while some families are organized like a family tree, with one couple being primary (most important) and other couples in the tree considered secondary.

In dom-headed families, the family tree gets even more complex. One dom (dominant partner) named Fyre recently broke down her own system of partners. She and her primary partner, Angel, define their relationship as master-slave: Fyre decides everything about Angel’s life, from what Angel eats to what Angel does for a living. Fyre’s secondary partner, Dane, has a little more freedom; Fyre doesn’t control where he works, but she does control all of his sexual activities. Her tertiary partner, Puppy, isn’t a sexual partner; in fact, Puppy has a separate boyfriend but comes to Fyre for power play.

Get ready for rules, lots of rules.

Some people turn to polyamory looking for a sexual free-for-all where they can have sex with anyone they want all the time. That’s not true, especially in families – and yes, you can still cheat even if you’re polyamorous.

In most poly families, every member of the family has to give permission for another member to sleep with someone outside of the family. And many families require new members to provide medical records to prove that they don’t have STDs.

If you enter into a polyamorous family, be ready to live by the rules and engage in open communication.

Some partners aren’t sexual.

Fyre and Puppy don’t have a sexual relationship, which is a core tenet of polyamory: In polyamory, partnership can look like anything, from throuples to queerplatonic relationships.

Just because you’re in a family with someone doesn’t mean that you want to sleep with them. Some family members are just there for companionship or for non-sexual power play. Broaden your idea of what partnership can be.

For more information about poly families, click here.

4 Ways Your Parents Are Screwing With Your Love Life

Have you ever thought about the way that your parents shaped the romantic relationships you’d grow up to face? If you’re anything like most people, you’d probably rather pretend that your parents didn’t have anything to do with your dating life. After all, that creepy old adage that you end up dating your father and being your mother – no one wants to grow up and see that one turn out true, trust me.

But even though we don’t want to see ourselves in that type of situation, overwhelmingly we may find that we are stuck in those relationships. Sure, they might not seem exactly the same on the surface, but let’s explore the 4 little ways that parents end up rubbing off on you when you least want them to.

What were their gender roles like?

Assuming you were raised by a heterosexual or heteronormative couple, your childhood probably had one authoritative head-of-household, and another, more nurturing parent. Even though you might not have felt drawn to the strictness imposed on you as a child, you are more likely to seek that same strength and courage in your future partners. If you end up dating someone who you see as more of a pushover, you might secretly want to see them build their own strength and courage – even if they’re quite comfortable being a softy.

Did your parents lean on you to solve problems for them?

When parents turn to their kids for their problem-solving needs, they create a sense of dependence in their kids, and according to Kavita J. Patel, love and relationship coach, you might end up needing to feel that your partner is dependent on you. You may be more drawn to the “fixer-upper” type, and you might even look forward to someone needing your help to be happy. The partner you end up with might even say things like how you complete her – even though real love is more about complementing than completing.

Did they show affection in front of you?

While most of us can agree that watching your parents make out is beyond awkward, their own comfort with PDA in front of you (and other people) can help instill more comfort with affection in you. If, on the other hand, your parents took a more hands-off approach, at least when out in public, it may have subconsciously alienated you from the idea of affection. Kids with hands-off parents tend to be weirder about physical intimacy as they get older, and are likely to resist PDA, too.

How much did they let slide?

Chances are, if both of your parents were super critical of one another (and also of you), you’re going to grow up to be hypercritical too – that’s just a given. But, most of the time, two hypercritical people don’t end up together – and that’s where things get a little interesting. If the parent you favored as a child was the recipient of the critical remarks, you’re less likely to be critical of your future partners, because you empathized with the way your parent was treated when you were younger. If, however, you favored the parent who was doing the criticizing, it’s likely that you’ll end up inadvertently following in that parent’s footsteps, becoming super critical in your own relationships, too.

Moments You’ll Understand If You Have A Queer BFF (Video)

Let me start by saying that I love my straight BFFs. Each and everyone of them has taught me something about myself and I value their friendship very much. They make me laugh when I’m about to cry and they are always down to party. What more can you ask for in your best friends?

But sometimes it can all get a bit tricky – watch and relate.

Should You Attend A Women’s College?

College application season is here! And you have some big decisions. Do you want a large state school or a tiny liberal arts college? Do you want to move to a different country or stay in your hometown?

And, of course, do you want a coed college experience? Or do you want to spend four years in an all-women safe space?


Cute girls.

And, obviously, more girls. If you’re a single queer woman, then walking through a women’s campus can feel like paradise – lots of beautiful ladies and not a single misogynistic, pig-headed man in sight. Your biggest challenge may be choosing just one crush

Statistically higher number of lesbians.

Obviously (and sadly) not every woman at a women’s college is queer. However, the percentage is relatively high compared to co-ed campuses, especially large state schools, because women’s college students are a self-selecting bunch. You will often find yourself among liberal, empowered and queer women that you can look up to…and go down on.

Less misogyny in the classroom.

I’m not saying there’s no misogyny – women have internalized so much misogynistic rhetoric over their lifetimes that it may take a semester or two to undo it – but on a campus with no men, misogynistic ideas are challenged and discredited. Women are allowed to explore their ideas without demeaning remarks from male professors or students.

Safe spaces.

The classroom is an intellectual safe space where women are encouraged to speak up, and where their ideas are given weight and merit. Reading lists include fewer dead white men and many more diverse women. Leadership positions are held by women. The best professors are women. The university administration is run by women. Here, female empowerment is the norm, not the exception.

Encouragement to excel in male-dominated spaces.

Despite the lack of men on campus, women’s colleges do not ignore the fact that much of society is operated by men, and that career-driven women will have to succeed in male-dominated industries. At a coed college, the differences between men’s experiences and women’s experiences may never be directly addressed, but at a women’s college, women are taught how to excel by viewing their womanhood as an asset, not a crutch.

Stigma-Free Womanhood

Need a tampon in the middle of class? Want to walk around your dorm naked without fear of a man oggling you? Feeling bloated and just want to wear sweatpants? At a women’s college, you’re allowed to be yourself, and to take pride in your entire body, not just the “sexy” parts.



If you think you might be a transgender man, you will face backlash at women’s colleges – after all, that would make you a man in a woman’s college. If you transition during your time at the college, you may suddenly find yourself ostracized and maybe even expelled. Similarly, transgender women are not always welcome with open arms, although this is starting to change for the better.

Less prestige.

There is still a lot of stigma around women’s colleges, and even the top schools such as Wellesley and Barnard aren’t regarded with the same reverence as, say, Harvard and Yale. Not yet, anyway.

Less party atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a hard-partying atmosphere and an inescapable hookup culture, you’ll have trouble finding it at a women’s college. Of course, there are parties, many of them coed with neighboring colleges, but you won’t find the same crazy antics you’ve seen on ABC’s Greek.

Women’s colleges are safe spaces where you can explore your womanhood, find lifelong friends and mentors, and learn how to dominate on and off campus. If you’ve never considered one before, schedule a tour – you may be surprised to find that it feels like home.

What’s Happened To Our Lez Bars?

Has anyone else noticed recently how our lesbian hangouts seem to be getting less and less? I remember my last trip to London about 4 years ago and of course where is the first place I head for?

The Candy Bar no less. It was one of the most popular Lesbian bars around in London but 3 years ago it shut its doors, despite the amount of women that used to hang out there.

It seems that this is something happening all over and especially in the United States. There are still many Gay bars that have ‘Ladies Nights’ but why are Gay bars thriving and popping up everywhere but our friendly ladies’ haunts are disappearing at a rate of knots? Apparently there are now only 3 lez bars in NYC and one woman, Oliva, also from NYC told Cosmopolitan:

I think it’s hard for femme-presenting women to find an LGBT space where they feel legitimate — I often feel like people don’t believe that I’m queer and I also feel like most LGBT spaces are dominated by gay men.”


It’s really looking like our own LGBTQ community are still seeing woman as less important than men. Another woman, Becky, also told Cosmo:

There has often been a misogynistic attitude that I’ve felt from male-dominated queer spaces. “Often, LGBTQ women aren’t taken as seriously as LGBTQ men because it’s believed women are more fluid in sexuality and thus not reliably LGBTQ. I think this stems from institutionalized misogyny and the constant sexualisation of women.”

Umph, now this is not good. Women get the rough end of the deal all the time and it’s hard enough fighting for our rights in a predominately hetro society, not alone having to fight for our rights in our own community.

Last year a documentary titled ‘The Last Lesbian Bars’ highlighted this issue and Jack Halberstam, a professor of gender studies at the University of California stated that:

Even back in the ’50s and ’60s, which some people consider to be a golden age of lesbian bars, it was often community formation as much as it was hooking up.”

That’s so true. Lez bars are a place we can also go and feel comfortable, safe, and, as an extra benefit, meet like-minded women that we might just want to share a tequila with at the end of the eening.  Earlier this year a dating app for queer women, HER, carried out a poll with 3000 women and asked them how they specifically felt at events during Pride month in June. The survey found that many women felt unwelcome despite the fact Pride is supposed to cater for the entire LGBTQ community. When women were asked to explain why this was many responded with:

I feel things are more catered for Gay men.”

I for one am not happy with the fact we are losing our own lez bars that are men free zones. Not because we don’t like men, but because it’s only fair we also have our own space to hang out with and are able to celebrate who we are freely only with other women. I guess we just have to hope that the Lez bars make a come-back because us ladies deserve a place of our own.