Cheers Sexy People!
I’m psyched to share with you our latest podcast episode here at Loving Without Boundaries! This latest interview is with Barry and Cathy Smiler whom I had the pleasure of meeting at… you guessed it… Beyond The Love this past November in Columbus, Ohio. Are you getting the impression that this event is a “must attend” yet? You should! It’s a gathering place of fantastic, smart, forward-thinking, polyamorous peeps! Barry and Cathy gave two workshops that weekend: Polyamory as Self-Determination and What Is Sex Positive All About? I attended the latter and was not disappointed in the slightest. It was highly entertaining (we laughed our asses off!), informative, engaging and a great way to start a Sunday morning, in this gal’s humble opinion.
Here is the description for the What Is Sex Positive All About? workshop:
What does “sex-positive” mean? Surprisingly, at its core “sex-positive” has little to do with sex itself. It has more to do with defusing the negative charge our culture has placed on anything related to sex, pleasure, or personal fulfillment. Sex-negativity is one of our culture’s most strongly held convictions. It’s why we can’t talk easily and freely about sex the way we talk about almost anything else we do. Every person in our society is raised to be sex-negative, just as every person in our society is raised to be racist, homophobic, and sexist. And as with those, our patterns of behavior and belief are often so deeply rooted that we have difficulty even recognizing them as patterns at all, and that a problem exists. In this workshop we will use a variety of activities and tools to examine these culturally reinforced fantasies, begin to recognize these patterns, and consider whether they serve us in our lives.
Freaking. Awesome. As was the workshop. I had the pleasure of having Barry and Cathy over at my home in Alexandria, Virginia as they live in the Baltimore area only about an hour away from me and the DC metro area. We had a lovely and yummy lunch together (Thank you, B&C for your generosity!) And then we launched into the interview. I let it go as long as felt comfortable to us, so it will be relayed to the world at large in Part One and Part Two. I offer you Part One this week for your enjoyment. These guys rock!
In preparation for the interview, Barry shared with me a paper that he wrote in 2010 called the There’s No Such Thing as Polyamory because in his mind it is some of the basis for their sex-negativity workshop and their Polyamory As Self-Determination workshop. He said to me in an email… “We like to do these two workshops as a series, as they are in many ways two sides of the same coin. The first side (the self-determination paper) talks about how polyamory is simply another expression of everyone’s right to live their own life their own way, which has a long history but these days nobody disputes. Except in the one remaining area of relationship choice, which barrier is rapidly coming down as well, just like all the others. The second side (sex-negativity) is about “why” this last barrier is so strong, and is still there when all the rest have fallen – because our culture treats anything having to do with sex differently from anything not having to do with sex. And why is that? Because we are trained by our western culture to be ashamed and afraid of sexuality, pleasure, personal fulfillment, deciding for yourself what works for you instead of following cultural teachings… that is, self-determination.”
We speak alot more about this in our podcast interview. Have a listen and stay tuned! for Part Two that will come out next week.
In conclusion, here is Barry and Cathy’s full bio:
Barry and Cathy Smiler have been presenters and organizers in polyamory and related communities for many years, on both the east and west coast. They are both members of the global Polyamory Leadership Network, former organizers of East Bay Poly in California, and served on the final Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Polyamory Network. Ex-Californians, they now live in Maryland, where they lead and produce events for the polyamory and related communities through BmorePoly, which is the largest and most active such group in the Mid-Atlantic. BmorePoly has nearly 2700 members, offers over 50 events every month throughout the entire DC/MD/VA area, and appreciates the common ground of practices drawn from a wide range of sex-positive and progressive traditions and communities, including BDSM, swing lifestyle, LGBT, polyamory, personal growth, political activism, intimacy, tantra, sacred sexuality, community organizing, massage, pagans, nudists, and other explorations of alternatives. They can be reached at email@example.com
Thank you Barry and Cathy, for being so generous with your time, and for sharing your thoughts and insights with us via the podcast interview! It was an awesome interview that was a joy to do with both of you. Your passion for your work shines through in your personalities and in everything that you do. You rock, Barry and Cathy! Follow their adventures at BmorePoly.org or write them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To hear the podcast, go to the Podcast link, subscribe to the Loving Without Boundaries podcast, and check out Episode 14 with Barry and Cathy. Also, please help spread awareness of alternative lifestyles and create more tolerance for ethical non-monogamy in the world at large by Rating and Reviewing the Loving Without Boundaries podcast in iTunes. It only takes a few minutes.
If you would like to be interviewed either in written form or via audio on the podcast, please feel free to contact me and we will set something up. Thank you!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)