Cheers Sexy People!
Happy Wednesday, Loving Without Boundaries gang! I’m thrilled to share my latest podcast interview with the incredible photographer Erika Kapin. I have come to know Erika over the years on the polyamorous speaking circuit. We first met in person at the National Sex Educator’s Conference at Atlantic City, New Jersey in December of 2017. What an incredible and highly educational event as well as a fascinating experience that was! We captured this interview some time after meeting in person at that conference. This past year, I saw that Erika was presenting her Open Photo Project at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in Alexandria, Virginia (right near my home) in August of 2018. I jumped at the chance to again meet her in person, and get to see with my own eyes her outstanding tribute to polyamorous families across the globe, helping normalize their existence as well as create more tolerance for all kinds of relationship structures. I am delighted that Erika is working hard in our community paving the way for more acceptance, empathy, compassion and understanding. Erika, I am so proud of both you and the fine work that you put out there. Keep going! I’m so rooting for you! You are incredibly talented and dedicated. We need more folks like you out there cheerleading inclusion of all types of loving relationships.
To learn more about The Open Photo Project, read on:
By photographing non-monogamous people in a variety of their everyday activities, I seek to present them as the complex, multi-dimensional human beings that they are. Whether cooking a meal, on the way to work, or naked with a partner, these images reveal the complex lives of these people and their choices. A combination of portraits, daily life activities and text excerpts from conversations will show an in-depth look into their lives and relationship choices.
My goal is to confront the broad misconceptions that exist in the mainstream social landscape where monogamy is the default relationship style (and the only one universally considered ethical). In addressing people who believe that monogamy is the only acceptable relationship model to cultivate healthy romantic love, I wish to introduce them to the beautiful, complex and fulfilling lives that are possible among non-monogamous people.
This project offers a look at the uniqueness of human relationships and an invitation to re-examine preconceived notions of successful, sustainable, and healthy romantic love. Together, let us de-stigmatize ethically non-monogamous relationships by building understanding and respect. The aim is for more people to accept that while monogamy is a valid relationship choice, there is a wide spectrum of other equally valid choices that can be as varied as the human experience.
If you would like to receive news from The Open Photo Project, such as if we will be near your city or when the photos will be exhibited, you may join the community email list HERE.
If you would like to support The Open Photo Project, you can do so by becoming a monthly contribution through the Patreon site.
Some topics we discuss in this warm, informative, and interesting interview:
— How she uses her creativity and art to support her activist work.
— The relationship journey that took her from monogamy to non-monogamy and beyond, and how she has identified as polyamorous for over five years now.
— What identifying as ”queer” means to her, and how she feels it almost means “Ask me more…” since it is a such a broad definition.
— We discuss ageism and how words and our languages changes and evolves over time and over generations. Do we “police” words too much and not allow them to evolve, or do we give words flexible power?
— What prompted her to conceive and create The Open Photo Project and what it means to her, keeping it highly engaging for her as a creative.
— How her project has been helping reduce stigmas, assumptions, misunderstandings surrounding consensual non-monogamous relationships.
— We discuss some of her favorite polyamory-friendly conferences around the country that she enjoys attending.
Here are some amendments to the interview that Erika would like to share with our listeners:
Not able to commit:
At around 4:20: I talk about my journey to non-monogamy. I talk about how in my past, I had a hard time committing to a forever partnership because I couldn’t imagine being with only one person for the rest of my life. This unintentionally sounds like I’m saying that polyamory is a solution for people who can’t form life partnerships and long term commitment – which I absolutely do not believe is true. I know are many non-monogamous people with deeply committed life long partnerships. What I meant to say is that for me personally, the ability to exist in non-monogamous partnerships, and the openness and freedom that gives me, allows me to be able to envision making a long term commitment to another person because it feels like a more true relationship identity for me.
Use of the word Femme:
At time mark 29:20: I say “I think people socialized as femme go through life maybe tend to be more concerned with other people’s needs to the detriment of their own needs”.
I am using ‘femme’ incorrectly in this moment. What I should have said in this thought is “people who are assigned female at birth and raised as feminine maybe tend to be more concerned with….”. The term femme has been one that even as a person who identifies as queer, has taken me a while to fully understand the correct way to use it. If folks are interested in learning more about the ways to use the word ‘femme,” this article may be of interest:
At time mark 31:00: I say one of the things I love about non-monogamy is the ability to go toward people I’m drawn to and explore those connections. I also say that’s not ok in monogamy. What I mean in this case is that in the type of monogamy I have practiced in my past, that wasn’t ok. Not all monogamous relationships would be this (#notallmonogamy) of course. And in some monogamous relationships, people would have different agreements and different definitions of appropriate behaviors. I don’t want to make a blanket statement about all monogamous relationships.
I talk about how I’m in the early stages of applying for conferences to present. Since the interview, the project has been presented at several conferences both as a gallery and as the 3 screen installation. If anyone is interested in showing this work at a conference or gallery, please reach out!
Thank you Erika, for being so awesomely generous with your time; for your tireless work on The Open Photo Project; and for sharing your wisdom and insights with us via the podcast interview! It was enlightening, energetic, and so fun! Follow Erika’s work and adventures at TheOpenPhotoProject.com, on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr @theopenphotoproject, and Twitter @theopenphoto. Also I invite you to check out her Patreon page to help support the continuation of her work.
To hear the podcast, go to the Podcast link here and subscribe to the Loving Without Boundaries podcast, and check out Episode 97 with Erika. Also, please help spread awareness of alternative lifestyles and create more tolerance for consensual 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!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT OFFER – We continue to have some exciting goings on here at Loving Without Boundaries (LWB). We now have exclusive content for you via the LWB podcast and my Patreon page for those who choose to become a patron. Please visit the link to check out how you can come join the party over at Patreon! Want to hear more from our amazing interviewees? You got it! Want to dig deeper into the community and your fellow poly folk? Right on, let’s do it! Want free coaching sessions? It’s all there! Come join us, and enjoy exclusive content made just for you, our patrons of this work!
NOTE: Soon I will be offering a monthly group “hangout” and coaching call for all of our podcast patrons at any level that are above $1 a month. If you are supporting the podcast, I am supporting you on your journey. Come join us and meet like-minded folks on the same journey you are!
UPCOMING POLYAMOROUS-FRIENDLY EVENTS
1) Free LWB Facebook Group for Healthy, Sex Positive, Open Relationships — Ready to explore healthy, deeply connected (and virtually jealousy-free) open relationships? It’s all possible – especially when surrounded by a community of people already doing it. Many in newly open relationships experience roller coaster emotions of jealousy, insecurity, and feel alone on their journey. That’s why I created this free Facebook group where people are coming together to share actionable tips for succeeding in multiple loving relationships, explore deeper love, and find mutual understanding and support. There’s an abundance of rock star information posted in the group daily by our amazing members. We create a safe place to engage that’s fun and thrilling! Click here and request to join our free group!
2) New Culture New Year’s Eve — Want awesome, unique, fulfilling New Year’s plans? Do you believe that we can create a just and sustainable world? Ring in 2019 in the loving, New Culture community that embraces ALL of you no matter who or how you love (except for violence)! cfnc.us/newyear.
We’ll share intimacy games, cuddles (for those who want them), relationship freedom, group sharing circles, dance, a New Years party, delicious food, and gorgeous nature. It’ll be a rich, stimulating, fun time with people that care about each other and the earth. Register here: cfnc.us/newyear/register
3) Southwest Love Fest (SWLF), Tucson, Arizona, March 29–31, 2019 — “The Southwest Love Fest is a weekend conference on consensual non-monogamy held annually in Tucson, AZ with opportunities to learn, share and connect with other like-minded people. We had a hugely successful 1st year in 2018 and plan to make it even better for 2019! Taking what we learned this past year, 2019 is set to be even more radical, thought-provoking, and transformational. SWLF is an open space to find community and learn from others’ diverse relationship experiences.” NOTE: I will there presenting two workshops (“Jealousy Survival Guide” and “Sex Positivity”) at SWLF 2019! Come join us at this fun polyamorous conference! AND presenter mentioned above, Zach Budd will be there as well!
4) Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (SFS), Alexandria, Virginia, August 15–18, 2019 —The Sexual Freedom Summit features human rights activists, sexuality educators and researchers, professionals from the legal and medical fields, authors, sexual freedom movement leaders and organizational partners all working toward the time when sexual freedom is fully recognized as a fundamental human right. This Summit is for EVERYONE interested in learning about the issues in the realm of sexual freedom, advancing their current knowledge and in gaining the tools to actually create the change we need to accomplish. I already have my ticket! I hope to see you there!
See you on the flip side, lovely community! Keep being brave, compassionately vulnerable, and uniquely and authentically you!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
Need more specific help aligning your relationships with who you are?
** Discover Your Core Values & Create More Meaning in Your Love Life **
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Our Free Breakthrough Session Call is a great place to start your path of discovery, so you can have more loving and intimate relationships that inspire you! And our “Discover Your Path to Fulfillment in Open Relationships” coaching packages are a deeper-dive into the topic of self-discovery with alternative relationships, with a one-on-one guide to achieve maximum results in your life. Whether you’re already non-monogamous, involved with someone who is, or “poly-curious” and wondering if non-monogamy might be right for you, I work with people struggling with every aspect of multiple intimate relationships.