Looking Back at Poly Living 2016

Now that I’ve had a few days to recover from the post-con crash, I want to share some thoughts on Loving More‘s Poly Living conference that I was lucky enough to attend and present at this past weekend.

The conference was well attended, with a lot of people who were new to poly events and getting involved in the wider community for the first time. There were also a number of Poly Living “old hands.” Several folks I spoke with said they had been at every Loving More conference for over a decade.

And I completely understand why. Robyn and Jesus put together an amazing event that was welcoming and accepting without ever feeling intrusive. When my anxiety starting acting up I could slip away for a while. I got several offers of hugs when I needed them and easily a dozen people stopped to coo over the baby.

This was my first time meeting Reid Mikhalo, who gave the keynote speech. He reminds me of what Michael could be in 20 years. Self proclaimed jerkass and sex geek with a great sense of humor and a flair for entertainment that educates. His keynote was an engaging retrospective on the history of polyamory, how far we’ve come, and where we are might be going from here. Next time I see Reid, I’m going to make sure I have a camera–he’s also a self-proclaimed selfie slut and I want a pic with him ;).

I didn’t make as many of the presentations as I wanted, but in hindsight, I wasn’t as recovered from giving birth as I’d hoped. I did as much as I could manage, and that’s okay. The two presentations I really wanted to get to and couldn’t were scheduled for the same time as my workshop and presentation. So, yeah…

The presentation and workshop I did get to were great. A number of the presentations were recorded and will be available for sale on the Loving More website and/or the presenter’s websites. I highly suggest you check some of them out. I’m grabbing a copy of Kevin Patterson‘s workshop on diversity in polyamory, and if it’s available Tamara Pincus‘ presentation on abuse in polyamory.

Coping with Mental Illness and Legal Challenges to Poly Relationships, the workshop and presentation I ran, went well. Coping with Mental Illness wasn’t right for everyone, but several attendees told me it was exactly what they needed–just what every presenter likes to here. Legal Challenges also went well, with a number of attendees able to share their own experience with areas of the law I haven’t run into. The result was a comprehensive review of the legal shit that can mess with our relationships.

Michael had a minor medical emergency shortly before Legal Challenges, so contrary to our plans I had to have the baby with me while presenting. Everyone who attended was very understanding, and luckily she fell asleep shortly after I started.

The Legal Challenges to Poly Relationships presentation was recorded. I hope to have it available here in a couple of weeks.

I’m not much of a night owl, so I skipped most of the evening activities. Michael, however, had a great time at the Friday Masquerade dance, the games room Saturday evening, and a few other things. He definitely over did it, which probably contributed to his collapse Sunday morning, but he says it was well worth it.

If there was one thing the con could have done better, it would be support for families. I say this not just because I had my kids with me, but because a number of people told me during the con that they wished they could have brought their kids, that their wife/partner/friend wanted to come but had to stay home to watch the kids, etc. Poly Living is already kid-safe, in the sense that everything 18+ is behind closed doors and most of it is in the evenings. I hope next year Poly Living is able to have some kid-friendly activities and events, to make it easier for poly folk with families to attend. (And I’ve already sent Robyn an email volunteering to help make this happen.)

We had to leave earlier than we wanted–missing both the PLN meeting and the extra workshops after the official end of the conference. Michael wasn’t able to take any more, the kid was hungry, tired and bored, and I was just “stick a fork in me, I’m done.”

For anyone I didn’t get a chance to say “bye” too (most everyone), thank you so much for being there and helping make an amazing weekend.

We’ll be seeing you next year.

2 responses to “Looking Back at Poly Living 2016

  1. We had a great time as well and found your Legal talk VERY informative. We didn’t realize until we got home that you are the one that wrote the Polyamory and Pregnancy book that we have. We found that helpful as well.

    We LOVE the idea of having something for families with children at the conference. We wanted to go last year and couldn’t because of childcare issues. This year, we made it work but it was hard. Also, we have a 15yo, 16 by the time of the next conference and I think it would be great for him to meet with other teenagers and go to some of the teenager friendly talks…

    It was great meeting you and we hope to see you next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *