"Two women, Edna Knowles and Peaches Stevens, were wed in Liz's Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on Chicago's South Side, before a host of friends and well-wishers."--JET Magazine, October 1970 The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History offers a terrific post on the public rituals queer African American women have used to celebrate their partnerships since the 1920s.
The entertaining youtube channel Vsauce takes an interesting look at The Science of the Friend Zone. [via]
There is no such thing as Everlasting Love. Apparently all we have are "micro-moments of positivity resonance." Deflating the Love Myth, just in time for Valentines Day? [more inside]
The Old Man at Burning Man. "When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Burning Man with my 69-year-old father, 'Good idea' were the words out of no one's mouth."
Right now, though, you can google “polyamory” and get a whole lot of nearly-identical polynormative hype articles, and you can meet up with locals who’ve read the same articles you just did, and you can all get together and do polynormative poly exactly the way the media told you to. And if that’s all you ever bother to do then essentially you are selling yourself short. You are trading in the monogamous norm for polynormativity, which relatively speaking isn’t all that much of a stretch, and stopping there because you may very well think that’s all there is (and you already racked up a whole bunch of cool points anyway). You aren’t encouraged to really think about this stuff without any imposed models at all, which means you never get to figure out what actually might work best for you. As such, the most fundamental element of polyamory—that of rejecting the monogamous standard, and radically rethinking how you understand, make meaning of and practice love, sex, relationships, commitment, communication, and so forth—is lost in favour of a cookie-cutter model that’s as easy as one, two, three. The deepest and most significant benefit of polyamory has become increasingly obscured by media representation, and as a result, is getting farther and farther out of reach for anyone who’s just starting out.the problem with polynormativity, at Sex Geek
Ilana Gershon is a professor currently researching how people use the Internet to break up with their romantic partners, but before that she wrote an anthropological study about "strategic ignorance" in Samoan immigrant communities, all of which is just a complicated way of showing that she's the most unusually qualified person on the Internet to comment on the Manti Te'o hoax. (previously)
"Men across all cultures reported higher sex drives and less restricted sexual attitudes than women, but women were consistently more variable than men in their sex drives. Another important, if not entirely surprising pattern, suggests that these differences are not entirely biological, and are due in some part to social and cultural ideologies." An io9 article looks at the results from a number of sex surveys.
Kas Thomas writes about his "all-in" relationship with Sally, a woman diagnosed with schizophrenia. Yesterday, my true love, Sally, had a psychotic break and went into the (mental) hospital, where she'll probably be for the next two weeks. Today, I'm writing as a means of therapy. Therapy for me. I knew going into this relationship that it would entail ups and downs, and hard work... [more inside]
Networks of the Hanseatic League - The Hanseatic League was a late-medieval network of economically largely independent long-distance trade merchants which was based on trust, reputation and reciprocal relations. The informal cooperation among its members kept transactional, informational and organizational costs low, allowing the Hanse merchants to make good profits from the long-distance trade between the Baltic and the North Seas. Thanks to personal and institutional links with confederations of towns, the Hanse merchants were initially able to strengthen their international position of power. Since the late 15th century, however, the transaction costs of long-distance trade increased as a result of growing exclusivity and formalization efforts in the Hanseatic league. Moreover, changes in the European economic structure, triggered by the discovery of America, and internal conflicts ultimately led to the disintegration of the Hanseatic networks.
A remarkably non-sensational report on polyamorous families. Bookended by 50 Shades of Grey and Gigolos, this 20/20 "special report" on Sierra, Martin, Molly, David, Aaron, Romy, Mark, and J provides a lovely counterpoint to the usual moralizing hand-wringing one finds in media coverage of open relationships.
Guys don't want casual sex: "This stereotype 'tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships... This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex.'... the Wake Forest University professor lays out the current data on young men’s sexual desires and behavior to make a case against this insidious stereotype." Salon interviews Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. [more inside]
"We discussed the danger of partisan division, and the need for us, all of us, to come together and find common ground after a very rough and divisive couple of weeks. ... It is no secret that Brad and I had two very different visions for you and whom you date. Tonight, you have spoken, and Brad has prevailed." --- The American People Have Spoken About Our Relationship
It happens after you've ran out of things to talk about with your partner, after you get your sh*t together and have talked about plans for a family. It is time to get engaged, send out the invitations, and start planning the wedding. NSFW audio
I Want To Talk About Politics On Facebook vs. Get Out Of My Facebook, Politics: two arguments for and against using social media to share political opinions (presented on Thought Catalog) [more inside]
Adelaide is a short movie about a woman who seeks attention in a very particular way.
In my unending search for just the right vintage images for our articles, I have looked through thousands of photographs of men from the last century or so. One of the things that I have found most fascinating about many of these images, is the ease, familiarity, and intimacy, which men used to exhibit in photographs with their friends and compadres. Male Affection: A Photographic History Tour
There is a dating guide for Stanford University (PDF file), and it includes a foreword by Philip Zimbardo.
"Relationships are hard enough. But the rise of social media — where sharing private moments is encouraged, and provocative and confessional postings can help build a following — has created a new source of friction for couples: what is fair game for sharing with the world?" (NYT)
The pills are $2,000 every month. The doctor visits never end. And there's always the possibility the virus could spread. Otherwise, it's not so different.
Marriage is a luxury good [NYT] After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. [more inside]
The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
Never liked it anyway: A website to get rid of unwanted/left-over gifts from bad relationships. There are tales, and tips on moving on.
Why do most people assume that all nonmonogamous relationships are destined to fail? Because we only hear about the ones that do. If a three-way or an affair was a factor in a divorce or breakup, we hear all about it. But we rarely hear from happy couples who aren’t monogamous, because they don’t want to be perceived as dangerous sex maniacs who are destined to divorce. Monogamish Couples Share Their Stories.
Click the photo at the top of the linked page to view The Voyagers, a rumination on the universe, love, a golden record and two small space probes.
The Boston Globe's Bob Hohler gets to the bottom of the Red Sox's epic collapse: Inside are tales of alienated potential MVP candidates, pitchers playing video games and eating take out chicken and biscuits instead of being in the dugout, and older players chasing statistical glory.
The Third Wheel. Australian photographer Jackson Eaton offers a series of photographs about the awkwardness of being the third person that alternate between hilarious and creepy. (Via)
From 1999 to 2003, the largely-female UK comedy trope Smack The Pony had a series of short skits based on video dating ads. Youtube user myLastTears has edited them together into a supercut: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 [more inside]
Angry Jane Doe: "I have started to sleep around. I sleep with men I am not dating. I sleep with men and refuse to date them, actually. I come to their houses, fuck them, say thank you for a nice time, and don't let the door hit me on the ass on the way out. You might think this is a pretty good deal, but it is not. Because I fuck and tell. Because I'm pissed." (NSFW.) [more inside]
An easy way to have sex without having to communicate. The Forty Beads method, invented by sex therapist Carolyn Evans, relies on tokens that allow a husband to give his wife a bead (by putting it in her "beadcatcher") when he's "in the mood," with a 24-hour deadline for "redemption." (Evans also says the roles can be reversed for those low-libido husbands/high-libido wives).
Strangers, Again, a short film by Wong Fu Productions, takes viewers on an introspective journey through the stages of a romantic relationship. (Previous Wong Fu Production films on Metafilter)
Want to Be My Boyfriend? Please Define is the winner of a 2008 New York Times essay competition asking college students to write about what love is like for them. The competition runs again this year.
In his project A More Perfect Union, artist R. Luke Dubois aggregated language used in the profiles of 19 million single Americans on 21 dating sites. He then organized the data to create "dozens of insanely detailed city and state maps which tell a wonderfully rich story about who we are, or at least, who we claim to be." A Video about the project. (R. Luke Dubois, previously on MeFi.)
Robin Schwartz has photographs in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, and The National Museum of Art among many other institutions. She depicts our relationships with animals as exhibited by her galleries: Primate Portraits, demonstrating the animals' unique personalities, The Presence of Animals in People's Lives in Rural Mexico, Amelie's World: Animal Affinity, drawn from real journeys taken with her daughter. See also Amelie's World: Dreams and Amelie's World: Imaginary Tales. [more inside]
1. Tin Huey T-Shirt. 2. A silk-screened poster from the Sept. 22, 2000, Mary Timony (of Helium) concert in Oberlin, Ohio. 3. "Crazy Rhythms" by the Feelies (on white vinyl). 4. A big-ass dining room table. 5. The Futon. 6. One audio MiniDisc of the Black Keys' first live performance, July 2002. 7. 7. One black-and-white photo of Patrick and me, taken in 2003, at Apple Studios. A marriage, and divorce, in seven mementos.
Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life. Remember this thread from last weekend? Here is another interesting take on the dynamics of modern heterosexual relationships.
Cheating, Incorporated: The Infidelity Economy. "Looking to sneak around on your spouse? Got a little cash to spend? The CEO of Ashley Madison, a website whose own backers don't even want to be associated with, is happy to take your money." (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
Fifteen years after we broke up, my ex-boyfriend published a book of poetry. ... For months, the slim book sat on my shelf like an awkward houseguest. Then, one quiet night, something nudged me out of my inertia, or dread, and I settled into bed with his book. And there I was.
The Best Questions For A First Date. What questions are easy to bring up, yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about?
Henry Roth had one of the most anomalous careers in modern letters: a brilliant novel at age twenty-eight, the incomparable Call It Sleep, lost for thirty years but never quite forgotten, then a torrent of words let loose in his seventies and eighties. ... Roth continued to resist any single explanation for his catastrophic writer's block, but it became evident that it was the incest, and the self-loathing that accompanied it, that threw the biggest roadblock across his path. [more inside]
"I write the advice that I wish I’d had when I had low self-esteem and a penchant for dating the same guy in a different package. The blog is predominantly aimed at women but I do have a lot of male readers too and my advice is relevant to everyone who has found themselves in a cycle of pain and a bad relationship pattern." Natalie Lue, blogger and author, on why she started her site, BaggageReclaim. [more inside]