Keeping a relationship from getting boring

This question originally started out as an answer on Quora. I thought it would be appropriate to copy it here. How do you keep a relationship from getting boring, dull, losing the shine? That’s easy. The answer is contained in the question. Don’t let the relationship become a routine. It’s not inevitable that relationships become routine. They can remain novel and exciting for decades. They become routine because the people involved choose to make them routine…often without even realizing they’re making a choice. You know how Yoda talks about the dark side of the Force? How he says it’s faster, easier? That’s a relationship becoming routine. You make little choices every day because doing the same thing today that you did yesterday is just…easier. Falling into patterns is just…easier. Assuming certain roles that you repeat in the relationship is just…easier. You do it without even thinking about it. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to. It takes more conscious effort, Read more…

“How do you not feel jealous?”

I recently came across a question on Quora that asked how it’s possible not to feel jealousy when you see someone you fancy choose someone else. As jealousy is a perennial subject amongst those polyamorously inclined, I felt it might be helpful to copy my answer here. I opened an answer window for this question and then realized, it’s deceptively complicated to answer. How do you describe how not to feel a thing? There are ways to describe what a feeling is like, and how you can process a feeling, and tools you can use to manage feelings, and where feelings come from, but…how do you describe the technique for not feeling an emotion? I don’t feel jealous when someone I fancy is with someone else. I have felt jealousy in the past, so I’m not saying I’m, like, magically immune to this basic emotion or anything like that, but I haven’t experienced jealousy in a donkey’s age. Why not? Okay, let me try Read more…

Review: A World Beyond Monogamy

When I co-authored the book on polyamory that carries my name, it caught fire—mostly, I think, because it was at the right place at the right time. It was published as polyamory reached a kind of historical inflection point. I’m still quite proud of that book, though I no longer recommend it as strongly, as my former partner and co-author has made changes without my approval. But every book is a product of its time. The world now is not the world of a decade ago, and the book I co-authored—a deeply personal book written from the perspective of a very specific kind of polyamory at a specific moment in time—is no longer my #1 recommendation for folks who want to learn about consensually non-monogamous relationships. A World Beyond Monogamy is the first genuinely journalistic book ever to be published on consensual non-monogamy. It’s also the first book of its kind with a global focus. It’s groundbreaking because it moves Read more…

Statement on A World Beyond Monogamy, Jonathan Kent’s Polyamory Book

Gather ’round, everyone, and let me tell you a story. It’s a story full of pornography, intrigue, rumor, innuendo, misplaced credit for a massive book, and kinky sex. Let’s go back to February of 2022, when British author and former BBC correspondent Jonathan Kent published a book on non-monogamy called A World Beyond Monogamy: How People Make Polyamory and Open Relationships Work and What We Can All Learn From Them, a lovely book that takes a global approach to polyamory. No, wait, let’s go back further, to an orgy in Lincolnshire, England, where Eunice Hung and I started writing erotic science fiction novels together. (No, that’s not the story, though it is an interesting tale of its own). Eunice and I started working together to set a book in a setting she’d dreamed up: the City, a far future, post-scarcity society run by benevolent AIs who were worshipped as gods, largely through ritualized group sex. We wrote the first novel Read more…

Statement on PolyDay cancellation

There’s a polyamory conference in London. It’s called PolyDay, it was founded in 2004, it’s non-profit, and it became one of Britain’s most popular and successful poly events. PolyDay 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to Covid. In 2021, a woman who runs a site called “PolyPages” announced that since PolyDay hadn’t hosted an event in 2020 or 2021, she was going to take it over and turn it into a for-profit venture. The PolyDay volunteers pushed back. She declared she would do it despite their objections. They informed her that the name PolyDay and its graphics and so forth were protected by British trademark law. She renamed her for-profit event “Polyamory Day,” but advertised it online using the PolyDay hashtag. She also started releasing videos on TikTok slandering the PolyDay volunteers, making false claims about them (including that they were racist against Polynesian people because they called their event PolyDay, even though she herself calls her site PolyPages—yes, seriously). In these Read more…

We are back online!

You may have noticed the More Than Two site has been inaccessible on and off for the last week or so. The site was knocked offline for 22 hours by a sustained DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, a form of attack where an attacker floods a Web site with too many bogus requests for it to handle, so it becomes overloaded and cannot serve pages to legitimate users. The attack is over, and I’m working on ways to harden the site against future attacks. Over the past few days, some people were seeing “too many redirects” errors, and I’ve addressed those as well. With a bit of luck, the site will not be susceptible to this sort of attack in the future.

You, me, and More Than Two

That feeling when a book you’ve written ends up being featured on a TV show about a serial killer… So yeah, that’s a thing that happened. I’ll be honest. I’ve never watched the Netflix serial killer series You. I’ve never even heard of the Netflix serial killer series You until my wife told me, “Hey Franklin, did you know your book was on this show?” And yeah, that’s a weird thing to hear first thing in the morning when you haven’t even had your tea yet. I don’t normally follow shows about serial killers. I never watched Dexter. (Well, I think I watched about a third of one episode once; I dimly recall a scene where a character is passing out donuts from a box, and when all the donuts are gone, he says something like “the box is empty, just like me.” I’ve now told you everything I know about the show.) So I watched this episode, aaaaaaand… It Read more…

First, do no harm: Some thoughts on rules as a safety mechanism

Primum non nocere. It’s a Latin phrase that means “first, do no harm.” It’s not part of the Hippocratic Oath, but it is a central tenet of bioethics in most of the world.

It also, I think, makes a pretty good tenet for relationship ethics as well.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Dan Savage’s personal assistant, asking if I was interested in helping craft a response to a person who’d written in to Mr. Savage with a poly problem.

Awkwardness as the Price of Admission to Being Human

Nearly all relationship advice of any sort, for any kind of relationship, can be dismissed with just one sentence: “But that would be awkward!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words. Suffice it to say that if I had a dime for every time, I’d be quite a lot wealthier than I am right now.

“Talk about STI testing before we have sex? But that would be awkward!” “Meet my partner’s other partner? But that would be awkward!” “Talk to my partner about how I’m feeling? But that would be awkward!” “Experiment and try new things in bed? But that would be awkward!” “Talk openly about sexual boundaries? But that would be awkward!” “Talk about my sexual fantasies? But that would be awkward!” “Ask before kissing someone? But that would be awkward!” (That last one, in fact, deserves a blog post of its own.)

Some thoughts on finding love

Someone recently asked the question, “What is the difference between a person who finds love easily and a person who finds it difficult to make loving connections?”

This is a question I think I can offer some insight on (at least for people who share most of my privileges), because in my own life I have gone from a person who found love impossible to a person who finds opportunities for love and connection all around me. During that transition, I learned that many of the things I assumed about folks who find love easily—that they’re rich, that they’re handsome, that they’re famous—aren’t true.