Another country heard from: Polyamory in Colombia
Earnest polyfolks have launched our movement in Bogotá, apparently the first to do so there publicly. From this morning's Bogotá Post, "your English-language voice in Colombia":
Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing: Polyamory in Bogotá
By Roberta Hart
...When I meet Alba, Lois, and María, three of the coordinators behind the Poliamor Bogotá collective, I’m brimming with questions as this is a whole new world to me, and one I am very curious to explore. They discussed love, polyamory, the collective, and shared their views on the movement and this way of living relationships.
...Alba explains that, “the definition of polyamory, which comes from a new paradigm, can be seen from a macro perspective: the ideal of what you think a relationship should be.”
She continues, “It should be ethical, that means, something you think is right. It is consensual. In other words, that the people involved agree or have flexible agreements about the dynamics of the relationship and what is going to happen. These types of relationships are honest, meaning there is agreed and informed consent – you can’t give consent if you don’t know what you are agreeing to. And it needs to be responsible, both physically and emotionally, to yourself and towards others.”
An additional element that Poliamor Bogotá has added is that the relationship should be non-possessive, that means setting up agreements that do not go against other people’s freedoms.
This brings us neatly to more discussion about what polyamory is not, especially to debunk a few myths about it. ... Last year, when there was a story about a throuple (a term for a polyamorous relationship) in Medellín in the headlines [see roundup], Alba recalls that many people were saying ‘This now! What will be next? Marrying animals?’ ... Lois adds that “swinger practices are not polyamory either as these are merely sexual exchanges.” Lois adds, “Infidelity, for example, is not polyamory; some people come tell us a story and define themselves as polyamorous, but say their partner doesn’t know…”.
It was interesting to sit with three young professional women – a lawyer, a journalist and a psychologist – who work actively in this collective which seeks to raise the visibility and normalise the philosophy and practice of loving various people at the same time in a consensual, responsible, honest, and non-possessive way.
...Their [Facebook] page has reached 1,500 likes, and they have offered workshops which host some 80 people each time.
...The group meet up for Politinto sessions one Saturday every month. A politinto is the name the collective gives to the workshops, which discuss many aspects of polyamory and relationships in general over a relaxed coffee or beer. Lois admits that the first time she went, it took her a lot of courage to show up. She finally mustered the courage at the third politinto. She had started reading about polyamory, mostly from the ALA website (Amor Libre Argentina). “It was the first time in my life I felt I belonged; there were also other people who were wondering about the same issues, people who were living the same or who were searching for something similar; this has been a process of personal and collective construction which has been super important in my life.”
I’m pretty sure that Lois is not alone, so I ask how we can find out more about polyamory without going to a meeting. They recommend their webpage first and foremost. The page – poliamorbogota.weebly.com – has over 200 references that Alba has been collecting. The articles, which cover a range of topics, are all in Spanish, some are translations that people in the community have collaborated with.
There is extensive literature available elsewhere in English. The trio eagerly mention Terri Conley, a psychologist who has devoted her research to consensual non-monogamy; Norma Mogrovejo, a researcher who has also played a role in the development of a discourse around sexual diversity; and – best known to Colombians – sexologist Flavia Dos Santos. ...
It started with the normal introductions and presentations. But you don’t have to give your real name if you don’t want to, and there is a central topic to each session. This time: jealousy. A few of us shared stories about feeling jealous and how we have dealt with it.
It was interesting to be at the table with people from many different backgrounds, all sharing their stories and views, aided by, in this case, a professional guide to understanding jealousy. The professional guide made people feel safe to open up and share ideas about relationships they wouldn’t otherwise open up about. It was a very enriching experience and Alba, María, and other collaborators make sure participants feel at ease during the session.
Like the relationships themselves, there are some ground rules to the sessions: Politintos are not an opportunity to, as they said in this particular session, ‘fish’ for a partner/s, pictures are not allowed as the most important thing is to have a safe place to talk, discuss and learn about these topics, and all ideas are shared respecting the personal space of others. ...
The whole article (March 22, 2018).