Episode 1: An A-Z of Consensual Non Monogamy, Part 1

Hello and welcome to Beyond Monogamy the podcast that explores relationship options, outside the mainstream…

Over the last twenty plus years, largely thanks to the internet, a conservation has grown about different ways of approaching relationships. It’s a conversation, I suspect, that wouldn’t have happened when all such things were moderated by the traditional media.

Zayna and I decided it was time to be part of the conversation. We both come at it from different angles. Zayna is a psychotherapist. Actually Zayna is rather more than just a psychotherapist as you can see if you visit her page on this website. I’m a journalist and have spent the last three years working on a book about Consensual Non Monogamy interviewing people from Seattle to Sydney via Stoke Newington and Singapore. Places not beginning with an ‘S’ never got a look in, obvs…

The LGBT community knows quite well how important it was back in the 70s to have its own spaces. It allowed for the free flow of ideas. It’s taken far longer than that for it to happen for consensual non monogamy.

What’s clear to both of us is that, to borrow a phrase (and book title) from a friend of the programme, Dr. Meg-John Barker, is that many people are now Rewriting the Rules of their relationships.

That may be rewriting rules so as to drop the need for sexual or romantic exclusivity in relationships, it may be to jump off the ‘relationship escalator’ (listen to our second episode to find out more about that), it could be to reprioritise life so romantic connections don’t get privileged over other precious relationships. It could be any number of things. It’s down to you. It’s your relationship. That’s the point.

In the first two episodes we decided to start at the beginning. Lots of people are new to CNM and there are terms and concepts that will be familiar to some but not to all.

Thus our starting point is an A-Z of CNM. Episode one tackles A-M and episode two will look at N-Z. In doing so we were kindly helped by Daniel Cardoso and by Nita and Angus. Daniel is a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University where he studies poly activism. He’s not a sitting on the fence kind of guy. He calls it as he sees it. You may not agree with every one of his explanations of the various terms we’ll find ourselves using, but his understanding is patently the result of a lot of study and thought. He’s a very engaging and occasionally provocative guest. Nita and Angus are community organisers and well-loved figures from the London poly scene with decades of poly experience behind them.

Daniel Cardoso

The list of terms isn’t comprehensive, nor do we try to impose definitions but we do hope to add to the conversation.

In episode one we touch on asexuality, allosexuality, alosexuality, bi-sexuality, communication, compersion, consent, demisexuality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, exclusivity, fluid bonding, gender, hierarchical poly, honesty, hookup culture, insecurity, jealousy, kitchen table poly, life partners metamours, meta-metamours and monogamish! Phew. That was a mouthful and we didn’t even have tea and biscuits to sustain us.

Next time M-Z and another smorgasbord of CNM nibbles. Catch you then and happy (consensual please) nibbling!

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