Community Tech Desk: How to get connected

says alot about what is on our mind when we think about tech too… no @amelia?

This has turned into a tech desk for romantic distancing :slight_smile:

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@matthias, I have quite some experience in long-distance romantic, and yes, that experience comes in very handy now.

A general observation: just like all our institutions in general, lockdown rules are geared towards social/cultural norms. In fact, they are geared toward social/cultural norms more than general-purpose institutions, because they go up fast, with little regard for minorities etc. In this case, the norm is your usual live-in married couple. Anything else, from participating in a dating scene to living apart together or consensual non-monogamy, is not catered for.

Small anecdote: recently, a Flemish TV show on how ordinary people live out their quarantine interviewed a member of the polyamorous community. By sheer coincidence, immediately after her, the same program interviewed Marc van Ranst, the epidemiologist leading the committee for national security that determines Belgium’s lockdown measures. The host asked van Ranst if he had polyamorous people in mind when he designed those rules. He replied he has the utmost respect for our choices, but, actually, no, he did not think about that at all. You can see the whole thing (in Dutch) here.

So, and of course, poly folks are turning to the Internet to try to save their connections from wearing out. I have written my own reflections, and the results from some techniques I am trying, on my blog.


What’s (mostly) working for us is taking turns so one of us is with the child at all times, or at least simply responsible to watch over when he play puzzles etc on his own.

Unfortunately me time and couple time are suffering a little, but we get ~6h of work each when/if we need that. And we get to spend a lot more quality time with him actually.


Hello Noemi, Yes those where the 36 questions I was referring to. It can be made as fun as one’s want with some curiosity and aim to make it interesting, or it can also just be a great different conversation kick starter. And also The NY times has an app to make it less like reading from a list of questions on the internet, so that it does not end up looking like we are making a survey !

What a great post you wrote, @alberto. I wonder if most people had to make the decision you guys took - isolate with one of their partners, and take all the other risks. It seems like there will be some heartache no matter what.
I understand that the poly community in general has better prevention and testing measures to keep safe, because it has to. But given this crisis and the awareness of how any social contact will be anyhow perceived riskier than before, are you noticing people re-thinking their approach to the kind of partnerships they will explore in the future? Will they see less new people? Will they consider moving in with established partners? I can imagine that so much fear and loneliness are at work in these days. Makes one reconsider their whole life setup.

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I do not have any clear indication one way or the other. We will see. But look: it’s not like poly was ever easy, and now it has suddenly become difficult. People go to great lengths, and overcome significant societal pressure, to be able to to do it. If I had to make a call, I would say we are just going to add some precautions and move on. The STD-prevention protocol is a great precedent.

My main question mark is about how different cultures approach risk and uncertainty, and integrate new information. I have written about this here. The poly crowd skews yoga-therapy-emotional intelligence, rather than hard science-probability theory. For example, I have been told “Why all this math for a date?” (implication: do you no longer love me? Are these incomprehensible numbers going to tell you whether I can see you or not?). And I have been in calls where people obsessed a lot about “The Rules” given by the Belgian govt, with very little thoughts of how the govt might be getting it wrong, or have secondary objectives other than people’s overall health. And almost no turning to the scientific literature. In the poly microcosm there is an authoritarian streak: “follow the rules! stay at home!”

But again, that is everywhere, not just with us. If anything, we have already learned the hard way that not all rules and societal norms are good for our long term well-being. I trust we will stay with this lesson.