Relate Your Way

Last Saturday was fun! I participated in the studio audience for the pilot of an exciting new web-TV project, Relate Your Way. Rach Wilson (a prominent leader in the swinging community) is hosting a weekly series of frank and open discussions on wide-ranging topics to do with sexuality. The show aims to make the world a better place by openly talking about sexuality and educating people to accept difference.

I like the aim. Along with its sister show, Hook Line and Sink Her (a 13-part drama series based on Carla Bonner’s book), RYW will be part of an online sex advice channel that is being launched in July. How awesome is that? Rach sees it as easily accessible education in a sex-negative and misinformed world. I think it has fabulous potential and I hope they raise the necessary funds (entirely crowd-sourced). This article lays out the objectives nicely.

Rach, Nick (her co-host) and Deb (this week’s guest) explored ‘Coming Out’ as their first topic. They looked at the number of things people might want to come out about, how to do it badly or well, and why do it at all. It was a good topic to start with in a way; the positive impact of being honest about our sexuality is the motivation for the show. The more of us who are able to come out and speak up about our alternative choices, the easier we make it for everyone else.

In the voxpops afterwards I chatted to Deb about the historical difference between swinging (traditionally heterosexual-couples-based, focused on sex, sometimes prohibition on emotional connection) and polyamory (emphasis on emotional/romantic relationships which may or may not be sexual). We noted that the lines are blurring as progressive swingers are actively seeking emotional connection to the people they swing with. In the past poly folk have had a tendency to emphatically declare “WE’RE NOT SWINGERS!” I suspect that may have been a reaction to the outdated ‘keys in the bowl’ swinging image of the sixties. More swingers and polys are recognising our similarities these days.

I had a magical experience at the studio. One woman came up to me at the end of the show and said “I’ve been wondering where I know you from. Did you run a workshop on polyamory at Confest a few years ago?” I said yes and she said “Oh I’m SO glad to meet you again. That workshop changed my life!” She went on to tell me that it had opened her eyes to so many possibilities she’d never considered before and that her life had taken a different direction from that point. She was so genuinely grateful and reiterated her thanks several times.

That is the kind of magic feedback that, in addition to warming the cockles of my heart, is why Tathra and I do what we do. Education changes people’s lives. We may never know how much or in what direction. I came away from the studio knowing that even if I never get any other feedback from any other participant, what I do is worth it.

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