Relationship Anarchy Discussion: July Edition

Kale of Relationship Anarchy and I have been hosting a discussion group in Vancouver in conjunction with some Facebook group-based community (Relationship AnarchyRelationship Anarchy Vancouver). Our third discussion was riveting again. Here are the general notes on what was covered.


What does equality in relationships mean?

~ what do people mean when they ask “is everything equal”?
~ people deserve base-line respect, but responsibility to the care of that individual is subjective
~ value of agency vs. maintenance of the current state
~ why isn’t someone asserting their boundaries a positive thing when it involves a “no”?

We don’t ask these sorts of questions about non-romantic relationships, do we?

~ what do we discuss with any connection outside of romantic and sexual?
~ “how do you like to do ‘relationships’”?
~ does this mean we just fish in the pool of our immediate vicinity because it is less emotional labour?
~ giving things breathing room to see how they develop
~ basing interactions on consent
~ neighbourhood watch for grown-ups: small communities make for expectations of accountability
~ rejecting normativity is a thing we’re allowed to do, as is rejecting community.
~ it’s a privilege to be able to opt in or out of community; for some it is life or death

Libertarianism vs Anarchy in Relationships

~ the difference between “we don’t need the government, we’re fine” and “we don’t need the government because we got this. together.”
~ things are hard when you don’t acknowledge your impact on others
~ “you can do what you want and we’ll protect your rights” vs. “your decisions affect everyone, therefore everyone has a say in your decisions”
~ distinctive features: when did the line get crossed from one to the other in situations?
~ the semantics of language are an important component to communication
~ the conflation of democracy with fairness
~ social contracts: do people get to matter if we don’t care about them?

Sexual intimacy with “friends”

~ sex can be like mario kart, sometimes; it’s an activity we do together
~ how to people have friendships with genders they are sexually attracted to?
~ “Queer Platonic Relationship Request Form”
~ wtf does “friend” mean?! the word is losing meaning with the casualness that we use it
~ the “just friends” insult: as if that’s inadequate or not enough
~ establishing meaning when introductions are made
~ how does the “care queue” work, and how much/little do we care about/like people and why isn’t that okay?
~ how do we balance finite time with what we want to do?
~ Dunbar’s Number
~ establishing the differences between people who are the most important and people who we put most of our energy into
~ bookmark friends: someone you can pick up with right where you left off even though varying lengths of time has have passed.
~ distribution of emotional labour

The discussion groups occur once a month on the first Tuesday at the Tipper Restaurant and Review Room.

Relationship Anarchy Vancouver: June Edition

Kale of Relationship Anarchy and I have been hosting a discussion group in Vancouver in conjunction with some Facebook group-based community (Relationship Anarchy, Relationship Anarchy Vancouver). This was the second one, and I decided to take some notation on the topics we covered to promote the conversation continuing online for those who could not attend. Here is a list of the questions we proposed, and some of the things we covered while in discussion.

What does commitment mean within RA?

~ what people want to be okay with vs. what they are actually okay with
~ what does commitment mean to each individual
~ relationship escalator mitigation
~ stasis can kill relationships
~ recognition that every day, someone showing up means they want to be there
~ measuring love in relation to measuring importance
~ defining the “start” or “finish” of a relationship

What is the relationship between relationship anarchy and political anarchy?

~ philosophical anarchism
~ RA : is it about doing what you want and defining it the way you want, or is it about actively rejecting the structures that are in place? or both?
~ moving at the pace of the slowest person re: progress through getting to an RA model
~ breaking down norms vs. “YOU DO YOU”
~ self-awareness privilege: it helps to recognize
~ a future where monogamy is not the norm, and poly/RA is
~ we are thankful for previous generations allowing for non-monogamy to manifest
~ decolonized relationships: what would relationships look like without colonization, and how do our norms affect indigenous peoples?
~ everything we do is a political act, including the things we do NOT do
~ the productivity of narrowing the definition to a point vs allowing it to expand
~ radical = being true to yourself/authentic as possible

What do we do to communicate the value of our connections/the people we are in relationships with?

~ long distance relationships: sustainable when we don’t adhere to the ways we show love as implied
~ how valid are the 5 love languages?
~ working towards shared goals/bolstering each other to succeed: as long as there is direction, moving towards something
~ figuring out communication styles, and striving to secure validation is occurring and people are heard

How do we open others’ minds to RA?

~ website, articles, basically just the internet
~ set the example. unapologetically.
~ do things on the internet, tell everyone about them
~ cerebral conversations can exclude; be mindful
~ the difficult conversation formula

How does one “nope out” ethically?

~ EL and what an individual can live with
~ sometimes, the audition period is short, and it’s not personal
~ active listening
~ passive communication is the norm: more ways to be radical is to be DIRECT
~ check one’s privilege regarding implicit power dynamics and be grateful for the opportunity to learn
~ enthusiastic consent

The discussion groups occur once a month on the first Tuesday at the Tipper Restaurant and Review Room.