“I feel like the world of ethical non-monogamy, and specifically polyamory is really disrupting. It’s about disrupting the paradigm of the patriarchy as well as just the paradigm of compulsory monogamy.” -Heidi Savell
Oh, nothing, just me and Heidi Savell, LCSW, my new fave polyamory coach, replacing capitalism with divine feminine energy, repairing acute attachment wounds, and returning agency to anyone frustrated by the limits of monogamous relationships. Is there anything polyamory can’t do?!
OK, before we go any further into this convo, let me emphatically state that neither Heidi nor I have anything against monogamy. The centuries-old practice still works for many. That said, it doesn’t work for many. Furthermore, monogamists still on board with our discussion will learn a lot about emotional intimacy from polyamorous folks, like navigating jealousy and setting clear boundaries. Win-win-win!
So how did we arrive at this current wave of poly-popularity? Heidi says we owe much of the spotlight to the pandemic. Two years into various stages of lockdown and social separation have exposed myriad societal issues, not least of which is the unrealistic assumption that a single partner can (or is willing to) fulfill all our needs. As an alternative to compulsory monogamy, polyamory frees the idea of “commitment” from some unhealthy, artificially imposed limits.
I’m definitely drawn to polyamory’s promise of community-fostered intimacy. It’s like decolonizing your mind, but instead, it’s de-monogamizing your relationships. Not that I believe everyone should explore polyamory. I’m also not naive to think that every polyamorist is interested in creating safe environments. Some f*@kers are just intent on exploiting the practice.
That’s why it’s helpful to have a professional guide, especially in the early stages of your polyamory growth. Heidi’s own journey prompted her to create the coaching practice she wishes she had access to as a poly newbie. With her help, fledgling polyamorists gain the skills necessary to build meaningful connections and address old wounds in the process. “I think that’s part of the healing that I facilitate and that people do, is working through the fears and working through the uncertainty,” she says of her coaching. “When you leave that idea of safety, that false sense of safety that this monogamy mindset gives you, you’re kind of like thrashing around in the waves. It’s wild and brings up so much that I think can be healed.”
Could widespread post-pandemic polyamory be the antidote to patriarchal power-hoarding and capitalism’s doctrine of scarcity? Heidi thinks so. “Ethical non-monogamy, making those connections right now, it’s why it feels so subversive and disruptive in ways that I love.”
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MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy – by Jessica Fern
GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO
Heidi Savell, LCSW, is a polyamory relationship coach and therapist. She believes that polyamory can be an empowering and satisfying relationship model, and is passionate about helping folks find ways to thrive in these relationships.
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