This column will be a documentation of our journey--as a couple--into the realm of polyamory. Since we are in the process of navigating this path right now, this column will detail issues, problems, and roadblocks that we encounter--as we hit them.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Pegasus & RM Go Camping

Here is our review of Stew & Brew. It’s been a while, and some of the things we talked about have had some time to settle. RM and I really enjoyed meeting everybody who was there. It’s the first time we have taken the step of actually meeting people in “real life” that we have only ever known before online. I have to say it was very confidence inspiring!

Well, here’s the weekend in a nutshell, then:

RM and I flew into Dulles from Chicago, picked our rental car up and got on the road pretty quickly. We had heard that D.C. traffic was bad, and it wasn’t good, certainly. But we are from Chicago and a little traffic never stopped us from doing things! It took us about 4 hours to get to Point Lookout. When we got there, Kriek and his friend Chris were in the park office straightening out some confusion about campsites, and looking for us. We followed them back to the campsite and helped move, and then we got our own stuff set up. Since Chias and family were providing food, all we really had brought was a small tent, sleeping bags and an air mattress. Alan and Ken Haslam were also at the campsite when we got there. Hugs all around—I really felt like I was just getting together with people I already knew well, there was none of the awkwardness you sometimes feel when meeting "strangers".

The campsite was really beautiful, and different from what us Midwesterners are used to. Lots of eastern pine trees, and tall grasses that rustled in the breeze. It was hot and kind of sticky, but not unbearable. We had dinner and then Kriek suggested that we go crabbing (a new and different kind of fishing for me!) The sky was perfectly clear and it was cooler on the pier, and very nice. Alan got his telescope out when we got back to the campsite, and several of us did some stargazing. We had some conversation around the campfire; RM and I told Ken Haslam a little about our situation and we talked about the various ways people approach poly relationships.

The next day was more outdoors fun and lots of talking. It was really nice to be able to talk about poly issues with knowledgeable people in an environment where you didn’t have to watch what you were saying. There was a family camping next to us, and it occurred at some point that maybe we needed to watch the volume on the "adult topics". We talked about what poly means for different people in different relationships. We talked about the current state of poly research. While we went on a nice hike into the salt marsh to see some fiddler crabs and periwinkle snails, Ken told us about the Kinsey Institute and the polyamory collection he is developing. We talked about the difficulties we are having finding likely people, and got some great advice from Ken about going to more poly conferences.

We also went canoeing on Lake Conoy. That part of Point Lookout is right at the place where the Potomac River meets Chesapeake Bay, and it’s a salt marsh. It’s a very interesting ecosystem; and very nice canoeing. RM and I haven’t been canoeing in a really long time. Which reminds me of a funny thing that Ken said—that essentially the way you tell poly people from swingers is that swingers have events in swank hotels, whereas poly people go camping!

Saturday evening was nice. More crabbing, and then good conversation around the campfire. In particular, RM had a great discussion with the "guys" about his orientation and issues around coming out and finding like-minded people. I was really glad that he had the opportunity to talk and be supported by everybody. It was a big step for him. We sat and talked for a long time while we waited for the crabs we had caught to steam. They were delicious!

We finished up the trip on Sunday with a stop by Chias, Kriek and Sister Dagger’s home. Then RM and I headed back to DC to our hotel to fly home on Monday.

All in all it was a great weekend. RM and I felt it was very worth it to travel that far. We discovered that we can fit the bare essentials for camping in a smallish amount of luggage. We are looking into some other poly events, mainly the Midwest Alternative Polyamory Conference and the Loving More Conference in New York…although it seems likely we will have to wait until next year, it’s good to have this great experience under our belts! It was nice to meet everybody and we are looking forward to next year!

Pegasus & Renaissance Man; July 15, 2006

Pegasus & Renaissance Man are contributing writers as well as members of this online Community. They can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.


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