#3 Marcia Baczynski

Louisa Leontiades Activist Interviews, Epic Relationships, Polyamory, Unfenced Relationships

Sarah: We are recording life our first Blab! (Note: Blab is a livestream video site) Welcome to Polyamorous People! A clever title that I gave to this episodic series online because it’s about… polyamorous people. (laughs) So my special guest today is the lovely Marcia Baczynski, who is using Blab for the first time too! And we’re both excited about Blab! We’re Blabbing.

Marcia: We’re Blabbing.

Sarah: We’re Blabbing, (deeper, more serious voice) that is the appropriate gerund. (back to conversational tone) I assume.

Marcia: (affirms) I assume.

Sarah: I assume. Blabbing? So, I’m excited to have you here, lady, because I truly love you… I love being able to share the conversations that we have, because we have such fun conversations, with the internets. (makes broad hand gesture) The Internetville, I like to call it. Yay!

So, I’d just like to say really quickly the reason I do this series is because I think it’s important for people who identify as a word, to talk about that word, and what that word means to them. It’s really important to me. I’m polyamorous, I’ve been polyamorous my whole life; which we can talk about during this thing.

And, Marcia Baczynski, do you identify as polyamorous my darling?

Marcia: I do identify as polyamorous. I also identify as open, and I don’t necessarily think that they’re the same thing. So… we can talk about that.

Sarah: I would love to talk about that. That is one of the things that I would love to talk to you about. We’ll get into that in just a second, but that’s one of the things that interests me so much about… people in general but specifically you, because also you, and I’d love for you to talk about this, you are connected to so many people who identify as polyamorous, and you’ve also had so much experience working with  people who are polyamorous or poly-curious. Or monogamous and poly-allies, all the different variations of that. And I’m so intrigued by your experience, because I think experience with people is such a fascinating thing to share and talk about. So, would you like to introduce a bit of yourself, so that I (makes hand gesture shutting mouth)

Marcia: Yeah I mean, so there’s kinda two pieces to my introduction. Right? There’s the personal side and there’s the professional side. And personally I’ve been in some kind of open relationship/polyamorous relationship situation since sometime in the late 20th century, we’ll just say. (both laugh) For… coming up on two decades now, which is kind of mind-blowing. So I’ve had a lot of experience personally but also I’ve been doing relationship coaching and running discussion groups and  creating classes and products and speaking at conferences and all that kind of stuff since about 2003. So, I have my own sort of perspective on it from my own life, which I think a lot of poly people do, but I have this background of working with people that are nothing like me, who have totally different approaches, who are looking for very different things from each other and from me. So yeah, I can talk about it from all kinds of perspectives.

Sarah: That’s what I love, because that to me makes you incredibly unique in that yes, you have these identity words that we can talk about and this experience within your personal life, but also the wealth of things that you have been through with people as their… would you call it therapist?

Marcia: I’m not a therapist, I don’t do therapy. I am at my core an educator. I am a coach, as sort of my handle that I use, but I identify really as an educator. My passion is… there’s all of these things that people have gone and discussed and discovered through trial and error. They’ve come up with language and terminology and frameworks for thinking to get out of this sort of unconscious, monogamous framework that we’re sort of all handed. It’s a shame to me that information is not freely available. It is so much more freely available than it was when I started. I think 2008 was a big turning point when a bunch of books came out and we started seeing Sister Wives and Big Love and all these different sort of pop culture things. But there’s still this, such a lack of information out there. Or people work with one coach or educator and they have just one perspective.

One of the things I’ve taken on myself is to just learn all the different perspectives, and to recognize that there’s no one way to do polyamory, there’s no one way to do any relationship, really. The same relationship is going to change, and what people are going to need from their relationship is gonna change. So the language and the frameworks and the identities are important, but I think the more important thing is being able to tell a narrative about your life and a narrative about your relationship and be able to tell your story in a way that makes sense to you and makes you feel good. And the dominant cultural narratives make us feel crappy, because we’re like, we’re not satisfied with one person, and we can’t be happy with one person or we’re cheaters or whatever sort of crap gets put on us.

Sarah: Right. So much shame crap, so much

Marcia: “infidelity”

Sarah: I have something to say about that in a moment. But before we forget, because I tend to forget this, we actually have something to give away to y’all. We have a treat. So should we tell them what the treat is and how they can get the treat at the end of this Blab?

Marcia: Yeah we could do that

Sarah: (gesturing suggestively) A little tease?

Marcia: Yeah! So, a couple years ago, I created a… course, basically. An online course, called the Open Roadmap. Which is really about going through all these things… like, how do you even wrap your head around this stuff? What are all the different ways you can frame your relationship? What are different ways that other people frame theirs? So I created this course and it’s like a self-study thing, it would take about six months to get through it. And there’s so much good stuff about jealousy and compersion and relationship styles and “should you be out?” and “what do you do if you have kids?” and “what does Dossie Easton (Note: Dossie Easton is the co-author of The Ethical Slut) think about this?” and “what does Tristan Taormino think of this?” (Note: Tristan Taormino is a feminist sex educator) and “what does Reid Mihalko think of this?” and all of these people. So yeah, we could talk about that later. So that’s a little tease tho. (both laugh)

Sarah: So, stick around for that, because I’m real excited about that. The thing about Marcia is, well, many things about Marcia. But one of the things I love is that you are connected to so many people that know so many things, so you have your own wealth of knowledge, but you also really know the people who write the books and create the courses. What you said before that is really true and so palpable with you, friend, is that you know all these people. And you’ve known them for a really long time, in real relationships, with all these lovely people who have put out so much information themselves about polyamory. And about open relationships. And about relationship skills, whatever variety of relationship that is. So, I remember the moment that I figured out that you, like, personally know and go hot-tubbing with Dossie Easton and the fangirl moment where I was like (gasps) Marcia knows everyone! (both laugh)

Marcia: I kinda do (laughs)

Sarah: You’re kind of fabulous. It’s so amazing, and I don’t mean that in a name-dropping way. It’s just that, you have within your family, your community, you really know these people who put out amazing work to help us out. Ain’t nothing wrong with putting out, right? (both laugh)

So, just that, you know, are connected and share that. You don’t keep those people around you, but you share their wisdom with us through you it’s just… (whispers) I love it!

Marcia: Thank you. (blushes) I’m all bright red now.

Sarah: So, I have a couple of questions for you. What are your identity words that you would use and could you explain how you feel about them. I’m always curious about that.

Marcia: About myself?

Sarah: Yeah.

Marcia: I usually talk about other people, I don’t usually talk about myself. Sure, I can talk about that. I do identify as polyamorous, and what that means to me is having multiple love relationships, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved, obviously. I also identify as open, and that changes, maybe less of an identity and more of what I’m up to? To me that means I’m available to connections, whether they’re short-term, long-term, whatever. I do have a polyamorous family; I live with my wifey, who I have a queer platonic relationship with. We’ve lived together for years and years, we’re gonna continue to live together.

I have a couple of romantic sexual partners. I have a network of friends that are incredibly loving, incredibly affectionate, incredibly supportive that are, we’re trying to plan long-term living situations. And for me this is all wrapped up in my polyamory. So it’s not just “who am I fucking?” although (and I wanna emphasise this) that is important. And I thin that in polyamory, we get like “it’s all about love and relationships” and we act like sex is maybe not as important. And I think sex is vitally important. It’s just that, in a monogamous context, we just assume that these two people are having sex and we don’t talk about it. So as soon as your not monogamous, everyone wants to know , and then poly people have a reaction to this where they’re like “no but we love each other”. But like, I love my people, I fuck some of them. (both laugh)

Sarah: This is something that when I’m on Periscope (Note: Periscope is a live video streaming app), because it’s live broadcast, I get a little trapped in it. I want everyone to have all the love and the sex and the fucking, all the things they wanna have, in an ethical way, and I sometimes get trapped because I wanna stand up for the love so much that when I hear myself I think, oh but I didn’t mean to ignore the sex. So I know what you’re talking about because even I do talk about it a lot.

Marcia: It’s uncomfortable. I do this professionally, so I’m a lot more comfortable talking about this than maybe a lot of people. I’m trained as a sex educator, and one of the other identity labels I have is sex-positive, but yeah it’s not all about sex. Cunning Minx says that all the time on her podcast: It’s not all about the sex, but it is also sometimes about the sex.

Sarah: Yeah exactly. Like you were saying, you have some friends who you have in your family and that’s love and it doesn’t have to be sex but also some people who you love but also it’s about fucking and like it’s just a flexible situation.

Marcia: Right, and I’m lucky that I’m in the Bay Area, in San Francisco. People here are just freakier than anywhere else I’ve been. And so it’s like people are out in, maybe not everywhere, but there are a lot of people that can be out as poly at like work and like there’s so many queers, so many gender-non-conforming people here. I’m queer, I’ve got a lot of lovers that are gender-non-conforming, they are genderqueer or non-binary, whatever. To throw some jargon in there. 

Sarah: Yes, because I know some people may not have heard the jargon.

Marcia: Right, so what queer means to me is…  Hmm, this is a big one. So, I’m bisexual, which is the language that I use politically and the language I use when I talk to my mom, because she can wrap her head around that. But when you look at my lovers, some of them aren’t male or female they’re just, kinda got this other thing going on. Some of them are trans, some of them are happy being in the middle, the first girl I – and for me, this is going back before I even had language for this. The first girl I ever kissed is now a man, the first boyfriend I ever had is now a woman. I guess I just sort of always been sort of… queer! Right? Like, in the margins and the gray areas and places that don’t really make a lot of sense. That being said, most of my client-base is straight. Or, more like, in the straight culture kind of thing.

So I’m very comfortable in both worlds and my personal life definitely influences my polyamory. Like, I learned about polyamory from gay men. I was coming of age during the AIDS epidemic and looking around going… I don’t want this. I felt constrained by this monogamous heterosexual marriage thing and I didn’t have any lesbian role models and I didn’t identify as a lesbian and I was growing up in Georgia and I had no idea of any of this stuff. And I was just like, well I guess I’m straight because I like boys? I don’t know. And then like ten years passed and I moved to New York City and then to California and I was like oh my gosh there’s a whole world of people. But for me what I was noticing during the AIDS epidemic there were these groups of men who, they’d all fucked each other, and now they were taking care of each other. And something about that really spoke to me. And in this very dire time, there was this moment of oh, if that’s what care can look like, and that’s what love can look like… That’s what love looked like to me, there is sex and there is death and we are taking care of each other through all of it. And that really spoke to me when I was, like 16 and had no language for any of this. 

Sarah: Yeah, this reminds me of so many stories that, especially of someone that I know and love in the Bay Area, who lived in the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. The lesbian community took such amazing care of the gay male community, because it was mostly affecting the gay male community, in the Bay Area. And all of them pulled together and really took care of each other, and seeing that kind of care between humans during a crisis really did inspire people in the Bay Area. And when people talk about the Bay Area and why it is the way it is, I think that is part of the legacy in why people are open to these ideas; they’ve seen it in action in one way or another, taking care during a crisis.

Marcia: Absolutely; it massively, massively influenced me. I think there is a generational thing, where people that are younger than me and people that are older than me don’t quite have the same thing but there’s about a ten-year window of us who all kind of come of age when Sex=Death and we’re like “Ahhh what do we do” and for me the ethic of mutual care and respect and nurturing the people that I’m also having sexual relationships with, like they very naturally went hand-in-hand. That thing, that idea got into my head of “we have to watch out for each other” but also if we do we can have all this freedom. Even though the world is not, you know, rainbows and puppies and unicorns shooting glitter out of their butts. 

Sarah: That whole, birthplace of care, being your idea of freedom: that’s so beautiful to me.

Marcia: I don’t usually talk about this, so you’re getting the good stuff out of me, Sarah. I’m feeling a little self-conscious, like I said I’m used to talking about other people.

Sarah: Well you’re being very generous, and I really appreciate it. I think, for me, to hear someone talk about their own lives it’s such an act of generosity on your own part, to talk about it. I don’t mean to dig in too far, but this comes up a lot, and you can talk about it if you wish, but people wonder where the privacy line is… especially with people who are living in these very open lives. You and I: I consider myself an advocate and an activist, I think that you consider yourself an activist.

Marcia: I don’t know that I’d consider myself a polyamory activist, so much as a sex-positive activist. But they go hand in hand. But I just want people to be having honest relationships, I am not attached to what form that takes. I think there are a lot of tools from the poly world that monogamous people can benefit from having, and tools from the queer world that straight people could benefit from having. Queer people don’t have a choice, poly people don’t have a choice, we have to learn this stuff. And so then, I feel like my job is to be like “hey we have these pearls of wisdom that might help!”.

Sarah: That’s what I love, because I also don’t advocate that everybody do what I do, I’m not trying to convert you, I don’t want a earn a toaster or something. It’s to have choices, first of all. It’s important because, as you were talking about being a 16 year old woman, not having role models and not having the language; not having the options presented to you. But you still had this default space where you knew you didn’t fit but you didn’t have other ideas presented to you. That to me poses some problems and I know that this means a lot to you but so many people that are homeless are people that are kicked out of their houses for being different in some way. So many people that wind up having really dire situations are people who are put in situations of such otherness that they are shoved out of spaces. Living environments. And that’s really something that we don’t want to happen to people.

Marcia: I think it’s a little cliché in our circles to talk about how, you know, the right wants to control our sexuality. But it’s true. And like, I resisted that narrative for a long time, because I was like no, nobody wants to control me. And then I was like, well, they don’t want to control me, per se, but there is a… there are people who will punish their own children for being gay or for being poly or for being… whatever. And it just makes me… you know.

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll see me make a big appeal for the Ali Forney Center in New York, a really great program for getting homeless queer youth off the streets.

Sarah: Los Angeles has a lot of homeless queer youth too.

Marcia: They make it out to the big cities. Yeah Larkin Street Youth in San Francisco, Ali Forney in New York. I don’t know the LA one (Note: Youth Center On Highland, Los Angeles), but there’s one there too. There’s a lot of good ones out there.

So, now that we’ve made it all heavy…

Sarah: Now let’s talk about sex! (both laugh)

Marcia: Why I bring this up is, again, I’m lucky to be living in the Bay Area. I’m surrounded by people, and my job is to do and talk about this kind of stuff. And there’s definitely consequences to that,  complicated things when you’re doing business related to work. Work related to sex, even if it’s not sex work. But I recognize that a lot of you guys don’t have this freedom, and I feel like it’s important to me to talk about this so that you guys get resources, when you’re at wherever you are and can’t talk about this as openly, or you do get judged.

And that judgement can come with, you know, kids getting kicked out of their houses or just people looking askance at you and not inviting you to dinner parties. And it all hurts and all are painful, because we all want to belong. And I think that’s important to acknowledge.

Sarah: Yeah I think I just wanted to backtrack a little and say: I was born in a small town, you were born in Georgia. (Marcia affirms) I always hope that I remember what that feels like. I think that I remember what that feels like and it’s different from being in the Bay Area, it’s different than being in Paris. Where I am currently at if you don’t know that. And I moved from the Bay Area to Paris, which is a difference, and Marcia would you mind talking about the different places you’ve lived and what that felt like? I know that your identity has changed through those places.

Marcia: Yeah, I mean, I grew up in Georgia, I go back and visit my folks there. It’s awesome, I love Georgia in a lot of ways, and it’s also interesting because social media has changed a lot of things. So everyone back home knows what’s up with me. And I don’t know what the people think about me back home, but I do know that I am the person that all my high school classmates contact and say (whispers) “can I talk to you about something?” (both laugh) They’re in a polyamorous situation, or they’re gay, they’re trans, their husband cheated on them and they’re trying to figure out if they can open it up. Like, I’m the one that, I don’t hear from you for 15 years until you’ve got some situation that you can’t talk to anyone back home about. And I’ve become this safe person.

When I lived in New York, I found that everyone was so focused on work, that community was hard to build. And also I found that the real estate situation affected things; like people in the Bay Area we have a lot of collective living situations because it’s A) so expensive but also B) there’s a lot of big houses. You don’t get that in New York City. Everybody is crammed into shoeboxes, and there’s a lot of isolation so even if you are in a polyamorous situation it’s like: well we live in a studio apartment and we wanna have a date, so we have to like… I mean my friends and I used to just have keys to each others houses so we could like “I’m gonna go over to her house and take a bath, because she has a bathtub and is at work, while you have a date at the house, and then I’m gonna go to so-and-so’s house and spend the night, because they’re out of town.”

Sarah: And that was before Google Calendar existed!

Marcia: And texting! We didn’t even have texting, we’d have to call you and make plans.

Sarah: I don’t even remember how that worked.

Marcia: It’s so weird. I don’t remember how we were poly before Google Calendar. I really don’t. (both laughs)

Sarah: It was before all the things! No exactly, and moving to the Bay Area, and having that be a place that you joke was somewhere you’d just run into polyamorous people on the street-

Marcia: It’s funny. I moved here in 2008, and most of that year I spent out here teaching and taking classes because I was here to take classes for nine weeks. And it was just like, the easiest transition I ever had between cities. Because it was like, oh everybody here already knew me because of Cuddle Party, which is another project I was involved in creating. Getting some likes for that one, Cuddle Party, yay! Check out cuddleparty.com if you wanna learn more about that.

But yeah, I moved out here and I had intended to be more broadly based in my coaching practice, and everyone was like “can you help me with my polyamory?” and I’m like “I guess so, sure” so for about six years I did have a private practice of one-on-one coaching with people. I’ve been retired out of one-on-one coaching for poly stuff last year, because there’s a lot of projects I wanna work on, which are going to be announced in the coming year. Very excited about them. But yeah I was just shocked when I moved here and,  a very conservative estimate would be like 20,000 poly people, not just open but poly people in the Bay Area. And the whole North Bay, South Bay, so there’s like a very weird thing where you’re just like “Oh, there’s about ten potlucks a month, I’m not exaggerating. Those of you in the Bay Area you can Google, you should know about Peppermint’s Polyamory Calendar. And it’s like the munches and the parties and all the sex-positive things going on. And that’s not even the kink one, the Kink Calendar is all kinds of crazy here. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like the Bay Area before.

Sarah: Really quickly, could you explain, because someone just asked me this and I wanted to be sure we covered this, what “sex-positive” means?

Marcia: Great question. So there’s the world that we live in which is “sex-negative”, which is not to mean that they don’t talk about sex, but when they do it’s very… judgey, and there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, and you’re probably doing it wrong, and you’re probably not having enough and all of that kind of stuff. Right? So, there’s a lot of talk around sex, we use sex to sell things all the time, but we don’t have honest conversations about sex. We don’t have honest conversations about body parts. Most teenagers don’t get access to that in school. So there’s a lot of fear, judgement, harshness about sex. And then, “sex-positivity” is the stance that sex is good and healthy and worth talking about and actually valuable in it’s own right.

I, personally, am sex-positive, but when I teach there is third term, which is “sex-neutral” which is more straight up facts. So when I’m doing education it’s more like, someone asks a question, let’s say we’re talking about anal sex. “Sex negative” would be like “Eww, you do that? You stick stuff up your butt? Like that’s gross, only sluts do that, whores do that. Only homos do that.” and there’s all this judgment with sex-negative. “Sex positive” would be like “Anal sex is awesome! You should try it, here’s some lube, like here’s sixteen toys you can try!”. That’s the sex positive stance. And “sex neutral”  is like “Some people like it. Most people need to use a lot of lube. You will probably want to start with something small.” Very factual, “here’s some information about this activity you asked a question about”. And I think that the neutral and the positive are very important counterweights to this sort of ambient sex-negativity.

Sarah: Exactly. And this sort of judgement things that affect… this sex-negativity judgements affect us every day. For example, yesterday I was called a “slut” on Periscope.

Marcia: (gasps) And, not by a friend? Not, like a friendly “oh you slut!”? (giggles)

Sarah: Nah that would be different. But, someone said “Oh, so you’re a slut”. When they said “what is polyamory and I explained what polyamory is to me they said “Oh, you mean you’re a slut”. And even for me, who has been polyamorous my whole life, and my favorite book is The Ethical Slut, which I’ll recommend y’all read. It was the first book that ever gave me the term polyamory, and helped me figure out how to do what I’ve always dreamed of doing since I was five, from a five year old’s perspective of wanting to do that, and then finally as a 19 year old found that book. I’m really empowered by it, and found the words that I needed and the language was really important to me and just the practicality of “How do I do the thing? And not just make a disaster zone of everything in my life?” And I didn’t block him, even though it’s an easy thing to do on Periscope, I just said no, I’m not a slut. I think that sex is great, and I love more than one person. I’m an “ethical slut” if I call myself that… But I wasn’t quite so eloquent because I was a little bit shocked. You have these conversations where everyone is beautifully saying all the things, and then… And the first thing he said wasn’t “you’re a slut” he said, literally if I remember it right, it was something like “you’re fucking gorgeous”. That was actually the first thing that he said. So I was thrown off by that as well. I think that comes from a… very interesting place. If you think about it apart from me being like “whoa, should I be offended right now?”.

The reason I didn’t block him is because I really think people want to talk about sex, but they’re surrounded by this negative mind about it and they don’t realize necessarily how much shame is infused with sex in their brains. They call people names because they don’t really realize how much of a different way there is to do that.

Marcia: Well there’s no vocabulary for it. This is the sex-negative culture we’re in, right? If you sleep around and you are a woman, what is the positive term for you? What is it?

Sarah: (makes exasperated sound) It doesn’t exist.

Marcia: There isn’t one! There’s nothing. So even if someone is trying to, like, categorize you, the only term is “slut” which has so much negative connotation. And this is why I think sex positive, I mean, there is a term called a “round-heeled woman” which is sort of an old fashioned term that I kinda like.

Sarah: Very 1950s “She was a round-heeled woman”

Marcia: But, like, who uses that? And this is why I think there are so many women in positions of leadership within the poly community is that, in order to break out of a monogamous model, you have to break out of all that sex-negativity and control of women’s sexuality that exists in this world. And yeah now I’m getting into feminism; yeah, the other “f word”.

Sarah: Run away! (laughs)

Marcia: I believe the reason there are so many women in positions of leadership in the polyamory community is because that is one of the foundational things. You have to deconstruct this sort of shaming of women’s sexuality. I’m not saying that men don’t get shamed too; they plenty plenty frickin’ do. But as soon as you create a space where women are safe to be sexual, everything starts to shift. And some people really like that shift, and some people are really threatened by that shift.

I think to whatever degree we’re doing this stuff, and I don’t like to think of myself as a political person, but I’ve come around to realizing that this is political. I don’t like to think of it that way; I’m such an interpersonal person that I don’t like to think of myself as a political person. But what we’re doing has actually got a lot of political ramifications, and I didn’t know that for a long time. I was kinda like “I just wanna love people, have some sex, I don’t know”. Not be like, thrown into jail for it.

Sarah: Well I think that the reason the word “political” scares so many people is that, for a lot of people that word actually in their minds means “divisive”. That it’s gonna divide people, politics is gonna divide people. I think if we look at it in a different way and we say “This is a political subject because it is being regulated by politicians” that makes it a different thing. It doesn’t have to divide you and me. Well I mean it certainly wouldn’t divide you and me. (laughs) But you know someone having a different view or something like that, it doesn’t have to divide us, it can become a conversation. Thing is tho, conversation has to do with having a vocabulary to talk about the things and really listening to each other, as opposed to monologuing at each other. Am I right?

Marcia: Yeah, and I think what you said earlier about being an activist. You called me an activist and I was like (makes panicked noises) um, yes, but um… Going into this idea that politics doesn’t have to be divisive, the crux of a lot of my activism is about really building the empathy. Building bridges and seeing really how we can understand each other better. And I feel like polyamory has given me so many tools. I have metamours where I don’t know anything about them, I have to work through my stuff to reach out to them. And sometimes I like them a lot and sometimes I’m like “Really? You wanna date that person? Um ok” And all of those things I’ve developed in the world of polyamory certainly have helped a lot in talking about hard political conversations. So, yeah.

Sarah: (to audience) Metamours, for those of you that don’t know, are those people in your life that are your lovers’ lovers that you are not in a relationship with. And I think the idea of metamours really applies to everyone. I think everyone should know the term metamour because, for instance, I gave an example a while ago where like, what if your best friend marries a dude? Or a lady? And that person to you is what? To me that’s like a metamour; your best friend’s partner or partners become your metamours too. It’s not limited to your lovers. The metamour in my world, it’s like, if my best friend has a lover they are my metamour as well.

Marcia: And I think this goes back to a lot of really valuable frameworks that poly people have invented out of necessity that people who are more monogamish or monogamous or swingers or whatever, there’s a lot of useful concepts. For me it’s less about people converting to anything. Like, I grew up in Georgia, I got away from the Evangelists. I’m just sayin. I’m now in live-and-let-live country.

But I think there’s a lot of language and frameworks that can be really helpful like “Oh, there’s a different way to think about something like this. You married so-and-so that doesn’t mean that we still can’t be tight.” And if I can develop a relationship with somebody because they’re my… if I’m monogamous and can develop a relationship with my best friend’s husband, let’s say… to take the most heteronormative example. Then something really beautiful can happen there. And that involves the women understanding, like really understanding that they are not in competition for the men. So it’s like, no, it’s not threatening for my best friend to be friends with my husband. And that’s a jump for some people, and for others it makes total sense “I’m monogamous, but that makes sense” and I think that this is also why I’m not down on monogamy. Just like poly, there’s good ways and bad ways to be monogamous.

Sarah: For the record, for those that don’t know me, I’m married to a monogamous person. And I love them and I ain’t got nothing against them. I have nothing against monogamy, and I think that it can be compatible with all the different ways of loving people and you just… one of the most important things it that things are figure-outable. This is one of my favorite quotes from an entrepreneur I love named Marie Forleo (Note: Marie Forleo is a life coach and host of television show MarieTV) and Marie Forleo’s motto tends to be “everything is figure-outable”. One of the important things of polyamory/the polyamorous mind-state to me is that we can figure this out. There are a couple of things that help you figure it out a lot better and quicker and with a lot less pain that maybe we should talk about specifically because people are always curious about that. One of the things we were talking about is there is no perfect thing.

Marcia: Oh! Can I talk about the perfect poly person?

Sarah: Go ahead!

Marcia: The perfect poly person is evil, you guys! Do you know where the perfect poly person lives?

Sarah: (gasps) No!

Marcia: (points) In your head! The perfect poly person resides in your head, and he or she or they or whatever pronoun that person has, knows what you “should” be doing. To be “really” polyamorous. The perfect polyamorous person never gets jealous and the perfect polyamorous person is always feeling compersion and if I were “really poly” I would know how to navigate this position and… That is the perfect poly person. Lives in your head and not anywhere in the real world.

And I will say this as someone that’s been poly for, whatever, sixteen, seventeen years and… you know, knows all the folks that write the books and that kind of stuff. We all get jealous, Sarah knows this, I just went through a whole horrible poly thing last week. It doesn’t happen as often these days but man, last week sucked. And I didn’t want to admit I wanted to say no to a thing and my partner was just like “it would be so much easier if you would just say you were a no to this” and I was like “but then I’d… dammit” and it was that “perfect poly person” talking. If I were “really poly” I’d be ok with this, and I’m not, so I must be a fuckup, right?

So, the perfect poly person is your enemy and… I am not a fan. So if you have that person in your head, I think it’s best to, you know, tell him to have a cookie and go be quiet in the corner while you, like, sort out reality. Because they don’t live in reality.

Sarah: Exactly. And for many people that are poly-curious, you would say, or curious about polyamory and considering it, that “perfect poly” idea can be really dangerous. Because you are constantly comparing yourself to something that is an enemy voice saying you should be doing better and should already know how to do this thing. When really, if you are learning anything, that’s when you need to be most kind to yourself. When you are learning anything new, you need to dig deep for the most kindness you can have for yourself. Perfect poly voice? That’s not a nice voice! It’s a cruelty.

There is no perfect version of you. You’re sorting through it, and that’s what being human is.

Marcia: Yeah, and someone in the chat earlier was saying something about how we’re presented with these perfect images all the time. I think some of the reason I focus on this so much is that my first round of educational background when I was an undergrad was in public relations. And so I went to school to learn how to do propaganda basically. (laughs) And I guess “propaganda” got a bad rap, so they did propaganda on propaganda to rebrand it as “public relations”. But I went to school to learn how to create these perfect images. So I can see through it when I see it in the media, and I forget that other people don’t have that training or background. But I think it’s a really harmful thing, and it’s a tool to sell people stuff. When people are insecure they buy more crap. Which is basically Marketing 101. “You have a problem you didn’t even know you had yet but we have a solution”.

There’s this ambient insecurity all the time, and one of those things is that your partner is supposed to be on lockdown, and if that’s not the case then something is wrong. Somebody mentioned being insecure about their partner starting a relationship and like, yeah, why wouldn’t you be? Especially if you’ve never really done this before. Because everything you’ve ever been told means that it means something is wrong. But in reality, you’re doing something different. You’re off the map. You’re in new territory, and so you gotta create scripts and I recommend going slow.

Sarah: Exactly. Sorry I’m just like (pantomimes lunging at the camera).

Marcia: Yeah, I know you wanted to talk about that.

Sarah: Yes, thank you for that. Thank you for nonchalantly segueing into it my darling. Because, going slow, sometimes I think some people don’t give themselves permission to go slow. Because they think “I should be doing this already”. There’s something in us sometimes… I do this too. This is something I do too. Where I realize “whoa I was starting to go fast and I started to hurt people and myself” because I was interested in “getting it done”. Being an “efficient” person. But patience, for me, has a huge reward of like, really building the thing you really want to live in as your life, as opposed to just getting it done and finding something different and new. Taking time to check in with the person or people that you’re with, as well as yourself, sometimes it means just… slow down. Slow down a bit. How do you feel?

Marcia: I think there is a lot of meanings to what “going slow” can mean. Like someone said, “Is two or three years in the making slow enough?” I don’t know. Maybe? I think it depends on your goals? One thing I do tell people is when they are new to polyamory, the first two years are not-so-sexy. The first two years are the processing and the fights and new language, because you are basically tearing down the old culture you had and rebuilding it. So, two to three years is not that sexy. You’re in four/five you’re like “oh I’m starting to get the hang of it, like kinda, I got this”.

So when I say go slow, you’re trying to revamp an entire paradigm. That’s not gonna happen overnight, so have some patience with yourself and patience with your partner. There’s also like: building relationships takes time. And if the goal is sex, if that’s where you feel you’ve “made it”, then that could be fast or slow. It depends on you and what you want and what your partner wants. And your other partner, and all that. But also there’s the going slow in the moment, like taking that extra second to check in.

For me, it’s hard because living in New York City every thing is like “Go, go, go!” and accomplish and produce and be efficient. It’s just stressful, there’s no downtime there. For me one of the big things about going slow isn’t over time, it’s going slow in a moment. Slowing down to think “how does this moment feel?”. And I’m still not great about it, but how does this moment feel between us? If it feels good, let’s keep doing that. And if it feels bad, let’s do something better. And that “feels better” could be anything, it could go any direction. And what I’ve found is that when I let myself let go of expectations of outcome, then I’m in a purely relating space. And that’s really beautiful.

And sometimes you need to get things done, if you’ve got a partner, and a kid, and you gotta get out the door to do the thing, you don’t have time to be like “Let’s be present and relate”. (laughs) But for me it has been one of the biggest things. Not just patience with other people, but patience with my own process. And some of it is allowing time for things to unfold not according to a script. And that is just like, whew, wait. Because what happened for me is I got out of the monogamous script, all like “yeah that’s a terrible script!” and then I got all these scripts of what poly was “supposed to” look like: “it’s not really poly if we’re not living together”, “it’s not really poly if we can’t hang out together”, and then it’s just like, eh, whatever. Relationships are relationships. So yeah, life isn’t scripted, somebody said that. Totally.

Sarah: Michael (Note: a livefeed commenter) says that patience is difficult in any relationship. Absolutely, doesn’t have to be a poly relationship. I think a lot of times what polyamory does is that it points out things that you need to face, more than the world of monogamy, simply because it’s way outside of what’s built into society right now. So what you’re seeing is, a lot of how we’ve grown up has really sunk deep in there and when you even try poly lifestyle you’re stepping out of a big box of stuff. You’re stepping out and realizing “I don’t have the skill for this right now” “I don’t know how to handle this thing”. For instance, people always ask me about jealousy and I always say is: I do experience jealousy. I’ve taken the trigger off, so I don’t get so easily triggered with jealousy, but it still happens sometimes. The thing about it is, when you step outside of the norm, I feel like the norm is: if something makes you jealous, run away from it as fast as you can.

Marcia: Well it’s considered legitimate to kill people over it, which is so messed up. Talk about not taking responsibility for your feelings.

Sarah: I always say, wait a second, I don’t want to run away from jealousy. Because jealousy is a part of me, I don’t want to run away from any part of me. Even the scary bits. So, for me, that’s a huge change: I know. To, instead of, say “Welp, if that makes me jealous I’m gone” to sit there and say “ok I am not gonna run away from this, therefore I have to figure out how to deal with it”. And it’s a side of you. So with you, I know a lot of folks ask you about jealousy, it’s probably the number one thing people ask about polyamory: “how do you deal with jealousy?”.

Marcia: Yeah, I actually talk about this a lot in the Open Roadmap, and I’m gonna put a little plug in for Kathy Labriola’s Jealousy Workbook. Because often, I use so many of her tools, honestly, where I’m just like “you should just get her book”. It’s great. Or get the Open Roadmap, which we’ll talk about more in a bit. Because I interviewed her for it. She has a lot of great tools for jealousy. But I do think there’s a couple pieces: one is that jealousy is a stew of multiple different emotions, and if you can figure out how much of it is fear of loss, how much of it is anger and how much of it is betrayal, or just whatever the other feelings are there, it becomes easier to work with.

I once heard a definition of jealousy as fear and anger plus love and turn-on. If any of those were missing it wasn’t jealousy it was something else, which I don’t know if I agree with. But what I did like about it was, that if you think about fear, you’re kinda (makes a withdrawn pose) and when you think of anger there’s like (makes a lunging pose) and then when you feel love it’s like (makes grand gesture while sighing) and when you think about turn on it’s like (moves suggestively). And if you put all those body movements together, that’s what it feels like in your stomach when you’re jealous. “I don’t know which way to go this is the worst fucking feeling ever!”

Sarah: And that’s why it makes people so agitated.

Marcia: Right! Because you are simultaneously trying to move towards someone and there’s this sexual charge, but if the sexual charge wasn’t there you wouldn’t have the same thing. And if the love wasn’t there you wouldn’t have the same thing. It’s just this weird… thing. So, Kathy has a lot of tools for untangling that and doing dialog and all that kind of stuff, and a lot of the polyamory world will say things like: jealousy is yours and you need to learn how to deal with it. I completely agree with that, and I have a caveat on that.

So this is where I step outside of the box for a moment. Jealousy is a product of individualist culture. Our culture’s emphasis on individualism is what creates jealousy, because it creates this sense of ownership. Like you can “own” other people. So I do think there’s a piece of jealousy that is about, not just the two partners working it out, but also about having community support. Because this is really challenging if you live in a place where there is not resources. I have noticed since moving to California that there is so much support for polyamory, that when someone feels jealous, it’s really easy for them to get a lot of perspective and holding and emotional caretaking from just their friends. Because everyone has this different take on jealousy.

This was mindblowing to me, when I realized that, oh, a piece of jealousy is this possession/ownership thing that we find yucky but is also, just, within us. There’s a lot to be said for you having to learn what’s going on for you, but there’s also when you can find folks to talk to and they can be like “yeah, I feel that too, this is how I got through it” or “have you thought about this?” or “here’s another take on it” or “let’s go to a movie” or whatever. It’s just so much easier to navigate. I think that points to the ways that we are actually just social creatures, and that insecurity thing comes up when we don’t know where we belong or we don’t know if we fit or worry we will be left. And it’s like, but oh, what if we have a tribe of people who get it, who can take care of us. That makes it better.

And that’s really hard to build, especially if you live out in the middle of nowhere. But I think that the internet helps a lot. Things like this (gestures between herself and Sarah) and online forums and  having girl’s nights, or just doing things to distract you. Going to a party, whatever. And I don’t think that’s just my extrovert side talking…

Sarah: I think that’s your communal human side talking!

Marcia: I think it’s that part where we are still monkeys.

Sarah: We’re tribal! We feed each other and make each other feel better!

Marcia: I think it’s hard when you’re like “I’m feeling jealous” and your monogamous friends are like “well what did you expect?” Like, that’s the worst feeling. Because it’s like “okay thanks, now I really feel alone”.

Sarah: Yeah, whether we’re polyamorous or not, or however we identify, the more compassion and empathy we can bring to the conversations with our friends and our loved ones, the more we will have what you are talking about. Polyamory or not, the more we will be able to say “oh”. It reminds me a lot of Brene Brown, and how all our work is to build this community.

Marcia: (makes a heart shape with her hands)

Sarah: I know right? I’m reading Rising Strong, and like- (also makes heart shape with her hands)

Maria: I love Brene Brown. If any of you who are watching haven’t read Brene Brown, and you’re struggling with “how much of myself should I show” and “who should I show myself to” and why and what it means to be vulnerable, her stuff is amazing.

Sarah: It’s amazing; I recommend all of her stuff: The Gift Of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong… watch her TED talks. If you’re not so much a reader, watch her TED talks because my goodness, they’ll just help you be human, on a whole other vibration. It’s so lovely.

Okay, so should we take a few questions and then do a giveaway?

Marcia: Yes and then we can give them a treat!

Sarah: Because we have a treat for you! Well, I’ve opened up the lines, and if you feel brave you can call in! Just push that call button on Blab, and we’ll accept your call. How exciting is that?

Also, I’m gonna catch up with some of the comments I missed. (reading) “If all of us could embrace a polyamorous lifestyle in one way or another, how much nicer could this world be?” I know what you mean, Mike, because polyamory in a certain sense meaning recognizing that human hearts are capable of loving more than one person even if it’s not. Ah, Colleen, here you come- (adjusts video to a three-way call)

Colleen: I had a question – how do you handle when you’re coming out to somebody and they give you this look like “What the hell are you talking about? Are you crazy? Why are you doing that?”

Marcia: That’s a really good question.

Colleen: Because that’s the one thing Gus and I have come across lately, is that we’re trying to tell our friends so that we can be honest and open to them about what’s going on in our lives, but I’ve got some of them looking at me like “Are you nuts? Why are you doing that?”.

Marcia: Well, I have two parts to that. And, not to keep plugging that, but I talk about this with Dossie Easton in the Open Roadmap. We had a conversation about being out. But there’s two pieces: one is know why you want to come out to somebody. The clearer you are about why you want to be out, the easier it is. Sometimes we want to be out so we can release a burden for ourselves but that just puts the burden on the other person and they don’t know what to do with it and they can be really judgemental.

So it can be useful to be like “Why do I wanna be out to this person? What will it give our relationship?” Right? The honesty is a value that I certainly share with you, but not everybody has it. And it can be valuable to be like “So, I’m gonna talk to, say, Jennifer, what is it about my relationship with Jennifer that would benefit? Why do I wanna come out to this person?” And then you can lead the conversation with, “Oh hey I wanted to talk to you about something, the reason I’m telling you this is _____”. I wanna feel closer to you, or I feel like I’m hiding something from you, and I don’t know if you’re gonna know what to do with it but I wanna be able to share honestly with you. Or, I’d like to get your opinion on this. Or whatever your reasoning is. And I think sometimes by pre-framing it you can steer the conversation in a more positive direction.

The second thing is like, people just don’t know what to do with it. The language you use, they are going to translate it to something that may or may not have anything to do with what you are talking about. So then it’s like, well, be mindful not to try to be defensive. Because when you are trying to defend yourself, you can feed into that “perfect poly person” image and feel like you are being scrutinized and feel like you have to do it “perfectly” or else I’m a fuck up and this is a terrible idea. Never mind that most monogamous relationships fail, so why would polyamorous relationships be less likely to fail? You’re allowed to “fail”, whatever that means.

But when they give you that look, then I’d get curious. I wanna know what is going on with you in your head. I’ve told you this thing, and you don’t know what to do with it, can you tell me what’s going on in your head? And just get curious, then you can start to relate with their thinking. Which can be difficult if you’re feeling wobbly or insecure or if you are still wondering if poly is the right thing, or if open is the right thing. But at least you can get into the relationship with that person about it.

Colleen: Well Gus has his first date on Friday, and it’s one of these things where we’re gonna be even more out in the open because he’s gonna be openly dating somebody. So it’s one of those things where for the past two years it’s been more of a “we’ve been working towards this” but now we’re to a point of people are going to start seeing him out and about with other people and they’re gonna be wondering if he’s cheating on me and so on and so forth. And I don’t want people to think I’m that poor wife at home that has no idea her husband is seeing somebody. So at least with our friends, who at least will understand, we’ve been like “Oh you saw my husband out? Well guess what I’m ok with it!”. But it’s one of those stepping stones that we’re kinda at and becoming more public, but at the same time trying to stay out of view.

Marcia: Totally. Well I think this is also where you can have things like “Yeah, my husband is allowed to have friends outside of me. I don’t feel a need to control him.” Like, there’s your close friends and there’s people that might come to you with that (waggles finger disapprovingly). I think it’s probably out of the question, but you could also just have him wear a shirt with giant letters that says “I’M NOT CHEATING”. (everyone laughs)

Colleen: You know, the funny thing is, his girlfriend for at least six months to a year now has wanted to get each of us a shirt that says “CAKE” on my shirt and “AND EAT IT TOO” on his. (everyone laughs)

Sarah: I love it! I vote yes!

Marcia: Regardless of the strategy, I am a big fan of using humor to diffuse situations. If you can bring that kind of humor, even if it’s just with your friends, it’s like ok I’m CAKE and she’s EAT IT and you know, whatever it is. Having that sort of playful attitude can be really really helpful. Also not acting like you are hiding anything.

I was in a relationship, and it was really hard for me. I was in a relationship with someone that was married, and she knew about us and was fine about us going out. But she was pregnant, and she was worried about that thing, what will people think of me if they see my husband, my baby daddy, out with another woman. So it was really challenging to navigate that, because it was also things like, not just friends but the shopkeepers in the neighborhoods, and all that. Because they pay attention, they see stuff. They know when things go on.

Colleen: Yeah, we live in a small town.

Marcia: Someone brought up in the comments: If he is out and people see him with her, if he’s like friendly and open like “Hi! This is so-and-so” and introduces them like he’s not hiding anything, that will go a long way too. And he doesn’t owe anybody an explanation. They don’t need to know where he’s putting his dick. (everyone laughs)

Sarah: BOOM! YES!

Also, I just wanted to add one thing, remembering that with your friends and family, hopefully it will be an ongoing conversation. So you don’t have to have this idea in your head about getting it right once. There is no “getting it right once” you know what I mean? What I mean, Colleen, is that there will be this first conversation, and that’s what we call “coming out” but really coming out becomes this conversation of getting to know each other differently. Knowing each other in a deeper manner because you are sharing something from within you that you were hiding before. So if you think of it as a conversation then I think it takes the pressure off of someone having to understand all the things in one go. Does that make sense?

Colleen: It makes sense.

Marcia: I tried to do that with my parents and it was bad we never talked about it for another six years.  I mean, she had some questions understandably, and I had no idea how to answer.

Colleen: Like I said in the comments, my brother is a Southern Baptist minister. He is probably the last person I will come out to, just because of the fact that he doesn’t even… He knows that his other sister is a lesbian, but at the same time he doesn’t want to talk about anything to do with it. He doesn’t even introduce her to his friends. He’s like, it’s that different world that we’re going to keep our kids away from. So it’s one of things I’m also kind of gauging where it’s safe and where I want to keep relationships without causing an issue in the family.

Marcia: That’s a big one, and it will change over time. It won’t be a one-shot deal. I think if you get quote-unquote “caught” or “found out” the best thing to do is to not act like a caught or found out person. Act like, well yeah, this is just the sheer openness and honesty. “Well yeah, of course they were out together! Why wouldn’t they be?” Make them explain their position.

Colleen: Thank you very much! I’m gonna get off here!

Sarah: Love you! Great! Okay I think we have time for one more caller!

Marcia: Someone in the comments talking about the “oh I thought you knew” attitude. “Yeah, it’s not my fault you’re out of the loop!” (laughs) I mean it’s a little disingenuous, but I think when people are being obnoxious you can be slightly obnoxious back, if it’s with a light touch.

Sarah: And like I see Michael (Note: a livestream commenter) was saying, you would never tell your family about your lifestyle because you know they would never accept it. I believe I understand what a difficult position that is to be in, and I respect that. I think that sometimes, those people can surprise you. I don’t mean to put any fake hope into anything. I just also know that for me, for instance, my stepdad, who sadly passed away a few years ago, before he passed away he was a man who I told when I was 19 that I was polyamorous. He was very conservative, a very conservative person with a lot of conservative ideas. I was really afraid of being rejected by him, because I loved him. I love him still. And he surprised the heck out of me when I told him. I’m saying take your time with what you do, people will surprise you. He said to me, “Sarah, I love you and if that’s who you are, I love you still.” And that’s just an amazing thing.

I told this story recently on Periscope about someone I recently came out to a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t a thing I wasn’t trying to hide from her, but I just didn’t have this coming out sort of moment. She’s the lovely woman that helps asthmatic little me keep the place clean. She’s been in our house and been part of our family for ten years. I love her so much. She comes from a very conservative background, and hasn’t been exposed. I remember when she learned about lesbianism, from me, and that was such a mind-blowing thing for her. “Wait, women do what with each other?” (makes head-exploding hand gesture) And yeah, it exploded her mind. So I thought, what is polyamory gonna do?

I told her a couple of weeks ago, you know I’m polyamorous and this is what that means to me. And remember the time I was really sad recently? I was sad because my lover broke up with me and everything, and she was so relieved that I was polyamorous, even though she never heard of it, because she thought I was sad those times because I was hiding a terminal illness. And she was so relieved that it was because I was loving more than one person. But yeah, she thought I was hiding something like cancer. I just love her so much. The other day she said hi to one of my loves on Skype, was just like “Hi!”. So sometimes people can surprise you. Do, of course, what you feel is right in your situation, but sometimes people can come through for you in a way you didn’t expect. Just gonna put that out there.

Marcia: Yeah, my parents have given up on me ever getting married and having kids and being monogamous and all that. They don’t really get it, but they’re like “You seem happy… ok”. They came to California and met all my people and were like “God, that was a lot of people” and I was like “I tried to pace you guys” (both laughs)

And of course I didn’t delineate who was what. Because again, it’s none of their business where I stick my dick either. (laughs) But, you know, these are the people I care about. This is what they need to know, and they just need to know that I’m happy. Got a roof over my head, I’m happy. People love me, I’m gonna be taken care of if they’re not here. I think they got that and that changed a lot.

Which, I get, is not the case for everybody. I just wanna reiterate the idea that you know your situation better than we do. Don’t just go wandering in all like “Well Marcia and Sarah said it would be fine”. Trust your gut, but also give people a chance. There’s also a lot to be said for dropping things that aren’t about you into the conversation. Like, “Oh, I read this article about this triad and it was interesting. What do you think of that?”

Sarah: Or “I heard these two beautiful women on Blab talking about this thing and… for example.

Marcia: And then they are gonna be like “What’s Blab?” and then you’re having a conversation about technology.

Sarah: Much, much harder question to answer than “What is polyamory?”

Marcia: Totally, totally.

Sarah: So is it time to do (holds up an index card with information about Open Roadmap contest) this? (Marcia affirms)

So lemme say a little thing first, we want to give away something to you and all you have to do to get it is: and there’s not just one, this is Polyamoryland, so there’s more than one. We’re gonna give you a coupon to Marcia’s Open Roadmap course online which has tons and tons and tons of stuff about relationships.

Marcia: Sarah’s seen it

Sarah: I’ve seen it and I was like, Whoa! Girl! You have put so much stuff in here! From people like Dossie Easton, who cowrote The Ethical Slut and Tristan Taormino. And all these incredible resources you can get, we’re gonna give you a big old discount on it because Marcia is so generous. All you have to do is get on the Twitter machine, so I hope you are all on the Twitter machine, if not it’s free to sign up to it. But I think you’re on there, because you’re on Blab so you’re doing good techno-wise. So you just have to write a tweet that includes these three things (card shows Sarah and Marcia’s Twitter handle, @askmarciab and @saraharlen and the #openroadmap hashtag). You can say whatever you want as long as it fits into 140 characters and includes these three things and we will send you a coupon for Open Roadmap. Which is amazing.

Marcia: Yes, and I just wanted to say too that not only will you get a coupon, but when you pay for it, you will save $100 and Sarah will get $25 donated to her miscellaneous budgeting and movie making having-ness. It’s a win for you, a win for her, a win for everybody. So, tweet at us and we will send you that information, and you can get in on that.

Sarah: Exactly, and the money isn’t going to me directly, it’s going to Twice, The Movie, which is a polyamorous love story and I can’t wait, because then you will actually be able to see it. A polyamorous love story play out on the big screen, for the first time ever! It’s a win-win-win situation!

Marcia: Everyone is a winner in Polyamoryland.

Sarah: I see that some of you are already tweeting it, I love it! So write it down, take a screenshot of things, tweet to us and we will send you a coupon! And who doesn’t love a coupon?

And if you are watching a replay of this, this offer is good for the rest of this year, right?

Marcia: Yes, until December 31…

Sarah: So yes you can start 2016 with all the good things so tweet at us.

I would like to thank you Marcia, because you are so wonderful and I love you and the knowledge and the wisdom that you have shared to all of us. I think the world is a better place with it. I really do.

Marcia: Thanks, yeah, come say hi to me on Twitter! It was great being here, it was great to meet all of you. I’ve heard Sarah talk about you guys, she loves you. You guys are like your little tribe. She knows you by name! She’s always talking about individual people. So it’s nice to meet Sarah’s tribe.

Sarah: Yay, well thank you all, I’m going to stop the recording and make this into a video and figure out how to do that. So bye!

(both make kissing noises at the camera as the recording ends)