Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy

Is Partnering with People Enough?

Notes from the Polyamorous Frontier

Modern polyamory is often presented as a love-style with roots that extend deep into humanity's evolutionary past. Sex at Dawn popularized the perspective that the Neolithic Revolution brought changes in our relationship to hearth, home, land and labor that prompted the transition away from culturally diverse practices of non-monagamy and towards the now widespread practice of monogamy. 10,000 years later, the pendulum is swinging, and increasing numbers of people are leaving behind the monogamous paradigm for a polyamorous identity.

If the love-style of polyamory did develop long ago when the extended family and a deep-rooted connection to the land were threads that formed the cultural fabric, what does this mean for urban populations who identify as polyamorous, immersed in a global information economy and privatized culture? What impact does connection to a loving community and the solace and sustenance that a land-base provides have on the resilience of polyamorous relationships? Could the polyamorous movement be the vanguard of a cultural transition towards re-creating the freedom and security inherent in intimate relationship with community and place?

Drawing from a decade of experience living in a rural, polyamorous community, wedded to both people and the land we call home, I offer examples of how an eco-centric focus has supported the emergence and continuity of our long-term polyamorous relationship. I share how the love we feel for our land encourages people to come together in love along with a common vision and a shared purpose, balancing desire and need, diversity and stability, autonomy and collaboration – strengthening the web of intimate relationships. I explain the concept of the Line Family, a highly effective but rare type of group marriage, and speak to some of the practices our Line Family's has developed over the years. Finally, I offer why I have come to understand that partnering with place may well be the next step in the evolution of non-monogamy, putting us on a path that can lead us “back to the garden.”

Lindsay Hagamen is dedicating her life to creating a culture where we can live freely and love fully as we tend to and care for our only home, this Earth. With a degree in Environmental Science from Brown University, she is the President and Lead Steward of the Windward Foundation, an intentional community and sustainability education & research center in Washington State. For her entire adult life, Lindsay has been researching what it takes to create a sustainable culture, which brought her to explore polyamory 10 years ago. Since immersing herself in a polyamorous lifestyle, Lindsay has published Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love, co-founded the annual EcoSex Convergence, and now shamelessly embraces being a lover of the Wild. Inspired by her experiences living with a farm and forest and co-creating land-based community, Lindsay is reclaiming all that it means to be fully human, and is eager to support others to do the same.