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Planning is in Progress!

2020 MNPolyCon Presenters

Keynote Speakers

To be Announced

Workshops

To be announced

2019 MNPolyCon Presenters

MNPolyCon Presenters from last year’s conference:

2019 Keynote Speakers

Marissa Alexa McCool

Marissa Alexa McCool

www.rismccool.com

Marissa is a Podcast Host, accomplished author, and student attending Augsburg University MFA class of 2020. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017, LPS, Cum Laude with a focus on English/Cinema and Media Studies/Anthropology.
She has been a queer and trans* rights activist since 2016. She has been polyamorous for over a decade and is currently engaged in four committed relationships.

Some of her works include:

Podcasts:
● The Inciting Incident Podcast (Podcast on Stitcher)
● The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand (Podcast on Spreaker)

Literature:
● The PC Lie: How American Voters Decided I Don’t Matter
● False Start
● Silent Dreams
● Voice in the Dark
● Passing Cars: The Internal Monologue of a Neurodivergent Trans Girl
● Once Unspoken: A Series of Monologues From The Previously Unheard
● Shiny New Science Vagina
● The Power of Myth

From the Center for Inquiry:
“Marissa was the first trans person in the 17-year history of the UPenn production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues to appear in the show. She won a 2014 Keystone Award for Excellence in Journalism, a 2015 audience choice award at the Hershey Student Film Festival for a short film, and co-founded The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative with Callie Wright in 2017. She tends to blend her theatrical background and fiery passion for atheism, humanist and secular values, and intersectionality.”

Multiamory

www.multiamory.com

Multiamory Group Photo

The Multiamory Podcast was created because we were tired of the same old, toxic dating advice. We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of love: everything from conscious monogamy to ethical polyamory and radical relationship anarchy. We combine the knowledge from our years of personal experience with the best information available and present it in a way that’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and easy to
apply to your relationships.

Emily Matlack (she/her): Emily is a self described multi-faceted entrepreneur. A longtime vegan, she has a passion for both feminist activism and animal welfare. She has spoken on panels regarding both subjects, and works to spread awareness of animal rights, feminism, and mindful relationships. In addition to co-hosting two successful podcasts, she is a professional vocalist and actor.

Dedeker Winston (she/her): Dedeker is a relationship coach, writer, and an advocate for polyamory and non-traditional relationships.
She has been consulted as a polyamory expert for Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and many other news and media outlets. She is the author of The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love, published by Skyhorse Press.

Jase Lindgren (he/him): Jase is a non-monogamous dating coach, healthy masculinity educator, and sex-positivity advocate. He has trained in positive psychology, Emotional Freedom Technique, consent education, and Buddhist mindfulness practice. He has worked with the government and celebrities on HIV public awareness in Russia, and helps people improve their communication skills and define each relationship on its own terms.

2019 Workshops

Ask Me Anything
Andy Adams

Andy started her relationship coaching business, The Growth Arc, in the fall of 2017 following her master’s degree in Human Development from Saint Mary’s University. With The Growth Arc she hopes to teach people in all types of relationship structures to be more ethical, kind, and loving
using tools she discovered on her journey learning how to be an ethical human in polyamorous relationships. These tools helped her shed an unethical lifestyle that she is so happy to have left behind. Now, she is ready to share some of this information with you in an open-ended “Ask me Anything” workshop. Come with your most confounding or curious questions and Andy will provide you with her own take on it. We welcome Andy as a former keynote speaker for MNPoly and are honored to have her back!

Challenges of being POC and Poly
Panel Discussion led by Abamikhu Jones

“Challenges of Being POC and Poly” will provide the opportunity to learn about the challenges of our fellow POC poly member experience with the goal of opening future learning and dialog about how to support them. This will be done by hearing the experiences of multiple fellow POC poly members and how as influential people in the community can support them. Abamikhu is a Minneapolis native. His interest in the issues of People of Color relating to Polyamory have sparked this dialogue.

Consent and ENM
Mark Stapleton

“I Consented to Lead This Discussion on Consent and Polyamory” (ICTLTDOCAP) is a discussion and workshop where basic definitions are covered (consent in its many guises among others), how consent is used in both monogamy and non-monogamy, how ethical behaviors require consent, and how good communication skills and ethical negotiation lend themselves to reaching consent for all concerned parties.

Mark has been involved in community hosting, education, and outreach in the Twin Cities for six years, although he has been poly (and kinky) for many years before that. He moderates several community groups, including MN Ethical Non-Monogamy and the Doing It in Minnesota! educational series, and is working on a viable system of protocols and procedures for coming out to friends/family/coworkers. He regularly leads discussions and workshops on consent and other soft skills in the kink and poly communities.

Communication in NRE and ERE
David Novak

In this two-part series, David will discuss how communication varies in an Established Relationship Energy/Old Relationship Energy and how to use technology to your advantage at any stage in the relationship.

Communication and the Aging Relationship:
Are you still communicating like you did in those first weeks or months? Let’s see if the quality holds as the quantity slows. You’re the old couple now, you’ve ridden through some rough paths but still hold strong. Does the relationship glide along with maybe an occasional check in or so? Is the communication frequency not needed or have we become complacent?

Technology and Communication (How it helps or doesn’t help the relationship):
“I love my phone!” said by many. But are we really using it to really convey our thoughts, wishes, and desires? Often we tweet, text, email, or use some other non-verbal communication to others with our brain thinking one way but unknowingly communicating something completely differently. Long gone are the days where writing a correspondence was almost an art form, using words to convey the essence of our deepest feelings. So let’s see if we can come up with ideas to bring back some of that magic, and still use the technology as our format, that we hold so dearly.

ENM & The Law (101)
Jay Esra

Given your ENM aspirations, might you wish to avoid the legal system getting in the way of your medical, housing, financial, family, and other aspects of life? On the other hand, how you might avail yourself of some legal protections/supports. Might availing yourself of these supports have costs/effects on your ENM/family/autonomy?

Common questions tend to revolve around cohabitation, break-ups, property ownership and parenting. This workshop will attempt to provide a basic overview of considerations such as: roommate/rental, types of property ownership, what about assets after break-ups or death, etc.

Interplay of ENM & the Law 101 will focus on being mindful of how legal helps and limits might shape your ENM realities and vice versa so that you do not inadvertently let your ENM choices box you in legally or your legal realities box in your relationship autonomy.

Friendship: The Old Love Without Limits
Dave White

One slogan I saw at a polyamory convention was “polyamory, the new love without limits.” But this session is about the old love without limits, the form of non-monogamy that everybody does but that few people in Western culture think of when they think of “relationships”: friendship. When you look at people across cultures and time periods, you find out that friendship has played a much more significant role in peoples’ lives than is commonly believed, and that friends could, and can, do all kinds of things that many present-day people associate with romance (whether it’s snuggling together, formal ceremonies of commitment, or sharing economic responsibilities). In this session, you will learn about some of the customs of intense friendship around the world and in history, and we will also discuss our own non-sexual relationships and the sometimes intense role they play in our lives.

Dave White has been in the poly community for 20 years, and if he dated, he wouldn’t care what gender his partners were, but mostly prefers nonsexual but intense connections. He programs computers but has also worked and volunteered building houses for Habitat for Humanity and teaching kids.

Gender and Sexual Diversity
Faith MacGregor

1. Gender and Sexual Diversity will focus on the challenges of how gender and sexually diverse people navigate Ethical Non-Monogamy (ENM).
Topics include:
a. How ENM treats gender diverse people
b. Bridging the gap between Heteronormative dating and Sexually Diverse Dating.
c. Discovering and exploring your sexuality within ENM.
d. How to handle changing world views
e. Coming Out! To friends, family, kids, lovers the world.

2. If you are looking for something I recommend looking. There is nothing like looking if you want to find something. “You will almost certainly find something, if you look. But it is not always quite the something you were after” (Tolkien).
a. How to use this concept to be open as you open up.

Kink 101
Seeing Red

Curious about BDSM and how to get started exploring your kinky side? Do your kinky friends seem to be speaking a foreign language and you’d like to understand what’s got them so excited? Wondering how to find the kink community, what it’s like, and if bi+ folks are welcome? Join local kinkster, Seeing Red in her participant driven introduction to BDSM, kink, community, and what it’s like to be bi+ and kinky here in the Twin Cities. Experienced kinksters already active in the community are asked to respect this 101 space by limiting their participation or selecting another workshop to attend.

Red has been a member of the local kink community for over seven years, with the past few focused on community leadership. As an educator, she’s presented on topics such as polyamory, body acceptance, flirting, and specific body parts and how to have sex with them! As a Kinkster she identifies as a sadistic top, but enjoys exploring the many facets of kink. Red is passionate about acceptance and normalization, education, and creating a safer space for everyone to show up as their authentic self.

Maintaining Emotional Connection in Non-Traditional Relationships
Todd Berntson, MA, DC, LPC

Human beings seek to form secure, fulfilling, and stable connections with others. These inmate emotional attachments not only give us a sense of being in partnership with a loved one, but when they are working well, we can also find a place of safety, feeling valued, being loved, feeling nurtured and empowered, and experiencing life with a greater sense of meaning. When these emotional attachments become strained, the level of distress in the relationship can escalate in unhelpful and unpredictable ways. In this workshop, we will discuss the anatomy of emotional attachment bonds, explore some of the unique challenges that consensually non-monogamous relationships pose, and discuss some tools that can help you maintain stable emotional bonds.

Practicing Good Emotional Hygiene in Your Communication
Todd Berntson, MA, DC, LPC

Have you ever wondered why asking “why are you so angry?” often makes someone more upset? Have you wondered why attempts to resolve conflict sometimes seems to escalate the situation, rather than make it better? This interactive workshop explores the subtle ways that communication affects emotion and discusses the basic principles for communicating more effectively when dealing with emotional topics. I call these principles “The Rules of Emotional Hygiene.” In this workshop, you will practice communicating in different ways with various partners so that you can really feel how subtle differences in communication can impact the direction of a conversation. By the end, you will be equipped with some basic skills for more effective emotional communication.

Todd is a licensed therapist who specializes in working with people in non-traditional relationship structures and consensual non-monogamy. In addition to his academic and research work in consensual non-monogamy, he and his wife have over 30 years experience navigating through
some of the challenges of a sexually open relationship. He has presented at numerous conferences over the past decade and is currently writing a book entitled “Sex and Connection: A Therapists Guide to Understanding Consensual Non-Monogamy.”

RADAR The Secret to Sustainable Relationships
Multiamory

Relationships, whether new or established, can often be fraught with challenges and change. The hosts of the Multiamory Podcast have developed a tool for better communication and relationship maintenance, and in this workshop we are bringing that tool to you! Check out our crash course in RADAR, the monthly relationship check-in hack to help any relationship thrive.

Relationship Anarchy 101
Multiamory

What the heck is relationship anarchy and how does one become a relationship anarchist? In this workshop the hosts of the Multiamory Podcast delve into the “Relationship Anarchy Manifesto” and discuss how we can implement its words into any relationship structure and into our daily lives.