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Amy Shiner
Amy Shiner has been a dedicated researcher, presenter, mentor, and community member in alternative sexual lifestyle choices for the past six years. Her passion in life, which has overtaken most of her free time, is to redefine stereotypes and actively pursues this goal by first-hand experiences, conferences, and community outreach.

She self-identifies as a supporter of open relationships, pansexual, a submissive in the BDSM community, and continually questioning the constructs of gender. Her main interests, and blogs, are primarily about poly relationships, communication for both poly and monogamous relationships, spirituality, and her adventures in the kink community. Besides her Huffington Post blog she also writes for Fearless Press on the connection of Buddhism and Kink called The Naked Lotus and Modern Poly.

When not writing she is an active lay member at her local Unitarian Universalist Society and very active in her church community. She is also going through discernment right now. Her interests lie in interfaith, pastoral care, opening and affirming congregations, and looking at graduate school.

Have a question, need advice, or want more information? Email me at:

Entries by Amy Shiner

Dreaded Fork in the Road: Hiding My Life From My Friend

(3) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 4:57 PM

I get very amused by a lot of posts on Facebook. I will be the first one to admit that I spend way too much time staring at my Facebook page -- although I have tactfully stayed away from Farmville since I first got out of college -- but on...

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Why Every University Should Recognize 'Lavender Graduation'

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 12:57 PM

I can sometimes forget how difficult college was, even if it was only a few years ago.

The difficulty does not lie in homework, grades, all-nighters and those finals that may be take-home but take 20 hours to finish instead of a short two hours. Academic achievement only goes so...

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Channeling the Phoenix During Lent and Easter

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 11:08 AM

The Phoenix, a bird from greek mythology, is a stunning representation of what Lent really means to me. Such as the symbolic meaning of lent where there is a cycle of death and rebirth the Phoenix, once they turn old, catches on fire, burn, and from the ashes becomes a...

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Is Valentine's Day Only for the Monogamous and the Popular?

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 1:45 PM

In some of the online groups I'm in, like clockwork, beginning in November and ending after Feb. 14, I see comment threads discussing the coming holidays and spending time with significant others. But going into this "love season," I realized that being polyamorous has lessened my expectation that New Year's...

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The Spirituality of Kink: With Raven Kaldera

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 7:54 AM

Spirituality and kink are two words that, although I'm used to describing as part of my life together, are viewed as very separate. I scarcely know many religions or spiritualties that open the doors widely, and accepting, out to the kink community.

Although some religions and spiritualties are making...

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A 'Deli' Approach to Polyamory

(63) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 3:50 PM

I have noticed myself growing frustrated lately. Although I'm used to having multiple partners (and to my partners having other partners), I'm beginning to feel resentful of the "deli" approach that many people take to polyamory. It doesn't make me feel attractive; it makes me feel like I'm just another...

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In a Word: Defining 'Poly' and 'Non-Monogamy'

(6) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 4:06 PM

Please don't define me.

It's an overriding theme for people to use stereotypical definitions for labels. No wonder the anti-label camp stands strong. And no group is innocent of doing it. It's a genuinely widespread problem in the mainstream and in the leather, poly, and LGBT communities to which I...

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Poly Breakup: The Ups and Downs of a Mostly Single Person

(15) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 10:26 AM

Eric and I broke up about a month ago. There were some issues that couldn't be worked out, he and I both had branched out into different types of relationships, and even though it's important to work hard in accepting partner's partners... there were mutual dislikes all around. It's not...

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Juggling Poly Needs: Different Folks, Strokes, and Needs

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2012 | 3:10 PM

One thing about polyamory and non-monogamy that's both a blessing and a curse is that working through feelings and needs becomes an art form. It is not a scientific discovery that everyone has different needs. Throw in different sexual orientations and gender identities -- straight, gay, bi, pansexual, transgender, queer...

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Taking 'Fair Breaks' from Non-Monogamy

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 7:27 PM

This year I made a New Year's resolution to try to have more focused relationships while cutting down on partners, partly for sanity reasons, partly for clarity, partly to be truer to myself, and partly to take care of myself emotionally. I am notorious for taking on too much at...

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Kink in Vermont?

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 6:13 PM

I will always be a supporter of continuing sexual education. In my opinion there is always something that can go wrong, even in non-kinky sex: unsafe practices, poor communication, and the complications that arise with multiple partners or activities considered kinky. I frequently travel to kink classes and conferences; it's...

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Not Getting Lost in the Poly Shuffle

(1) Comments | Posted May 30, 2012 | 7:22 PM

Whenever I have a hard time communicating with a polyamorous partner I remember some words of wisdom my therapist endowed on me. I was having a hard time in relationships and he pointed out communication in even a simple monogamous relationship can get somewhat difficult, but I've always had a...

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Submission: My Health Choice

(1) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 8:37 PM

A part of my life I sometimes struggle with is my need of submission. I have had discussions more than once with people on this and have been told that it's a phase, it's OK, or as my mother sometimes puts it "be your own woman!" Submission, in my opinion,...

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Is One Label Better Than Another?

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 6:47 PM

I dance to my own drum when it comes to my sexual identity. After years of experimenting, growth, and realization, I was faced with two realities: 1) I am pansexual, someone who is attracted to male, female, and transgender individuals; and 2) despite the advances that the LGBTQA movement has...

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Am I Holding Back The Women's Movement?

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 10:12 AM

I have mulled over something for about a month now...

After hearing the argument thatFifty Shades of Grey overrides the Women's Movement I feel somewhat taken back... despite identifying myself as submissive and agreeing to follow someone else's rules, a big part of my volunteering in college was...

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Sexual Preference Is Like Ice Cream

(7) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 2:57 PM

Recently, I have been poking around online to see if anyone is looking for the same thing I am looking for when it comes to kinks and fetishes. But when I look at kink and fetish ads in newspapers and online, among the most confusing things for me are the...

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Long-Distance Relationships: 3 Tips to Keep Yours Alive

(10) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 11:15 AM

Eric and I are going on five years this July. Many people's response when they learn this is to say that I'm two years away from the seven-year itch.

With a long-distance relationship, that itch comes every four months and there was a scratch after two years. In the age...

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A Kinky Family Reunion

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 4:02 PM

I have always said that I have blood family and chosen family. My blood family, which, depending on the day of the week and the moon cycle, might not be talking to me, is eclectic. My chosen family, which is made up of close friends from my kink and church...

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Enlightening Polyamory

(5) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 5:56 PM

At church last night, I came out as polyamorous.

It was an endorphin rush. Before I'm told that coming out in a setting like this is really for me and not for anyone else, let me tell you that it was already somewhat apparent that I was poly. With the...

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Communication: Struggles Between Poly Star-Crossed Lovers

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 7:26 PM

I have a good amount of open relationships. I'm young, I'm 25, and at the moment I'm not in a place in my life where commitment fits. I also have a thing for guys my father's age... and for the most part that will never lead to a long-standing relationship....

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