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There's a new book out called The Polyamorists Next Door by academic and sometime polyamorist Elisabeth Sheff, which explores the complexities of multi-partner sex and living arrangements in our oh-so-modern times. And, naturally, it was researched in part in San Francisco.

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Written by Kristen V. S ince moving from Louisiana a few years back, William Winters has ascended to a sort of unofficial throne, the de facto king of the East Bay polyamory scene. The poly potlucks he hosts have surged in popularity and tripled in regularity.

Regarding polyamory, why polyamorists are mostly white, and how their kids cope

It would appear that in the Bay Area there is an expanding interest in upending the traditional relationship. But even in a region where alternative sexual cultures thrive in the open, the polyamory community has remained a relatively small circle. And as interest in open relationships grows, so too does a need to reach a larger, more diverse and perhaps even more vanilla crowd. Kotango, a new social network for those who asrcibe or aspire to something other than monogamy, intends to do exactly that.

Imagine it as something like a kinky mashup of Facebook, OkCupid and Reddit, a place for the sexually venturesome to connect, cruise for dates and seek out advice. But Kotango is also a marriage of two of the things that have come to define San Francisco most, tech and kink.

Polyamory is alive and well in sf — the bold italic — san francisco

William Winters, a regular user of the sexual exploration website Kotango. Photo by Michael Short. Kotango launched in beta last year and is slated to debut in full this spring. So far, it has attracted over 5, users, about 2, of them in the Bay Area. Here is a snapshot of some of the happenings on the site: a query as to how to tell the kids that mom and dad are polyamorous; a nuanced discussion of the difference between jealousy and envy; and advice for newbies on managing the complex emotions of relations with multiple lovers.

Like most dating sites, Kotango users go by avatars accompanied by hehots.

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There is also a calendar and group s that serve as a directory of local polyamory events. The site is surprisingly tame; in fact Kotango advises its members to save the sexy shots for themselves. In a lot of ways, it makes sense that polyamory is the place where new and old San Francisco come together.

'everyone is poly,' no one is serious, and other reasons dating in san francisco is awful

Though the basic concept of polyamory is much older, the word originated in the s. An earlier term, polyfidelity, was coined in a San Francisco commune in the s. In recent years, polyamory has cropped up increasingly in mainstream media.

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Research suggests it may be the next sexual revolution, with one recent estimate pegging the of open polyamorous families in the U. More recently, the polyamory researcher Elisabeth Sheff noted that the majority of polyamorists are well-educated white, middle- or upper-middle-class people who often work in technology, education, or health care. Whittaker first began hosting kinky parties during the first tech boom, founding the Mission District sex club Mission Control.

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She said the techie contingency has only grown since then. At the root of both cultures is really the same idea: a desire to disrupt the system, to improve upon norms. In order to thrive and move into next century, the poly community kind of has to meet that community.

“even if you’re ing a closed group on facebook, unless your privacy settings are pretty tight it will still notify your friends that you ed the group. for a lot of people who aren’t out or who are just exploring this lifestyle, kotango is a lot safer.”

Winters, an Oakland Internet campaign strategist, and his now-wife were living in Louisiana and struggling to make their relationship work. Polyamory became their sexual savior, the kink that supplanted the other kinks in their relationship. But in Baton Rouge, there was no visible polyamory community.

Crystal Witten, 23, discovered the idea of polyamory in a podcast by the venerable sex advice columnist Dan Savage.

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She was 19 then, and a student at the Academy of Art University. Witten, who recently graduated and plans to pursue video-game animation, went to a party at Mission Control.

Kristen V. Brown is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: kbrown 9sfchronicle.

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Kotango brings kink and tech together for sexual adventurers S ince moving from Louisiana a few years back, William Winters has ascended to a sort of unofficial throne, the de facto king of the East Bay polyamory scene. Sex and the city In a lot of ways, it makes sense that polyamory is the place where new and old San Francisco come together. In San Francisco, the tech community has long been a part of the scene. Network connections Meeting that community, it turns out, involves moving online. Kotango is an online alternative, a crowdsourced how-to for experts and beginners. But she often found it difficult to meet new partners — at parties, as well as on dating sites.