Jesse Tise

With a home this nice, one must wonder if polyamory is only available to the affluent, causes affluence, or if it’s just easier to afford rent if you’re living with multiple partners. Whatever the case, this polyamorous home was spectacular, both inside and out.

I, of course, arrived empty-handed. So, in penance for my poverty, I helped prepare the day’s spread, which included homemade guacamole and salsa dips, served with a variety of fresh vegetables, breads, and chips. Entrees included fried gnocchi and mozzarella-stuffed peppers. Beverages were plentiful in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic varieties, including a college-grade concoction I helped mix that contained multiple brands of rum, various sodas, and assorted fruit juices.

A brief panic ensued when preparing the fried gnocchi, which called for breadcrumbs—an ingredient no one ever seems prepared for. PRO TIP: Every time you buy bread... it comes with breadcrumbs. We opted, however, for a bag of raw stuffing (AKA croutons) crushed with a can of Progresso soup. The second gnocchi-related concern was getting the oil to the appropriate temperature. PRO TIP: You’ll know your frying oil has reached the appropriate temperature when it’s terrifying and unsafe.

The poly and sex-positive crowd, however, is comforting for someone with social anxiety, because everything is laid bare (pun unintended, but not retracted). Everyone you meet is anxious to reveal their kinks, habits, and desires; no guesswork required. It’s like preparing for a speech by imagining your audience naked, only in this case, your audience is actually naked. The sole exception was a friendly man in a pink and blue rodeo shirt and cowboy boots, who only revealed his heterosexual status toward the end of the party. Who does that?

As with any Portland gathering, one overly zealous white liberal had to attend. Yes, I understand that the phrase “white liberal” has become controversial. Yes, I understand that white liberals sincerely believe they are only helping—but please, stop helping.

When a white person living above the poverty line says, “That neighborhood’s too gentrified,” people of color hear, “I’m searching for fresh neighborhoods to gentrify.” When meeting a PoC, avoid starting the conversation by stating how many friends you have of their same race. Bragging about conflicts with the police is the most privileged of all humble brags. Racialized people don’t try to agitate the police. We try not to get shot. Never use phrases like “I don’t see race,” because were that true, you wouldn’t feel the need to inform me of that upon introduction. And finally, when speaking to a gender variant individual, don’t claim to see no difference between male and female bodies. Many of us are painfully aware of sexual dimorphism. Your denial of basic biology won’t spontaneously remedy lifetimes of trauma and insecurity.

Personal rant aside, the food, jacuzzi, and majority of company was spectacular enough to earn this housewarming 10 points out of 10.