From: Hans Tilstra (
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 06:06:39 -0600 (MDT)
> I have found that lifestyle (sexual preferences) issues are directly
> supported in cohousing by how people deal with it. Thus cohousing
> directly supports monagamous couple relationships because that is what is
> tacitly "approved of" by the way people relate and react. So saying that a
> cohousing group does not have the capacity, or inherient in cohousing is
> nothing to do with lifestyle approval is not true.
No, I don't doubt that groups lack the capacity

Its just below the direct
> level of your group awareness. Pay attention to how people who are not
> you are talked about and referred to. This is why some homosexual and poly
> relationships stay in the closet. It's not that they are outright banned
> some community agreement, its that they risk the disapproval of their
> neighbors.
> Yes, the OFFICIAL community represented by the bylawish, board/membership
> meeting process does not take any OFFICIAL postiion on peoples sex lives,
> but the around the dinner table, sidewalk gossipers form the community
> positions on many many issues you never actually talk about in an official
> meeting. This unofficial process defines many of the cultural norms you
> find in your communities. Confronting this can be a good excercise in
> community growth. How people raise their kids is a classic issue. Have
> anyone in your group that spanks their kids? I doubt there is any official
> policy of your community to forbid spanking, but I bet it would cause
> and such from parents that do not. Odds are high, its an almost
> dissaproved of parenting style in your community, and I will also wager
> you have never talked about it in a meeting.
> I was involved in an intense mediation once regarding sex in a community.
> The official groups statement and position was that it was none of
> business. The unofficial group sentiment represented somewhat widely was
> outrage at the sexual practices of a particular subgroup (partner
> and it took quite a bit of work for the group to own up to their
> gossipizing and disapproval. In the meeting it was all smiles and
> of acceptance, in private it was all frowns and dissaproval. This
> dichotomoy, between the public arena, and the private arena is very
> interesting to pay attention to, you can learn a lot about a community
> you examine the difference between the two.
> Rob Sandelin
> Northwest Intentional Communties Association
> Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

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