Ahead of Valentine's Day, Arkansans who are asexual, polyamorous and into BDSM talk about their lives.
Alternative AmourFebruary 9, 2017
Vol 43 • No 23
The following interview is with an Arkansas woman living in a committed polyamorous relationship involving two men and two women, all of whom live and raise their children together.
"John" and "Sarah" are an average married couple in their mid-30s. Both educated professionals, they live in the 'burbs of Central Arkansas, raising a family on a quiet, tree-lined street. The difference between them and most people, however, is that behind closed doors, they're in a long-term BDSM relationship, an acronym that stands for bondage, domination, sadism and masochism.
The following is taken from an interview with an Arkansas college student, who — after a series of frustrating relationships — began to identify as asexual in his early 20s.
Peddling smut with the Little Rocked Zine.
Dr. Chelsea Wakefield at the UAMS Couples Center helps couples bring back that lovin' feelin', or never lose it in the first place.
On the cultural dominance of patrician noses, Nina Simone and more.
Both appear to take aim at the standards set by the Lake View school funding case.
Barring the bizarre, Judge Neil Gorsuch will become one of the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court by the time the court reconvenes for its new term in October.
First off, great job out there, everybody, with the marching and the sign-making and just getting out of bed and showing up when you could be binge-watching "Dexter."
he National Endowment for the Arts may soon be comparing notes with the Affordable Care Act, forgotten on the midden of history.
'Lion' is as fragmented as its hero's past.
I swear, y'all, I am trying like hell to come up with a new angle on this tragicomic mess called Arkansas basketball. But every week presents the same dichotomy, and the past few days just qualifies as flat-out bewildering.
William Faulkner, who wrote a fine novel or two about coming to terms with an inglorious past and the healing power of remorse, would have liked January — a few days of it, anyway.
Have Americans really become a nation of gullible cowards? Sometimes it looks that way.
But a few dishes need tweaks.
Plus, lots, lots more.
Also, cuts on the horizon and a bad bill killed.
The controversy over the Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol lawn just won't go away.
Also, Randy Rogers Band, Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, Lanterns! Winter Festival, Second Friday Art Night, Spa City Sweethearts, Lucero, Kevin & Gus Kerby, I Was Afraid and 'The Ernest Green Story'
The Senate narrowly passed Sen. Bart Hester's (R-Cave Springs) bill to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores yesterday, 18-11. SB 284 is now on the agenda of the House Rules Committee, which meets at 1 p.m. today. More on the backroom dealings behind the bill.
A vandal armed with a magic marker defaced five artworks in an exhibition of drawings by Ben Edwards at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale last week, writing "Bad Art" and "Make America Great Again" and "Fag" on the works on paper.
Most of the opposition came from Democrats, but they were joined by three Republicans — including Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Gravette), the majority leader.
The Satanic Temple today delivered a demand letter to state officials threatening litigation if they are denied a public hearing for their proposed eight-and-half-foot-tall bronze statue of the goat-headed pagan god Baphomet on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.
The committee took no action on any measure today, but Hutchinson said after the meeting that he was resigned to the lack of interest in his amendment. He said he'd be supporting a bill by Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) to shine a light on spending by outside groups in Arkansas elections, judicial and otherwise.
French Hill wants to enact massive tax cuts for the rich and take health insurance away from millions of Americans. He's hoping a cheesy survey will help rally support for his ideas.
A group of citizens held a demonstration of sorts today at Sen. Tom Cotton's office in Little Rock to protest his support of Betsy DeVos, recently confirmed by the senate as the federal Secretary of Education. The group presented a check to "buy Senator Cotton's vote," a reference to the financial backing that DeVos and her family have provided to Cotton's campaigns.
Over to you.
An omnibus bill that sponsors say would curb the rapid growth of Arkansas prisons without sacrificing public safety received a cool reception from the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 136 has been in committee for weeks as Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock), chairman of the committee and lead sponsor of the bill, has been working with state prosecutors and other groups to address concerns.
A three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today unanimously refused to reinstate President Trump's ban on refugees and certain visa holders from entering the country.
Under the plan previously outline by the superintendent, the district will close Franklin Elementary and Wilson Elementary, along with Woodruff Early Childhood Center. Hamilton Learning Academy, an alternative school, will move to the Wilson building.
The state Senate Thursday voted 9-12, with 13 not voting, on House Speaker Jeremy Gillam's bill to open up more loopholes in the state ethics law already made more porous by the legislature since it was approved by voters.
The roadblock to Speaker Jeremy Gillam's bill to reopen the door for to free foreign travel for legislators happened to arise as I read of one solid investment of foreign money in state legislative travel.
Vox writes a good explainer of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against President Trump's attempt to ban immigration from seven countries. Can the president ignore the courts? The attack on balance of power brings to mind a similar movement by the Arkansas legislature.
Sen. Jason Rapert has distributed a money-raising appeal for an expansion of his Holy Ghost Ministries, including a plea for monthly cash contributions to his work.
Ken Starr for a job in the Trump administration? It's possible. They can compare notes on sexual assault scandals.
The Walton Family Foundation is looking for its first general counsel. It is perhaps only coincidental that the federal Education Department is now headed by a woman who has much the same outlook on schools as the foundation does.
The distilled spirits lobby has come out against the bill to allow sale of all wines in grocery stores. And a new question has arisen about the governor's role in the proposal.
Kyle Massey of Arkansas Business reports that the state procurement office has canceled bid solicitations for the $14 million state tourism marketing contract.
The Save Our Schools coalition has issued a statement criticizing Education Commissioner Johnny Key's expected approval of school closure decisions recommended by his Little Rock school superintendent, Michael Poore.
The Associated Press has dug up the back story of Sen. Gary Stubblefield's broad bill to exempt information about school security, from kindergarten though college, from the Freedom of Information Act. Another bill also limits information about Capitol police.
AP reports that Amazon has announced it will begin collecting the Arkansas sales tax on purchases in Arkansas March 1.
A recap of the 25th annual Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, Round 3.
The Arkansas delegation is sheer perfection when it comes to voting in lockstep with the wishes of President Donald Trump.
Sen. Bryan King, one of the hardline opponents to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, was brought out to testify in Kansas against that state expanding Medicaid coverage with Obamacare money as Arkansas has done — and continues to do under Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
2nd Friday Art Night artists: Grace Ramsey, Luke Knox, Bruce Jackson, Susan Chambers, Sofia Gonzalez
In synch with Art Night, symbolist works — paintings by Grace Mikell Ramsey and mixed media sculpture by Luke Amram Knox — go on exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum in a show called "Modern Mythology"; Vino's Brewpub is supplying the beer.
Here's the open line and a video news roundup.
State legislative doings, the latest on the LR school district and more — all covered on this week's podcast.
A report in the New York Times details the case of a woman who moved with her family from Mexico as an infant and voted illegally in two elections in Texas, seemingly in part from confusion about her status.
Immigration raids raise anxiety among undocumented immigrants and surprise some Trump backers who depend on such workers for their livelihoods.
The director of the state Veterans Affairs Department has resigned. Reports have emerged about morale problems there.
A cartoon switch in the daily paper riles a reader. Too sexy for the breakfast table?
Yale University will removed the name of slavery advocated John C. Calhoun from a residential college, ending years of controversy over the tribute.
A sultry February Saturday open line.
New to fly fishing and don't know where to start?
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, so sure of himself, is wrong again when it comes to his assessment of the reversal rate of the appellate court that refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's travel ban.
Will states prevent federal prying into state records to create registries of Muslims or immigrants. The results of a nationwide survey found little support for the idea.
Here's an open line. And a plug for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders drew on an Arkansas anecdote in a national television appearance Sunday to defend President Trump's unsupported claim that illegal voters accounted for his popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Charlie Collins' bill to mandate that universities allow staff with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus will be before a Senate committee Wednesday and one opponent, John Pijanoski, chair of the Campus Faculty Senate at the University of Arkansas, has written about another problem with the legislation (apart from near universal campus opposition.)
The pace of free eats and drinks is picking up for Arkansas legislators this week.
A profile in courage: Ole Miss student activist Allen Coon. He's part of the resistance.
Little Rock police say a man was fatally shot last night at 3000 Wolfe Street. It was the city's fifth homicide of the year.
Arkansas Business writes this week about the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, a contributor-supported effort to produce public interest reporting for Arkansas organized by Arkansas Times editor Lindsey Millar.
Here are more free feedbags on tap for legislators this week, in special interest dinners thrown by lobbyists and special interest groups.
40/29 reports that Trane is closing a facility in Fort Smith that makes residential heating and air conditioning system and transferring the work to plants in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. The number of jobs affected was not specified.
Rep. Bob Ballinger is publicizing his loss of more than 100 pounds — a feat that earned him $10,000 in a weight-loss contest — to encourage others to get healthier.
National security? Private e-mail servers? How can you top international crisis handling via Facebook at Donald Trump's private club, with waiters and guests looking on.
The bill passed out of committee last week on a voice vote. It now heads to the Senate, where it may face a tougher fight.
Here's the first open line of the week and a roundup of news and comment.
A House resolution that zipped out of committee today envisions this legislative session being extended until a recess April 7, with a return for adjournment May 5.
Last week, Amazon announced it planned to voluntarily collect sales tax in Arkansas starting in March. Now, a bill filed in the House seeks to dedicate that revenue to reducing income tax.
State Rep. Mark Lowery of Maumelle went to court last week to seek an injunction to stop the scheduled sale of his Maumelle home in a foreclosure sale at the county courthouse at 10 a.m. today.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning on information dug up thanks to Fort Smith city official diligence of the mounting questions about the state Sen. Jake Files actions in overseeing building of a $1.6 million sports complex for the city.
Michael Flynn's gone, but his and Donald Trump's relationship with Russia in the election and since should not be forgotten.
Sen. Joyce Elliott and citizen activists are raising the alarm about legislation that gives charter schools and charter school operators first call on leasing vacant school buildings.
Now a conservative publication joins our favorite chorus: Tear down urban freeways, don't make them wider and more damaging.
Sherman Banks, the Little Rock businessman, announces that he's been named honorary counsul of Ghana, the African nation.
The long list of anti-abortion legislation grew yesterday with introduction of SB 340 by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and others to prohibit lawsuits over a "wrongful birth."
The AFL-CIO is calling attention to legislation to further cuts in unemployment benefits, on top of recent legislation to raise the income tax on unemployment benefits to help pay for an income tax exemption for military retirees.
Texas shows what happens when a state passes a "tort reform" law. It isn't pretty if you care about quality nursing home care. When there's no recourse for abuse and neglect, you can guess what's more likely to happen.
The Little Rock Airport will be adding some familiar national brand names to its restaurant lineup in 2018.
The attack on the judicial branch by the Arkansas legislature has multiple prongs, with bad news for voter rights, education and injured people.
Minority Democrats are waging a fight to preserve new Internet sales tax collections for programs that help people, such as Medicaid, as opposed to income tax cuts.
Tough-talking Sen. Tom Cotton doesn't seem too concerned with a Trump advisor lending aid and comfort to our enemies in Russia and not telling the truth about it.
Dr. Bevan Keating is the new artistic director for Wildwood Park for the Arts, the organization announced last week.
Federal and state officials held a news conference today to announce arrests aimed at reducing violent crime as well as the arrest of suspects in a 2015 robbery of Roberson's Fine Jewelry.
Here's the Tuesday open line and the daily news and comment.
A bathroom bill, in shell form, surfaced today at the Arkansas legislature.
Legislative sludge today: Anti-abortion and resistance to ethics legislation. Inaction on an ethics weakening bill passes for good news.
U.S. Rep. French Hill. Will he brave a public meeting with constituents. So far, he seems open only to phone conversations with select constituents.
A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
The governor has named a Bentonville lawyer to the state Ethics Commission.
Some quote and some questions on the bathroom bill filed yesterday at the Arkansas legislature.
U.S. Rep. French Hill, the Little Rock Republican, has just announced on Twitter some details on reaching him on a telephone "town hall" tonight. I'd mention the event was in the works, but no specifics were available yesterday.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, who endured national attention for closing his office to critical questioners, has now announced a public meeting with constituents.
The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced its opposition to SB 346, now in shell form but intended to prohibit use of restrooms except by people born with the same gender identity.
The bill to allow university staff to bring concealed weapons on campus, already passed in the House, is before a Senate committee today and sure to receive the wide objections it has received since the issue arose.
Republican opposition has squelched President Donald Trump's nomination of fast-food titan Andrew Puzder to be Labor secretary.
Introduction of a discriminatory "bathroom bill" brings a letter from a transgender person hoping to provide support to some living in fear as he once did.
AP reports that attorneys for same-sex couples will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling denying them the ability to get both spouses listed on a birth certificate without getting a court order.
The House voted 62-26 today to slash unemployment benefits — reducing both the amount and weeks of coverage, the latter by 20 percent to a region-leading 16 weeks, down from 20.
The legislature has no interest in improving the country's worst landlord tenant law (it has recently voted to preserve the country's only criminal eviction process) but renters seem likely to get a bit of help from Circuit Judge Alice Gray of Little Rock.
Here's your open line, plus the daily video news roundup.
American portrait painter Alice Neel's painting of civil rights activist Hugh Hurd is now a part of the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.