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Another kind of love

Ahead of Valentine's Day, Arkansans who are asexual, polyamorous and into BDSM talk about their lives.

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If you want a lover, I'll do anything you ask me to

And if you want another kind of love, I'll wear a mask for you.

— Leonard Cohen, "I'm Your Man"

Regardless of what you might hear from the zealots and obsessive compulsives, there is no one right way to do anything. That includes relationships. As the mainstreaming of LGBT lives, loves and now marriages over the past 25 years has shown us, there are a lot of ways to take a stab from Cupid's arrow, all of them just as valid, enriching and beautiful as the relationship that would have been called "normal" when your grandparents were sparking on the porch swing, which is to say: one man and one woman, married young and monogamous for the rest of their lives.

For this year's annual Valentine issue, we thought we'd go a step beyond plain old boy-meets-boy, boy-meets-girl, girl-meets-girl, to get a glimpse into the lives of Arkansans who are loving on the fringes of what is considered "acceptable" by the mainstream. There are a lot of different chocolates in the heart-shaped box. While the following may not be your personal cup of tea, that's OK. The beautiful thing about love is that it's different for everybody. That doesn't make it wrong. That just makes it different.

Polyamory in Arkansas
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.
By David Koon

BDSM in Arkansas
"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.
By David Koon

Asexuality in Arkansas
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.
By David Koon

'Preaching to the perverted'
Peddling smut with the Little Rocked Zine.
By Stephanie Smittle

Dr. Love

Dr. Chelsea Wakefield at the UAMS Couples Center helps couples bring back that lovin' feelin', or never lose it in the first place.
By David Koon






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