TOPANGA (CBS) — “Three’s Company” is not just a TV show; it is the way some people are living. They are having multiple, intimate relationships at the same time and everyone involved knows about each other. It’s called polyamory.

We spoke with a polyamorous family — one woman and two men — living under the same roof and raising a child.

“I get to live my life in a way that is extraordinary. I get to be who I want to be and experience what I want to experience,” Jaiya Ma said.

Ma, 34, has been in a relationship for a decade with Jon Hanauer, a 49-year-old heterosexual.

“Oh yeah, It’s kind of mind boggling,” Hanauer said about his love for Ma.

Then there is Ma’s more recent boyfriend, 44-year-old Ian Ferguson, who is also heterosexual.

Here is the twist, they all live together in a house in Topanga, raising 2-year-old Eamon — Ma and Ferguson’s son.

This polyamorous triad started when Ma took on a lover at Hanauer’s request.

“We had gone through a really rough situation – really rough. And my kind of way of dealing with things is to retreat and just to kind of heal,” Hanauer said.

That is where she met Ferguson at a dance class, fell in love, and — with Hanauer’s blessing — became pregnant.

“I just remember Ian being right in front of me, I mean this man was present with me for all of but one hour of my 20-hour labor, where he was just gazing in my eyes. Jon was behind me giving me a massage and brushing my hair. I’m pampered, Ma said.

Whether single or married, gay or straight, more people are living in polyamorous lifestyles. By estimates some 500,000 Americans are polyamorous.

“For us it’s not about dating a bunch of people or having sex with a bunch of people. This is a very deep relationship. I think we have the potentiality to love more than one person,” Ma said.

When it comes to providing for the unit, Ferguson’s furniture design business pays the bills. Hanauer takes care of Eamon and chores at home, which allows Ma, a renowned sexologist, to focus on her career.

“I love it. I feel like I have it all. I feel like I have a partner who is in service, who does a lot of things around the house, who helps take care of my son. And a partner who does a lot of work and brings home the bacon,” Ma said.

But who does she sleep with at night?

“We actually all have separate spaces in the house. I think there are times when I have moods for different one of them, because they fulfill different needs in me,” she said. “So for Jon it may be when I’m feeling more emotional. Ian’s when, you know, you just want something good,” she added.

“We get along. Yes,” Hanauer said regarding his relationship with Ferguson. “I do get jealous, but I understand, I put it in perspective.”

“In terms of my relationship, my dynamic with Jaiya and Jon, there isn’t any sense of jealousy. There’s just a sense of comfort,” Ferguson said.

That comfort, they said, is important when it comes to raising Eamon.

Hanauer does not consider him to be his son.

“No. I don’t go there. I don’t think that’s fair to him. He calls me his Jon, his protector, his caretaker. I’m perfect with that,” he said.

Perfect is how this family sees life right now. As in any normal household, there is always a struggle to find balance. But for this polyamorous family, they said the key is in living with an open heart.

“I think some of the benefits of polyamory [relationships], that think anyone in monogamous relationship can use learn from and use, is great communication. It is a deeper and more profound experience, for certain,” Ma said.

There is a study being conducted at Georgia State University on the effect polyamorous relationships have on children.

Comments (62)
  1. Chris w. says:

    That’s not called Poly-whatever thats called Bigamy and it’s ilegal!

    1. Jaiya says:

      Polyamory does not involve marriage to more than one person. Polyamory is not illegal. None of us are married to each other. The word Polyamory actually means “Many Loves”.

      1. Casey Jones says:

        I would run a train on you. CHOO CHOO!

      2. Natja says:

        Excellent interview Jaiya. Good Luck to you all.

    2. juztees says:

      Your so right, Chris. This well known individual here in Los Angeles was married to two women just over last year here in Los Angeles. A very well known activist and civil rights leader..hmmm…no one knew he was still married to his first wife of over 30 yrs., while pending that divorce, his 2nd marrage was annuled. and so began the lies,and now he has another woman living with him. , while he still remains married to wife # 1. crazy. He is the slicker with the hat and coat. Mr. Slick apa

  2. duh says:

    Wrong. Marriage is a LEGAL state. Bigamy is entering a legal state of marriage while already legally married to another. Having ANY type of relationship, be it friendship, emotional, or sexual, with another while legally married is NOT A CRIME currently. Good luck on ever seeing that happen… a polyamorous relationship states that that extra relationship is not kept secret from the marital spouse, and that they approve of it. There is no legal marriage to a second mate, and in many polyamorous relationships, there isn’t a marriage between any of them. This is an alternative lifestyle, and as we are all very keenly aware of, ignorance on the subject matter will lead people to hate, and then to witch hunts. Grow up. Let people who are NOT hurting you live their own lives, to their own successes or failures.

    1. alice says:

      dear duh, i totaly agree with your response and wish them all the greatest of love and blessings

    2. juztees says:

      Not in God’s eyes….its fraud & especially where none of his children were paid childsupport. It’s a crime.

    3. juztees says:

      wrong…that mans behavior did hurt many women, & children. Not in this story but such behavior can lead to sucide and and tragic outcome and it’s not healthy for the children to be exposed to such lifestyle’s.

  3. robert sanders says:

    sick people. ““I get to live my life in a way that is extraordinary. I get to be who I want to be and experience what I want to experience,” Jaiya Ma said.

    How about living a life for the glory of our father in Heaven? Sad sad moral decline in this country.

    1. Jaiya says:

      Robert, I would love for you to help me understand why we are “sick”? What about being fully self expressed and loving others is triggering for you? Help me understand more of your views…

      1. Casey Jones says:

        I would love to push your caboose. CHOO CHOO!

    2. Alpha Kenny Juan says:

      Robert Sanders, why don’t you focus your anger on some of your hypocritical Christian leaders? Not everyone believes in your god, nor should they. We have freedom of religion in this country, and just as importantly, freedom from religion.,

      1. bee says:

        I agree with you Alpha Kenny Juan . I feel Christian rules are only for Christian faith followers. Everyone else should live life as they choose. More power to you Jaiya Ma. You look happy and relaxed and that is the point of living. Everyone else who finds it troubling is just hating on you.

    3. Lucius Scribbens says:

      There is this little “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing we have here in the U.S. That means the right to purse my happiness, not yours. If a plural relationship lifestyle is not for you, great. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t right for someone else. The way to happiness has many roads, and just because someone isn’t on yours doesn’t mean they are lost.

      As far as “living a life for the glory of our father in heaven”, two-thirds of the world’s population isn’t Christian and therefore do not have to live by your beliefs.

    4. English please says:

      robert sanders- “sick people. ” “How about living a life for the glory of our father in Heaven?” How about learning where the “shift” key is and using it? Without capitalization you are saying that people should be “living a life” for “our” (you and your siblings?) dad who lives in “Heaven” (which is a town I assume, due to the capitalization).

    5. Robert Sanders, you are aware that polygamy was present and accepted in the bible, right?

  4. Shannon says:

    It’s wonderful to see people being true to themselves and sharing love with one another. As the article said, every family has to find its balance, but it’s easier to do that with openness and honesty than trying to fit into a mold that might not fit. For some people, exclusive partnership is a part of the mold that just doesn’t work.

  5. Willian B. says:

    The “estimation” of up to 500,000 people doing this is WAY too high. There are VERY few people who do this in USA.
    My estimation would be 5,000. at most.

    1. Jaiya says:

      Willian B… actually the estimation of 500,000 is on the low side, as many people are not “out” about the fact that they have multiple lovers.

      1. Casey Jones says:

        I would munch on your boxcar. CHOO CHOO!

    2. Natja says:

      William, there are some Poly social groups with more than 5000 members. Why on earth do you feel you are in any position to give an accurate estimation of Poly numbers? Bit silly isn’t it? America has a huge Poly scene and that estimate doesn’t include those who keep quiet about it, which is possibly an even greater number….watch out Bill, they may be your neighbours!!

    3. El Rantor says:

      You’d be surprised. In the state I live in (a very red state by the way) there are over 5,000 people active in the swinger community alone. By “active” I mean those that have profiles on swinger dating sites and have logged-on to them in the past two weeks. Then we have the polyamorists, couples who have monogamish agreements such as “If you are out of town” or “You can, I just don’t want the details”, people who have the occasional threesome, cuckolds, etc. There are many forms of open relationships and marriages. It’s estimated that up to 1 in 5 couples have some sort of non-monogamous agreement. So it’s much more common than you might think. Makes you look at your coworkers a bit different now, doesn’t it?

  6. Mike D says:

    3-Way marriages, coming soon to a city near you.

  7. Jaiya says:

    ES, I am wondering why you equate a woman being who she wants to be with being a “Wh ore”- The meaning of the word actually being “a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money”. And I would also ask, what is wrong with sex with people we love? It’s time that we stop demonizing female sexuality.

    1. Casey Jones says:

      I would assist in filling your hobo h0le. CHOO CHOO!

  8. Jaiya says:

    How does more love, with honesty and open-heartedness, make the world worse? Help me understand.

    1. foz says:

      Jaiya, you are loosing the battle of public opinion at least in this blog as not everyone sympathizes with your sickness and lack of moral character. Perhaps, you should take a trip to the free clinic for an STD and AIDS test and hope for the best.

      1. Bee says:

        Hater !!

    2. Casey Jones says:

      I would lay rail on your tracks. CHOO CHOO!

  9. Jackie says:

    That’s why we should keep our PERSONAL LIFE private. What kind of reaction did u expect from people Jaiya? If you like the way u live and think it’s a good way to raise your son, then go ahead, you don’t need anybodys approval. But don’t expect people to agree with you and find this normal. Tha’s just plain dumb.

  10. Shannon says:

    Jaiya, I’m proud of you and so very, very happy for you and your family. Responding to people who are unfortunately less open-minded here will be time-consuming, and the few who bother to reply to your responses will likely point to religious or socially constructed paradigms as their defense. I wish you all the strength you need to push on through those responses and try to help others at least question their assumptions and prejudices. When all is said and done, if this article and your responses get just one person stopping to reconsider the limits they’ve been told love has, I’ll consider it a huge success.

    1. Natja says:

      Lovely post Shannon, there are a lot of trolls on here, it is appalling

    2. Lucius Scribbens says:

      Well put, Shannon.

  11. Tom Nadeau says:

    Jaiya, Bravo for your bravery. I liked that article about you all in Details. We are living the same way but not str8. It’s a beautiful way to live. We are in a real treo though with connection at all 3 points. OF COURSE so many small people who don’t get it. I say let them live in their tiny fear-based worlds. I think VERY few people are living this way though, especially MFM. I chair Loving More on and we have almost 600 members but not even one mfm triad–mostly ffm triads or explorers. We’re nearby in Brentwood so maybe we should have dinner sometime the 6 of us and share stories…
    Best, Tom

  12. GROWAPAIR says:

    BFD, not the first time more than one guy hits an easy piece of ass, think “Jersey Shore,” and the dumbf**k $kanks that watch it.

  13. Michael J. McDermott says:

    Yeah, they look just like typical L.A. desparate loser suckers too.
    Yeah, wow, what a news story. Um, oh my gosh. Sharron Tay, wow a 4 year old child acts more mature than you. Duh, ha ha ha ha ha. I don’t know why you even have a contract with CBS. When you are on, I change the channel, IF, I happen to be watching TV news which, of course, I hardly ever do.

      1. Michael J. McDermott says:

        Gee, I’m stumped! The funny family with the funny name in who owns a certain parking arm company in Valencia?

    1. Lucius Scribbens says:

      Which is why you are commenting here, because you never watch TV and you don’t like Sharron Tay, right?

    2. Joe Schmoe says:

      Seems like you’re stalking those people in Valencia….
      What’s your trip?

  14. Bonnie says:

    I love how this piece showed the beauty of your love, acceptance, and communication so that you all make it work. Your little boy seems so very happy and he is a lucky boy to have two men who care so much for his mom around. 🙂

  15. Lucius Scribbens says:

    Many of the comments here demonstrate how small-minded trolls hide behind the Internet and user names to spew their bigotry, hate, and judgmental views of others in an effort to comfort themselves or give themselves a reason to feel worthy, for a truly competent and self-confident person neither feels above nor beneath another person. Only those with a deep-rooted need to feel better about themselves attempt to draw other people down to what they believe is beneath themselves so they can stand on them and pronounce to the world at large: “See! I’m okay! I’m better than these people!”

  16. juztees says:

    Alert, Alert, there’s this individual in the Los Angeles community that claims to fight for peoples right, for family unification, and claim he is God sent, He is very intelligent to some degree,with no ethics,. For he never divorced his first wife , of 30 yrs married,regardless if each went about their live’s, he married another woman , dated a few more, he loves to take turns in different women’s home’s so they can feed him and ride for free in their car’s, he piggy back ride’s on his lawyer friend’s, and he has never paid a penny,dime or dollar to childsupport, or registered his Org.with BBB, or the Court’s. He’s ex mistress is doing prison time for life, He is a charmer. He never visited her in prison all these 14 yrs. He is currently with another woman older than him for her suv and network contacts…he is a slicker, now is this healthy?
    And its sad that he is trying to expand his Org. Global claiming he fights for civil rights and family unity….This man is dangerous. He seeks vulnerable women with money and nice thing’s. He is the man with the hat and suit ….the mexican chicano in East Los Angeles & Monterey Park. Alert, Alert. He loves to marry women and date other’s secretly. It’s all a evil game to him. May God have mercy.

  17. Maryjuwanna says:

    Nice, they both get to hit that

  18. Kirsten says:

    It is so fascinating how virtually of the negative comments are directed toward the female in this triad and neither of the males. Wanting to control female sexuality much? Polyamory is a victimless (non)crime.

    1. Lucius Scribbens says:

      It’s curious that if it’s a single person dating more than one person they are just “playing the field” and it’s okay. But the moment the words “love” or “committed” are mentioned everybody freaks-out.

  19. JoeCamel says:

    So Ian can’t get it up anymore, but Ma needs him to keep paying the bills, so along comes Jon. How long until Ian gets tired of being played for a fool, and takes his money someplace else?

    1. JoeCamel says:

      Sorry, got the names of the guys switched, things get so complicated with three.

    2. Lucius Scribbens says:

      However, Jon has outside relationship(s) of his own, so “keeping it up” isn’t an issue for him. He’s also not being taken for a fool, and neither is Ian. And actually, if you read the article, Ian is paying the bills while Jon plays “stay at home dad” to Eamon. Sounds like a pretty good relationship to me; everyone is playing the roles they wish to play, with both Ian and Jaiya working and Jon taking care of the child.

  20. Stephanie Howard says:

    Where is the line? Do your lovers get to take on lovers? Can you add an additional lover? The problem with no rules…no right or wrong…anything is right and nothing is ever wrong….is that right?

    Animals have no law, either. The first few books of the Old Testament puts rules on sexual behavior to separate us from the animals.

    You do have the right to live as if there is no God. You will certainly not be the first, and I am certainly not surprised that 500,000 is the low end.

    Even from a scientific perspective, the basic choice is that the Universe has rules, or it doesn’t. Either there is chaos and injustice, and we all get to live how we want to without consequence, or there is order and justice, and consequence. The beauty of America is that we get to find out what the consequences are. How are you going to feel when Jon takes on a lover because you are too old for him? The reason it is shameful to take on lovers, is that for most people, it is a very hurtful experience. We do not hurt people we profess to love. Whatever your first husband’s issues are that he retreats and does not care that you take on a lover, means that there is something wrong with HIM, not that there is nothing wrong in taking on a lover. But you may find out why this is wrong when Jon decides he also sees nothing wrong with it.

  21. Matt says:

    Jaiya, more power to you for not being afraid to go with what works for you. Not many people realize that polyamorous relationships take a lot more work than monogamous ones and are often more rewarding. Pay no attention to all of these small minded, bigoted, ignorant, religious haters. They know nothing of the world but what they read in a fairytale.

  22. wonky jerk says:

    Lot’s of emotion and some hate. Bottom line is the kid. Statistically, having a mom and dad that respect each other , stay together through thick and thin is good for kids. Normal marriage provides barriers to breaking that commitment. When you learn what you friend means with ‘this is good for me now’ really means, let us all know.

    1. El Rantor says:

      The bottom line is the kid, and it would seem that three loving adults taking care of him is better than two loving adults, especially since someone is always home with him and he doesn’t have to go to daycare and be raised by someone else for 10 hours a day.

      With a divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, I fail to see how “normal” marriage provides barriers to people leaving the relationship. Having a piece of paper that says you are entitle to paying 10 percent less in income tax does nothing to make two people love each other any more or not cheat on each other or be nicer to each other. A marriage is just a ceremony in front of friends and family and a piece of paper. The two people in the relationship are still the same people and the paper does not make their bond any greater.

      So, in reality, all getting married is, is saying “this is good for me now”.

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