9 Best Books About Polyamory Update 05/2022

Books About Polyamory

Journal of Sex Research found that non-monogamous-themed search terms rose dramatically over a decade. There’s a good chance that, no matter what your sexual preferences or identification are, you have Googled terms like “open relationship,” “polyamory,” “monogamous,” or “non-monogamous,” no matter what. When people are curious about a subject, it’s often the case that they learn more than they thought they did, which leads to a wider acceptance of the subject.

But, what this data doesn’t provide, though, is answers to specific, practical-leaning questions like, “how can I do non-monogamy, exactly?” If you want to learn more about how to make your relationship more polyamorous, there are a lot of great resources out there that can help. Eight books about polyamory and open relationships are below. They’re likely to answer the questions you have, as well as questions you didn’t even think to ask at the time.

Scroll down for 9 books about polyamory to add to your reading list

A Happy Life In An Open Relationship, by Susan Wenzel

A Happy Life In An Open Relationship, by Susan Wenzel

If you’ve always thought of yourself as monogamous, but your partner has proposed the idea of opening your relationship, this book is for you. Susan Wenzel, a sex and relationship therapist, helps people open up their relationships through personal and clinical experience. Her husband came up with the idea of opening up after a year of marriage.

There are worksheets in the book that help you understand difficult emotions and sensations, like jealousy and a fear of being alone, that can make it hard to have healthy, happy, consensual non-monogamous relationships. There is also no shortage of personal stories or advice on how to keep your relationship with your main partner happy (if you have one).

The Ethical Slut, by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton

Everyone should read this book about polyamory. The Ethical Slut also challenges the idea that “slut” is bad, and it gives advice on how to build a culture of consent. These are two issues that everyone should know about.

There are many people who want to change their monogamous relationship into one that is more open, and this book is a good choice for them. “It talks about the feelings that might come up when you break up with someone you’ve been with for a long time,” says sex educator Sarah Sloane. “And it gives you ideas on how to deal with the new energy in your relationship,” says the text.

Building Open Relationships, by Liz Powell, PsyD

One of the most interactive books about polyamory, swinging, and beyond, LGBTQ+ therapist Liz Powell, PsyD, offers communication prompts, exercises, and worksheets on topics such as jealousy, romantic and sexual desire, slut shaming, navigating social media while non-monogamous, long-distant non-monogamous relationships, and more. A lot of people say that it is very complete. Sloane agrees.

You should buy the e-book version so you can type your answers into the worksheets or save them as fillable PDFs.

The Polyamory Breakup Book, by Kathy Labriola

The Polyamory Breakup Book, by Kathy Labriola

If you’re not careful, some partners in polyamorous relationships can sneakily leave, only to come back and then leave again. Kathy Labriola, a counselor and nurse, gives advice on how to deal with breakups in these relationships. It’s important to note that the bulk of this book is made up of stories, so it might not be the best choice for people who like to use scientific research.

Love’s Not Colorblind, by Kevin Patterson

Polyamory isn’t just for white people, despite what the media and even your city’s polyamorous group might tell you. Patterson divides Love’s Not Colorblind into two parts: “For White People” and “For People of Color.” He wants to give people a way to understand, identify, and fight racism in polyamorous communities. Sloane says that all white polyamorous people should read.

Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

When Christian Ryan asks big questions, like, “What is our true and innate sexual nature?” He then answers the big questions. Evolutionary research and biology are used to disprove the idea that monogamy is a natural part of the world. In fact, he says that humans aren’t monogamous by nature.

Opening Up: A Guide To Creating & Sustaining Open Relationships, by Tristan Taormino

Opening Up A Guide To Creating & Sustaining Open Relationships, by Tristan Taormino

Sex people teach. Tristan Taormino wrote a guide about non-monogamy that starts with a history of non-monogamy, then talks about the possible benefits of non-monogamy, and talks about different types of non-monogamy (including: solo polyamory, swinging, and polyfidelity). Then, she talks about things like, “How do I move past jealousy of my partner’s other partners?” “How do I talk to my kiddos about this?” “How in the world am I going to make time for another lover?”

I like that Taormino’s book talks about how to do sexual non-monogamy ethically, rather than how to do emotional non-monogamy ethically, says Sloane, who is a fan of the book.

Rewriting The Rules, by Meg-John Barker

If you don’t like the self-help section of the book store, this book by Meg-John Barker is for you. Asked over and over what you want and helped you work through the answer. Barker comes up with new ways to think about commitment in a relationship, breakups, gender/sex and more by doing this over and over again.

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel (2006)

As soon as someone says they’re interested in open relationships, I ask them: “How well have you communicated and been transparent in your past relationships? How did you do?” what do you want to do with more than one person? Most of the time, the answers aren’t very good, so I usually give this book to people I know.

Esther talks about what happens when we give up eroticism for intimacy, the unpredictable for the predictable, and as our intimate relationships grow with time, she tells us what happens to us. We often give up on what we want, only to have it replaced by friendship. When I read the book Mating in Captivity, I learned what I did wrong in most of my previous relationships, which led me to realize that monogamous relationships didn’t work for me. It was a big deal. Period.

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