Where to look for information, guidance, and connection
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
My journey into polyamory began with a friend and a book. In the days after my divorce, a delightful new friend lent me ?The Ethical Slut,? and I began to discover the language around feelings deep within me. I was lucky. This friend and then my boyfriend led me to a local sex-positive center that hosted a monthly Polyamory Discussion Group. Within a month, I began building myself a community.
For many people, it?s not that easy. Having someone literally hand you one of the best books around on polyamory is pretty lucky! But what if you don?t know polyamorous people? Here are the best resources I?ve come across for understanding and exploring polyamory.
Websites & Podcasts
The Polyamory Weekly website includes short blog posts relating to the episodes covered in the Polyamory Weekly podcast, resources, FAQs, and links to class information.
The world of podcasts can be overwhelming, but it?s also a blessing for niche topics and their accessibility in the world at large. Poly Weekly is a podcast produced by Cunning Minx, a poly and kinky sex-positive educator. She and her co-host, Lusty Guy, have decades of real-life poly experience to draw on. Now in its 14th year, it?s a long running and established resource, with over 500 episodes in production.
Poly Weekly explores polyamory directly and in tandem with other major life issues including communication, gender, race, sex, dating, family, and time management. The show is produced in Washington state, but with a global perspective.
Photo via Amazon
Kimchi Cuddles is a fantastic web comic drawn by Tikva Wolf. It focuses on relationship dynamics, including polyamory, healthy communication, and deep exploration of ourselves and the people we love. Drawing from real-life experiences, Wolf spreads awareness about poly, queer, and genderqueer issues in a way that?s highly accessible and shareable.
Tikva?s work is used as an aid by educators and therapists, and is a great resource, especially for people who are more visual learners. Some of her work is also available in book form on Amazon.
More Than Two*
More Than Two is one of the most comprehensive and well-used guides out there to polyamory. It?s hard to beat the level of information and richness of the anecdotes used. Here you?ll find extensive information on the basic terminology used in polyamorous communities, misconceptions about polyamory, guides on recognizing and dealing with jealousy, and more.
Loving Without Boundaries
Loving Without Boundaries is a website run by Kitty Chambliss, a relationship coach, author, speaker, and activist. She has been running the website for almost 7 years, and founded it as an outlet and toolkit for the things she learned on her own polyamorous journey.
The website now includes the Loving Without Boundaries podcast, a blog, free tools and courses, guides to terminology and jealousy, and more.
Poly Info is a short list of some of the best online resources for finding information about polyamory. It?s meant to act as a ?front door? for people who are new to polyamory and looking for a starting point, or freshly involved with someone polyamorous. The website includes links to other websites, e-lists, places and methods for meeting other poly folks, books, groups, and information on counseling and safe sex.
The Polyamory Society is a nonprofit organization which promotes and supports the interest of individuals of multipartner relationships and families. Their website is a general outline of the types of resources they?d like to see created for poly people, and they aim to provide information to their members.
On the Polyamory Society website, you?ll find links to resources, podcasts, and many poly conferences, classes, and news items.
A publication focusing on personal experiences with exploring polyamory and ethical non-monogamy in modern times. Polyamory and ethical non-monogamy have been getting more and more press coverage in recent years. With a younger generation who are more gender-fluid, open to different types of relationships, and more accepting than ever, polyamory is becoming more well-known and accepted than ever in the past.
Relationships exist on a spectrum, from monogamy to anarchy to polyamory, and Polyamory Today?s goal is to explore what it means to be polyamorous in today?s world, provide resources for polyamorous people and those interested in the potential this type of relationship can provide, and foster discussion about relationship success.
Polyamory in the News
Polyamory in the News is a website devoted to amalgamating media and news outlet coverage of stories having to do with polyamory. You?ll find highlights, summaries, and links to articles about poly parenting, polyamory in pop culture, poly legal issues and more.
Loving More is a 501c3 nonprofit supporting polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, and new models for relationships. Loving More Magazine came into existence 25 years ago after getting its start as the Polyamory Education Primer. It is the oldest magazine in the world dedicated exclusively to responsible multi-partner relationships.
10 years ago, Loving More switched to an entirely online format. The website offers information including terminology, FAQ, links, professional listings, information on groups and organization, events and education, and news items.
Social Media & Events
In looking for local events or ways to connect with your local community, a good old Google search for polyamory + your city is a great place to start. Here are a few other places to look if you?re ready to meet other polyamorous people nearby.
Facebook groups can be a great way to explore polyamory, connect with other polyamorous people, and ask questions of experienced polyamorous and ethically non-monogamous folks. Try searching for ?poly? and your region, for example, I live in Washington so I searched for Pacific Northwest and polyamory or PNW poly. You can also find general nationwide or global groups for discussing polyamory and connecting.
Be aware that many groups are closed, which means that people will not be able to see what you post there, but depending on your privacy settings, they may be able to see that you belong in the group.
Fetlife is a Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community. It?s a bit ike Facebook, but run by kinksters. Even if you don?t consider yourself kinky, Fetlife can be a great place to find local events and organizations that might have ties to the polyamorous community. There tends to be a good deal of overlap between the poly and kink communities, so Fetlife groups and discussion forums can serve as a great jumping off point for connecting with local poly people.
Every time I talk to someone who?s looking to connect to other people with similar interests, whether it?s polyamory, a specific hobby, or a professional group, I recommend Meetup.com. This website allows you to search by city and topic to find events tailored to exactly what you?re looking for.
Even if you?re not looking to date right away, many polyamorous people who have profiles on apps like OK Cupid, Tinder, Poly Matchmaker, and more who are absolutely willing to talk to a newbie and point them in the right direction.
Here are some of my favorites (descriptions are from their Amazon pages.) You can see more reading suggestions on this amazon list.
The Ethical Slut
A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love By Janet Hardy & Dossie Easton
For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of ?more than two?: couples who don?t live together, couples who don?t have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.
More Than Two*
A Practical Guide to Ethical PolyamoryBy Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert
This wide-ranging resource explores the often-complex world of living polyamorously: the nuances (no, this isn?t swinging), the relationship options (do you suit a V, an N, an open network?), the myths (don?t count on wild orgies and endless sex but don?t rule them out either!) and the expectations (communication, transparency and trust are paramount). More Than Two is entirely without judgment and peppered with a good dose of humor. In it the authors share not only their hard-won philosophies about polyamory, but also their hurts and embarrassments. Living poly is not always an easy road, and they hope that by reading this book, you?ll avoid some of the mistakes they?ve made along the way.
The Polyamorists Next Door
Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families By Dr. Elisabeth Sheff
The Polyamorists Next Door introduces polyamorous families, in which people are free to pursue emotional, romantic, and sexual relationships with multiple people at the same time, openly and with support from their partners, sometimes forming multi-partner relationships, or other arrangements that allow for emotional and sexual freedom within the family system. In colorful and moving details, this book explores how polyamorous relationships come to be, grow and change, manage the ins and outs of daily family life, and cope with the challenges they face both within their families and from society at large. Using polyamorists? own words, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff examines polyamorous households and reveals their advantages, disadvantages, and the daily lives of those living in them.
A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open RelationshipsBy Tristan Taormino
Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships ? from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.
This list is not comprehensive, but exploring polyamory is like climbing a tree, the trunk leads to smaller and smaller branches bearing fruit ripe for picking. The resources I?ve compiled over the past five years have often been the result of getting to know other polyamorous and non-monogamous people, so don?t be afraid to reach out. Enjoy your journey, and please comment with any resources you?ve found particularly useful!
- In the past year there have been multiple accounts against Franklin Veaux, the site owner and co-author of the ?More Than Two? book. You can find more information about that here, and I believe it?s important to recognize that abuse and mistreatment still occurs in polyamorous relationships. I?ve chosen to still include More Than Two as a resource here because I believe that it contains so much helpful and valuable information. I encourage everyone to check out the polyamory?s #metoo website and be aware of the types of behavior that should not be tolerated in ANY relationship.
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