Here’s a list of favorite books on the topic of free love, polyamory, open relationships and ethical non-monogamy:
Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality*, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá (HarperCollins, June 2010).
In opposition to what the authors see as the ‘standard narrative’ of human sexual evolution, they contend having multiple sexual partners was common and accepted in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Mobile self-contained groups of hunter gatherers are posited as the human norm before agriculture led to high population density. According to the authors, before agriculture, sex was relatively promiscuous, and paternity was not a concern, in a similar way to the mating system of Bonobos. According to the book, sexual interactions strengthened the bond of trust in the groups; far from causing jealousy, social equilibrium and reciprocal obligation was strengthened by playful sexual interactions.
The Ethical Slut, Second Edition; A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures, by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy (Ten Speed Press, March 2009).
For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. Experienced ethical sluts Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dispel myths and cover all the skills necessary to maintain a successful and responsible polyamorous lifestyle–from self-reflection and honest communication to practicing safe sex and raising a family. Individuals and their partners will learn how to discuss and honor boundaries, resolve conflicts, and to define relationships on their own terms.
Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, by Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, May 2008).
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.
The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide, by Peter J. Benson (Author House, March 2008).
You’ve probably heard of polyamory-expanded loving relationships, done openly and honestly. Maybe you’ve had caring feelings for someone else even though you love your spouse or partner as deeply as always. Maybe you’re single; you want a committed relationship with someone; but you don’t want to give up the freedom to date others with integrity. Maybe you and your spouse or partner already live a polyamorous lifestyle-but sometimes you aren’t sure how to proceed. Maybe the two of you would like to bring a third partner, or more, into your hearts and home as a triad, quad, etc., but you aren’t sure how to go about it. Maybe you are already a family of three, four, or more, but the complex interpersonal dynamics threaten to overwhelm you.
Whether you are well experienced with polyamory, or new at it, or curious about it, you’ll find answers here, all conveniently arranged in numbered sections for easy reference. The author has had many decades of experience living various forms of polyamory, including in a multi-adult household, in a polyamorous couple, and as a secondary. He is co-founder of three local polyamory groups and has led workshops at various polyamory conferences.
More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert (Thorntree Press, Sept. 2, 2014).
Can you love more than one person? Have multiple romantic partners, without jealousy or cheating? Absolutely! Polyamorous people have been paving the way, through trial and painful error. Now the new book More Than Two can help you find your own way. With completely new material and a fresh approach, Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert wrote More Than Two to expand on and update the themes and ideas in the wildly popular polyamory website morethantwo.com.
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