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Fri, Apr. 18th, 2008, 10:57 pm
missypumpkin: New book on polyamory

Posted with the author's consent, I announce to you The Polyamory Handbook; A User's Guide by Peter J. Benson. It's worth checking out.

Website: http://www.polyamoryhandbook.com/

The Polyamory Handbook starts with describing what polyamory is, and is not; but nearly all of this book comprises a comprehensive guidebook about how to live this sometimes challenging but immensely satisfying and growthful lifestyle and lovestyle, smoothly, happily, successfully; and how to navigate any bumps in the road that you and your partners may encounter.
The book also makes clear that polyamory is not for everyone; it does not try to “sell” polyamory to anyone.
Polyamory is the practice of being open to two or more emotionally and sexually intimate relationships simultaneously—openly and honestly keeping your spouse or partner(s) (if you are in a relationship) informed, and getting the consent of all concerned. Beyond those basics, there are many variations: a couple open to dating others, together or separately; a single with multiple dating relationships; three or more who live together in a committed, marriage-like relationship; networks or clans; mixed poly-mono couples. Further details are as infinite as individual preferences, within the bounds of the twin pillars of openness and honesty.
The “open and honest” part distinguishes polyamory from the mainstream practice of “affairs”, done with lying and secrecy, which is very destructive of the home relationship, since the lying and secrecy destroy the mutual trust and respect that are essential to any loving commitment.
The “emotional” part distinguishes polyamory from swinging and one-night stands, which emphasize sex with multiple partners primarily for the enjoyment of sex, often with little or no emotional involvement with one’s bed partner of the moment. Polyamory does not criticize casual sex for those who enjoy it; polyamory is simply not the same thing. Some people enjoy both.
Polyamory is about multiple relationships, not multiple legal spouses (polygamy). Polyamory is also gender-equal: Women as much as men can and do have multiple polyamorous relationships. Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals as well as heterosexuals can be polyamorous.
Maybe you’ve had caring feelings for someone 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, without the lying and secrecy and guilt and shattered trust of “affairs” or “cheating”.  Maybe you’re part of a couple that's supposedly sexually exclusive, but you or your spouse or partner have had a secret “affair”, and now you’re trying to find the best way to repair the damage to your relationship.
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, either dating or bringing them into your home as a triad, quad, etc., but you are unsure how to go about it.  Maybe you are already a family of three, four, or more adults, but the complex interpersonal dynamics sometimes threaten to overwhelm you.
In The Polyamory Handbook you’ll find comprehensive guidance about—
   •   what polyamory is and is not, and the many varieties;
   •   how the interpersonal dynamics among multiple partners differs from couples;
   •   communications, conflict resolution, and emotional growth;
   •   ethical considerations;
   •   sexual hygiene;
   •   dealings with the outside world;
   •   children;
   •   jealousy and other stumbling blocks;
   •   the mixed poly-mono relationship;
   •   wills, discrimination, and other legal considerations; and much more.
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.
If you are a relationship counselor, psychotherapist, clergy, or spiritual healer, this work will help you understand the polyamory-related issues that your clients or parishioners will be increasingly bringing to you.

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