The Polyamory Library: a Selection of Polyamory Books

A polyamory library at home and in health and wellness institutions, schools, and other community settings is an essential space for education, reference, and reflection.

You probably have some polyamory books and may be curious about building your polyamory library. Even in the age of electronic and social media, including polyamory podcasts and non-monogamy blogs and related resources, a polyamory library is handy for intimate browsing and sharing your interests out loud to those in your life.

Read: 10 Swinger Blogs, Websites, and Forums

9 Books about Polyamory to Add to Library

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

The Ethical Slut is that “watershed” moment in publishing history, the seminal book that brought polyamory from the margins to the mainstream. This book is widely referred to as the “Polyamory Bible.”

The provocative title was an act of reclamation, taking back the shame and criticism hurled at women who enjoyed sex and sexual variety. The subtitle was “a Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities.”

This book sought to redefine the pejorative “slut” and celebrate women and people of all genders who enjoyed multiple sexual and romantic relationships. It offered an alternative to traditional monogamous relationships as the ethical standard and celebrated healthy, ethical non-monogamy as a viable option that was not “cheating.”

Read: 6 Alternatives to Monogamy that Don’t Involve Cheating 

The contemporary third edition is subtitled “A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love.” It includes relationship information, inclusive polyamory, gay and lesbian polyamory, and a variety of non-monogamous relationship styes.

2. Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma, and Consensual Nonmonogamy by Jessica Fern

Most relationship advice from therapy rooms to the bookshelf focus on building healthy, stable, and monogamous relationships. This one is different. It’s a polyamory book on healthy relationships from a polyamorous psychotherapist.

The focus of this polyamory book is on cultivating multiple healthy attachments and creating the kinds of secure non-monogamous relationships that work for you.

The book talks about attachment theory and how it can be applied to polyamory. Understanding how our emotional experiences, traumas, and past history influence our everyday decision and our relationships is the key to changing and building love, sex, and relationship models that are healthy and secure.

Fern offers several strategies that help those in polyamorous relationships live their best lives.

Read: 3 Must-Haves for Healthy Polyamory Relationships

3. The Anxious Person’s Guide to Non-Monogamy: Your Guide to Open Relationships, Polyamory, and Letting Go by Lola Phoenix

This polyamory book is a treasure in any polyamory library, but especially valuable for the shy, introverted, anxious or people with social anxiety. It is written with upholding mental health and stability while navigating polyamory and exploring all the benefits of non-monogamous relationships.

It’s a practical guide to juggling relationships and all the fears that go with that, dealing with jealousy, dealing with judgement, maintaining independence, scheduling your time, and negotiating healthy boundaries.

Read: 4 Boundaries to Discuss with a New Poly Partner

4. The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know About Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love by Dedeker Winston

Dedeker Winston offers a “practical guidebook that will help women break out of the mold of traditional monogamy, without the constraints of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, and competition.”

This polyamory book takes real-world tips from women in a variety of non-monogamous relationships so that we can learn from actual experiences. It’s full of exercises and strategies for improving communication, building self-confidence, and crafting unique intimate relationships on your own terms.

Read: Polyamory Stories: Breaking the Rules

5. Mono in a Poly World: What to Do When Your Partner is Polyamorous and You Aren’t by Tazmyn Ozga

This is a very short polyamory book, but it tackles a seldom addressed subject of being in a mixed relationship with a polyamorous person when you are monogamous.

It offers reflections and ideas that can help us understand monogamous and polyamorous people and how they differ in their approach. It affirms the possibility of being yourself, whether that is monogamous or polyamorous, in your relationships, even with a seemingly impossible mix.

Read: One-Sided Open Relationships: Can it Work?

6. The Polyamory Breakup Book: Causes, Prevention, and Survival by Kathy Labriola

Finally, a polyamory book about breaking up. Ending romantic relationships is an experience most people go through, and it can be heartbreaking, chaotic, depressing, liberating, affirming, or neutral, depending on how things go down. Whether we are non-monogamous or monogamous, sometimes we have to break up.

Maybe this is the book no one wants in their polyamory library. One of the benefits of polyamory is that you don’t have to break up because one or more lovers feels sexual or romantic attraction to another person. This is a very common reason monogamous people “have” to break off their relationships, and we celebrate that this does not usually apply to us.

Read: Dos and Don’ts for Surviving a Poly Breakup

But of course, not every relationship we have in polyamory works out. Infidelity is not the only reason relationships fail. Sometimes, people aren’t right for each other, and being polyamorous doesn’t automatically ensure someone is nontoxic, stable, or honest.

Help for polyamorous breakups is hard to find because most breakup advice is designed for traditional couples. This polyamory book offers a wealth of insight into the unique issues that drive non-monogamous relationships, as well as advice to help handle the fallout of breaking up inside the polyamorous community or a polycule.

Read: 7 Lessons to Learn from Polyamory Breakups

7. Polyamory: a Clinical Toolkit for Therapists (and Their Clients) by Martha Kauppi

This is a really important polyamory book because it is geared towards therapists and clinicians so that they can help polyamorous clients without perpetuating negative biases driven by culture or personal preferences. It is about the imperative that ethical counsellors be poly informed.

Kauppi covers the most current research on polyamory, LGBTQ issues, as well as information about kink and fetish communities and a variety of erotic orientations.

Anyone in health and wellness professions will benefit from adding this one to their polyamory library.

Read: 6 Myths About BDSM and Kink

8. An African-American Guide to Ethical Non-Monogamy: the How, Why and With Whom to Explore Your Expanding Love Styles by Taylor K. Sparks

Taylor K. Sparks is a business woman, coach, educator, corporate trainer, and happy partner in a non-monogamous marriage that was formerly monogamous (for the first half of 25 years.)

Her polyamory book specifically addresses non-monogamy for Black people. Rejecting cultural indoctrination about relationships and monogamy, she offers insight for Black folks to move into their authentic selves and relationships.

“An African-American Guide To Ethical Non-Monogamy will fill in the gaps of your open mind by answering the many questions on the diverse ways to love and be loved. Discover the differences and benefits of: Open, Swinging, Polygyny, Polyandry, Polyamory and resolve which love style(s) is best for you.”

Read: Swinger Lifestyle 101: All About Swingers

9. Swingers’ Little Helper: Uncover the Curious Swinging Lifestyle of Consensual Non-Monogamy by Dr. Georgia Fuchs and Will Fuchs

Georgia Fuchs is a sex educator and therapist, and she and her husband are swingers. This book for your polyamory library is about the swinging lifestyle, about and for couples who are interested in connecting with other couples for sexual adventures.

The book is light and friendly in tone. It shows “how this exciting & discreet community of swinging couples & singles is nothing like the Hollywood myths. This swinging guide explains how to safeguard relationships, discreetly find swingers, set boundaries, while still adding in the excitement of consensual non-monogamy to your life.”

Just a few of the topics covered in this polyamory book are compersion, types of swingers, why swinging won’t fix cheating, dealing with feelings and emotions, swinging etiquette, senior swingers, reconciling your religion to your non-monogamous swinging life, and safeguarding privacy.

Read: Swinger Stories: 8 Readers Share Their First Time Story

What books about polyamory and non-monogamy do you recommend?

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