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Polyamory and Nonmonogamy Resources for Beginners and Newcomers

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A brief run-down of poly resources and other things I don’t want to forget about. The fact that I was asked about such resources twice recently makes this quite blogworthy, too. I should probably put this in a wiki, but since I haven’t got one running at the moment, this will have to do.

I’ll probably add stuff every so often as I find it and deem it helpful. Be aware that some of these resources are decidely local to New York City, since that’s where I am. If you live elsewhere, however, there are certain to be polyamory groups near you. (I know of quite a few around America and even in Europe, so feel free to ask me for the links if you’re interested.)

Sorted in order of (my) perceived quality and introductory importance so that a newcomer can simply run down the list, the polyamory resources are:

Online Poly Resources and Sites on the Web

Polyamory? What, like, two girlfriends?

The must-read intro about what is (and is not) polyamory. This is the single most immediately beneficial document I have ever read on the subject.

Additionally, xeromag.com has a whole bunch of other extremely well-written and informative guides to polyamory. They are each very helpful. I guarantee you these documents will help create an important foundation for talking about and dealing with polyamory and the concept of “open” (or perhaps “not-quite-normal”) relationship(s).

Some of the other articles at xeromag are:

  • Never Do This: Poly Mistakes: How to screw up a poly relationship even if you are compassionate and well-intentioned.

    This is the other must-read guide, written in negative form. It’s also got some great refridgerator-worthy items. It informs you (the easy way) about some of the pitfalls you might fall into when trying to build stable, happily non-monogamous relationships. (Reading this over recently made me sad…for obvious reasons.)

  • Dos and Don’ts for Poly Relationships: A guide for poly relationships outlining the fundamental dos and don’ts that every poly relationship needs.

    When I get a printer, I intend to put some of these on my refridgerator because they’re useful for every-day relationships as well.

  • Poly Myths: Debunking the myths about polyamory.

    This is a good place to point people when they start talking about why polyamory can’t ever work, and how the whole thing is just thinly-veiled promiscuity or sexual greediness. Believe me, you talk about this stuff enough and someone’s going to tell you these things. Of course, whether or not they read (and hear) it is up to them.

  • Poly Relationships for Monogamous People: What it might mean if your partner just told you that they’re polyamorous.

    Obviously, this is a good article to point your spouse or partner to if you’re coming out as polyamorous. It’s written in that same question-and-answer format as all the other articles and has some very good advice for what could come next.

  • What Your Partner Wants You to Know: …but might not be able to articulate.

    This article is not a substitute for your own words, but it does do a good job of helping you formulate your thoughts and provides a good vocabulary from which to draw.

alt.polyamory home page

The original polyamory resource, which grew out of the old alt.polyamory usenet newsgroup. The most immediately beneficial portion of this site is right at the top of the home page where the FAQs are listed. These are long-standing documents which are frequently pointed to. They’re also very beneficial for newcomers and serve as helpful reminders for folks in polyamorous relationships. These are important to know.

Loving More FAQ And Terms

Polyamory has many names, because many people have moved towards the idea on their own and in their own way. There is no “one true way” to love. This is a online magazine published by one such group of people who term the concept “Loving More” (or LM). Their FAQs are helpful, too.

Polyamorous-NYC

There is only one best way to learn about anything, and that is by doing. When you’re ready to interact with others who are polyamorous, this is a great place to go to meet people and learn more. Note that it is not a sex club, but rather an educational organization intended to nurture a prosperous polyamorous community in New York City.

How to Educate Your Therapist About Polyamory

Published at the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality in Volume 5 on April 16, 2002, this document is an outline of a talk given to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and includes some important notes for physchologists and therapists as well as their clients.

Tristate Poly

This is an online organization similar to Poly-NYC (above), though there is no “membership” per-se. I’ve found that this means that not everyone here will be truly polyamorous; I’ve met swingers there as well, and swinging has very little to do with polyamoroury. (Swingers can be polyamorous, and polyamorous people can be swingers, but there is a huge distinction between these two concepts and one should take care not to mix the two.) Nevertheless, it is good to know that this community exists and is somewhat active as well.

PolyMatchMaker

This is an online personals site devoted to helping polyamorous folk meet one another. Note that it is not a sex or porn site (very much unlike the FriendFinder network of adult personals sites); that means no profanity or sexually explicit material is allowed on PolyMatchMaker. This site is about meeting people, not finding random sexual encounters. Swingers should go elsewhere.

Spice!

Spice! is an online comic strip that portrays the life of a polyamorous family with children. It’s the only comic I’ve ever found of its kind, and it’s not that bad either. The artwork is cute, and the jokes are decidely poly-centric. (Like this one, and this one, and this one for instance.)

LiveJournal Polyamory Community

This is a community of online diarists who write about their experiences and thoughts with and on polyamory. People post new entries frequently, and many members comment on others’ entries offering support, advice, and feedback.

Subspace

Subspace is a web site for and by people who practice both BDSM and polyamory. They have a collection of articles, links to other articles, a decently active message board, and even a poetry archive.

Books and Other Printed Literature

These are polyamorous resources published in books or other printed literature. Some cost money, some do not, but they are all helpful. (Some book listings borrowed from Franklin Veaux’s poly links page)

The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt

The definitive guide to infinite sexual possibilities and polyamorous relationships. Includes an abundance of background information, supportive validation, and practical advice on how to deal with the realities of a poly relationship (yes, including jealousy).

Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits by Deborah M, Dr. Anapol

An excellent resource for polyamorous people. Focuses more on polyfidelity than on other kinds of polyamory, but another all-around recommended read.

The Myth of Monogamy by David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton

Written by a husband and wife team of behavioral scientists, this book explores non-monogamy from a behavioral, genetic, and moral standpoint. The book is not hostile to monogamy, but it makes the statement that in humans, a relationship model is a matter of both biology and choice. It argues that monogamy is not more inherently “natural” than non-monogamy.

Movies and Video Material

When Two Won’t Do (directed by David Finch, circa 2002)

This real-life documentary made by a couple (and inspired by grappling with issues in their own relationship) takes you on a trip across America with them as they discover first-hand how people have “open” relationships.

If you know of a resource I’ve not listed here which helped you a great deal (especially when you were first learning about polyamory) then please drop me a line. (You can either comment on this entry or email me as meitar at a domain called maymay dot net.) Naturally, I also hope that this page might some day help others find what they need.

Written by Meitar

March 26th, 2005 at 11:21 pm

Posted in Polyamory

4 Responses to 'Polyamory and Nonmonogamy Resources for Beginners and Newcomers'

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  1. Thanks for the info.

    Chris OByrne

    27 Mar 05 at 7:50 AM

  2. Do you have any poly resources in Spain? Or know of poly books or literature in Spanish? Just today I recieved an inquiry, but I don’t have many resources to offer. Thanks.

    Jasmine

    28 Jul 06 at 12:54 PM

  3. Sorry, unfortunately I don’t have any Spanish poly resources. I’m pretty sure, however, that you can find something along those lines through one of the above-mentioned resources. Good luck.

    Meitar

    30 Jul 06 at 4:56 AM

  4. Nice blog. Thank you

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    27 Dec 08 at 1:07 PM

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