Resources on Navigating Open Relationships

Posted On: August 4, 2019

As more people are living longer, the 50s might well be the new 30s. As such, is it truly sustainable to be in a mongamous relationship and not just stay together for the kids? This is a list of books on understanding about and navigating open relationships. I have personally read the first two and like to highly recommend it for those interested in this subject matter. The others came highly recommended by contacts I know.

1. The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love (2017)

The classic guide to love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy has been fully updated to reflect today’s modern attitudes and the latest information on nontraditional relationships.

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.

 

2. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships (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.

 

3. Building Open Relationships: Your hands on guide to swinging, polyamory, and beyond! (2018)

Have you read “that book” on non-monogamy and still wondered “But how do you actually DO this?”

Are you totally great on the theory of open relationships, but feel like you don’t know how it works in practice?

Join Dr. Liz Powell, psychologist, speaker, and coach, as she draws from her education, research, and life experience to bring you Building Open Relationships. This new book is an all-inclusive guide to beginning and maintaining your non-monogamous life, no matter where you fall under the non-monogamous umbrella.

Complete with worksheets, discussion starters, examples, and hard-won lessons (i.e. my mistakes), this book will give you all the tools you need to be more successful in non-monogamy.

4. More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory (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.

From Ancient Greece through the many dynasties of China to current practices of non-monogamy, people have openly engaged in multiple intimate relationships. Not until the late 20th century, however, was a word coined that encapsulated the practice, as well as its philosophies, edicts and ethics: polyamory (poly = many + amore = love).

For Franklin Veaux, who has been polyamorous for his entire adult life, the emerging framework and subsequent vocabulary for his lifestyle was a light in the dark. Candidly sharing his experiences and thoughts online catapulted his website morethantwo.com, among the first dedicated to the poly lifestyle, to one of the top-ranking on the subject.

5. Love’s Not Color Blind (2018)

The issues that make monogamous dating daunting for people of color—shaming and exclusion by white partners, being fetishized, having realities of everyday racism ignored—occur in polyamorous relationships too, and trying “not to see race” only makes it worse.

To make polyamorous communities inclusive, we must all acknowledge our part in perpetuating racism and listen to people of color. Love’s Not Color Blind puts forward the framework—through research, anecdotal testimony, and analogy—for understanding, identifying, and confronting racism within polyamorous communities.

 

 

6. Jealousy Survival Guide: How to feel safe, happy & secure in an open relationship (2017)

Jealousy can have an enormous impact on some people, so it is no surprise that people (especially those who practice consensual non-monogamy) think, talk, and write about it quite a bit. In “Jealousy Survival Guide”, Kitty Chambliss does the homework for you and collects the best tidbits on life and emotions to give you inspiration and provide tools to gain and practice new skills. Combining her own life experience with these pearls of wisdom, Kitty focuses on jealousy in consensually non-monogamous relationships, what it is, how it expresses, and specific ways to manage it. Kitty’s frank discussion of her own struggles with jealousy and focus on specific skills and techniques — without a shred of blame — makes “Jealousy Survival Guide” a delightfully useful read for anyone struggling with jealousy or consensually non-monogamous relationships and polyamory. This is a comprehensive guidebook and step-by-step template for recognizing feelings of jealousy and insecurity as they come up with effective tools for sorting through those emotions, and when, if, and how to bring up challenging or potentially emotionally charged conversations with loved ones. What People are Saying about “Jealousy Survival Guide”“I’m only a few chapters into Kitty’s ‘Jealousy Survival Guide’ but have already felt the positive impact her book has had on me personally. Her book has helped me recognize some of the reasons I am the person I am today and areas of my personality which can use improvement. This book covers so much more than jealousy and relationships. It allows for the discovery of oneself and helps pave an optimistic path for growth. I look forward to what the remaining chapters have in store for me and the journey ahead!”— Tina C., Relationship Coaching ClientNote: Kindle version also available. Audible coming soon.

7. Rewriting the Rules (2018)

We live in a time of uncertainty about relationships. We search for The One but find ourselves staying single because nobody measures up. We long for a happily-ever-after but break-up after break-up leave us bruised and confused.

Rewriting the Rules: An Anti Self-Help Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships is a friendly guide through the complicated – and often contradictory – advice that’s given about sex and gender, monogamy and conflict, break-up and commitment. It asks questions about the rules of love, such as which to choose from all the rules on offer? Do we stick to the old rules we learnt growing up, or do we try something new and risk being out on our own? And what about the times when the rules we love by seem to make things worse, rather than better?

This new edition, updated throughout, considers how the rules are being ‘rewritten’ in various ways – for example in monogamish and polyamorous relationships, different ways of understanding sex and gender, and new ideas for managing commitment and break-up where economics, communities, or child-care make complete separation impossible. This book considers how the rules are being ‘rewritten’ in various ways, giving you the power to find an approach that best fits your situation.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than nine years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network.  She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic Yoga,  From Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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