Polyamory-Related Books

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Polyfidelity & Group Marriage

Polyfidelity refers to poly relationships in which the partners all feel roughly equally involved with and committed to each other (and typically live together.)

Loving More: The Polyfidelity Primer

Ryam Nearing
PEP Publishing

Ryam Nearing's book has always been, in my mind, the definitive introduction to polyfi relationships.

In addition to covering a variety of topics of interest to anyone interested in polyamory, Nearing's book (as one might expect from the title) provides a lot of information more specifically targeted at polyfides, such as co-parenting, sharing of finances, and living powers of attorney (to provide for medical emergencies and the like).

Loving More is a deceptively small book, weighing in at less than one hundred pages. While small, Ryam manages to provide lots of clear, practical advice into the book, and I believe that the size contributes to the very approachable nature of the book. All in all, this book would be an excellent first read for people considering trying to arrange any sort of polyamorous arrangement that invovled living together.

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Lesbian Polyfidelity

Celeste West
Booklegger Publishing

In Lesbian Polyfidelity, Celeste West has attempted to create a book about polyamory aimed at the Lesbian (and bisexual) women. (The parentheses are hers, not mine.) She certainly has succeeded there, and had produced an interesting, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book.

For one thing, this is one of the most complex and literate books I've read relating to polyamory. In addition to large doses of well-written practical advice, West also delves into the relationship of polyamory to evolutionary biology, feminist theory, and puts its practice into historical context.

Unfortunately, I believe that West does herself a disservice in a way of using the term polyfidelity to refer to the state of "being in ongoing erotic intimacy with more than one woman concurrently, while being honest about such involvements..." Since this is a somewhat broader definition of the word polyfidelity than is normally used, I suspect some potential readers will turn away from this book before giving it a chance, thinking that they aren't necessarily interested in (say) a group living situation.

I do have a warning about the book. West makes a very small number of statements which, despite my attempts to read them as humor (and she does have a wonderful, wicked sense of humor), come off to me as bigoted. Male (and heterosexual female) readers who aren't versed in feminist theory may get a kick in the pants here and there. If you can handle that (or, as in my case, even enjoy that) and want to read an otherwise excellent book, dive in, if you are a more sensitive soul, you may wish to read elsewhere.

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