Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

January 1, 2013

Forthcoming poly books:
maybe 8 or more!

Two weeks ago I posted a complete list (I think) of all 31 books about polyamory since 1985, with descriptions.

To follow that up, here is a forecast of upcoming poly books that various writers have in the works and that seem to have a reasonable chance of happening.

I doubt that I know all of them, so if you have or know about a forthcoming book to add (or subtract), please say so in the comments. Get some free advance publicity!

Coming Right Up:

● This first one doesn't sound like it'll be a polyamory book, contrary to some expectations, but I'll include it because its publication date is tomorrow (January 2, 2013) and it may make waves. This is Tammy Nelson's The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity. At first the book seemed like it would be an expansion of Nelson's 2010 article "The New Monogamy", which I wrote about here. There she used "new monogamy" to mean carefully negotiated non-monogamy within a primary couple:

The new monogamy is, baldly speaking, the recognition that, for an increasing number of couples, marital attachment involves a more fluid idea of connection to the primary partner than is true of the “old monogamy.” Within the new notion of monogamy, each partner assumes that the other is, and will remain, the main attachment, but that outside attachments of one kind or another are allowed -- as long as they don’t threaten the primary connection.

...The fidelity resides in the fact that these couples work out openly and together what will be and will not be allowed in their relationships with Party C, and maybe Parties D, E, and F. To couples engaged in the new monogamy, it isn’t the outside sexual relationships themselves, but the attendant secrets, lies, denial, silences, and hidden rendezvous that make them so destructive to the marriage.

At the time of that article, Nelson didn't seem to grasp that a vibrant polyamory movement exists with lots of hard-earned knowledge for newbies starting down this path (example, example). Since then Nelson has had more contact with the poly world; for instance, appearing last May on Cunning Minx's Polyamory Weekly podcast episode #318. But the book seems tailored to not scare off an intended audience of wounded mainstream affair-survivors, Nelson's main therapy clientele. The publisher's description is careful to say, "The new monogamy contract is an explicit relationship agreement created after the affair that allows each partner to openly, honestly, and safely share their desires, expectations, and limitations. This agreement does not create an open marriage, but rather, an open conversation...."

For the record: The first use of the term "The New Monogamy" to mean negotiated non-monogamy seems to be New York Magazine's cover story "The New Monogamy", by "Em & Lo," in its issue for Nov. 21, 2005 (published online Nov. 12, 2005). The subtitle is "Marriage With Benefits." I wrote about it here at the time.

Books Farther Out, But Likely

Elisabeth Sheff, a sociologist who has long studied polyfolks and especially their kids, is working on The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families. She writes us:

I am really excited about how it is shaping up. It is under contract with Rowman and Littlefield and I will have the first draft to them by the spring; hopefully they will not want too many revisions and it should come out by fall of 2013, but that will depend in part on how things work on their end.

The book presents the cumulative findings of a 16-year longitudinal study of polyamorists (11 years of that focused on poly families with kids) and is designed as an informational book aimed at lawyers, counselors, therapists, social workers, DFACS officials, and others who serve poly clients. Hopefully it will also be the book people who are already poly will use to introduce the idea to important others in their lives -- mothers in law, ex-spouses, etc. It is not persuasive in that it does not aim to recruit people into being polyamorous, but it is persuasive in that it attempts to present polyamory as a viable relationship choice for some people who should be able to retain custody of their children as long as nothing else counter-indicates that -- polyamory alone is not sufficient reason to take children from an otherwise functional family (poly is not definitionally pathological and can be a great system for raising children depending on how it is done, very much like monogamy only with more help potentially).

The first four chapters introduce and define polyamory, the second four chapters present the findings of the study and investigate the advantages, disadvantages, and strategies families use to deal with disadvantages, and the conclusion looks at policy implications and what people in serial monogamous relationships can learn from poly families.

● Jessica Burde should be coming out in a few months with an e-book, Guide to Pregnancy and Polyamory, the first in a series of Poly on Purpose guides she hopes to write. She lists future topics for these as "Children", "Safer Sex", and "The Poly Home." Burde runs the Poly on Purpose blogsite. From what I've seen of the pregnancy book so far, it's a well-written walk-through of unique-to-poly pregnancy issues, some of which she has experienced firsthand, with suggested discussion guidance.

● Kathy Labriola, author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Guide to Open Relationships (2010) writes,

I am writing a book called The Jealous Workbook, which has a lot of exercises and techniques for poly people to manage jealousy. I teach a lot of workshops on jealousy in open relationships, and I use handouts with specific techniques and have the participants do the exercises in the class. Many people have asked me if there is a book with these exercises in it, and it seemed obvious that such a book could be useful. It will be published by Greenery Press, not due out until towards the end of 2013.

● Dawn Davidson in California is working on a book about drawing up poly relationship agreements, tentatively titled KISSable Agreements (and Other Secrets to Negotiating in Poly Partnerships). She writes,

"I've been serializing it in my blog for quite a while, and am getting close to having a full draft. I'm hoping to have something ready by the academic conference" (Dave Doleshal's first International Academic Polyamory Conference happening in Berkeley February 15-17), "even if that's only a photocopied, comb-bound version and/or a pdf. At the moment I have no publisher, and will probably self-publish the first round."

● From Meg Barker in the UK, author of Rewriting the Rules and Understanding Non-Monogamies:

A book I have coming out later this year with Christina Richards has a major section on [therapy] practitioners working with both monogamous and openly non-monogamous people: Richards, C. and Barker, M. (forthcoming, 2013). Sexuality and gender for counselors, psychologists and health professionals: A practical guide. London: Sage. It should have a good overview chapter regarding work with poly clients.

● Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli in Australia, author of Border Families, Border Sexualities in Schools, has another academic book in the works, "due out hopefully in 2014 by Lexington Books: Outside Belonging: Women in Relationships with Bisexual Men, which includes lots on polyamory and other forms of non-monogamous arrangements. It presents the findings of my semi-structured interview research with 78 women of diverse ages, sexualities and ethnicities in relationships with bisexual, MSMWs, heteroflexible and homoflexible men."

Books Farther Out and Maybe Iffy:

● Ever since Franklin Veaux moved his massive, much-linked-to poly advice site to www.MoreThanTwo.com, he has posted on its front page: "More Than Two is also the name of a book about non-monogamy that I've been on-again, off-again working on for some time." Meaning at least since 2006. He just wrote us,

That project is on again; I've dusted off what I've written so far and begun working once more. I have a query letter and proposal I've sent out to about 50 agents and publishers now; I've got back about 40 form rejections, about 5 hand-written rejections, and several rejections that have said "If you re-cast the book as a personal memoir we'd be interested."

So I have largely given up on going the traditional publishing route, and I'm planning to self-publish.

● Anlina Sheng is a very public polyactivist in Winnipeg who was recently featured in the daily Winnipeg Free Press and chosen by The Uniter, the student newspaper of the University of Winnipeg (billing itself as "Winnipeg's weekly urban journal"), as one of 30 young Manitobans "who are making a difference and impacting their community or who are outstanding in their field." She writes us,

I'm working on a book about polyamory as a person who is single or without a primary. I don't have a publishing date and I'll likely go the self-published route, so I'm not sure if there's much worth mentioning publicly yet, but a manuscript is in the works (though still a ways off.) Working title: Poly On My Own.

● In Toronto, on her Not Your Mother's Playground site, Samantha Fraser is running an Indiegogo fundraiser "to help me get the cash to print my book, which is still in development."

Not Your Mother’s Playground: A realistic guide to honest, happy and healthy open relationships (NYMP) is a book on modern open relationships aimed at a new generation, discussing everything from swinging to polyamory (multiple loves). It includes personal triumphs and challenges mixed in to give it a relatable, intimate feel.... My plan with NYMP is to talk about open relationships from a realistic and experienced viewpoint, giving people honest advice and examples from not only my own life but others’ as well.

The idea behind Not Your Mother’s Playground is to walk the reader through everything they will encounter should they choose to open up their relationship. It will show all sides from the good to the bad, not ignoring the reality that these relationships come with complications that can put even the strongest couples to the test....

● Jay Wiseman, longtime BDSM community organizer and author of well over a dozen books on that topic, has been rumored to be at work on a book about poly and kink. But in fact this project seems to be far down on his priority list.

Okay, did I miss anyone? If so let's hear about your project.




Blogger Suzann Robins said...

Alan, I am wondering if my book was included in your list of 31? Although it is not ONLY about polyamory, it certainly includes this as a topic. Let me know if you would like a review copy?
Happy New Year and thanks for all you do!

January 02, 2013 8:16 PM  

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